April 23, 2019

It’s Time to Expand! Here’s How to Do It

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Your hard work and sleepless nights are starting to pay off as your business grows rapidly. The expansion stage can bring its own set of nightmares for many businesses. Here are some tips that you will want to keep in mind.

Choose the Right Location

Chances are that you need more warehouse space as your business is expanding. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of different locations before you move your business. Think about the supplies that come into your business and choose a location where you can get those supplies in a cost-effective and timely manner. Inventory management is an essential part of fulfillment as you grow your business. While there are advantages to using offsite inventory storage, you should still look for a location that matches the warehousing needs of your company. In addition to considering the available space, take a look at security to make sure that you are relocating to a good neighborhood. Different markets can be loyal to different companies, so be sure to consider if you can adequately compete in the market. Finally, look for local, state and federal incentives to move to different locations.

Equipment

You will need a variety of equipment in the new location. Consider which pieces you can move from your current place and which you will need to secure to make different locations work. One piece of machinery that you may not have thought about but which could be helpful with business automation is a conveyor belt. If your business specializes in products, then creating an efficient assembly system will go a long way to helping you keep up with the growth of your business. The more your business grows the more you will need to implement automation which will smooth the flow of work from production to packaging. While a conveyor belt needs to fit the size, weight, and type of product you produce, it also needs to be the right length and design to work in your new location. You may even want to consider hiring an industrial engineer to help you think through different aspects of making your business more productive.

Workforce

If you are moving to a new area where your current workforce is unlikely to follow, then it is vital that you think about the availability of a well-trained workforce. Moving near a college where there is an active program within your field often gives you an advantage as recent college graduates are often reluctant to move. See if you can partner with a community college to create classes in areas where you cannot find good employees.

Financing

If your company has investors or shareholders, then make sure to keep them in the loop about your thinking as your company expands. If they are experienced businessmen, then they may have valuable feedback on what has worked for them in the past. These people may also have friends or family who can lead you to the right location for your company’s expansion.

Congratulations on building a business that is ready for expansion. Focusing on these four factors will help you make the final decision on where expansion makes the most business sense. You may need to spend some time writing it all out in a business plan that embraces your company’s promising future.

If you’re looking to continue your expansion in other ways like branding, and website design and more, keep us in mind! We want to coach you through this growth and we want to help your business thrive, but also understand that sometimes a little extra help is needed to get you on your way!

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5 Great Countries to Start Your New Business

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Starting a new business can certainly be a daunting task. While you have many decisions to make as an entrepreneur, one of the most important is where you will form your business. The following are five of the best countries to consider based on affordability, access to capital, low manufacturing costs, and low levels of bureaucracy.

Indonesia

According to the World Bank, Indonesia boasts the largest economy in Southeast Asia, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs ready to capitalize on economic growth and the country’s maturing democracy. Indonesia is predominantly a middle-income nation with a sizeable middle class, yet it offers a low-cost base for production and the perfect launchpad for the Southeast Asian region. Business opportunities in Indonesia don’t end there; they can extend to nine additional members of the ASEAN that enjoy favorable trade relationships with Indonesia. The country also makes it easier than most to start a business with its Program for Eastern Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance (PENSA) that educates new business owners.

Singapore

As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to like about Singapore. According to KC Ha Consulting, Singapore is ranked number one in providing best investment potential and is also ranked number 3 in foreign trade and investments in economic performance. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. With high regulatory performance and a high-income society known for its infrastructure, public transportation, and English skills, the country offers an excellent framework for starting a new business with a process that can take as little as three days.

Singapore is unique in many ways compared to its neighbors. It’s home to many of the top companies in the world thanks to its central location in Southeast Asia and proximity to emerging Chinese and Indian markets. With an ideal location and excellent global connectivity, Singapore has received the top rating in Asia for logistics. Singapore also offers an attractive corporate tax rate that maxes out at 17% with 21 free trade agreements with 27 economics and more than 70 avoidance of double tax agreements to reduce tax barriers in trade.

Mexico

Mexico has become an increasingly attractive location for entrepreneurs and investors with a vibrant economy and low costs. Mexico ranks among the top 30% in the world concerning regulatory performance and has undergone business registration reforms that have increased its number of registered businesses. It typically takes as little as one week to start a business in Mexico.

Of course, there are trade-offs including high crime rates and a steep learning curve for learning administrative procedures and unwritten rules. Despite improvements in regulatory performance, Mexico continues to perform very poorly regarding corruption. Only ten countries rank below Mexico in the Americas for corruption in government, banking, politics, and business. This corruption can affect foreign companies in Mexico as bribery is a long-held tradition. Even the growth of retail giant Wal-Mart in Mexico involved substantial and systematic bribes, according to the New York Times. Bribery is so common and accepted that it’s practically considered a part of cost analysis when opening and running a business in Mexico.

Malaysia

Malaysia makes it incredibly easy to start a business with a streamlined process that takes around 19 days. In fact, most of the paperwork to register a new company in Malaysia can even be done online. Malaysia offers a stable economy, educated yet low-cost workforce, and a high rate of English fluency. It can also be a more affordable alternative to expand or get into the Southeast Asian market compared to other countries in the region like Singapore.

Of course, Malaysia it does come with drawbacks. Malaysia does still have a problem with government corruption and complicated bureaucracy that can complicate business operation. Malaysia also has a high corporate tax rate at 24% which is the third highest among Southeast Asian nations.

Thailand

Thailand almost ties with Singapore when it comes to fast and easy business formation. It also offers a unique perk: it has a low business density compared to other countries in the region with reduced competition and room to grow. It’s also one of the most affordable countries in which to operate a business although you will face some restrictions concerning acceptable industries as a company that isn’t Thai majority owned.

While these aren’t the only nations that can be considered pro-business, each offer advantages worth considering as an investor including low labor costs, affordable tax rates, and stable economies. And when you finally get that business started, be sure to look to us for your marketing needs.

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5 Strategies for Building Strong Communication in Your Mobile Workforce

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Facilitating effective communication among their employees and associates can provide businesses with a range of potential benefits. For organizations that rely upon a decentralized business model and a mobile workforce, many unique challenges need to be overcome. The following strategies can help to ensure reliable communication within a mobile workforce.

Seeking Ideas From Employees

Arbitrarily dictating policies rather than allowing a communication strategy to grow and develop organically could be a misstep. Employees and workers can provide valuable insight and a range of ideas that businesses might have otherwise overlooked. Encouraging workers to become more involved in the development of a new strategy or policy could prove to be a very smart move.

Cloud-based Infrastructure

Tethering a workforce to one location can hamstring their effectiveness. Cloud-based services and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication regardless of their physical location. Moving things online also makes it possible for businesses to store necessary project documents in one centralized location. This allows all virtual team members to access the project from their respective locations. Investing in the right digital resources and architecture could end up making a real difference in the success of your virtual team

Unifying Communications

Mobile communication strategies often need to draw upon a wide range of resources in order to be effective. While chat clients and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication, failing to properly integrate and unify all resources could lead to an endless supply of problems. Unified communications is one of the cornerstones of any effective strategy. 

Leveraging Mobile Technology

Current and next-generation smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices can provide businesses with a variety of different communications resources and solutions. Mobile apps allow teams (virtual or otherwise) to be flexible and improve communication in ways that conventional technology may be unable to rival.     

Soliciting Feedback

Failing to update or fine-tune a strategy once it has been implemented could blunt its effectiveness in the long-term. The needs of a business or organization will continue to shift and evolve over time and strategies may need to be adapted to remain effective. Outdated strategies are rarely able to benefit from the latest technologies.

 

Each business has different needs, and no one strategy can provide the same quality and level of results for every organization. A little trial and error may be required in order to devise or develop strategies that will provide superior results. For businesses that rely on a highly mobile workforce, crafting a strategy that will allow for more effective communication among workers, staff and associates should always be a top priority.

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4 Hiring Principles Necessary to Build a Motivated Team

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The research is clear; high performing employees are the most motivated employees and out produce average employees by 4 to 1! What fundamental principles are necessary to build an effective hiring process that will staff your organization with high performers and motivated teams? The highest performing organizations have cracked this code and here is how they do it.

Determine What Capabilities Will Drive Your Company’s Success

Think about those brands that you admire. What is it that they are very good at doing? Walmart differentiates itself by their expertise in supply chain management while Nordstrom is known for their customer service. How does your company differentiate itself from the competition? What qualities do you admire in the employees you already have, and what are you going to be looking for in the new hires?

Determine What Skills are Aligned with Your Organizational Skills

Personal competencies are a person’s ability, skill, character, and knowledge that develop through life experiences. Personal competencies account for nearly 90% of successful performance on the job. A partial list of the 67 personal competencies from the Lominger organization include:

  •    Action Oriented
  •    Business Acumen
  •    Organizational Agility
  •    Customer Focus
  •    Timely Decision Making

Determine What Technical Skills are Required for a Specific Role

Technical competencies represent the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in a specific job role. The majority of hiring is done with a focus on technical competencies. It is important to note, however, that technical skills only account for 10% of successful job performance.

Establish Objectives for Interview and Screening Processes

First off, you need to have great managers.If you don’t have great managers, you will never have a high performing, highly motivated team. Period.

Most hiring managers make hiring decisions based on:

  •    Their “gut”
  •    The similarity in personalities with the candidate
  •    The degree to which they “like” the candidate

Pre-employment evaluations combined with structured interview processes are critical to the screening process as they remove the subjective human biases of the interviewers while screening all candidates using a common methodology.

High performers have the personal and technical competencies that align with the desired organizational capabilities of the company. If the screening process is built with these principles in mind, the result will be a highly successful organization. For more hiring techniques and advice, check out my blog!

 

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How Veterans Can Leverage Their Communities and Benefits for Success

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If you’re a veteran, you might be wondering what your options are for moving forward after military life. Maybe you want to start your own business. Perhaps you want to return to school. Maybe you aren’t quite sure what your next step will be. Fortunately, no matter which branch of the military you served in, there are several ways you can leverage your benefits for success. Here’s what you need to know.

Resources for Starting a Business

If you’re interested in starting your own business, but you aren’t quite sure how you can afford it, you might be surprised to learn that the VA does offer business loans to eligible applicants. Consider applying for a loan in order to jump start your new business. This can give you the leverage you need to get started doing what you really want to be doing.

Resources for Furthering Your Education

The VA offers educational benefits through the GI bill, which will enable you to pursue a college degree at the school of your choice. You may use your GI bill benefits for either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Note that this benefit covers the cost of tuition. You will also receive a stipend for housing and for books. The rates for these benefits vary based on your location, the type of school you’re attending (online versus on-campus), and the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in.

Resources for Training

Did you know that much of your military training translates to the civilian world? If you’re an expert at something and received solid training in the military, you may be able to utilize this training to pursue a career in a new field. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things you learned don’t apply in non-military positions. They do! Chances are you’re more qualified for local positions than you think.

While the choice to leave the military can be a tricky one, rest assured that you have many available options for moving forward and succeeding in the world around you. Whether you want to start your own business or simply develop the skills you need to become a business professional, it’s possible to find the help and the assistance you need to get started. Begin by considering your personal goals and then explore what particular options and benefits the VA has to offer you. You might be surprised at just how much you’ll be able to do.

If you are looking into starting your own business, check out this site for some helpful advice and coaching opportunities that will take you to success!

References:

VA Low Rates | Veteran Home Loans

Chron | 5 Resources You Need to Succeed to Start a Business

Success | 3 Ways Your Team Can Benefit from Military-Style Leadership Training

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