Identify the Best Social Media Platforms for your Business

While most associate social media with friends’ photos and angry political interactions, this emergent form of communication actually has far more to offer to a business that harnesses its ever-growing potential. The Yellow Pages have been tossed by the wayside in favor of new opportunities to advertise your business and grow your revenue – all online, often for prices that scale with your needs.

But not all social media platforms are alike, both in structure and in the primary audience. While a diversified social media presence is the best method engaging today’s digitally-attuned consumers, your business’ best bet is to select social media platforms that make the most optimal use of their existing resources.

Consider checking out the following social media platforms today to learn about what they can offer your business’ bottom line. Global Resources LLC reviews are another great place to learn about information to sustainably grow your business’ customer base.

Facebook

As the largest player in the social media industry, it’s no wonder why so many companies have already created business-centric pages on Facebook. This platform has the largest and broadest audience by far – nearly 2 billion users per month – making it the best platform for advertising.

In addition, Facebook’s built-in SEO functionalities make it a great onboarding location for prospective customers researching their next product or service purchased through a search engine.

Facebook is also a very visual medium, in part due to its ownership of photo-blogging platform Instagram. As such, this is also a great platform for uploading videos and photos through a familiar interface. Just remember to optimize your content for mobile use because over 90% of Facebook’s users access the platform from their mobile app.

LinkedIn

Though it originated as a job searching platform, LinkedIn has evolved into the professional social media platform of choice. On this platform, businesses publish market-relevant content, network with other companies, and establish their personal brand in their respective industries. As such, any business that provides professional services to other businesses shouldn’t pass over the opportunity to build a robust LinkedIn presence.

That being said, LinkedIn hasn’t left its origins behind. Through its proprietary algorithms, LinkedIn today is able to match prospective employees with job openings listed by your business in mere minutes. With a major portion of the American workforce maintaining a LinkedIn profile, you certainly shouldn’t ignore LinkedIn if you ever expect to hire new, high-quality employees.

YouTube

Streaming video continues to gain more attention from online consumers due to its growing availability and increasing integration with existing social media platforms. If you provide a product or service that would benefit from visual advertisement, then YouTube is the way to go. With free accounts and user-friendly interface, YouTube is certainly the best option for uploading business-related videos.

Recently, YouTube has made it even easier to advertise on its platform. All you need to do is upload a relevant video and then adjust a few settings to allow it to be served as an ad on other users’ videos. Soon enough, you’ll be able to draw in fresh revenue through YouTube.

Some Alternate Platforms

Of course, these aren’t the only social media platforms on the block. Other major platforms of interesting include Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and more. Each of these platforms makes use of certain content formats and targets specific demographic subsets, so be sure to do your social media marketing research before investing resources into your company’s newly-established social media portfolio.

Understanding your Industry and the Changing Face of the World Economy

“China is stealing all of our industry!”

“There’s no way to compete with nationwide companies!”

“Small business and farmers don’t have hope anymore!”

There are a thousand ways to say it, but they’re all the common refrain of an all-to-common song many American business owners today are singing. In many ways, the concerns expressed in these vocal complaints are well-justified, given the challenges faced by individual business owners in light of a changing worldwide economy. But that’s no reason to take matters sitting down.

Instead, American business owners, today should take some extra time to evaluate their options and determine if there are more ways for them to improve their core product or service and better serve their immediate customer in turn. Global competition will only continue to rise, so American business owners must also do more to inform themselves and advocate for their own future.

This article will provide you with a brief primer on some of the methods today’s business owners can use to take their economic future into their own hands. The experts at GR-US.com can build upon these ideas with input through their affordable consulting services.

Identify the Basics

Before you jump into action, take some time to review your industry as it stands today. In particular, you should identify your industry “leaders” as well as any immediate competitors of your business’ size or in your geographic region. More than anything else, these industry players will influence competition through broad and regionalized leverage on price averages.

From there, take time to identify those competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through market research. In doing so, you might be able to carve out a niche by finding a presently underserved market demographic. Also, this research will better acquaint you with so-called “market realities,” making you less susceptible to influence from sensationalized news sources.

Global Sales with Global Implications

While you complete your industry basics research, you’re likely to run into at least one clear conclusion: today’s economy is more global and interconnected than ever. While this is a simple truth, becoming well-adjusted to this fact can help you transition from outrage towards foreign competition towards a state of optimizing your engagement with emergent markets abroad.

Of note, this ever-growing network of economies means that supply and demand chains are also growing more interconnected. As a result, you should also complete thorough research into what supply chains primarily feed your business’ core product or service. In doing so, you’ll be better able to plan for and remain flexible to economic changes beyond your control.

Advocating for Yourself

Of course, learning all of this information about your industry isn’t for rhetorical implementation alone. Indeed, you’ll be able to use all that you’ve learned through your research to better advocate for yourself and others in your line of work.

One of the best ways to put your newly-informed stature to use is by petitioning your state and national representatives to support legislation that favors your industry. This is especially important when your personal views, as a member of the industry, differ from those of your representative. While you may not be successful every time, this is the best way to hold those with broad influence over your livelihood to account.

Resolving Conflicts in your Business with EAR

Simply put, conflicts are not good for business. They can happen between employees, between managers, and among clients. No matter who it involves, it always cuts into efficient business operations and causes a hostile atmosphere to form around your company. Conflict resolution can be challenging, but the EAR method is one method for finding mutually beneficial solutions to these tense situations.

Every company and a team of professionals experienced conflict at one time or another, so it’s nothing to shy away from. Regardless of its roots in differences in personality, values, or perceptions, the EAR method can help you resolve conflicts by clearly expressing the several viewpoints, addressing points of contention, and working to resolve the conflict.

EAR can serve as a productive tool for maintaining working relationships both within and in connection to your business. Those looking for more applicable management solutions should also consider contacting Global Resources LLC today.

E – Express

Before all else, all parties in a conflict should be encouraged to fully listen to one another. This can foster better awareness and lead to more productive resolutions down the line. This listening should not be biased by prejudice whenever possible. When listening, be sure to take all forms of verbal and non-verbal communication into account.

Once all parties are properly listening, each party can begin to express their opinion or side in the conflict. These statements should be as detailed as possible and should always focus on “I” statements (such as “I want to change this policy…”). Along the same lines, all affected parties should express what they have done to meet their desired outcome.

A – Address

With the facts of the conflict laid out for all affected parties to see, a mediating party should begin to address primary and secondary points of contention. While this appraisal should focus on points core to the conflict, it should also address supplementary barriers to understanding (such as a raised tone of voice or exaggerate body language).

The mediator in a conflict should address the conflict from an impartial standpoint, using language such as “I got it” and “This is what I hear you saying…” in order to confirm a conflicting party’s viewpoint. The mediator should also ask the conflicting parties what a mutually beneficial outcome would look like, based upon their individual viewpoints.

R – Resolve

When the time is right, the mediator should return to the conflicting parties and discuss their preliminary resolution. If this resolution is accepted by all parties, then no further discussion is necessary. However, if further conflict exists (such as one party stating displeasure with the proposed resolution), the mediator should return to the “Address” stage and repeat the cycle as many times as is necessary.

Depending on your business’ hierarchy, additional consultation may be appropriate when working to resolve both internal and external conflicts. Middle-level managers, for example, may work with their own bosses to create a well-informed conflict resolution plan for their subordinates.

In any case, the resolution step is absolutely crucial when it comes to defusing harmful conflicts and returning your business operations to peak efficiency.

Key Business Tax Changes in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”

As it stands, some business owners are still catching up when it comes to understanding the changes to the tax code brought on by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Though this legislative reform was hailed for its changes to the personal tax code, it also included tax code changes that are relevant to business owners who want to maximize their deductions without incurring any additional audits.

The following are just a few of the significant business-related changes detailed by the IRS in 2018. Whether you file your own taxes or work with an outside firm, you should take time to review these changes so as to ensure your business remains compliant with the updated tax code. For more information on strategic tax planning, consider checking out Global Resources reviews, as well.

Qualified Business Income

One of the most significant business-related changes resulting from the 2017 tax reforms focuses on so-called “qualified business income deductions.” Specifically, businesses with operational structures that include a “pass-through entity” may be able to deduct a higher amount of their business income in their annual taxes.

The new provision, known as Section 199A, allows taxpayers to deduct up to 20% of their business’ income if it is operated as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an S corporation, a trust, or an estate. This deduction is available to those that itemize their deductions on Schedule A and those that take the standard deduction. Unfortunately, income earned through a C corporation is not eligible under this new provision.

Meal and Entertainment Expenses

Generally speaking, the 2017 tax reforms have eliminated deductions relating to “activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation.” That being said, some deductions (up to 50%) still exist within this category so long as certain criteria are met. One example includes the purchasing of food or drink as part of the entertainment provided to a current or potential business customer or client.

Also, the taxpayer’s presence at an applicable instance of entertainment may qualify the expense to be deducted. However, if the cost of said food or beverage is stated separately from the entertainment on the bills filed for the deduction, the deduction will likely be denied. Finally, meals considered “lavish or extravagant” will not be eligible for the remaining deductions in this category.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

The 2017 tax reforms did add some new employer tax credits for application to expenses relating to paid family and medical leave among a business’ employees. In short, the tax credit is designed to pay back a percentage of wages paid out to employees absent from work due to sick or family leave during a 12-week period of the applicable year.

In order for this tax credit to be available, qualified employers must have a written policy in place to use it. Also, as a general rule, qualified employees must have worked for the employer for at least a year and have not earned more than a certain threshold ($72,000 in 2017) in the previous year.

This new policy is subject to further criteria, outlined here by the IRS.

 

Working Full-Time But Starting a Business? 6 Tips to Help You Out

If you have a business idea you’ve wanted to run with for quite some time, it’s tempting to quit your current full-time job and focus solely on your start-up. Once reality sinks in though, you realize that, unfortunately, that isn’t the most likely scenario.

The truth is, many start-ups come from those working full-time. You will still have a mortgage and bills to pay for while you start your new company. Unless you have a significant safety nest set aside, you’ll need your current job to keep living.

Just because you work full-time though, that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business. Global Resources LLC has a few ways to help you get your business going without quitting your day job, at least not right now.

Understand Your Current Employment Contract

Before you begin anything, make sure your employment contract allows you to have a side business. Many employers are pretty okay with an employee running a side business while working full-time, as long as it doesn’t compete with the current job. However, it’s best to speak with your employer before you start anything. You wouldn’t want to go through all the work, only to find out that your contract prohibits you from doing so.

Consider Partnering

Starting a business is a lot of work, let alone your daily job you have to attend to. It may seem overwhelming when you think about it because it usually is. That is a lot to fit into one day while still having somewhat of a life.

Consider having a co-founder or partner to work alongside with. That way, you can split up the work between the two of you. Look for one that has the same values as you and shares the same passions.

Start as Part-Time

Although you may want to run forward with your business plan with full force, it’s not a bad idea to pull back on your side job first. Consider running it as a part-time job. It’s a great way to test out your business idea before fully committing to it too.

Learn to Prioritize

When you have a full-time job and looking to start your own gig, prioritization will be critical moving forward. You won’t be able to do everything in one day, so you’ll need to work on tasks according to their importance level. If your regular day job starts slipping, but your side business isn’t ready to go on its own yet, you’ll want to re-evaluate your priorities.

Don’t Use Work Time for Your Business

If you have the okay from your boss to start your own company, don’t push it. Keep your current day job and your start-up separate. Imagine how you would react if you found an employee working on their side job during regular work hours – likely not very well.

Remember, It’s Not a Hobby

As you maneuver through the life of working full-time and starting up a company, it’s essential that you remember it’s not a hobby, it’s a career choice. Especially if you’re taking a hobby and turning it into a business, treat it as one.

Starting a company while working full-time is doable. It will take a lot more organizing, prioritizing, and likely a few sleepless nights. However, if you’re dedicated to your new career choice, then you’ll be able to persevere.

Feeling Underappreciated at Work? 5 Tips to Keep You Motivated

No one wants to feel this way, but many workers do. Feeling underappreciated at work is a fairly common thought to have amongst workers. If that feeling continues, it quite often leads to the worker resigning and doing something different.

Feeling underappreciated can also affect your motivation to do your job. If you don’t feel like you’re contributing with the work you do, why would you want to continue with it?

No matter what the reason is as to why you feel underappreciated, it’s a hard feeling to get over. Don’t let it affect your motivation. Global Resources Reviews has five tips to help you stay motivated when you feel underappreciated.

Set Small Goals

When you lack motivation, it’s hard to get focused on work, which affects your production levels. So, expect to not complete as many tasks as you typically would as you work through this hurdle.

One way to help you stay motivated is to set small, attainable goals. When you achieve those small victories, it helps give your mind a positive boost to counteract the negative feelings. The more you can have these victories, the more positive you’ll start to feel.

Take a Break

Sometimes, all you need is to step away from your desk and give yourself a moment to breathe for 10 minutes. The feeling of being underappreciated takes its toll on your emotions. When your emotions are running high, it leads to irrational thinking and outbursts, all things you don’t want to have happened on the job. By taking those breaks when you feel at your most emotional point, it allows you to collect your thoughts and cool down.

Recognize How Your Work Contributes

There’s a reason why you’re at this job, whether it be for yourself or because the company needs it. Even if your boss doesn’t recognize your work, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valued in the overall scheme of the company.

Take a moment to go back to your job description to remind yourself that your work does count for something. The things you do likely help contribute to the bottom line, or it may ease up the workload on another employee to focus on something different — all of these matters.

Focus on Your Future Development

If you feel like you’re not contributing to the company and are underappreciated, then shift your focus on to yourself. You may be at the point where it’s not that your skills and work is underappreciated, it’s that you need to challenge yourself more. If that’s the case, then a conversation with your boss about taking on a new role or responsibilities is necessary.

Speak Up

In some circumstances, although it doesn’t make necessarily make things better, your boss doesn’t realize how you feel and that he or she is contributing to those feelings. It isn’t the most comfortable conversation to have, but you may get the point where you need to speak with your boss about these feelings.

Have a private meeting with your boss on why you feel underappreciated. Let them know what happens (or doesn’t happen) throughout the day that contributes to these feelings. It could be that your boss needs a reminder to show recognition and reward employees for a job well done.

Feeling underappreciate is not a fun thing to deal with. However, don’t let that negatively affect your work. Use these tips to help you stay focused and motivated to continue doing a good job.

5 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Do you have attributes about yourself that make you think you’d be an excellent business owner? Maybe you’re determined, motivated, and love to work.

Entrepreneurs have many characteristics in common that make them successful. It’s important to note, though, that many successful entrepreneurs don’t have all the typical characteristics that others do. Also, even if you have a majority of the typical traits, that won’t necessarily mean you’re fit to run a business.

Although there is no set checklist to determine who is an entrepreneur and who isn’t, there are several common traits that many entrepreneurs share. Global Resources LLC Reviews has some of the top characteristics of an entrepreneur.

Self-Motivated

It’s fair to say that most entrepreneurs are self-motivated. That’s because they have to be. As an entrepreneur, you won’t have someone around you making sure you complete your daily tasks. You don’t answer to anyone else but yourself.

For some people, the idea of having to motivate yourself and rely on you to get the work done is scary. For entrepreneurs though, being your own boss and pushing yourself is rewarding.

Flexible and Adaptable

Entrepreneurs need to be flexible with their schedule and their lives, which also means they need to be adaptable. As you push through with your business plan, what you initially start with may not be the result. You’ll likely face many challenges and obstacles, and it’s up to you to overcome them.

Passionate

If you’ve talked to an entrepreneur about their business, you’d likely pick up that they are incredibly passionate people. When an entrepreneur faces a crisis or a hurdle, it is their passion that helps them persevere and continue to thrive.

Most of us have worked a job that we weren’t a fan of. Think back to how you felt during that time. If you didn’t like your job, there was no passion there. Without that passion, it’s hard to stay motivated and determined. That is also why you often see entrepreneurs jumping from one thing to another. If you lose the passion for something, it’s time to move on to something else.

Optimistic

Rarely will you find an entrepreneur that isn’t optimistic? Imagine what it would be like running your business if you didn’t look at the glass half full. All you saw was the negatives of things and couldn’t see the bright light at the end.

An optimistic entrepreneur doesn’t mean they aren’t realistic. What it does mean, though, is that they have a dream and will do what they can to achieve it. They keep moving forward, no matter what the challenge may be.

Realistic

Not only must an entrepreneur be optimistic, but they must also be practical. If you run a business off a fantasy without adequate research, it will be quite difficult to be successful. Making unrealistic decisions for your company will only lead it to close its doors. Entrepreneurs know when they need to put their dreams aside and think realistically.

Spend some time going through these top five characteristics of an entrepreneur, and see how they pertain to your life. If you find that these traits are common in your day-to-day life, then there’s a good chance that you’re an entrepreneur.

6 Mental Health Rules for Entrepreneurs to Remember

Entrepreneurs are those who resilient, self-sufficient and motivated, determined, and have endless amounts of perseverance. All of these traits are excellent for them to be a successful business owner. However, that doesn’t’ mean they aren’t vulnerable to the stresses of day-to-day life.

Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of your overall health. In the business world, a 2015 study found that 72% of entrepreneurs suffered from mental health concerns. For how high that number is, it’s important to see how you need to spend time on your mental wellbeing.

At GR-US.com, we want you to stay healthy to keep working at your business. We have six mental health rules for entrepreneurs to remember.

Know the Symptoms

Because you’re likely working extended hours every day, and deal with a high amount of stress with owning a business, it’s important that you know the symptoms of common mental health concerns. Anxiety and depression are common in our society, and the more stress you have, the more these two illnesses can creep up on you.

Know Your Triggers

Once you know the symptoms of mental health illnesses, you can start to focus on some of the triggers that cause stress in your life. When you know these triggers, you can develop a plan to try and avoid them, or learn how to overcome them.

Manage Your Workload

You’ll have a lot happening in one day as an entrepreneur. One way to help take care of your mental health is to learn how to manage your workload effectively. That may come in many ways. To start, it could be taking a step back and looking at the size of your workload. Are there things you should give up to help balance things out?

Managing your workload may also mean delegating tasks to other people involved in your business. Find people you trust and have them help you with some of your daily tasks (without piling up their workload too).

Have a Support System

Everyone needs a support system, especially when you’re life gets stressful. Entrepreneurs tend to deal with an incredible amount of stress quite frequently. So, it’s essential for them to have a strong support system and network to lean on. It could be friends, family, colleagues, or professional care. Whatever it may be, your support system should be readily available to help you out in times of need.

Schedule Some “Me” Time

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do is to sit down and do nothing. However, if you don’t, you’ll start to put a strain on your mental health. Schedule in some “me” time throughout the day and week. It could be as simple as having a morning walk to start your day off. In extremely stressful times, you may need to take a full day to yourself, and that’s okay.

Have Your Mental Health Tools

You have certain tools that help you with your job. So, why not build up your tools to help take care of your mental health? These tools are things like your support system, doing enjoyable things that boost your mental resilience, and learning coping mechanisms for stress.

Take control of your mental health by remembering these six rules above. The more you can do to ensure your mind is healthy, the better you’ll be able to adapt to stressful situations and continue with your business.

Energy Saving Tips for Home Offices

Since there is a growing trend for self-employment working from home or remote work with a corporation, more workers are using more power from their home, rather than the office. That additional power use tends to show up on their monthly power bills.

We often talk about energy saving tips for companies who house employees Monday to Friday. However, what about the workers at home – what can they do to save energy and save money?

Global Resources Reviews has six tips to help those who work from home save energy every day and, ultimately, save on their power bills.

Invest in LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs are the way to go. They consume less power than any other light bulb on the market. They are designed to not only use around 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs (the traditional bulb favored before LED lights became popular), but they can also last up to 25 times longer.

If you switched out every light in your house with an LED bulb, especially in your office, you’d eventually see savings on your monthly power bill. Plus, you’re using less power, which is better for the environment.

Install Energy Efficient Devices and Appliances

Since you’ll use everything in your home more often if you work from there, it’s a good idea to invest in energy-efficient devices, equipment, and appliances. Although the initial investment is typically higher than non-energy efficient options, the savings, in the long run, make them worthwhile.

Use Power Saving Modes

Smart devices (phones, tablets, and computers) have power saving options available. When you switch to this mode, your device will consume less power. Also, power saver mode can restrict access to certain aspects of the device that consume a significant amount of power, which can come in handy to reduce distractions.

Invest in a Power Strip

When you have a device plugged in and turned off, that doesn’t mean it stopped using power. A power strip helps fix this problem and will save you time in the morning. At the end of the day (or when you’re done working), switch the power strip on, and it will cut the power to the device.

Use a Space Heater if Cold

Whenever you get cold in your house, you likely turn up the thermostat to warm the place up. The downfall is that you’re warming up the entire house, which means you’re using more power. Instead, have a space heater for your office. You can switch it on when you’re cold, and it will only warm up your office. Also, have a blanket handy as well.

Use Sleep Mode With Your Computer

Your computer likely has a sleep mode option. When activated, your computer will reduce power consumption by putting the device to sleep (it is still on, however). Use these guidelines to help determine when to use sleep mode:

  • When you leave your computer for roughly 20 minutes, have your computer automatically switch to sleep mode.
  • If you’re away for over an hour, have the computer turn off the monitor while entering sleep mode.
  • For a full day away, have sleep mode completely shut down the device.

Although you likely won’t see significant savings right at the start, many of these changes will gradually save you money in the long-run.

Set Up the Ultimate Hiring Process With These 6 Tips

Hiring employees is a process that takes time. Jumping into things could result in hiring the wrong person for the job and having to either fire, or them quitting. In the end, you have to go through it all over again.

Avoid that situation by setting up the ultimate hiring process to find the best employee for your business. With a few steps, you will have a guideline to refer to each time you go through the hiring process.

Below are six tips from GR-US.com to help you create the ultimate hiring process. 

Write a Thorough Position Description

To start, you want to encourage the right person to apply for the job opening. That will come from the job description you include.

Spend some time making notes of what the job all entails. Keep it short and to the point, as to not lose the reader. Also, include the type of skills you’re looking for to go along with the job.

Review Resumes and Note Top Candidates

No matter how many resumes you get in, you should still glance at each one. Even if you come across the perfect resume, you could always find another one just as good.

Glance through the skills and work experience. Make a note of what is relevant and what could benefit your company. The ones that you think have the most potential, set them aside to contact them.

Screen Candidates Over the Phone

Especially if you have many people that you want to meet with, do an initial screening over the phone. This isn’t necessarily going to give you an accurate perception of the person. However, it allows you to ask a few questions related to their resume, and have them elaborate a bit more on previous work history.

Call Back Promising Candidates

Through your phone screening, you should be able to narrow down who you want to have a sit-down interview with. This interview will be the main focus when you hire someone.

Go into the interview prepared. Come up with a list of questions that you want to ensure you ask every candidate. Pay close attention to their answers as this will help you assess what their personality is like, work ethic, and whether or not they’ll fit into your company’s culture.

During the interview process, allow the conversation to flow naturally. Although you don’t want to go entirely off-topic, being able to have personable discussions will enable you to really get to know the person you may hire.

Schedule the Second Interview If Necessary

Not every company does this, but having a second interview with the most promising candidates from the first interview can allow you to ask even more in-depth questions. Especially if you’re stuck between a few people, the second interview could help you make your decision.

Check Their References

If they have references (and they should), check them. It’s always a good idea to get feedback from previous employers to see if what they put on their resume is accurate.

During the interview process, ask questions about their previous jobs and why they no longer work there. Their answer will help you decide which reference to check, and whether or not there are any burned bridges between them.