How to Find a Removal Company

Whether you are moving house or office, one way to cut down on the stress and labour of moving day is finding a good removal company. Why is it important?

If you only have a small move to complete, you might think you can get friends to help. It sounds ideal! You get an enthusiastic workforce and only have to pay with drinks and food (which you can share!). However, there’s no actual guarantee they’ll be free the day you need to move, and unless they happen to be a group of experienced house movers you befriended some time ago, they won’t be as efficient as the professionals: the process will take longer, and there’s the risk of injuries and broken or lost boxes. If you’re paying a removals firm, none of these things are your problem and you will be surprised at the sheer speed with which they can fill a van with everything you’ve packed up.

The argument in favour of finding professional movers is strong then: the next step is finding the right ones for this job.

The first step will be to talk to friends: many people move regularly in the 20s and 30s, especially in London and other big cities, and you’ll likely be able to get a recommendation from someone in your circle who has moved recently. Even if they just tell you about a bad experience they’ve had this is useful information that gives you something to avoid.

If this is a business move, talk to your professional network: the costs will likely be higher so you need to put more thought into finding the right firm for the job.

If you can’t get a direct recommendation, using sites like Check a Trade or Trustpilot will let you find recommended movers in your area and check customer reviews.

It’s also worth looking into local storage facilities. Some London storage like byStored businesses also offer pick up and delivery of your stored items, so if shop around, you may be able to use them both as storage solution and a removal service.

The most important thing to do is get multiple quotes from different companies: this will give you an idea of a reasonable price for the job on offer and make sure you’re protected at least somewhat from paying over the odds. If one company offers all the services you need but at a higher price, try letting them know you’ve found a lower quote elsewhere: they may be enthusiastic enough about your custom to reduce their price further.

10 Keys to Starting a Successful Drop Ship Business from Home

Over $2 trillion in ecommerce sales are expected in the United States in 2017, that number will grow to over $4 trillion in just four years. Drop-shipping is one form of merchandise fulfillment that a growing number of ecommerce business like Shoe Carnival and Pier One Imports is using, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For those unfamiliar with the term, drop-shipping is an arrangement whereby the manufacturer directly ships items to the end consumer. That means that the retail company, in this case your ecommerce store, does not handle or house merchandise.

This article will review ten key ways potential small business founders can start a successful drop-shipping business from home.

  1. Find an underserved niche

The ecommerce industry is crowded. Organizations like Amazon, Wayfair, Bed Bath and Beyond and many others are able to successfully serve hundreds of millions of customers each year. In order to compete as a small ecommerce company, you should aim to identify an underserved set of potential customers. That way, it will be easier to grow your business without needing to worry about competition from larger organizations.

To identify potential niches, consider creating an MVP (minimum viable product) and promote the product via social media ads. If done well, you can determine the potential demand for a product before you even begin working with a manufacturer. Of course, the beauty of drop-shipping is that you can immediately start selling merchandise, even with an MVP, since you won’t need to warehouse the products.

  1. Get to know the customer by creating personas

In order to ensure that the website design, product offering and go-to-market strategies are correct, you need to have a great understanding of your target customer. To build this understanding, consider creating a marketing persona. Think of a persona as an archetype, using geographic, demographic and psychographic information, you can create an accurate picture of the type of person you would like to target.

Once you understand what motivates your potential customer, it will become easier to merchandise and market your drop-shipping ecommerce business.

  1. Find a manufacturer willing to drop-ship

With a niche and customer persona already established, it is time to find a manufacturer that is willing to drop-ship merchandise. Platforms like Aliexpress can help you to quickly find manufacturers that are willing to send merchandise directly to the consumer. Be sure to conduct a background check of the factory before making a commitment, as a poor experience will lead to cascading negative consequences.

  1. Calculate associated manufacturing costs

If you are interested in manufacturing items outside of the United States, be sure to calculate transportation and duty costs first. While international manufacturers are often able to produce goods below domestic competitors, additional freight and tariff costs can make items prohibitively expensive.

  1. Ensure outstanding customer service to create word of mouth business

As mentioned earlier, poor customer service can create cascading negative consequences. Be sure to provide customers with outstanding service in order to generate word of mouth referral customers.

Word of mouth customers are ideal for small businesses, because the cost of acquiring a customer via word of mouth is lower than any other channel. Low customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a winning formula for an ecommerce business.

  1. Promote content with targeted ads

In the early days of your ecommerce business, it will most likely be difficult to generate demand organically. Instead, you will most likely need to invest in digital ads in order to generate customers. Social media is a great way to grow your brand, regardless of whether your customer is looking for a custom bridesmaid dress or used hockey skates.

Since you should already have an idea of who your target customer is (thanks to the customer personas you created) it will be easy for you to use advanced social media advertising targeting options to ensure that every penny spent is spent on driving the right customer.

  1. Track the fluctuation of business metrics, and adjust pricing

There are a few business metrics that every drop-shipping business owner should track. Customer acquisition costs, lifetime value, website visitor conversion rate, and customer satisfaction are a few of the key metrics that you should track.

When viewed as a whole, the metrics will provide you with an effective way to benchmark and pulse check the performance of your drop-shipping business.

  1. Pivot to other products if necessary

Remember that a benefit of drop-shipping is that you do not need to hold inventory if it isn’t selling. If you notice demand for your products is declining, consider pivoting to other products that are more in demand.

Create another MVP and test the market once more with social media ads to identify a new product, or a new niche audience to target. 

  1. Contact customers to evaluate performance

Customer service, good or bad, has the power to make or break your drop-ship business in the long run. In order to properly evaluate customer satisfaction, consider contacting a handful of customers directly. Ask them the standard NPS and CSAT questions, and ask them what else your business would need to do in order for them to tell their friends about their experience.

  1. Ask for advice from other ecommerce vendors

If this is your first drop-shipping business, learning the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful can take time. Consider accelerating your education by contacting ecommerce business owners operating in niches you are not targeting. Ask them for advice, and most likely some entrepreneurs will be more than willing to help.

Conclusion

Ecommerce businesses and drop-shipping businesses specifically are becoming increasingly successful. It has never been easier to identify a target market, find manufacturers, and promote products than today. By following the ten steps outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to creating a thriving drop-shipping business.

How a Commercial Lawyer Can Help Fund Your Business

If you’re starting a small business or start up company, you might question the need for legal assistance. Guidance is available online, through the Citizens Advice Bureau and the government’s own website in an easily digestible form, which should give you everything you need to set up and run your own business while avoiding any legal pitfalls.

Unfortunately, there is a reason lawyers are highly qualified and in demand professionals: they provide a very valuable service that repays any investment you are able to afford to make in it. To help you see the sunny side of partnering up with a commercial lawyer, here’s a guide to how they can help your business get its first round of funding.

Funding Masters

One of your first and biggest challenges is securing the funding you need to set your business up. An experienced business lawyer will be invaluable here. They’ve worked with many other entrepreneurs in the same situation and know what has worked in the past, and what appeals to funders. They can help you optimise your presentations, depending on whether you are going to a bank for a traditional business loan or seeking funding from so-called Angel Investors to launch your company.

While you might be a specialist in the field you’ve chosen to start a business in, you may not necessarily be experienced in negotiation, so your lawyer can act as advocate for you in the negotiation process to make sure you get the funds you need, without surrendering your control of the business to an investor who wants a say.

A lawyer who’s been working in the commercial field for some time will have a good set of contacts, which as a more fresh faced entrepreneur you may lack, and will be able to connect you with the investors who are most likely to put money into your venture. They’ll also be able to warn you away from attractive looking funders who have a reputation for underhanded play or pressuring less experienced business owners.

Having an experienced business lawyer involved in your pitch is an extra vote of confidence for investors. They allow you punch a little above your weight, especially if you are just starting out, and by extending to you a little of their reputation allow you access a better level of funding and a more exclusive level of investment than you would ordinarily have access to.

Insurance Policies that Everyone Must Have

You can insure pretty much anything, but should you? Not necessarily. Some people need life insurance while others might not be ready for that. Some insurance is not needed by the average person, such as credit card insurance or life insurance for a child. However, there are a few different insurance policies that everyone should have regardless of their life circumstances. Here are a few types of insurance policies that should be considered mandatory.

Health Insurance

Everyone out there should have health insurance or risk not being able to pay for medical bills when the time comes. It’s inevitable that at some point there will be some sort of health care that you need to pay for. It would be awful to end up in an emergency situation where you were unable to pay for a service that you needed. But besides emergency situation, needing insurance is also relevant for common life events.

Any situation where a doctor’s advice or treatment is needed counts as medical care. Pregnancies, needing glasses, etc. Our bodies can naturally change throughout the years. Healthcare of any kind simply costs money. Luckily there are plenty of health insurance plans that can be obtained for reasonable prices. These can fit any budget. The fees for not having health insurance are only getting higher. It’s not something to put to the side and hope for the best.

Auto Insurance

If you own a car you absolutely need auto insurance. In this case being without insurance puts you at a very high risk. Getting in an accident without insurance might leave you with very high bills to pay. That might mean covering your own car as well as someone else’s. You might be able to get away with not replacing or fixing your own car. But you won’t be able to do the same if you owe someone else the same courtesy. In the event of injury when an accident is found to be your fault there might also be medical bills to contend with as well. It’s better to be covered and then you’ll never have to worry about it. Check out Auto Insurance Toronto & Shop Insurance Canada to find the best rates with the right coverage. You might never get into an accident and maintain a perfect driving record, but it’s still best to be covered each and every day.

Homeowners Insurance

If you own a home you should absolutely have homeowners insurance. But the bank will actually make sure that you do, since taking out a loan to cover a home means that they have a strong investment in the future of the home. If for some reason you cancel your homeowner’s insurance or fall behind on a payment, the bank will start coverage with their own insurance without delay. Then they’ll send you a much higher bill for having to do so. It’s smarter to find the best policy for you and your home and then keep up with your payments to avoid any extra fees. Once you pay off your mortgage the bank no longer has an investment in that decision. But it is still considered the right choice.

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Career Goals In The Finance Industry

It can be inspiring and motivating to set long-term career goals, and achieving a top position in the finance industry begins with setting intentions. Have you put your career goals into writing? Have you even thought about your career goals? Whether you’re searching for VP jobs in Chicago, accounting jobs in Los Angeles, or finance staffing jobs in San Francisco, working on your career goals now will put a series of small successes into motion that will lead to big achievements down the road.

That dream position you might have thought about can be a long-term goal, but it needs to be prefaced by a first-step career goal if you’re a recent college graduate, or even a viable mid-career goal that will eventually progress into your dream job. Career goals in the finance industry are as varied as the people that have these goals. The following are some goals that you might want to consider as you plan for your future:

Changing Careers

If you have an educational background in finance, but have chosen to take a different career path, you can still come back to finance as a long-term career goal. It’s vital to be happy with your current job and current field. So, a plausible career goal could be to switch careers and explore work in finance – today and for the rest of your working life if that’s what makes you happy. You already have the experience, so consider getting on board with a finance company you can grow with.

Gaining Expertise and Improving Performance

An important long-term career goal in the finance industry can be to become a SME, or a subject matter expert. This requires time and you must continue to keep up to date on the appropriate fields of study to establish yourself as the go-to person in your field. But, as a career goal, becoming a SME can lead to higher positions within a company, as well as special project opportunities.

Other career goals in the finance industry can be retiring early (possibly at 50), furthering education (which some companies might pay for), and working with role models within a company or industry. Beacon Resources can help you set concrete career goals if you haven’t already, and we can assist you in finding that job that will turn today’s actions into tomorrow’s dream.