Organize Your Taxes with a Professional

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A key aspect of your financial health is managing and navigating taxes. The tax code is ‘mammoth’ in terms of size and is continuously evolving. It’s thus difficult for the lay person to keep up with it depending on your personal financial circumstances. When appropriate, it’s thus wise to hire a professional. The following sponsored post is entitled, Organize Your Taxes with a Professional.

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No one in their right mind looks forward to the tax-preparation season. If you are like many people, you probably put it off as long as possible, often well past New Years Day in any given tax-preparation cycle. And as time goes on, the number of complexities seem to ever increase. It can be difficult to plan and be organized.

One way to stay ahead of the process is to take a look at your financial and tax situation well ahead of time. By doing this, you can systematically unveil some opportunities to save on your tax bill. Heck, you may even get money back that you didn’t think you have coming.

Just a Few of the Tax Items to Keep Track of

The US Congress and the Internal Revenue Service are the proud creators of a gigantic, labyrinth-like tax code. Embedded in this monumental set of laws are numerous potential tax-saving possibilities. The key is that you need to know about them in order to take advantage of them.

Here are a few of the things you may need to understand and keep abreast of:

• Tax-loss harvesting
• Charitable giving
• Deferring income
• Deferring capital gains
• Medical expenses
• Extra mortgage payments

These are but a few of so many to be aware of.

Perhaps it’s Time to Work with a Professional

The federal government is the proud creator of an immense, labyrinth-like tax code. It can drive you bonkers. Perhaps its time to partner with a professional tax organizer Glen Burnie MD. Here are just a few of the benefits of hiring a competent and knowledgeable professional:

• Pay the least amount of taxes
• Professional, up-to-date monitoring of the tax code
• Recommendations of tax-savings you never thought about
• Representation if ever needed

So, consider making tax preparation season less of a hassle and claim every deduction you are entitled to!

Simple Ways to Make Your Business Look Far More Professional

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. They say image and perception are everything. That said, the more professional your business looks, the more business you likely are to get. The following contributed post is entitled, Simple Ways to Make Your Business Look Far More Professional.

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Building an online business often means being on your own. You probably won’t have an IT department who can set you up with an email address and you won’t have a professional writer who can craft content for you either. If you want to make sure that your business looks as professional as it can, then there are a few things that you can do to try and really take things to that next level.

Get a Dedicated Phone Number

The first thing that you need to do is get a dedicated phone number. This gives you the chance to share your contact details with people without even having to think about giving out your personal phone number. The great thing about this is that it means that you don’t answer your customer phone calls unprofessionally. It’s entirely possible for you to get a dedicated cell phone for your business, but it is probably cheaper and easier for you to get a Google voice number instead. This is free and it also gives you the chance to have online storage for your voicemails too.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Get a Domain Name

You will need a fast and memorable way for all of your customers to find you. A lot of services will give you a free domain name whenever you sign up with their company, but if you go down this route then you may end up having a URL that is long and impersonal. This may work if you want to get your business up and running as quickly as possible but it is not going to do your business any favours for the long-run. When you make the decision to go ahead with your domain name, you need to keep it short. Remember to brand your business too, by investing in logo design. If you are renting a space, then you can easily put a sign up there. If you are concerned about your business building not looking professional because of vandalism then invest in a graffiti removal service.

Order some Business Cards

This may really sound like a no-brainer, but at the end of the day, business tools are a fantastic way for you to capitalise on word-of-mouth marketing. It won’t cost you a lot if you get them from an online service and you may even find that you end up building your professional image way faster.

Set up an About Us Page

Your About page is your chance to show your customers what you really stand for. You would be surprised at how easy it is for you to create an About Us page when you just think about the reason you created your business. Don’t be afraid to tell your story and also make sure that you do everything you can to get the word out. If you do then you will soon find that you end up with a solid brand and that your customers are also able to relate to you as well, which is priceless when you think about it.

Bringing The Aesthetic Of Professionalism Into The Office

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. If your business is operating in an office setting, you want a high level of professionalism. Running your office at peak professionalism will not only increase the effectiveness of your staff, but it will also increase the confidence of your consumer base. The following contributed post is entitled, Bringing The Aesthetic Of Professionalism Into The Office.

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When running a business, it soon becomes clear just how important image is. There’s the impact of the brand on your clients and customers, but there’s also how aesthetic and setting affects your team. If your workplace exudes professionalism, then people tend to act like competent capable professionals in it. If it looks like it’s been hit by a bomb, then that can influence them in the other way.

Pic Link – Pixabay License

Keep it clean
It might sound like an obvious tip, but you might be surprised how much work it takes to keep an office truly clean and how easily those standards can start to slip. Working with a professional cleaning team can ensure that every surface, every material, and every window is cleaned so you can feel confident about inviting anyone into the workplace. Plus, if you take better care of the environment that your employees spend their time in, then they will also feel more cared for as a result.

Have plenty of storage
If you don’t afford your team the storage they need, be it desk organizers, filing cabinets, drawers, or whatever they need, then you are quickly to find that all the paper in the office is very hard to contain. Of course, you can go paperless to cut down on both storage and paper waste, but most offices aren’t yet ready to fully convert to a paper-free organization style.

Make the walls look neat and orderly
You don’t have to go boring and colorless throughout the office to make it look professional. However, if your space is a little haphazard, then finding a common visual element to unify it all the way through can make it look a lot more organized. For instance, installing concrete cladding all over the walls can help make it feel a lot more consistent. Consistency is important in branding and image.

Have it laid out into different work zones
Employees should have different spaces they can access for different kinds of work. This can include spaces that are more closed off and offer some privacy, as well as spaces that are more open and allow for communication. As such, you help your workers become much more efficient, and the business looks a lot more organized than if you simply had a cubicle crush.

Set a real welcome
A receptionist desk works wonders not only for the clients and guests that come to the office but also as a welcoming sight for the team, as well. The workplace isn’t a home, but that welcome can be important in helping your employees feel a sense of belonging. Of course, it should be manned by the right receptionist, too, someone who’s happy, witty, and able to operate on the go.

The tips above can help you sharpen up the office’s image which, in turn, can help sharpen up your team, too. Of course, the workplace is far from the only thing that influences the conduct of your team, but it can have a more profound effect than you might initially think.

3 Tips to Shoot Professional-Looking Videos on Your Smartphone

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s digital age, many forms of business and marketing involve shooting video and posting it online. You don’t always need an extravagant studio to shoot video and sometimes your smartphone will do. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Tips to Shoot Professional-Looking Videos on Your Smartphone.

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Thankfully, it’s becoming more common knowledge for businesses to realize that video marketing is here to stay. It’s one of the most effective ways to connect with people, build your brand, and give your business an actual voice.

In fact, 51% of marketing professionals believe video marketing is the best for ROI. SO, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, it’s time to play catchup!

If you have, and you’re not sure why you haven’t experienced as much success with your video marketing efforts, have you considered the kind of video you’re shooting and producing? Are you using quality video SDKs from an app or website to quickly shoot and publish your content?

If the quality of your video isn’t up to par, there’s a good chance people will skip it. That’s especially true as more businesses recognize the importance of video and try to outdo their competition when it comes to quality.

So, what can you do to shoot more professional-looking videos for your business, using a smartphone? The good news is, you don’t have to be a pro videographer to make it happen. Let’s go over some tips that can set you apart from your competitors.

Pixabay

1. Have the Right Lighting

Even if you have the latest and greatest smartphone with the best camera that’s ever been released, your video could still look less-than-professional if your lighting is bad. Professional videographers rely on good lighting to make their videos look sharp, bright, and easy to see.

You don’t have to invest in studio lights or other fancy equipment to get better lighting for your recording. But, always try to shoot in a well-lit area to prevent shadows and graininess that can make it difficult for people to see the detail in your video.

Most phones nowadays have “touch focus,” so you can tap on the area of the camera that’s highlighted to focus on one area. The phone should automatically balance the lighting based on the area you’re focused on.

2. Audio is Just as Important

It’s great if you have a high-quality, sharp-looking video. But, if the audio quality doesn’t match up, people aren’t going to pay attention. Unfortunately, most phone manufacturers haven’t given as much attention to the microphones on their devices as they have to the cameras.

So, what can you do to boost the sound quality of your video?

The best thing you can do is to get an external recording device of some kind. Even an inexpensive microphone that can be plugged into your phone will make a world of difference when it comes to the clarity of the sound. If you can’t afford an external mic or don’t want to get one right now, make sure you always record on your phone in a quiet room with no external noises. Try to avoid recording outside.

3. Never Shoot Vertically

It’s hard to believe that this still needs to be said in 2020, but perhaps the biggest and most important tip to keep in mind is to never shoot your video vertically on your phone. When you record vertically, it makes playback look strange on many other devices. Hold your phone horizontally, and playback on screens everywhere will look just fine.

You don’t need to hire a professional camera crew or be a pro yourself to create better-looking videos on your phone. Keep these simple tips in mind as you boost your video marketing efforts this year.

Looking to Improve Your Office? Here Are 5 Types Of Professional Services You Should Hire

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. At certain junctures in the road, the time comes to improve your office space. There are specific services that you need to employ in order to properly do this. The following contributed post is entitled, Looking to Improve Your Office? Here Are 5 Types Of Professional Services You Should Hire.

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Photo by Marc Mueller from Pexels

Are you looking to upgrade the look and functionality of your office space? Then there are certain outsourced professional services you should seek. As a business owner, you always want what’s best for your company.

And although there are certain changes you can make to the space as a team, there are other aspects that are better in the hands of an external professional company that has years of experience in that particular industry. To help kickstart this process, here are 5 types of professional services you should hire:

Architects

Do you want to completely change the appearance of your office? Whether it’s a new office that you’ve just moved into or you’re looking to give your current one a refreshed look, hiring an architect is a great solution. Although it might seem like an expensive outlay, their creativity and innovative ideas can prove to be invaluable.

Making the space more practical and functional, you’ll have an office that suits your business’ needs down to a tee. Once completed, you can then add your own features to the space.

Of course, the alternative is building your own office. Although this is great if you’re on a budget, it’s not a choice that will suit every business – especially one that might have a little more budget to spend on the renovation.

Plumbing Services

Plumbing isn’t something that should be undertaken by anyone who isn’t trained – especially when working on an office renovation project. If you’re looking to improve the state of the restrooms in your office building, consider hiring a professional plumbing service. Making your restrooms functional and practical, you can then bring in a decorator to finish the job.

Electrical Services

Similarly to the above, you should never try to undertake electrical tasks by yourself – no matter how skilled you think you are. Instead, opt for a professional, skilled and experienced company to come and install new lighting/fix broken electrics within your office.

Companies such as GPE Electrical and Communications Contractor Pty Ltd can come to your building and complete the task, ensuring that it’s working perfectly and maintained throughout the years.

IT Outsourcing

When improving your office, it’s not just about the aesthetic look of it. You will also want to consider how you can improve it, in terms of technology. In the modern-day, the importance of having a watertight IT infrastructure is undeniable. No matter what industry you’re working within, you need to know that your data is kept safe and that your systems are up and running 24/7 – which is where an outsourced IT company comes in.

Tracking your systems, implementing cybersecurity and running continuous checks on the infrastructure, they offer an invaluable service that will help your business to thrive in the long term. Something that should never be overlooked, it’s an investment that’s worth making whether you are a new or long-established organization.

An Interior Decorator

Have you spent countless hours looking at office interiors on sites such as Pinterest? Then it’s time to create your own dream office with the help of an interior decorator. With years of experience in the field, they know what will work within a space. And while you can obviously share your vision with them, they will also suggest pieces of furniture, lighting features, and more that will align with it.