5 Office Decor Must-Haves to Make Your Home Office or Workspace Pop

When you work from home, you need to have a nice place in your house that is yours, which is also secluded from other noise and distractions. At the same time, you also want to make this an area where you can work and enjoy your atmosphere.

The same holds true for employees and professionals that have their own cubicle or workspace as well.

If you are looking to spruce things up and make your workspace more enjoyable, then you my friend, have come to the right place. Let’s jump straight to it. Below you’ll find the best recommendations to turn your office from drab to fab with four office must haves.

To kick things off, let’s take a look at what my home office looks like today! For more pictures and guidance on how I set up my home office, be sure to check out the full article here.

Now, let’s move on to five helpful decor tips that you can start using to improve your own workspace!

Office Must Haves #1: Natural Light

The modern trend is shifting toward spaces flooded with natural light. The effects of natural light both energizes and inspires your employees. It’ll increase their productivity and happiness. We’re talking large, clear windows with the curtains drawn back.

Evaluate your present sources of light. Open your curtains or shutters. Do they allow enough light to come through? If not, and if you can’t replace the windows, consider changing to full-spectrum light-bulbs.

Full-spectrum bulbs offer up the same spectrum of light as our sun. You can choose wavelengths that imitate morning, afternoon, or evening sunlight to create an awesome office space.

#2 Plants and Flowers

In addition to natural light, plants and flowers will lend your industrial office an organic quality. Don’t settle for fake flowers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, they won’t give your office an organic feel.

Stick with the real stuff. Potted plants work wonders. If you water them every few days, you’ll have them for years.

Bouquets of flowers are far better, but they can be expensive. You can always compromise. Buy fresh flowers during the summer at farmers markets. They’re much less expensive than florists.

For the rest of the year, keep a few potted flowers around. Lilies are our recommendation.

#3 Interactive Whiteboard

Whiteboards are paramount in today’s communal workplaces. They offer your staff a place to throw around ideas and think through strategies. If you leave your written work on the board between sessions, your staff will unconsciously continue developing ideas.

It’s also a simple way to keep all your business’s ideas in one place. It’s much easier and less time consuming than dozens of back-and-forth email chain letters. With whiteboards, you can take in the entire scope of your strategy in one glance.

Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. Here are a few suggested online stores for office goodies (outside of Amazon):

Next, let’s talk about your furniture choices.

#4 Comfortable Chairs

No, we’re not talking Barcaloungers. We’re talking office chairs, seats, and stools. The only reason to furnish your office with uncomfortable chairs is that you want to push people to leave. That works fine in cafeterias and coffee shops.

For everything else, think ergonomically. When your visitors or your staff sit in a comfortable chair, their stress levels decrease. This leads to an increase in their productivity.

Comfortable chairs are also a sign of prestige. They work the same as a stylish desk or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They signal people that you care about more than the function of your space.

You also care about the people in it.

#5 Add Some Minimalist Art and Photos

Have you ever been to a home of office where there are pictures and photos all over the place? Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong with having motivational messages or pictures of your loved ones around you, but there are nice ways to set this up as well.

Try to stick with only a few art frames or photos on your desk, and make sure they have a nice frame and compliment the area around you.

It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.

Motivational_Posters_Zac_Johnson_Office

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve discovered our office must haves, it’s time to start shopping. But, before you do, evaluate your present office style. Look at your color schemes and overall style. Then you can match your new goodies and your old.

Was this information helpful? Then come to pick through our library full of other helpful articles.

So long and good luck!

Pros & Cons of Offering Small Business Benefits Packages to Employees

If you are planning to expand your business from a one man company, to a multi-person organization, you will likely need to start thinking about employee benefits and how you might be spreading the best packages across your employees and staff. As much as I love the concept of being a sole-entrepreneur, if you want to grow and scale your business in size, this is just another process that is required to have in place.

Wondering if you should go the extra mile for your employees?

79% of employees would choose a benefits package over a salary increase. But a small business may have as much to lose as it has to gain by offering a benefits package.

Below, we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of offering a small business benefits package to employees.

Pro: Attracting Quality Employees

The most obvious advantage of offering employee benefits lies in the quality of candidates it helps attract.

A flat salary actually has limited use to the modern worker. It may help pay for basic living costs, but it leaves many of the big stresses of life up in the air. A single look at life insurance quotes will be enough to show you what your employees are up against when they’re trying to cover everything with only a salary.

Add the medley of other life expenses, and it’s clear to see why employees are getting pickier about who they work for. By offering a benefits package, you can attract employees who are more serious and selective about their careers.

Pro: Giving Something Back

“But I already pay a salary!” we hear you cry.

Think of it this way: is a salary enough compensation for the many long hours of their life an employee spends at your company? After all, we only live once. A salary represents the minimum possible compensation for the raw labor an employee provides.

In truth, most employees provide a lot more than that.

Offering benefits can give something back to the people who spend that time bringing success to your company. It also shows them that you value them as individuals with personal lives and circumstances.

Pro: Driving Motivation and Retention

A business needs more than warm bodies to become a success. It needs employees who are engaged and motivated. Motivated employees will work hard, innovate, and even boost sales.

Extra incentives are a great tool to add that extra spark of motivation. Employees with access to benefits feel they’re there for more than the “daily grind”. Not only are they less stressed, but they’re also more positive about the company they work for.

Over time, that means more productivity and less attrition through employees moving on to better opportunities.

One of the benefits of offering company health benefits to employees should be clear: fewer sick days. Your staff might take more days off for smaller problems, but the upshot is that those smaller problems won’t progress into more serious conditions.

Pro: Creating Brand Ambassadors

Even for megacorps that have achieved the status of a household name, marketing makes up a huge percentage of their business spend. For small businesses, it can bleed them dry.

So, the value of free marketing is clear. But free promotion doesn’t begin and end with social media. Have you considered the value your employees have as brand ambassadors?

People expect employees to be a little cynical about the company they work for. It’s a real achievement to turn that cynicism into positivity. A benefits package could lead to your employees singing the praises of your company.

Positive word-of-mouth about your company then starts with your employees – and ripples out through their social circles and online presence.

This is also something Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid, had to think about. Founded in 2002, the company has grown their customer base to over 10,000 companies, while also serving locations in more than 140 countries around the world. This simply wouldn’t have been possible as a single-person company, but being a brand ambassador and an image for her company, Sarah continues to see daily improvements and growth within the company.

Con: The Visible Cost

The additional cost of offering benefits isn’t always welcome for a small business.

On top of that, a small business also won’t have a lot of buying power to negotiate cheaper rates. For a small business, benefits might turn out to be a luxury you can’t afford.

Benefits can also obscure your cash flow. The price of insurance can fluctuate over time. Any benefits you offer based on reimbursement are unpredictable.

It’s vital for a small business to control its cash flow. Providing benefits is often undesirable for small businesses, as it introduces uncertainty.

Con: The Hidden Cost

The full cost of offering benefits isn’t obvious at first glance. We’ve outlined the obvious costs, but what about the hidden costs of a benefits package?

Offering benefits sucks up a wealth of administration time. You might even need new hires capable of delivering the details of your benefits scheme. That heaps extra costs on top of the obvious cost of offering benefits.

As you offer more benefits, your administrative time increases. For a small company, those costs can run out of control. This isn’t an option for some small businesses that struggle to control their cash flow.

Con: Legal Pitfalls

When you enter the insurance game, you’re also entering a legal minefield.

Making a misstep along the way could leave you subject to legal action. That could be a deathblow for a business operating on thin margins.

Legal action against your company will soak up time and money. It’ll also drag your reputation through the dirt, making it harder to attract quality employees in the future. It could even damage your brand.

You could take extra care to make sure this doesn’t happen, but that’s yet another expense on top of the cost of providing benefits.

Con: Finding the Benchmark

Information is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against your competition. But it can be hard to figure out what sort of benefits package your competition has on offer.

In contrast to offering a flat salary, that makes it tough to decide where your benefits package should stop. You’ll need to put some serious work into finding out what candidates in your industry are searching for.

If you lowball your benefits package, the accompanying reduction in salary will drive candidates away. Overextend, and you risk bankrupting your business. You need to find the balance that keeps you competitive.

The Small Business Benefits Package: Yea or Nay?

The exact situation of every business is different, so we can’t tell you whether a small business benefits package is right for you. But we’ve given you enough info that you’re now equipped to decide whether it’s the way to go for your business.

Looking for more business advice? Check out our top podcast episodes.

First Impressions and Final Words: The Importance of Business Cards in 2019

Business cards have been around since the 15th century.

They first originated in China as “visiting cards.” The Chinese visiting cards would express one person’s intention to come and meet another person.

Then in the 17th Century, the popularity of exchanging cards began in Europe. Without the right business cards, you were a failure in the eyes of the public.

There were also extremely strict rules and etiquette guidelines for people handing out their cards. Failure to have the right card or follow the rules would result in a social disaster.

As we fast forward to today, people are still using business cards as networking tools. Not having a business card or having the wrong kind can ruin your business relationships.

Approximately 10 billion business cards are being printed on an annual basis. However, almost 8 out of the 10 billion cards printed are being thrown out in less than a week.

Yet, studies show that your companies sales will increase by at least 2.5% for every 2,000 cards you hand out. Even if a prospect doesn’t keep your card, they’ll still remember meeting you.

After hundreds of years, your card is still a representation of who you are and what you’re all about. Read on to find out about the importance of business cards in the 21st century.

The Importance of Business Cards

When you network you’re actively making meaningful connections. Sending out your contact information online can be somewhat effective. Many businesses successfully use affiliate marketing online to generate leads.

However, when you only rely on digital communications you’ll miss out on making a genuine connection. When you give your card to a potential client, they can put a face to the name of the company. You’ll be able to stand apart from all of the other companies they were researching online.

A computer can’t look your customer in the eye and convey authenticity, but you can. The encounter gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.

Here are a few different online tools you can use for creating your personalized cards:

Allow yourself to be creative as you explore the different designs. Prospects will enjoy sharing your creative cards rather than boring ones. Having people share your card means your brand will reach more potential customers.

No matter what type of business cards you end up going with, consider your options on going with a cool and unique design. After all, these are going to be used for many years and will be the first impression of your own personal brand and expertise.

Effective Business Cards

Making a great impression starts with the style of your card. Many people mistakenly believe that all a business card does is give information. However, they really are tools to make wonderful first impressions.

It’s important to design a card that expresses your companies personality and brand. It can help to ask for outside advice from a friend or family member. Show them the design you are considering and ask them how it makes them feel. If the way they feel reflects your brand, you’re off to a great start.

Show Prospects You’re Ready for Anything

Have you ever asked someone for their business card and they couldn’t give it to you? Chances are you had a negative first impression of that person. Your subconscious mind is always listening, watching and making conclusions.

Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you’ll judge someone for not having the right tools.

The same will happen to you if you’re not ready to hand over your card when asked. Even if you take the time to write your information down, chances are they won’t be calling you.

Make sure you always carry your cards on you. A simple trip to the store could end up as a networking opportunity.

Always Accessible

When you use a business card, your information is always accessible. In today’s digital world, it’s hard to believe that anyone could ever lose access to the internet.

However, people are frequently in situations where they can’t go online. Imagine, your potential customer is camping in a remote area or staying at a cabin in the woods.

They don’t have internet access but they do have the ability to make phone calls. If they need to schedule a service or make a purchase, they’ll have to rely on their business cards.

Also, certain people don’t own digital devices or have trouble operating theirs. If your contact information is stuck in their phone, they may never access it.

Also, what happens when they lose or break their phone? A broken phone could take days to repair. Yet that doesn’t mean the customer will wait days to make purchasing decisions.

When the customer needs access to your company’s contact information, your card will be there to save the day. Giving your card means that no matter what the situation, customers can always reach you.

Stay Motivated

If your company is new it helps to have clear networking goals. When you go to different networking events you’ll bring your cards with you. Then you can set a daily goal for how many cards you need to distribute.

A good idea is to set a goal to hand out at least 50 business cards. If you’re having a difficult time, your cards will remind you to stay motivated. Make sure that as you hand out your cards you establish eye contact.

Your card will have your contact information and a brief summary of your product or service. If you’re looking for employment make sure to include a list of your skills.

The person you give your card to might not need your services. Yet, they might know someone who does need something you provide. With a list of your skills, the person with your card will know who to refer you to.

How to Make a Great First Impression from Day One

Yes, you could say that business cards are old school and not many people use them today. That might be the case, but if you are actively attending different conferences and trade show events, they will come in handy.

Just think about how many people are meeting with each other on any given day at these events. With hundreds of business cards changing hands, only the ones that stand out and leave a great first impression will be remembered.

When it comes to creating new business and partnerships, this simple one-up over the competition can equate to something huge in the long run.

If you are still using the same old traditional business card that gets scanned over for second and tossed away… rethink your marketing strategy and invest in yourself and your business today with a new design and business card. It’s one of the most important, yet cost-effective, investments you can make!

Loans vs. Line of Credit: Which is Better For Your Business?

When your business grows or goes through a short-term cash drought, you need an influx of cash. The bank is the best place to start. They give you two options a loan or a line of credit. It can be hard for a business to decide loans vs. line of credit.

They both can give you the cash you need, but each is different on how the cash gets to you and how you pay it back. As a business owner, you don’t want to make a rash decision that can impact your business for years.

We’ve broken them down and given you plenty of information to determine which is best for you.

Line of Credit Basics

A line of credit isn’t a loan. It’s like a credit card with a limit. When you apply for a line of credit, the bank gives you a set amount that you can have access to. You don’t need to take a penny of it. It can sit there ready to use when needed.

When you decide to take it, you don’t need to take the entire amount. For example, if you had a run on a popular product, but don’t have the cash flow to order more, then you can access your line of credit.

You have a $10,000 line of credit, but only need $200 to cover the costs of the product. You take the money out and then you agree to pay back that amount plus any interest.

In the meantime, your accessible line of credit is $9,800 until the money is paid back. You then have access to the full $10,000 again. You can also take a look at a site like Readies.co.uk to comparison shop the different types of loan and credit lines available.

It’s rare for a business to take out a full amount and instead to take out small amounts when needed.

Benefits of Line of Credit

Financially, the biggest benefit is you don’t need to pay anything until you take the money out. You’re not locked into a monthly payment and you only need to pay the money back that you took out with a little interest.

These are geared more as a short-term loan that is paid back in a few months rather than a multi-year loan. They are commonly referred to as a revolving loan and have lower interest rates than a term loan of similar size.

If you are late on payments, then that rate can increase dramatically, and you can incur fees.

It’s also great to save for an emergency such as a sudden building repair or an increase in product price. Lines of credit are popular with small business that can’t come up the cash fast when a new opportunity arises.

Term Loans

A standard business loan is like a standard loan. You visit the bank and request to borrow a specific amount of money. There is a purpose associated with the loan such as the purchase of a building, fleet of cars, expansion, etc.

The bank examines your credit and balances the risks and benefits before determining to allow the loan. Once approved, you work on the length of the loan, interest, payment amount and are given a lump sum of money.

For example, your current building isn’t large enough for your burgeoning and growing business.

You can get a term loan to pay for a new larger facility and moving expenses. It can also go for equipment such as a new oven for a cookie company or new equipment that you use to create a new product.

You pay it back monthly at a set interest rate until loan agreement is fulfilled. They are traditionally used for more long-term investments.

Benefits of Term Loans

The biggest benefit of a term loan is predictability. You know each month you’ll owe the bank a set amount. There’re no worries about that amount changing or the amount owe going up or down. The rate of interest is the same for the life of the loan.

The biggest downside is you likely provided some type of collateral on the loan. If you can’t pay back the loan, then the bank can take that collateral. Keep that in mind when you’re determining your monthly payment amount.

If you pay more, then you can pay towards the principal and lessen the amount of term of the loan. You can do with what you want with the money as soon as you receive it.

Loan vs. Line of Credit

So, you know what the differences are between the two, but which one is the best for your business. It all depends on what you want to do with it.

Lines of credit aren’t meant to be long-term loans. They’re there for an emergency or small thing that didn’t fit into the budget. You need $3,000 for a new furnace or the refrigerators for your produce died. This is something that would probably be better applied to, or paid with credit cards.

It’s not meant for something large like a new building. It can be used for payroll, off-season costs, and restocking inventory. If you use for money-making ventures, then it can end up paying for itself.

Businesses use lines of credit for small purchases a little at a time. Don’t take one out and grab the whole amount at once. You likely need a business loan. It’s easy to learn why if you carefully examine the pros and cons of each method.

If your need is high cost and can take years to pay back, a business loan works best. You get a large lump sum to purchase a new building or other major expense like equipment and pay it back over time.

Which is Best for You?

Ultimately, you need to decide which one is the best for your business needs. Loans vs. line of credit can be a difficult decision, but hopefully, we’ve made it easier for you to choose.

Loans are best for long-term high-cost expenses, but lines of credit are best for short-term expenses and emergencies. What is your business looking for?

If you’re interested in learning more about money and how you can improve your business, then please explore our site.

6 Great Ways to Accept Online Payments on Your eCommerce Site

When it comes to running a successful online business, one of the most important things site owners, drop shippers, and brands need to think about is how to best accept payments online, while also minimizing payment fraud. As wonderful as it is to accept credit cards online, your business is responsible for making sure every transaction is secure and authentic.

Did you know that 42% of customers making online purchases use credit cards as a payment method? In fact, it’s the leading payment method. Electronic payment is running at second with 39% of customers using it.

As years go by, people are shifting towards cashless methods of payment.

But which method works best for your business? What are the different ways to receive payment for online businesses? This is something that you should consider for your business.

Here are some ways you can receive payments on your online business.

1. Receive Payments via Credit Cards

One of the options to help you accept payments online is by credit card. It’s a widely-used method on a global scale, especially in countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, and most of Western Europe.

Credit cards are also among the most popular payment methods. Payments from these cards go through the use of payment gateways like PayPal and Due, or through merchant accounts.

If you wish to set up a merchant account for your website, be sure to learn more before proceeding.

2. E-Wallets

Another way for you to receive payments online is through the use of e-wallets. There are many online platforms that offer this service. Especially with small online businesses in mind.

Using e-wallets tends to be effortless and easy on both sides. This speeds up the transaction process.

PayPal and AliPay are prominent in offering such options. This makes PayPal popular in the US and AliPay with China.

3. Direct Carrier Payments

There are some services and products that bill customers through their telephone or utility carriers. This is an interesting option for customers to pay for services or products. One such example is with Google’s Play Store, which offers this payment option.

This is a safe option for customers to pick. Direct carrier payment streamlines the process without redirecting them to a different site.

This is also helpful for merchants carrying this service. Not only does it offer a secure method but it’s also fast and seamless.

4. Bank Transfers

Another method that you can use to accept online payments is through bank transfers. This is one of the oldest and more traditional methods available.

Some merchants offer instructions for customers to send their payments towards a bank account. This method often employs the use of an IBAN number.

Keep in mind that bank transfers aren’t immediate. For some banks, it may take 2-3 business days before the deposited amount reflects in the receiver’s account.

5. Cash

It is also possible for customers to send their payments using cash. In fact, other countries like Russia, India, and Romania make use of cash payments for their online businesses.

There are some ways to use this method as factors such as location and reach towards customers come to play.

One of the methods that you can use is through cash-on-delivery (COD). This service allows the courier to send the product. Then collect the payment upon arrival to the customer’s location.

FedEx offers this service and is a preferable choice. Other courier companies only accept checks and money orders.

5. Paypal

In addition to using a credit card, Paypal is one of the most used and accepted forms of payment in the world today.

While it is possible to use a credit card to make payment through Paypal, many users are also connecting their accounts to their bank accounts as well. This simply makes it one of the easiest methods of payment processing for millions of users around the world.

Another reason why Paypal is perfect for both customers and eCommerce platforms is that it’s usually simply a matter of clicking a few buttons and providing API account information to integrate it within an online shopping cart or payment solution.

An extra added benefit to accepting payment through Paypal is that businesses can grow their account history and also take advantage of loan programs like Paypal Working Capital.

Pick A Payment Method That Matches Your Business Today!

Knowing and choosing the right payment method for your online business is crucial. This is the lifeblood that keeps your business flowing. Having an efficient, fast, and secure channel to receive payments lets you gain profit while the customer gains satisfaction.

Did you find this post helpful? We have a variety of topics that you can explore to help you with your business ventures. Check this one out about maximizing both time and money as an entrepreneur.

How to Start A Law Firm Without Going Completely Broke And Crazy

As you can probably imagine, starting a business isn’t cheap and could cost you a lot of money from day one. This could make starting a business a headache and a risky financial pursuit if you’re not careful. However, the initial time, money, and investment that goes into your new startup will vary heavily based on what industry you are going into, and if you utilize the power and tools accessible on the internet today.

For example, if you’re figuring out how to start a law firm, you need to make a plan that won’t leave you stressed out and broke. The traditional method is to open a nice and fancy office location, hire staff and bring them inhouse, have a ton of paper work/legal documents, and also pay for the transportation of documents and signatures to and from local clients.

Again, this is the ‘old way’ of thinking about how to start a business. Thanks to automation, technology and being able to work from anywhere, that is no longer the case.

Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re starting a law firm from scratch.

1. Find Your Focus

In order to succeed at building a law firm, you need to start with a strong focus on what kinds of services you’ll be providing. If you don’t have a focus for your solo practice, you’re going to struggle with building a reliable clientele. You might know a broad range of information about being a lawyer, but you need to carve out your niche.

Start your solo practice by seeing what’s missing in your local region. If there’s a shortage of estate lawyers, you could become the premier estate lawyer in your area. If there’s too much competition, you’ll struggle to find the clients that you need to get started.

Go with what you know. If you’ve previously worked at a practice, start by providing services that you’ve provided for other people before. If possible, ask for referrals, recommendations, or LinkedIn endorsements so that people can see what you’ve done and where you’ve been.

At the same time, you want your website and blog to represent the different types of services your law firm offers. Check out this site for some ideas on what you could be focusing on, and how they highlight these easy-to-find services right at the top of their site.

2. Team Up With Smart People

It’s essential that you work with smart people who have experience in the legal field. When you’re about to start your own law firm, you could be splitting things with other lawyers.

Just because you’re starting a solo practice doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about expenses and resources.

You need to start a practice where you can have everything that your clients need from you. You’ll need a base of operations where you can meet with clients, have private conversations, and where they can find you when they need something.

Talk to other legal professionals and see if they want to become partners on a law firm. If that’s not the path for either of you, you could still work together to save money on costs.

Sharing an office is a common situation for medical and legal professionals. The cost of real estate is often one of the biggest expenses for a new law practice. When you split with someone else, you can have everything you need at half of the price.

If you hire any staff at all, make sure they’re smart and savvy. Ensure that they’re dedicated to helping you build the practice that will serve your clients as best as possible.

In addition to hiring staff and focusing your efforts on building a team of powerful people around you, it’s also important to make sure your business is using the latest advancements in software automation and online communications. This ThinkSmart resource is a great reference guide on what law firms should be looking at when conducting business, and also how many of the agencies in the world are still running with ‘old world’ methods and thought processes.

3. Decide On What Expenses You Need

Starting your legal practice can cost a lot of money and you could quickly go into the red if you’re not careful. You need to make sure you start off with enough money to build your clientele while managing your expenses as you go. As mentioned earlier, ‘old world’ business mentalities can quickly have your business losing a lot of money from day, just from frivolous spending on things you ‘think’ you need, but really don’t.

Decide whether you need an office at all, to begin with. If you’ve only got a few clients, you could meet at their offices when you first get started. Until you’re able to comfortably afford the office you need for your practice, put it off as long as possible. For myself, I could work from anywhere… but I want to make sure my home office isn’t only somewhere that I enjoy being, but also a professional and fun atmosphere in the process.

You’ll need staff to give the appearance of a professional law firm. However, if you don’t have an office, you might have a tough time figuring out where to put staff. Running a firm out of your home is possible but less than professional. But again… if your law firm is more internet-based and has clients around the world, there might not be a need for a big expensive office.

You can have a virtual office weight the help of some modern service providers. With the help of an answering service, you could be having messages taken and calls redirected to your personal phone.

If you have money to hire a virtual assistant, you could have someone managing your schedule and answering client calls while you meet with current clients. Many answering services will give you 24/7 service, which will allow you to be getting new clients even when you’re away from your desk.

4. Segregate Time

Being able to separate your time while building your practice is essential to building your law firm. You’ll need to have time that you devote to marketing, time for clients, and time to take care of administrative tasks. If you don’t segment your time, you could end up spending twice as much time being half as productive.

Devote time every week to improving your marketing efforts. An hour a day to craft a blog post could go a long way. Even just a few posts a week can help to build your presence online. When you’re visible online, you’ll appear in search results based in your area as people look for legal services like what you provide.

Your clients need to be massaged at all times. While you might think that your clients will check in with you when they need you, it’s up to you to manage your relationship with them. Check in with your best clients even when you don’t think they need you because you never know what’s come up with them.

Separate time to take care of important administrative tasks every single week. This could be billing your clients, paying off your invoices, or making sure that all your bills and employees are paid. Whatever it is, you need to make time for handling this boring but essential work.

There’s No Single Answer in How To Start a Law Firm

When you’re trying to figure out how to start a law firm, you’re going to have to make some difficult decisions. It will cost you a lot of money and take considerable time to build a strong firm. With a few clients who bring in reliable business, you could build a firm that lasts for decades to come.

As stressed throughout the article, managing your startup costs is going to be one of the most important components of a successful business. Take advantage of the tools and automation that the internet has to offer, and also check out my guide for the best credit cards to apply for when you’re starting your own business. Many of these cards are very business and entrepreneur-friendly, and can help with funding your business in it’s early growth stages.

What You Need to Know About No Credit Check Cash Loans

Of the 220 million scorable folks in the U.S., 68 million have credit scores lower than 601. What’s more, a single point lower than 601 (as in 600) already classifies as a subprime score. According to the VantageScore scoring model, “subprime” scores range from 500 to 600.

There’s also the “deep subprime”, scores from 300 to 499. 21.2% of all scorable individuals fall under this category.

With all of this information at hand, it’s a marketers dream come true! This is definitely the case for any affiliate marketers or finance sites looking to push credit repair offers to their audience.

In addition to worrying about finances on a daily basis, individuals with poor or bad credit, are likely having difficulties securing a loan. After all, that’s one of the major consequences of having a credit score lower than 601.

The good news is that there are now more resources than ever before to help those in need of credit repair, or at least finding such information on how to do so. There are also many other alternatives out there for securing personal and business loans as well — without having to go into a local bank and pleading your case.

I’ve personally been a big fan of sites and programs like Paypal Working Capital or Kabbage, as they allow you to instantly get access to cash within minutes. This is the ideal scenario for any business owners or affiliates/bloggers that use online payments to pay for advertising or accepting online payments.

However, as we first started this article off… the majority of people in the country right now don’t have a business of their own, nor do they have a high enough credit score to get approved for most loans.

To help with this process, and to provide as a valuable resource for those already searching around for how to get their hands on money when they are in need — today we will be talking about no credit check cash loans.

While the concept of getting a loan without a credit check sounds amazing… it does come with its associated costs. No credit check loans are one of the few types of loans that even people with less-than-fair credit scores can still qualify for.

How exactly does it work though? What makes it a good option for you?

This post will cover all these and more. I also threw in a few bonus loan application tips, and credit cards that I like to use for running my own business, so keep reading!

The Lowdown on No Credit Check Cash Loans

No credit check loans are what exactly the name suggests. They’re loans that don’t have the need for credit checks.

How so?

It’s because lenders base their decision on a borrower’s repayment ability. In fact, that’s one of the few, if not the only qualifying factor they consider.

In other words, you don’t have to have a good or fair credit to secure one of these loans. You can have a subprime credit and still qualify for that loan you need.

Keep in mind that traditional loans always require formal credit checks. These loans are those that you can get from banks and credit unions. Formal credit checks are the hard checks lenders conduct to determine your creditworthiness.

In essence, these checks tell lenders you have a less-than-stellar credit score. As such, when they find out about your bad or poor score, they’re likely to reject your loan application.

As if that’s not enough, numerous hard checks on your credit can bring your score even lower. So, the more you apply for these conventional loans, the more at risk your credit score becomes.

The Same Day Loan Advantage

Let’s say a bank will still consider approving your application even with your bad credit score.

Granted, it may be not as long as the 30- to 60-day processing of mortgage loans. But the fact remains that it still takes weeks. What’s more, you’re not 100% sure that you’ll get the loan at all.

The good news is, you’ll find same day loan no credit check financing. These loans can help you get out of a financial pinch, such as if you’re facing an emergency expense.

For example, you (or someone in your household) get into an accident and end up in an emergency room. ER visits are quite common, with ERs receiving 136.9 million patients every year. They’re also expensive, with a single visit now at an average cost of $1,917! (photo below is from the CNN article)

In any case, that’s some serious money you may have no means of paying right away. Especially if you’re one of the 55 million individuals who don’t have any emergency savings.

If you find yourself in such a situation, then a no credit check, same day loan may be a good option. To be sure, look for bad credit loans with guaranteed approval. These programs give you the highest likelihood of securing that loan you need ASAP.

What You Need to Qualify for Advanced Cash or Quick Loans

Of course, there are still requirements you need to meet to qualify. However, they’re basic to minimal at most. They’re so much easier to meet than traditional loan requirements.

  • For starters, you need to be at least 18 years old.
  • You need to have proof of repayment ability (AKA your monthly income).
  • Your bank account should also be with a U.S.-based bank.

Having a current personal loan may restrict your qualifications though. That’s because an outstanding loan reduces your ability to repay for another loan. You may still qualify for a no credit check loan, but only for a smaller amount.

Friendly Reminders before Applying for These No Credit Check Financing Programs

It’s true that most people apply for a hardship loan for bad credit because they’re in a financial dilemma. However, before you do the same, it’s important to ensure you can indeed pay back what you’ll owe.

Keep in mind that most online loans have a higher interest rate than traditional loans. That said, make sure you explore and compare all your loan options. Also, if your financial need is more for your startup, be sure to check out your business credit card choices. I’ve had American Express cards for almost 20 years now — as they are great for entrepreneur and business needs, but are also usually catered towards those with higher credit scores.

Even as great as American Express might be, I wouldn’t want to be in their debt and have to pay those hefty late fees and annual interest rates!

Making repayments on time is a must for all loans, but even more so for these “special” loans. They can come with higher missed payment penalties and surcharges. As such, it’s vital you always make the payments on time or you can face expensive but unnecessary fees.

Last but not least, be a responsible borrower! Only apply for a loan amount that you have dire need for. As helpful as these loans are, they’re best for short-term financial needs. Even if you apply and are offered $10k in loans, but you only need $3k… just take what you need, and then pay it off as fast as possible.

Get the Financial Help You Need Now

No credit check cash loans exist for the millions of people out there with poor or bad credit. They’re designed to aid borrowers who otherwise won’t qualify for traditional loans. They also come with the bonus of not further affecting credit scores.

So, if a sudden emergency expense arises, consider applying for this loan. It’s also a good idea in case you’re having trouble making ends meet. But be sure that you can pay it with ease, and always on time. If not, you could end up with a lot more than just late payments and an even worse credit score! 🙁

While we’re on the subject of finances, you may also want to look through a few different ways on how to make money online with little investment. Check out that resource page to know more about your potential online sources of income!

Time is Money: How to Maximize Both as an Entrepreneur or Business Owner

Are you wearing too many hats? Being pulled in a hundred different directions? Having trouble completing tasks because new things keep coming up?

You’re probably a business owner.

The hours you spend working are as important as the money made in that hour. Your time is money; wasted time results in wasted cash. You can change this with some simple time management hacks.

Your productivity depends on your time management. Once you master this, everything in your business will become simpler. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your time as a business owner.

Invest in Great Employees

Many business owners find themselves hiring employees far too often. A high turnover of staff means the time you take to plan and to train goes to waste.

The trick to saving time on hiring is making the right hires in the first place. And, making the job so great they don’t want to leave!

You can do this by creating an Employee Development Plan. Any employees that you truly value and depend on should have a path for growth. They should have benefits and perks that make working for you worthwhile.

When recruiting new hires, be very detailed in what you’re looking for. Weed out the lazy, unenthusiastic applicants from the hard working and passionate candidates.

Once you hire great employees who love working for you, they can take a load off your plate. Remember to ask for their feedback and input on new ideas. You trust them to do a good job, so you can delegate tasks to them.

Track your Time

Spend a week recording everything you do from morning to night. You can do this with Google Calendar or on paper. Write the tasks you work on each hour or the free time you spend.

After one week, review your log.

How many tasks did you switch between in any given hour? How many tasks comprised of you fixing other people’s work? Did you miss any deadlines or lose out on any profit?

You may realize you’re working an extreme number of hours per week. Or, that you’re struggling to move projects forward because you aren’t focused enough.

This problem is very common for business owners. It gets solved by automating and delegating tasks.

Automate Tasks

Thanks to the magic of technology, we don’t have to manually complete many tasks. If you haven’t leaned into automation, now’s the time to start.

Automation is when you let technology automatically complete tasks without your constant approval. You set up the rules and expectations, then the frequency of the automation. After that, your load is a little lighter.

Here are some tasks automation can help with:

  • Email marketing
  • Assigning inbound leads
  • Following up with networking peers
  • Offering free content to attract leads
  • Identifying the hottest leads
  • Tracking accounts receivable

The list goes on and on. Did you know that 80 percent of top-performing businesses use automation for marketing? 80 percent of these highly successful people can’t be wrong.

Look at your business’s tasks and systems. Where could automation help you?

Delegate Tasks

Not all tasks can get automated; some should get delegated. As a business owner and entrepreneur, you’re used to doing everything yourself. “If you want it done right, do it yourself” right?

Wrong.

Most of the time, “done is better than perfect.” You need to decide which tasks demand your attention and which ones your employees can do.

This might mean training your top employees on new roles and duties. This is great because it shows them you believe in them and it lightens your workload.

Look back at your time log for the week. Find at least three things that you can delegate. Start the process of transferring those responsibilities to someone else.

This will give you more time to do the things only you can.

Work in Batches

Jumping from one task to another in completely different realms is awful for productivity. Switching gears all the time ruins your focus and lowers your energy.

Instead, start working in batches through calendar blocking.

Schedule your day to complete all like-minded tasks in the same block of time. That could mean spending all of Monday morning working on payroll duties. Or, all of Monday afternoon updating the company website and planning new components.

Consider using an app for all your scheduling needs, like this TimeClock. Every employee can download the app and have access to all work-related things.

By staying in the same realm of tasks for a larger chunk of time, you can focus completely on that umbrella of tasks. You can use your time more efficiently and get more done.

Get Organized

Look around your office. Is it messy? Is there clutter everywhere, especially on your desk?

This is a subconscious productivity-destroyer. How can your mind think clearly when your space feels confused and chaotic? Both you and your employees are less productive when the space is messy.

Start by cleaning your personal office. Your desk should only have things you use every day or make you happy. File loose papers or shred them.

Declutter the floor. Boxes should get put away and objects returned to their home in the office. Hire a cleaner to deep clean the space.

Then, set new expectations for your staff on office cleanliness. Like tools need to get put back after use and don’t leave rotten food molding in desk drawers.

You may need to buy some organizational systems to keep this momentum going. Get some low-maintenance plants to put around the office and lift the mood. Make the office a calm and clean place to work for everyone.

If Time is Money, Are You Spending Yours Wisely?

As a business owner, you’re supposed to be hustling and grinding. But, you can do more by working smarter, not harder.

Boost your productivity and profits by getting better at time management. Put systems in place that save you time and let you focus on important things. Your time is money; making better use of it will result in higher earnings.

For more tips on being a business owner, productivity, and making more money, check out this article.

The Ultimate Guide To Streamlining Your Accounts Payable Process

Let’s face it: the process of improving and streamlining your accounts payable process can feel like you’re drowning in a sea of busywork. It’s also one of the most important, yet overlooked, processes within a business that can actually make you go from negative to positive in monthly ROI. This is especially true with online businesses, as many of use are using various automation, SEO, and marketing tools that have built-in recurring monthly costs… but how many of them are we actually using, yet still paying for?

This is something I occasionally talk about on the blog, as it’s a great reminder to always keep an eye on not just what your monthly expenses are, but also what they are actually being spent on. We all watch the incoming and outgoing money within our businesses and brands, but many of us will forget to actually look through our credit card and banking statements to see who is billing what. Soon enough, you could have thousands in monthly recurring bills, and not even realize that you aren’t utilizing such services.

It’s not just affiliate marketers and bloggers that have to deal with these types of issues, it’s businesses of all sizes — and it really comes down to the various payment processors, invoice tracking, and tax software being used. The truth is that an inefficient accounts payable system costs you in time , money, and anxiety. Between chasing down your tax information, waiting for invoices to be verified, and frantically paying bills at the last second, things will slip through the cracks.

You won’t just lose money. Your company’s reputation will suffer as a result. You might lose important business relationships that you’ve worked hard to build.

It’s time to make a change for the better.

Read on to learn how to improve your current accounts payable procedures.

1. Look for Patterns in Your Payments

The first thing that you need to do when you’re ready to make over your accounts payable process?

Think about how you can get out in front of upcoming payments.

The best way to do this is to look for payment and invoice patterns, and then create a matching schedule of accounts payable.

For example, do you know that your supplier sends you a bill on the first Monday of every month? If so, you know that this payment to your suppliers is a fixed cost every month. You should schedule an automatic payment, since it will likely be in the same amount each time.

Additionally, figure out who you sent the most money to, the most frequently.

This will help you to keep better track of your spending pattern, and know who to prioritize when it comes to getting payments out on time.

One more thing you might discover during this review process?

The fact that you’re not exactly spending your company’s money in the most effective way. Taking a closer look at things won’t just help you to spend less time each month on accounts payable.

There’s also a good chance that it will help to save you some serious money.

2. Define Your Invoice Payment Strategy

You know that paying invoices on time and in the correct amount is an essential way to maintain excellent relationships with freelancers and suppliers alike.

However, if you’ve noticed that your accounts payable process seems to be missing the mark when it comes to invoices?

You need to make a change — and fast.

First of all, decide when you’ll pay the invoices that are sent to you. Is the goal simply to get them paid as quickly as possible? Or, is it better to send payments at a set date?

Determine the payment method that you use. Will you write them a check, or do they prefer to get their money sent to them via systems like PayPal? And which method of payment works best for your business?

You should also make sure that you have a strong record-keeping system in place when it comes to your invoices. That way, even if something does go wrong, you’ll be able to track exactly when and how it happened.

One final piece of often-overlooked advice?

It’s simple: make sure that you have the right employees working on accounts payable.

Is now the time to create a specific accounts payable department, as opposed to assigning invoices to “whoever has time” to complete them? What short of qualifications do the people working in accounts payable have? What sort of training program have you implemented?

These are certainly all things to consider — and to speak with your team honestly about.

If you need to hire someone new, then the cost of bringing them on will likely pay for itself in the time the rest of your team members will earn back.

3. Consider a Payment Automation System

Of course, if you’re truly serious about improving your current accounts payable process, then you’re likely going to need to invest in a payment automation system.

Look for a system that allows you to make payments in a variety of currencies and payment methods. You should also decide on an option that helps you to eliminate as many rejected payments as possible.

The goal here is to find a platform that helps you through every part of the AP process — including making early payments.

Also, ensure that the payment automation system you choose helps you to keeps things secure and compliant. The right system will scan potential payees and identify potentially fraudulent or problematic companies.

Finally, make sure that you take a close look at the transaction fees of any payment automation system you use. Remember that fees are usually charged on a per-transaction basis. So, cut down on the number of individual payments if possible.

Looking to learn more about what makes a great payment automation system?

If so, be sure that you check out the Tipalti website, to learn how their platform could save up to 80% of your accounts payable team’s time.

Once you’ve implemented each of these solutions and accounts payable processes, you may finally be at zen with your personal and business finances.

Ready to Overhaul Your Accounts Payable Process?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand what it takes to truly improve your accounts payable process — and eliminate errors in the process.

Of course, tackling accounts payable is just one smart of what helps you to streamline your time at the office, and get more out of every day.

You need to ensure that you have a strong digital and print marketing strategy, that you employees feel motivated within the work environment, and much more.

Keep on coming back to our blog to score even more tips on how to take your company to even higher heights.

How to Pick the Best Business Credit Cards for Startups

You obviously know about the existence of business credit cards, and you may have even heard about the benefits they give to companies, but you’re still worried about getting one for your startup. If that’s that the case… don’t be. I’ve personally used credit cards for my business expenses for over 20 years now, and as long as you stay on top of your payments, they are perfectly fine.

Right now, you may think you’re playing it safe by avoiding the plastic, but in reality, you’re missing out on a ton of great deals that could help your business grow and become more successful.

There are a variety of credit cards that you could choose from, and each card offers their own unique trademarks that you could use to your advantage. Let’s have a look at some of the best business credit cards for startups.

The Best Business Credit Cards for Startups That You Should Use

Depending on your type of business, you can gain some serious perks to help you level up your business game. Keep reading to find out more.

Decide How Fast You’re Paying the Monthly Bill

The first thing you need to worry about is the amount of time you think you will need to take care of your monthly statements.

Some companies can pay off their fees in full every month like clockwork. Others may only be able to pay off the bare minimum in order to keep things rolling. There are cards for both types of businesses.

If you know how to make the full payment each month, you should go for a card that gives you longer grace periods and a lot of rewards so you can capitalize on all of the benefits.

Charge cards are also handy for those who always pay in full. These little guys give you the money you need, as long as you’re able to pay it off within a 30-day time frame.

If you’d rather take your time paying off the card, then get a credit card that has a low-interest rate or a 0% APR to allow you time to pay everything off without any backlash.

As for my own personal and business expenses, I’ve always been a fan of American Express, and have been a customer of theirs since 2003. You can see a few of my other preferred business credit cards for entrepreneurs and bloggers as well.

Think About Operating Costs

One of the biggest reasons (if not, the biggest) why you want a credit card is to take care of the operating costs that come with every business.

Look through the spending log and see which of your operations takes up the most of your money, and then find a card that gives you benefits directly related to those operating costs.

For example, if you spend a lot on customer service, get a card that offers bonus points on spending in this category. That way you get returns as you spend cash.

Credit Expenses

The last thing that you should be worried about when choosing a credit card is are the credit expenses.

Different cards offer different costs on their monthly and annual fees. More often than not, this is directly related to the number of benefits and perks you get from using it.

The general rule of thumb is that the more basic the card is, the less you’ll have to pay in fees, and vice versa. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to take the thrifty approach or if your business can fork the extra cash for the bonuses.

If you want to learn more about what card would suit your company best, check out this website for a list of credit card reviews and other things that could help your small business soar.

The One Stop for All Your Startup Business Needs

Now that you know about some of the best business credit cards for startups, you can make moves to grow your business! When starting to apply for different cards online, you may find better success with lower level credit options and stay away from American Express until you have a decent credit score or business history. If all of that already looks good, then apply away!

As mentioned, I’ve been making money online and helping businesses grow their reach and exposure for well over two decades now. If you ever have any questions or are in need of services, just send me an email and I’ll be sure to give you the answers that you need.