Make Money with Your Phone and Your Car

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The festive season is approaching; do you need to earn extra income to cover the holiday expenses? In today’s economy, more people are struggling to get by on just one source of secondary income. Driving for a ridesharing pp like Uber o Lyft can be a viable way to create a second income stream that can help you pay for the holiday expenses and more.

The Benefits of Driving for a Ride-Sharing App

There are many benefits of driving for a ride-sharing app, here is what you can expect when you step behind the wheel to earn more income.

#1 Make More Money

With ride-sharing apps you get paid out immediately, there is no waiting around for your wages. This instant access to earnings gives you access to more cash faster, and some ride-sharing companies even allow you to accept tips through your app.

#2 No Boss

Tired of working for a boss? As a driver for a ride-sharing app, you are your boss. No-one is standing over your shoulder telling you what to do, you decide your fate behind the wheel, and you are in full control of how hard you want to work. Most ride-sharing companies take advantage of busy periods in the day and the year, such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, to increase the ride charges. This high-period helps you to earn three to four times the standard rates if you choose to work on these occasions. Working on peak periods is a way to earn more and drive less.

#3 Set Your Hours

You decide when and where you want to work. Feel like taking a day or two off? No problem, just enjoy your downtime and return to the job whenever you feel like it. If you prefer driving at night, then start you shift after the evening rush hour. If you have to visit a friend across the country, then why not take the rideshare app long distance with your car on a cross-country road trip? You can pick up a couple of fares while you are in town that can help to contribute to the cost of your journey.

#4 Potential Opportunities

You never know who you will pick up next. Someone could step into your ride and offer you another job, o a business opportunity of a lifetime. If you keep an open and enthusiastic personality, then you can expect to meet some interesting people during your shift.

#5 Partner Network Support

Ride-sharing companies have joined forces with industry partners and businesses to create networks specifically geared toward helping their drivers. Partner companies offer everything from discounts on parts, tires, and even data for your mobile device.

Tips for an Outstanding Driver Profile

Your driver profile is the lifeblood of your business. If you have a top-rated profile, then you will receive more ride requests and earn more money. Here are some quick tips you can use to improve your customer service and receive a five profile.-star rated

#1 Value Add

The more you can do for your clients, the better your review will be. Go online and purchase a portable electric cooler that plugs into your car’s lighter-charger. Stock the cooler with bottles of mineral water and a few sodas. Buy a portable power bank and keep it charged. Offer both to your client when they enter your car and watch their face stare in disbelief. By providing more value than people expect, you can ensure yourself a five-star review at the end of the trip.

#2 Stay Clean at All Times

Keep it clean, that’s the rule. Both your car and yourself should be clean, detailed and well-groomed at all times. Your reputation as a driver is made by your client's first impression of you and they form that impression in the first three seconds that they lay their eyes upon you, make it count.

#3 Ask for a Review

If you don’t ask, then you don’t get. Make sure that you ask your client to leave you a review. Be courteous in your request and never be pushy. People like it when people ask them to do something for them, and if you have over-delivered on your ride, then you can expect a top-class review.

Wrapping Up

Driving for a ridesharing app is a viable way to make more money without the need for specialized skills. Becoming a driver has low barriers to entry, and all that’s required to make things work is a vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and a car. Ride-sharing is a genuine employment opportunity that suits millions of people all around the globe, download the app and get started today.

A Genius Marketing Move That You Can’t Afford to Miss

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, August 28, 2017

Twenty years before the hit entrepreneur reality show Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran’s real estate company found itself in a flagging housing market, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. So, Barbara compiled data from her sales, typed it up, and mailed it to every reporter at the New York Times. Barbara’s “The Corcoran Report” was a hit, and she found herself quoted on the first page of the Real Estate section. Business boomed, and Barbara didn’t have to spend a penny.

Surveys Can Work for You, Too

Barbara’s genius marketing move changed her business long before the internet and social media entered the fray, but the consumer’s thirst for information--and by extension, the media’s--hasn’t slowed. People love to see themselves represented in the data, and as a small business owner, you’re perfectly poised to offer a story to the media that it can’t refuse. In fact, using surveys as a marketing strategy can truly set you apart from your competition.

How to Run a Survey

Surveys are extremely easy and inexpensive to run. First, decide what kind of information is missing from your localized market or (if you’re online only) your target customer. If you’re a local moving company, for example, you might poll your customers from the last six months to find out why they’re moving, where they’re moving to/from, and what life change precipitated the move. 

Keep the survey brief, so customers want to fill it out, and consider offering an incentive for those who complete it (an entry in a drawing, for example). You can use any number of great (and often free) survey apps, such as Survey Monkey. Most require next to no tech expertise to create.

Packaging the Data

Once your results are in, compile them into a report. You might also consider hiring a designer to create an infographic for the report, especially if you’re submitting to a print location. You’ll want to identify publications to share your results with, making sure your target media source is relevant to your potential customer; no sense getting a story placed in a local parenting magazine if your product is mostly used by seniors.

In addition to the data from the survey, you’ll also want to briefly explain why the data is relevant, and provide 1-2 timely, interesting quotes that can be used as soundbites. You can also offer an interview with an expert in your company.

Don’t Wait

Journalists--both print and television--are constantly searching for stories that will resonate with their audiences. You might be accustomed to creating press releases heralding charity events and unusual business partnerships, but finding the unusual, the unexpected, or the unorthodox in survey data can be an even more powerful strategy. Bonus? It will cost you next to nothing.

What is the Best Small Business Web Hosting Company for Your Business and How to Choose It?

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Image Credit: Pixabay

Small businesses are finding it increasingly important to have high quality and fully functioning websites that can allow them to communicate with customers, and attract others towards their business. Even though web design and SEO play vital parts in this process, web hosting is another key element that a small business owner should not ignore. Choosing the right web host is vital if you want a site that runs smoothly and loads quickly on both web and mobile platforms.

Web Hosting Options

There are three major options associated with web hosting for small businesses. Are you wondering about what is the best small business web hosting company? There are many great companies in your area, but selecting the right hosting option is up to you – and it is a vitally important decision. The main options are:

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS
  • Dedicated Hosting

With shared hosting, your website will be hosted on the same servers as a number of other sites. A VPS solution is similar, but there are far fewer sites on the same server resulting in better speeds and reliability. And with dedicated hosting, your site is the only one that is running on a single server. Naturally, the VPS and dedicated hosting options are more expensive, which means you will have to make a decision about whether the added price is worthwhile to your business.

Most Important Features

With the options out of the way, we can focus on what features mean you are getting a great hosting solution. Here are the main features that you must look for no matter what hosting option you select.

1. Reliability

The reason why companies are encouraged to go with major hosting providers is due to reliability. These companies have the infrastructure and staff to ensure that sites are always running – no matter what problems may present themselves.

2. Speed

Not only do search engines place huge importance on the loading speed of a website when determining site rankings, but users find it crucial too. For instance, if your website takes a minute to load during heavy load hours, a potential customer may turn away and try to find another solution to their needs. Ensure that speed times for your potential host are up to standard (these statistics are easy to find online).

3. Support and Security

A host that offers managed servers is key because managed servers ensure you are receiving adequate support from the site’s staff. If there is a cyber attack, or some other issue, you will want the host’s support staff on the case right away. Non-managed servers may run fine 90 percent of the time, but that 10 percent of potential downtime could cost you a ton of business.

4. Price

While features and reliability matter immensely, small businesses will also care a lot about price. You do not want to pay twice as much for an identical service that you can get elsewhere. That is why choosing the right web host is so crucial.

Making Consumers Comfortable Online

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, August 21, 2017

So you’ve got your million dollar idea. You brainstormed, prototyped, tested, retested, and came up with the finished product. You’ve built your business and marketed to your audience, and now you’ve got to execute the sale.

Online purchases are becoming more common as our society becomes digitally integrated. Consumers are concerned with the security of their credit card information when shopping online. As a retailer, it’s your job to create a comfortable and safe buying experience for your customers.

Whether you’re new to the world of online sales or it’s just been awhile since you reviewed your practices, here are a few key ideas to keep in mind:

1. Aesthetics Matter. Period.

We can’t walk into a website the way we walk into a local shop. Sensory components like cleanliness, odor, atmosphere, and that warm feeling you get around a charismatic salesman is lost. Business have to translate the physical atmosphere to the digital world.

Sites need to be clean, well-organized, and modern-looking. Consumers aren’t likely to put their credit card information into a site that looks like it never left 2005 for fear that the security hasn’t been updated either.

2. Make Company Information Prevalent

A large part of purchasing online is the legitimacy of the website. If companies don’t have a sufficient website, customers may turn away for fear of getting scammed. An important component to establishing legitimacy is company contact information — your website should contain a physical address and phone number, as well as relevant email or fax information.

Communication from real people also has an impact on perceived legitimacy. Including employee bios or having a section for customer reviews creates a humanizing element in an otherwise digital landscape. It’s becoming common for sites to be minimalist, and this can work well, as long as it doesn’t sacrifice key information or make the consumer feel like they’re missing something.

3. Make Purchase Policies Clear

Before or during the purchasing process, it should be easy to access the company’s return policy for goods sold. Customers should be warned if sales are final and what the process is in the event they receive damaged, incorrect, or malfunctioning goods.

Customers also want to know what happens to their card information after the purchase and whether or not your website is secure. When payment information is requested, there should be a link to or a statement of the company’s privacy policy.

Consumers need to be given adequate opportunity to review items in their order. Invoices should contain clear information regarding the items being purchased, the cost of the items, and the number of each item requested. Shipping cost and any additional fees should be included in the purchase total. Customers should have a final chance to review and confirm the purchase after card information is entered, as well as an opportunity to print a receipt for their records.

4. Do the Leg Work

Follow through on the back end of credit card security. If you’re going through the process of making your website feel and look more secure, make sure it actually is. All the aesthetics in the world won’t save you from negatives reviews or complaints to the Better Business Bureau.

Customers who have a positive experience from start to finish are more likely to recommend your business to others and to feel comfortable on your site. Comfortable customers will buy more, which only benefits your business. 

How Technology is Changing Delivery Services

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, August 18, 2017

In the 21st century, technology is rapidly evolving and having an impact on almost every industry you can think of, from healthcare to retail. Delivery services, like, are also feeling the impact of the latest developments in technology. The face of delivery services has changed considerably over the past few years. In the past, people expected a personalised face-to-face delivery service, now expectations have shifted and people want their items delivered as quickly as possible.

Automated Services Are on the Rise

Wherever you go self-service has become an option, whether it is in your local supermarket or check-in at the airport. Even customer service operators are being replaced by automated systems which can answer your questions in the click of a few buttons. Delivery services are also using automated services, which allow customers to ‘click and collect’ their parcels. They simply have to order their items and select the most convenient location to collect them from. This is considered highly beneficial for most people as it reduces the amount of time they have to spend waiting around for their parcel to arrive. In the future, we could receive our deliveries straight to our door via drone. Drone technology is being experimented with as a potential delivery option which could completely change the industry.

More Efficient Tracking

It seems hard to believe that in the past people sent each other letters and parcels in the post, without knowing when they would arrive or how long it would take to receive a response. We are now in instant communication with each other all the time. One of the major benefits technology has had on delivery services is the advancement in tracking software. Customers can now track their parcels or documents in real time to see exactly where they are on their journey. This is particularly beneficial for people who are sending important information around the world and want to know that it has arrived safely. Tracking technology also helps to reduce the number of lost items, as it is far easier to find exactly where they went missing in the journey.

Delivery Service Apps

As we are all so dependent on our smartphones these days, most businesses and service providers offer customers an app. Delivery service apps allow customers to place orders, enquire where their parcel is and track their items whenever and wherever they are. Apps are making it highly convenient to order multiple deliveries at once.

Consumer Data

Although all these advancements in technology are ultimately reducing the amount of face-to-face interaction between customers and delivery drivers, technology could also help to make these automated services more personal. The more customers use online services and apps, the more data is collected about their buying preferences. This data can be used to recommend services and personalise interactions to improve the level of customer service that is being delivered. In the long term, this could result in higher levels of customer satisfaction despite a decrease in interaction with a real person. 

Turn Your Contacts into Customers in 3 Easy Steps

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, August 07, 2017

You’ve worked hard in your advertising campaign. If you did it right, you will have used “soft sells” that aim more at increasing your contact list than trying to sell to a customer on a one-time basis. You want repeat business, after all, and nothing works better for repeat business than email marketing campaigns. You will have already had the emails of customers that are interested in your brand and what you sell. Now it’s time to turn those contacts into customers, and, most importantly, to cultivate a loyal customer base:

1. Have a Professional, Beautiful Email Newsletter
The better your newsletter (and corresponding emails like the welcome email) look, the better the engagement will be. People use the quality of aesthetics to judge professionalism and as an indicator of whether you are trustworthy or not. Having a unified look tells your contacts that not only are you serious about your brand, you also know what you are doing.

Your newsletter should have a unified theme, something eye-catching and memorable. You want people to be able to recognize an email from you without even seeing the sender. It should match your brand image and the unified look that your brand has across networks.

2. Remind Your Customers of Specials
Offering deals and specials are a great way to keep your customers coming again and again. Notify them when a sale is on, and, more importantly, have specials that are available to your subscribers. Have a birthday discount, 24-hour sales, and giveaways! There are so  many different specials that you can offer to your contacts so that they keep coming back to you.

The point of these specials is also to give your contacts an incentive to open every email you send. If they know that there are special deals that can only be accessed through email, they will be far more likely to read your newsletters. More reads, more visitors, more sales!

3. Offer suggestions
Tailor the experience for them. you can do this using marketing automation so that your contacts see products that they want. Personalize product recommendations, remind them of items in their checkout cart that they have forgotten, and reap both sales and increase loyalty. People want to buy your products, that is why they signed up with you in the first place. Turn that subscription into repeat business by ensuring that the newsletters you send out a
re for that contact alone.

It is so much harder to sell a product to a new customer than it is to an existing one. Boost your sales by catering to your existing customer base and reap the rewards of positive word-of-mouth reviews. You want to build a loyalty to your brand so that they will keep coming back for more. A loyal customer base will lead to more sales than constantly being on the hunt for new customers, and retaining customer is less expensive than finding new ones. Focus on the people who already like you and your product, and build from there. 

4 Tips to Demystify Cybersecurity for SMBs

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Employees of small businesses (“SMBs”) wear many hats. As a result, one of those employees with limited information technology experience might be tasked with formulating and implementing the SMB’s cybersecurity strategy. In no time, multiple cybersecurity options and technical lingo can overwhelm the employee, who might then be tempted to do nothing rather than taking the risk of making the wrong decisions.

An SMB should not allow its cybersecurity strategy to be lost in technical complexity and jargon. These four simple guidelines can help an SMB to take the mystique out of defending the SMB’s networks and information systems from cyberattacks and unauthorized data breaches.

1. Understand that cybersecurity does not begin and end with a firewall.  Medieval cities and castles protected themselves with high walls, but that protection was ineffective as the cities needed to conduct commerce outside of the walls. Likewise, an SMB cannot erect a technology firewall that keeps threats out of its network while still conducting businesses beyond the limits of that firewall. On a broader level, cybersecurity does not exist as a small handful of defenses that stand separate and apart from the rest of the SMB’s operations. A good cybersecurity strategy will integrate an immune system directly into the SMB’s overall business plan and responsibility for cybersecurity will be shared among all the SMB’s employees, all of whom should follow a consistent set of good cybersecurity practices (e.g. avoiding public Wi-Fi hotspots, not clicking on attachments in emails from unknown sources, etc.). Integrating cybersecurity controls will also eliminate piecemeal solutions to unique or particular threats.

2. Don’t get lost with words and labels. An SMB’s employees might nod and profess their understanding of cybersecurity issues, but jargon and terminology can quickly confuse anyone with limited technical knowledge. Some experts recommend creating an analogy between an SMB’s information system’s network and a house. The house’s owners, for example, will lock doors and windows and limit house key access to the people who live there. Likewise, an SMB network administrator might lock a network with dual-factor authentication and the SMB will require its employees to limit access to network passwords. Explaining cybersecurity issues with references to a more familiar environment will give employees a better appreciation of those issues and will further remove the mystery of how a network can be protected.

3. Regular training and education will keep SMB employees at the top of their game. Cyberattackers develop and share new hacking techniques with each other every day. The more successful techniques will naturally draw more attention. SMBs should institute a program to regularly inform employees of the cyberthreats they are likely to see, including what clues to watch for at the outset of an attack. SMB’s can keep their employees vigilant without going too deeply into technical explanations of the mode of any cyberattacks. 

4.  Appreciate that not all cyberthreats are stoppable. Regardless of the strength of an SMB’s cybersecurity strategy, that strategy will not prevent every potential threat to an SMB’s information systems network. A belief that every threat can be stopped will lead to layers of cybersecurity solutions and unmanageable complexity. The better course of action is to implement the best practices that are consistent with the SMB’s environment and to take steps to facilitate easy recovery of losses when a cyberthreat does success. Those steps will inevitably include data breach insurance that will help an SMB to recover lost data and damaged hardware and software, and to compensate customers, clients, and third parties whose personal or financial information was lost through a cyberattack on an SMB. Almost half of all SMBs report having experienced a cyberattack. The cost of recovering from an attack can be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, which few SMBs can afford. Data breach insurance provides a final cybersecurity safety net when all other strategies have not stopped hackers from getting into an SMB’s network.

How to manage your debt correctly

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Managing debt is one of the keys of success in live because too much debt can spell a daily traumatic lifestyle of having to deal with debtors. It’s virtually inevitable to live without debts when considering the edge to own a car and home. The wise decision is to manage the debt correctly without sinking too much into it.

There are several important ways to manage your debt correctly to ensure that you stay debt free. We will elaborate a few yet indispensable ways in this content with a focus on Australians.

Effective ways to Manage Debt

Compile all your credit and loan information

The first step is to make a compilation of how much you owe creditors, either retail accounts or the financial institutions. Draft a spreadsheet and list all the amounts that you owe individual creditors and a total as well. This will give you a clear picture of your debt standpoint. Even a credit report is much better.

Then check the debts that are on the edge of damaging your credit profile and rectify them accordingly. Use priority in paying the higher interest-bound debts and then update the list each month.

Honor Your Bills Monthly

The hesitation to pay the bills consistently every month is a precursor to excessive debts. Once you jump others, they give birth to late fees. The default charges and the interest rate can increase badly if, for instance, you miss two payments consecutively.

You can set reminders about the exact due dates to honor your bills. If it happens that you miss any payment, do not wait until it’s month end because the creditor might submit your name to the credit bureau for listing as a poor payer. This will affect your future credit applications.

Pay Minimum Amounts

No matter how exorbitantly overwhelming your debt is, paying minimum amounts is the best way to get off-the-hook of sinking into too much debts. Although it doesn’t really make a significant progress, it contains the accumulation of default charges and possible interest rate increases. It can be challenging to catch up on the payments you have missed for many months.

Prioritize debts

In an event where you are faced with excessive debts, it helps to make use of prioritization to settle the big ones first. Alternatively, you can decide to pay-off the ones with the lowest balance and then tackle the higher interest rates. This will help you manage your debt effectively.

Budget efficiently for your expenses

The biggest enemy of excessive debts is the failure to budget efficiently on a monthly basis. It is imperative to manage the budget to ensure that you have sufficient cash to cover all the inescapable expenses such as bills monthly. The budget can you save tremendously in a quest to live a debt free lifestyle and manage your debt effectively.

Request a professional help

This is usually a last resort when own attempts have failed dismally. At times it might happen that, irrespective of the aforementioned ways, you still sink into excess debts. Perhaps you have been lost your job and found a low paying job, or perhaps you have opted for flexible interest rates and have now grown to your battle, all these can affect your financial health adversely.

Check crownmoneymanagement mortgage brokers to help you with strategies on how to manage cash flow and debts effectively in Perth, Australia. A professional is, at times, all that you need to get out of the debt trap that seems to be impossible. The creditors can liaise with the debt counselling agencies to reduce your interest rates up to 2%.

The debt that could take you 30 years to settle can eventually take you 15 years instead. All you need is a competent mortgage broking company that can communicate with all the creditors in Australia to elaborate your inconvenient financial situation that had led to the current struggle. Moreover, you need the mortgage broker that has a vested interest in paving a debt-free lifestyle, not someone who wants you to continue paying the premiums so that he can gain from that. Financial institutions and other mortgage brokers want you to stay longer in paying the debt so the gain tremendously though gradually.

Follow these methods in creating a debt free lifestyle. Let not excess debts make your life miserable. A competent mortgage broker that empathizes with you is all you need to get out of the debt excavation. 

How to choose the right mortgage broking company

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Applying for a home loan, business loan or any other loan can be a bewildering experience when you have to deal with a range of mortgage lenders on your own. A mortgage lender will assign a mortgage officer that will provide available programs within the lender and you might find out that none meets your financial goals or accommodates you. This signifies the importance of finding the mortgage broker in Australia to help you narrow down your loan application options.

Why choose a mortgage broker?

There is a wide range of mortgage lenders and finding the best offer among them can be a mission hard to accomplish. You need someone accredited, certified and experienced with the loan application systems in your country so that you may have a broad of options to choose. The mortgage broker will endeavor to help you find the best mortgage on the market.

A determined mortgage will talk with you and explain to you every financing option available. He will help you get preapprovals, help you fill in the loan forms to include all the information needed that include the employment confirmation, credit report and more. No matter what financial situation you are in, the best mortgage broker will help you find whichever option best meets your goals.

So you need a mortgage broker to save you the sweat of running around looking for the best affordable mortgage lenders in Australia. The broker acts as an intermediate person between you and the lender. Most countries require the brokers to be certified so that they act by conforming to a set of rules thereof set.

So how to choose the right mortgage broking company? Considering Australia, there is a wide variety of mortgage broking companies with Quantum Finance ranking among the best ones offering the services for free. Quantum Finance mortgage broking company has a range of different loans from different mortgage lenders to offer you the best and affordable loans.

We may name a particular company but what matters is the best way to choose the best company given hundreds of them at your fingertips. How to choose the best?

The first step is to check the track record of the company, including its references. A reputable company will not hesitate to give you a list of the people it had helped in the past with the best loans that meet their financial situations. It is also advisable to check with your intimate relatives and friends to recommend you the best mortgage broking company they know. Given the profile of Quantum Finance and its customer base of satisfied applicants, one would be certain that 3 in 5 will refer you to it.

Subsequently, you need to check if the mortgage broking company is certified or not. Everyone can claim to be a broker but then end up being conned your money. Check with relevant departments or financial institutions to find out if a certain company is accredited and certified to offer broking services.

Specific Questions to Ask the Broker

Once you have found the potential mortgage broker, you need to know the specific questions that will further qualify the mortgage broking company. Questions such as how much should you pay for their services, how long does it take to get the pre-approval, how many mortgage lenders do they represent and many more should be top of your list in choosing the right mortgage broker. Inquire about the experience of the broker as well, and the types of loans they offer.

Choosing the right mortgage broker may be your ticket to getting that home or business loan you’ve always needed to get off the ground. Approaching the mortgage lender on your own may be a fruitless attempt when considering the narrow options of choosing the financing options.

That being said, pay more attention in choosing a specific company to get you’re a broad database of mortgage lenders in Australia with attractive payment plans. The broker will hunt all the corners on your behalf. So you do not need to be an expert in finances in order to get the best option. How fortunate will you be to find someone and ask him to search the best loan that meets your goals and that will not break your bank balance? Absolutely intriguing!