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.

Forex trading business has attracted many people. Though there are many benefits, there are also setbacks of Forex market. Dealing with money transactions should be done with utmost care and precision. The Forex market provides benefits to some while others are left with huge losses. That’s why you need the help of a Forex broker to help you make the right decisions at the right time. To start forex trading, one of the first steps is choosing a trusted Forex broker. Most the beginners do trials and errors until they get the best broker that suits their needs.

Tips to Choosing Broker for Forex Trading Business in 2019

  • Check the regulation of the broker

You should make sure that you are dealing with a registered broker with the regulatory agency. Do not trust a broker immediately who claims to run a legit business before checking their regulation. In case a broker’s business is not registered to any regulatory agency as he/she claimed, you should know that the broker is a big scam. Just reach the regulatory agency from country to verify the credibility of the broker’s.

  • Check broker commission

For you to get the profit, the broker charges broker commissions on each trade conducted by the traders. The commission amount of the broker is different from one broker to another broker, and it’s your job to search a broker charging the lowest commission. What you should keep in mind is the balance between low broker commission and the security. In some cases, the brokers who charge the lowest commissions do not offer a good security level for his/her traders.

  • Check the trading platform.

A reliable trading platform and professional is a must in Forex trading. Most reliable brokers offer traders with simple trading platform easy to use and also easy to understand training. A good forex trading platform gives you the necessary features that to execute you’re trading. When you Create a demo account at different brokers, you know the performance of the various trading platform.

  • Check if the broker allows traders from your country

Some Forex brokers out there disallow traders from several countries. For example, there is a trusted broker that forbids traders with scamming traits. You should ensure that the broker allows traders from your country to start a forex account.

  • Check the reputation

When checking the reputation of a broker, the glossy sales page must be your consideration. Do your research by looking for opinions and reviews from other traders probably senior ones. You can search reviews form search engines or go to different popular Forex forums.

  • Check the customer service

Forex trading should run 24/7 so brokers should provide customer service for 24 hours in a day. The problem can arise at any time, and when they pop up, you should get responses immediately from a reliable broker with best customer service. The great method of checking the reliability of a broker customer service is by asking various questions through phone at different times. Be keen on how responsive the customers’ services are and how their solution is accurate in answering the questions.

  • Check the mechanism of deposit and withdrawal

The right forex trading broker provides convenient withdrawal and deposit mechanism for traders. It is hand earn money which you deposit into the account so you can withdraw the money from your account at any time when you need it. To avoid bad things in the future, you should read the policies carefully prior to dealing with any broker if you see a point in the policy that might make it hard to withdraw your money, leave the broker and find another.

  • Check the execution

Fast execution is essential in Forex trading. Brokers that offer fast execution can assist you to get a price a price close to what is displayed on the screen when pressing the “sell” or “buy” button. For the instant, if you buy EUR/USD 2, then the broker you’re looking should be able to get at a price close to EUR/USD 2. Additionally, stable and a fast internet connection is must in the online Forex trading.

Finally, take time in choosing a trusted forex broker and conduct a thorough evaluation of various brokers. The broker of your choice should be the one that you completely trust to hold your cash. When using the above tips to choose Forex trading broker, chances are youll get one that suits your requirement.

“Digital nomad” has become a favorite buzzword over the past several years, thanks to the burgeoning trend of remote working and the universal desire to travel. But what exactly is a digital nomad? And can you become one if you have the right business?

What Is a Digital Nomad?

First, let’s define what a digital nomad is—and how it relates to business. A digital nomad is someone with the potential to work practically anywhere in the world, because their business or their profession allows them to accomplish their responsibilities using only digital devices and an internet connection. As the name suggests, digital nomads often drift from place to place, traveling around the world while working to satisfy their wanderlust while maintaining a decent income.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are many advantages to being a digital nomad:

  • Travel potential. Nearly half of young people would rather spend money traveling the world than buying a house, reflecting an era where travel is a top priority for our population. Being a digital nomad gives you the opportunity to travel without compromising your career or income.
  • Flexibility. Your profession as a digital nomad gives you the ultimate level of flexibility. You aren’t tied to an office, or any other location, nor are you likely to be tied to specific working hours. This flexible lifestyle leads to less stress overall.
  • Autonomy. Digital nomads have more autonomy over their work, since they can make decisions for their business, choose how and when they work, and choose where and when they travel. And according to the latest research, autonomy may be the biggest overall contributor to worker happiness.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well:

  • Cost efficiency. It’s possible to travel on the cheap, but more often, you’ll find cost barriers jumping from country to country. You’ll need a reliably consistent and significant income if you want to afford this kind of lifestyle.
  • Accessibility. Being a digital nomad doesn’t work for every career or every professional. Some businesses require a physical presence, and others can fall apart if you don’t have the right mindset to manage them.
  • Stability and predictability. If you’re traveling to other countries, stability and predictability may interfere with your ability to work. For example, you may have trouble finding a convenient location with an internet connection, or language barriers may make it difficult for you to find an office for the day.

How to Get Started

If you’re convinced living the life of a digital nomad is right for you, there are some steps you can take to establish a career conducive to that lifestyle:

  • Develop the right skillset. Being your own boss and working remotely gives you a lot of freedom—but not everyone can handle that freedom efficiently. Before you decide to become a digital nomad, spend some time perfecting skills like time management, working without supervision, and setting and achieving goals.
  • Start your own business. While it’s possible to be a digital nomad within an existing profession or industry, it’s much easier to be one when you start your own business; this is because you’ll be subject to fewer rules and restrictions, and you’ll get to establish the environment in which you want to work. Before you do that, of course, you’ll have to come up with a business plan for which being a digital nomad is feasible, like a drop-shipping company or a business that provides purely digital goods and services.
  • Build up emergency savings. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a hotel without internet access, or trapped in a country with no easy way to get out. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to build up your emergency savings before you start traveling. Accumulate a few thousand dollars so you can more easily bail yourself out of a bad situation.
  • Establish redundant ways to work. If you’re not working, you won’t be generating revenue—which means you won’t be able to support your digital nomad lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to establish multiple redundant ways to work, such as bringing a mobile hotspot with you in case you aren’t able to find an available connection.
  • Have an endgame. Most people aren’t cut out to be digital nomads forever. It’s wise to come up with an endgame for yourself, and a long-term plan for how to manage this lifestyle. For example, how long do you plan to do this? What will you do after your first several years?

Being a digital nomad isn’t right for everyone, but it can be a rewarding and exciting way to build a career. As long as you’re familiar with the advantages and disadvantages going in, and you have a plan to compensate for them, you can make this setup work in your favor.

Starting a business can be an exciting adventure. Some aspects of business might appear deceptively simple, while other aspects of it will seem overwhelming. If you’re seriously ready to turn your long-standing dream into a reality, take the time to develop a business plan that can be the foundation for garnering the interest of potential investors. Stepping back and thinking through the individual aspects of your new company will help you avoid common pitfalls in the planning and execution of initiating a business lunch. Regardless of what new business proposal ideas you capture in writing, you will want to get the word out and market your brand, so check out the suggestions listed below for doing just that!

What are the individual facets of a Business
Plan?

Your Executive
Summary
provides a synopsis of your vision for the company. In it, you
articulate your outline your vision for the company.  Your executive
summary is a big-picture framework that you will use to proceed with the
details.

TheGeneral
Company Description
is where you explore an overview of your proposed
business. Write about the product or services it provides to it consumers. This
section might also contain a comparative analysis of similar businesses or
demographics to let investors know you are aware of your competition.

In the Products and
Services
section, you will detail your product or service and emphasize the
way your product or service is unique. Establish what sets you apart from your
competitors and how you fill a void in the market. Investors will be
particularly interested in this section.

Your Marketing Plan provides
an opportunity to think about how you will get the word out. It informs the
manner in which you will deliver your product or service to consumers. You will
want to explain how you will grow your business and how the service, product,
or even the advertising campaigns are a social good.

The Operational Plan
is more like a flowchart that delineates how your business will operate daily.
 Think about employees you will hire, what work they will complete, and
the processes needed to get things done. This is a detailed piece that requires
you to work through how you will meet your company’s goals and objectives.

The Management and
Organization
part embraces the structure of your organization and the
philosophy that governs it. This section may include a specific mission or
vision statement and explains how your management style and structural plan.

At the heart of your
business plan are the Financials. Develop a model for finances and
explain your need from investors. You will discuss their contribution,
illustrate how you will separate personal and business finances, and cover what
investors can expect on returns and when they can withdraw from the deal.

A well-written business
plan is one of many ways to attract investors for your small
business.

How do I gain the
attention of investors to pitch them my business plan?

It would be great if you
could select and capture investors the way you can easily obtain a free
Instagram followers trial
, but you’re going to have to work a little
harder than that to get the attention of potential investors. But we do have a
few suggestions to push you in the right direction!

Target investors’ social
media pages and personal blogs and ask questions
. Follow people on their social media pages or
their personal investor blogs, seeking ways to engage in
conversation. Do NOT  pitch to them, but find a common interest or area of
expertise and allow a dialogue to evolve. Getting an investor’s attention is
easier when you have something in common.

Ramp up your own social
media pages and start your own business blog
. Getting the word out starts with a
professional and sophisticated social media presence. Broadcast your ideas
across as many social media channels as you can handle. Make it hard for
investors to miss you and your ideas. If you’re not already blogging, get
writing. And be sure to use content curation tools within the context of
your blog to connect you to other bloggers and investors who share your
interest. It’s a natural way to develop your connections and widen your
network.  

Have a
professional business website.
Social media can get you started, but investors
will want to see more and don’t want to make phone calls or write emails to get
it. Develop a professional site where potential
investors can go to learn more about your ideas, see a copy of your white
paper, and understand who you are. Your site should be classy, clean,
responsive, and functional.

Use hashtags to help
investors find you
. Creating a hashtag will make it easier
for investors
to find you and your brand. Include that hashtag
on all your social media sites, your professional website, business cards, and
even on your blog. Make sure your hashtag is a natural fit for your industry or
business name.

What details did you include in your business
plan or suggestions do you have for attracting the attention of investors?
Share your experience in the comments.

Retirement can be a financially precarious time, and as a result, many seniors take a conservative approach to finances in an attempt to protect their savings. This is hardly the only way to approach retirement money management, though, and some are very successful with a more aggressive investment strategy. If you’re hoping to multiply your funds in retirement, these three tested strategies could give you the boost you need to get started.

Monetize Your Assets  

One of the most common investment strategies among retires looking to make some money is asset monetization – often in the form of downsizing. No longer in need of the large family home, some seniors opt to sell their primary home, freeing up the equity in that property, and move to a smaller home or rental. Alternatively, you might consider moving to a smaller home while maintaining the primary home as a rental property. Many seniors earn a sizable income by renting out a second property during retirement, while living more frugally elsewhere. In fact, rental properties can be so lucrative, that many people manage to retire early by investing in multi-family homes. Being the landlord puts you in a position of financial power.

Take A Reasonable Risk

Older investors tend to be risk averse because they have the most to lose; without a stable source of income beyond social security, it makes sense to guard what you have – but that’s not the only way to look at your position. From a different perspective, you could also say that, if you’re in good health, you could live another fifteen years, a long time in the investment cycle. In that case, you’re going to want to choose some investments that will cover the tax liability of withdrawing from your IRA or 401(k), as only Roth IRAs are structures so that you pay taxes when money is deposited in the account; on the others you’ll pay taxes on withdrawal during your retirement years. But what constitutes a reasonable risk for these purposes?

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) can be especially good options for retirees because they contain a mix of stocks meant to balance volatility with stable performance and they’re generally a hands-off option. Combine such a fund with an affordable brokerage and minimize the number of trades for greater cost savings. An ETF or similar low-maintenance investment option comes with more uncertainty than a savings account or bonds, they’re unlikely to significantly hurt your financial security, though they could provide a boost.

Keep It Diverse

No matter your phase of life, the most important thing you can do to protect your investments is to diversify your holdings. That means, while some of your money is in traditional retirement accounts, another portion could be held in bonds and CDs, and yet another part in stocks, real estate, or other forms. The general principle behind this approach to investing is that the economy is actually made up of many sub-economies and they don’t all move simultaneously. So while you should hold multiple types of investments, you should also diversify within those sub-sections; don’t invest exclusively in tech stocks or agricultural commodities because when one falls, as part of a shared market, they may all fall.

Don’t let retirement scare you away from the benefits of investing because you’re worried about your financial security. Instead, take advantage of your free time and a lifetime of wisdom to continue growing your nest egg. Your earning power doesn’t have to end when you walk out of your office for the last time.

A innovative business idea has numerous chances of expanding in a rapid manner, as the consumer market will always be keen on trying new products and services. An innovative business can fill in a gap between two types of activities or it can start from scratch, by bringing a product on a given market that was not available before.

Enter the innovative tech devices market

Since we have recently entered a new age, in which more and more businesses develop ideas that incorporate smart devices connected to the internet, it could be an appealing way to enter the start-up sector. Here, there are basically infinite options that can target any aspect of life. A small start-up can create phone cases that are designed to protect smartphones from a wide range of external factors. It is estimated that by 2025, the industry for phone accessories will account for $121 billion. In this sense, investors may opt to register a company in Germany, a country which made relevant progress in this field (a German student patented an innovative phone case with special features).

Start a biodegradable packaging business

One of the latest concerns across the world refers to diminishing the negative impact of plastic, which is used in almost every single aspect of a person’s life. In Europe, the European Union’s policies will soon oblige any business to stop using harmful materials and thus, this could be an amazing opportunity for businesses to replace the current types of packaging materials with innovative, biodegradable materials. For example, the Netherlands is seen as a pioneer in this sector, as it has recently launched in a supermarket the first plastic-free aisle.

Start a business selling healthy food

The concept of healthy food has been around for several years now and the consumer market becomes more and more interested in purchasing products that have several characteristics considered healthy. An innovative way to enter this business market is by opening a vending machine business providing various types of healthy snacks, which can be available in public places – subway, railway station and so on, or to an employee’s lounge or other similar locations.

Enter the biking industry

Innovation in the field of businesses interested in selling bikes is flourishing across the world, as an attempt to reduce the traffic levels. Numerous business ideas were created in this field, from bikes that are very light, to bikes which can be folded, or to electric bikes and other types of concepts.

With more than 6 million small businesses in the U.S., it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there isn’t room for one more. It’s almost guaranteed that there will be competition, and in an industry like fleet transportation, going head-to-head with other small companies, never mind the “big guys,” you might think that you don’t have any chance of being successful.

It doesn’t help, either, that new entrepreneurs are often encouraged to think big and avoid limiting themselves, but the fact is that when you do the same thing as everyone else and try to serve an entire market, you face more competition. However, there is a saying in business that you should do one thing and do it well. Specializing and finding a niche market to fill is almost always a better approach to starting a business than attempting to be all things to all people.

Why You Need a Niche

There are several good reasons that you need to find a niche for your fleet business.

A niche guides the development of your business. The market you plan to service determines everything, from the type of equipment you purchase, the staff you hire and the fleet management software you use to the routes you travel and the rates you charge. Because there are so many variables to consider, focusing on a specific market niche makes some of those decisions easier.

Stand out from the competition. There is plenty of competition in the fleet transportation industry. When you choose a niche, you can work toward becoming the authority within that segment, while also providing a service that no one else offers.

Easier to market. When you work within a specific niche, it’s easier to describe what you do, which in turn makes it easier to market your services. For example, if a local farmer is looking for a company with refrigerated trucks to transport his products, searching for a local trucking company online will return a wide range of services. However, if you offer refrigerated trucking in a particular region, someone searching specifically for that term is more likely to find you. Having a niche also makes it easier to identify your customers and market yourself to the businesses that are most in need of your services.

Potentially recession-proof. Serving a specific market niche, such as fresh food transportation, is less likely to be affected by market factors like recessions as there will continue to be a need for such goods, whereas general trucking companies may see significant market shifts depending on the economy.

Higher revenues. Depending on your niche, you may be one of only a few providers in the area, which allows you to charge higher prices. It’s much like being referred to a specialist when you have a medical issue; a physician with training and experience in a specific condition typically charges more than a general practitioner — and it’s no different in the fleet transportation industry. Keep in mind that some of those revenues may be offset by the need to invest in specialized equipment, but in general, specialized transportation companies charge more than generalists.

Determining Your Niche

So how exactly do you go about determining your niche? It’s really no different within the fleet transportation industry than in any other. For starters, you need to look at the market conditions, determine your competition and who they serve and what you can do to differentiate your business. In the transport industry in particular, you also need to look at the availability and expenses associated with equipment, drivers, specialize training and permits and other factors associated with that particular niche.

It’s also vital to avoid becoming too specialized. Otherwise, you risk entering a saturated market or finding that your chosen specialty doesn’t have enough demand to be profitable. Some of the options to consider might include transporting refrigerated goods or hazardous materials or providing for-hire or courier services. Regardless of the specialty you select for your trucking business, though, keep in mind that you need a solid business plan and enough perseverance to keep going. However, determining the right niche and filling that need is the best place to start.