5 Quick And Easy Ways To Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. With the world becoming more environmentally focused, you also want to figure out how to make your business more Eco-Friendly. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Quick And Easy Ways To Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly.

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Green leaf inside a lightbulb – Image Courtesy of Pixabayt

It’s easier than you think to make your business more eco-friendly, and it doesn’t cost the Earth either. So here are some quick and easy ways to a greener and more sustainable office.

Use Renewable Energy Solutions

Every day, a free and plentiful energy source is located directly above you. All-day long, the sun offers enormous amounts of sustainable energy. So naturally, how much energy your solar panels can store depends on how much daylight there is. But you can still benefit from commercial solar panels in relatively gloomy nations like Britain. It’s a common misconception that you need to be somewhere hot. That’s not accurate. You only require daylight. And with summer quickly approaching, this is a great time to start using solar panels to save.

Develop Company Energy Savings Policies

Employees are almost always a company’s most considerable expense. In addition to paying them fairly, you don’t want your employees to waste energy, which would increase your costs. Since electricity costs are currently out of control, you may have to charge your customers additional fees. Fortunately, policies and employee education can help you reduce energy use. For instance, mandate that computers and other devices be turned off when not in use. Additionally, you can switch off the lights if the sun reaches over 800 lumens.

Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly with Fans

Air conditioning is necessary to keep workers cool in hotter climates and seasons. However, operating, maintaining, and running HVAC systems is notoriously expensive. In addition, HVAC systems lose a lot of efficiency over time. Ceiling fans, on the other hand, can help you save a sizable sum of money. For example, a ceiling fan uses no more than 60 watts on its highest setting, compared to HVAC, which operates at almost 4,000 watts. Therefore, you will use more than 75% less energy than an inefficient HVAC system, even with 10 ceiling fans running.

Manage Your Water Supply

Water is one of the world’s resources that is overused and underappreciated. In developed countries, most people don’t think twice about how much water they use. However, there are less fortunate citizens in underdeveloped nations who are suffering from drought and passing away from dehydration. Because of this, you must recognize the importance of water and take precautions to minimize waste. Ample safety and drainage systems are necessary for effective water management. And part of that is a well-maintained system for rapid water control.

Use Sustainable Products

Plastics that are only used once are bad for the environment. Wasted plastic items like can rings, food containers, and fishing wire cause suffering to millions of animals, fish, and birds. With reusable items, we can do our part to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment. Additionally, you and your staff will both benefit financially. For instance, in the USA, the cost of bottled water can be 2,000 times more expensive than tap water. But you can encourage employees to reuse plastic bottles to save water, plastic, and money.

Summary

You can make your business more eco-friendly pretty easily. Installing renewable energy devices is a great start. But you can also manage water and use sustainable products.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Company For A Pop-Up Event

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Pop-up events can very valuable tools depending on the type of sector you’re in. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Steps To Prepare Your Company For A Pop-Up Event.

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Pop-up events are fast and simple ways to introduce your brand or company to a potential customer base. They’re also a fantastic way to test the success of your product among an exclusive target audience. It is an opportunity for brands to introduce their products in a way that’s different from other marketing strategies. They are usually inexpensive and accessible ways for businesses to meet potential customers and grow their customer base without making significant investments. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with setting up your pop-up event.

Identify your goals

Before you select the best event to host, you’ll first have to identify your goals. What do you hope to achieve from hosting a pop-up event? The answer to this question will help direct your business strategy moving forward. A pop-up event is a great place to start if you’re looking to promote your product. Pop-up events are inexpensive and easy to set up, which means they’re also a great way to test the success of your product. Hosting an event is a great way to get your product in front of many people quickly and efficiently.

Practise talking to customers and relaying required information

Although you want to host an event that’s unique and special, you still want to ensure it’s approachable for everyone who may attend. One way to ensure your event is approachable is by practising talking to customers who are interested in your event. This can be done in person or through online mediums like polls. Before setting up the event, make sure you have a general idea of what customers want to see at your event.

Choose the right staff to staff your location

If you plan on hosting your event in a physical location, make sure you have the right staff to staff the location. If you’re hosting the event at a bar or restaurant, you may have the opportunity to have someone from the establishment assist you. You need someone confident and knowledgeable about the company and the products or services you promote to have maximum impact.

Don’t forget branding

Even though you’re hosting an event to promote your product or company, you’ll also want to make sure there is plenty of branding at the event. This will help set your event apart from other similar stalls being hosted simultaneously. A simple banner that states you will be hosting an event at the location will help draw more visitors to your event. If you plan to set up a booth at the event, ensure you have plenty of branding. You’ll likely want to wear branded clothing and make sure you have branded accessories like bags, pens, and other swag. You’ll also want to ensure you have branding on hand, such as business logo stickers that can be placed at your booth.

Promote your attendance at the event

Finally, make sure you promote your attendance at the event. You’ll want to publicize the event through social media, email lists, and other methods of communication. Ensure that each post highlights the benefits of attending the event and any special giveaways that may be offered. You’ll also want to ensure you send out emails to your subscribers letting them know about the event. You’ll want to send this out at least a couple of weeks in advance, so people have enough time to mark their calendars and plan on attending.

Hosting a pop-up event effectively introduces your company or product to a wide range of people. It’s a low-cost marketing strategy that allows you to test your product in real-world settings before investing in more robust marketing campaigns.

8 Ways To Improve Your Business’s Digital Footprint

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. They say your reputation is key and that’s true for your business as well. Thus you want to always improve and protect its digital footprint. The following contributed post is entitled, 8 Ways To Improve Your Business’s Digital Footprint.

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When you think about your business’s digital footprint, you might only consider your website and social media presence. However, there are many other factors that contribute to your online reputation—and ultimately, your bottom line.

Here Are A Few Key Ways To Improve Your Business’s Digital Footprint:

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

Evaluate your website design and content

Your website is often the first stop for potential customers looking for more information about your business. So make sure it makes a good impression! First, look closely at your website design and ensure it’s professional and up-to-date. Then, look at your website content and ensure it accurately reflects your brand voice and messaging.

Create high-quality content

Quality content is the key to a successful online presence. If you want people to stick around, you need to give them something worth reading, watching, or listening to. So, publish blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and other types of content that are interesting and informative.

Promote your content

Once you’ve created some great content, it’s time to promote it! Share your content on social media, email it to your list subscribers, and reach out to influencers in your industry. The more people you can get exposure to your content, the better.

Build relationships with other businesses

Connecting with other businesses in your industry is a great way to improve your digital footprint. When you form relationships with other companies, you can cross-promote each other’s content, collaborate on projects, and generally get your name out there.

Participate in online communities

There are likely numerous online communities related to your industry or niche. Get involved in these communities and participate in the conversations. By adding value to the discussion, you’ll be able to build trust and credibility—two important factors in improving your business’s digital footprint.

Stay up to date with the latest trends

Technology and digital marketing are always changing, so staying up to date with the latest trends is important. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the latest industry news, you can be sure that your business’s digital footprint is as strong as it can be.

Invest in professional help

If you’re unsure where to start or need some help taking your digital footprint to the next level, consider investing in professional help. A company that provides growth marketing services can assess your current online presence and develop a customized strategy to help you achieve your goals.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Monitor your online reputation

Last but not least, don’t forget to keep an eye on your online reputation. Google yourself regularly and see what comes up. If you see any negative reviews or comments, take steps to address them. Also, make sure to monitor your social media channels and address any negative feedback you receive in a timely and professional manner.

In Closing

By following these tips, you can be sure that your business’s digital footprint is as strong as it can be. Moreover, investing in your online presence will pay off in the long run—in the form of increased leads, sales, and brand awareness. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

How Does QuickBooks Make Business Management Efficient?

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. A major part of any business is its bookkeeping which allows for effective tracking of dollars. A powerful tool for this is QuickBooks. The following sponsored post is entitled, How Does QuickBooks Make Business Management Efficient?

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Having a complex chart of accounts can be a pain. If you have Quickbooks enterprise solutions, you’ll be glad to know that the payroll function can automate recurring payments, reduce the burden of data entry, and improve your overall business management. Here are some other ways to make QuickBooks work for you. Let us take a look at some of the most important features. After reading this guide, you’ll be ready to implement them in your own company.

Multidimensional reporting eliminates the need for a complex chart of accounts

Multidimensional reporting in Quickbooks is useful for tracking transactions, inventory, and other details at the transaction level, and it eliminates the need for a complex chart of accounts. With this feature, you can view transaction details at a transaction level, making it easier to identify the source of any given expense. This feature is not available in all Quickbooks versions, but it offers many advantages.

For multidimensional reporting, the chart of accounts is organized according to the account’s type, name, and detail. These details determine the information shown on the key financial reports. The chart also displays the balance, transaction history, and account status. It also enables users to create sub-accounts to analyze and compare the financial performance of multiple entities. The chart of accounts is essential for analyzing a company’s financial performance.

Its payroll function automates

Recurring payments are necessary to maintain a smooth operation in today’s world. A payroll function of QuickBooks can schedule and process recurring payments for employees and customers. In addition, its payroll function helps you automate recurring payments through ACH, an electronic payment network that connects U.S. financial institutions. It allows you to automate recurring payments in QuickBooks and save yourself a great deal of time and money.

Managing payroll requires accurate and timely data. QuickBooks offers several options for recurring payments, including direct deposit, paper check, and schedule pay. All of these options will simplify the process and make business management efficient. In addition, you can choose to have recurring payments auto-addressed to specific employees. QuickBooks also supports recurring payments through QuickBooks Business Network. If you have a business in the U.S., this feature is free to your clients and accountants.

Printing checks reduce data entry hassles

While you may have been using online banking for years to process your business’s transactions, you may not have printed checks for your customers. While this may be a hassle, software that allows you to print checks can make your life much easier. You can now easily handle multiple accounts and print checks at the click of a button. By minimizing data entry hassles and improving your business’s efficiency, you can save time and money while printing checks.

The first step in printing checks in QuickBooks is to set up the program to enable this feature. To do this, go to the Vendors tab and click the ‘+’ sign. Then, click Print Checks and select the layout that you’d like. You’ll have a check printed out for all your customers when you’re finished. Printing checks will reduce your data entry headaches in QuickBooks by allowing you to print a single check for your customers.

Inventory management

Advanced inventory functionality in QuickBooks Enterprise allows users to monitor costs and prioritize sales orders. The inventory level updates in real-time and purchase orders are automatically generated. A well-designed inventory management system will maximize company growth and income. To maximize productivity, inventory management should be easy and simple.

Accurate data is important for inventory management. If you are handling multiple inventory levels, everyone on your team must use the same system. Incorrect data can lead to excess inventory and displeased customers. Quickbooks inventory management helps you maintain accurate data, preventing errors and miscalculations. In addition, inventory management is easier to track than ever before. And as a business owner, time is money, and you don’t have to wait until you have sales to see what your inventory is worth.

Billing capabilities

Integrated sales, finance, and fulfillment teams work together to improve accuracy and eliminate billing errors. Its billing capabilities help companies meet accounting standards while strengthening revenue recognition processes and driving fulfillment accuracy.

Smart business features help you stay abreast of your finances with ease. QuickBooks provides automatic notifications of changes to revenues. It also allows company officials to view their financials at any time. Whether your company is growing rapidly or starting, Its billing capabilities can help you manage your finances efficiently. While many business management systems are limited to a single system, its flexibility means it can grow with your business.

Are There Ways To Improve Your Business?

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Whether your business is a startup or if it’s already up and running, you always have to think about ways to improve. The following contributed post is entitled, Are There Ways To Improve Your Business?

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Always. The answer to the title of this article is that there are always going to be ways that you can improve your business. It might not feel like it right now, and you might struggle to work out exactly where you can improve, but we promise you that there is something that you can do. When you are in the thick of things all the time, it can be tough to see things from an outside perspective and it can cloud our judgment, but you need to try to avoid letting this happen. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the things that you need to look at because they could be where you can improve. Keep reading if you would like to find out more about this topic.

Manage Your Finances Better

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One of the problems could be that you are not managing your finances as well as you can be. This happens sometimes, especially if you are trying to handle the finance side of things all on your own as well as everything else. Ideally, you should have someone who is willing and able to do this for you. Hiring an accountant is likely the best way to go as they will be able to get you on the right track. They can go through all of your finances, see where things are going wrong and get you on a better path.

You might think that the way you are managing your finances right now is absolutely fine, but are all of your departments correctly funded? Is there money available for everyone who needs it? Do you find yourself struggling sometimes? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself.

Customer Service Is Essential

Customer service is one of the most important parts of any business, so if you think that this could be somewhere that you are lacking, this needs to change as soon as possible. Nobody is going to want to use your business if you are either not providing a good quality of customer service, or if your customers feel as though they are a burden more than a part of the company family.

But, how can you improve customer service? First, you can send your employees on regular customer service training courses to ensure that they know what is expected of them. Everyone should be on the same page about how to offer the best customer service, and this will really help set out your expectations. As well as this, you can try adding another channel by which they can contact you when they have a problem. Some people don’t like talking on the phone, but they also don’t want to wait five working days for an email reply, so perhaps adding a web chat option is a good idea to consider.

Your Website

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What is your website like? Is it enhanced to offer the best possible user experience? Does it work on mobile devices? What is the load time like? How easy is it to use? If you were a customer, would you want to use your website? These are all questions that you need to be asking yourself as they will help determine how good your website is. It might be the case that you need to scrap it all and start from the bottom. A website builder like Vert will be able to help you create a successful website but this is going to take some time and dedication. You have to work out exactly what you want for your business site and then go for it. The main goal should be to make it stand out, while also being fully functional.

Some people don’t want to take the time to do this themselves, and they are worried that they will mess it up even if they do. If this sounds like you, then you should think about hiring a professional web designer. It’s the best option for you if you’re worried about success as they will have done this before, leaving little room for you to panic.

Quality Of Your Product Or Service

Another thing that you should be checking is the quality of your product or service. You want to be offering the highest quality possible in every single thing that you do, and that is what you need to be guaranteeing to your customers. They are not going to recommend or reuse your business if you are not willing to put the effort in for them. This is a common problem that you will face if you do not have a quality control section of your business.

Your customers need to be confident that you are going to deliver consistently, and if this is not happening then they are no longer going to be able to trust your company to deliver for them. This is going to damage your business to an almost irreparable extent, and this is not what you need. Instead of allowing this to happen, you simply need to take the time to check that everything leaving your business is the standard that you expect it to be.

Replace Some People

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Would you say that there is some truth in the fact that your business employees could be better? Or, even just a couple of people that are letting the whole team down perhaps? If you know this to be true, then you need to start replacing the people who are not pulling their weight. Every single business is supposed to be a team effort, and if there is someone who is intent on sinking the ship then they need to get off the boat. You do not have the time to be constantly asking them to do the job that you have hired them to do.

Everyone should be pulling their weight simply because it is their job to do so. If they are not, then you should have a conversation with them initially. Find out if there is a problem and if there is anything that you can do to help. If it continues, then it’s time to find someone else who is willing to actually work for your business.

Your Leadership

We’re not saying that you are not a good leader, but there is always room for improvement. You cannot hand on heart say that you are the perfect leader because nobody can, because we are all human. Everyone is going to make mistakes, but if you are a business owner and leader then you have got to be constantly trying to improve yourself. The better your leadership is, the better the business as a whole is going to be. It might be your communication, your availability, the amount in which you engage with the business or so many other things, but you need to identify them and then work on them. You can even look into taking a leadership course if you think that it will help.

A lot of business owners don’t want to admit that they could improve, but it’s your business that’s going to pay the price for your ego if you are not careful.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you could possibly do in order to improve your business. Improving the business should always be your goal, and you should be open to any and all suggestions. Sometimes, we spend so long looking at other people that we forget to look at ourselves. Or, we are so blinded by what we think we know, that we forget to look at the facts. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that you manage to improve your business for the better soon!

Business Technology Tools: Secrets to Success

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Today technology is a part of all our lives in varying capacities. It is especially critical in the business world and if you’re not maximizing your usage of it, you’re likely falling behind. The following guest post is entitled, Business Technology Tools: Secrets to Success.

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With continuous technological advancements, businesses are under constant pressure to adopt the latest tools and platforms to stay ahead of the competition. However, with a plethora of options available in the market, it can be challenging to identify which technologies will be most beneficial for your business.

Below are some must-have technologies that can help take your business to the next level.

Recruitment Software

Of course, every business needs employees to function. However, the process of recruiting can be time-consuming and expensive. Luckily, many recruitment software simplifies the process by automating repetitive tasks such as posting job ads and sorting through resumes. It allows you to spend more time interviewing candidates and making the best hiring decisions for your business.

So if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to get a hold of this technology tool. Many providers offer this tool at an affordable price, usually around $45 to $950 a month, depending on your needed features.

But if you’re on the tighter end of the budget, don’t fret. You can find many recruitment management software for free. So, there’s no excuse not to use this tool.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

CRM software helps businesses manage their customer relationships effectively. It provides a 360-degree view of customers, captures customer interactions, and stores essential customer information such as contact details and purchase history. This valuable data can help identify trends, improve marketing strategies, and boost sales.

Suppose you’re not using a CRM system yet. In that case, you’re missing out on many opportunities to understand better and serve your customers. Like most applications, CRM software is available in both free and paid versions. However, suppose you want more features and customization options. In that case, you’ll need to opt for the paid versions, which can cost anywhere from $12 to $300 per month.

Whichever CRM system you choose, ensure it integrates smoothly with your business’s existing systems and processes. You can avoid disruptions and get the most out of this tool.

Social Media Marketing

With over 4 billion active social media users worldwide, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the power of social media marketing. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide firms with an incredibly effective way to reach out to their target audience.

Businesses can build a solid social media presence by creating engaging and relevant content. It will help them boost brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, and generate leads. That’s why it’s essential to have a social media marketing strategy in place.

Many companies now offer services to help businesses with their social media marketing efforts. So, if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself, consider outsourcing this critical task to a reliable agency. This way, you can focus on running your business while leaving the social media marketing to the experts.

Data Analytics

Data is one of the most critical assets for any business. With the help of data analytics tools, companies can make sense of large data sets and glean valuable insights. It can help improve their decision-making process.

Data analytics tools help businesses track and analyze customer behavior, understand market trends, and optimize their marketing and sales strategies. This way, they can make more informed decisions to help grow their business.

And since a computer predicts the future better than any human, businesses that use data analytics will have a significant competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Many data analytics tools are available on the market, so, regardless of your budget and needs, you should be able to find one that fits your needs.

Task Tracking Software

Before the internet, it was nearly impossible for businesses to track the progress of their employees’ tasks. But now, with task tracking software, companies can easily monitor employee performance and productivity.

This type of software allows managers to assign tasks to employees, set deadlines, and track the progress of each job. This way, they can ensure that tasks get completed on time and that employees are working efficiently.

Many task-tracking software applications are available, so it’s essential to find one that fits your business’s needs. Some of the most popular options include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp. Whichever one you choose, make sure it’s easy to use and that it integrates seamlessly with your business’s existing systems.

The above are just a few essential technologies that can help businesses grow. By investing in these tools, you’ll be able to understand your customers better, track employee performance, and make more informed decisions. So, don’t wait any longer; get started today and see the difference for yourself.

Another Money Lesson From Dad For Father’s Day 2022: Tax Deductible Gifts

“I like to make gifts to things that are tax deductible!”

Yet Another Money Lesson From Dad

This personal money story for Father’s Day 2022 discusses the subject of taxes and once again is inspired by my father. Here on the Big Words Blog Site, I’ve crafted several stories discussing how Dad’s sage wisdom has impacted my life, whether through a direct lesson, or from my observations of him. Some of his most poignant lessons have involved money and arguably created my love for financial literacy, though he and I don’t see eye to eye on everything money related today. One of Dad’s most important lessons involves an area that is the bane of some people’s existence, while being a pillar to the wealth-building strategy of others, taxes.

We’re All Playing One Big Financial Game

Recently it occurred to me that we’re all playing one big financial game, now a video game in our modern technological age. Certainly, money isn’t the sole key to happiness, but life is certainly better when you have an abundance of it versus a scarcity. I would thus define winning this game as having an abundance of it versus just scraping by and financially struggling. Among the factors that go into winning the game include: the family you come from, personal (and family) life choices, your financial IQ, personal grit or ambition, delaying gratification and your current environment.

Your financial IQ may be the most important of all the factors I listed, and it can be impacted by the other factors. This concept is covered in numerous books. Your financial IQ includes your ability to earn money, your ability to save money, your ability to invest money, your understanding of credit, your understanding of insurance and understanding taxes. If you’re born into a high financial IQ family, you will likely learn all these principles starting from the crib. If not, you must learn them along the way, if at all. Furthermore, learning them is going to be impacted by your own personal drive and curiosity. For now, let’s focus on many people’s least favorite topic, taxes.

Taxes: What They’re For And Paying Your Fair Share

First, I want to admit that I don’t know everything about taxes. I would highly encourage readers to subscribe to economist, Antony Davies’, YouTube channel entitled Words & Numbers. It’s one of my new favorite channels because it’s not politics driven, but instead economics and facts driven. I’m currently reading his and James Harrigan’s book, Cooperation and Coercion. Upon listening to his content, one of the things that you immediately start to understand is that our politicians are not always honest with us about who pays what and how much in terms of taxes. Furthermore, they’re not always clear about the ramifications for the tax changes they promote. Often, in the pursuit of a political office, they incite class warfare.

In any case, while some taxes are necessary for our municipal, state and federal governments to perform their tasks, there can be too many taxes and they can have harmful effects on everyone. Furthermore, a part of one’s financial health is managing your taxes. The more you read, learn and start understanding about money, the more you start learning that in our ‘progressive’ tax system, not everyone is taxed the same and there are a number of reasons why.

As extensively covered in the Rich Dad Poor Dad books, employees are taxed differently than businesses (small and large). As an employee, your tax burden changes the more earned income you generate, and you start to lose deductions the more your salary increases. In the above-mentioned Rich Dad books, there is a clear distinction between high income professionals and business owners, and each has different rules in our current tax code. As employees, one of your tools for diminishing taxes is tax deductible gifts or donations.

Tax Deductible Giving

Around the time I moved in with Dad for my postdoctoral fellowship, a couple of things coalesced in my mind in this area. First, I got a copy of the Cashflow 101 e-game which I played regularly on my personal computer. Just briefly, the game is designed to teach you financial literacy and the goal is to get out of the ‘rat race‘ (the realm of working 9-5), and onto the ‘fast track‘, or the realm of the wealthy, where you can live on your investments and pursue your dreams. One of the things I realized when playing the game was that the rat race contained yellow ’donation’ squares. When you landed on those squares, you had the option of donating money.

If you chose this option, you received extra rolls of the dice with multiple dice. I refused the option initially and then realized that there was an advantage to making donations. You also received greater opportunities to earn and invest. Finally you increased your likelihood of passing over ‘downsized’ squares which meant you lost money and turns. The underlying lesson was that you ultimately received rewards for giving. I’m not saying that you should give strictly to get, but in our financial system the government does allow you to write off gifts to certain entities and thus lowering your tax.

“Did you get your taxes done yet? Did you get your taxes done yet? Did you get your taxes done yet?” That’s all I heard the first tax season I moved in with Dad just after finishing graduate school. He literally walked through the house asking me if I had done my taxes. I didn’t know why he cared so much, but it started to scare me. Just finishing my doctoral training, a period in which I didn’t have much money, I owed the IRS tax money that year. For those unfamiliar with the process, we had to pay estimated taxes on our $17,000 to $22,000 graduate stipends every year. So yes, the poor do pay taxes too.

Reducing Your Taxes

“I like to make gifts to things that are tax deductible!” One day we were at Dad’s desk, and he had a pile of solicitations from his alma mater and other charities. He made his poignant declaration as he pondered them. He prepared his tax returns himself at that time and it was quite the ritual every year as I observed him.

In hindsight, Dad was probably also feeling some anxiety himself. He lived in one of the highest taxed states in the country – New York. He also owned his home outright and probably wasn’t going to get much in way of homeowner related deductions. In other words, he was likely going to have to make payments to the federal and state governments.

This explains his preoccupation at that time with tax deductible gifts. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact verbiage, but we did have a talk about making charitable gifts to certain entities and lowering your tax payment. It was my first time learning these lessons and I was in my late 20s. I know that my mother put money into church in my younger years, but we never talked about the gifts being tax deductible.

Where Can You Make Tax Deductible Gifts?

Well, I just named a big one which will make a lot of people bristle in our increasingly secular society, church. Whether you want to admit it or not, churches are businesses, some bigger than others. Some also do more good than others. Not all pastors, for example, take the tithes and offerings to the church to buy expensive suits, fleets of fancy cars and private jets. Some churches actually use the money raised for missionary activities and helping the poor.

That said, if you belong to a church and give regularly, you will have the opportunity to deduct at least a portion of that money from your tax liability, regardless of what the pastor and the church do with it once you drop it in the plate or donate online. This also explained why Dad kept giving tithes and offerings to his church even when he stopped physically attending. Each week he dutifully wrote his check and put in the church’s envelope with the same smiley face on it. That smiley face always made me laugh. I or my then stepmother, would take it to the church on his behalf.

If you don’t attend church, what about making donations your alma mater? My alma maters are Johnson C. Smith University and the University of Michigan. Many people make generous donations to their alma maters every year. It’s the consistent donations from alumni that ensure that their alma maters maintain solid futures.

Other institutions experience anemic alumni giving and are not so fortunate, causing them to face a loss of accreditation and/or closure. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities are a good example of this. There are also scholarship funds like the United Negro College Fund. Furthermore, throughout the year and around the major holidays, there are regularly solicitations to feed the hungry, especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. When watching TV and now online, there are opportunities to give for pretty much any cause around the world whether it be feeding hungry people, or relief from wars.

Again, giving is a wealth-building and maintenance strategy for certain demographics. Come election time, the wealthy regularly get demonized for not paying their ‘fair share’ of taxes relative to the middle and lower classes. I would once again point readers back to the above-mentioned book Cooperation and Coercion for a more substantive discussion of the validity of these claims. I’ll end this point by stating that the charitable giving and philanthropy these high net worth demographics make isn’t highlighted as much (or enough).

Giving Is A Personal Choice

There are several contexts for giving and generosity. It’s something I’ve had to conceptually piece together over my lifetime. My parents helped. The Rich Dad Poor Dad books helped. Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University curriculum helped. Life experiences have contributed as well. It’s been a process.

After finishing school and launching off into the adult world of work, one quickly learns that at any given time there can be multiple financial concerns and considerations pulling at you depending on your lifestyle. Perhaps you don’t earn that much money. Perhaps you’re just starting your career and live in an expensive metropolis. Perhaps you have a large student loan payment or are encumbered with some other massive debt. Perhaps your family is dependent on you as the breadwinner, and not just in the context of a nuclear family. In any case, sometimes you might have your hands full just getting your own financial house in order, and you don’t have money available to give.

It may not make sense to willingly give money away. I think the underlying principle in this world, though, is that when you bless others, you get blessed. As my mother often says, “It’s in the Bible,” and there are numerous scriptures which discuss this such as Proverbs 11:24-26 (Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.) If you’re not into biblical scripture, just know that under our current progressive tax code as described above, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct monetary gifts to nonprofit entities from your tax liability. And finally, there are advantages to paying fewer taxes or none at all.

Closing Thoughts On Tax Deductible Gifts

Thank you for reading this piece. I didn’t write this narrative to tell anyone how to give as everyone’s life is unique. Furthermore, I am not a financial professional, and I am not rendering advice. My intent is to present the information and let the reader decide. This story was rooted in one of many memorable experiences with my father, a retired educator, and it just so happens that I’m publishing it around Father’s Day 2022. Here on the Big Words Blog Site, most of the content published these days is from customers by way of shorter, informational pieces. As the owner of the site I like to publish something of my own from time to time. I started writing this piece months ago, and with the many other things I have to do, I was only able to finish it now.

Author’s Thoughts/Reflections

Tax deductible gifts are a really big deal, and many people give with their tax liabilities in mind. I’m recalling a couple of our Johnson C. Smith University Washington DC Alumni Chapter meetings where members wondered how their gifts to the school would be handled in terms of tax, if they were given through the chapter itself instead of independently.

We often learn a lot from our parents through observation. Many of the life lessons from my father have been money-related. Many of those lessons have involved being very careful with it which can be a strength in some contexts, while it can be a source of conflict and ire in others. As with most things in life, I’ve learned a balance is good and optimal.

The Big Words LLC Newsletter

For the next phase of my writing journey, I’ve started a monthly newsletter for my writing and video content creation company, the Big Words LLC. In it I plan to share inspirational words, pieces from this blog and my first blog, and select videos from my four YouTube channels. Finally, I will share updates for my book project The Engineers: A Western New York Basketball Story. Your personal information and privacy will be protected. Click this link and register using the sign-up button at the bottom of the announcement. Regards.

Tips For Starting A Food And Beverage Manufacturing Business

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. An important sector of our economy is the food and beverage industry. If you want to start in this sector, there are some tips that you need to be aware of. The following contributed post is entitled, Tips For Starting A Food And Beverage Manufacturing Business.

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Starting a food and beverage manufacturing business can be an incredibly lucrative endeavor. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before getting started. The following blog will discuss some of the essential tips for starting your own food and beverage manufacturing business!

Photo by ELEVATE

1) Have A Solid Business Plan In Place

One of the most important things that you need to do when starting a food and beverage manufacturing business is to have a solid business plan in place. This business plan should include everything from your target market to your financial goals. Without a strong business plan, it will be challenging to make your business successful.

Make sure to do research and put together a comprehensive business plan before starting your food and beverage manufacturing business!

2) The Right Building Will Make All The Difference

Another important tip for starting a food and beverage manufacturing business is to make sure that you have the right building in place. The last thing that you want is to set up shop in an old, run-down warehouse. Not only will this give your customers a bad impression, but it could also lead to health code violations.

Make sure to find a clean, modern facility with urethane flooring that meets all of the necessary requirements for your food and beverage manufacturing business!

3) Invest In The Right Equipment

One of the most important investments you’ll make when starting a food and beverage manufacturing business is in the equipment you’ll need to get started. Depending on the products you plan on making, you’ll need to purchase specific types of machinery and equipment. Do your research to determine what type of equipment is best for your needs and budget. Once you have the right equipment, you’ll be able to produce high-quality products that will meet customer demands.

Another essential investment to consider is in packaging materials. You’ll need to find sturdy, reliable packaging that will protect your products during shipping and handling.

4) Hire Qualified Staff

One of the most important things you can do for your food and beverage manufacturing business is to hire qualified staff. You’ll need to find individuals who have experience in the food and beverage industry and who are passionate about what they do. These individuals will be responsible for ensuring that your products are of the highest quality and that they meet customer demands.

Make sure to take your time when hiring staff for your food and beverage manufacturing business. You want to ensure that you’re only bringing on board individuals who will help contribute to the success of your business!

In conclusion, these are just a few tips to keep in mind when starting a food and beverage manufacturing business. Be sure to have a solid business plan in place, invest in the right equipment, find the perfect facility, and hire qualified staff. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making your food and beverage manufacturing business a success!

Quick and Easy Ways to Make Money From Your Phone

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. With the invention of the smartphone, a host of new possibilities were also created. The following contributed post is entitled, Quick and Easy Ways to Make Money From Your Phone.

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There are many ways you can start a side hustle and earn some extra cash. However, this can take a lot of time and investment. If you are looking to make quick money without a large monetary or time investment to get you started, then there are plenty of alternatives from the convenience of your phone.

Mobile phones have only become more sophisticated with time, and you are now able to house everything on a small device, from your photos and contacts to streaming your favorite Netflix shows and making money.

Put your smartphone to good use and make some extra cash. Here are some of the top ways you can make money from your phone that are quick and easy to do.

#1 Market research firms

There are a plethora of market research firms around the world that will allow you to sign up and take part in the research. Some of the easiest ways you can do this are to sell your data. Once you have found a company you are happy to work with and installed their app, you don’t have to do anything else for it. Market research firms will use your data for their research and in return, you get paid for it.

#2 User testing

There is a demand for user testers all around the world. Many big brands want people to test their applications and websites before they go out to market. You can do all of the user testing from your phone. All these companies ask for in return is feedback that will help them improve their branding, websites and services. You can simply test websites and leave reviews, or you can take part in online interviews (which can be done on your phone if you have a video conference app installed).

#3 Betting

Betting is a fun, convenient and easy way to earn some extra money from your phone. It is also extremely simple to get started with. There are many types of betting that you can get involved in, and many that carry fewer risks, for example, binary options, which come with two different payouts. You just need to find reputable binary options trading brokers to help you get started.

#4 Surveys

If you have 5-10 minutes per day, then you may wish to work through some surveys. These are simple to complete and can be done on your smartphone. There are a variety of different surveys to choose from, some are a few minutes and some are much longer. You can opt for cash, or gift cards in return for your time.

#5 Investment apps

If you don’t need cash right now, you can use your smartphone to invest your money to help you secure your future. There are a variety of apps on the market, for example, Betterment, that can guide you to invest and take control of your money. Many of the applications will enable you to create your own goals, that will help you to create a plan tailored to your budget and needs. This is a great and hassle-free way to get started with investing and making money.

If you don’t have the time or desire to start a side hustle, but you would like to earn a little extra money, these are some of the top ways to get started using your phone.

Money-Saving Strategies For Small Businesses

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When you run a business, you want to make sure to ensure profits, but you also have to figure out how to you save money as well to maintain operations so that you’re always cash flowing. The following contributed post is entitled, Money-Saving Strategies For Small Businesses.

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Balancing the books is one of the most difficult challenges for small businesses. Most startups and small companies operate on tight budgets, so it’s hugely beneficial to capitalize on opportunities to save. Generating profits doesn’t just boil down to bringing money in. It also depends on controlling spending and regulating outgoings. In this guide, we’ll explore some money-saving strategies for small businesses.

Flexible staffing structures

Staff wages account for a significant proportion of expenses for most employers. In some cases, it’s not possible to explore an array of options, but often, business owners can save by embracing flexible systems and structures. If you have a small core team, for example, you could consider options such as offering short-term contracts for specific projects or seasonal work, hiring temporary employees, adding part-time staff or outsourcing. Outsourcing is an increasingly popular option for businesses of all sizes because it facilitates access to additional services and skills without adding to the wage bill on a permanent basis. Examples of services and tasks that can be outsourced effectively include digital marketing, cleaning, IT support and logistics.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/recruitment-agency-outsource-3182373/

Saving on technology and equipment

Most businesses rely on equipment, technology, tools and supplies to provide customers with products and services. The cost of buying and maintaining equipment can spiral. If you’re looking to upgrade technology, replace tools or buy equipment or supplies for your company, it is worth comparing prices, getting quotes for hire packages and looking for ways to save by buying surplus or second-hand equipment. For glassware, furniture or kitchen equipment, for example, search for discount restaurant supplies, compare hire prices versus purchase costs and look for companies or stores that offer used and preloved products. For retail units and cafes, you could look for second-hand fittings and try upcycling furniture.

Reducing energy consumption

The cost of gas and electricity has risen sharply in the last 12 months. Reducing energy consumption is an effective way to lower bills and make a positive contribution to the environment. There are multiple ways companies can reduce consumption, including boosting energy efficiency by upgrading to smart appliances and swapping old light bulbs for newer versions, using sensors and thermostats to prevent wasting energy and insulating business premises. If you use company vehicles, or you have a business fleet, it’s also worth exploring green vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars are often more expensive to buy but you can start saving on running costs immediately. You can also implement policies and guidelines to encourage your staff to use less energy. Even the smallest things, like turning computers and electrical appliances off at the socket, can make a difference.

Picture credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-orange-gasoline-nozzle-110844/

Financial issues are the most common cause of business failure. If you run a small business, and you have a tight budget, you can increase profits by boosting sales and reducing expenses. Look for ways to lower spending by exploring flexible staffing structures, searching for the best deals on equipment, tools, resources and supplies, upgrading to smart technology and lowering energy consumption. If you can increase your income while reducing spending, your books should look much healthier.

Do Timely Maintenance and Repairs

Any business owner knows that saving money is essential to success. After all, the bottom line is what matters most. One way to save your business money is by investing in regular maintenance and repairs. You can proactively address potential issues instead of waiting for something to break down. This can often be done at a fraction of the cost of repair or replacement. In addition, regular maintenance can help extend your equipment’s life, saving you even more money in the long run. For example, professionals should take care of commercial air conditioning repair in a timely manner. By taking a proactive approach to maintenance, you can save your business money and keep it running smoothly for years to come.