Category Archives: Main

Storing Toys

For a lot of us the toys are children used to play with have sentimental value. Very often, just giving those things away might not be an option as they are usually lots of fond memories associated with most of our toys. What is more, we might not want to get rid of the toys if we know that we might have a child in the future, or when we might want to keep some of the toys for our grandchildren so that they have a chance to know with what toys their own parents used to play with. If storing the toys in your homer is not an option, consider hiring a storage unit. Here are a few options to ensure that you know how to store your toys in a self storage unit for future use:
1. Everything that has wiring in it, and many of the toys these days have some sort of electronic components in them, required a climate-controlled storage unit. This type of devices are subject to corrosion if they are left not in the right place.
2. Consider sorting the toys by type or at least doing so by age. If you will want to have access to them later, you might want to know how to look for each and separate toy. Staying organized is definitely the way to go to ensure that you find it easier at a later date.
3. Remove batteries from the toys that you are planning not to use for a while. This way you will ensure that your Woody toy won’t be singing the same song over and over again stuck under some pillows or other plush toys.
4. If you want to store plastic or toys that have electronic components in them, put some softer toys in between. This way you will avoid all the unnecessary dents as well as other type of damage that can be detrimental to your toys.
5. Labeling the boxes with toys might be just another trick that will come in handy and will allow you to stay organized. This way you will know exactly where you store which toys.

Here’s what to do with your old Christmas tree next year

The number of people opting to decorate their homes with a real Christmas tree in December is on the rise. The whole process is delightfully festive, from picking the tree and placing it carefully in its temporary home to decorating with tinsel and baubles. However, in January, it’s time to say goodbye to the centerpiece of Christmas but it’s such a shame to throw it out with the old wrapping paper and leftovers that couldn’t be finished. So here are some ideas on what to do with your tree when the time comes.

Before doing anything with your tree, be sure to completely strip it of tinsel, baubles, lights, chocolates, angels, stars and all other decoration you excitedly stuck to it.

If you have an open fire or wood burner, resist the urge to use your old tree as firewood. The dried pine needles can burn extremely quickly which could cause sparks. Couple that with the very dry Christmas tree wood and the fire can very quickly become uncontrollable. Stay safe and stick to specialist firewood suppliers for wood fuel.

Recycle

Local councils, garden centres and communities make it extremely easy to recycle your old tree where they’re shredded down into chippings for use in parks etc. Recycle Now has all of the information you need to recycle your Christmas tree.

Replant

Replanting your tree is a nice option if you have the space and obviously if the tree is still live – that is, if the root of the tree is still in tact. If you want to do this, it’s important to plan ahead a little and make sure that the root of the tree is kept damp by regularly watering it. As difficult as this might be, try to keep the tree away from heat sources as well.

Once replanted, make sure it’s well watered and feel free to redecorate with outdoor ornaments!

Repurpose

An old Christmas tree is a fantastic blank canvas that can be turned into many different things. The wood can be finely chopped and then treated to make coasters or line a flower bed. The pine needles can be mixed with seasonal berries and scents to make potpourri. Or how about a birdhouse? Stand the tree in your garden and hang bird food to attract a range of different birds.

Let us know what you do with your tree when the festivities are over using #bornagainxmastree

A Guide to Selling Your Business

If you have ever tried to sell your business, you probably know by now that doing so is more than just a financial transaction as there are many things that need to be put in place prior to having a company appear on the market ready for its sale. If you want to be #SellSavvy, you will want to know everything there is to know about selling a business, and one of the best places to get started is to visit http://www.bcms.com/gb/en-gb.

Many people have an impression that only those businesses that are not profitable are put on the market for sale. This is only true in some cases, and as a matter of fact most businesses are for sale for one of the following reasons:
1. Moving to a new venture is probably one of the most popular reasons. People change what they do all the time. Some business owners realise that they might be happier pursuing another career path, and there is nothing wrong with that.
2. Retiring from work is just another valid reason a person might have to sell his or her business hoping that it will be in good hands.
3. Cashing in on their capital is again a good reason to sell their business. Somebody might want to sell a business if they have made enough money to be able to buy something they have always wanted. Again, this is a good reason to put a company on the market.

Even if you plan to sell your business, it doesn’t have to mean that you shouldn’t care about it anymore. Until the day it becomes someone else’s business continue nurturing it and caring about it. It will pay off in the long run to do so as you will be able to get a better price thanks to this.

Below you will find very interesting infographic that highlights the main points that should be taken care of it while attempting to sell a business. You mighty want to familiarise yourself with it before making that final move.

Is UK VAT registration important for you?

Introduction to UK VAT registration

Value Added Tax (commonly known as VAT) is a tax system applied to VAT registered businesses in the UK. This specific tax is applied to most of the goods and services available in the modern-day market. In addition to that, VAT is applicable to the goods and services that are imported from other countries to the UK. The companies that are registered for VAT can reclaim the VAT amounts charged on them when purchasing goods or services. In other words, you are not entitled to reclaim VAT charged to you if you are not VAT registered business. Once a business has completed its UK VAT registration, it can be considered as a mini tax collector too.

Why it is necessary to consider UK VAT registration

You will HAVE TO register for VAT;

  • If you are a business based in the UK and you exceed the VAT registration threshold for a duration of 12 months (consecutively), UK VAT registration is mandatory for you. This threshold updates every year and as per the latest update (implemented on 1 April 2017), the VAT registration threshold is £85,000.
  • In addition to that, you may have registered for VAT if you take over an exciting VAT-registered business. However, this obligation is applicable only when the business you purchase has reached the VAT threshold (during the past 12 months).
  • You will be forced to go for UK VAT registration if your business involves trading outside of the UK.

The businesses that fail to register for VAT will have to pay a late registration fee probably with a failure- to-notify penalty. On top of that, an interest and a surcharge will be applied. However, if you notice a temporary hype in your revenue and reach or exceed the threshold, you may consider asking for an exemption (through HMRC).

You can register for VAT voluntarily

You can consider registering your business for VAT even when it hasn’t reached VAT threshold. This is called voluntary registration. Usually, businesses go for voluntary registration due to a couple of key reasons.

  • VAT registration adds credibility

Other companies and customers prefer to deal with VAT registered companies. In fact, a VAT registration is a sign of credibility; a business can appear to be bigger with a VAT registration.

  • Ability to Reclaim VAT

Once you are registered for VAT, you are obviously eligible to reclaim the VAT charged on you when making the purchases.

Overall, it is much better to stay as a VAT registered business. Although most of the entities can register for VAT without much trouble, certain instances may prevent a business from registering. For instance, if a particular entity is not recognizable by the HMRC as a legitimate business, it cannot register for VAT. In addition to that, if you are a business that sells tax-exempted goods or services only, you will not be able to register for VAT. The bottom line is, however, UK VAT registration is important for any legitimate business.

5 ways to successfully market your SME

In today’s world, a growing number of working professionals decide to leave their typical 5-9 jobs and take matters into their own hands, starting their own companies, whether as freelancers or a limited company. In fact, statistics show that there are over 5.5 million registered businesses in the private sector. If you happen to be one of these people, regardless of the business sector you decide to conquer, marketing your new company is one of the most important factors, which can directly influence your chances for success.  Approaching new, potential clients is definitely an exciting stage in any business life cycle, however, it is often much easier said than done. Within marketing itself, there are many aspects, which can not only increase the number of people who will see your message, but also influence their behaviour as consumers, consequently turning them into your customers. The good news is, in the digital era, marketing can be accessible and inexpensive even for locally based SMEs. Here are some ways in which even a small company can successfully market themselves to a wider, and in some cases international, audience.

  1. Social media marketing

If used correctly, social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool in the hands of a business owner. By growing a following on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, you will be able to market your products or services and share your company’s message directly with the people who are already enthusiastic about your brand. Additionally, if you manage to create captivating content, such as videos, other visual material (images, Infographics) or even interesting and informative blog articles, which are able to capture their attention and make them want to be associated with your brand, by word of mouth, your digital presence and following will continue to grow, strengthening your brand image.

  1. Search engines

Search engines, such as Google, are truly fantastic tools where rather than you searching for new customers, roles change and so the potential customers are searching for you instead. By creating informative and high quality content, which the reader will find valuable, your website will be visible to the potential clients. By being visible on search engines you are more approachable in the market, and so people visiting your website from organic search will already be interested in your services and therefore very likely to convert into customers.

  1. Translation of your website

In today’s globalising world, it is easier than ever for businesses to successfully approach foreign markets. With the growth of technology and now widely available internet, even locally based SMEs can trade with overseas customers and partners. Nevertheless, before approaching foreign customers, it is important to look at some statistics. According to a study conducted by the Common Sense Advisory, 72.4% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language and 9 out of 10 people, when given the choice, always browses websites in their native language.  As you can see, although potential in the overseas markets is great, approaching them must be done correctly. Consequently, one of the most important factors which can influence whether your company will be successful abroad is the professional translation of your website and providing information about your products/services in the market’s native language. One of the most popular ways to go about website translation is working with an agency which specialises in such services. A senior project manager working for Translation Services 24, one of the leading translation agencies based in London and specialising in providing website translation services said that “The growth in number of UK based SMEs approaching foreign markets and needing their websites translated is clear to see. Interestingly, in 2017 we can see an increase in companies approaching not only the European markets, but also Asian and African sectors.”

 

  1. Website localisation

Translating your website is an extremely important step in approaching foreign markets and being able to present yourself to new, potential customers, nevertheless, in some cases it is also vital not only to translate your website’s content, but also to localise it carefully. Website localisation requires an in-depth language knowledge, but also knowledge about the country’s culture and customs. By localising your website, you will ensure that your content is fully appropriate for the audience you are addressing. Social, cultural, political or even economic factors can influence whether certain material is suitable or not for your chosen market. You can find good examples of different approaches and how localisation can impact a business here.

  1. Email Marketing

For many, many years’ experts claim that the end of direct email marketing is near, and yet, it continues to be an important channel of the digital marketing wheel. By gathering information about your potential customers, such as their email address, name, position within the company and approaching them via email, you will be able to deliver a message directly to the people who are interested in your brand and the services you provide. Email marketing is a fairly inexpensive tool which can generate fantastic business leads if conducted correctly.

As you can see, marketing a business, even one from the SME sector, can be extremely beneficial if planned and conducted correctly. From translating your website and content to growing social followers and being visible to your potential customers through search engines, there ways in which you can market your company are extensive. With the growth and developments in technology and now widely available internet, small and medium sized companies can find inexpensive ways in which they can approach customers, based in all corners of the world, something even 10 or 15 years ago sounded like a fantasy.

Focusing on Fresh Styles: 5 Ways to Promote Sales Conversion on Your Dated Stock and Make Room for Newer Items

Even businesses with the best inventory tracking software or supply-chain management system reach a point where they have old, excessive or undesirable stock. While many companies opt to use liquidators, that method is never practical when you want to net more than just pennies on the dollar.

So, what do you do when you find your store overflowing with last season’s goods? The key is to sell them without making losses. Below are five effective tips and tricks to get rid of dead stock, create room for new products and even return a profit.

1. Sales and discounts

Regardless of your type of business, your first step to disposing of excessive stock should be to put it on sale. Everyone loves a good discount so, find out the smallest profit margin you can live with, and slap discounted price tags on the items. If you’re putting high quantities of a product on sale, placing all of them in dumpbins at the entrance of your store can encourage customers to sift through and pick up multiple items at a time, while freeing up your shelves for new inventory.

2. Creating an urgency

One of the simplest ways of boosting the sale of your dated stock is to let your customers know you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Urgency tactics like advertising the items as limited in supply, placing a time limit on discounts or just using time-related words like “Now, Fast, or Hurry” will entice your customers to buy your products as fast as you want to dispose of them.

3. Bundling products

Selling related items in a bundle is another clear-cut way of offloading dead stock. If your dated inventory consists of air fresheners, for example, you can create a bundle with a brand of detergent for an enticing price. Bundled goods help to get rid of more than one item at once while keeping the customers happy that they’re buying your products for a bargain.

4. Flashing coupons

Flashing deals and discount coupons on your website and social platforms is a sure way of getting your dated stock off the shelves. This way, customers that visit your page will get attracted to those coupons first, even if they were interested in a different product. Let them know the moment they land on your site that you are offering free or discount coupons on select items, which they can redeem when they visit your store, and you will automatically increase your chances of clearing off dead inventory in time for the new season.

5. Listing on marketplaces

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist, are great for selling off excess stock because they enable retailers to list their inventory on a platform that already has an audience. Craigslist is particularly preferred among merchants because, unlike Amazon and eBay, all listings, new or used, are free to post. Moreover, Craigslist doesn’t charge a commission on the sales you make.

You may also want to consider sending your excess inventory to price comparison websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, Shopzilla, and PriceGrabber, which will ensure your items receive ample visibility.

Conclusion

Promoting the sale of dated stock can be a challenge, especially when you’re rushing to make space for newer items. With the tips above, however, you can successfully get rid of your old products and possibly avoid losses.

 

When To Store Your Office Stuff You Don’t Need

This is not the first time I had a chance to hear about storage facilities in the United States. When I think about it, self-storage in the form of storage units Louisville is a brilliant idea. It gives homeowners a chance to store in their homes only those things that they really need. The rest of things can be stored conveniently in a self-storage facility located somewhere close to them.

Right now when I think about it, it all makes sense. Once you get a key to your own self-storage, you will never want to live without having one. This can make all the difference in your life especially if you happen to work from home and you have lots of office supplies lying around everywhere. From now on, you can store there anything you want if you are not sure whether you want to throw it or not yet.

I have heard somewhere that self-storage has been announced as one of the most profitable real estate investments in the last ten years. Those who invest in self storage facilities know what they are doing.

When it comes to self storage in busy places such as busy towns or cities, a good self-storage facility has a lot to offer to residents, students and businesses. The idea of self-storage is based on easy principles. A person or a business rents a unit in a self storage facility, obtains his own lock and a key, and everything is ready to go. A self-storage facility owner will never have access to any unit in his facility unless a lien is imposed for non-payment of rent, bank loan, etc. Once you put your inventory in a self-storage unit, you can be sure that it will be there next time you come to see it. Such facilities are usually very safe, as many among them use security cameras and provide computer-controlled access to units. You can check various self storage facilities before making your final decision which one to choose. I personally recommend those self storage units that are temperature and humidity controlled. This way if you store there your electronics you can rest assured that they will be undamaged next time you come to get them there.

Success Without Stress: Business Travel Tips to Keep You Chilled

When you combine the stress of work with the hassle of traveling, it can make business travel incredibly challenging, and it may induce anxiety.

According to research conducted by the CWT Travel Solutions Group, an employee can lose up to 6.9 hours when traveling for work due to the stress they feel. This means they’re neither working nor resting. The study also indicated that the most stressful parts of a business trip are getting to or from the airport or train station and flying in economy class on medium- or long-haul flights.

However, business trips needn’t be something you dread. If you’re traveling for work, planning ahead can help make the experience much more pleasurable. So, here are some top tips for de-stressing your next work trip:

Plan in Advance

If you haven’t packed everything you need for your travels to sleep, workout, or work, you’re going to find yourself getting stressed right from the start. Make sure you plan ahead by charging your iPad, dry cleaning your suit, and packing your white noise machine that helps you get to sleep. Then, before you depart, make sure you’ve allowed plenty of time to pack your bags. This will feel much better than slinging everything into your case 10 minutes before you’re due to walk out the door.

Take Advantage of Corporate Travel Resources

Your company will pay for a number of services for their business travelers, and there’s a reason they do this – they can save you a lot of time and money. So, let them handle all the finer details like hotel bookings, car rentals, and plane tickets while you take care of the most important thing – securing that lucrative business deal.

Get Work Done Beforehand

If you know you’ll struggle to concentrate in your hotel room or you’ll not be able to concentrate mid-flight, try to get as much work done as possible before you set off. Battling with Wi-Fi outages in your hotel while you’re rushing to meet a deadline is not going to relax you. By getting work done in advance you’ll make your trip far more stress-free.

Make Use of Airport and Hotel Amenities

To relax before you set off, be sure to make use of any of the amenities on offer at the airport or nearby hotel. A number of companies, like Marriott hotel, provide airport hotels that include a wide range of leisure facilities, including swimming pools, gyms, and saunas. So do whatever makes you feel relaxed before your flight so you’re feeling recharged when you arrive at your business meeting.

Meet Up with Friends

Are there any friends or non-business acquaintances you know at your destination city? Then why not meet up with them for a couple of hours? Seeing familiar faces can really help you get out of “work mode,” providing you with a great way to de-stress and get to know the area.

Even though it’s inevitable something will go wrong during your trip, avoid adding to your stress levels by removing as many hurdles as possible. Plan ahead, take time to relax and put together a steady schedule that’ll let you focus on your own well-being as well as your work.

 

How to Best Take Advantage of SEO

I am aware that there are some people out there who strongly believe that SEO marketing is dead. There are firm believers that the golden era of serp is over and that it is time to move on. I have to admit that I rather disagree with this view as I have reasons to believe that search marketing is going strong and this trend will continue to be valid for years to come.

If you know me in person, you know that once I get into something I am willing to focus myself totally on it. So when I started doing some research on the topic I came across various resources including this eBook here. This one was a real eye opener and it is a valuable read to all those who are into the topic as well as #SEOUncovered.

I also came across some fun facts about search engines. Here they are:
1. There is no denying that Google is the biggest player in the game. It is estimated that over 85% of search engine traffic comes through Google, which is more than all the other engines combined together. let’s admit it, Google is just too big to be ignored.
2. google actually distinguishes between the plural forms of words. This is why you will get different results when you write the term “apple” and different ones when you type “apples”.
3. The more backlinks coming to a website the more authoritative it is. This is why it is so essential to get some good backlinks to your website from other websites that have high authority. This might be sometimes easier said than done, but there are some effective ways to achieve that.
4. Many people using google are not that good at specifying keywords while looking for specific information, so often it might take them a few tries to come up with the result they are after. For example, writing simply “apple” will get you a lot of results about Apple Inc., but most Google users are looking for apple recipees and not particularly any information about the giant company.

As you can see from the points about, the knowledge about search engine optimisation can be very useful to a business owner, and the more you understand the rules behind Google, the more likely you will be to achieve the results you are after.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Sell Your Business?

For dedicated business owners and entrepreneurs, the thought of handing over the keys to something into which you’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears can be a terrifying thought. However, until we find the fountain of youth, coming to terms with selling your business will just have to remain a fact of life. Here are a few signs that might indicate it’s time for you to sell your business.

You’ve Had Enough Risk

Risk is an inherent element to owning a business. There are no companies that face a zero-risk environment—be it from competition, changing business climates or disruptive technologies. Managing and mitigating these risks for years—or decades—can become a tiresome affair.

Risk is one of the great ironies of business. As your company grows and realizes success, it’s also accumulating risk. The repercussions of a PR disaster, or mismanagement, has much more negative potential for a company like Apple than a startup with three employees. There’s simply much more to lose when you’ve already gained a lot. When you reach a place where you want to start limiting your risk exposure, it might be time to sell your business.

Someone Wants to Buy Your Business

If you’ve led your company to a position in which suitors want to buy it, you should think long and hard about their offers. Of course, just because someone’s interested doesn’t mean you must sell. There are a few aspects that you should consider before pulling the trigger, such as:

  • Is It the Right Buyer? While some people might not consider this aspect important if the price is right, selling your business to someone who doesn’t really understand or appreciate it is something you potentially might regret later in life. Longtime family-run businesses especially need to consider the viability of potential buyers.
  • Are They Offering a Good Price? If a potential buyer is making you an offer at or above what you value the company, you should consider the offer no matter how much you like being the boss. That money could easily catapult you into starting another business.
  • Are Your Books in Order? Before any reasonable buyer pays you anything, they’re going to want to see your business’s financial records. They’re going to want to see a list of your assets, the types of business insurance you use, accounting statements and a litany of other information. Make sure your numbers all check out, or risk scaring away buyers.

You’re Anticipating Market Changes

There are several ways markets can determine if it’s the right time for you to sell your business. The nature of your business dictates its reactiveness to changes in broader equity markets. However, almost all businesses suffer during down periods and recessions. If you anticipate a downturn in the markets, it might be a good time to sell your business, especially if you were already considering it.

Changing sector climates can also determine if you should consider selling. Disruptive technologies and companies are responsible for turning entire industries upside down seemingly overnight. If you see your business as susceptible to disruption, it might be prudent to get out too early rather than too late.

Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you’re ready to sell your business. If you’re still passionate about coming into work every day, maybe it’s not worth selling even if that’s objectively the best decision.