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For any entrepreneur looking to try their hands at something different, the ferry business might be an appealing move. Wherever you are in the world, there will always be people who need to travel. And, if it involves water, then there are opportunities for anyone who wants to start a ferry service to shuttle people from A to B, and back again.

Ferry

flickr/bevgoodwin

However, one of the major stumbling blocks for many entrepreneurs is the startup costs. Ferries are, by and large, very expensive. So how can you raise funds to kickstart your idea? In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look.

Keep an eye out for subsidies

Although there aren’t many grants or subsidies on show for starting a ferry business, it’s worth keeping an eye out. Without companies running services, transportation agencies face pressure to build the right infrastructure. Especially in growing areas. Therefore, it works out cheaper for them to pass on a smaller amount of money to a ferry service that can transport people on existing waterways. It’s far cheaper than it would for building bridges, rail tracks and tunnels out of their own purses. So, watch out for water-bound locations that are seeing a population growth. And don’t be afraid to get in touch with the relevant state to find out what they can do for you.

Environmental grants

The pressure on governments around the world to be more environmentally friendly increases every year. And, therefore, so will the amount of grants they hand out. So, if you can find 2nd hand passenger ferries that you can work on and turn into a hybrid vessel, there may be an opportunity for funding. Of course, you’ll need to prove your credentials – and those of your team. But a greener water transport service is always going to be welcomed by government agencies anywhere in the world.

Approach companies

If you can help businesses provide a service to their customers, then they may be willing to pay for it. Let’s say you find a coastal city with a busy airport. Perhaps a ferry service could be a more efficient way of getting to the airport on time, direct from the city center. If it prevents an airline’s service being disrupted by land traffic and hold ups, you can save them time and money. Of course, if you offer something cheaper and more efficient, then it might be something they would be interested in investing in. You could even target some businesses that serve the airport. Perhaps you could supply a delivery service that reaches them every day, on time, and avoids the heavy city traffic.

Private investment

Of course, if you can prove your value as a ferry service on paper, then there’s a good chance of finding private funding. There are two things you will need to get private investment. A watertight – excuse the pun – business plan, and an experienced team behind you. Most investors will see the opportunity, and could well be persuaded. However, bear in mind that finding funding in the private markets can mean you end up giving away a reasonable percentage of your company. That may, or may, not prove problematic later on down the line.

Good luck with the new venture!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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5 Main Advantages of Colocation Hosting for Your Business

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Your organization requires a data center business plan if it is going to move forward to expand smoothly. Thus, you must look at your IT needs and decide what is to come so that your business can grow. If you are not sure whether outsourcing to a colocation facility is right for your organization or not, read on to learn what to consider.

1. Many Connectivity Options

Rather than building a private data center, which is a major capital expenditure, many companies choose a migration of their data instead. The range of connectivity choices available makes colocation a great choice in several cases, particularly if expanding the company’s infrastructure is necessary. Rather than laying down and integrating expensive cables, it is often more budget-friendly to use colocation facilities that easily connect to leading providers of internet services, network services, and more.

2. Scalability

When your current data solution is no longer enough, then it is time to consider scaling the IT infrastructure so that your business can continue to grow. Using a colocation provider allows you to agree together on service terms that allow you to scale services as necessary. If you’re interested in this scalable solution, check this page out for more information.

3. Less Downtime

A big benefit of colocation hosting is less downtime. An outage is costly for any company because it means less work is being done then, which equals fewer sales. Significant work must go into catching up on operations afterwards too. Thankfully, colocation data centers reduce downtime and maintain hardware because they have many supports, including different power sources and physical security.

4. Data Security

This point is essential. Your business has data that you need to ensure is secure for your customers and for the organization generally. Keeping patented data out of competitor hands is important, and you have an ethical obligation to your customers to safeguard their personal details too. Thankfully, colocation data centers have cutting-edge security measures in place. The colocation facility also has many policies that align with compliance regulation for various types of data, which means you won’t have to worry that you are vulnerable to lawsuits.

5. Lower Costs

Finally, colocation reduces costs in many ways for your growing organization. For example, you will save money as you will consume much less power after the relocation. Not only that, but you won’t have to own and operate hardware for networking because that is taken care of by the trusted colocation provider.

Deciding to Make the Move to Colocation Hosting

If your business has complex needs for an internet infrastructure, colocation can offer significant benefits, including saving money, state-of-the-art security methods, and scalability. It’s nice not to have to worry about infrastructure anymore too.

When your business moves to a colocation data facility, you can then focus on daily operations and an expansion strategy, rather than spending time managing an on-site data center. You can spend your time efficiently by outsourcing in this way, which makes it a successful part of building your company’s future.

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4 Ways To Improve Business Technology Management

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Notebook work with statistics on sofa business

Technology can improve your business in so many ways, but a lot of business owners don’t see the full advantage because they are not using it in the right way. It’s important to recognize that investing in technology is not enough, you need to make sure that you are using the right tech for your business and you are managing it in the right way. Failure to manage technology properly can lead to increased security risks and even a drop in productivity. If you don’t have a coherent system for managing your business technology, here are a few important tips to help you get more out of your technology.

Take Advice From IT Consultants 

There are so many amazing pieces of business software out there that can help you to streamline things, boost productivity, and save money. However, some pieces of software won’t really be that useful to your business and you can easily end up paying for features that you will never use. Many business owners make the mistake of spending a lot of money on software that doesn’t improve their business because they are taken in by a good sales pitch. That’s why it’s a good idea to take advice from an IT consultant because they will know which applications are going to benefit your business. They will also help you to implement that technology in the right way so you can take full advantage of it. 

Use A Mobile Device Management System

A mobile device management (MDM) system makes it so much easier to manage all of the devices in your business and perform vital updates. Here is an overview of mobile device management features and how they can benefit your business. By having all laptops, tablets, and other devices connected to a central management system, you make it easy for your IT team to push out updates, implement new software, and carry out routine maintenance. 

Understand How Technology Impacts Your Business

Implementing technology without a clear idea of why you are doing it and how it improves your business will usually lead to waste and possibly a drop in productivity. It’s important that you know how technology affects your business in a tangible way. How will new software improve things for your employees on a daily basis? Will it save you money? Is there a cheaper alternative? By answering these questions, you can ensure that you are only investing in technology that actually has value.  

Choose Compatible Applications 

When you are choosing new business applications, you need to consider how well they will work with the existing business technology that you are using. It doesn’t matter how many amazing features a piece of software has if it doesn’t work seamlessly with the rest of the software that you rely on. If you want to get the most out of your business technology and avoid any productivity issues, you need to have a clear systems integration process in place. This allows you to bring all of your independent applications together into a cohesive system, so everything works seamlessly together. 

Managing your business technology properly is vital if you want to take full advantage of it, so make sure to follow these tips.

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How To Reopen Your Restaurant After Lockdown

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It seems like lockdown is going to be lifted a little earlier than economists may have predicted. This is great news but it presents a challenge for your retail businesses; especially restaurants. How do you get people back to your establishment without spooking them? It’s all about bolstering their confidence in your health and safety procedures while marrying this narrative with a ‘back in business’ approach. Use alluring visuals to entice customers to your restaurant and reassure them with the help of your staff. There are also some tried and true marketing tactics you should be using and slowly building up the confidence of the locals.

Train your staff

Although lockdown will be lifted soon, you still need to retain your staff to be conscious of COVID-19. It’s not a good idea to act like nothing ever happened and just carry on. Retrain your employees i.e. waiting staff to be extra courteous and careful when interacting with customers. Tell them not to touch them and don’t wipe your face or nose in their presence. Your waiting staff as well as the managers for that matter should be carrying wet wipes or antibacterial wipes that they can use to clean their hands. Wearing face masks may be something you don’t want to do because it sends the wrong signals, but it’s something you may need to do. So give your staff PPE like plastic see-through gloves, face masks and aprons if need be.

Reassuring signs

Place a sanitizer bottle on every single table; including those that are outside. Something as simple as a blackboard sign with chalk writing that reads, “all staff have been tested and are clear of the virus” would really reassure some worrisome people. You should also place signs outside and inside your restaurant that instruct customers to be careful and courteous of each other’s space and health. Signs such as ‘don’t shake hands’ or ‘cough/sneeze into your elbow’ would go a long way into showing customers, you’re not letting anyone get away with poor hygiene standards. 

At arm’s length

You want to minimize as much risk as possible, but waiting staff are supposed to be hospitable and interact with customers. One way you can make everyone’s lives easier is by using a smartphone card swiper. People who use Samsung Pay or other electronic accounts via their smartphones, to pay for their goods, can make transactions without touching your staff. They won’t be passing any contaminated real money either, which would rapidly spread germs around the restaurant. The system can also read credit cards too, so non-touch payment technology is really something you should have in your business. 

Back to basics

Restaurants have always used chalkboards and standing signs to attract business. Go back to basics and just write what your specials are, what your breakfast menu looks like and any discounts you might be doing. The more normalcy and less panic, in your brand tone, the quicker customers will flock back to your business. 

It’s been a rough few months for restaurants. Part of the excitement of eating out is being among company. It’s time to slowly but surely, reopen and use these strategies to reassure, inspire confidence and get people back to booking tables again. 

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