What Documents Should I Never Archive?

We all know the importance of archiving your documents and the benefits of doing so, but are there some instances where archiving shouldn’t happen?

Every day, your business generates information and data. It can be anything from petrol receipts to the information you collect when customers buy online. You have legal responsibilities to keep some of this data. However, many companies hang on to information “just in case”, a state that could lead to document archiving costing you far more money than it needs to even if you have chosen to use an offsite cheap storage unit rather than expensive office space to store the documents. It is increasingly common for small companies to make use of self storage rather than waste valuable office space for storage. The costs are generally low, especially with all the good self storage deals around but it may still be money that your business doesn’t have to spend if you are storing documents that you don’t need.

Knowing the law

In many ways knowing what you should not or don’t need to keep is fairly straightforward – you just need to be aware of what the law says in relation to your business sector and industry.

As a general guide, you should always keep documents, data and information relating to:

  1. Business documents – in other words, anything that establishes you right to conduct your business. This could be anything from articles of incorporation to business permits, licences, certifications etc.
  2. Financial data – this is the one that people worry about most and in many ways, it pays to keep detailed as well as accurate financial data and information. Check how long you need to hold on to financial information as part of your archiving documents
  3. Business agreements – this may be the policies and procedures that tie your company into contracts with clients, suppliers and so on. It will also include staff agreements, such as contracts and health benefit packages etc.
  4. Executive decisions – you will also have company minutes, along with annual reports, health and safety documents that relate to how your business is run. Ensuring you hold on to these is important.
  5. Compliance – there may also be documentation that relates to your company complying with specific legislation, regulations etc.

What documents you don’t need?

However, in spite of having these five points relating to documents you must keep, many businesses still hang on to information that they really don’t need. On one hand, you may think that you may need the information or document but on the other, it makes archiving documents a cumbersome and heavy process.

To help you understand whether you need the documents or not, ask yourself these four questions;

  1. Are the transactions or decisions that rely on this information been concluded?
  2. Have you met all the regulatory and statutory requirements for keeping this information, e.g. have you kept the information for X number of years?
  3. Is there a statutory or regulatory reason why you should hold on to the information longer than required?
  4. Are there litigations proceedings that will affect holding on to certain records or information?

Telling a story

Your business records essentially tell the story of your business, charting its rise from humble beginnings to the thriving business that it is today. Keeping documents safe is important, and not just for the regulatory or legal reasons. Backing up data is important too but a separate activity to document archiving.

If you are unsure what to keep, for how long etc., a professional document archiving service can help.

questions about business success

What Does Being Rich Really Mean?

Whether you are curious or aspiring to live like the rich, this article will give you a few hints on how to become rich yourself.

Perhaps you’re just curious, perhaps you want to visit the richest places in the world, or perhaps you aspire to be so rich you can live amongst High-Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) – you never know you might find an angel investor amongst them for your small business. Whatever the case, we’re going to look at the richest places in the world to live.

We often read in the news about the richest 1% in the world, and more often than not we don’t get a ton of information because that amount of money buys you privacy and some might say, control over the press as well. However, there are certain things we can know, such as the places the richest people live. Not exact addresses of course, but areas where you find a high amount of rich people.

How Rich Are These People?

The richest 1% doesn’t mean that much, until you hear that not too long from now, those 1% will own more between them, than the rest of the world put together. This is a wealth that accounts for complete wealth, not the amount they earn. So a person’s wealth would be calculated by adding up all their assets minus any money they owe on mortgages and other different types of loans. We think of these people as having millions or billions, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, but actually, anyone with over £530,000 counts as that 1% so it could just be someone who owns a few houses, or who has paid off their mortgage and has a few other assets. It’s hard for many ordinary people to image having that much money especially when living month-to-month and having to rely on credit cards, short-term loans or loans for bad credit history. According to finance specialist Solution Loans, many young people are even having to rely on parents to buy their first home and taking out guarantor loans so these super rich really do live in a differnet world.

These top 1% are mostly spread amongst 4 different countries in the world, with the US being inhabited by 18 million, France being inhabited by 3.5 million, the UK being inhabited by 2.9 million and Germany being inhabited by 2.8 million of the wealthiest few.

Germany is thought to be at the bottom of the list because less people own homes there.

Following these top four, both Japan and China have people in the 1% living there, with 1.5 million in China.

The country with the most HNWI in the top 1% in comparison to its overall population is Switzerland where one in ten people have assets worth over £635,000.

Looking To Join The 1%?

If you are looking to join the 1% in their wealth, there are lots of ways to get there. According to statistics this year, the highest paying jobs in the world are:

  • Solutions Architect who earns around £95,000
  • IT Manager who earns around £95,000
  • Integrated Circuit Design Engineer who earns around £100,000
  • Software Architect who earns around £101,000
  • Strategy Manager who earns around £103,000
  • Pharmacy Manager who earns around £103,000
  • Software Development Manager who earns around £104,000
  • Research And Development Manager who earns around £112,000
  • Lawyer who earns around £114,000
  • Surgeon who earns around £143,000

There are of course endless entrepreneurial opportunities to take advantage of, such as vlogging which could turn you into a millionaire within a year if you do it right. Looking to invest money? Apparently, gold is the best investment at the moment because it has kept the same value since time began.

Good Luck with your ventures!

Modern Day Gold Rush?

If you have been living in a cave recently you probably didn’t hear about online marketing. Businesses are flocking to use it in droves.  The momentum that it has created is unlike anything that has ever been seen in any industry before. Online success now underpins business success – even for bricks and mortar businesses a top onlinne presence is essential to attract new customers and clients and to become a successful business.

Getting a website created and then ranked in the search engines feels like a modern day gold rush.   One of my absolute favorite shows on TV is called Gold Rush.  This reality tv show is on the Discovery Channel and the storyline follows 6 men from Oregon who go to Alaska to prospect for Gold.  After watching the season opener last night I had to write a blog post about the comparisons that I saw between Digital Marketing and Discoveries Gold Rush.

Digital Marketing – Striking It Rich

People start online businesses because they have a dream.  They want to leave their job and become their own boss.  This is the exact reason why I started my first online business 9 years ago.  One of the biggest challenges to overcome when starting an online business is overcoming the fear of the unknown. 80-90% of people probably have no idea how to start a business but they have a dream and they see the potential for making money.  Thousands of people make a full-time living online and people from all over the world are entering the unknown for a chance to strike it rich.

Gold mining is very similar to marketing your business online.  Thousands of people have become millionaires mining gold.  People go to Alaska every Spring with the dream of finding wealth.  In the first season of Gold Rush the Hoffman’s went to Alaska with little knowledge and a big dream of striking it rich.  They had bad tools, old machinery and very few gold mining skills.  The odds of finding gold was incredibly slim but they knew with persistence and hard work they had a chance of becoming millionaires.  One thing the Hoffman crew did have was a huge heart and a desire to succeed!

After months of back breaking work The Hoffman crew had little to show for their  hours of labor, blood, sweat and tears.   They had found a little bit of gold but it certainly was not enough to cover the $225,000 that they spent on equipment.  Day after day after day the crew pushed their minds and bodies close to the breaking point.  They struggled to keep a positive mindset but they never let their dream of financial freedom fade away.  The months went by and the winter finally settled in.  The Hoffman crew packed it up and headed home.  At the end of the season they had mined a total of $20,000 worth of gold.  $230,000 short of the break even point.

The 6 men could have gone home, called it quits and never mined again.  However, they KNEW that there was gold in the Alaskan hills.  They spent the entire winter finding better equipment and investors.  They kept their vision and dream alive because they were not willing to be defeated!

The Right Tools

Instead of giving up on their dreams they pulled together as a team and headed back to Alaska for a 2nd shot at finding gold.  This time around they had the right tools and the knowledge needed to find more gold.  Their first day of mining, they found more gold than the entire first season!

This is very similar to online marketing.  If you do not have the right tools or the right mindset to succeed you are going to find it incredibly challenging to find gold.  You need to have the right approach and the right people working for you to achieve online success – it won’t happen overnight but it is there for the taking. 

I predict that hundreds of businesses that have failed in the past could be very successful with the right training and resources.  The Hoffman’s did not have the proper tools, like an SEO audit service, or resources when they first went to Alaska; they failed.  Upon returning to Alaska with the proper tools they started seeing results!

success in business

New Milestone in My Path to Business Success!

As I was sitting in my home office this morning sipping on my morning coffee and thinking about how I could become more productive, I opened up my laptop and to my surprise I had reached a new milestone; my 500th client!  What an amazing feeling to finally start seeing some results in my business.

My Success Didn’t Happen Overnight

If you are just starting out on your online business journey or if you are struggling to reach new levels in your business please realize that ANYONE can successfully build a business.  However, if you are not applying the right philosophy and methodology to your business you are going to have a long, bumpy road ahead of you.

I started my first business back in 2001 at the age of 21.  I was sold on the idea of being rich!  Well, unfortunately after 16 months of busting my butt I had earned a total of…..ZERO dollars.  Why?  Because I was doing everything wrong.

After 16 months I finally threw in the towel and gave up on this industry.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  A person can only hear “no” so many times before they are mentally drained.  Honestly, I never thought I would get involved in running a business again after 16 months of being beat down.

A New Philosophy

It was not until earlier this year that I stumbled across a mastermind group that was seeing tremendous results from SEO and online marketing.  They were tapping into a targeted market of people that were actually interested in their products! 

I was blown away by the simplicity of this approach.  These individuals did not have to pester potential leads and they certainly were not attending networking events bugging strangers to take an interest in their business.   They were attracting people who wanted to hear what they had to say to their blogs to build massive marketing opportunities.

As a person that has been involved with “sales” my entire career I had a light bulb go off in my head.  This approach made total sense to me!  People do not buy from people that they don’t know and trust.  I quickly set up my blog and started blogging daily.  I didn’t blog about my business or the “dream.”  I blogged about my industry and how to be successful in this industry.  I mentored and trained people from all over the world on the power of attraction marketing and slowly I started to see results!  People started opting into my blog and they started asking me about my business.  I was blown away!

So what do I recommend if you are just starting out or struggling in your industry?  I recommend that you use SEO and online marketing methods to your own business and watch it grow.  You will be shocked at how many qualified, targeted leads you will receive.

Low Competition Equals Business Success

People start their own companies, such as an SEO consultancy, because they see the big picture and they have a dream of achieving success.  Unfortunately, the majority of these individuals are looking for a handout and do not understand that building a successful business takes effort.  As with anything else in life worth achieving, you need to work incredibly hard if you want to see results.

It’s Easy to Achieve Business Success

It’s easy because there is not a lot of competition.  95% of the people who start a small business lose interest within the first few months because they are not seeing results.  For some reason they expect thousands of dollars to be flowing into their bank account after talking to 3 people about their product or service.  They call me all the time asking “how were you able to achieve success?”  The answer is simple, I worked my butt off and became a leader in my industry.

It’s the 5% of individuals that invest their time in training, attraction marketing and building their business that will be successful.  These individuals DO NOT care if they miss their favorite television show or Monday Night Football because they have a vision. They have a vision of financial freedom.  They have a vision of traveling the world and living life to the fullest.  They will not let any distractions or any negative forces get in the way of making this vision reality.

They understand that it takes time to build a business.  If you were to open a small business in your neighborhood do you expect that you would be successful overnight?  Absolutely not!  You need to properly market your business and learn new methods to get people in the door.  Building a successful online business is no different.

If 95% of the individuals expect their businesses to magically grow, the other 5% have little to no competition.  These are the individuals that will build massive income for themselves and their families.

Use Attraction Marketing To Build Online Success

The 5% of new businesses that are successful are those that understand attraction marketing and how to properly build an online business.  They are a leader and they attract prospects to them.  Ask any successful business owner if they have leads contacting them and I guarantee the answer is “yes.”

People are looking for leaders.  They are looking for individuals with confidence that can help them in some way.  They are looking for energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated people that know what hard work it takes to achieve business success.  If you are able to position yourself as a “leader” you will see results.  The formula to success is quite simple:  Be a leader, attract like-minded individuals and be a part of the 5% that enjoys tremendous amounts of income.

business owner

Why I Started My Own Business

I’ve been running my own business for 8 years now and there hasn’t been a single moment when I have regretted giving up the 9-5 corporate drudge. Even when I have been up late at night or (more usually) up very early in the morning to fit it all in and still have time for a good family life. After all what is the point of working for yourself if you never get to see you family and give them the time and attention they deserve?

I know not everyone thinks that way as there are plenty of parents who put their jobs first and I know they won’t admit it but you just have to look at the time they spend with their kids. I simply don’t believe that quality time makes up for quantity time with children especially in the early years but also later on too.

So running my home based business has meant less sleep for me but hasn’t compromised the very reasons I am doing this.

When I first started my business my home office was full of the products I was selling online, and the boxes in which to pack them for shipping. Eventually I outsourced the packing/shipping to a company who provided warehousing for the products but found there were simply too many products getting damaged or the wrong products being sent. I was then faced with the dilemma of where to find enough storage space to house my stock at a price I could afford and where to find reliable staff who could do a decent job packing and shipping my products – which were often large and fragile (what a combination!).

The answer was literally staring me in the face as I regularly passed a local self storage facility. What I hadn’t thought of was that this was the perfect place for cheap storage because I had always associated self storage with moving house. How behind the times I was. It turns out their units were full of stuff for small online businesses and they even offered a packing service. It wasn’t of course “too good to be true” and who would want that anyway as there is no such thing – because there is a cost to this service but it turned out to be cheaper than the company who were supposedly the experts at this and, more importantly for me and the reputation of my growing business, they were good, reliable packers who shipped the right thing at the right time and the damage rate was very low.

My business is now thriving and growing in a way I couldn’t have imagined 8 years ago.


Define Success | What Does Success Mean To You?

Define Success – Big House?  Fancy Car?  Or….Just Happiness?

It was not until I found myself laying in a hospital bed last June that I was finally able to define success.  Prior to landing in the hospital I was a very successful salesman in corporate America.  I had reached a 6-figure a year income and I was quickly climbing the “corporate ladder.”

At this time, I was living to work and not working to live.  I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was completely neglecting my family, friends and health.

90% of the people that I ask this exact question cannot come up with an answer.  Why?  Because they have never tried to answer it.  For some, success is a giant multimillion dollar house with a Ferrari in the garage.

For others, success is running their own business, or finally paying off all their credit cards and being debt free!  For a few, success is living the life that they were meant to live.  There is not a clear definition of “Success.”

Prior to June of 2011 my definition of success was something along the lines of this:  I define success as working hard, having a big job title and making as money as possible.

By following this definition I ended up having a mini-stroke at the age of 31.  My body completely shut down one night.  While my wife and I were out on “date-night” I got dizzy, passed out and the next thing I knew  I was being rushed to the hospital.

How Do You Define Success?

90% of the people that I ask this exact question cannot come up with an answer.  Why?  Because they have never tried to answer it.  For some, success is a giant multimillion dollar house with a Ferrari in the garage.

For others, success is finally paying off all their credit cards and being debt free!  For a few, success is living the life that they were meant to live.  There is not a clear definition of “Success.”

Prior to June of 2011 my definition of success was something along the lines of this:  I define success as working hard, having a big job title and making as money as possible.

By following this definition I ended up having a mini-stroke at the age of 31.  My body completely shut down one night.  While my wife and I were out on “date-night” I got dizzy, passed out and the next thing I knew  I was being rushed to the hospital.

During this time I was working 70+ hours a week, not getting much sleep and constantly stressed over project deadlines and meetings.  My body finally said, “enough is enough.”

So as I laid in the hospital bed and listened to the heart rate monitor I asked myself one simple question, “Why do I exist?”  Throughout my career I have always been a “manager” because I really enjoy helping people.  I love watching others grow in their career path.

How I Define Success: “I exist to help others define their success by coaching them through their fears and giving them the tools to succeed.” 

By answering this one simple question I was able to redefine my definition of success.  Success to me is no longer a big paycheck, a big “job title,” or climbing the corporate ladder.

Success to me is being a wonderful husband to my wife.  Success to me is being a loving and caring father to my two children.  Success to me is making a positive difference in as many lives as possible.  That is how I define success!

Why Is It Important To Define Success?

Simply put, if you don’t you could end up in the hospital like me.  Are you focused on your career or are you focused on the things that are the most important in life?

Why do you think the divorce rate is so high?  People get sucked into the corporate vortex and before they know it they are focusing more of their time and energy on their job than their marriage.

Guess what?  You can replace a job and paycheck.  You cannot replace your family, best friends or health.  So I challenge you to sit down and define success.  Do you define success by having materialistic items or do you define success and owning your own life!

After I was able to define success I realized that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming my own boss.  Why?  So that I could spend more time with my family and take vacations when I wanted to take them (without worrying if I had enough vacation hours saved up).