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If you’re a mid-size business today, the chances are that you were a small business just yesterday. With growth has come a need for more structure. The on-the-fly practices that served you well in the early days need to give way to more organization and consistency. HR is one area that particularly benefits from definition and clarity. Have you thought about creating an employee handbook? If not, here are four reasons why you should give it serious consideration:

Efficiency

Having one consistent place to communicate your policies makes life much easier for HR and other managers. With a well-written handbook, you can be certain that all team members get the same information about your organization. Handbooks communicate expectations and policies equally. Regardless of position or experience, every employee gets the same message about your company and its missions and values. 

Completeness

Onboarding a new employee is complicated. You’ve got lots of information to present, and it’s easy for things to be forgotten and slip through the cracks. Some of your managers may be more skilled at onboarding than others. A handbook ensures that all the info is covered, including the many perks and benefits your company has to offer. 

Consistency

When your policies are standardized and written out for all to see in an employee handbook, decisions will be more consistent across the organization. For example, when mid-size business background checks policies are included in your handbook, everyone involved will know that background screenings are being conducted fairly and consistently according to the guidelines in the handbook. Managers don’t need to make subjective judgment calls, but can rely on the handbook to guide their decisions which makes many management tasks easier and fairer. 

Protection

Having a solid handbook in place protects your organization from accusations of bias or favoritism. A handbook serves as a resource that everyone in your organization can use to resolve disputes. Well-written, consistently applied policies shield managers and employees from unfair treatment. Your employee handbook can also serve as a defense against legal claims brought by current and former employees. It may also decrease the likelihood of such claims, as employees will be aware of your efforts to be transparent and non-discriminatory. 

Be Proactive

A comprehensive employee handbook is a proactive measure designed to define your organization’s culture and be fully transparent with all your employees. Great handbooks reflect your values and contribute positively to the company. They make life within the business at all levels easier. If you don’t already have a handbook, now is a great time to create one for your growing business. 

If you are planning to start your accounting firm then it is as good as starting a small business, where you need to do lots of planning and work.

An accounting business will generally take care of the finances of any other people, who may either be a businessman or a person with lots of money. An accountant will be trained in analysing, summarising, and also reporting the annual income and expenses so that it can help any business or a person to track and manage effectively their money.

Since accounting business also needs to create their online presence so that any of their customers may able to find them on the internet. Therefore, even any accounting business can enlist them on bleen.com.au or any other online directory about their service.

Equip yourself first with key industry skills

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To become a skilled accountant, you need to prepare yourself with the necessary training and qualification. You also need to develop a certain kind of mindset to become a successful accountant.

As a professional, you must be able to analyse and summarise various financial data effectively and produce a comprehensive report for your client that should be user-friendly too.

Besides acquiring the necessary training for working as an accountant, you must also possess the following few additional skills:

  • Clear communication
  • Strong writing skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • System analysis
  • Sharp eye to detail
  • Organisational skills

What will you need to open your accounting firm?

As mentioned before, to start an accounting company is more or less the same as starting any small business. However, this being a special kind of business hence there are a few accounting-specific requirements. You must remember that now you are starting a business on your own.

So, you must start by knowing your basic purpose, and also what is your market. Based on that, all your other decisions will follow that include:

  • What services will you provide?
  • Will you need a virtual or physical location?
  • What is your target demographic?
  • What is your business location?

After you have selected your location and also decided your goals, then you have to consider all the nitty-gritty of owning your business. You will there need to:

  • Obtain EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • Obtain tax ID number
  • Investigating all employment laws
  • Decide your startup cost
  • Develop your pricing structure for providing services
  • Decide the legal structure of your business
  • Create your business bank account
  • Look at your business insurance
  • Develop your internal policies and rules
  • Hiring employees (if needed)

Besides all the above, you also need to think about your day-to-day needs to run your business, which will include managing different risks, basic administrative tasks, and also few general questions like how and where will you meet your clients.

Set up your office

Finally, you must have your own office to do your business. Most people these days prefer to do such business from home itself. You have to find a suitable place where you can set up your office and have the necessary furniture and computers. You will also need to purchase necessary software to ease your business.

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When it comes to getting more traffic, one of the best ways to do this is to start emailing your potential customers on a regular basis. This is how a lot of businesses get to be so successful in the first place: they were able to build up a huge database of people that are interested in what they are selling.

Email is also a great way to build good will and to gain trust with the people who visit your site. If you don’t have an email marketing campaign but would like to do a good job with email marketing to do with an existing website, here are some tips to get the most out of email marketing for your business.

1. You should always choose a subject of your email that is closely related to the subject of your website. By doing so, you will be able to attract the traffic that you want and will also have a smooth transition for the person who sees the email as soon as they sign it up.

2. Very, very important, the subject needs to be compelling. You can’t just simply leave the subject of your email as one that simply has nothing to do with the subject of the website email. Without intention, you’re not going to be able to get as much email marketing done in this way.

3. When it comes to your website, you can use HTML to make it stand out amongst everyone else’s business websites. Simply make sure that your website looks professional and that you put everything above the fold. That means that you should have a website header, footer, and even a place where people can make contact, such as a contact page, and an URL on the bottom of the page.

4. Make sure that you receive announcement emails and not spam. Spam is totally unprofessional. Plus it’s just a waste of your time. People will simply delete your email if it looks like spam. Likewise, you don’t want your email getting into the trash.

5. Every once in a while you can send something that is more of a small offer like a free product if you’re marketing an online store. You will get more opt-in email marketing done this way. Of course the free offer should be a great way for people to remember who you are and what you are promoting.

6. When you’re emailing people about your website, make sure that you have some text at the bottom of the webpage that features your website. This makes it clear to the person what the website is about. You also want to include a tag line or description. A person too, needs to look at text on the website that describes exactly what you do. If they don’t see that, they won’t know that this is about your website.

7. Another important thing to consider is to include everything in your HTML code so that it’s just a death sentence or two away that the website will be referred to as a web address.

8. One very important thing about your website and what you are trying to do with your email marketing is to make sure that the web address is not going to be blocked by a spam filter, even if the site is, in fact, spam. The secret with this is to make the ‘spam’ label that’s been put on the email go away completely. We all know that it’s embarrassing to subscribe to sites that send you an email.

It may all seem complicated and hard to learn, but it really isn’t. But, you must do what’s needed to attract web traffic and then give them the information about your business that they want to know about. You see, most of the people who visit are there because they are looking for some information, so all right. You know what you want to do, and you’re different from the crowd.

Yes, it appears more profitable to use crypto trading bots than to do the trading manually. As much as more crypto experts are switching to trading bots for more efficient trading, others have argued that trading bots are less profitable. That may not be entirely true because a good crypto bot would save you time and provide huge profits.

More so, these days, getting a crypto bot is not as difficult as it used to be. In the past, only rich traders or companies had crypto bots. Take note, not all crypto bots are worth a purchase. 

Features of the Best Crypto Trading Bots

Apart from other outstanding features of crypto trading bots, one of the most notable is that it saves time. For instance, with the crypto bot, you can trade round the clock and actually be present. Below are features of top crypto bots:

  • Beginner-Friendly : A crypto bot should not have a complicated layout for beginners to understand. A good crypto bot should be beginner-friendly and easy to use. Experts have suggested that crypto bots should be designed as if they would be used by students in high school. At least that way, a trader can configure the bot without any hassle. 
  • Time Saver : Depending on the market, you may need to trade all night to make a profit. However, with the crypto bot, you can go to sleep while the bot does the trading. Losing sleep constantly can cause some health issues. So opting for a crypto bot that trades round the clock is the best option.
  • Fast : regarding trading cryptocurrencies, speed is a very important virtue required to enjoy trading with a bot. While it may take humans a whole day to carry out a particular trade, crypto can do it in less time. Also, bots can take advantage faster. They can make an order regarding an offer before it closes. 
  • Price : While you may find crypto bots that ask for a fee, some offer free services too. Nonetheless, it is better to opt for cryptocurrencies for a fee than to use the free cryptocurrency version. However, if the crypto bot offers a demo version before you buy it, you can opt for the crypto bot to understand how it works. 

What to look out for before Investing in Crypto Bots ?

Before you invest in a crypto bot, you need to ask some questions. Don’t invest in a crypto bot by asking the following questions:

  • What is the professional experience of the senior traders ?
  • Are their algorithms popular ?
  • Is their success linked to yours ?

When you get good feedback, then you can get the crypto bot. 

Wrapping Up

Like every other thing, the crypto bot also has its disadvantages. However, on a scale from 1 to 10, using crypto bots can be ranked at 8.5. The risk is lesser and it provides more gains. However, make you get a crypto bot that is tried and tested. Visit napbots.com for the crypto bot. {“mode”:”full”,”isActive”:false}

Covid-19 Second Wave: Impact On Property Prices And Real Estate

The North American housing market has seen significant shifts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. US real estate prices were already high and have seen a peak in the last year unlike anything the market has witnessed in many years.

An Insurify analysis of the cities with the greatest pandemic real estate booms found that between April and July 2020, the average rate of home sales had increased, exceeding the previous year’s rate by 66 percent.

Likely homeowners have been relocating to the suburbs in record numbers. That’s partly because housing preferences have shifted: more people are choosing a larger living space over proximity to the “action” of a city center.

Driven partly by Millennial mentality, the market has become a battleground for dream homes – buyers are being bullish – and the result is skyrocketing real estate costs.

The pandemic has also prompted a renaissance in real estate technology as fintech companies like Nobul gain traction in an effort to facilitate those sales.

As the virus distrurbed the economic stability of entire nations, the housing market in North America remained remarkably stable, seeing a 13 percent increase last year. 

The 2020 real estate market has proven that many interested homebuyers will invest in a new home even during a time of economic pessimism, often by looking for homes in more affordable areas.

To understand the changing priorities of home buyers and those preferences are reshaping the real estate market, the research team at Insurify examined data from Zillow.

On average, those who moved to a new city in 2020 ended up in a ZIP code with average home values nearly $27,000 lower than in their previous ZIP code, according to Zillow.

Those who changed homes in 2020 also moved to ZIP codes where the average home sold was 33 square feet bigger than their previous home, Zillow reported.

“What that suggests to me is more movement away from the more expensive housing markets in the country,” Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow, said in a KXAN story.

But what will the remaining months of 2021 mean for the market?

There are some signs that the US housing market is moderating after months of surging prices. Now that inventory is near record lows and prices are climbing at the fastest rate ever, buyers have had enough, according to Business Insider, and are forcing the market to cool by simply saying “no” to high prices.

Although sales of new and previously owned homes are still above pre-pandemic levels, the numbers have slowed from the peaks in fall 2020 thanks to a dwindling housing supply.

“The steady decline suggests the market boom could be normalizing,” the article said. “It also comes as median selling prices for new and existing homes sit at record highs, presenting an affordability problem for buyers just entering the market.”

Americans’ attitudes about housing have hit rock-bottom. In a survey from the University of Michigan about consumer sentiment, 54 percent of Americans polled said it was a bad time to buy homes in May. That’s the most pessimistic outlook since 1982.

This slowing down of the housing craze of the last 12 months is leading economists to believe that 2022 will be a markedly more modest market.

Also among economists’ varied concerns is housing price inflation – and the belief that inflation could be tempered by a number of factors as the dust settles from COVID.

Still, some believe that Millennials – who now have buying power and are in the hunt for their first homes – will help cushion the market.

5 Guidelines to Pick the Right Investment App for You

The pool of investors is larger than it has ever been.

Several trends have given rise to a new generation of first-time investors. Those factors include more free time during the pandemic, disposable income from government assistance, and the sudden availability of trading via mobile phone apps.

These have led to an explosion of new investors and DIY investors, including millions of people who have signed up for RobinHood, Stash or one of the many other options now available for easy investing through your smartphone.

And for good reason, as the stock market continues to be the safest and best way to grow wealth over the long-term. The stock market proved its resiliency yet again during the pandemic, with a quick rebound and record growth since.

If you’re considering the start of your own investing, how do you choose what app is best for you?

Let’s dig in.

What Are Your Goals?

Before you hit download on Stash, Mint or Robinhood, you should ask yourself what exactly you hope to accomplish with your investing, said Matt Choi, founder of Certus Trading, which offers educational courses to traders.

Are you trying to build wealth for retirement? Are you trying to help build wealth to buy a house? Or are you just looking to try out investing as a hobby?

“Don’t buy an app and start trading unless you know why you’re doing it,” said Matt Choi. “While it might sound like fun to start trading immediately, you need to know that there are no safety nets if you’re doing this on your own, and you can lose a lot of money very easily if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not paying attention.”

Look into insurance and security

You will want to research the basics of personal identity protections before handing over all your financial data.

So what to look for exactly? Well, check to see if the app you’re considering uses two-factor authentication and has other security practices in place to guard against breaches, said Trina Patel, financial advice manager at Albert, a mobile banking, savings and investing app.

Patel also suggests checking what kind of insurance the apps have in place. For example, for a banking-related app, make sure that the financial institution backing the app is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. If so, then you can trust that up to $250,000 of your deposited money will be protected if the bank fails.

Even with that backing, apps like RobinHood have their dangers, according to Tara Falcone, a financial planner and analyst and the founder of financial education company ReisUP.

“Apps like that, especially ones that are reducing trading costs, or in this case having zero commission trades, are great from an accessibility standpoint,” Falcone said. “One thing that has previously kept a lot of small investors out of the investing game is the fact that they had to pay a broker. However, I do think that targeting the millennial generation, which is very instant-gratification driven, can be a little dangerous when you’re considering the mix of investments and different investment strategies that are available through an app like Robinhood versus through another fintech app such as Acorns or Stash.”

Read the reviews

This should be a no-brainer, but many of us forget the value of researching the many platforms that offer reviews for apps, especially investing apps.

Don’t end your research with reviews on Google, Facebook, or Yahoo, either. Try to read articles about each app and its products, as well as the customer reviews.

“There’s so many new tools out there, I think it makes sense to do a little research and maybe talk to some people who’ve used it in the past,” said Ben Carlson, director of institutional asset management at Ritholtz Wealth Management.

There are tons of great tools for investing and learning about investing, Matt Choi said. It’s a positive thing that we live in a time when the stock market has become so easily accessible to so many people.

“But if you want to be successful, then don’t forget to do your homework,” Choi said.

Call centers are offices from where trained professionals help out businesses remotely. The professionals carry out tasks like answering incoming calls, messages and emails; make outgoing calls as preferred by the businesses and transfer calls to the concerned people. Though a virtual receptionist does not remain physically present at the site of businesses, they carefully work for them. As a business grows and so does the query and expectations of people, it becomes tough to answer all the calls and mails in the real time. A remote receptionist does this job efficiently to maintain communication between a business and its customers and clients.

Outgoing calls

Many businesses require to make outgoing calls to present and prospective customer and clients. The main purpose usually is to let them know about new services and products. Often clients and customers are approached through mails. The receptionists are trained to present everything to the concerned people in an impressive way and convince them.

They are present even when you are not

Running a business does not mean you cannot enjoy your life. You can definitely decide to stay away from those phone calls and e-mails for a weekend or on a vacation. There is nothing to worry about as the receptionists got you covered. You might be on a holiday while they remain at the desk to promptly answer a call or mail. Though you might stay away from these things for a few days, you will never miss anything. The professionals will notify you of everything important to help you get back to the job without any problem.

Working with call centers has become much popular due to its low cost and efficient results. Even small businesses can easily afford the services as it is cheaper than setting up an in-house team.

Nowadays businesses want to gain canniness i.e. competitive edge over their competitors in the market. It provides healthy competition in the market. Strategic management is the procedure of identifying goals, procedures, and purposes so that a company or an organization can be more competitive in the market. If we say in precise terms strategic management looks at properly placing of staff and resources for the achievement of goals.

Generally, strategic management includes the following aspects:

  • Internal Organization Analysis
  • Strategy Evaluation
  • Strategy Execution throughout the organization
  • Allows a company to analyze areas of operational improvement.
  • Identify potential opportunities and threats.

Strategic Management lets businesses be more proactive rather than reactive which means that businesses anticipate the future in advance and then they work actively when a problem arises. One of the prominent saying by Peter Drucker “ Strategic Management is not a box of tricks or a bundle of techniques. As businesses are evolving day by day people understood and recognized the importance of strategic management.

Here in this article, you will learn about 5 good effects of strategic management for your business.

Smooth decision making:

In an organization, everyone has their own goals but all of them are concentrated towards the main organizational goal. The strategy provides a proper structure. Staff performs a daily decisional activity which is impossible for senior executives to know all these decisions. Therefore strategies set the defined boundaries within which staff perform their activities. These small decisions possess a significant impact on businesses. Having proper structure and boundaries helps all the personnel to focus their efforts in the same direction.

Enables progress measurement:

Strategic management is not a one-time action but is Continual action. Strategic management helps in setting practical objectives and evaluate success or failure. When there is a deviation in expected results and actual results. Then considering that deviation they plan new objectives and present n front of senior management. Bradley Fauteux a leader in the service industry also provides services related to strategic management and strategic planning. 

SWOT Analysis: 

Strategic management is a useful tool for SWOT analysis. SWOT here means

  1. Strengths
  2. Weaknesses
  3. Opportunities
  4. Threats

SWOT analysis is crucial in this dynamic environment. A business has to identify opportunities at the correct time and prepare itself for future threats. It should not disclose the strength to its competitors and work upon its weaknesses.

Ease communication:

For accomplishing any objective everyone in the organization must be aware of it so that they could work accordingly. Strategic management makes sure that appropriate communication flows in an organization at all stages. Subordinates and superiors have stable relations between them.

Benefits in planning:

Strategic management lets businesses develop the plan according to the current situation. Also, it helps in building economic plans. For example, now people are showing concern towards the environment in this case one of the prominent leaders Brad Fauteux advises their clients to explore new areas in businesses which is eco-friendly.

Have you wondered about what it takes to open a hotel business? When business owners decide to go into the hospitality field, there are many things they’ll need to take into consideration. Hotels require various permits and inspections for the diverse services they provide in the course of business. It’s a very intense and interesting process to be able to open a hotel to the public.

Get Various Safety Inspections

When a business owner wants to operate a hotel, there will be necessary safety protocols they will need to follow to get all their ducks in a row. If the building will be equipped with an elevator system, this must be checked by the right authorities to ensure it’s safe for operation. If the establishment will have automatic doors installed, they will need to be inspected to see that they align with automated door safety compliance. These types of machinery are powerful and useful, and it’s important they’re not only installed correctly but that they function in the safe manner for which they were designed.

Acquire the Necessary Permits

All businesses that serve the general public will need some sort of permit for operation. Usually, the municipality in which the building lies is responsible for issuing the necessary certificates. Public operations will need to be inspected for fire safety, and this will include issuing a certificate of maximum occupancy. Another type of permit a hotel may need is an alcohol license. If the hotel serves food or beverages, they’ll need a seller license for the alcohol and a health inspection to ensure the food they’re serving is clean and safe.

Secure the Right Kind of Insurance

Business owners must protect themselves and their companies by securing a liability insurance policy. Insurance policies protect entrepreneurs from potential lawsuits from customers or other employees. Sometimes accidents happen no matter how safely an operation is run. Business insurance policies help pay for damages on the building, medical bills for an injured person, and other expenses that result from an accident. Most lenders require businesses to have some sort of insurance before extending loans to fund the enterprise.

Owning a hotel can be a lucrative opportunity if the right steps are taken. There’s a lot involved in the day-to-day process of running a hospitality operation. When business owners make careful plans and take the right steps, they can end up having a very successful outcome.

Sunday, October 8, 1871. The story goes that a cow on a nearby farm in Chicago knocked over a lantern and burned everything in its surroundings.

In reality, the summer of that year was unusually hot, and as fall came, almost everyone in Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin knew the condition wouldn’t change. Instead, it transformed farms, homes, and buildings into a huge kindling.

And so the Great Chicago Fire began in the early evening of that October, destroying acres of land and ending lives. Later in the day, the smoke crossed over to the tiny towns of Michigan, rousing families to shouts of “Fire!”

It took about three days before the flame died, but the story didn’t end there. The Great Lake State has dealt more fires since then. As of May 2021, the Colfax Fire is raging in the north and destroying at least 420 acres of land.

Overall, the state experiences at least 8,000 wildfires and more home fires each year, some of which eventually make it to the headlines because of their severity. It isn’t surprising then that Michigan implements a strict fire prevention code.

For those doing business in the state, here are essential fire-related points that matter:

  1. Create an Emergency Plan and Involve the Local Firefighters

According to the provisions of the construction and fire codes for enterprises in the state, a business needs to meet three requirements to have an effective emergency plan:

  • Firefighter right-to-know, which means both employees and local firefighters need to be aware of the type of hazardous materials used in the establishment and their corresponding danger. In line with this, local firefighters have the right and obligation to inspect the site regularly.
  • HAZWOPER, which stands for hazardous waste operations and emergency response. It obligates companies that produce or use chemicals officially labeled as hazardous or dangerous by OSHA (broadly defined as one that can cause physical harm) to prepare for any emergency and train employees in the process. Based on the code, this plan will include first aid and other types of emergency treatment, evacuation procedures and routes, and coordination with outside parties, like firefighters.
  • SARA Title III, or the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Under this law, industries that produce or use extremely hazardous substances in volumes, which increases the risks of public exposure, may need to make their inventory or chemical data sheet public. Moreover, every county may have to set up a fund to cover emergency response and toxic waste clean-up.
  1. Work with a Qualified Electrician in the State

Many fires happen because of faulty or old electrical systems. This is especially true in industries that rely on huge power lines. When they are not maintained well, they can still begin a massive wildfire as trees or branches can touch the line.

Electrical wiring is one job that no layperson can do in the state unless they are duly licensed. This means that businesses need to work with an industrial electrician in at least two situations:

  • Before installing any electrical equipment in the building
  • Altering the electrical system (such as adding or replacing worn wires), especially if the cost of the equipment exceeds $100

Based on the local building code, in these two scenarios, the company needs to obtain an electrical permit. But a qualified contractor can already take care of that.

However, this electrician may need to coordinate with a state-licensed engineer or architect, who has to provide signed-and-sealed building plans and specifications. These are part of the requirements for getting an electrical permit.

The only time that alterations or rewiring won’t ask for a signed plan is if it is considered “minor.” The working area is no more than 3,500 square feet, and the electrical system rating doesn’t go beyond 400 amps.

  1. Obtain a Mechanical Permit

The 1972 Act 230 of the state says that a building that needs to use specific flammable equipment needs to obtain a mechanical permit. These include water heaters, chimneys and vents, cooling systems, incinerators, boilers, and air pollution control systems.

Businesses can only work with licensed contractors to get the permit. Local firefighters, meanwhile, may inspect the area and the quality and condition of this equipment regularly.

Fires cost a lot of money and endanger lives, but the good news is, in many cases, they are both preventable and controllable. If not, then companies have the means to prepare for an effective emergency action to significantly reduce human and property losses. It begins by following the state building codes and collaborating with the local fire department.

Meta title: Essential Fire Rules for Michigan Businesses

Meta desc: Every year, Michigan experiences thousands of fires. Businesses can decrease their risks of human and property losses with these three tips.