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Key Takeaway

Before you apply for business loans, you’ll need a detailed business plan that shows how you’ll generate income.

Choosing a business structure

Whether you work at home or in an office, your business needs a formal legal structure. A small home business can become a sole proprietorship in a few simple steps with little paperwork. Be aware that this structure intertwines your personal and business finances, meaning issues on one side could affect the other.

Another option is to incorporate as an entirely separate business entity. This way, you can file taxes, own property and handle lawsuits without affecting your finances. To incorporate your business, you’ll file articles of incorporation that establish your business’s legal status.

Creating a marketing strategy

For your business to be successful, people need to know it exists. A marketing strategy can help you identify potential customers, connect with them, and turn them into returning customers. Outreach campaigns, product promotion and customer engagement are all key components of marketing.

To create an effective marketing plan, know your brand and the audience you want to reach. From there, identify the core problems your business solves and market your company as the solution.

Paying taxes

Forms, deadlines, records – they all make filing small business taxes a hassle. But if you properly handle your business’s documents and payments throughout the year, you can avoid a lot of frustration come April.

You’ll need to track your business’s expenses, store receipts, and create income reports. This information is key to properly filing your taxes and claiming deductions that lessen your tax obligation. You can file your taxes online yourself with software like TurboTax, a popular tool for small business owners. Read our review of TurboTax and other options to find the right software for you.

Did You Know?

The IRS will likely require your business to pay taxes quarterly instead of annually.

Hiring professionals

You might be great at managing your business’s operations, but there are plenty of areas in which you’ll need expert help. That’s why many entrepreneurs hire business professionals to oversee or handle certain aspects of their startups.

If your expense report or list of write-offs is getting lengthy, consider hiring a CPA to handle your taxes. This way, you can have peace of mind during tax season.

Another important professional to hire is a lawyer. A study from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform found that small businesses faced tort costs of $182 billion in 2023. If your business is sued or needs to file a lawsuit, an attorney can review the case and help you navigate the legal process.

Hiring employees

As your business grows, you might realize you can’t handle all its operations alone. Hiring employees can streamline your operations so your business can grow and function effectively.

Whether you’re bringing on one member or recruiting a few hundred, create a hiring plan to facilitate a smooth onboarding process. First, identify exactly which positions you need to fill. Then, decide whether you want to use a recruiting agency or simply post a job ad to connect with potential employees.

Successful onboarding process

Although a new entrepreneur wants to be their own boss, usually their startup does need to hire new employees to perform various tasks. One of the challenges for a startup is attracting new employees, as some view joining a startup as risky for their careers. Keep in mind that most startups don’t end up being successful.

The pressure of funds, which can be limited for a startup, are also a challenge. Therefore, it’s not easy for any new business to hire the right people. To combat these challenges, a startup should have a plan for how to onboard new employees effectively and efficiently.

David Mielach contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.

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Top 3 Businesses You Can Start With Little Or No Money

It doesn’t seem like that long ago when The Lean Startup by Eric Ries took the world by storm. The book gave average people like me hope.

It showed me and people across the world that is was possible to start a business, regardless of circumstance.

It has been nearly a decade because The Lean Startup premiered, but the expectation it the lessons that it taught still live on now.

Thousands of individuals ask this question each day: what’s the ideal company to begin with very little cash?

I wanted to discuss what I think should be the top 3 choices if you’re trying to begin a business but have very little capital to back this up.

Here are the 3 greatest companies to begin with hardly any cash.

Note: All of the below are service-based companies. These generally have the lowest overhead, which makes them ideal candidates for individuals with minimal startup funds. Each one of these companies will probably ask that you challenge yourself and learn new abilities. It is hard, but not hopeless.

1. Tax, accounting and/or bookkeeping services  require little capital

I am certain that you have noticed this one a hundred times. There’s a reason: not only does it possess reduced overhead as stated previously, in addition, it includes higher-than-average profit margins along with a huge client base.

2. Web design, graphic design and/or Search Engine Optimization

This is just another company which has a massive customer base and decent profit margins. It’ll require some instruction, but you will find a high number of classes on sites like Udemy, as well as free tutorials on YouTube.

Also read: Top 10 Programming Languages for Kids to learn

3. Social media management and growth services

Firms have recognized the value of getting quality social networking accounts across the plank. If you can learn how to make excellent content, then develop social accounts and push visitors with these balances, you readily have a six-figure company in your hands.

Expert tip  –  begin by focusing and studying about one social networking platform. As soon as you’ve got a system set up that works, begin providing the support.

This permits you to begin attracting clients and earning when you’re learning. This is just another entrepreneurial ability that’ll set you up for long-term success.

These 3 opions offer a combination of low overhead, high customer bases, higher profit margins and precious entrepreneurial abilities. They could flourish with very little startup funds, and ought to be on peak of each entrepreneur’s list.

Whenever you’ve got an idea or fire to get a company — but little cash — ask yourself these questions before committing.

5.    Does this venture provide a skill that will benefit me long-term as an entrepreneur?

If you are able to answer these questions in the affirmative, you have a viable business idea — you could get off the floor with minimal startup funds.

Recession Planning Essential For Businesses As Customer Behaviours Start To Change

With alarm bells ringing more incessantly about the coming recession, what should businesses be doing to prepare? Key Takeaways

World leaders, economists and investment banking bosses are becoming more certain that a recession will occur

Interest rates are rising, and research shows customers are already changing their behaviours as inflation eats into their buying power

Ways to recession-proof your sales

Leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have warned of a growing risk of an economic slowdown next year as central banks around the world fight stubbornly high inflation – highlighting the uphill battle policymakers are facing to fight spiking prices without plunging the world into a recession.

The head of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, believes a prolonged recession is approaching, and forecast the likelihood of one occurring next year at 35% when he spoke at the recent Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia. Bloomberg analysts put the possibility at 100%.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said the world would know in six months if recession fears materialise, however, the bigger concern for him was geopolitical headwinds.

“The most important thing is the geopolitics around Russia and Ukraine, America and China, relationships of the western world,” Mr Dimon told delegates during a panel discussion at the summit. “That to me would be far more concerning than whether there’s a mild or slightly severe recession.”

Australia’s inflation rate accelerated in the September quarter as energy prices soared, heaping pressure on households and businesses and the Reserve Bank of Australia on November 1 raised the cash rate another 25 basis points to 2.85%, its seventh straight increase since May, which could potentially push some mortgage borrowers to their “stress test” limits.

Workers in Australia are looking for new jobs, asking for extra shifts, and switching to cheaper brands as everyday expenses eat up a bigger chunk of their paychecks according to research from Qualtrics.  

“As budgets tighten, people across Australia are searching for ways to meet the rising cost of living, from finding ways to increase their salary through to spending less on discretionary items and switching to cheaper brands,” says Crissa Sumner, Employee Experience Solutions Strategist for Australia and New Zealand, at Qualtrics.

“If businesses fail to recognise and respond to these changing behaviours they risk customer churn and unexpected employee departures – two things no organisation wants in the current environment,” Sumner says.

“With inflationary challenges set to continue through 2023, organisations that can confidently identify and meaningfully respond to changing customer and employee behaviours will be well placed to navigate the months ahead.”

Periods of challenge and uncertainty, and recessions in particular, can act as a catalyst and prompt businesses to focus on issues that they might have been ignoring, says Jack Delosa, founder of business coaching provider The Entourage.

“The next 12 to 24 months are certainly going to be a challenging time for business owners, many of whom will have been caught off guard because they are still recovering from the pandemic and multiple lockdowns,” Delosa says.

“As a result, many wouldn’t have taken the necessary preventative steps to mitigate the risk of a declining economy. For the business owners who haven’t implemented any strategies to bulletproof their business against a recession, now is the time to start taking action.”

Navigating uncertainty, particularly economic uncertainty, is a core capability that every business owner will be forced to face at some point, says Delosa.

Delosa suggests that business owners look at a few strategies:

Adopt a focus on revenue-generating activities

Develop an empathy map for where your customers are

Have a plan, but be flexible

Abbie White, founder of Sales Redefined, notes a Gartner poll of 74 sales and business leaders that found that 54% said meeting quotas or customer retention worried them the most about an economic downturn.

“Upskilling your sales team should be a top priority right now,” says White. “Focus hard on lead generation and proactive prospecting to build a buffer.”

White suggests taking the number of prospects you currently need to hit your quota and doubling it and says focus on prospects with the highest potential.

The fluctuating prices that businesses are being hit with, in particular fuel and energy price increases, are making planning very difficult, says Alexi Boyd, CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA).

“It used to be seasonality that was the biggest driver and that was understood, but Covid threw that all out. Now businesses are expected to have the time to adjust and pivot, but the constant changes are making it very difficult to manage.”

Boyd says that for service providers needing products to keep operations going, they are faced with higher freight costs and supply chain issues continue to be of concern for many.

Huawei Foldable Phones Remain No. 1 For Three Consecutive Years

In terms of brand awareness of mobile phones with foldable screens, Huawei remains No. 1.  Up to 84.1% of users are aware of Huawei’s line of mobile phones with foldable screens.52.3% of consumers who had used foldable screens previously said they plan to use Huawei’s foldable mobile phones in the future. In other words, Huawei appears to be a symbol of mobile devices with folding screens. Huawei is a leader in all areas, including popularity, market share, sales, and user satisfaction.

Huawei foldable phones get highly positive reviews in China

For ordinary mobile phone users without any knowledge of how the market works, they will say Huawei is a Chinese company so it should get positive reviews in China. However, the Chinese mobile phone market is not like the U.S. market which gives a huge positive tick to whatever Apple produces. In China, there are other top brands with foldable phones. Xiaomi, Vivo and other top Chinese brands have foldable phones. In fact, Vivo has been on top of the Chinese market for regular phones. However, its foldable phones are not seeing the light of day in China. So, why then does Huawei receive such positive reviews in China’s foldable phone market?

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Also, Huawei has a strong team with high technical capacity. It is innovative in multiple areas like screens, hinges and software ecology. The company has always been at the front of the development of foldable phones. If not for the interference from several governments in the world, Huawei foldable phones would have spread around the globe by now.

What users want

Take the Huawei Pocket S as an example. The glass back panel of the Huawei Pocket S folding screen mobile phone even sparkles with pearls, giving it a highly upscale appeal.  The six hues go with a variety of outfits is also attractive.  Hinge gaps and screen creases are issues that are resolved by the first multi-dimensional linkage lifting water drop hinge in the industry. The vertical folding technique reduces the size of the body and allows for easy pocket carrying, making it incredibly portable. Notifications, phone calls, cameras, weather, etc. can all be rapidly managed on the independent secondary screen on the rear. It may also be used to shoot images for better results.

The Huawei Pocket S’s image setup is also quite good. It has a super-sensing imaging system, a 40MP super-sensing main camera, and an industry-leading RYYB sensor. This makes it possible to capture a blockbuster in a single shot. Why will anyone not want this mobile phone? Of course, only for those who can not afford it, those that want GMS enabled so badly or those that believe what the Western government says.

History of Huawei foldable phones

Huawei has been a major player in the smartphone industry for several years, and they have been at the forefront of the foldable phone revolution. The company has released several foldable phones over the years, starting with the Huawei Mate X in 2023.

Here’s a brief history of Huawei’s foldable phones:

Huawei Mate X (2024): The Huawei Mate X was Huawei’s first foldable phone, and it was unveiled in February 2023. The device featured a 6.6-inch OLED display that could be folded out to a 8-inch display. The phone was powered by a Kirin 980 chipset and came with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

Huawei Mate Xs (2024): The Huawei Mate Xs was an upgraded version of the Mate X, and it was launched in February 2023. The device had a similar design to the Mate X, but it was powered by a newer Kirin 990 chipset. It also came with an improved hinge mechanism and better camera performance.

Huawei Mate X2 (2024): The Huawei Mate X2 was a significant departure from the design of the previous Mate X phones. It featured an inward folding display, with a 6.45-inch cover display and an 8-inch main display. The device was powered by a Kirin 9000 chipset and came with up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

In 2023, Huawei released a couple of foldable mobile phones including the Huawei Mate Xs 2 and Huawei Pocket S.

The Scientific Reason You Won’t Throw Your Stuff Away

When my great-grandmother died in the mid-90s, we found a number of questionable collections in her house, including a paper bag filled to the brim with meticulously cleaned-out egg shells and a very toxic jar of mercury she had drained from old thermometers. In short: She was totally a hoarder. Had she lived to see the age of reality television, we could have put her on A&E’s Hoarders, which tracks the lives of people who obsessively collect and can’t bring themselves to throw things away, even to the point of creating dangerous, trash-filled living situations.

Though its not yet considered an official disorder, somewhere around 5 percent of Americans, or 15 million people, struggle with compulsive hoarding, as Bonnie Tsui noted in her in-depth look at the science of hoarding in Pacific Standard.

After years of being lumped in as a category of OCD, in May, hoarding will officially be recognized as its own distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard tome of afflictions used by mental health professionals to classify mental health issues. The first systematic study of the disorder wasn’t published until 1993, as Tsui points out, but like the amount of junk in my closet, the field is starting to grow.

Though the research is still preliminary, studies have shown hoarding is related to cognitive differences in processes like decision-making, sorting and categorizing. In fMRI studies of people with hoarding disorder, the areas of the brain associated with decision making lit up more when making choices about material objects, showing more emotional engagement with items than usual. Another study found that hoarders find it more difficult to make decisions about their own possessions than someone else’s.

Bad news for me: It’s probably genetic. Bad news for all of us: it seems more prevalent in the U.S., where we sure do love our stuff:

There is no question that the continuous acquisition of stuff is the backbone of American culture. According to Sandra Stark, of the Peer-Led Hoarding Response Team at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, “Seventy percent of home-owning Americans cannot park cars in their garages because there’s too much stuff; one in 10 has a storage unit.” … In San Francisco alone, nearly $6.5 million is spent by landlords and service agencies each year on hoarding-related issues, which include eviction and the removal of children or the elderly due to health and safety concerns. Hoarding has been identified as a direct contributor to up to six percent of all deaths by house fire.

There are even different types of hoarding:

Monika Eckfield, an assistant adjunct professor in the department of physiological nursing at UCSF, has noticed two patterns of behavior in the course of her research. She calls one type of hoarder an “impulsive acquirer,” someone who actively acquires things for the thrill of it and keeps items because they reflect personal interests; she calls the other type a “worried keeper,” someone who tends to be more depressed and anxious, acquiring things passively and keeping them as a safeguard against potential future need. A worried keeper spends considerably more time trying to sort and organize belongings than an impulsive acquirer, and also feels more frustration with his or her living space.

Though the problem is getting more recognition, researchers are still working on an effective treatment. The cognitive behavioral therapy used to treat OCD has shown itself fairly useless when it comes to hoarding, and the treatments that do exist are expensive, involving months of work with clinicians and home visits.

And hoarding may even have somewhat of an upside, too:

The physical world of hoarders, Frost has observed, is much more expansive than what the rest of us perceive, and is often free of the rules that we are wont to impose. Even more intriguing, Frost told me that some of the neurological hallmarks of hoarding might indicate a giftedness in the aesthetic appreciation of the physical world, rather than pure illness. One of his patients had a pile that built up in the middle of her dorm room over the course of a week; she started perceiving shapes, colors, and textures, and it became a work of art—something with aesthetic value. “She couldn’t dismantle it, because that would destroy it,” Frost said.

The whole piece is definitely worth a read over at Pacific Standard.

How To Customize The Windows 11 Start Menu

Windows 11‘s new Start menu is drastically different from its predecessors. It’s less flashy and more compact, but it’s also less useful. Whether you love the new Start menu or hate it, you don’t have to stick with it.

Windows 11 does not provide as many customization options for the Start menu compared to older Windows operating systems. Nevertheless, they should be enough to give it your own twist. Or, you can cut to the chase and rely on a third-party app to change how the Start menu works.

Table of Contents

Change the Start Menu Alignment

Doing away with tradition, the Start menu in Windows 11 opens from the center of the taskbar. If that feels jarring, you can change the taskbar alignment to make it appear from the left side. To do that:

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings. Or, press Windows Key + I.

2. Select Personalization on the left pane.

4. Expand Taskbar behaviors.

5. Open the drop-down menu next to Taskbar alignment and switch from Center to Left.

Remove Recommended Apps and Files

By default, Windows 11’s Start menu displays a list of recommendations at the bottom. These can consist of programs you install or files and folders you frequently open. However, these items can clutter the Start menu or create privacy concerns. To remove them from the Recommended section:

2. Select Start.

3. Turn off the switches next to Show recently added apps, Show most used apps, and Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer as needed.

Add Apps and Folders

You can make various system-related apps and folders appear next to the Power button for faster access. To do that:

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

2. Select Personalization.

3. Select Start.

4. Select Folders.

Note: If you turn everything off within the Recommended section, the lower portion of the Start menu will appear completely vacant. You can use that area for anything else.

Add, Remove, and Rearrange Pinned Apps

By default, the Start menu in Windows 11 pins various app icons at the top of the screen. You can add, remove, and re-order items from the Pinned section as follows:

Pin Apps to Start Menu

1. Open the Start menu.

2. Select the All apps button to view a list of installed apps.

Note: The Start menu only displays three rows of pinned apps simultaneously. If you add more, you must scroll down to view them.

Unpin Apps From Start Menu

1. Open the Start menu.

3. Select Unpin from Start.

Rearrange Apps on Start Menu

1. Open the Start menu.

3. Select Move to top to push the app to the top of the Start menu. Or, drag and release the icon where you want it to appear.

Change the Start Menu Color

Switching between Windows 11’s Light and Dark modes changes the color of the Start menu. However, those aren’t the only choices you have. To apply different colors to the Start menu:

1. Open Settings.

2. Select Personalization on the sidebar.

3. Select Colors.

4. Scroll down to the Accent color section and pick a color.

5. Turn on the switch next to Show accent color on Start and taskbar.

Customize Start Menu With Start11

To continue customizing Windows 11’s Start menu, you must rely on third-party Start menu customization apps such as Start11, StartAllBack, and Start Menu X.

Start11 is arguably the most polished and user-friendly out of the lot. It costs $5.99 per device, but you can use it for 30 days for free and then decide if you want to purchase it. Here are a few things you can do with it.

Change the Start Menu Style

Start 11 comes with multiple pre-configured Start menu layouts. After installing Start 11, you can pick between available styles via the Start menu tab.

These include the Windows 10 Start menu (minus the live tiles), Windows 7’s classic Start menu, Start11’s Modern style menu, or an improved version of the default Windows 11 Start menu. Each style also features multiple sub-styles (compact, grid, or a combination of the two) that you can switch to.

Customize the Start Menu Add a New Start Button

If the Microsoft Windows 11 logo on the Start button bores you, you can quickly change that with Start11. Switch to the Start Button tab, and you can switch between multiple built-in icons or use your icons.

Change How the Taskbar Works

Start11 also extends customization support to the Windows 11 taskbar. Switch to the Taskbar tab to tweak its appearance with custom textures, change the position (e.g., make it appear at the top of the screen), add the contextual menu from Windows 10, etc. You must restart Windows Explorer to apply your changes.

Improve Start Menu Search

If you use Windows Search a lot, you can replace it with Start11’s custom search engine. It can find stuff faster, locate contents inside files, search for shortcuts on the desktop, etc. Visit the Search tab and turn on the switch next to Use Start11 search in the Start11 start menu to get started.

Make It Personal

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