3 Tech Strategies You Can Use to Earn and Save More Money

3 Tech Strategies You Can Use to Earn and Save More Money

By Lina Martinez

We will all use technology from the moment we wake up each day. But in many cases, we aren’t always using technology in our lives as much as we could do. It is not necessarily meaning that you need to sit scrolling through your social media feeds more everyday. But more about how wisely you are using your tech. It can do a lot more for you than you think. If you’re looking to make money or are in a management position in your career, then using tech can have a massive impact on your personal and business capacity to make money.

So while there are many ways that you can use tech to help your finances, here are a few of them that you can start implementing today to help your bottom line.

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Track Your Finances

Saving money is something that we all strive to do, but in many cases, it is so much easier said than done. But sitting and budgeting can be time consuming, which is where tech can come in to help you. There are so many products out there that make budgeting and tracking finances much, much easier. Using something like Mint allows you to have all of your finances, cards, and and loans in one place to track. Then monitoring it all can be much simpler, as many of us will have different accounts with different banks and lenders.

Tell You What To Invest

Saving money is a really good habit to get into. But if you’re just letting that money sit in your bank, then you aren’t going to get as much for it as you could elsewhere. So if you have some saved up, you can use technology to help you when it comes to investing. From checking stock ratings to getting the expertise from those that are more experienced than you, there are sites and apps to help you do just that. Stocks can be a good way to make some money when done well and timed right. But regardless of how you choose to invest, you just need to make sure that your money is working for you, rather than sitting there doing very little.

Selling Products or Services

At work or at home, I bet we all use tech to buy things from other people. Using a store’s app is a quick way to make a purchase, as well as looking what competitors are doing. But you can be using tech in the same way, to sell what you have. Or if you’re able to be selling but don’t have anything to offer, then you can always do it on behalf of a company who will pay you to sell for them. Marketplaces are cropping up regularly, so if this kind of thing is for you, then make sure you check it out.

Another way that you can make money through selling is by using affiliate marketing. The size of your business will depend on what you can make, but something is better than nothing, right? By sharing something you’ve bought and loved, it can create a small income for you too if people buy the same. Technology working at it’s finest!

Isn’t It About Time You Gave Your Business Its Annual Health Check?

Isn’t It About Time You Gave Your Business Its Annual Health Check?

By Lina Martinez

Having already built a successful business, it would be easy to assume the hard work is finished. However, a truly successful company is one that’s geared towards sustainability. As such, ensuring that the operation continues to run smoothly is key.   

No business venture is perfect, which is why you must always look to correct mistakes and improve your shortcomings. Unfortunately, doing this is impossible unless you are willing to analyse the current situation. Giving your company an annual health check is essential for ongoing success, and here’s how to do it in style.

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Staff Productivity

Clients may be the most important people in the business. Before worrying too much about them, though, you must focus on maximising staff productivity. Firstly, if you take care of them, then they will take care of the customers. Given that their input also influences everything from assembly to zone pricing, you’d be a fool to overlook this factor.

An effective recruitment drive should sit at the heart of all operations. It should include analysing personality traits as well as skills and experience. Meanwhile, maintaining high spirits is another crucial responsibility for all business owners. Simple gestures like having a coffee machine can make a world of difference. Likewise, investing in perks such as healthcare and gym memberships can work wonders.

Communication is another vital element. Team building exercises can have an immensely positive impact. More importantly, investing in the right tech facilities is vital. Cloud computing, team messaging Apps, and conferencing tools can all take your business to the next level. Time is money, and making yours work harder is key.

Commercial Surroundings

Business premises aren’t just somewhere to work. They provide the foundations of the entire company. Naturally, a great geographic location can actively aid the company’s presence as well as foot traffic in stores. Regardless of where you operate from, however, the most important thing is to build positive surroundings.

Cleanliness is the first factor to consider. Poorly kept work arenas can encourage illness as well as growing physical damage to buildings and business assets. Aside from cleaning the internal office and shop floor spaces, you should use drain cleaners to create a safer and more appealing place of work. On a similar note, treating external areas can make a noticeable difference. Whether it’s painting the walls or adding plants, those impacts should not be ignored.

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Good organisational and design skills can create a better working environment for staff members. Furthermore, it encourages brighter responses from the customers. Bright colour schemes, increased lighting, and a generally positive atmosphere won’t go unnoticed. If those tweaks can fit in with the brand’s ethos too, you’ll be onto a certain winner.

Online Presence

In today’s modern business world, there’s no escaping the need for a strong web game. The online audience is bigger than ever while users now consume content on a daily basis via their smartphones, laptops and tablets. Even if your venture doesn’t rely on internet sales, it cannot ignore the need to stand out from the crowd.

By now, you should know that a strong SEO strategy is vital for increased organic traffic. Familiarising yourself with the methods for a localised presence should be one of the top items on your agenda. On a similar note, all social media streams must use images with the right dimensions while the content posted should always stay on brand. Otherwise, you could inadvertently alienate some of your audience.

The website needs to look and navigate well too. Finally, if selling via your site, the ecommerce facilities need to be of the highest standard. Get all of these items right, and your online strategies will look better than ever.   

Customer Satisfaction

Every business sets out to provide customers with the right products. In truth, though, client expectations are far more complex. If your business wants to go the extra mile for increased sales and loyalty, adapting its approach to customer care is essential. Ultimately, a happy user isn’t just likely to come back for more. They’ll additionally spread the word to friends and family. Given the power of recommendation, you should be eager to gain those benefits.

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All clients want value for money, regardless of financial backgrounds. Loyalty schemes, special offers, and freebies are all obvious gestures. However, you could also review your approach to social media. A blog, for example, gives them free hints and tips that can enhance their experiences with your products. Another simple solution is to simply ask for their feedback, and use those responses to give them the service they crave.

Above all else, you need to ensure that your products give them the winning emotional reactions that confirm they’ve had their money’s worth. Failing to do this might not stop you from getting sales right now, but it will do once your competitors take advantage.

Overhead Control

Ultimately, everything you do in business should be geared to generating a profit. Increased revenue is a crucial factor, but only signals half of the battle. In terms of the operational ongoings, keeping a close eye on your spending is a major responsibility.   

Wasted money is the biggest sin of any business, but it’s very easy to overlook those issues without the right analysis. Accounting shouldn’t be an annual task, especially as computer software makes it very easy to stay on top. Meanwhile, establishing a budget can be beneficial as you look to take a more responsible approach to business management. If nothing else, the improved organisation should reduce the threat of unnecessary expenses. These could be related to late payments or simply making bad decisions.

It’s worth noting that shopping around can generate huge savings too. Price comparisons can save money on a whole host of features, especially ongoing services. This will keep the business in far greater health.

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The Final Word 

In truth, your business is probably operating OK as things stand. However, there’s always room for improvement. Appreciating this factor is the hallmark of a winner. Make those upgrades today, and your business will reap the rewards tomorrow.

Could A Simple Budget Be All You Need To Stay In The Black?

Could A Simple Budget Be All You Need To Stay In The Black?

By Brian McKay

Be honest. How much do you know about your current financial situation? When was the last time you opened a bank statement or had a good look at your accounts online? Do you know exactly how much you earn each month, how much you spend and whether or not you’re in debt? Many of us try hard to stay hard in the black, but this is not always plain sailing. If you’re worried about your finances, it’s worth taking time to draw up a simple budget. It sounds dramatic to say that this could change your life, but it’s so important to have an accurate view of what’s going on in those accounts and how much you can afford to spend. If you don’t have a budget, you’ve come to the right place!

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The basics of budgeting

Budgeting is a technique, which helps you to plan how you’re going to spend your money and enable you to keep track of payments that are coming into and going out of your accounts. In the simplest form, a budget is two columns of numbers. One represents money coming in, and the other represents your expenses. In order to stay afloat, you need to find a balance and make sure that you haven’t got a deficit between your income and your outgoings. If you’ve never done a budget before and you tend to just hope for the best, being a little more organized could have a really positive impact on your financial situation. There are several different ways you can budget including using apps and spreadsheets or resorting to old-fashioned pen and paper. You’ll find sites like WiserRobo helpful, especially if you’re looking to use budgeting techniques to try and save or make more money. Once you’re used to budgeting, it will become a way of life, and you’ll probably wonder how on earth you managed before you started crunching numbers and paying attention to your statements. When you are doing a budget, it’s useful to have a list of payments that you make on a regular basis and one-off expenses you plan to cover during that specific time period. At Christmas, for example, you may find that your additional expenses are much higher than normal.

Why budgeting is so important

When you carry cash, or you’re making contactless payments on a daily basis, it can be really difficult to keep track of how much money you’ve spent, and this can easily lead to overspending. If you’ve got no idea how much disposable income you’ve got per month, there’s every chance that you’ll end up spending cash that should actually be earmarked for something else. Budgeting doesn’t take long, it’s easy to do, and it can have an incredibly positive impact on your finances. With a simple budget, you know exactly what you can spend, what you can save and what you’ve got to pay for in the coming weeks or months. You can identify potential pitfalls, such as a shortfall in the run-up to the holidays, and this can help you plan ahead and prevent unexpected surprises.

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If you don’t already work to a monthly budget, now is the time to get organized and start figuring out those numbers. You won’t regret it!

Debunking The Biggest Myths About Your Credit Score

Debunking The Biggest Myths About Your Credit Score

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By Lina Martinez

Credit scores are one of the most talked about topics in the financial world. Consequently, there tends to be so much information about them online. Sadly, a lot of this information is more fiction than cold hard facts. As a result, we’ve decided to take a look at the biggest credit score myths, and debunk them once and for all.

A Bad Credit Score Stays With You Forever

Some people are led to believe that a bad credit score stays on their back forever. There are numerous examples of people I know that have worried about applying for credit because they once had a very bad credit score. Is a bad score in the past something to worry about in the present and future?

Truthfully, no, it really isn’t. A bad score will only hurt you in the present moment, for as long as it remains bad. As you can see on bankrate.com, there are loads of ways you can improve your credit score. It’s something that fluctuates over time depending on your financial behaviour. If it was once bad but is now good, then you don’t have to worry about the past at all. When you have a credit check against you, they’ll only look at your current score and nothing else.

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Your Credit Score Is Based On Applying For Credit

Many of us believe that a credit score is made up simply by looking at our credit applications. People will tell you that the more credit you apply for, the lower your score will drop. There’s a lot of truth in this statement; your score does drop when you apply for credit. This is simply because applying for any form of credit is seen as a potential financial risk. People that rarely apply for any credit and owe very few people money will generally have better credit scores.

However, this isn’t the only thing that your score is based on. There are many other factors of your financial activity that come into play. If you visit experian.com, you’ll see a whole list of other things that combine to make your credit score. This includes things like bankruptcies, payment history, debt, and so on. So, no, your credit score isn’t solely based on your number of credit applications.

You Need A Good Credit Score To Get A Loan

Incorrect, well, partially incorrect. There are some loans out there that do require you to have a good credit score. Furthermore, some lenders only give out loans depending on how good your score is. For example, it’s rare to find a bank that will hand out a mortgage to someone with a bad score. So, in this instance, you do need a good credit score to get a loan.

However, saying this is the rule for every scenario is just plain false. You can still get various loans even with a bad credit score. If you visit DebtConsolidationUSA.com, you will see that debt consolidation loans are available to people with bad credit. There are personal loans, car loans, and a lot of other loans available as well. Mainly, it depends on how much money you’re borrowing, and the lending institution. Typically, you won’t be able to apply for as good of a loan with bad credit compared to if you had good credit. But, the fact remains, you can still get loans with a poor score.

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You Can Damage Your Score By Checking It

Checking your credit score is a normal thing to do as you’re keen to know the state it’s in. This isn’t something you get in the mail every month or see on your bank statement. You have to actually go out and check it. Some people believe that doing this will damage your score and lower it. However, this is only true if you check your score in the wrong way.

The right way to check your score is to do it through a credit score checking service. This won’t hurt your score at all, and you can do it as often as possible. The wrong way is to check your score by applying for credit. As mentioned earlier, applying for credit can lower your score slightly. But, most people will only ever check their score when they apply for loans, and the lender does the check for them. Don’t do this as it will hurt you. But, use the right credit checking services, and you can see where you’re at without worrying about damaging your score.

People With Low Income Will Have Bad Credit Scores

Another very common thing that’s thrown around is this idea that having a low income will automatically grant you a bad credit score. This is built around the ideology that the more money you have, the better your credit score will be. Like a lot of the things on this list, there is some truth behind these claims. For one, having more money means you’re less likely to be at risk of certain factors that lower your credit score. As an example, you might be clear of any debt, and you may not be applying for lots of credit. Both of these factors could apply to poorer people who may depend more on credit and be in debt.

Having said that, there are many instances where someone that earns a low income has a better score than someone that earns way more than them. It all boils down to money management and how good you are at it. You can earn minimum wage and be so good at saving money that you’ve got no debts, don’t depend on credit, and pay all your bills on time. The myth here is that your income affects your credit score when it simply doesn’t.

There’s a high chance you believe a lot of the things mentioned in this list. Hopefully, this article has helped clear everything up and present you with the facts. Yes, there is some truth in many of the things suggested here. However, a lot of the time, they’re generalizations that don’t apply across the board. Use this post to help you understand credit scores without worrying about fact or fiction.

 

Squeezing Cash Out Of Your Car

Squeezing Cash Out Of Your Car

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by Jerry Mooney

One of the biggest problems with owning a car in the modern world is the price which comes with it. As roads become more populated, they become more dangerous, and this drives the prices of insurance through the roof. Along with this, as oil runs out, fuel for cars is also getting pricier. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, the motor on your driveway could be a source of finance, not just a drain on it. To help you out, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to squeeze some cash out of your car.

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  • The Freelance Route

 

Over the last few years, making money with your car has become easier than ever. Companies like Uber have taken the world of taxis by storm, offering the chance for those with some experience on the road to make some money. Using a method like this, you will be technically self-employed. This gives you a lot of freedom, but it might not be for everyone, as it also comes with some risk. An option like this is often best for people who would like to have a schedule which they choose, while also being backed by a big company.

In most places, achieving this sort of goal will require some background credentials which you’ll need to get. Taxi licensing is usually handled by your local government and will enable you to get everything you need to start driving people around. Along with this, you will also need to have your own car. This should be something reliable and economical to run, while also being safe enough to move passengers around without any issues. With all of this in place, you should be able to get started with the app of your choosing.

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  • A Career

 

For some people, the idea of working as a freelance taxi driver to get some money out of their car will seem very boring. This isn’t your only option for driving work, though, as delivery drivers are also becoming very popular. Working for a business like Amazon, you can choose your hours and exactly how much you’d like to work each day. This sort of role is often a lot more secure than using something like Uber. Along with this, you will interact with customers a lot less, and this will be a huge benefit to some people.

To be able to perform a job like this, you probably won’t need to get any special licensing or permits, as you won’t be putting anyone at risk. Instead, you will simply need to make sure you’re insurance covers your car when it’s being used for business. Without this sort of coverage in place, you could risk getting in some serious trouble and may even be left without a car. Once you’re all covered, you can start to think about applying for one of the many delivery companies out there which hire people on a freelance basis.

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  • The Quick Buck

 

Finally, of course, some people won’t want to make driving into their job at all, and will simply want a way to get some money out of their car for a rainy day. Thankfully, there are some good ways to do this. Getting car title loans online only through the best companies will take some research. But, with a financial service like this in place, you will be able to take a safe loan without risking losing anything bigger than your car. The value in your motor is often overlooked. You don’t have to give it up to get something out of it, though.

To be able to get a loan like this, you will first need to make sure that you have an operational car which is up to date with servicing and other maintenance. The condition of the car will make a huge difference when it comes to the amount of money you can borrow. Along with this, though, you’ll also have to think about your credit rating. If your score isn’t high enough, it could be very hard to convince a company to part with their hard-earned cash.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the money you get out of your car. A lot of people will ignore this part of their life, simply seeing it as a tool to help them from A to B. Of course, though, this piece of machinery can offer you a lot more than this, whether you choose to make a career or grab the cash and run.

 


Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter.

A Foolproof Plan To Expand Your Business Across The Globe

A Foolproof Plan To Expand Your Business Across The Globe

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by Brian McKay

There are some businesses you come across that people in other countries have never heard of. I’m sure many of you have been abroad or spoken to someone from another country and been amazed that they’ve not heard of a certain brand you deem common. It works both ways as foreign countries have brands and businesses that are big there but non-existent here.

Then, you have certain brands and companies that are well-known throughout the world. Again, you’ve probably been abroad and seen a certain company out there and been stunned as you thought they only existed back home. Businesses like this are smart as they’ve taken themselves global. This means that instead of just tapping into one national market, they’re working on an international level.

In this piece, you will learn how your business can do this. You can go from a small company working on a local level to a national one, and then a global one. But, before we get into this, let’s look at some reasons why expanding your business is a good thing.

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Why Expand Your Business Across The Globe?

Expanding your business globally requires a lot of work and patience. So, why would your business want to go through all this effort? The first reason is simple; you can make a lot more money by tapping into global markets. Instead of just having customers in one country, you could have some in multiple countries. At some point, you will reach a moment where your business struggles to increase its customer base if you’re only working in one country. Try as you might, you just can’t bring in a significant number of new customers. But, by focusing elsewhere too, you can bring in more new customers.

Furthermore, a global business helps establish your reputation all over the world. Think about when you go abroad, and you see certain brands that are common back home. What goes through your mind? Normally, you think wow, I never knew this company was so big! Establishing your brand on a global scale will make your business seem bigger and more important. This creates a positive reputation, which helps your business in so many other ways.

The last point I want to make is that a global business isn’t reliant on one particular market. Let’s say you’re selling things to a national market, but you end up in an economic recession. This normally leads to consumers being more frugal and spending less money. It’s a tough time for businesses, and your sales dry up. However, if you’re also operating in other countries, then you’re not going to be as badly affected. The economy may be down in one market, but it could be booming in another one!

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Expanding Your Business Globally: The Plan

Now that you’ve seen why it makes sense to expand your business, you’re going to be keen to learn how. In this section, you will find all the tips you need to form a plan of action. Be warned, you won’t see overnight results. This isn’t a plan you can implement and expect to see results after a few days or even weeks. It’s a lengthy process, but you will eventually get to a point where your business is operating globally.

Identify Your Most Profitable Global Markets

The first step is figuring out where your business should expand to. You might think this doesn’t make sense as ‘globally’ means all over the world, right? True, but there are definitely some countries your business will see more success in than others. As such, it makes sense to only expand to these countries, rather than wasting money on marketing in places where results aren’t guaranteed. For example, would a business that makes and sells alcohol see a lot of success marketing in deeply religious countries where the people don’t drink alcohol? No, it wouldn’t be a smart business decision. Here, you’re conducting initial market research to identify the best countries to expand your business into.

Continue Market Research With Expert Advice

Next, you need to build on your market research with the help of expert advice. The best way to do this is to hire established experts from all over the world. Try and hire people with knowledge of these foreign markets so they can help you learn more about them. There are two routes you can take with this idea. Firstly, you can publish an international job advertisement for people to come over and work with you. In this scenario, make sure you also hire a lawyer to deal with any international work clearance and visa issues. The alternative route is working remotely with other people. This can help reduce the costs of hiring them, but it may be hard to collaborate as you’ll work in different time zones. Either way, make sure you have new people on board to give you expert advice in these new international markets. It will help you put together different marketing strategies for each country, guaranteeing your success.

Deliver Your New Marketing Strategies

The keyword here is strategies rather than strategy. When you’re targeting a national market, you tend to have one strategy that’s aimed at your target audience there. Now, while you may have the same target audience in a different country, your strategy could differ depending on the country. This is all to do with the culture of certain countries and how one approach for one place might not work for another. In the previous two steps you should establish the right strategies for your international markets, and now you need to deliver them. Start rolling out marketing and promotional material in these different places and build up brand recognition. You want people to recognize a new brand emerging, but you also need to play on your previous success. Don’t make it seem like you’re a brand new company, let people know you’re already established and successful in a different country. This will immediately give you a good reputation and inspire consumer confidence.

A huge part of delivering your new strategies is getting your website  ready for different countries. You will have to completely translate your site into different languages, and make it accessible for people in different regions. This is such a simple step, and you’ll be amazed at how many businesses try and go global without making their website international.

Open Multiple Headquarters

You’ll quickly realize that running a global business is hard to do from one location. There are loads of reasons for this, mainly, it’s hard to stay in touch with global markets from one single place. As such, you will find things much easier if you open multiple headquarters all over the globe. Ideally, you want an office in every country you’re selling in. This works as a base for that country, and you can establish a team there to oversee everything and ensure it’s all working well. It also provides you with an office location that people can visit if they need to. Other companies can come to your headquarters if they want to work with you. It’s likely there may be foreign brands keen to form a partnership with you in foreign territories. Having headquarters in their country makes it easier to communicate with them. Plus, you’re not working on any time delays or worrying about time zones; it’s much easier for you.

I’d also add into this the importance of having customer service channels in different countries too. Consumers hate calling up a customer service number and being greeted with a foreign voice on a poor phone connection. It’s so much better for everyone if you can offer local customer service. This doesn’t mean you need to put together a customer service team in your multiple headquarters. No doubt there will be loads of places you can outsource to in these foreign territories.

Take It Slow

Finally, it’s important that you take all of this slow and build up to it. The best method for success is to establish yourself locally as a small business and grow bigger nationally. Then, slowly expand your reach into different countries. But, don’t go for loads all at once, try and expand into one country, then another, and another. This slow progression helps you stay in control of everything. You can establish yourself in one country and make a lot of money that can be invested in another foreign market. If you try and deliver your products/services to loads of different markets all at once, then it will be very hard to stay on top of things. Take it slow, be patient, and don’t force success out of your business.

Hopefully, these tips can help you put together a plan for expanding your business across the globe. If you do everything correctly, you will see the benefits mentioned at the start of this piece. Global expansion is a natural progression for most businesses. Experts that have worked in the business industry for years will tell you that progression is the key to success. Don’t stay in one place; grow bigger and better!


 

Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption, the President of Extra Pro Services and the President and creator of PETiO DOOR INC. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University and an M.B.A. from Boise State University (yes that blue field). His goal in life is to look out for the regular guy and bring as much knowledge and change to this world as he can. His purpose in founding zenruption was to do just that and help craft the world he wants his daughter to inherit. Please feel free to email him any feedback or article ideas at brian@zenruption.comTwitter or Facebook.

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