Category Archives: Business Tips

Crane Franchise Benefits: Choosing the Right Franchise

crane franchise benefitsToday, I’m going to share more details about our new franchise, how both franchisees and their customers as well as our regular customers can tap into our Crane Franchise Benefits.

As I mentioned before, we have created really great back office systems and processes. Those benefit our current customers and allow us to deliver outstanding customer service. They also benefit our franchisees – and THEIR new customers, so more and more business owners and customers will benefit from our systems.

In the meantime, I’ve been getting questions about our new venture, and I’d like to answer some of them right here:

Who is an ideal candidate for a franchise?

If you’ve always wanted to start your own business but you’re not quite ready to strike out completely on your own, franchising may be ideal. It offers you a tested business model, ongoing help and support, and greater access to finance.

What makes our products ideal for a franchise?

We sell products that businesses need on a daily basis. If you take a look around your office, you’ll likely see several (or even dozens) of the kinds of items we sell. Paper, pens, ink, staplers, business cards, stationery, envelopes, promotional gift items (yes, including pens), calendars, desk organisers, and many more. This means that our (potential) customers are just about everywhere.

Crane Franchise Benefits From The Perfect Combination

When I first started, one of my mentors told me to focus on consumable items – and I’m glad I followed his advice! Almost all of the products we sell are used up quickly, so our customers need to get more on a regular basis.

If you look at franchises around you, you’ll probably see McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, and many other food-related brands. They all offer consumable items. Unfortunately, their items are also perishable, which causes certain challenges.

Our Crane franchise offers the best of both worlds – our products “run out” and need to be replenished, but we don’t have to worry about them actually going bad and having to be thrown out!

Could you run a Crane franchise as a part-time business?

Since we’re doing most of the back office work for you, and you can hire a sales person or three to help you grow your customer base, you could indeed run your new Crane franchise on a part-time basis! Depending on the size of your customers’ businesses, you may be able to break even with as few as 30 accounts. That’s very achievable! Anything beyond that takes you straight into profit!

How Crane Franchise Benefits You

If you’d like to know how you can tap into the Crane Franchise Benefits, why not request more information and a prospectus. Just click here:

And watch our video here!


Secure Document Storage Service London

secure document storage service LondonWe recently started offering our new secure document storage service London and archival service, and I’ve been getting quite a few questions about how it works. So here are some answers along with more details.

Basically, our storage solution is designed for sensitive information you can’t shred just yet. There are government requirements that you store certain documents for up to six years and be able to retrieve and produce them for inspection on short notice.

Clearly, if you store those documents in your office, they will occupy an ever-growing portion of your space. So if your boxes take up too much room or if it’s difficult to lock them up securely, it’s time to look into a secure document storage and archival service.

Why we started our Secure Document Storage Service London

That’s exactly what happened in our office, and since we had quite a bit of extra capacity in our warehouse, I’ve decided to move our archival documents there. It’s really great to have all that space back in the office and be able to put it to better use.

We’ve also decided to offer our secure storage and archival service to our customers in the London area as well as in Kent. Here are the details…

Our secure document storage service provides:

  • Secure storage in our local warehouse
  • Full tracking of your document boxes
  • Secure and fully trackable transportation of your boxes from your office to our warehouse and back, as needed
  • Delivery of your documents back to your office whenever they are needed, i.e., for audits and similar purposes
  • Secure shredding when you decide you no longer need to keep some or all of your documents

Here’s how our secure document storage service works:

First, you number the boxes and create a record of what’s inside each box. Then, we’ll pick them up, take them to our secure warehouse and keep them there until you either want them back permanently or are ready to have their contents securely shredded.

If you need your documents after they’ve been safely locked away in our warehouse, we’ll be happy to bring select (or all) boxes back to your office so you can access your documents. Once you’ve finished with them, we’ll return to pick up your documents and put them back on the shelf in our secure warehouse.

So if you find that you’re getting crowded out of your own office by those boxes of paperwork, you can count on us.  Just call our office on 0800 007 5566 or use our Live Chat to get more details about our Secure Document Storage Service London and make the arrangements to reclaim your space!

Save Taxes By Organising and Planning Ahead

save taxesIt’s March, and for most businesses, this means the end of another fiscal year, and time to get ready for filing your taxes. Getting all the documents together, the numbers tallied, and those taxes filed can be a chore. Today, I’d like to share a few tips on how to make it a bit easier… and how you can save taxes too.

1) Organising the paperwork

First, you need to organise your various documents and receipts. Sure, you may have most of your receipts on the computer, but sometimes it’s easier to sort the information if you print it out so you can look at it and then sort it into folders and envelopes.

Besides, not everything that’s tax deductible resides on your computer. Whether you buy the occasional deductible item in the supermarket or have receipts from business lunches and other events, you probably have quite a few paper receipts. Those can be gathered in envelopes and folders.

2) Save Taxes by including everything you can deduct

Of course, you probably remember to include all the obvious things, and your accountant will remind you too. But don’t forget the extras, for example the conferences and networking meetings you’ve attended, along with all the associated expenses.

Also be sure to remember industry-related magazines, calendars, membership dues, coaching and consulting fees, as well as any deductible mileage. If you’ve donated to charity, make sure you include that too.

3) Have the organising tools on hand

Be sure you have everything you need, so you don’t have to interrupt your work to order (and wait for) any of the organising tools. You also don’t want to lose any receipt by having them fall through the cracks or get lost altogether.

Here are just some of the tools you may find useful: lever arch files, other files, file boxes, envelopes, labels, markers, highlighters, notebooks, storage boxes, organisers, paper clips, fold back clips, clear tape, a stapler and staples, pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, as well as ink cartridges.

4) Save Taxes by planning ahead

Of course all the tools mentioned above are tax deductible, along with many more items you may buy for your office, including, yes, coffee for the break room, a new supplies cupboard, chairs, printers, and more.

In addition, if you haven’t gotten around to updating your business cards, now would be a good time to do so, and get new letterhead and envelopes as well. You could also stock up on promotional gifts to hand out at events, along with new brochures.

If you pay for these items before the end of the month, you can save taxes by deducting them this year and getting part of your investment right back. If you wait until later, you will also have to wait until 2018 before you can deduct them.

5) Save time with our one-stop shop

Finally, the last thing you need is extra busywork. Why not save time (and money) and order it all at once from your trusty one-stop shop? We’ll be happy to help you make the most of the opportunity to save on taxes. Just call us on 0800 007 5566, or use our Live Chat anytime during business hours.

How To Get Ready For A Business Conference

how to prepare for a business conferenceI’ll be going to a big conference this week, on Friday and Saturday! It’s right here in London, which makes at least the logistics very easy for me. No plane rides required. So my topic for today is how to get ready for a business conference.

After all, to make going to a conference worthwhile, there’s a lot of work that goes into getting ready. And so I’d like to share some of the key points of what I’ve been doing – and what I continue to do to make the conference a success! And what I recommend you do when you’re going to a business conference.

1) How to get ready for a business conference: Choose the right conference

The first step of getting ready for a business conference is choosing the right conference. It helps if it is close to home, but that’s not the most important part. Instead, ask yourself whether it will help you with your business goals. Do you want to make new contacts with important people in your industry or with potential customers? Are you planning to find out about the newest developments in your industry?

2) Sign up for the business conference, keeping your goal In mind

Once you’ve decided on the right conference (not necessarily limited to just one, but let’s not overcomplicate this email right now…), sign up for it, as an attendee and/or as a vendor. You’ll have to make some decisions here.

Renting a table or a booth will increase the price of attendance, and it will also require you to have someone to be at your table or booth throughout the conference. In addition, you’ll need various materials and giveaways, plus a banner and/or other branded display materials.

If you go as an attendee without a table, you can circulate, visit others’ tables and exhibits, and collect lots of materials and information. You’re also bound to make contacts.

Of course, you can do both – have a booth AND circulate, just not by yourself. So be sure to bring a staff member for your booth and plan to circulate yourself (and show up at your booth at specific pre-planned times so people who would like to talk with you can easily find you.

3) Preparing for your business conference (making contacts)

Next, you need to decide who you would like to meet and make contact with. Usually, conference websites have a list of exhibitors where you can find out whom you’d like to connect with.

Check out their website and make contact, either by email or through their contact form, or, if that’s not feasible, send them a message on Twitter or Facebook. Then follow up and put them on your schedule for the conference.

4) More preparation (what to bring)

Finally, you need to have some of your own materials handy. These should include some of the following:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Info brochures (with tips and other useful information)
  • Promotional gifts (can include pens, badges, t-shirts, USB sticks, shopping bags, and lots more) (I’ve decided on bringing badges and shopping bags this time)

5) Where to stay

Unless the conference you selected is VERY close to home, you may want to invest in a night or two at the conference hotel. And even IF it’s close to home… This will be useful for several reasons:

  • It facilitates networking
  • It ensures you’re well-rested (and can even take a break if you need one), which will help you make the most of your conference participation
  • It allows you to replenish your supply of promotional gifts and brochures, so you won’t have to carry them with you all at once. Plus, remember that you’ll be collecting lots of brochures and gifts from various exhibitors.

How to get ready for a business conference doesn’t have to be complicated. The above five steps, if you follow them, will help you make your conference much more successful. Next week, I’ll share some more tips including what to do AT the conference, plus information on what worked especially well for me.

If you plan to attend the Franchise Expo too, please let me know. I’d love to meet you there.

Valentine’s Day At Work Can Boost Your Business!

Valentine's Day at workValentine’s Day is coming up soon, so get ready to bring out the candy and pink decorations for your office. In case you wondered, celebrating Valentine’s Day at work can have quite a few benefits for your business…

In fact, it can give your business a nice boost in at least three different ways:

  1. It will create a cheerful mood and morale inside your own office or business.
  2. It’s a great “excuse” to reach out to prospects and customers, which helps you build and strengthen your relationship with them.
  3. If you approach it the right way, it can also increase your visibility in the weeks and even months to come.

Once you see how well it works to celebrate Valentine’s Day at work, you’ll probably feel inspired to celebrate more occasions, including St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and more.

1) Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Work

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at work starts with special treats both edible and not. It’s fun, and it will show your staff members that you appreciate them. Go ahead and throw them a party during an afternoon coffee break! You can offer up baked goods with pink and red frosting or sweets in red and pink wrappers.

You might also provide red fruit punch (non-alcoholic of course), at least as one option. And of course, you could include themed decorations, from napkins and table cloths to paper cups, and actual flower arrangements.

You’re not limited to edible treats either!  There are lots of not-so-edible options that can provide a tangible memory of that day of cheer. Examples could be pink or red USB sticks. You can even have branded ones made for a very modest price.

2) Share the Valentine’s Day Cheer with Prospects And Clients

Your clients and prospects will also appreciate a sweet treat or even a small (branded) gift. Don’t want to go overboard? You could simply send them a Valentine’s card or note.

A personal note will surprise and delight your prospects and customers. It won’t take much to do. Just pick up some attractive stationery and let your clients and customers know that you appreciate their business. What about prospects? If they allow you to send them email on a regular basis, that too deserves a note of appreciation.

3) Getting a Longer Term Boost From Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Work

The Valentine’s effect can last for weeks and even months. The goodwill you generate with your treats, gifts, and thoughtful actions can last for a while. Also, once you’ve acquired the stationery and enjoyed a nice response, you may end up using it more often – even “just because” – and reap the rewards.

Okay, so maybe not the Valentine’s themed stationary, but you get the idea. If it’s Easter, you can get Easter themed stationary, or simply use attractive stationary that you feel is appropriate for any particular client.

And if you’ve bought some attractive small branded gifts, such as USB sticks, you may have lots of extras – after all, you can save lots of money when you buy them in larger quantities. So hand them out at networking meetings, community events, and conferences. And of course you can also send them to new prospects and customers throughout the year.

A Treat for You

And we’d like to give you a treat too – one bag of Rolos for yourself and one to share with your Valentine, with your order of £75 (excl. VAT), while supplies last.

Questions? Want some stationery? Just call us on 0800 007 5566 or visit our Crane Business Solutions website and use our Live Chat!

What are YOU going to do on Valentine’s Day? Please tell us in the comments section below!