How to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

As a business, it is your ultimate goal to have customers and be profitable. This goal can be increasingly difficult to reach if you have competitors getting in the way. If you’re in a market that is already saturated with other companies, you need to find a way to be better than them. There are several steps that you can take if you are desperate to get ahead of your competition.

1. Know the Latest Technology

Your customers want to have the best experience possible. The easier you can make it for them, the more likely it is that they will come back. Technology is there to help. You need to stay on top of what is coming out to help your business. For example, Ringcentral has come out with technology to help you stay connected and save your documents. This will help keep you more organized which is best for your bottom line. Browse Forbes and other websites to see what is trending.

2. Know Your Competitors Weakness

Every company has its weakness. Perhaps you have a higher quality product for a cheaper price than your competitor. Play that to your advantage and advertise it. Does their website always break down because they have a bad IT department? Tell everyone that you have NetSuite and that all customers’ data is secure. But be careful about being too aggressive towards the other company. Customers will feel the uncomfortable tension and may not come back. Plan a strategy that works best for you and shows your company in a positive light.

3. Obsess Over the Customer Experience

As I’ve already mentioned, the customer experience is everything for your company. With social media available to every consumer, it’s more important now than ever before. If you have a grumpy employee, the customer can now go on Yelp and ruin your reputation instantly. It can be difficult to control everything that happens to the customer, but you can do your best to ensure that they walk away happy. Even if they don’t like your product or service, make it easy for them to return it or for you to return it. They may not return again, but at the very least they won’t tell everyone to boycott your business. Customers will choose a business over any other based on how it makes them feel. Make sure that yours is the best.

In the end, it is important to do the best thing for the customer. Your business needs to know exactly how to serve them and how to do it efficiently. This will easily let your roll over the competition. If you’re interested in even more tips for your business, you can head to Business Insider for more advice.

How to Stay Ahead of Your Competition Credit Picture License: Executives International via photopin cc

You Can Buy Your First Home With Bad Credit

You’ll get no argument from anybody when you say you’re buying a home. Everyone knows it’s a good investment. In fact, real estate experts are saying the housing market is favorable to buyers nowadays since prices and interest rates continue to be on the low side. However, having a bad credit record today gets to be an even bigger hassle because money-lending banks and other financing companies have tightened up their standards for money loans and mortgages due to the recent economic crisis. But, it’s not impossible.

You can actually buy your first home with bad credit by digging into federal and local resources and saving up for a bigger down payment. Below are some instructions you can follow to help you get your house:

Start Looking For Homes But Temper Your Expectations: Find an array of homes you’d be interested in, based on their sites, size, condition, etc. Because of your bad credit standing, chances are you won’t even be considered for loans big enough for the nicest or biggest houses so search for the modestly-priced housing. You might check out with realtors in your area and tell them about your situation. You might also want to try looking into the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which sells homes that have been foreclosed. You should know though that HUD will still require you to put up the necessary cash or to get a loan.

Be realistic. You may not be able to have a loan approved for your first-choice home, or if you do get one you’d be burdened with a high interest rate that’ll have you paying thousands more over the home’s lifetime. Face up to what you can afford. If this means a smaller home located in a place you’re not too happy with, so be it. It’s better than defaulting on your future payments.

You’ll Need A Larger-Than-Usual Down Payment So Start Saving Up : Most loans would generally require 10-20% down payment of the agreed housing price. In your case, because of your credit standing, it would make sense to plan for 20% down payment. Your other option might be The Federal Housing Administration (FHA).They offer loans to first time home buyers with very low down payment as 3.5% of the loan. If you’re short on cash. FHA would be a smart choice.

Expect A Higher Interest Rate: There aren’t any two ways about this. Loan on a mortgage, when you’ve got bad credit will be more expensive. You must make sure you can pay back your loan.

Find Out About Federal Mortgage Programs: The Federal Housing Administration and Veteran’s Administration (VA) provide loans that have more sympathetic standards to quality. If you are eligible, work with a lender that specializes in FHA and VA loans/

You’re situation may be a bit more challenging and frustrating but you can improve your chances of getting a home by following the above instructions.

You Can Buy Your First Home With Bad Credit Credit Picture License: Universal Pops (David)–Badly Needs Bandwidth via photopin cc

Time Traps For The Telecommuting Entrepreneur

Time waits for nobody. Time is priceless. Time is the most precious thing we can ever have.

Chances are, you’ve seen quotes like these while you have been browsing the internet. This is a bit of a paradox, as people are prone to spend lots of time online without even realizing it. This can be a hindrance to the average person, but to a person working remotely this can be disastrous. Remote work demands focus and diligence, otherwise important deadlines can be missed and clients can be inconvenienced.

When it comes to things that can sap your time and productivity, it can be the seemingly small things that can hurt you the most. And with most work being done from computers and smart phones, the most infamous perpetrators of time theft can be found on your device. Here is a list of potential time traps that telecommuting entrepreneurs should beware, and are closer than you think.

YouTube. When people think of videos to watch online, the number one destination tends to be YouTube. Funny cat clips, music videos and more can be found and brought up with the click of a mouse or tap of a touchscreen. This makes YouTube an easily accessible time sink. You may notice that it often starts with wanting to see a short video that may be just a couple of minutes, but can quickly turn into re-watching said video multiple times or clicking on related videos suggested in the sidebar.

Facebook. Social media has taken the world by storm, changing the way we communicate and connect. This is good in itself, but it can also offer significant potential for distraction. You may have some friends who post plenty of statuses that you make it a point to keep up with, aside from the games that Facebook provides and so many other items that may appear on your news feed. And with over a billion users, Facebook can present a lot of content that can hold your attention hostage.

Google. The world’s most widely used search engine is used thousands – if not millions – of times each day and can find info on almost anything. It’s not unusual to have a separate page or tab open to “Google” random items and pictures to kill time. Be careful, as this is another productivity pitfall that you can have open on your device if your curiosity gets the better of you.

Of course, this is not to cast these programs and websites as negative or evil – in fact, they can be used productively to great benefit. What can kill your productivity is using them in a manner that makes it difficult to fulfill your entrepreneurial obligations. The real threat to your time is that these distractions will take minutes of your schedule at a time, and those minutes can add up very quickly.

Your time as a telecommuting entrepreneur is extremely valuable – not just to yourself, but to your clients. During work time, close out any unnecessary windows and programs and focus on the task at hand. And don’t worry: when you finish with your work for the day, it’s okay to indulge in checking your news feed or finding that cat video you’ve been wanting to see. After all, you will be on your time then!

If you are curious about being a telecommuting entrepreneur and want to see what opportunities are available, click here and see a few of them for yourself!

Time Traps For The Telecommuting Entrepreneur Credit Picture License: TK_Presse via photopin cc