Taxes for Podcasters – 5 Things You Need To Know

So you’ve started your own podcast. What started out as a passion project has become a full-time endeavor. Your subscribers are growing and you’ve even begun fielding offers for sponsorships and advertising from brands.

And now that you’re making money, it’s time to start thinking about your tax liabilities.

Podcasting may be a relatively new profession, but that doesn’t mean that Uncle Sam won’t come for you come tax time. You are legally considered as a self-employed individual, which means you are subject to the same tax laws that apply to other jobs such as bloggers.

Unlike traditional employees (also known as W-2 employees), self-employed podcasters are expected to stay on top of their tax liabilities. It’s important that you set aside a portion of your income to cover your taxes.

We will walk you through everything you need to know about taxes for podcasters, plus tax deductions and exemptions to help you save money.

What counts as podcast income?

Any revenue that comes from your podcasting business has to be included in your federal income tax return. 

For tax purposes, income covers both monetary compensation (whether from sponsorships, partnerships, advertisements, crowdfunding, or merchandise sales) and non-monetary compensation such as goods and services. You also may need to report gifts from sponsors.

Is podcasting a business or a hobby?

It depends. Just because you make money does not automatically make your podcast a business. To answer that question, we need to look at the difference between a hobby and a business

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines a business as an entity that “operates to make a profit.” Meanwhile, hobbies are done “for sport or recreation, not to make a profit.” The IRS also looks at a list of factors such as profit motive and the way you operate to determine if your podcast is a business or a hobby.

This distinction is important because a bona fide business can deduct its expenses and claim a net loss if it isn’t profitable. But if the IRS considers your podcast as a hobby, you can only deduct up to the amount of earnings you’ve generated. You cannot deduct expenses that exceed your total income.

Do I need to track my podcast expenses?

Yes! You can’t claim tax deductions if you don’t have the records to back them up. Having accurate records can also protect you if you’ve been selected for an IRS audit.

Make it a point to track all the money you spend to produce your podcast. This includes podcast-related courses you’ve taken, advertising costs, software subscriptions, hosting and rental fees, and new equipment. If you’ve hired an independent contractor like an influencer to work on your podcast, you can claim them as a legitimate business expense as well.

You can also deduct travel expenses for live shows for events. For instance, if you’re going to a different city to record your podcast, you can deduct the cost of your meals, airfare, and lodging.

Keep all receipts (whether printed or electronic) for all podcast-related expenses and purchases. While you don’t need to attach all documentation to your tax return when claiming deductions, you have to be able to substantiate your expenses if the IRS requests it.

What podcast taxes do I need to pay?

As a general rule, the IRS considers podcasters to be self-employed individuals. But to be legally classified as self-employed, you need to earn $400 or more in a year from freelance work. You’ll need to pay your standard income taxes which are based on your tax bracket and filing status.

You also need to pay a self-employment tax rate of 15.3% to cover your social security and Medicare (FICA) contributions. Normally, employees and employers split the FICA tax. However, self-employed individuals are considered business owners by the IRS. And since you’re working for yourself, you’re on the hook for the full tax.

What podcaster tax deductions can I claim?

Podcasters can take advantage of tax deductions to reduce their tax liability. Make sure to talk to a tax professional to claim deductions on expenses that are related to your podcasting work.

For instance, if you record or produce your podcast at home, the home office deduction allows you to claim a portion of your home expenses such as your power bills, internet bills, phone bills, mortgage interest, insurance costs, and occasional repairs as a bona fide business expense. 

For instance, if your podcast studio takes up 10% of your total home space, you can potentially claim 10% of your total home bills. You will need to prepare a floor plan for your home office in case the IRS decides to pay a visit.

Other podcasting-related expenses you can claim include software subscriptions and purchases, marketing costs such as Facebook or Google ads, office supplies, new equipment (e.g. computer, microphone), and business-related meals.

Store all invoices and receipts in a secure location. If possible, record every expense in a ledger or spreadsheet to show that you mean business. Since you have no one to rely on but yourself, it’s important to maintain accurate and detailed financial records.

As a podcaster, you’re expected to keep track of your finances on top of building your online business. But if you’re new to self-employment, you may not know what to do next.

To make sure that you’re maximizing your deductions and minimizing your tax liability, contact the tax experts at TFX. You can have a phone consultation, or you can get your tax return prepared by an experienced CPA — it’s your call.

How Digital Transformation is Changing the Insurance Industry

Digital transformation has occurred across the globe in manufacturing and industrial industries. Insurance companies have been a little behind the times when it comes to technological advances, but the companies that want to be competitive in today’s market have started implementing digital business practices.

Wikipedia defines a digital transformation as a business that adopts the use of digital technology. This shift will help streamline the tasks that insurance agents have had to do by hand for years. The main benefits are like the ones that other businesses implementing digital technologies have, but slightly modified to work for specific insurance needs.

Chat

Consumers in today’s technological savvy world prefer to conduct all their business from the comforts of their home. This includes talking to agents. Even though chat bots, found on most websites, are AI driven automated programs designed to answer your basic questions, it is still possible to connect with a live person. It might still mean a phone call, but many agents are willing to communicate through email or text. 

Scalability

At one time, and even today at some locations, insurance policies have been written by filling out papers while sitting with an insurance salesperson. The process was long and drawn out. The better the salespeople were, the more benefits that a customer would get. Now, when using online platforms to apply and manage policies, such as Australian life insurance or home protection, it is set up to make it simple for you. It has also allowed the agents to scale back the information that they need to write a policy. Less information is needed, less time is spent, and more accurate contracts are written due to more personalized and ‘to the point’ application processes.

Automate Claims

A substantial change to the insurance industry comes with the ability to use digital technology to make the claims process faster and more simplified. The process for you will be automated if you ever need to file one. This means that you file for it online with a computer or mobile device. Some basic questions may be asked, and pictures may be uploaded, if applicable. The point is that you will not have to stay on hold for hours waiting to talk to an agent, and you will not have to wait forever for the claim to be approved. Unless more detailed information is needed, the claim can be typed in, analyzed by the program, and a decision made within days.

Personalization

This was touched on above, but the importance of this aspect of digital systems can not be over stressed. To put it in a simpler way, compare yourself to someone that lives in your area. Are you exactly the same? Even if you are twins with the person you choose, differences can be found. No two people are exactly alike. Policies should not be the same either. Advanced digital programs allow this to happen, while keeping the industry fast and dependable.

Digital technology, according to the Australian Department of Education, includes any type of electronic device, resource, tool, or system that can generate, process, or store data. Insurance companies that want to be profitable have started to embrace the advancements of technology, and how it can be used in their industry. 

Soon, all business transactions will have the option, or requirement, to be conducted online in the virtual world of the internet. There may always be an option to have in person appointments and live agents answering phones, but the younger generations coming up always have mobile devices on hand. When they need something, the internet becomes their best friend. Companies that adapt will continue to thrive.

How to Evolve in the World of Digital Transformation and Coming Trends

No matter what industry you might be in, there is a great chance it will be disrupted and changed as a result of the internet and how technology is changing nearly every aspect of life and business.

With this in mind, it’s always important to stay up to date on the latest trends and talking points when it comes to digital transformation and any given industry.

A great way to stay ahead of the curve, is to make sure you are continually reading up on the latest content added to the blog, as new posts are added daily. Through the use of this expert content and industry news, you will likely stay ahead of the competition, while always knowing what’s next before it actually happens.

What Does ISO Mean In The Merchant World? Find Out Here

Whether you are running a building, growing a business, or looking at launching a startup in the near future. ISO is important, and it is something that you must be thinking about, planning, and implementing as soon as possible.

With ISO merchants would struggle to look at and analyze data, they would struggle to manage payments and they would struggle to establish their place within their chosen market or audience. ISO is key for all businesses, no matter how small or large they are.

Failing to implement, or getting on board with ISO will see businesses fall behind, and unfortunately, once you have fallen behind it is very difficult to get back up and compete, let alone ahead.

More Time Getting New Merchants

As a business owner, you need time to get connected to new merchants, and you need time to reach out to others that may well be beneficial to your business.

Not getting connected to new merchants could be detrimental to your business, potentially preventing it from growing and pushing forwards. Liaising with new merchants, drumming up a new interest, and connecting with businesses and providers that you might not have even considered before is essential.

If you overlook the importance of merchants within ISO then you could see your business suffering., which is of course not what any business owner wants to see.

Able to Focus on Generating Revenue

Without revenue and with cash flow businesses, merchants and providers would gradually grind to a halt and they would cease to exist let alone be competitive within their marketplaces.

Generating revenue by knowing with avenues and leads to follow is essential. If you do not have all of the information available to hand then how can you increase and generate much-needed revenue. When you utilize ISO you open up new opportunities and new avenues, and this is what your business needs at all times.

When you are trying to grow and develop your business it is reassuring to know that you can focus on increasing and generating revenue as well as everything else you need to do, you do not need to make too many compromises to push and move forwards.

All Resources in One Place

When you are trying to advance your business and you are trying to win new customers you want to ensure that you can make this happen as easily and smoothly as possible.

If the process is tedious, or, if you have information and data that is spread all over the place, finding your way through can be stressful and counter-productive.

Using ISO CRM ensures that all of your customer data, information, and statistics are together, conveniently in one location. If you struggle to get your customer data and information together in a timely manner then the information that you hold will end up being out of date and virtually useless.

Efficiency and Organization

Organization and efficiency within a business are essential, if you do not have these two areas covered effectively then your business and ISO will be all over the place. Having ISO in place can help you collate all of your information and data together to ensure that it can be efficiently and effectively accessed. When an organization is made a priority you can ensure that you keep, collate and utilize the most important customer documents and records.

Automated – Less Physical Work Required

Who has time to do everything themselves – manually? Putting together customer data, records and information can be time-consuming, and if you do not use automated customer processes then you will find you will be burnt out trying to keep up with everything you have to do.

Physical compilation of customer records, data, and statistics is hard work and, if you can automate processes and systems why wouldn’t you?

When your business utilizes automation and processes that are highly automated you can ensure that you save time as opposed to wasting time, and as you will be aware in business time is money.

Streamlined Processes

Streamlining how your business runs and operates will allow you to focus on other areas, such as areas for improvement. ISO can help you streamline your customer operations and data, and when you have a streamlined process in place you can ensure that you are wasting valuable time and resources.

Streamlining the way your business functions and operates will help your business become even more successful, and it will allow you to focus on other avenues that you might not have had time to look at before.

Of course, streamlining operations and processes still means you have to oversee what is happening, but it does mean that less of a time requirement on your part will be required.

Maximizing and Spotting the Value With Customers

When you can analyze and utilize data you can spot things that you may have previously overlooked. Customers are essential within your business, and making sure that you are getting maximum value and return out of each customer both new and alike is important.

Both new and existing customers alike can provide your business with more income and revenue, so spotting opportunities and areas for development from key data and statistics is something that you can easily do with ISO.

Business Improvement – Clearer Focus and Areas For Improvement or Enhancement

Your business has competition, and it has both direct and in-direct competition. Improving your business can be difficult to do if you do not know where to start. With customer systems in place, and by utilizing ISO you can see within your data were areas for improvement lie.

Analyzing both business and customer data will allow you to quickly see where you can make enhancements. Enhancements can and will allow your business to go from strength to strength which will allow you to increase your market share, grow and develop. 

Having efficient and effective business processes and systems in place will ensure that your business is future-proof. The in-direct and direct competition will be constantly snapping at your heels, so you must ensure that your business is the best it can be at all times.

Qatch – The Stylist App that is Revolutionizing Online Fashion

Technology can do wonderful things. It can help you purchase a pair of shorts with a snip of your fingers. But it can also make your fingers mindlessly scroll through your phone screen for hours and hours. All this scrolling over the years has turned online fashion into one of the most lucrative businesses in the US. If you take a look at the numbers, you can find that in 2020, the US retail e-commerce revenue from the sale of fashion apparel amounted to over $110 billion.

While technological advancements have made operations smooth for the retailer’s side, consumers like you and I have to deal with the said mindless scrolling. In fact, studies have suggested that the average American spends around 5.4 hours on their phones daily. And a lot of this time is dedicated to online shopping. So how do we make wise purchases online while also reducing our screen time?

This is where Qatch comes in.

What is Qatch?

Simply put, Qatch is a subscription-based online fashion retail app. But what makes Qatch special is that it feels more or less like having your “personal stylist in your pocket”. Because unlike other apps that have dozens of pages with a million options of clothing to choose from, Qatch narrows down your feed based on your personal preferences. It sends you daily recommendations via text so that you don’t have to spend your precious time and effort looking for the perfect piece of clothing. It’s almost like having your personal online fashion platform.

About the Qatch Brand

Based in Boston, Qatch was started in 2020 and is the brainchild of two online shoppers who were frustrated with all the scrolling that made shopping boring. So sisters Nicole Phillips and Raquel Phillips decided to come up with a platform that personalizes your fashion choices for you, with inputs from experts.

The Qatch team predominantly consists of women, which gives more meaning to their working motto of inclusivity. The team consists of expert stylists from different fashion backgrounds bringing in their valuable experience from arenas like Ralph Lauren and other runway and entertainment fields. Their team also includes young interns from different technical fields, ensuring that their ideas always remain tacky and in line with the latest trends.

Qatch believes that everyone has their own idea of ‘best’ and they work towards bringing your best fashion to you. For this, they have teamed up with hundreds of fashion apparel brands that have a wide range of clothing styles that cater to numerous fashion viewpoints. Qatch then curates your smaller, personalized feed from thousands of choices. This saves you a lot of time while also giving you the best out of a broad spectrum of options.

How Qatch Works

So now that you know why Qatch is something to watch out for, let me explain the behind-the-scenes part of it.

Qatch brings you personalization directly to your inbox. The Qatch algorithm is designed to suit your preferences, based on which the app sends you apparel recommendations in the form of text messages via iMessage.

As mentioned, Qatch is a subscription-based platform and you just need to pay a small monthly fee to get started. Once you’re off the waitlist, Qatch allows you to take a Style Quiz that determines your preferences. The quiz is a great way for both you as well as the Qatch app to figure out what you like or dislike, what price ranges you’re comfortable with, which colors you prefer, whether you’re a dress person or a pants person or both, etc. Based on the choices you picked in the Style Quiz, the Qatch algorithm will find the best clothing options for you and send them to you as direct messages. It’s almost like waking up to your personal stylist messaging you style options every morning.

In case your preferences change over time, Qatch has got you covered there as well. Every time you get a recommendation on iMessage, the platform allows you to give your responses to each product. You can do this by double-tapping on the product and giving a heart, thumbs up, or thumbs down to let the algorithm know what you think. This way you get an improved batch of recommendations the next time, with a fresh and more personalized approach.

To buy a product, all you’ve got to do is to tap on the product link and you’ll be redirected to the product page, where you can check it out and make the purchase.

Why Qatch is Your Best Option

Having personalized styling recommendations sent to your inbox is quite an innovative idea that hasn’t been explored much. Qatch brings together technology and the prior experience of stylists to develop something new and treat e-commerce shopping as not just a monetary field but something that consumers feel good about.

Qatch has partnered with popular brands like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, and Neiman Marcus.

Qatch also brings together hundreds of other brands to curate clothing options that suit you the most. A lot of these brands are owned by women and people belonging to minority communities. By supporting these businesses, Qatch is also making a valid statement in a world dominated by white male capitalism. Many Qatch users have expressed their pleasure at being able to be part of such an endeavor.

As choice and elimination are heavily involved in the algorithm, it’s very likely that you can easily find a product on your recommendation that would otherwise have been on page 56 of an e-commerce website. This way, Qatch saves you a lot of time and effort, thereby making shopping a fun experience rather than a tedious task.

Conclusion

Co-founder Nicole Phillips believes that clothing is the simplest form of communication and has the power to transform your mood. Qatch taps into this transformative ability of clothing and ties it with e-commerce.

Qatch is a relatively new player in the online fashion field but has a lot of potential to turn into something much more popular. They constantly try to evolve themselves as well as the consumer’s ideas by bringing to you brands you haven’t even heard of before. They strive to keep up with the trends and make sure you get your favorite style without compromising your budget.

Bad Times for Big Tech Can Mean Good Times for Investors

Recent actions by the U.S. government don’t bode well for the big tech companies. That’s because, for the first time in many years, both political parties are on a mission to pare down both the size and power of key players in the sector, namely Amazon, Microsoft, Google (Alphabet Corporation), and Apple.

Why are political enemies teaming up on some of the biggest members of the tech sector?

The why doesn’t matter as much as the when, but the main motivator behind the politicians’ scorn seems to be a sort of universal aversion to corporations that might have grown too big or, in the eyes of the Democrat party, too successful. Regardless of the varying motivations to take down big tech, the results are almost certainly not going to buoy the stock prices of the companies in question. How can ordinary investors profit from big tech’s troubles? There are numerous ways. 

Some aim to use short-selling techniques and make direct gains from falling prices. Others take a more optimistic approach and seek to invest in companies that might do well when bit tech entities are under the regulatory gun. Here are four key things to keep in mind as the fortunes of the large technology firms get ready to face tough sledding.

Have the Right Tools

The first step to taking advantage of a market sector that’s possibly about to implode is to have the right tools. Even those new to investing and trading can get in on the action is they have reliable, easy access to speculative markets like forex, futures, CFDs, and others. For example, working with a broker who has a proven track record of customer support and using a capable trading tool like the MT4 platform are all it takes to get started.

Of course, it makes sense to have everything in place before the big news hits. What kinds of headlines and announcements are you wanting to see? Any official administration announcement of anti-trust suits being filed, congress getting ready to pass new laws that would effectively break up large tech corporations, appointment of anti-business operatives to high-level positions in the DOJ, FTC, or SEC (as has already happened during the first few months of the Biden administration), and any type of regulatory sanctions leveled against particular companies or groups of companies.

Identify Opportunities

Rather than make attempts to short the big tech stocks, consider using a more positive approach by seeking out companies that might benefit from the fall of the tech giants. It’s no secret that entities like Amazon, Microsoft and others have dozens of eager, much smaller competitors, all of whose stocks would likely experience price rises in the event of a crackdown on the major players in the sector.

Consider Day Trading

Day traders often have an ability to earn profits in upward, downward, and sideways markets. How do they do it, and what can this ability mean for those who wish to profit from big tech’s fall? Historically, corporate restructuring and breakups mean an early share price drop, a rebound, another drop, a smaller rebound, and so on. 

Each new collapse tends to be followed by a smaller but cyclical rise. Day trading strategies simply play the undulations, selling short before the drops and going long before the recoils. For traders who like to take part in daily action and use major news headlines and political trends to take small profits several times per session, day trading can be an ideal way to get involved.

Use Forex

It’s not always possible to trade foreign exchange currencies based on news about one or two corporations, unless those companies happen to be global giants with thousands of employees and outsize profits. Forex traders nearly always follow economic and government regulatory news quite closely. When a company as large as Alphabet or Apple releases a positive earnings report, the repercussions in forex markets can be huge.

The trick is waiting for bad or good news to break and watching how various national currencies respond. In the case of large, U.S.-based tech entities, bad news can have a ripple effect, so it’s hard to assume how any one national currency will be affected. The technique is about watching and waiting to see which direction your favorite forex pairs are headed and then placing trades accordingly.

For any trader, having knowledge about what is likely to happen, even a few days or weeks into the future, can represent a major opportunity for profit-making, regardless of whether the news is positive or negative.

Where to Find the Latest Tech Investing Tips Online

Whether it’s a good market or a bad one, there are always going to businesses and professionals that continue to make money in either scenario. This is why it’s always so important to make sure you have all your bases covered, and also know what new trends and industry shifts might be on the horizon.

If you enjoyed the content in this article, we highly recommend you take a look at these other investment blogs and see what the latest trends are in the world of business, tech, finance and investing today.

Are Credit Repair Companies Legitimate And Trustworthy? Find Out Here

A few spending and borrowing mistakes could impact your credit score significantly. For example, that one payment that you accidentally missed will remain in your credit report and haunt you for several years to come. In addition, a bad credit score could mean that you would have to pay a higher insurance premium, you cannot secure a cheaper loan or a credit card. 

While its impact is bad and long-standing, it does not have to be that way forever. You can take action to remedy the situation. Many people take the help of credit repair companies to fix their credit scores. But many of them are still skeptical and unsure of how credit repair companies work, their trustworthiness, and legitimacy. If these questions bother you too, don’t worry, we have all the answers.

What Is a Credit Repair Company?

Credit repair services are agencies that help you improve your credit score strategically. They guide you and act on your behalf to improve your credit repair. While most of these tasks can be done by you free of cost, hiring a credit repair company will ensure fast credit repair as they have a team of professionals who have expertise in credit repair services. 

They will be able to identify issues with your credit report, spending habits, and bill payments and then build a plan to remedy the situation for a small fee. These organizations are regulated by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) of 1996.  

Are Credit Repair Companies Legitimate?

It is legal to own, operate, or hire a credit services company. Sadly numerous fraudulent companies are posing as credit repair services and taking people for a ride. As a low credit score means higher interest rates and low borrowing capacity, most people are desperate to fix their credit reports. 

Unfortunately, in this process, they fall into the traps of fraudulent organizations. To save people from these scams, the Federal Trade Commission has come up with certain regulations under federal law to function these credit repair companies. Here are a few telltale signs that your credit repair company is authentic. A legitimate company: 

  • Does Not Promise Instant Results

Credit repair is a time-consuming process. Suppose your credit repair company promises overnight results and a drastic improvement in your credit score. That’s a red flag. Suppose a company promises you a new credit identity to help you overcome your bad credit report. They might promise you everything from a new Social Security Number to remove traces of your past expenses and spending habits. Stay wary of them and report it to the federal agencies, as engaging with these agencies could result in prison time for you.

Instead, look for a company that offers a realistic timeline on the results and explains to you the process they would undertake to fix your credit score. 

  • Does Not Ask for Upfront Payment

A legitimate service provider will charge you only for services that yield results. If the credit repair company asks you to make an upfront payment, this could be a scam. You could lose all your money, which you could have used to repay part of your dues, and end up struggling with your bad credit. If your credit repair company charges subscription fees, make sure it is for the previous month and not the upcoming one. Paying a flat-rate fee for repairing your credit is not legal or necessary. 

  • Does Not Offer to Delete Data

If there are any discrepancies in your credit report in terms of wrong information, you should take the help of your credit repair company to delete it. However, if the company offers to delete even accurate information, it shows you do not trust them in a negative light. This is illegal and not possible to do. They might try to have it deleted, but it might not always work and could flag your profile. If the company makes promises to deliver this, that’s not a service provider you should trust.

  • Offers a Written Contract

Fixing your credit score is a legal agreement that you get into with the company. So, just as in the case of any other service provider, they should offer you a contract with the terms and conditions that talk about the services to be offered, the charges, and other important clauses. If the company insists on having a verbal agreement rather than a written one to get started, it’s time to look for a new credit repair company.

You are legally allowed to take measures to repair your credit. Ask as many questions as possible, read reviews, and look for companies offering genuine consultation rather than trying to take you for a ride. Do not fall for a credit repair scam and further hurt your finances. 

Manage Your Production Better And More Efficiently With These Tips

Streamlining the production process is a top priority of every company. Your success as an organization will actually rely on how efficient your production lines are. 

Create a smooth process, and you are likely to see a better time to market while maintaining the desired quality standards. On the other extreme end, an inefficient process leads to wastage of resources on top of putting your company’s reputation on the line.

So, how do you optimize the production process? Below are a few tips to help you out with this.

Identify Obstacles In The Process

Every business should evaluate its workflow regularly to ensure no new challenges are negatively affecting the production process.

The evaluators should check for any bottlenecks that could be affecting production. Start by analyzing the employees at their different positions. Do they still have the relevant skills to undertake their duties? If not,  develop a plan to train them or reassign them to areas that fit their skills.

Move on to the resources used. Are they still relevant to the current production standards, or can you do better? Are they even in good condition?

What about the techniques you are using? Are they efficient enough to keep you competitive?

You can only improve your production process once you get and address the answers to these questions.

  1. Train Your Employees

Do not introduce new technology without training your staff. Not only does this lead to the underutilization of expensive resources, but it can also endanger the well-being of the employees on the flow.

Ensure your staff is trained every time a new technique or technology is introduced. Additionally, you should conduct refresher training every few months or annually. This maintains efficiency in the production process. It will also help you meet industry regulations on employee safety training.

  1. Invest In Good Software

Good software can increase your manufacturing process significantly. The right MRP software will boost efficiency and equipment utilization and it’ll also make it easier to communicate with the different players involved in the production process. So whether it’s sales, finance, procurement, or warehouse personnel, you’ll always know how the entire process is flowing.

Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to production software. The appropriate product will always vary depending on your activities and needs as a company. So, make sure you know what you want before shopping for a software product.

  1. Create Well-defined And Realistic Goals

A successful production process requires SMART objectives, i.e., the goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Work closely with your managers and junior staff to ensure everyone is on board with the objectives put in place. Every employee must also know the specific role they play in the entire plan.

  1. Consider Adopting Automation

Machines have helped industries increase efficiency while keeping production costs at a minimum.

Depending on the type and method of automation used, you may be able to reduce your wage bill as well. You’ll also increase production capacity, something that’s harder or expensive to achieve when using manual labor alone.

With that in mind, you should know that the initial cost of purchasing and setting up machines can be pretty expensive. Therefore, do your math and ensure the automation techniques you’re implementing have a reasonable return on investment. 

The above list is far from exhaustive. However, it covers the essentials that are more than capable of optimizing your production process. Analyze your existing process, then start implementing these tips gradually.

The Six Essential Things You Should Know In Getting A Mortgage

Many people have a dream house but only a handful step up to make this a reality. Those that do often resort to applying for a loan to be able to acquire the property that they want to have. Loans designed for property acquisition are usually referred to as a mortgage. This article lists down some essential things that you should know in getting a mortgage.

Budget

One of the primary things that you should figure out before you get a mortgage is your budget. In this case, you need to be able to determine the amount of money that you qualify for versus the amount that you can afford. When you seek the advice of a lender, he or she will most likely say that you will qualify for as much as 43% of your debt to income ratio. This simply means that the sum of all of your debt payments, including the mortgage that you will have to pay, later on, should only be 43% of your gross income.

However, you need to reflect on whether you need to borrow that big sum because you may end up with no savings after you settle all of the expenses you have to pay with the significant amount of money you borrowed. In this case, make sure to carefully calculate repayment costs that you need to settle monthly and factor that into your budget. In this way, you will be able to assess whether you will still be able to live comfortably even after making mortgage payments for the amount of money that you have borrowed. As much as possible, your housing cost should only be below 30% of your gross income as a general rule of thumb.

In addition to the amount you need to shell out initially for the acquisition of your property, you should also factor in other expenses that come with being a homeowner. For instance, you may need to have emergency savings for a new roof or a new HVAC unit as necessary. You may also need to spend on renovations, as well as exterior and interior paintings from time to time to maintain your property. Make sure to think about all of these things and factor them into your budget before you consider getting a mortgage.

Assets and Savings

Another thing that you should consider in getting a mortgage is your assets, including your savings. Like with your budget, you need to have your assets organized. The reason behind this is that you may have a lower income but you have a large number of assets and savings that you can use in making a down payment. In this case, you may even have enough to pay off your mortgage anytime or you have more disposable income to spend on housing than what is reflected in your net income. When your assets and savings are organized, then this information will be more apparent to you.

What you can do is then have a strategy for getting organized. After all, you will have to prove to the lender that you are generating sufficient income to pay off the loan eventually. Thus, you may need to gather proof of income and tax forms, as well as a multitude of other banking and personal information readily available. In this way, anytime that you will be asked for documentation, you will have no problem producing the documentation of your assets and savings.

Keep in mind that it is one thing that you have all the assets and savings that will allow you to qualify for a mortgage, another is documenting them. Thus, apart from the proof of income that you can produce, you also need to organize your bank statements. A couple of months before applying for a mortgage, make sure that you have already deposited all the necessary funds in a specific account. In this way, the money that you have in that account will be seasoned, which will eliminate the need for any explanation letters indicating the reasons why money is constantly going in and out of your account.

Down Payment

You should also figure out how much down payment you can make in getting a mortgage. Generally, the larger the sum that you can shell upfront, the smaller the principal amount that you have to borrow. As a result, the better the interest rate that you are given. For this reason, make sure that you have sufficient savings for a relatively large down payment. Additionally, when you can make a down payment of at least 20% of the value of the property that you are acquiring, then you will no longer be subjected to private mortgage insurance (PMI), which will significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

Unfortunately, most first-time homebuyers often purchase a house with a minimal down payment or even nothing at all, depending on the deals and promotions offered by real estate brokers. However, what they fail to consider is that expenses such as a mortgage, taxes, and insurance are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to homeownership. You should also factor in other expenses such as repair and maintenance costs, which can instantly deplete your savings. Thus, if you cannot afford to make a down payment that is at least 20% of the home value, then you may not be ready to acquire a property.

The good news is that there are various ways on how you will be able to save for a down payment. Just keep in mind that the more expensive the home that you are interested in is, then the bigger the down payment you have to save up for. In this case, you may want to put off purchasing a new car or making major purchases on your credit card as you are shopping for a home. If you have family members who are willing to pitch in to ramp up the down payment amount for the property you want to acquire, make sure that the money coming from them is already in your account long enough to show on at least a couple of bank statements.

Credit Score

In getting a mortgage, your credit score is one of the most important factors that can affect not only your eligibility for a loan but also the interest rate that you will need to settle together with the principal amount. This is one of the factors that lenders look into before they allow you to borrow any sum from them. The reason behind this is that your credit score reflects your ability to make repayments on your debt. For instance, if you frequently max out your credit cards, then a lender will have doubts about letting you borrow money that you can use to acquire a property. If you have a poor credit score, or worse, no credit history at all, then you may not be qualified to make a mortgage.

Nevertheless, the acceptable credit score may vary from one lender to another because most of them have their own specific set of requirements. Fortunately, you can already check your credit score ahead of time. In this modern-day and age, there are already several online channels that you can access to verify your credit score for free. In this way, you will already have a good idea of where your credit score stands.

In case you find that your credit score is unhealthy, then you may want to take immediate steps to boost them. What you can do is to talk to a professional who will be able to help you come up with a plan to improve your credit score in parallel to having to explore the steps that you need to take in buying a property. They will most likely check your credit report for any errors as well and promptly correct any issues they find with it. You can also secure a copy of your credit report because, under federal law, credit reporting agencies are required to provide you with a free copy once every year if you ask for it.

Types of Mortgages

  • Conventional Loans

You should also make an effort to learn about the different types of mortgages such as a conventional, FHA-insured, as well as a VA-guaranteed loan. Conventional loans carry no guarantee for the lender in case you fail to make a repayment. This means that if you can only afford a down payment that is less than 20% of the value of the property, then you need to pay for a PMI. In this way, if the loan is the default, then the mortgage insurance company will be able to settle the loan to the lender in full.

Conventional loans are further categorized into two, namely the conforming and conforming loans. If you have good credit and a steady source of income, then you can get a conventional conforming loan. This is in addition to your ability to afford to make a down payment.

  • FHA-insured Loans

FHA-insured loans are those that are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration. In this case, if you default on the loan, and the worth of your property is insufficient to fully repay the debt you owe through a foreclosure sale, then the FHA will be the one to pay the lender in full. Because of the insurance that the FHA offers, lenders can offer you better loan terms. However, you may be required to pay a mortgage insurance premium as part of the loan.

  • VA-guaranteed Loans

There is also a VA-guaranteed loan that is secured by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, this type of loan is only available for certain types of borrowers such as current members of the US armed forces, as well as veterans. Reservists or national guard members, as well as their eligible surviving spouses, are also qualified for a VA-guaranteed loan.

  • Loan Term

Aside from the type of loan, you also need to consider the loan term. For instance, not everyone is willing to endure a 30-year mortgage even if it is one of the most popular loan terms, especially for first-time homebuyers. In this case, you may deem that a 15-year fixed mortgage is more suitable for you and your family based on your budget and savings. To figure out the best loan term for you, make sure that you take the time to research and explore your options.

Pre-qualification Process and Documentation

Finally, you need to be aware of the pre-qualification process and the documentation required in getting a mortgage. The reason behind this is that even if you think that you can afford to borrow a specific amount of money, the lender may not readily agree with you. In this case, what you can do is to get pre-qualified for you to gain good insight on how much you will be allowed to borrow.

To get through with the pre-qualification process, you may be required to supply certain information about yourself to the lender. Some of the things that you may need to share include sensitive data about your assets, income, and debts. Based on this information, the lender will be able to provide you with an estimated amount that you can borrow.

However, they won’t be able to guarantee that the amount they estimated will be approved but at least, you will be in a better position to make more informed decisions as you shop for a new home.

Some of the things that you should know in getting a mortgage include those listed above. You need to carefully think about the impact of each of these factors in your mortgage application. For instance, your budget, assets, and savings will dictate how much you can borrow while the down payment you can make, as well as your credit score, can affect the interest rate of your loan. You should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of mortgages, as well as the pre-qualification process and documentation because all these are geared towards ensuring that you get the home loan that suits your needs.

 

Can You Make a Profit Day Trading in a Short Period of Time?

With the rise of the internet and the technological ease of online trading, every individual now can become an investor. Gone are the days when trading in the stock market was the option for only those who worked in big financial institutions, brokerage firms, or trading houses. 

As long as you play it by the rules, Day trading can turn out to be a great source of consistent income for you or even a passive income while you hold on to your day job. With a good and well-prepared strategy, even a novice can overcome the challenges of Day trading. However, if not studied well, even the most experts trader can hit a rough patch and experience a loss.

Day trading involves buying and selling stocks in a very short period of time. It could be within minutes to hours but not for days. Even experienced day traders only spend a few hours a day trading each day. The rest of the time is taken to practice and prepare for future trading.  It’s an attempt to make profits by taking into consideration small price rises in the stock market. 

How Does It Work For You?

Day trading requires an in-depth understanding of how the market worlds, significant risks along with devising short-term profit strategies. Despite the challenges that one has to overcome to become good at day trading, it does have some exceptional benefits like:

  • You can be your own boss and choose to work exactly the way you want to. 
  • You can choose the hours you want to work with fitting it comfortably around your other commitments.
  • All you need to get started is a computer, the internet, and a small capital investment.
  • You can do it from the comfort of your home, laying on the beach, or even from your bed.

With the growing number of Day traders in the world, you can be assured that trading is a good option for everyone. However, the success of day trading completely depends on your commitment and working style. By choosing to Learn more about day trading and utilizing the tips mentioned, you too could be a successful day trader with a consistent income. 

Can You Make More Money From Day Trading?

Anyone well known to the Trading market will tell you that it is one place that if you are careful, you can make a fortune and on the other hand if you are careless you can lose money faster than you know it.

There are a few rules to be followed if you want to make a profit from Day Trading:

  1. Start with a small amount of capital money with a set time set aside dedicated to trading. Focus more odeon the process than making a profit or loss. Once you have formed a strategy that works for you, you can invest more without the worry about how it will work.
  2. Connect with other day traders and share information on your progress while keeping an open mind on their approaches too. Continually learning from other traders may even help you upgrade your own plan and progress. 
  3. Too many inexperienced or movie traders give up too soon. Their ambitions to get rich quickly are what stops them from going further. Getting disheartened from small losses or mistakes in the initial time period too can be a roadblock. One needs to put in consistent time and effort to succeed.
  4. Getting greedy is inevitable when you make some money. However, if you succumb to it, chances are you will suffer. With the market being so volatile, it is better to close your transactions by the end of the day and start anew the next day. 
  5. Keep up to date with the market trends. Utilize time not spent trading to equip yourselves with as many sources of information to jot down your strategy. In the small time that the market for certain stocks is open, you will need to make good decisions regarding it so as not to hurt your profits. 
  6. Condition your mind to handle stress. Trading daily and that too sometimes against professionals in the market can be stressful. So find some activities that can calm you and keep your spirits up. 

How to Consistently Make Money in the Stock Market in 2021

The final word is to have a set goal and discipline to day trade successfully. Making more money from earning profits is an automatic response for every individual. However, some just enjoy day reading as a hobby and don’t step up their game.

While there are more, who make their profits and enjoy the profits by traveling or buying themselves luxurious gifts. Spending the profits is a personal choice for every person. Earning through day trade though has one principle – The goal to succeed.

4 Ways to Start a Weed Business During the Legalization of Marijuana

No matter where you go, CBD and smoke shops tend to be all over the place. With sweeping legalization of marijuana and CBD now quickly going into affect across the country, right now might be a great time for you to focus your efforts on this global trillion dollar industry.

The good news is, there are plenty of ways to start or promote such a business without the need to actually grow or sell physical marijuana or CBD products.

With this in mind, today we will be highlighting three different ways you can start taking advantage of the situation at hand.

1 – Create a Marijuana Resource Guide for Those In Need

First thing first, with CBD, weed and marijuana benefits now getting more attention than ever before, more people are heading to Google and social media to see what they can find out — versus going to a local dispensary or doctor first.

This means there is a huge demand for high-quality marijuana and CBD resource sites.

A perfect example of this can be seen in this weed delivery services in Boston article. Not only does the site make it easy to find such delivery options in that specific city, but they also break down such services in different states across the country.

The benefit for having such a site, is that it provides value to an audience, while also being extremely useful for the businesses, brands and dispensaries that deliver such products — which ultimately leaves a lot of monetization options on the table for the site owner.

2 – Start a CBD and Dispensary Directory for Local Businesses

In addition to creating an online resource website or blog, another option is to open your own directory. In previous years, this would have likely been a huge pain to set up, but now with SaaS platforms in place, it’s easier said than done.

You can see a live working example of such a directory, at CBD Hemp Finder, which currently lists thousands of locations across the country for the buying of CBD and hemp related products — again, all without needing to sell anything on their own.

While there are many similar benefits to launching a CBD/weed directory in comparison to a resource site, there is also less manual work and writing on your part — as the ability is there for smoke shops, dispensaries and health stores to add their own listings and manage their content.

Once again, the real business model and value here is making the information and content easily accessible for those looking for it. And through the use of paid listings, upgrades, affiliate marketing and more, the sites are able to generate revenue in the process.

3 – Launch a Weed/CBD Advertising Agency

Another excellent way to make money in the business of marijuana without actually needing to grow or sell any of the product, is to cater to the needs of the many businesses and sellers already in it.

If you have a marketing background or an agency in place, the opportunities in setting one up strictly for those businesses can be use.

HempireSEO is a great example of a brand that was able to make the shift from a normal SEO agency, to branching off and focusing strictly on weed and CBD clients.

With more people now searching for such products and information online, the demand for ranking higher and attracting new audiences is also higher than ever.

So how can one start an SEO agency of their own focused specifically on this industry? Simple… if you know enough about how SEO works and have the necessary resource in place, launch a new site and brand and then perform the required outreach to gain new clients.

4 – Become an Authority and Expert within the Industry

The common theme across all of these methods being highlighted today, is the power of information and providing it to an audience that is greatly in need.

In the last example of how you can start a business or brand through the use of providing audiences with the most value possible, it’s all about becoming an authority and trusted brand within your niche.

Outside of Google, where are people going when they need information? It’s usually YouTube and social media — which is the perfect segue into our next examples of influencers changing the market.

What was once a banned topic, is now one of the hottest and fastest growing markets on YouTube today. With thousands of high traffic YouTube Cannabis Channels now in place, more will surely come in the future — however, those who have been putting in the time, work and effort to continually create content and grow their followings, are now the industry experts and influencers of today.

And when it comes to revenue options, it’s not just about YouTube video ads. Instead, these influencers are getting paid big bucks to create video content, work with sponsored placements, and sometimes even getting annual sponsorships and paid contracts for media placements and content outside of YouTube.

With Google being the largest search engine in the world and YouTube being the largest video search engine in the world, if you are doing any type of video content — this is simply a no brainer.

How to Make the Most Out of the Early Days of Legalization

With 2021 only getting started and new regulations coming into effect daily on the legal use of marijuana and CBD, the industry will only continue to grow day in and day out.

If you are currently on the sidelines and wondering how you can start making money in this industry, and terrified with the idea of being a grower or opening your own store location, these four ideas and working methods might be perfect for you.

As with all business opportunities, it’s important to not only research the industry beforehand, but to also have an action plan in place as well.

Be sure to skim through each of the listed ideas and opportunities and see which best fit your existing expertise and services in place. If you are already well versed in multiple areas of content creation and online marketing, you may way to implement each of these methods by starting your own agency.