Business Trends

Freelance vs Self Employed: The Differences and Tips for Success

Freelance vs self employed? If you’re confused about the two terms, then read below for all the details to know.


Business Trends

Key Advantages of Sole Proprietorship

You may have briefly heard about the advantages of sole proprietorship. Is it right for you? Here’s a detailed guide to help you make that decision.


Business Trends

Business Succession Planning in the New Working World

Business succession planning includes a lot of different factors worth thinking about for the future. If you need help with this, here’s a guide to read as a start.


Office Space

How a Coworking Space Benefits a Sole Proprietorship Business

As a sole proprietorship business, there’s a lot of different resources that can be taken advantage of such as a coworking space. The benefits are surprising. Read further.


Business Trends

The Ultimate Business Plan Checklist You’ll Need

Taking action with your ideas should be fun, not stressful. So to ensure you have everything you need, follow this ultimate business plan checklist.


With the onset of a new year, it’s time to reflect and strategize, taking into account the lessons of 2020, and how they shape your company’s or idea’s path forward. When taking stock of your business (or concept) and both it’s short- and long-term goals, the most important thing is to create a quantifiable and actionable plan.


Business plans are both the ideal way of quantifying an idea, as well as reflecting on past progress or failures and how they changed your company.


Why Bother with a Business Plan?


Business plans are usually thought of as the first step towards turning a spark into a business, but they’re also worth revisiting and revising, particularly after the challenges of last year.


As managers and entrepreneurs enter the new year, it’s important to take stock of a company’s strengths and weaknesses, take the opportunity to explore and study the competition, and consider how or where the company might be able to attract new clients, funding, or investments. A solid business plan acts as the distilled essence of what your business is, what it’s done, and where it might go.


But to create a solid business plan, you need a solid structure, and a foundation built on data and research.


Your Business Plan Checklist


Like any lengthy document, a business plan needs structure.


First, you should identify what audience you’re trying to target with your business plan – is it an internal document for management? Is it going to be primarily used to inform existing investors and secure new ones? Is it an elaborated mission statement to attract clients?


Then, you will need to address questions that your audience might have. These would be the individual sections the business plan will consist of each clearly answering a potential question with clear data. In general, a business plan checklist would look like this:


      • Describe Your Company and Industry


Depending on your audience, the first section of the plan will consist of an overview of the company’s purpose and its role in the current industry, as well as general information on the industry to help provide context for the company’s state and future.


      • What Are Your Prospects in the Current Market?


After going into detail on what the company does, it’s time to go into detail on the state of the market, and how your company is adapting to recent changes or aims to improve in light of sudden developments.


With the pandemic, countless industries have had to rapidly shift towards remote services, safe delivery mechanisms, rapid digitalization, and better software integration with mobile devices, among other concerns. How has your company adapted, and what are its prospects in the current market?


      • What is the Competition Up To?


No business plan is complete without an unbiased and objective view of the competition, particularly how it serves customers and clients in your area, and how you can further differentiate your business from other successful businesses around you.


      • How Are You Operating?


The next critical part of the business plan is a concise and comprehensive overview of its management and production, from how individual teams and departments are managed, how the organization itself is structured, how workplace policies such as remote work, coworking spaces, and work-from-anywhere policies have been implemented as a result of the pandemic, and how delivery mechanisms have been changed or implemented to ensure safety.


Another question is scaling – if your company is growing rapidly as a result of the shift towards digitalization, how are you planning to keep up with growing demand or a wider audience?



      • How Are You Marketing Your Products and Services?


The marketing portion of the business plan should report on the success of previous campaigns and tactics and plans in light of how the market has changed, and how demand is shifting.


Who are your customers, and what are they most likely to want? Can you identify what it is that they might want that they themselves aren’t aware of? And if yes, how can you leverage that to gain more sales?


      • How Healthy Are Your Finances?


How have your sales and revenue been holding up as a result of the pandemic, and what kind of growth are you projecting for the new quarter? A financial overview is often the most critical portion of a business plan for many investors who want to see raw numbers, and want to know how you’ve been holding up over the pandemic, and whether you have the potential to continue to grow your business.


      • Create Your Management Summary


The last thing you should work on should be the first thing in the plan – the executive or management summary, providing a concise overview of the contents of the document, the state of the business, and the purpose for this plan.


Essential Rules for a Well-Written Business Plan


It’s easy to go overboard with the jargon and flourish and turn your business plan into a wordy brochure. But shareholders and investors are people too, and their eyes glaze over just as easily as any other customer or client. You must keep your audience in mind when writing your business plan, and understand that there are a few key rules to follow:


1. Stay Concise


Avoid repeating yourself and avoid the use of industry jargon that might not make any sense to a general audience of investors and financiers. Save the flourish for your marketing campaigns, and focus on short, simple bullet-point answers for critical questions that you imagine the reader might ask.


Source your information heavily with references based on real market research, but don’t drown the reader in unnecessary data – keep it informative, and in the service of an actual point (such as explaining the potential demand for your niche or product based on market trends and surveys).


2. Focus on Your Differences


When describing your business and how it fits into the industry – especially when considering your competition and other similar companies – focus on what differentiates your company or idea from others and focus on the specific niche that you’ve carved out or plan to carve out for yourself.


In a world where modern technology gives us access to products and services from all over the globe, focusing on what sets you apart from the competition is more important than ever.


3. Provide Authoritative References


Regardless of whether your business plan is written to attract investment, reassure or maintain investors, or just to give you an updated overview of the company and its direction for the near future, it’s important to provide trusted references for the information you’re including in your plan.


We tend to try and focus on the positives when discussing an idea we’re fond of, or we tend to lean towards defending our practices and business, even when the writing is on the wall that a change of direction is long overdue. Reliable data is important to back up your belief in your business and provide readers with more than just a sense of your passion for the company.




The ultimate business plan serves as a referential document used to reflect on the company’s progress. In addition, to give a thorough insight on its unique purpose in your industry, as well as provide direction for the future.


Business Trends

New Year, New Goals to Set as a Solopreneur

Surely as a solopreneur, you’re ready to take on the new year with new goals to set! Below are tips to keep in mind when planning your 2021!


Goal setting is both very difficult and very important, especially for a solopreneur. When you’re pursuing your dreams and working on projects alone, every minute of the day is immensely valuable – and you can’t afford to waste time rushing into the wrong trajectory.


Smart and effective goal setting attempts to align our actions and intentions with our dreams, so we can continuously move towards them. What sets good goals apart from bad goals is scope and achievability.


A goal is meaningless if it’s too lofty, or too grounded. While solopreneurs need to set high expectations for themselves in order to motivate themselves, astronomical goals will often just further contribute to the feel in that you aren’t getting anywhere, and lead to burnout.


This 2021, set your sights on goals that don’t waste your time and move you in the right direction.


1. Clean House and Cut Excesses


Retrospection should always be the first step towards any meaningful change. As solopreneurs, we’re often too busy thinking about our next steps to take a moment and reevaluate our failures and shortcomings. We tend to barrel forwards, taking along bad habits and maladapted coping skills.


Take the new year as an opportunity to make a clean cut from 2020 and previous years, and analyze your decision-making, your work processes, and your day-to-day operations. What’s holding you back? What could you be eliminating to make it easier for you to work? What habits did you subconsciously develop that you should confront and eliminate in the new year?


A couple of simple examples include:


      • Installing and adhering to monitoring software to cut down on unnecessary doomscrolling and social media consumption.
      • Setting boundaries and limits around communications and lengthy meetings.
      • Cutting down on unnecessary subscriptions and email notifications.
      • Consolidating different services and monthly costs into smaller or simpler packages and reviewing your toolset.
      • Eliminating tools you don’t really need.
      • And more.


Where are you spending money with little to no return on investment? And more importantly, where are you spending time with little to no return on investment? Answer and act on these questions before tackling any other goals and intentions.


2. Identify Your Greatest (and Least Useful) Time Sinks


There are very few tasks the human mind can focus on for hours on end. Even though many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs find themselves working well over the standard 40 hours a week, they cycle between tasks and activities, or take breaks during the day to freshen the mind and think new thoughts.


Some of these breaks may run a little too long or become unnecessary distractions. Identify and separate work-appropriate restorative activities from private hobbies, and unhealthy time sinks.


Sit down and formulate an average weekly schedule, taking into account your own personal productivity levels throughout the day, identifying your best hours, your biggest typical daily slumps, and techniques that have helped or hindered you in the past. Try out new ways to improve your productivity, manage stress levels, and avoid bad working habits.


3. Announce Your Intentions Selectively


Setting goals and keeping them to yourself may be a good idea, as announcing them to the world can sometimes give you satisfaction similar to having already achieved them – taking some of the edge off, in a bad way.


However, announcing them selectively to your greatest friends and supporters can be a great way to ensure that you’re holding yourself accountable to your word, and showing real commitment towards your goals.


It also acts as a sort of additional level of clarity, giving you the opportunity to consider whether your goals really are achievable, and whether they accurately reflect the commitments you want to make this year.



4. Leave Room for Mental Sustainability


Putting too much on your plate is not a sign of strength. A wise solopreneur knows that the path towards success is best run as a marathon rather than a sprint, and young hustlers stretching themselves too thin usually end up burning out before their big break. If you want to hustle sustainably, you need to leave room for mental health.


That might not mean therapy or yoga sessions, or in-depth personal meditation. Maybe your coping habits take on a different shape or form, and that’s fine – so long as you find something that works for you. Sometimes, it’s not just what you do, but what you don’t do – and who you don’t talk with. Cut out the toxicity, separate yourself from both the naysayers and the yes men, and put your health first.


5. Find the Workspace of Your Dreams


The global pandemic has changed the way we work and communicate and relegated many to the home office – with mixed results. While many Americans embraced the change, others struggled with a poor transition, feelings of isolation, and endless distractions.


Coworking spaces provide an alternative for many to continue working with others and collaborate in a safe environment, without further expanding their own office space or relying solely on virtual tools.


Coworking spaces have adapted to COVID through novel hygiene protocols, strict social distancing measures, and by catering towards companies and entrepreneurs looking for ways to leverage space to create satellite offices for workers who cannot risk a lengthy commute.


6. Define and Refine Your Skillset


After a particularly difficult 2020, it’s time to stop spreading yourself too thin and focus on what you know. It’s good to learn and branch out but try to consolidate your efforts into projects that carry a personal value or are specifically within your area of expertise and knowledge.


Doing something daring can pay off, but there’s a time and place for such risks. Consider utilizing 2021 as an opportunity to hone your skills in a direction you’re comfortable with, define healthy boundaries, set achievable goals, and come out stronger than ever before.


Final Solopreneur Tip


Most new year resolutions fail and fall apart due to their excessive scope and vague nature. Take the time to identify targeted goals that matter to you, are specific to your personal and professional interests, and allow you to grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.


Work Environment

7 Tips to Being a Successful Remote Manager

Are you still figuring out the ins and outs of being a successful remote manager? To assist, below is a helpful guide with detailed tips to consider and practice.


Over the course of the COVID crisis, record numbers of Americans are working from home. While those numbers have gone down as some return to the office, many teams continue to operate largely via remote work. Some companies have even shifted entirely towards a work-from-home model.


Meanwhile, many others indicate that they would like to preserve the option to work from home even after the pandemic has ended. And many companies seem receptive to changes in how they structure their workplace and work-from-anywhere policies.


Managing these remote teams has been a unique challenge for many project and team leaders. If you’re still worried about helping your workers reach their greatest potential while working remotely, here are seven tips you can leverage to improve productivity and continue to make the most of this difficult situation.


1. Learn to Motivate Remotely (Through Tracking Achievements and Visual Progress)


Motivation is at an all-time low, and burnouts are at an all-time high. Keeping teams on-the-ball and helping individual workers manage their own health and productivity can be exceptionally challenging. And at times, managing a team remotely can feel like being blind and deaf to the needs and struggles of your individual team members.


The first step to effectively motivating your workers is by opening channels of communication and keeping tabs on how everyone is doing individually. Encourage team members to start the day with a group chat or get into a daily or weekly call to get a feel for how everyone is feeling. Keep in mind the importance of having one-on-one face time, especially when discussing more sensitive or personal issues with a worker as they pertain to their work.


Aside from offering a greater number of options for communication, a great way to motivate workers is by being transparent about how a team is doing. Rather than trying to motivate through punishing deadlines or lackluster rewards, consider implementing visual scoreboards, project progress trackers, and visual milestones to help keep everyone’s spirits up. And remind them of how much they’ve accomplished in a short time by coordinating their efforts and collaborating remotely.


2. Keep All Members in the Loop (and Schedule Daily Check-Ins)


Part of making sure everyone has equal and transparent access to how a project is going is making sure everyone’s in the loop. That means making sure every project member or team member is on the same platform, using the same communications tools, and logging their work hours and achievements, respectively.


You don’t have to micromanage or hound your workers to see progress. Competitive and achievement-oriented individuals will respond well to visual indicators of how well they’re doing individually or as a group. And everyone else will feel encouraged to give it their all as they see how their fellow team members are performing. Daily check-ins with the team also give you a chance to discuss metrics and praise exceptional progress or give out group objectives for the day.


3. Get Personal (and Enable Casual Conversation)


There’s always a time and place for one-on-one conversations, especially in today’s climate where it’s likely that a worker needs reassurance that they can privately talk to their manager or leader and request deadline adjustments, time off, or other considerations in order to preserve mental health and improve performance in the long-term.


One-on-one remote conversations between workers and managers are also important for bringing up and discussing issues that aren’t pertinent or appropriate in a group setting and can greatly help motivate and single out workers who need additional help, or are particularly isolated by their personal situation.



4. Avoid Social Isolation (Through Virtual Interaction)


One of the consequences of continued social distancing and quarantining during the pandemic is social isolation – many of us haven’t been able to visit friends or family as often as we usually do, are confined to much smaller spaces than we’re used to, and may generally experience a much greater sense of isolation than ever before.


This can also make remote workers feel isolated from their teams and companies, and impact performance. Virtual and remote interaction and quick, easy, convenient communication is important to reducing this feeling of social isolation, but it need not always be in the context of work.


Helping workers feel connected to the outside world by encouraging them to continue interacting with coworkers the way they might usually do in an office setting – by having virtual watercooler environments, including dedicated chatrooms or virtual teambuilding exercises, from daily stretches and exercise breaks to video games – can help.


5. Encourage a Dedicated Workspace (and Leverage Coworking Spaces)


While remote work has caused many to work longer hours than expected, part of that might be to make up for the perceived lack of productivity caused by the distractions of busy day-to-day household.


Homes are rarely an ideal space for concentrated work, and it’s difficult for many to carve out a dedicated workspace in an already cramped living environment. Even now as schools and workspaces continue to open, finding a quiet place to work away from the office remains difficult.


Coworking spaces can play a significant role here in helping main offices de-densify and focus on maintaining social distancing rules, while providing a productive work environment for many remote workers who cannot concentrate at home, or cannot afford to create their own dedicated workspace.


6. Don’t Micromanage (and Measure Through Accomplishments)


Remote managers who tend to fear the push towards a remote workspace are worried that a lack of control and oversight will lead to plummeting levels of productivity, so they’re drawn towards productivity applications and measures designed to micromanage and effectively spy on workers.


However, these solutions are barely solutions, as they usually only serve to erode trust in a company’s management, create friction and resentment between employers and employees, and bring productivity down. Instead of micromanaging, seek to motivate productivity through transparent metrics, healthy competition, and recognition.


7. Above All, Trust Your Team as a Remote Manager


Trust is an important aspect in any relationship, and it’s especially important in a work relationship. If you can convey your trust in your team members to them, they will reward you by aiming to meet and exceed your expectations – especially if you can give them the sense that they aren’t just working for you, but with you.


Business Trends

Becoming an Entrepreneur: 5 Steps to Success

Becoming an entrepreneur begins with a dream; a vision. But the next steps can be difficult. You can reduce your chance of failure with these 5 steps to successful entrepreneurship.


Despite its decline, entrepreneurialism is undoubtedly attractive – a daring, dangerous profession, filled with chances at glory and fortune through a successful ranch and the right network of buyers. Everybody dreams of being their own boss, of working on their own time, and of setting their own goals in business.


But few are ready to face the realities of being a lone entrepreneur. The life of a cowboy was equally harsh, filled thrice over with the risk of famine rather than a chance at a feast. While life for the cowboy revolved around completely different challenges, there were challenges nonetheless, and comfort or success are never guaranteed.

Steps for Success to Becoming an Entrepreneur

Much in the same way, you’ll have to be ready to face your fair share of difficulties and setbacks. You will face regulations, competing businesses, cost issues, and more. Here are five steps that are integral to immersing yourself in the role of the entrepreneur and finding success.

1. Prepare Yourself

This is a mental step. The life of an entrepreneur is about grit, grit, and grit. Sometimes, this means pushing past your own limits. If you don’t have the greatest tolerance for stress, this will by no means be impossible, but you are going to have a much harder time getting the results you want.


We humans aren’t exactly mentally prepared to work all the time – we need time off, we need to relax, we need to give ourselves the time to recover from the work we’ve done and shut down for a while. But if you’re dedicating yourself to entrepreneurship, you can say goodbye to all of those things for the next few months.


      • The early days of your business will all work, no pleasure, and little sleep.
      • You’ll be heading into bed late and waking up early, you’ll be talking to potential clients and landing buyers around the clock.
      • You’ll accommodate every and any time zone, and you’ll be out there selling and pushing your vision onto the world as often as you can afford to.


Strategizing First

Becoming an entreprenuer is a tough, tough job. It means you need to strategize, energize, and be efficient. That means:


      • Cutting out the negative influences in your life.
      • Minimizing waste. Spend a little extra money if it means saving time. You need every minute.
      • Getting into focus mode, 24/7. Remove all distractions. Set tight deadlines for yourself. Surround yourself with similarly competitive personalities, and don’t let anyone get ahead of you.
      • Eat clean food, drink more water than usual, and get quality hours of sleep. Consider herbal supplements to help with digestion and sleep. Seriously, sleep is critical. Good fuel and enough rest should be your primary physical priorities, because you’ll want to maintain a healthy and rested mind for as long as you can.


The big difference between a successful entrepreneur and someone who just doesn’t make it is the work. If you can put in the hours, show up, and follow the plan you set for yourself, you will see results. But it takes a lot of mental fortitude not to falter and give up, and to talk yourself out of those days where you’d like nothing more than to leave the world behind and just rest for 24 hours.

2. Believe in Your Idea

You cannot be successful if you aren’t your own first buyer. If your idea – if your passion – isn’t reflected in what you do to the degree that you’d be the first customer standing outside waiting to get in, then you need to keep working on your idea before you begin pursuing it.


Becoming an entrepreneur is not something you can do with just some effort. Do you fantasize about what your business will look like in 5 years? Do you believe that what you’re bringing to the world is important enough that you’d dedicate your life to it? Or are you just doing it to try and make a little extra money?


Financial independence and even wealth are fine goals, but your own passion for what you’re doing is ultimately going to be a massive factor in your early success. You have to sell yourself on your idea first, before you start selling others.

3. Build It and They’ll Come? 

One of the most problematic myths in the modern day is the idea that if you build it, they will come. Not only is this based on a misquote, but it’s also never been particularly great business advice – least of all today.


We live in a day and age where the average person processes more information in a single day than they might have in a week or month, just a few decades ago. We are being inundated with recommendations, advertisement, endorsements, and more – to the point that we begin to blend it out, mute it, and only pay attention when we intend to.


You cannot rely on your business to succeed solely on the basis of word-of-mouth, unless your focus is an incredibly niche clientele within a very local area. If you want success, you need to find your audience, and speak to them directly.


Targeted ad campaigns, careful keyword selection, daily or weekly web content, social media and reputation management; lots and lots of marketing. You can get started on that yourself or hire someone to take care of the job, but always know that, with the internet, competition is potentially stiffer than ever. On the other hand, the opportunity reach people all over the globe is uniquely attributable to this day and age.

4. Pick the Right Office

Yes, you will need an office. Depending on your business model and the size of your venture, you’ll want to pick an appropriate place to turn into the base of your operations. Nowadays, one of the best ways to save on costs and still reap the full benefits of a large and professional space is to find yourself a coworking space.


Coworking spaces are especially interesting for entrepreneurs because the opportunity to co-work alongside professionals from all walks of life will continue to inspire you, help you network, and discover cooperative opportunities in ways you might never have otherwise. Of course, traditional offices are always still available if that route is best for your business.

5. It’s Not Too Late 

Most successful entrepreneurs began their first business after over 6 years of experience working for someone else and typically had a spouse with at least one child. In other words, it isn’t a young person’s game. Don’t be afraid to start ‘late’.


Many of the wildest entrepreneurial successes were born from dedicated and committed founders who had a wealth of experience to draw upon. A good number of entrepreneurs are well-educated, highly knowledgeable, and are often the first in their respective families to launch their own business.

Final Thought

As long as you believe you have the drive, the means, and the right idea, consider becoming an entrepreneur and pursue the calling of a lifetime. And if things don’t work out the first time, don’t worry!


Most entrepreneurs are ‘serial’ entrepreneurs, and it often takes a few times for an idea to take off in the right way, at the right time, with the right clientele, and the right means to take advantage of all of these conditions.