Freelancing: Opportunities That Exist For You In 2020

Freelancing: Opportunities That Exist For You In 2020

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In many ways, the year 2020 has been a disaster for businesses, particularly those that require a physical location. But for every Yin there’s a Yang, the upshot is that online marketing is booming which is creating all kinds of excellent opportunities for freelance professionals. If you have industry experience of skills developed through a particular passion, 2020 is the year in which you might think about applying them to a marketplace and earning an income.   

Stock Photography

In 2020 it’s harder not to have access to an excellent camera. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, you had to invest in a good DSLR if you wanted to be a freelance photographer. While a DSLR is a good option, it isn’t necessary to start a lucrative freelance career with your photos. Use your excellent camera phone to make stock photos for websites like iStock, Shutterstock, and Getty Images. If your photos met their criteria, you can partner with them and earn a small commission.

Content Writing

If you’re a dedicated writer, then many opportunities exist on the internet to put your skills and talents to good use. These days content is king, so whether it’s blogging for businesses, content writing for websites or writing transcripts for videos, there are plenty of ways to earn a living. Freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr, Upwork, iWriter, and ProBlogger, are good places to start looking for work. Even if you are relatively inexperienced, you are likely to find someone willing to give you a chance.    

Specialist Freelancing 

Many people have specialist skills they have developed through training or on the job experience. If you have expertise in audio or visual production or management but aren’t currently employed, it might benefit you to offer your services as a freelancer. Freelance marketplaces like Lasso are an excellent place to discover new audio visual jobs. Signing up to the Lasso platform means you don’t have to worry about invoices and you can get paid weekly for the work you do. The best part is it’s totally free.  

Graphic Design 

Graphic design has always been in high demand, even before the internet took over. Now, with so many brands needing logos and websites, there is a shortage of quality graphic designers. If you have what it takes to create visually unique and inspiring graphics for logos, packaging, or content marketing you could earn between $200 and $400 per day depending on your experience, niche, and portfolio. Work can be found on similar freelance platforms to content writing.  

Online Course Production

One way to generate a strong passive income in 2020 is to create an online course that imparts the wisdom and industry secrets that you’ve built up over the years. Maybe you’ve recently retired or been made unemployed, but you have a wealth of experience in a particular area. Learning how to put a course together and where to present it is easy with a little bit of general research. After it’s made, it can continue to help successive generations of students and provide a steady long-term income for you. 

How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums, According to Experts

How to Lower Your Insurance Premiums, According to Experts

Expert Advice on Lowering Insurance Premiums

by Sharon Jones

When it comes to home insurance, whether it’s for a modest house or a multi-acre mansion, homeowners need to loosen the purse strings and pay the premiums as they come. After all, you get what you pay for.

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t practical things you can do to lower your home insurance premiums without sacrificing the service you’re getting. In fact, think of these money-saving tips as a reward from your insurance provider because you’re helping yourself maintain a safe home and keeping them from giving you huge payouts for easily avoidable tragedies.

We asked some expert HO6 (condo insurance) and home insurance providers in Florida about what they think are the best ways for people to lower their premiums. Here’s what we found out:

A Security System Goes a Long Way

A centralized burglar alarm (or one that’s tied directly to your local police) is a great way to lower your homeowner’s annual premiums. In fact, some insurance providers might even go as high as a 5% deduction, and in rare cases, can go even higher.

For condo owners, most condo insurance providers will give out lower condo insurance quotes if they feel like the condo building is set in a nice neighborhood, or if the building has adequate security systems in place.

While smoke alarms are pretty much standard (not to mention required) in modern houses and condos, installing one in older structures can save you a whopping 10% on annual premiums. Add dead-bolts, sprinkler systems, CO2 detectors, and even weatherproofing measures, and you can drastically reduce your insurance premiums while maintaining the same quality of protection from your provider.

Multiple Policies Can Mean Discounts

Note: this isn’t always true, as some insurance companies might not give a discount for multiple policy holders, but many insurance providers around the country are willing to give up to a 15% discount to customers who hold more than one policy.

This means collating all your insurance contracts with the same company: i.e., choosing a single provider for your auto, health, and homeowners insurance. Some insurance providers, when they see they have a loyal customer, might reward that loyalty by giving you huge premium discounts for your continued patronisation of their services.

Get Your Mortgage in Order

We understand that this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but trust us: pay off your mortgage and you will see a drastic drop in your premiums. How much exactly of a deduction is dependent on your policy and your provider, but many insurance companies do offer very big discounts on properties that you’ve paid off.

And it makes sense: insurance companies believe that, if you owned a property 100%, you’re more likely to take care of it, which in turn, lowers their risks of payouts. It’s a win-win for everyone, really.

Always Compare and Review Your Policy

Even after your initial purchase, it’s always a good idea to review your policy every year and compare it with other providers. But even if you’re happy with your current homeowners insurance provider, review your policy anyway and see if there are things you can improve in your home that could effectively lower your premiums, like home repairs or a well-kept lawn free of debris, or any small improvements that show your provider that your house is safe and cared for.

How to Save Money as a Driver

How to Save Money as a Driver

Driving is a necessity for many people and it can be hard to imagine life without it. But it’s also very expensive in a variety of ways. And just because we need to drive, that doesn’t mean we should pay over the odds for the luxury of doing so. There are lots of ways in which you can save money as a driver, and we’re going to talk about some of those tips and tricks today. Read on to find out more.

Always Use Comparison Sites When Finding Car Insurances

Car insurance is one of the biggest costs you have to cover as a driver and no one likes paying it. However, it needs to be in place, so how can you go about finding the best deal? Well, there’s not really any magic trick that you can employ. It’s simply a case of comparing the deals out there and finding the very cheapest. Using comparison sites makes this task a lot easier.

Choose an Efficient Vehicle

Choosing a vehicle that’s efficient enough to offer everything you need while also conserving fuel will save you a lot of money going forward. If you’re struggling to make the most of the fuel you’re paying for, it’s probably because your vehicle is quite inefficient. So when the time comes for you to buy yourself a new car, you should make sure that the vehicle is as efficient as it can be.

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Get Your Car Serviced Regularly

If you’re regularly feeling as if your car is having problems, it might be because you’re not looking after it well enough. You can visit www.eliteautomotive.vegas if you have any issues that you need assistance with. And getting your car regularly serviced will help to ensure it’s always in the best possible condition and will be less likely to break down on you without warning.

Learn How to Work on Your Own Car Too

You can also save yourself a lot of money by learning how to fix minor problems with your car yourself. When you know the basics, you don’t have to pay someone else to carry out the work for you, saving you a little money each time. Of course, it’s obviously best to have your car fixed by a professional when it has a real problem that you’re not sure how to deal with.

Adjust Your Habits and Try to Drive a Little Less

As a habitual driver, this one might be a little more difficult for you, but adjusting your habits and driving your car a little less remains one of the best things you can do to save money as a driver. If you can walk or cycle a little more, you’ll spend less on using and maintaining your car.

We all know that owning a car and driving can be incredibly expensive. That’s why it makes sense to take every step you can to save money wherever and whenever you can when it comes to driving. The ideas above should help you to do that, so be sure to make the most of them.

Don’t Hire The Wrong Person. It Could Wreck Your Business

Don’t Hire The Wrong Person. It Could Wreck Your Business

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Companies need to hire people to stay in business and provide their customers with value. But finding people who genuinely share your goals, dreams, and passions is a challenge. A lot of candidates in the job market are just looking for their next paycheck. They’re not all that interested in doing quality, honest work.

Therefore, hiring managers need to focus their efforts on weeding out the rotten eggs as much as they can. Just a single employee who isn’t on your side can create a nightmare situation. 

Don’t Hire People Based On Their Potential

It’s tempting to hire somebody based on your perceptions of their “potential.” But unless they have a proven track record, it’s almost impossible to know whether they will fulfill it. Plenty of people appear as though they will be productive and innovative, but relatively few are. Instead, it can take years for them to fulfill your hopes, by which point, they might have lost you a substantial amount of money. 

Taking a punt on someone with alleged potential is a significant risk, and you should see it as such. You’re hoping for quality work while paying less than the market rate. That’s not a good idea in general. It can pay off, but rarely. 

Don’t Look For The Perfect Employee

On the flip side, only hiring perfect employees is a recipe for disaster. Companies often have a wish list of features and skills that they want their employees to have. Almost always, they’re looking for a person so accomplished they don’t actually exist in the real world. However, the hiring manager feels like they must only take on people of extraordinary quality, just in case it reflects poorly on them. 

Failing to hire at all is actually even worse than hiring someone incompetent. When you shirk this responsibility, it’s impossible to get all your work done on time. 

Background Check All Your Staff

A candidate might seem perfectly polite and pleasant on the outside. Still, they could be hiding a dark and devious background. Therefore, smart hiring managers employ private investigators to look into whether a prospective employee has a criminal record. People applying for positions in your firm probably won’t volunteer this information freely. 

Only Employ People You Need

Hiring people is expensive. For most businesses, wages are the highest cost. Any company that employs more people than it needs renders itself uncompetitive and eventually has to raise its prices to stay afloat. 

Your organizational chart might suggest that you need to fill particular positions, but ask yourself whether you really do. Often, competent employees already operating in your business can perform these extra functions as part of their regular working week. 

Choose People Who Are An Ethical Match For Your Business

Finally, try to hire people who are an ethical fit for your enterprise. Ideally, candidates should share your values and your vision and support your working practices. Ask questions in the interview to gain insights into what motivates them and use this to your advantage. 

4 Employee Perks That Don’t Suck

4 Employee Perks That Don’t Suck

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With the business landscape becoming increasingly competitive, companies need to do more to attract the best talent. We are seeing a considerable rise in the trend of employee perks. The big tech companies like Google and Facebook paved the way for non-standard ways of working, involving things like hotdesking, unlimited leave, and ping-pong tables in the office.

But let’s be honest. Although they might seem funky and cool on the face of it, some of these benefits are actually a little bit gimmicky and annoying. Sure, hotdesking might create a culture of collaboration, but sometimes you want your own personal space rather than a communal desk with crumbs and greasy handprints all over it. Unlimited leave sounds great, but is your boss really happy for you to take two months off in the space of a year? And the ping-pong table… well, that’s just a recipe for no work to get done.

The best benefits are the ones that actually provide some meaningful benefit to your life, and show that you are valued as an employee and a person. With this in mind, here are the four best perks to look for when applying for a new job.

Insurance

It may not be as sexy as a beer fridge or pool table, but medical insurance is one of the best ways for a company to attract new talent. For many Americans, the only way to afford good health insurance is through their employer. Forget the gimmicks and nice-to-haves; the best way for an employer to show they value you is to help you look after your health. And the more comprehensive the insurance coverage, the better.

Commuter Assistance

People spend a lot of time and money commuting to and from work, and often employers don’t value their staff’s commitment to getting the job done. You will feel a lot more appreciated as an employee if your company helps you out with transport. Some companies offer ride-sharing programs, transport passes, or even shuttle buses to and from the office. Commuter assistance will go a long way towards improving your quality of life, so don’t disregard its importance. 

Time off

While unlimited leave can foster feelings of guilt and suspicion, there is no doubt that more vacation time is a massive bonus for any employee. Working long hours and consecutive days doesn’t necessarily cause high productivity, and studies show that the best-rested workers are the most effective. Perks such as above-average holiday time or shorter work weeks point to a company that cares for its staff’s health and well-being. 

Flexible working

The workplace is changing, and the majority of tasks no longer need to be carried out from a central office. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that a lot of office work can be completed from home. A company that promotes flexible working will allow you to enjoy a better work-life balance, especially when dealing with things like childcare, health issues, freelance work, or other personal commitments. 

If you are an employer and looking for ways to incentivise your staff and show them they are appreciated, consider signing up for an employee incentive program such as MTI Events.

A Numbers Game: How Proper Record-Keeping Boosts Your Business

A Numbers Game: How Proper Record-Keeping Boosts Your Business

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Ask a hundred or so business owners why they got into the “game” and they’ll give a wide range of reasons: for some, it was the chance to turn their love of something into a living. Others will explain that they have always been skilled at selling and that starting their own business was a natural progression. There are other reasons, too, but perhaps no-one will tell you that they got into business because they love doing admin.

This, as it turns out, is perhaps something of a shame, because when you are in business, the admin is a quite dominant, ever-present part of the deal. You’ll have to keep records, refer back to things and keep in contact with others on a regular basis. Even more importantly, an understanding of the importance of record-keeping can play an immense role in your business becoming successful – and maintaining that success. As we’ll see below, there are key reasons why record-keeping is so important.

With records, you can identify patterns

One vital reason for assiduous record-keeping is that, if you keep an account of everything, you can readily refer back to it when you need to. You can see, at a glance, where the peaks and troughs have been in your business record. Therefore, you can identify when things tend to tail off for your business, and why. This can allow you to make changes which will boost your business going forward. It can also be a way to identify the impacts of significant events (like a virus pandemic) which can be useful in future processes and potential litigation.

Solid record-keeping helps you answer questions

If you keep records of all correspondence into and out of your business, then you need never be caught on the hop by a customer’s question again. With a few clicks, you’ll be able to say when an order was placed, if it was delayed (plus why it was and for how long), and handle a wealth of other queries. Because you have it in black and white, you can answer a question with confidence. 

If you don’t keep records in this way, you can find yourself stumped by a customer question and needing to foot the bill for an issue that wasn’t your fault. If that doesn’t get you asking “Where do I get better software for my scanner?”, presumably nothing will. Just keep in mind the ongoing benefits of having years’ worth of digital business memory.

You never know when you might get audited

Quite aside from the benefits to you when you keep proper records, one unbeatable reason for maintaining them is that you might, one day, get audited for tax reasons or undergo due diligence from a business looking to invest. In these circumstances, you can be asked questions and they aren’t the kind of question to which you want to be answering “I don’t know”. Having a ready reference and the ability to answer fully and accurately will be invaluable in these situations.

Admin and record-keeping might not be the exciting parts of your business – but when you do them properly, they can really help you out further down the line.

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