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How to wrap your business up with a nice little bow for year-end

Ah, the end of the year. It’s time for holiday promotions, boosted sales (hopefully), and year-end preparations. If you don’t prepare for the end of the year and follow a checklist, you’ll probably find yourself burning the candle at both ends.

Coming from an experienced business owner, it’s never too early to start preparing for the year-end. Get a jump start on your year-end checklist and avoid stress by learning how to wrap up your business.

1. Complete End-Of-The-Year Reviews

The end of the year is a great time to review how well your team worked together. But, how can you see that? Cue performance review time.

Year-end is one of the best times of the year to hold performance reviews. You can discuss employees’ accomplishments from the year as well as goals they hope to reach in the new year. Not to mention, performance evaluations give you the opportunity to find out how your employees are feeling. Listen to your employees’ concerns and let them know their opinions matter.

2. Update Your Payroll Records

If you want to start on the right foot in the new year, you need to have all of your employee information organized. So, what does this mean for your business, you ask? Well, this means you need to get your payroll records in order before the year-end.

As an employer, it’s your duty to make sure everything is straight with your payroll records before tax time rolls around. Otherwise, it could cause a plethora of payroll problems for both you and your employees.

You can use payroll software to simplify the process and take the load off of your shoulders. If you opt to handle payroll yourself, be sure to handle tasks like:

  • Verifying employee wages, benefits, and deductions
  • Checking employment tax rates (they tend to change annually)
  • Making sure you recorded all paychecks
  • Recording year-end bonuses and payments.

The sooner you start, the better. When the new year starts, you’ll have even more on your plate, so it’s best that you get a head start on the end-of-the-year payroll process.

3. Tidy Up Your Accounting Books

If you want your accounting books to be in tip-top shape for the new year, take some time to organize your books and business receipts.

Keeping your books nice and tidy is an essential part of staying up-to-date for income tax season. And let’s face it, no business owner wants to be scrambling at the last minute (or maybe that’s just me).

Here are just a few of the things you should be doing at year-end to get your books in order:

  • Gather financial statements
  • Count and cross-check inventory
  • Organize business receipts
  • Reconcile bank accounts

To simplify your year-end accounting process even further, you can organize from the get-go (aka stay organized the entire year) or use accounting software to track financial information.

4. Review Your Business and Marketing Plans

Remember those goals you set at the end of last year in your business and marketing plans (and hopefully looked at throughout the year)? It’s time to revisit those goals you set and see where you stand.

Take a look at your business and marketing plans and review your year. Did you meet the goals you listed in your plans? Or, did you fall short somewhere?

If you didn’t reach your goals, use the end of the year to rethink your strategies and start fresh. Update your plans if you’ve had major changes to your business throughout the course of the year.

Remember, nobody’s perfect. Chances are, you’re going to have a few goals you didn’t reach. And that’s OK! Find out why you didn’t reach certain goals during the year and make it your mission to check it off your list in the new year.

5. Set Goals For The New Year

If you want to grow your business during the new year, you need to have a plan and set reachable business goals.

When the year starts to come to a close, set aside time to think about what goals you want to reach in the upcoming year. Some goals your small business might have for the new year include:

  • Opening a second business location
  • Making X sales in the first quarter
  • Hiring additional employees
  • Expanding your offerings

Your goals can be large (e.g., remodeling your store) or small (e.g., cleaning out your filing cabinet). When thinking about your goals, just make sure they’re attainable. Don’t set goals that you clearly can’t reach within the next year.

Based on your goals, build an action plan and timeline. Your action plan will help you stay on track and give you a timeline to complete said goals.

6. Do A Little Relaxing

Last but not least, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack at year-end. You’re a busy business owner, but that doesn’t mean you have to work your butt off 24/7.

According to one source, a whopping 70% of small business owners do not see a holiday as a vacation from work. Trust me when I say this is one statistic you do not want to fall into.

The best gift you can give yourself (and your family and friends) is your presence. So, attend that holiday party. Bake those cookies with your kids. Hang out with your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to kick back, relax, and spend some quality time with the people you care about the most.

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Who should be on your business money management team?

Don’t think that you have to be a millionaire entrepreneur before you build a business money management team because truthfully, it really helps to start as you mean to go on and upgrade as you go.

Being a good money steward from the start will help you grow your income more rapidly and make you feel really good about your money. So, no matter where you are right now, let’s talk about who should be on your business money team.

Team Member #1: Bookkeeper
The very first hire that we recommend (for your money management team) is a bookkeeper and this is even if you’re in very, very early stages of your business.

Let us tell you why.

For most of us, especially creative entrepreneurs, that kind of thing isn’t really in our zone of genius and it can really stress us out. Let’s say if you started in your business, maybe six months in and you are just looking at receipts all the time, and eventually, it will stressing you out about taxes, you will think about it a lot and it will be just mental clutter that you do not need.

That’s when you remember someone saying, you know, “Hire a bookkeeper.”

We really suggest that bookkeeper is the first person you add to your money team because it will really make you feel quite pro, but also it will save you money come tax time when everything is all organized.

The other thing that’s great about having a bookkeeper is if you get monthly or quarterly reports, it really does help you keep an eye on your income and what you pay attention to will grow.

Team Member #2: Accountant
The number two hire for your money team is an accountant. Now, you can start again just having someone who does your taxes once a year.

And remember, you could do it yourself but is it your zone of genius and is it how it makes you money? Usually, it’s not.

And this is again, just feels like a pro kind of thing in your business to make sure you’re doing things well. It also means that sometimes you get later tax filing deadlines if you’re going through an accountant.

So, you can upgrade, maybe you’ve already got an accountant, then we would suggest to take it to the next level.

Meet your accountant once a quarter. And again it’s just that really good way of paying attention to what’s happening with your money and every quarter you tackle a new project. It’s just having someone there in your corner who can help you.

Team Member #3: Financial Adviser
The next stage on from and accountant could be adding a financial adviser to your money team. So maybe you’re doing really well in your business and it’s time to start looking investment strategies.

If so, a financial adviser could be the next person that you need to add to your business money team.

Team Member #4: Money Mentor
Now the fourth group or person to add to your team is a money mentor, somebody who has done what you want to do and someone who has the results that you want to achieve. And I say it very strongly in that thing right, don’t get a mentor or don’t take business advice from people who haven’t achieved what you want to achieve.

So it’s all well and good too, you know, have your Uncle Bob tell you, you should do this or, you know, whatever. But sometimes you really need to get that advice from somebody who has been where you’ve been.

You can specifically seek out a mentor who had a very similar business model to you, had very similar pricing and very similar products. So you could ask them questions about different stages in their business, different money plateaus they had experienced and it will be incredibly rewarding because they really understood exactly where you are coming from and don’t try and push you into a different direction.

So that’s that fourth person, who is a money mentor who has had the financial results you want.

Team Member #5: Mastermind Group
The fifth group, and this is a group, to add to your money team is great mastermind buddies who again have a great money mindset and are a good mix of people who are at your level and above.

This is incredibly important and has been an incredible addition to the money team. You will really do see them, they don’t know it, they’re not employed by you but they are part of your business money team because every day you can have really honest conversations about money.

Yes, some of them have similar incomes to you and some of them earn four or five times more than you. And, that’s inspiring.

So sometimes you can grow out of mastermind groups. We can grow out of peer groups and you really need to look for that next level because it will stretch you, it will stretch your income and it will stretch what you see as possible.

So there are five groups. If we’ve missed any out, write them down in the comments because we would love to hear, you know, what actions you’ve been taking or what actions you’re inspired to take after reading to this about how to build a great business money management team.

Our bookkeepers are real humans with perfect books. You’re a small business owner with many things to do. FMB Partner has professional bookkeepers that experienced serving entrepreneurs. At this wonderful time of the year, let us take bookkeeping off your hands forever, so you can focus on what matters most. Ask us around at admin@fmbpartner.com or call us (+62)8996 777 879!

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How should your business approach the Ramadan?

Cultural nuance and understanding can provide an opportunity to stand apart in the mobile app industry.

Establishing a mobile presence has become an integral factor for business success in today’s dynamic market. Globally, apps account for over 80 percent of mobile time and with app downloads predicted to grow to well over 250 billion downloads by 2022, it is clear to see where the opportunity lies for marketers to grow and consolidate their user base, particularly in Southeast Asia where 350 million internet users spend more time on mobile than any other market.

To succeed, businesses and independent app developers should go beyond just launching an app and increasing downloads. They need to own its entire life cycle — including user engagement and retention.

One important aspect of engagement is to seize the opportunities that come once in a year. The festive month of Ramadan, in this sense, is perhaps the ticket to making your app stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Nearly 250 million people will be celebrating Ramadan across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The potential impact of Ramadan on businesses is, therefore, undeniable.

As we know, consumers and businesses alike are influenced by their surroundings and habits. It’s no surprise that just like Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the United States, or Boxing Day in England, Ramadan makes a serious impact on Southeast Asian businesses.

Over the past decade, this sacred time of fasting and prayer has called for a shift in the digital realm. Users are increasingly turning to their phones for shopping, information or diversion, profoundly impacting how app marketers are approaching their mobile strategies and campaigns around this festive season.

Ramadan this year, will start on the evening of Sunday, 6 May and end on the evening of Tuesday, 5 June. This leaves businesses with a very short window to further plan their marketing activities for this period.

Here are the top three key pointers to ensure that mobile-first businesses reach the right audience with the right messaging this Ramadan season.

  1. Benefiting from the 13th Month Salary Allowance

Businesses should consider allocating more of their Ramadan campaign budget spend to Indonesia, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia has been a top performer over the past few years. Besides the country’s strong economic growth in 2018, smartphone penetration has been steadily on the rise, growing from 24 percent in 2017 to 26 percent in 2018.

The most significant opportunity for businesses comes from a steady increase in the purchasing power of their users in Indonesia during this period.

“Tunjangan Hari Raya” (THR) translated to “Religious Holiday Allowance” is commonly known as the 13th salary, and is usually given two weeks before Eid. This additional “month’s salary” provides app users with the additional boost in buying power, which can in many cases translate into more in-app purchases.

While current data shows that Ramadan observers tend to spend this disposable income on new clothes, gadgets grooming and gifting, perhaps there’s more than can be done outside the typical habits.

With so many transactions taking place over this festive period, marketers who get their messaging right will be able to capitalise on this massive opportunity and direct shoppers and browsers alike to their app.

  1. The Right Message at the Right Time of the Day

To campaign more effectively during Ramadan, businesses should take the opportunity to secure a better understanding of the holiday itself. Appreciating the nuances and traditions of different observances can make all the difference.

Whether it’s rising for pre-dawn Sahur, fasting through the lunch hours or winding down after Buka Puasa (breaking the fast), marketers can learn the times of day in which they should avoid pushing alerts for offers and discounts to their audiences, and which other times would boost app opens and revenues.

A recent report from AppsFlyer indicates that for most app categories, the hours between 3 am to 6 am before Sahur are when festival observers tend to be most active online and make the most app purchases. Other peak periods include lunch hours and evenings, after Buka Puasa.

On the other hand, after observers leave work from 4 pm to 8 pm, apps register fewer opens and purchases, compared to other periods in the year. During these hours, in fact, many consumers are commuting in traffic or preparing for Buka Puasa.

  1. Localisation is More Than Just Translation

Localisation does not only refer to the local user interface but also covers marketing content. Advertisements and articles created in one geography can be interpreted differently in another.

Indonesia and Malaysia have many regional dialects and languages, but more importantly, each country has a unique culture that should be respected and reflected in any marketing strategy. Businesses should then ensure that they take into account the cultural differences at the social, organisational, and individual levels.

For instance, Mudik is the tradition of returning home to celebrate with family and is observed across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is also commonly known as ‘Pulang Kampung’ in Indonesia and ‘Balik Kampung’ in Malaysia and Singapore.

This period sees a substantial rise in travel spending on flight and train tickets, car rentals, and accommodation. Mudik presents an opportunity for marketers to personalise their messages based on their customer profile, which includes information about the user’s hometown and place of work, language, and personal preferences.

In conclusion, businesses should be spending substantial portions of their budgets on Ramadan, when supported by strong data recording purchasing and engagement patterns.

As the opportunity to re-plan marketing campaigns within the four weeks of Ramadan is small, marketing campaigns should be devised in a lean way, by testing and iterating efforts throughout this period.

Furthermore, by taking advantage of specific seasonal occasions, such as Indonesia’s 13 Month’s salary and Pulang Kampung, and targeting users with localised content at specific times of the day, app marketers will be able to tap into unexpected revenue sources and boost user retention.

Source: E27

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Representative Offices in Indonesia in a Nutshell

A foreign investor could set up a Representative Office to study the market for a maximum period of 5 years. Foreign Representative Office is an office incorporated by an overseas company to represent itself in Indonesia with a view to managing the interest of the company or the affiliated companies in Indonesia and/ or in other countries and/ or to prepare the establishment and development of foreign investment companies in Indonesia.

Foreign Representative Office usually has limited functionality and generally are prohibited from directly engaging in operational activities, signing contracts, issuing official invoices, receiving payments from its clients, and directly engaging in any other profit-generating activities.

Foreign representative office (Kantor Perwakilan Perusahaan Asing or KPPA) is usually set up when a foreign company wishes to establish a presence in Indonesia but does not (yet) intend to actually carry on any business there. To put it simply, KPPA is merely an administrative arrangement and primarily designed for non-commercial activities. Legally, a KPPA is not a business entity per see and not allowed to perform any activity with the purpose to generate profits.

The requirements and procedure to form a representative office in Indonesia are governed by the Regulation of The Chairman of BKPM No. 15 of 2015 Regarding Guidelines and Procedures for Licensing and Non-Licensing Investment. According to this regulation, there are 3 types of Representative Offices which can be incorporated in Indonesia, namely:

  1. Foreign Company Representative Office (Kantor Perwakilan Perusahaan Asing or KPPA).

The functionality of KPPA is limited to:

  • Manage the parent company’s corporate interests.
  • Prepare the establishment and development of its business in Indonesia.

The documents required to incorporate KPPA are as follows:

  • Copy of Articles of Association of the foreign company represented and any amendment(s) in English or its translations in Bahasa Indonesia from a sworn translator.
  • Letter of appointment from the foreign company represented to whom which will be proposed as a Representative Executive.
  • Copy of passport of director of the company to be represented.
  • Copy of valid passport (for foreigner) or a copy of identification card number (for Indonesian citizen) who will be proposed as a Representative Executive.
  • Letter of a statement concerning the willingness of Representative Executive to stay, and only work in the position as the Representative Executive without doing other business in Indonesia.
  • Power of Attorney (PoA) if the application is not obtained directly by Representative Executive.

Important Notes for KPPA:

  • KPPA can only be incorporated in the capital of Indonesian provinces (e.g. Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Kalimantan, etc.).
  • The location of KPPA must be in the office building.
  • KPPA permit is valid for 3 years and can be extended 2 times for 1 year each.
  • After 5 years KPPA may be granted an extension for different activities than before.
  • KPPA must be incorporated in an office building or tower.
  • In case Representative Executive is a foreigner, he/ she must obtain a Temporary Stay Permit Card (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas or KITAS) and Work Permit to stay and work in Indonesia.

  1. Foreign Company Trade Representative Office (Kantor Perwakilan Perusahaan PerdaganganAsing or KP3A).

The functionality of KP3A is limited to:

  • Introduce, promote and market the goods produced by a parent company, as well as providing information, or directions for use and importation of goods to companies or users in Indonesia.
  • Conduct market research and surveillance in Indonesia for domestic sales of goods produced by the parent company.
  • Conduct market research on the items required by parent companies abroad (who appointed the company in Indonesia) as well as providing information about the terms of the export of goods to companies in Indonesia.
  • Closing contracts for and on behalf of the company that is appointed by the parent company in Indonesia for export of goods.

In order to perform the trading related activities in KP3A, a Foreign Company Trade Representative License (Surat Izin Usaha Perwakilan Perusahaan Perdagangan Asing or SIUP3A) must be obtained from BKPM OSS-C. The documents required to obtain SIUP3A are as follows:

  • Letter of appointment from the foreign company represented to whom which will be proposed as a Head of Representative Office.
  • Letter of intent concerning the activity of representative office in Indonesia and the regulation to not engage in any trading activities as well as selling transaction.
  • Letter of a statement concerning the willingness of Representative Executive to stay, and only work in the position as the Representative Executive without doing other business in Indonesia.
  • Letter of reference from a Commercial Attaché/ Representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the country of origin.
  • Head of Representative Office must attach the following documents:
    • Curriculum Vitae or CV (Daftar Riwayat Hidup).
    • Foreign citizen: a copy of valid passport and Foreign Worker Employment Plan (Izin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing or IMTA).
    • Indonesia citizen: a copy of valid resident identity card (Kartu Tanda Penduduk or KTP) and Tax ID (NPWP).
  • Letter of domicile of KP3A from building management or local official.
  • Copy of temporary SIUP3A.
  • PoA if the application is not obtained directly by Head of Representative Executive.

Important Notes for KP3A:

  • KP3A is prohibited to carry out any trading activities and sales transactions such as submitting tenders, signing contracts, settling claims, etc.
  • KP3A can be incorporated into the capital of provinces, districts, and cities in Indonesia.
  • KP3A must be incorporated in an office building or tower.
  • In case the Representative Executive is a foreigner, he/ she must obtain a Temporary Stay Permit Card (KITAS) and Work Permit to stay and work in Indonesia.
  1. Foreign Company Construction Representative Office (Kantor Perwakilan Badan Usaha Jasa Konstruksi or BJUK).

The license can be obtained by a Foreign Construction company with large-scale qualification as stipulated in the Ministerial Regulation. BJUK License can be used to undertake construction service business activities throughout the territory of Indonesia. BJUK License is valid for 3 years and can be extended.

Documents required for the obtainment of BJUK are as follows:

  • Application Letter (original in Bahasa Indonesia).
  • Copy of Article of Association of Company from mother country which has been legalized by a public notary or competent authorities in the country of origin.
  • General data on foreign construction services business entity.
  • Original letter of recommendation from the Indonesian Embassy in a country of origin which states that the construction company is legally registered in the country and has a good reputation.
  • Copy of valid construction service permit of the parent company which has been certified by the issuing authority.
  • Copy of equalization certificate legalized by an Institute of national level.
  • Original letter of appointment for the Chief Representative of BJUK by the parent company.
  • Record of latest financial statements of the parent company which has been audited by a public accountant.
  • Copy of passport or identity card of Chief Representative.
  • The CV of Chief Representative.
  • Domicile Certificate of the Representative Office in Indonesia issued by the local municipality office.
  • Letter of a statement of truth and authenticity of documents (original).
  • Letter of a statement that the directors or commissioners of the parent company are not serving as commissioners or board of directors in other construction companies (original).
  • Original PoA stamped and signed by company directors if the application is not directly carried out by Chief Representative Executive along with documents of the receiver of PoA.

Benefits of a KPPA:

  • Only 3 working days to process.
  • 100% foreign ownership is allowed.
  • Minimum expenses, no investment required.
  • Shareholders and directors are not necessary.
  • Fast incorporation and set up.
  • Establish a market presence in Indonesia very inexpensively.
  • Full compliance with law and regulations in Indonesia.
  • Able to apply limited stay permits (KITAS) for its foreign executives.
  • A KPPA enjoys special tax treatment and the tax authorities do not normally seek to tax a representative office. This practice is based on the theory that the KPPA carries on no business and hence has no profits here to tax.

Interested in opening a representative office in Indonesia? But still not sure which one your business needs? Get help from the experts in Indonesia company formation. FMB Partner helps entrepreneurs and international businesses set up in Indonesia.

To consult about your law, legal problems or company establishment in Indonesia, you can reach our Sr. Legal Consultant, Mey at mey@fmbpartner.com.

Let’s discuss business over a cup of coffee.

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Investment, Export & Government Spending Improve in Q3

Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), investment growth in Indonesia (gross fixed capital formation, GFCF) reached 7.11 percent (y/y), the highest level in four years. This improvement may very well be related to the improving ranking of Indonesia in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business, where Southeast Asia’s largest economy jumped from 91st to 72nd this year. Moreover, the government has been eager to improve the investment climate through deregulation.

Another positive matter is that Indonesia’s import and export performance improved markedly. Indonesia’s exports surged 17.27 percent (y/y), while its imports surged 15.09 percent (y/y) up to the third quarter of 2017. These are great figures considering the nation’s import and export experienced contractions over the past three years. The improving export performance is primarily attributed to rising commodity prices (specifically prices of coal and crude palm oil). In terms of export volumes, however, there has not been a significant improvement, hence global demand for Indonesian commodities has not strengthened significantly yet.

Indonesia

Meanwhile, government spending rebounded by expanding 3.46 percent (y/y) in the third quarter of 2017, accelerating after a near 2 percent contraction in Q2-2017. The Indonesian government has particularly been trying to boost spending on infrastructure development across the Archipelago as this would cause the multiplier effect and encourage structural economic and social growth. Moreover, the availability of high-quality infrastructure would also attract more private investment.

The key to unlock significantly accelerating economic growth is a recovery in household consumption (household consumption accounts for slightly over half of Indonesia’s GDP). According to a Bank Indonesia official it is particularly the lower middle class segment that is reluctant to spend their money.

Source: Indonesia Investments

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7 Ways to Start a Business (Without Quitting Your Day Job)

Whether you’re looking to escape the 9-to-5 grind or you just want to earn some quick money on the side, there are plenty of ways to turn your skills and interests into cold hard cash online.

Sure, making money online sounds like a daydream. The truth is, starting a business or online store of any kind is hard work, but countless people have already done it and chances are you can too.

We’re not about to tell sell you one simple life-changing trick or a dream of driving Lamborghinis in the Hollywood Hills. Instead, we’ve put together a collection of simple ideas that you can use to start a real business, without quitting your day job (unless you really want to).

Let’s get started!

1. Build a Dropshipping Empire

Think you need a warehouse full of inventory to run your own business? Think again!

Dropshipping is a great way to kickstart your very own business on a budget. You can hit the ground running by sourcing a pre-existing product from a supplier and having them take care of everything else, including packaging and fulfillment.

This process let’s you skip over a lot of obstacles that might be holding you back from starting your own business, especially finding out if there’s a market for your product without placing a huge order upfront.

Why Choose Dropshipping?

  • Your store doesn’t need to stock products in a physical location, meaning that your cashflow won’t get tied up in inventory.
  • Whenever a purchase is made, you place an order with a third party and they’ll handle the rest of the process for you. Since you don’t have to deal with things like tracking inventory or mailing packages, dropshipping takes care of a lot of potential headaches.
  • No warehouse means that you can run your business from anywhere.Whether it’s your living room or the cafe down the street, you decide where you want to work from.

2. Start Your Own Clothing Line

As long as you have some designs in mind and a little bit of time on your hands, you can get your own clothing company off the ground in less than a day.

Why Start a Clothing Line?

 

  • There’s nothing more satisfying than creating products that people use every day.
  • As soon as you build your Shopify store, you’ll be able to start selling instantly. Thanks to apps like Printify and Printful, the process of designing and delivering your own custom-made clothing has been streamlined and simplified.
  • Transform your creativity into something real and profitable. You’ll love the feeling of seeing your designs come to life.

3. Sell Your Art Online

An online store is a great way to sell your art and monetize your creativity. Whether you’re a painter, photographer, or musician, there are plenty of ways for you to turn your latest set of masterpieces into a stable revenue stream with a beautifully designed e-commerce website.

If painting or photography is your forte, you can sell your work as prints, canvases, and framed posters. This is a fantastic way to turn your art into something tangible that people can take home and make a part of their space.

Is music your thing? You can sell your beats, songs, samples, and more as digital downloads and grow your own online music empire.

Why Sell Your Art?

 

  • Be a part of people’s lives. Get your work into your customers’ homes and headphones.
  • Create a platform to showcase your work by setting up shop online.
  • As an artist, creating art isn’t just a hobby – it’s a way of life. This is your chance to turn your passion into a sustainable income stream and do what you really love for a living.

4. Become a Freelance Writer, Designer, or Developer

Writers, developers, and graphic designers are in high demand. As a freelancer, you’ll be able to put your talents to good use by helping people across the world with their projects (while making some quick money on the side, of course).

Freelancing doesn’t mean committing to month-long projects that eat away at your free time either, you can easily pick up bite-sized tasks that fit into your schedule.

Why Freelance?

 

  • When you freelance, you choose which projects you want to work on and set your own schedule and workplace.
  • Getting paid to do something you’re good at is a rewarding feeling, whether you’re looking to strike out on your own or you just to make some extra cash on weekends.
  • If you’re new to writing, designing, or developing, freelancing is an excellent way to build out your portfolio and get some real experience in a wide range of industries. Who knows – you might discover that you have a knack or passion for something that you never expected.

 

5. Teach an Online Course

Teaching an online course is a solid way to generate passive income. All you need to do is put together a video walkthrough explaining a subject that you’re familiar with and then host it on your own personal website.

Although it takes some effort up front, if you manage to design a popular high-value video tutorial series, you could be making money on a regular basis as people continue to enrol in your courses.

To start creating your first online course, brainstorm a topic that you know well enough to teach someone how to do from scratch. This can be literally anything – music production, social media marketing, web development – you name it.

Why Teach an Online Course?

  • With an online course, you can literally set it and forget it. Take an afternoon to build an online course and you could be reaping the benefits for weeks.
  • You already have the knowledge, you just need to share it. Focus on teaching something that you’re already an expert at and the rest will come naturally, whether it’s building iOS apps, creating monthly budgets, or running Facebook ad campaigns.
  • Teaching someone a new skill is its own reward. While there’s definitely money to be made in teaching online courses, helping other people is always a satisfying experience unto itself.

6. Flip Your Thrift Store Finds

If you love hitting up thrift stores and hunting down great deals, then opening up an online boutique to sell your secondhand treasures is a natural next step.

Your potential customers want to buy cool stuff, but they don’t want to dig through old soccer jerseys and braided belts to get their hands on that one amazing find. Take advantage of this by positioning yourself as a trustworthy curator who can go out and uncover those great pieces for them.

Why Sell Your Thrift Store Stuff?

  • Put your shopping addiction to work. Let’s face it, you’d be combing through thrift store racks anyway, so you might as well make some money while you do it.
  • The margins are huge. That $2.00 ball cap you found over the weekend? It’s now a $40.00 vintage vaporwave strapback.
  • You aren’t just selling products, you’re selling something unique. Nowhere else on the Web will people be able to find the collections that you’ve put together.

7. Publish Your Own Book

It’s okay to admit it: You’ve probably thought about publishing your own book someday. While seeing your name on a list of best sellers might seem like a pipe dream, it’s actually not that far out of reach.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a science fiction novel, a marketing guide, or a children’s picture book, there are now plenty of options for successfully self-publishing your own work.

Why Publish a Book?

 

  • Printing, storage, and delivery is taken care of thanks to services like Blurb and CreateSpace
  • What’s the point of writing if there’s no one to read it? Self-publishing is the quickest way to get your books into the hands of potential readers.
  • Creative writing is your passion and you deserve to be able to make money while doing something you enjoy.

 

 

This article is originally published on Shopify.

 

 

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Digital Businesses: The Metrics That Really Matter

User-centric firms should identify and track the core actions that can make or break their businesses.

Traditionally, executives have used standard metrics, such as cash flow, inventory turns and operating income, to get a broad sense of the health of their firm. However, the game has changed with the rise of digital business models centered on the user. New metrics need to be devised based on the core user actions that drive value creation in such models.

Threadless, an online T-shirt retailer, crowdsources its designs from a community of designers and curates the best designs through a social rating mechanism. Threadless relies on two core user actions: the upload of new designs by designers and the voting on designs by the Threadless community. A failure by the community to provide adequate feedback on designs would discourage designers from uploading new ones in the future, leading to a downward spiral. To ensure a healthy and scalable business model, Threadless needs to actively minimise failure and increase repeatability of both core actions as they are intertwined.

In the digital world, users may also generate value without actively creating content, products or services. Netflix built out its DVD rental business model around the core user action of movie queueing. The queueing provided Netflix with the data it needed to predict actual demand across the country and successfully manage its central national inventory. The more titles users added to their instant queue, the better Netflix’s logistics performed as it benefitted from information on actual demand. Movie queueing was the core user action that drove value creation in Netflix’s business model.

Not all digital businesses are the same

Platforms are a specific type of digital business which often depend on multiple core user actions. To use the example of Facebook, users may post status updates, upload photos and react to content. As these actions cumulatively create value, they must all be highly repeatable. Facebook therefore tracks the ratio of daily active users to monthly active users, a measure of the proportion of its user base that participates daily. This aggregate measure makes sense since no single action accounts for the bulk of value creation. The higher the daily participation rate, the healthier Facebook is as a platform.

In the quest to emulate Facebook’s successful execution, many startups embrace this metric directly. However, it may not be as relevant for digital business models whose value creation chiefly relies on one or two specific core actions. A focus on measuring the failure and repeatability of these core actions would allow for a more precise execution.

Measuring core user actions is even more important in the case of multi-sided platforms. In such cases, it is essential to understand how the various participants co-create and exchange value. All sides of the market must succeed for the business to thrive.

Uber enables drivers and passengers to exchange rides for money and needs to manage both sides. Uber drivers perform two core actions: indicating their availability for booking and accepting booking requests. When a passenger opens the Uber application and sees that no taxi is available, or cannot secure a ride, the driver-side core actions are failing. If this happens often, it reduces the likelihood that the passenger will request a ride (i.e. repeat a demand-side core action). In time, this can reduce the number of total users and their level of interactions, or what is called the liquidity in the market.

Digital businesses are not static

Core user actions may evolve as a digital business matures and grows. When users first start interacting with a digital business, they may predominantly participate in acts of consumption. With more experience, they may progressively move towards acts of creation. To effectively guide a user from consumption to creation, a digital business needs to focus on different metrics across the user’s life cycle.

Users of Intuit’s TurboTax typically start out as consumers of the software, using it to manage their tax filing. Once this is done, some users stay on to help their peers through the tax-filing process, thereby creating value as a crowdsourced customer support for TurboTax. Intuit measures this conversion from consumption to creation to ensure the success of its model.

Firms that want to succeed with user-centric business models need to first identify the few core user actions that drive value creation. In multi-sided markets, these actions need to be isolated for all participants. The next step is to define metrics that help minimise the failure of these core actions and maximise their repeatability. Focusing on these metrics helps firms execute with precision, benefit from a virtuous feedback loop and scale up efficiently. It’s all about keeping the business humming.

This article is originally published and written by Sangeet Paul Choudary.

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Don’t Forget to Do Business with Small Business

It’s common to focus most of our attention on trying to do business with government. In the process, though, it’s easy to forget about the direct impact we can have on our communities by partnering with small businesses. One of the simplest ways to do that is to outsource to small businesses, purchase, or contract with them. It throws business their way and helps your operations run smoothly, too.

According to IndieRetailerMonth.com, buying from an independent retailer supports local traders, their suppliers, and the people they depend on to run their businesses. Doing business with an independent retailer boosts the local economy, rebuilding confidence in the community and enabling local businesses to prosper and grow.

A Rupiah spent at an independent retailer is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community.

From Rp12.000, you create Rp60.000 to Rp168.000 in value within that community. When you spend Rp12.000 at a national chain store, 80% of the money leaves town immediately. Therefore, when you shop with your local independent retailers you are doing your bit to keep your community ‘open for business.’

Here are five tips to invest in your community through outsourcing:

1. Know Your Niche and Hold Onto It

When outsourcing, you want to invest in a business that can accomplish tasks as well as you do—but you don’t want to give away the work you’re best at. Identify what you’re good at and hold on tight; you don’t want to outsource any of your core competency areas. There are so many things that go into running a successful business, and you don’t need to be a master of every single factor. Make one list of the aspects that you’ve got a firm handle on and another list outlining anything you struggle with, then consider small businesses in your area that you could outsource those tasks to.

2. Be Clear About the Outcomes

One of the best ways to keep your outsourcing in check is to be direct about what you expect. Make sure the business you choose knows exactly what tasks they’re responsible for, how they should be performed, what results you’re looking for, and how those results will be measured. It may help to create a manual that reviews your business policies and procedure so you have a physical outline and structure of what you expect from your outsourced companies.

3. Recognize Your Style and Your Strategy

Before you can effectively manage a team of outsourced companies, you must understand your management style. Are you direct and to the point? Do you prefer to chat over email instead of in person? Many factors determine the kind of management style you have, and understanding how you operate will be beneficial to the success of your outsourcing projects.

4. First Thing’s First—Check Credentials

Before you hire anyone to join your team, take a peek at their credentials. A lot of businesses build glitzy websites and market themselves well, but don’t have the experience or know-how to backup their claims. Look for key factors such as professional certifications and legitimate testimonials. Fact check the results they have achieved for other clients.

5. Develop a Communication Strategy

Let’s face it, you’re a busy entrepreneur. Outsourcing is one of the best ways to free up your time, but before you start assigning tasks, remember to first develop a top-notch communication strategy. Establish the best way to communicate and how often. Make sure all communication is well-documented and in line with your strategy style (see tip #3).

As small business owners ourselves, it’s important to invest in the small businesses within our communities.

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This article originally written and posted by Jean Kristensen.
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Top tips for selling during Ramadan

Businesses can launch offers, plan ahead to make the quiet season pay.

Muslims buy food to break fast.

Muslims buy food to break fast.

Planning ahead, brainstorming ideas, staging discount sales and networking – these are just some of the ways in which businesses can ensure the Ramadan slowdown has a minimal impact on their bottom lines.

The Islamic Holy Month is expected to start on the evening of May 26 and ends on June 24.

Business activity typically slows during the month and many companies anticipate a decline in performance as deals become few and far between.

However, sales expert Spencer Lodge, founder of online sales university Makeithappen.com, claims Ramadan need not be the stagnant business period many fear it to be.

In an advice note, Lodge says that, on the contrary, businesses should treat the seasonal lull as an opportunity for creative thinking, and prepare for it in advance.

His tips include:

Plan for a year in advance if you are in a position to do so,drawing out expected peaks and troughs and working out why slow periods happen. If you know when your low season is and are communicating with on average 500 prospects in high season, you need to rethink – doubling your prospects while you can in high season to compensate for the coming low season.

Put on sales offers during slow periods. The reason retailers put on sales over months like January is that, after Christmas, everyone has spent their money, making the first month of the year a a low period. So what do retailers do? They put on massive discounts and incentives to lure customers back through their doors. We all want a bargain, he writes. Retail is just an example; this is applicable whatever product or a service your company offers.

Increase networking to build new contacts. Some of your competition will be away in low season, believing the hype of it being the best time to holiday. This gives you a massive opportunity. With your competition out of the game you have free reign, he writes. The majority of people still go to work over the summer, so while it may be ‘low’ season, it’s not ‘no’ season. There are always times when fewer people spend, but don’t believe public sentiment, people are still around over the summer and they have more time to meet. So get making appointments.

 

Source: Arabian Business

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How to ensure your F&B outlet thrives during Ramadan

During Ramadan the loss of daytime business can have a huge impact on revenue and affect an operation’s bottom line, says Glee Hospitality Solutions managing director Abdul Kader Saadi. It is of course quieter during the day, however, for most food and beverage outlets, we can increase volume during Iftar and Suhour time.

For some outlets, halting service can be beneficial. Whilst business may decrease, limiting or halting service during the day does see costings balance out to an extent. Halting service means you are saving on electricity, gas and labour costs.  However for independent outlets, Ramadan holds various other challenges. Restaurant owners must create Iftar and Suhour menus that include elements of Arabic and rich flavours to cater to their target audience.

Here are some tips that can help a hospitality business survive and prosper during Ramadan.

The early bird catches the worm

For the food and beverage world it is crucial to be start preparing around three months in advance of Ramadan starting. Restauranters must communicate their Ramadan plans with suppliers very early on as they are also fasting and working reduced hours. Getting stock in hand and confirmed in advance is vital for smooth operations during Ramadan. All marketing and communications materials must also be prepared well in advance – allowing a healthy lead time to promote your Ramadan offering far and wide. As soon as a plan for the season is confirmed, it is vital to send details of any Ramadan offerings to key corporate and business contacts

Play it safe or experiment?

Several outlets now offer traditional buffets with masses of choice featuring fresh ingredients and an array of cuisines as well as brilliant entertainment so there is a lot of pressure on managers to ensure their offering stands out from the crowd. A big part of deciding what an outlet’s Ramadan offering should comprise depends on the demographic it is targeting. Although it is important to introduce new and relevant menus, it is also vital that an outlet stays true to its identity even whilst adapting to fit with Ramadan requirements. Always play to your strengths and don’t try to be ‘everything’ to ‘everyone’. Look at your current menu and the most popular options and give them a twist.

Adaptation

The restrictions and different requirements during Ramadan mean significant changes. When it comes to suppliers, bar orders certainly take a big hit, with opening hours limited and many operations closing for the duration. Another issue that outlets must adapt to is food wastage. A standard element of buffets, which are the most common for of food and beverage during Ramadan

Gift packaging

Ramadan is a key month for socialising amongst the Muslim community. Family and friends meet for Iftars and are invited to each other’s homes. If an outlet can adapt a dessert offering to make it suitable for take away and offer gift packaging, it can be a hit. People are constantly looking for new gift ideas for gatherings

Operations

Utilise this quieter period and promote staff vacations during the month of Ramadan since the working hours are shorter and can be managed by single shift staff. Ensure the outlet is licensed for deliveries during fasting hours and is open for delivery and takeaway.

 

Source: Hotelier Middle East

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