Have you got your New Year’s resolutions in place?

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Christmas will soon be upon us and before we know it, we’ll be at the start of a new year, which for many, means making New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the year ahead and January is one of the key points of the year where people think about what they really want to do with their lives.  If you have been thinking about starting your own business then it’s a great time to look at the opportunities open to you and where you want to be in a year’s time.

Whether you’re currently working full-time, taking a career break or are retired, the New Year is a chance for a fresh start. Consider the following steps to help you decide what would work best for you to help you fulfil your entrepreneurial ambitions.

Self-reflection

Do you want more time with your family? Do you want to work from an office or from home? These are all questions you need to ask yourself in order to decide what type of business you should to invest in. If you’re looking for a better work-life balance and would prefer working from home then running a shop isn’t going to be the best option for you. Be honest with yourself about the things you want and the things you don’t.

Research the market

Before you dive into starting a business, you need to make sure there is a real market for what it is that you’re selling. It sounds obvious, but for long-term success, you need to identify a product or service for which there is an ongoing and growing need. You don’t want to invest into a business, only to realise that there’s a lot of competition or that it has limited demand.

This was one of the deciding factors when I chose to go into domestic cleaning management. With busy jobs and hectic social lives, people are finding it increasingly difficult to keep on top of the day to day chores so the domestic cleaning market is constantly growing. In addition, cleaning is a regular requirement so our clients require an ongoing service which means there will always be a need for good value, high quality cleaning services.

Choose a business structure

Choosing a business structure is one of the main things you need to consider when starting a company. You might want to start as a ‘sole trader’ which is perfect for freelancers and consultants. The other options are registering as a limited company or a partnership. A franchise is also an attractive option because you can try something totally new, get a proven model for your investment and you will have a team of support behind you to help you succeed. There are several free resources available online outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each structure. Have a chat with an accountant to decide which one would work best for you.

Calculate start-up costs and funding

Regardless of your business structure, many businesses require an injection of funds to get started. You may need to invest into a franchise, buy equipment or develop your own website. This all adds up and costs money so have a look at the different funding options for your business. This could range from personal savings to bank loans to your pension pot. You should also check whether you’re eligible for any business start-up grants.

Making your dream of becoming your own boss come true may seem daunting but spending some time now to put your business goals into place for the New Year can go a long way. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day! If you’re interested in joining our leading domestic cleaning franchise network contact us today!

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Make sure your business runs like clockwork while you’re on holiday

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When you’re running your own business it’s easy to feel that there’s never a good time to take time off but forgoing holidays can actually harm your business in the long-term. Downtime is crucial for your personal life – after all, running a business is about being in control of your life – but also to give you time out to recharge your batteries and return energised and refreshed.

Most of our franchisees decided to start their own business to achieve a better work life balance so we encourage them to take regular time off. With proper planning, your business can still run like clockwork.

 Plan your holiday dates

Start preparing for your time away by breaking down your daily, monthly and weekly tasks and identify what needs to be done and when. Of course not every month is the same but it will be useful to create a list of tasks that need to be completed on a regular basis such as payroll, distributing email marketing campaigns or client reports. Planning properly means that you can delegate tasks to make sure everything is running smoothly in your absence.

Trouble shooting

You should already have procedures in place to ensure that if any issues arise your staff knows how to cope and this also includes identifying any problems before you go and ensuring staff know how to deal with them. Clearly setting out the circumstances when calling your mobile is appropriate will put your mind at rest when you don’t have communication with work.  Many of our franchisees have reciprocal agreements to keep an eye on each other’s business in each other’s absence which can be done easily through our cloud-based operational system.

Good communication with customers is essential if they are to believe that they are important to you.

Spread the word

Last but not least, letting people know that you’ll be away, from your bookkeeper to your office cleaner, is really important. Most of us get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and forget to let people know about any upcoming holidays. Inform everyone a few weeks in advance so they have the time to think if they need anything from you before you go away. This way you won’t be contacted with any last-minute urgent queries before setting off!

Plan your digital detox wisely

Thanks to modern technology most of us are only a few clicks away from our workplace which can be great at times but it also means the temptation to check work emails or calls is even bigger. Keep your phone on, but resist checking your emails, before you know it you’ll be responding to enquiries and you might as well be back in the office. Proper planning before you go means that you can relax and enjoy your holiday.