Entrepreneurs know how hard it is to secure funding and small businesses of all kinds sometimes live and die on the whim of an investor. This is why they are often called angel investors because they might be the ones who give you all the funding you have been searching for. However, what happens when an investor is not pulling through on their end? They owe you money, the next installment of the funding has not come through and yet you have signed over a piece of the business to them. What should you do? Well you may not have to go down the legal route, they may just need reminding. Or they have to be made to turn out their pockets kicking and screaming, either way you will get your funding.
Catch up coffee
The old trick about catching up over coffee might do the trick. You can ask them to meet you in a local coffee shop. You may be in the same city or region, at a particular time, ask them then. If they are in another country, you can still ask to talk over a cup of coffee using a conference call software. Make sure that it is on a pleasant day, maybe the weekend where they can’t make an excuse to get up and leave to head back to the office. Then spring it up on them, about the late payment. Ask them when it will come through, tell them what kind of projects the funding will be used for, etc. this may have just reminded them or they may have been convinced that they should stay with you for the long haul and not drag their feet on their way to the exit door.
Get someone on it
Do not forget, this is a two-way street. If you have signed a contract with them, that doesn’t mean it is their contract per se. They are also beholden to the obligation they signed up to. So you have every right to use collection agency software to find out where they are, what business name they use, use databases to find their home address to issue a letter warning or find their professional office to do the same. They need to know, you need the funding and they owe it to you for the piece of the pie that you signed over to them at the beginning.
Don’t panic, it might be a simple mistake. They may be an older investor who forgets what kinds of dealings they have going on, or they may be very busy. Just give them a simple reminder through email and follow up with a phone call. Ask to speak with them directly if you get their secretary on the phone. It can be better to break the ice by thanking them once again for their financial support and belief in your business before you ask about the late payment.
Investors can save a business and for that, you should be grateful. But it doesn’t mean you become a servant to them who just take the scraps and be happy about it. Chase your funding up and get what you deserve.
If you have a business idea, but you know that you aren’t aiming to sell to the every-person market, you’re looking to hit the luxury market – this is for you.
One of the most exciting things about the most luxurious brands is that they have a range of cheaper products. These more affordable products are more accessible to a broader market but don’t hold the same weight as the high-ticket items.
Some luxury brands have long-standing names, and it is history that sets them apart – but modern luxury brands don’t need history on their side.
Start-ups that are aiming to crack the luxury market have a wide range of tools at their disposal to make sure that they are the only brand you want.
So how do you do it? How do you take any product or service and turn it into a luxury item?
If you are selling to everyone, then you are effectively the opposite of luxury. While there can be luxury brands for the masses, true luxury feels inaccessible to many.
Luxury brands do so well to target a specific niche that they know can afford their products. It’s not always about the product either. It is the ability to say you have the item.
From bags to cars, it is about symbolic value. Of course, the product needs to perform, or the value will significantly decline over time, and it will no longer be covered.
To dig deep into your niche, you need to highlight products that affluent individuals value.
The quickest way to make something exclusive to a single market is to ensure that the price point is high.
Not a single stitch, clasp, or service packages should be anything less than exceptional. When you sell to a luxury affording audience, they expect quality for their money.
Mass production does often lead to flaws in the product, and therefore a reduction in the quality. It is your job to make sure that your manufacturing methods are incredible.
Quality control will be at the heart of the operation.
When we buy something in a regular price bracket, we aren’t so surprised when it’s not a luxurious experience from start to finish.
However, when you are dealing in luxury niche items, the moment someone becomes aware of your brand, through to delivery and unboxing, it should feel incredible.
You will also need to make some firm decisions when it comes to unsold – out of season merchandise. There are high-end luxury brands that destroy all of their goods that are surplus or out of season.
Louis Vuitton is an example of this. Rather than dilute the brand, they never go on sale, and they never have surplus stock that filters down to outlets.
While there are some lower-priced LV items, they still hold a symbolic value.
Your brand experience needs to start with your website and marketing. Flawless marketing videos using sleek innovative methods from an animation studio can put your brand on the map as modern and fun but still targeting the affluent market.
Not like the others
Your brand is like everyone else; it isn’t exclusive or deserving of that nightly coveted niche market.
Luxury brands stand apart from other offerings on the market, and that is in any industry. You no longer compete with them when you don’t put your products and services in the same category as the more readily available and lower-priced markets.
One of the significant differentiators between brands is their features and the power associated with owning the item.
Quiet luxury has always been in fashion. Quiet luxury is the expensive type of luxury but rarely has the symbol of their brand on them. Only other owners know how costly or limited the items are, and it becomes almost like a secret club. Typically the styles are classic, the prices are high (for most people), but the quality is incredible.
The materials used for high-end brands are of incredible quality. The design is typically sleeker, and more people have focused on creating a final product, unlike millions of other brands on the market.
Rare – but there
Touching on quiet luxury above is something that is within the realms of the rare but there exclusivity.
One of the fastest ways to create exclusivity is that the product has a limited run, unattainable price (or no pricing on the website), country exclusive, and any other barriers to obtaining the item.
A great example of bags that are constantly sold out is the black-owned brand Telfar. Telfar is in the middle price bracket, and yet every drop they have – sells out. Their tagline is Not for you – For Everyone, and yet they are challenging to get.
A prime example of using exclusivity to increase sales, and the item is there challenging and within reach for many at a reasonable price point – but never available.
When it comes to catering for affluent clients with a big budget and a specific taste, then from the moment you conceive the product. You are looking to present a service or product that isn’t set out to compete in the market – instead has its market and is not concerned with competition.
Unlike many markets, the luxury market doesn't always place its purchase decision at the price point. While it comes into play – it isn’t the deciding factor. Financial extravagance offers something much more interesting: exclusive items, access to designers to commission work from, and investments.
Luxury items in fashion and jewelry often hold their value, and unlike technology and some cars, they increase in value when kept in good condition. Luxury items aren’t just coveted for their initial use; many bags sold by Chanel soon after sold out resurfaced many years later with a higher price tag.
And, one of the most important things is, as you launch your luxury brand, always keep in mind that digital art (NFTs) and digital fashion are making a big splash – and those two are aimed at a luxury market, with clients looking to make investments.
We have talked about the barriers that can be placed to almost prevent people from buying the product. But barriers somehow make the product more enticing – of course, because FOMO is a serious thing.
But when you have plenty of cash and a location isn’t difficult to get to – then you can bring your audience to you instead.
We know that everything is online, and you can order anything you want at any time. But what if you follow in the footsteps of some high-end brands and just made an online purchase, something that isn’t possible?
Online purchase for expensive items isn’t something that has always been possible. But now, you can purchase a car and have it delivered without ever sitting in it.
High-end brands like Chanel believe that their clients deserve a complete shopping experience, which can only happen when people enter their stores. Although their perfume, skincare, and smaller items are available online via multiple retailers.
Celine offers a limited selection online; for anything more than perfume, you have to go in-store too.
The limited off from Celine is their broader consumer product being widely available online, and their higher-end, more premium items have a location barrier.
The final offering should be the most unique of all – a service that is only accessible without a price tag and undoubtedly hands-on. Producing whatever it is you do, completely bespoke.
Facilitating the most personalized requests worked into the product of service and creating something that will only work for the buyer is a skill.
Perhaps, say you make handbags, you have a rare cut of leather available – this can be kept in the private collection, only available to a bespoke design.
Tailoring your services makes them even more interesting because once one person has something unique, the demand for the dame product arises. Of course, you can’t replicate that – but you can offer them the same services to create something unique.
If your website is anything less than sleek and perfect, then it isn’t worth having. The customer experience needs to begin from the moment that your name appears in the search engine results.
Everything about your website should be functioning, sleek, easy to navigate, and straightforward, Making use of white space, choosing the right font, and carefully selecting which images make the grade and which don’t.
Every tiny detail will be magnified and scrutinized when it comes to people who have a lot of cash to spend and what the best that money can afford.
Of course, to be exclusive, perhaps your focus is on being so exclusive that even money can’t buy your products.
Consider the legacy that the Hermes Birkin bag has – no one knows how long the waiting list was to buy directly – you are free to arrange an appointment with your nearest store, but there is a strict list about who can and who cannot buy a Birkin bag. You’ll also be on the waiting list for it to be made.
So when it comes to selling your products to a luxury market, the efforts are worth it in the end – but how you build your business from the ground up is vital.
Real estate is an excellent investment option, especially for anyone who has the confidence to turn it into an investing business. Real estate investment is no easy ride but is a great long-term investment that will continue to grow in value, and offer you ongoing income as long as you continue to work hard.
Whether you have already started your real estate investing business, or only just getting started, here are some top tips for growing your business for success.
#1 Have your own website
Your own real estate investor website is vital for the success of any business. A website helps more leads find you online, while also building your reputation and credibility. Many people will conduct an internet search on any business before they get involved with them, and without an online presence, leads may question your legitimacy. A website is much more than that – it also offers a space where you can make a good first impression to clients, showcase your brand and values, attract new clients and build trust right from the start.
SEO, and in particular, local SEO, is an important strategy that any business should adopt if it wants to drive organic traffic. Optimizing your website accordingly will mean you are visible for more relevant searches in your industry. Local SEO will ensure that your business is visible in your target area, so when potential leads are searching the internet to sell their property, your business will be at the forefront of their queries. This means you are more likely to build trust, as well as generate more leads. This enables you to drive leads directly to your website, rather than trying to track them down with old school (and frustrating) cold calling tactics.
#3 Build your social media
In 2021, so far there have been 4.48 billion people reported to actively use social media, which only continues to increase each year. Growing your presence on social media enables you to put your business in front of these eyes, increase brand awareness and generate more leads and sales. It does this by providing you with an opportunity to engage with, and nurture your target audience, provide solutions to their problems, and establish their trust as they get to know you.
#4 Grow an email list
Building an email list will enable you to get in front of, and stay in front of, prospective leads. Once you have obtained their information, perhaps through a free download, you will be able to engage and nurture them on a deeper level, and take them through a journey. Many clients you will capture will be at the beginning stages of their journey, which means you can stay in constant contact with them, build your authority, and drive them straight to you.
Growing your real estate investment company is all about utilizing the best strategies to grow your online presence, on a variety of different platforms. All channels, whether it is a website, social media, or email list, all work well together and can serve your business in invaluable ways.
Leasing – or renting – an office is still seen as the most popular method of running a business. Despite the work-from-home revolution, many companies still want to have office space to conduct their daily business. It's rare that companies will outright buy offices, purely because it's too expensive. Plus, small businesses move around quite a lot, so you might not stay in the building for long enough to warrant buying it.
Having said all of this, leasing office space isn't the most advantageous idea of all time. There are some disadvantages as well, which begs the question; should you lease an office? Are there some better alternatives that might work well for your business?
To help you answer this question, you'll find some reasons for and against the concept of renting office space:
Having an office gives you a professional work environment that can help you be more productive. It allows you to keep all of your staff in one place, allowing for better collaboration on projects. Communication is much easier when everyone's in an office, and you don't have to worry about things like someone's internet breaking down. As we've all experienced over Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings, a dodgy internet connection can make communication a huge problem when remote working.
Many people argue that working in an office is better for them mentally as they feel more professional. It's a way of letting people switch to ‘work mode' rather than working from home and feeling too relaxed and distracted.
Against: A needless expense
On the other hand, you can easily argue that leasing an office is a needless expense. Sure, it has benefits, but do you actually need an office to run your business? Can you run it from home without any qualms or issues? The last 18 months have been a great way for businesses to test if remote working is effective for them or not. Ask yourself, have you seen significant drops in productivity over this period?
If the answer is no, then you may want to consider ditching the office altogether. You can clearly run your company with no issues if everyone works remotely, so why bother spending money on office rent? It's not just the cost of renting that's a factor; it's all the other expenses as well. Office energy bills, office equipment for all your employees – these things add up. Yes, some can be taken off your tax bill as business expenses, but you still have to purchase them, which may interrupt your cash flow.
For: Free advertising
An underrated and unappreciated advantage of leasing an office is that it gives you free advertising. When you work in an office, you can place your sign outside. If you're the only business in the building, you can put clear signage outside the office for everyone to see. Even if multiple businesses work in the same building, there will usually be a sign outside with everyone's logos on it. You could even add signs to your windows to further promote your business.
Ultimately, an office gives you a chance to promote your business to anyone that walks by. If you're located in a busy city center, you could potentially have hundreds of eyes on your logo and sign every day. This plants the seed of your business in people's minds, making them think about you subconsciously. They can also be intrigued by your business if you offer something they're interested in. In essence, you can potentially gain customers just by leasing an office.
Another possible bad side of leasing office space is that it can lead to constant lateness from your employees. It all depends on your office location and how easy it is to get to. In some cases, there are no public transport links, so the only way to get there is by car or foot. If your whole team drives in from different locations, they can easily get caught in the morning traffic rush. This means that certain employees are always turning up late, and there's nothing they can do about it.
By contrast, if everyone worked from home, you'd never have an issue with lateness. People don't have to commute to work every day, so you should be able to get more productive hours out of them. Granted, this point is definitely situational and depends on the office. You may find an office in an excellent location that's close to all of your employees and is easy to get to – even during rush hour. However, this brings us back to the money issue; offices like this will command a premium rental price!
Again, an underrated benefit of leasing offices is that you do have the potential to make money from the space. In most office leasing contracts, you can sublease to let other businesses rent a share of the office space. Let's say you lease an office, but you only use around a third of the space you have in the building. Maybe, after last year, you realized that half of your team can work remotely, while the other half stay in the office. As a result, there's a lot of spare space lying around. You can then lease this to another business – or two – and they pay you to work there.
This is a highly common idea, and it's called office sharing. Now, there's a key thing to understand, and it's that everyone subleasing from you will have their own separate office areas. They will work in the same office building, but not in your actual office. This differs from coworking, which is where everyone works together in the same place and shares resources. It can be confusing differentiating between the two, but there are some great points made in an article I read called 14 Ways Office Sharing Differs From Coworking that explains it all. The bottom line is that you can make money by leasing an office if you have extra space to sublease to others. As such, this can go some way to covering your own rental costs!
Against: A bad work-life balance
Achieving a good work-life balance is essential if you want to get the most from your employees. A good balance between the two means that people can easily drift between work and their personal lives. Essentially, it mainly revolves around the idea of bringing work stress back home with them or having enough time to themselves at the end of each day. Leasing an office could lead to a bad work-life balance, particularly when compared to working from home.
Did you know that a lot of workers found that working from home provided them with a better work-life balance in 2020? Over 4,000 people were surveyed by FlexJobs, and they discovered that 73% believed they had a better work-life balance by being at home. Why? Because it allowed them to cut down on commuting, letting them spend more time with their kids, partners, pets, etc. Not having to go to the office every morning also meant they could sleep in an hour later than usual in some cases, leading to a better sleep schedule and decreasing stress. This might not be the case for everyone, but the stats show that a large majority of workers have a worse work-life balance in the office.
For: Better networking opportunities
The last point in the ‘for' column is that an office gives you more opportunities to network. If you sublease to other companies, you could have someone right next to you that provides the services you need. Likewise, if you're in a building that loads of other businesses are also in, the same networking opportunities present themselves.
A significant downside of working from home is that you miss out on these ongoing networking and relationship-building opportunities.
Against: A higher carbon footprint
Finally, one argument against leasing offices is that they make your business generate a larger carbon footprint. By working from home, you prevent the need for commuting, saving many carbon emissions from being pumped into the air every day. It's not something you tend to think about that often, but it's a genuine problem.
You also use less energy as you won't have numerous PCs plugged into the wall every single day – or loads of other office equipment. So, you can run a greener business by not having an office.
Overall, leasing an office can be both beneficial and disruptive. It depends on your business and the issues you hold closest to your heart. Also, some businesses may have to work in an office for one reason or another. In this case, leasing is definitely better and more financially savvy than buying an office building. Ultimately, it comes down to what you think will benefit your business the most. Can you work from home without any productivity issues? Can you rent an office without seeing the financial problems?
The world of blogging is one that can appear to be surrounded by mystery as a group of people tackle the internet and make loads of money from it. But things are rarely what they seem. Here are some secrets from the world of blogging.
It doesn’t take much to start a blog, just a desire to learn and a can-do attitude. There are a lot of things that you need to learn but there are people out there who can help you. Getting a PPC Company involved can help streamline the process and remove a lot of the starter bumps that you might face to get a profitable blog in place a lot quicker. Of course, it is possible to do it by yourself but it can be useful to get some help. What is important to remember is that anyone can blog
Don’t rely on social media
In the last few days, there was a social media blackout that lasted 6 hours and probably cost millions of dollars to a lot of different businesses. Bloggers were one of the groups that were hit as some blogs rely heavily on social media to provide traffic. Don’t do this because as we have seen, social media can easily disappear off the face of the planet. Work on getting traffic from multiple sources so that you are never caught out.
Blogging is kinda dead
Having a blog is not what it once was so if you want to make some money by blogging, it is not going to happen. Content creation is often confused with blogging, and it is far from dead. People are over the oversharing and rants that were once all the rage in the early days. Now people are craving information. Sure, you can still mix up your life with the content but it needs to be factual and accurate.
Feast or a famine
When it comes to making money from your blog, it can be a tough one to work out. You have to learn a lot of new things to make your blog profitable. Most of the bloggers who do make money have been doing this for a long time and know exactly what to do to make the money appear. Sometimes, the work and the money flows in at a rate that you wonder if you can keep up. Then there are times that you wonder if people have forgotten about you. You may have to balance the books and your expectations when your first paychecks come in.
There is work
Blogging and influencing have this aura about them that suggests that there is no work involved in it. This is so very wrong. Blogging is about more than throwing some words at a screen and hoping someone reads it, although that is part of it. There is a lot of learning, planning, and technical mumbo-jumbo that needs to be mastered and tamed on a daily basis. The internet is a wild animal that you need to work with or you will be eaten alive.