3 Tips to Avoid Cabin Fever as a Remote Worker

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are requiring employees to work from home.

With no end in sight to the pandemic, and no clear path back to normal office life, workers have begun to accept working from home as the new norm.

While some employees may see this new style of working from home as a benefit, others are struggling to cope with distractions, lack of structure and the difficulty of managing their schedules.

Keeping Regular Work Hours

Without an office it can be hard for remote employees to separate work life from their social life.

It is vital for workers to designate specific hours to their work day as well as specific hours to their social life in order to not burn out.

By keeping a regular work schedule, it is much easier for employees to have a clear understanding of when they will be working and when they will be socializing with family and friends.

Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday

Waking up, eating and taking breaks at the same time as well as starting and finishing your workday at the same time everyday is crucial to helping workers stay on task and on schedule to complete necessary work.

Studies have proven, people who wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday get a better night’s sleep and are therefore more well rested and energized to perform their daily tasks.

For traditional 9am-5pm office workers, taking 7 to 8 breaks a day or roughly a break every hour is best to increase a workers focus and efficiency.

When to Work

While boss’s sometimes expect employees to be at the top of their game at all moments of the workday, this expectation is simply unrealistic.

It is difficult for workers to avoid having too much flexibility and therefore they should try to become more accountable to their company.

Depending on the job, workers probably need to make themselves available to their boss and co-workers certain hours of the day, however this does not mean you need to stick to the 9am-5pm normal work day.

Figure out when you are needed by your company and then consider when you are able to work most productively.

Possibly you enjoy working out or playing with your children in the early afternoon to clear your mind and prefer to resume working at night time.

Whatever your schedule preferences, be sure to pick a time slot to work when you are most at your most productive.

Moving your work environment from an office to your home can be a difficult transition, but as long as you focus on keeping a regular schedule, this adjustment to your work life should be significantly easier.

Remember to get enough rest, go to bed at the same time each day and to take breaks throughout the workday.

Maintaining focus and a healthy work/life balance to be will be the key to being a successful, productive and efficient worker.

About the Author

Russell Barneson is a real estate investor from California and runs his own vacation rental business. He is passionate about real estate investing, personal finance and productivity. He writes The Hard Money Blog and is head of marketing at Crescent Lenders. In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, watching the NFL and drinking a few beers.

Tips for Supporting Your Sales Staff

Business owners and managers who rely on the efforts of their sales staff to generate revenue need to do everything reasonably possible to equip them for success. Helping your staff save time, connect with customers more easily, and stay connected with you and their colleagues will position them to do their best quality work. Here are some tips about what you can do to help your team complete more sales and excel in their individual job roles.

Facilitate Easy Connections With Leads and Customers

It should be relatively simple for your staff to hone in on their most promising leads. You should choose a customer relationship management platform that makes it easy for staff to filter their leads by several different elements rather than looking up individual’s names or chronological histories.

Phone system and salesforce integration can make reaching out to leads and customers over the phone almost effortless. Also, it helps your team members keep close track of their contact history so they can easily view a record of when they were last in touch with someone.

Train Your Team Thoroughly

Staff training initiatives should extend well beyond an employee’s initial training period. You should have regular meetings with your staff to keep them updated about what’s happening within the team as well as company-wide directives and changes about products or services. Your staff needs a strong command of every facet of your operations in order to inspire confidence in your customers. Training is the most effective way of ensuring that people stay current with the information that they need in order to close sales and shape positive customer experiences.

In addition to company-specific training topics, you should also allocate some training time to general sales skills. Negotiations skills, for example, will enable your team to communicate more effectively and improve their individual sales percentages.

Offer Employees Flexibility With Their Schedules

You may find that you’re able to help employees improve their performance when you give them some freedom in making their own schedules. If you operate a physical location that needs to be staffed at certain hours, it’s understandable that you may have some constraints with staffing requirements. However, to the extent that you can, giving people a little leeway in making their own hours so long as they reach a certain minimum threshold criteria can help people feel more in charge of their own success. Moreover, when they’re at work, they’ll be better able to keep their attention on work rather than distractions from home life that can affect the quality of their performance.

Giving people the option to work from home may also be a good strategy to improve productivity. When people are in an environment where they feel the most comfortable, they can interact with customers in a way that’s personable and confident.

It’s essential that you stay engaged with your team and give them the tools that they need to use time well and make a positive impression on customers. Ultimately, the work that you put into supporting your sales staff will create considerable returns on your company’s sales volume.

A Georgia Business Owner’s Guide to Workers’ Compensation Insurance

New business owners have many responsibilities, and purchasing the proper insurance policies is paramount for the future of the business. While other forms of business insurance are optional, most businesses legally have to carry workers’ compensation. Because state legislatures, not the federal government, sets rules and regulations for workers’ comp, it’s imperative to know your state-specific laws.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Benefits

Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs if an employee suffers from a workplace injury or contracts an occupational illness.

If an injury occurs, it entitles the worker to weekly income benefits if they cannot work for over seven days. These benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly income but cannot exceed $675 a week. How long benefits last depend on the severity of the injury, but Georgia does offer lifetime benefits for catastrophic injuries.

Coverage Requirements Under Georgia Law

Under state workers’ compensation law, all businesses that have more than three employees must have workers’ compensation in Georgia, with the exception of railroad carriers, government agencies, farmworkers, and domestic workers.

In Georgia, corporate officers and limited liability company (LLC) members are considered employees, though up to five of these officers or members can apply for an exemption. However, the officers and LLC members still count towards the three or more employees. Workers’ compensation insurance also covers part-time employees, as long as they work regularly.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Oversight

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation is the official board that oversees workers’ compensation claims and ensures fair resolution to disputed claims. The board encourages workplace health and safety and helps employees return to work after an injury.

Georgia law holds business owners who do not carry compensation insurance accountable for civil penalties and criminal penalties, if applicable. Employers may have to pay between $100 and $1,000 per violation. If found guilty of willfully neglecting to maintain workers’ comp insurance coverage (a misdemeanor), and an employer can face a fine of up to $10,000 and up to one year of jail time.

Industry Classification

In Georgia, insurance providers use the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) codes for industry classification. These codes are designed to account for the level of injury or illness risk associated with each industry.

Insurance companies use these codes to determine a client’s premium. To set the cost of a workers’ compensation policy, insurers use the following equation:

Payroll/$100 x Class Code Rate x Experience Modifier + Taxes & Fees = Premium

Ensuring You Have Quality Insurance

Finding the right insurance policy can be a daunting task, especially for new business owners. In Georgia, employers can purchase a workers’ compensation policy from a private insurance company, but Georgia does not have a state fund for workers’ compensation. However, eligible employers can apply for self-insurance, and the NCCI administers the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Assigned Risk Plan.

There is a lot of research involved when trying to find an insurance provider with the best rates and coverage based on your company’s unique needs. To make the insurance search easier, employers can:

  • Work with an Insurance Agent– New business owners should consider working with an insurance agent who can educate them about insurance law, show them their policy options, and provide insight into their employees’ benefits.
  • Request Numerous Quotes– When shopping around for a workers’ comp policy, be sure to request quotes from numerous companies; don’t settle for the first insurer that accepts you.
  • Look for Additional Services– An insurance company’s services shouldn’t be limited to just writing your policy. As you research workers’ comp providers, look for conveniences like an online portal. You may also want to choose a provider that offers other forms of insurance your business needs. Working with the same insurer for multiple policies can simplify the insurance process.

Workers’ Compensation Matters

Having workers’ compensation insurance is more than just a legal responsibility—it’s a means for taking care of your employees. With a policy from a trusted insurance provider, you can rest assured that your employees will receive quality care and fair compensation should an illness or injury occur.

Powerful Marketing Tools to Supercharge Your Business Strategy

In an age where everything is online and businesses operate across borders, marketing is the most important factor contributing to the success of any company. The internet has helped businesses all over the world expand and grow, reaching more people and generating more profits. Yet, it also made the competition a lot fiercer, and more players in every field keep emerging by the day. This is why marketing is the key to the success of any business because it shows the world that you offer better products and services. These are some powerful marketing tools to improve your business strategy.

Email Marketing 

This is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools that many businesses make the mistake of neglecting. It can generate a ton of leads for your company and many of them will be clients, if you select the right mailing list. You need to invest in an email marketing strategy because it is one that works for many reasons: it is personal, catering to people’s needs and interests. It is also easily accessible, and a person wouldn’t necessarily skip an email in their inbox as they would a random ad they came across online. 

You can use tools like MailChimp, which is one of the oldest players in the email marketing game. They have been around for quite some time and can help you automate the entire process and establish a powerful presence online through your email marketing strategy.

Direct Mailing 

Believe it or not, it is not just emails that can do wonders for your business, but direct mailing as well. A lot of people think this is a bygone strategy, but many actually still care about direct mail and it can prompt them to try your services or products if you play your cards right. It is a much-targeted approach that directly speaks to your target audience, and its results are much easier to track and analyze. So, try it out. Invest in sending some catalogs, brochures, and flyers about your service/products. You could also send your mailing list notifications about sales and offers to encourage them to reach out.

Some companies even find a way to send product samples to some clients, without compromising the budget for marketing. It might be a smarter idea to offer free samples or services to those who respond to your direct mail. This is why it often proves to be quite a successful marketing tool that could help you reach a lot of people and generate leads.

Backlinking 

Returning to the online world, backlinking is one of the most important strategies of search engine optimization techniques. This is when you build links on other websites and blogs that would direct users to yours. This is why it is crucial that you have an SEO link strategy that could direct a lot of online users to your website. This serves your marketing efforts in more ways than you could imagine. 

When people stumble upon links of a website in a blog post or on another website, they automatically assume that this is a trustworthy company because others refer to it. This helps you earn users’ trust and establish credibility before you even sell anything.

It is important though that you backlink naturally and avoid shady websites. Some companies try to place their links on shady websites and use unethical approaches so they could rank higher in search engine results, which never works. Google often finds out and your ranking takes a beating. So, make sure it happens naturally and deal only with reputable websites and blogs.

Social Media 

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools that every business needs to leverage if it wants to succeed. If someone looks up your company on Facebook and finds out that the last post dates back to 2017, chances are they will never deal with your company and would even forget about you in a few minutes. 

Social media platforms helped companies establish authority and credibility, not to mention connect with their followers and understand consumers. It is imperative that you leverage such platforms in your marketing strategy because they are just as important as search engine optimization.

Create pages and profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and make sure you are always posting. You need your brand to be always active and relevant in people’s minds, which means they need to see a post of yours whenever the check the homepage of any of those platforms. This will also help you connect to those followers and see if they have any comments or feedback that could help you improve your product/service.

Google Analytics 

If your business isn’t already using Google Analytics, this is a problem that you need to address immediately. This is a free tool from Google and it is one of their best for businesses of any size. It gives you the ability to track visitors’ activity on your website and understand how the traffic is doing on your pages. You get to understand what kind of demographics you are attracting –– which is crucial so you could compare it to your target audience –– in addition to a lot of details about those people clicking on your website. 

This will help you adjust your future marketing strategies so you could increase sales or reach a different demographic from the one you’re getting right now. In short, this tool provides you with data that can help your business grow if you know what you’re doing.

This was just a sample of the tools you need to boost your marketing strategies and reach more people. These aren’t just optional approaches that you could choose to ignore. 

From social media to SEO, each one of those tools can be your guide to becoming the next big company in your field. As we mentioned earlier, it is all about marketing in the business world. If you do it right, people will buy your product and know your brand, and success would be inevitable. If you don’t, your brand will be forgotten and your name will never be known. 

 

What Are The Safest Ways to Easily Get a Business Loan

Taking care of your finances can be a little tricky, especially if you’re a business owner and you want to fund your daily tasks and projects. Most companies apply for loans as a way to get their finances in order. But many business owners don’t understand the system and they’re not familiar with the best and safest loans. Read on to learn more about the safe ways to get a business loan.

Understand the Purpose 

You should first understand the purpose of your business loan. It’s important to give you comfort and clarity as to why you need the loan. You need to come up with legitimate reasons behind your need for a loan. When you realize the difference between starting a business from scratch and working on a big project, then you’ll know how much funding you will need. Whether it’s for an expansion in different areas, for better equipment, or more opportunities. You will feel safe and assured that you are getting a business loan for a good cause and any interest will be worth the cost.

Research the Types of Loans

You must research the types of loans available to you to understand which type is suitable for your needs. You can’t afford to apply for a loan that won’t be of much help for you. This is why you need to familiarize yourself with most types. Whether you go for invoice factoring, equipment financing, microloans, lines of credit, or even merchant cash advances. The business financing specialists at https://www.nav.com/business-financing-options/merchant-cash-advance/ suggest that you apply for merchant cash advances only if you’re capable of repaying the funds with a specific percentage of your company’s sales. This means that if you aren’t prepared to meet the requirements for each loan type, then you’re going to have a difficult time paying it back. Stay safe and make sure you choose the right type of business loan that has easy requirements.

Have a Decent Credit Score

It wouldn’t hurt to have a decent credit score to easily get a good business loan. Your chances of getting approved for a loan are much higher when your company has a good credit score. You need to follow the effective ways of improving your credit score to ensure that you don’t have a difficult time with lenders or credit unions. The main focus should be paying your debts on time a lot more frequently. You can’t afford to miss a deadline or not pay at all. Also, you could open a new line of credit and not use it. This will make your scores look good over time and you’ll get the best loans with the lowest interest rates from banks and credit unions.

There is nothing wrong with businesses that apply for loans. You need to understand that loans can help your company grow. You can’t land good deals or start big commercial projects without the necessary funding for them. If you learn how to effectively get approved for loans, then your business can thrive and stand out amongst your competitors. Following these safe steps can help you get all the business loans you need.

What Is Know Your Business (KYB)?

In order to stop fraud and curb organized crime’s money flow, mandatory KYC compliances were put in place. These practically force the financial firms to use a system that is capable of verifying information about the identity of every single customer.

The process of KYB (know or knowing your business) involves several different practices that respect regulatory rules set by the GDPR, 4AMLD, PSD2, and others.

Know Your Business – Definition

Every single merchant acquirer, payment company, or financial institution that deals with transfers of money has to KYB-check companies whenever business is done. This includes the verification of business licenses, company registration, and even director identity.

KYB involves various different requirements, ranging from simple ones like date of birth and addresses to complex ones like bank statements. Extra checks might be needed against PEP Adverse Media, and sanctions public lists. The requirements and checks needed by the KYB system are dictated by suspicious reports, country, value of transaction, and nature of business.

Stakeholder and owner identity are checked with the use of automated AML systems and public registers.

The Impact Of KYB

When non-compliance appears, there are huge risks that the business is exposed to terror financing and money laundering activities. Also, when due diligence is not in place, the integrity of the brand can easily be damaged, which leads to lower profits and penalties issued by the authorities.

The Automated KYB System

KYB involves knowing the identity of the business owner and identifying it whenever necessary. This is a time-consuming process when handled manually. Disclosure requirements vary from one jurisdiction to the next so in many cases the process can be cumbersome. Firms that want to be compliant and handle the process faster take advantage of eIDV (electronic identity verification). This automates the entire verification process.

Seamless EDD was created by the need brought forth by the current complex regulatory environment. KYB compliance becomes reality through real-time data verification combined with searches on directors, ID documents, beneficial owners, and companies. These are systems that offer an analysis of names and identities for directors and owners.

The data that is used to verify identity is pulled from different sources, like:

  • Global corporate registries
  • Sanctions databases
  • Global PEP databases
  • Public records
  • Government registers

Besides the checks that are done when a business partnership is established with another entity, KYB also involves ongoing monitoring, which is handled through automated alerts and checks. An API allows fast and easy integration so that information can be retrieved as soon as possible. Then, information is shared with the appropriate parties. When signs of potential problems are detected, the account is flagged. This usually involves a future manual review.

Final Thoughts

KYB is nowadays necessary for both parties involved in a transaction. Laws have to be respected and it is vital that the system checks money involved in transactions to reduce the possibility that criminals use the services of third parties to launder money. To sum up, KYB is both mandatory and beneficial whenever it is required by law.

Diesel Generator- what to consider before you buy one?

Diesel generators are quite popular for their efficiency to supply backup power. It consists of two primary parts, an alternator, and an engine. Generally, the locations with longer power cuts make use of diesel generators to maintain the power supply in the hour of need.

Even with the development at pace, there are some locations over the world where power cuts bother people, and they need something to cope up with the emergencies that may arise. For such emergency situations, there are numerous diesel generators available in the market worldwide in different sizes, designs, and models varying with the purpose.

Generally, there are three bases to differ: site of the requirement (industrial or residential), input requirement (air-cooled or water-cooled), and the power output. Industrial generators are large in size, provide more power as opposed to the residential generators which are small in size and comparatively generate quite a low amount of power. Air-cooled generators need nothing more than air to cool the internal systems and prevent overheating while the water-cooled generators need a regular supply of water to cool and hence require higher maintenance. There are generators with a power output of as low as 3 kVA while there are even the ones with 200 kVA, and even more. They are used accordingly as per the requirement.

Now, what facts does one consider before they buy a diesel generator? Here are a few that might come in handy:

Phase

Diesel generators are of two types in terms of phase; single-phase generator or a three-phase generator. Single-phase generators are generally meant to be used for residential purpose while the three-phased one for industrial use. The reason why households prefer single-phase generators is that they generate a reasonable amount of high voltage power at an efficient cost. Whereas, industries require a huge amount of power supply to keep the heavy machinery working and hence prefer three-phase generators.

Power

There are diesel generators ranging from 2.5 kVA to above 2000kVA which can be used by industries/enterprises/households depending upon the use and power requirements. Households might only need about 5kVA in the times of power cut while the industries will need generators with high power output to support the heavy machinery.

Control systems

As efficient a person/enterprise may need a diesel generator to be, they can buy one easily. There are diesel generators in the market that automatically transfer the power every time there’s a power cut, and some even display the need for fuel or any other change in the system.

Power management systems

If a diesel generator is efficient enough to display a requirement of action, power management systems try to cope up with it. It optimizes the fuel consumption by the generator and ensures an effective performance as per the requirement.

Fuel consumption

If a household requires a generator, they generally opt for the ones that cost less. The main cost of generators adds up in fuel consumption. When a generator is picked up carefully according to its per hour average of consumption, per kVA, and the efficiency that it provides with the given load, they seem to serve the purpose better. For example, if you click here you may find different options that can meet the required power output. Usually, for home utilities, power outputs more than 5kVA are not used.

Portability

A home requires dusting all the time, and hence they cannot afford to have one generator placed in a spot forever. This is why they choose portable diesel generators for residential purposes. Whereas, industries or factories might be okay with the ones who never need to be moved and hence would buy a non-portable diesel generator any day. This is how one may decide if they need a portable generator or not.

Size

This is one of the most important factors to be considered while choosing a diesel generator. The area that a generator might cover should be considered precisely for convenience. For residential purposes as an example, there can not be a huge generator while industries can cope with them easily. Also, the size usually varies with the power and load too.

Noise

Where does the generator need to be placed? Is it in the house? Is it in a factory? It matters a lot as the noise can be cacophonous and even harm the people in close proximity sometimes. Hence, if a generator is supposed to be placed at home, it should be taken care of to not produce much noise while it might not be a problem in a factory where machines do make noises all the time.

How to Earn Extra Money With a Cloth Diaper Service

Is laundry your favorite household chore? Do you want to help the environment? If you answered yes to these questions, then a cloth diaper service run from your home may be the perfect answer to your financial problems. This article will explain the basics of this unique business and how to get started earning extra income.

Understanding Cloth Diapers

Why would someone choose cloth over disposable diapers?

  • Babies have sensitive skin and many cannot tolerate the chemicals in disposable diapers
  • Cloth diapers feel wetter than disposables and thus help older babies with toilet training
  • Disposable diapers take a whopping 500 years to decompose
  • Parents don’t have to worry about running out of cloth diapers during times of crisis

Using a Cloth Diaper Service

A client subscribed to a cloth diaper service is given a week’s worth of clean, folded diapers to use. She is also given a laundry bag to place the diapers in when dirty. Once per week, the bag of dirty diapers is placed on the front porch, is picked up by the diaper service, and is replaced with another set of fresh clean diapers for the week.

Purchasing Equipment

To start a diaper service, you, of course, will need diapers. These can be bought in bulk from various diaper supply companies. You also will need a good washing machine and dryer. If you are considering a small business loan to make these initial purchases, then you may first need to investigate various credit solutions NJ to be sure you are eligible.

Researching the Competition

An important step in starting any new business venture is to determine how many competitors may be offering the same service. Use the Internet to research other diaper services in your area. Unless you live in California, chances are good that this niche may be wide open in your community.

Advertising Your New Business

Once you have all the equipment you need, let new parents know that you are available. Consider some of the following places to advertise:

  • Birthing centers and hospitals
  • Bulletin boards at stores that sell baby clothes and furniture
  • Online auction and sales platforms
  • Social media

A cloth diaper service is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Your new clients can enjoy the benefits of cloth diapers without having to wash them, the babies can enjoy the diapers, and you can enjoy an environmentally friendly way to make money from home.

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