Questions for mentors

Dear E-Learning platform visitors,

we are glad you are interested in opportunity to start your own business.

If you are looking for useful information or have questions for starting business on these topics

  • sales and marketing
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • accounting
  • safety and health at work
  • data analysis
  • risk management
  • strategic business planning

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Here is how you could conduct the market research. First of all, please define what kind of freelancers are most likely to use your service: translators, copywriters, web developers, art and design professionals, marketing specialists, photographers, etc. Then, I would suggest contacting these people via relevant online groups/communities and asking them questions that interest you. A crucial issue to clarify is whether they would be willing to pay for using your marketplace. Next, please understand a profile of people who need freelancers’ services. Prepare a questionnaire for them and conduct a survey.

As for your question whether such an investment would work in the Lithuanian market, there is one tricky thing about online marketplaces: it is hard to attract service/product providers (in your case, freelancers) to a platform with a small number of visitors – end consumers. At the same time, visitors will not use a platform with just a few service/product offers. In order to be successful, you would need to invest a lot into advertising at the beginning stage of your business and there are still no guarantees. In addition, it is essential to have a competitive advantage as compared to other marketplaces and means of promotion freelancers already use.

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

If you do not have experience in running your own business, then the bank will most likely refuse to cooperate. However, later, when you have an example of the product or service offered, as well as a formed customer base, you will have a chance to get a positive response from the bank. Obviously, you need start-up capital right now. Therefore, I highly recommend that you find the most budget-friendly way to start a business. In English, when talking about raising funds, they often mention the 3F methodology, which means family, friends and fools. Reach out to your family and friends for help, and a business plan that you have developed will be a great argument in your conversation.

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

First of all, you need to work out in detail the financial side of the business. Beginning entrepreneurs often take into account far from all expenses, which leads to quick bankruptcy. It is important to forecast monthly expenses for food and beverage purchases, room rent, utilities, employee salaries, taxes, cafe advertising, accounting services, communication services, transportation, cleaning and, finally, cat food. Your income received from visitors must cover all of the above! Keep this in mind when determining the pricing policy of your establishment. Do not draw too bright prospects for yourself at the initial stage. I usually recommend making 3 business scenarios: optimistic, realistic and pessimistic.

Mentor Valdis Janovs

Your fear is more psychological than grounded in reality. Hire a competent accountant or contact an outsourcing company that provides accounting services. If you want to keep accounts and submit reports yourself, then I have good news for you: the State Financial Inspection is not a monster at all. It provides consultations and you can always ask a specific question about your business and get a qualified answer. If errors are found in your reports and / or submitted documents, you will first receive a letter asking you to correct them, and not a fine.

Mentor Daina Einberga

You and your friend can safely register a company with a small authorized capital (less than 2800 EUR, you can start from 1 EUR), if it meets all the following characteristics:

1) the founders of the company are natural persons, the maximum number is 5 people;

2) the shareholder of the company are individuals, their maximum number is 5 people;

3) the board of the company consists of one or more persons, and all of them are stakeholders of the company;

4) each stakeholder of the company is a member of only one company, the authorized capital of which is less than 2800 EUR.

At the same time, it should be taken into account that such a company annually forms a mandatory reserve with deductions of at least 25% profit for the reporting year. The obligatory reserve, in accordance with the decision of the meeting of participants, is used to increase the authorized capital; to cover the losses of the reporting year, if they are not covered by profit of the previous reporting year; to cover losses of the previous reporting year, if they are not covered from the profit of the reporting year.

Mentor Valdis Janovs

You can register as an individual merchant in the Commercial Register if you are a natural person who conducts economic activities. At the same time, your annual income from economic activity exceeds 284,600 EUR, or your economic activity corresponds to the activity of a commercial agent/broker, or your economic activity meets the following characteristics:

1) the annual turnover from this activity exceeds 28,500 EUR;

2) you employ more than five employees at the same time to carry out your business activities.

Mentor Valdis Janovs

Considering the amount of time it took to produce the brooch, this price seems really low. You value your hour of work below the living wage. However, it is great that your children have identified the weak point of your business already at this stage! You have several options. First, consider whether you can optimize the process of making brooches and do it faster. If you are creating one-of-a-kind brooches, consider copying the most popular designs. This will greatly speed up the work! Second: think about the markets in which you will offer your products. After all, it is absolutely not necessary to be limited to Latvia, the Baltic countries and even Europe! For example, in the United States, handmade items are highly valued and are ready to pay serious money for them. And entering this market is simple: just place the brooches on one of the popular Internet platforms. For example, on etsy.com. Third: you can experiment with the pricing policy. Set different prices for goods and carefully observe the behavior of potential buyers. How many interesting things are waiting for you!

Mentor Tatjana Titareva

You need to do what in business parlance is called studying the target audience. Namely: to understand the preferences of women aged 30-45, to determine the goals that they pursue when choosing clothes, and, of course, to get an idea of ​​the amounts that they are willing to spend on replenishing their wardrobe. This can be done in several ways.

Start with the most obvious. Make a list of questions that concern you and ask them directly to women from your target audience. If there are not enough of them among your environment, do not be afraid to involve acquaintances as intermediaries or act through women's groups on social networks. Next, go shopping for clothes: take a closer look at the customers, carefully study the assortment and pricing policy. Try to get in touch with the sellers; many of them are very talkative. In parallel with this, be sure to plunge into the virtual world. Subscribe to the pages of designers and sewing masters on social networks, as well as groups dedicated to fashion. Review them regularly. This approach will allow you to achieve a significant breakthrough in a short time.

Mentor Tatjana Titareva

I have great news for you! Your baggage of knowledge and experience is an excellent basis for starting your own business. The first thing that comes to mind is tutoring, but it is not at all necessary to be limited to it. Think about how you could use your knowledge of history. Now people are happy to participate in quests, adventure walks, educational and gaming events, and intellectual competitions. And don't just focus on the kids. Adults are often delighted with the formats described above. Unleash your creativity and imagination, invite your friends, children and students to a group brainstorming session. As you can see, there is no talk of a complete retraining, but you will have to learn and be open to new things. Believe me, there is nothing to worry about. Just do it in a mode that is comfortable for you, and your life will become much brighter and more interesting.

Mentor Daina Einberga

Such a scheme has the right to life. But please be very careful! Think in detail about what duties each of you will perform, what skills and knowledge the three of you will bring to the business. These issues need to be discussed and agreed before the registration of the company. The mere existence of a friendship, even if it is long-term and deep, does not guarantee that you will be able to become successful business partners. Therefore, you should not involve girlfriends in business just because this way you will feel more confident. Be based primarily on the contribution that each participant will be able to make to the company. And, of course, good luck!

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

The State Development Finance Institution “Altum” offers tailor-made financing options for every situation.

You can get a loan up to 150,000 EUR, in which case you will be offered free consultations, as well as low requirements for your participation in lending and collateral. You can get loan guarantees if you plan to start negotiations with a bank but do not have collateral. You can be assisted in obtaining an initial investment of up to EUR 50,000 for participation in acceleration and risk capital. In addition, financial support is provided for start-ups in the field of social entrepreneurship: a grant of up to 50,000 EUR is available. It can be used for investments, working capital, salary payments, tuition fees.

You can get more detailed information by signing up for a consultation at one of the organization’s regional centers https://www.altum.lv/lv/kontakti/

Mentor Tatjana Titareva

When answering the question, we need to understand the scheme of your business. If you, for example, plan to launch the production of children’s furniture, then you cannot do without a significant start-up capital. At the same time, if you provide certain services, then you can start a business with a computer and telephone at hand. But the costs – albeit small – will be in any case. At the initial stage, you need to register an enterprise, pay for the work of an accountant, most likely, create a website. The more you are limited in funds, the more carefully you need to predict possible expenses in order to avoid problems in the future. Even a printer cartridge can play a role! But don’t forget about savings too. The same site does not have to be ordered from a well-known web studio. You can use a free website builder or get by with a business page on social networks at first.

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

Yes, you can safely apply for support to the development finance institution “Altum”. This state organization provides financial support to both enterprises that have already started their activities, and those who are just planning their business. In this case, the decision on financing can be made even before the registration of your company. Funding will be provided if you register it within a certain time frame.

Mentor Tatjana Titareva

Everything is quite simple, because you will work with a business license, all taxes have already been paid, at the end of the year you will only declare the income received.

Mentor Rasa Šalkauskienė

It is not worth storing such watermelons, they must be sent for processing. The following methods of processing watermelons are used: making honey, jam, candied fruits, syrups and salting them. At the moment, such production is developing in Latvia, there are several small companies that can hand over the belated harvest at the end of the season for processing and further sale. You can do this in your business. In addition, it is possible to use immature watermelons for livestock feed or for ensiling. On this issue, you can apply with a proposal to livestock farms.

Mentor Andrejs Kondratjuks

At first glance, the TikTok platform looks very attractive, as it can heltp to reach a large audience for free. However, several aspects still need to be taken into account. One of the key issues is the target audience. You reach only the younger generation on the Tok platform. So if your product is relevant for this audience, TikTok may be the right choice. Of course, there is always the opportunity to grow your own generation, even if the product may be relevant only after a few years. However, in this case, it will take a lot of effort to make the content interesting for TikTok’s audience and even more effort to make sure your brand captures the memory of the younger generation.

Keep in mind, that while the TikTok platform has the ability to reach a large audience for free, it will take resources to create exciting content specifically for the younger generation of TikTok. What works for other social networks (e.g. Facebook, Instagram), will not work for TikTok. You will need to create special content for this platform in order to succeed and get more views. So far, paid advertising is not possible in Lithuania, so all success depends only on the quality of the content. And it's understandable that promotional content won't really work on the TikTok platform. Therefore, it will definitely be necessary to use ingenuity so that the created content wouldn't be felt like advertising and the brand is only subtly embossed or organically integrated into the content. So there won't be an opportunity to present the product in detail here.

Another option is TikTok influencers, who are likely to promote your product even cheaper than Instagram influencers. Therefore again the attention should be paid to the same aspects already mentioned above - the relevance of the audience and the specificity of the content. TikTok influencers will not provide a detailed presentation of the product in either text or visual form like Instagram Influencers. The same TikTok trends apply to content created by TikTok influencers.

Mentor Arūnė Krupoviesienė

You can create an advertisement for a specialist searching, indicating your wishes for his experience and achievements, as well as presenting his duties and goals while working in your company. After selecting a few people whose CV and Motivation letters are appropriate for your collaboration, I would recommend giving them the same pilot task in the style of their future duties. Describe as much as possible in this assignment its purpose, the audience you are interested in reaching, the opportunities and resources that you have.

You will have the opportunity to evaluate both the results of the work of applicants and the level of their responsibility, creativity, and understanding of your company's activities. You can then invite the authors of the most interesting works to the final interview and make the right choice!

Mentor Daina Einberga

For an entrepreneur, it is important to understand such issues as the scheme for generating income and expenses of an enterprise, the break-even point of its activities, and cash flow. Bookkeeping in accordance with the requirements of state legislation, issuing invoices and preparing payments, communicating with the State Revenue Service and other state institutions, preparing annual reports and declarations, as well as operational reports, I recommend entrusting a specialized company.

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

The area of the proposed activity must be selected from the existing Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). At the same time, it should be taken into account that there are certain types of economic activities related to the activities of brokers, commercial agents and carriers, the sale of cars and other light vehicles or commercial activities with excisable goods, which may not be carried out by a self-employed person, but only a merchant registered in the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia.

Concrete codes are listed on the SRS website.

The catalog can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/5902521/KS-RA-07-015-EN.PDF

Mentor Jelena Sterhova

You need to follow the business support contests announced by the city of Riga. You have the ability to change your business profile and offer exactly what your city supports. For example, every year the Riga municipality announces an application for participation in the “Atspēriens” business support program, which invites creative and innovative companies that develop technology or knowledge-based solutions that can be used in the urban environment in the future.

This is your chance to receive 10,000 euros, and this is the maximum amount that a project applicant can receive. Companies under the age of five are invited to participate in the Business Support Program. The company applying for participation in the tender may not be registered in Riga, but the support must be provided in the territory of Riga.

Available information: https://www.liveriga.com/lv/investe/investoriem/uznemejdarbiba-riga/atsperiens

Mentor Tatjana Titareva

I can upset you by saying that digital skills will be needed. In addition, digital document management exists and will operate in a number of countries. For example, in Latvia, from 2025, it is planned to introduce the use of electronic invoicing (e-invoice) as a mandatory transaction between  businessmen (B2B) and businessmen and state and municipal institutions (B2G). The result will be a convenient and unified scheme for the preparation and storage of documents, a faster and safer exchange of information between businessmen, as well as simultaneous transmission of data to the tax administration, which will no longer need to request this type of information from taxpayers. Also, in line with the growing importance of digital development and concern for a green economy, a transition to a modern and secure paperless environment and the introduction of technologically advanced solutions will be ensured. At the same time, the possibilities of electronic circulation of other justifying documents were assessed and a decision was made to work on the introduction of electronic circulation of invoices in the future.

Mentor Valdis Janovs

In Latvia, the conditions are as follows: if a person’s income from the sale of various wildlife products, together with income from agricultural production and the provision of rural tourism services, does not exceed 3,000 euros during the year, he may not register economic activities at the State Revenue Service (SRS). At the same time, a person is not obliged to pay income tax on the income received, and also to use a cash register for trading. These conditions apply to individuals who receive income from the collection and sale of mushrooms, berries or wild medicinal plants and flowers. This also applies to income from agricultural production and the provision of rural tourism services. However, these persons must keep records of the income received.

If the total income from this activity exceeds 3,000 euros per year, the person must register in the SRS as a business entity within five working days, inform the SRS about how accounting will be maintained, and then submit an annual income declaration. Namely, if the income from these activities exceeds 3,000 euros per year, income tax must be paid on them as income from economic activities. This means that from income from picking berries, mushrooms or other similar activities in 2021, if it exceeds 3,000 euros per year, it is necessary to submit an annual income declaration electronically from March 1 to June 1, 2022 inclusive.

Mentor Andrejs Kondratjuks

First of all, I would like to pay attention to the diversity and variety of the tasks you will be looking for help - naturally, accounting require accuracy, analytical skills and calculation skills. Internet advertising, meanwhile, requires good communication, writting, planning, and graphic design skills. Of course, there are, as you call it, the possible search for 'universal' person, with both the exact and the artistic sides equally strong, but I think it would be easier and more productive to find two people for different tasks. Also, until the beginning of the activity, if the volumes are not high, I would suggest to think not of an agreement for a specific number of working hours, but of paying for certain tasks performed: for example, estimating rates for invoicing, creating ad text, and so on. Later, when the volume increases, you could also negotiate a part time job possibility for a few hours per day.

Mentor Diana Lipinskienė

At any time, before starting a business, it is necessary to assess not only the factors of the external environment (inflation, competitors, etc.), but also to calculate the need for possible investments, to know whether all investments will be made with own funds or will have to take out a loan. If you have enough own funds to invest and you will lose your loan (and maybe you already have all the equipment and premises you need to repair your clothes), then the risk is lower. It is important to understand that as the economic situation changes, in this case, as inflation rises, so do people's behaviors and ways of spending money. On the one hand, some people may choose to repair old ones instead of buying new ones (in which case they may become potential users of your service), and on the other hand, there may be those who refuse to repair their clothes and repair them themselves. In this situation, various scenarios are possible, the final decision would be made by you, considering the possible risks and alternatives.

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

First of all, it is recommended to know exactly what skills and experience are required. You should also clearly know what values ​​your future employee must have. In addition, it is necessary for the new employee's and the company's value positions to coincide, for example, a vegetarian promotion designer may not feel well at all in a meat processing company, and the quality of work suffers as the involvement in the process decreases.

Besides, during the individual interview with the candidate, it is suggested to provide pilot tasks (a prototype of a smaller-scale future work) that would help to know the visions and perspectives of different candidates.

In addition to the above, it is important that interviews with candidates would involve not only their future leaders, but also specialists in body language and personal psychology, so that your choice is likely to be successful.

Mentor Diana Lipinskenė

The high profitability of oyster mushroom production attracts entrepreneurs to create individual mushroom farms. Oyster mushroom ranks second among mushrooms in popularity after champignons, while it is cheaper and has excellent consumer qualities. To organize a business, it is enough to have a basement where a constant temperature is maintained throughout the year. Additional requirements are: the presence of supply ventilation; the need to maintain high relative humidity, lighting during the day. If you don't have your own room, then you need to rent it. A heated room with an area of at least 100 sq.m. is suitable, you first need to coordinate with the owner your plans for growing mushrooms. For the production of oyster mushrooms, it is extremely important to comply with the technology, otherwise there is a risk of ruining the entire crop. The best solution would be to hire a technologist with experience or take a training course at an existing production facility. Mushroom consumption is uneven throughout the year. There are two periods of sales activity - the whole of December with a peak of sales at the very New Year and the month before Easter, again - with a peak during strict fasting just before Easter. In early May, demand drops sharply, throughout May, June, July, demand is extremely low, slowly growing in August and September, stabilizes in October. To start a business, you should register as an entrepreneur (IE), learn cultivation technology, rent a room, purchase equipment and furniture, make repairs, hire staff, purchase raw materials, advertise. You also need to get permissions and certificates. When selling mushrooms, you will need the conclusion of the laboratory and the permission of the sanitary and epidemiological service (SES). Be sure to make a financial plan. The following possible risk factors should also be taken into account: low yields, low demand and increased competition.

Mentor Anatoly Goldberg

Start with a business plan! Thoroughly work out your business idea: demand, competitors, buyers, suppliers, marketing, price, profitability, break-even point (how much and at what price you need to sell to recoup all costs and go to zero), legislation regulating your type of activity (taxes, requirements of sanitary substation, Ministry of Emergency Situations), other risks. Conduct a SWOT analysis (threat and opportunity assessment). Choose a legal form of activity that is more suitable for you (self-employment, individual entrepreneurship, legal entity (CHUP, ODO, LLC). Start later (if the information you receive does not frighten you) with a small one, with the investment of only your own funds or interest-free loans from relatives, friends, acquaintances. If you need equipment, you can buy it in interest-free installments. It is advisable, until your business "unwinds" into a sufficiently profitable one, not to get into large debts, especially if they are at interest. Otherwise, you can get into financial bondage and work only to pay interest, fines, penalties, debt repayment.

Mentor Igor Mikulchik

To start, first try to manage with your own funds. Well, or interest-free loans from relatives, friends of acquaintances. You can try to buy the equipment using an interest-free installment plan. If it goes well, and it goes well, then you can think about loans from banks, leasing (only when purchasing equipment). Why is it IMPORTANT to start without loans (leasing)? Because this is more expensive money, you have to pay interest (and considerable) for the loan. If business for some reason does not go very well, and now in the conditions of a pandemic and high taxes, prices, falling incomes of the population, etc., this is quite likely, then you will also have to pay penalties and fines for delays, delays in your loan payments. But if you still decide to take loan, then carefully study the proposals of banks, first of all, which have small business support programs. These banks are on the website of JSC "Development Bank" https://brrb.by/activity/support-to-smes/

Mentor Igor Mikulchik

If you want to continue operating as a legal entity, then you need to register a private unitary enterprise (PSC) at the location of its legal address (for PSC, you can at your place of residence, subject to the consent of all residents and registered with you). At the same time, your activity as an individual entrepreneur can be continued in parallel with the activities of the PMC. You can study the procedure for registering legal entities on the websites: The Minsk City Executive Committee, the Ministry of Economy (Department of Entrepreneurship), on the websites of law firms, search for "creation / registration of a legal entity in the Republic of Belarus".

Mentor Igor Mikulchik

To begin with, study the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, which regulates your chosen activity. All forms of babysitting work: - work under an employment contract with an individual, there is a separate chapter in the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus (Articles 308 - 314) on the regulation of the work of domestic workers. The employers are individuals (owners) who draw up an employment contract and register it with the executive committee, pay taxes and social payments, i.e. not all employers will want to register something and pay taxes themselves, but they can offer the employee to formalize self-employment;

- work under an employment contract or a civil contract (services, contract) in agencies on behalf of which employment contracts are concluded with customers;

- self-employment, when an employee (nanny, governess) pays a single tax herself and provides services to an unlimited number of people. One of the sources (Internet resource): https://nalog-belarus.by/?p=6618

Then start offering your services (marketing) by any available means:

- through websites http://nashanyanya.by/nyani/Minsk_bez_posrednikov_obyavleniya.asp ; https://minsk.gde.by/uslugi/uslugi_nyani ; https://www.kufar.by/l/r ~minsk/nyani-i-sidelki and others;

- submission of advertisements in print media,

- production and distribution of your business cards, booklets, flyers;

- through their acquaintances and friends ("word of mouth");

- posting ads by area of residence, near preschool institutions, etc.

Mentor Igor Mikulchik

Social entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurial activity aimed at solving social problems. The specifics of this activity and its success are primarily determined by a person's motivation to engage in this activity. And then all the components for a successful business: knowledge, experience, partnerships and team, resources, reinvestment in issues, reporting on the social benefits of your business and other points. A lot of information can be found on the Internet.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the manual on social entrepreneurship of the Russian foundation "Our Future" https://grany-center.org/uploads/files/sozdanie-uspeshnogo-socialnogo-predpriyatiya-zvereva.pdf

Mentor Galina Matyushenko

1. Decide what legal status is assumed for the structure "psychological counseling center" based on the goals and objectives of the center (define them).

2. Evaluate the resources for the implementation of activities to achieve the goals and objectives: financial, human, organizational and technical. Since your organization is a government agency, you can explore several ways to find partnerships and additional resources: - cooperation with social service centers of the population of your city. They have psychological assistance staff. Maybe they could work with your wards, because this is their target group. - cooperation with a non-profit organization specializing in providing psychological assistance. Purchase of psychological assistance services and preparation of joint projects with them. - cooperation with medical educational institutions that train psychologists. Their students could have a systematic practice with you in providing psychological assistance.

3. Study the experience of similar institutions, how they solve the problem of psychological assistance to wards.

Mentor Galina Matyushenko

Starting a business is always risky. The COVID situation can further complicate processes if the future business heavily dependents on the supply of goods from other countries or sale products for export. It is important to take into account not only the pandemic situation, but also to pay attention to foreign policy with countries that would be in your business supply or logistics chain. As the situation around the world is not stable, it is worth to calculate the potential risks very well and put the cash flows together. On the other hand, if business is niche or related to domestic logistics, this could be considered. On a case-by-case basis, you need to know more "variables": areas of activity, related/ correlated activities in the market, etc.

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

Everything depends on the idea of what you want to do and what kind of business is going to be developed. Some investments will be needed, for example, for a bakery, however quite different - for an individual screenwriter. As for the reserve, it is advisable for both individuals and businesses to have the so-called "pillow" - accumulated amount of money equivalent for at least a few months expenses. How much it should be? The more it is, the better: the recommended minimum reserve is the cost of 3-8 months, the optimal - 12 months and more.

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

Creating a logo is not a mathematical equation solution. There is a lot of subjectivity here, the "like / dislike" factor can easily occur. However, marketing does not have to be based solely on your own "like" factor. It is very important to keep this in mind when formulating a task for a freelancer (or a promotional company) and when evaluating the outcome.

How to avoid misunderstandings with creators? Write down the contract and anticipate all the conditions, the progress of the development process, the number of variants, etc. The most important aspects are:

· Review the portfolio of your chosen freelancer or creative agency to make sure the style and execution looks right for you.

· Formulate the task properly for the creative agency. As I mentioned before, the logo must carry a clear message, reflect your strategy. So provide as much details as possible: what is product, what is target consumer, what is business concept, what do you want to emphasize the most, what are emotions, such as sensitivity, attention, or strength, reliability, and so on.

· Provide examples of existing logos on the market that you find appealing (not necessarily in your business category) to help the creative agency feel the direction to go.

· Determine how many stages you will have and how many options you will have in each stage. I would recommend a 3-step process (if the logo from the first step is appropriate, great, you can stop here and do not implement the next two steps). In the first stage, the initial variants are presented. If you can’t find the perfect fit, analyze the logos and tell the agency what you like and what you don’t like in each logo. The agency will take your comments into account when developing variations and provide the adapted or newly created logos for the second phase. If you do not choose the option that works for you from the second step, repeat the process till the third step.

Creating a logo in this way increases the possibility that the logo will live up to your expectations. If, however, you do not choose the option that suits you, it is also worth to be discussed in the contract. However, if the agency proves that variations have been submitted based on the task and comments you have formulated, you will have to pay for the work done . After all, as I mentioned, there may be customers who are guided solely by personal “likes / dislikes” and do not follow the actual fulfillment, so it is necessary to define the boundaries and evaluate the result according to certain criteria. Of course, there is a great deal of subjectivity in this place, so the path of controversy would not be easy.

Mentor Arūnė Krupoviesienė

In order to establish a legal entity, first of all you must to decide where the office of the legal entity will be registered. It is possible to register a legal entity in the premises of all purposes (i.e. residential, commercial, etc.) owned by the founder of the legal entity (in Lithuania). If founder hasn't such premises or does not wish to register the business in the premises owned by the right of ownership, the founders of a legal entity may use the opportunity provided by the law of the Republic of Lithuania to register in the premises owned by another legal or natural person with its consent. In this case, if you do not operate at this address, you can also rent a correspondence address - a mailbox, thus ensuring that the correspondence addressed to you will reach you. Evaluate these circumstances that are relevant to you and take the best decision for you.

We recommend responsibly choose a place where contact activities will take place, a convenient location is especially important - potential customers should easily access the place by their own or public transport. Premises should be clearly visible from the street.

Also the place of registration may be important for support measures in a particular municipality.

Mentor Jūratė Raukštienė

While salary is very important, it is not the most important factor that determines employee loyalty to the company. The benefits of loyal employees are unquestionable, manifested in a better organizational microclimate, higher productivity, and so on.

The answer is simple - pay as much as you would like to be paid for such work and a little bit more. Remuneration must be competitive and reflect the responsibilities of the employee or the value of specific skills. And, if salary changes can be negotiated over time, still, when choosing an employee, it is useful to find out from the beginning whether you and the future employee have the same values and attitudes, or whether the person is willing to cooperate in a team.

Mentor Diana Lipinskienė

It is always advisable to prepare a comprehensive and detailed business plan before starting a business. Then various discussions are refined and solutions are found. It is true that working together with a partner or a group of them, it is not only the coincidence of the approach to the vision of the activity, which is also important. It should be noted that, both in terms of business partnerships and partnerships in any project, it is advisable to enshrine the agreement in a contract. This document should not only provide an overview of the joint business you mentioned (it is useful to detail the vision, mission, goals, etc.), but also assess aspects such as:

- partners' financial contribution to the business;

- distribution of responsibilities, tasks and decision-making power;

- profit distribution;

- exit strategy for failing to build a business together with all the following consequences: financial aspects of exit, maturity issues, etc.

Mentor Diana Lipinskienė

When preparing a business plan, it is important to write down each part of it as much detailed as possible, to consider not only the obvious factors, but also to try to anticipate the implicit, as well as whom it will be intended. Maybe the bank you are going to apply for a loan has a special form?

Detailed information on the preparation of the business plan in Lithuanian can be found at https://www.verslilietuva.lt/verslauk/verslo-planas/.

We also recommend to use use the interactive tool for preliminary business preparation: https://bellb.eu/lt_business-plan/.

It is also worth to take a look at free consultations at consulting and collaboration centers in many cities, such as "Spiečius" (in Lithuania). It is important to understand that when you operate and respond to market changes, your business plan may change. This is a natural business process.

Mentor Jūratė Raukštienė

When creating a company name, the most important thing is not to try to put everything together so that the name does not become too burdensome and unattractive. Your key communication messages are the information that your products will be sugar, flour and gluten free. It is not necessary to reflect everything in the name. Of course, you can search for a general word that would answer the question: what are the benefits of these products being sugar, flour and gluten free? Maybe something with “healthy.” But I would still suggest looking for something “tastier,” such as if your recipes are based on French recipes, then the name could be French-sounding, and so on. And, as I mentioned, the specifics of your production are the foundation of your communication.

The most important accents when creating a company name are a good sound and an easy-to-remember phrase. Often, even a combination of letters that mean nothing sounds easy, positive, and easy to remember pays off. And again, the success of your name and business will depend very much on your next steps: communication messages, the right channels and promotions. In other words, be active and be visible!

You can find detailed information about requirements for the food production in Lithuania here: https://www.verslilietuva.lt/verslo-atmintines/maisto-produktu-gamyba/ and https://www.verslilietuva.lt/naujienos/isigaliojo-svarbus-pokyciai-leisiantys-maisto-gamybos-veikla-uzsiimti-namuose/

When thinking about the business start it is also worth to take a look at free consultations at consulting and collaboration centers in many cities, such as "Spiečius" (in Lithuania).

Mentors Arūnė Krupoviesienė, Jūratė Raukštienė

If the equipment is pledged to a bank, then it is mandatory to insure it. In other cases, the choice of insurance is considered after assessing the potential losses and possible conditions of threat to the equipment. It is useful to consider:

* Is the place where the equipment is stored closed premises or outdoors (is there a risk, for example, of a fire due to a fault in the electrical system; if the place is stored outdoors is protected, what is its visibility in the dark)?

* Is the equipment valuable? (Maybe it's not worth to have an insurance for it because of the low price and simple replacement with a new one)

* How long would it take to purchase new equipment if something would happen to the old one (can the necessary equipment be purchased simply, or it is necessary to place a special order for its production). If you decide to insure the equipment, it is recommended to consult with at least a few insurance companies on insurance issues - just ask them to send you an offer and compare the insurance offers you will receive - you will be able to assess which insurance company is best for the ratio of premiums paid to protections received.

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

It is recommended to conduct a SWOT (business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis) first, then develop a comprehensive business plan. Careful implementation of these two steps will make it possible to anticipate future financial flows.

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

By definition, your product’s target audience is young, smart moms looking for a variety of solutions and products online. This target audience can be reached through a variety of channels. But probably the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way would be to advertise on social networks. First of all, you should take care of the professional look of your social networking profile, interesting content and so on. And then it is already possible to distribute the recordings to a wider audience. Keep in mind that organic availability (organic Reach) on social networks today is very low, so you should set an advertising budget and buy the portion of your social networking audience that will display your posts. Select the user as close as possible to your target audience based on criteria. Also it is reccomended actively participate in various social networking groups that may be interested in your product. With a larger advertising budget, also it could be targeted ad on a youtube channel or a banner campaign on women’s web sites, e.g. tevudarzelis.lt, mam.lt, mamytes.lt and so on.

Mentor Arūnė Krupoviesienė

When creating a logo, every detail is important: color, text font, symbols. However, there is no single right formula. Before creating a logo, you need to answer to at least few essential questions:

· What is your product? Depending on the product, an additional symbol can be given to the logo. Properly embedded symbol will make the logo easier to remember. Or the logo can be complemented by classic symbols that show certain benefits of the product. For example, if the product is smart and can be operated via wi-fi, the classic wi-fi badge next to the logo will add value to your product.

· What is the target audience for your product? Choose colors accordingly. Studies have shown that men prefer high-saturation colors (such as blue) and women prefer the opposite (such as red). Age strongly dictates the rules for the font selection. If the user of your product is younger, you can choose more modern fonts, lighter (without Bold function), may be less readable, priority will be given to modernity and originality. Conversely, if your target audience is older people, then you might want to focus on more classic forms and easy-to-read fonts.

· Emotion - what emotion does your product convey? What emotion do you want to convey to your customers? The main stereotypes of colors: blue - calmness, brown - earthly, yellow - fun.

Mentor Arūnė Krupoviesienė

You asked where you could read about the differences between a Business Certificate and an Individual Activity Certificate in Lithuania. Although the information provided by VMI https://www.vmi.lt/evmi/kuri-veiklos-forma-man-tinkamesne - is clear and concise, it is not sufficient to take an informed decision. It should be noted that when choosing how to carry out an activity, not only the nature of the activity is important, but also the scope of the activity, as well as the place or places of the activity, the type of buyer, etc. Do you plan to sell goods or provide services for companies and organisations or to persons? Indoors or in markets? Will your activity have no signs of an employment relationship when working under IAC? These are just a few questions that should be answered before choosing a form of activity. So I highly recommend you to consult with an experienced professional personaly before making a decision.

Mentor Rasa Šalkauskienė

It is always better to look through a few prisms. It depend on the product or service. If statistics are provided, statistics should be consulted first, then the current market size can be assessed. It is also necessary to analyze Internet data, social networks, evaluate competitors and their activity. This would allow us to draw conclusions about the relevance of product or service for customers. Well, probably the most accurate answer to the question is the survey. Without the financial means to order a paid service, it is possible to conduct a simple, online survey from several questions. Social networks can also be used for the survey. It is also possible to organize a mini-competition on social networks (the prize can be inexpensive). Ask a question and thus self-assess how actively users are involved and what answers they provide.

Mentor Arūnė Krupoviesienė

An activity close to the heart - first of all, one that is very interesting for yourself. The success of a business depends not only on the quality of the idea itself, but also on the ability to present it, communication with customers and many other factors. I have no doubt that interesting and enjoyable activities not only reveal human creativity, increase motivation to achieve the set goals, but also increase self-confidence. And that enables us to act more boldly. Courage in business - a must! Do what you love. Maybe it’s a beloved hobby, maybe it’s an unfulfilled dream or an unrealized talent that others admire. Or is it a consultation on a particular topic on which you are constantly asked to share advice?

You can also use this fun test: https://bellb.eu/check-your-self-in-funny-way/

Mentor Jūratė Raukštienė

In Lithuania better lending conditions are offered by credit unions. It should be remembered that when applying for a loan to start a business, it is necessary to prepare a business plan responsibly. The preparation of this document is useful not only when applying for funding, but also when assessing the various factors that affect business. In this way, ways can be found to eliminate problems before they arise. If a person wishing to start a business is over 45 years of age, he or she can apply for support for self-employment.

You can read more in https://uzt.lt/darbo-ieskantys3/versl-kurimas/

Mentor Deividas Norkūnas

* Questions are not edited