6 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

The world is becoming increasingly energy conscious and more and more people are looking for ways to work for themselves and make money. Working for someone else can be taxing and not nearly as rewarding as owning your own company. Also, the income potential for entrepreneurs is limitless. All of these factors lead to the conclusion that starting a business is a good idea.

It is a good idea to gain some experience with existing companies and once you know enough, you can go out on your own. This is how you can go about starting your own business.

Get qualified. Before you can start a business, you need to have the necessary experience and qualifications. There are different companies that you could intern with and many places that offer courses in your niche.

Find out about licensing. Any business that involves construction and home renovations require licenses. You should find out from your local building department or licensing agency which licenses you will need to apply for to operate in your city or town if your business is in the construction niche.

Get a commercial vehicle. You will need a commercial vehicle like a van to run your new business and carry materials. Find a printing company that can help you add your business name, certifications, contact details, and website address to the side of the vehicle. This will make your business visible and be a great advertisement.

Get business insurance. This is a very important step in the process. You need business insurance to cover you and your clients in the event that something goes wrong or you cannot complete a job. Insurance is a must.

Start marketing. In today’s world, traditional advertising methods will not hack it. You need an online presence to make the world notice you. This means that you will have to hire someone to create a website or do it yourself. There are different sites that allow you to create a website for free. You will also need to be visible on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Having a blog that relates to your business will also help a lot. Despite the online focus, business cards and signs are still a good idea.

Set up your contracts. It is usually best to find a lawyer that can set up a legitimate and legal contract for your clients. Keep it simple and straightforward, but include all the important information. You should have space to indicate the costs, what exactly the costs consist of, and the duration it will take to finish the job.

Once all this is done, you are good to go. Keep your online presence active and busy and make sure that the local community knows about you. Hand out flyers or place posters in prominent stores or the community center. Keep records of before and after pictures and post them online. You will soon have a response that will make your business grow.

4 Things that Can Set Your Window and Door Replacement Business Apart from Others

This is installment 3 of our series from Matt Wheeler, co-owner of All Seasons Window & Door Co. in Charlotte, NC. Click here to read part 2.

So, you have decided to start your own window and door replacement business because it is a lucrative business that offers many opportunities. You have done your research, got certified and licensed and now you’re ready to begin. With any new business, it is important to try and find something that separates you from your competitors. You need an edge or something that is unique.

Today, we offer you a few things to consider when deciding what would make your business stand out.

Your products are climate specific

If you can offer people windows and doors that cater for the specific climate of their location, you will have a great edge. You shouldn’t necessarily try to cater for all types of climates unless it is manageable. Start with focusing on the climate in your city or even your country. Find out what types of window frames, window panes, and door materials will be best for that climate. If the city is prone to heavy rains, floods, hurricanes or other such types of weather phenomena, use this as a selling point. You can advertise windows and doors that are specially made to withstand the specific climate.

Your products improve energy efficiency

Windows and doors that seal properly create good insulation and reduces energy use for temperature control. Use the Energy Star ratings as a guide and source materials and products that will make your business environmentally friendly and help your customer save energy.

You have an excellent knowledge about light exposure

It may not be the best idea to use all the same windows all around the house. Some windows are facing the sun and others not. This may be a good reason to use different types of windows. Some may need to be double paneled while others may need to be tinted. If you have a good knowledge of which window types and materials will be best in different areas of the house, your expertise will set you apart. You can offer a free consultation for window placement as part of your process and means to get clients hooked.

Be an expert in skylights

Another way to set yourself apart can be to specialize in installing skylight windows. People with attics or high roofs may benefit from a skylight that lets in more natural light. Skylights can change the whole look and feel of a home instantly. The natural and warm sunlight during the day and the view of the stars at night will be a wonderful addition to many homes. This could be a selling point, add-on, or main focus of your business.

Any of these things could make your window and door replacement business stand out. If you could combine some of these things, you may be even more successful. The key is to start small and focused and branch out as your business stabilizes.

6 Benefits of Replacing Your Home’s Windows and Doors

This is part 2 of a 3-part guest blogging series from Matt Wheeler, owner of All Seasons Window & Door Co. in Charlotte, NC. Check out Part 1 here!

Window and door replacement businesses are doing very well at the moment. Many people are getting on board with going green and others just want to change the look of their homes. Either way, these replacement companies are doing well and their customers are also smiling all the way. Replacing the windows and doors of your home is about more than just changing the look of the house. There are a few benefits of doing these replacements. Let’s have a look at the benefits:

1. More Energy Efficient

New windows and doors that seal properly are a very good investment. Windows that are double or triple-paned are even better and the door material can also be chosen with energy efficiency in mind. Well-sealed and insulated windows and doors will reduce your energy use because it reduces fluctuating hot and cold air in the house. It will reduce your use of cooling and heating systems and save you a lot of money.

2. Home Makeover

Replacing or sprucing up your windows and doors is like an instant makeover. The interior and exterior of your home will have a brand-new look and feel. There are so many windows and door options to choose from and the different finishes, trims, material, and grilles options can make anyone get the decorating bug. Replacing windows and doors can be costly, but might be the cheaper option when weighed against other home improvement costs.

(Speaking of home makeovers, here’s a little shoutout to my friends over at Better Built Solutions in Charlotte, NC! If you’re looking to improve your backyard space with a storage building, you should definitely check them out … they’re the best in the biz: betterbuiltusa.com. We recently upgraded our landscape with one of their vinyl sheds. It’s a practical approach to additional storage space and looks awesome!)

3. Increases ReSale Value

New windows and doors will increase the value of your home and also increase its resale value. This is something to consider if you plan to move anytime soon. It could also be something to do before selling for just this reason. An energy-efficient home that looks good, will always be a popular one.

4. New Windows Prevent Fading

Technology is amazing and there are new developments in materials all the time. You can choose from different types and colors of glass for your windows. New and improved glass panes will stop the sun from fading and damaging your furniture, curtains, and clothes.

5. Increased Lighting

Natural light is good for your health and can make any home feel warm and comfy. It is also good for saving energy because the natural light heats the house during winter and also reduces the use of artificial lights. More natural light in the house will reduce your energy bill and make for a better atmosphere.

6. Privacy

Windows and doors are what keeps the people inside the house safe and gives them privacy. If your windows face onto a busy street, you can consider replacing them with windows that allow light in but does not allow people to see inside the house from the street. This is great for protecting your privacy.

All of these benefits make a compelling argument for replacing windows and doors. Apart from initial costs and a little discomfort during the installation process, it seems like a brilliant idea with much more benefits than drawbacks.

5 Factors to Consider in Pricing of Window and Door Replacement Services

Welcome to a special series on starting a business! We have consulted with Matt Wheeler, co-owner of All Seasons Window & Door Co. in Charlotte, NC as he recently took over the business when the original owner, Bob Blanton retired. We asked Matt to share his tips and tricks with us in this 3-part guest blogging series. Here’s the first installment:

All buildings need windows and doors and people need these to be installed. Many people are also opting to replace their windows and doors to become more energy efficient. Windows and doors are also one of the ways in which homeowners can customize or decorate the outside of their home. It should be clear that window and door installations are a lucrative business opportunity.

Once you have decided to start your business and completed all the necessary training, steps, and licensing, you need to look at pricing. You will not be the only person in the business and you will have to compete with guys who have been around longer than you. Pricing is one of the ways in which you can set yourself apart.

Consider the following factors when doing pricing for your business:

1. Do some research on the competition


The first step to determine what pricing will be best is to find out what your competitors are asking. It is important to get a few companies’ prices so you can establish a price range. You should avoid just taking the competitor’s prices and making yours lower. This could do you more harm than good in the long run. Rather use the information to set a baseline and standard price range in which you can work.

2. Use your costs of business to do pricing


You can also do cost-based pricing. You take all the costs that go into your business and add them up. Things like overheads, materials, gas, labor, etc. will all be included in your calculations. Decide what profit margin you want and base your prices on all these costs. Cost-based pricing could set you apart from other businesses if your prices are higher because of higher quality products and materials.

3. Think bigger


You can use volume pricing for when it comes to large numbers of windows and doors. Offer a discount or lower profit margins to companies that order large numbers and companies that order often. You will make more profit and have continuing business this way.

4. Use promotional pricing


You can use promotional pricing to introduce your business to the community. Run a discount or special that will make people want to try your business out. If you do well, you may have a few return customers. You can also use promotions to introduce and advertise new ranges or new and improved products.

5. Consider expanding


Once your business is up and running, you can consider expanding your services or adding something. For example, you can sell products that will help with the maintenance of the windows and doors that you install. These add-ons can create a larger income and will add to your reputation as a good businessman.

Pricing can sometimes be tricky, but you will soon know what works and what doesn’t. You will often find that people in the same line of business like to offer help and advice. If you are unsure about some things, get online and do some research and find someone in the field to help guide you.

5 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Not Exist This Year

In the marketing world, nothing remains the same for a long while. Marketing trends change now and then. A strategy that worked well few years before might no longer work now. Here are some digital marketing trends that we won’t see this year.

Twitter

Twitter is struggling, unlike Facebook and Snapchat. Now, Twitter’s share is 27.8% among the social media users. The number was higher before. It has made some changes recently like not taking into account the images and video within the 140 character limit. But this flexibility is not enough to get new users. About 300 jobs have been cut, and more cuts are expected in future.

Large banner ads

In the past, big banner ads used to appear on sites to distract you from what you were concentrating on. This trend is going away. The marketers are now concentrating on native advertising which is more effective in generating leads. This is due to the more use of mobile. The click rates on banner ads are very low in mobile. So, marketers are taking their attention away from these ads.

Stock images

Businesses now prefer more personalized photos and videos rather than stock images. The stock images don’t support the actual identity. It prevents users from connecting with brands that use it. Personalized images increase shares, likes and click through rates.

Fake reviews

Maximum people in the U.S. check online reviews before buying anything. According to a market study conducted in 2015, it is found that about 88% customers believe that online reviews are as important as personal recommendations. So, companies started giving fake reviews to take advantage of people’s mentality. Amazon started to file lawsuits against companies that published fake reviews. So, fake reviews will stop.

Pop-up ads

Google recently announced that websites that have too many pop-up ads would be penalized. Google has data that tells that people don’t like going to sites that have pop-up ads. So, if you remove pop-up ads, your ranking will be higher on Google search results pages.

You should keep these trends in mind before you develop your company’s marketing strategy for this year. You should be careful that you don’t lose customers by using the old ways of marketing.

Top 3 Promising Startups Of 2016 in the World

Last year has been amazing for the entrepreneurs. Many startups have been successful and have stunned the world with their brilliant ideas. Here are the best three promising startups of last year.

BrighTap, Israel

It is a smart water meter sensor that monitors the quality and consumption of water. You can attach this internet-of-things (IOT) meter to any standard water tap, pipe or hose and helps users enjoy the cleaner water while reducing their water bills. This will let the users enjoy clean water and can control their water consumption as will. They will eventually pay lower bills as they will be conscious about the amount of water they will use.

MeetHere, USA


It is an application for choosing a meeting place between colleagues and friends. It uses the GPS tracking feature of smartphones to find out the middle point between any numbers of people who want to meet. It then locates the nearest meeting point. The users can choose various locations like libraries, restaurants or cafes. They can meet for either professional or social purposes.

OneTest Diagnostics, United Kingdom

It is a Cambridge-based biotech company that creates a new way of tracking cancer’s response to therapy. It uses a diagnostic device to find out how a cancer patient is responding to the treatment. Using this test, you won’t need to wait for months to see if the treatment is effective or not. It will also lower the costs associated with the treatment; that is patients won’t have to continue the treatment unnecessarily if it doesn’t have any positive effect on his or her health.

All these startups are very promising, and by having the right resources, they will turn into a big business. These are all unique ideas that will make people’s lives better.

4 Commercial Real Estate Business Trends Expected This Year

The real estate market changes with various economic and political conditions. A lot of changes has occurred this year. The U.S. has elected it’s new President, and so there will be a lot of changes in laws and regulations as well.  There could be a lot of surprises this year in the real estate business. Here are the four trends you should expect this year in the commercial real estate business.

Non-bank lending


The non-banking lending will decrease this year. The reason for this is the risk-retention requirement that is part of the Dodd-Frank Act. It requires the sponsors of the commercial mortgage-backed securities to keep 5% of every new deal.

Interest rates

There will be an increase in the interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point. This prediction is based on the deregulation, economic condition, etc. The Higher deficit can cause inflation and the high interest rates. Because of higher interest rates, the real estate market will be less affordable.

Financial legislation


According to President Donald Trump, the Dodd-Frank Act is a ‘disaster.’ The experts think that the law cannot be totally repealed, but its effect will be reduced.

Foreign investment

Chinese real estate investment will decrease. China has already reduced overseas investment. The Brexit will also affect foreign investment. The volatile nature of euro and pound will determine the fate of foreign investment as well.

Lots of uncertainties exist in the U.S. economy. The real estate market will see lots of surprises this year under the presidency of President Donald Trump.