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If you have to fly regularly you are probably wondering how you are going to have enough time to manage your schedule to properly run your business. You certainly cannot afford to waste valuable time and you have to find a way to be effective while traveling. But, have you ever tried working while on an airplane? There are so many distractions that make this task next to impossible.

Lucky for you, there are certain things you can do to be productive when working on an Airplane.

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Dress to impress


Think about function and comfort in the first place to get the most done. Wear the most comfortable clothes you can, no matter how long the flight is. If you need to come off the plane looking professional, bring clothes to change into. That way you can still maintain the look without suffering during the flight.

  1. Always Ask the Best


The best option for ensuring maximum comfort is asking for first class if your client is willing to pay for it. Since this is hardly the case, make the best of what you have by asking for a couple of things in coach.

See if you can get a seat in the middle section of the plane to avoid the most distractions, and request a window seat to ensure you don’t have to get up every time the passenger seating next to you want to use the restroom.


  1. Prepare your Trip


Make sure you have the right equipment for working in the air:

  • Laptop or tablet: You’ll be much more productive than with a smartphone
  • Noise-cancelling headphones: Use them to block out distractions or to listen to relaxing music while you work.
  • Pillow: Keep your head propped up comfortably to reduce neck strain while you do your work.
  • Portable charger: It is a good idea to always have it around. And, of course, always make sure to keep your laptop battery at full charge before the flight.


  1. Prepare for Air Travel


Although many flights offer Wi-Fi service, you can never be sure that you’ll have Internet access. Be prepared to work offline and ensure you have everything you need to complete your work. Create an agenda of activities you can do and try using a tool like Snagit to take screenshots of web resources.

  1. Turn Anxiety into a Challenge 


No matter how hard you try, there is always a chance that something unexpected will come up and make your working in the air impossible.

If the worst scenario happens, always have a joker in your hand. Bringing a learning resource is a great idea. For example, keep Ebooks on your Laptop.  You can sit back and enjoy some learning that will also positively impact your business.


You have to admit that staying effective while traveling is quite a challenge. However, if you have the right techniques and tools, anything is possible.

5 Tips How to Find a Friendly Bank for your Business

Finding a bank that is going to handle your small business it’s not a piece of cake and requires a lot of work. When you select a bank for personal checking and savings account, convenience and fees are the two primary factors that influence your decision, but chances are that your business probably has greater needs.

So, whether your needs are simple or complex, choosing a bank that meets your needs is essential. Consider these 5 factors in your search for your small business friendly bank.


Factor 1: Business Transactions

First of all, consider the kind of transactions you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Do you make daily cash deposits? You should also think about the way you receive your revenue from your clients, and how you pay your bills for your business.

You probably should find a bank that doesn’t limit the amount of cash per billing period, and one that meets your needs in order to save you time.


Factor 2: Unexpected Fees

If you considered the kind of transactions you’ll need your bank to handle, it’s time to find out how much it will cost. Get a detailed breakdown of the fees your bank will charge for each service and be on a constant lookout for unforeseen fees and  “free checking” advertising tricks. They may have many limitations or charge for online payment service.

Look for a business checking account that closely fits your needs and banking habits and always know what your bank offer includes in order to lessen the impact of fees.


Factor 3: Additional Business Services

Many banks that offer small business checking accounts also offer additional services catered to small business owners. They may provide payroll service, employee benefits administration, send invoices, collect client payments, provide investment advice and even tax preparation assistance.

Consider not just the services you need right now, but those you may need in the next two-to-five years as your business grows.


Factor 4: Personal Perks and Service

If you value a personal touch than you probably should choose a small local bank where you can develop a personal relationship with your banker. These banks may be more adjusted to local market conditions. On the other hand, large national banks may offer a lot of convenient ATM and branch locations, more online services and greater perk for using their services.

Whether you choose a community bank or a national bank, the most important things is that their hours of operation are convenient for your business. Inconvenient schedules can cost you time and money and nothing can make up for not being able to get help when you need it.


Factor 5: Borrowing Needs

Sooner or later, your business may need access to financing, whether a small business credit card or a loan to fund expansion.  Ask potential banks about their loan options for small businesses, like whether they have landing authority and how large a loan can they approve. Compare their published interest rates with those of their competitors.

Take into consideration that smaller banks are generally considered to offer more flexible lending options for small businesses, but larger banks may be more willing to issue corporate credit cards.


Once you find a bank, view it as a long-term relationship. Meet with your bank at least once a year to offer an update on your business’ finances. They may see your growing business as an opportunity to provide more useful services. A friendly bank is proven to be a significant partner to your small business, helping you borrow capital and plan for the future, so put some effort into finding the right bank and nurturing your relationship.

How to avoid not-getting-paid situations

2017-09-28 | ALL, Guide | No Comments

How to avoid not-getting-paid situations

It happened to all of us. It does not matter if you are a freelancer or running a small business. We all have come in a situation to face clients that are not paying or being late with payments. In order to run a successful business and protect your cash flow if you are a freelancer, each of us has to have a strict organization in the client communication.

Here are several rules you must do in order to avoid not-getting-paid situations:

  1. Add Payment Terms and Project specifications in writing – either in the agreement contract or in each invoice to make sure the client is informed
  2. Research the client before you start working with him/her – do a simple google search and check out the client and potential reviews about that company or person online. You can check reviews on Google, Upwork, Linkedin or even Twitter.
  3. Have a paper trail: Email your client and ask them when you can expect the payment. Keep things professional and don’t sound too desperate. For me personally, it said: “We will pay on Monday” (it was Thursday).
  4. Follow-up: Wait a few days and send another email. If you have a good relationship with your client, consider an emotional approach. My client was communicating with me about recurring tasks every day so I waited and reminded him at the end of each day continuously for two weeks. The answer was always “We will send it tomorrow”.
  5. Do things automatically. Use software to send invoices, reminders to clients and notifications if the invoice is paid or not. That will keep you organized and you will not worry if you will forget that client or payment.
  6. Communicate, communicate – email, chat or even a short phone call can take you closer to getting paid. Just keep in mind to leave the emotions at home and stay professional.

Keep yourself organized from start to finish will make you a better professional, will create a better image in front of your current and potential clients and will get you paid on time. That way you will protect your cash flow and your business.

Each and every one of us is trying to be as productive as possible during the day. In this quick business world, we all struggle with the toughs of how can we be faster in finishing our work tasks, not be distracted easily and have time for everything we thought of finishing during the day.

Here are several tips on how to make your life easier, get your work done and have time to spare.

Have one task in mind. An average person has 70,000 thoughts per day which 49 per min. So keep things organized and do tasks one at a time. Multitasking is a bad habit that does not result in long-term productivity.

Don’t stop if you get stuck for more than 30 seconds move on. If you stop and decide to open Facebook or look at your phone, you can get easily distracted and lose time that you can spend working on your tasks.

Listen to music – Background music helps finish tasks faster. Choose music that will not distract you like instrumental music or hip-hop. Do not choose music that is too loud or too soft – it can distract you or make you fall asleep.

Keep the lights bright – increasing light levels from 300 lux to 2000 lux improve productivity by 8% (most offices work at 300-500 lux ) 1000 lux is full daylight (not direct sun).

Infographics courtesy of Funders and Founders

Don’t question anything you do in the first 15 minutes. Start your tasks and finish them. Afterwards, review them and see where did you make mistakes.

Make 1st draft in 15 minutes (let it be bad). Take a break, drink coffee or chat with collages, clear your mind and review your task from more clear perspective.

Do use a timer if you can’t hack it in 15 minutes you can’t-do it at all. Tracking your time is very beneficial so you can have a clear view on how much time you are spending on your tasks during the day.

Write short 140-characters emails otherwise you don’t know what you are saying. Make your emails simple and elegant. Gmail for example now offer a quick reply suggestions for their mobile app. This will save you time and you will still keep your professional attitude.

Keep your desk clear it will clear your mind. Many things on your desk are the same as many thoughts in your head. So keep things on your desk tidy and clean, that way you will be more concentrated on your work instead of your trash.

Invoicing: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Many small business owners struggle when it comes to bookkeeping, accounting or invoicing. Some decide not to use the services of professionals and others tend to pay accounts at the moment they launch their business.

There are situations when business owners decide they will use professional accounting or invoicing only part time like when they need to create a business plan or company formation, to fill in the loan application or create government audit.

In all cases when starting a business you need to focus on the growth of the company and eliminate all time spending tasks.  Because if it takes you 10 hours to do your invoicing, and your time is worth $100 an hour. That’s a cost of $1000 to do your invoicing yourself.

So if you are thinking of doing your invoicing yourself or hiring a professional here are some tips you can take under consideration:

  1.  An accountant can do a complete analysis of your financial situation and offer strategic advice. It’s always good to have a professional take a look at your business finances and give you a clear picture of the whole situation. Even if it just an audit.
  2.  Outsource if you can afford in-house. Many small business owners stick to outsourcing accounting or bookkeeping services for quite some time and in some cases, they outsource them for part-time as they don’t need a full-time person for that type of task.
  3.  If you decide to hire an accountant do that when you are ready to delegate – some business owners need to control everything in order to run their businesses but the moment you let go of some of this control you can focus on your part and that is managing your business and employees. That moment is perfect to hire an in-house accountant.
  4. Hire an accountant when you need to deal with government or audits – these are serious matters where you need to have a professional on board. Have this in mind when you need to fill government paperwork, you are being audited or even in a situation when you need apply for a business loan or overdraft.
  5. Calculate and plan – if you are a small business or you are just starting you can start doing you invoicing or account at first, as there are a lot of tips, tools, and software that will guide you on how to do it best without taking too much time from your core business

Whatever option you choose is up to you and what you think is best for your business.

5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients when starting a business

Did your business just started to boost, and you are caught in the maze called invoicing instead of working on getting more things done? If so, even though it might appear complicated, we all can, at some point, become invoicing masters.

Here are 5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients:


Start at the beginning

The first and most important thing you need to understand is the anatomy of one invoice. It doesn’t matter if you are handling your own invoicing or you hired someone else to do it for you. Here are several things you need to be familiar with:

  • Your invoice should include both yours and your client’s contact information
  • Your invoice should include Invoice number and Due Date
  • Your invoice should include a breakdown list of the service your provide
  • Your invoice can include a Terms and Conditions
  • And of course, your preferred payment methods you want to use like for ex.  PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer or credit card


Get paid at once.

Did you know that only 18% of the people who are waiting to get paid more than 90 days, get paid from clients? To avoid not getting paid on time, establish a good paying time cycle for you and for your clients, in order to send invoices promptly. You can have a recurring invoicing schedule and have a specific time when to send your invoices. In the beginning, the best time to send out an invoice is immediately after completing the project/service. You can also assign yourself a day in the week that will be spent on invoicing every week.


Track your income and invoices

Same as using a time tracker tool, you can start using an invoicing software which can help you track your expenses, completed projects, clients, send invoices, and much more depending on the software. Some invoicing apps have also recurring payments features and sending automatic payment reminders features that can help you automate your invoicing process and get paid faster.

The good thing about using an invoice software is that you don’t need to worry about tracking the numbers of your invoices or worry if you added the right email address, or contact name, even if your invoice looks professional enough. Almost all of them will take care of those problems and help you save time while invoicing your clients.


Don’t forget to follow-up

It’s so frustrating when we have to chase our clients for due payments, spending time in emailing and phone calls instead of focusing on our business tasks. That is why most invoicing solutions have features that will help you set up a reminder emails to remind your clients for due payments.

5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients when starting a business

Be nice and always ask for a testimonial

It’s professional and polite to say “please” and “thank you”, which will increase your chances of invoices being paid on time. Your customer testimonial is always important, don’t forget to ask for a testimonial from your clients.

Between all the clients and the frequent travels, life has become quite hectic. Time itself as a resource is limited and valuable, so we all need to be selective in how we spend it. On the other hand, success doesn’t come from ignorance. Time and effort need to be put into learning new things, keeping the focus and staying on top of your game. And that is why I am a big fan of podcasts. When you don’t have a lot of time for reading books, or don’t have the focus for watching videos, podcasts are the perfect tool for leveling up. There are a few better ways to multitask and to learn new things that podcasts.

And here is a list of the 10 best entrepreneurial podcasts, every business owner should subscribe to.

Entrepreneur on fire – EOFire is a daily interview with the most inspiring entrepreneurs on their best and worst career moments. Perhaps the most valuable part is the segment “The Lightening Round” where Dumas manages to get an extra piece of valuable advice from the guest. You can find a lot of great advice in the podcast that not only are proven to work but are also easy to apply.

Mixergy – Andrew Warner’s interviews with high-level entrepreneurs on how to create a successful business and everything on the topic can provide you with answers to some of the biggest questions you might have. The best take away is that some of the interviews are arranged into online business courses.

The Tim Ferriss Show – Angel investor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss, interviews successful people from entrepreneurs, to athletes, to celebrities, digesting their success path and thus derives their own tips and tricks with the listeners. This is a great choice for serious content, but with fun and light approach.

Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn is famous for building an online business almost entirely through passive income channels. On his podcast, he shares a ton of passive income strategies that work as well as the ones that don’t. He is very transparent with his business experience and the results, even his monthly income statement is on his blog. 

StartUp – The StartUp Podcast is, as the name suggests, a complete guide on how to start your business. You can find some of the most valuable tips when first starting a company, such as how to name your company and how valuations work, all the way to in-depth discussions about depth and how to conciliate family and career.

The GaryVee Audio Experience – Rock star entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk shares a ton of useful and inspirational material for his podcast. The show follows a simple Q&A format, with Gary answering viewer-submitted questions about marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship.

The Foundation – This podcast contains excellent interviews with so many high-profile entrepreneurs. It is an entirely online program for entrepreneurs, and its podcasts have the role of guest lecturers.

This Week in Startups – This Week in Startups basically shares what’s happening in the world of entrepreneurship. Jason Calacanis, every week has a few experts over in order to discuss and share with the listeners some of the most interesting events and news happening that week. Apart from the world of web companies, the panel of experts also shares their own tips and strategies towards becoming a better business person.

Jocko Podcast – It is a show run by Jocko Willink and Echo Charles on business management and leadership. Besides the business aspect, you can also learn about leadership in war, relationships, and everyday life. You can gain a fresh perspective on how to deal with stress, self-discipline, negativity, how to be strong etc.

The School of Greatness – Lewis Howes podcast will, without a doubt, inspire you to achieve your biggest goals and dreams. His focus is not only on his own views and strategies toward success, but he also interviews other entrepreneurs, celebrities, and athletes who want to share their success story.

These are my picks for podcasts that can give you the unique chance to learn and improve yourself on the go. No matter if you are starting your first business, or just looking for inspiration, you can all find tips and tricks in these podcasts that can turn your business into a great success.