7 Key Tips for Getting a Self-Employed Personal Loan

Are you looking for a loan when self-employed?

Finding the process more difficult than you expected?

While being self-employed comes with many benefits, the ability to get a personal loan is not one of them. Getting a personal loan can seem like an impossible task without a solid employment record to back you up. Luckily, though, as long as you follow the right tips and tricks it can be done.

Below we’ll give you our top tips for getting a personal loan when you’re self-employed.

1. Get Your Paperwork Together

One of the top things that will help you get a personal loan is to ensure that you have plenty of paperwork to show to your potential lender. The right paperwork can help you demonstrate your worthiness as a borrower.

Before applying for a loan, you should be taking thorough financial records for your business and be tracking your earnings clearly month after month. Ideally, you’ll have been in business for at least 2 years already and will have all of the financial information, bank statements, and records to show that you have a regular income.

While getting a loan is possible without extensive paperwork, it will be an uphill battle if you don’t have the right documents together.

2. Improve Other Financial Factors

When self-employed, it can be difficult to prove your income. Luckily, there are other factors that lenders may also look to for determining your reliability.

One of the top factors is your credit score. Credit scores can range between 300-850 and your score will affect how you look to lenders quite a bit. You need to know your score and learn to understand what it means. If you have a poor credit score, you may want to spend some time building it up before applying for a loan.

Other things that can help you to look more stable and reliable is if you have had a regular address for a long period of time or if you own property. You may want to get documentation to prove some of these other factors as well if they apply to you.

3. Minimize Debts

If you’re trying to get a personal loan when self-employed, you need to make sure that you do anything you can to eliminate any existing debts beforehand. If you have maxed out credit cards or other loans that you’re still paying off out it will make you seem unreliable to lenders and they will be less likely lenders will trust you with their money.

If you can, take some time to knock out a few of your current debts before applying for a new personal loan. If you do, you’ll have a greater chance of getting approved.

4. Sweeten the Deal

There are a few special things you can do that can make it more easy for lenders to trust you and approve you for a loan.

Having a co-signer or guarantor is one of the best ways you can improve your odds of getting approved. However, just make sure that you pay your loan off consistently or someone else may be liable for your debt.

Additionally, it can also be helpful to get a secured loan. With these loans, you’ll need some kind of collateral to put up against your debt such as a vehicle or property. A secured loan can be easier to get approved for since the lender will have a way to cover their losses if you neglect to keep making payments.

5. Compare Your Lenders

Another way you can improve your chance of getting approved for self-employed loans is to make sure that you compare your options thoroughly. Choosing the right lender for your situation can make all the difference when looking for a personal loan.

Traditional bank loans are only one of many options out there for getting a personal loan. Traditional banks will often be pickier than other lenders, so it’s a great idea to consider alternative options.

Credit unions are often a better choice for getting a personal loan and will often be more willing to lend to someone who is self-employed. There are also many online lenders that can be a good option. P2P lending sites can also make a good choice as well.

6. Time It Right

It’s also important to make sure that you’re ready before you start applying for loans. While you may be in need of a loan quickly, if you’re able to wait a bit it may be a good idea.

For example, if your credit score is currently low, then you may want to spend some time to build your score up before applying for a loan. You may also want to wait to apply for a loan if some other parts of your financial situation need some work.

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to wait if you haven’t been in business for yourself very long. Often, lenders like to see at least 2 years of income from self-employed individuals. Waiting until you have at least 2 years of tax returns to show lenders can help improve your chances of getting approved.

7. Be Prepared

While you should wait for the right moment to apply for a loan, once you start seeking a loan you should move fast. This means that you should have all your paperwork, collateral, or anything else that will be required by the lender together and ready.

Ideally, you should be able to move through the application process swiftly with little downtime. Having this stuff together early on can help you be more attractive to lenders and will make you seem more reliable. By having all of your paperwork and other requirements ready early on you’ll have a greater chance of getting a loan in the end.

Improving Your Chances of Finding a Loan When Self-Employed

If you’re self-employed and in search of a personal loan you may be beginning to lose hope. However, be sure that you keep the above tips in mind. By using the tips above, you’ll be more likely to get what you need despite not having a traditional employment situation.

Be sure to consider your loan options thoroughly and get all of your information together before applying. If you do, you’ll be more likely to find a great lender and get the perfect personal loan for your needs.

Stay tuned to our blog for more tips.

4 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Payroll for Your Business

Are you among the 40% of small business owners who say bookkeeping and taxes are the worst bits of being an entrepreneur?

If yes, it’s understandable why you’re struggling with these functions. With thousands of pages in the U.S. tax code, even tax professionals have a hard time staying on top of things.

But as a business owner, you must pay employee dues on time and withhold the necessary taxes. If you don’t, you could face steep fines.

The good news is you don’t have to struggle with the hard stuff. Have you considered outsourcing?

Continue reading for 4 reasons you should outsource payroll.

Keep Your People Happy

Whether you pay your employees on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, nothing gets on their nerves like a delayed paycheck. They have plans, you know!

Yet, this is what’s likely to happen when you handle payroll on your own. If you don’t have time to scrutinize payroll documents, calculate every employee’s wages and bonuses, and write the checks, you will run behind schedule.

The consequence of delayed paychecks is unhappy and disgruntled employees. Their motivation will dip, and so will their productivity. This will hurt your business.

Outsourcing to a payroll service is a sure way to ensure your employees receive their dues bang on time – each time.

Focus on What You Do Best

Most small business owners wear multiple hats, and for good reason. Perhaps you’re running on a shoestring budget and you need to keep costs low.

However, handling multiple crucial business functions can take its toll. Increasingly, you’ll find that you don’t have enough time to do what you do best – which is to develop your product or service.

Outsourcing payroll takes one vital function off your table so you will have more time to be an entrepreneur.

Maintain Legal Compliance

The tax code is always changing, both at the federal and state levels.

Are you always keeping an eye on these changes? Did you know that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts which came into force in Dec 2017 affects small businesses in multiple ways?

If you answered no to either question, it’s clear your business is at risk of inadvertently violating the relevant laws. And when that happens, the IRS won’t hesitate to penalize you.

Avoid such mistakes by outsourcing your payroll to a professional service. These pros stay abreast of regulatory changes and will adjust your payroll to ensure the business stays compliant.

Got a Foreign Operation?

Do you have an extension of your business in a foreign country? Thumbs up! Setting an overseas operation is an ideal way to grow your company.

However, it’s one thing to run a business in the U.S., and it’s quite another to run one in another country. The laws could be vastly different.

For instance, let’s say you got a branch down in Sydney, Australia. You have to adhere to the country’s payroll laws.

If you’ve no experience doing business there, you’ll certainly run into challenges. The savvy thing you can do is outsource your payroll to a local service, such as www.payrollserviceaustralia.com.au.

Outsource Payroll and Prosper

How you manage payroll can make or break your small business. Do it well and your business will stay out of legal troubles. Do it poorly and your business will run into all kinds of problems.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re doing it well or poorly. Just outsource payroll and wait to reap all the benefits fleshed out above.

Keep tabs on our business section for more insights.

Essay about Vitamins: How to Create a Perfect Paper

When you just start writing essays you think that everything is simple — just get a topic and elaborate on it. When you start, however, you face the reality — though you invest yourself and apply enough efforts your essays don’t impress your professor and it seems that you get stuck. You are lucky if you get such assignments as writing about vitamins, as it is a modern topic you can relate to and find some interesting, relevant references rather easily. However, there are some tips and tricks from highly qualified essay writers from WriteMyPaperHub.com which will help you to deal with this assignment faster and more efficient.

Start With 15 Minutes of Freewriting

Freewriting is a new term, it is very popular as a creative tool which allows you to set your mind free and get out some ideas you can use later in your essay. When freewriting, don’t think about how good you write, don’t try to write without mistakes, don’t pay attention to formatting, etc. Your key task is to be relaxed and get into a writing flow. Once you stop your writing, read your text and underline some interesting thoughts. Based on these thoughts you can formulate a draft for a hypothesis.

Hypothesis Is Important, Don’t Neglect It

Some students think that hypothesis is important only for research papers, term papers, dissertation, thesis, etc. But the thesis is the crucial idea, the core of your essay, it is a problem you shape your writing around, so it should be present in your essay on vitamins of any other essay for that matter. It is good if your hypothesis is related to some vivid argument around the topic of your study. The problematic should be catchy, as it will make your readers finish your essay. Of course, mostly your only reader is your professor, but you should write keeping in mind a much broader audience. Your hypothesis should not be shallow and obvious like:

Vitamins are good for kids.

and it should not be scandalous, as if you are writing a blog-post for some hype website:

Vitamins kill more than guns do!”

It should be relevant, logical, and preferably, include some limitation and counterarguments:

Though the necessities of vitamin containing food supplements was proved by many studies and millions of people around the world prove their efficiency, a significant part of vitamins consumption is nothing more than placebo, and at some point can be even dangerous.”

With such a hypothesis you have an idea, you present limitations, you know what to write about, and you can do it professionally. You should know that your thesis statement should be no more than two sentences long. However, you can start writing it from 5-6 sentences and later cutting corners till everything unnecessary is gone.

Use Only Up-to-Date Sources

You should make sure that for such a modern topic you use only fresh, relevant sources, most of them should be recent, like 2-3 years old top. However, you can use some historical sources and studies when applicable, but only as some contrast to your major study. For example, you can find old advertisements for supplements, which are now prohibited or were proved to be dangerous or inefficient and make your point.

More Proofreading Less Creativity

We don’t mean you should not be creative, but you should not steal time allocated for proofreading just to add some more creative ideas and phrases or studies. Keep it simple. Even if you write the most innovative essay on vitamins, but don’t proofread it enough, don’t follow the rules of the required citation style (MLA, APA, etc.), you won’t get the best grade. Keep everything balanced, and your essay will be a winner, no doubt!

6 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Gym

Starting a new business is always an adventure. Gyms seem to be even more special. It is a way to earn a living staying in shape and helping others get healthy. And a lot of fitness enthusiasts or trainers dream of opening their own gym for months or years before they decide to make the jump. However, they often forget that it is a business they have to manage every day, not just a hobby. Here are six mistakes people make when starting a gym.

Opening in the Wrong Location

Gyms are as location dependent as any other business. You need to set up somewhere that has enough clientele to fill the gym, but not a lot of competition. The competition could be the gym in their apartment complex and local jogging trails. If you’re opening a specialized gym, know that you’re still competing with the big gyms. Do your research before you commit to a location. And if you decide to open a gym where there’s already a lot of competition, try to significantly differentiate your product offering so you can stand apart from the rest.

Not Being Committed Enough

Opening a business is a commitment. Your gym needs to be open when your clients want to work out. You need to have the right tools or team behind you to keep the gym running, too. Then you will be able to focus on the clients while someone else handles the back office. You may think you’ve got a good partner, but if they aren’t committed enough to the business, you may find yourself short-handed.

You should also know that a good personal trainer isn’t necessarily going to be a good business owner. If you can’t handle supervising the business seven days a week and handling administrative issues regularly, you may be better off working as a personal trainer and meeting clients wherever they are than running a gym. Alternatively, you can hire someone to handle the business side while you focus on the clients. Just recognize, however, that doing this will increase your payroll obligations.

Thinking You Can Start with Almost No Money

Don’t make the mistake of starting a gym with almost no money – you have more expenses than just the rent. Nor can you assume you’re going to save money by working for free. After all, your goal is for the business to sustain you so you can pay your own bills.

A common mistake is overestimating sales predictions. Just because you have a great idea and many potential clients, doesn’t mean you’ll get enough sign-ups in the first month to make payroll. Work with a bookkeeper familiar with the industry to create a realistic plan for cash flow so you have enough savings or credit to pay ongoing expenses like payroll and rent. And recognize that you’ll have to plan for paying payroll even when there isn’t much cash coming in.

Not Using Software to Simplify Management

You can use a variety of software tools to simplify and streamline the running of your software. Depending on the type of gym you have, you could run into scheduling problems. Any mistake could cost you hundreds of dollars in refunds and hurt your reputation. The solution is to use gym software to handle the class schedule. The best tools prevent double-booking of instructors and trainers as well.

You can’t afford to lose track of gym paperwork. Good gym software will manage your membership paperwork. It will remind you and clients when their contracts need to be renewed. The best software allows you to handle the process of renewals online, collect payments and record them. This will save you many hours of administrative time. Good gym management tools will streamline the payment process, making it easier to send invoices and track unpaid ones. The ability to check memberships can save you from admitting freeloaders.

As a business owner, the reports that gym management software provides are invaluable. You’ll be able to track membership levels, cash flow, and schedules. You’ll be able to see the state of your business in a matter of seconds. Checking your profit margins periodically may deter you from purchases that push you into the red, and it could force you to make changes to your offerings that keep you profitable over the long run.

Not Supporting New Gym Members

Signing up new gym members is only a first step in what you hope is a long-term relationship. You need to offer guidance and support for new members so that they become invested in the gym and continue to come.

Make them feel like they can come to you with questions. There’s also a business case for doing so. New gym members are at risk of getting injured when they try unfamiliar equipment, and you don’t want that. Take the time to make them feel appreciated and supported, and they’re less likely to quit your gym and go to another one.

Treating Everyone Exactly the Same

There is a trend to treat everyone exactly the same in the name of fairness and equity. However, this can be a mistake.

We’ve already mentioned the need to offer support and guidance to new gym members. Another mistake is treating people of varying skill and experience levels the same. The veteran weightlifter doesn’t want to know how to do a shoulder press, but they’ll want to give their opinion on the selection of workout equipment. The person trying to get into shape or lose a lot of weight will have very different needs and goals than gym rats who want the latest fun classes on the schedule. Cater to each member’s needs, interests and expectations. Talk to people so you can come up with options that cater to a wide range of people.

A grand vision and the dream of owning your own business isn’t enough to successfully run a gym. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have eliminated the biggest reasons why new gyms go under.

3 Reasons Self-Employed and SMB Benefit from Using a Paycheck Stub Generator

When it comes to record keeping, pay stubs are the simplest method of keeping track of employee wages. The Fair Labor Standards Act stipulates that every business must keep records of hours worked and wages paid to employees.

The easiest way to do this is through the tracking of employee pay stubs. In small businesses budgets are tight and hiring a right team to design pay stubs is out of the question. This very reason is why small businesses and start-ups turn to companies such as thepaystubs.com

Let’s take a look at three reasons small businesses need to look at creating their pay stubs with an online paycheck stub generator.

1. Convenience

As a business start-up or small business venture, your brand may go through a thousand different changes before you land on the perfect one. While this is completely normal, it also means that you must change every piece of branding that was previously created.

Pay stub generators online are an excellent way for you to quickly modify your pay stub branding without the hassle of hiring a creative director each time. Most businesses have a template of information already set aside, so all you would need to do is log onto thepaystubs.com and get started.

2. Accuracy of Thepaystubs.com

The days of manually tracking employees wages with pen and paper are gone! With it are many of the human errors that once plagued HR payroll departments.

With advanced algorithms the chance of creating an error is slim. Should an error occur, it is simple to fix in the system.

Once your employees’ information is in the system, there is no need to mess with it until you and your employee decide to part ways. If you go through a hiring spurt, then all you have to do is add your new employees to your list of current employees in the paycheck stub generator, and you’re all set.

3. Record Keeping Made Simple

Like previously mentioned, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all businesses keep track of their employee hours worked and wages. This tool not only helps you monitor your budget but also helps your employee track their time with the company.

Whether it’s for purchasing a new vehicle, a house or going for a bank loan your employee will need to provide proof of income at some point in time. A pay stub is a great way to show salary and longevity with your company.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons that a small business would want to use a pay stub generator. From the ease of use to its record-keeping abilities thepaystubs.com is an excellent source for all those payroll needs without the need for extra human capital.

If you’re just starting a business, blog or website, then an online paycheck stub generator is an excellent choice for your business venture. Check our website frequently for more information on how you can live successfully in both your health and your business. 

Looking For Budget Cremation Services?

Cremation is cheaper than the average full-service funeral which costs much more. The popularity of cremation is rising across the country due to the cost-effectiveness of the process. But with hundreds of cremation services on the market, locating a budget cremation service isn’t easy. There are many factors to look for when choosing a budget cremation service on the market. This article provides information on what to look for when choosing a budget cremation service.

You should start by calling funeral services in your area. Almost all funeral services provide cremation services, but their prices can vary sharply. Call and ask how much they charge for a direct cremation which is the least expensive package available with most services in town. This package doesn’t include embalming but the essentials like picking up the body, attending to the paperwork and the cremation itself. They will provide the ashes to the family later on.

The internet is the best place to look for reputable creation services in town. You may find a host of such services by searching Google or any other search engine. Many people make the mistake of going with the first result they come across in a Google search. This isn’t the best thing to do if you want quality service at an affordable price. Make sure to do some research or background search on each provider on Google SERPs before you pick the right one for the job. That way you save time as well as money in the selection process.

If there is a memorial society in your area, you might be able to get good referrals from them. They are volunteer agencies that provide important information on cremation services in the area and their prices. A personal referral from someone you trust can help save your time when choosing budget cremation services in the area.

A reputable budget cremation service, like Queensland Discount Funerals, should provide a simple cremation for your loved one at an affordable price. But they shouldn’t compromise on the care they provide. In fact, everyone deserves a compassionate and dignified farewell – whether on a budget or not. When you have lost a loved one, you are having an emotionally draining experience. Finding a quality cremation service on a budget can be a daunting task during such times. A reputable cremation service will make your difficult time a little easier by offering a wide range of cremation options for you to choose from. You can easily choose what is best for you and your family under such circumstances.

A simple cremation service should include things like:

  • Expert guidance and support
  • Transfer of the deceased and care and preparation
  • Quality care
  • Simple coffin
  • Crematorium of your choice
  • Transfer to the crematorium
  • Cremation
  • Handing over the ashes to the family

Choosing a reputable cremation service isn’t an easy task. There are hundreds of providers on the market, but all of them are not created the same. The aforementioned article provides information on what to look for when choosing a budget cremation service.

8 High-Paying Healthcare Careers That Don’t Involve Any Body Fluids

Healthcare is America’s biggest employer, with one in eight people now working in the US healthcare industry.

Forty-two percent of employment in healthcare relates to nursing. But the majority of new jobs in the industry are not in clinical roles. The biggest growth is in administrative jobs, such as clerks and receptionists.

For passionate healthcare supporters who are also a little squeamish, these and other non-clinical healthcare careers offer an opportunity to contribute to the industry, while also earning an excellent salary.

Here are some high-paying non-clinical jobs that could interest you.

1. Healthcare Management

As this guide to healthcare careers shows, there are many non-clinical jobs. And one of the highest paying roles is as a medical or healthcare manager.

These management roles can involve running specific departments within a larger facility. But some managers are in charge of an entire medical facility. Such roles come with a lot of responsibility. Not least because you must ensure that your facility complies with ever-changing legislation.

Most healthcare managers work in hospitals. Although some work in nursing homes and medical practices. The role may involve managing staff, budgeting and implementing workplace policies.

Some medical managers have a clinical background. But it’s more common for managers to work their way up from other non-clinical hospital jobs. As well as interpersonal and leadership skills, medical managers often have an MBA.

2. Clinical Educator

Clinical educators ensure healthcare workers have the skills to succeed within their unit. Often, this involves coordinating with facility administrators to learn what training nurses need.

Clinical educators also arrange and check training programs. And, they work with organizational experts to plan the training sessions.

Another function of a clinical educator is to regulate staff and patient safety. They do this by holding regular in-service training sessions for healthcare workers.

3. Medical Billers and Coders

Medical billing and coding can sometimes be separate roles. Although, more often, they go hand in hand. As such, most billers know medical coding and most coders also work in billing.

Medical coding involves assigning the appropriate code to each patient’s documentation. Medical billers then submit this documentation to the insurance company for reimbursement.

Billers and coders need strong analytical skills and excellent attention to detail. They must also know specific terminology and practices. And they need to be able to use record-keeping and coding software.

4. Medical Writer

Medical writing involves producing informed content for textbooks, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.

Medical writers must have a thorough understanding of the medical world. They must also be able to present this information in a clear manner. As such, many doctors pursue it as an alternative career after working in a clinical setting.

It’s also possible to become a medical writer after studying a writing-based profession. These might include journalism, creative writing or English.

Medical writers can work for pharmaceutical or medical equipment companies. But more often they are freelance and work remotely. This makes the role ideal if you want a flexible non-clinical healthcare job.

5. Expert Medical Witness

Non-clinical healthcare roles can also appeal to stressed doctors who want a change.

One of the many possible jobs for doctors outside of medicine is as an expert medical witness. This could involve testifying in malpractice suits. Or, you could use your clinical expertise to provide support for a medical-related legal argument.

For some doctors, this can feel like joining ‘the dark side’. You may have to provide testimony against a liable physician. Although you would also get to defend doctor decisions.

Working as an expert witness can be a lucrative career path for former doctors. And it can be an opportunity to ensure justice and accountability within the medical profession.

6. Informatics Nurse

Unlike most nursing roles, working as an informatics nurse is one of many healthcare careers with little patient contact.

Informatics nurses check and install clinical IT applications within healthcare facilities. Informatics nurses also train and educate the staff to use any new systems. This ensures that all staff members are using this technology to its full potential.

The role of an informatics nurse is ideal for those with an excellent knowledge of technology. But you must also have strong analytical skills and a good capacity for project management.

7. Healthcare Consultant

Healthcare consultants find ways to improve and reorganize infrastructure in various medical settings. These can include hospitals, cancer treatment facilities, labs, and pharmaceutical companies.

Through research and analysis, healthcare consultants identify problems within the specific healthcare setting. To do so, they analyze revenue and employment numbers, and conduct staff interviews.

The healthcare consultant then presents methods to improve work efficiency or save money. These methods can involve advising on finances, healthcare consumption or technology integration.

8. Medical Interpreter

Medical interpreters are essential to provide a voice for patients who speak little to no English.

Language barriers are always challenging. But in a clinical setting, a misunderstanding could be life-threatening. When patients can’t express their symptoms, this can compromise medical care. This is also the case if patients are unable to understand important health instructions.

Medical interpreters must have language skills and in-depth knowledge of medical terminology. But, with strong growth in their field, interpreters can expect to be more in-demand than ever before.

Your Guide to Non-Clinical Healthcare Careers

As this list shows, they are many non-clinical healthcare careers to choose from.

And, many of these make ideal choices for those who prefer little patient contact or aren’t keen on the sight of blood. Plus, while healthcare jobs and salaries vary, these roles are all well-paid with great prospects.

For more job-related updates and information, check out our career advice.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Safety Programs in the Workplace

Searching “safety programs” online reveals that safety is a priority across a multitude of industries. Everything from cyber risks for children to programs for preventing tractor deaths — 800 per year, by the way — populate the web.

Safety awareness saves lives. And in the following article, we’ll be discussing how to implement workplace-based programs that are effective at doing just that. Let’s begin!

1. Do Hazards and Risk Assessment

The first step in learning how to write a safety program is to take a look at all the hazards and risks present in your environment. It’s important to enlist representatives from every division of your company for this, from the entry-level employees to their supervisors.

You could get a fine list of risks and hazards from one or two upper-level managers. But they’re not going to employ the same attention to detail as spokespersons from each branch or department.

That’s because safety hazards occur on the frontlines. They seldom happen in boardrooms or offices. It also helps to know the most common injury types sustained in the workplace before implementing a safety program.

2. Put It in Writing

Workplace safety programs can never take shape without a written structure. So it’s important you get risks and hazards down into a tangible document your employees can review and learn from themselves.

It’s also important to make it a living, breathing document. Something you come back to, add to, or take away as needed. How WHS processes for the hospitality industry operate are one such example.

Flexibility is key. After all, new threats emerge all the time no matter what industry you call home.

3. Work with Your Employees

While it’s a start to have a polished system in place, that system won’t be worth the paper (or word processor) it’s written on if you don’t put it into practice. For that, you need employee buy-in.

Treat your safety program like a priority. Make it practical, and show your employees how it applies to their daily tasks and objectives.

4. Document and Investigate

You can implement a safety program and have your workers take every precaution, but eventually, something in the system is going to fail. When it happens, it’s important to document the occurrence and investigate the cause.

It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to achieve 100 percent workplace safety. But you can eliminate most of the serious risks and mitigate any damages by staying on top of the causes.

5. Review and Adjust

The last step in how to start a safety program is knowing what to do with the results. This goes beyond documenting incidents and investigating their causes as they arise.

No, any good program will need an assessment mechanism that can isolate recurring issues. This can help reduce, eliminate, or prevent future issues. It also enables a company to know the financial impact of their programs in terms of reduced claims and lost productivity.

Safety Programs Save Lives and Money

Instituting safety programs will help your bottom line and, more importantly, save the lives and preserve the health of your employees. Ignore them at your own risk. And for more tips on workplace safety and injury prevention, check out our past posts on the topics.

It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Importance of Building Business Relationships

If it takes a village to raise a child, the same is true to raise a successful business. No one knows this better than people who are just starting out.

Not only do you need investors for financial reasons, but you need mentors, employees, vendors, and, of course, customers! That’s a whole village of people right there.

And what does that mean, dealing with people? It means you have to build worthwhile business relationships.

If you don’t, one branch of your business will suffer, and the others will as well.

Want to make sure all the parts of your business relationship machine are working smoothly? Get our tips for better success below.

Types of Business Relationships

When you’re building a business, there are four main types of business relationships you need to create. We’ll go through them below.

Relationship Type 1: Internal Business Relationships

Yes – your internal relationships are essential to the health of your company. You’re not going to attract investors or potential partners if they sense something is off on your end.

As a certain president just said in his state of the union (the politics aside), “Clean your own house first”.

That may mean letting that person go that never measures up to their colleagues. Or it may mean sitting down with them and figuring out why they can’t reach their goals.

Maybe something is going on at home and that’s why they’re coming in tired. Would working from home one day a week help them revitalize and pump up their numbers?

Can you organize for them to come in earlier or stay later, to better match their family schedule?

We can’t stress how important this is. When you take the time to treat your employees as people, they see you as one. And people like people a lot more than people like the vague idea of a business.

We promise that if you invest in someone and they deserve it, you won’t regret giving them some extra time off (or whatever).

Maybe it’s something as simple as getting them a new computer screen or an ergonomic work chair. Those wrist pads for carpal tunnel are less than $15 on Amazon.

Finally, even if everyone in your company is best friends – try to improve just one relationship. That’ll serve you well going forward.

Relationship Type 2: Your Vendors

Let’s say you run a business that needs regular deliveries of plain t-shirts. You make whatever you put on the shirts yourself, but you can’t create the final product without that shirt.

The person or group who provides your shirts is a vendor and they are essential to your business. How do you treat them?

You should treat them as part of your internal team – they are essential to your operation. Make sure you’re paying all invoices on time, being clear with your orders, and being kind if something goes wrong.

You don’t have to take a mistake in stride, but be understanding when you bring it up to them. No one goes into business to make mistakes and make things harder on themselves.

The better you treat them, the better they’ll treat you – and the better products you’ll make (together).

Want to go above and beyond just being cordial and kind? The best gift you can ever give a business is your recommendation.

That could mean leaving them a nice and thought out review online or giving their name out to other businesses. If you do that, they’ll be sure to treat you more like family than friends.

Relationship Type 3: Your Partners/Investors

This is the group of people that are most commonly thought of as “business relationship” partners. But as we’ve seen, they’re not the only ones.

They may be the ones you interact with the most, second to your employees and there’s no doubt they’re important.

Tip #1: The Platinum Rule

There are secrets to making these relationships work in a way that is best for everyone involved. One of those is the platinum rule, which is a little more empathetic than the golden rule we all learned as children.

The golden rule states that you should treat others how you’d like to be treated. But that assumes all of us need the same things out of an interaction.

When you look at the diversity of people and cultures, it’s obvious that that’s not true.

So instead, Michael O’Connor and Tony Alessandra wrote out the platinum rule. It says that you should treat others the way they’d like to be treated.

Aka and these are the authors’ words, “find out what makes people tick and go from there.”

Let’s look at a quick example. You work with a partner, mostly over email. You notice that they reply within an hour of all your emails. That shows that they value quick and efficient communication.

Even if that’s not something you care too much about, show them you respect their values by responding back quickly.

Tip #2 Learn People – Not Names

If you have business partners, take them out to dinner. Learn about them as people, as far as they’ll let you. It’s much easier to build a relationship with Bob the father and business owner, than Bob, CEO of Company BBA.

When you treat your business partners as people, just like your employees, they’ll value your connection more. Maybe that means they’ll be more forgiving if you and your business mess up on a joint dealing.

Or maybe it’ll just mean business proceedings are friendly and more pleasant. Both of those seem well worth a few dinners out, don’t they?

Tip 3: Be Responsive and Give Feedback

Remember in elementary school when you got a good grade on a test and your teacher wrote “super job!” and put a sticker? That made you feel happy, right? And proud?

Why did we ever stop doing that? Telling your business partners that you liked what they did or that they’re doing a great job is never a bad thing.

You don’t need a big shiny sticker, though. It’ll probably come off as unprofessional.

But what about an email like this?

Hey Name,

I just wanted to let you know that your employee exceeded my expectations in our last interaction. I’m always impressed with how quickly and nicely problems get solved.

Thanks,

Name.

Wouldn’t you, as a business leader, love to get an email like that? Well, sometimes you have to give to get – especially when saying “good job” is so underdone in the business world.

Relationship #4: Your Clients

Finally – let’s talk about the business relationships you have with your customers. If you don’t think of them as business relationships – then you’re not doing your business right.

Your clients see you as a service. They trust you to provide a service and in return, they give you their money and time.

You need to provide that service to them, at the level they expect, with just a little bit more.

How do you do that every time when each customer is different? You need to look at your other customer relationship trends.

What are your unhappy customers saying? They’re actually the most valuable to your business when it comes to learning about yourself.

Do they feel like you don’t ship or arrive fast enough? How can you address that? That’s a part of the service you’re not providing, that they think you should be.

Can you give shorter or more relevant arrival time windows? Deliver some sort of coupon or added value if someone takes too long or is late?

You want to take those bad reviews and turn them into good reviews. Even if that same person never trusts your business again – you should make the change.

That way, down the road, no one ever has the same issue and you can avoid that type of negative review.

Happy customers write good reviews, and that’s how you get warm leads. Need help with leads? Get details here.

Your Relationships, Nurtured

With these tips, we hope you’ll have success in your business for years to come. If you think of each relationship type as an essential part of your company, then you’re more likely to succeed.

That doesn’t mean that all business relationships will be the right fit or that they’ll all be exactly what you thought. Sometimes it’ll be a bad match and you’ll have to regroup.

If you know what you want, follow these tips, and communicate clearly – those instances should be few and far between.

Now that you’re improving your business’ relationship health, why not focus on in-office health next? Get tips here.

Renovate Your Corporate Strategy: How to Run a Successful Remodeling Business

Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you love to build things and receive great satisfaction from a job well done? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

The remodeling business is as important today as it’s ever been. This is because many homeowners are opting to save money by remodeling their existing homes rather than building new structures or buying new homes. This is a smart financial move.

It’s also good news for anyone considering going into the remodeling business. Do you have the desire to work for yourself, to work with customers to improve their homes, and to contribute to a thriving economy?

Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll need to know in order to get your own remodeling business off the ground.

Understand the Skills You’ll Need

Starting any kind of business requires asking yourself some serious questions. After all, not everyone has a head for the complexities of running a business nor the ambition to stay ahead of the competition in a crowded marketplace.

Getting into remodeling isn’t for the frail of heart. You’ll need to understand construction, have great people skills, be able to handle numbers, and be a very organized person.

This is a business that requires long hours and dedication to the job. You will have to deal with unreasonable and demanding clients who will call you at all hour of the day and night.

But most of all, you have to have the necessary business skills to get the job done right and to get it completed on schedule. So you’ll need to take a long look in the mirror, be honest with yourself, and decide if you’re qualified for the task and willing to give a hundred and ten percent.

Know Your Target Market

Smart entrepreneurs understand the importance of knowing the type of customers to target. When it comes to remodeling, perhaps you’ll want to target upscale homes in a big, expensive neighborhood.

High-end homes offer huge potential.

This type of customer has money and is ready to spend it. They tend to buy the best appliances, use the best building materials, and can recommend you to their friends. But they can also be extremely picky and demanding, and will often want you to focus solely on their project.

Middle-class homeowners can be easier to deal with, yet you’ll often have to take on more jobs for less money.

Some remodeling contractors are able to work with both type of clients, but you’d better make sure you have the manpower, resources, and skills to satisfy everyone.

Understand How a Remodeling Business Makes Money

A remodeling business generates income by charging customers for labor and materials for renovations of existing homes and other types of structures. Many construction companies specialize in commercial work, renovating businesses, schools, or municipal buildings.

The amount you’re able to charge for your hourly rate will be based on your level of expertise and the competitive rates in your area.

Understand the Startup Costs

Starting a remodeling business is like starting any company from scratch. There are plenty of expenses to get going. You’ll need to invest in expensive, specialized equipment. This includes power tools like drills and saws, hammers, ladders, extension cords, and air compressors, etc.

You will also need a commercial vehicle for your business, such as a pickup truck with signage on the door to advertise the business. The truck will need to be equipped to haul equipment and materials from site to site.

Other startup costs will include local permits and state licenses that allow you to do work in the area. You’ll also need insurance to cover any damage that might occur on job sites as well as workmen’s comp insurance to cover injuring to employees.

Be aware that these costs will add up fast.

Understand the Basic Steps to Starting a Remodeling Business

So now that you have a basic understanding of your target customer and what most of your startup costs will be, it’s time to look at the actual steps to getting your business up and running.

Well, first you’re going to need a business plan. This is essential to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Your business plan will layout things like startup costs, projected annual revenues, and how long you expect it to take for the business to break even.

The business will need to be registered as a legal entity. This prevents you from being held personally liable in the event that the business is sued. You’ll also need to register the business for taxes and open a business checking account.

As mentioned earlier, there are local permits and state licenses that you need to obtain. Without them, the business can be fined or even shut down.

Develop a Marketing Plan

Now you need to develop a marketing strategy and establish your brand. When considering your brand, remember to take your target market into consideration. After all, you need to appeal to the type of customer you’re hoping to attract.

Branding is all about how your business is perceived by the public, and a strong brand will help you stand out from the competition.

Marketing and promotion are never easy.

You’ll start by putting the company name on the side of all your corporate vehicles and invest in a quality website.

Social media is probably the most effective and low-cost form of marketing. You don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising, but there are a few things you can invest in that will be money well spent, including SEO that will take advantage of web searches by customers in your area.

Keep in mind that social media is also the way that satisfied customers will spread the word about your business. When someone is looking to hire a remodeling company, they will often survey their friends on Facebook and Twitter before talking to anyone face to face.

This is another reason to consider investing some marketing dollars in various forms of cheap advertising like CCP on Facebook.

Knowing When to Hire a Team

Once you’ve started attracting customers and getting jobs, you’ll likely soon discover that you can’t do everything yourself. This is especially true with bigger jobs and multiple job sites.

Keeping up with work demands means hiring skilled carpenters, installers, and even office personnel and accountants.

There are a few ways to find skilled tradesmen, including putting the word out with local hardware stores, posting a help-wanted listing on Craigslist and other online employment forums, or putting an ad in the paper.

The real trick is finding good help. You’ll need quality craftspeople with the skills necessary for the job, who show up on time and are able to complete jobs on schedule.

If you’re interested in finding a local contractor, ready this great post by Lars Remodeling.

Learn to Outsource

The simple reality is that there are only 24 hours in a day. And we’ve already established that you can’t do everything on your own. When starting out, you might not be ready to hire on a full-time crew. Luckily there are other options.

Outsourcing can be the ideal solution for covering your needs without getting in over your head. This is especially true for office-oriented needs such as accounting and secretarial work. After all, you don’t want to waste precious daylight hours behind a desk when you can be onsite managing projects and dealing with clients.

Resist the Impulse to Expand Too Quickly

This is a trap many small businesses fall into. As your workload grows, you’ll likely find yourself tempted to hire more people, and then take on even more jobs, and then borrow money to cover the financial burden of your growing operation.

This can be a dangerous cycle that leads to becoming overextended.

Don’t be afraid to stay small. This will help you keep your expenses low and provide a more manageable workload, thus reducing your stress.

As an entrepreneur, watching your business grow can be exciting, just be aware that things can easily get out of control in a hurry.

Find Your Niche

One of the smartest ways to help your business stand out from the competition is to offer something unique. Catering to a niche market actually reduces the number of companies you have to compete with.

Perhaps you cater solely to commercial properties or homes with minimal square footage, or offer unique designs that customers love.

Offering a specialization or catering to a niche market can certainly help you stand out, just make sure you are reaching a wide enough audience to provide plenty of work to sustain your business.

The Keys to Building a Successful Remodeling Business

Starting any kind of business requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. After all, no one said it would be easy. But for anyone who has ever dreamed of operating their own remodeling business, the sacrifices are worth it.

Small general contractors are an important part of the economy. They do amazing work and employ the craftspeople who make our country great.

Click here to learn how to make your home more energy efficient.