5 Crucial Survival Tips for Small Business Owners

With each passing day, more and more individuals are taking the plunge in the glorious world of entrepreneurship. While the dive is exciting, staying upbeat and on the shore can be quite challenging.

It is tougher for small business owners to not drown and make their way in the markets and compete with the big fishes. If you are a small business owner with a recently started business venture, you need to understand certain points that can help you sail through the journey of entrepreneurship without having the fear of failure.

It might seem tough to get through the difficult times and many owners also feel like closing down, but you must stand still and wait for the storm to pass, it will be a beautiful business again!

The most important factor is to have faith in your business and to run it even in times of distress. Here are a few survival tips for small business owners.

#1-Have a Plan

This is the first and foremost aspect of running a successful business. You need a strong and carefully chalked out business plan, not just for the beginning but for the long run. Right from the first year to the next 10 years, you should have a dedicated plan written down.

When you are stuck in a crisis or feel like giving up, this plan will help you get back on your feet and give you the much needed boost. It is also the first step of your business, so it will always hold a special place in your venture.

#2-Don’t Fall in Love with your Ideas

Many businessmen fall in love instantly with their business ideas. While some passion and dedication is needed to push your idea in the market, you cannot fall in love with your ideas for the simple reason that, sometimes, they may not work out.

If you are in love with your ideas, you do not think of any plan B, and get stuck if things don’t work out. On the contrary, a strong belief with a backup idea is much more valuable for small businesses.

#3-Create a Strong Support Network

Everyone thinks they can do everything by themselves. However, you underestimate the power of a strong support network while doing so. Don’t hesitate to take help when needed. Whether they are your friends, family or acquaintances, you must establish a network that can assist you in times of distress. Since you run a small business and there may be times when you’re low on funds, networking is a great way to make it through.

#4-Keep Learning and Growing as a Student

The best entrepreneurs are those who never stop learning. We live in an age where everyday something new comes up. You must stay up-to-date with technology, study your markets and prospective consumers from time to time and keep an eye on the changing dynamics of the markets in which you work.

#5-Keep Track of your Income

As a small business, you do not have insane amounts of cash inflow, nor do you have a strong backup for money in case of problems. Therefore, it is important to check on your income regularly and analyse your expenses on a regular basis. If you are well-aware of your cash flow, you will be in a better position to plan for the future and create a stronger market for your business.

As a small business owner, problems may keep coming your way until you are well-established in the market. Your competition may be with the big companies and MNCs, giving you a tough time sometimes. However, have faith in your business and keep running it continuously with dedication and passion to become a successful small business owner.

10 Advantages of Payday Loans

Payday loans are extremely useful to people who have jobs but don’t have enough savings. They are easy-to-access and provide great benefits in times of need. Whether it’s an emergency, a celebration or a sudden expense for education, you can avail these loans easily and pay them off without any hassle.

Compared to credit cards or other loans like mortgage or car loans, these loans are much more flexible and provide instant cash, which you might not get elsewhere.

Here are the top 10 benefits of payday loans.

#1-Fast

Payday loans are extremely fast to avail. In some instances, you can even apply and avail these loans within a matter of few hours. But in most cases, 24 hours is the maximum time you might have to wait to get access to these loans. As compared to credit cards, this is really quick since credit cards take quite a few days for application, credit checks, and delivery among others. These loans are superfast and hence, are a great option in times of urgent needs.

#2-Easy Qualifications

Qualifying for a loan can be a tedious task. Especially in the cases of mortgage or car loans, you need a strong bank account, and must own enough assets to be able to avail the loans. However, in payday loans, you just need to have a job with a steady income and you will be easily qualified to get the loan.

#3-Instant Cash

In most cases, you do not get direct cash to use. In credit cards, you can withdraw only a certain amount and the rest is on credit only. In terms of car loans or house loans, you must use the money for the intended purpose only. But in case of a payday loan, you get ready cash to spend in whatever way you want to.

#4-Flexibility

The short-term nature of payday loans allows you to repay them when you get your next pay cheque. They are flexible and easy to manage loans.

#5-Convenience

Payday loans are not restricted to banks and bank timings. This means that you can apply for a loan even when the banks are closed. Many payday loan institutions have an online presence, which allows you to access these loans from anywhere, anytime.

#6-No Security Checks

As compared to other loans, payday loans are given easily without any thorough investigation into your finances. Your assets or other incomes are not checked for this kind of loan. All you need is a job with a pay cheque that can clear your loan and you are good to go!

#7-Low Amounts

Payday loans are given on low amounts, which mean you can easily repay them after your next cheque arrives. This helps to keep your debt in check and allows you not to take more money than what you can repay.

#8-Unsecured Finance

A payday loan does not come against your home or car, which means you do not risk losing any of your assets.

#9-Quick Approval

Due to the nature and low amounts of payday loans, they are easily approved by the institutions and you get quick money without any major obstacles.

#10-Security

All your information that you fill in to apply for a payday loan stays with the institution, and they are not allowed to share it with any other company. This keeps all your data and information safe and secured at all times.

A payday loan is surely a blessing in disguise for those who need urgent money. It provides great benefits along with instant cash to help you in times of need. However, in order to ensure that your loan is right and effective, you must read all the terms and conditions before you take any steps forward.

How to Improve Business Operations

Business operations is defined as the gathering of worth for the several business assets named in the organization, basically it is a result of this operation. The business possessions are both bodily or immaterial like a profit from bodily assets is rent from factory land, whereas, a profit from assets that can’t be seen is a royalty from ideas.

The operations of an organization consist of three important administration obligations that is practiced for maximisation of those asset’s returns.

  1. To work up policies for creation of repetitive returns.
  2. To make arrangements for the increment of those returns.
  3. Safe guard the profits earned by enterprise and its worth at all costs.

It is proved that the above aims are interdependent and the reasons are as follows.

  • The greater is the amount of profits by an asset, the higher is its worth. For example, when high demand for a good is generated, then that good becomes of product value and is to be added in the organisation’s product portfolio.
  • The higher are the components of a product, then there is more chances of higher pay that is repetitive at times. Like a refrigerator with high qualities is more worthy of high payments than other appliances of the same sort.
  • The worth of product can be comprehended only by safe guarding its value of material used in production and profits generation quality.

Staff-One of the Primary Assets

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) and its team of operation assure that the team is motivated enough towards work. They are responsible to look after the queries and issues that are arising and fully ensuring to solve it. They need to select right people for the work based on their skills. They need to get freelancing people on board and recruit them and motivate them to work. They need to strategise the staff formation and assigning the projects to it respectively.

Every member in the department should know their job very precisely and they should have an idea of what is expected out of them.

Crucial Qualities to Enhance Business Operations

Leadership

The COO is the main official that manages the senior team of operations. The team strategises the organisation’s policies on development and planning as well as suggestions on important business dealing. They basically sniff out prospective threats and also help departments to strategise dealings with them and improve the performance of the organisation.

Diligence in Work

With the help of the intelligence in business dealing and the major specialisation in full market information, it’s easy to assist in dealing of products of the enterprise. It’s important to balance between both private as well as corporate customers for better prospects, performance and mergers.

The team needs to have definite type of approaching and handling issues depending on their ways and also experiences of business handling, which is fixated on continuing the business proposals and market buy and sell approaches without any kind of obstacle. The team has benefits of knowing the business well and handling its core operation makes them in charge of providing the futuristic perception and vision of the business dealings output. They look into the profits of the organisation.

Some of the ways in how a team can enhance business operations are outlined below.

  • Assessing of all operations of the target dealings and its risks, how management is identifying the business planning.
  • It helps in filling of gaps and voids in business dealings that can cause further problems, even though there are only some facts available for the significant issues and a vision on its outcome.
  • Evaluate the solutions to pre done issues and changes related to it.
  • Come up with ways of diverse interaction.

How to Get Investment for Your Business

In this hard economy, it may be impossible for one to get investment for his business. Applying for a business loan in a bank is also right. Nevertheless, many people are interested in investing their hard-earned money with the hopes of returning on their own investments. With the lower interest rates on treasury notes and CDs, they are more than willing to consider other options.

In getting a private investor to invest for the business, the investor must be convinced that the opportunity in your business is safe and sound. There is only little failure or risk. A well-thought and written plan should be loaded with examples and specific numbers.

Here are the tips on how to get investment for your business:

  1. Demonstrating the Potential Profit of the Business

The idea of the business can be tested in the marketplace which served as working model. This provides the actual numbers with estimated expenses and revenues. It may not be possible to try the service or product in small-sized scale. It is best to conduct a research to arrive at the numbers from the same businesses which are already successful.

  1. Showing a Growing and Substantial Demand for the Service or Product

Statistics can be utilized such as economic reports, news articles, census reports and the internet. The demand on the service or product can be illustrated the best. For instance, it is just right to write that the catering association further estimates that fifty million dollars are spent in catering in the targeted area.

With the sluggish economy, it does not impede them to cater on graduations, bar mitzvahs and weddings. People are only after searching for low expenditures. This only means that quality service and discount pricing will give the business its more competitive and stronger edge.

  1. Laying out the Marketing Plan

As part of getting investment for the business, there is a need to layout the marketing plan. The test numbers should be included as part of the plan, including the projections for channels that you have intended to try. For example, try to explain that there is already a pay-per-click campaign conducted with the use of keyword ads. The marketing efforts of the competitors are also being tracked.

  1. Specifying your Strengths

Including the real experience on the business helps in justifying how experienced you are in running your business. Anything else can be added for the prospective investor to be convinced. This may include your personal achievements and educational background that further demonstrate your desire, determination and intelligence in making the business work.

  1. Outlining the Function of the Business

The prospective investor, be it a person or a bank, should know something about how the products are stored, delivered, procured and the like. In starting a service business, taking good care of the customers should be best described.

  1. Writing Out a Clear Budget

Using the projected and actual numbers, there is a need to arrive at a monthly budget prior to the first year of being in the business. Annual budgets should also be estimated in the next coming years. Ensure when and how the investor is going to be paid.

 

 

The Best Way to Advertise your Website

If advertising your website is your main focus then there is a wide variety of effective ways that you need to consider to obtain your set goals. Television advertisement is more expensive than an internet campaign. The new trends of technology will greatly help you survive from your situation. If you really want to know some of the best ways to advertise your website then you came in the right place. Here are some of the best ways to advertise your website without encountering difficulty, and the need to spend a lot of your money.

  • Increase your website’s visibility with the help of Search Engines

It is considered as one of the best ways to advertise your website. You just simply need to insert the keywords that will describe your business. This way, the business name of your website will immediately appear on the top search results presented to your potential customers.

  • Put the URL of your website

The best thing that you need to do to maximize the advertising efforts is to put the URL of your website in your letterhead, business cards or even in the door of your office. You also need to include the direct mail, flyers, brochures and your phone books.

  • Submit your website into Yellow Pages and Directory Listing

There are a wide variety of online directories like Yellow Pages and Yahoo that will offer you with membership registration. This way, they will allow you to list your URL in their site and gain potential customers who will patronize your products and services.

  • Get Involved to Online Communities

This is one of the inexpensive ways to advertise your website. You just need to join in a certain online communities that are available in the internet nowadays. You can contribute on their discussion groups and by doing this, you can easily inform them to advertise your website and business as well.

  • E-mail lists

You need to have a customer’s list of their email address and send them with your latest products and services that they might like to avail from your website. You can also send them with special offers, coupons and product announcements.

  • Create Facebook Application

Creating your own Facebook application can be a great help to advertise your website. The Facebook page is considered as one of the trending social media pages nowadays and they have millions of users and followers. You can make use of these advantages to advertise your website with your Facebook friends and groups.

  • Optimize your website to Search Engine Optimization

It is a fact that SEO is considered as one of the easiest and fastest ways to advertise your website as well as to gain more traffic on your site. If you are engage with SEO, you need to have the appropriate Meta tags and keywords. In just a couple of weeks, you will notice that your improvement rank increases in the results of the search engines like Yahoo and Google.

The best ways to advertise your website that are stated above is just some of the effective ways that you need to consider if you really want to acquire the top rated website ratings that you ought to receive.

How important is Marketing your Website?

Nowadays, there are individuals who are more focused on marketing their own website. Most of the business owners are too busy in doing that since they believe that marketing their website will play a vital role to reach the peak of success of their business as well as their set goals. It is a fact that marketing your website is very important particularly to some of the business owners nowadays. Marketing is a kind of technique that you need to learn and apply in your website since it is proven effective to attract visitors and to gain high traffic. If you are engaged with the local companies, marketing your website must be your top priority. By doing this, you can easily attract customers who will patronize your product and services that you are being offered in your website.

Marketing your website can be done online with the use of the modern technology and latest marketing techniques. If your website focuses on attracting customers online, you need to make use of some effective marketing strategies that are associated with search engine marketing. If you are marketing your own website whether it is involve with product or service promotion, it is very important to determine the local keywords to use for your business. These keywords must be visible and specific in marketing your website to make sure that you will surely attract your target customers. Your website must include your country, city and the geographic area that will enable your visitors to find your place easily if ever they want to avail your products and services.

The phrases and keywords must also be included in the content of your website to ensure that your site’s ranking will increase especially when your potential customer will conduct local searches. If a certain individual performs an online query to search for service and product online, the first page that will pop up in the screen is a marketing website. You need to make sure that you will use the appropriate keywords that are usually used by your potential customers when they make use the web to search for good businesses like you. The main goal in marketing your website is to gain traffic and to attract customers when they conduct local searches on the web. It is a fact that your website is considered as one of the important and effective tools for marketing.

On the other hand, your website also plays a vital role in your marketing business. Marketing your website properly and efficiently will serve as your stepping stone to obtain your goals in the field of online marketing. Your website is also the ideal place where you can catch your audience & it will also serve as your gateway to turn your prospects into your regular buyers. You must bear in mind that if you desire to meet the peak of success of your business ventures, proper website marketing is the optimum solution that you must always consider.

The modern technology is a big help for you to perform your website marketing since it is associated with the latest trends that will guide you how to market your website effectively and successfully. For additional information regarding the website marketing, just browse the web.

 

Conference Aim

The EPDE conference will bring together representatives from education and industry who have an interest in shaping the future of design education. The conference will provide a forum for educators and researchers from product development, engineering and industrial design, together with industry and government representatives to discuss current educational issues and the nature of design education in the future. This year’s conference theme of Shaping the Future? will provide the opportunity for participants to exchange ideas and build collaborative relationships.

 

While Shaping the Future? may be understood in multiple ways, and we encourage varied interpretations of the theme, questions that might be explored include: What are the possibilities for design education? What and whose concerns are shaping design education at present? How are educators shaping future designers? How does design shape the future? Potential futures for design research? These questions will be explored in the following conference topics:

 

  • Design and local community
  • Design and government
  • Teaching tools and techniques
  • Developing links with industry
  • Design curriculum development
  • Philosophies of design education
  • Professional development in design
  • Cross-disciplinary projects
  • Work-based learning
  • Future industry needs
  • Learning environments
  • Industry based student projects
  • Assessment
  • Professional doctorates
  • ‘New’ knowledges for design
  • Design manifestos

In keeping with the inclusive ethos of the EPDE conference other stream proposals are welcomed. It is also envisaged that participation in the conference may take a number of forms:

  • Paper and poster presentations
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Exhibition
  • Workshops

 

Conference Organising Committee

< Top of page

Erik Bohemia, Northumbria University
Anna Clark, Institution of Engineering Designers
Mike Evatt, Coventry University
Bill Ion, DESIG (Design Education Special Interest Group)
Safwat Mansi, Northumbria University
Chris McMahon, Design Society
Tracey Urwin, Northumbria University
Bob Young, Northumbria University

 

 

International Scientific Review Board

< Top of page

Petra Badke-Schaub TU Delft, The Netherlands
Per Boelskifte Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Ralph Bruder University of Technology Darmstadt, Germany
Louis L. Bucciarelli Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Bernhard Bürdek Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Germany
Kathryn Burns University of Central England, UK
Peter Childs University of Sussex, UK
Joseph D. Chiodo Active Disassembly Research Ltd, Canada
Chris Dowlen London South Bank University, UK
Josef Eberhardsteiner Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Kevin Edwards University of Derby, UK
Ken Friedman Danmarks Designskole, Denmark
Richard Goossens TU Delft, The Netherlands
Lance Green University of New South Wales, Australia
B. Gurumoorthy Indian Institute of Science, India
Kerry Harman University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Kevin Hilton Northumbria University, UK
Carlos Hinrichsen School of Design DuocUC, Chile
Tania Humphries-Smith University of Bournemouth, UK
Duncan Joiner Massey University, New Zealand
Toni-Matti Karjalainen Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
Tim Katz University of Brighton, UK
Yong Se Kim Creative Design Institute, Korea
Darlie Koshy National Institute of Design, India
Ahmed Kovacevic City University, UK
Kristina Lauche Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Kun-Pyo Lee Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea
Miika Lehtonen University of Lapland, Finland
Joaquim Lloveras Technical University of Catalonia, Spain
Peter Lloyd The Open University, UK
Harold G. Nelson Advanced Design Institute, USA
Tom Page Loughborough University, UK
Alun Price Curriculum Council, Australia
Steven Riley University of Western Sydney, Australia
Ryszard Rohatynski University of Zielona Góra, Poland
Chris Rust Sheffield Hallam University, UK
John K. Tan Northumbria University, UK
Alfred Teischinger University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Austria
Ken Wallace University of Cambridge, UK
Roy Woodhead Oxford Brookes University, UK
Joyce Yee Northumbria University, UK

An Invitation

The School of Design at Northumbria University, the TU/e Faculty of Industrial Design and Philips Design BV are delighted to invite you to DeSForM 3, a conference on Design & Semantics of Form & Movement which will be held in the School of Design’s iconic new building at Northumbria University’s City Campus East, in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Aims and Scope

The scope of this conference is the design of products, systems and services. Our focus is on the meanings of products and how designers communicate information, functions and ideas to enable these to be perceived and understood by people in their everyday lives.

We have 4 keynote speakers across the two days and 22 break-out sessions. In the break-out sessions researchers from around the world, including the USA, Australia and Indonesia, will be presenting the latest research in this exciting field of design. Our keynote speakers are:

Bernhard Buerdek Academy of Art and Design, Offenbach am Main
Geoff Hollington Hollington UK
Peter Higgins Land Design Studio
Kevin McCullagh Plan

Shaping the Future?

It’s imperetive that we approach design and technology in an aggressive manner, ensuring that we leave future generations in a strong position to continue our work and lead society in the correct direction, with innovative, safe and effective products and tools. If these fundamentals are not achieved then everything that we have worked for throughout our careers will hit a glass ceiling when we retire.

With that in mind, we have teamed up with the various organizations that are listed below to ensure that we — as a community of designers and engineers — are all upto speed and driving forward in one single direction.

 

 

ISDN

On 31st March 2006, Northumbria University hosted
a half-day colloquium at The Sage Gateshead on issues around designing services. Podcasts and Powerpoints from many of the sessions can be downloaded below.

To download presentation files, right-click the title and select 
“Save”
 or “Save link as”.

 

    • Service Innovation through Design Thinking
      Professor Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO US 
      Inaugural Lecture as visiting professor to Northumbria University, discussing the work of IDEO internationally in creating innovation in businesses and services

 

    • Signposts for the Next Decade (Request by email)
      Dr. Andrea Cooper, Head of Design Knowledge, Design Council
      Design’s role in addressing global issues in the next ten years
      > Presentation slides (PDF, 1.2Mb)

 

    • Live|Work – Pioneering Service Design 
      Chris Downs, Partner, Live|Work
      We are what we use – not what we own

 

    • Objects of Service – From Subjects to Objects
      and Back Again

      Prof. Steven Kyffin, Global Head of Design Research, Philips Design
      How can design help to creatively understand people, create value across the full business development process and create poignancy to our technological trajectories 
      > Presentation synopsis 
      (Word document, 32Kb)

 

    • Designing Design in a Complex World 
      Dr. Bob Young, Associate Dean for Research & Consultancy,
      School of Design, Northumbria University

      The evolution of service and systems design thinking in academia 
      > Presentation slides 
      (Powerpoint, 11.8Mb)

 

    • Better Services Happier Customers, Oliver King
      Case Studies from the work of The Engine Group 
      > Presentation slides 
      (PDF, 1.1Mb)

 

    • Redesigning Public Services, Jennie Winhall
      Case Studies from the work of RED at the Design Council

 

  • Designers! Who Do You Think You Are?
    Kamil Michlewski

    Inside the design cultures of Ideo, Wolff Olins, Philips & Nissan 
    > Presentation slides 
    (Powerpoint, 280Kb)