4 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Employees’ Morale

Employee morale makes a big difference in workplace productivity. As an employer, you can’t control your staff’s mood, but you can definitely ensure that they have a happy, healthy, and considerate environment to work in. Here are four simple strategies to consider implementing.

Open Up Communication

People like to feel as if their work makes a difference. This can be a difference in the world at large, or simply a difference for the person they are working for. It’s difficult to put in effort all day without understanding the reasons or seeing the results. Keep staff updated on your business’s successes and pitfalls, and make sure you let them know the results of projects they have personally worked on. Good communication builds trust and rapport. If you set a standard of openness, your employees will understand when something simply must be kept under wraps. 

Stock the Break Room 

Snacks in the break room can be a small but effective way to show that you care. A coffee machine is a good place to start; warm drinks offer comfort, and caffeine provides an energy boost to finish out the workday. To avoid the classic problem of burnt break-room coffee, try a Keurig brewing system. Single-serving Starbucks K-Cup pods let your employees brew themselves a cup when they need one, and don’t share the mess or cost of brewing an entire pot. Don’t forget to stock decaf pods too; everyone deserves something hot to drink. 

Fight for Employee Benefits 

To be an employee is to invest a large part of your time and energy into someone else’s business. The deal doesn’t have to be a bad one; as an employer, you have the opportunity to make a large difference in your employees’ lives. Look for ways that your business can provide benefits that staff would not be able to acquire on their own. This might include package insurance plans, vendor discounts, or even chances to travel. Working for your business should feel like an opportunity, not a cost. 

Encourage Career Growth 

If you’re the business owner, you’re likely already living your dream. Your business is a culmination of your career and the effort you have put in. On the other hand, your employees are likely at the start of their careers. As much as you enjoy seeing them every day, it’s important to remember that your staff want to grow and move forward in life. Try to provide opportunities for growth and success within your business. If an employee has a dream that will one day take them outside of your company, don’t be afraid to encourage them. The person you help go to school today could very easily be your industry contact of tomorrow. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to employee morale; what helps one person’s mood might make no impact on someone else. The best strategy is to set a standard of respect, communication, and care for your employees’ needs. If you have a good attitude, a good work environment will follow.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Monetizing Your Blog For Six-Figure Returns

Blogs can make upwards of $10,000 a month for even just solo-owners. With the right SEO, advertising, and readership, your blog can easily be monetized far beyond what you’d expect to find in a normal office job. In this article, you’ll be given some of the top tips for monetizing your blog, and living off the proceeds.

What Do You Love?

The easiest way to make money is to find a niche in something you love. Firstly, establish what you’re passionate about. This exercise will help you develop content that is both well researched, but engagingly communicated through your platform. Half of the battle in blogging is writing or recording something that consistently fascinates you, and having an established knowledge and potential network associated with your passion will make it far easier to become successful.

However, it is imperative that you do you research first to ensure that the angle you take on your subject matter hasn’t already been done commercially by someone else. Becoming a unique voice within your chosen demographic lies at the core of financial success with your blog. As long as you post consistently good content, there is no reason that you can’t become a success at what you love.

Work As An Influencer

Social media and web-based influencers are the new reality stars. If you’re an expert, specialist, or just very good at communicating information on your chosen subject matter, the chances are you’ll be asked to become an influencer for brands associated with your blog content. Some of the top influencers end up earning money from writing post, photoshoots, hosting giveaways with affiliated brands, and many go on to publish books on their work.

A great example of an influencer collaboration is the MedMen “Faces” campaign in California, 2018. The brand used existing social media influencers in the space to celebrate their brand, and they are now the leading recreational store in the country. Many of the influencers went on to reap huge financial rewards from the campaign too, thanks to the relationships with MedMen, and the rest of the industry.

Practical Tips

Becoming an influencer does begin with finding you bliss, but it ultimately hinges on your ability to act. Yes, some blogs become commercially successful because they sell ad space online, but if you’re following your passion you should be reaping the rewards. Acting on what you love means that your blog is now your business, and even though it may seem easy, it is easy to go off-brand.

As your brand grows, stay within your niche and earn through sponsored blog posts, selling related products via your site, or affiliate marketing. If you’re more of a hands-on person, many bloggers host seminars, webinars, and events. Most successful bloggers will always be offered free products, just ensure that you’re only advertising the ones you truly support. You have to do your research on everyone who contacts you, just in case they don’t totally reflect your ethics.

As we near the end of this decade, monetizing via blogging platforms is changing as an industry. The individual behind the words is becoming as important as the words themselves. Personal blogs are an incredibly easy way to boost your personal income, and can help you grow into an entrepreneur, or a specialist in your field. All you have to do is decide what exactly you’d like to write about, and whether you’re looking to make bank from behind your computer screen.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

 

Recruit The Best Staff With The Help Of Modern Technology

Companies are constantly finding new ways to attract the best talent and improve their hiring process. Here are some cutting-edge ways in which you can use modern technology to help source the best new employees for your company.

Advertise beyond online job boards

Whilst online job boards like Indeed and Monster are some of the most popular places to attract applicants, they shouldn’t be the only place that you advertise. Advertising on other platforms can increase your chances of attracting more applicants. Social media is now a big place for advertising jobs – you can run ads and promoted posts on Facebook and Twitter as well as posting news of your vacancy in community pages. You can also create web ads for search engines such as Google to help people stumble across your ad. Don’t forget to also use LinkedIn, which is great for scouting out talent.

Create online tests and surveys

You could also try creating your own tests or surveys for applicants to complete – these could be used to make a better judgement of someone’s personality or they could be used to test someone’s knowledge in the field. You can post a link to a survey in your job ad. There are many sites such as SurveyMonkey for generating these surveys.

Keep the application process organised with software

If you’re getting lots of applications coming through, it could be worth using an applicant tracking system to help stay organised. Being able to read and reply to applications in an organised manner will prevent you from overlooking a CV or failing to reply to an important question.

Consider hiring virtual employees

If your work is entirely computer-based/phone-based it could be possible for you to hire employees virtually rather than requiring these new staff members to come into the office. There are many advantages to hiring staff virtually. You can firstly cast your nett wider and employ staff members on the other side of the country, who otherwise would live too far away to commute. Hiring a virtual team could also prevent you from having to expand your office – if you currently work from home and are taking on your first staff members, it could prevent you from having to buy an office altogether. Studies have also shown virtual employees take off less sick days, are able to concentrate more and are generally happier.

Interview applicants via video-communication

Applicants don’t even need to come to your office for the interview – many employers are now conducting interviews via video-communication. This allows you to still have a face to face conversation with the applicant, whilst saving them the cost and hassle of having to travel to your office. Start considering this tool whenever you interview people.

Turning Your Home Furniture Hobby Into a Winning Business

If you’re looking for a new business to get underway, then you could much worse than taking your existing hobby and finding ways to make money from it! One of the best – and increasingly popular – hobby-cum-businesses is home furniture. Because this is an area where limited produced pieces are often more popular than mass-produced items, you’ll be on a more level playing field with other furniture companies than you would be in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy: it isn’t! If you’re thinking of starting your own furniture company, then take a look at our tips below, and you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

Perfect Your Craft

There’s a big difference between someone who does something as a hobby and someone who does something professionally. Before you look at making a viable business from your home furnishings, make sure that you’re taking the time to perfect your craft. You’ll receive plenty of compliments from friends and family when you’re just getting going, but it’s a different matter when you start charging people for your creations. As such, you’ll want your furniture to be as perfect as possible! If that means delaying your launch date by a few months while you hit the appropriate standards, then so be it.

What’s Your Niche?

As you might have gathered, the furniture world is pretty big! And you’ll perform much better if you select a niche to work in. For example, you could focus on kitchen tables and chairs, or bedside cabinets, or coffee tables for the living room. You’re likely able to do everything, but as you’re getting started, it might be better to build your company around a specific set of furniture. You’ll also want to work on a particular style, too: are you rustic, modern, traditional, or something else?

What Do People Want?

But of course, what you’re good at making and what you like to make might not coincide with what people generally want. As such, before you sink too much money into your new venture, try to find out if there’s an audience for your creations. This is where your market research will come in handy. It’ll help to determine what people are looking for, how what you create meets that end, what to charge, and so on.

Getting Creative

Having said that, it’s important that you’re putting your own spin on your creations too. You shouldn’t just give people what they want; if you do, you’ll end up playing it too safe, and if you’re going to succeed, then you need to have something different about your products! So develop your own style, and don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s not always about meeting everyone’s wishes; when it comes to artistic pursuits like furniture, there’s also an element of showing people where they might like to go, too.

Working From Home Or Renting

You’re going to need space to work, and that’s going to force you to make a tough decision: do you work from home, or rent a space? There are benefits to both. If you work from home, then you won’t be spending money that could be better spent elsewhere on rent. If you’re working from a rented space, you’ll have more space to work and store more of your creations. All weighed up, it’s probably a good idea to rent a space. This will allow you to make extra income by hosting workshops, and will also give you a more professional look, especially if you’re “store” is located in one of those hip industrial zones that are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas.

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Source: Pexels.com

Antique Markets

When you’re in the furniture game, your best friends are going to be antique markets. These are places to not only sell your creations, but to also buy pieces that you think you can improve upon. Take a long your best creations, and you’ll soon gain a reputation for offering top-quality goods.

Getting the Word Out

You probably looked at setting up a furniture company because word of mouth was helping to get the word out about your creations, and thus you decided to make a go of it full-time. However, when it comes to making a full-time business out of was once a hobby, you’ll need more than word of mouth. You’ll want to have a website and social media channels, and also work with a furniture marketing agency to draw more people to your online presence. Of course, referrals will also be a big part of your business, so try to come up with some sort of incentive package for your clients who direct future work your way.

Use The Best Materials

You might be able to make your furniture look good, but your reputation will quickly fall to pieces if, well, your furniture falls to pieces. As such, make sure you’re using the best materials for your creations. People have no shortage of options if they want cheap but poorly made furniture; they’ll come to you because they know it’s the best, and they’ll expect you to use good materials!

The Art of Presentation

If you’re going to sell your furniture online, then you’ll need to learn the art of taking a good photograph. Look at taking an introduction to photography course, or hiring other people to take professional photos of your products.

Building Relationships

Also, don’t forget the power of building relationships! It’s much cheaper and easier to keep an existing customer on the hook rather than fish for a new one. Work with your clients, and make yourself available for custom pieces.

Final Thoughts

So far as businesses go, there are few as enjoyable, creative, and as easily accessible as selling furniture. If you have the passion to create things for their own sake (i.e. when it was a hobby), then you’ll have the necessary drive to turn it into a successful business..and especially if you incorporate our words of wisdom above.

The Art Of Selling Your Business

There is only one thing as satisfying and complicated as starting your very own business and that is selling your very own business and that’s because more to it than just dotting I’s and crossing T’s. Girl, we’re talking about the financial and emotional considerations that crop up during a sale.

The reason for this is simple: no one starts a company with the intention of selling it. You start a company to solve a problem you came across, to make a difference, improve your lot and do something cool. The idea to sell is one that comes out of nowhere, possibly because the market makes for that environment or because an outside offer landed on your door.

Whatever it is, though, there is a lot of planning that needs to take place, and that’s what we’re here to help with.

  1. Patience Is Key During A Sale

While most companies are sold to key employees because these people a) have a passion for the industry and b) know exactly how the business works, there is still a need for patience on your part. The reason we say this is because the length of time a sale takes hinges on who the buyer is. That said, whether it’s an internal buyer, a competitor in your area of a massive corporation wanting to take you on, the process always takes longer than people expect.

  1. Preparation Is The Secret Of Perfection

If you want to get the perfect deal, you need to be prepared and that means knowing the real value of your business. The best way to do this is to arm yourself with a legal expert, someone like Dickson Frohlich Law Firm, and multiple valuations depending on who the buyer is, the nature of the business, and the deal being proposed. The other thing that you will want to do os have all your financials at the ready, dating as far back as four years if needs be.

  1. Haggle With Your Responsibilities

One of the things the new owners will ask for is you be there to help shepherd your old employees into the new system. This is not uncommon, but it is worth negotiating what this request entails. That means the length of the commitment, what expectations they have for you and how this might affect your future plans. It’s also worth knowing what the ramifications of any refusal to do so are, of which the big hit will be the money offered as part of the deal.

  1. Know What Happens Next

Life after you sell is another huge area you need to look at. You will want to have some idea of what you do with your time, how you will spend your money and how you want your life to look. The reason for this is as much for your own sanity, as well as understanding whether a non-compete clause is something you are happy to sign. After all, this is a change of careers in a way.. The point is: do some analysis into life after the sale. It will help you out both personally and professionally.

On the Road Again: 4 Adventurous Career Paths That Don’t Require a Degree

If you are looking for a career that provides you with a lot of adventure, there are many options out there. While some may require that you have a higher level of education, there are actually many that do not require you to have a college degree at all. These jobs can provide you with a significant amount of adventure and can lead to a very rewarding career.

Travel Industry

One of the best industries that you can work in if you are looking to get a job that provides you with more adventure is the travel industry. There are many different jobs out there that will allow you to travel to very exotic locations, take customers on excursions, and do a variety of other activities if you are willing to entertain and deal with traveling customers. Those that are in the travel industry will be able to choose from a wide variety of places to work and live. Further, most of these jobs require very little education.

Truck Driving

Truck drivers today continue to be extremely important and valuable members of our economic society. Since they are needed to ship products all over the world, truck drivers that are looking for adventure and excitement will be able to find some very interesting places and routes to work. Educational requirements for these jobs are often minimal and come through companies like Florida Truck & Trailer CO and can provide you with a great career path.

Commercial Fishing

If you enjoy being out on the open water and can handle some danger with your job, becoming a commercial fisherman could be a great option. Commercial fishermen work out of seaside communities all over the world. They are often very well-compensated and do not have to work all that frequently as they typically will earn enough during the high seasons to cover living expenses for a year. To become one, you will not need a degree as most fishing companies would prefer to hire those with experience and passion.

Travel Blogging

If you would like to see a lot of the world, you could also get a great job becoming a travel blogger. While you could get a job working for a newspaper or online magazine, those jobs often require degrees in English or writing. However, you could start your own blog and documenting your journey.

When you are looking for your next job, it is important to find one that excites you and that you are passionate about. This passion will keep you focused and help to improve your chances of obtaining professional success.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Cleanse Your Work Palate: What to Do In-Between Jobs

Being laid off or getting fired are, unfortunately, common events that many people will have to deal with at least a few times over the course of their professional career. While you may feel remorse for friends and family members when this type of event happens to them, you can feel a sense of panic or extreme stress when it happens to you.

Of course, some people who are currently out of a job may have quit on their own accord, and this may have been because of poor management or another similar type of issue. In any case, this professional gap can be stressful, but you can more easily navigate through this tumultuous time without scars by following a few tips.

1. Keep Calm and Focus

After losing or quitting a job, you may understandably feel confused or even hurt. It is normal to feel these emotions, so embrace them for a short period of time. During that period, consider everything from meditating to working out, blogging and more to get your mind off of the pain. You can and should spend time reflecting on what may have gone wrong in your previous position so that you can learn from it.

However, you should not dwell on negative emotions tied to those life lessons, but let them go so that you can move on with your life. Embrace this break from a work routine by spending more time with friends and family, relaxing, having fun, and enjoying the resulting reduced stress levels. After all, this break is only temporary, and you may soon find another job. By adjusting your line of thinking so that you focus on the transient nature of this break, you may be able to relax and enjoy a sense of calmness.

2. Enjoy Your Free Time

When you are not working regularly, you may have many hours in your day to enjoy at your leisure. Think of this time as a vacation of sorts that you can use to regroup and focus on your physical and mental health. Use it to reconnect with loved ones and to focus on nurturing these relationships.

You can explore new hobbies or interests that you have been meaning to try, such as taking dance lessons, cycling and more. If you have the funds to do so, you may even travel without concern about getting back to a job. Your trip will be much more relaxing than it would be if you had the stress of job responsibilities looming over you.

3. Make a New Financial Plan

A lot of individuals out of work for even a few weeks may begin to feel financial stress related to a lack of incoming funds. While you may want to enjoy your time off of work, practice moderation so that you can avoid overspending. Consider reducing your personal expenses so that you can conserve your savings. For example, you may cut back on cable TV, your entertainment expense, restaurant meals and more. You may also find a side job that can offset your lack of full-time income.

This could help you to stretch your savings for a longer period of time and reduce the financial strain that you may be feeling. If you are offered COBRA health insurance, consider the benefits associated with taking advantage of extended coverage for as long as it is available to you.

4. Get Back on Track

It is easy to get lazy when you have ample time to yourself each day. You may find yourself sleeping in regularly, spending hours watching TV and more. However, this can create boredom and may even lead to depression.

To prevent it, make a to-do list of items that need your attention around the house. Focus on improving your skills by working toward a new certification. Attend professional networking events and job fairs. You could even volunteer for an organization that supports a cause that you feel strongly about so that you feel productive each day. Another smart idea is to revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly.

5. Start Looking for a New Gig

Many people will take a few days or even longer than week to enjoy their time off of work and regroup after quitting or losing a job. That is perfectly fine; however, you do not want to spend too much time taking it easy. The sooner you start looking for a new job, the sooner you may be able to start working and get your career and finances back on track.

While looking for job postings online, you should also network with personal and professional contacts to learn about jobs and to potentially get your foot in the door. If you are out of a job for an extended period of time, ensure that you follow forums, blogs, trade journals and more so that you can keep up with industry changes that may be relevant when you interview for a new position.

Tomorrow is Another Day

Regardless of why you are currently out of a job, your lack of gainful employment can seem like a stressful setback. You may even take your lack of income and your employment issues personally, and this could lead to depression. When you follow these important tips, however, you can navigate through this rough patch more comfortably, and you may more easily find a great new gig that takes your career to the next level.

Author Bio:

michelle_lauryMichelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.