You can get into entrepreneurship from different paths. Starting from your home is not a bad idea, but in most cases, you will need to rent, build, or buy an office. It is not an easy task since there are plenty of things to think about before getting started. In this article, we will show you how to set up your first office in five simple steps.
Make a list of everything you need and conduct a plan
Becoming successful in business requires careful planning in every area, and the office is not an exception. Before you set up your first office, you have to make a list of every single detail you need. You have to know how many desks and chairs you need in the first place. After that, think about suitable computers, business software, and where to rent mobile phones for your employees. Every member of your team will feel better in a pleasant environment, and therefore, do everything you can to make your office a friendly place for working. Believe it or not, it will boost everyone’s efficiency and provide motivation. Regarding that, almost every big city has convenient features to examine when selecting the best place to set your operations. Europe is at the forefront of balanced and eco-friendly spaces; these are perfect for boosting employees’ comfort and efficiency. That being, you will locate the best furnished & wired offices for startups in Copenhagen, a cultured city to place your business to grow.
Design your office and determine how much space you need
To know how much furniture you’re going to need, it is essential to design your office correctly. There are a few questions you need to answer before making a decision. Do your employees need desks close to the window? Do you need additional rooms for meetings? Do you want your bookkeeper to be separated from the rest of the team? Once you answer these questions, decide whether you want an open plan or a closed plan, where your staff will have more personal space. Finally, think about adding a reception area, lactation and exercise room, as well as a dressing area, especially if you have a few field workers.
Furniture and equipment
Based on your budget and business needs, try to choose the best furniture and equipment for your office. First of all, your desks have to suit your office layout. Standard rectangular tables are usually the best because they are flexible and less expensive. However, if you want to spend more money, choose glass or metal tables. Chairs are also super important because providing comfort shows that you care about your employees. Computers, on the other hand, could become a bit tricky. Laptops are more portable, but desktop computers provide better performance and more storage. Maybe it is best to talk to your employees before you make a final decision and see what option they prefer. When it comes to systems, Windows and Mac are both excellent for business.
Good internet provider
Getting a high-speed internet provider is mandatory; it is not questionable at all. However, you have to do a lot of research. Explore all potential providers that offer an excellent service. After that, once you have found a few options, compare their terms, contracts, and prices. Always carefully read terms because commercial accounts can differ from residential ones. In the early days of your business, 15Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload should be more than enough. However, that’s not the rule, if you feel that you need more, go for it. The point is to finish your daily tasks smoothly, without any issues with your computers and the internet.
Communication systems should be set up from the very first day of operating your business. Nowadays, many startups and small businesses rely on VoIP phone service since it is a lot better than a traditional phone system. It allows you to add as many lines as you need, and you can get phone service within a few minutes after plugging in your phone. Also, you have to communicate with your internal employees continually, so free software, such as Slack, should be very helpful. Besides that, you can rent mobile phones, create a virtual phone number that forwards calls to your business number, and get software for emails and appointment scheduling.
Be aware of hidden costs
When you decide to rent an office, you have to be fully aware of all the expenses. And that also includes hidden costs. What does it mean? For instance, from time to time, you’ll have to repair something, and it might cost a lot. Or, your rental rate can jump after a few months unless you sign a different contract. However, be aware of unexpected expenses and be prepared to react correctly.
Having an office for operating your business is necessary to reach the next level of entrepreneurship. Think about these five steps when you decide to make this move.
How to Train Your Managers (and Why it’s Important)
Having a great manager (not just an okay one) is so important to a business’s success. You will find that your employees work a lot harder when they have a great manager, because they want to impress, they want to help, and they do not want the business to fail. For information on training mangers, a useful link is: https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2019/02/how-to-train-managers.html. This will provide you with an overview of what is involved. To get it wrong will impact on staff engagement, performance, and retention.
Educate Them on the Importance of Their Role
To educate managers, there are textbooks, online resources, seminars, and eLearning courses available. These can bring a manager up to speed with not only tried and tested methods of management but also with the very latest methods. Training methods that are digital and more relevant to today’s business world. New managers can learn from already experienced managers and how they best achieve their results for their respective companies. Equally, managers can learn through good and effective training, targeted to their needs and that of their company. The best managers increase the motivation and mood of their staff on a continual basis, which in turn, increases their company’s productivity.
Training such as new managers training can be provided in-house, and be even more effective and targeted through the use of external training agencies. It can be a very effective conducted by specialists in this area, who know not only what it is like to be a new manager, but the skills that can make for an effective manager in the long term. Much can be learned from the experiences that former managers have faced in a variety of different types of businesses. To not offer a manager training is to allow them to fail. To not provide them with the tools for success is to make their progression slower and less effective, for themselves and those that they are managing. Management training is not only about training others but how to train those responsible for the training.
Encourage Them to Practice, Reflect, Learn and Repeat
The best way for a manager to learn is to continue practising their skills, to think about the result the skills are having on the staff and the business itself. Continuing to repeat these skills, the rights skills, can only improve them until they become second nature. That is, not to practise until you get it right, but to the extent that you cannot get it wrong. Skills such as: communicating effectively with staff, planning the progression of staff, the ability to delegate the work in an effective manner. In addition, the manager will need to learn skills in problem-solving and motivation. There are tricks to be learned, to be known. An effective leadership course can teach managers these skills initially, so that then be refined through constant use and monitoring of their effectiveness. It is not enough to put into practise these skills once, they have to be carried out several times to check their effectiveness on different groups of staff, who are likely to respond in different ways and with different results.
So, with much to consider, it is in the first instance necessary to recruit flexible managers who are going to respond to training. Managers who are not too fixed in their ways of managing for other companies that they cannot respond effectively to a new training scheme. Then, they need to be aware of exactly what their new role encompasses. This should next lead to an effective training scheme that they are going to engage with, as their staff will ultimately engage with their management approach. During completion of the training scheme, it will be a matter of continual practice, but the results will be rewarding.
What’s Amazon ASIN And How Do You Get One? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Amazon is the world’s leading online marketplace. According to Statista, they have 213.4 million unique website visitors each month.
That’s a lot – accordingly, it’s no big surprise that every merchant wants to sell their products through Amazon.
If you also want to sell your products on Amazon, you need an Amazon ASIN.
But what is an ASIN?
ASIN means Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is an Amazon internal number that helps them keep track of your products.
Every product on Amazon has a unique Amazon Standard Identification Number.
In this article, you’ll learn everything about Amazon ASIN – what it is, why you need an ASIN and how to get one.
What Is Amazon ASIN?
ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number and it’s simply the product identifier used by Amazon. A product identifier is a scannable number like a UPC (barcode) to identify a product.
If you don’t know what’s a UPC, here’s an example of it:
ASIN is Amazon’s internal unique identifier to keep track of all the products sold on Amazon. With over 2,734,713 active sellers on Amazon, it would be impossible if every seller has their own unique identifier for their products.
There’s only one exception – if you want to sell books on Amazon, you don’t need to have an Amazon ASIN. That’s because every book has it’s own ISBN as an identifier. Amazon uses this ISBN to identify books, they don’t use their own ASIN.
I really don’t know exactly why, but I think it’s because Amazon started as an online bookseller in 1995.
When Do You Need An Amazon ASIN?
First of all, if you want to sell your products through Amazon, you need an Amazon ASIN. You need one unique ASIN for every product you sell on Amazon.
Second, if you sell the same product on two different marketplaces – for example, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, you need two different ASINs.
If this in case, you need two one ASIN for the US marketplace and another one for the german Amazon marketplace.
The next thing is that you need different ASINs if you sell variations of your product. If this in case, you will need a parent ASIN for your initial product and different child ASINs for all your variations.
For example, suppose you sell a T-shirt in different sizes. You need an ASIN for the first product – the T-shirt – and further children’s ASINs for all variations, e.g. for a blue, yellow and pink shirt.
When You Don’t Need An Amazon ASIN…
If you want to sell a product that’s already on the Amazon marketplace, you don’t need to register a new ASIN because every product that’s sold on Amazon already has one.
If this is the case, you only need to research the ASIN. If you don’t know how to find the ASIN of a product, read on, I will explain in the next chapter how to do this.
However, if you’re a new seller and want to sell a brand new product on Amazon, you’ve to register a new ASIN for that product.
What you need to know is that there’s a limit for new sellers on how many new ASINs they can create. If you want to create more ASINs in the near future, you need to sell more products and increase your sales on Amazon.
I highly recommend checking out this site to find out more about Amazon’s restrictions on the creation of new ASINs.
How To Search For A Product’s ASIN
Looking for a product’s ASIN on Amazon is super easy. All you have to do is to search for the product on Amazon.
Then, navigate to the product detail page and scroll to the end of the page.
You will find the ASIN of the product at the end of the listing with the product information.
But there’s another opportunity to get a product’s ASIN even faster. What you can also do is to take a look at the URL entry of your browser:
The ASIN is usually at the end of the URL of the product page. Just make sure that there’s no referral code and you’re good to go.
How To Get A New ASIN
If you’re starting as a private label seller, you will probably sell a product that nobody else sells on Amazon.
If this in case, you need to create a new Amazon ASIN so that Amazon can identify your product.
But you only need to do that if you sell a unique product under your own private label brand.
If the product you want to sell is already on Amazon, you don’t have to create a new ASIN.
Here’s how to create a new ASIN for your product on your own:
First of all, you need a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) for your product.
What is a GTIN?
Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain.
Where do you get a GTIN?
You can get it from the GS1. The GS1 is a worldwide organization which distributes GTINs, UPCs or ISBNs.
There are different packages and you should choose a package that isn’t too expensive but fully suits your needs.
There are a lot of online sellers that also sell GTINs. However, I highly recommend not to buy a GTIN from another seller than the GS1 since it will only make you problems in the future – trust me.
Once you have a GTIN for your product, it’s relatively easy to get an Amazon ASIN.
All you have to do is to head over to Amazon Seller Central and click on “Add a new product” and then on “Create a new product”.
Then, you’ve to upload your product’s GTIN and Amazon will automatically generate a new ASIN for your product.
It is necessary to have an ASIN to sell on Amazon. However, you only need to create a new ASIN if you want to sell a product on Amazon that does not exist yet.
Anyway, taking care of the ASIN is only an administrative task. Focus more on increasing your sales to succeed in the long run.
About the Author
Moritz Bauer has over 5 years of experience in eCommerce and Marketing. On his blog smartminded he writes about Amazon FBA.
How to choose an accounting firm for your business?
Tax laws undergo changes and additions every year. All these changes tend to confuse businesses, trying to find what each change means for them. It is the role of accountant firms to keep track of all these changes in the tax laws. And thus, rescue businesses from getting trapped in financial hassles and tax liabilities. Accounting firms expertise in managing day to day accounts and advising companies on complex financial matters.
If you are starting your own business, you must be considering consulting an accountant firm for your finances. You don’t know when you’ll need them, and it is totally normal. Right now, you’re focused on transforming your idea into a settled business. And while you do that, we’ll take you through some essential tips on how to choose an accounting firm for your business.
Experience in the field
Several people have CPA credentials and can perform an audit for your business. But the critical factor is who has worked in your specific industry. A person or a firm which has dedicated years in handling nuances of your sector knows what will work best for you. They will be able to offer solutions for your problems more quickly and thus, manage your finances better. A sector like technology has companies with massive and complex accounting structure and investors having high expectations. A knowledgeable company should also be able to help you with business proforma, but don’t expect them to just include the service for free. Pro forma business analysis goes hand in hand with accounting services.
Similarly, some accounting firms have thorough expertise in the audit. But your company requires immediate assistance in taxation. Hence, it is essential to talk to the CPA about their proficiency in your sector and knowledge in different tax laws.
How much do they charge?
A fee is a vital aspect to consider when hiring an accounting firm. It is obvious that different firms charge differently. Large firms, like Deloitte, will charge massive numerations in comparison to a boutique accounting firm in your city. The fees also depend on the kind of assignment they are getting. There are firms which set special rates for every task while others offer a full year service and charge for the same. The prices per job depend on the task they get like preparing profit and loss statement, personal income tax filing or collecting a statement of net worth.
Some accountants write bills on hourly services. If that is the case, then you need to know the standard hourly rates and if these rates change often.
How important is the location?
Before the dawn of technology, having an accountant near me was important. But now, the boundaries of communication and collaboration have shrunk significantly. As technology advances, working with firms abroad through cloud-based technology is just as simple and effective as working face-to-face. There are cloud accounting features that allow you and your accountant to work on your finances and taxations using real-time data. It diminishes the confinement of location and thus, allows better search of services for your needs.
But the decision still lies in your hands. Your decision will be based on your finances and how to handle them. Honestly, while technology allows collaboration through the internet, there are certain situations which require face-to-face intervention.
Opt for a certified or chartered accountant
Several countries have governing bodies that check qualifications and maintain high accounting standards. In different countries, accountants are known with different names like Certified Public Accountants or Chartered Accountants. CPAs or CAs are highly qualified individuals who have completed degree-level studies with professional internship programs.
Hiring a certified or chartered account makes sure you get the right service and financial advice. Their qualification adds value to your business. It means to make sure your company grows from the word “Go!” you must hire a professional accounting firm from the start. Several tax preparation firms employ and train preparers to help clients through income tax filing. But when it comes to catering to more significant accounting needs, you’ll be better off with firms employing CPAs.
Can they grow with you?
When you invest in a business, you make it clear that you’re ready to enter the big leagues and with zest. To make this happen without any glitches, you need to have a CPA firm that has the human resources and expertise. Your CPA must stick with you to see you grow from a start-up to IPO or exit phase. There are countless things to consider: does the firm have the expertise to stick with you, does it has the staff for the job, or they are facing their acquisition? If any of this is true, you’ll have to go through the whole process of finding a new firm once again.
It might fine at the moment when you’re working with an accountant for small business. But once you start growing, you can’t waste time on finding a new CPA when you should be focusing on your business.
The team assigned to you
When you hire a firm to do an audit, you are buying the communication style of the team undertaking the service. An experienced team doing the audit will save you resources when they utilize their expertise and tools at hand. You need to ask the firm questions on who will be handling your case and if they will be a part of the meeting. Ask them about their previous experiences with other clients and how the following team works on-field. You must be sure that the team you are assigned is the best one.
Converse with government and business entities
Several countries stress on small businesses since they boost a significant share of their economies. To help small businesses grow, the government rolls out plans, packages, and assistance. If you are a small business owner, you can use this assistance and network of business entities to get an accountant.
Whichever accounting firm you choose for your business, remember that they will have access to your sensitive data. So, do your research and take your time to finalize one. Talk with your fellow business associates to get a picture of how accountant firms deal with clients. And since you have the power of the internet in your hand, use social media to dig in deeper. Trust is key!
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