Tips for Improving Business Presentations

Most business professionals will find themselves giving a presentation at some point in their careers. For some, presentations are a routine experience. Whether it’s a one-off experience or done on a regular basis, giving a business presentation requires the ability to successfully share insights and information to an audience of people. Failing to do so can result in time wasted, lost sales, or worse.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve the potential of business presentations: 

Tell a story

The best way to keep an audience engaged in what you’re saying is to tell them a story. More importantly, it’s got to be an interesting story. Take a look at the information you’re presenting and identify the main characters, the conflict, and how the two interact. Make that the focus of your presentation. What’s more, take the audience on a journey from point A to point B, wherein the characters have undergone change and transition. Introduce problems and provide solutions for solving them. Storytelling is a timeless method of making people interested in what you have to say, making it a go-to technique for transforming a presentation into an adventure.

Show instead of tell

Most people assume a good presentation hinges on what they have to say. However, more emphasis should be put on what they show their audience. For example, rather than explain how a competitor’s website is better optimized for sales, use a capture web page tool to have it available to view when you need it. By accessing the site pages during your presentation, you’re able to show your audience exactly what you’re trying to get across. The findings can be supplemented by your narration, rather than the other way around.

Take advantage of technology

Storytelling has often benefited from advances in technology. For example, the development of photography ushered in the age of motion pictures, which remains the premier method of telling stories to modern audiences. With this in mind, harness the power of technology for your presentation. While your budget probably doesn’t have room for movie production, consider whiteboard animation as a means of providing your audience with a fun little video showcasing the story you’re trying to tell them.

Know your audience

The best live performers are those who can read their audience and act accordingly. What works for one group of people might not succeed with another. Use this to your advantage when preparing your presentation. Does the audience consist of coworkers who know you personally? If so, feel free to insert inside jokes into your presentation. Is it going to be executives from out-of-town? If so, you might want to stick to family-friendly forms of breaking the ice.

Prepare to answer questions

Many people tasked with giving a business presentation make it their mission to explain everything they can, in order to prevent members of the audience from having to ask questions. Not only is this impractical, but it also inhibits an organic form of audience engagement that presenters can use to their advantage. Rather than try and cover every base, engineer your presentation to lead to specific questions, and prepare your answers ahead of time. In the event nobody asks the questions you planned to answer, include the information as a postscript afterthought before concluding your presentation.

Presentations are the fact of life for most business professionals. Even if they’re only an occasional responsibility of yours, the stakes involved typically call for giving it your best. By taking steps to improve the power of your presentation, you’re more likely to reach the goal you’ve set out to achieve.

4 Jobs that Allow You to Make Your Own Schedule

Sometimes you don’t want a typical 9-5 job. Even with modern HR departments and their fancy—and admittedly highly effective—HR platforms, you might not want to deal with the stress of the classic hiring process. All those phone calls, interviews, and drug tests. 

You would like the freedom to pursue your own passions and your life outside of work, but also want work that is fulfilling. Maybe you pursue another passion part-time and need job flexibility. No worries, there are many different kinds of work that allow you to create a schedule outside of the standard work-day that works for you. 

Here is a list of 4 jobs that allow you to make your own schedule. 

Freelance Writer

If you have strong writing skills, and a background in marketing or another specific field, you may want to consider being a freelance writer. Many marketing companies look for a content writer to help them write articles for their clients. Most articles are 500-700 words, and marketing companies typically pay per article. Or, you could even ghostwrite. People often look for others to help write articles, blogs, memoirs, or other content. 

Freelance writing is wonderful because you can write at any time, at any place so long as you meet the deadline. You can look up writing gigs on Craigslist under the writing category to find a gig that best suits your creative and financial needs. 

Eyelash Technician

If you are interested in aesthetics and helping people look their best, you might consider training to be an eyelash technician through an eyelash extension course. Many courses offer eyelash technician courses online, or in-person. Search for some eyelash technician classes near you. Typically, in-person courses will be available in most big cities. 

However, if there are no available in-person courses, considering looking at eyelash technician certification online. You have plenty of options for helping others feel their personal best. This is also true for those who are extremely detail-oriented and enjoy scheduling their own lives. 

Private Tutor

Consider private tutoring if you feel confident in a certain academic subject, music, and the like. You can become a private tutor through some kind of studio or academy, or you can freelance private tutor. The hours are extremely flexible, as you get to decide when, and how, you work. Try reaching out to people with children still in school, who need help in a particular subject such as history or math. Or, consider your own personal talents and see what niche markets there may be to educate others–all for pay. 

Dog Walker

If you have a love for animals and light exercise, why not consider being a dog walker? You can look at dog walking companies to see if there are any availabilities in getting a job. Dog walking is extremely fun if you particularly love dogs, and want to get some casual exercise in your day. If you don’t want to go through a company, reach out to friends and family who may work during the day, and need someone to check in on their pooch to make sure they get adequate exercise. You can make your own schedule, and find out what approach works best for you. 

These are just a few options to work while having freedom in your life. Look at these jobs that allow you to make your own schedule, and find whatever works best for you! 

The 1031 Exchange Timeframe: A Guide for Businesses

Investing in real estate seems like a great way to build wealth. There are dozens of stories that still tout real estate investing as the best way to make money.

At the same time, there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of risks. There are also capital gains taxes and other tax rules to navigate. Those taxes could eat up a good percentage of your profits.

You can use a 1031 exchange, but you have to do so within the rules and timeframe. Read on to learn more about this option and the 1031 exchange timeframe so your transactions are successful.

Why Use 1031 Exchange?

When you sell a real estate property, there’s a good chance that you’ll sell it for a price that’s higher than what you bought it for. Housing prices have been going up over the last few years, making it likely that you’ll see a profit.

That profit is called capital gains.

The IRS requires that you pay taxes on capital gains, whether it’s for a real estate investment, stocks, bonds, or artwork.

How much taxes you need to pay depends on how long you hold on to the asset and which income tax bracket you’re in.

If you only hold on to a property for a year, the capital gains will be higher, up to 37%. The capital gains maximum tax rate is 20% for assets held for over a year because it’s considered to be a long-term investment.

The IRS code has a section, called section 1031 that allows you to defer capital gains taxes for real estate sales. You roll the proceeds of the sale of your property into another property.

1031 Exchange Timeframe and Rules

A 1031 exchange might seem like a great way to avoid taxes. You only get to defer taxes, not avoid paying them altogether. You would have to keep buying replacement properties if you wanted to avoid paying taxes altogether.

Think of a 1031 exchange as a tool that you can use to lower your tax burden. You can be strategic about when to use it and when you should realize the capital gains and pay taxes on them.

In order to make a 1031 exchange work, you have to have the transactions meet the IRS’ requirements and all within their timelines. Here are the main rules and the 1031 timeframe.

Property Must Be Like-Kind

The first rule to know about 1031 exchanges is that the properties have to be like-kind. There is a lot of leeway around this. You can have an empty lot and exchange it for a multi-family home.

The value of the properties does need to have a similar value or the replacement property has to have a higher value.

You might be wondering why you haven’t heard of this option as a homeowner who’s bought and sold properties. A 1031 exchange only applies to properties that are for business or investment purposes only.

A residential property does not qualify, like your primary residence or vacation home.

1031 Exchange Timeframe

The 1031 timeline is often the most challenging part of the entire transaction. You need to make sure that you understand when properties need to be identified and purchased and file the paperwork with the IRS.

When you sell your property, the timeline begins. There are 45 calendar days to find a replacement property. You then have 180 calendar days from the sale of your property to close on the sale of the replacement property.

If you purchase sell a property and April 15th (or whichever day is Tax Day) falls within the 180 day period, you have to complete the purchase by April 15th.

If it’s impossible to close the deal in a shorter timeframe, you can file a tax extension. If you owe other taxes, you still have to pay what you owe by April 15th. If you file an extension and pay your taxes later, you will be charged penalties and interest.

You Can’t Do a 1031 Exchange by Yourself

As you can tell, there are a lot of potential issues with a 1031 exchange. If you miss any of the deadlines, you will have to pay capital gains taxes.

You have to use a firm, or a person called a qualified intermediary. They are the holders of the proceeds of the sale of your initial property and help you handle the paperwork required.

The thing to remember is that they handle the money. The moment any funds from the sale of the property are in your hands, you have to pay taxes on them.

What Happens When You Want to Exit Real Estate?

For many property owners, they’re doing the maintenance and management of the properties themselves. Being a landlord is challenging.

At some point, you’re going to want to get out of real estate. Do you sell your properties altogether and pay capital gains taxes?

There may be a way to realize the benefits of a 1031 exchange, retire as a landlord, and see regular real estate income. That’s through a Delaware Statutory Trust or DST. These reasons explain why you want to explore this option.

Understanding Capital Gains Deferments

Taxes are complicated. They’re even more complicated when you’re dealing with investments like real estate. You can defer your real estate capital gains by leveraging a 1031 exchange. This lets you sell one property and purchase another without paying capital gains taxes right away.

You have to understand the 1031 exchange timeframe. If you can remember 45 days and 180 days, that’s half the battle. If Tax Day, falls in the middle of 180 days, do everything you can to finalize the purchase by then.

Keep checking this site for more great business tips and articles.

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should Transition To Solar Already

It’s no secret the renewable energy market is booming. You’ve seen the ads and I’m sure you’ve read the articles— solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are the energies of the future.

According to the IEA’s Renewables 2019 market report over the next five years, the renewable energy market is expected to grow by over 50%. The largest component of that growth, over 60%, coming from solar.

So what are you waiting for, it’s time to transition your business to solar already. 

Return on Investment (ROI)

In the past, arguments around going green and expanding the use of solar energy were based on moral standings. It’s the right thing to do socially and environmentally. Now, however, things have changed. 

With the increasing efficiency of solar panels, falling costs and a significant federal tax credit, solar is now a solid investment for your business with the potential for significant ROI.  

Until the end of 2019, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is worth 30% of your total system cost. After that, the credit falls to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and just 10% for 2022 and beyond. 

Now is the time to invest in solar for your business before you miss out on savings from the federal government.

State and local tax credits are also available in the U.S, depending on your location. With the increased efficiency of panels, falling installation costs and significantly associated tax breaks, solar—now more than ever— is a solid investment for your business.

In the past, payback periods—the period it takes to recoup your initial investment—was almost a decade long for solar installation. Today, companies can recoup their costs on an average of just 8 years. 

Solar now, more than ever, is a solid ROI proposal.

LEED Certification

Getting certified as a leader in going green can be huge for any business owner. Not only is it great for your business’s reputation, but it can help attract valuable employees. 

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Certification was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to recognize leadership in environmental responsibility. It is known as the best certification in the industry.

Back in 1993, senior scientist Robert K. Watson of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) campaigned for and then helped develop the certification as a way to push businesses into sustainability.

Today, the LEED certification is well-respected and can really help a company’s bottom line by attracting new customers and solid employees. 

Easy Financing For Green Energy Production

Perhaps the number one reason to go green now and install solar panels for your business is the ease of financing. Commercial real estate lenders are now offering great deals to install solar panels at small and medium-sized businesses. 

In the past, commercial real estate loans rarely involved renewable energy, but now there are a plethora of options that have led to quality results for real companies. 

While the average commercial lender may avoid situations where banks have refused funding or construction has been halted, many renewable energy lenders are willing to take the risk. This is because they know the ROI and savings from the product make borrowers more likely to make their payments. 

If you are a small business, taking advantage of low rates and quality lenders can help accelerate your business into the 21st century. 

Clearly, now is the time to transition to solar. With tax credits expiring and new innovations driving price reduction in the market the ROI for solar panel installation is better than ever. 

So, what are you waiting for…go solar today!

How to Become a Successful Online Retailer

The one sector that has outperformed all the others is Internet-based retailers, and such is technology today, anyone with basic business and IT skills can become a successful online retailer. If you are serious about making a fortune from e-commerce, you need to take the following aspects into account.

  1. Product Line – There must be a demand for your products obviously, and you need to do your market research to determine the market. Any shopping cart website needs to focus on either natural products, or hand-made, or some other form of personalisation.
  2. Digital Marketing – You do not possess the skills to make your website number one on a search result, but you do need search engine optimisation (SEO), which improves a website’s rankings within an online search. You must attack social media, and your digital marketing partner will compile a marketing plan that delivers results. You should not look at digital marketing as some form of option, because it is not. Simply put, without digital marketing, your sales will be average at best, so invest heavily in this at the very outset.

 

  1. Focus on Customer Service – If your customers can easily purchase items that are of good quality and delivered promptly, your business will grow. In this day of Broadband Internet, shopping cart websites must load at super speeds, and the payment gateways must offer some varied choices, such as PayPal, credit or debit card, or direct bank transfer. Making the buying experience stress free will ensure that your customers come back.

 

  1. Develop with the Industry – E-commerce is quickly becoming the normal way for people to order products, and with super-fast deliveries, the logistics sector covers you completely. You can outsource picking, packing and delivery to a third party logistics provider (3PL), and they can pack your products into your packaging and deliver anywhere in the world. By outsourcing your logistics, you have the time to focus on improving the buying experience, which is the key to long-term success.

 

  1. Determination – There will be times when the going gets tough, ask any successful business owner about the early days and they will confirm that determination is something you must have. This will help you to overcome obstacles, and there will be many, and it also helps if you adopt a positive ‘can do’ attitude, especially with your customers.

The benefits of Success

If, for example, your site was a hit, then you would be on the road to wealth, and for your parents, you can afford a top nursing facility such as Right at Home, the leading Australian care provider that offers many services.

If you have a good business plan, plus the help of a digital marketing agency, there is no reason why you can’t be successful, and by working round the clock for the first year, you will establish your market share and can grow progressively to become a major player.

Spend time on your business plan, and when you think it is as good as it can be, pass it to some business friends to comment on. It is only by sharing your visions and plans that you can discover if they are any weak areas in your business model.

5 Smart Business Proposal Tips to Knock It Out of the Park

Are you preparing for an important business proposal?

Here in the business world, it’s safe to say that an effective business proposal is absolutely essential to gaining clients.

If you’re on the hunt for the best business proposal tips, you’re going to want to read this. We’re uncovering the five smartest business proposal tips to ensure that you knock your business proposal out of the park.

  1. Build a Template

Of course, every great business proposal needs to begin with a great template.

Without a great template, you’re going to have difficulty communicating why your business is worth hiring.

Your business template is the bread and butter of your business. This is where you are going to outline everything about your business model and why hiring your business is essential. This template should be clear, concise and effectively communicate the ins and outs of your business.

It also needs to be just as physically appealing to the eye as it is mentally appealing to the mind of the client. Do you need a hand in creating a successful business template? Click here for business proposal templates for free.

  1. Understand Your Customer

Next, it’s time to research everything to do with your customer.

If you’re going to appeal to your customer, you have to understand everything about your customer. Here, you need to diagnose all of the problems that their business is experiencing. Next, you will outline how your business can work to alleviate these problems and eventually find a solution to solve them.

You need to make a claim for why this business needs your help. Of all businesses that have failed, 42 percent claim that they failed because there was no market need for their business/product. You need to give your clients reason to believe that they are in immediate and significant need of your business.

  1. Present as a Team  

Here in the business world, presenting yourself as a team is often better than presenting yourself as a mere individual.

When you work as a team, your consumer is going to feel that they have twice the manpower on their side. Even when duties are equally divided between team members, the consumer is able to feel greater confidence in your joined abilities.

Here, it’s the age-old mentality that two brains are better than one that makes teamwork appear so promising.

  1. Validate Your Claims 

If you’re going to make a claim, be sure to back up that claim with evidence.

Of course, anyone can claim that they are the best in the business. But, what are these claims when they are not back by evidence? The best way to validate your claims is to provide statistics or glowing testimonials from past clients.

Provide your clients with undeniable evidence that you are the best and that that hiring your services is going to benefit them.

  1. Radiate Confidence

In today’s day and age, presenting a business proposal typically means speaking in front of a group of people.

If the thought of this makes you nervous, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, up to 75 percent of people admit to a fear of public speaking. Even the savviest of entrepreneurs today experience these jitters.

When you discuss your business proposal, present yourself and your words with the utmost confidence. Even if you’re consumed by nerves on the inside, do your best to radiate confidence on the outside. Ensure that you know your speech inside and out and always back up your claims with evidence.

If you’re failing to radiate confidence, how is your client supposed to generate confidence in you?

Business Proposal 

It’s only natural to feel nervous and jittery before a significant business meeting.

But, with these simple yet effective business proposal tips, you can be sure that your meeting will be off to a good start. By researching your client, radiating confidence and working as a team, you’re well on your way to a positive sales meeting.

If you’re always on the hunt for business advice, be sure to bookmark our webpage today!

How To Set Your Startup Company Apart

In today’s competitive business world, there are startups launching every day. Although thousands of new companies appear in the industry each year, many do not last past the one-year mark and even fewer beyond the five-year mark. It isn’t enough to simply have a single product or innovative idea to launch a successful startup. The way new companies do business has become a significant aspect of success, so if you plan to launch a startup, here are three critical criteria you must implement to be successful.

Approach Business in an Innovative Way

Few startup ideas are truly unique. While some new companies develop and release new products, many others simply compete for clients in necessary industries. Startups in industries such as finance, security, construction and telecommunication have little room for new products or services, but startups must have something new to offer the industry to be successful.

An alternative to this is implementing a new way of conducting business in the industry. This method can be seen in the SE2 business, as this innovative company started by approaching the life-insurance industry in a new way. SE2 has flourished because of this, paving the way for other startups to do the same.

Cultivate a Giving Culture

In today’s society, people are passionate about doing business with companies that are committed to giving back both on global and community levels. Your startup must have a unique brand to thrive, but implementing a giving culture is an excellent way to enrich your company and improve your reputation. This can be accomplished by partnering with a charity and donating a portion of your company’s profits each year. You can also use your business platform to raise awareness for different charities.

While your company is first and foremost a business, cultivating a positive company culture is a wonderful way to encourage customer loyalty and establish your unique brand within your community. Clients may be more likely to use your services if their purchases will help make a difference within the community.

Hire Passionate Employees

Passionate employees are the backbone of any business. While your startup may launch with you as the single employee, you will eventually have to hire additional people who share your vision. It isn’t enough to simply hire people with experience in the industry. While they may be efficient workers, if they are not passionate about your company, they will have a negative impact on business growth.

While the people you hire need to be high-quality employees with excellent work ethics and great morals, they also need to share your passion for the business. This will make them more committed to your company so they are invested in helping the business grow. Passion will also fuel them to put in the long hours required by a startup and inspire better customer service. If your employees are passionate about their jobs, they will generate company growth and enrich your business.

Even if you have a fantastic idea for a startup, there are many components that need to fall into place before you can launch the company. In addition to the traditional business strategies of marketing and developing a brand, you also need to determine what makes your company unique. For many startups, this means approaching business in a new and innovative way. You also need to develop a positive company culture that draws customers to your business. Using your company to give back to the community is a wonderful way to establish this type of culture. Finally, passionate employees are essential for company growth. If your startup meets these three criteria, it is more likely to thrive in the competitive business world.

Three Main Reasons Why SMEs are Shifting to Cloud Computing

Some IT experts believe that by 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will have moved to the cloud. Cloud computing is an exciting take on solving the computing problems that many organizations face. Basically, hardware and software tools are hosted online, where users can access and use them at a fee (usually subscription-based). Entrepreneurs and small business owners have realized the potential of cloud computing in a data-driven market and are taking advantage of its many benefits, which include:

Managed Services

Start-ups and SMEs usually struggle with meting their IT demands due to under-staffed or inadequately skilled IT personnel. Cloud Computing solves this problem by providing cloud users with cloud-based managed IT services. With a managed IT service, organizations don’t have to worry about maintenance, upkeep, and upgrading of their IT systems.

The main advantage of using a managed service instead of an in-house IT department is the low cost of operation. An outsourcing service provider works on a contract basis, so no time and money is spent on training and onboarding.

Security

There’s is an ever-increasing need to secure valuable business data considering the rising cases of cybercrimes and data breaches. Cloud storage provides a robust, secure platform for storing data and controlling its access. Many businesses see cloud storage is a convenient, inexpensive, and vastly reliable way of storing information compared to on-prem servers and public networks.

Depending on the provider and service package, clouds can offer several levels of data security, including multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and data encapsulation. Data availability and integrity are also essential elements of data security. To that effect, cloud storage also offers backup and disaster recovery functions to restore lost data and ensure data availability at all times.

Affordable Access to Cutting-edge Tech

Cloud services are broadly categorized into Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This means that you can use the cloud to host ERPs, access IT infrastructure, or use hosted software applications. Computing resources, particularly business tools such as management software and data analytics applications, don’t come cheap. However, with the SaaS software model, businesses can access and use the latest and most powerful software tools easily and affordably.

Cloud computing levels the playing field for both large corporations and small businesses in terms of access to powerful, cutting-edge technologies. The cloud allows small organizations to use tech that they would otherwise not afford to purchase and maintain. In a generalized view, this could be the primary reason why SMEs prefer cloud services to in-house IT systems.

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