First Hand Proof of Why Commercial Insurance is Vital

The majority of small business and shop owners have insurance to protect them against anything the world throws at them. While some may complain that it’s an expensive thing to have, it’s value can not be described with words, as you never know what could come your way. Unfortunately though, a large number of business owners across the world, trade on a daily basis with no such cover in place, and every so often, it comes back around to bite them.

Just ask Grace Lyo and her son Reuben from Baltimore in the United States. On the 27th of April 2015 their small store was burned to the ground by rioters after protests against Police brutality turned violent in the state of Maryland. Their shop was targeted mindlessly by rage-filled attackers simply because it was there. It was only until afterwards, while being interviewed by local news teams, that Reuben confirmed that they were without insurance.

We asked One Sure Insurance, one of the UK’s leading motor trader insurers to pitch in. They said, “It was very unfortunate for their business to be targeted in such a manner, with absolutely zero provocation to any attackers.”

On the flip side, nothing can be done, due to their lack of insurance. There’s no beating around the bush, and only one way to look at it in black and white. No insurance, means no compensation. It’s a shame to see such a business, which we all know can contribute to the backbone of an industry, to be wiped out in such a manner.

Hopefully though, shop and small business owners will take something from Grace and Reuben’s story and make sure that they are protected against anything that could happen to their business, regardless of what it is. I find it difficult to point the finger in this case and say “you had no insurance – it’s your own doing” because of the nature of the attack. Instead I have the deepest of sympathy for the Lyo family, and hope that something gets sorted out for them, and next time round, they look back and realise that they should get the insurance they need.

The Interest Of One, The Interest Of Many

There is an overhyped need for finding new niches to exploit these days by internet marketers and while this may not necessarily be a bad strategy, it is not something that is always guaranteed to work.

So, what then do you do? An easy place to find ideas lies within you – your interests. What interests you as a person? What is it that you have wanted to buy or try out? Chances are there would be others just like you who may share the same feelings ( as a customer). Perhaps a personal example here can be of some help.

I enjoy music and that has made me hoard on a plethora of audio devices and accessories ranging from my Bose earphones, headphones, Kilamanjaro amplifiers and DACs to speakers, not to mention all kinds of related cables and interfaces. So, when I decided to make a website a few years back (as an audiophile, not a seller), I naturally began by putting in my thoughts on each of these components that I owned and how I felt they fared with different devices.

To my surprise, I found others like me who shared not echoed my interests but a few of them actually thanked me because my posts helped them make an informed decision on buying an audio accessory. And that got me thinking…what if I created an affiliate account with Amazon for the products I currently possessed and simply inserted the link into my posts. It would not just help those interested in purchasing them, it would also make me a few bucks in the process.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The moral of the story here is always have to go looking for that elusive micro-niche to help you make some money online. Also, you don’t have to be an expert in something (or a misunderstood audiophile like me for that matter).Instead, you could start by giving people a taste of your opinions on product categories or online services that you are passionate about, and if you have been honest with your thoughts, you will get the following and with some luck, the money will follow.

Living The Online Retail Dream On A Shoestring Budget

In this day and age, opening a physical storefront can be quite financially challenging. The monthly rent, utility bills and skeleton employee salaries alone can cost between $20,000-$30,000. And that is not even taking the recurring expenses into account.

As such, in keeping with the times, opening an online retail business seems the more prudent and cost-effective approach. The good news is that there are lots of different ways you could go about starting an online retail business. 

Pairing Up With Amazon

Amazon, easily the world’s largest online retailer, may just be the answer to your dream of owning your own retail business.  Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) is essentially a program by Amazon that does most of the heavy lifting for you.

So, as long as you have the inventory sorted and prepared the list of items you want to sell, you simply hand it off to Amazon and it does the rest. In other words, those aspects of housing, packing, shipping and customer complaints are all areas Amazon would look after on your behalf. It is definitely a good starting point for any budget-conscious entrepreneurs out there.

Pairing Up With Etsy

If you are one of the more crafty types, then Etsy might be a good bet for you. It is free to set up shop and you are only charged a nominal fee once during listing an item on sale and once after the item is sold.

The great part with Etsy is that it many buyers from all over the world frequent it not just for one-of-a-kind creations but also for vintage crafts. So, if you have the eye for something that is unique then you could have a profitable business cycle going on Etsy in no time.

Online Boutique/ Store

Say you have few extra cash to spare, then you could partner with one of the many e-commerce platforms to sell your creations. Shopify is a good example especially since it offers a complete solution for online boutiques. The trick here is the same as above – have an inventory of sale items ready and open your online store to interested customers.

It is worth noting here that you will need to take a monthly membership with Shopify after which you shall receive all the help you need from the entity itself, be it in terms of customizing your storefront, marketing tools or processing payments. In fact, a lot of their in-house tips on selling online are a must read. 

Selling Art On The Internet – There Is An Art To It Too

The days of the struggling artist are long gone as the world wide web has opened a huge window of opportunity for artists to reach out to people.

In pre-internet times, writers, painters, and designers had to rely heavily on contacts, spend a lot of money on conducting exhibitions and advertising to get their work recognized.

However, now they can easily enjoy all the attention and even more from the comfort of their homes. That is the power of social media!

How To Start?

If you are an artist and have decided to start putting your art out into the world, firstly you need to get active on the social media circuit.

Create a business account on Instagram and Facebook and start posting every day. It can be a small drawing, or something old that you had done years back; the aim here is to gain a following. That can only happen by uploading creative content consistently. This is bound to keep your existing followers involved and help you gain more followers.

How To Keep At It?

When you work for yourself, there is a certain amount of leeway that you tend to take. This is the biggest problem you have to overcome.

You would have to chart out clear working hours, maintain a strict schedule, be organized and ensure to take time off. Your to-do list at the end of the day should be full of ticks!

As Pranita Kocharekar puts it, you have to work ‘from procrastination to productivity’.

How Will Your Art Start Earning?

Every illustrator has a different graph. Some can become popular overnight, with one of their doodles going viral, while for others it could take years. However, there are takers out there for every form of art.

Once you have gained a fan following, you can gradually introduce products into your social media. There are several websites you can collaborate with, or even make your own website on one of the shared platforms to get started.

Products like stationery, apparel, and home décor accessories are few things that a lot of popular artists sell well.