Best Startup Business Ideas: Some Suggestions

Are you looking for the best startup business ideas? Everyone dreams of starting his own business someday. As a child, you probably have dreams of creating your own toy factory, or creating your own boutique someday. As we grow older, those dreams don’t fade away. Sometimes, they just stay untouched and unthought-of at the back of our heads because we got too tied with other things, like managing other people’s business. We all want to be our own boss and be able to generate enough or even more money to live the life we desire.

The desire to own your own business is sometimes fuelled by your yearning to have more money to buy your dream house, drive your dream car, travel to different places, or to save up for your kid’s college education. Everything is fuelled by your dreams of having a better and comfortable life.

Many successful entrepreneurs say that one of the best startup business ideas is an online business. With the power of the Internet, there are tons of business ideas that you can have. You can create a virtual assistant service, a small call center facility, a Public Relations business or a web design and development business if you have the right skills and knowledge. A lot of people nowadays shop online. You can start selling various products online like clothes, shoes, toys, bags and accessories to a huge market with a great buying potential. Because you can sell almost anything online, all you have to do now is to be creative with the products which you plan to market. Online business also involves life coaching. You can offer to help other people deal with their stress and problems. You can help them become better persons and help them manage their life as positively as possible.

Other best startup business ideas include candle-making business, cake decorating, real estate agency, customized jewellery shop, events planning, toy cleaning service, personal shopper or flower arrangement. You can start an accounting service, payroll administrative service, travel agency, be an interior designer or farmer and sell crops. You can grow your garden of flowers and start your own flower shop. There are so many business ideas out there, you just have to pick out the right one for you.

There are several things that you have to consider when choosing the best startup business ideas. You need to consider your budget, your knowledge, skills, and the amount of time that you can give to your startup business. Remember, for a business to succeed, you should have the skills and the time to make it successful.

How Hiring A Virtual Assistant Is Beneficial?

Do you ever feel stressed from too much work? It happens to all small-scale business owners, but there are answers. A virtual assistant can take care of several boring and mundane tasks that take up your valued time, liberating you up to pay attention on matters that require the owner’s undivided attention. From taking care of appointments to management of social media handles, a small business VA can be an unbelievably appreciated addition to your team.

1) Enjoy More Free Time

You are the owner of the business, and not the other way around. There are only 24 hours in a day, and a virtual assistant can radically cut your work load so you can have extra time to devote to the business, or to yourself. It’s so vital for business owners and their staff to find equilibrium between their professional and personal lives, and to solve this issue you can hire a virtual assistant for your business to make possible some extra time to be spent with your loved ones and pursue other passions or hobbies.

So, what are the things a virtual assistant can do and how can you scale your business system? The opportunities are endless. Usually they take care of all of those little mundane tasks that take up so much of your time. Numerous virtual assistants complete marketing research to help you better understands your target customer base. They can also create fun website content for your social media handles and take care of posting duties too. Virtual assistants can also take care of receiving phone calls and replying to emails. In short, if it is something that doesn’t require your personal attention, you can probably find a virtual assistant to do it.

2) Cut Business Expenses

Hiring and providing new employees required training can be quite expensive. When you hire a virtual assistant India to scale your business, you don’t need to pay a full salary or offer employee benefits that would otherwise be required. You can settle a fair payment setup and pay only for the tasks that get completed. Not to take away from dedicated employees who still have a major role in the work place for a small business setting, but you may possibly find that you can keep the size of your business team small while your business grows without overworking your employees with expanding work load. This tends to help to keep your staff morale at a good level, decreasing your company’s annual turnover rate.

3) Get More Work Done due to Increased Efficiency

Some of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs got where they are by means of masterful direction. Every workday is a possibility to scale your business upwards because virtual assistants can make a world of difference for small business owners or a virtual assistant makes it easy to increase efficiency radically. Scaling up a small business requires a lot of money, effort, and time, and a VA can assist you to accomplish your objectives quicker while freeing up vital resources for other more demanding tasks.

4) Finish Unfamiliar Tasks

It’s not always conceivable to hire individuals who have every skill your business may need, and there are going to be times when you aren’t familiar with particular skills or tasks. When you hire a VA for the job, you can consider candidates who are skilled in the specific area of need that is required. For instance, if you need to put together a sales report for the year, and you aren’t sure of how to use accounting software, you could easily find an expert virtual assistant service.

5) Use Less Physical Space

Space is a valued resource for a business. When a virtual assistant is working remotely, that’s one less desk in your office, producing a more relaxed work setting for you and your employees. That means your expenses on supplies, electricity, and other costs associated with in-house employees is considerably reduced.

If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant for your business, make sure to do your research prior, to ensure that you select the right VA. As long as you make it clear as to what your expectations are, you should be able to find a reliable VA to provide value to your company in ways you may not have expected.

Hiring a business VA could be one of the greatest choices you ever make. It reduces your work load and saves time for both you and your company.

Which Comes First – The Patent or the Prototype?

Throughout my time helping inventors develop a multitude of different projects, this conundrum has often reared its head. It is important to say from the outset that there is no definitive answer, but I will aim to convey the alternative perspectives, to allow inventors to make an informed choice for themselves. The opinions on this topic vary across professionals in the IP industry and the answer will differ depending on the specific idea.

Having said that, below are the main reasons for developing a prototype before patenting:

  1. A patent application requires a certain level of detail regarding how the idea functions. This is known as ‘sufficiency’ or an ‘enabling disclosure’. It is often easier to describe, and draw, an invention once a prototype has been created and tested.
  2. Prototyping develops the idea and it may be that a new or better solution is achieved. Potentially these iterative developments could require altering the original patent application or filing a new application. This could cost more or result in advantageous changes being left unprotected.
  3. The grace period before substantial fees and important decisions need to be made during the patenting process is quite short, considering the average time it takes to launch a new product onto the market. It could be argued that it is better to progress the idea as much as possible before filing the patent application, including finalising the design through prototyping. This would then allow the grace period to be used for manufacturing or licensing the product.
  4. A prototype can be used to test the market and some people consider that it is best to do this before embarking on a potentially expensive patenting strategy. (Disclosing the idea can prevent a granted patent being achieved and legal advice should be taken on how to test the market without forfeiting potential patenting opportunities. Confidentiality agreements are one way of protecting an idea before a patent application has been filed.)
  5. A prototype may prove that the idea is not viable therefore saving the cost and time involved in drafting and filing a patent application.

Conversely, below are the main reasons to file a patent application before prototyping:

  1. Prototypes often need to be produced by companies and therefore it could be wise to file for the patent first to protect the intellectual property.
  2. If the inventor waits for the prototype to be produced before filing the patent application, someone else may file an application for the same idea first. In many countries of the world, including the UK, the patents systems are ‘first to file’ and not ‘first to invent’.
  3. The patent application process includes a thorough worldwide novelty and inventiveness search by the UK IPO that could reveal valuable prior art material, not only in terms of the direction the prototype should take, but also in terms of potential infringement issues whereby the prototype can then be designed around existing patents.
  4. A patent application and the resulting patent, like all intellectual property, provides an asset which is owned by the inventor or applicant company. If prepared effectively, the patent can be licensed or sold to generate an income stream potentially without ever needing to produce the prototype.
  5. It may be better to start with a patent application if funds are limited, as a patent application is generally cheaper than a prototype.
  6. A ‘provisional’ patent application can be filed without requiring great detail, providing a follow up application is then filed within 12 months which describes the idea in more detail. This may be following the proof of concept provided by the prototype.

There are some ways round these issues. Prototyping manufacturers can be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the idea is disclosed. However bear in mind that many companies will not sign confidentiality agreements, since their in-house departments might be working on similar ideas. Pre-application patent searches can be carried out prior to prototyping or patenting to discover whether it is sensible to proceed without having to draft and file an application.

There is a third perspective for consideration. Some industry experts would suggest that it’s not a patent or prototype that should come first but the opinion of industry experts as to whether the idea is viable and will sell. They would argue that the prototype and patent are important parts of the process but, at the very beginning, it’s best to ascertain that there is actually a market before investing in either a patent or prototype.

In conclusion, the best way to proceed with any new product idea is a complex decision. If the novel functionality of the idea is unproven, then a prototype may be a sensible first step. It is worth ensuring that a reputable company is used to produce the prototype and that a confidentiality agreement is signed prior to the concept being revealed. Alternatively, the inventor may choose to file a patent application first and accept that additional cost may be incurred to re-file or amend the application as the project is developed.

Which Software Do You Need to Run a CNC Hot Wire Foam Cutting Machine?

A CNC hot wire foam cutter is a computer controlled machine used for mainly cutting Polystyrene foam and similar materials, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. The machine consists of a wire running between 2 towers, which is heated via hot wire power supply, thus melting and cutting the foam into the desired shape. The towers can move in an X-Axis (right-left) and a Y-Axis (up-down).

Cutting the foam is done in 3 basic steps:

1. Drawing the desired shape to be cut.

2. Converting the shape into G-Code

3. Running the machine with the software to execute the desired shape.

Any Cad tool, such as Auto Cad or Corel Draw can be used for drawing the shape, as long as the file can be saved in a DXF format. CAD means Computer-aided Design. It is a modeling tool used to design curves and figures in 2 dimensional space (2D) or curves, surfaces and objects in three-dimensional space (3D). There are various CAD files in the market. More recommended ones include Instant Engineer 14, which can be purchased online for few dollars, DesignCAD, AutoCAD and TurboCAD. Another Cad tool software is DevFoam, that combines both the drawing and the G-Code generation. It is a user friendly application for cutting foam with a 4 Axis CNC machine.

Next step is to convert the shape into G-Code. The G-Code is another name for the computerized tool by which we tell the machine what to cut and how to cut it. For the conversion one can use software such as DeskCNC, DevCad or FoamWorks.

DeskCNC was originally designed for a 3 Axis CNC Router machines. It was later on modified to enable a 4 Axis foam cutters to run as well.

FoamWorks is known for its simplicity and being a user friendly software. It is designed to drive a 4 Axis foam cutter via a parallel port of any windows based computer. It can cut any shape, but works best for cutting RC wings.

For the last stage of running the machine, software such as Mach3 and DeskCNC can be used. The Mach3 program is a G-Code reader. It allows you to turn your PC computer into a 4 Axis CNC controller for machining and cutting. It is an operating system for running the CNC hot wire foam cutter. It was originally developed for the home hobbyist, and later modified for use for any CNC machine operation for industrial use.

5 Qualities of An Entreprenuer

Here are 5 qualities that an entrepreneur has;

1. “Failure” does NOT exist in their dictionary

There are no failures in an entrepreneur’s dictionary, only new lessons to be learnt and mistakes to be avoided in the future.

Every stumbling block is but a challenge and therefore, there is no need to give up. They may change their direction and their methods, but an entrepreneur’s aim and passion never dies.

2. Creativity

Entrepreneurs have to use their creativity constantly to innovate and conjour up new services and products, in order to provide value to customers in their targeted market while learning to distinguish themselves from exsiting competitors.

Entrepreneurs are a curious bunch as they are motivated by their need to serve and provide value, and they do this by maximising their creativity.

3. Enjoys networking

Entrepreneurs love to network and get to know more people who share similar interest and passion. Some of them like to share their passion and views in a larger scale by giving talks too.

It is no longer an issue of being an introvert or an extrovert. Both personalities make great entrepreneurs by working in vastly different ways that suit their style. Ultimately, both personalities enjoy meeting people with similar interest.

Also, they are willing to learn from others. Entrepreneurs know the value to knowledge and are always willing to meet people whom they are able to learn from. They also recognise that working with these people will allow them to serve their customers better.

4. Loves to read

Riding off the previous point, entrepreneurs love to learn and expose themselves to new ideas. Most of them love to read, and have great and effective methods of reading.

Additionally, entrepreneurs read widely. They typically read anything that captures their interest and allows them to learn and improve themselves. Entrepreneurs recognise the importance of consistent learning and self-development.

5. Acts fast

Entrepreneurs tend not to procrastinate. In fact, procrastination is the GREATEST enemy of an entrepreneur. Getting things DONE is one of the key qualities of an entrepreneurs, and that is the main reason they succeed. No one succeeds by brainstorming ideas in their bedroom, without implementing those ideas. Ideas remain a fantasy and a theory, until they are put into action.

By acting fast, entrepreneurs also ensure that they are able to capture a greater market share before their competitors step in.

Do you possess these qualities? Are you working towards your goals and dreams?