Posted In:Business and Finance Archives - Pligg

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7 Ways to Start Earning a Passive Income Online

December 30, 2017 - By 

Approximately 3.8 billion people have access to the internet. This means that when it comes to making passive income online, the sky’s your limit.

Passive income is when you’re earning money in your sleep- you don’t need to be involved in any way.

Whether you simply want to earn a few dollars on the side or you’d like to quit your day job and retire in style, here are some ways you can get started:

1. Blogging

One of the most popular (and simple) ways to make passive income online is through blogging. The good thing about blogging is there are many different options for monetizing, and it can help you launch future profitable ventures.

The biggest hurdle? Finding a decent niche. You need to be passionate about your niche since blogging is a lot of work in the beginning. You’ll also need to be an expert in that niche, so you can stand out from other bloggers. Finally, that niche shouldn’t be too saturated (avoid blogging about cheap travel in Southeast Asia).

As your visitors grow, you can monetize it through sponsored posts and ads. Hire a virtual assistant and you can take yourself almost completely out of the equation while the money comes rolling in.

2. Drop Shipping

Talk to any digital nomad, and you’re likely to hear them mention the words “drop shipping” at some point. This is when you set up your own store online. However, instead of selling your own products, you’re selling products from other people and companies.

You then submit the order to that company, and they deliver it straight to the customer. Since you don’t need to actually have a warehouse full of product, you’ll have very low overheads. You may have purchased products from a drop shopping company in the past without even realizing it.

The idea is to find a niche with low shipping costs and high profit margins. Cosmetics and vitamins are two good examples. You can set up a drop shipping store quickly, and could offer hundreds of products within just a few days.

3. Information Products

You’ve probably noticed that many people are creating their own courses online. Jeffrey Nelson is a great example of this. You can also create e-books, membership sites, and much more.

One of the great things about this option for passive income online? You’ll have a margin close to 100%. That’s because you have no costs for creating the product or distributing it since it’s all online. You’ll create your product once, and then you can sell it to thousands of people from all over the world, creating a passive income stream that can last for years.

4. Apps and Software

A few years ago, selling software wouldn’t have been considered to be a source of passive income online, but this is now changing. There are plenty of tools online that allow you to create simple mobile or web apps without hiring a developer or knowing how to code. And we can expect this to become even easier in the future.

Sure, you may not develop the next Facebook in your spare tie. But you could create an app that solves a particular problem for a group of people. And that app could make you a few thousand dollars each month.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Once you’ve built up an audience, affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income online. There are a number of options for affiliate marketing, but Amazon is by far the most popular. There are also some affiliate programs which will offer you a lifetime commission when you send referrals their way.

As long as a client is continuing to sue and pay for their service, you’ll continue to make a percentage in commission. The trick is to find high-quality services offering recurring commissions. Check out SEMRush and Shopify to get started.

6. Create WordPress Themes

One of the best ways to earn passive income online is to use an existing marketplace. One of the biggest (and best) is Envato Market). For people starting a blog, there’s a high chance they’ll be using WordPress. And people using WordPress will need their own theme.

Some of the best theme developers make millions through Envato. Obviously, this will take some work, but if you’ve got the skills, you can build up a nice passive income.

7. Design Apparel

Have you always been the creative type? Selling apparel is quick and easy, and if you’ve got some good designs, you’ll be able to get started relatively quickly. You can either create your designs yourself, hire someone, or purchase stock images.

There are also a number of marketplaces like CafePress. They’ll take a cut, but you also won’t need to handle sales, fulfillment, or printing.

Marketing is relatively easy as well. You can use Google Ads and Facebook to get your designs in front of your target market. You may have a niche audience for your designs, and this can help you build up a loyal following for any subsequent designs.

There are plenty of online tutorials which can help you with your graphic skills, and while you’ll need to put in some hard work to get started, this can quickly turn into a nice side income.

Ready to Earn a Passive Income Online?

While earning money while you sleep sounds like a dream, it’s a dream you can make true with a little elbow grease. All of the above options require you work hard initially, but once you’ve got the ball rolling your earning potential is almost limitless.

The internet makes it possible for anyone to earn online, but it can be tricky to know how to get started. You’ll also need a solid marketing plan, so check out our marketing posts to learn exactly how you can get your product or service in front of the right people at the right time.


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Preparing for Tax Season: What to Do

December 21, 2017 - By 

As we move to the end of the year, most of us are thinking ahead toward Christmas and the New Year. Maybe you’re planning your weight loss resolutions, hope to quit smoking, or you’re considering a big trip for the family.

But as you’re gearing up to close down 2017 and move into 2018, don’t forget to start preparing for tax season. There are a number of steps you can take now to plan ahead and make life easier when the tax deadline rolls around.

Read on to learn more about the ways to gear up for tax season.

Gather Your Documents

This includes both paper hard-copies, and digital documents. We suggest organizing these documents by tax filing year, since most documents need to be retained for at least several years.

Many of these documents won’t be ready until after the new year, but here’s what you should prepare to have on-hand:

  • Last year’s tax data (gather this information now)
  • Regular income: W2s and 1099’s
  • Other income: real estate income, dividend earnings, investment gains
  • Loan information: interest paid on student loans, mortgages, etc.
  • Business-related expenses: meals with clients, technology purchases, etc.
  • Tax-deductible expenses like moving or medical expenses
  • Tax-deductible donations to charities or non-profits

As you gather these documents, you can begin entering the necessary data into your tax returns (whether you’re going the paper route or electronic.) For example, there’s no need to wait for all of your 1099s to come in; enter them as you receive them, which saves time later.

Don’t Forget about Lesser-Known Deductions

It’s important that you deduct every possible penny from your taxable income. Often overlooked tax deductions include:

  • Childcare costs (daycare, etc.) or adoption expenses
  • Education expenses
  • Casualty and theft losses
  • Taxes paid (state and local, personal property)

These are just a few of the many possible deductions, but look over the IRS list of deductions and ensure you’re not missing any that apply to you and your family. Again, no need to wait on all of these: if you moved over the summer, you should already know your total moving costs and can enter them into your filing any time.

Get Electronic Filings Ready for Tax Season

We highly suggest filing taxes electronically, using software such as Turbotax. Filing electronically not only reduces input errors (those extra zeros won’t work in your favor!) but tax software saves information year after year, so you won’t need to re-input the same information like social security numbers, etc.

Another benefit to using tax software? You don’t need to memorize tax code or learn about complex changes in tax rules.

The software will ask you key questions like, “Did you buy a house?” or “Did you have a child?” Depending on your answers to these questions, the software will customize the tax filing based on your information.

Get started with the software early – well before your tax documents start rolling in. You can fill out key information for you and your family (like dates of birth, social security numbers, job information, etc.) and you can also familiarize with the software. Read more about electronic tax software here.

Maximize Deductions Before the End of the Year

It’s not too late! You still have time to get in a few more deductions that can benefit your tax position for the year.

Consider donations to charity. Most people feel like giving during the holiday season, and this is a great way to hit “two birds with one stone.” Just make sure that the charity donations are tax deductible, and that the organization can provide a receipt for your tax purposes.

Also, consider any last minute write-offs or business purchases which may lower your taxable income. For example, if your small business experienced record earnings and you’re expecting a big tax hit, you may want to consider loading up on the new computers you’ve been considering, which you can write off during tax season as a business expense.

Minimize Surprises

Let’s face it: we all love the idea of a big tax return come springtime, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out this way. Rather than being surprised and disappointed by a less-than-thrilling tax return, set expectations now.

There are a number of calculators available online that can give you a rough estimate of what you may owe the government, or what you can expect to get back from the IRS. But keep in mind, these often require making a number of estimates and assumptions.

If it’s looking like you’ll be close to breaking even, or if you’re planning to pay out in taxes, then start setting aside the cash now (if you haven’t already.) And if you’re one of the lucky people who’s getting a refund, consider savvy ways to use the money. Spend some, save some (or save it all!)

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Taxes, especially for small business owners, are extremely confusing. We suggest that you begin writing down your questions now, before tax season. There may be some questions that you just can’t get answered online, and it never hurts to talk to a licensed CPA.

When speaking with a tax professional about this year’s taxes, you may also want to ask them what you can do next year to further reduce your tax bill. There may be different investments to consider, or clever ways to structure to your small business. You can also talk to a tax professional if you expect to need a tax filing extension because the sooner you file for an extension, the better.

We Can Help Your Gear Up For Tax Season

Don’t delay with these key tax-filing preparation steps. You’ll be less stressed over the holidays, which means more fun with family.

Besides, who needs added holiday stress? We encourage you to get started with these filing taxes steps so that you’re well prepared by the time the deadline rolls around.


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The 5 Best Investment Apps to Download to Your iPhone

November 22, 2017 - By 
Best Investment Apps

In years past, you had to look at not one but several different newspapers a day to keep accurate track of the stock market.

In recent years, you had to sit in front of your computer and watch the market go up and down via an Internet tracking board.

You could also buy and download software to help you make financial decisions regarding your stocks.

Now investment apps make tracking and investing simpler than ever. Check out the five best investment apps available below.

The Five Best Investment Apps

1. Robinhood

The Robinhood app is the perfect app for new investors.

Most investment apps require account holders pay a subscription or maintain a minimum balance. Not this app.

With it, you only need to submit enough money to buy a stock.

In that respect, the Robinhood app is as heroic as its namesake.

Presently, this app is available only to American and Chinese investors. However, it allows you to buy and trade all American-based stock.

2. Wealthfront

The Wealthfront app is one of the best investment apps for slightly more experienced investors.

It requires you to submit $500 upfront. After that initial $500, you don’t need to feed this app any more money until after you’ve made $10,000.

You read that right. The Wealthfront app manages your money up to $10,000 for free.

But that isn’t its only nifty feature.

It has you take a questionnaire that matches you with one of its 20 investment portfolios. The match is made based on your risk management style.

The Wealthfront app also lets you see the history performances of its other 19 portfolios. Additionally, it evaluates your outside investments and makes recommendations based on them.

3. Acorns

The Acorns app is one of the best investment apps for investors looking to turn small amounts into big ones. When you sync your bank account with Acorns, it automatically rounds up small purchase amounts and invests the leftover change.

For example, let’s say you buy a pair of scissors for a collage project. The scissors are $1.60. Acorns will round up the purchase to $2 and hold onto the leftover $.40.

After you’ve reached $5 in change, Acorns invests it into your portfolio.

4. Betterment

To start on Betterment, you need $1. A single, solitary dollar.

When you open your Betterment account, you answer a short questionnaire. Based on your answers, Betterment invests as you would and monitors your investments.

You can keep up with investment news on reliable sources such as InvestorMint.com to make sure the app is making the best choices.

For its services, Betterment charges only .15% to .35% a year, depending on how much you make.

5. Openfolio

Openfolio is a wonderful app for those looking to monitor and analyze rather than invest.

This free app allows you to see how 70,000 other investors’ portfolios measure against yours. (It won’t show exactly how much they made, though.)

If your portfolio’s performance paled in comparison, you’ll know you should invest differently thanks to Openfolio.

Need More Apps? Check Us Out!

At Pligg, we know that apps are the way of the future. We offer a variety of resources about apps for a wide range of functions. From gaming to traveling to tracking expenses, we have you covered.

For additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re always happy to help you find the app that suits you!


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Best Employee Health Insurance Options for Small Businesses

November 17, 2017 - By 

These days, every business is struggling to provide for its hard-working employees. Businesses hit particularly hard are small businesses. That’s because they’re usually are new and aren’t as established as bigger businesses

In fact, 80% of businesses fail within their first year. Given this statistic, you may want to avoid providing employee health insurance.

It’s no exaggeration to say that health insurance prices have reached a ridiculous level. Economists project that in some states, health insurance will more than double next year.

Employees Are Worth The Extra Cost

It’s true providing employee health insurance will hit your business hard in the wallet. But before you dismiss the idea, consider how much you value your employees.

Without them, you’d be working every shift every day that your business is open. Plus, you’d be doing all the work–from customer service to accounting to clean-up–by yourself.

Now consider your outstanding employees, the ones who stay late to help out and come in when someone calls out sick. You want to keep employees like them because they go above and beyond to make sure the business operates smoothly.

High-quality workers will always be in-demand at every business. Those employees have the option between a job that provides a necessity such as health insurance and a job that does not. And they will almost always choose the job that provides health insurance.

Employee Health Insurance Options

Thankfully, you have numerous choices when it comes to providing employee health insurance. Insurance companies and brokers can provide you with more information on these and other choices. An example of a broker is Proactive Broker Network.

Individual Health Insurance

One option is to simply encourage your employees to buy their own plans. Almost every insurance company offers individual health insurance plans, including widely accepted names such as Anthem and United Health One.

The main problem with these plans is cost. Plans are organized by value tiers (bronze, silver, and gold), and the more valuable the plan, the higher the cost.

Age also plays a significant factor in individual healthcare insurance plan costs. Someone in their early twenties will pay a lot less than someone who is in their sixties. Insurance companies simply view older individuals as a higher risk for insurance.

If your employees are struggling to pay individual healthcare insurance costs, you can set up a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). HRAs are convenient for small businesses because the group, not the policy, chooses how much will be reimbursed. As an employer, you can set up an HRA through your business’s healthcare provider’s online software.

Another individual healthcare insurance option is obtaining a plan through the Marketplace. Per the ACA, the Marketplace partially bases your premium on your income rather than your age. To qualify for lower premiums, though, your employees will need to submit paperwork proving their annual income.

The SHOP Marketplace

This employee health insurance option operates specifically with small businesses in mind.

Much like the individual Marketplace, the SHOP (Small Business Health Options) Marketplace offers group plans for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Each plan requires the business to cover a certain percentage of its employees’ premiums.

To qualify for certain plans through the SHOP Marketplace, businesses may also need to meet specific requirements. One popular requirement is having a certain number of employees enrolled. Very small businesses may need to have all employees enrolled in order to be eligible.

For example, Massachusetts’s SHOP Marketplace requires employers to cover 50% or more of their employees’ premiums. Businesses with five or fewer employees must have all employees enrolled while businesses with six to 50 employees must have 75% of their employees enrolled.

Private Health Exchanges

Private health exchanges are a useful option for employers who have employees with very different needs.

Through a private health exchange, employers buy a set of plan options for their employees to choose from. These options are all group- or individual-based.

It might seem like a pain to have your employees choose their own plan without consulting you. But again, consider your valuable employees.

While many of your employees are likely healthy enough to consider a basic health plan, some may not be. What’s more, some may have immediate family members who rely on the employee health insurance you provide. Even though those employees may cost you more, they also earn you more, so it’s worth allowing them to pick a plan that suits their needs.

Additionally, if you let your employees pick their own health insurance plans, you can actually save money. You may have a few employees who choose more expensive plans, yes, but most will likely go with cheaper options. In this fashion, you can cover all your employees, even your more expensive ones.

Co-op Groups

With the cost of employee health insurance on the rise, co-op (Consumer-Operated and -Oriented Plan) insurance groups are becoming a popular option.

Co-op groups operate much like a traditional insurance company in that members pay a fee for access to cheaper healthcare. Some co-op groups have been known to charge members as little as $90 a month.

At the same time, you should be aware that that isn’t a standard cost for all co-op groups. The members of each co-op group decide what price they will charge every month.

Something else to be aware of when it comes to co-op groups is many don’t include hospital care access.

Private Small Group Insurance Plans

Perhaps the most expensive of all small business insurance options is private small group insurance.

Private small group insurance is the traditional method for providing health insurance to small business employees. Due to rising healthcare costs, though, it’s become a less attractive option.

One reason it remains on the table, though, is its simplicity. The other options all require a good deal of planning, discussion, and paperwork.

With private small group insurance plans, you simply choose a plan and offer it to all your employees. From there, you only need to keep track of who has enrolled and who hasn’t.

Learn What You Need to Know Today!

Pligg provides you with all you need to know about a variety of topics, including travel, technology, and employee health insurance options. If there’s a topic you’d like to see us cover, feel free to reach out to us today!


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7 Ways You Can Get Paid to Work from Home

November 16, 2017 - By 

Is it time to ditch the office? Ready to gain more flexibility in your life?

If you’re considering working from home, there are ways to do it. There are a lot more options than you may think.

If you’re looking to gain more control over your life, a work from home job could be the answer. It gives you more freedom and time for the things that really matter.

Read on to learn seven of the best ways you can get paid to work from home.

1. Become a Virtual Assistant

One of the most popular ways to get paid to work from home is to become a virtual assistant or VA.

A VA provides professional administrative, technical, and other types of assistance to clients. They do this while working remotely from a home office.

A VA can handle many tasks for people who are very busy or have too many things on their to-do lists. They may answer emails, manage a website, or schedule appointments.

People use VAs for different reasons, but they gain a lot of benefits from delegating tasks to someone else.

If you’re looking to get started with working online, becoming a VA can be a great way to begin.

2. Start a Freelance Writing Business

Freelance writing is also a popular way to make money online.

There are more writing careers available than crafting a bestselling novel. You can make money writing for blogs, creating web copy for businesses, or pitching ideas to magazines.

Another lucrative way to make money as a writer is to write ebooks and offer them online as digital downloads.

Are you interested and knowledgeable about travel, sports, or technology? There are plenty of opportunities both online and offline that will allow you to make money as a freelance writer.

3. Online Tutoring and Teaching

If you’re a qualified teacher or you’re just good at explaining things, teaching or tutoring online can be a great way to make money.

You can help others learn in a variety of ways. You may consider charging for live tutoring sessions using Skype or video conferencing software.

You may also consider creating your own online course where you teach multiple people at once.

Many universities have online programs these days. If you’re qualified, you may be able to get a job teaching an online course.

You may want to use a specialized platform or software for teaching online to make the process easier. It will also help you with managing classes and interacting with students.

4. Become an Audio Transcriptionist

Another excellent choice for a work from home job is to work as a transcriptionist. Many types of businesses, organizations, and people need audio transcribed regularly.

You may work transcribing interviews or other types of things for businesses and organizations. Many transcription jobs fall into the categories of medical or legal audio, but there are other categories too.

It can take some time to be able to listen well and understand what’s being said. Once you get the hang of it, working as a transcriptionist is an in-demand job that can potentially pay well.

5. Get a Work-From-Home Call Center Job

A work-from-home call center job is exactly like it sounds.

Virtual call center jobs are just like typical call center jobs, minus the “center.” You won’t need to go into the office to work. Instead, all you need is a phone, a quiet space, and the right attitude.

Needless to say, you’ll be talking on the phone a lot, so this job is best suited for extroverts.

If this is the kind of job that “calls” out to you (pun intended), you can make a good hourly rate while sitting at home in your pajamas.

6. Become a Programmer and Get Paid to Work From Home

If you are technically-inclined, learning to be a coder or programmer may be the perfect job for you.

With this job, you’ll be writing code, designing applications and programs, and optimizing web pages. Keep in mind that it can take some time to become well-versed in these skills.

However, once you master them you can potentially make a lot of money. You may also choose to get started with a coding boot camp to jumpstart your progress and learn quickly.

Some coding languages are more lucrative than others, but overall it’s a great choice if you’re interested in working remotely. Being a programmer can be one of the most lucrative jobs you can do online.

7. Put Your Graphic Design Skills to Use

Do you have an artistic eye? Do you have the skills to use Adobe Photoshop and other graphic design tools?

Graphic design is one profession you can do with just a laptop and an internet connection. Businesses and individuals need flyers, newsletters, logos, and all kinds of designs completed.

You may choose to specialize in a certain type of project or take on all kinds of work. In addition to working directly with clients, you can also create digital downloads and sell them online.

This can be a great way to have an artistic job if you’re a creative type. You can also make money on your own terms.

Final Thoughts

There are other possibilities if you want to get paid to work from home, but these are the most popular ones.

If you have a skill that wasn’t listed above, don’t lose hope! No matter what your skill set is, you can find a way to market yourself and build an online income.

Think outside of the box, do your research, and keep your eyes open. You may be able to make something work for you and your unique skills.

With a little work, it’s possible to get paid to work from home and have the flexible career you’ve always wanted.

Looking for an extensive and trusted digital downloads marketplace? Check out our ebooks digital downloads marketplace or other digital downloads categories.


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5 Downloadable Financial Tools You Need to Have

November 16, 2017 - By 

Do you struggle with setting and sticking to a budget?

If so, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that only about 30% of people regularly set a budget.

Further, 10% of Americans have no credit history whatsoever. This means that an astounding 45 million people don’t currently have a credit score.

If you’re not exactly up-to-date with your current finances, don’t panic. Now is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf.

You can start by using these five downloadable financial tools to help you to better manage your money and track your spending.

1. If You Struggle to Stay on Top of Your Bills

No one wants to fall behind on their bills or forget to pay them. But with so many other things going on, it’s easy to make a mistake.

Missing payments can cause your credit score to take a serious hit, and you might end up having to pay astronomical late fees.

Enter the downloadable Prism app, which helps you to remember to pay all your bills on time.

All you need to do is download the app on your cell phone, enter your different bill amounts and the companies you’re paying top, and then link to the account you use to pay them.

When a bill is due or becomes available, you get a notification reminder from Prism.

Best of all? It’s totally free!

2. If You Have Trouble Budgeting

Are you guilty of splurging a little too often?

Are you unsure of where all your money is going?

Do you need a better understanding of what your lifestyle is really costing you?

If so, you’re a great candidate for You Need A Budget, a downloadable financial solutions app and software that helps you to better track your finances. The app allows you to create various categories for your spending. These include things like rent, your water/gas bill, grocery money, and going out/entertainment.

This will also help you to identify the areas in which you’re overspending.

You can then get a much better handle on your spending, and allocate the money you have coming into your specific expenses.

The app also helps you to save by allowing you to set saving goals and reminded you to allocate a portion of your income to that goal.

3. If You Want To Save

Though the last downloadable app we mentioned has a component related to saving, if you want to get serious about setting some cash aside, you need an app solely dedicated to that.

Enter the aptly-named Acorns App, which helps you to stash away your funds. The app has lots of different capabilities but is perhaps most famous for rounding up every purchase you make on your credit/debit card to the next dollar.

It creates a diverse investment portfolio without high management fees and commissions, as your “spare change” is automatically invested for you.

You can choose from five pre-made portfolios, or just have the money directly placed into your savings account.

You can also make larger, one-time investments if you come into some extra money, earn money off of referrals, and create a recurring investment. This app is simple, low-risk, and incredibly easy to use.

4. If You Need To Monitor Your Investments

If you have major or minor investments, you clearly already know a little bit about managing and growing your money.

However, how often are you really tracking those investments? And how can you be sure that your current financial advisor really has your best interests at heart?

That’s where the downloadable Personal Capital app comes in.

It offers the perfect combination of advice from real-life financial advisors along with information from tested financial algorithms.

It can help you to analyze the effectiveness of your 401(k) and your other retirement accounts, alongside other investments you may have. It will also help you to assess how your current investment strategy is helping you to achieve your financial goals.

5. If You Need To Get A Loan

Of course, we understand that many might feel a bit unsafe about downloading a tool that has access to their bank account numbers and other sensitive financial information.

Instead of going with a downloadable option when it comes to applying for a loan, it’s best to work through the website of an online lender.

One of our favorites?

Bonsai Finance.

Their services cover a wide range of financial issues, from acquiring a credit card if your credit history is less-than-perfect to applying for a variety of personal loans.

They also don’t require a credit check, which makes it much easier for those that need help the most to be able to get it.

Their system is also incredibly intuitive and easy to use. All you need to do is select the type of loan you’d like, use the sliding scale tool to determine how much you need, and then submit your request.

If it’s your first time applying for a loan, you’ll also find their FAQ section to be incredibly helpful.

What Other Downloadable Options Can Help You To Live Better?

Now that you know how downloadable financial tools and apps can help you to manage your money better, it’s time to think bigger.

What other tools can help you to evaluate and improve all the areas of your life?

Our enormous library and blog about digital downloads can help you to figure it out.

You can download eBooks and documents, find the perfect graphics for your website, and even connect with some of the best software on the market.

Then, you can rely on our blog to teach you how to get the most out of these tools, as well as to learn about a wide variety of industries and subjects. No matter what you like to do, we have the information you need to do it even better.

What are you waiting for?

Start browsing our site today!


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Use These Plug-Ins to Add Yelp, Facebook, and Google Reviews to Your Website

November 10, 2017 - By 

When you are considering going to see a movie, if you are like most people, the first thing you do is check the reviews. It has become commonplace for Google reviews to be written about everything from the Chinese restaurant down the street, to what new books you should read.

This level of feedback allows your potential customers to get what they perceive to be a more accurate image of your business than what the flattering copy on your website paints. This is one of the most important parts of digital marketing.

These reviews are impacting almost every decision we make. Reviews and ratings are what sways the masses these days.

That’s why it’s so important for you to feature Google reviews on your website. You don’t have to rely on websites like Yelp! to display what your customers have to say about you.

Keep reading to find out what plug-ins you can use to display reviews right on your website.

Tips for Marketing Using Customer Reviews

There is no one more equipped to tell your success story than your satisfied customers. That’s why it’s a great idea to include Google reviews or comments on your website that are written in your customer’s own words.

Sharing real-time reviews from your buyers on your website will show your potential customers how well you deliver on your brand promise.

A positive customer review could bring a flood of new buyers to your website, while a negative one could drive everyone away.

This is particularly true for local businesses. People in your area will be more willing to believe the Google reviews of others within their community than random strangers found across the internet.

Many potential customers will use reviews to decide whether or not to trust your business. The personal recommendations featured in Google reviews can feel like they come from a trusted friend.

The most important traits that your customers will be looking for is a business that’s reliable, has an expertise, and maintains a professional image.

By creating this polished image for your business, your customers will be more likely to spend time on your website.

That makes them more likely to buy your product.

The Benefits of Displaying Reviews

Many people believe that displaying Google reviews is a job for sites like Yelp! and Amazon, but that’s a mistake.

It’s not necessary to have a review specific website to benefit from having a rating system and displaying customer reviews on your website.

Blogging

If you run a blog, chances are you have written a review or two on a product or service that’s relevant to your website content. Although your website may not be based solely on these reviews, there can be a benefit in creating a rating system for the reviews that you do write.

Many of the plug-ins that will be discussed will allow you to create summaries of all the reviews that you write. Then the concentrated version of your review will show somewhere in the vicinity of your original post.

One of the reasons that this is beneficial is that people on the internet have notoriously short attention spans. They have developed habits like skimming a webpage for what information they think is the most relevant.

If nothing catches their eye, then they will leave your website as quickly as they came.

By giving them a taste of your Google reviews with a plug-in preview, you can create a tasty morsel to tempt your readers to dive in further and read the rest of your post.

Small Business Owners

Beyond the needs of bloggers, small business owners can benefit greatly from the addition of Google reviews to their website.

With large websites like Google Plus growing every day, many small businesses have begun to see the upside to having great reviews written about them.

Since reviews play such a large role in the decision-making process, small business owners can take advantage of these big name review sites to drive more traffic to their website. This can be a key piece in your sales or conversion funnel.

Many of the plug-ins available will allow you to moderate your reviews and approve those that show up on your blog. You can’t do this with reviews featured on Google or Yelp!.

One great example of a small business making the most of their Google reviews is Go-Forth Pest Control in Wilmington, NC. They have featured posts by their customers on their homepage to show potential clients the quality of work they’re capable of.

Featuring Google Reviews

Unlike featuring a Facebook or Yelp! review, adding Google reviews to your website won’t require you to pay for anything unless you choose to.

There is a variety of WordPress plug-ins that can make featuring Google reviews slightly easier, but there are so many free options that for the majority of applications, purchasing a plug-in will be unnecessary.

Google Places Reviews

The most basic plug-in to use is called, “Google Places Reviews”. It’s offered through Google and will display a maximum of three reviews simultaneously. There are also a number of design options and configurations that you can edit to customize the look of your review panel.

Featuring Yelp! Reviews

For many industries, Yelp! is the go-to place for reviews. This is especially true of restaurants and professional services.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to featuring a Yelp! review on your website. That’s because Yelp! is a niche platform that focuses on specific industries.

If you operate in one of the industries that Yelp! is known for, you know the amount of clout they have.

One of the reasons their reviews are so well-respected is that they have a fake review filter that has been designed to only display actual customer reviews.

This lends credibility to the reviews featured on the website.

Yelp Widget Pro

Yelp Widget Pro is a free feature included with your WordPress subscription. It enables you to embed features of your business’s Yelp page on your WordPress website.

The cost of this subscription is about forty-five dollars a year.

When you purchase and enable this plugin, the process is relatively straightforward. You will be emailed a file that contains the plugin and you will need to download it and “unzip” it.

Then you will navigate to your WordPress site and select the large blue button that says “Upload Plugin” under the tab, “Plugins”.

Once uploaded, all that will be necessary is for you to implement some code wherever you want your reviews to appear.

In all, this process should take about five minutes to fully complete. You will have a wide variety of styling options for the display box for your reviews. You can even tweak details manually by altering the code that you add to your pages.

In addition, you can choose what reviews you want to be featured. One option is to only display five-star reviews on your website. Other options include selecting whether or not you want to display your company’s contact information and several other formatting options.

Embedding Facebook Reviews

There are a ton of different options when it comes to embedding Facebook reviews into your website. The differences between the options are mainly the ease of implementation and the format that you desire.

Feed Them Social Plugin

The most simple Facebook review plugin is called Feed Them Social.

It can be uploaded and configured directly through the WordPress Plugin Dashboard. There is no manual upload required.

By using the dashboard, you eliminate the potential for any errors to occur. For those who don’t have a lot of experience with plugins, this can be a very important feature.

Facebook Reviews Pro Plugin

A secondary option is to pay forty-five dollars for a one-year license of Facebook Reviews Pro.

This plugin was developed by the same people who created the Yelp! plugin, so its installation is nearly identical. You will need to manually insert the code where you want your reviews featured and upload the plugin into the plugin tab.

The major difference between Facebook Reviews Pro and Feed Them Social is the formatting options that are available to each.

Wrapping it Up

There is nothing more important to your potential customers than being sure that the business they’re purchasing from is trustworthy and reliable.

By featuring reviews on your website, you are giving them the ability to see what others who have used your products or services have thought about your business.

There are multiple types of reviews out there with the three most common being Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp! reviews.

Each of these has plugins available that allow you to easily add their review content to your website.

They’re all highly customizable and allow you to select fonts, colors, text size, and the size of the content box.

If you are looking for the right place to download your plug-ins, visit Pligg, a digital download marketplace that has products to drive traffic to your website today.


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10 Ways a Messenger App Can Transform Your Business

November 9, 2017 - By 

The way we communicate online has drastically changed the way a business engages their client base. In fact, a recent survey found that 50% of chatbot users claimed that using a messenger had a positive impact on their perception of a business.

A messenger app started as an easy way to chat with colleagues and friends. It has since turned into a tool for businesses to provide better customer support. But they can do so much more for a business.

We’re now seeing that companies can use these apps to help market products and services. Organizations are using this to transform customer experience and reach people in new ways.

Let’s break down the benefits these apps can bring to business operations.

1. Establish a Conversation with Your Customers

Engaging with your customers strengthens the relationship you have with them. The immediacy that a messenger app brings to this engagement is invaluable.

Two-way dialogue is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Online messaging makes this dialogue scalable. Media-rich connectivity and personal interaction give you an edge over your competitors.

Opening the channels of communication forms a sense of familiarity and trust. Companies that provide chat services have a better chance of repeat customers and upsell revenue.

2. Customer Convenience

People can and do shop online around the clock. Thus, the service you provide shouldn’t stop at 5 pm.

If a customer has a problem or question, a messenger app allows them a line of communication at all times. In this world of urgency, they don’t want to wait until the next day for answers.

Chat services allow for instant access to your service reps 24/7. This real-time interaction keeps business operations moving. It also provides a customer experience that’s much more enjoyable than listening to hold music.

3. Personalized Customer Interaction

Personalized communication is a huge advantage in marketing. A messenger app gives a business the ability to customize their communication for each customer.

Social media allows marketers to track customer engagement. This gives a business a cross-channel view of consumers to segment. Knowing your customer’s interests lets you personalize your message to fit their needs.

Observing the dialogue between you and your customer also keys you into their preferences. This is a perfect chance for personalized offers on products and services.

4. Reach Customers on Their Terms

A key strength of a messenger app is that it allows a dialogue with a customer when and where they want it. They also have the option of conversing in their preferred messaging channel. Not only is the communication more direct, it’s done in a way that makes the customer comfortable.

An advantage to chat apps is they provide an easy way to test different audience segments. They can also be scaled depending on the region.

Because the customer can communicate when and where they want, frequency and reuse are much higher than on mobile apps.

5. Chatbots Make a Messenger App Scalable

Establishing a messenger program for your business may seem intimidating. Luckily, chatbots have made the process less stressful and more functional.

Chatbots work as autoresponders for a messaging system. They enable quick responses and allow for a large volume of chat activity. This means you can leave the more important interaction to a live service rep.

Chatbots help scale engagement and reduce the cost of live teams needed to handle calls 24/7. A system can be set up so that a live agent takes over when needed. Global App crowdsourcing testing provides web and mobile app testing for agile teams.

6. Free, Unrestricted Communication

A big problem with SMS is that there is often a cost associated. Messaging systems provide customers full access to your brand without having to worry about being charged.

Customers can also reach you anywhere in the world. Unrestricted access to product information and service will help boost customer satisfaction. It also keeps businesses running around the clock.

7. Provide a Private Outlet for Customers

If you own a business, you know you will sometimes have unsatisfied customers. A messenger app decreases the chances of a customer expressing any frustration publicly. With so many looking at reviews and feedback online, this is a great advantage.

Messengers also provide an environment for communicating sensitive data. Things like delivery information remain between the customer and service rep.

By providing a private setting you encourage direct interaction. This helps keep an unsatisfied customer out of the public eye.

8. Enhance Team Communication

We’ve been talking about how a messenger app can help your customers. But it also serves an important function internally.

These apps can be a great way to keep everyone on the same page. This is very important if you have team members working off-site. Group chats allow you to meet virtually and keep everyone up to date on important information.

You will also have the ability to store conversations that include important data. Keeping a record of conversations is a great way to stay organized and track accountability.

9. Time and Money Savers

With messenger services, you can forget about making long distance phone calls. They allow you to communicate with anyone in real time and save money on the cost of calls.

They also help cut down on travel by providing a way to meet with colleagues all over the world. You also avoid long and confusing email correspondence. Have the conversation you need to have right then and there.

10. Increase Conversion

Most people want to speak to an actual human when they call a customer service line. Unfortunately, they end up becoming frustrated by an automated system.

Carry this line of thinking into the digital world. A customer is going to want a quick interaction with someone who can help them. If you provide this service you’re going to see higher customer satisfaction.

Messaging allows for immediate service, which means high conversion.

Promote Your Business with Direct Communication

The online marketing landscape provides endless ways to reach your client base. Adding a messenger app to your brand is a great marketing tool and so much more. The service it provides your clients and internal operation is well worth the expense.

Visit our site today for digital downloads along with informative articles.


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7 Tips on How to Start an Escape Room Business

November 9, 2017 - By 

As a lover of puzzles and labyrinths, you’ve likely been thinking about how to build your own. A great escape room business will take the exciting concept of an escape room and make it feel fresh and inventive.

Escape rooms are a great addition to your income, a fun way to meet energetic and adventurous people, and an exciting way to spend your weekends. While there are many different ways to navigate an escape room, the business end of it is less opaque.

Below are 7 tips on how to get your escape room business off the ground and keep people coming back for more.

1. Do Your Research

You can never do too much research when starting any new business venture. There are a lot of ideas that you can draw from in the History of Escape Rooms. You should also see what the most recent trends are.

Zombie-themed rooms were the rage for awhile. Are zombie-themed escape rooms on the rise in your area or is there another emerging trend?

You need to stay ahead of your competition.

Are there other escape rooms within 10-15 miles of yours? Figure out what you can offer that’s different than your competitors. Book a session with your competitors so that you can see where they succeed and where you can improve.

See if other escape room businesses have closed in the last few years. You’ll want to learn from their mistakes. Also, talk to your chamber of commerce to see if any other escape rooms are about to open. Competition is healthy but you don’t want to flood the market.

2. Can You Commit?

Running any kind of business is a huge time commitment. Do you have the free time to devote to running an escape room business?

Write out a budget for both time and money. See what you can afford to outsource and what you will need to handle on your own. Don’t let other aspects of your life suffer for a new business.

Online presence might be the way most of your clients encounter your business for the first time, so make smart design decisions with your site.

3. First Impressions Are Everything

Who is the face of your business? The first person who greets your customers at the door will set the tone for your customers’ experience. You want your greeter to relax your visitors who will likely be nervous about their first time at an escape room.

If you put a face in your promotional materials, you want that familiar face to be on site when your visitors arrive. The greeter needs to be ready to answer questions and give all of the information your visitors need.

Hiring someone else to handle this frees you up to mingle and manage the overall experience.

4. Timing Is Key

Use the time of year to attract your customers. Holidays, local cultural events or seasonal changes can keep your business fresh and give one-time visitors a reason to book again. A zombie or horror-themed escape room around Halloween is a great way to capitalize on the fall season.

If detective stories are on the rise, have a narrative to capitalize on that.

Create different narratives for different events so that potential clients have a variety to choose from. A large company with a good experience with one style of event may want to send another department for an outing more catered to their interests. A changing schedule posted months in advance will work to your advantage.

5. Market It Creatively

Even the best idea won’t sell itself. Be sure that your escape room business is being marketed to the right clientele. If you’re near a tech hub or a business park, tell businesses about how escape rooms promote teamwork. Offer discounts to the businesses nearby.

Talk to another local business or a brewery. By exclusively carrying their products, you can offer cross-promotional deals that are mutually beneficial.

If you’re near a college town or university, offer student discounts. Reach out to student associations and offer discounted packages to them. You’ll be surprised to see a bump in sales after a dozen students put up selfies and social media posts about your escape room business.

See if you can build a flexible business that can host anything from a birthday party, a family reunion, office outing, or any gathering at all.

6. Gifts That Keep On Giving

Your visitors will want a keepsake to remember the experience.

A cleverly printed photo or souvenir will allow visitors to share the story while continuing to promote your business. Taking a group “before” photo will allow your team to print and frame pictures while visitors are in the escape room.

Gather an email list from visitors so that you can stay in touch and offer them discounts throughout the year.

Give out keychains with your name and website on them. Lighters, bottle openers, and keychain flashlights ensure visitors will carry your name around for months or years after their visit.

7. Wrap-Up Event

What do you have waiting for your guests at the end of the puzzle? Other than a souvenir, it might be nice to have an event. Including a food and beverage package at the end, with a “bonus” included for winners, shows teams that you appreciate them.

Leave time at the end of every escape room session for players to hang around, mingle and ask questions. Making yourself available to answer questions can be valuable for building a repeat customer base.

For players, this may be a team-building exercise for their job or their first time getting to know one another outside of work. Helping to foster their relationships can encourage them to spread the word about your escape room business.

Have Fun With Your Escape Room Business

Don’t forget to make it fun!

You should be doing what you love with your escape room business. Connecting with clients should be as exciting for you as it is for them.

If you follow the tips above, you could build long-term connections with clients and offices, becoming part of their annual schedule of outings.


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A Simple Guide To Buying A Home With Bad Credit

November 8, 2017 - By 
buying a home with bad credit

Preparing to buy a home should be an exciting time in a person’s life. It’s a big step, and should be one that you take confidently.

If you have a low credit score, however, you may feel like home ownership will be out of your reach or more difficult to achieve. That may have been true once, but it isn’t the case anymore.

Potential home buyers now have lots of financing options that can help them secure their dream home, even if they don’t have the best credit history financial standing.

Buying a home with bad credit is now a real possibility, but you have to know the right steps to take. Read on for our simple guide, so you can eventually be ready to buy the house of your dreams.

1. Determine a Realistic Budget

Buying a home with bad credit is possible, but you have to be honest with yourself about how much home you can afford. If you’re already standing on uneven financial ground, the last thing you want to do is take on more debt than you can handle.

Start by looking at the numbers. How much do you make each month? How much do you have saved for a down payment? How much are you already paying toward other debts?

It’s also important to remember that the listing price is not the only cost associated with buying a home. There could be closing costs, a home inspection cost, and moving costs that you will have to pay. Factor those into your overall budget so you don’t end up spending more than you can realistically afford.

2. Consider a Co-Signer

If you think that your bad credit may stop you from getting approved for a mortgage on your own, consider asking someone with a more secure financial standing to co-sign your mortgage.

Your co-signer should be someone that you have a close, trusting relationship with — such as a spouse, parent, or sibling — and he or she should be willing to take on the financial responsibility of co-owning the property.

A co-signer will likely have to share their credit report, income information and other qualifications with the lender, so be sure you’ve prepared them to do so.

3. Explore Mortgage Lenders

Traditionally, if you wanted a mortgage loan you had to go to a bank. Now, however, mortgage lenders are becoming a popular option because they can make it easier for everyone — even those with bad credit — to buy a home.

Mortgage lenders can offer non-conforming loans that don’t have to meet a bank’s stricter criteria for funding.

They are willing to work with potential home buyers who don’t have a great credit score and can find financing options that enable those people to buy a home like they’ve always dreamed about.

Want to Know More about Buying a Home with Bad Credit?

Our lives are more complicated than they used to be, and between student loans and credit card debt, it’s common for your credit score to take a hit. But that shouldn’t — and doesn’t have to — stop you from being able to buy a home.

For more information about buying a home under any financial circumstance, please explore our blog.


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What Shark Tank Can Teach You About Startup Failures

October 19, 2017 - By 

The business world can be a brutal, take-no-prisoners type environment. In fact, 8 out of 10 new business are expected to fold within their first few years. And perhaps that’s why millions of viewers tune in to ABC’s hit television program Shark Tank.

Comprised of rotating judges Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Barbara Cochran, and of course, Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank is one of the most exciting and downright fascinating shows on television.

Competitors duke it out with the judges to get funding for their dream business.

But beneath the reality show exterior, there’s a lot that Shark Tank can teach us about business. Namely, failure isn’t always a bad thing.

Here are some key lessons to take away from Shark Tank’s startup failures.

Business Isn’t Always Easy

Shark Tank shares a lot with its reality show sister, American Idol. It’s theorized that people don’t so much tune in to watch the successes as they want to watch others fail.

This sounds harsh, but it brings about an important lesson: business isn’t always easy.

Entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect their first idea to be a smash hit. Sometimes ideas need refinement that can take weeks, months or even years.

This isn’t a bad thing, however. Don’t take rejection personally and learn to develop a thick skin. Rejection is going to come often, but it isn’t a personal matter.

There are plenty of reasons a business may not make it. Perhaps there isn’t enough capital, or an investor already has too many clients. So before contacting SBA Attorneys, be prepared for rejection.

Marketing Begins Upon Entering The Boardroom

Ultimately, a pitch doesn’t begin when the presentation does. On the contrary, a presentation is about more than PowerPoints and tables.

It’s about the entrepreneur themselves.

Everything from wardrobe to body language can make a huge impression in the boardroom. An awkward, aloof presentation may seem fun on TV, but in real life, it’s anything but.

And since startup failures are so common, one bad presentation can leave a business reeling. Accordingly, practice makes perfect.

Before presenting — even to just one person — have every detail planned out. That includes things like wardrobe and technology.

Like on Shark Tank, it’s the investor’s job to size up the entrepreneur. In fact, they may even pass on an opportunity because of the entrepreneur.

Remain calm, cool, and collected.

Failure Is Just As Important As Success

Finally, learn from every mistake. Don’t look at these as failures, but as growing opportunities as a businessperson.

Sometimes it’s important to sit down and look at the facts. What went wrong? What could have been avoided? What should’ve been done differently?

Debriefing a failed venture is a great way to learn some lessons. Understanding why something went wrong is far more helpful than shrugging it off. These failures should be cherished.

By understanding what happened in the past, it’s possible to improve future ventures.

Final Thoughts On Startup Failures

Shark Tank makes one thing abundantly clear: business is tough. But preparing, planning, and understanding can make a venture far more likely to succeed.

For more great tips and downloads, be sure to check out Pligg’s blog. From business advice to software, Pligg has everything you need to get ahead in life.


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The Best Expense Tracker App You Didn’t Know You Needed

October 18, 2017 - By 

If you’re like most of us, there always seems to be more month than there is money to cover it. It’s a frustrating feeling, even if you know you’ve spent some money you probably shouldn’t have. An expense tracker app can help you solve this problem.

So many of us fail at property budgeting our money. In fact, 62% of Americans can’t cover unexpected expenses when they pop up.

If you’re one of them, an expense tracker app is a technology that can play a big role in getting your personal finances in order.

Here, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best. Then you can decide which one you’ll want to start using.

Let’s check them out.

1. BillGuard

The BillGuard app helps you keep track of spending by month, type and location. A huge bonus is that it gives you totally free access to your credit score and identity protection tools such as data breach alerts.

It’s available on Android and iOS and can be used for free.

You can upgrade to premium for $83.88 per year which adds insurance for identity theft and full credit monitoring.

2. Fudget

Looking for something that’s no-frills? Fudget could be your choice.

It features a list interface and is best for people who have a decent handle on their personal budget but want a place to keep everything organized.

Fudget works great for short-term budget tracking during vacations, holidays or when you need to track your work travel expenses.

The app is free, but you can upgrade to the ad-free version for $1.99. With that, you’ll also get the ability to export and an in-app calculator.

Unfortunately, you can’t link it directly to your accounts, but it does work on Android and iOS.

3. LearnVest

This is a great app for people actively involved in investing. It’s only available on iOS but is free to use.

If you want to use it to partner with a financial planner, you’ll need to pay $19 per month plus a startup fee.

You’ll be able to categorize your transactions by expense types while you set and track goals. A great feature is that it gives you a net worth calculation in real time.

Plus, you can link it to all accounts.

4. Mint

Mint will help you create budgets with multiple categories of spending. It’ll warn you with brightly colored graphics when you’re nearing the edge of your budget.

It also gives you free access to your credit score.

This app is completely free to use, can be linked to your accounts and is available on Android, iOS and Kindle.

Securing Your Information Helps Secure Your Budget

Of course, none of this matters much if you lose your wallet or have your private data scanned through your wallet by an RFID scanner.

Solar powered Ekster Smart Wallets solve these fears for you and then some. They’re definitely worth a close look if you value your money and personal security.

So Which is the Best Expense Tracker App For You?

These 4 apps are great options that’ll help you get started with tracking your expenses and balancing your budget.

Take a look at each one and decide for yourself which one fits your lifestyle the best.

After that, take a look at some of our other self-improvement tips that can help you lead a more fulfilling life.

Thanks for stopping by!


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5 Job Site Safety Tips Every Worker Should Know

October 18, 2017 - By 
job site safety

Injuries, illness, and fatalities from work-related issues are at an all-time high. Working on a job site can be dangerous. In 2015, one in five worker fatalities occurred in the construction industry.

There are often large equipment and dangerous materials involved on job sites.

Accidents happen that can be unavoidable. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared and know what to do to avoid getting hurt in your place of work. It is important to never start a project without being well-versed in how to do the project safety.

Employee safety will strengthen the security of every job site and business. Embracing job safety should be a priority for any successful company. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of tips every worker should know for optimal job site safety:

Keys For Job Site Safety

1. Work As a Team

Through careful teamwork, your job site can be a safe one. Reviewing safety materials, handbooks, and protocols with your team on a regular basis can benefit the safety of all employees on the site.

Never leave it to the manager or superintendent for the project to ensure your safety.

Get your team together and make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of safety and job procedures. If certifications or licenses are required for certain projects, make sure everyone can provide theirs before beginning work.

Following guidelines, safety procedures and discussing them as a team before you begin work can ensure everyone is committed to safety. This can eliminate careless or flippant attitudes as you stress the importance of doing things correctly.

When people feel accountable for job site safety, they will go the extra mile to get it right.

2. Hold Them Accountable

When it comes to job site safety, hold your employees accountable to following proper processes.

Set your guidelines in terms of safety and call out those who fail to comply. When you show your team or manager how seriously you are taking the safety, others will take notice.

3. File Complaints

Respond to irregularities and file complaints about broken rules.

Make your supervisor and team aware of any glitches, or people disobeying instructions. When it comes to job site safety, there is no such thing as a tattle tale. At the end of the day, you’re just trying to keep everyone involved as safe as possible.

4. Training for Optimal Job Site Safety

As you embark on a long project, it’s possible you will have new people joining the team as time goes on.

Make sure everyone is trained on job site safety for any given project. Be specific about the rules and regulations for each specific operation.

5. Know The Emergency Plan

Make sure you and your team have been trained on the emergency plans if something goes wrong. Consider safety seminars like those of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Stay educated on new technology and safety procedures throughout the life of your project.

Whether you are an engineer or a construction site worker, incorporating your training into your work site can save lives.

Keep It Safe

Training, accountability, and working as a team can save lives and keep your job site secure. For more materials, tips, and tricks on job site safety, click here!


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5 Tips Management Recruiters Need to Hire Winners

October 9, 2017 - By 
management recruiters

Labor is a signficant cost for businesses, often accounting for as much as 60% of corporate expenses. Given how much employers spend on recruitment, hiring, training, and payroll for their workforce, it is essential for management recruiters to pick reliable candidates.

Of course, finding great candidates is easier said than done. It can be challenging to get a full picture of what kind of employee someone might be by reading their resume and conducting some interviews.

If you’d like to know how to find and hire better candidates, then keep reading. Here are our top tips for recruiting winners to your company.

1. Look In-House

Many recruiters make the mistake of casting too wide a net too soon in the process. While some positions are best filled with outside hires, in-house candidates are often the right choice.

When you hire a manager from in-house, you know that candidate has experience with your company. You also send the message to other employees that hard work pays off and has rewards. If you always go to outside hires, you may see some of your best employees look for other jobs when they want to move up.

2. Build Your Company’s Reputation

Often when thinking about hiring, recruiters focus on how they can find better candidates. While this is important, it’s also essential to consider how to present your business in the best possible light. The better your company’s reputation, the more high-quality candidates will be interested in working for you.

One way to improve your reputation is with a digital marketing campaign. This way, when job seekers are searching online for new opportunities, they will be more likely to find your company. Soon, great candidates will be coming to you.

3. Start with References

Once you start getting a lot of candidates, it can become challenging to sift through all the application. A good way to narrow the field is by starting with references, rather than waiting until later in the process to contact them. Talking to someone who knows the applicant personally will give you a better idea of what kind of person they actually are.

4. Offer a Competitive Salary

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you want the best employees, you will have to offer better compensation than competitors.

Remember that salary is just one part of the compensation package. Health insurance, family leave, and vacation benefits all factor in as well, and can be attractive benefits.

5. Don’t Stop at Recruitment

One of the biggest mistakes that recruiters make is assuming that their job is complete once they hire an employee. But to make sure that the employee succeeds and your company retains them, it’s important to follow up with their onboarding process.

For instance, the recruiting firm scoperecruiting suggests making a personal connection with the employee during this part of the process. Make sure you invite them to group lunches with colleagues and managers, and that they begin to build a rapport with their team. This will make them feel more connected to the job, making them more likely to stay.

More Ways for Management Recruiters to Find Success

These are some of our favorite tips to help management recruiters hire better candidates. But this list is by no means exhaustive.

What strategies do you use when recruiting candidates? Let us know in the comments!


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Is Bitcoin the Right Forex Investment?

October 5, 2017 - By 
forex investment

Over the last few years, you’ve likely heard about a new craze in currency sweeping the globe. This new form of digital money, known as a cryptocurrency, has already made trillions of dollars across the globe.

The most popular among the cryptocurrencies is no doubt Bitcoin. Generating billions of dollars, it’s an extremely lucrative opportunity. But is it right for Forex investment?

That’s a bit more complicated. Read on to learn more about Bitcoin and whether it’s a good choice for your Forex investment or if you should hold off.

What to Consider When Using Bitcoin For Your Forex Investment

How Does Bitcoin Work?

Bitcoin is essentially a decentralized, software-based worldwide currency. It can be used just like standard money to purchase tangible goods.

Similar to stock, you’ll make small purchases and investments in your Bitcoin. And again, like stock, that value can fluctuate on a daily or even hourly basis.

You can also “mine” for Bitcoin, which involves a P2P connection with other Bitcoin users. Your computer will seek out other networks and exchange data with others on the network.

Sound complicated? You’re not alone. Most people were initially wary of Bitcoin because of its generally convoluted nature.

Startup Costs

You’ll need to understand a few things before you’re a Bitcoin billionaire. While it’d be great to simply start mining and make a fortune, it’s not that easy.

You’ll first need a Bitcoin wallet, which is where your money is stored. Once you’ve set that up, you’ll need to make sure your computer is powerful enough to handle mining software.

It may sound strange, but you’ll need a pretty powerful processor to run most mining software. In addition to needing a strong CPU, you’ll want to make sure your GPU is up to the task as well.

The Value of Bitcoin Fluctuates Greatly

By now you may be thinking that Bitcoin sounds great! After all, why wouldn’t a worldwide digital currency be great for a Forex investment?

But since it’s a relative unknown in the global market, it’s far more volatile than other forms of currency. You may check your machine one minute to see the value increase by hundreds, only to lose money at the end of the day.

An investment in Bitcoin isn’t for those looking to get rich quick. It requires a solid understanding of a market value that changes in a near instant.

Be sure that you’ve done a thorough investigation into the history of Bitcoin before investing your hard-earned money.

Tools of The Trade

And since the market is in such a constant state of flux, you’ll need an easy way to keep track of your trades. Thankfully, the internet has made this quite simple.

Sites like Pecunia Systems allow you to manage your Forex trades with a few clicks of your mouse. Best of all, you can try their software free for 14 days!

So Is Bitcoin Right For Forex Investment?

Whether Bitcoin is a good choice for Forex investment is going to boil down to a few factors.

Make sure your computer is capable of handling the power-intensive mining. You’ll also have to make sure you’re okay with essentially risking your own money.

Be smart and do your research, which a Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide can help with. Keep reading for more great content and software downloads.


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Why Should Your Business Use Paperless Payroll?

September 22, 2017 - By 
paperless payroll

Are you trying to make your workplace more convenient?

If that’s the case, you might want to consider paperless payroll management. Thanks to cloud computing, businesses can manage payroll processing through web-based solutions.

Why are more businesses turning to a paperless payroll system? It can help save time, money, and even the environment. These systems can also be handled internally — eliminating the hassle of dealing with a third party’s convoluted process.

Are you considering making the switch to a paperless office? Read on to discover why your business should consider making the payroll switch.

Paper Costs

A web-based payroll solution might sound expensive. But rising paper costs have made paperless payroll a cost-effective option for businesses.

Paper costs have been on the rise thanks to increased supplier costs. These increased costs have had a domino effect on prices on everything from shipping to packaging.

The web’s accessibility makes these costs unnecessary to businesses. Paperless systems can eliminate the need for paper involved in checks, tax forms, government documents, and mailing documents.

Eco-Friendly

You’re not just helping your business when you switch to a paperless solution. You’re also helping the environment.

The average person in the United States uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year and paper use contributed to over 26 million tons of landfill waste in 2009.

Consider a large number of businesses still using paper systems. The employee paper usage adds up when you consider each individual pay stub and W-2 forms. Eliminating these paper documents could help to cut down on millions of tons of paper waste.

Convenience

Moving towards a new payroll system might sound like a tedious process. But it can save you a large chunk of time in the long run.

Paperless payroll offers unparalleled convenience for businesses. For one, employees have a central portal where they can access all of their payroll records and documents.

Online pay stubs have a number of convenient benefits. Employees no longer have to worry about losing their records, dealing with bank deposits, or picking up their paper checks.

Employees can also take advantage of a paystub generator. By simpling entering their salary information and company name, the generator will provide them with a snapshot of their payment history. This can be extremely useful for tax information, proof of income, and even salary breakdowns.

Mobile

Thanks to smartphones, it’s easy to access a wealth of information from the palm of your hand. Payroll systems are no different.

Employees can use their paperless system to access their paychecks directly via their smartphone. This allows them to access paperless stubs and deposit their checks at any time.

This helps to make sure payroll is always processed on time. Mobile continues to dominate the modern landscape and will only play a bigger role in payroll systems moving forward.

Your Paperless Payroll

Are you interested in moving your payroll system to a paperless platform? Doing so can make your modern workplace more convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.

Payroll is just the start. There are a number of other digital programs available that can help change your business. Read our blog about how digital downloads can help your company today.


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5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Online Booking System

September 12, 2017 - By 
online booking

With so many businesses moving towards virtual bookings, it’s critical for every business to consider this option.

After all, a whopping 57% of all travel bookings are made online.

Online booking offers tremendous benefits for both you and your customers, and we’re here to show you exactly why you don’t want to miss out on this phenomenon.

Let’s get into it!

24/7 Accessibility

Let’s be honest. The standard 9-5 Monday-Friday hours don’t cut it for everyone. In today’s fast-paced 24/7 society, people want unlimited availability. They don’t want to have to wait until the office is opened or a live human can answer the phone.

They don’t want to wait until the office is open or a live human can answer the phone to make an appointment.

Online booking works when you don’t. That means if someone decides she wants a haircut at midnight, she has the freedom to book her service. No midnight calls for you. No inconvenience to her.

Good Customer Service

Customers like options. Some will prefer booking appointments in-person or over the phone. However, some will undoubtedly love the option of doing it online.

Having options for everyone is the key to solid customer service. This keeps your business reputable and in good standing. After all, nothing is worse than mixing up appointment times or “forgetting a service.”

The technology of these programs takes care of that. You’re only responsible for providing your excellent service or product!

Online Booking Minimizes Workload

One of the best elements of professional online booking sites, such www.medicalspasoftware.com, is that they remove additional scheduling and planning work from you. These services provide automatic scheduling, checking availability, and sending out the necessary forms and emails. They work to notify both you and your customers of their upcoming appointments.

They work to notify both you and your customers of their upcoming appointments. Everyone is on the same page, which is essential for a successful business.

As humans, we’re prone to make mistakes. The online booking process streamlines these errors and reduces them from happening altogether.

Up Selling

Adding on extras is a great way to earn additional income for your company. Sometimes, it’s awkward to do it in-person. And, sometimes, you may train staff to do it- but you won’t know for sure if it’s getting done.

Fortunately, most programs have options where you can automatically set up the system to ask your customers if they want to add on an additional service or product.

They have the freedom to decide without feeling any sales pressure.

Online Payments and Renewal

Automatic payment systems are easy for both you and your customers.

Because most online booking sites take all major payment forms, this reaches the majority of your target population.

Final Thoughts

As top business technology solutions continue to evolve, it’s important to stay aware of trends and provide customers with what they need.

As you are on your journey towards building an online empire, remember that these booking options provide comprehensive services to both you and your customers. Win-win!


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Safety in the Workplace in a Digital Age

September 6, 2017 - By 
safety in the workplace

Are you one of the many Americans who work on a computer all day?

Or is your factory constantly being inundated with the latest technology?

There’s no way around it. Technology is creeping its way into all aspects of our lives.

It’s not only changing the way we work, but also the way we view safety in the workplace.

We must acknowledge how technology is affecting our safety both positively and negatively, and how we can work with it to improve our lives.

How Technology is Affecting Safety in the Workplace for Office Workers

Advances in technology are changing the safety of offices around the world.

With advanced security systems, businesses can reliably lock down their assets when they close for the night. Cyber security systems help businesses secure their intangible assets like computer files and data.

High-tech cameras positioned around workplaces can detect intruders and potential threats before they even enter the building.

Technology has given us high-tech metal detectors that can find weapons that anyone is trying to bring into the workplace.

How Technology is Affecting Industrial Job Safety

Another way technology is making workplaces safer is through improved PPE, or personal protective equipment.

Safety goggles, hard hats, and other forms of PPE are becoming more advanced and user-friendly thanks to technological improvements.

The Negative Effects of Technology in the Work Place

Of course, as with all good things, there are some negative side effects.

Technology has transitioned the work force away from more physical jobs to sedentary ones in front of a computer.

While sitting indoors at a desk may seem safer than doing physical work outside, it doesn’t end up that way as humans weren’t made to sit down for 8 hours a day.

Many American’s spend 40 hours a week sitting at a desk in front of a computer.

This sedentary lifestyle can lead to a slew of negative side effects such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

A staggering 33% of the population in the US is predicted to have diabetes by the year 2050.

Technology has changed the way we work and made us slaves to our screens.

Staring at a screen all day can also have a negative effect on worker’s eyesight. Research shows that 50-90% of people who work on a computer screen all day show symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

How to Deal With Technological Changes

It is important that people learn to adapt to this swiftly changing technological age.

In industrial settings, employees should be well briefed on new technology before trying to work it themselves. Especially when dealing with new machinery that could be dangerous.

Employees can also go through online safety courses like online OSHA training.

There are safety programs available online for all industries that can help reduce liabilities and improve safety in the workplace.

Technology Marches On

While there is no stopping technology from innovating the way workplaces operate, we do have choices as to how gracefully we accept and adapt to those changes.

Like this article? Check out more of our content here!


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5 Digital Marketing Tactics Your Business Should Try

September 6, 2017 - By 
Digital marketing tactics

By now, you probably understand just how important digital marketing is for your business. In this day and age, no one can afford to slack on their digital strategy.

But even if you know it’s important, you might not know how to make sure you’re actually effective. Maybe you know you need to be on social media, but you don’t know what your brand voice is. Or you’ve heard about online video, but not how to make it work for you.

We’ve got five new digital marketing tactics for you to try — read on to learn what could work for your business.

1. Get Interactive

People like to feel like they’ve made a genuine connection with your business. They can’t do that if you don’t give them anything to interact with.

Even something as simple as a poll can help create interactions with your customers. Anything that invites them to participate — like a contest, an interactive graphic, or a quiz — will build connections and engagements.

2. Learn SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is an important aspect of digital marketing. Done correctly, it can help your business move up in search rankings so that people can find you easily.

Think of how often you click past the first page of Google results for something you searched for. It’s rare for people to spend a lot of time on search results, so you want to make sure your business pops up first.

Taking the time to learn SEO now will pay off in the long run.

3. Visual Digital Marketing Tactics

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a cliche, but it’s also true.

Humans are visual, and your brain processes an image sixty thousand times faster than text. That means your potential customers are way more likely to remember an image you created than a beautifully written paragraph.

That makes things like logos and branding even more important.

Don’t stress if you don’t have a graphic designer, though. Companies like Hive Digital Strategy specialize in helping businesses create logos that are both engaging and memorable.

4. Go Live

Live broadcasts aren’t just for cable television anymore. Now, even a small Mom and Pop business can go live on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

Online video is on the rise, and live video is one of the digital marketing tactics you can’t afford to ignore.

Remember how we said people love feeling connected? Live video lets you interact with your customers in real time. You can even treat them to a behind-the-scenes look at your business.

5. Advertise On Social Media

You probably know that you need to have a presence on social media, but take it a step further by advertising there, too.

Social media advertising generates traffic almost immediately, and allows you to put ads right in front of your target population. Plus, most people spend a significant amount of time on their phones browsing social media. Meet them where they are with a well-placed ad.

Want more digital marketing inspiration? Check out our archive full of marketing advice.


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Credit Expert: Avoid These 5 Credit Card Mistakes

August 30, 2017 - By 
credit expert

Credit cards are a tool. They’re the type of tool that can allow you to travel for free or provide a large amount of cash back.

When used properly, a credit expert can actually make money. A low-income family can use them to lighten their financial burden. A new business owner can get the equipment he needs.

Using them improperly can be a nightmare.

The devil is in the details and today we’re giving you a heads up on 5 huge mistakes you need to avoid if you want to be successful.

From the Credit Expert: Avoid These Mistakes

1. Too Much of a Good Thing

Is a bad, bad thing. It may be tempting to open as many credit card accounts as you can. But don’t.

There are multiple reasons for this:

  • You lose track of your spending
  • Each account opening could dent your credit score
  • It will be hard to take advantage of rewards

If you’re new to the credit card hustle, start with one card. In six months, if you feel you can handle another, then ok.

2. Not Paying the Balance Every Month

Credit cards are a form of revolving credit. If you do not pay your balance in full every billing cycle, the charges you’ve accumulated revolve to the next billing cycle. In return for allowing you to do this, you are charged interest on the balance.

If you’re looking to utilize an excellent cash back or rewards program, not paying the balance in full every month will nullify any profit you’ve made off of the system.

Furthermore, once you get into this habit, you’re likely to continue until you’ve maxed the cards out. And that monster is a post for another time.

3. Closing the Account

Not using your card? Just close the account, right?

“Absolutely not,” says our credit expert.

If you’re carrying debt and you’re closing cards as you pay them off, you will hurt your credit score. Pay them off and keep them in a drawer or emergency box for safe keeping.

Having to open a new account to replace it will only dent your score even further.

4. Taking Out Cash Advances

Read the fine print. A cash advance is going to carry an interest rate of several points higher than your APR.

Not only that, you’ll be subject to a host of fees and interest begins accruing immediately, not at the end of your billing cycle.

By the time they’re done with you, you’ll be visiting WireLend to take out a loan to pay off your cards.

5. Not Taking Advantage of Services

The credit expert says the biggest mistake you can make is not taking full advantage of the services and perks of your cards. If you open an account that has a sign on bonus, make sure you follow the directions to get your bonus.

Throwing away free money is one of the top ridiculous things that new credit card users do.

Most credit card companies offer a free FICO or Vantage score. Use it.

The Takeaway

If you’re new to the game, our credit expert advises you to play it slow and smart. Stay away from cards with annual fees when you’re just getting started.

When used properly, credit cards can be one of your greatest financial assets. Don’t hesitate to use every resource they offer up.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like it, check out this post on 5 suggestions for writers doing their own taxes.


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5 Reasons Why You Need to Hire an Accident Attorney

August 9, 2017 - By 
attorney

Accidents happen so fast, but in that moment, lives may be changed. Severe injuries can affect your ability to work and provide for yourself.

The demand for personal injury lawyers is growing – because an accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you’re due.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to hire an accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

1. A Good Accident Attorney Will Take Care of Everything

You need to focus on recovery, and having a good attorney is essential for that. You don’t have the time to research and file your case all by yourself.

Simply put, while you’re getting better, you don’t want to be stressing about a legal case.

A good accident attorney such as Stephen Babcock will take control of everything your case involves, so you can relax, knowing you’re well represented and your case is progressing smoothly.

2. Lawyers Will Investigate on Your Behalf

Lawyers will build your case from the ground up. They will collect witness statements for you, identify the cause of the accident and put together a strong collection of evidence which will back up your case.

They use a team of expert investigators to do this, who will make sure every aspect of the case is as well-researched and watertight as it can be.

3. You’re (Probably) Not an Expert Negotiator

Around 95% of personal injury cases are settled before they come in front of a judge. Settling a case involves negotiating with other parties involved in the accident, who may be counter-suing you at the same time your case is ongoing.

This can get very sticky, very quickly. For someone without experience, it can be very difficult to hold your own against aggressive lawyers representing the other side of the case.

Lawyers are trained negotiators, who will not bend to pressure and fight your corner every step of the way. They won’t give in to the other side’s demands and will get much better results than someone who lacks experience.

4. An Expert Will Avoid Common Errors

The legal system is notoriously complicated. There are complex procedures to follow, filing deadlines to meet, and many other difficulties.

Plus, you have to consider both state and federal law to fully understand how your case will be handled. A lack of understanding of the law could see your case thrown out of the court systems – wasting lots of time and money.

An experienced attorney will guide your case through these problems with ease.

5. Legal Strategy is Everything

Having a good legal strategy before heading to court or negotiation means that you have a strong hand.

Knowing exactly what to do and say in court, and how to respond to the other side’s arguments are an attorney’s specialties.

Picking Your Lawyer

Before you choose a lawyer, test your accident attorney’s knowledge with these 5 important questions before handing over your case.

We hope that this guide helps you find the right lawyer for you, and we wish you the best of luck with your compensation claim.


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5 Suggestions for Writers Doing Their Taxes

August 7, 2017 - By 
taxes

Welcome to the world of the independent contractor.

You have all the freedom to set your own hours, regulate the flow of work that you take in and be your own boss. But with this freedom comes additional responsibility.

As a writer, you’re now your own HR, payroll, accounting, marketing and IT department.

Writer’s taxes is a very important money management role to embrace as a freelancer.

Let’s explore what you need to know.

Self Employment Tax

As an employee, employers don’t just offer you benefits. They pay half of your medicare and social security tax.

The rest is withheld from your paycheck.

But when you’re self-employed, you’re your own employer. No one helps you pay part of the bill. Plus you’ll owe income tax.

This can catch some freelance writers off guard. Your taxes will be as much as 1/3 higher than your office-bound friends’.

But don’t dismay. You also have deductions, credits and depreciation that you can claim to offset this.

Irs.gov is the source of truth for understanding what you can claim. Additionally, professional tax software will guide you through the process.

The Hobby-Loss Rule

You work part time at as a grocery clerk. And you pick up articles to write from time to time. It helps you pay for the unexpected expenses. But most of the time, your grocery job pays the bills.

Is writing a job or a hobby?

It’s very important to know the difference.

A job is something that you do to try to make a living. Even if that income is very small at the start, if your goal is to make it a profitable business, then it’s a job.

If you don’t really need the money, work when it’s convenient or only do it because you love writing, it’s a hobby.

If it’s a hobby, then you can only deduct your business expenses from the income that you earned. If those expenses take the income down to 0, you can’t deduct anymore.

If it’s a job, then you can take a “loss”. That’s negative income. You spent more than you made.

Commonly Over-Looked Deductions For Writers

We can’t possibly cover all the deductions here, so here’s a list of commonly overlooked deductions that you need to know about:

  • Depreciation – The declining value of a large asset like a computer
  • Home office – The space in your home that you use exclusively for work
  • Depreciation of your home – You can also deduct a portion of the value of your home
  • Utilities
  • Internet
  • Insurance

If any item is used for both personal and business, you can only deduct a percentage based on the amount of business use.

Commonly Mis-Claimed Deductions

  1. You can only claim a phone for your business if you have two phones or lines.
  2. Travel & Food must be related to the business, like meeting with a client. Not your daily lunch.
  3. Lounge outside while working? That doesn’t mean you can claim landscaping,  pool chemicals or a new privacy fence. Sorry!
  4. You must subtract the value of your land before claiming home depreciation. Land, theoretically, doesn’t depreciate.

Quarterly Tax Payments

If you’re making money as a writer, then you need to pay quarterly payments to the IRS on April 15, June 15, Sept 15, and Jan 15.

They’ll give you a pass the first year if your income isn’t steady yet. But after that, expect penalties. You can pay the IRS online.

Doing Writer’s Taxes

Invest a little time to learn about taxes. It will help you pay what you owe and avoid surprises down the road.

Would you add any quick tips for writers doing taxes? Comment below.


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Do the Math: 4 Business Finance Solutions to Utilize Today

August 1, 2017 - By 
business

Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or a Fortune 500 company, finances can be tricky.

You need to keep revenue rolling in consistently to pay for the expenses that keep your company going.

If you don’t, you could end up joining the ranks of the 80 percent of companies that fail, many in only 18 months.

Want to ensure a different fate for your company? We’ve got you covered. Here are four actionable business finance solutions to utilize.

1. Budget, Budget, Budget

It doesn’t matter the size of your company. It doesn’t matter how much money you have coming in: budgeting is key.

Each week or month, sit down with a few employees for an hour or so. Discuss the amount of revenue coming in. Is this your goal income or could you be doing better?

Next, draw up your budget. Make sure to account for surprise expenses which could crop up at the last second.

Revenue can fluctuate from week to week or month to month. For that reason, it’s important your budget is flexible. You might have to tighten your spending for a period and then loosen it once more revenue comes in.

2. Use Merchant Services (and Other Tools!)

Merchant services and other tools can make your life easier. After all, your job responsibilities likely involve more than planning finances from day to day.

Merchant Connect is one such service you can use for your business financial planning.

Their services include travel agency and medical claims processing, virtual merchants, terminals and card readers, point-of-sale (POS), accounting software, and so much more.

Tools can combine processes, digitally manage your finances, and do complicated math without human error. Consider one or several of these tools for your day-to-day work life.

3. Have a Plan

At the start of each quarter, you need to create a financial plan for the next several months.

With analytics and other financial software, you can review the past year and use it as a barometer for the year to come. By predicting trends both positive and negative, you can adequately prepare.

If revenue is less than expected, for instance, you’ll know what to do because you planned for it. You might have to reduce spending, roll out a new product, or change marketing tactics, for instance.

Even when revenue is better than expected, you still need to have a plan. This prevents you from overspending and having to pinch pennies later in the quarter.

4. Outsource If Need Be

Managing the company’s finances can be a lot of work, and it’s probably a job too massive for any one individual. This becomes truer the more employees your company has.

That’s why it may be best to outsource certain job responsibilities, such as bookkeeping and accounting.

Yes, hiring third parties does cost money. That said, you’ll recoup that money back over time. These finance professionals will prevent costly mistakes you yourself may have made.

For that reason alone, it’s worth considering hiring them.

Looking to manage your company’s business finance solutions? Want to use some of the handy tools we mentioned above? Check out Pligg.

This digital download marketplace is a great resource for finance professionals. You can download documents and eBooks sure to make managing your finances easier.


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The Top Business Technology Solutions of the Present and Future

July 25, 2017 - By 

The world of technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, transforming the way we do business.

Technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are shaping today’s business technology landscape.

Which of these business technology solutions are worth paying attention to? Here are some of our top picks for 2017.

The Growth of Virtual Reality

Both augmented reality (such as 2016’s insanely popular mobile game Pokemon Go) and virtual reality have taken off this year. At theme parks, thrill-seekers can strap on VR devices to enhance their ride. Gamers can also explore fictional worlds thanks to VR.

In business, VR has its place as well. VR devices can be used as a training tool, giving new hires realistic on-the-job experience.

You can also use VR to introduce new products, creating a type of digital demo. Customers could strap on a headset and try out a digital version of your product before it hits stores.

Drone Devices Become More Prevalent

“Drone” is already a common word in the average consumer’s vernacular. Many consumers may have bought the commercialized version of these flying robots, which can connect to a smartphone and fly.

While that’s fun, drones are handy in business technology, too. These can be used to deliver products right to a customer’s door, ala Amazon and even pizza chain Domino’s.

Working from Home Expands to More Job Sectors

It used to be that mostly freelancers had the luxury of working from home. Today, more and more employees in all sorts of fields can now do their job when away from the office.

With the breadth of tech tools that exist, such as video chat, live document editing, and project documentation, it’s no wonder more employers now trust their employees to get the job done from anywhere.

AI Expands Communication Options

When you think of artificial intelligence, your mind likely first goes to robots. That’s fair, but AI is about more than just that.

In business, AI can save time on jobs that busy employees don’t always have time for.

For instance: the chatbot. These bots are a lot smarter than they were in years past.

A customer that has a few questions may go on your website and use your chat function. With today’s AI, they can speak to a bot and never know it.

These bots are a win-win. The customer gets the information they need quickly and efficiently. Employees have time to take care of other work.

If you need yet more communications options for your office, try a voicemail service like American Voice Mail Inc.

And Our Favorite Business Technology Solutions Trend…Live Streaming Provides Inclusion

It used to be that if you wanted to do live streaming, you had to sign up for a service dedicated solely to streams.

These days, you can use many platforms, even social media like Facebook, for live streaming. You just hit the button and you’re rolling.

How can live streaming benefit your company?

The main benefit is inclusion. Say you’re hosting a product launch and all your customers can’t make it there physically. You can live stream the launch so everyone can see what your company is up to.

Need more programs and apps to follow some of the above-mentioned business technology solutions? Check out Pligg, the digital download marketplace. From code to software and music to eBooks, find what you need here.


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