Finding financing in any economic climate can be challenging, whether you're looking for start-up funds, capital to expand or money to hold on through the tough times. But given our current state of affairs, securing funds is as tough as ever. To help you find the money you need, we've compiled this blog post on 3 financing techniques and what you should know when pursuing them.
#1. Get a Bank Loan
Lending standards have gotten much stricter, but there are still some that have earmarked additional funds for small business lending. So why not apply?
#2. Use a Credit Card
Using a credit card to fund your business is some serious risky business. Fall behind on your payment and your credit score gets whacked. Pay just the minimum each month and you could create a hole you'll never get out of. However, used responsibly, a credit card can get you out of the occasional jam and even extend your accounts payable period to shore up your cash flow.
#3. Attract an Angel Investor
When pitching an angel investor, all the old rules still apply: be succinct, avoid jargon, have an exit strategy. But the economic turmoil of the last few years has made a complicated game even trickier.
Here are some tips to win over angel interest:
Add experience: Seeing some gray hair on your management team will help ease investors' fears about your company's ability to deal with a tough economy. Even an unpaid, but highly experienced adviser could add to your credibility.
Don't be a fad-follower: Did you start your company because you are truly passionate about your idea or because you want to cash in on the latest trend? Angels can spot the difference and won't give much attention to those whose companies are essentially get-rich-quick schemes.
Know your stuff: You'll need market assessments, competitive analysis and solid marketing and sales plans if you expect to get anywhere with an angel. Even young companies need to demonstrate an expert knowledge of the market they are about to enter as well as the discipline to follow through with their game plan.
Keep in touch: An angel may not be interested in your business right away, especially if you don't have a track record as a successful entrepreneur. To combat that, you should formulate a way to keep them in the loop on big developments, like a major sale.
COVID-19 has been one of the biggest global challenges of our generation. Customer behavior is changing at a staggering pace, and digital adoption has become necessary for survival. When the pandemic eventually recedes, sales and service organizations will have to continue to accommodate new attitudes and behaviors. Leaders must take immediate action to meet customer expectations in the post-crisis era.
Managing customer engagement now
Here are three priorities for activating and supporting purposeful experiences:
Embrace the unpredictable
As the use of digital channels spikes throughout the pandemic, the "rules of engagement" have changed, and customer expectations for what constitutes “basic” digital capabilities have shifted. There will be no return to the old ways of operating. Organizations must now prepare for a future focused not just on digital transactions, but on digital engagement that accelerates the development of customer relationships.
Flex your customer workforce
Most organizations were forced to do the unthinkable during the COVID-19 crisis: Make an entire workforce operate from their homes. Meanwhile, the lines between different human customer engagement channels have blurred. Sales and service organizations threw out the rule book to create continuity for consumers. As a result, the foundation has been set for organizations to think more holistically about the flexibility and fluidity of their workforce across customer engagement touchpoints.
Empower resilient operations
COVID-19 has exposed the insufficiency of traditional continuity plans. Still, enterprises that have made investments in agile human and digital workforce capabilities have been able to navigate the crisis better than their counterparts. In the face of sustained customer behavior changes, there will be higher demand for flexibility of physical spaces, platforms, and data. To succeed, companies should adopt elastic solutions and continuously recalibrate investments against outcomes.
There’s enough evidence out there to suggest that work from home is here to stay. Collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams witnessed an explosion of downloads, and several people are likely to remain hooked. A Gartner survey revealed that 74% of businesses intend to shift at least 5% of their employees permanently to remote work. Even worker preferences appear to be changing. In a Gallup poll, 59% of workers who moved to remote work on account of the pandemic indicated they would like to continue working from home even after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
In an increasingly no-touch world, likely, this ‘genie’ is not going back into its bottle any time soon. Yet home workspaces also come with their own set of challenges.
The Value of Remote Working, Now And After COVID-19
Remote working is an opportunity for companies to change their way of working sustainably and reap the benefits over the medium to long term. Think of less office space, less commuting, fewer business trips, shorter breaks and greater focus for employees. Feedback from the market seems to indicate that remote workers are also less likely to take short absences due to illness.
It can also have a positive impact on the remuneration system of companies and provide insights into (HR) opportunities. Remote working on a larger scale also offers companies the flexibility to deal with unexpected events in the future, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, remote working can give a renewed boost to cooperation and cohesion.
Investing in remote working will have far-reaching consequences on the way we work after the crisis. It is too early to say to what extent we will not go back to the old way of working, but business leaders should already think about the potential of these investments:
A new operational model based on higher flexibility and more agile and remote ways of working;
A corporate culture that is more connected internally and externally and where an analysis of collaboration can provide valuable data;
An alignment of business goals to the new cultural standard and employee expectations.
When COVID-19 forced companies all over the world to send their employees home to work virtually, remote work had a big moment.
Yes, the rush to give employees access to all the tools they’d need to work from home was a bit, well, sudden for many employers. But after everyone settled in, what quickly became apparent to many office-based teams is that employees could be productive and focused when not in the office—in many cases, even more so. Employers everywhere began to understand that remote work really works.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a remote job or are already working virtually, this blog post highlights the benefits of working from home in the midst of COVID-19.
#1. Better Work-Life Balance
Many remote jobs also come with flexible schedules, which means that workers can start and end their day as they choose, as long as their work is complete and leads to strong outcomes. This control over your work schedule can be invaluable when it comes to attending to the needs of your personal life.
Whether it’s dropping kids off at school, running some errands, attending an online fitness class in the morning, or being home for a contractor, these tasks are all easier to balance when you work from home.
#2. Less Commute Stress
The average one-way commuting time is around 27.1 minutes—that’s nearly an hour each day spent getting to and from work, and it really adds up. According to the Auto Insurance Center, commuters spend about 100 hours commuting and 41 hours stuck in traffic each year. Some “extreme” commuters face much longer commute times of 90 minutes or more each way.
But wasting time commuting is just one of the downsides of getting to and from work. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety, and research shows that commuting 10 miles to work each day is associated with health issues like higher cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, and increased risk of depression
#3. Location Independence
One of the considerable benefits of working from home is having access to a broader range of job opportunities that aren’t limited by geographic location. This can be especially helpful for employees living in rural communities and small towns where there may not be many available local positions.
Having no set job location means that, pre-pandemic, fully remote workers could also travel and live as digital nomads while having a meaningful career. Though a full nomad lifestyle is currently on hold, as borders begin to open up, it’s still a definite perk.
Over the last few months, business owners nationwide have been economically and operationally affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, in many countries, businesses remain closed or have safety restrictions in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, even for businesses that have reopened, their customers may not feel comfortable visiting yet.
Due to this, many business owners are struggling to maintain relationships and engage with their customers. Without these relationships, it can be challenging to make sales during this time. We understand the stresses that business owners are facing, which is why we’ve compiled this blog post. Most likely, your clients are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic too, so it’s crucial that you plan your communications appropriately.
Better Ways To Keep In Touch With Your Customers During COVID-19
#1. Keep Them Updated
As you likely know, the COVID-19 crisis is changing daily. Therefore, it’s crucial that you stay in contact with your clientele and continue to provide them with excellent customer service.
Send email or text messages about reopening plans and safety precautions, payment plans, and any other operational changes. In addition, ensure that you have employees available to answer customer phone calls, emails, and social media inquiries. Most likely, your customers will appreciate these updates, and it’ll increase the chances that they continue buying from your business.
#2. Provide Helpful Content
While this crisis continues to affect daily life, you may have to shift your business’s focus. Sending your typical sales content may not be appropriate, depending on your industry and geographic area. However, you can still ensure customer satisfaction by sending them educational content.
#3. Ask How You Can Help
Most likely, your customers are just as stressed about the COVID-19 virus as you are. Therefore, you should provide them with a great customer service experience by asking how your business can help.
Perhaps you offer a delivery service, and getting your products dropped off would be helpful to them while they work from home. Or, maybe you own a fitness studio and can stream online classes for members who aren’t comfortable with in-person instruction yet. Regardless, it’s a good idea to ask specifically how you can assist them during these unprecedented times.
Economic collapse, business foreclosures and no end in sight. These may all be some headlines you’ve read in the last 30 days as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to take hold of the world economy. While a plethora of our favorite local businesses are suffering during this time of economic hardship and uncertainty, there are still reasons to be optimistic.
Optimistic, you say? Well, as you might have heard, this isn’t the first time a global crisis has occurred. Throughout history there have been pandemics that shaped the world in such a way, the effects of them are still being felt.
With that in mind, here are a few navigation tips for small businesses during the current crisis:
Identify the pain points brought on by COVID-19;
Consider offensive and defensive strategies to address the pain points;
Find creative solutions to your challenges; and
Chart a path forward with intentional flexibility.
Small businesses should seek to identify pain points, assess their style of communication and their approach to handling the crisis so far. Whether you are a high-level manager looking to find creative solutions to help your firm or a small business-owner looking to keep your doors open and grow, creative problem solving is of the utmost importance during uncertain times.
During this time, it is important to partner with someone who can help you navigate through this process. There are tools out there to help you assess your needs and find the best way forward. Know you are not alone, and that we will all get through this together.
Has the way you recognize your employees changed in light of COVID-19? Now more than ever, our employees need to feel recognized. This is due to the fact that a reported 64% of employees feel that recognition and appreciation is more important while working remotely.
At the same time, only 1 in 5 employees say their organization has implemented new ways to reward and recognize them since the pandemic began. With cancelled employee appreciation celebrations, banquets, and other inconveniences, many of our remote workers are missing out.
That being the case, now’s the time to start thinking about how we can adapt our employee recognition efforts to account for social distancing and remote work. In this blog post, we have put together the top three ways to recognize your employees during COVID-19.
#1. Peer-to-Peer Employee Recognition
Peer recognition is powerful because it can strengthen relationships while keeping employees engaged. The benefit isn’t limited to those who are on the receiving end either.
To introduce peer recognition to your remote team, encourage them to give each other positive feedback. This could be as simple as an email thanking a co-worker or a shout-out in a virtual meeting.
#2. Award an Employee of the Week or Month
Employee of the month isn’t a new concept. But it’s one that’s often not used effectively. When recognizing your remote workers, it’s important that you use a fair process to select winners.
When you’re developing an employee of the week or month program, base the frequency on your team size. The more opportunities for awards the better. But at the same time, you don’t want to give out so many awards that they lose value.
#3. Acknowledge Your Remote Employees’ Personal Achievements
Try to keep up with what your employees’ are doing outside of the office. Did they buy their first home? Return to school to earn their degree? Have a baby?
Recognizing what’s going on in their personal lives can build trust and strengthen your relationship, creating a more engaged workforce.
With the massive adoption of Bitcoin, and indeed other cryptocurrency, the crypto presents a lot of exciting opportunities to investors globally. If you are looking for the basis to start trading cryptocurrencies, then this blog post was written with you in mind.
In this post, we will take a look at the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies to make a profit. Meanwhile, the content of this post is not in any way a financial advice. It is purely for educational or entertainment purposes.
So, if you are ready to learn how to trade cryptos, let's get started.
How To Trade Cryptos As a First Timers
There are basically five steps to trade cryptocurrencies, including the following:
Register a Trading Account With an Exchange: The first step is to register a trading account with an exchange. There are so many exchanges these days, so tread carefully when choosing one
Fund Your Account: The next step is to deposit funds into your trading account. You can deposit funds via bank transfer, credit/debit cards, or using PayPal.
Pick a Crypto To Invest In: There are over 1,500 cryptocurrencies on the market. Choose the ones that you are promising.
Choose a Trading Strategy: Decide whether you want to be a long or short-time trader or investor.
Buy And Store The Cryptos: After choosing a trading strategy, the next step is to place a buy order and store the cryptos you would receive in an offline wallet/
Congratulations! You can now trade cryptocurrencies
If you have been involved in any crypto-related transactions in the last two years, it is likely that you would report it in your tax return. For clarity, cryptocurrency transactions include but not limited to buying, selling, staking, mining, trading, sending and receiving. It applies whether the transaction happened in Australia or not. In fact, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) wants to know about your cryptocurrency transactions.
Working out crypto tax can be a nightmare for many, plus there are so many facets to consider when preparing tax returns. Therefore, it is important to know exactly what you are doing and how to file your tax return correctly.
To give you a heads-up, we have put together a guide on the rules applicable in Australia regarding cryptocurrencies and tax. The information you would find below is strictly educational and not financial or legal advice.
Am I an investor or trader?
The first thing you need to work out is whether or not the ATO classifies you as an investor or a crypto trader.
A crypto investor is someone who buys and sells cryptocurrencies to make long-term capital gains. Investors are also involved in airdrops, staking, and forks. If you are an investor, you are subjected to Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
A crypto trader is in the business of buying and selling cryptocurrencies for short-term profits. Traders treat their profits as business income rather than assessing each transaction as a capital gain event.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
Just like a company's share, the ATO views cryptocurrencies as assets, which means each time you trade you need to assess your capital gains. If you buy cryptos and hold, you don't need to pay tax on your holdings, even if the value increases.
What’s my tax rate?
If you have formally registered your business with ASIC, your tax rate is the same as other companies - 27.5% on all income after deductions. But if you are an individual investor, your tax rate sits on Australia's sliding scale of individual tax rates.