Nicholas Fainlight is an aspiring finance professional.

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2022 Small Business Trends to Watch for

This year has come and gone in an instant. Now that 2022 is almost here, many businesses are ready for a fresh start and some new trends. As the new year begins, it’s time to look back at the various business trends that happened in 2021 and what will emerge next year. Most of these are likely staying around for at least another year or more.

E-commerce Will Continue To Thrive

E-commerce is a great way to start a business without having to open a storefront.

E-commerce is becoming more prevalent as businesses look to expand their operations. It allows them to connect with their customers wherever they are and without them having to go to a physical store. Many of the trends that emerged during the pandemic were related to how businesses would adapt to survive.

Remote Work Will Stick Around

Remote work is here to stay. It’s still very much alive and well, and it has plenty of advantages for employers. In the last year and a half, the pandemic wiped out half of the workforce. In 2021, around half of employees worked from home due to the pandemic.

Communication Applications Will Gain Importance

Communication tools and apps can help a company’s employees work remotely with ease. A good communication strategy is a must if you want to make your work life more productive. It can help avoid poor collaborations and even workplace drama.

Cashless Payments Will Become Standard

Cash used to be king. But, in recent years, a new trend has emerged where people are using electronic payments instead. As technology advances, more businesses will be able to accept cashless payment methods. This means that you may no longer be able to rely on traditional methods to satisfy your customers.

More Virtual Events Will Be Held

If you’re planning on holding an event in 2022, chances are that it will be held virtually. Or, at least, slightly online. As for virtual events, it is predicted that they will become a hot trend in 2022 because of Covid. Not only are they cheaper than traditional events, but they can also help expand a company’s reach.

Video Marketing Will Expand

One of the most significant changes in the way marketing is done is the rise of video marketing. It’s a trend that will continue to dominate the industry for the next year or two. Video marketing is a great way for businesses to get noticed and grow. It’s full of perks and opportunities for owners.

Overrated Business Tips To Forget

Overrated Business Tips to Forget

Wherever you go, people provide unsolicited guidance on how to grow, run, or start a business. Out of the pointers they offer, some are valuable, and you must observe them. However, others are misinterpreted, outdated, or just plain wrong for the business you’re running. Here are some overrated business tips to forget.

1. Your Service or Product Must Be Unique

Businesspersons are often advised to outline what makes them stand out. However, it is not necessary to find an exclusive approach to achieve corporate success. A subtle change may improve the entire experience.

2. Customers Are Always Right

Do you need to make the customers happy? Yes. However, if your main goal is to please people, you may end up in a world of unnecessary suffering. It’s best to pay attention to the things that bring you a long-term profit, not the things that take your energy and time.

3. Do Not Start a Business With Your Friend

Many people think it’s a bad idea to start an enterprise with a friend, but that’s not true—friends whose expertise supplements each other may build a thriving business. Establishing a company may be straining to the relationship; however, the benefits of operating with a person you trust may be worth it.

4. Promote Your Business on Facebook

Companies have acknowledged that paid advertising is the only path to increase your Facebook image, which is still one of the world’s best social platforms. However, it is not always the top place to use up your advertising budget. There are other more effective means to reach your audience for a much lower price per lead, for instance, on platforms like Pinterest.

5. Concentrate on Your Site Instead of Building the Brand

It is important to have a brand that reverberates with ideal customers. However, investing all energy and time in the “perfect” site is not how to make it.

6. Never Reject an Opportunity

It is tempting to “do it all” and take all opportunities that cross your path at the beginning of your business. Saying “yes” to all opportunities in your corporate encounters will stifle your time and dilute your brand.

7. Gather as Much Cash as Possible

Each business needs cash to start and grow; however, not all businesses must seek that through financiers. While funding may help some companies grow significantly, other lifestyle corporations are at an advantage without it.
Finally, despite all the advice that entrepreneurs receive, they should filter what is right for their business.

How To Balance Profit And Purpose In Business

How To Balance Profit And Purpose In Business

Entrepreneurs need to build business empires while still staying committed to their purpose. A significant number of business people struggle to commit to their purpose while still keeping their enterprises profitable. Businesses need to demonstrate their contribution to humanity while still growing their profit margins. Here are ways businesses can balance profit and purpose.
Go Green

In the past few years, many businesses have shown their commitment to adopting more sustainable production methods. No matter the size, every organization can play a role in reducing its environmental footprint. Surprisingly, the current generation prefers to buy green products. Therefore, companies that will demonstrate high sustainability credentials will gain numerous customers who want to buy green.

For instance, manufacturers can reduce carbon emissions by sourcing closer to home. When raw materials are transported for short distances, it helps cut both transport costs and carbon emissions. Besides, leaders who have a passion for conserving the environment can shift to renewable energy sources.

Find an Inspiration

Walk away from your comfort zone and start doing something new that challenges you. Learn from these things and find inspiration in them

Leverage Technology

Technology is changing every aspect of life, including how consumers interact with brands and how they buy products and services. For example, online sales have doubled in the past five years. Additionally, organizations are using machines to understand customer needs better. This means that businesses must stay on top of the latest innovations to remain competitive in their respective industries.

Share Your Success

Entrepreneurship is a murky journey characterized by ups and downs. Therefore, successive entrepreneurs should consider sharing their experiences with novice business people. When you balance profit and purpose, your impact is significant and tangible, and more consumers will want to be associated with your business.

Understand Your Purpose

Purpose goes beyond providing high-quality goods and services to consumers. It also means that your business prioritizes the common good of the community. For example, some companies such as Unilever have already developed a unique living plan to track their progress of minimizing their environmental footprint. Business leaders should devote time to learn about societal impact and how to improve it.

To change business operations to meet new expectations requires exceptional and visionary leadership. In today’s versatile business world, leaders who will adopt agility will be in a better position to achieve long-term success.


Ways Working From Home Can Cause A Team To Be More Proactive

As technology advanced, companies began to question whether they should set up their employees to work from home. But, once the health of their employees became a national issue, many companies had no choice but to allow this arrangement. Although it may seem that employees will become less aggressive about their duties, that won’t be the case. Here are the ways working from home will make their team more proactive.


Increased Performance

Managers and supervisors often feel they have to make their presence and opinion known to their staff throughout the day. They do this in hopes it will keep employees from slacking off on the work that needs to get done. But, when employees are constantly observed and critiqued, it causes them to work in response to your actions rather than by their initiative.


Working from home gives them more opportunities to make choices for themselves. And, it empowers them to tackle issues without interference. With the weight of reaching their goals lying more on their shoulders than before, they will rise to the occasion and perform better. Also, because they will feel appreciation for your trust, your team becomes dedicated to efficiently handling their time and goals.


Increased Productivity

Whenever your staff can predict how every day, week, and month will go, they will become bored with their work. It can be hard for them to continue with proactiveness when there are no longer any challenges with getting their work done. Your team won’t maintain productivity when there is no variety with their responsibilities.


A home-based office takes away monotonous tasks like a daily commute and getting dressed, so more time and energy is given to genuine work tasks. Without being in a traditional office, employees may be able to use unconventional tactics to make their day more interesting. They will have to find their ways to keep themselves comfortable and motivated. Just the challenge of being productive while at home stirs up their creativity and problem-solving techniques to be more productive.


Increased Talent

In traditional settings, management can evaluate the skill level of their staff during performance reviews. The normal rhythm of the year will stay in place until that season comes about. But while working from home, supervisors can see their teams in a new way.


The unexpected curve-balls of a home setup will highlight what each team member is better at than others. Plus, the management team will have less distraction so they can better see how each team member behaves.


Boosting Sales Through Blogging

The world of social media is a big and broad one. However, there are some constants out there. One of them is blogging, which remains a highly useful and relevant way of boosting your sales.

So, what are the benefits of blogging, and how is it worth the time and investment? Here are some thoughts.


Expert Positioning

Blogging gives you a chance to discuss a highly relevant topic in your industry, share your expertise, and give advice on a particular topic. This is about much more than just showing off or looking smart, as it gives you a chance to subtly demonstrate your expertise. This means that you can position yourself as a leader in your field and ensure that people will return to you or your business if they require your industry’s services.


Search Engine Optimization & Social Network Placement

Here’s a simple truth when it comes to Google: Search Engine Optimization is critical. This means that you must do everything in your power to create content that is useful, engaging, and relevant to your line of work.


Blogging is fantastic for that. Google loves frequently updated content, so the more content you can create, the higher your SEO will rank. This means that people who are looking for your line of work are more likely to find your blog, and this makes it more likely that they will find your website.


Furthermore, creating good content makes it more likely that your content will be shared on social networks by others. This is a great way of getting more exposure, and potentially increasing your sales.


Effective (and subtle) Calls To Action

When creating good content, you shouldn’t be overly sales-oriented. Indeed, broadly speaking, you shouldn’t sell too frequently on your blog, as this turns people off and makes them less likely to read your content.


However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a Call to Action. This means that every blog entry should conclude with some sort of action the user should take, and an easy way to commit that action. It may be “read more” or “subscribe to our email list,” but every blog entry should conclude with a specific action that a user should take.


Cathryn Lavery Fmd Cru6otk Unsplash

4 Tips For Increasing Your Productivity

Twenty-four hours can seem like a massive amount of time. Imagine waiting in line at the DMV for 24 hours, or waiting 24 hours a webpage to load. Even events and fundraisers where you stay awake for a full day can seem to drag. Yet, when it comes to trying to fit everything you need to do in a day, 24 hours can seem like no time at all. Let’s break down what goes into a full day. Assuming you get a healthy amount of sleep for an adult ( 8-9 hours), we’re left with 16 hours. Add in 1-3 hours a day spent eating we only have so much time left for commuting time, hours at work, housework, kids, or pets it often seems like you blink and suddenly the day is over, and it’s time to get some sleep. 


Productivity is all about doing something effectively. When it comes to using your time effectively, it’s not just items to check off on your to-do list. Managing your time, purposefully, is a lifestyle. Maximizing your time by changing your lifestyle is a critical part of increasing your productivity.


Get a Planner

Keeping your day organized is the foundation of increasing your productivity. One surefire way of staying organized is by maintaining a planner! A planner can contain relevant obligations, reminders, appointments, lists, and any items that go into your day. Not only have options increased for paper planners, but a plethora of apps exist for keeping your day organized. Apps like Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and Goalist exist to make organizing your day simple. 


Manage Your Time

Managing your time can seem like a broad and vague lifestyle change, but it is incredibly crucial to making productive progress. Some simple tweaks in your day can help immensely with managing time:


  • Time yourself. You can manage your time by paying attention to how long it takes you to do a specific task. Try timing yourself at work to see how long different obligations take you and factor that into your daily planning. Pay attention to your commutes and how long they take to better plan out your day. 
  • Rest. Taking time to rest can be as important as the amount you get done in a day. Taking scheduled breaks throughout the day can improve focus and the quality of work. Working without any breaks can not only harm your concentration but can damage the quality of the work you do.
  • Give yourself deadlines. Giving yourself self-imposed deadlines can assist you in focusing better on the task you would rather not do. Set deadlines for scheduling appointments, doing household chores, or any miscellaneous obligations can motivate you to get them done in a productive amount of time. 


Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries with the people in your life can often feel like you’re letting people down when the opposite is more often correct. Setting boundaries not only protects your time and energy but allows you to give more to the obligations you’ve already made. Practice not only saying “no,” but figure out the best things to say “yes” to.


Avoid Multitasking

It sounds counterproductive to suggest avoiding multitasking, but it actually produces better work. Multitasking isn’t doing multiple tasks simultaneously; it just appears that way because of the speed in which we switch between different tasks. Multitasking, in reality, is just switching between two or more different tasks quickly. Studies suggest that if we spend time giving all of our focus to one task at a time, we improve the quality of our work and save time. 


It’s critical to use the time you do have productively. Amidst the business of life, being properly productive can seem like an impossible task. When you take a few minutes to look at your life and apply some basic safeguards, life becomes a lot less overwhelming and a lot more productive.

How to Stay Healthy While in Grad School

When you’re in grad school, you probably aren’t thinking about too much outside of getting good grades, but taking care of yourself is just as important as studying. Here are some ways to stay healthy while getting your degree.

Don’t get sick

There are several vulnerability factors that can contribute to getting sick. Sleep is one of the most important things your body needs. If you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system is compromised because sleep deprivation affects you on a cellular level. In addition, a lack of sleep is a major contributor to stress, which leads to an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol. The more your body produces cortisol, the longer it hits the “off” switch on your immune system so your body can direct all its energy towards dealing with stress.

Whenever possible, wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer.  This will cut down on the spread of germs. It’s also important to take your vitamins. It turns out that Vitamin D, not C, is actually more effective at preventing illness. It’s also important to eat nutrient-rich foods, which might involve a complete overhaul of your diet.

Eat a proper diet

Eating healthy requires some effort, but it is worth it for your overall health. Studies have shown that a proper diet aids in memory and learning, sleep patterns, energy levels, weight reduction and a lack of disease. Planning meals in advance and choosing nutrient-rich whole foods are the keys to a successful eating program, and carrying snacks throughout the day will help you avoid vending machines. Good supermarket tips include: shopping the perimeter of the store, making a grocery list, eating before you shop and ignoring any impulse items at checkout.

Make sure you exercise

Regular exercise can actually improve memory, in addition to keeping you fit. There are many ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Study on the treadmill, take the long way to class (if walking or biking), choose stairs instead of elevators. Wearing gym-like clothing throughout the day enables spontaneous bursts of exercise and eliminates any excuses. Once you make exercise part of your daily routine, it will become a habit.

Don’t forget your mental health

Staying healthy doesn’t just mean your physical state. Grad school can be extremely stressful, and pursuing a graduate degree can be emotionally and psychologically burdensome. This can take a huge toll on anybody’s mental health. It’s important to take time away periodically to do something enjoyable, as well as to seek help whenever necessary. People with any type of mental illness need to pay extra attention to signs that they might need help. Arrange to have regular check-ins with friends or family to help keep you grounded.

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