Starting Small Businesses Has Never Been Easier

I believe that it’s easier to succeed with small businesses than ever before. There are more opportunities for entrepreneurs to start small businesses today than at any previous time.Here are some good reasons for why I believe this is true.A) With the increase in population comes an increase in opportunities for small businesses.Generally, a sparse population requires a small business owner to provide a wide variety of goods or services to survive. With a denser population, the small businesses can still survive by providing a very narrow range of products or services.For example, in a smaller population a small business which provides gardening services would probably need to offer many things. Services could include general garden maintenance, planning, tree felling, lawn cutting, vermin control, pond planning and maintenance, hard landscaping etc.With a bigger population a small business could thrive perfectly well by providing just one of these services, as there are more people who will need it.B) The costs involved in starting and running small businesses has never been so low in proportion to income.Technology has replaced many of the things which people used to do, and technology does the job a lot more cheaply.Today it’s possible to reach literally millions of potential customers around the world very cheaply.For example, only a few decades ago the cost of mailing to thousands of households was prohibitively high. Unless you had a very good product or service which sold well, a small business just wouldn’t risk it.Another example, business premises security used to involve security guards walking around checking that all was well. Now a good security system can be bought for less than 1 week’s pay for that security guard, and it will work 24 hrs per day for years, for no pay.C) Because modern life is so complex today, small businesses and individuals are open to new ideas, products and services like never before.This creates a huge market for training courses, information provision services, educational aids, specialised products and services, novelties, etc.With this great diversity come great opportunities to combine different products and technologies, thus making whole new areas of business possible.For example, you can combine a low-light camera with wireless communications and a bird box. This means a nest may be watched remotely on a television or personal computer screen.Another example would be to combine voice-chip technology with passive infrared technology to make it sound as though you have a huge dog indoors whenever anyone approaches your house.In our recent history, these opportunities just didn’t exist.D) It may not feel like it, but many people today have a lot more leisure time and a higher disposable income than in any previous age.This spare income (and with the current attitudes to loans, a little more besides) tends to get spent on sports, games, hobbies, crafts, amusements, entertainments, holidays and weekend breaks etc.This creates many opportunities for the entrepreneur to start up small businesses to satisfy all this extra demand.E) To thrive in a modern society you need to have a lot of different skills.Nowadays people cope with a variety of complex tasks. They buy and use a wide range of consumer equipment, fill out many forms, and communicate with all kinds of people from all walks of life (often from different countries and cultures). They also do difficult transactions like house purchasing, and so on.All this is a long way from the average people who were around just a few hundred years ago. Many were farm labourers who could barely read or write and never travelled more than a few miles from home.So now, the pool of potential business people is far greater than ever before. If a person can live well in a modern society, they already have the abilities they need to start up a small business enterprise and succeed.The good news also is that if you lack a certain skill which your small business needs, then you can probably employ someone with that skill far more easily than ever before.F) More people have access to money than ever before.Until the late 1960s, most people were paid weekly and spent money as they earned it.It was normal among manual workers to run right out of money around the time of their next pay packet, which often contained notes and coins!Today most people have many bank accounts (with overdrafts) and access to credit cards, which alone have spending limits equal to a half or full year’s income.Savings and share holdings are greater than ever before. A large proportion of the population can raise money on their house and if they don’t mind paying a high interest percentage, they can borrow with no security at all.A great variety of people and institutions are now willing to lend money for good small businesses proposals.With access to credit, you can buy the product, ship it to the customer and get paid before you have to pay for the goods which you sold. This just wasn’t possible until very recently.G) Advice, courses and books about starting small businesses are within easy reach of everyone.Researching your chosen business area has never been easier with the Internet so readily available.Not so long ago, you would have needed to buy many books and read them all to get the specific information you required. Now you can ask a search engine very specific questions and get very specific answers, almost immediately.This frees up small businesses and enables them to be far more productive and enterprising.H) If you start a small business today you have an immense amount of technology available to you.Computers, printers, copiers, audio and video recording and playback equipment, telephony and the internet are all easily available to any entrepreneur wanting to get started in a new small business enterprise.Not long ago, the average multi-national company lacked the computing, communicating and printing power available to the ordinary person today.You can probably think of at least 6 different ways to get a simple message to someone on the other side of the world. 5 of those messages would typically arrive less than 1 minute after you sent them.Just 100 years ago, (and remember mankind has been around for about 3 million years) this same message would have involved horses and steam ships and would have taken months.This massive improvement in technology (especially in communications and information) has really opened up the field to the individual who wants to go ahead with a new small business venture.I) Small businesses starting up today have far more choices available to them.In previous times, it was quite common for there to be only a few companies that they could go to, to buy business supplies. Whatever business you care to name, you would not find many suppliers of the materials needed to conduct that business.Unless your business is in a very specialist area, you will now find you can source your supplies from a great many firms. This in turn drives your costs down, as you can shop around for the best deals.For example, there used to be very few ways to get your goods delivered to your customers. Nowadays you could chose from literally hundreds of different carriers.New companies can chose anywhere in the world to set up their small businesses, or indeed where to place any part of their business.I know of a successful paintball company, which operates in the UK in summer. But when the business falls off due to the cold winter, they find new customers by simply moving the company to Brazil, and then return the following spring.They also take advantage of the cheaper labour in Brazil to manufacture the paint balling equipment, and when back in the UK use the greater expertise in the UK to program their systems.Not so long ago this flexibility of operating a small business would have been totally impractical.Conclusion.There are far more opportunities to start small businesses than ever before and entrepreneurs who do start new small businesses at home are more likely to succeed.There are more potential customers, it costs less to start up and you have more choice over the kind of business to go into. Other benefits are a more skilled and educated workforce, and easy access to financial support.If you do want your own enterprise, you can also use the power of the Internet to carry out good and fast research, and to support your business in many ways. I believe there has never been a better time to start up new small businesses.

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Our Wellbeing and GDP At Threat – Support to Real Artists and Real Art

In yet another interesting edition of Arts Nation: An Overview of Australian Arts, 2015 Ed., prepared by the Australian Council for the Arts, great insight was presented as to the current state of the industry and the direction forward. The proceeding discusses the results and implications of the current situation from the Australian Council for the Arts findings.Firstly to note, in what was extremely pleasing to read, was that nearly every Australian engaged in some form of arts culture at least once in 2013. Whether this be in the form of live events, art galleries or reading of literature; 94% is something to be proud of for our great country. Compare this to America where Artnet News notes a steady decline in American attendance in their benchmark arts activities (jazz events, classical music performances, opera, musical plays, non-musical plays, ballet, and art museums or galleries) since 1992. In that year 41% of Americans attended at least one form of these benchmark art activities, however fast forward to 2012 and this rate has dropped to 33.4% [2].This is an alarming trend based on the evidence from internationally recognised subjective wellbeing analysis techniques which consider emotional, social and cognitive factors. These techniques help calculate the value of intangibles and has backing from people such as the Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman [3] saying that economists can, and should measure individual and social wellbeing directly to understand the true value of people’s activities.85% of Australians are in consensus that the arts make for a richer and more meaningful life, and nearly all Australians engage in at least one form the arts each year. Hence it would be feasible to deduce that with an increasing arts interaction in which Australia has an already admirable position, a higher life satisfaction is likely outcome with all other factors being equal. This situation is directed in a vastly different direction for America with their declining arts interaction at ratios around one third that of Australia’s.Given the position Australia is in with regards to the arts interaction and the obvious benefits to the public, it is little wonder that the Australian government continues to contribute approximately $7 billion dollars per year between culture and the core arts. This sector generates around $50 billion dollars to Australia’s GDP each year. A GDP share that is comparable to that of America.Contributing to this GDP value is the number of tourist coming to Australia and also engaging in our culture and arts. A figure which is trending upward by 20% over the last three years and now at 2.4 million tourists / visitors who undertake Australian arts activities whilst visiting. This represents 38% of visitors who come to Australia, who engage in our arts. Needless to say this shows a great deal of insight into the quality of the artists in Australia. Further substantiated by the strong representation of Australian artists nominated for international awards. From a selection of 16 major international arts events, the artists shortlisted for international arts award was made up by 1.6% Australians. Very admirable and proof of the quality of Australian arts based on the Australian population only making up around 0.33% of the world population.These talented artists, though achieving great things nationally and internationally are still scarce in number and on a plateau. In addition to the 109,000 students currently undertaking creative arts qualifications at a tertiary level, there is around 44,000 professional artists in Australia. Of these 44,000 professional artists only around 17% are working full time on their creative practice. A mear 7,500 professional artists working on their own works. A country which derives $50 billion in GDP from culture and the arts and has a $7 billion dollar a year contribution from the government. An industry that is recognised to improve our quality and fulfilment of our lives. So it brings wonder as to why this is, and it is so very clear in the Australian Council for the Arts report. It is here it is noted that the average income for these professional artists who commit their full work time to their own creative practice is $22,500 per year. This represents nearly a quarter of the annual Australian wage of $81,000 [4] for the twelve months to June 2013.Even with $7 billion dollars contributed annually by the Australian government in addition to the $221 million raised from the private sector by arts organisations, the professional artists are in need of support. Real artists needing support to keep being able to create work for an industry which nearly every Australian interacts with each year. An industry that aids our life satisfaction and general happiness.With no question to the benefits of constant technological advances in basically all facets of our modern lives, there exists businesses focused on taking away such purpose from the before discussed artists. The printing of canvas paintings for example, creating mass produced and commercialised images in minutes. Taking away from any uniqueness and honesty of the artwork because a machine has executed the file. This also discards the skill set and talent that an artist creates with a handmade piece of art. Then as the domino effect goes, leaves less artists able to focus full time on their own creative works. Eventually a trend of this nature will leave real artists as an endangered species. With the 44,000 professional artists plateau since 2001, the occupation share that the artist profession has, thus must be declining at the same rate as the Australian population growth. Around 29% since 2001 (18,607,584) [5] to the time of writing this article (23,946,356) based upon the Australian Bureau of Statistics historical population data and Australian population projection clock [6]. A sad and worrying trend for an industry so important to our country in both economical and social terms.It has already been stated that the vast majority of Australians (85%) agree that arts make for a richer and more meaningful life. So it needs to be recognised that in order to retain and continue to benefit from that which the arts giveth, we must continue to support real artists doing real work, or the benefits will be taketh from us all.Please support real art and real artists.References[1] Arts Nation: An Overview of Australian Arts, 2015 Ed., prepared by the Australian Council for the Arts[2] Alexander Forbes – Artnet News, 2015[3] Layard R 2005, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science. Stiglitz J A, Sen A and Fitoussi JP 2009, Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. O’Donnell G, Deaton A, Durand M, Halpern D and Layard R 2014 Wellbeing and Policy[4] SEEK’s Annual Salary Review, 2013[5] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, 3105.0.65.001 – Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014, Table 1.2[6] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015

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The Growing Importance of Technology in Our Modern Lives

As it is always stated, that technology has made living much more comfortable in the present scenario; instead technology has a vital role in shaping the world to make it comfortable for us human beings. It is not just a phenomenon of today but it has been a persistent phenomenon since the world exists. Technology with its consistency has not just comforted people during their daily routine but has also shaped up people’s life for their betterment. The working time of people has lessened because of the advent of technology, as in ancient times people used to work for hours and the output was less but these days people can sit back and let the machine do the same amount of work within minutes.It has not just made people comfortable but has also made their life simpler to live. Being diverse in nature it has brought employment to ‘n’ number of people. Youth these days brainstorm their mind to think about an innovative technology which would be highly acceptable in this world, then they use their manpower to give a shape to their innovation, which is actually contributing a lot for the world. As new technologies are being developed which will increase the economy of the country?The modern technology is not just growing but has amazed the people with the things it can do in just a fraction of seconds. Developers have developed computer which can understand the human emotions, and can exactly judge word to word what a person is thinking about, which in today’s world is a remarkable achievement. Such technologies are infinite in number which has left the human beings in embezzlement. The technology is updated everyday, which makes it very difficult to cope up with the latest versions. The aspiration of the growing developers should be to do things differently, not the same things, which have been done in the past but differ a bit.Technology has its downsides too, which should not be left out, It is making the people much more dependent by spoon feeding everything and not encouraging them to work harder. With the growing potential of technology it is someday surely going to increase the work load on humans while developing it and the end is going to replace all work done by humans. Technology has also created a drift between the upper class and lower class society. On the basis of technology they can posses. An upper class person would always be envied of the gadgets he uses by the lower class. In the end all we need to remember is that we are the ones who have the leash to develop technology so we should stop, when technology starts to hover the efforts of human beings. We should all remember that the remote control of these technologies is in our hand i.e., to use it in the right direction depends on the way we control the joysticks.

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