Why Manuals Are Important For Our Finances And For Our Businesses

When it comes to products we own and products we create, manuals are always included. These are for various reasons but mainly to show us how to put things together and how to use them once they are assembled. But you may not realise it – manuals, especially visual manuals can be incredibly important for our finances too.

You may be wondering why manuals are important for our finances as consumers – well, the fact is that if we didn’t know how to put something together, we could make an error and break it. We will then have to buy the item again – which isn’t good for our finances, is it? Using manuals to assemble things correctly and use them correctly also keeps them in warranty.

However manuals can also be great for businesses and businesses such as Manualise help to create manuals for your business. They make illustrated manuals and Manualise also produce multilingual manuals. But how exactly can manuals help your business?

Well, simply put, if you are offering a business or service or even a product, a manual will help the consumer no end. If it is a product, they can use the manual you offer to put the product together or learn exactly how to use it. If you offer a business or service, perhaps online, a manual can help your consumers to learn all about your product and how to make it work for them.

Over my 28 years, I’ve come across a number of manuals – whether physical when buying a product or digital, perhaps in PDF form – and they’ve always been of great use to me. Whether it has been for setting up the laptop that I am typing on now or putting together that dreaded flat pack furniture, manuals are super important to our everyday life.

I am yet to implement them into my business model – I don’t really offer any services that could do with a manual right now as I currently offer freelance writing, proofreading and virtual assistant services. But something I am considering is a DIY sort of course or membership – teaching people how they too can make a living out of the services I myself offer. I love to share the knowledge and should I go ahead with this, I’ll be in need of my own manuals, whether physical and sent to the participant, or digital and emailed across. I wouldn’t really know where to start in creating one to include not only all the important information but also be visually appealing so I am glad there are great brands out there who help you with this.

As you can see, manuals are always going to be important to my everyday life – and perhaps even my business model in the future too. I don’t think people realise how much we come to rely on them until we find ourselves without one. Tell me now; how many times have you got stressed when you have realised you haven’t got a manual to help you with whatever you need to do? I bet the answer is more often than not, right?

Do you use manuals in your business? Have you ever suffered financially because you didn’t use the manual and broke something?



Building a start-up? It’s time to consider contract workers

If you’re an entrepreneur considering how you can launch that all-important first start-up, it’s likely that staffing costs are front and centre in your mind. For many modern businesses, staff are the main asset – and whether they’re software developers or marketers, their calibre will often be what makes or breaks a business. But with the going rate for such people already high enough, spending money on staff can seem somewhat excessive. Contractors who can work flexibly, though, are often a wise answer.

What is a contractor?

Many people in Britain are still employed on a permanent basis, which means that they’re contracted to work specific hours at specific times indefinitely until either side breaks the arrangement. A contractor can differ in one or both of two ways. First, they may be hired for a certain period only – known as a “fixed term”. Secondly, their hours can be left deliberately unpredictable: one month they may work just for an hour or two, for example, while during a firm’s busy month they may be needed several times a week.

Managing their pay

From the payroll team’s point of view, meanwhile, perhaps the main aspect of contract work is the fact that contractors are responsible for their own tax payments. While permanent employees will usually have their tax deducted by you “at source”, contractors will receive all of it and later pay their own taxes through self-assessment. They will also be responsible for covering their own pension contributions, which means contractors are often an attractive choice for many firms. However, many companies worry about whether they’re doing the right thing. When it comes to making sure you’re operating within the law, PAYE compliant Umbrella Companies know all the rules – so make sure you choose a reputable firm.

Laws to consider

Even if you outsource all of these functions to an umbrella company, it’s still worth familiarising yourself with the ways in which the law works in order to be sure that you’re not inadvertently breaking any of the rules. It’s not illegal, of course, to employ someone on a contract basis – and it’s common practice in all sorts of industries, but there are some rules which an employer shouldn’t break, and the most high-profile one in recent years has been the imposition of IR35.

As getting paid as a contractor can have significant tax advantages to the contractor themselves, some people choose to become contractors even if there’s no other reason for them to do so – even if they’d simply be a normal employee if they hadn’t gone down that road. The IR35 provision prevents people in this specific scenario from doing that, and it’s usually strictly applied – so it’s wise to be sure that any so-called contractors you have on your books aren’t simply employees in disguise.

As this article has shown, hiring contractors can be a great solution to your start-up staffing woes. Of course, no staffing solution is ever perfect – and hiring contractors does come with downsides from time to time, like increased staff turnover. But with contractors offering flexibility both in terms of money and of time, it’s clear that hiring some may offer a smart solution to your problems.  


Your Home Business & Its Costs

If you are thinking of running a business from home, or you already do, then you will need to be well aware of the many kinds of costs associated with it if you are to be able to lead it to success. The truth is that it is relatively simple to run a home business, but you do need to be aware of all the intricacies of it if you are to get it right, so you are going to have to make sure that that is the case. In this post, we are going to look specifically at all the kinds of costs you need to make sure you have considered if you are going to run your home business. As long as you are taking care of the following, you should find that you can much more effectively run your home business without having to worry about the money side of things too much – and that is always a blessing which you want to have.

The Cost Of Looking Professional

Many of the main costs you need to spend have to do with ensuring that your business looks professional. Looking professional is important so that people take you seriously, but it is harder to make a home business look important than a normal business. However you can achieve this, as long as you are happy to consider the costs of doing so. The good news here is that there are many ways of keeping those costs down as well. So you don’t need to worry about paying a lot for a good office address, for example – which is an important part of looking the part and looking professional. If you visit Your Virtual Office, you will see that this can be done relatively cheaply, and that it is likely to make a profound difference to your business on the whole. It’s definitely something you need to think about in either case, and it i’ll help you to keep the cash flowing in the long run. There might be a cost to looking professional, but it will help to gain you more overall.

The Cost Of Using Energy

People often make the mistake of thinking that, because they are at home, they somehow don’t have to worry about what energy they are using for their business. But nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that you might need to think about it even more, because it is going to lumped in together with your home energy costs. It might be that it does not add on too much to your bill each quarter, but you still need to make sure you are calculating how much of your bill the business uses. That is useful for tax purposes, for a start, but you also need to find a way to keep those costs down in the first place, so that your business is not having such a great effect on your household bills. Simple acts like turning your computer off at night will ensure that you can save a surprising amount of money and energy here, as can be conscious with how and when you use technology. As long as you do that, the costs of using energy will be far lower for your business – and your home in general as a result.


The Cost Of Marketing

People often overlook marketing when it comes to their home business, but you need to do a lot of it if you are to succeed in your venture. In fact, you might need to do a lot more than you think at first. Fortunately, there is plenty of marketing out there which you can utilize for free, and you should absolutely make the most of those. Social media and many other online marketing attempts are likely to be free or low-cost, so that is hugely important if nothing else. But you do still need to spend a little money on marketing here and there if your business is to succeed, so make sure that you are doing that as effectively as you can to make your money go as far as necessary. Do that, and you will be in a much better position.

As long as you take care of these areas of your business, you will find that you have much more success with the financial side of things, and that is something which is always going to make a hugely profound difference to the success of the business itself in the long run.