Now is a better time than ever to take your business idea and turn it into a hopeful start-up ready to take on the world. With entire populations feeling lost and confused and workforces across the globe quitting corporate jobs by the thousand, there is more demand than ever for new ideas and better places to work.
How to Start Up your Start-Up
If you’re here, you likely already have an idea for your start-up and enough drive to want to go and make it happen. While every aspect of starting a new company can be seen as the hard part, the conceptual stage of having a successful idea is the most important and difficult of them.
Luckily, you already have that sorted and just want to find funding. Not the easiest task on the planet, but with the huge amount of business investment coming from our post-covid administration, now is a better time than any to get hold of some cold, hard cash.
Here in Georgia – and especially Atlanta – we have a very long history of supporting businesses and start-ups. Atlanta has been called home by many giants such as Home Depot, Delta Airlines, and even the mighty Coca-Cola company!
With such a proven pedigree, it can be seen why so many American businesses prefer to be based in and start-up in the area, and we suggest you give it a try, especially if you’re already a local! We might not have any of the huge tech companies California loves to boast about, but we hold our own when it comes to business.
This can easily be considered as one of the best long-term solutions for finding business capital. Funding the operation with money upfront means that you don’t have to answer to any investors or banks which might otherwise have you in their pocket.
The obvious downside here is that start-up businesses are one of the most expensive ventures the average American can ever undertake. No matter how confident you are in your idea, you can never know for sure that it will work out, so emptying your life’s savings into an idea is always scary.
This is the point where you can consider liquidating your assets to pump them into the business. Art collections, classic cars, and stocks are all on the table when it comes to funding a start-up. Remember, possessions can always be bought back when your business turns over its first million!
Selling is the Hard Part
Housing is one of the most valuable assets that many Americans take for granted, but it is going to be one of your most valuable sources of funding if you want to take on the world by yourself. In the current housing market, it can be very difficult to find a buyer for your property, so luckily there are plenty of businesses around who will take your property off your hands for cash.
Locally I can think of a few companies who promise to “sell your houses fast without a realtor because we buy houses in Atlanta” and these are both exactly what you’re looking for and another reason this city is brilliant for start-ups. Anything to skip the wait is perfect in business, where timing can make or break you in your first years.
Borrow the Scratch
The most common way that speculative business owners source their funding is through business loans and government start-up scheme grants. Both of these methods will somewhat limit the freedom you have when starting your business, but they carry the advantage of greatly reducing the amount of capital you need to invest out of your hard-earned savings.
This is something that every start-up should look into, regardless of other funding methods used. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, our government has started giving out start-up grants like they’re candy, so the process from application to having money in your company’s account can be finished in a couple of business weeks!
Unfortunately, there are still a fair amount of stipulations when you apply for a grant. While most applications are accepted, there is a huge list of criteria to meet before you will even be considered.
On top of this, many grants are given under the assumption that your business will be in a certain market or a plethora of other specifics, such as dedicating yourself to hiring a minimum amount of people or a time limit on when you must start trading.
If you’ve watched enough Shark Tank, you should already have some idea of the cutthroat world that is looking for start-up investment. While the real world is rarely as dramatic as the world we see on television, the Sharks do represent the kind of tight-pursed, detail-focused individuals who are looking for new ideas to invest in.
While many investors will want you to follow some sort of funding structure and will expect regular returns in pre-approved time-frames and others will want constant input with the business, this can be a great way to find funding individually from any government or overseeing body and can get you some great connections to help grow the company.
This is the most common route from idea to business. The USA especially offers an insane variety of loans for start-ups. From humble thousands of dollars to figures reaching 6 digits, there is a lot of federally-backed bank money out there to be grabbed by the right start-ups.
This carries with it the very obvious risks of increasing repayments throughout the early and most volatile stages of your business’ development and the worry of where you will go if your company ends up missing payments and going bankrupt.
IF you have meditated on your start-up idea for long enough and properly thought it through before ever looking for these loans, you should be absolutely fine, hence the popularity of
such a funding method. Preparation is always the key to success throughout all stages of growing a new company.
The world of Business and Finance is a complex and messy one. You can spend your entire life studying and keeping up with trends and still not know everything there is to no. Mainly because things change far too often and far too quickly. But that doesn’t mean it is futile to attempt to keep up. In fact, fighting against this ever-changing tide is how you do stay ahead in the business world.
One useful tool you could make use of is getting your CFA certificate. In this article, we are going to be looking at what the CFA is and, more importantly, all the career paths that benefit from you having your CFA certificate. In this field, it pays to get ahead of the competition and the CFA is a great way to do that.
What is the CFA
The Chartered Financial Analysis is a postgraduate certificate that is equivalent to a British Masters degree. The course is focused around, as the name suggests, financial analysis. But it goes well beyond the basic financial analysis taught at universities and colleges.
The course goes in-depth and looks at advanced analysis techniques that can be applied to each individual financial area. But it has lessons that can be put into effect in any area that requires analysis, including security and even some weather prediction fields.
The course is demanding and tough. The CFA exam prep alone is tougher than most courses are their entire run. But that is why getting your certificate is so useful. It is a highly valued course and having it on your CV will open a lot more doors.
Working in stocks or even investments is tricky. It is often seen as gambling by a lot of other financial fields. And it is gambling without a doubt. But even gambling can be analyzed and beaten to a degree. This is why getting your CFA is extremely useful if you plan to work in this field.
The stock market is a unique beast. In theory, you could create an algorithm that could predict every change in the stock market for the next one hundred years. And while this is currently beyond human ability, it proves that analysis is vital when playing the stock market.
Getting your CFA will arm you with the tools to better predict how the market is going to ebb and flow and will help you stand out against your competition.
Being an accountant is very different from the stock market. Yet in a way, it is very similar too. Especially if you are working for a large company. Huge amounts of money can be gained or lost overnight. And there are plenty of spending patterns, incomes changes, and expenditures that can be analyzed.
The CFA doesn’t only teach analysis skills either. It will enhance your general mathematical and financial knowledge. All of these compound to turn you into a better accountant. You will be able to identify potentially fatal spending concerns within a companies budget or simply correct the books of a small independent company with ease. And if nothing else just having the CFA on your CV will impress any accountancy firm.
When we talk about security we don’t mean you are going to be working as a security guard. Any good security company has a lot more going on behind the scenes than just their boots on the ground services.
Security is a game of analysis and prediction at the end of the day. Preventing crime before it happens is as big a part of the field as simply stopping it as it happens. Security analysts are involved in predicting potential security risks based on a number of varying factors. Past crime rates. Potential earnings from theft. Likelihood of crime against preventative measures.
Getting your CFA certificate will teach you the analytical skills needed to break down and examine these complex stats and figures and also teach you how to implement them in a practical way. It goes well beyond just working out a number and involves actually coming up with real anti-crime solutions. It is a lucrative, and competitive field, but one worth looking into.
The science of predicting the weather. This one has absolutely nothing to do with finance. So you may be surprised to see it on this list. But make no mistake, all the skills you learn in the CFA course can be used in this field.
At the end of the day, science comes down to numbers. And the weather is the same. Everything about it is measured in temperatures, pressure, wind speed, and changes. Numbers upon numbers. Constantly changing and shifting. And all that data needs to be understood. To be analyzed.
Now your CFA alone won’t get you into this field. You will need to have a background in science. But if you do, and you also get your CFA, you will be well equipped to try your hand as an expert meteorologist. Weather prediction is a lot like stock market prediction after all. With the right information, you can tell what is going to come next based on past analysis.
The field of tech and IT is a very competitive one. Mainly to the fact that technology had advanced a lot in the last twenty years and at a rapid pace too. Where before a personal computer was a rarity, now it has become more of a necessity for someone to have their own PC or Laptop.
And the internet has also grown into an anomaly all its own. Moving from an obscure corner of tech society to becoming so important that many argue it is now a fundamental human right to have internet access. But we aren’t here to debate that. Instead, we are going to be looking at how to survive in the IT sector. Mainly by looking at 8 IT Services, you should offer your clients if you want to stay competitive in the IT Market.
Server Installation and Maintenance
Any company that is significantly large enough to need an in-house IT system will no doubt require servers. They will need to store all their business and client data. Employee records and documents. Manage rotas and allow all computers in the office/business to run on the same network. But servers are not easy things to install or to manage. The physical networking part alone can be complex and the software installation is a tiresome and confusing task. So if you can offer your clients a smooth and hassle-free server installation service then you stand to bring in a lot of clients. Especially if you offer warranty maintenance included.
No IT system can run without the hardware side of things. And the sad truth of any hardware system is it can break. It might be through a human’s fault. It may just be natural wear and tear or the ravages of time. But it is an unavoidable truth of hardware. So if your company is stocked with some engineers who can handle most hardware repairs then you are in a great position. If a client calls with what seems to be a software issue that then turns out to be hardware, if you can fix that then you won’t lose out on profit by having to refer them to another company that can.
Basic IT Support
The mainstay of any tech company. IT Support is the simplest and most effective way to bring in clients. It’s no secret that London IT support companies are some of the most profitable companies in the capital. Why? Because any company, no matter how small, that uses IT will need support at some point. This goes beyond the more specific ideas of server maintenance or hardware repair. These are all the bugs and crashes that can be solved over the phone. So having an in-house call center to handle tech issues is a great idea.
There is not a company out there that scammers or thieves wouldn’t try to take advantage of. And the curse of our new digital age is they can now do it without ever leaving their homes. This is why network security has become more important than ever before. Particularly for larger companies where there is a greater chance of being hacked. So you should consider creating a cyber-security division that can go into businesses and beef up their security. This includes installing hardware firewalls on servers and running remote security checks if you want to really stand out.
A lot of older businesses or smaller ones will sometimes be forced to set up their own internal IT systems to save money. And sometimes they will do a great job of it. Other times they won’t. And when they start to turn a profit they might consider bringing in some professionals to sort out their system. This is why you should offer system overhauls as one of your services. You and your team come in and re-organize and re-structure their current system into something made just for their business. Your expertise makes you invaluable so don’t sell yourself short. This more personalized service will really make you stand out.
Remote Server Hosting
Sometimes a company will need servers for their network but will not have the physical space to fit them or the ability to properly cool them once installed. This is where you come in. A lot of companies offer remote servers to other companies. As it says on the tin, you would have the physical server in your base of operations but the other company would connect to them remotely. There are issues that come with this of course, should the connect go down or the like. But it also presents some benefits to you. If there is a hardware issue you don’t have to pay travel costs to get an engineer out to fix it. Making the entire diagnostic and repair process a lot simpler.
Shopping for IT systems upgrades can be daunting for someone who isn’t specialized in IT. And when an entire company needs to change their hardware they can easily be conned or make the wrong choice. So you should act as the middle man. You would simply handle all the ordering and installation of the upgraded system for them, for a flat fee. This way they get a stellar system and you are opening yourself up to a wider client base.
If you are a business owner, then you will know that the main focus of any well-run business is making and maintaining profits. Profits are what every business aims to make, but every good business owner knows that effectively reinvesting the profits that you do make is what makes a good business stand apart from the rest.
Gaining profits can be an exciting prospect and if you are someone that is new to the world of business ownership, then you may feel the need to hold onto your profits and build up a bank account to fall back on. However, the best thing that you can do for your business has reinvested any money that you may make, as that means you can improve many aspects of your business and make it the best business that you possibly can. Here is our guide to effectively reinvesting your profits.
Invest In staff
Though it is not recommended that you over staff your business, we recommend starting off with fewer staff and then reinvesting profits into hiring more once things start to really take off. Hiring more staff will improve the efficiency of your working environment and will also take a lot of the pressure away from you, which means that you can focus more on running the admin side of your business.
Something that we recommend is that you focus on employing younger staff as they usually have a more flexible schedule and their wage isn’t as expensive. Having multiple people on smaller contracts will also mean that the staff that you do have are not being run down so you don’t have to worry about your staff not putting in their all.
Invest in higher quality products
If you are starting to turn a high profit and you are not sure what to do with it, why not invest in some higher quality produce to sell. The higher the quality of your products, the more you can sell the product. If you are someone that sells products that integrate cbd oil, such as sweets or scents, then you could improve the quality of the other products that you use within your current recipe.
Improving the quality of the ingredients that you use in your product will not only mean that you can increase the price of what you currently sell, but you will also be able to say that you are offering up a better quality product. If you are someone that wants to own a luxury brand, then you have to offer up luxury products and the best way to do this is by improving the ingredients that you use for your products.
Improve your facilities
If you have a lot of profit left over, then you may be considering expansion of your current facilities. Expanding your facilities means that you can increase the stock within your facility, which means that you can increase the potential money that you can be making.
Improving your facility is something you should definitely think about if you are someone that works specifically in manufacturing. Manufacturing fit facilities can be much more costly than smaller buildings and so it is likely when you first start up your business that your facility will be quite small. Though this may work for some, after a while you will want more space in order to increase the amount of product that you are getting out there.
If you are someone who works in hospitality or something similar, you may not have the intention to move your facility due to the advantages that come with your chosen location. Instead of moving your facility, you could instead use your extra profits and expand your current property or either renovate the inside, as once again this can increase the possibility of custom.
Another way that you can invest your profits is by prepaying for any upcoming bills that you may have. By doing this, it means that you can have a sense of security for the upcoming months. Having already paid off your bills means that any profit that you earn will be yours for the foreseeable future.
Paying for things that matter will also mean that you don’t have to worry about spending money on things that you don’t need. It can be easy to get carried away with purchasing items that are not exactly necessary for your business and by having all of your other bills already secured, you won’t have to worry about spending money that you would actually need for any fixed bills.
Some utility companies actually offer a form of discount if you offer to pay for several months at a time, so by being responsible you can actually save yourself a substantial amount of money.
The pandemic has affected every business in a very different way by placing limits and restrictions on the things that you can do meaning that many changes have had to be made. These changes often result in a reduction in the amount of business you are able to conduct on a daily basis as you are only able to interact with small groups of people at a time. The law industry is no exception to this and for those of you that own your own law firms, you will be aware of the hardships that the industry as a whole has undergone.
As is the case with many different businesses all over the world the stress that has been pl; aced upon them as a result of the pandemic would have to be unlike anything else we have ever seen in our history. Companies and law firms have had to work very hard to make sure that their company stays afloat and that once the pandemic is completely over and we can get back to normality there will still be a law firm to come back to.
How you market your business and the services that you have on offer is directly responsible for the outcome of your business success and the number of potential clients who are aware of your existence. In the pandemic especially it is very important that people know of your company name and reputation as you will need to bring in as many customers as possible to bring in a healthy profit. You should spread the word of your company on a number of different platforms such as physical advertising as well as virtually on platforms like social media.
The best way to secure your law firm’s future would be to increase the number of contracted clients you have on your books so that you have a reliable income for your business to grow from. During the difficult times that have been caused by the pandemic, it is now more important than ever that you are able to secure high-end contracts that will ensure you have long-standing relationships with public figures and business owners. Your legal team will be able to source contracts by finding strong legal leads and widening the search within your marketing strategies.
Choosing the Right Cases
The pandemic has put a lot of stress onto many businesses and the biggest effect that it has had on law firms would be heightening the importance of public image, this has meant that law firms and legal representatives have had to take extra consideration when choosing which cases to take on as they want to portray themselves as honorable businesses who are out to help people win their legal battles. Although it is true that you should be considered as much work as you can to ensure your law firm’s success if you want to stay afloat during these troubling times you should be choosing cases that are going to make you look good in the public eye.
It may seem like a simple thing when you consider the work law firms have to do but by simply cutting your everyday running costs you can save yourself a lot of money that can be put towards securing your law firm’s future. By doing things like cutting the office expenses or saving energy in the workplace your monthly savings could add up to a nice sum that would have otherwise been wasted.
A great way that you can bring more income in for your law firm would be to offer a deal on your services, for example, you could offer a fee reduction for first-time clients or a discount if you refer a friend to your firm. Doing a small deal like this will not only make more people likely to choose you over the competition but will also make them more likely to leave a positive review of your work and they may even come back for some repeat business or contracted family legal representation that could bring in some serious profits.
Expanding Your Services
If after trying all of the tips above you are not satisfied with your profits or you are fearing the damage that could be done by the pandemic then a great thing to think about would be to expand your services to attract more clients. Lawyers can be very helpful in a number of situations so if you start to open yourself up to things like educational sessions to teach the public about contracts or environmental law, you are opening your business up to making more money. Teaching sessions are a great idea so many people do not have a lot of knowledge in the area so there is a real demand for a service of this nature.
In a situation where you need to sell your house quickly, it can become very stressful if you do not receive as much interest as you would have anticipated. There are many things that can be done to help speed up the sales process and many of them are at little cost or inconvenience to you so you should definitely consider doing them. Preparation is key with shifting your property quickly and you must ensure that all of the necessary paperwork has been completed to ensure a smooth transition between owners is achieved and you receive your money as soon as possible.
Depending on the property you may want to consider ensuring any small maintenance jobs that could be required within the house are done, doing this will attract people how are looking for an immediate move-in date as they are much more likely to choose a property that doesn’t need anything doing to it over one that has a lot of work required, especially when you consider people with small children who cannot afford to spend time doing up the house before they can move in and start building their home.
One of the best ways that you can increase interest in your home and speed up the sale of the property in the case where you need to sell your house urgently would be to ensure that the house looks well presented and that any maintenance has been completed. If a house looks ready to move in you are going to attract people who are also looking for a quick sale which is a great combination for you. Even if you spend an extra few days just making sure that the house is clean and presentable and that all of your belongings are moved out, this is going to be much better in the long run as it will attract more potential buyers to the property.
If you wish to go that extra step further you may consider doing extra decorations, of course only do this if your scheduling permits it. However, if you have the time available you could increase the value of the property and the interest further by sprucing the place up with a lick of paint or new floorings, this will give you a reason to increase the asking price as well as helping with convincing any potential buyers who are unsure to follow through with the purchase.
If people are not aware that you are trying to sell your property then it is likely that you will only receive minimal interest, if you want to sell the house quickly then I would recommend that you spread the word over a variety of platforms by placing advertisements in local newspapers and shops, posting on social media and registering with a local estate agents. The more people you attract into buying your property then the more likely it is that someone will go through with a sale.
Group House Viewings and Events
As mentioned previously, selling your house quickly relies heavily upon getting potential buyers over to see the property, it is unlikely that someone will buy the property without seeing it first so it is crucial that you are doing everything you can to advertise. A great way to do this effectively would be to host a few events in the week where you host group viewings of the property to m multiple people at once, this not only saves you a lot of time but increases the probability that someone will buy the house.
When looking for a quick sale you need to consider the pricing of your property, it is very common for selling a home to be a long process and a real waiting game for buyers who want to get a certain price for the place. If you want the sale to go ahead in the near future you need to use the pricing to attract more people to see the property by offering a slight reduction and stating that you are looking to sell very soon, if people think they are getting a bargain they are much less likely to wait around.
In the last decade, vaping has really taken off. It is difficult to go outside these days and not be surrounded by a cloud of scented vapor. Vaping seemingly started to take off out of nowhere and now every mall has a different vape shop on every floor. Lots of entrepreneurs have noticed the popularity of vaping and have taken it upon themselves to seize the opportunity and go into the vaping business. Many places have had brilliant success, but why is vaping so successful and how can you get involved in the success?
The creation of vaping
Before we get into the business side of vaping, it is first important to understand where vaping came from.
Though vaping was first created in the mid-1900s, it wasn’t until 2003 that it became mass-marketed. Vaping has released into the mass market thanks to the work of a medical pharmacist called Hon Lik. Hon Link was a very heavy smoker at the time but was quickly put off the idea of smoking after the passing of his father. His father’s unfortunately premature death was caused by his own smoking habit which led to him developing lung cancer.
Hon Lik was afraid that he would fall victim to the same fate as his father and tried lots of different methods in an attempt to rid himself of his addiction. However, he found that all of the techniques that he used didn’t seem to be working and he was worried that he would fall back into his same habits. Because of this, he decided to try and make his own method to quit. After testing the vape privately for a while, he realized that he had a product that he could potentially sell on the mass market
Since then vaping has been thriving on the mass market, and so there is no wonder why so many people have taken the opportunity to throw themselves into the vaping market. But why is it such a good business to go into?
One of the main reasons that vaping is such a good business to go into is because of how versatile it. Vaping first started off with the intention of being a way for people to quit smoking, but since then it has evolved in many other ways.
With the legalization of marijuana-related products in the last few years, vaping has branched out into a wider consumed and more profitable business. In the last few years, vaping has surpassed only being used with nicotine products. These days, people also choose to buy CBD cartridges to use with their vape or just straight-up marijuana vapes, depending on their location. The trend of integrating CBD into the world of vaping has been extremely popular in the last decade, so much so that you can access plenty of instructionals on how to mix CBD oil with vape juice in order to be able to vape it.
Any business person knows just how large the profit margins can be when it comes to the sale of CBD products as the consumer market is only increasing every day.
The appeal to nonsmokers
Though the cigarette industry managed to gain the following of a lot of people, the one group of people that they couldn’t reach were the nonsmokers. However, even people who were once against smoking have come around to the world of vape.
The main reason that people chose not to smoke was because of the nicotine and also the effect that smoking can have on the lungs. However, there are a mass group of people these days that choose to vape without nicotine and just for the flavor. Vaping also does less harm to the lungs, which is why it’s so appealing to so many people.
Because of the lack of unappealing aspects that are associated with vaping, going into vaping can be an extremely clever business move. This is because you have a higher amount of consumers that you can sell to, which means you have the opportunity to make more profit.
Like with any business that you can go into, you should be looking at whether the costs of the business are lower than the potential profit.
Vapes are very cheap to make and you can sell them at any price above ten dollars. Even making extremely high-quality vapes can be a very affordable process, as all the components needed to create a vape are very easily accessible and the manufacturing process is also very easy.
If you are someone that isn’t too familiar with the manufacturing process, this isn’t a problem either. You can actually buy bulk vapes from a manufacturing company and customize them to fit with your brand. Though buying in bulk may seem more expensive, you will actually save yourself a lot of money in terms of manufacturing spaces and the wages of further employees.
Though vape shops are becoming the norm, there are endless ways that you can distribute your vaping products. Vapes aren’t a product that needs to be tried out, in fact in a covid world they are probably the last items that should be tried out. Because of this, if you wanted to, you could distribute your vapes entirely online. This would save you money in terms of hiring a premises, as well as having to hire in-store workers
Because of the kind of product that vapes are, as long as they are not sold with the vape juice included, there are very few limitations when it comes to distributing them. This means that you could sell to multiple locations and you are not limited to your local area.
Due to being able to sell to a larger consumer market, you are able to reach more people that would be interested in your product, which can only lead to you being able to make more profit in the long run.
As more and more regions around the world become more industrialized and business rich we can now see more and more differences in how businesses in specific parts of the world operate in a more unique way to others. Within Canada, you may have noticed that the way in which many businesses are made and how they operate is much different when you compare it to the way that many successful US businesses are run.
It seems that the social lifestyle factors which are significantly different across the US and across Canada have a significant effect on the techniques that businesses must use in order to accommodate the customers in their location. As there are many differences between the demographics and customer groups that are present both in Calgary, Canada, and the US it makes total sense that the businesses would have to operate in different ways so they could be successful in their locations.
A business landscape is defined as the fundamental components of a business and the methods that a specific company uses to become successful and how they operate. As you can expect certain environments and locations require a more specialized marketing and operating technique that will attract the right kind of people to your business and increase the chances of them going ahead and investing with your company.
Advertising and Marketing Methods
One of the main differences between the business landscape in Calgary in Canada would have to be the way in which certain companies advertise their content and the services that they provide. Where many retailers rely upon lavish methods such as television adverts and huge LED billboards to show off their brand, the methods that are used within much Canadian advertising is through the innovative use of free social media platforms
Where many US businesses are spending a fortune on getting the most high profile spaces to advertise their services much of Canada’s business success has come from the innovative use of funding. The main benefit of using social media as a marketing tool is the fact that it is free to create an account on social media, and by simply posting a daily post you have the opportunity to reach a hugely diverse customer group and make them aware of your brand. Sensible allocation of funding seems to be a higher priority within the world of Canadian business rather than the mainstream attitude that a fortune needs to be spent on advertising, although advertising and effective marketing is key to any business when there are strong opportunities that are more affordable it makes sense to focus your efforts on this aspect.
The difference in The Types of Sectors
Another big difference between the Canadian and American business landscape would be the areas where the most important sectors and retailers differ in certain areas. In the more rural areas of America, we see a huge increase in the amount of smaller businesses offering more natural products, such as farmers’ markets and other independent fresh food retailers. In the main cities, you will find that the focus is on more luxurious goods such as technology and expensive fashion items. Whereas in Canada there is generally a more varied range of businesses each offering a variety of different items with a mix of expensive and more affordable price ranges. It seems that the more unique independently owned businesses do much better in terms of success rate and profits in Canada than they would in the US due to the huge amount of big mainstream corporations that small businesses have to compete with.
An example of a smaller company that has done very well for itself would have to be the image line painting company in Calgary, their focus on offering an affordable yet professional service with interior painting has made them one to watch in the industry. It is arguable that this painting and decoration business would not have seen the same rate of success if they were to open in the US, due to the fact that there are already some very well known and trusted brands in existence that would be strong competition.
Another reason why the business landscape is so different in Calgary than what it is in the Us is the difference in trade routes and the fact that Canada has such a variety of trade and import options available to them. Canada is very lucky to have access to over twenty-four international airports, seventeen seaports, and over one hundred and seventeen different border crossings into the US. With all of these resources at their disposal, it is very clear that Canadian companies do not have to worry about their trade routes as much as those in the US.
Levels of Education
A final factor that has contributed to the difference in business is the standard levels of education which are very different in the US and Calgary, Canada. It seems that there is more importance placed on higher education in Canada with almost fifty-eight percent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 64 entering higher education at some point in their lives. This would mean that a higher percentage of the population is educated to a higher level making a more talented workforce more accessible, the graduate rate in America is not a sign and the number of self-starting business owners is also much higher.
Free-to-play games have risen over the years from humble beginnings to now occupying a huge chunk of the entire video game market, to the point where the most well-known game around right now is the free-to-play portion of Fortnight. But this begs the question; How do these games make enough money to sustain themselves with so many players and how do they profit?
There are many ways developers profit from offering their games for free. “Free to try” or “soft” free-to-play games are the most basic of these. A preferred method in the older industry, with games like Runescape and Adventure Quest offering huge games for free, with the option of paying for a membership which unlocks huge amounts of additional content.
While this may seem a lot like a simple demo like in the olden days, it is subtly different in that it is a method employed almost entirely by Massively Multiplayer games. This skews the developer’s design philosophies towards having huge swathes of content for players to enjoy and allows even a small percentage of this to occupy players for dozens of hours when offered for free.
In more recent times, the most preferred business model is a result of a few other models which have popped up other the last few years mixing together in a few games to create an intensely monetized homunculus. Be it on mobile or console, most high-profile free-to-play games hit the same spots when it comes to their general business model.
Such games will include a season pass, a premium currency with an item’s store, and very often some sort of “surprise mechanic”. The season pass in free-to-play games asks players to pay money upfront at the beginning of each development cycle in return for additional cosmetic and in-game upgrades while they gain progress along the season.
You must be this rich to play
Premium currencies in games are often only acquirable in return for the digits on your card. In return, the items you can purchase with them will often have some level of exclusivity and will help you stand out against other players in whichever game you play. Slightly on the darker side of this idea are games that allow players to buy powerful upgrades to get an edge over other players, like in the old days when you could just look up the latest working cheats for lots of modern games.
Usually purchasable with the aforementioned premium currency, we have the ever-controversial Loot-boxes, infamously referred to by an EA representative as “Surprise Mechanics”. These are an extra step on top of a premium currency store, in that you can no longer choose what you buy.
When it comes to buying a loot box, they are often cheaper than the potential asking price of any given item, in return for the customer receiving a random item or items. From the customers’ point of view, this often means on average receiving less than their monies worth, but with the possibility to receive something many times the worth of what they spent.
From the developer’s plinth, on the other hand, this taps into humanity’s natural gambling instinct and can encourage people to actually spend more than they would like on getting less than they hope. This leads directly to people who have large amounts of money to hand spending insane amounts of money on these “free to play games”, leading to these people being described as whales by several game developers.
Free-to-play games are essentially a way to encourage a few people to provide the funds to keep a huge game going for many thousands of people who don’t have the facility to pay. When done right, they provide brilliant entertainment for all players, with some players getting that little bit extra out of a game they enjoy. At their worst, they can be horridly exploitative and borderline evil. But either way, the existence of such a model speaks to the greatness of the modern gaming industry.