Outsourced Marketing Support Means Professional Work On Demand

Outsourced Marketing Support Means Professional Work On Demand

Flocksy is a professionally managed flat rate creative services and content platform focused on long-term relationships with clients, designers, and partners. Flocksy utilizes only U.S.-based project managers who understand the needs of both clients and on demand teams. Their team is fully vetted and tested, ensuring their clients get top notch results for the projects they desire. Flocksy was founded in 2016 by Sam, George, and Charles Ryan as the first platform of its kind to offer the breadth of services and consistency of teams.

Flocksy’s proprietary platform engages teams, both internally and externally, through their user-friendly platform. Their platform is cost-effective for businesses of all sizes and locations. The monthly cost is at $349, $420, or $995 price points and Flocksy offers video editing and creation, copywriting, design, website development and voiceover services.

The company works with businesses of all sizes that need marketing materials created and agencies. They help their customers with all their marketing projects for a fraction of the price they would pay an inhouse team. Their service replaces the typical full-time designer, video editor, developer or writer and more. 

Flocksy integrates chat functionality and a full dashboard, both of which are focused on consistent, best work practices for every project. Their platform vets and selects only the best creatives from around the world, ensuring work is done correctly and on time. Flocksy was designed so clients get a whole team they are working with and not one person that they may or may not connect with.

Businesses sign up and can create unlimited design, video, development and writing projects. Flocksy then forms a fully vetted team around the customer’s account based on the projects they run, their style, and more. The team then works on all their projects and makes sure to keep their brand and style consistent. Their professional-grade work is work we use ourselves. 

Flocksy has proprietary software that vets creatives who want to join. Once they submit the application and go through an onboarding process, they have a team of experts review the applications that make it through the onboarding process. The experts choose who is finally accepted based on a number of criteria. Once creatives are accepted onto the platform, they start joining teams and work directly with the clients. 

The teams get projects done in 12 hours on average. Since there is always someone available on the team to work on the projects, there are few delays and most projects are done correctly and consistently the first time around. This allows businesses to scale and start as many projects as they need without any bottlenecks. 

Flocksy has consistently beat client expectations for quality of work and work turnaround times from our first day in business. Typically, the Flocksy team is one you build as a consistent, complete outsource team, focused on your core business needs. Flocksy was designed to work with small to mid-sized businesses the way they do business best. And their retainer-based monthly service fee includes all work, licensing, and more.

Clients can do as many projects as they can complete in a given month.  In order to better focus on client work, projects can be located into our dashboard and are completed one at a time.  When you sign off on a project, the next one begins. The dashboard includes recent activity in a client’s account, the team, the client’s active projects and stats on their activity. 

The proprietary portal is very user-friendly. Clients can easily sign up and create projects within minutes. They can easily provide feedback by commenting and tagging designs within a project. Once the client is happy with a project, they can simply close it out and the team starts on the next project in the queue. 

Accounts are each assigned a dedicated Project Manager. The Project Manager is USA based and oversees the client’s team and account. If the client has any questions, issues with the team, concerns about a project or more, they can simply reach out to their Project Manager for a fast response (usually in under an hour). 

With the My Team page clients can see everyone on their team and remove team members they don’t like. The dashboard allows the client to quickly see what is happening in their account.  And the Pending Projects area, allows clients to create unlimited projects and have them queued up. The team works through them as fast as possible. Flocksy enables you to keep your team for the long haul or change them around whenever you want to.  Flocksy’s professional creatives and active team members serve as outsourced members of YOUR team.

3 Ways That Web Design Relies on Creativity

3 Ways That Web Design Relies on Creativity

When you put together a website for your company or organization, you probably think that the process involves lots of computer coding and other technological skills. While knowing how to code is crucial to designing a professional website, the process also involves the following creative skills.

Writing

The heart of every website is its content. If the writing is not original or well-written, people will not trust your information or want to buy your products. Whether you use an SEO reseller or another source, your writers need to use their creativity to develop unique content related to your industry. 

Graphic Design

While your articles must be well-written to generate an audience, they also need to be presented well. This phase of website design is similar to graphic design. Your web designer and administrator pick fonts, images and layouts that best feature your content. Part of this process is scientific, as research has shown where certain widgets should be placed and which styles are most appealing to potential customers. However, your designer still has lots of control over your site’s look.

Customer Outreach

Every website includes information on how to reach its owner. To make yours stand out, get creative with your customer outreach. Ask your web designer to add a joke or funny image to your customer service page, or generate a new message each time a visitor clicks on your chatbox. The more ways that you and your designer can think of to engage customers and show them that you care about their visit, the more likely they are to return.

Many stereotypes are associated with web design, one of which is that it requires advanced technical skills and nothing else. However, without you and your web designer’s creativity, your writing, graphic design and customer outreach cannot compete with other websites.

3 Signs That Your Southern California Business Needs a Risk Assessment Now

3 Signs That Your Southern California Business Needs a Risk Assessment Now

Small businesses, especially in big business areas like Southern California, may think that they are less likely to experience hacking or data theft because they aren’t as well known as other businesses.

However, they actually face an increased risk of a cyber attack because they generally have fewer security measures in place. 

In fact, more than half of all small businesses that suffer a data breach will go out of business within six months. A data breach can have serious long-term effects on a small business.

Your business reputation could be damaged and you could lose customers. Successful hacking can also dramatically increase expenses in damage control and decrease revenue.

Fortunately, you can protect your business by understanding the security risks you face. Here are 3 signs that your Southern California business needs a risk assessment as soon as possible:

1. You’re Working Remotely

Remote working is more popular than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are many benefits to working at home such as a better work-life balance, no more commuting, and savings on office space, it’s important to be aware of the downsides and threats to your business that remote work can bring. 

As companies increasingly turn to remote working solutions, it’s important for them to keep their employees and data safe from cyber attacks. 

Without proper procedures and security measures in place, your company may unintentionally expose sensitive information, or data may be stolen as it crosses networks and platforms. 

There are several ways to secure your business data, even while everyone is working remotely. First, consider investing in cloud solutions, which allow your employees to access company data wherever they are. 

Second, create a training course for your remote workers which teaches them about how to avoid phishing attempts, how to create secure passwords, and how to keep business data secure. 

Third, if you are working remote and connecting to your business systems onsite, at your company location, then have the proper security technologies in place that assist in mitigating your risk posture. If you are not sure, we can review and help tighten up any vulnerable areas.  

2. You Don’t Have a Managed Service Provider

There are endless ways for your data to become vulnerable to attacks, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on red flags and preventative measures in order to keep data secure. This level of protection is a full-time job that requires specialized knowledge and experience. 

Since your business may not have the resources to hire an in-house IT department, it is worthwhile to explore other trusted IT management systems such as a Managed Service Provider (MSP). 

An MSP manages all technology risks and implements preventative measures for a business. A Managed Service Provider will monitor your systems day and night so that your data is never left vulnerable.

They also make sure that your company is secure from even the most advanced  cyber threats. 

In addition, they perform regular risk assessments for your business. A risk assessment includes an analysis of your current protection methods to detect any weaknesses. 

Examining your current system helps an MSP to know where to increase security. Finding these weak points before they turn into leaks can help your business avoid a costly breach. 

3. You Don’t Have a VPN

If your business normally relies on in-house servers to secure its data, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is key. VPNs allow your employees to connect to your onsite servers securely over the Internet. 

A VPN also ensures all data traveling over the connection remains encrypted, ensuring unauthorized users are unable to view it. If you do not have VPN, your business data is at risk for potential exposure. 

With so much data being stored and sent between coworkers and customers, there are many opportunities for that information to be lost or stolen. Protecting your Southern California business with the help of a risk assessment from a trusted IT company in Ventura will help protect sensitive material from being intercepted by those with malicious intent. 

3 Independent Ways to Make a Living

3 Independent Ways to Make a Living

Does your 9-5 job have you down? These days, it’s becoming common for people to escape the doldrums of office culture and venture out on their own. If you’re ready to join them, here are three ways that might work for you. 

1. Start Day Trading 

You don’t need to be a stockbroker to succeed in day trading, but you do need to know what you’re doing before you jump in. It can be lucrative if done correctly — meaning you have an excellent understanding of money, a solid handle on the stock market and you take it seriously. The only way to know if it would be a good fit is to do some research and evaluate your personal situation, so make sure to cover your bases first.

2. Invest in Real Estate

Getting involved in real estate is another excellent way to earn a living, particularly when you know the ins and outs and are well versed in the market. Having a specific type of real estate in mind is a good place to start. Are you thinking of commercial properties, rental properties or flipping? There are so many outlets in real estate that it can be overwhelming, which is why it’s so important to have a firm grasp on what’s available (and feasible for you) for real estate investing right from the start.

3. Become a Consultant

Have you ever thought about consulting? If there is something you’re really great at doing and you have the credentials and experience to back it up, this could be the ticket to your overall success. Have confidence in your abilities and don’t be shy when it comes to marketing yourself. 

Change can be scary — but it can also lead to greater things. Why not see what else is out there?

What It Takes to Digitally Transform a Business

What It Takes to Digitally Transform a Business

Most new businesses have the benefit of starting from scratch with fully digital processes. They’ll lay the groundwork for the business with critical apps and other technology that can heighten productivity, save on costs, and maintain environmental sustainability.

But for businesses that have operated for years, or even decades with paper records and manual processes, the idea of converting to a digital environment can be intimidating. Many digital transformation attempts go wrong, so if you want to be successful, you need to understand exactly what it takes to make such a program work.

What Is a Digital Transformation?

First, you need to understand what it means to “digitize” your work, or digitally transform your organization. This can mean different things to different people, but digital transformation occurs whenever you take a formerly manual or paper-based process and upgrade it so it can be done with digital tools.

For example, you might convert your paper records in filing cabinets into digital records, stored in an online database. You might turn a manual, paper-based inventorying process into something completed with digital scanners.

In some cases, a business may attempt to fully digitally transform itself; every operation, from the top down, must change in some way. These large-scale efforts are often intensive and expensive, but they have the power to save an organization a ton of money and improve productivity indefinitely.

When you get a management software, you can better track contract compliance, contract amendments, KPIs, company performance, among many others. By simply digitizing your system, you have access to information you didn’t have before. You can break, renew, and revise contacts according to the data on your program. A digital transformation may not seem necessary now, but that is where the industry is headed. If you fail to grasp the right time to adapt, it does not bode well for your organization.

Keys to Success in Digital Transformation

There are several important fundamentals to ensure your digital transformation is a success, including:

  • A clear vision. First, you need to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. Merely adopting the “digital is better” mentality isn’t enough. You have to know which products and services are currently available, and understand exactly how they’re going to make your organization “better.” You can dig into specifics later, but you should have a clear overarching vision of how your organization will improve from the start.
  • Documented goals, tasks, and subtasks. From there, you’ll need to formally document as much of your plan as possible. You’ll need high-level goals and sub-goals to achieve, complete with a timeline on when to achieve them. You’ll also need to break this digital transformation project down in terms of tasks and subtasks. Who will be responsible for achieving these? When must they be complete?
  • Leadership and accountability. It’s important for your digital transformation to have a clear leader and accountability throughout the team. Ideally, one point person will be in charge of executing the full digital transformation; it’s their job to assign tasks and ensure deadlines get met. Along the way, various individuals will be assigned responsibilities and tasks, and it’s important to instill accountability in them so they’re motivated to finish their work.
  • Access to the right tools. It should go without saying that your digital transformation success is largely dependent on the types of tools you’re using for the transformation. With bad hardware, bad software, or an incomplete set of tools, your digital transformation simply won’t work. It’s on you to research what types of tools your organization needs, which specific products are the best in each category, and how those products can all work together.
  • Employee unity. Employees often resist change, for the same reasons we all resist change in various areas of our lives. However, if your digital transformation is going to be successful, your employees all need to be on board. Spend some time educating your employees on the importance of digital transformation, and assuage the concerns of people who are reluctant to adapt.
  • Appropriate timing. It’s not a good idea to start a digital transformation in the middle of your busiest season. Timing your transformation will be challenging, but it’s an important consideration to bear in mind.
  • Coordinated changeovers. Similarly, it’s important to coordinate changeovers from old systems to new systems. If some of your team members start using a digital system on Monday, but others are still using a paper-based or manual method on Wednesday, you’ll struggle to reconcile the differences. Make sure all your official “launch” dates are clear and understood—and set a firm expiration date for now-obsolete processes.
  • Room for flexibility. Having a solid, consistent plan for how you’re going to operate digitally in the future is good, but you also need room for flexibility. Your best-laid plans aren’t always going to work out as intended, and new ideas for improvement will constantly emerge. Prepare to adapt as you roll out your new systems.

Planning and executing a digital transformation is harder than it first seems, especially for a large organization. But with the right goals, plenty of proactive critical thinking, and a supportive team to help you along the way, you can greatly improve your organization with minimal downtime or obstacles.

The Role of Vision In Motivating Employees & Being A Great Leader

The Role of Vision In Motivating Employees & Being A Great Leader

If you have ever seen the hit TV show Shark Tank, then you know that it is a great resource for entrepreneurs to learn how to effectively run a business. People such as Mark Cuban and Daymond John provide great insights on how to fund your start up and how to be a great leader. Yet with all of these experts showing entrepreneurs what it takes to lead, why do so many still struggle with this skill?

We are often told that vision is an essential feature of great leadership. But what is leadership vision, how do you develop one ,and what role does it play in business success?

The best place to start this discussion is by exploring how businesses become successful. Business success does not always depend on vision. Suppose you are a creative entrepreneur or inventor and you develop a desirable set of products that are in great demand. 

According to the Coaching Institute, your business success may be mainly a function of your ability to keep up with demand and to produce your products as efficiently and profitably as possible. In this case, no vision is necessary. Your business hit the ground running and your employees couldn’t be more motivated.

This suggests two factors that determine when a leadership vision may be useful: (1) when your business is struggling or needs to change its ways to be successful or (2) when employees are not very motivated.

The Essence of Leadership Vision

To be effective, a vision must motivate employees. Putting the first man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s was John F. Kennedy’s vision and it is one of the most famous examples of an effective leadership vision. “To motivate employees, a vision might be expressed in a great speech by its leader, but it doesn’t have to be” suggests John Rogan of Motivational Speaker. 

The vision to put the first man on the moon would have been motivational to the engineers and scientists who made it happen no matter how the vision was expressed. It was motivational for two reasons: it gave them a very concrete, time-related target and it was an exciting challenge.

If you own a car rental company, creating a motivational vision would be harder. How much more can such a business improve customer service and lower costs? If you are already in the top 3 in this industry, how much higher can you go? The most motivational vision for such a business might be to make it to number one over the next 3 years. If your vision isn’t time-related, it’s hard to get excited about it, mainly because there’s no sense of urgency to do anything new.

A leadership vision is essentially a goal or target, but not just any old target. Improving your business’s profits by 10% by the end of next year is a worthy goal but it couldn’t be called visionary because it’s not very exciting. A vision is much easier to formulate in a business that is struggling or nowhere near the top in its market. Suppose you run a business that develops similar products to Apple Computers but are not really visible at all in this market. A vision to beat Apple in 5 years would be a huge challenge and either motivational or just too scary to even contemplate.

A vision to make a laptop for under $100 so that more people in developing countries could afford one is inspirational. So is the vision to make high speed internet access available for everyone in a certain region by a certain date.

Does your Business Need a Vision?

Before you develop a leadership vision for your business, take a hard look at whether you need one. The most important consideration is whether you need to move your business to a different place as, for example, Intel did when its chip business, its main source of revenue in the company’s early days, started to fail and they decided they needed to switch their focus and major on microprocessors. The other major question to look at is employee motivation. Are your employees already highly motivated? If so, how much more would a vision motivate them? In this case, a vision would only be necessary if you wanted to move in a new direction.

Developing a Vision

If you dream up a compelling vision on your own, fine. But if you really want to motivate employees with your vision, you should engage them fully in developing the new vision. This is precisely what the level 5 leaders described by Jim Collins in Good to Great did. The meaning of his slogan – first who then what – means that the CEOs he studied got their best people into a room and grilled them relentlessly until a new strategy or vision emerged. For Collins, level 4 leaders develop and promote their own visions which could fail to really engage those who have to make it happen.

How To Design Your Event For A Successful Meeting

How To Design Your Event For A Successful Meeting

If you want to create a successful event or conference, you are going to need to invest a great deal of time in your planning. From booking the appropriate guest speakers to sending out invitations, there is a great deal of work that goes into these events which is why some organizations outsource this to an event planner. But if you are going to do this in-house, then there is one important factor you must execute well and that is the design of your event.

 Meeting design layout is a fundamental logistic that requires meticulous details pointing to a simple objective. According to the website Keynote Speaker, it’s important that when you are planning your event that you have a clear understanding as to how your speakers will interact with your audience. 

Depending on whether you want them to move about or just stand at the podium will play a pivotal role in how you design your event. “If you hire a motivational speaker, then you need to make sure they have plenty of space to move around in because their presentations are quite interactive” suggests Sean Adams of Motivation Ping. There are several standard set-ups for meetings that are used according to purpose and capacity.

Classroom style is the basic set – up for most functions such as seminars, conventions, town hall gatherings, and large performing events. This is also standard for panel discussions large and small which involves a table at the front of the room or a row of chairs for panelists as the focus of the room.

Convention or Conference set up is the larger version of a classroom set up of at least 250 or more people with a plenary or keynote speaker. But classroom deals with 30 – 150 people give or take. The idea is that there is primary focus towards a stage, speaker, or presentation.

U-Shape style is designed in the form of the letter U for an interactive type meeting that provides a horse shoe like roundtable for participants. It typically involves the presenter, audio visual equipment and presentation at the open space end fostering a closer knit atmosphere for 10 to 30 people. Here this layout is best for seminars and training sessions with PowerPoint presentations or videos.

Hollow Square set up is a regular square or rectangular shape with an enclosed space. The speaker or presenter is outside the square and can be seated or standing while conducting a small meeting or training that fosters an interactive atmosphere.

Theater is much like the classroom in that the layout is designed to have the audience facing the area of presentation. But just like a theater, the rows of seating are descending for a proscenium view. This layout would most likely be in a room with descending or ascending rows of flooring as well. Theater design is ideal for lectures, speeches, master classes, and seminars seating up to 100 to 175 people comfortably.

Executive or Committee meetings usually employs a small private room with an elongated round table sometimes with plush seating. Video or conference calling are standard in meetings like these that take on a VIP level of engagement for important decision making.

Receptions are more open spaced with high tables scattered throughout the room to create the ambiance of a soiree’ while maintaining a business event feel. Receptions usually involve hors d ‘ oeuvres and the high tables encourages movement because there are no chairs but resting places for disposed food and dine ware as well as surfaces to exchange information.

This set up is Ideal for networking functions, book signings, product launches, or corporate mixers. Receptions can also serve as pre-cursors to larger events like banquets and formal galas.

Banquets are usually laid out with round tables that seat 6 to 8 people. In some situations, tables can accommodate 10 to 12 attendees. They are spaced apart by 12 inches with a rectangular head table at the front of the room slated for speeches and presentations. There are occasions where half round tables are used according to the purpose, design, and capacity.

Any banquet style set up is usually purposed for a several course meal. Sometimes banquet stations are established for buffet or brunch style mode with meat carving stations for people to move about and mingle as they eat. This layout is great for award dinners, celebrity roasts, annual functions and of course weddings. But banquets can be large or small depending the organizers.

Gala’s are the familiar formal soiree’s that require everyone to dress up in gowns and tuxedo’s to mingle, mix, and even dance. There’s usually no table or chair set up but the layout is in set design and lighting to create the ambiance of a desired theme. Galas are more glamorous often used for fundraisers, costume balls, inaugural balls, or high profile functions. Capacity can go as high as 1000 guests!

When all is said and done, there are several common denominators that make design layouts for meetings effective: great planning, logistics and specifications, audio visual, and clarity on purpose with established capacity and space. Using these standards will lay a quick foundation of design stability for any successful event when used for the right function.

GUIDE TO BUSINESS FINANCING

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In today’s world, running a business has become challenging than ever. Entrepreneurs are making every possible effort to make ends meet while thinking of financing options. You might have invested sufficient capital when kicking off your venture, but businesses have a continuous need for funds to keep up with changing market trends. 

Here is where business financing kicks in, it helps businesses acquire loans, money, or capital to finance their company. It exposes entrepreneurs to countless options, making it difficult to pick one. These decisions become easier when you assess your financial needs and identify how much money your business needs. 

However, if you are clueless about it, let us help you explore different financing options. Have a look below!  

  • Traditional Bank Loans 

When talking about loans, this is the first option that hits everyone’s mind. Traditional bank loans are one of the most common and reliable sources of funding. It follows a standard procedure, where you have to submit your financial projections and the application form. Banks and other financial institutes give a lot of value to credit scores. Thus, the higher your credit score, the more readily you can acquire a loan.

There aren’t any limitations on the amount you can borrow, so assess your funding needs before applying for this loan. If you are a recognized player in the market, you can enjoy lower interest rates since your brand name speaks for itself. Otherwise, if you are an entrepreneur and want to make the best decision, learn how to be a loan officer to see from his perspective and to assess risks and costs carefully. 

  • Business Line of Credit 

Sometimes, owners only have a rough idea about much funds they need rather than knowing the exact figure. In such times, a bank loan might cost you more since it charges interest on the entire amount borrowed. Therefore, several companies are opting for the line of credit because it offers flexibility. You can open a line of credit based on your rough estimations. 

Nevertheless, it is not necessary to spend all the amount as credit line will only charge interest on the amount you have spent. Likewise, if you need additional funds, you can make repayments and acquire money until the credit line is open. However, it demands a perfect credit score, making sure you are the right person for this financing option. 

  • Secured Vs. Unsecured Loans 

Usually, banks have a long list of requirements when offering a loan, out of which one of the conditions is to submit collateral. It could be anything – property, plant, or equipment. Banks set this requirement as a backup plan to save themselves from losses in case a company goes bankrupt. Thus, if your bank asks for collateral, you must understand that it is a secured loan. 

Otherwise, if there is no need for collateral, then the loan is unsecured. It is the ideal option for businesses that are not confident about their future performance and don’t want to risk an asset by submitting collateral. Due to the absence of security, banks will charge relatively higher interest than those offered in secured loans.

  • Asset Financing 

Why do you need financing? Undoubtfully, every business owner will have a different answer to this, but some might be rooting for buying an asset. After all, every company needs machinery, plant, and equipment to kick off production of goods and services. Asset financing is specifically for purchasing machinery, and these days, every financial institution is willing to do this for you. 

They would purchase the asset after accepting down payment that covers 20% of the asset’s total cost. Thus, you can use the asset to generate income while making repayments. There is no need for collateral because your asset works like one. 

  1. Business Credit Card 

Sometimes, companies need money to foot their day to day bills, and for this, acquiring a loan won’t be a wise choice. Surprisingly, your business credit card comes to your rescue by helping you make timely payments for everything, closing doors for cash flow problems. Likewise, it ensures a smooth flow of business operations by knocking off financial disruptions. 

At the end of every month, you can readily settle credit card bills instead of coughing money on interests with a loan. Moreover, it also offers appealing rewards, including free travel, fascinating discounts, and dinner vouchers. Therefore, make sure to apply for a business credit card the very next moment after starting your business. 

Conclusion

At times, businesses develop a sudden need for financing, but lack of knowledge regarding it can drown them into losses. All thanks to the internet that is making everything available at the distance of few clicks. It allows you to explore numerous options and pick the best one. 

5 Smart Tips and Tactics for Spending Less on Your Next Car

5 Smart Tips and Tactics for Spending Less on Your Next Car




Buying a car can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. With the right strategies, you can lower the cost, get a better deal, and spend less on your monthly payments. Sound good? Read on!

5 Tips for Spending Less on Your Next Car

If you’re like the average person, a house is the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. But vehicles come in a close second. Thankfully, there are ample opportunities to save. Here are a few highly recommended suggestions:

1. Set Your Budget

Start by asking yourself two questions:

  • How much can I spend?
  • How much do I want to spend?

For some people, the answer to these questions is the same. But if you want to make a fiscally sound decision, you should probably spend less than you can afford to pay.

Once you set your budget, it’s important that you stick to this budget. (And it’s also wise to remember that you don’t have to max out your budget. If you know you can afford to spend $20,000 on a car, paying $17,000 is even better.)

2. Know Where to Find Deals

Sourcing the right deal is half the battle. The same vehicle can cost 15 to 20 percent less than it does at another dealership, but you have to know where to look.

Buying from a private party will almost always yield a lower price. (No added fees and expenses.) And if you’re in a state with high property tax rates, buying across state lines could save you a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

3. Use This Little-Known Email Trick

Tom Niejadlik is in the car business. He’s spent more than 15 years in car showrooms, negotiating with buyers, and mastering the ins and outs of the business. And while he’s seen a variety of negotiation tactics and techniques over this time, there’s one method he says is most effective right now; it involves sending one simple email.

You can read about the process in this article, but here’s the gist of the methodology:

  • Do your research and find out the fair market price for the type of car you’re interested in.
  • Locate seven to 10 dealerships in your region that have the car you’re looking for.
  • Send an email and visibly CC a salesperson from each dealership on the message.
  • In your email, include the fact that you’ve selected a vehicle you want to buy, have already test driven it, and are ready to buy. Explain any options that you must have and that you’re aware of all costs associated with these various options. You should also mention that you’re pre-approved for financing, but would prefer to finance through the seller.
  • Give the dealers 24 hours to respond with their best offer and promise to provide a credit card deposit over the phone.

Dealers hate emails like this, but many will bite. And the best part about it is that you’re showing the dealers they have competition. Some will ignore your email, but you should get at least three to five responses. You can then use these deals as leverage to negotiate even lower offers.

4. Secure a Low Interest Loan

The purchase price of the vehicle is the first major element you need to flesh out. However, it’s also imperative that you secure the lowest car loan rate possible. This requires shopping around online and comparing various rates from different lenders.

5. Buy Used Over New

Buying a new vehicle might seem attractive when you’re on a test drive and you find yourself intoxicated by that new car smell, but it’s rarely a smart choice. New cars depreciate rapidly in the first year – losing more than 20 percent in the first year alone. Why not buy a pre-owned vehicle with low mileage and let someone else take that hit?

Be an Intentional Car Buyer

Lazy car buyers get taken for a ride every single time (this can also apply if you consider renting a car as well). Not only do lazy buyers pay too much for their vehicles, but they also overpay on high-interest loans. If you want to spend less money, you have to become an intentional car buyer. This means carefully weighing the details and paying attention to every little aspect (including budgeting, deal sourcing, financing, etc.). Hopefully this article has provided you with a good starting point to begin your search.




Sustainable Building Solutions for Business Owners

Picture this: you’re a new business in a thriving community. You’ve made your business plan, presented it to investors, and received support! Now you’re looking into the construction of the ideal space to facilitate your success. You dream of a workplace that has it all: one that welcomes clients, makes your employees feel productive, and embodies the forward-thinking nature of your new enterprise.  

Whether your business is a retail space, a restaurant, an accounting firm, or a nonprofit, putting the pieces in place to bring your vision to life can be an overwhelming process. Especially so if you’re looking into “green” and sustainable practices for constructing the home of your business.

Now more than ever, ensuring that you as a business owner are doing all you can to practice and implement business practices that support the sustainability of our planet is one of the most important considerations you can make. When it comes to construction, it becomes even more so – not only will making thoughtful choices throughout the construction process positively impact your ecological footprint, but it can support the longevity of your business as well. Constructing a building correctly, the first time will cut down on maintenance and repair costs for years to come. 

The roofing process presents some of the biggest challenges, as well as some of the most innovative solutions for incorporating sustainable techniques into the construction of your storefront. Not only is the roof an important part of the aesthetic appeal of your building, but it serves a critical purpose in preserving the virtue of your structure for years to come.

When taking on a roofing project for your commercial space, you’re certainly considering many important aspects – materials, function, and durability. Choosing sustainable practices can actually speak to several of these points, all in one. Even more importantly, selecting a commercial roofing contractor that has the same vision and values in mind can make or break a project that influences the success of your business.

In this day and age, each time we construct a new building we are using precious natural resources to create the space. And, with these resources growing more scarce every year, we can only in good conscience choose techniques that care for the environment in the best way possible.

Solar power is one of the most prominent pieces of technology at the forefront of the energy conservation movement. More and more, installation costs are easily written off by the energy savings over time that just continue to build over the years. Solar panels also allow you to be more self-sufficient, which, as we all know, is a great move to make heading into the new decade. 

Indeed, as of recently, new products have been added to the solar power industry to meet the growing demand! Solar roofs, solar shingles, and solar tiles are all being continuously developed and enhanced in order to increase their viability and effectiveness. Some of them are specifically designed for residential buildings, while some are more appropriate for large office buildings. If you’re interested in solar power for your new building – or an addition to your existing structure – make sure to ask an expert so you can be sure to select the correct option for your particular situation.

Choosing the proper materials for your roof, to ensure its durability as well as sustainability in construction, is also an important consideration. Clay, concrete, slate, and metal all offer unique elements to a structure when used for roofing projects. Clay and slate have been used for centuries for their durability, ease of access, and rustic aesthetic appeal. Concrete and metal are also very durable and can bring a solid feel and sense of the modern to any structure that employs them for their construction. 

Another exciting innovation in the world of sustainable roofing materials are shingles made from recycled materials. If you’re concerned about keeping your space warm, common for those creating a workspace in cooler climates, these recycled shingles can assist you with maintaining a comfortable temperature. Even the choice of color for your roof can pay use dividends. Choosing a white-colored roof can help keep your space cool and cut down on air conditioning bills in the summer, which can easily become very expensive. 

Natural light is also an important addition to your coworking space that can create positive effects on your employee’s wellness and productivity. For those with sensory issues or sensitivities to light, replacing fluorescent lighting with natural lighting can make all the difference in keeping them happy, engaged, and part of the team.

If you’re constructing your building from scratch, you have the opportunity to put in ample windows and skylights to allow the natural sunlight to filter in. Not only will this allow you to fill the space with plants, but it will also cut down on energy bills – another score for your bottom line! 

If you own the building, look at the “bones” – does it need any repairs? For instance, gutter cleaning services, landscaping services, or investing in window upgrades could make all the difference between a space that you’re happy to occupy for years as your business grows and one that you’re itching to move from as soon as possible. Moving can be just as stressful for a business team as a family, and especially if you’re wanting to create a homelike feeling in your office, setting up a sense of stability is key to comfort.

As you can see, if you approach customizing your ideal workspace with knowledge and conviction about not only the aesthetic appeal of your building but your passion for preserving the environment through sustainable building techniques, you are certain to enjoy productivity for years to come.

And every time you enter your building, you can feel the pride that comes with making choices to construct a fine piece of architecture that stands the test of time – while not putting excess pressure on our precious natural resources.