It Is Time To Recycle Old Methods With Your Business

When it comes to our homes, we are encouraged to make wiser decisions with an eco-friendly focus. We recycle our rubbish and waste, wood and paper and we do our best to use energy efficient sources. However, do we really do that in our business ventures? The truth is, we probably don’t. So what methods and habits could you recycle? I wanted to share with you some of the things that can help you.

Appropriately disposing of older hardware

Things are improving all of the time when it comes to technology. The software is upgraded, and while it can be easy to install new software and make a difference to that, the hardware side of things isn’t as easy and requires much more intervention. Technology needs to be replaced all of the time, but you could also look at ensuring that you recycle old technology efficiently. Certain aspects of the technology can be recycled and reused, and other materials can also be used and made into different parts. The best thing you can do is ensure that take it to the right place, and make sure that you dispose of it in the right way.

Introducing more energy efficient options

Is your business really energy efficient? Sometimes you may need to start thinking of the routines and the habits that you can change within the business. Think about things like the bulbs you use in the office, the way you switch things on and off and how you can save energy in the workplace. Sometimes it might not just be you that needs to change your habits, you may need to ensure that your staff and employees are on the same wavelength. Keeping your business energy efficient could also be about your carbon footprint, the costs to your business and how you use you time.

Thinking about different communication channels

Maybe now is the time to start thinking about the way you communicate with your customers, and perhaps looking at alternative methods. Maybe communication over the phone is a thing of the past, people preferring to contact you via email, online chat systems or even going back to older methods like fax. You can even link this method to the internet and your systems with hosted fax solutions to make things easier. Sometimes you need to think about different options and go with what works with the business.

Change your habits

Often change starts with you, and so you may need to start looking at the habits you have. Perhaps you need to start thinking about the way you do things in the office, or perhaps the decisions you make when it comes to processes or how you recycle things.

Making it part of the business culture

Finally, try and make it part of the business culture. So now only looking at your habits, but how your business is dealt with and how any employees act within it. Make it a company goal or mission, target yourself on these changes, and start to make a difference.

I hope that this has given you something to think about when it comes to recycling old methods within your business.

Start-Up Loans: Top 5 Questions to Ask before Borrowing

Start-up loans for new businesses are more accessible today than they have been at any point since the start of the 2007/2008 financial crisis. Still, many new business owners can find themselves scratching their heads. They don’t know what to do, where to go, or even how to start the process of securing funding.

This lack of knowledge is the foundation for disaster if a new business owner does not get some direction. A good way to get that direction is to step back and ask some important questions. Asking them, and then finding out the answers, will quickly help the new business owner get his or her thoughts in order.

Here are the top questions to ask before applying for start-up loans:

1. How much money do I need?

This first question may seem self-evident, but it is surprising how many new business owners do not consider it as carefully as they should. Here’s the thing: start-up loans are intended to provide new businesses enough funding to get off the ground. The new business owner doesn’t know how much to borrow if he or she doesn’t know how much it will cost to get up and running.

2. What will I spend the money on?

Hand-in-hand with knowing how much money to borrow is knowing what the funds will be spent on. A brick-and-mortar start-up may need a tremendous amount of capital to cover investments in equipment and facilities. An online business might put most of the start-up funding into digital marketing.

The point is that business owners have to decide how they intend to invest their financial resources before they can make any realistic plans for borrowing. Not only that, lenders are most certainly going to want to know how start-up loan money will be spent.

3. How quickly do you need the money?

This question has made the list for one very simple reason: desperate people tend to make unwise decisions. If the idea for a new start-up is a good idea, it won’t hurt the new business owner to wait a few weeks to secure funding. Good ideas just don’t die that easily.

On the other hand, a new business owner desperate to get funding now before some wonderful opportunity slips away is probably looking at something that should be avoided. If an applicant cannot wait a little bit to get funding, he or she should probably just turn and walk away.

4. How quickly will I be able to repay the loans?

Start-up loans can be obtained as either short- or long-term instruments. The shorter the term, the higher the interest rate generally applied. The upside is that paying off the loan sooner will free the new business of that financial obligation.

The reality of short- and long-term funding dictates that the business owner realistically assess how long it will take to repay any and all loans. A business owner must also assess whether or not the business can survive long enough to make good on those loans.

5. What do my personal finances look like?

Banks and private lenders tend to be wary of new start-ups because such businesses do not have a track record to look at. As such, they have no choice but to look at the personal finances of loan applicants. New business owners need to take that into consideration. An applicant whose personal finances are messed up is going to have a difficult time obtaining start-up loans.

Securing funding for a start-up is not necessarily an easy process. It is not impossible either, but it does require quite a bit of thoughtful consideration and hard work. If you are thinking about applying for a start-up loan, step back and ask yourself these five questions first. How you answer them will dictate how you go about obtaining your funding.

The Tragedy of Trading Time For Money

In our twenties, we don’t tend to worry so much about trading our time for money, as we feel it’s a somewhat unlimited commodity but in truth, life is short and unpredictable and the time we have on earth is so precious, indeed, it’s our most valuable commodity yet we give it away, at times, as if it’s worthless.

The challenge with making more money, is that the conventional way is to trade a unit of time for a unit of money, and as we get older (i.e. more experienced) the amount we are able to charge for our money usually increases.  Yet, this is not based on something as linear as age or experience – it’s based on the value you can create a third party, that is willing to pay you in accordance to the value of that unit of time.

The inherent problem, however, is that no matter much you charge for a unit of your time – from the shop assistant being paid very little to the brain surgeon being paid highly, there’s a limit to how many hours there are in each day or week, meaning there’s an inherent cap to your earning potential.

That’s the ultimate problem when it comes to trading your time for money; there’s only so many hours upon which you can trade – and even the brain surgeon has a limit to how much he or she can charge for each unit of their time.

In the alternative, when you shift your mindset to that of the investor or entrepreneur, you activate the concept of leverage – meaning, you start to leverage assets and systems in order to generate revenue that isn’t contingent on the linear path of trading time for money.

We all know how that if we had invested in bitcoin, a few years ago, using a site such as that we would now be sitting on a small fortune, yet it’s not just investing in stocks, trades, and currencies that can generate passive income for us… there are a whole heap of opportunities to create an income that doesn’t depend on you trading your time for money, you just need to find them, and the only way to do that is to shift your mindset from the linear focus of trading time for money as an employee (or even self employed business owner).

See, school doesn’t teach us to be wealthy, it teaches quite the opposite – to be a cog in the wheel and “get by” as a worker rather than to make it in life as an entrepreneur.  

The book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki highlights some of the key differences between how the wealthy utilise their time and resources compared to those that are stuck on the treadmill known as the “rat race” where they are trapped trading their time for money.

The wealthy, on the other hand understand the need to take a longer term view and engage the principle of delayed gratification, in that they would prefer to invest in systems and strategies that are like fruit trees, eventually generating fruit in perpetuity, rather than the immediate term benefit of instant reward.

In summary, whilst trading time for money is not a “tragedy” per se, it is limited in terms of its ability to generate a good lifestyle whereas entrepreneurship and investing pave the way to a different financial destination.