Running a small business is tough work. With so many moving parts, you can find yourself drowning in projects and papers. From dealing with employees, pleasing customers, and handling finances, life can become a little stressful. But, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! As a 21st-century business owner, you have hundreds of tools and technology at your fingertips. Make opening shop every day exciting with these 6 tools to keep your business running smooth!

1. Customer Relationship Management System

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems will take your small business to the next level. Investing in CRM software will boost your revenue as well as customer relations— what could be better? CRM systems offer you and your employee’s countless data on a variety of logistics. Included in most CRM systems are information on repeat customers, sale trends, customer loyalty programs, and sales management tools. Check out a few of our favorite CRM systems that will increase your productivity and profitability:

  • Salesforce CRM: This system allows you to view all customer history to garner more leads and improve sales.
  • Hubspot CRM: Use this system to market your products to a larger audience that educates you not just on the “how,” but the “why” with each decision they recommend you make.
  • Freshsales CRM: If you’re tired of switching between multiple kinds of software, use Freshsales. This CRM system has an easy-to-use interface that has everything you need under one system.

2. Business Software

Every small business is different. Whether you own a coffee shop, small legal firm, or floral shop, you need business software that will streamline your operations. For example, if you started a small HVAC company, look into software for small plumbing businesses. Or, if you can’t find a software that meets your company’s needs, create your own custom software.

Custom software is highly adaptable, safe and secure, and is more scalable. If you want your small business to flourish, taking time to invest in technology and software will set you apart from the rest of the competition.

3. Social Media

Heads up— Gen Z is now entering the workforce and economy. What does this mean? It means selfies, Instagram, and Kylie Jenner. Social media is one of the easiest ways for small businesses to share their brand story and attract more unique customers. Social media users love when their favorite brands communicate with them through Tweets and replies on Insta. It increases longevity and grows sales through word of mouth.

If you want your small business to get on board the social media bandwagon, find the right platform(s) for your business and begin posting! To manage and schedule your posts, utilize social media management tools to ensure your posts are scheduled at the right time to reach the largest number of customers. Be fun on social media, too! Have your followers complete #selfiechallenges that represent your brand with a chance to win some swag!

4. Human Resources Management

Being a small business owner means you may not have the resources to hire a full HR department. Instead, take matters into your own hands and take advantage of HR software that automates your admin work. HR software such as Zenefits and Bayzat offer HR solutions and insurance so your employees remain covered and happy with a lovely benefits package. Improving your HR doesn’t have to be difficult with useful systems like these!

5. The Cloud

Ahh… the cloud. What even is it? Is there a physical cloud where everyone’s data just floats around or is all in thin air? Who knows. Leave understanding how the cloud works to the coders who built it. What we do know is that Cloud computing can do wonders for your small business.

Are you tired of walking into an office that is cluttered with receipts, documents, records, and everything else? Utilizing cloud hosting services will free up space in your office and consolidate all of your files in one place. No more missing documents and forgotten-about customers. Additional benefits of cloud hosting include higher security, reduced risk of accidents, and easy accessibility.

6. A Calendar System

Having all of your tasks, to-do lists, and events organized on an online calendar system is a must-have for small businesses. Local business owners can’t afford to slip up and miss an important deadline or forget about a customer when their main goal is to grow their brand. Invest in management services that organize you and your employee’s tasks that allow you to track your time and better manage your tasks.

The Bottom Line

Running a small business can be overwhelming at times. Investing in tools our lovely world has to offer will save you time and headaches. Grow your business today using these 6 must-have tools!

A lot of people have great business ideas. The problem is that most of these ideas are never actualized. However, regardless of your financial situation, your business idea can actually see the light of the day. The following are tips to help you actualize your business ideas:

  1. Have a Major Business Idea

It is possible to have multiple business ideas. However, you cannot implement all of them at the same time. Even if you have enough resources, you can only implement one at a time. Concentrate on developing and strategizing one idea. A new business needs a lot of resources allocation. It requires your time and money. The resources will not be enough for all your ideas. You are preparing to fail in all of them.

  1. Learn the Market

Before you actualize your business idea, you need to know if the product is going to have an impact on the market. In other words, is the product going to solve a particular problem to the consumers? If yes, learn how you willget your product to reach a wide range of consumers. Start as soon as possible to market your products.

  1. Break it Down into Actionable Steps

To help you realize your business idea. You need to break it down into smaller and implementable steps. Talk to a professional in the line of your business to help you develop a workable framework for your business.Talk to people who are in the same business venture as you. They will give you ideas on how to get started with your own business.

  1. The Source of Funding

To start a business you require a certain amount of funds. The amount of money you need to fund your startup depends on the nature of the business. Some businesses require more money than others. You can invest your money in low-risk investments to enable you raise the funds for your business. Among the investment options, you should try are bonds, stocks, trading in precious stones. Trading in these things can give you higher returns that you can use to start your business idea. Learn how to invest your money from the Investors Hangout forum. You meet a lot of investors especially stocks investors.

  1. Learn and Improve

At the early stages of developing your business, you do not have it all figured out. Therefore, you need to constantly work on getting knowledge on how you can build up your business. Once you start your business you should adopt the growth mentality. Do everything possible to keep your business growing. The more knowledge you acquire for your business, the more you will get motivated to push through.

Actualizing your business idea is not easy. There is so much to learn, you should conduct research on the market you are about to venture and have a clear strategy. Most of all you need to have the capital for your startup. With these tips,you should now have an idea of where and how to start your venture.

The forex market never sleeps, so forex traders are always hard at work devising new strategies to increase their returns. There are a number of different strategies you can try. In this article, we are going to look at the top ones.

Remember that it pays to be disciplined, so if you try a new strategy, record everything you do in your trading diary. That way you can monitor the results and gain useful insights into whether the strategy is successful (or not).

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is popular with forex traders. It’s all about extracting useful information from the wealth of available data. Traders use technical tools provided by forex trading platforms to work out whether currency prices are likely to move up or down. Use statistics, charts and volatility tools to forecast trends. Check historical data and see if you can spot any patterns. This is useful for predicting future trends.

New forex traders can learn more about technical analysis FX trading strategies in the easyMarkets Learning Center.

Fundamental Analysis

A fundamental analysis strategy involves looking at key economic factors such as unemployment rates and trade figures to determine whether a currency is under or overvalued. Use an economic calendar to bookmark when important economic data announcements are due. Watch the financial news and use this data to predict currency trends.

Trend Trading

Trends are useful indicators of which way a currency will move. Forex traders use trends to work out when to set their entry and exit points. Technical analysis tools are used to predict trends. Examples include moving averages and directional indices.

Swing Trading

Swing traders aim to profit from short-term price movements. This is not the strategy for you if you want to leave your desk all day. Swing traders typically monitor their positions every hour or less.

Scalping

Scalpers are a step-up from swing traders. They only hold trades for a few minutes at a time, skimming very small profits with each trade they make. If you want to try this trading strategy, look for a trading platform that provides technical indicators for scalping, such as tick charts.

Day Trading

Day traders open a position in the morning and exit at the end of the day. This trading strategy is ideal for beginners, as you don’t need to continually monitor your positions. It’s a relatively safe strategy because you won’t be wiped out by large price movements overnight.

Position Trading

Position traders hold long-term positions, typically several weeks or months. These guys focus on long-term macroeconomic trends, hoping to profit on significant price movements over a long period of time. This is a strategy often practiced by more experienced forex traders working for large financial institutions.

Use the trading strategy that best suits your needs to help you make smarter trading decisions. You may find that more than one offers useful data, so mix and match. Always practice your strategies on a demo account before you risk your trading capital.

When you are looking at ways of improving your productivity in the workplace, you need to make sure you are focused on the best ways of doing this. Your working day needs to go smoothly and without issue, and there are a lot of things that have to happen in order to achieve this. At the end of the day, you want to take your job as seriously and professionally as you possibly can.

There are a lot of things that need to happen in order to take things to the next level for you from a business perspective. This is something that you need to make sure you focus on moving forward, and you need to do as much as possible to improve and boost your productivity in the workplace. If you can achieve this, you should have no issues being better at your job and becoming more successful.

Know Your Job Better

There are a lot of things you need to make sure you get right when it comes to carrying out your job and completing more work on a daily basis. One of the most important things is to ensure that you know and understand your job better. So many people struggle at work because they don’t really get what it takes to complete their role more effectively. You need to make sure you understand every facet of your role, and use it to try to make things better for you in the long run. The better you know your job the quicker and more effectively you are able to complete tasks and carry out the different projects your job requires.

Remove Distractions

One of the most important things to remember is the fact that you need to remove distractions from your working day. There are more distractions these days than you might think, and so you need to get creative with this. For instance, you should think about listening to music to block out background noise that can be distracting. You should also try to do a reverse phone lookup in order to find out numbers that are calling you and prevent harassment from nuisance calls. If you can do this effectively you should find yourself much more focused on doing your job as effectively as you can.

Collaborate

Never underestimate the power of collaboration in the workplace. You might actually be one of those people who works better when you work with others, and this is certainly something to keep in mind. There are a lot of advantages to collaborating, and this is definitely something that should be encouraged in the world of business. Come up with ideas that are going to help you improve your working relationship, as this can have a massive impact on your working day and productivity.

These are just some of the things you have got to look for when you are trying to be more productive in the workplace. There is a lot to keep in mind if you want to achieve this, and the most important thing you can do is to come up with ideas that are going to boost your working day and help you get more work done. This is really important, and removing things like distractions is one of the best ways of making sure you can remain as focused and productive as possible.

When it comes to slashing expenses, for-profit corporations typically come to mind. After all, these organizations are very focused on the bottom line and maximizing value for shareholders. But even though nonprofits aren’t trying to fatten up their margins, they still care about their expense sheets.  

6 Money-saving Tips and Tactics 

As a nonprofit, every dollar saved is a dollar that can be contributed towards the cause you’re committed to. Unfortunately, the constraints of a strict budget often make it difficult to cut back to any significant degree. But you don’t need to slash away thousands of dollars a month to have an impact on how the organization is run.

Finding ways to save a few dollars here and there may be enough to transform your nonprofit from the inside out. Here are a few helpful suggestions: 

  1. Share Office Space

Office space is always going to be one of the biggest expenses on a nonprofit’s balance sheet. While strategically selection location can curb costs, there are other steps you can take to reduce your monthly rent or mortgage payment.

One suggestion is to share office space with other nonprofit partners. Not only does this cut down on the cost of square footage, but it also lets you pool resources and share things like copiers, printers, meeting spaces, and parking. 

  1. Avoid Single Sourcing 

“While single sourcing has the benefit of lessening the time consumption spent on shopping around, the risks of single sourcing are potentially costly to your nonprofit,” nonprofit entrepreneur Nick Morpus writes. “Single sourcing eliminates competition, therefore reduces the incentives for product vendors to offer higher quality products at a cheaper price.”

Single sourcing can seem like a good idea on the surface, but it ultimately hurts you on the balance sheet. Comparison shopping for products and services will save you a tremendous amount of money and provide you with more leverage in the purchase process. 

  1. Use Online Services

The internet has opened up a world of opportunities that previously didn’t exist. And while it’s nice to do business with local companies, it can be far more cost-effective to go online.

Take printing services as an example. By using an online printing company, you can streamline the ordering process and regularly save 20 to 30 percent on your orders. And with improvements in logistics, quick shipping means you no longer have to wait very long for your orders to arrive. 

  1. Attract More Volunteers 

As you know, your nonprofit has a need for paid staff. But there’s also a significant need for volunteers. By attracting more volunteers, you can improve your efficiency and output, while keeping your payroll nice and tight.

“Similar to fighting donor attrition, your battle to earn new volunteers while maintaining your current list of helpers will be determined by the incentives you provide, what you ask of your volunteers, and your respect for the time they give you,” Morpus explains.

People are much more likely to volunteer with an organization if they know someone in the organization and have heard positive reports from them. Treat your current volunteers well and develop a strategy by which you leverage them to help you find more volunteers. 

  1. Conduct Regular Budget Meetings 

Financial problems occur when there’s a lack of communication among the nonprofit’s decision makers. Instead of hosting one annual budget meeting, make it a point to regularly gather together and evaluate finances on a revolving basis (ideally monthly). This will ensure expenses don’t suddenly surprise you when you’re unprepared. 

  1. Avoid High Turnover 

Whether we want to admit it or not, employee turnover is a major problem in the nonprofit industry. People come and go and the results can be costly for the organizations they leave behind.

“Employees do not join nonprofits for the money. The pay is typically low, and the hours long,” Lighthouse admits. “What motivates them instead is the opportunity have an impact and make the world a better place.”

You don’t necessarily need to increase pay to keep employees on the payroll, but you do need to make them feel like they’re doing work that matters. 

Be Smart With Your Expense Sheet 

It doesn’t matter if you’re running a nonprofit or for-profit business. Learning to intelligently manage your company’s financial resources in a way that prioritizes the organization’s stability, growth, and opportunities will help you enjoy greater success.

If you’ve been following the news, you know that the U.S. healthcare system has many, many inefficiencies. Some have gone so far as to claim that U.S. healthcare is flat-out broken. While that may be over-dramatization for political purposes, many of the arguments presented are entirely valid. With recent modifications to U.S. legislature, the healthcare market is slowly moving toward outcomes-based pricing, a trend seen in many of the world’s leading health systems. But shifting the entire financial foundation of a decades-old ecosystem of complex institutions is no easy task, requiring quite a bit of innovation. Digipharm is one such innovative company trying to take advantage of blockchain technology to eliminate inefficiencies in the healthcare economy. We recently had a chance to chat with Digipharm’s Founder and CEO, Ahmed Abdalla.

Mohammad Saleh, Medgadget: Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be a part of Digipharm?

Ahmed Abdulla, Digipharm: My background is in the healthcare industry – namely in health economics. I worked on the payer-side of things, reviewing various submissions from payers to the National Health Service in the UK. I then moved into the pharmaceutical industry, leading the global health economics team for a lung cancer drug at Roche. That was based in Switzerland. In my career so far, I have been involved in or overseeing more than 50 reimbursing submissions internationally from both the payer and manufacturer side.

What we’ve observed is a trend in healthcare towards outcomes-based pricing, outcomes-based contracting, and patient-access schemes. Even though a lot of payers and pharmaceutical companies are proposing these, the infrastructure to support the movement to these types of payments was essentially very limited. There is a huge administrative burden that really nullifies any benefit of moving to this type of payment approach. So, I decided to start Digipharm to essentially solve the problems that we see are keeping the industry from shifting to these different payment structures. We tried to scope out what the best way to do this was. It turns out that blockchain could provide a great vehicle to enable payment for your healthcare based on outcomes, not on the number of times you see a doctor or the number of drugs you take. To do this successfully, we needed to create a medical information infrastructure that all parties would trust.

Medgadget: Give our readers an overview on what Digipharm is. What is your mission, and how are working towards achieving it?

Abdulla: Our mission is to be the third-party solution provider that sits between all the key stakeholders within the health economy. We want to facilitate innovative pricing solutions and value-based pricing. We’ve built our platform in partnership with SwissCOM, the Swiss telecom provider. We’re now in discussions with specific organizations who are interested our solution, discussing pilot projects with eight out of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies (by revenue). We’re also working with more than ten international health authorities and also some of the largest insurers in the world.

We understand that this is quite a sensitive area for pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers. Pricing is the thing that they hold most confidentially. Clinical data is all eventually published, but things like pricing strategies and net costs always remain confidential because it really affects their competitiveness.

 

Medgadget: It may be clearer if you walk our readers through how the healthcare economy works right now and what you want it to look like once your job is done.

Abdulla: Healthcare spending is currently unsustainable, both for patients and payers. This is having an effect on the whole industry, where innovation is essentially not rewarded because organizations cannot afford to reward them. A lot of money is being wasted on treatments and therapies that are not as effective as they should be. Once they go out into clinical settings, outcomes a very rarely tracked for a given treatment or therapy. So, what we’re seeing is the maturing concept of value-based healthcare and an increased acceptance over the last couple of years. But there really is no solution, at the moment, that removes the administrative burden and the barriers to its implementation.

What we want to do is open the door to seamless contracting by removing the need to input outcomes data manually from the provider side. We also want to remove the transactional inefficiencies, or the need for manual processing of agreements between different parties in the healthcare ecosystem. Typically, different patient groups will have different pricing agreements based on their characteristics. Currently, that requires employees dedicated to looking through outcomes, matching them up to certain agreements, and then process the invoicing and so on.

We are using smart contracts to create an automated invoicing system which we hope will remove the administrative and cost burdens associated with this process.

Medgadget: What is smart contracting and how are using it to achieve a value-based healthcare model?

Abdulla: Smart contracts are essentially digital representations of physical contracts. Once contract conditions are stipulated and coded into the platform, they are then run to interpret the relevant data derived from health information systems that feed into these agreements. When certain criteria are hit, these smart contracts then invoke some sort of invoice, alert or payment that was agreed upon between the parties. This is all on a blockchain platform. And the beauty of using smart contracts is no matter how complex the pricing agreement is, the administrative burden does not change. If you’re doing this manually, for a cancer drug for example, you could have a pricing agreement which states that you will only pay full price if the patient survives more than six months. Or you can now have an agreement that has additional conditions based on an adverse event of interest or re-hospitalization rates, and so on. No matter how many conditions you make within this contract, the administrative burden does not change. If such complex contracts were done manually, it just becomes essentially unworkable.

Medgadget: What would a hospital without your solution look like, compared to one that has your solution?

Abdulla: A hospital that would use our platform would be able to go into these pricing agreements and customize them to the patient cohorts they are dealing with. If they, for example, have a predominantly elderly population and they’re really concerned about some key performance indicators, they can get agreements with manufacturers or local distributors or suppliers that are based partially on these indicators and the problems they face within their patient cohorts. Where they also benefit is by increased savings on manpower and resource use to implement these agreements.

 

Medgadget: How would this solution affect patient lives? 

Abdulla: So, from the patient side, there are huge benefits. They will be able to get access to high cost drugs without having to worry about the cost of things that do not work. Many people have experienced or witnessed having to worry about how to pay for very expensive drugs that are often not completely effective. Very recently, a family member of mine has had to pay many thousands of dollars to get life-saving treatment because their own insurance company refused to pay for these expensive drugs. This wouldn’t be an issue if these drugs were paid for according to performance as risk is shared by manufacturers and payers. Patients will also benefit from an increased competition between manufacturers to create the best drugs and benefit from this business model. They’ll also benefit from an accelerated access to new therapies because we’ll skip this long negotiation process that happens during the health technology assessment process. That’s when you have exhausting debates around pricing, due to uncertainty around data, long-term extrapolation of survival curves, and things like that. By rewarding the best therapies, you can also bring it faster to patients.

 

Medgadget: I understand this being a concern in a broken healthcare system like in the United States. But with other healthcare systems like in Canada or the UK, a lot of the life-saving drugs are not paid for out-of-pocket. Why do think those systems would also benefit from your solution?

Abdulla: Those are interesting, but what we observe is that patients don’t have access to a lot of the newer therapies. New therapies are often rejected because those decisions are based on the cost-effectiveness of the treatment. Institutions consider the resource use, the price of the drug, and the clinical effectiveness. Clinical trials are increasingly becoming more targeted and based on smaller and smaller patient groups. This leads to increasing uncertainty on therapy cost-effectiveness in real-world settings. So, government agencies cannot justify using public money to reimburse for these expensive therapies and insurers are struggling to manage the risk. However, these limits would not be imposed if these organizations knew that if these therapies don’t work, they would not pay for them. Our platform circumvents these current issues by tracking the success of drugs, and pricing the drug based on outcomes. This is essentially happening all over the world, but not as much as everyone would like because of the huge administrative burdens and issues around trust and transparency of outcomes data.

Medgadget: To me, it feels like pharmaceutical companies would not want to sign up for this. If you’ve spent upwards of 10 years developing a drug, you want to sell it at a premium. Why would they agree to the risk of having their product priced down?

Abdulla: What we know, having worked in this industry, is that companies themselves are preparing for this path of payment mechanism. They’re really actually pushing for it themselves. What harms a pharmaceutical company is the lack of market access and time remaining on patents. They’re counter-balancing the potential drop in price with the potential of having faster access to markets and a generally expanded market presence.

Medgadget: Are you building your own blockchain platform or using something that already exists?

Abdulla: We’re using Hyperledger Fabric, which is an enterprise-level blockchain solution, which provides a lot of the scalability that we need. It’s a private permissioned blockchain as well, so users can only join a private network if they receive permission from everybody on the network, as an additional layer of security around the data which is important for confidential pricing agreements.

Medgadget: Walk me through why you decided to create your own cryptocurrency.

Abdulla: Essentially, we created a utility token as the fuel to power our platform.

For the reimbursement platform, payers, manufacturers and providers will be required to use these tokens to initiate or execute smart contracts. They will also be required to enrol individual patients on smart contracts, facilitating the process of annexing patients to pricing and reimbursement agreement. We understand that none of the current stakeholders within the health economy are going to be comfortable using these tokens, so users will essentially pay a license fee that’s stipulated in US dollars and that will be converted to a quantity of tokens. We also hope to use tokens as a method of incentivization for stakeholders and patients.

Medgadget: Implementing tokens is not essential for the functioning of the smart contracts, though. Right?

Abdulla: It isn’t. But in the future, we would like to develop our own blockchain network, as well. We understand that there will be inherent volatility of the number of tokens that will be acquired according to the US dollar amount. The tokens obviously help us with the fundraising, as well – we’re not going to hide that fact. We wanted everyone to be able to invest and benefit from a project with high social impact. The way we see these tokens is they’re credits that enable you to use the software. The number of credits you own could be related to how many patients are on these platforms, how many smart contracts are running, or how many treatments are on our platform.

Medgadget: How dependent is your platform on the health of other cryptocurrencies?

Abdulla: I wouldn’t say it is, really. We initially built a federated Etherium layer on top of the Hyperledger platform. However, in the background we are working on other blockchain platforms, as well, so that we have fallback options if anything ever happens to a given network.

Medgadget: As we’ve previously covered at Medgadget, things are picking up in the blockchain healthcare scene. Where do you see this field, and Digipharm, in ten years?

Abdulla: I think that we see Digipharm as a pioneer in the value-based contracting space. Ten years is quite a long time, but we hope to be one of the market leaders as adoption of our platform becomes more mainstream. We are in discussion with some of the largest healthcare providers and insurance companies at a global level. It’s a very fragmented system everywhere, but it’s also a really cool challenge. There are a lot of organizations trying to work on integrating healthcare institutions and community care units, and we think those efforts will only aid what we want to do.

Using Blockchain for More Efficient Healthcare Economy: Interview with Digipharm Founder, Ahmed Abdalla [Medgadget]

The internet is home to many crazy ideas, however, some of them aren’t always that crazy. In fact, some of them are worth a million dollars, or if it is a foldable metal straw, it could be worth $2 million.  This was the idea of Emma Cohen and Miles Pepper who were irritated by the hideous amount of waste produced by single-use plastic straws, so they decided to create their own solution.

After pouring a huge amount of time and energy into getting their idea off the ground, they managed to carry out a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Despite many copycats popping up, the pair is now set to sell their ingenious product to huge retailers across the US.

“I suppose you could say it’s a form of flattery, but it really isn’t,” states Cohen, according to CNN Money. “At least large retailers tell us they want to sell the original product. And that’s us.”

So what does it take to launch a successful campaign, and how can you be sure that a Kickstarter is the best way to go? Well according to recent statistics, there are a number of identifiable features of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Firstly, urgency is important. Projects which have a deadline of 14 days have an 8% higher chance of success compared to any other time period.

What type of idea or project you are raising money for obviously has a huge impact on success with Dance, Theatre and Comics coming out on top. Where your project is coming from can also determine success with Brits, Americans and Hong Kong ranked as the highest, and Italy at the bottom.

However, Kickstarters are not always the best place to fundraise ideas, especially a business idea. Francesco de Santis is CMO and co-founder of Bloomio, a crowdfunding platform connecting individual investors with promising new startups by tokenizing equity through a secure blockchain marketplace, explains in a recent article that Kickstarters are not always best for raising capital, stating “[W]hen it comes to startups raising seed funding, often the lowest hanging fruit is not the best option. A report from The Crowdfunding Centre shows that between 69 and 89 percent of non-equity projects fail to reach their targets, and on platforms like Kickstarter — which has an all or nothing policy — means startups would walk away with nothing.”

He adds “And while some projects — such as the Oculus Rift — have raised millions, most successful campaigns raise less than $10K, according to Kickstarter. This is considerably less than the average seed or even pre-seed round raised through traditional fundraising channels from VCs or angel investors, and with the current rate at which startups are burning through funds, most VCs would not even consider investing such a low sum.”

Clearly, there are many ways to produce a kick-ass Kickstarter, but there is a lot to consider before even trying. Hopefully, the world will see more great ideas come to fruition thanks to the many forms of fundraising that now exists.

The surprising factors that make a successful Kickstarter [TheSociable]

 

These days, people seek refuge from the busy and stressful world through a relaxing and calming experience at a spa. What better way to ease those tired muscles and calm the mind than to have a nice massage and to pamper yourself even for just a few hours.

The spa segment has proved to be a resilient and flourishing business in the wellness industry. It’s one of the businesses that you can expect to thrive through the years and having to start a profitable spa franchise can be a wise decision. This site should be able to help you with franchise know-how and here are some tips on how to start a profitable spa franchise.

  1. Identify Your Target Market

Unlike the food industry where your target market is virtually everyone, the spa business requires you to target specific clientele that will benefit from your services.  Identify who would be interested in having an escape from the real world using your franchise. Aside from being skilled with the spa services that you offer, you should also determine the clients you wish to cater.

  • Low-priced spa – low priced spas have the most basic facility and equipment. This may include a massage bed and a treatment chair which may be divided by curtains for privacy. This caters to the general audience who may not have so much to spare for a few hours of relaxation. Although the facility is not much, the ambiance should still offer an escape from the harsh world outside.
  • Mid-priced spa – the spa that you can franchise with mid-priced services should have treatment rooms and massage rooms. It could have a shower and sauna bath facility. Some may offer special services with special equipment. The whole facility should promote relaxation with a soothing ambiance.
  • High-priced spa – luxury spas cater to the ones who can afford expensive pampering. If you want to go for this type of market, select a franchise that offers more advanced treatments with the most modern facilities like 3D printed facial masks. This should also provide services to enhance the face, body, and skin through facial, whole body scrub or slimming products and procedures. The facility should be exquisite with the right lighting fixtures and piped-in music. The staff should be highly
  1. Decide On A Starting Capital

The type of spa franchise you can have ultimately depended on the amount you want to put in as capital. A spa is not a business where you can get the capital back in one or two years. Because it will require you to shell out a significant amount of investment, you can expect a return of investments after about three years or so. A spa franchise does not only need the products, facilities, and equipment used for the services but also the training and certifications of your staff. Before you dive into this kind of business, make sure that you conduct a feasibility study of the location and the target market so that you won’t have any regrets at the end. After all, you’re going to be spending quite a significant amount of money to start.

  1. Create A Business Plan

Having the structure for your spa, the products and everything else does not mean you’re all set and ready to go. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one playing in the same industry. You have competitors, and you will want to get ahead of the competition. Plan! Create a strategy. It could also help to do a little spying on what the competitors are offering and which ones are getting people to come in. Then from what you learn, go up one notch and elevate your brand. You’ll be surprised how people favor quality services over the price tag.

  1. Hire And Train Your Staff Well

Aside from having a good team for general spa services, you should have licensed therapists to run a spa. Training is crucial and should be done with the utmost dedication. You will be dealing with people’s bodies, and one false move may cause everything you worked for to go crumbling down. Your staff should have extensive training to gain knowledge of what the significance of their actions is. Like a massage is not only stroking and exerting pressure on a person’s muscles but knowing the benefits of every stroke on the body. There are medical also reasons that a particular body part should not be massaged depending on the client’s medical history — something that your staff should have the know-how. It is better to hire physical therapists and nurses for this type of business. This will also increase the value to your brand, and the clients will feel much more confident.

  1. Look For Your Equipment And Product Suppliers

The success of any business is their products and the tools you use for providing quality services. The equipment that you will use for your spa should withstand the test of time, and because they don’t come cheap, you should also use quality products that go with it. It won’t matter if your massage bed is top of the line if the oils or massage lotion you use is not at par. Use the best products, and your customers will be coming back regularly because they will see results and they will feel the value. This will be your greatest weapon, and you should always be well supplied to avoid running out and turning down service for loss of products.

Final Thoughts

A spa is a place where your clients should feel comfortable. Get out of your way to give them the comfort they are looking for and why they choose a spa over just getting a home-service. That’s what will give your spa the quality and the reputation that will raise the bar for you. You choose a wellness business, that’s what you should provide.