Monthly Archives: September 2019

Six Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Social Media Presence

Small businesses today understand that social media isn’t just a trend. They realize that the presence of social media offers many advantages, such as being able to communicate with current and prospective customers, generate leads and offer better customer service.

Choose the best social media platforms

It’s best to let your audience guide you when choosing appropriate social media platforms. Where are they most active?

Facebook is the largest platform and provides an ideal way for small businesses to build relationships and generate leads.

LinkedIn is used by many businesses to network, engage audiences, create trust and build authority.

Twitter is a good platform for sharing trending topics with an audience. It offers immediacy and works well for businesses with customers under the age of 50.

For a business with visual appeal, like those that focus on travel, art or fashion, Pinterest is a great platform and many users check out the site to plan their purchases.

The collection of brands participating on Instagram is growing daily. If you’re wondering how to get followers on Instagram it is not as difficult as you imagine. If your business makes an effort to create impressive visuals, Instagram can help you get the most out of your marketing investment.

Figure out your goals and strategies

You can’t just jump into social media without a reason or goals you want to accomplish. Goals, such as gaining customer feedback and insight or increasing your online traffic, must be clearly defined and measurable. If you want to improve customer service, your strategies will be different than if you want to drive sales.

Allocate responsibilities to each individual involved in posting on social media for your company so everyone has a clear understanding of what’s expected.

Create a comprehensive content calendar, mapping out which content to post, when to post it and where.

Find ways to engage your audience

It is not enough to just keep posting content. You need to make a connection with your audience in order to build relationships and establish trust. Share relevant information, comment on posts, participate in conversations and make sure you answer any questions. Always address inquiries or complaints and don’t forget to show your appreciation for any feedback you get.

Maintain a constant presence

You can’t afford to post in a random fashion and allow many days to lapse before posting. You need to be patient and consistent if you want to build up a reliable presence.

It is possible to use various automation tools to minimize the time and energy it takes. Software for social media marketing and management dashboard, helps you to manage all your social media in one place.

It can help you to publish a month of social content in advance and then you just have to monitor your channels for a short period every day to make sure you’re engaging in all the right conversations.

Use a consistent voice

It is crucial that each post aligns with your brand image. If everyone on the social media team brings a different flair to the task, people may battle to recognize that image. It is important to make sure that everyone on the team understands clearly what image you want to represent.

Listen to customers rather than promote

The time you spend on social media should rather be devoted to understanding your customers and their needs than promoting your products or services. Taking this approach helps you to create a loyal customer base with trust in your brand. It is only when you have developed trust that you can even consider suggesting certain products or services. 

Financial Designations

Finding the right financial adviser can be a daunting task, given the sea of insurance agents, commissioned brokers and fee-based money managers who are out there competing for your business.

Financial designations — the alphabet soup that some advisers append to their names — can help narrow the field a bit. But it’s important to know what the most common designations mean, and what they don’t mean, before you base any part of your decision on them.

For starters, it’s important to realize that no single entity has a lock on conferring the seal of quality on financial advice. The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants counted at least 89 designations, certifications and degrees that were available in the financial industry, provided by 87 different financial services organizations and institutions.

At the very least, most financial designations indicate that an adviser has practiced their professional trade for a minimum number of years, and that they have attained some measure of education beyond the level they needed to pass the National Association of Securities Dealers’ Series 7 exam, which is the minimum baseline requirement for licensing in the securities industry.

Some designations require their applicants to invest hundreds of hours to attain a broad-based education in the financial fields. Others are more narrowly focused, or require far less work to attain.

Here’s a look at some of the most common designations in the retail securities and financial advisory fields, along with their acronyms:

Certified Financial Planner (CFP): Awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Available to advisers with three years of experience and a bachelor’s degree, or five years of experience with no college. Requires passage of a fairly demanding and broad-based exam, along with 30 hours of additional coursework every two years.

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): Issued by The American College, an accreditation and education institution for the financial services industry. Requires 75 hours of coursework and passage of an exam covering issues such as estates, taxes, portfolio management and financial planning. Can take years to obtain; most commonly held by people in the insurance industry.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Awarded by each state’s board of accountancy. Generally requires passage of a rigorous exam demonstrating proficiency in tax and accounting issues and Continuing Professional Education, but doesn’t indicate any particular proficiency with financial planning or portfolio management. However, CPAs with some planning experience can go for a CFP or apply for a Personal Financial Specialist, or PFS, designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, if they pass an exam and earn recommendations from clients and colleagues.

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA): A pair of exams, along with some on-site and independent study coursework, is required to get this designation from the International Management Consultants Association. Applicants need three years of experience and must show that they have no criminal history, regulatory violations, civil actions or formal customer complaints on their records.

Registered Financial Planner (RFP): No exam is required here from the Registered Financial Planners Institute, but applicants must have two years of experience, complete 120 hours of coursework and agree to adhere to a code of ethics.

How to Expand Your Business Internationally

Expanding your business internationally is a significant undertaking. You need to understand how it could disrupt your existing business activities and weigh up if there is more to gain than lose.

Stakeholders across the business need to take on more responsibility to continue executing daily activities as well as those related to the expansion. For expansion to be successful, you need a deep understanding of targeted markets, your competition, and what’s needed to launch and drive growth.

1. Perform due diligence

You need to fully understand the impact going global will have on your business. This means doing a market segmentation analysis to find out if your product will sell in the local market. Is there a demand that can’t be filled by a local company? How does your product compare with local products in terms of price etc.? What is the size of the market?

2. Develop a strategy and business plan

Cultural, economic and political circumstances affect local markets. You need to develop a localized strategy – both online and offline, and business plan, although it still needs to be part of your overall business strategy and objectives.

You need to set reasonable short, medium and long-term goals to measure your progress. Decide whether you need to set up a branch, a sales office or a separate company to achieve these goals. You need to develop an annual budget and a tactical project plan.

3. Make sure you’re prepared legally

Strong legal processes must be in place to minimize unnecessary risks. Government agencies usually have strict requirements that legal documents are in place before you start operating in a country. Create localized commercial agreements, review regulations and obtain any certificates you need.

Prepare for immigration, customs and shipping. Make use of local agents to get passports expedited. For example, a passport agent in Franklin County can get a passport expedited in as little as 24 hours.

4. Put the right management team in place

Trying to quickly build a local team from scratch or launching with executives from the parent company is not the best idea. Rather outsource interim leadership to executive leadership organizations or use interim executives with local expertise while you look for the right senior management team.

This allows you to hit the ground running and drive key readiness initiatives while you’re looking for the right people for your team.

5. Ensure your products are ready

Take steps to make sure your products are ready to make the highest impact. Make sure that you’re complying with government and industry-specific regulations. Pay attention to the local translation of the name of your product and whether any localization of your products is needed.

Start testing and quality assurance reviews based on local standards. Consider who will sell your products and start setting up distribution networks and local influencers on social media.

6. Prepare your organizational operations

Implementation of your policies and procedures must satisfy local requirements. Compensation packages should be based on local standards and be competitive. Benefits should be designed to attract qualified local employees.

Find out whether your information technology infrastructure will work in local conditions. Think about outsourcing human resources and payroll functions. Make sure proper tax and finance infrastructures are in place to comply with local policies and procedures.

7. Create a supportive ecosystem

A supporting ecosystem of complementary services and products through third-party relationships can offer a competitive advantage. These relationships can support the scaling of your business while minimizing your financial risks.

Expanding a business overseas is a complex affair that’s not for the fainthearted but it can offer greater opportunities for growth. By paying close attention to all the details and outsourcing certain administrative functions, your business expansion can offer great results. 

Time to Rediscover the Watch

If diamonds were a woman’s best friend, then a man’s watch evolved into his own fashion equivalent, and it was just as pricey. Alas, if you wanted a classic, like the stylish Ulysse Nardin, then the three month’s salary rule came into play. Most of the rest had all the elegance of a Timex. (Remember father’s desk and that drawer full of dead and dreary watches.) But as the century turned, a fashion miracle occurred; mainstream designers, from Hugo Boss, to Fossil and Guess, revolutionized wrist watches by making whole lines of handsome designs, with open faces, elegant numerals and stately bands. Kenneth Cole too has an excellent set of time pieces, and all of these lines run around one hundred dollars.

So what happened to the watch? It was your cell phone or PDA and its ubiquitous time display, of course. What a sad irony, that as soon as one of man’s fashion fundamentals becomes both everyday affordable and stylish, it is obliterated by a crackberry addiction. The cellphone or the PDA will never become an accroutrement, no matter how often you glue it to your ear. Just remember how women take measure of a man; from his shoes to his watch, shoes/watch, shoes/watch. So think about life on the run like you would service in a restaurant; you won’t get any if you are not wearing shoes. By putting a watch back on your wrist, you might not feel so naked, or lonely, out there.

Quick advice: before you pull out your gold Rolex knock-off, or that Swiss Army standard from the day, use the Internet to check out the new styles. Go to a high-end site like to see what you like.

How to Get the Best Financial Stability Discount

Are you looking for car insurance? Lots of insurance companies have taken on a rating system that is based on your credit score. The rating system is called a financial stability discount, or an insurance credit score. It is important to keep your credit score at the highest possible level to qualify for the best financial stability discount. Getting the absolute best credit score is tough and it takes time. Work at it little by little and follow these five rules to help you get the best financial stability discount on insurance.

  1. Pay Your Bills On Time
    A huge factor in your credit score is whether or not you pay your bills on time. One late mortgage or car loan payment can make a huge dent in your score. Set up your payments for automatic withdraw and coordinate with your bank to cover you for any overages or better yet just make sure you have enough money in your account to cover your payments. It is critical for your credit score’s health for you to make your payments on time one hundred percent of the time.
  2. Do Not Open Lots of Credit
    Every time you open a new source of credit it nicks your credit score. Opening one account won’t drastically affect your score, but multiple credit inquiries can. Use new sources of credit sporadically. Department stores lure you in with a discount for opening a new account; however, its best to keep it to your favorite store if you want to keep or improve your credit score.
  3. Do Not Max Out Your Credit
    Maxing out your credit is bad for your credit score. One of the factors calculated into your credit score is how much credit you have versus how much you owe on that credit. For example, it is better to have a credit card with a $10,000 limit with only $2,000 charged against it versus two $1000 credit cards maxed out.
  4. Use Credit Periodically, Don’t Stop Using it Altogether
    If you stop using credit altogether, it’s going to be difficult for the credit bureau to determine your credit worthiness. Lack of credit can negatively affect your credit score. Using a credit card periodically and paying it off on time is the best way to keep your credit score intact.
  5. Pay off Past Due Debts
    It is going to be very difficult to improve your credit score if you have unpaid bills lingering on your credit history. If you truly want to reap the benefits of a good credit score you need to buckle down and get your past due debts paid. Clearing up old debts can increase your credit score immediately.
  6. Don’t co-sign for Unreliable Friends or Family
    If you have been working hard to improve your credit score the last thing you should do is take on someone else’s debt. If a friend or family member is having trouble getting a loan it is because the lender has deemed them a high risk. By putting your name on their loan you are putting your credit score at risk for disaster. Be extremely cautious co-signing for a friend or family member.

Check your credit score at least once a year to see where you are at. Changes are coming so that your actual credit score number will be available to you for free. Even though insurance credit scores are not identical to your true credit score, they do correspond directly with one another. Keeping your true credit score up will most definitely keep your financial stability discount up. Knowing how to get the financial stability discount is the first step to getting the cheapest insurance possible.

Flower Color Meanings and Symbolism

Flowers delight our sense of sight and smell, but they also tell a story. Each type and color of bloom has a meaning. The right combination of colors and flowers can tell the recipient what you’re thinking or feeling without saying a word. 


Blue is a peaceful, calming color that conveys openness and serenity. A bouquet of blue flowers may be sent to someone who needs to slow down and relax. 

Blue flowers can also convey intimacy and are a great option for long-term couples who wish to show their partners that they love and trust them. 

The love and peace offered by blue flowers also makes them a great option for get-well and sympathy arrangements.


Purple is a royal color that symbolizes success, tradition and dignity. Purple flowers can also convey admiration and adoration, or accomplishment.

A bouquet of rich purple flowers can make a strong romantic impression, or they can be used to help celebrate an important life transition. 


A delicate hue, pink symbolizes happiness, gentleness and love. As a romantic flower, pink flowers are often included in bouquets given to lovers and spouses. Alternatively, pink blossoms can also be used to convey innocence, youth and joy.

Traditionally, pink flowers have been associated with femininity, but in modern times, the color has also been associated with spontaneity and thoughtfulness.


White flowers are often associated with innocence, humility, purity or sympathy. From fragrant gardenias to white roses and lily of the valley, a white flower bouquet can represent modesty or elegance.

These blossoms may be included as part of a sympathy or wedding bouquet. They represent pure and thoughtful love. 


Red flowers have a strong association with romance and love. The vibrant, passionate color can also symbolize respect, courage, admiration, constancy and desire. 

Whether it’s a classic rose bouquet, tulips or gerbera daisies, red is the closest symbolic likeness to the heart. 


Vibrant, passionate and bold, orange conveys excitement, enthusiasm, happiness and joy. A bouquet of warm orange flowers sends a message of love, but it also sends a message of adventure. Send these bright, beautiful flowers as a message of spontaneity, or to send your love to someone you care deeply about.


Yellow flowers represent happiness. They symbolize friendship, pride and success. These bright, vibrant blooms are sure to put an instant smile on the recipient’s face and evoke feelings of joy.

Yellow bouquets are a wonderful choice for get-well flowers, but they also work well for those “thinking of you gifts” sent to close friends. 


Green is synonymous with nature and the perfect color to complement other blooms. Green flowers symbolize health, good fortune, resilience and youth. An arrangement of green blossoms shows that you wish the recipient good health and luck in the coming year. 

Flowers come in a variety of bright, vibrant colors, and each color has a meaning. Choosing the right bloom and hue is important in conveying a message to the recipient. Whether it’s romance, sympathy or to cheer someone up, you can convey your feelings and thoughts with a bouquet of flowers.

The Future Of Cryptocurrency

The discussion about the future of cryptocurrency is so engaging such that many players in the industry are coming up with predictions with indications that the future of business will be entirely on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

The fundamental conviction we should have is that going forward regulations will get tighter and tighter.

As the regulations tighten, the government will begin to accept the use of cryptocurrency, and people will start saving their money in the form of cryptocurrency.

By the year 2017, no one could imagine coming across a bitcoin ATM.  Currently, many countries are welcoming the cryptocurrency networks in their homelands, and Bitcoin machines are slowly becoming a commonplace thing.

Is The Future Predictable?

Deciding conclusively about the future of cryptocurrency is quite tricky, but numerous predictions are emerging. 

Some of them may appear insane and untenable, but the power of positivity in the crypto world is terrific.

There are extreme predictions that people will start using cryptocurrencies in place of fiat money very soon. The change to embrace Bitcoin and other cryptos will happen spontaneously, and users may not even recognize their exact points of transition from fiat money. 

There is anticipation that by the year 2030, people will start saving their high-value funds in bitcoin from other gold. The rate of appreciation will be attractive up to some point where the cryptocurrencies will reach saturation point. At this point, the world will have a reserve cryptocurrency, and smaller cryptos will be used as daily means of exchange and referenced to the reserve crypto,( which is profoundly foreseen to be the bitcoin.)

Five years ago I never imagined of getting bitcoin near me, but currently, it has become so typical to pass by a crypto-ATM just across the street. 

In a similar measure, five to ten years to come will make very significant alteration to the crypto scene such that the percentage of people using cryptocurrency will exceed that of people who do not use it.

What Will Happen To The Fiat Currency?

If banks start accepting bitcoins and other cryptos as stores of value, the disappearance of fiat currencies will be imminent and definite.

The flexibility of trade across borders will attract many users. 

As we know, the use of smartphones has taken center stage, and most of the people in the business world are carrying out their banking activities online. That is a clear indication that blockchain technology will take over the banking and financial sector within a few years from now.

What Will Happen To The Entire Crypto World?

Many cryptocurrencies will come up. 

They will have high quality and with more security features. These cryptos will ensure high availability of trading alternatives. 

Another remarkable axiom is that trading blocks will tend to form in a way that a particular cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin gets more acceptance in some countries than others while being rejected in some regions. Due to this, the banking and financial sector will suffer from more devastating effects. Customers will start to open Cryptocurrency accounts, and instead of having the current fiat currency debit cards, people will acquire cryptocurrency debit cards.

Financial transactions will entirely migrate to online platforms with no hard cash transfers taking place. Banking halls will transform into customer care centers without any cash transactions taking place.

Since the circulation of cryptos will accelerate, their volatility will also remain elevated. 

A metamorphosis of e-commerce to c-commerce is also hugely projected. Most people involved in e-business will prefer to keep their business transactions online, and the money involved in these trades kept online too. The competition will shift from local to global. Cybersecurity will become a very lucrative career, and specialization in this area will increase, and institutions will be forced to increase their cybersecurity budgets and staffing.