How to Market Your Business at Low Cost

Most business owners know that marketing is important, but if you are new to the business or low on funds, finding affordable ways to market can be a huge struggle. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help bring attention and customers to your business without blowing your budget. Here are a few things you can do to get started affordably marketing your business.

List Your Business

No business can succeed without being findable to its customers. Listing your business with Google My Business, Yelp, and in other places can help you to reach a wider audience and to appear more regularly in searches. Most people find businesses through online searches, and they are often looking for businesses near their current location. Listing your business makes that information easily available so that potential customers can find you on the go. Taking the simple step to list your business will save you a lot of time effort and a big chunk of your budget that you may have otherwise needed to spend on marketing.

Source: https://www.innovationvisual.com/knowledge/why-is-google-my-business-important-for-your-business  

Organic Marketing

If you are looking to grow your business without a lot of spending, organic marketing might be the way to go. Through this method, you don’t spend money on marketing but instead, do things that will bring customers your way over time. One great approach to organic marketing is using social media to find potential customers and simply building a platform. About 72 percent of Americans are active on social media. That means by simply being on social media for your business, you can get tons of eyes on your company and bring in the people you need on your side

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/credit-union-social-media-spending/  

Build a Newsletter

A newsletter is a way to target customers that can be modified to fit your budget. If you have extra time, you can put together a monthly email newsletter that looks great without needing to dip too far into your budget. Make sure to highlight things like discounts, sales, and events in your newsletter so you can incentivize a return to your business. The more you do to make your newsletter interesting and appealing to your readers, the more effective it can be at helping them to frequent your business.

Source: https://www.openglobal.co.uk/articles/182-6-essential-tips-for-writing-the-perfect-newsletter.html  

It’s important to market your business, but you don’t want to spend money you don’t have. Marketing on a budget can be an exciting challenge that gives you the chance to stretch yourself and grow your business. 

Read this next: Industries That Benefit from a Booming Economy

Money Moves Every Homeowner Should Be Making

Owning a home can save you a lot of time and stress, but even so, it can be an expensive venture. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help offset those costs and keep your home-owning expenses to a minimum each year. Here are a few of the best things you can do to help you keep your living costs low so you can enjoy your home to its full potential.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Principal

Paying down the principal on your home loan will help you to decrease the amount of interest you owe and increase the percentage of your monthly payment that goes towards your principal. It is worthwhile to put any extra money you can towards the principal of your home loan each month so that you can lower your monthly payment and decrease the total amount you will owe on your home. This can usually be done through your normal mortgage payment; you just want to make sure that you indicate that the extra money is going towards your principal since that will have the greatest effect.

Refinance Your Home

Refinancing your home is usually a great way to lower your payments and get more out of your loan. Interest rates are particularly good right now which makes it a good time to refinance, that said, if you have improved your credit and are making regular payments on your home loan, a refinance is often in your best interest. It is important to do your research before deciding on your home loan so you can be sure to get an interest rate that makes sense for you and will help you out. Mortgage broker reviews are a great resource for finding the best refinance lender.

Minimize Insurance Costs

Lowering your home insurance costs can be a great way to keep costs low and improve your financial situation. It is a good idea (and often required) to have insurance, but you shouldn’t pay for more than what you need. Shop around for a good insurance rate and make sure to minimize the unnecessary extras that may be tacked on to your insurance bill. It can also help to bundle insurance so that you can take advantage of the discounts your insurance company has to offer.

Taking care of your home and taking advantage of available financial breaks will help you to get more out of your home and relieve some of your financial stress. Trying these things will help to get you on the right track. 

Read this next: 3 Tips for Living a Successful Life

Jobs That Let You Choose Your Own Hours

Let’s face it—the normal 9-5 work schedule doesn’t always work so well these days, especially if you’re working from home. Between the difficulties faced by remote workers and the number of layoffs and furloughs, sometimes finding a new job just makes more sense. If you need more flexibility and control over the hours you work, you may be better off finding a job that lets you choose them.

Freelance Writer and Editor

Was English your favorite subject? Do you have an eye for grammar and syntax? If so, you may find that working as a freelance writer and editor is a good use of your skills. Some of the things you could find yourself writing or editing include blog posts or web copy. As a freelance worker, you set your own hours and can negotiate your own pay. If you’re writing, you can choose to get paid by the number of words you write or the number of finished pieces you produce. As an editor, you’ll most likely get paid for each project you complete.

Real Estate Agent

Maybe the housing market is booming where you live. In that case, you may find becoming a real estate agent to be an enticing prospect. As a real estate agent, you have more control over when you work, especially if you are working for yourself. You might be surprised by how much goes into becoming a real estate agent. One of the first things you’ll need to do is get licensed. To get your real estate license, you need to understand your state’s requirements. After you have your license, you’ll need to decide what sort of real estate you want to work in, as well as whether you want to represent sellers or buyers.

Ridesharing or Delivery Driver

If you love to drive and wish you could make money doing it, the good news is that you can. You can get paid to take people where they need to go as a rideshare driver, or you can bring food and goods to people as a delivery driver. If you work for companies like Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, or GrubHub, you can decide when you want to work and what jobs you want to take. It doesn’t get much more flexible than that. Whatever you choose, make sure your insurance will cover you if you drive for work. You may have to start carrying additional insurance, depending on your policy.

There are a lot of jobs that let you choose your own hours. Working as a freelance writer and editor, a real estate agent, or as a ridesharing or delivery driver are just some of the options out there. The job that works best for you will depend on your specific situation and needs, so keep them in mind when choosing a new job.

Read this next: 3 Valuable Skills to Work from Home and Make Money Online

Industries That Benefit from a Booming Economy

By this point, it’s more than obvious that the economy has taken a hefty beating. The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns left the country reeling and many of its citizens without jobs. That said, the one guarantee, as always, is that everything changes. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) we should see an economic upswing. That could mean that this is a good time to start looking for a job in industries that do well during a booming economy.

Retail

In 2018, over 10 million people had various jobs in the retail industry ranging from entry-level salespersons and cashiers to those management positions. With such a wide variety of positions, there are endless opportunities to work in retail. You don’t have to have a formal education to break in, though it certainly helps if you’re gunning for a supervisor or management position. The retail industry got hit pretty hard by the most recent recession, but as the economy recovers, you can expect people to return to something that more closely approximates their previously normal spending habits. Given the vast range of businesses that fall under the umbrella of the retail industry, your chances of finding a job that aligns with your interests are high.

Real Estate

Real estate careers are seen by many as an ideal way to become financially stable. Everyone needs somewhere to live, so real estate professionals will always be in demand. Of course, there is more demand when people feel more secure in their ability to find and retain a job, which is one characteristic of a booming economy. To land a career in real estate, you’ll need to become licensed in your state. You’ll need to take a course to gain the requisite education to pass your licensing exam. An online real estate course gives you more flexibility to work when you have other responsibilities.

Internet of Things

When the economy is thriving and people have residual income, they are more likely to spend money on things they don’t technically need. Enter the Internet of Things. Of course, with the surge in work-from-home jobs and increased reliance on the internet and technology, the IoT is likely to enjoy a transition from a luxury to something more approximating a necessity for some. As such, you can expect jobs in the IoT industry to do well as the economy recovers. If you have a mind for technology, that’s an industry worth checking out.

 

Not every industry benefits from a booming economy (we’re looking at you, medical industry), but many do. Retail, real estate, and the internet of things are just three examples. As you look to advance your career, consider looking for one in one of these fields to allow yourself to take advantage of the economic upswing that is hopefully right around the corner.

Read this next: Think and Grow Rich: Achieve Success, Confidence, and Material Wealth

What You Should Do if Your Employer Asks You to Do Something Illegal?

For most people, going to work is fairly normal and uneventful outside of the typical happenings within the workplace. Sometimes, however, businesses engage in shady or illegal dealings. Regardless of the motivation, be it greed or desperation, there are actions you should take if your employer asks you to do something illegal.

Get a Lawyer

The pressure to perform illegal acts when asked by your employer can be huge, especially if you feel your job is on the line. If you refuse, your employer may feel threatened by you and fire you as a result. While laws regarding terminating employees will vary from state to state, this isn’t considered a good practice anywhere, even in states with at-will employment laws. In fact, you may have grounds to sue for wrongful termination. You may find it beneficial to retain a lawyer to represent your case, or at least see them for a consultation. Initial consultations are often free of charge, so you don’t really have anything to lose.

Become a Whistleblower

Finding out your employer is engaged in illegal activity can be scary. It’s easy to keep your head down and pretend you don’t know anything. That can potentially make you complicit, however. Instead, you can become a whistleblower and report your employer to the proper authorities. Depending on the infraction and the whistleblower laws where you live, that might mean reporting to your superior or a government agency. If you are concerned about retaliation for reporting illegal activity, the law is on your side. Whistleblower protections prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who file complaints.

Document Everything

If you are asked to perform illegal activities at work, you need to document as much as you can. Make sure you have all of the facts and as much of a complete understanding of the situation as possible. Take notes at meetings. Save copies of written communications, such as texts or emails. Depending on your state’s laws about recording conversations, you may be able to record spoken conversations to further support your claims. Having proof to back up your statements will support your position and help avoid a he said, she said scenario.

Being asked to do something illegal in the course of performing your job duties isn’t normal, and should never happen. If it does, however, it’s a good idea to know what to do. You may need to retain a lawyer. You can become a whistleblower and protect your fellow employees from being asked to do the same. Make sure you document everything along the way. These actions can help you position yourself to come out on top of the mess you’ve been put in by your employer.

Read this next: How You Can Make a Late Career Change

3 New Jobs That COVID-19 Has Created

There has been a lot of cause for concern with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of thousands have fallen ill, and many have died. Some who have fallen ill have suffered ongoing effects beyond the normal span of the disease. Many people have lost their jobs. At least in this one area though, COVID-19 has given back some of what it took. The heavy onset of the coronavirus has actually created multiple new jobs for people to fill.

Contract Tracers

Contact tracing is far from a new concept. Historically, it has been done to address the spread of illnesses and diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, and STDs. This occupation has enjoyed a significant boost as of this year thanks to COVID-19. States around the country are hiring people by the thousands to fulfill this role. Contact tracers are responsible for reaching out to people who have been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19 and alerting them so they can take necessary precautions. This job can easily be done from home both part-time and full-time. To qualify, take an online course and pass the exam within 72 hours of completion. Most states are hiring contact tracers or likely will be soon, with pay varying from state to state.

COVID-19 Compliance Officer

With all the new mandates and policies being handed down from virtually every level, there’s a lot for a business to keep track of. Enter the COVID-19 compliance officer. These people have the job of keeping track of such regulations and ensuring that they are appropriately applied within the business setting. Duties will vary from business to business. They may be the ones responsible for performing a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis can identify where changes in workplace practices need to be made. Once those changes have been identified, they can get to work on enforcing them within the business.

COVID-19 Tester

Of course, most of this starts with identifying individuals who have contracted COVID-19. That’s where the testers come in. Being a COVID-19 tester means either being a healthcare professional or being thoroughly trained and tested as a technician. Their job is to administer COVID-19 tests to those who think they have the disease or have been exposed to it. There are many different types of tests that can be done. Staying up to date on available testing methods is a must.

The new jobs created as a response to the coronavirus pandemic has been something of a silver lining for multiple people. Jobs as contact tracers, COVID-19 compliance officers and COVID-19 testers are among a few of the occupations that have been added to the job market since its onset. If you want to do something meaningful for work, try one of these occupations that play an important role in tracking the virus and keeping people safe.

Read this next: How You Can Make a Late Career Change

The Best Metro Areas to Live and Work in the South

Over the past few years, families and working professionals have flocked to cities in the southern United States. Consistently, Southern metro areas have been ranked as some of the best cities to live in the US, combining job opportunities with great standards of living. Discover how southern cities are leading the way and why they’ve become the best places to live and work.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is an area with a long history and way recently ranked the best big city in the southeast. Not only can the city be a great career move, it also provides a welcoming and friendly community. Whether you’re moving here on your own, or have a family in tow, there’s plenty of ways to keep entertained. The area is made up of tight-knit communities, which combine old history with new innovation. Enjoy the many museums and parks surrounding the city, or hit up the great bars and restaurants that make up the city’s nightlife.

Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta area is among the fastest-growing cities in the country. It’s the 24th best city in the country for jobs and for those starting their career, Atlanta was ranked in the top 10 cities for recent grads. It’s the home of sixteen different fortune 500 companies, including Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company, as well as prominent startupsThese successful industries have also created a robust downtown and nighttime scene. In fact, Tripadvisor ranked Atlanta’s nightlife as #1. For newcomers with families, Atlanta’s robust housing market encourages them to stay. Everyone can stay and enjoy the history of the city, its many museums, year-round sporting events, and the beautiful trails and parks surrounding the city.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond has consistently ranked well in terms of industry and livability. The city provides many opportunities in a wide range of fields from information technology to healthcare. Besides its thriving job market, Richmond keeps its residents entertained with great parks, historic districts and a rich art scene. The downtown is also great for residents, with great bars and restaurants for a night on the town.

Whether you’re looking for a successful career, great nightlife or a good place to raise a family, consider these southern cities. Each area has continued to develop and grow its industries, allowing newcomers to stay and enjoy the area.

Read this next: How You Can Make a Late Career Change

How You Can Make a Late Career Change

Sometimes you need to change the direction your life is going. Maybe your job isn’t fulfilling, you need more time for your family, or you would like to try increasing your salary. After you’ve done some soul searching and personal examination to make sure this is the right path for you, all you have to do is start. Here are some tips to help you get started on changing your career.

Make a Gradual Change

Just because you are planning on changing your career doesn’t mean that you have to change your career all at once. Many of the new careers you may be considering take some extra schooling, training, or it might just take time to find a position. If you quit your job as soon as you plan to pursue your new career, you will have no funds during the extra months to years of training and job hunting.

Almost no one is prepared with all the funds and training they need to make that switch immediately, so staying on your current job while taking night classes or doing online school to train for your new job is best. When you’re ready to start your new career, you can switch to part time in your current career until your feet are completely under you.

Taking time to make a career change also gives you the time necessary to do it right. You can take time to really investigate what career you want to switch to, make a plan, and save money if necessary.

Gain the Right Qualifications

You need the right qualifications to make your resume look good for future employers or build a portfolio. Do plenty of research about your desired career. Call or set up a meeting with someone who is currently in the career you would like to have. They can give you valuable advice about what skills are in high demand in the career and how to get started. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Most careers require some training or school, so look for programs for your desired career. Online schools have a lot of advantages that in-person programs don’t. If you have an extremely busy life, doing school online gives you more control over your schedule. Often, online schools can also be more easily accessible and cheaper as well.

Believe That It’s Possible

The fastest way to fail in switching to a new career is giving up. Maybe you don’t think you have the skills or can’t learn fast enough. Maybe you think that no one will want to hire you. But that’s simply wrong. You are still at the prime of your life, and some mid-life change is inevitable and maybe even necessary. Late-career changes happen all the time, and if you know that a career change is what will be best for you and your family, there is no reason to stop.

Regardless of the reason you are changing your career, making a late-career change can be extremely intimidating. But it can also be extremely thrilling. Take this chance to change your life for the better.

Read this next: How to Make Yourself a Stronger Job Candidate

How to Make Your Product Listings Sell Themselves

When you post your product listings online, you may wonder if anyone will ever actually buy them. Putting your business products online can be terrifying. But you can attract your audience’s attention to your webpage and get them to buy your products. Here’s how.

Use Visuals

One way to get people to buy your products is to use visuals such as professional photography. People want to know what they’re buying, and they want to see all the options. If you’re selling stainless steel water bottles, for instance, and you have ten different colors and three different types of caps, you’re going to need images of all the designs so that your customers can pick which design they like. For other products, such as clothing, you may need to include charts so that your customers can buy the right size. Nothing is more frustrating than buying a product that did not live up to your expectations. You want to give your customers a good experience on your webpage so they will buy your products and giving them visual information that will help.

Source: https://www.privy.com/blog/equipment-you-actually-need-to-take-product-photos

But you have to provide more than just visual information. Your customers will not be able to glean everything they want to know about your product from just a few images. They will have questions, and if their questions go unanswered, they likely won’t purchase your product. In fact, 53 percent of consumers are likely to abandon their purchase if their questions go unanswered. Therefore, on your product listings, you need to include frequently asked questions about the product. You may not be able to think of every question your customers could have, but by providing as much information about the product as you can, you build trust with your customers.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/customer-engagement-platform

Establish Credibility

Building trust with your customers is important because, without credibility, you will not have anyone want to buy your product. To build credibility, you need to make sure your website is easy to use on all devices and is professional. You can include testimonials about your product as well. Establishing your image as a trustworthy, professional business will help your customers trust your products and keep your business operational for years to come.

Source: https://squareup.com/us/en/townsquare/5-ways-to-boost-your-businesss-online-credibility

Selling products online can seem overwhelming, but with a little work, you can sell your products. Using visuals, providing information, and establishing your business’s credibility will enable your business to thrive.

Read this next for more great tips: 3 Essential Things You Need to Expand Your Business

3 Essential Things You Need to Expand Your Business

If you’re planning to take the next step in your business, congratulations! This is undoubtedly an exciting time for you. But expanding your business will often mean you’re facing a new set of challenges. It’s important to prepare yourself for this by securing the necessary essentials for success. Here are the top three.

A Good Marketing Plan

In order to expand your business, you’ll need a good marketing plan. It will be incredibly difficult for your business to expand without one. By using a good marketing plan, you’ll have the direction you need to bring your business dreams to fruition.

As you create your marketing plan, you should set some short-term and long-term goals. As you measure your progress, your performance will improve. You’ll be able to see the ways in which your plan is working, and the ways in which it needs to be revised.

Efficient Shipping

Efficient shipping is a necessity if you want to expand your business. If your current shipping process is inefficient, you’re likely to lose time, money, and customers. In today’s world, many customers are used to receiving their orders within 24 hours. They can be turned off by having to wait more than a few days or pay more than a few dollars for the shipping of their orders.

There are many factors which will impact the efficiency of your shipping. One of these important factors is your choice of truck drivers. It’s important to make sure your truck drivers are compliant. If they aren’t, you could be at risk for a number of liabilities.

Dependable Employees

As you probably already know, it’s nigh impossible to run a successful business all by yourself, let alone expand it. Spreading yourself too thin will leave you tired, burned out, and unable to expand your business in the way you planned. As you plan to grow your company, you’ll need to surround yourself with a loyal support team.

As your business expands, your workload will increase, so it’s a good idea to hire a few more dependable employees who can take some of that burden off your shoulders. Hiring competent employees will free up time for you to focus on making your business as good as it can be.

Give yourself the best chance for success in your business by arming yourself with a good marketing plan, efficient shipping methods, and dependable employees. These are three essential items you won’t want to go without in the future of your business.

Read this next: Becoming Your Own Boss: What to Take Into Consideration Before Starting Your Own Business