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Lindsey Patterson

Ditching the Fractional Interest on Your Savings Account

4 min read

Parking your money in a savings account that grows 2.5 percent every year isn't exactly astute investing. In fact, it can be considered as the opposite of it. The decision can come off as lazy and uncreative. If you want livable ROI that can grow your retirement nest, ditch your savings account and invest proactively on assets that actually pay. Here are five steps to achieving just that and more:

 

Focus on One Asset First

 

As a beginner in the investing realm, you have a plethora of financial instruments to choose from. And although experts suggest diversifying and putting your eggs in different baskets, familiarizing yourself with a single market first is key to succeeding in the long term. Pick an asset that interests you, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies, or even cryptocurrencies. Focus on identifying key characteristics of the prospective market including what economic catalysts drive it. For instance, investing in growth stocks, such as technology companies, is more profitable during times of economic prosperity. Meanwhile, investing in the US dollar or Japanese Yen could offer capital safety in times of economic uncertainty.

 

Get a Broker

 

A good broker can help you open and close positions in an instant. In an activity where even a split second could mean hundreds of dollars in either losses or gains, fast and effortless transactions are key. Third-party websites that review brokers in depth are a great resource for discerning the trustworthy brokers versus the bad ones. The process of applying for a broker account can be tedious, from filling out forms to sending legal documents for verification. You'd want to avoid having to change brokers as much as you can, so it's ideal to meticulously research and vet your first choice.

 

Figure Out Your Approach

 

Technical analysis boils down value, risk, and potential gains based on numbers generated by the market or an organization. To arrive at a conclusion, it uses indicators, such as Bollinger Bands, Alligator, and MACD, to try and predict future price direction. Fundamental analysis makes use of macroeconomic and microeconomic indicators to understand the underlying value of an asset. Job reports, consumer confidence, geopolitical relations, and supply and demand are all fundamental indicators. There are dozens of other methods used by investors including hedging and credit spread strategy, which involves using different options contracts with different strike prices to mitigate risk.

 

Be Creative

 

There used to only be a handful of financial instruments that you could invest in back in the day. Now, however, there are dozens of assets that can generate passive income for you. Aside from traditional investments, such as certificates of deposits and fixed income bonds, you also have peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrency trading to explore. Be creative with your asset allocation, but exercise caution when investing in these assets. While they offer higher ROI, they also expose your capital to a higher degree of risk.

 

Don't Forget to Pay Your Dues

 

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of stock investing is paying taxes. Nobody likes giving their money to Uncle Sam, but it's the law to pay your dues. For stocks, the current tax rate is 15 percent if you are in the 25 percent or greater tax bracket. For those categorized in the 15 percent or lower tax bracket, investment gains are taxed at 5 percent. If your stocks paid out dividends, the amount is taxed at the standard income tax rate and is not treated as capital gains. It's a tedious part of investing, but straightening this out as early as possible will help you avoid any unexpected complications.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Successful investing of your money all boils down to effectively mitigating risk. Prioritize the protection of your investment portfolio first before you start chasing profits. The latter will come naturally over time as you practice responsible and safe investing habits.

 

Lindsey Patterson

5 Money-Saving Technologies You Need to Use

4 min read

 

Statistics show that nearly half of all Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. Saving money isn't easy, especially with the rising costs of housing. The right technologies, however, can help you fatten your savings account and achieve financial stability.

 

#1) Cash Back App

A cash back app is a simple and easy-to-use tool that can save you big bucks on online purchases. According to an infographic published by CPC Strategy, U.S. consumers spend an average of $488 on e-commerce purchases per year. With an app like Ebates, you'll earn up to 40 percent cash back on everyday purchases from participating merchants. You can download the app to your web browser or mobile device. Once installed, simply use the app to make purchases from your favorite online retailers to earn cash back. After earning at least $5.01, you can request a check, PayPal deposit or donation to your preferred charity.

 

Cashback apps like Ebates receive a commission from retailers whenever a user makes a purchase through their interface. Rather than keeping this commission for themselves, they share part of it with their users. For instance, the app may earn $20 when a user buys a tablet computer from a participating retailer, and it compensates the user with $15 while keeping the remaining $5.

 

#2) Price Tracker

Price tracker tools live up to their namesake by tracking and recording product prices from multiple retailers or vendors. The Price Tracker for Amazon app is one such tool that focuses especially on Amazon. You can set up the app to automatically track vendors' prices for a specific product. Amazon sellers are notorious for changing their product prices on a regular basis. A seller may suddenly lower the price of a product by 10 percent or 20 percent, or they may raise it by this same amount. Using a price tracker, you can keep a watchful eye on product prices and use this information to make smarter buying decisions.

 

#3) Price Comparison Website

An easier way to find the best deals on products is to visit a price comparison website. These websites compare product prices between different retailers and vendors. In the past, price comparison websites were managed manually, with webmasters scouring retailers' sites by hand to determine their prices. Thanks to big data, however, this process is now automated. Some of the top price comparison sites use high-tech software to automatically collect and curate data on companies' prices, which they display on their site. Price comparison sites provide insight into more than just products, though. They can also reveal prices for services like professional landscaping and even affordable auto insurance.

 

#4) Cloud Apps

You can save money by using cloud apps installed locally installed apps. Many software vendors now offer cloud versions of their products. Rather than paying $149.99 for Microsoft Office Home & Student, you can subscribe to the cloud-based Office 365 Home for just $9.99 per month with no long-term commitment. If you no longer need it, you can cancel your subscription. The popular accounting software Quickbooks is also available in the cloud. Intuit offers Quickbooks Online with a starting price of just $5 per month for self-employed freelancers. The locally installed Quickbooks Desktop, on the other hand, costs around $199.999.

 

#5) Smart Plug

A smart plug is a simple device that can help lower your monthly power bills by automatically turning off connected devices. You plug it into the wall, after which you can connect devices to it. If you forget to turn off the connected devices, it will automatically turn them off for you. Some smart plugs even come with companion apps, allowing you to control them from a smartphone or tablet.

 

Don't miss out on these money-saving technologies. By using these technologies in your everyday life, you'll have an easier time-saving money.

Lindsey Patterson

5 Ways to Make Your Vegan Diet Easier

4 min read

Veganism is more than a diet, it's a lifestyle decision. There are many misunderstandings and stereotypes about being vegan, but scientific research supports that avoiding animal products is the healthiest way to eat.

 

Benefits of Being Vegan

-Your Health

When you begin avoiding animal products, various aspects of your health are likely to improve. Your skin will become clearer, your cholesterol will decrease, your memory will improve, your risk of obesity and all obesity-related diseases will decrease. There is concern that vegan diets are deficient in key nutrients, but large-scale human studies have shown otherwise.

 

-The Environment

Culinary Schools gathered information about the effects of veganism and found that if everyone on Earth became a vegetarian or vegan, we could actually reduce the impact of global warming. Everyone on earth would easily have enough food to eat if 17 million square miles of the planet were not being used to farm and feed livestock. Water shortages would become less problematic and the quality of the water would improve.

 

-Food Cost

It is a myth that eating healthy food must be expensive. It is actually far less expensive to consume beans, grains, and other plant proteins than it is to rely on animal proteins. It is also much easier to buy plant-based foods in bulk and store them for extended periods of time, which you can not easily do with animal products.

 

Making Your Vegan Diet Easy

Once you have a few weeks worth of experience with shopping, cooking, and eating vegan, you'll see that it is easier than you thought! There are five simple things you can do to save yourself time and money with the vegan lifestyle.

 

1. Compile Tested Recipes

Go through your family recipes and make a list of the dishes that are already vegan. If you come up with a long list, that's wonderful! Most people will likely need to go to work on converting their favorites into vegan recipes, which can be really fun. There are a lot of easy substitutes and tweaks to modify traditional recipes to avoid animal products and improve the nutrition they offer.

 

Ask your friends for their favorite vegan recipes. It's highly likely that you have at least a dozen vegan or vegetarian friends on your social media accounts who would happily share their best go-to recipes.

 

2. Shop in Bulk

Save money and time by buying large amounts of beans, rice, flour, oatmeal, barley, split peas, and any other long-lasting plant-based food that you think is delicious. If you have a place to store ten pounds of rolled oats, that's fabulous; if you don't, find a friend or two who also love oatmeal and split a large order to save even more money. Once you are a bulk shopping expert, you will never go back to paying more for smaller packages!

 

3. Cook in Bulk

Batch cook plain rice and beans that you can toss into different dishes throughout the week. Make a raisin polenta loaf that you can slice for breakfast for several days. Turn on the oven once to roast two pans of vegetables, baked apples, and make a loaf of bread. You can cook all your meals for the week in three hours if you work a plan.

 

4. Try New Things

There are several ethnic cuisines that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Find out if your city has Indian, Nepali, African, or Asian restaurants and give them a try.

 

5. Get Help

Try a meal delivery service that offers a vegan meal plan. If you do not have time to cook, experiment with a plan that delivers heat-and-eat meals that will save you several hours a week. You could also start a meal swap with friends or join a cooperative that hosts family meals to supplement your own cooking.

 

Eating vegan is healthy, flavorful and fun! It can bring you together with friends and help you meet new people who share your goals because it's more than a diet, it's a lifestyle.

 

Lindsey Patterson

An Awesome Type of Loan That is Really Awesome

4 min read

As parents, you'll run into a lot of emergencies. You may need to pay for school supplies for your children, or you may have to contribute to their college tuition. You may have to repair an essential component of your home or perform a necessary repair. Alternatively, you may need the money to pay medical bills or something like that. Applying with a traditional lender may be stressful, and you may receive a denial if your credit score is imperfect. The positive news is that there's another type of loan that's awesome, and it may just be perfect for you. It's called a title loan, and here's a bit more information about it.

 

What's a Title Loan?

Title loans are unique quick-cash advances that are specifically for people who own cars or trucks. People refer to them as quick-cash advances because of speed at which an individual can receive them. You can get a title loan in one day or less to take care of your financial emergency. Some title lenders even deliver the funds in a few hours. The amount that you can receive depends on the car that you own. The lender will place a temporary lien on your vehicle until you repay the advance, but you still get to keep your car during the repayment period.

 

Why It's Easy to Get Title Loans

Title lenders are not as adamant about a person's credit score as some other lenders are. Therefore, you can still qualify for a loan even if your credit score is not the epitome of perfection. Additionally, the title lender uses your vehicle to secure the loan. You'll give the provider the title to your car, and they will place a lien on it until you repay your loan. Because they use your vehicle in this manner, they do not feel as though they need to put emphasize on credit score. The idea is that they would be able to resell the vehicle if you default on the loan. Thus the value of your car needs to be more than the value of the loan that you are trying to acquire.

 

The Benefits of Title Loans

Many benefits exist to getting a car title loan. The biggest benefit that you will get form such a loan is that you can get it quickly. The second benefit of a title advance is that you can continue to drive your car for the duration of the advance. Thirdly, they are more beneficial than some of the other loan types because you can get more money than some other types of advances. The more expensive your car is, the larger the potential is for you to get a high loan.

 

Who Qualifies for Title Loans

To qualify for a title advance, you must be at least 18 years of age so that you can legally sign a contract. You must not only own a vehicle, but you must also have the title to the vehicle in your possession, as well. Finally, you have to have the ability to repay the advance. The lenders will want to make sure that you earn enough money, so you'll need to show them proof of income. The income doesn't necessarily have to be from a traditional job, but you need to have an income.

 

The process of obtaining a loan is simple. You just have to contact the provider and enter some information about your car, income and so on. A quote and an answer should come to you in a very brief amount of time.

 

Now that you know some information about a title loan, you can decide whether it would be a good match for your financial situation. These types of advances are available to you through many providers. You can request one and ease your mind about the economic challenge that worries you.

 

Lindsey Patterson

Start Making More Money with These 5 Tips

4 min read

Whether you're an employee, a freelancer or a business owner, it's natural to want to increase how much money you're making. This is obviously easier said than done, and it's especially difficult to make more money without also needing to spend more money in the process.

 

The good news is that it often just takes a few key adjustments to boost your income every month. Here are five tips that will help you take a big step forward in the amount of money you're making.

 

1. Evaluate Your Current Sources Financial Situation

To find ways that you can increase your income, you need to fully understand your current financial situation, including what your income sources and expenses are. Check your records to track exactly how much money you've made in recent months, how you made it and what your expenses were. You may find it easier to evaluate your expenses with financial consolidation.

 

The 80/20 rule often applies in terms of income – you (or your business) make 80 percent on your income from 20 percent of your income sources. Figuring this out can help you prioritize your most profitable income sources, and seeing where you spend your money will show you what expenses aren't earning you much of a return.

 

2. Build Your Network

No matter what your profession or business is, a good professional network will likely help. Your connections can put you in touch with new job opportunities or clients and provide valuable advice. There are plenty of ways to build your professional network, including business events and LinkedIn.

 

Here's the key to building a good network – focus more on the quality of your connections than the quantity. A common mistake is to see the number of people you know as your measure of success, but connections don't do you much good if you barely know them. Make an effort to reach out to the people you know regularly instead of having a bunch of acquaintances who you barely talk to.

 

3. Never Be Afraid to Say No

It's natural to want to be a people pleaser. People feel like they should avoid turning down requests or job opportunities because they may offend the person asking. But any successful business leader will tell you that what's important isn't how often you say yes, but that you realize when you should say no.

 

This goes back to prioritizing the things that make you the most money. The only way you can do this is by turning down things that offer a poor return at best. Let's say that a client offers you a two-week job, and this client's jobs don't pay that well for the amount of time they take. If you say yes anyway because you don't have work currently or you just don't want to offend them, then you may miss out on a higher-paying job that comes your way because you don't have time.

 

4. Value Your Time More

What's your time worth? The easiest way to figure this out is to see how much you charge clients for an hour of your work. Even if you don't charge by the hour but by the project, it's still easy enough to do the math and figure this out.

 

If you want to make more money, a simple way to do it is to start charging more for your time. At first, this can feel weird, as you may think that you're asking for too much. That's why you need to be confident in the work you do and the value that you provide. Keep in mind also that charging more for your time can actually give clients a better impression of you and your abilities. If someone undercharges for their services, it makes them look unprofessional.

 

5. Be Ready and Willing to Make Changes

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when you want to make more money is that you must be willing to do things differently. If you stick to the same routine, you're going to get the same results.

 

Although you shouldn't make reckless changes, you should look for opportunities that could result in a boost to your income. That could be searching for new jobs, investing more in your business's marketing or reaching out to new clients. Just don't let yourself get stuck because you're scared to try something new.

 

You can likely increase your income by much more than you think. All it takes is the right approach and some work on your part. Give the tips above a try, and you should gradually see your income increase.

Lindsey Patterson

Five Strategies for Making Your Business Competitive for the Long Term

4 min read

Running a business is not easy. In fact, it’s pretty much one of the most difficult things you can do. This is why only four percent of new businesses survive past the first decade.

 

With numbers like these, you may feel like the deck is stacked against you. It is true that being an entrepreneur is especially challenging. However, if you can improve your business and overcome the challenges you face, you don’t have to become part of a depressing statistic. Many small businesses, of course, go on to evolve into huge national and international chains. Even McDonald’s and Walmart started small businesses with a single location. Below are five strategies you can use to improve your business.

 

Upgrade Your Payment Processes

At its core, the most important element of doing business is taking payment for goods or services. However, this in and of itself can be a challenge if you don’t have the right software, equipment or payment processor. Only accepting payment in cash can seriously limit your reach to the majority of consumers that now use credit or debit to make purchases.

 

Instead, you need to integrate the services of a payment facilitator to help you accept that kind of payment in a quick and efficient manner. With the use of software and payment terminals, you’ll also have a much easier job accounting for every sale made. You certainly won’t make nearly as many errors when it comes to your finances.

 

Develop Your Employees

The most valuable resource a business has isn’t its capital or its real estate. Instead, it is that business’s employees. Your employees are a valuable resource you shouldn’t squander.

 

Every successful business knows this. This is why US companies spend $164.2 billion on training and developing their employees. While you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford, developing young talent in your company can help you create future managers and other important high-level staff members with a passion for making your business a success.

 

Focus Squarely on Customer Satisfaction

Of the different metrics you use to analyze success, customer satisfaction should be at the top of your list. While customer satisfaction and profit may not seem to be the same thing, these days they are linked more than ever before. The reason for this is thanks to the internet. Reviews and ratings for businesses are viewed by many customers before they even decide to enter an establishment. 97 percent of consumers use online reviews to help them make decisions.

 

With this in mind, online reviews and ratings can make or break your business. Make sure no customer leaves unsatisfied with the service and product they receive. If they do, your online reputation could very likely take a significant hit.

 

Institute Strong Quality Control

Quality is a big determining factor in long-term business success. This means providing a high-quality product consistently. Every chain in America relies on the idea of reproducing the same exact product to the same specifications. If you can recreate your product every single time with the same high level of quality, you could become wildly successful if your product catches on with the public. However, to do this, you need to institute strong quality control procedures to enforce that consistency.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Evolve

The world of business is constantly evolving. While jumping on every new trend can be foolhardy, you shouldn’t become stuck in your ways either. This should be true in regards to technology that can improve efficiency and widen your appeal. For example, integrating mobile has become standard practice in recent years. You should also not be afraid to rethink your assumptions regarding your marketing and customers.

 

Running a business can be extremely difficult. Many fail. However, if you make strong attempts to improve your business over time, it is possible to achieve long-term success. Your passion for your business can certainly pay off.

 

Lindsey Patterson

Top Interior Design Tips for Your Home

4 min read


 The design and style of your home ultimately determine how comfortable you feel in the setting. When it comes to decorating, it's important to incorporate the latest designs to create a contemporary environment that you feel proud to show off to your guests. If you want to make your friends jealous when they enter your home, there are a few home decor tips to follow.

 

Add Wallpaper

Although wallpaper may be used in your grandmother's home, it is now back in style and looks modern with the different patterns and prints that are available. Consider applying wallpaper in your living room or a guest bathroom to make a statement and add a decorative element that is dramatic.

 

Set the Tone with the Front Door

Painting the front door with a pop of color will set the tone of the interior setting and can also make your house stand out in the neighborhood. Consider using the color red, which is charming and pairs well with neutral colors on the exterior of the building. Remove an outdated screen door, which can detract from the appeal of the home.

 

Group the Furniture Items

Grouping your sofa and chairs will invite conversations and can create an intimate setting that makes it easier to entertain. Create a conversation area that has a u-shape and allows the home to look professionally designed. Avoid pushing all of the furniture items against the walls, which can make the room appear smaller.

 

Choose a High Contrast Palette

A high contrast palette that is paired with the color white will create a sharp environment that looks updated and modern. The colors will look crips in different rooms of the home and aren't too trendy that they'll look outdated in the coming years.

 

Use Velvet Decor

Velvet decor will create a regal and luxe touch to the interior setting without making the house feel cold or bare. Velvet decor can be incorporated into various rooms by adding a velvet sofa in the living room or a velvet headboard in the master bedroom. Consider choosing emerald green, blue, or gray velvet furniture items, which are the latest shades that are found in interior design magazines.

 

Hang Artwork at the Right Height

Many people make the mistake of hanging art too low or high in the home, which can allow it to appear awkward once it's on display. You'll want to hang artwork at the right height by measuring the center of the art and hanging it 60 inches from the floor. Although you may feel inclined to hang the item higher in a room that has higher ceilings, it's important to measure it for accuracy. You can also take a picture once it's hung to ensure that it looks like it's at the right height.

 

Avoid Themes

Themes were popular in the '90s but can now look too dramatic and can lack individuality. Instead, opt for a coastal vibe or rustic style that doesn't have too many rules with the pieces that are used in the setting.

You'll also want to create a focal point that draws the eyes to a specific area of each room, which can include a fireplace or an entertainment center. You can also consider using pre lit Christmas trees as the focal point year-round if you enjoy the design and elegant style of the piece. You can create a new trend by having it on display in each season for a festive look.

Your home can have more appeal and design by following the right decor tips when you're redecorating the setting. By knowing specific rules to follow that are implemented by professional designers, you can create a stunning interior environment that is stylish and will make your friends envious.

Lindsey Patterson

Finally! An easy way to become that slim sexy mom

4 min read

One of the most common challenges for most women who have children and become a mom is accepting their new body. It can be difficult to have confidence if you've experienced weight gain and are no longer as slim as your pre-baby days. If you want to become a sexy, thin mom, there are a few easy steps to take to transform your figure.

 

Join a Fitness Class

Motherhood can often make it difficult to socialize when you're limited on time and are caring for your little ones throughout the day. Finding a local fitness class in the area will allow you to make new friends and also improve your physique with the help of an instructor. Consider joining a dance class at your local community center or enrolling in a cycling class at the gym. You'll feel motivated to work out several times each week due to the fun setting and can also have accountability with the other women in the class.

 

Use a Healthy Meal Service

Most moms have busy schedules and can resort to using the drive-thru when it comes to eating snacks and meals throughout the day. Weight loss can be obtained long-term if you make the process easy on yourself. Instead of packing on the pounds, opt for using a healthy meal service that offers a high level of convenience each day and will make it easy to maintain a healthy diet. You can enjoy eating low calorie meals that are flavorful and allow you to save time throughout the week and avoid spending more time in the kitchen.

You can also plan your meals to ensure that you stay within your allotted calories and reduce the portions that are consumed.

 

Establish Goals

It can be challenging to stay motivated if you don't have goals established when trying to slim down. Make it a point to write down a few goals, which can include losing a specific amount of weight or increasing your muscle tone. Keep the goals visible in an area where you'll see them each day to keep them on the forefront of your mind. You can reward yourself each time you meet certain goals by purchasing new workout clothes or equipment.

 

Avoid Diets

Avoid trying out fad diets, which can cause you to crash and return to your old habits. You can obtain long-term results by making lifestyle choices with baby steps that are taken, which includes only eating junk food only on cheat days or cutting out soda from your diet.

 

Hire a Registered Dietician

Working with a professional can allow you obtain the right tools and advice to lose weight healthily without going to extremes. Hiring a registered dietitian will allow you to practice a safe weight-loss strategy by improving your diet. You'll learn what foods should be avoided and how to prepare more nutritious, healthy meals that make it easier to shed excess weight.

 

Avoid Eating Out

Limit how much you eat out during the week, which can make it easy to choose unhealthy options. It can also be easy to consume more calories at cafes and local eateries due to fatty salad dressings and bread that can pack on the pounds. You'll want to prepare more meals at home to have control over the ingredients that are used and establish more discipline with the food that you're consuming. It can be challenging to avoid eating out at times, but you can opt for ordering a salad with the dressing on the side to maintain your progress.

It doesn't have to be impossible to become a slim and sexy mom while working towards your previous weight. With the right steps taken and by obtaining the help of professionals, you can achieve your goals and feel more like yourself after becoming a mother.

Lindsey Patterson

The 5 Indicators Of A High Quality Business

4 min read

 

No matter what kind of business you run, there is no substitute for offering a high-quality product with superior service. While some businesses may be able to "cheat" and temporarily boost their business by a number of different tactics, overall the businesses that survive over the long haul do so by seeking to integrate the highest quality standards at every level. Here are the 5 key hallmarks of a high-quality business.

 

1. Stellar Customer Service

There is perhaps no more important task that any business faces than that of providing outstanding customer service. In addition to the fact that it is far more expensive to try and draw in new customers than to keep an existing one, current customers are 60-70% more likely to buy from you than a new customer and your existing customers will also be your best salespeople. Considering 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends over advertising, keeping your customers happy is a monumentally important priority.

 

2. Critical Community Engagement

More than just offering good customer service, the best and brightest brands are also heavily invested in their communities. Whether that is the global community in cases of brands like Apple, Nike, and Ikea or whether that is your local community, the most quality businesses do far more than just sell a product or service. Whether this is hosting a local pancake breakfast or sponsoring a little league team, no matter how big or small your business is, quality businesses invest in their communities.

 

3. Quality Employee Care

The highest quality businesses understand that your employees generally take care of your customers the same way you take care of your employees. If you genuinely want to offer great customer service, you first have to offer great employee care. Sometimes this means benefits, but more often than not it means treating your employees like human beings. Interaction and engagement with your employees are just as critical - if not more so - than interactions with your clients, consumers, and your community. Take good care of your employees and they will provide that stellar customer service you are looking for.

 

4. Outstanding Asset Management

Whether you own a bakery, a retail store or a roofing business, managing your assets is of utmost importance. Whether you need to know exactly how much flour or sugar you have on hand at any given time, how many hours your crews put in that week or how many units you sold that day, the most well- run businesses utilize a quality management system to help them know exactly where they stand at any given time. Good asset management is critical for any business to run effectively and you can't deliver a quality product, good or service for long without great asset management.

 

5. Rock Solid Branding

Global tech giant Apple has not only made its mark by doing one thing and doing it far better than anyone else they have also created an utterly relentless brand message. Apple not only offers a certain design aesthetic in every one of the products they make but also carry that same aesthetic into their retail stores (recently redesigned and rebranded as a "town square"), their corporate headquarters and even their retail store employee "uniforms" (a simple Apple t-shirt). From top to bottom, Apple knows exactly who it is and so do their most loyal consumers.

 

No matter what product or service a business sells, provides or offers, quality businesses all have these key traits in common. They understand that at the end of the day, their businesses are dependent on people. Quality businesses pour the majority of their resources into caring for the people that make their company great - whether that be their employees, their customers or their community. After that is managing their resources to keep their business running smoothly and doing the work of building a quality brand that people trust.

 

Lindsey Patterson

Importance of Having Satisfied Employees

4 min read

The employees of a company are one of the most important people in any firm. Most companies have a human resource department that looks into affairs of employee recruitment and management. However, most of these departments fail in executing their mandated duties. Employee management stretches beyond payment of salaries and defining the different roles of a company’s workers. They should also check if the employees are comfortable with their working conditions and everything about the company. This way the administration will be able to apply the respective measures to improve the attitude of employees. Happy employees are very productive. They also create a very vibrant working environment for each other.

 

Three major factors determine the productivity of employees. When these crucial factors are fully satisfied, the productivity of any company will soar to immense levels. They include:

 

1. Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction revolves around the fulfillment of the individual employee’s feelings. A dissatisfied employee is sad and lacks the motivation to work hard. On the other hand, a happy employee has an internal self-drive to bring positive changes to the company. What makes employees happy or sad is the working environment that the employer offers them. When the working conditions are favorable, the employee owns the company’s plans as his/her own and strives to fulfill them. Therefore, the human resource department should ensure that they create the most conducive employment that brings satisfaction to the employees. This can be done through the following means:

• Reviewing their salaries regularly. Employee dissatisfaction develops when one realizes that he/she is not paid according to their value. Underpaid employees are always in a revolt of new ideas that are brought up to increase the company’s profits. Instead of embracing reforms, they look at changes as tools of continuing to exploit them. Ultimately, such employees will spread their discontentment to others, and the entire company will be in revolt.

Giving employees a chance to open up. Every person likes to be given a chance to express themselves. This also applies to the employees. A company that offers its workers a chance to air their grievances has a more conducive working environment that results in staff satisfaction. When employees are granted a platform to speak up, they also put forward new ideas that can be used to improve the company.

• Giving them a chance to be creative. Every institution has principles and procedures that they follow in conducting their daily activities. A company that rigidly sticks to the set methods has limited chances of improving. Employees should be given the liberty to come up with new ways of doing things. This will make them more adventurous and satisfied. In the long run, they will discover new means of doing things that are easier and less tedious.

 

2. Engagement

Employee engagement is a consequence of satisfaction. Satisfaction brings about the physical feeling of happiness. Engagement is the positive response of the employee after being fully satisfied by the working environment. An engaged employee is highly self-driven to the fulfillment of the company’s ambitions. He/she owns the company and carries its interests personally. An engaged employee will also defend the company whenever its reputation is questioned.

However, it important to note that satisfaction does not always bring employee engagement. An employee may be unhappy with the company, but his engagement levels remain high. Therefore, engagement is an unconditional situation for employees who have a self-drive to achieve irrespective of the work environment.

 

3. Experience

Most people have past experiences from institutions that they have worked with. These experiences play a very crucial role in determining the degree of satisfaction of an employee. Every company should strive to build positive experiences so that when the workers relate to their past, they feel motivated to stay in the company. Treating employees in a fair manner will ensure that they are satisfied and they will speak well of the company. Rewarding them regularly for improvements and achievements also makes them satisfied, and they gradually build a nice experience for the company.

 

In a nutshell, keeping employees happy is crucial to ensuring that they are always productive. Every company should look into the specific conditions that cause discontentment to the workers and rectify them as fast as possible. The human resource department of any company, therefore, has an enormous task of continually tending to the concerns of the employees.