Who doesn’t want to live in a house that guarantees envious looks from neighbours and passer byes? But the problem arises when you are stuck with your old home which you cannot tear down and build a gorgeous new structure over it. The answer to your dilemma lies in home renovation and millions around the world have taken this route to get swanky new homes where their old ones once stood. Further, home renovation adds to the life span of the structure as foundation and basements will be fortified and renovated too.
If you are planning to take up home renovation the two most critical aspects is getting a builder who can make your dreams come true as well as work within your budget. The latter is particularly difficult as the costs keep piling up as you introduce more and more changes as construction goes on. After all it’s not every day that you will opt for home renovation and you will naturally want to finish off in style – installing the latest fixtures and home automation systems for example as an afterthought to the original plans!
When choosing the best renovating company, do so with a lot of care and approach the project meticulously. It will ultimately be the difference in leading a happy life in your newly renovated home and sleepless nights because of perennial problems that might crop up.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the best renovation company while staying within your budget.
- Get referrals – Getting referrals from friends, relatives and neighbours is the right way to start off. Word of mouth referral is usually more dependable than finding a contractor by searching the Internet. This way, you can get a firsthand account of the quality of work of the contractor, whether the work was finished on time and if the job was completed within the allotted budget. You will get immediate information and feedback.
- Evaluate credentials – Once you get a few recommendations. Do some sleuthing on your own either over phone or by visiting the contractor’s website. Check accreditations, certifications, licences and other designations from regulatory bodies such as National Association of Homebuilders. Opt for contractors that are fully licensed and insured. All these are an assurance that the renovator of your choice will carry out standard and quality work.
- Interview candidates – Narrow down the number of candidates to about three and set up separate meetings with them. Make direct calls for referrals and refer to the “Contact Us” page on websites if you have selected them from online searches. Discuss your project threadbare, the budget you have in mind and the changes and renovations required. Assessing the confidence level of the renovator to do the job well should be a determining factor in finalising a contractor.
- Check references – Call for references of previous clients and do not hesitate to get in touch with them to evaluate the quality of work done. Get names and addresses of projects that have recently been completed or currently under construction. It might not be of any use if you inspect projects that have been completed years ago. Much might have changed for the company in the meantime.
Follow these few tips and you will surely be able to choose the best contractor for your renovation work.
If you are a resident of Australia and looking to start a business with low investment, you will not be short on choice. Australia is a business friendly and wealthy country with a high per capita income. It is also the world’s thirteenth largest economy making it the ideal choice for start-ups and potential investors. Further, similar opportunities are available for non-Australian citizens too. An application has to be made for the relevant Visa of which there are two types – the Business Innovation and Investment Visa and the Business Talent Visa. After obtaining a Visa, necessary permissions and licences have to be obtained from Government Departments and statutory bodies.
Here are some business ideas with low investment that you can try in Australia.
- Catering business – It is a very profitable business with high margins. There is no need for special training or experience to start off, simply having a lot of stamina and good interpersonal skills will be enough. However, to improve your skills, you can take up a vocational course or work as an apprentice with a reputed caterer before starting out on your own. Initially, you can focus on service at birthday parties, picnics and family reunions before attempting to go big time with company dinners and wedding receptions. If you start working from home, you can eliminate infrastructure costs like rent and other business expenses. Your major fixed investment will be on equipment for cooking and serving and recurring investment of cost of ingredients.
- Cleaning business – Residential and office cleaning business requires low investment but is generally a profitable venture. It can be started from home with very little infrastructure. Only cleaning equipment and consumables like cleaning solutions are necessary in the initial stages. As you expand, you can get a vehicle to take you around. Till such time, whenever you get an order, you can hire a vehicle to reach the place. You can also take in more cleaners as your business expands. It is advisable to focus on a niche – residential and office cleaning is the ideal start. In home settings you can even include extras like car cleaning which requires no special skills unlike car log book service at accredited garages.
- Digital marketing – It is one of the top paying and lucrative industries in the world today with vast potential in Australia. This is because the growth in mobile phone usage has made online marketing of products and services very crucial for businesses. Even a car mechanic in Sunshine, Melbourne would prefer to advertise his services online to rake in the benefits of wider reach of his message at affordable rates. However, it is one field in which you must have adequate knowledge of the latest tools and technologies to be successful. If you do not have the required skill sets, take up professional courses and work in a reputed agency for some time to gain experience. You can start from your home with a computer initially on a self employment basis and focus on email marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing and the like.
- Consulting – If you are an expert on a specific subject, consulting can be a very lucrative proposition for you. It can be any chosen area – finance, marketing or business consultant. The latter is especially in high demand by small businesses and start-ups that need professional guidance but do not have the financial clout to hire well paid executives in every field. You can work from home or from client’s office, thereby saving on investments for setting up an office. Once you are well settled and well known there will be no stopping you.
These are some of the areas you can focus on if you want to start a business in Australia with low investments.
Human resource is a very important component in the functioning of any organisation. Good and efficient employees can take any business to dizzying heights and deliver results optimally. In large companies and organisations, one or two employees that do not deliver may go unnoticed. But not so in small businesses where an under producing staff can adversely affect the overall functioning. It is therefore crucial that the right employee for a vacancy is selected after careful thought and due diligence. The facilitator in this case is of course the HR manager who has the onerous task of making sure that the recruited employee is committed, loyal and well suited for the job.
However, the role of an HR executive in small businesses goes much beyond the recruitment process. Here are some of the more important aspects –
- Compliance with rules and regulations – One of the primary responsibilities of an HR manager is ensuring that all statutory rules and regulations relevant to employee relationships are complied with – from hiring to safety issues to compliance with labour laws. As per rules, even small businesses with even 10 employees have to follow certain regulations in this regard.
- Optimised hiring practices – A good employee is one that has the required skills and knowledge to blend in perfectly with the work requirements and culture of the organisation. An HR manager thus has to ensure the smooth working of the business and make sure that matching staff is in place. It requires intense planning and a good HR policy. This is because the recruitment process is not easy. Advertisements have to be given in the print media, preliminary screening of applicants has to be made and the final round of interviews has to be conducted. The problem arises when vacancies have to be filled at short notice. With foresight, an HR manager can ensure that the small business runs smoothly without any hitch.
- Training and development – This is one aspect that is critical for any organisation. It is more so for small businesses with limited employees at their disposal. Every employee has to be trained to handle a wide range of activities, often outside their area of expertise. Only specific cross training can make sure that employees are able to cover more than one job function. The focus of an HR manager should also be to have policies in place that are also effective.
This training can take various forms. The most common is having senior executives conduct programs related to their specialisations. The other is having training programs devised by external agencies. Here the name of Shannon Pigram comes to mind. He is a multi-talented HR executive who specialises in employee engagement, training programs and talent management. It is people like him who can be of immense help in creating effective training courses.
- Employee Recognition – Employee recognition is a huge motivating factor but sadly, small businesses do not have the required budget to do full justice to it. It is here that the position of an HR manager becomes very important. It is he/she who has to keep a tab on employee performance and work out a system of rewards. Employees’ preferences have to be evaluated and programs and activities created that will meet those needs. Only then can such problems as absenteeism and low productivity be addressed, both factors that contribute to high staffing costs. Another employee recognition strategy is to highlight performance on social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest and on the business website.
- Welfare measures – A few welfare measures are statutory, others are at the sole discretion of the management. It is in the second instance that a HR executive has a crucial part to play. An exact balance has to be struck and welfare measures initiated that will not only meet employee expectations but will also be within the limited budget of a small business.
These are some of the roles and functions of an HR manager of a small business.
The world is passing through a heightened digital environment and it is but natural that you should adapt your existing business to harness its limitless benefits. If you stick to old and conventional methods of business operations, you can be sure that you will be left far behind by your competitors. Most importantly, apart from customer relationships, using updated technologies in your everyday business operations increases employee productivity, thereby further boosting growth and development.
Here are a few ways to take your business to the next level through implementing advanced technological methodologies in your business.
- Use optimised communication channels – The days of hopping on to a flight for a business meeting are on their way out. State of the art communication channels like Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) will help you “meet” clients in person real time, thereby saving on time and money. With other Internet enabled devices such as laptops, tablets or smart phones, you can maintain contact with your employees and clients round the clock from any remote location. It also enables you to maintain solid customer relationships and constant interaction with banks thereby allowing you to stay on top of your financials and knowing the state of your business.
- Introduce technological innovations in customer service – If you are in a customer centric business, you should use the latest technologies to enhance client satisfaction through top end services. Take the case of the beauty care industry which has probably been most benefitted by advance technologies. By installing the latest equipment you gain an edge over your competitors. Treatments have become faster and without any prolonged recuperation periods. Skin rejuvenation procedures on high-tech laser and IPL machines are done in under an hour.
However, you should make sure that you source all equipment from leading manufacturers and distributors only for trouble free operations. Those in the beauty business in Australia can depend and trust Universal IPL for all their requirements of the best devices for the skin care sector.
- Automate time consuming processes – In today’s business processes it makes no sense to be bogged down by traditional methodologies and time consuming processes. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the accounts department of any organisation. Manual methods mean that books of accounts are not balanced regularly and hence latest reports are not generated quickly. Hence if you have to take crucial financial and investment decisions you have to wait for reports which are not available immediately. Instead, install sophisticated hardware and accounting software like QuickBooks and see the transformation. You will get reports of your financials specifically customised to your requirements almost on a real time basis and all books will be quickly balanced, thereby eliminating the possibility of fraudulent transactions.
- Develop a tech plan – If you are planning to introduce high-tech methods in your organisation to bolster productivity and grow your business, you should have a tech plan in place. This is crucial as unlike manual records which can be locked up in a safe at the end of day, technologies bring with them a whole lot of problems, security being the primary one. Unscrupulous hackers can make a mess of your data and it is imperative that you have fool proof systems in place while making the switch. Hire a tech consultant to chalk out a plan that will not only take care of devices, equipment, servers and data storage but also incorporate the data safety factor too.
While it is true that you have to invest heavily for incorporating new technologies in your business, it is also correct that you will be rewarded with exponential business growth in the long run.
In the modern digital business environment, it is the Internet more than anything else that is the primary deciding factor between failure and success, losses and profitability. Businesses are now going online to know client behavioural patterns, structure sales and marketing strategies and study competitors’ effectiveness. Most tools and technologies ensure that you do not have to step out of your room to collect data on how your business is functioning, all that is available real time at the click of a button. Given this scenario, it is but natural that any young entrepreneur or new business start-up will focus on the Internet route to begin with.
However, even though Internet driven businesses are gaining quick ground, it is definitely not a piece of cakewalk. Internet based businesses are complex and you should have a specific command over required tools, technologies and software to be a success in this field. For example, if you would like to get into the business of web design and development or ecommerce solutions, you should know thoroughly their many intricacies. Or you might have a specific idea and then hire professionally expert staff to run your business. For a start-up, this can be quite beyond its means.
The best solution for you then would be to get in touch with Internet business ideas consultants and get one on board to guide and advice you. You will not only gain an overview of the many opportunities open for you, you will also be told what best suits your existing skill sets and the quantum of funds that you need to initially invest in the business. These funds will be required mainly for setting up infrastructure and if you opt for high end computer hardware and software, it will definitely cost you a pretty packet. You have to discuss all these things with your business consultant who will then structure a business plan for your proposed business.
This business plan is crucial for the smooth running of your online business in the short and long run. Depending on the nature of your start up the plan will draw up projections and targets that you have to meet if you have to break even and become a profit generating entity in the shortest possible time.
If you contract a local business consultant, the results will be better as he/she will have a very good idea of the local Internet based businesses in that area. For example, if you are launching your business in Melbourne, you will do well to get in touch with TR Consulting. This consulting firm has long years of experience behind them and have guided a number of Internet businesses get off the mark. Most of them are well established now and have met great success.
Some of the most popular Internet business ideas referred by consultants are online specialised retailing, business coaching, SEO consultant, web design and development, social media consulting and affiliate marketing. All consulting firms hire technical wizards to lead their clients so you are assured of a high degree of quality guidance from them. Further, their technical staff will offer support till such time as you find your bearings and can operate independently.
What is important here, especially when you are a start-up or small business is that the services of consultants are extremely affordable and will definitely not break your bank.
Why would you need the services of a business law firm? You are running your business well, things are going on smoothly, all statutory and regulatory compliance requirements have been fully met and you do not have any litigation pending against your business in any court of law. So what will be the utility of hiring a business law firm apart from wasteful expenditure, you might say. Well, be assured that business lawyers are absolutely necessary at every stage of running a firm, if not to meet current exigencies but also to ensure that something drastic does not happen in future that might force you to close shop.
These are some of the services offered by a business law firm.
- Corporate law – This is very crucial because lawyers know the intricacies of law governing seemingly simple everyday transactions but which can have far reaching implications if anything goes wrong. Large corporations also require guidance on complex issues such as mergers and acquisitions, setting up infrastructure, public issues and framing supplier agreements.
- Civil lawsuits – This is a huge area that needs to be covered and is relevant for both small businesses and large corporate houses. It addresses such issues like shareholder and partner disputes, breach of contract by purchasers or suppliers, breach in trade secrets and any internal disputes between partners or owners or directors. This can severely affect operations. Business lawyers with their specialised acumen can help quickly resolve such problems.
- Property law – Property law may vary between states and hence it is absolutely necessary that you hire experts in this field. For example, if your business is based in Victoria, Australia, you should avail services of a well known Melbourne property development firm to meet your business needs. Assistance required can be in the form of sale and purchase of company property, licence disputes, leasing of land and property and real estate litigation. This is particularly crucial when you buy property for business expansion. A business lawyer will carry out searches of title that makes sure that the property in question has clear and marketable title, thereby preventing any future disputes and litigation and helping you to create mortgage against it with a lender. One of the leading property law firms in Melbourne is PB Lawyers who have made a name for themselves in this specific field of specialisation.
- For small businesses and start-ups – The reason for making this a separate category is that there is certain uniqueness to this sector. Large firms hire experts to take care of various aspects of operations which small businesses cannot afford. Hence a major portion of compliance issues have to be attended to by business lawyers. These include issues related to staff hiring and firing, environmental matters where the company is involved and dealing with investigations by regulatory authorities for non-compliance of statutory obligations.
- Preventive measures – While all the above points deal with litigation aspects, a vital side is ensuring that none of the above complexities are allowed to crop up. This is one of the key roles played by any business lawyer. You need not hire permanently, simply taking one on board as a consultant should suffice. When all your legal intricacies are handled by expert business lawyers, you will get more time to focus on core activities of growing and developing your business.
Business lawyers work mostly behind the scenes but their contribution to any trade and commerce entity is invaluable.
A start up or small business has its own exclusivity. What is good for a well established running concern might not be the same for small businesses. This is because any venture in the preliminary stages has to be nurtured carefully so that it can become a profit generating entity in the shortest possible time. If you have a small business that is poised for the big leap towards stability and expansion, here are a few essential tips that you should follow.
Hire a business consultant – You might have a great idea to start off but that does not make you a master of implementation who can turn that idea into a reality. You have to depend on experts in various fields but hiring executives can be a very costly proposition especially in the initial stages of your small business when revenue inflows are low. The best option for you then is to hire a business consultant. Such a person brings a whole world of industry level experience to the table, most importantly at very affordable costs.
By hiring a consultant, in one stroke you will get professional guidance on every aspect of your business. He/she will work out financial and marketing strategies that will be the blueprint for your small business in the near future. A consultant can be hired from one of the many specialised consultancy firms or a recruitment agency in Melbourne or wherever your business is located.
Have a business plan – This is a complex procedure and covers various aspects of business. The consultant you hire will help you draw up a business plan. It will include marketing strategies that you should adopt to get ahead of your competitors and a financial plan that will have your projected working capital requirements, cash flows, expenditure and revenue generation. Based on this plan you can devise methods for quick business growth and development. Business plans are so comprehensive that you can even present them to financial institutions for availing credit facilities or to bring a partner or investor on board.
Choose and hire wisely – Small businesses have to exercise financial restraint if they have to prosper. You might have an inclination to hire a whole lot of experts to guide you. However, apart from paying high salaries that you can ill-afford as a small business, the fact remains that you really do not need all of them. Take the case of staff and payroll management. Instead of taking on HR professionals, you may as well outsource the activity to established HR management agencies that will take care of all your staff functions. You are spared from investing heavily in hardware and software and hiring trained people. You will do well to recruit only limited key personnel in advisory roles who will have the expertise and experience to get your small business moving.
It is also advisable to recruit your employees from well known labour hire agencies. First Personnel is one of the industry leaders. Get in touch with them and you can be sure that you will be referred staff that will optimally match your requirements.
These are just a few pointers and tips on how you can maximise management of your small business.
Starting a business is like gambling. Investing in a venture where there’s a possibility of unprofitable outcome is definitely a serious matter to think about.
Someone might even consider hiring a business consultant either by profession or from necessity. The 21st century can offer almost every information people need even services and trainings over the internet.
Hiring a personal business manager or a team for the management would not be a problem at all. You the owner, the mastermind of your business can be accompanied by your online consultant. The business will be your fully-grown ideas.
There’s no need for you to catch up with the busy schedules of persons you think might help you or being stressed when other’s ideas don’t match yours, a business guide that’s on the screen will be a better help.
In this era, where everything can be in an instant, somehow we must cope up especially when customers or other people will be our market. It would be stressful and tedious for someone to always ask anybody else, there’s now a wider source of ideas, strategies and business concepts readily available for everyone.
If you are starting business whether big or small, or investing in a business venture you’re not sure of, or having no idea how to put together your complex business concepts, an online business manager or consultant can help you i8n this regard.
A wider business mind is hassle-free and always available. An online consultant, may not be a person, it might be just a system but will offer the same help and support for your business-to earn profit and make it a growing one.