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How to Keep Your Company Ahead During COVID-19

  • May 28, 2020

COVID-19 has hit businesses hard, but there are always opportunities for success. Help your company make the most of current events with these tips.

Coronavirus has changed the way we do...well, everything. As the pandemic continues, everyone is learning how to adapt and make the most of the situation. Your company is no exception. From small businesses to essential industries, companies are finding ways to adjust, stay afloat, and even excel amid these unprecedented circumstances. With the right circumstances, planning, and action, you can make sure your business continues to find success both now and in the long run. Here are four helpful tips on how to keep your company ahead during COVID-19.

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4 Financial Tips for Newly Married Couples

4 Financial Tips for Newly Married Couples

First comes love, then comes marriage—then comes organizing your new life together. From creating joint bank accounts to perfecting your life plan, there are a lot of details that require your attention after your wedding day. Your finances make up a big part of that, as you create budgets, retirement funds, and other money management plans together. It doesn’t have to be stressful, though. Whether you’re preparing ahead of the big day or just now getting back to reality after your honeymoon, you can build your happily ever after with these financial tips for newly married couples.

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The Future Landscape for House-Flipping

  • May 22, 2020

The Future Landscape for House-Flipping

Anyone who thought house-flipping was easy got a big surprise once they got into it. Those home-buying shows present a pristine, edited image of what it’s like to find, fix, and flip a house. The reality involves a lot of sweat, sometimes blood, and often tears. The pandemic has stopped flipping in its tracks just as the busiest selling season began. No one is sure about the future landscape of house-flipping, but a few trends have begun to emerge.

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Exit Strategies for Small Business Owners

  • May 5, 2020

Exit Strategies for Small Business Owners

It may seem absurdly premature or even pessimistic, but from the time any entrepreneur establishes an enterprise, they should be considering exit strategies for small business owners. An exit strategy is a plan that defines how the founder or owner of a business will transfer ownership, operations, or both from themselves to another person or entity. Basically, it is a plan for what happens when a business owner decides to move on—either to retire or to start a new enterprise.

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Jobs for People With Wanderlust

  • May 4, 2020

Jobs for People With Wanderlust

For many people, an annual vacation is enough to scratch that travel itch. Some of us, on the other hand, simply aren’t meant to stay in one place throughout our lives. If you spend your workdays daydreaming at your desk or wishing your commute took you somewhere more exotic, you might need a career change. Don’t fret—there are plenty of opportunities that let you travel and explore the world as you make a lucrative income. Pursue that much-needed change of scenery with these jobs for people with wanderlust.

Travel Writer

This one might seem obvious—after all, the word travel is in the name—but there’s no denying the excellent opportunities it can bring. Travel writers get to wander all over the world in pursuit of the next great review, story, or experience. You might even get discounts and other VIP treatments from resorts that are looking for a shining review from you. There are plenty of unique opportunities for travel writers. You can craft reviews, write articles for online magazines, publish works of creative non-fiction, and more. No matter what your writing style or your dream destination is, there’s a travel writing job that’s perfect for you.

English Teacher

Have you ever thought about being a teacher? Language teachers are in high demand all over the world. English is the most popular second language choice in the world, and as a native speaker, you can find work teaching it to students all around the globe. Work in full classroom settings, or teach privately as a tutor to students of all ages and backgrounds. These jobs often require special certifications, but they allow you to dive deeply into a different country and culture, making them the perfect jobs for people with wanderlust that run deeper than simply going on vacation.

Contract Truck Driver

If your preferred method of travel is the open road, you might want to consider life as a truck driver. You can explore the country from the driver’s seat, visiting all the best landmarks and quirky roadside attractions along the way. There are plenty of glorious landscapes you can see from America’s highways, which means you’ll never get bored in this job. Plus, when you become a contract truck driver, you get to choose where and when you take jobs, making you the master of your own schedule.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants help businesses with administrative, technical, or creative work. This is a remote job opportunity to begin with, which means you can do it from anywhere in the world. All you need is a reliable internet connection and phone service, and you can get through your workday from a sunny beach, gorgeous mountains, or anywhere else you roam. Traveling might even help put you in touch with new clients in various parts of the world.

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Why Working From Home Is the Worst

  • April 27, 2020

Prior to the current pandemic, there were millions of people telecommuting or working from home. Since early 2020, though, millions more were forced to work from home. Everyone accepted this change in workplace because it was better than the alternative: losing their jobs. Millions of people ran home to set up their workplaces and get cracking, excited to be working from home, safe from the virus and free from a soul-crushing commute every day. The excitement for many started to fade after three weeks, and that previous exuberance for the new normal turned to disdain and loathing. They quickly found out why working from home is the worst.

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What to Know Before Starting Your Own Handyman Business

  • April 24, 2020

What to Know Before Starting Your Own Handyman Business

If you’re one of those people with extreme DIY skills, you’ve probably helped friends enough times to start thinking, “you know, I really should get paid for this.” Starting a handyman business isn’t quite as simple as throwing your tools in a van and waiting for the phone to ring. Think about what to know before starting your own handyman business.

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Ways Small Businesses Can Survive COVID-19

  • April 23, 2020

Ways Small Businesses Can Survive COVID-19

Foot traffic has evaporated overnight under necessary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Small businesses watch in dismay as cash reserves to pay rent, pay utilities, and most importantly, take care of staff, dwindle. Small businesses that pivot nimbly and focus on the essentials have a shot at coming through the pandemic intact. Here are some ways small businesses can survive COVID-19.

Set a Good Example and Take Care of Employees

Staff will look to the business owner for reassurance. Business owners must take good care of themselves in order to take good care of staff. Loyal, skilled, and experienced staff will help businesses get through the crisis and rebuild when restrictions ease. Remain calm and demonstrate all the social distancing and good hygiene behaviors that public health experts recommend. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Disinfect surfaces several times a day.

Allow as many workers as possible to work from home. Communicate clearly that no one should come to work if they feel sick. Mark workspace floors with tape or decals that indicate appropriate distancing. Most of all, communicate clearly with staff about what you are doing to keep the business afloat and ensure they will have jobs and paychecks for as long as possible.

Communicate with Customers

Update your website and signage to explain what you are doing to ensure safety for employees and customers. Describe your sanitation practices and tell customers what you’re doing to try to keep going. Tell your patrons how they can help—by purchasing a gift card for future use, or by supporting community causes important to your business during the time you may not be able to contribute as much.

Apply for Available Loans and Grants and Ask Landlords and Vendors for Time

The relief package Congress has passed provides for low-interest loans for small businesses, and some of these turn into grants that need not be repaid if the business continues to pay employees. The US Chamber of Commerce has aggregated all of its advice about ways small businesses can survive COVID-19 on its website, including information about financial assistance.

The ripples from this crisis affect everyone. Lenders and vendors understand that small businesses are on the brink of disaster. Many will work with businesses to spread out payments or forgo fees for a month or two, maybe even longer.

Shift to Online Service

Do anything you can do online. If you don’t already have an online shop or service request form set up, now is the time to supercharge your efforts to update your web presence and your ability to do business online. This may require beefing up your network, adding capacity, or upgrading cabling to add devices or workstations. Restaurants and grocery stores have pivoted to provide delivery and curbside pick-up. Retailers can beef up their online ordering capacity and provide deals on shipping. Consumers will understand that all businesses are under stress, and if you might suffer shipping delays, just say so. Keep your customers informed, and they will stick with you through this crisis.

Finally, accept that this pandemic will permanently change how businesses operate. Patrons will never look at a doorknob or hear a cough as anything other than potential sources of contagion from now on. Businesses that adapt nimbly to contactless delivery, remote video consultation, and prolonged social distancing will be the businesses that thrive beyond the coronavirus crisis.

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How to Add Value to Your Home: 5 Tips

  • April 20, 2020

How to Add Value to Your Home: 5 Tips

Getting the most out of your home when you sell it or flip it to make a profit means learning how to add value to your home. Some improvements cost a lot and return a little, while others have a better chance of attracting buyers and paying for themselves, allowing you to sell your home for significantly more than the original purchase price. Here are some suggestions that go beyond basic curb appeal, repainting, or kitchen and bath remodels to make your home attractive to buyers and to get you a greater return when you sell.

Smart Technology

Keyless entry, smart thermostats, and upgraded security systems set your home apart from other homes in the neighborhood that may lack these upgrades. Smart technology that controls lighting and temperature and that offers remote control features through apps make an immediate impression that suggests the home offers greater value than homes without these upgrades.

Refinished Wood Floors

Carpet implies dust and cleaning. Wood floors look cleaner, make rooms feel more spacious, and don’t stain and wear as easily. If you already have exposed wood floors but they look scratched or dull, invest in refinishing the floors to give the house an attractive, freshened look.

Improved Lighting, Indoor and Out

Keeping the front lawn, trees, plants, and shrubs trimmed is a crucial aspect of curb appeal. However, you can set your home apart by adding solar lights along walkways and lights that will enhance the trees and the exterior of your home in the evening. Inside, add under-cabinet lights in the kitchen and recessed lighting in the living room, if your home’s structure and electrical system can accommodate those changes. Inexpensive, stick-on LED lights give the same effect in the kitchen, as installing more elaborate under-cabinet lighting requires more disruption.

Regional Features

If you live in an area such as Florida, southern California, or the Southwest, where nearly every home features an outdoor pool, set yours apart with a new or updated pool enclosure. In hilly or mountainous areas, highlight the best views from your home with new windows or window treatments. A deck or backyard firepit is a great addition to extend the outdoor season and enhance your yard. However, don’t add an in-ground pool if you don’t already have one—pools add additional insurance and maintenance costs, and they can deter families with young children. It’s unlikely you’ll recoup the major expense of installing a new one in a home sale.

Improve Neglected Spaces

Finishing a basement and sprucing up the garage can add value to your home overall. A finished basement instantly adds useful square footage. Replacing, finishing, or painting the garage floor and adding attractive storage might also enhance your home’s value. It certainly makes the home more attractive than it would be with oil stains, open studs, and disorganized piles of tools or bike equipment, which create clutter and make it difficult for people to get their cars in and out of the space. Enhance the laundry area to look like a real laundry room, and don’t neglect closet organization. These little improvements can add up and impress potential buyers.

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How to Cut Your Personal Spending

  • April 9, 2020

How to Cut Your Personal Spending

We are living in uncertain times right now. After months of robust growth, the economy has declined sharply in the last few weeks. With the forced shuttering of millions of businesses across the country and globe, the U.S. and world economies are sluggish at best. Now is a great time to practice some personal frugality and cut some spending. We’re unable to predict the future, so it’s a good idea to limit your expenses and hold onto some cash. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips on how to cut your personal spending.

Use Coupons and Discount Codes

Clipping coupons and finding discount codes isn’t just for baby boomers. That’s free money for you—all you have to do is take it. There are websites dedicated to finding the best codes and coupons for you to take advantage of. If the products you want to buy don’t have coupons, then try some new products. There’s a dozen different varieties of everything—simply find a cheaper version of what you want.

Maintain Your Vehicle

If you have a car, you know how much of money pit it can be. Take good care of your vehicle by performing the basic maintenance on it regularly. Simply changing the oil every three months will extend the life of the car. You should also regularly top off other fluids, such as the transmission fluid; lack thereof can cause transmission failure, which is expensive to repair. Prevent these costs by taking care of your car.

Avoid Food Delivery Services

Ordering takeout from your favorite restaurants is awesome, but that kind of convenience comes at a price. Food delivery services have a hefty markup for their services. You could end up paying 15 to 30% more for the same meal than if you ate at the restaurant or went and got the food yourself. Getting food from restaurants is also more expensive than making meals at home. Limit the number of times you eat out each week; otherwise, go pick up the food yourself and save some money.

Implement No-Spend Days

The best way to limit your spending is to simply not spend money. Seems simple enough, right? Look at the calendar and pick one day a week on which you will vow to spend zero dollars and zero cents. This will take a bit of planning on your part, of course. Pack a lunch for work, make sure there’s food in the house, and top off the gas tank ahead of time. It’s a small thing, but it will mean the $50 you would’ve normally spent that day will remain in your pocket.

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