Motivational: Starting Up a New Business

30 Aug
30th August 2017

Ah, you’ve finally developed that great idea you have. You’ve created the perfect product that the market needs and you’re excited to get it out there. You know that this item is what so many people are looking for. Now to go into business, get this thing sold, improve and benefit other people’s lives and, be your own boss… it’s exciting!

But, then you start to look at what setting up a business includes; Registering and paying taxes, choosing how to handle VAT so that you don’t alienate your customers before you even start, or equally as bad, after, or for yourself into a financial loss. Wondering where to find, what kind, or if you even need insurance. Debating how to protect your copyrightable assets. How to market, where to sell, setting up an online shop… The list goes on! And do you even have any or all of the knowledge in these areas to be able to maintain and manage them to sell your brilliant product in the way it needs to be sold?

Then you realise that while you’ve been busy developing your product, you haven’t had any time left to do all these other extras you’ve now discovered you need. You sit, thinking about this great product that will now disappear in the abyss, not because it’s a bad product, but because setting up and running a business is so complicated.

But it’s not, really. Looking at your brilliant product, you see a stunning end result. But, as you bask in its glory, you forget the trials and tribulations you went through to create it. You forget the long nights, perhaps after your day job has finished. You forget the numerous mistakes you make, backtracking and throwing failed ideas away. You forget the days when you were stumped, out of ideas, and too tired to work. Yet, you sit looking at this great product you created, impressed with your abilities.

Developing a business is just the same. Stage one is the repeated failures that developed into the great product you have. It’s the result of taking small steps, making small choices, thousands of decisions that, when all were filtered and organised, resulted in the ideal set of conditions that helped you create your brilliant product. And you made each and every one of those thousands of decisions. You probably didn’t know it, but you were also learning and discovering along the way, working through new things that you had never worked through before. But you did it, most likely because it was enjoyable.

But we never see ‘setting up a business’ as enjoyable. It’s the side that most of us small business owners probably dislike the most, or do only because it has to be done to get our ideas out there. That, is the difference.

You see, all the steps to setting up a small business, stage two, are all the same steps that you put into creating your product. Making mistakes then fixing them, exploring and learning new ideas, getting stumped then finding the solution after taking a break, meeting people, making thousands of small decisions that add up to the end result of a business.

When you created your product, you probably never thought about the whole thing, in it’s entirely, complete and perfect. When you created it, you probably discovered many failures that you improved on. If you’re like most of us though, you probably envision your business complete; set in stone, unable to be changed, and that you have one, and only one, chance to get it right.

But it’s not true, really. A business is just another aspect of your product. Something you can take your time with and enjoy. You will have thousands of steps to take to get your business up and running so why try to do it in one big leap? Take the small steps, enjoy them and find something great in each one. Discover something new and seek out or meet other people who might be able to help you. Who knows, they might need your product or know of others who will (that’s sales without trying).

When we look at the complexity and immensity of something huge, especially if it’s out of our comfort zone, we are often intimidated and become fearful. The key is to turn that around so that we are not afraid. Every now and then, forget about the big picture, look at one small step you can take that will move you forward. Keep in mind, if the details are right, the big picture will be right. Always remember too, just like your product, nothing is set in stone when setting up your business. Go back and change it if a decision doesn’t work out. Just take exactly what you did with your product and apply it to setting up your business. You’ve done it before, and now it should be even easier with all your experience. Make things easy so that they can be enjoyable. Don’t worry about money; find an accountant to keep things in order. Don’t worry about the technicalities too much; find a sharp legal mind if you’re concerned about something. If you have no idea about online shops, hire an e-commerce specialist. Outsourcing is taking the big leaps, and turning them into just another of the thousand easy decisions, keeping it easy and manageable.

Gluten Free Meats Now Easier to Buy Online

30 Aug
30th August 2017

If you’ve been searching for a UK butcher stocking Gluten Free Meats, you might in the past have had some difficulty. The big name supermarkets have certainly improved their “Free From” offerings, but gluten free meat doesn’t seem to have been as carefully considered. Lack of choice where gluten free foods are concerned has always been an issue, and continues to be a problem in many areas.

Thankfully, Rendalls Online Butcher – a traditional Scottish butcher based in Stirling, UK – have a solution to this problem. Rendalls offer a fantastic selection of gluten free meats, with free delivery on orders over £75, and provide an easy and secure website to order with.

More people now than ever are turning to shopping for their groceries online, and certainly meat products are no exception.

Of course, the main staples for most meat-eaters are usually burgers and sausages. Rendalls have you covered with gluten free steak, pork and chicken burgers, and also beef, cumberland and pork sausages… enough to satisfy even the most veteran of BBQ experts!

If you’re looking for something a little different instead, you might also happen upon gluten free offerings of steak pie, black pudding and lorne sausage. Also shaking things up a bit, exotic meats are a brilliantly low fat, nutritious alternative to traditional meats.

For those with a hankering for seafood, be sure to peruse their section of fresh fish, with everything from Haddock, to Cod, to Sea Bream easy to shop online. The health and nutritional benefits of fresh fish are clear to see – it’s good for you, it tastes amazing and it’s a definite way to change things up in the kitchen!

Delivery terms are fair, with orders being delivered chilled in secure packaging. You can also select a preferred delivery date at checkout.

It’s worth noting that they do handle other glutenous products in the building, although Rendalls do take great care in their preperation.

It’s great to see a British butcher taking it upon themselves to offer such a great choice of gluten free meats and deli items. We’ve teamed up with Rendalls to offer you an awesome 10% off your first order, exclusive to OST readers – use coupon code FIRST10 at checkout – you can thank us later!

Choosing a Web Host for Blogging

11 Jun
11th June 2017

While we’re going to talk about getting a website host for blogging in this post, everything we talk about here also works if you are needing hosting to setup a company website to gather leads, or if you are going to start selling products to customers. To many, blogging is not just a hobby, but a business or a career even.

Being a business of sorts, blogging should also be treated as such. Businesses require investments, and need to grow. So does blogging. When people create a free blog, they don’t usually think ahead, and instead end up restricting themselves – most would buy a domain and leave it at that. They don’t realise the importance of a proper web-hosting or are scared off by the perceived complexity of doing it themselves. Hence, in this post, we talk about why you should get a web-hosting package, and which host to choose.

Why buy Web Hosting when Blogger or WordPress does me fine?

Web Hosting refers to storing your website files on a separate and dedicated web server. This is different from domain hosting. Domain hosting simply refers to purchasing a custom URL for your blog. While it is true that Google provides free web hosting for your Blogger, the fact remains that this hosting is really limited. You will face the following restrictions even if you buy a custom domain for your Blogger blog.

No sub-domains (subdomain.domain.com)
No forum or any similar application
No custom webpages
Limited to a few custom email addresses (if they are provided at all)
No scripts on your site, and will have to rely on a third-party
Can’t upload files that you want, except for images and videos etc
There’s a limit of 1 GB to the total size of pictures you upload
Each individual page be of at most 1 MB in size

These are some of the many things that differentiate a blogger from a webmaster. Beginners often don’t realise their importance, and are hesitant to spend money on a proper hosting package. These features come in really handy if in the future, you want to expand the scope of your blog, and want to add custom pages, applications, tools, and add your custom scripts. With simple hosting starting at around only £3 per month (click here to learn more) its something that isn’t going to break the bank.

We’ve had experience with many web hosting companies, and have found A2 Hosting to be one of the best options for bloggers and business users alike. We ourselves use A2 Hosting for a couple of our other projects!

Why A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting provides one of the best hosting services one can ask for. If you navigate over to their homepage, you will find they have won numerous awards and achievements in their field. And if you search anywhere for the top web hosting companies out there, you will find A2 Hosting in that list. And not without good reason – their inventory of features is simply astounding!

UNLIMITED storage space
UNLIMITED bandwidth
SSD Storage as standard
FREE SSL Certificates
Free and easy website builder tools
Free 24/7 customer support
Feature-rich and easy-to-use control panel
Offer services such as PHP, MySQL, NODE.JS, Pearl, Python, postgreSQL and more!

And that’s just the start. A2 Hosting has three basic web-hosting plans; Lite, Swift, and TURBO plans. The above mentioned features apply to all. In addition, if you want further options, you can choose from the Swift or the Turbo plan.

These plans have flexible payment options. You can pay either on a monthly basis, or once after every two years. The longer plan you choose, the greater discount you receive.

We ourselves recommend the turbo plan; it allows an unlimited number of domains on the server. However, most beginners should go for the lite plan, because they will most probably have to deal with a single domain at most. So if you intend to create more blogs, you should choose the turbo plan. Otherwise, go for the lite plan. They have much the same features, except for the option of unlimited domains on the turbo plan. If you know that your blog/website gets lots of traffic, then the extra resources offered with the Turbo plan will give a far better experience for your visitors, with faster loading times and better resources!

However, if you are getting a significant amount of traffic to your site, then you probably want to look at A2 Hosting’s VPS (Virtual Private Servers). You can get an unmanaged VPS from only £4 a month giving you more specs than a standard hosting package! If you want a little more help, you can also opt for one of their managed VPS where they also look after it and maintain it. While a VPS is not everyone’s cup of tea, they are ideal for a growing website or when you wish to host a shopping cart, for instance.

The next step up from a VPS is a dedicated server. This is where you get the ability to use all of a servers resources for yourself. This is not for the novice or the faint hearted – but if you are getting 1000’s of visitors an hour, then it’s the only choice. The cost is a lot higher than the likes of shared hosting or a VPS, but the crux of it is that you have full control of the server and full access to the servers resources, which are guaranteed for you. With a VPS, you can’t fully access all of the resources a server offers due to “shared” nature of a VPS.

Another thing A2 Hosting also offers are Reseller Hosting packages. This can be a great way to make some extra cash once you get up and running and find your feet! A2 Hosting gives you the ability to create Hosting Accounts for your clients/colleagues. Fun fact: Some of the largest hosting providers started out operating as resellers, as it’s a very low risk business strategy to become a hosting reseller, with little investment required.

One factor that makes A2 Hosting stands out is their excellent 24/7 customer support. They can help you at each step of installation and setup of your blog. Simply pop them a support ticket and you will usually get a reply in minutes. You can ask them any questions, and they will help you out as much as possible. If you are also looking to move from another host, the amazing team at A2 Hosting will be more than happy to help you migrate all of your important data across, with the least amount of fuss!

A2 Hosting offers packages for everyone at every price level. Self hosting your blog or website isn’t hard and shouldn’t be expensive. We will be posting more articles on getting set up with a web host in the coming months, so stay tuned for that.

So what are you waiting for – go and get yourself a web-hosting package at A2 Hosting, and start enjoying a feature-rich environment where you can tweak your blog to your heart’s content. We wish you all the best in your blogging career!