Chelsea Lamb


Tips for Buying and Maintaining Used Industrial Machinery

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The right industrial machinery ensures a smooth and efficient manufacturing process. While the business you’ve just purchased likely came with the necessary equipment, it’s possible you’ll need to buy more, especially if you plan to scale. However, sourcing the right machinery can be tough on a budget. Buying used is a great way to save money and get the machinery you need!

Of course, any time you buy secondhand, you take on some level of risk. Learning about the buying process and understanding how to maintain and protect your equipment will help reduce the risk associated with buying used machinery. Thankfully, there are many resources out there that can help you out. 

Entrepreneur Social Club explores some of the key steps involved in purchasing used industrial equipment. 

 

Maintaining Resale Value

Performing regular maintenance on your equipment is important for smooth and efficient operations. Beyond this, protecting your machinery from wear and tear will ensure you can get your money back when you sell. Fortunately, Altorfer notes that used industrial equipment tends to hold its resale value very well! 

Every piece of industrial machinery requires unique inspection and maintenance procedures, so make sure you consult your owner’s manual when establishing your upkeep schedule. For example, you might discover that you need to refinish certain surfaces or lubricate moving parts on a routine basis to keep the machine operating optimally. Keep in mind that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) often update their maintenance and repair guidelines over time. 

Make sure you stay on top of the latest recommendations for your equipment so you can keep it in tip-top shape. These manuals can be quite sizable and can pile up quickly, so it’s best to have PDF versions readily available. It’s possible to combine PDFs into one file so you can easily store several sets of guidelines or manuals in one place, as well as making the file a searchable resource.

 

Invest in Staff Training

Investing in operator training can help you keep your industrial machines in good condition. Before putting your new-to-you equipment into use, make sure your operators know how to use it properly, keep it clean, and prevent accidental damage. Implement a formal training program to bring your staff up to speed, and emphasize clear and consistent communication with your employees. 

Ensuring your employees are paid the right amount and on time can encourage better morale and ensure they follow proper procedures when operating machinery. A solid payroll system can make it easier to schedule shifts and track hours to reduce timesheet errors while boosting employee accountability. 

 

Where to Source Used Equipment

Industrial machinery is fairly easy to find on the secondhand market due to plant closures and businesses making alterations to their manufacturing strategies. Many times, you can find used equipment in great condition at a fraction of the cost of buying new. You can source used machinery from used machinery dealers, industrial auctions, and online marketplaces. If you decide to buy from an online marketplace or auction site, Aucto recommends looking for a marketplace that specializes in industrial-only sales instead of relying on eBay or Amazon.

 

Evaluating Used Machinery

Before buying used equipment, consider the seller’s reputation, the condition of the machinery, and any additional costs that may come with the purchase, including those associated with the removal, shipping, repair, and ongoing maintenance. Ask for maintenance history and get the machinery inspected to ensure it’s in good operating condition. To determine the value of used equipment, learn what factors influence the price of machinery on the second-hand market. For example, many companies are willing to pay more for machinery made by well-known manufacturers. 

Buying second-hand industrial equipment is a great way to stretch your budget and improve production efficiency without hurting your bottom line. While buying used requires some serious considerations, taking the proper precautions and maintaining your equipment properly can ensure your purchase is a good investment!

 

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Key Tips to Drawing Customers to Your Ecommerce Business

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Whether you’ve been running an online store for a while now or are planning to launch one in the near future, one thing is certain: You must attract customers and keep them around if you have any chance of succeeding. And while that’s not an easy task, there are some tried-and-true methods of gaining and retaining customers that can prove invaluable on your eCommerce journey. 

Entrepreneur Social Club meets every Thursday 6pm–8pm, for a fun and productive evening. They mentor entrepreneurs, from start-ups to gurus. Join us in beautiful St. Pete, Florida at historic 5-star venue NOVA 535 (link to NOVA535.com) or via zoom if you can’t make the in-person meeting.

Hire professionals. 

First of all, you may be able to do a lot on your own. But if you want your eCommerce business to grow, you’ll eventually need to start thinking of bringing in professionals to handle certain tasks and projects. For example, your marketing strategy can make or break your business, so it’s critical that you work with a direct marketing agency to come up with a plan that ultimately leads to a strong customer base and more sales. You can visit online job boards to explore different direct marketing agencies and their rates, reviews, and services they offer. 

You might also consider hiring an eCommerce consultant to help you with the overall management of your business. Moreover, an accountant can take over many of the complex financial responsibilities so that you can focus on running your business. And a content writer can ensure that you have well-written, informative content for your blog and social media pages.

Use the right tools. 

When you get to the point where you need to hire staff, you should seriously consider your payroll process. Look for an online payroll system that will simplify your team management and help ensure that your employees are paid the correct amount and on time. Here’s a quick profit-boosting tip: opt for effective time tracking. Payroll software should make employee timesheets a breeze, along with offering real-time reporting, software integration, and other features that will save you time and trouble with the payroll process. 

There are plenty of other tools that can help you manage your business as well. For example, Veeqo and Zoho can help you keep your customers satisfied by making your inventory management and fulfillment process more efficient. And project management software such as Monday or Asana will provide you with a simple, easy-to-use platform for tracking your team’s progress on projects and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Also, if you’re emailing unwieldy and large files to customers and employees, you can reduce PDF file size by using an online compressor. This tool makes it easier to send a document while still preserving its format and image quality. 

As an eCommerce entrepreneur, it’s essential to use some of the marketing tools available to you. Email marketing is non-negotiable; look into tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact to help you create and manage successful email campaigns. Speaking of campaigns, ActiveCampaign and SharpSpring are also tools to consider, as they can help you see the big picture of how successful (or unsuccessful) each of your campaigns is proving to be. 

Of course, we can’t forget about social media marketing. Apps like Buffer and Canva can do wonders in helping you boost your online presence and engage users on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Furthermore, look to analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) to track your audience reach and help you make informed marketing decisions going forward.

Be consistent.

Finally, you must stay determined, committed, and reliable as the owner of an eCommerce business. These principles apply to the customer service you provide, the quality and frequency of your social media posts and engagement, your marketing practices, and so much more. Consistency is the key to success.

As with any type of business, running an online store isn’t easy. To give your company the best chance of success, you will need to hire the right professionals, use the available tools for your specific needs, and be consistent in everything you do. While there’s more to operating a great eCommerce business, following these tips will put you on the path to building a solid customer base and achieving your goals.

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Smart Time and Stress Management for Business Owners

Business owners know better than anyone how crucial good time management skills are. While the clock ticks, every moment not spent outsmarting your competition could result in them outsmarting you.

Owning a business means having a broad perspective and understanding your market from various angles. Given the difficulty and multitasking nature of being a business owner, it’s easy to see why many find themselves falling victim to occupational stress.

Fortunately, there are plenty of smart time and stress management tips that might help you along your entrepreneurial path to success. Being organized, being clear-headed, and trusting others with tasks can make a life-changing difference to your occupational stress load.

Make Use of To-Do Lists

You might think that if something’s important enough, you’ll surely remember to do it. However, don’t be surprised how often something crucial can slip your mind. This is especially true if you have more than one important thing to tend to. Keeping to-do lists close by ensures you’ll never forget to do a task. 

If you feel overwhelmed at the work week ahead of you, try making a larger list of all the things you hope to get done that week. Then, divide the tasks realistically between the days. Try not to clump too many big tasks into the same day. Be clever about your planning.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Creating a business requires a lot of passion, vision, and optimism. If you’re a small business owner and have managed to create something from scratch, be proud of that—you’re obviously skilled. The problem, however, can often be that business owners try to do absolutely everything on their own. They don’t trust others to handle matters properly. 

Delegating intelligently can make a world of difference to your daily workload and overall success as a business. Find out which tasks suit your skills the most and which you really can’t stand doing. Delegate the ones that aren’t for you. 

Always be sure to pick the right person to take over duties. You want someone who adds value to your work process rather than taking away from it. 

And don’t be afraid to contract out jobs that need specialized knowledge. If you’re wondering, “how do I start an LLC,” for example, you don’t need to do the legwork yourself. It might be a better choice to hire a formation service to help with the administrative load. 

Be Balanced

Keeping a healthy work-life balance is paramount to being successful in the long run. Unless you’re healthy and full of energy, you won’t be able to tackle the daily tasks of a business owner for long.

Eat a healthy nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Exercise helps you manage stress by pumping your body with endorphins, a feel-good chemical in the brain. You might consider going for a daily run or taking up an evening yoga class. 

On Your Way to Managing Time and Stress 

The stress business owners face is unique and very real. To succeed in the long run, it’s important to manage your time and stress wisely. Check out the Entrepreneur Social Club to meet other entrepreneurs who may be experiencing the same difficulties you are. 


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