Pressing Unemployment Questions

Stay at home orders may be a necessity in the times of Covid-19, but there’s no doubt that they’ve done a number on the workforce. That said, a lot of Americans don’t exactly understand what unemployment insurance is. Many more may understand unemployment insurance but not recognize how to access those resources or even realize that they’re eligible. Further complicating matters are the new changes made to UI in the wake of Coronavirus.

 

The most prominent of these changes are new rules for providing unemployment to the self-employed. While Coronavirus has made this a necessity, the rise of the gig job economy certainly precipitated the problem. While the self-employed won’t receive the income-based unemployment checks, they may be eligible for about $600 a week.

 

The Department of Labor is always on the look-out for fraud, and it can be surprisingly easy to commit – even accidentally. For example, if your employer pays your uninsurance through a PPP loan the first time you’re laid off, you may actually be required to repay that money. Make sure that you understand the terms of any payments you receive, and get in touch with a local office if you have any questions.

 

In some instances, employers are bringing back their employees with reduced hours and pay, but some of those employees may still be eligible for unemployment benefits. That’s because unemployment insurance is designed to ensure that a living wage. As long as you report your wages, you can earn up to 20% of your weekly benefit amount.

 

If your employer received a PPP loan, they have up to eight weeks to spend it on items relating to their business. Some businesses have used this as a way to pay employees even if they can’t bring them back on the schedule. If employees don’t show up to work, businesses will suffer in that their PPP loan will not be fully forgiven. Understandably, those receiving more with unemployment due to the supplemental rate may not be as eager to return back to work. For that reason, employers should be careful about where they dispense that extra cash.

 

Finally, there’s a question of what to do with leftover vacation time. Unfortunately, Coronavirus doesn’t give you a free pass. If you are able to do your job, you’ll have to either go into work or use your vacation days. Of course, whether or not an environment is safe to work in will be predicated on a number of factors and can vary from state to state.

Five Ways to Start a Side Hustle With Little to No Money

If you’re a born entrepreneur, you’re all about side hustles and making businesses that generate passive income. Many aspiring entrepreneurs, however, are held back by limited finances. Luckily, you don’t need deep pockets to start a side hustle. Here are five ways you can do just that:

List Your Options

Nowadays, you don’t have to create something new and revolutionary to succeed as an entrepreneur. You can simply choose from existing businesses based on what fits your personality, expertise, and budget. Side hustles can range from part-time or independent contractor work i.e. dog walking and uber driving to buying and selling stuff online and running a dropshipping store. Narrow the list down based on what meets the aforementioned criteria.

Do The Ground Work Yourself

The do-it-yourself approach may take more time and frustration as you learn new skill sets, but it’s definitely an effective way to start a side hustle on a shoestring budget. In addition, it’s a great way to master the ins and outs of your business. If there is an internal issue later on, you can easily find the problem and fix it yourself.

Have a Business Plan

It’s common advice, almost to the point of overused, in many business-related articles. However, for someone with little to no startup capital, a business plan can give you access to third-party funding. You can approach banks and private lenders with a well-detailed business plan and get the loan you need to start.

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

Platforms, like Kickstarter, have helped a lot of entrepreneurs bootstrap their ideas into full-fledged businesses as well as draw priceless attention to their relatively nascent brand. Start a crowdfunding campaign of your own. You’ll need a good sales pitch, marketing materials including video or at least images of the product/service you’re trying to sell, and a prototype.

Get Your Hands on Everything “Free”

Capitalize on anything that you can get for free – free marketing exposure, educational resources, zero-interest loans, business expos and conferences, customer leads, etcetera. Avoid paying for things that you can get for free.

Conclusion

There is a common misconception that businesses of any size and magnitude require high startup capital. Don’t let that get in the way of your entrepreneurial drive and spirit. Use the five tips in this article to build your money-making empire.

The Secrets to Making Good Habits Stick

Everyone wants to claim a few good life habits, not just for bragging rights, but simply because they make life less messy. However, without a secure plan, trading in poor habits for positive ones can be a drag. Here is how to effectively make the switch.

Don’t Rely On Willpower

The concept of owning the willpower to create the habits needed to breed a better life is overplayed and a bit weak. It may be easy to work out on bright days when spirits are high but not so much on the dreary ones filled with muscle aches and excuses. Willpower may get us through our tough spots, but the truth is, it is far too unreliable. And what is worse, some people naturally have more drive than others, no matter how hard the deprived may strive to tip the scale in their direction. For these key reasons, we have to debunk the idea that willpower is the magic pill, and just take advantage of it when it is available.

Create Rules

Whether we like them or not, rules carry unmistakable value, and they force us to stay in line for fear of harsh consequences. So, when searching for ways to make habits stick, try implementing certain rules as they set the premise as to how our days are managed. For example, to promote greater fitness, make it a challenge to engage in at least one form of physical activity at once, or to cultivate better relationships, make it a requirement to reach out to one person per day.

Do a Little Bit at a Time

Taking on too much at once is a great way to fail at the basics. Transformation takes time, and being too drastic initially will only lead to heightened frustrations. For longterm results, start small, and increase efforts over time, such as studying for 20 minutes per day until two-hour study periods become a breeze.

As with all other things, the formation of good habits will bring about its own set of pitfalls and obstacles. But no matter how rocky the road may get, with a mindset shift and a whole lot of consistency, anyone can adopt a new routine that will help them evolve to their greatest version.

Investing in Competitive Intelligence

Establishing a return on investment (ROI) from investing requires you to put your money into assets that grow in value.

Choosing the right asset to invest in can be a challenge. You can find a clear path toward a solid ROI by considering the competitive-intelligence (CI) industry. Look for trends that are already successful if you want to minimize your financial risks when you’re investing. The businesses of CI present a good group of assets to start an investment portfolio with.

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the knowledge that one business gains about other businesses within its same industry.

An industry is a sector of businesses that sell the same products to a single market.

Collecting data about industry competitors is a proven way of remaining competitive. The scope of CI even includes data about your business—if you have one. From the rate that one company gains new customers at—to the influence of one brand’s SEO, gaining detailed information about a market competitor is simplified through the help of technology.

The prospects of wireless and mobile technologies give businesses a broader perspective over the markets they labor in. The devices, processes and softwares that achieve CI create a profitable industry.

Investors are looking at the financial impact that CI can have within their portfolios.

Why the Competitive-Intelligence Industry is Growing

The CI industry is growing because of mobile technology. The access to data that digital technology gives us increases the competitive standing of any business that has an internet connection. According to a study completed within Crayon’s 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence Report, %98 of 1,000-business participants that were surveyed by Crayon said that websites held the best competitive intelligence on a business.

Business owners believe that extracting data from web technology gives them a big competitive edge.

Investors are looking at the growth of the CI industry and are supplying its startups with funding. Around the globe, financial agencies are anticipating where CI grows and which of its innovations best benefit business owners.

There are no guarantees when investing, but the growth of CI is a fact that you can build an investment strategy on. Start by looking at businesses that scan market activity, consumer spending and individual-business marketing.

Groups like GrowthBar, Aqute Intelligence and ScienceSoft are leading CI agencies.

 

Tips For Overcoming Business Challenges

Any successful business owner will attest to the fact that challenges are inevitable. While some challenges pop up out of nowhere, others can be spotted coming and make it easier to plan for. From bad partnerships and stolen intellectual property to pandemics, businesses can take a turn for the worse in a pinch. The key to staying afloat is learning how to overcome challenges that present themselves.

Be Honest

In times of crisis, many people are told to fake surviving until they make it through. However, this could be one of the worst things a business can do. It is best to be honest and get things handled as soon as possible before they become unmanageable. No one likes to admit their business is having issues, but speaking up may just get a business owner the help they need to overcome a challenge.

Find Ways To Destress

When trying to get through a challenging time in business, the most important thing to do is stay calm and not over stress. Business owners need to find a way to keep a level head to make sound business decisions. For some people, taking a break and stepping away for a day or two might be enough time to clear their heads. For others, it may be best to exercise and take care of their physical and mental health.

Ask For Help

Many business owners take a lot of pride in what they do. It takes a lot of time, effort, money and hard work to open a business and keep it afloat. When times are tough and challenges present themselves, many owners may not like to ask for help. In almost all industries, business owners want to keep from giving away tricks, tips and secrets to the competition. However, when times are tough, asking for help from the community may be necessary.

When a business finds itself in a time of struggle, it is important to take advantage of any help being offered. Successful business owners will attest to having a secure network of other business leaders and owners to help them out when they need it most. In difficult times, many people come together for the sake of the community and help each other get through.

3 Rules for Marketing Success

If you want to build your business on a solid foundation, it pays to have a strict set of marketing guidelines you always follow. If you execute these rules and strategies every time, you can count on your business growth for the foreseeable future. Most established businesses depend on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms for getting the word out about their current deals, products and services. You have other choices available, and you should utilize them to keep from being dependent on social media.

Capture Contact Information

Be sure to capture the email addresses and names of potential customers. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, capture their physical addresses as well. Believe it or not, not everyone can be contacted through the internet, even in this day and age. You can send coupons, informational letters and reports to these potential customers via mail or email. It might be a good idea to send information about your product or service through the mail even to customers who are contacted mostly online. In other words, don’t fail to follow up on good sales prospects.

Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

As a marketer, you might have heard of the expression “Content is king”, but this is only true to a limited extent. You indeed have to communicate with your audience to get their attention, but you had better have an offer they can’t refuse every time. The only reason they don’t buy from you, especially if you already have their contact information, is that they lack the money to do so. In other words, the sale is king, and without sales, your business will go under.

Make Your Investments Count

If you are paying for advertising and not getting the results you want, you should go back to the drawing board. Don’t waste your valuable resources paying for advertising that doesn’t deliver results. If you’re just starting, there are a few ways to advertise without spending any money. Search engine optimization (SEO) can be applied for free, and you can learn how with just a little research. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, you can branch out and use paid advertising options.

Make Money Through Savvy Real Estate Investments

Real estate remains one of the most popular (and effective) means to build wealth. Even during periods of economic downturn, astute real estate investing provides a great way to prosper. This type of asset may result in the generation of immediate profits or long term passive income.

Buy Low And Sell High: A Proven Real Estate Profit Strategy

One proven method for real estate riches involves purchasing a property and reselling it for a profit. Sometimes described as “flipping“, this type of transaction requires evaluating the condition of the real estate very carefully. Not every purchase attracts an immediate resale, for example. Investors who choose to search for rundown properties to improve need to ensure they won’t need to sink too much into costly renovations. Some experts recommend hunting for homes requiring cosmetic makeovers in attractive neighborhoods.

Buy And Hold: A Passive Money Making Strategy

Over the course of decades, real estate in most communities tends to appreciate in value. Sometimes careful real estate investors search for locations likely to witness this type of rising valuation over the long term. An investor may purchase a home and rent it to cover the costs involved in holding and maintaining the property during the interim. Alternatively, some investors search for tracts of raw land in choice locations likely to experience growth during coming years. This form of real estate investing sometimes allows entrepreneurs to amass hefty fortunes in real estate over the course of several years.

Lease With an Option to Buy

One investment strategy favored by investors with limited capital involves searching for real estate offered for lease with an option to buy. By paying a competitive (or slightly higher than market) rental for an extended lease period, the investor may obtain the right to purchase the home without making a huge down payment. This form of investing requires the selection of realty that will increase in value over the course of time.

Investing in Vacation Rental Property

Another popular real estate money making strategy involves purchasing vacation homes. Seek scenic properties in popular tourism destinations. Lease the home throughout the year to vacationers.

                                                    

 

                            

Useful Guidelines for Negotiating in a Crisis

Trying times are inevitable; hence, you need strategies to bounce back when you get into financial trouble. Negotiation is delicate since many parties are involved making the process quite technical. However, there are tips to use to make the activity seamless at all times. This way, all the people involved will come into a reasonable agreement.

Determine the Problem at Hand

It is crucial to define the problem in the business as the initial step to finding a solution. Plus, remaining calm and composed gives a clear mind to make the best decision. It is prudent to analyze the situation and come up with ideas that define the issue. For instance, if reducing rent and scaling the venture is the way forward, it is vital to say it clearly.

Accommodate all Needs

Considering the needs of all parties is the ideal negotiating strategy to deploy in the process. Writing down expectations is the best approach so that everyone can meet the other person halfway. Business owners can ask for a rent reduction of about 20%, while landlords will say that they need consistent cash flow for their lenders.

Consult other Entrepreneurs

Business owners can also consult those who have gone through a crisis to get information about how they succeeded. Social media is the ideal platform to get tips since one can access the records seamlessly. There are discussions on how to negotiate for a rent reduction, lease extension, and credit relief as well.

Ask Open Questions

Asking open-ended questions is another negotiating tip to use as it brings about more understanding. On that account, it is essential to avoid items that come with yes and no answers. Utilize queries that start with “What or How,” such as; “What can we do to ensure that you have a consistent cash flow while I maintain the business for a long-term partnership?”

Use Both I and We in the Statements

Entrepreneurs have to use “I and we” so that the other party can feel appreciated. An example goes like this, “I am asking for this, and here’s how we will gain from the request.” The other person will have a listening ear, and they will not dispute a lot. Plus, he or she will come up with the way forward to solve the problem

 

How to Grow as a Leader

Being an effective leader comes to many people by nature, but not all keys to great leadership are ingrained. Here are some ways to become an even better leader in the workplace.

The first step in sharpening leadership skills is to realize that there is always room for improvement. No matter how great a leader a person is, there is still much to learn. Leadership is a multifaceted skill, and nobody is perfect at every single aspect. By learning from experience and outside sources, a leader becomes better and better at what they do. Good leaders listen seriously to feedback from members of their team and adjust their techniques accordingly.

It is also important for a leader to accept their own fallibility. Nobody likes to follow a leader who will never admit when they are wrong. Even the best leaders sometimes make mistakes. By accepting their errors and demonstrating their vulnerability, leaders gain more respect from their team, which in turn makes them stronger leaders.

A good leader should never put themselves above the concerns of the members of their team. It is imperative that a leader shows empathy for everyone working under them. If a manager seems indifferent to the well being of those working beneath them, it can only breed resentment in the workplace. But by working hard to understand the feelings of everyone on the job, a leader demonstrates a caring attitude and gets the best out of the whole team.

But in order for that team to function properly, it is vital that the unit be tight and cohesive. It is a leader’s job to make sure everyone is one the same page. This is easier done if the members share positive relationships. It is the leaders job to maintain these relationships by keeping everyone motivated and working together.

A leader can never do everything themselves. That is why they are the leader of a team and not the sole member of a one-person show. Leaders must accept everything they can’t change in their team, but work their best to be the best leader possible to positively affect the situation as much as possible. That is where these and other tips come in handy.

 

Why Leaders Should Celebrate Career Wins With Their Team

Leaders in the corporate world should take their position seriously, and make their team feel great about their productivity. When employees feel good about their performance, it boosts morale and creates a highly successful atmosphere. In return, when the employees are successful, the leader is successful. Proper management always reflects the success of its employees. And A lot of their success stems from celebrating wins, even the small ones. Here are three reasons why leadership should celebrate career wins with their team.

Boosts Morale

Everyone likes a pat on the back or a ‘job well done’, especially when it comes to their career. When leadership takes time out of their day to humble themselves by shouting out to one of their employees for their hard work, it boosts morale. Boosting morale leads to an increase in productivity, employee retention, and a decrease in absenteeism. Thus, creating an atmosphere of success. A culture that rewards and recognizes team members for doing their job well is a company that will have people banging down the doors to work there. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that is known for valuing their employees?

Motivates

When working on a problematic project that creates long nights and early mornings, employees can start to burn out and become exhausting and demotivated. Now and again, it’s a good change of pace to have leadership celebrate a win, no matter how small. Even little celebrations help motivate their team to go above and beyond and think outside of the box. Doing this helps employees feel that their hard work is appreciated, which motivates them to work harder and put in more time to make each project exceptional. And a leader can only be as successful as his/her team.

Increases Customer Retention

If an employee loves their job, it shows. Their attitude, demeanor, and over-all employee to client relationship reflect how they feel about their company. When leadership celebrates career wins with its employees, it keeps them pumped and excited to help their customers. If someone is writing a review about a product that they truly love, they will shout to the rooftops for everyone to go out and buy the same product. It’s the same concept when employees love where they work. They want everyone to become apart of the company, especially clients. Which, in turn, building word-of-mouth marketing and increases customer retention.

Having leadership celebrate career wins with their team changes the company culture into a positive, want-to-be their place to work. And who doesn’t want that?