Category Archives: General

What are Some Easy Start-Up Businesses?

The pandemic gave rise to an interesting trend. With people losing their jobs, many of them decided that they no longer wanted to be reliant on an unpredictable economy. People felt it was better to pursue their business idea than to be beholden to the whims of the world anymore. So, there has been a major uptick in small business ownership. 

If you’re interested in starting a business but do not know what that business will be, we’ve unpacked some ideas for you. Here are some of the easiest start-up business ideas to get started with today. 

Dropshipping 

Dropshipping is the business model of listing a supplier’s products in an online store created by you even though you do not physically hold any of that stock. When a customer places an order for a product, you buy the product from the supplier and the supplier delivers it to the customer

Selecting the right products, finding stable suppliers, and negotiating a good margin are the three keys to a successful dropshipping business. Setting up an online store can be relatively cheap, or you can use an existing platform like eBay. Using an existing platform will require you to take some professional photographs and write good product descriptions. 

Online courses 

Due to the pandemic, online learning has become a trend that will boom in 2021. There has been a funding explosion in education technology start-ups. Think about what you know: playing an instrument, cooking, drawing, or social media marketing. You can package this knowledge up into a course that can generate revenue. You will also need expertise in engagement tactics for online courses, but these tools and techniques are reasonably easy to learn. 

Content writing 

You can literally start this business right now. You do not need anything but good writing chops. There are dozens of great writing platforms out there on which you can register as a freelance writer. However, you can also start your own content writing business. If you’re up to flex your business skills, you could go out and get the business and hire an employee to execute the writing. Granted, it takes a different skill set than writing, but hey, that’s what entrepreneurship is all about. 

Sell stock pictures 

Got an eye for photographs? If you take lots of photos and enjoy editing them to standards of perfection, you can put them up for sale to platforms like Adobe Stock Photos, Unsplash, and Shutterstock. 

You generally only need a DSLR and some editing experience. You can learn a lot on the go because you get immediate feedback as you experiment. There is a popularity for quality photos that can be utilized in presentations, websites, and applications. 

Concierge/ assistant services 

High-powered people often need to hire someone to take care of the day-to-day things in their lives. These tasks could be their groceries, their laundry, even scheduling their meetings. If you’re organized and stay on top of schedules, you may be the perfect candidate to run a concierge business. To begin with, you might find yourself doing most of the running around yourself. In time, you can graduate to hiring a few employees to do the execution while you focus on growing your business. 

Digital marketing 

If you have some experience in digital marketing, this is a quick business to start. Your expertise is your product, so all you really need is a computer. Even if you do not have a background in marketing, digital marketing can be quickly learned. Set aside a few weeks and identify some online courses and reading material and you can learn the basics.

Probably the best thing about digital marketing is that it’s continually evolving. New patterns are continually arising. That means you’re probably going to be on par with someone else in terms of knowledge on a certain new trend. That represents an opportunity for you to specialize in something and pitch yourself to clients. 

Consultant 

As a consultant, you can give advice on a certain subject area to businesses in need. There are heaps of various sorts of advisors: business, protection, plan, and so on. Pick an area that you’re acquainted with or possibly are intrigued enough to find out about. You’ll have to have a sensible measure of information so you can offer your customers guidance that applies to their particular realities. 

Consultancy is a low-cost, high-profit career and that’s part of the beauty of it for many people wanting to start a small business. 

What are you waiting for? 

We’ve given you some ideas. Now it’s up to you to get inspired and run with it. Small businesses are vulnerable to risk, but  insurance provides a layer of protection for your business. Click here to know more about different business insurance options for your small business.  

*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. 

References 

Entrepreneur Handbook (2020). 100 business ideas you can start today. <https://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/100-business-ideas-start-today/> 

Business News Daily (2020). 25 Business Ideas With (Almost) No Startup Costs. <https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5767-business-ideas-low-cost.html> 

5 best ways to avoid the risk of fire due to electrical fault

Electrical hazards are very common, and many incidents ultimately lead to a fire. Approximately 51000 fires, 500 deaths, 1400 injuries and $1.3 billion in damage occur each year due to these electrical hazards. All this is a result of a little negligence. 

Even the tiniest carelessness can end up in a devastating impact and so, Hexo services ensure your home is safe. 

Outdated electrical wiring

A worn-out wiring system in your home/workplace is very dangerous. Such wiring cannot handle heavy voltages of commonly used electrical appliances, e.g. refrigerators, air conditioners, iron, and microwave ovens, resulting in a short-circuiting causing fire. 

This is because the old wiring heats up quickly due to the heavy power load. As the wiring system is spread all around the property, so the damage is not just confined to one place.

Multiple plugins in one extension cord

This is a very common cause of electrical fire, and most people tend to ignore it. This occurs when a lot of electrical appliances such as phone charger, television, and computer etc. are connected to a single extension cord, which is connected to a single socket. Due to such overloading, the wiring connected to the socket heats up, resulting in a fire.

Worn out electrical outlets

When sockets get older, their wiring becomes loose, and there is a higher chance of breakage, which can cause a fire. The old appliances consume a lot of power, and when these are connected to old sockets, they further increase the chance of fire. There is also a fire hazard when these appliances are connected to a single extension cord.

Light fixtures

Installing a high wattage bulb creates a risk of an electrical fire. This is because its high wattage heats the wiring inside the socket it is connected to, ultimately causing a fire. Also, placing a piece of cloth or a paper on a lampshade is potentially dangerous.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

EXTENSION CORDS

Safety should be your priority. You should ensure that your extension cords don’t contain many plugins. If your room has fewer sockets, install more of them to prevent any extreme outcome. Alternatively, you can have heavy-duty extension cords but make sure that its wiring does not run underfloor rugs or carpets because doing so can generate excessive heat.

APPLIANCES

Replace your old appliances with new ones to mitigate the risk of electrical hazards. If your existing appliances are not outdated, check if any severed wires need replacing. You should not hesitate in investing new and safe appliances as it ensures your utter safety.

ELECTRICAL WIRING

You need to replace any old and impaired wiring as soon as possible. Several signs show that the wiring has been worn out, such as flickering lights, sparks from power outlets or shocks from appliances, etc.

LIGHT FIXTURES

Always use the bulbs with recommended wattage and avoid placing a piece of cloth or paper on lamp shades.

POWER OUTLETS

Replace old sockets with the new ones. Also, check the wire ends when sockets are being swapped. If they are burnt or severed, this is a clear indication that the wiring needs to be substituted.

Best Corporate Gifts For Your Administration Staff

Finding the right business gifts for your administration staff is sometimes tricky. In fact, as a manager or director, you’ll need to find practical and original corporate gifts.

For this reason, we’ve gathered the best business gifts for your administration team. From unique gifts for employees to luxury corporate gift ideas, we’ve got you covered. 

Kiko Leather Leather Mouse Pad – $28.00

A mouse pad is certainly one of the practical and unique corporate gifts you should consider for your administration team. This mouse pad from Kiko Leather is made from real leather and is durable enough to be used for many years to come.

It is available in beautiful brown and premium black to make everyone happy. Of course, its surface is very smooth and would satisfy even the pickiest team members.

Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Buffalo Throw – $135.00

The throw blanket from Faribault Mill is one of the luxury corporate gift ideas that you can consider for everyone on your team. First of all, they’ll be able to choose their favorite color between pink, white and black, red-black, and more.

Secondly, it is made out of 100% virgin wool and that’s definitely one of the reasons your employees will like it so much. Moreover, it is very soft and comfortable so they’ll be able to use it at the office as well as home when working remotely.

Lastly, it is possible to wash it in a washing machine at home and, needless to say, that’s another advantage to consider. It is one of the most unique gifts for employees we can think of.

Fellow Stagg Pour-Over Kettle – $79.00

If there was one accessory that would be extremely useful and popular at the office, a pour-over kettle would definitely be one of them. Fellows managed to take the coffee and tea making experience to the next level with this incredible kettle.

It’s gorgeous, available in black, white, and copper, and is relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, it has a thermometer included to always know the current water temperature if you’re in a hurry.

If you’re looking for some corporate gift ideas for employees, this pour-over kettle will make your whole administration team feel appreciated.

Topo Design Y-Pack – $79.00

Another important item that everyone uses on a daily basis is a backpack and this Y-Pack from Topo Design is one to consider. In fact, it has a large main compartment for your employees and clients to carry all their belongings. 

In addition, it has a side pocket that is perfect for a water bottle as well as another pocket to throw some snacks, a laptop mouse, a charger, or some pens. 

Last but certainly not least, it comes in different colors and that will make them look cool and professional, depending on the color. In short, the Y-Pack is an inexpensive yet beautifully designed and useful corporate gift.

PF Candle Co Room & Linen Spray – $18.00

A downside to working as an administrative employee is the fact to stay at the office the whole day. For this reason, it’s important to keep it clean and with a good smell. This is exactly where this PF candle comes in handy. 

It’s sold in different flavors from sweet grapefruit as well as sun bloom and even black fig. Your employees will be able to pour it into an air refresher or even on their bedsheets to sleep better and come to the office more productive.

Your administrative team will never have a boring and stinky office anymore with this incredible PF Candle. And that’s exactly why we think it’s one of the best corporate gifts 2020.

Incase City Backpack – $129.95

This ultra-robust and professional-looking City Backpack from Incase is some of the most unique corporate gifts to get. It can carry an extensive list of items and accessories to last the whole day.

Whether your administrative employees work from home or at the office, it is some of the practical business gifts that they’ll also use in their daily life. For the gym, for a business trip, to take to the gym, and more, it’s going to be very convenient.

Whether you’re looking for luxury corporate gifts ideas or simply to please your team members, this City Backpack is definitely going to help.

Public Supply 3.5×5.5″ Pocket Notebook 3pack- $14.00

Last on our list but definitely not least comes the 3-pack pocket notebook of Public Supply. Notebooks are some of the most used items in an administration team and that’s exactly why you should give your employees some gorgeous ones.

These are available in an endless list of colors from yellow to red to blue to black and more. Additionally, they’re 48 pages long which is definitely something to keep in mind.

It’s the perfect corporate gift to write down notes and remember important meetings. Needless to say, even if you already provide notebooks at work, these have a special touch that will make your administration team very happy.

Need a Side Hustle? Here Are Some Lucrative Ideas

Even if you already have a job, what’s stopping you from getting some extra income? A side hustle is a great way to supplement your earnings and either increase your savings or allow yourself to live a more relaxed and luxurious lifestyle.

But not every side hustle opportunity is a good one. Many will just waste your time and resources, and you won’t be getting the income and benefits you were expecting, which is why you want to be careful. You might be looking into things like how to become a camgirl, which is a great side hustle idea, but you could also look at something that’s slightly more hands-off once you set things up.

So, to make things a bit easier for you, here are a couple of suggestions that you might want to consider. A thing to note here is that none of these will guarantee success, but if you play your cards right, the chances of that happening are pretty good.

Create an Online Course

Or five, or ten, that’s up to you. But start with one. Creating and selling an online course is a rather attractive side hustle idea for a few reasons, but the key one is the fact that the hard work is done once you’ve prepared the course and have it published. After that, it’s all a matter of raking that income.

Copyright: Unsplash | CC0 Public Domain

With online courses, the most important thing is to find something you’re really good at, and come up with a creative and engaging way of explaining it to other people. This can be anything, from a life skill to something that’s taught at university, or even an industry that can be a lucrative career choice for some. It’s all a matter of teaching people what they need in an easy-to-digest way.

You should also make sure your course is well thought out and laid out because nobody is going to watch a course that is confusing and complicated to understand. Here’s a tip – find a few courses that have a lot of sales and watch them. This will give you a pretty good idea of what potential customers expect when they’re watching your course, and you’ll know what to do.

Once you’ve prepared everything, find a platform that allows you to sell the course with minimal losses, and it’s all about making sure your customers are satisfied.  

Start a Blog

You probably see where the idea for this is coming from, but nonetheless, starting a blog can prove to be a pretty lucrative proposition. Yes, when you’re starting out it’s going to be a lot of hard work. And if you want to make the most of it, you’ll want to keep working at it. But it’s still a side hustle, because it’s something that you can do on your own time, and nobody is limiting you in terms of how much you’ll work.

Why is it difficult to start? Because you need to find a topic for your blog that doesn’t have too much competition, yet is popular. In today’s society, that’s actually not really easy, and you will need to do a fair bit of research. To add to this, even if you do find the right topic, you should still make sure that people visit your blog, and not someone else’s, which means you need to offer something unique. Whether that’s covering something nobody else is covering, or a unique perspective on popular topics, that’s up to you.

But the thing is, once your blog is popular and people start enjoying it, you’ll love how things just take off. You’ll have brands talking about collaborations, you’ll have other bloggers reaching out to you to talk and write guest posts, and a host of other things that you can monetize for extra income. And you’ll love it.

Copyright: Pixabay| CC0 Public Domain

Flip Items on eBay

This one is pretty simple, but there aren’t too many people doing it which is why it’s perfect for a profitable side hustle. All you have to do is buy low and sell high, and you’ll be making a decent amount of money. But if you want to make the most of it, you’ll need to do a bit more than that.

To begin with, you should find items that you can flip on a regular basis. This is basically you specializing in an item type, but it will make sure that you have a constant stream of items to flip, and customers that are happy to recommend you for that category.

Once you’ve set things up, like your store and everything, it’s a matter of searching for items that you can get at a low price. Very often, you can buy pretty much anything on eBay and sell it at a higher price, which is why this is a lucrative side hustle. It’s all a matter of being patient, and having a budget to invest in buying items – you’ll be surprised at the return on investment you’re getting.  

Style Spotlight: A Brief History of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton is a brand that needs no introduction. A common household name, Louis Vuitton has made its permanent mark in the world of fashion, handbags and accessories. In fact, chances are either you or someone close to you currently owns something embellished with the world-famous LV monogram. Touted as the world’s most storied luxury label, Louis Vuitton is a brand that has been around since as early as 1837. 

When you buy a Louis Vuitton bag, you’re not just purchasing a bag — you’re also purchasing hundreds of years of history, quality and attention to fine detail. Today, we’re having a look at a brief history of this world-famous luxury brand and tracking its journey from humble beginnings to the landmark of all things luxurious that it is today, so read on to find out more. 

Humble Beginnings

Born in 1821, the brand’s founder Louis Vuitton started with humble beginnings. At age 16, Louis trekked from Anchay to Paris on foot, eager and excited to experience the wonders of the city of love. Of course, one also has to earn a living along the way, which is why Louis held a job as a box-making apprentice to Monsieur Marechal. Little did he know, it was this key experience that acquired him the packaging and preserving knowledge that would soon take over the world. 

Before long, Louis had built a solid reputation for himself as a master craftsman and his works were starting to be recognised by the Parisian elite. By age 30, his clientele list included  Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III and the most powerful woman in France at the time. Louis was to be Empress Eugenie’s personal box maker. And so, this rags to riches story begins. 

The Beginning Of An Empire 

In 1854, Louis opened his first workshop in Paris and soon revolutionised the trade with his first series of flat trunks, which to this day are considered the ancestors of what we now know as modern luggage. Louis’s trunks were water and odour resistant, lighter and rectangular in shape making them perfect for stacking. His iconic flat trunk in Trianon grey from 1858 was the first luggage of the modern era – it was easy to stack in a train’s baggage car or on a ship, and its poplar (wood) frame was covered in canvas. By 1859, Louis’ success required him to expand his operations, which led him to open his first atelier in Asnières, Paris. The workshop started with 20 employees, by 1900 there were nearly 100 people and by 1914 there were 225.

The Growth Of Popularity

By the time it was 1959, Louis was considered one of France’s most renowned trunk makers. It was no surprise that Louis’ expert craftsmanship won him an elite following, but things were soon to take a sour turn. Unfortunately, Louis’ Asnieres factory was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 but this wasn’t enough to stop him. Determined to succeed, he rebuilt a new shop in the ritzy 1, Rue Scribe. This fancy new store in its aristocratic location saw Louis Vuitton’s shift from regular trunks to luxury luggage. 

By the time it was 1885, Louis had even opened his very first stores in London. In that same year, for the first time in the company’s history, their registered trademark appeared on the canvas of its designs. 

But it wasn’t just luxury to design and expert craftsmanship that put Louis Vuitton on the map. In 1886 he and his son George revolutionized luggage locks by designing a single lock system with two spring buckles. Customers could now travel with peace of mind knowing that their belongings were safe from theft. The effectiveness of the Tumbler lock is indisputable and still appears on Louis Vuitton luggage today. 

Evolution

After his death in 1892, son George stepped in and took over the business. It was under his leadership in 1896, the now world-famous “LV” monogram was introduced — a monogram that remains a lasting symbol of luxury and the fine life until today. Fast forward to 1914 and George opens the world’s largest travel article store at the Vuitton Building, at 70, Champs-Élysées. During this period, the monogram canvas was revamped in 1959 to accommodate its expanding line of wallets, bags and purses. Over the next 40 years, the brand would start to introduce an even wider variety of bag designs including handbags, backpacks and carry bags that would then take the world by storm. 

The business grew from having 2 stores in the early 70s & 11 million euros in sales to 125 stores generating 600 million euros by 1989.

Louis Vuitton 1990s – Current Day

In 1997, Mark Jacobs was appointed Creative Director, which then saw Louis Vuitton venturing into the world of clothing and shoe production. LV’s ready-to-wear collections, designed by Marc Jacobs, were produced in 1998. Jacob’s helped breathe new life into the brand by making Louis Vuitton hat boxes and the new Monogram Vernis collection popular among iconic supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

Throughout the 2000s, LV collaborated with various prominent designers including 

Stephen Sprouse, Julie Verhoeve, Yayoi Kusama and Robert Wilson, releasing a range of limited edition monogram designs and accessory collections. In 2004, the brand celebrated its 150th anniversary and expanded into Moscow, Bombay, Shanghai and South Africa. 

The house of Vuitton’s journey and evolution over the past 200 plus years is nothing short of remarkable. Louis Vuitton’s original atelier in Paris is still where products are crafted today and has been expanded to include the Vuitton family residence.

Fast forward to us now entering 2021, Louis Vuitton still remains a prominent name in the luxury fashion industry and is predicted to grow even further and larger in the coming years.