4 Essential Business Costs

Most startup owners start with a small budget, so the ability to maximize funds is an important entrepreneurial survival skill. 

However, if you don’t figure out and focus on business spending priorities, it might end up hindering your business growth in the long run. What you skimp on today may cost you big tomorrow. 

We’ve put together some essential business costs that you must factor into your tight budget as a business owner.

Hiring Talent

It is important to find employees to identify and develop different talent when you are looking to move the company forward.

While paying the minimum wage might be enticing to save business expenses, if you have some fantastic talents, you may want to consider paying them fairly. You need to compensate them accordingly if they prove valuable assets to your business.

This not only saves you in employees turnover but it also subsequently saves you money and time as undervaluing your employees may lead to them quitting, which will lead to a costly rehiring process.

Marketing

If potential customers do not know that your business exists, it doesn’t matter how great your products or services are, and you will not be able to grow. Successful enterprises have a strong marketing plan which identifies their target markets and outline strategies to reach them. And while startups may be tempted to lower their marketing budgets to save cash, the fact is that ineffective marketing would hamper business growth.

Insurance

One area you definitely don’t want to skimp on is business insurance. While it may be rare for a business to be hit by an accident or disaster, it absolutely does happen.

Small business owners should invest in insurance companies to provide their company adequate cover and ensure its continued survival in the event of a fire, burglary, litigations and other disasters that could occur. In addition, a good insurance policy will provide added protection for your business products as well as your employees. 

Small business and startup owners are always trying to work out which business area to cut cost and save money. Discussed above are five essential areas not to skimp. With that sorted, you can increase the chances of success for your business. 

Technology

Putting the right frameworks in place from the outset will help improve efficiency and accelerate success. By having technology that can streamline processes now, you can build a solid foundation and start to sustain growth for your business.

Your website is yet another vital component of your business. Never skimp it out. First impressions matter, and because of the way we primarily search for new offers online, it is vital your website looks professional as it will quickly communicate the right message to potential customers.

For a lot of startups, the idea of spending money is daunting. Whether that money comes from a grant, investors or those first few sales, it can be hard to part with. However, the four things outline in this article is some of the key areas where it is necessary to spend money to see real growth and development for your business.

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Why Skilled Implementation Is Critical To Business Strategies

If you’re aware of the importance of business strategy, you most likely know that it’s much easier to put your thoughts to paper than to actually implement your ideas. For many business owners, implementation doesn’t always come naturally, though nearly 39% of business owners know that skilled implementation is key to driving their strategies home. But what does this mean? Just as you would require a specialist to implement a winning marketing strategy, it’s important to involve professionals when it comes to business strategy, too.

The Formulation Of Strategy 

One of the most important parts of a business strategy is the actual formulation. In many cases, formulation of the strategy can take as long as the actual implementation. Resources exist to help with the formulation of the strategy, but if you’re not familiar with the processes or terminology, this might just be lost on you. It’s during this process where defining critical factors such as SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) become integral. Fortunately, business coaches and strategists have the skills to ask the right questions in order to formulate a successful strategy, and consulting them for advice or guidance can be crucial to your roll out.

The Implementation Of Change Management 

Change management can be particularly tough, especially if this change eats into operational output and time constraints for the business. It can also place staff under severe pressure if the new processes are foreign to the leadership and support is not readily available. While this might not be an important factor for new businesses, it can play a defining part for those who are already familiar with existing processes and systems. The risk of ineffective change management can tank particularly if the change is due to operational risk, legislature, or technological advancements in the market.

Effective change management requires the assistance of business strategy consultants who can provide the support and training needed to facilitate the change. It’s important that the business strategists are able to monitor the progress of the change management to ensure it takes place in a timely and cost-effective manner. Without this, businesses can lose out on their strategic objectives, significant investments, and perhaps even fail to meet industry requirements.

The Oversight To Bring Strategic Objectives Home 

A business strategy means very little when it’s implemented, but there is no objective or goal to reach. One of the ways to ensure that a business strategy meets its objectives is to use a SMART business plan. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) goals provide business strategists with the criteria for setting an achievable business plan in place. The single most important component of SMART goals to drive strategies home is “T” for time-based. It’s impossible to reach a business goal or objective successfully without knowing what the timeframe is. Not only will it create a sense of urgency around the objectives, but it will also keep the strategy top of mind. The other components of SMART goals are most essential in the formulation and implementation stages.

A business strategy is important to reach specific business goals. With the right team behind it, a business strategy transitions from being just a dream, and instead, becomes actionable objectives.

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How Tech Is Changing Investment

The nature of how we invest has changed an incredible amount in a very short time. Today, it seems incredible that there was once a time in the not so distant past where placing an order for stock required calling up your stockbroker and explaining exactly what you wanted them to do. Instead of going through the rigmarole of going through a human third party, the digital revolution changed the world of investment so that it is barely recognizable from the past. Much of investment is now done through handheld smartphones via online brokerage apps like the FXTM mobile app, which allows people to trade stocks and shares in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, South Africa, and Mauritius. This has democratized the world of investment, making it accessible to the many and not just the few.

If there is one thing that is for certain, it is that the inexorable pace of technological change will bring even more revolutionary advances to how we invest in the future. Here are just a few groundbreaking developments that we might see in the near future.

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is the name for the sophisticated coding which allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to run. While blockchain is mainly used for cryptocurrencies at the moment, developers are only just waking up to its vast potential for use in a wide array of other arenas, one of which is investment.

The incorporation of blockchain into the stock exchange in the near future is set to revolutionize the nature of how transactions are realized. A stock exchange which runs using blockchain will majorly cut down on costs and the time it takes to complete a transaction. Lower running costs will likely have a positive knock-on effect for investors in the form of lower fees.

2. AI Wealth Managers

One of the biggest changes that is already upon us has to do with artificial intelligence. Algorithms used in technology that has come to be known as “fintech” is now sophisticated enough to compete with traditional methods of delivering financial services.

Data from recent studies show that an increasing number of investors now consider the advice given by AI financial advisors as more useful and accurate than that given by their human counterparts. These opinions have been borne out in evidence that shows that AI has helped to save investor returns in the 2020 market crash.

As AI technology moves even further into the realm of science fiction, the door has been left open to the possibility that human investment experts could realistically be supplanted by AI and super-intelligent algorithms in a few years.

3. Next-Gen Financial Instruments

Since the advent of the modern financial markets, the proliferation of new financial instruments has been simply breathtaking. New financial innovations appear every year, and this trend is only set to accelerate as we move into a new age of technology. Indeed, keeping up with the bewildering array of new tools at our disposal is something that even investment experts struggle with. There seems to be literally no end to the number of new ways that we can speculate using advances in technology.

4. Increased Personalization

One of the great things about the tech revolution is that it has allowed people who would previously have had no access to the stock market to participate. At just the click of a button, anybody with an account with an online brokerage account can now invest and make money on any asset class using any financial instrument they choose. As mobile technology improves, so will the access that people have to investment opportunities. This could theoretically have the effect of leveling the economic playing field, reducing the inequality that exists among people in different geographic regions of the globe.

The world of investment has always been at the cutting edge of technology. Where money is concerned, investors are prepared to use any advantage that they can derive from technology that they can to maximize profits and minimize risk. While it is hard to predict the future, we can be certain that technology will continue to play a massive role in how markets run and how we make the decisions that inform our investment choices. We can only hope that these advances will help to bring the potential of investing closer to more people.

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Finding Funds – 5 Places To Source Emergency Money In A Time Of Crisis

With 22 million people in America now unemployed, having enough money for groceries, rent and bills is a serious concern. The novel coronavirus is tragic because of the loss of life but also because of the severe economic impact it’s having on people worldwide. 

If you are struggling to make ends meet and need money urgently, it can be easy to slip into a feeling of hopelessness, and many people get trapped into borrowing from unscrupulous lenders with high-interest rates and inflexible repayment terms. To avoid this situation, consider the five tips below before going ahead with a loan.

Assess Your Loan Options

All loans are not created equally, and choosing the wrong one can lead to a negative cycle of debt from which it is hard to escape. We have all seen the quick cash advertisements on TV promising money in your account straight away, but it’s crucial that you read the fine print and compare your options. 

You can find payday loan alternatives online and through various banks. Some providers offer loans specifically designed to help low-income earners through financial hardship by setting you up with low or no interest.

Use Your Emergency Fund

If you have been financially savvy and in a position to save up an emergency fund, now is the time to use it. When you are risk-averse and economically conservative, it can be a difficult decision to dig into your savings. But if you have been collecting spare funds for a rainy day, rest assured – this is that rainy day.

Check Your Government Entitlements

If you have lost your job or had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, there are a variety of government support options to which you may be entitled. Check online to find out if you are eligible.

Sell Some Things Online

If you are out of work at the moment, you might have some spare time to do a cleanout at home. In times of crisis, the secondhand economy is even more critical than ever. Kids still wear through their shoes, grow out of their clothes, and people may still need a table, television, or kitchen item. 

Once you have sorted through the things you no longer need, take a look on Gumtree, eBay, and Craigslist and see what similar items are available and the prices listed. Find a spot with good lighting to shoot your photos, and include as much detail as possible. The more information you add, the less time you spend sending 25 people the dimensions of your item! 

As a bonus, you will get the satisfaction of doing a good cleanout at home. Just remember that some restrictions may apply to item pickup – check your local social distancing guidelines.

Access Your 401K

Financial advisors have always recommended that you don’t touch your 401K until retirement. To discourage early withdrawals, funds generally have hefty fees if you want to access this money before you reach retirement age. However, given the unprecedented economic downturn, penalties for accessing this account have been loosened. Qualified individuals can take an early distribution from their fund of up to $100,000 without penalty. Keep in mind that you should only access your retirement fund as a last resort. 

The COVID-19 pandemic will have an enormous impact on millions of families around the world. If you are one of those families and you are struggling financially, explore the suggestions listed above. If you need extra assistance, try reaching out to a credit counselor to discuss your options. 

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How Easy Is It to Achieve Funding for Your Home Business?

Many people dream of starting their own business and becoming their own boss but are being held back by a lack of funding. When you have a viable business idea that you know is going to make you a lot of money, not having the available capital to get started can put you in a very frustrating situation. No matter how unique or ground-breaking your business idea is it’s difficult to get it off the ground without the right funding. The good news is that getting business funding for your home business is much easier than you may realize. Let’s take a closer look.

Use a Business Credit Card:

Business credit cards are one of the most efficient options to fund a startup, and it’s worth considering for any new business owner. Usually, obtaining a business credit card is a much easier process than applying for a business loan from the bank, and you have the option of only using it when you really need to, allowing you to have more control over how much you’re borrowing. And, many business credit cards come with relatively low rates; many even offer 0% interest promotions, making them a very cost-effective option of financing your startup.

A Small Business Loan:

When it comes to applying for a bank loan, small, new startup ideas are facing an increasing amount of rejection. However, the good news is that there are now more small business lenders who’ll be willing to help provide your new company with the funding that it needs. Lending Express, for example, helps rejected SME applicants find the funding that they need to realize their business dreams by connecting them to viable funding solutions using algorithms and technology. When you apply, they will optimize existing funding and use the information that you provide to match you with a suitable lender.

Crowdfunding:

Crowdfunding has become more and more popular, particularly when it comes to raising money for charity. However, it could also be a great way for your new home business to get the capital that it needs to get off the ground. It’s based on raising small amounts of money from a large number of people and can be done on popular crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Basically, anybody who believes in your business idea can donate as little as a few dollars to help you get started. Once you’re successful, you can reward your supporters.

Angel Investors:

Generally, angel investors are those who are wealthy and prominent in the business world. An angel investor who believes in your mission will help with funding in return for an agreed percentage of your profits. And, some of the biggest businesses in the world today, such as Google and Yahoo, were helped out by angel investors during their early days. So, it’s definitely worth looking into, particularly if you want business support as well.

Today, there are several great options to choose from when it comes to funding your home business. Even if the bank rejects you, getting the funds that you need is easier than you think!

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5 Home Business Ideas for College Students

The time between lecturers, early in the morning, evening, weekends, and holidays can transform the life of a student forever. The most successful people in the world have proven that prudent management of such time can bring a fortune. If you feel overwhelmed by schoolwork, you can hire expert assistants at paymyessaywriter.com to give you the leeway to focus on your business idea. 

Students who start businesses while in college build a strong foundation for entrepreneurship. It saves you from unemployment upon graduation. It is also an opportunity to earn extra money for your college upkeep. 

Not all businesses can fit the life of a college student. Some might be too expensive while others demand fulltime presence, disrupting your schoolwork in the process. It must be a business that brings reasonable returns with minimal effort. Here are the ideas you can explore for your college business. 

1. Virtual Assistance

Organizations are looking for remote workers to handle their appointments, draft letters, book amenities, and reply to clients, among other tasks. These are simple tasks that do not require advanced training. You will also be working parttime, accommodating the demanding life of a student. A virtual assistant requires minimal resources like a laptop and the internet. Most students can afford these resources. The returns are rewarding, and the student can scale down the business upon graduation. 

2. Freelance Writing

Writing is one of the fastest-growing freelance professions. Businesses and professionals are searching for qualified writers for their content. Luckily, the content comes in multiple formats and types, enabling you to find your area of comfort. 

Starting a freelance writing business requires minimal resources like a computer and an internet connection. You will create a profile on writing sites or an own website advertising your skills. You may also approach clients directly to write their content. Writers are some of the best paid remote workers today. There are numerous opportunities to scale the business upon graduation. 

3. Blogging

Create a blog and monetize it to make money. One of the most brilliant business ideas for students is blogging. A blogger can choose any theme to start a blog. Your creativity and quality of content you write will determine the fortune you earn from blogging. Blog platforms are free and easy to monetize, allowing you to set up a business with zero capital. 

4. Social Media Management

The expanding role of social media in business is raising the demand for professionals to handle the platforms. Companies are also paying a fortune for these services. Managing social media can even be done on the phone. It makes it one of the easiest businesses for students to start. 

5. App Development 

Are you passionate about IT? It is time to turn that passion into a business. Begin developing apps and offering IT services to companies as well as professionals. Their needs vary, allowing you to utilize your amateur as well as advanced IT skills. App development is one of the businesses of today and the future. 

A business started while in college should never interfere with your academic work. Choose an area of passion to avoid fatigue and making your business scalable in the future. It is also advisable to avoid capital intensive business ideas considering the financial status of students in college.

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5 Tips to Control Your Business Finances

No matter what kind of business you run, managing your cash flow is crucial for your operation to survive and grow. While there are many benefits that go hand in hand with running your own company, unless you stay in the know of the financial side of things, you could find yourself racking up debt before you know it. To help you stay in control, here are five tips on how to manage your business finances correctly.

Understand Your Financial Responsibilities

As a business owner, there are various financial responsibilities that you will be held accountable for. The type of business you run, as well as how many people are in your operation will reflect on what is required of you, however, one of the most important responsibilities is to pay your taxes. It’s crucial that you find out what your tax obligations are so you can be sure you’re doing everything above board. Repayments and reports are other responsibilities that you may need to carry out, especially if you have stakeholders to engage with and investors to repay.

Make an Accounting Schedule

Any successful accountant will tell you that the key component to good financial management is staying in control. If you begin to lose focus, mistakes can be made, which can cause disastrous consequences for your business. To help you manage your business finances, creating an accounting schedule is vital. Setting aside time each week to go over your financial tasks such as recording all transactions and filing all invoices will help keep things clear and manageable.

Use Accounting Software

While you may not be an accountant, that doesn’t mean you can’t make use of their tools and software. If you are the owner of a small business, you may be inclined to use basic spreadsheets like Excel, however, this kind of software isn’t designed to manage your accounting processes. There are lots of accounting software that is better suited, such as FreshBooks and Xero, both of which have features to help you manage your finances better.

Take Onboard Expert Advice

To help manage your business’s money better, doing your research and getting expert advice is important. Reading articles written by business owners who have been in a similar situation to yourself will help you come up with strategies to conquer your financial mountain. There are many resources available online that you can use to brush up your knowledge and get better at accounting.

Know When to Get Help

One of the traits that many business owners share is stubbornness. While being stubborn can be useful in some circumstances, if you’re facing issues with financial management and accounting, it’s important that you know when and where to seek help. For example, if you’re struggling financially, rather than taking out a business loan, which can be hard to obtain, merchant cash advances may be the better option for you.

Being out of your depth can cause the day to day operations to slide, so whether you’re making frequent mistakes or you’ve lost control of your cash flow, knowing when to seek help is important.

For day to day operations to run smoothly, it’s important that you have a solid grasp of your business finances. Whether that means overseeing proceedings or hiring an accountant to take care of your cash flow, keeping in control will avoid you running out of funds and getting into debt.

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4 Jobs You Can Do Full Time From Home

Are you bored of your 9-5 job and want to make a change? Many people start to work from home full time. This will bring them a stable income while reducing the costs for commuting to work. Some people have it like a side hustle first, but then quit their initial job to work from home.

According to Overheard on Conference Calls, you need to stay organized and plan your time when working from home. Especially when you are working full time. But, which are the jobs that you can go for? Be sure there are lots of jobs that offer you the possibility to work from your home.these are the top jobs that you can do full time!

 

Proofreading

Proofreading includes checking for any errors connected to grammar, syntax, and spelling. Or some jobs, you aren’t required to have a college degree. All you need are excellent grammar skills. Your client will send you a text, and you need to make sure that it is completely error-free. This work gives you flexibility and freedom, so you can work from home easily. Another good thing is that the job is strictly defined, so you won’t lose time on video calls.

Transcription

Working as a transcriptionist means that you will turn all sorts of video and audio material into text. It can be legal, medical, or technical materials that you should type in after listening. You will be listening to reports, interviews, conferences, phone conversations, and create a document file. It is a fun job to do, but you need to make sure that you have a quiet space in your home. You should determine your rate per minute for this work.

Flipping

This is a perfect job for all the passionate DIYers. If you don’t want to work on the computer for the whole day, a flipper is a perfect job for you. It means that you should find good pieces of furniture or other items in thrift shops, auctions, or flea markets. Then, you restore the items and make them look like new. It allows you to express your creativity and skills in a whole new way. Then, you can sell the items for a higher price. You have the freedom to choose your sales methods and strategies.

Blogging

Nowadays, blogging has become an important part of our lives. We all follow our favorite bloggers and read their useful tips. If you think that it is time to give up your 9-5 job but don’t feel so confident, then try with blogging as a side hustle first. Many bloggers started like this and then continued to work full time. You can earn money from google ads, sponsored posts, or even join affiliate programs. Keep in mind that blogging can be a complex job, as you need to produce good content for your readers. You will also need to invest in photographing equipment, props, and other things according to your specific niche.

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How to Properly Dispose of Common Household Junk

It is a harsh truth that every person produces more trash than is reasonable these days. While around 34% of ordinary garbage goes through recycling, the same cannot be said about trickier items like appliances, old furniture, and electronics. What do you do if you have piles of junk at home that you need to get rid of but cannot bring to the recycling center? The tips outlined below may help in proper disposal next time you are faced with the same problem.

Bulky items like old furniture and appliances

You cannot simply leave them out on the sidewalk, hoping someone will pick them up. Instead of worrying, why not call a professional Orlando junk pick up company? These companies typically maintain a sorting and recycling center. There is a good chance that your junk will get sorted and recycled first before the rest gets dumped.

Another option is to consider donating these items. If your appliance is still in working condition, you can try calling a local Salvation Army or Goodwill center. You may also try listing it for sale online. Some people might buy used furniture and restore it, while others purchase old appliances for scrap and other recyclable parts.

Household cleaning chemicals

You need to be careful whenever you need to dispose of household cleaning chemicals. If the product label indicates that it is water-soluble, you can flush it down the drain. Soaps, cleaning pads, and scouring brushes ordinarily go into the trash bin.

Expired medication and health supplements

It is essential to take an inventory of every medication you have at home so that you can get rid of any expired products as soon as possible. When dealing with prescription medication, the government assigns disposal sites, which may include local pharmacies. It is also possible to dispose of old medicines in the trash, as long as you follow the method suggested by the FDA.

Electronics and similar products

Before disposing of any electronic device such as a cellular phone, make sure that you delete all your personal information, remove the SIM card and memory card. You can either trade in the old device for a new one, or donate it to a local charity.

When it comes to old computers, televisions, and laptops, you cannot throw these in the trash. There are harmful chemicals such as lead, which are hazardous to health and the environment. Some manufacturers and distributors offer recycling programs. You can also call the municipal sanitation department and ask for assistance on how you can properly dispose of these items.

Old mattresses

Depending on local regulations, your municipal sanitation department may collect a used mattress provided it is sealed in plastic. When you buy a new mattress, the store may also handle the removal and disposal of the old mattress. If it is still in good condition, you can consider donating to a charitable organization, or a local homeless shelter. However, check with the health department if you are allowed to do so; otherwise, the best solution is to contact a junk removal company to haul away the old mattress.

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Top 5 Trends that Shaped SEO in 2019

SEO made a big impact in 2019 with new trends.

These trends helped shape SEO to where it is today. If you haven’t been applying these trends to your website, better jump on board now!

1)    Understanding your audience

One of the biggest trends of the year was learning what your audience wants to see from you. Do they prefer text? Or do they want to see more visuals such as images and videos?

Figuring out what your audience is wanting to see from you will help your rankings.

Even if you have stellar content that is correctly optimizing, you won’t see any benefits if it is geared toward the wrong audience.

2)    Exceptional content!

With all that said about catering to the perfect audience, you still need to provide exceptional content.

Especially with Google’s new algorithm BERT, you will want to create conversational and natural content for high rankings.

Since Google is constantly adding and changing their algorithms, good content is more important than ever. To rank higher, you want to provide clear answers to what people are searching for in the form of high-quality content.

The better quality content, the better the chance of acquiring links, which can improve your ranking on Google.

3)    Technical SEO

In the past year, more companies have put a major focus on technical SEO.

Did you know that the faster your site is, the higher Google ranks it? Because of this, more sites have become faster. If you haven’t improved the speed or simplicity of your website yet, don’t get behind in the game and check this off your to-do list.

Google and other search engines also cater to JavaScript-driven websites. Meaning if you don’t already have a JavaScript-driven website, you should work with an SEO  firm that is familiar with JavaScript to get this done.

4)    On-page Optimization

Yes, on-page optimization has ALWAYS been important, but it definitely became more relevant in 2019.

Aim for content that answers common questions in easy to read and short conversational pieces.

You may even want to consider chatbots. Now, not EVERYONE is a fan of chatbots, but for users, it is a very helpful tool that can improve your on-site SEO.

Don’t forget the simple stuff like websites that are appealing and easy to navigate.

5)    Machine Learning

2019 was the year for machine learning. With Google consistently releasing algorithms, this was the year to crack down and figure them out.

By testing new strategies, companies have been able to successfully optimize for these new algorithms.

It sometimes takes time to figure out if implementing new changes help you rank higher due to new algorithms, but while doing this, you are creating unique content. Which in the end, will improve your SEO.

Remember, there is no harm in trying new things to see if it help you rank higher. If it does end up working, it is well worth the effort.

Want to stay ahead of the game for 2020? Consider working with a Phoenix SEO agency to optimize your website in the new year.

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