Rebuild Your Life After a Serious Injury

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Nothing can compare to the experience of narrowly escaping death. Escaping an accident can completely change your life – from the way you perceive the world around you to the ambitions and goals you set yourself.

But while such drastic change can be incredibly positive in the long run and give you a chance to remake yourself as a better person, the process of rebuilding your life can be tricky to say the least. Even the most optimistic people will need some help and guidance along the way.

Take Legal Action

No-one wants to be litigious but after a life-changing accident, you must turn to the law to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If nothing else, you will need to pay for your treatment and recovery as well as cover any lost earnings.

Finding the right lawyer to represent you is really important. In general, you should choose someone you trust who has a lot of experience dealing with cases that are similar to yours. For example, if your accident was caused by an 18-wheeler, a semi-trucking accident attorney is the most likely to understand your case and how best to present it in court.

Reassess Your Priorities

When life trips you up, it can be a good opportunity to reassess what you want, what your goals are and how your lifestyle could be improved. For many people, the recovery process isn’t just about learning to cope with the lasting effects of an injury; it is also about figuring out a new way of living that gives you a sense of fulfillment.

There are a few practical things you may need to consider such as retrofitting your home but you should also think more holistically. What would you like to achieve with your life and how can you do that now? Take things back to basics: consider how you want to feel and what you can do to achieve that. For example, if you have lived a stressful life so far, perhaps now the pursuit of calm would be most fulfilling.

Go Slowly and Take Your Time

Rebuilding your life won’t happen overnight. You need to take your time and allow your body and mind to heal. This is particularly tough for people who have a lot of drive and determination so try to be mindful of what is happening and teach yourself to relax.

Noticing the progress you make – even if it seems barely worth mentioning – is a really good way to feel like you are on track. The small things will quickly start to stack up so that when you look back on your week, month or even year, you will see how far you have come. Tell yourself the narrative of your recovery and congratulate yourself on your progress.

Rebuilding your life after a serious injury isn’t easy but it can be an opportunity for change and growth. Knowing that you are taking even small steps towards becoming the person you want to be will help you to feel more positive about the future.

12 Ideas To Help You Become A Better Person

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When the New Year rolls around there’s always a lot of talk of New Year’s Resolutions and the changes you can make throughout the year to come. Whilst many people’s targets are often specific and focus on certain aspects of their life, other people tend to make much bigger and well-rounded goals.

A common large goal among resolution-makers tends to be to ‘become a better person’. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an awful person for making this goal, it does mean you can work on several different areas of your life – all of which are aimed at the things you can do to make the world a better place.

With that in mind, here are 12 things you can do to help you become a better person:

  1. Volunteer For A Worthy Cause

One of the best ways to contribute to the community is to volunteer for a worthy cause. Almost everyone will have a charity that they favor, so finding a way to volunteer for them on a regular basis will really help you feel as though you’re doing something worthwhile. Whether you help by volunteering in their charity store or helping out at events, there are so many different ways you can get involved alongside your day to day job.

          2. Start Donating To Charity

If you’re not able to spare the time to volunteer for your favorite charity, there are lots of other ways you can help – including donating money. Whilst you can simply submit a donation online every month, it’s often much more fun to get involved and do some creative fundraising. From sponsored silences to fitness challenges, you can be sponsored for practically anything!

         3. Take Unwanted Health And Beauty Items To A Womens/Homeless Shelter

If you have lots of unused health and beauty items (like shampoo, conditioner and body wash) that you don’t plan on using, donating them to a women’s or homeless shelter is a great way to help those that are less fortunate than you. Although they may receive monetary donations throughout the year, they don’t often receive the important items they need on a day to day basis.

If you find you don’t ever have any health and beauty items spare but you still want to help, try purchasing extra every time you purchase your own and start a collection.

         4. Start Shopping Locally

Small businesses appreciate every single customer they can get, however, they will find it difficult to compete with the larger well-known stores that are EVERYWHERE. If you know of a small business that sells the same products you would normally buy from a supermarket, try shopping with them once or twice a week. Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it will also make the business owners day.

         5. Practice Self Care Whenever You Can

Becoming a better person doesn’t necessarily mean you only have to do things for others, as looking after yourself is important too. Try practicing self-care whenever you get the opportunity. Whether it’s taking a hot bath at the end of the long day or spending a few hours before bed reading a book.

         6. Change Your Career To Something That Focuses On Helping Others

If you’re serious about making a change to become a better person than you could always consider changing your career to something that focuses on helping others. Whether you want to become a nurse, a doctor or teacher – finding the right job for you can be incredibly rewarding, even if you have to go through years of training and education beforehand. If you want to get into nursing, you can pursue an online fnp program.

          7.Start Reading More (Both Fiction And Non-Fiction)

Another way to become a better person is to constantly be doing things that improve your mental health – a great example of this is reading. Whether you enjoy a good fantasy novel or prefer getting cosy with a self-help book, reading is great for the mind.

         8. Take Part In Meat Free Mondays

If you want to start doing your part to help look after the environment but you’re not ready for the commitment of becoming vegan or vegetarian, there’s always the option to take part in Meat Free Monday’s. The idea behind this international trend is that whilst one person going meat-free one day a week won’t make much difference, thousands of people making a small change will.

All you have to do is go every Monday without eating meat and you’ll be making a huge difference! For recipe ideas, you can visit this site here.

         9. Try Going Vegan or Vegetarian

If you want to make more of a commitment than going meat-free one day a week, there’s always the option to go fully-fledged vegan or vegetarian. The difference this can make to the environment has been proven many times, as well as it being known to improve physical and mental health.

Whilst it’s not an easy feat to take, it will certainly be a rewarding one.

        10. Start Listening To Other’s More

Although it may seem as though you listen to what the people around you are saying, it’s easy to get distracted. With everyone relying on their smartphones for every little bit of information, it’s not long before a conversation will turn to ‘searching on your phones’ for something and getting carried away. Try spending time with loved ones and putting the tech away, you’ll be surprised where the conversation can take you.

       11. Make Time For Those That Are Important To You

Everyone has a busy life, but spending time with the people that mean the most to you is important. You never know what can happen and whilst work may be important, it shouldn’t be your whole life.

Make sure you’re making the time to see those that are important to you as often as you can.

       12. Do Things That Make You Happy

Finally, the most valuable thing you can do to help you become a better person is to do things that make you happy. Having a happy mind is the first step to improving all aspects of your life, so it’s definitely the best place to start.

Do you plan on becoming a better person now that we’ve entered into a new year? Let me know how you plan on changing in the comments below.

Top 5 Skills You Need To Grow Any Website

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When you’re running your business, you do need to think about the website. Online, this will be the home platform for your company. Everything should be rerouted or redirected through your business website if you want to kick your company into high gear. This means that content should be posted on your site, even after it has appeared and been promoted on social media. As well as plenty of content promotion, you also need to think about keeping clients and customers updated too. You should be providing them with all the information they need from your business direct from your website.

Great, but to maximize the potential of your business site, you also need to think about how to drive more traffic, grow your reach and connect with customers. Do you think this is going to be difficult? Well, it can be but if you have several vital skills then you should have no issues at all getting the results you want here. So, let’s explore each of these individually and make sure that you know why these are crucial.

Social Communication

As you might have expected, this largely relates to using social media the right way. Social media can be a very powerful tool for any business owner and will help you drive more traffic to your site if you use it correctly. To do this, you need to understand that there are different strengths and weaknesses for each social network that you could use.

This includes the favorites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and more. While some of these are best suited for B2B companies – Facebook – others are far more beneficial for business owners who are marketing to general consumers – Instagram. This is because Instagram provides a better avenue for releasing image content which is more interesting and exciting to customers. Your industry, sector, or target audience will also impact which social media source will be right for you. For instance, you need to consider where the key influencers in your industry are. This is where the main brunt of your campaign should be focused.

Once you decide on a place to play, you then need to utilize the social profile effectively. It’s best to follow the eighty, twenty rule here with only twenty percent of posts or content being direct promotion for your brand. Of course, gaining attention through social media isn’t just about posting. That’s the easy part. You need to select a tone, maintain a level of consistency with your posts, ensuring that everything you publish adds rather than detracts from your business brand.

As well as this, you must work on effectively communicating with users and customers through social media too. So, for instance, you should think about UGC or user-generated content. This is a great way to get users on your side while also bringing more to the fold. Remember, users are more likely to trust content promotion from another user compared to content directly from your business.

Know SEO

Next, let’s consider the impact of SEO or search engine optimization. Regardless of whether you are running an ecommerce shop, a blog or a full business website, you probably have some understanding of SEO. If you don’t it’s imperative this changes otherwise you will not see the level of response that you hoped for in terms of growth and of course traffic. There are various aspects of SEO that you should consider. It is not one factor of your website but instead several that overlap and interlink.

As an example, you must make sure that your site is optimized for mobile use to ensure a high ranking. Many and quite possibly most of users will now access your website through a mobile device and there is now a Google mobile first index system in place. This means that Google will index a mobile version of your site rather than a desktop if you have one which is critical and could provide you the competitive advantage.

As well as this, you also need to consider how to build your site effectively. Website structure plays a massive part on whether your business will see high levels of traffic. A great structure will ensure that customers and clients can find what they are searching for from your business. The general rule here is to make sure that customers are only ever three clicks away from what they are looking to purchase or invest in. You might wonder how this could impact SEO when these individuals will already have discovered your site. Well, issues such as a high bounce rate could pull your ranking right down. Nothing will make a user click off faster than being unable to find what they were searching for.

Creating Content

You also need to be able to create fantastic content that is targeted and that your clients or customers love. You might think that creating content is about following a strict set of rules but this is not quite true. After all how could it be when if you did this, you would be stuck with content that looked like it came out of a cookie cutter.

The trick then is to instead mix up the content and provide users with plenty of different options and possibilities. That means you should have images, videos, text and much more. When creating text, make sure you provide both snappy short posts and something with a little more bulk or substance that they can really sink their teeth into.

One of the greatest challenges of writing content is often knowing what to write. First, you need to know what customers are searching for with your website. You can use analytics to discover the keywords that customers use when they discover your site and then build content around these words or phrases. If you’re looking for an angle, searching this key phrase in Google and examine the content that the SERPs provide carefully. Craft something similar with a little more punch and pizazz and you should find that your business does climb higher in the rankings. This will help your traffic grow. You could even target FAQs related to the targeted keywords or queries.

Web Design

You need to think about what clients think of your site once they reach it. Positive reviews and great first impressions is the only way to see tremendous levels of website growth. This means you need a great website design. While it can be tempting to simply focus on a template, save money and build from there, this is a mistake. It will mean that putting your website in focus will be a struggle. Instead, you need to build a web design from scratch that provides a strong platform for your business and links beautifully to the individual brand. If you can’t do this, it’s always worth hiring a professional to help.

Headline Creation

Last but not least, you need to focus on creating killer headlines that really catch the attention of your users. It’s important that you immediately grab their interest and headlines or titles are the best way to do this, even beyond choosing the right image.

The key thing to remember here is that article titles need to have all the information users need, show clearly what your content or page is about and provide an irresistible hook. If you succeed in ticking off all the boxes here then you will see fantastic levels of views and indeed shares for any piece of content, assuming it reaches a high quality.

We hope you find this find this information useful and that it provides you with all the tools you need to grow your website.

3 Reasons You Should Get Started Pursuing Your Professional Ambitions Now Rather than Waiting for the Perfect Moment

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“One day I will…” and “I’d really like to…” are some of the most pernicious phrases you’re ever likely to hear, because they are slogans which are used to put off what could and should be done today, for later.

These phrases — and ones like them — rest on a basic fallacy; that whatever it is you want to achieve in business, or in life, there’s a “right time” to get started — some point where you’ll be wise, capable, and productive enough to get it done.

Of course, “tomorrow never comes”, and if you wait to pursue your professional ambitions, you’re likely setting yourself up for trouble.

Here are just a few reasons why you should get started pursuing your professional ambitions now rather than waiting for the perfect moment.

There are plenty of tools available to help you learn quickly on the go

One great fear that holds people back from pursuing their professional ambitions — whether those ambitions relate to making it as a day trader, or as an author — is that they simply won’t be able to learn what they need to learn, on the go.

According to this mindset, extensive research and reflection — maybe years of it — is required in order to make an effective start and to “keep up” with the pace of the industry and competition.

This mindset is flawed for various reasons, but certainly one of the key reasons is that there are plenty of tools available today that can help you to learn, actively and quickly, on the go. Read any good eToro review, for example, and you’ll notice that this trading tool is so popular precisely because it incorporates social media-style dynamics, to facilitate community-supported learning-on-the-go.

You get “ready” by engaging in the process of trial and error, not by “waiting”

Speak to any veteran high-performer in any given field, and they’ll happily inform you that there’s no substitute for hard work, and for actually engaging in the process itself.

Training is all very well. Reflection and analysis is often essential. But when all is said and done, you get “ready” to perform in a given field, by stepping into the arena and learning through the process of trial and error. You do not make progress by “waiting”, or even by “analyzing and strategizing.”

The most effective success lessons you will have will be those you learn through your own direct experience. So you get started, ready or not, or you’ll end up waiting forever.

Experience is often something you can’t replicate via research

To continue a theme from the last point; “experience” is its own unique thing, and theory and practice often don’t align in the way you might think, or hope, they would.

Reading books on a business topic can certainly give you a “map”, indicating the general lay of the land. They can also give you some meaningful tips on what to avoid, and what to focus on.

Nonetheless, experience is often not the kind of thing you can replicate via research. Which means that you can never “get ready” without doing the thing itself.

So, go get your firsthand experience, make some mistakes, and set yourself on the right path.

Photography: From Hobby to Business

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Photography used to be a hobby that only those with larger bank accounts could afford to indulge in. Now high-grade cameras are available and targeted at the average consumer. Meaning more and more photography businesses are thriving. The current climate with digital work and the gig economy means that photographers are in demand for everything from weddings to helping to create some unique website content for small businesses. Of course, with a surge in any field the competition becomes fierce, and with platforms like Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay and more offering amazing images for free it can become just a touch harder to make a living. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole host of successful photographers out there making their mark on the world. But how?

Let’s take a look at how to set up a photography business.

It is imperative to know that just because you own a camera, this doesn’t automatically make you a photographer and the chances are if you were to say that, in some circles, you’ll leave with a bad taste in your mouth. It is also important to note that a high-end camera, an iPhone, a point and click from the ’60s are all perfectly reasonable mediums to begin your career. Some photographers choose to take some qualifications, online course or even a degree. But, knowing and doing are very different things.

Before you charge anyone for anything, you should spend a lot of time practicing. Learning how to use your camera, and your own eye. Essentially your eye will be what sets you apart and what will get your hired.

Get Started

The first step is pretty self-explanatory. You need to get out there and start taking photos. At first, you will likely take pictures and videos of everything. Which is great, because you will enjoy some of this more than others. Eventually, you will begin to narrow down what you love and what you can tell a story with. Most modern cameras will help guide you in the first few months with its own auto settings. Most of the time in the early days your camera will give you what you want. The further on you get, the more you’re going to turn some of those setting from auto to manual. It is trial and error. You will take plenty of too dark, too light and out of focus shots. Learn from it. There is space in the early days to experiment with instant photography and film. Both of these will add to your overall skill level and help you understand different concepts.

Technology

Once upon a time photography was a lengthy process, involving dark rooms, and before that sitting still for hours on end. Now it is fast and furious. Depending on the type of photography you do. There are a whole host of post-processing programs that you might like to play with when you are creating your works of art. Photoshop is brilliant for post-processing and creating astounding works of art, Lightroom can help you build a distinct feel to your work via a range of presets (downloaded and created), and there are great video options too. Although the video does tend to be a little bit more expensive so it might be worth outsourcing that and focusing on your strengths. Companies like Perfect Image Video are the perfect solution to help you either backup all of the work that is on discs (many computers and laptops no longer have disc drives, but you might just need that footage at a later date), or for those times you need to produce many duplicates quickly.

You might also like to spend some time getting to grips with software like iMovie, Final Cut Pro or simply Windows Media Player – to help create your promotion reels.

Technology will play an active roll in you creating your visions in the form of photos.

Work, Work, Work

Once you feel confident enough, it’s time to head out and pick up a couple of jobs. Now, your first one or two will nerve-wracking, to the point you might completely blow the whole thing. Consider that part of your learning. Reach out to local businesses and ask for the opportunity to work on any upcoming campaigns they have. Or, get in touch with a local school, sports team or a friend you know is getting married and ask if you can take some photos. Try to keep your first ‘big job’ as small as possible.

Try to stick to the niche of photography that you have fallen in love with as much as you can that will give you the best results, but to make money, you might end up taking a few jobs that provide a stopgap on the road to what you enjoy doing. And, it’s all experience.

Every time you complete a job, reach out for feedback and keep the lines of communication open with the clients. If you have a good working relationship, you provided an excellent service and managed their (and your) expectations then you are likely to get follow up work. When it comes to photography businesses like to work with someone they trust to give them the best results.

Portfolio

All of that practice and job big and small will give you a lot of fodder when it comes to choosing your portfolio photographs. When you are building your online portfolio, try to work on the SEO aspect and the content at the same time. You need to show off your best work, or the work that has the most amount of positive feedback – they aren’t always the same piece. Hook up some business-specific social media and be sure to share new snaps and talk about what you are doing on your Instagram, a blog on your website. The best advice is to stick with the platforms you enjoy and get the most engagement from. The rest are nice to have, so you can reserve the name, but don’t feel pressure to use them. Rather than flood your site with 900 black and white images, take some time to display a few different styles so people can see what you are capable of.

Never Stop

Photography is as much a passion as breathing and when you get the bug, and even if you don’t make a full-time income, don’t give up and never stop taking photos and learning.

Facebook And Artificial Intelligence

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Facebook is building Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its Messenger application. This move acts as a further testament to AI driven chat bots being the future. The AI-powered chat-bots will allow companies to benefit from software that has the ability to engage in lifelike text exchanges with users. The company wants this to become the go-to option when users are looking for goods and services, which means they will sidestep searching via Google, hitting all search engines hard.

To understand this better, it is first imperative to know what ‘bots’ are. This is a type of software that is infused with the capability to ‘learn’ from conversations. A chatbot will essentially mimic a conversation that a person would have by using Artificial Intelligence. AI is the theory and development of computer systems so that they have the ability to carry out tasks that would typically require human intelligence, for example, translation between languages, decision-making, speech recognition, and visual perception. There are lots of tools using AI now, like PDFsearch. Experts believe that it is possible for bots to be created that could actually be better than real people when it comes to natural language text conversations.

Bots can completely alter the way people interact with the web, going from a collection of self-initiated actions to a quasi-conversation. For example, without a chatbot, a user may head to weather.com to discover the forecast, which would require them to then enter their post code. However, with a bot, all the user needs to do is send a chat asking for a ‘3-day forecast’ or the ‘current conditions’, for example, and the bot will reply with the answer. This makes the process a lot easier and eliminates the need to search online.

At present, AI is already used in Facebook Messenger to filtering out spam texts, suggest recipients for messaging, and recognize faces in pictures. The owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has said that he has aims for Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence to be able to understand what is in news articles, videos, and pictures, and to then use this information to recommend content to Facebook users. The company is also set to provide bot building technology and AI for developers around the world so that they can use the Messenger app to direct people to their products in the way that we just showed you with the weather example. When you consider the fact that there are already 900 million users of the Facebook Messenger app around the globe, you see the monumental potential of this.

This would essentially represent a whole new era of targeted advertising for businesses, as it would mean that Facebook may give brands the ability to contact you independently via their messaging app. These bots would appear on your Messenger contact list, just like your friends do. From reading the news to booking a plane ticket, anything would be possible, and Facebook aims for it to be a rich interactive experience instead of the question and response bots that are available elsewhere.

What do you think about Facebook’s use of AI?

Give Employees Outlets To Improve Their Mood

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All too often we push our employees more than they can handle. Indeed sometimes it’s good because we push them beyond what they think they can handle, but they find out they are much stronger than they gave themselves credit for. But other times we push them away from us and they begin to slowly drift. This can be in the form of the employee no longer showing loyalty to you. This could be merely showing indifference. Employees that simply do as they are told all the time are not good employees. If they don’t give some kind of back push or question your motives, this means they aren’t showing their passion for getting it right or understanding. You want people to ask you questions and get answers, rather than silently nodding or becoming a bunch of yes men. But as small business owners, we can often find ourselves not wanting to hear their problems. We’re already highly strung and sometimes we just need people who will follow us no matter what. But if you give them outlets to voice their concerns, their mood can drastically improve.

Complaints about coworkers

Before fights and arguments occur in your business, allow employees to let off some steam about each other. Many employees will keep their resentment of other workers bottled up because of a few reasons. They know that the HR department will get involved and make a big thing about it with paperwork. They will fallout with someone who they admire but don’t really like. They might ruin their chances of getting ahead in the industry and business. Therefore, things can build and build until two coworkers end up having a giant dispute or fracas. You should allow your employees to make complaints about each other in private to your managers and heads of departments. Insure them that it won’t be taken to HR if they don’t want it to and that the seniors will handle the situation instead. This gives everyone a chance to make low level or concerning complaints without having to make it official i.e. on their record.

Talking always shines a light

One thing in the modern world that all businesses are now concerned about is the mental health of their workers. There should always be a professional outlet for workers to talk about this issue. Take for examples the services of telehealth where they work with companies and allow employees to take to medical professionals online and in a one on one video chat. Here your employees can let off some steam and talk about things that are really frustrating them. It’s better to have this outlet than wait until someone finally snaps and does something horrible to themselves or other people. On the surface we never know if things are truly okay with somebody so don’t think someone who is always smiling is actually content.

When employees have a chance to thrust out their opinions on each other and even make complaints, they don’t feel trapped. There will be less of the fake camaraderie and more open talk. Mental health is a serious issue that employers need to get a grip on and provide an outlet for their workers so they can deal with modern professional lifestyles better.

Important Aspects You Need In Your Business

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When you run a business, you need to have the right tools for success. If you don’t, your business is going to be doomed from the start. So, what kind of things are we talking about here? Well, that’s what we are going to be discussing in this article. We want to see your business succeed, and to do this, you need to have these important aspects in your business.

A Blog

The first thing that you need is a blog. You can post content on here, exciting pictures, updates about your business and so on. There really isn’t much that you can’t do with a blog, and keeping your customers updated needs to be one of your top priorities. A blog will be able to provide you with a platform to do this, and that is why it is so important. But, you also need to ensure that you have the right kind of protection for your business in place. A service such as WP SitePlan is going to be able to provide you with the maintenance and support needs that you have. So, make sure that you look into something like this for your business blog.

A Marketing Team

Next, you need a marketing team. Without one, it is likely that your marketing is going to be a disaster, and then your business is going to suffer. This is something that you likely can’t afford, and you can stop this happening by hiring a marketing team. Having trained professionals in the field is always going to be useful, even if it does end up costing your business a little extra. It is going to be nothing compared to all the profits that you gain from having the proper marketing tactics for your business.

A Social Profile

You should also have a business profile on social media. By having this, you are going to be able to reach your customers in a way that they feel comfortable. A lot of the population use social media, so if you don’t, then you are missing out on all of these potential customers. Ensure that you have a business page that is run effectively, and you will find that more people are attracted to your business.

A Human Resources Team

Finally, when things go wrong, you need a human resources team. These people are employed by you to handle anything related to the law, and employee-employer disputes. They are going to be essential to the smooth running of your business, so this is an area that you certainly shouldn’t be skipping. Make sure that you hire the right people here, and remember that they are there to protect the business. Without them, you could be facing some issues that you could certainly do without.

We hope that you have found this useful, and now know some of the important aspects that you need in your business. Make sure that you have all this in your business, and you will find that your business stays on top.

4 Tax-Efficient Ways To Spend Your Business Profits

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The early days of a business are very difficult. You’ve got to manage all of your costs properly so you can stay afloat long enough to actually make some sales. But even then, you probably won’t be making enough to cover all of your costs, let alone make some profit. Breaking even and being able to afford all of your running costs is the first hurdle that you’ve got to reach. Beyond that, you’ll actually start making a profit. Getting to this point is a lot harder than people realize and a lot of businesses fail before they even get there.

If you’ve managed to survive long enough to make a profit, you’ve got a whole new set of challenges to deal with. You’ll eventually need to start thinking about growth and future plans for the company but before that, you need to work out what you’re going to do with your profits. Tax is one of your biggest problems here because it can easily take a big chunk out of your profits. Luckily, there are some great tax-efficient ways to extract those profits from the company and put them to good use. These are some of your best options.

Reinvest In The Company

This is one of the best things that you can do with your profits, especially in the early days. Your business is still growing and evolving and you should always be looking for ways that you can improve it. Investing money in the company is a great way to ensure that you continue to make a profit every single month and there are a lot of great ways to do it. If your workload is increasing because you’re making more sales, you might have to take on more staff. You’ll need somewhere to put them all so you should think about investing some of your profits in a larger office. Your office space has a big impact on your employees and a run down, cramped space is going to have a big negative impact on productivity so you should always invest profits in upgrading your workspace.

You can also reinvest some of those profits in new technology that will improve your company. Things like new customer service software will make the customer experience a lot better, which is important in all businesses. Updating your computers is important as well because that kind of technology becomes obsolete every 4 or 5 years or so. If you’re trying to do business on incredibly outdated computers, you’re going to slow things down a lot.

Training is another important way to invest in your company but a lot of businesses don’t understand how vital it is. Obviously, you’re going to train new employees when they join the company but it’s equally important to train your existing staff as well. If you’re investing in new software, for example, you need to train people to use it properly or you won’t see the benefits. Always have good communication with your employees and ask if there is anything that is stopping them from doing their job effectively and build training around those things.

Personal Investments

As well as investing in the company itself, you can invest your money outside of the company. This is a good way to bring a little extra money in separate from the company which you can use as emergency funds if the business hits hard times. Having that safety net will really help you out if the company is in danger. There are all sorts of different ways that you can invest your money, some safer than others. If you want a low-risk investment that gives you a regular income, property is your best bet. You can get a fairly cheap property if you’re willing to spend a bit of time doing it up before you rent it out but when you’re already running a business, you probably don’t have the time to do that. You’re probably better off buying built-to-order flats because you’ve got more control over the property and you can move tenants in right away. Property prices are steadily increasing so investing in property is very safe at the minute.

Investing in other businesses is a good option as well. As long as you take the time to choose the right business that is likely to be profitable, you can make some good returns on it. Just make sure that you’re not investing in another business in your own industry because you don’t want to fund another company that is in direct competition with you.

Stocks and bonds are another investment choice but they’re fairly risky. If you get it right, you can get some good returns on those kinds of investments but you could also lose it all. If you are going to invest in stocks and bonds with your business profits, make sure that you only take a small portion and put the rest of it into more secure investments.

Pension Schemes

Offering your employees a good pension is a great benefit that keeps people motivated and helps you to attract the best talent to your company. But it’s also a great way of using your profits and getting some great tax benefits as well. If you match your employee’s contributions to their pension, you can help them build up a big fund that they can tap into in later life. Those contributions will reduce the overall profit that the company is making on paper and because your corporation tax is calculated based on the profit that you report, you’ll pay a lot less.

Salary And Other Benefits

Pension schemes aren’t the only benefit that you can offer your employees. A lot of people look at benefits over salary when they’re deciding on a job so it’s important that you offer a good package if you want the best talent working for you. Health insurance is a big one because everybody needs it and it’s expensive. If you’re offering great health insurance cover, that will mean a lot to your employees. Happy and healthy employees are also a lot more efficient and productive so it will actually make your company more profitable in the long run.

Company cars are another good benefit that you can offer your employees but you’ve got to have strict guidelines about who gets one. If you start giving them to every single employee, you’re going to be spending way too much money and that will outweigh any tax benefits. It’s best to just offer company cars to people in management positions, for example, so you’re not paying for an entire fleet.

Even though benefits are important, people still care about their salary. If yours isn’t competitive, you’re going to lose your employees. If they can do the same job for a lot more money at another company, they’re going to take that option. Then your best people end up working for your rivals rather than you. People are also more productive if they feel like their work is valued and they’re being rewarded for it properly. Proper motivation is important here but a good salary and a regular pay rise go a long way as well. Finally, having a good salary means that people are less likely to have money related stress. Stress really impacts people’s ability to do their work effectively so reducing that stress by paying people well is in your best interests.

All of these things will reduce the amount of profit that you report at the end of the fiscal year and that means you’re going to pay a lot less money in taxes.

5 Cybersecurity Slip-Ups To Avoid In Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Most of us understand the basics when it comes to cybersecurity, but these basics often aren’t enough. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and a simple password and security software isn’t always enough. Here are some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when fighting cybercrime and how you can strengthen your security to fend off these online thieves.

Failing to back up files

Ideally, you don’t want cybercriminals getting to your files in the first place. But in case they manage to slip through your defenses, it’s always worth backing up files as a secondary precautionary measure.

A growing number of cybercriminals are now using ransomware to hold files hostage – this could involve locking files and threatening to delete them unless a ransom is paid. By having all these files backed up, you can afford to give in to cybercriminal threats without having to pay out any ransom – they may delete your files, but what does it matter if you’ve got them all backed up.

It’s important to choose a secure backup option. Storing files on the cloud is a popular option – there are business cloud servers available that are guarded by the most advanced security, making them a safe option. Another option could be to put your files on an external hard drive. Make sure that this hard drive isn’t left plugged into your computer, otherwise cybercriminals will be able to access it during a hack.

Using out-of-date security software

Security software that hasn’t been regularly updated will likely be ineffective against modern cyberthreats. Many security programs automatically update themselves, although this may require restarting your computer – if your computers are completely left on standby, this software may never have a chance to update.

Keep an eye on your security software for updates so that you’re always running the most secure version of the software possible. It’s worth updating other general software too as some of these updates may be security related.

Using the same password for everything

A lot of people are guilty of using the same password for everything because it’s easier to remember. The problem is that if a hacker does find out your password, they’ll then have access to everything.

You’re best having a few passwords in circulation as a result. You should change these every so often to keep them fresh (this can also prevent bitter ex-employees leaking passwords).

On the topic of passwords, it’s worth ensuring that you’re using strong combinations – a mix of lower-case letters, upper-case letters and numbers will made your passwords harder to crack. Try to stay random and not use dates of birth or the name of your company or anything else that’s easy to guess. You can even throw hackers off by using incorrect security question answers.

Falling to filter emails

Many cybercriminals will try to break into your system via emails. A common way of doing this is to provide links in emails leading to websites filled with viruses. It’s worth having an email filter in place that can check each email for dangerous links and warn you against opening certain emails.

Whilst it’s sometimes easy to notice a suspicious email, cybercriminals are getting craftier by using email addresses and templates that make them look like official organizations – by having a filter in place, you may be able see through the lies more easily.

As well as not clicking on links, you should make sure that you don’t ever reply to these fishy emails – especially if they’re asking you to provide personal details, which never be given out via email.

Not training your staff in security protocol

It’s no use having security protocol in place if your staff aren’t trained in how to implement it. It’s possible to get your staff professionally trained up by looking into cyber security certification training – this could be useful if your job requires handling a lot of sensitive data. Alternatively, you may be able to take a course yourself and then relay information to your team.

Make sure that every new customer is filled in on your company’s security protocol. You may want to provide a handbook as an easy reference, but it’s worth investing some time into in-person training just in case they do skim over this documentation.