Starting A Small Business? 5 Common Legal Mistakes To Avoid

small business

Anyone doubting the importance of small businesses to the American economy has not seen statistics published by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small businesses represent 99.9% of all firms in this country and account for 62% of net new jobs created since 1995.

It is easy for someone starting a new business to get caught up in the excitement and frenzy of finding a suitable location, raising capital and making contacts with suppliers. What you don’t want to do is lose sight of the legal pitfalls that can derail a startup.

Something as simple and easy to arrange as a consultation with a business law attorney provides a wealth of advice and guidance about the legal environment in which a business must operate and how to successfully navigate through it. A business venture that fails to comply with government regulations regarding employment, taxes and other legal matters may find itself facing substantial fines and other penalties that could destroy it.

To get you and your business started on the right path, here are five of the most common legal mistakes made when starting a small business. Yes, we even include tips to help you to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not wanting to spend money to hire a lawyer

Waiting until after the business is operating and generating an income before hiring an attorney with experience in business law is not an effective way to save money. It generally costs less in legal fees to hire an attorney early in the formation process and avoid problems than to bring someone in to handle a lawsuit or regulatory compliance violation.

During the startup process, a business attorney can help in several ways, including:

  • Recommending a type of legal structure for the business.
  • Reviewing and negotiating leases and contracts.
  • Conducting trademark and copyright searches to avoid infringing on the rights of another business.
  • Taking steps to protect intellectual property rights of the business.
  • Helping the business comply with federal, state and local government laws requiring licensing for certain types of business operations.
  • Preparing employment contracts and helping the business comply with state and federal employment laws.
  • Preparing partnership and operating agreements for owners of the business.

These and other services provided by an attorney help a business to avoid conflicts and disputes that could lead to lawsuits or government action against the business and/or its owners.

Mistake #2: Choosing the wrong business structure

There are several legal structures from which to choose when setting up a business. The type of business structure determines how the business pays its taxes and whether other parties, such as creditors, with claims against the business may sue its owners and seize their personal assets.

small buisness

A business law attorney can help you choose the best legal structure for the operation of your business. Options include the following:

  • Sole proprietorship: By far the easiest of all business structures to create, the sole proprietorship makes no distinction between an owner and the business. Business income must be reported on the owner’s personal income tax return, and the owner may be held personally liable for debts and financial obligations incurred through operation of the business.
  • Partnership: Two or more people may agree to operate their business as a partnership. Each partner reports a share of the profits and losses of the business on their personal income tax return. Creditors of the business may sue the partners personally and look to their personal assets to satisfy obligations of the business.
  • Corporation: State laws protect the owners of corporations from personal liability for business debts and obligations by recognizing the corporation as a legal entity that may sue and be sued in its own name. The business entity files its own income tax return and pays taxes. Shareholders, who are the owners of the business, pay taxes on dividends they receive from the corporation.
  • Limited liability company: State laws allow an LLC to operate separate and apart from its ownership, which makes it similar to a corporation in protecting the assets of its owners against lawsuits or claims arising from operation of the business. An LLC files its own income tax return and pays taxes on the business income.

When choosing a business structure, keep in mind that it can be changed as the business grows. For example, you may be a one-person operation in the beginning and decide to operate as a sole proprietorship. However, the growth of your business and a desire to add other owners may cause you to change the structure to a partnership, corporation or LLC.

Mistake #3: Failing to obtain tax identification numbers

Unless you operate as a sole proprietorship, you need to apply to the Internal Revenue Service for an Employer Identification Number or EIN. The EIN identifies your business as a taxpayer with the IRS and state taxing authorities in much the same way as a Social Security number does for individuals.

Having an EIN may not mean that your business is fully compliant with state taxing authorities. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar operation or an online store, your business may be obligated to collect sales taxes on goods or services it sells and remit them to the state. If so, your business attorney may determine that you need a certificate and/or sales tax number from the state or states in which you do business.

Mistake #4: Operating without the proper licensing

You filed for and received licenses from your state to legally operate as a business, but certain types of business activities require permits from the federal government. For example, a business that sells alcohol, tobacco or firearms probably requires licenses from their state government, but they also may need licenses from the federal government.

Your attorney can investigate the laws that apply to the activities engaged in by your business to determine the types of licensing required to be in compliance with the law. The scope of the research done by your lawyer will include licensing requirements in all states where your business plans to operate.

Mistake #5: Allowing intellectual property to go unprotected

Intellectual property may be some of the most valuable assets that your company owns, but you could lose them unless steps are taken when starting your business to protect them. Common examples of intellectual property include:

  •         Business or trade name.
  •         Logos.
  •         Domain name and design.
  •         Proprietary software.
  •         Service marks.
  •         Inventions.
  •         Confidential information and commercial secrets.
  •         Product designs.

Filing applications to protect the intellectual property of your business through trademark, copyright, and patent protection is only one step to prevent the loss of valuable assets. Your attorney may recommend that you have key employees sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements when they are first hired to work for the business.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, these five mistakes represent only a few of the legal traps that people face when starting a small business. Getting sound professional advice from a lawyer and accountant can help you anticipate the mistakes and avoid them before they create problems.

 

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Useful Hacks That Will Help You Run Your Small Business More Efficiently

To run your small business can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With the right hacks in place, you can run your business more efficiently and increase your productivity. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most useful hacks that will help you streamline your workflow and get things done faster. So read on to learn how to make the most of your time and energy.

Start with the most important task to run your small business

When you have a lot on your plate, it can be tempting to start with the easy tasks first. However, this is not always the most productive approach. Instead, start with the most important task and get that out of the way first. This will free up your time and energy to focus on other things. As seen with QuickBooks Online review, batching tasks can be a great way to stay organized and get things done more efficiently. When you have the most important task done, you can move on to the smaller tasks and get them out of the way quickly.

Break projects into small goals

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A useful hack is to break projects into small goals. This will help you stay focused and on track. When you have a clear goal in mind, it is easier to stay motivated and get the job done. So instead of trying to tackle a huge project all at once, break it down into smaller goals that you can easily accomplish. If you need help staying on track, consider using a project management tool like Asana or Trello. If you’re working on a team, these tools can be particularly helpful in keeping everyone organized and on the same page. Also, don’t forget to celebrate each accomplishment along the way. If you can stay focused and motivated, you will be able to get the job done in no time. When you break projects down into small goals, you can easily accomplish them and stay on track.

Minimize distractions to run your small business

Another useful tip is to minimize distractions. When you’re trying to get work done, it’s important to stay focused and on task. However, this can be difficult when there are things around you that are constantly vying for your attention. So try to create a distraction-free environment for yourself. Turn off your phone, close the door to your office, and put away any other potential distractions. This will help you stay focused and get the job done more quickly. If you have trouble staying on task in your small business, some great productivity apps can help you stay focused and get work done. However, make sure to use these apps sparingly and only when you need them. If you find yourself using them all the time, it’s probably a sign that you need to take a break. Think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Make sure that you’re using your time wisely.

Batch process non-urgent tasks

A useful hack that can be helpful is to batch process non-urgent tasks. This means that you group similar tasks and work on them all at once. For example, if you need to make a bunch of phone calls, do them all at once instead of spreading out throughout the day. This will help you save time and be more efficient. You can also batch process tasks that are not time-sensitive. For example, if you need to write a bunch of blog posts, do them all at once instead of one at a time. This will help you get into a rhythm and be more productive. When you batch process tasks, you can get them out of the way quickly and efficiently.

Reduce (or eliminate) meetings

Another way to be more productive is to reduce (or eliminate) meetings. Meetings can be a great way to stay on track and communicate with your team. However, they can also be a huge time waster. If you find that you’re spending more time in meetings than you are working, it’s probably time to reevaluate your meeting schedule. Try to limit meetings to only when they are necessary. And when you do have a meeting, make sure that it is productive and everyone is on the same page. If you’re not careful, meetings can quickly become a time suck. So try to limit them as much as possible.

Learn keyboard shortcuts

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When you’re trying to get work done, every minute counts. So a useful tip is to learn keyboard shortcuts. This will help you save time and be more productive. Keyboard shortcuts can be different for each program, so take some time to learn the ones that are most important to you. For example, if you use Microsoft Word often, you should learn the keyboard shortcuts for common commands such as copy, paste, and bold. Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time, so it’s worth taking the time to learn them. If you use a lot of different programs, you can also create custom keyboard shortcuts to save even more time.

Embrace telecommuting and flextime

Another way to be more productive is to embrace telecommuting and flextime. Telecommuting is a great way to save time and money. And it’s also a great way to stay connected with your team. If you can’t meet in person, try using video conferencing or chat apps. This will help you stay connected and be more productive. Flextime is also a great way to be more productive. It allows you to work when you’re most productive and take breaks when you need them. So if you find yourself struggling to get work done during traditional working hours, try flextime. It could make a big difference in your productivity.

Use software integration to better run your small business

One final hack that can help you be more productive is to use software integration. Software integration is a great way to automate tasks and save time. For example, if you use multiple programs for your business, you can integrate them so that they work together seamlessly. This will help you avoid having to switch between programs and save time. There are a lot of different software programs out there, so take some time to find the ones that are most helpful for your business. And once you find them, make sure to integrate them so that you can save time and be more productive.

These are just a few of the many useful hacks that can help you run your small business more efficiently. By taking the time to implement these hacks, you’ll be well on your way to being more productive and successful. So don’t wait, start implementing these hacks today! Your business will thank you for it.

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6 Signs You Need Help With Managing Your Business

managing-your-business

When you first start your own business, you probably do most of the work yourself. Calls and emails, meetings and invoices, advertising – most likely, it is all your responsibility. Maybe you believe no one can perform these tasks better than you, or you are sure you can handle everything on your own. 

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Managing your business well is one of the key factors to success.

However, if you find yourself in a deadlock and things aren’t going well, don’t worry. A personal business assistant will save your life by bearing part of your burden. Are you still not sure you need a professional for help? Well, here are 6 signs you could have some support when managing your business. So, without further ado – let’s get started!

You Are Running Out of Time

Your to-do lists are endless, and you are almost crying when looking at them? You lack time so badly that you haven’t even started on the most important things? You can’t even remember when you last had a day off? Not to mention having zero energy for household tasks and homework assignments.

Fortunately, you can deal with this problem right now. Outsource your assignments to professional essay writers to keep your grades and deadlines under control. Academic performance is definitely not something to ignore, even if you are busy running your own business.

Okay, so how can a personal assistant or a business coach save you? They will finish tasks you simply can’t perform due to various reasons. Unload your schedule, and constant fatigue and dissatisfaction will disappear from your life. You will stop beating yourself up for not being perfect. 

You Are Disorganized while Managing Your Business

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Making appointments and calls, buying tickets – all these little things can end up taking up to 80% of your time. And there is more serious stuff, be it research or making presentations. Yes, most likely, you learned how to do all this while getting a business major, but it still takes plenty of time. So why not entrust these tasks to a helper?

Here is a simple example. Let’s say you need to go to Australia. So, you require information about local co-working spaces, mobile internet, rental housing, and cars. All this needs to be collected in one place and systematized. Of course, such an assignment can take a whole day.

But if you ask an assistant to do it for you, they will present the information in a convenient table with a separate tab for each topic. They will also select the best options, compare prices, read reviews, and so on. In the meantime, you will deal with urgent matters, be it a business plan or something like that.

You Find It Difficult to Cope with Some Tasks

Sometimes, an assistant complements the boss. Imagine you always take notes by hand during meetings and then lose them because you have zero time to transfer them to electronic form. In addition, you simply don’t like to print and prefer handwritten notes. Here’s when an assistant is a lifesaver. Just send them a photo of the notes, and 30 minutes later, you have everything you need in an email from them.

You Don’t Mind Learning New Things

We often read books about success and big failures in order to broaden our horizons. But sometimes, the most amazing stories can be heard over a cup of coffee. Treat everyone around as a knowledge base. Believe us, this approach to life will change your business.

We are used to the fact that it’s the boss who teaches their assistant important things. But it happens the other way around too. After all, a business coach is a person with a bright background and unique experience. And they can share their baggage with you.

For instance, you need a list of the best streetwear fashion brands, but you have no idea where to start. Yes, everything can be found on the internet, but it will take plenty of time. And suddenly, just out of the blue, you remember that your assistant worked as a fashion stylist in the past. Of course, they will create a large selection of brands, indicating the specifics of each.

Therefore, assistants are versatile people, so always learn from them as they help you see the bigger picture.

Your Skills Need Improvement

Working with an assistant teaches you to assess your strengths and understand what can be delegated. It also trains you to set tasks correctly. The brief and deadline for your assistant should be as clear as possible. The more information you provide, the better the result of your teamwork will be.

You’re Burned Out from Managing Your Business

Things that take up to 80% of the time bring only 20% of the result. These are routine but demanding tasks that can turn anyone into a squeezed lemon.

However, to get great results, it doesn’t matter who will take on these duties. The bottom line is that they are completed on time. So, by entrusting such matters to someone else, you not only benefit the business but also save your nervous system from overload.

So, you definitely need an assistant if you answer “yes” to at least two questions from the list below:

  1. You are drowning in small chores that don’t allow you to engage in the strategic development of your business;
  2. You have plenty of deadlines, and the number of urgent tasks only grows;
  3. You plan your schedule, meetings, and business trips on your own;
  4. You feel burned out;
  5. You have to do tasks that don’t give you pleasure;
  6. The phrase “Sorry, I don’t have time” has become part of your daily life. You don’t have time for hobbies, friends, and rest. But in fact, the lack of time is the lack of a person who can lend a shoulder and take on a part of your work.

Where To Look For An Assistant?

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Your assistant can be an existing employee since they are already part of the team. The most important thing is that you really trust them.

If you don’t have someone like this in the company, then ask your friends. Perhaps they know someone with relevant experience and excellent organizational skills. And the last option is to post vacancies or contact HR specialists.

Alternatively, you can hire a business coach, which is even better than having an assistant. They will share their knowledge with you and help you grow as an entrepreneur.

In Conclusion on Managing Your Business 

And finally, let’s talk about how to choose an assistant. There are certain features that you should pay attention to.

First, you trust this person. The business assistant has access to a huge amount of information that is critical to the business.

Second, their mind is quite flexible. They can solve many non-standard tasks rather quickly.

Third, they have great emotional intelligence. Contacts with various people require a special approach and the correct positioning of your company. Thus, empathy is just necessary here.

And most importantly, you should be comfortable around each other. After all, you will spend most of your working time together. And if you don’t get on well, then other factors simply don’t matter. That is why we hope you will find someone who will finish your thoughts and make your life much easier.

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4 Crucial Factors for a Successful Website

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Your successful website is one of the most important elements of your business these days and times. It is not only your calling card but it is also your sales pitch, an engagement portal, and the platform to convert visitors into paying customers.

Getting your website optimized to heighten conversion rates can be a long, continuous process that you need to work on. It is not a case of creating it and going live. It is constant updates, continuous monitoring, and adding copy and keywords regularly.

Whether you are just creating a new site from scratch, or whether you are updating your existing site, we have a few pointers for you. We thought we would unpack some of the things that make a highly successful website. Here are some of our top tips for overhauling your site and making it a successful website. 

Focus on SEO for Your Successful Website

One of the first steps of creating a new website, or updating an existing one is considering your SEO. It may get quite technical but the rule of thumb is to get your keywords right. Do some keyword research into your industry and your competitors and find out what keywords and alternative keywords need to appear on your site.

Keywords are something that will be regularly changing too. Yes, in some cases, you will have your foundation words. If you are a pet retailer, for example, keywords like cat food, dog food, and pet food will be standard, but you need to keep trends in mind and what people will be searching for at different times in the year.

You will also need to consider your local SEO. If you are servicing a specific area, like Orange County, for example, you will need this to reflect in your site. Make sure the area pops up several times and link it into your keywords to make it as organic as possible. “Affordable dog food in Orange County” will be a winner, for example. You can also consider hiring an Orange County SEO agency if all of this sounds too complicated to do by yourself.

Review Your Customer Journey 

successful-website

The next thing to look at is the journey that your customers will be taking through your site. Where will they enter, how do they interact with you and how do they get through the sales funnel?

One of the most important aspects of the customer journey is your touchpoints. Your customers might want to interact and engage with you at various stages during the journey. Some might have questions or need more information on products on some of the landing pages. Others might want to contact you by phone to sort out a problem, you will need to offer a variety of solutions throughout the entire process.

One of the most successful options to include on your site is chatbots and online helpdesk options. Luckily, these are not too difficult to integrate on your site, and you will simply have to manage them. If you are on WordPress, for example, you can pick a WordPress helpdesk plugin that suits your needs and assist your customers. Most sites have seen a drastic increase in conversions thanks to this feature. 

Create High-Quality Content 

Now, we have mentioned SEO and keywords in the first point, but let’s focus more on the content that appears on your site. You must keep in mind that the more content on your pages, the more you can rank with Google. But, make sure that your content is not only focused on Google, but also on your customer.

Ensure that your content is informative, educational, simple to read and understand, and explains your products and services simply. You will want to be convincing your customer to buy from you because they feel like they can trust you and that they know they will be buying good products.

Make sure each landing page has enough copy and description to sell your products. If you are working on a product page, go into detail about the products. What are they buying? What is the quality like? What do other customers say about the product? Allow reviews and other customer comments. This will not only increase your keywords and content, but it will make new visitors feel more at ease about buying your products.

Don’t Forget Your Metrics 

Numerous companies forget about this factor, but it is certainly a key part of managing and running a successful website. How do you know if your website and marketing are working without watching the metrics? Luckily for you, there is a free tool, Google Analytics which helps you understand what is happening with traffic on your site.

You can track the traffic coming into the site, where it goes, how it behaves, where it bounces and how much actually converts into sales. It is a great way to know what is working and what isn’t, especially if there is a problem on one of your landing pages.

If you notice that one page, in particular, has a high bounce rate, you can go and see if there is an error on it. 

Conclusion on Creating a Successful Website

One of the top pieces of advice is to keep your customer in mind at all times. What do they want to see on your site? What does their journey look like? Create what they want to see.

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What Are the Advantages Of The SaaS Business Model For Your Company

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The SaaS business model can be advantageous for your company. This business model allows you to outsource your software needs and access it through the internet. You don’t have to worry about hosting, updates, or security-all that is taken care of by the service provider. Additionally, this type of subscription-based service can be more affordable than purchasing and maintaining software licenses for your employees. Let’s explore.

Flexibility 

The SaaS business model is flexible. You can scale up or down your usage as needed without any upfront costs. This can be helpful if you have seasonal or fluctuating business needs. For example, if you experience a busy season, you can increase your subscription to meet the demand. Then, when business slows down, you can reduce your subscription. With proper SaaS Solutions that your business can implement through reputable providers, the benefits are endless. Flexibility has become a necessary aspect of business, and the SaaS business model can provide that.

Pay As You Go with the SaaS Business Model

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With the pay-as-you-go pricing model, you only pay for what you use. There are no long-term contracts or upfront costs. This makes it easy to budget for your software needs. Additionally, if you decide you no longer need the service, you can cancel your subscription at any time without penalty. And, because you only pay for what you use, this type of service can be more affordable than purchasing software outright. For example, if you only need the software for a short period of time, you can subscribe to it for just that amount of time.

Automatic Updates and Improved Security

With the SaaS business model, you don’t have to worry about manually updating your software. The service provider takes care of that for you. This can free up your time and resources so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Additionally, because the service provider is responsible for keeping the software up-to-date, you can be confident that you’re always using the latest version. When you outsource your software needs, you can take advantage of improved security. The service provider is responsible for ensuring that the software is secure. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe. Additionally, because the service provider is responsible for security, you can focus on other aspects of your business.

Scalability with your SaaS Business Model

As your business grows, your software needs will grow with it. With the SaaS business model, you can easily scale up or down as needed. This can be helpful if you have seasonal or fluctuating business needs. For example, if you experience a busy season, you can increase your subscription to meet the demand. Then, when business slows down, you can reduce your subscription. Scalability is important because it can help you save money. If you only need the software for a short period of time, you don’t have to purchase it outright. You can subscribe to it for as long as you need it and cancel when you’re done.

Improved Collaboration

The SaaS business model can improve collaboration within your company. When you outsource your software needs, you can take advantage of features that allow multiple users to access and use the software at the same time. This can be helpful if you have employees who work in different locations. With the improved collaboration, they can stay connected and work together more efficiently. Also, because the service provider is responsible for keeping the software up-to-date, you can be confident that everyone is using the latest version. For example, if there’s a new feature that would be beneficial to your business, you can take advantage of it right away without having to wait for everyone to update their software.

Ease of Use

The SaaS business model is designed to be user-friendly. The service provider wants you to be successful so they make it easy for you to use their software. Additionally, because the service is internet-based, you can access it from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. Additionally, because the software is web-based, you don’t have to worry about installing it on your computer. This can save you time and resources. And, if you have multiple employees who need to use the software, you don’t have to install it on each of their computers.

Reduced Costs with Your SaaS Business Model

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One of the main advantages of the SaaS business model is that it can help you reduce your costs. When you outsource your software needs, you don’t have to worry about the upfront costs of purchasing the software. Additionally, because you pay for what you use, you can save money if you only need the software for a short period of time. Also, because the service provider is responsible for maintaining the software, you can save money on maintenance and support costs. For example, if there’s a problem with the software, you don’t have to pay to have it fixed. The service provider will take care of that for you.

Overall Better Operational Management

The SaaS business model can help you improve your overall operational management. When you outsource your software needs, you can take advantage of features that make it easy to track and manage your data. This can be helpful if you have a lot of data to keep track of. Additionally, because the service provider is responsible for keeping the software up-to-date, you can be confident that your data is always accurate. For example, if there’s a new feature that would be beneficial to your business, you can take advantage of it right away without having to wait for everyone to update their software.

So, the SaaS business model can provide you with a lot of advantages. It can help you save money, improve collaboration, and increase your overall operational efficiency. If you’re looking for a way to improve your business, the SaaS business model is definitely worth considering. With this type of subscription-based service, you don’t have to worry about hosting, updates, or security. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go pricing model can be more affordable than purchasing software outright. If you’re looking for a flexible and affordable way to meet your software needs, the SaaS business model may be right for you.

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Why is Machine Learning of Great Value for Your Business?

Machine learning is a subcategory of AI and has changed the way businesses operate. Moreover, it’s a trending technology that provides businesses with significant value, such as learning from the existing data. To say the least, it does solve many problems you might have.

Recent innovations in machine learning have indeed brought many excitements and fears concerning AI. Fears include people thinking that they’ll lose their job to AI, and the biggest excitement is how helpful it can be in employee productivity.

Well, let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will discuss the kind of values you receive from using machine learning in your business. 

Why is it a great idea to use machine learning? 

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Basic language 

From the beginning of the programming era, one of every man’s significant issues has been communication between the user and the device. Over the years, programming languages have evolved and reduced these issues. However, the problem is still there.

However, machine learning in business is evolving, which can solve this problem. In the modern digital age, things have changed, search engines, daily usage software, and calendars have all come to understand our everyday language.

Since the software can understand our languages, it makes things easier for business executives and professionals by allowing them to reduce typing efforts and convert them into speaking ones. For example, AI personal assistants can work every day. They work 24/7 and try to make things easier for businesses

Chatbots

Chatbots are a popular type of automation. They have made it easier for businesses to stay active even when human beings aren’t around. Chatbots can function outside working hours and reply to customers outside working hours. Earlier chatbots were programmed to respond based on the rules they had to follow and the keywords included.

Machine learning and the advanced natural language processing features have allowed chatbots to be much more productive over the years. For example, Cortana, Siri, and more are all chatbots. However, newer chatbots can respond to consumer requests much better than older ones. 

Security improvements 

With the digital age evolving, the world has become more and more dependent on web-based technology. However, at the same time, there are a few risks associated with it:

  • Ransomware
  • Data breaches 
  • Privacy concerns
  • Stealing identities, and more

Businesses follow a few control mechanisms to ensure users and businesses are protected. Some of them include threat management, applications, data storage policies, firewalls, and more. However, you can find even more dedicated security teams in larger companies that continuously monitor, update, and fix online applications.

For instance, let’s use threat assessment as an example. Online applications continuously face many issues daily. Machine learning can predict future attacks by analyzing the data from past attacks and identifying vulnerabilities within the app. As a result, most development teams integrate Machine learning within the application testing phase to evaluate their vulnerabilities before releasing a new product. 

High level of natural language processing (NLP)

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI where systems are developed for understanding human language. However, NLP has a lot to evolve, even though it has come a long way over the years. As of now, it’s able to process human requests at a certain level but still struggles to process more advanced requests and words that may sound similar to each other. For example, “I scream” and “Ice cream.”

NLP has been around for more than 40 years, and the demand for advancement in computing power and access to language data has significantly increased. Moreover, these requests are practically applied to chat interfaces, voice interfaces, and even text mining applications. 

Machine learning helps in decision-making 

Machine learning helps companies make better decisions from the valuable insights they gather. Humans have difficulties evaluating information and running potential scenarios at the speed and size machine learning does. In short, machine learning isn’t replacing people but helping them get things done faster. 

Additionally, let’s not forget that AI has a lower error margin than human beings. The margin of error in AI is 3%, while it’s 5% in human beings, and when processing valuable data, that 2% difference matters a lot. 

Improves your logistics 

Logistics are the overall process within an organization, beginning from purchasing raw materials to shipment, selling the end product, and more. Overall, machine learning does an excellent job of improving the company’s logistics.

Currently, there are many international companies that are including machine learning in their manufacturing, delivering, and shipping stages. For example, shipping companies use machine learning features to analyze the breakdown patterns of trucks and ships and allow vehicles to be appropriately maintained in time.

A large company using these practices is Amazon which uses the power of anticipatory shipping to allow quick shipping to take place and satisfy the needs of customers quickly. 

Improves AI algorithm through valuable data 

machine-learning

In an academic environment, AI research is concerned with creating algorithms that can perform tasks on established datasets, including SQUAD, ImageNet, and more.

There are various ways to gather the correct data for training and maintaining machine learning algorithms in real-world apps. For instance, more and better data leads to much better predictions. The more valuable data you gather, the better predictions you’ll most likely make.

According to statisticians, gathering quality data at times may be time-consuming and costly, but there are more benefits than being only time-consuming. As you train your machine learning algorithms with more data, accuracy improvements will slow down. The third data point will provide much more valuable information than the 50th one, which, again, the 50th one is still more useful than the 100th.

However, when you use machine learning in business terms, things change, and it all depends on how much value you get from your predictions. So, if you see that more data improves your machine learning algorithms to a point where you have a significant advantage over your competitors, the investment should be worth it.

Moreover, you see tech giants such as Google and Facebook competing at such high levels to collect data and improve their machine learning algorithms. 

Machine learning helps in financial management 

Machine learning algorithms can also be used for financial analytics, such as:

  • Predicting business expenses 
  • Conducting cost analysis 
  • Algorithmic trading 
  • Fraud detection 

All of these financial analytics rely on historical data to predict future outcomes. The accuracy of these types of predictions depends on the data you gather and your machine learning algorithm.

For example, a straightforward ML algorithm will be enough for simple tasks and predicting business expenses. However, ML algorithms will have to go through multiple revisions and many years of data until accurate ML models are found for algorithmic trading. For instance, investors firmly depend on ML for predicting the market when investing.

Accurate and timely predictions allow businesses to manage their financial situation better and increase revenue in the long term. Taking the proper measures will lead to long-term cost savings. 

Computer vision 

Computer vision includes object, image, and facial recognition. You can use inexpensive APIs to gather valuable information, including the text summary, age and sex of individuals, emotion, recognized faces, inappropriate content, and the topic in the photo. For instance, if your digital media library has thousands of images, this can ease your library’s manual maintenance and allow you to find more ways to retrieve content. 

Wrapping it up on Machine Learning

Well, that’s all for this article. These were our top reasons you should consider using machine learning for your business and how much value it provides for your business. Generally speaking, machine learning is underestimated, and many companies don’t even know much about it.

However, machine learning is the future and will be the primary reason AI becomes similar to a human being. Its natural language processing has come such a long way that it’s even starting to differentiate words and hiring different actors to speak different dialects and improve the quality of the language processing.

Last but not least, the future of business is machine learning. Because there is a low barrier to entry in the digital world and all companies are moving towards a digital world, machine learning can provide enormous benefits to our working methods. Moreover, even though many may think it’s getting rid of jobs, it only makes jobs easier for us and increases our productivity levels. After all, that’s what every business is aiming for, to be more productive and efficient.

 

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Compensation Claims: Aspects Business Owners Should Understand

When it comes to compensation claims, business owners need to be aware of a variety of legal aspects that could come into play. From wrongful dismissal to sexual harassment, there are many different types of claims that can be made against a company. And since every business is unique, the laws governing these claims can vary from state to state. However, there are some general law principles surrounding these types of cases that all business owners should be aware of to protect themselves. In this article, we will explore eight of the most crucial legal aspects of compensation claims that will help you prepare for anything.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

compensation-claims

Workers’ compensation is a system in place to help employees who are injured on the job. The law requires employers to provide a safe working environment for their employees and to take steps to prevent accidents from happening. If an employee is injured because their employer failed to do this, the employer could be held liable. It provides benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. The number of damages that an employee can recover will depend on the severity of the injury and other factors. However, it is important to note that an employee can only recover workers’ compensation benefits if they do not sue their employer. If you are not sure whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you should check out this page and consult with an experienced attorney. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

Wrongful Dismissal

When an employee is wrongfully dismissed, it means that they were fired without just cause and in violation of their contractual rights. To prove wrongful dismissal, an employee must show that they had an employment contract in place and that the contract was breached when they were terminated. This could include cases where an employee is fired without proper notice or without being given a valid reason. If an employee can prove that they were wrongfully dismissed, they may be entitled to compensation for their lost wages and benefits. The number of damages will vary depending on the individual case, but it could potentially be a significant amount. So when terminating an employee, it’s important to make sure that you have a valid reason and that you follow the proper procedures outlined in their contract.

Sexual Harassment Compensation Claims

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that can lead to legal action being taken against a company. It is important for business owners to be aware of what constitutes sexual harassment and to have policies in place to prevent it from happening. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome comments or advances, unwanted touching, and threats or intimidation. If an employee feels like they have been the victim of sexual harassment, they can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate the claim and, if they find that it has merit, they may take legal action against the company. The company could be required to pay damages to the victim and may also be subject to other penalties.

Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is another serious issue that can lead to legal action being taken against a business. It is important for business owners to be aware of what constitutes discrimination and to have policies in place to prevent it from happening. Discrimination can include treating an employee differently because of their race, religion, gender, or national origin. It can also include making employment decisions based on these characteristics instead of on qualifications. Regardless of the type of discrimination, it is illegal and can lead to serious consequences for a company. The company could be required to pay damages to the victim and may also be subject to other penalties. The company may also be required to change its policies and procedures to prevent future instances of discrimination from occurring.

Retaliation

Retaliation is when an employer takes adverse action against an employee because the employee complained about discrimination or filed a charge of discrimination. Adverse actions can include firing, demotion, and denial of benefits. The law protects employees from retaliation because it would discourage people from asserting their rights if they thought they would be punished for doing so. The company could be required to pay damages to the victim and may also be subject to other penalties. If you think you have been retaliated against, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your options. They may be able to help you file a charge of discrimination or take other legal action.

Leave of Absence Compensation Claims

compensation-claims

A leave of absence is when an employee takes time off from work for a specific reason, such as having a baby or taking care of a sick family member. The law requires employers to provide certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for these reasons. Employers must also continue to provide health insurance coverage during the leave. If an employer denies an employee’s request for a leave of absence or retaliates against them for taking one, it could be considered illegal discrimination. The company could be required to pay damages to the victim and may also be subject to other penalties.

Wage and Hour Disputes

Wage and hour disputes often arise when an employer does not pay their employees the proper wages or hours. This can happen if an employer misclassifies an employee as exempt from overtime pay, or if they do not pay employees for all the hours they have worked. Employees who are not paid properly may be able to take legal action to recover their lost wages. The best way to avoid wage and hour disputes is to make sure that you comply with the law. You should also have policies and procedures in place to ensure that employees are paid correctly. If you have any questions about whether you are paying your employees correctly, make sure to consult with your lawyer and accountant.

As you can see, there are a variety of legal issues that can arise in the workplace. As a business owner, whether you are running a large corporation or a small business, it is important to be aware of these issues and to have policies in place to prevent them from happening. If an issue does arise, it is sure to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to determine the best course of action and to protect your rights.

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6 Reasons Why Your Rentals Should Have Good Management

rentals

If you’re a property owner, then it’s important to make sure that you have good management in place. This is key to ensuring that your rentals are run smoothly and that you don’t experience any major problems. In this blog post, we will discuss six reasons why good management is essential for your rentals.

Keep Your Rentals In Good Condition

The first and most important reason to keep your rentals in good condition is to ensure the safety of your tenants. If your rental property is not well-maintained, it could pose a serious safety hazard to your tenants. Additionally, a good property manager will also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.  Another reason to keep your rentals in good condition is to protect your investment. By keeping your rental properties well-maintained, you can maximize their resale value, get more out of your property and minimize the amount of time they spend on the market. Finally, good property management simply makes good business sense. By providing your tenants with a clean and well-maintained rental unit, you’ll make them more likely to renew their lease, refer their friends and family, and give you positive online reviews.

Ensure That Your Tenants Are Satisfied With Your Rentals

rentals

Good rental management isn’t just about filling vacancies – it’s also about making sure that your tenants are happy in their homes. If your tenants are satisfied, they’re more likely to renew their lease and recommend your property to others. Respond quickly to maintenance requests. No one likes living in a home with broken appliances or leaky faucets. By responding promptly to tenant maintenance requests, you can show them that you care about their comfort and are committed to keeping the property in good condition. Be available and accessible. Your tenants should be able to reach you easily if they have questions or concerns. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and easily accessible, and try to respond to tenants’ inquiries within a reasonable amount of time. show appreciation. A little bit of appreciation can go a long way. Show your tenants that you value their business by sending them a holiday card or small gift, or offering them a discount on rent for referrals.

Prevent Problems From Arising

Good rental management can help prevent many problems from arising in the first place. By regularly inspecting the property, addressing any maintenance issues immediately, and keeping good records of all communications with tenants, you can head off many potential problems before they have a chance to start. Additionally, having a clear and enforceable set of rules and regulations that all tenants must follow will help to keep your property running smoothly. Finally, maintaining open lines of communication with your tenants will go a long way towards preventing small issues from turning into big ones.

Respond Quickly To Maintenance Issues With Your Rentals

Your tenants will appreciate a quick response to any maintenance issues that come up. If you can’t fix the problem yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. Your tenants will be more likely to renew their lease if they know that you’re responsive to their needs. It’s also important to schedule regular maintenance check-ups for your rental units. This will help you identify potential problems before they become serious. By taking care of your rentals, you’ll maximize your profits and keep your tenants happy.

Handle Tenant Issues Effectively

Good rental management will help you handle tenant issues effectively. You need to be able to communicate with your tenants and resolve any issues they may have. This will help keep your tenants happy and prevent them from moving out.

Tenant issues can include things like late rent payments, damage to the property, and noise complaints. If you can resolve these issues quickly and efficiently, it will go a long way in keeping your tenants happy. Resolving tenant issues can be difficult, but it is important to remember that you are the one in control. You need to be firm but fair when dealing with tenant problems. If you handle them correctly, it will make life much easier for both you and your tenants.    

Keep Your Rentals Occupied

Good rental property management will help keep your units occupied. By keeping up with maintenance and responding to tenant requests in a timely manner, you can create a positive living environment that tenants will want to stay in. In addition, good property managers will work hard to screen prospective tenants and place qualified renters in your units. This helps to minimize vacancy rates and ensure that your investment is generating income. If you are looking for ways to improve your rental business, consider investing in good management. It may cost you a bit more upfront, but the long-term benefits are worth it.

These are six great reasons why your rentals should have good management. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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4 Crucial Steps for Securing Your Business

securing-your-business

Nowadays, running a successful business in an ever-changing market can truly be challenging. Once you have put in a great effort, time, and funds to start a business, you surely want to secure it from all various risks that could threaten its growth. As such, securing your business is vital to its success.

As a business owner, you must take care of records, legal documents, data breaches and cyberattacks at all times, while making sure that your employees are well-taken care of, and that they’re happy and healthy.

Below, we highlight 4 crucial steps you need to take to secure your business and provide it with a chance to achieve long-term success and growth.

Obtain Business Insurance for Securing Your Business

If you have recently opened a startup or a small business, you’ve probably made huge investments with your hard-earned savings and managed to raise capital to secure a funding stream for your operation. This is why you must protect your business venture against any possible claims and liabilities.

For this reason, we advise you to look into a good E&O policy for your small business and get covered with professional liability insurance. This is an excellent way of protecting your business from lawsuits and claims of inadequate or negligent work and business errors. Do your research and get your business insurance from a policy provider that specializes in small businesses so it can be customized to your specific industry needs.   

Look at the possibility of getting other useful insurances like commercial proper insurance to protect the building, premises and equipment you may have bought or rented. In addition, getting worker’s compensation insurance is also a clever move so your workforce can get benefits, as well as data breach or cyber insurance to help you respond if any data is lost or stolen.

Enhance IT Security

securing-your-business

Data breaches and cyber-attacks are among the biggest risks for a business these days. In fact, in a recently published report, cyber risks topped the list of what made the surveyed business leaders most worried. The pandemic we recently went through also led to a direct increase in cyber attacks. With a security situation that reinforces the fear of cyber threats, many people are wondering how their organization is doing.

If you’re thinking about how protected you are, it can be nice to take concrete measures and invest in reliable systems with high security that protect a business’s data and information.

Something that most companies have unfortunately experienced is important files or data disappearing which is a loss that can be difficult to recover from. To avoid losing information, it is, therefore, advantageous to use a backup solution that securely saves your data. There are different variants of backup solutions, but the most common is to use cloud storage or internal servers that are dedicated to just this.

To increase your IT security, it’s wise for your company to segment the wireless network with at least two networks, and it’s especially important to distinguish between the network used by those who work at the company and what guests use. The users of the guest network would be customers, partners and everyone else who doesn’t work at your company.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Expectations of good hygiene and safety in the workplace have increased and new effective routines are now needed for people to be able to work safely. By encouraging good hand hygiene and regular cleaning routines, businesses together can prevent the further spread of infection and your business can reduce the cost of sick leave.

Implement thorough and good cleaning routines so that surfaces and premises are cleaned regularly. Ensure that touch surfaces such as handles, switches, keyboards, handrails, sinks, water taps and other surfaces that many people touch are cleaned thoroughly and regularly. Remember to also do a risk assessment for the employee who performs the cleaning, so that risks are minimized and the right preventive measures are taken.

Dirt, dust and messy spaces create stress, in addition to allergies, asthma and infections. A dirty environment affects employees both physically and mentally, causing them to lose concentration and perform worse. Therefore, a clean workplace is a very important part of the general work environment.

Develop a Social Media Policy

Social networks and emails have become a huge security concern for companies as they make it easy to disseminate information. Once the information leaves your company, it is difficult to be recalled. For this reason, to make sure things remain private, your email policy should address appropriate content for social media and emails.

Final Thoughts on Securing Your Business

As a business owner, it’s your job to secure your business and prevent threats to your business systems and work processes. Protecting your employees and safeguarding their health is also a prerequisite for a thriving working environment and business success. 

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Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Business Structure

You have the business plan ready, your product or service is ready, you have hand-picked the team, you’ve done your market and consumer research, and you are ready to put your money into the business and get the ball rolling. Before you take the next step, have you considered what legal status the business will have? Will it be registered with the chamber of commerce as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a company? It’s not just about registering a business and getting a tax number to file returns against. The kind of structure you choose will impact how you are taxed, what your liability is, and how you can operate your business. Choosing the right business structure is a crucial decision for the long-term well-being of the business.

Here are some of the main options that you can choose from.

Sole Proprietorship Business Structure 

business-structure

 Sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to go and that is what the sole proprietorship model provides – simplicity. It’s the most common kind of business registration, it’s easy to set up, it’s cost-efficient, and it’s a tried and tested path for small businesses. As the name suggests, in the sole proprietorship the business is owned by one individual and that person is responsible for all the profits and losses in the business and is also the owner of all the assets and liabilities. In a way, you could say that the person is the business and the business is the person. There is no differentiating factor between the two entities in legal terms.

The main advantages to this structure are the ease of setting it up and the low cost associated with it. Secondly, it is also just as easy to close a sole proprietorship as it is to open one up. There is no complex process to legally close the business. This doesn’t mean that these businesses will remain small, and there are countless examples of multi-million and even multi-billion dollar companies that started as sole proprietorships.

Partnership

The next step up is to create a partnership. In this formation, two or more people share ownership of the company. The nature of the relationship between the partners can also vary. For instance, you can have a general partnership in which all partners have an equal stake in the company and can exert an equal amount of power. Alternatively, you can have a limited partnership in which one person has control over the company in terms of operations while the other partner contributes finances or any other resource to the business. In either kind of partnership, the profit is divided among the partners, and in some cases profits can be divided based on a ratio.

A partnership is a bit more expensive to register than a sole proprietorship but it is the most cost-effective solution if you have more than one business owner or investor. It’s also a good idea to have an attorney review your partnership deed, which is a small added cost. This kind of business is easy to register and the process is quite straightforward. Moreover, there is plenty of growth potential for this business as you can easily get financing for a partnership and you can include more partners as the business grows.

Plus, each partner can also get a loan thereby creating multiple revenue streams in the business. The taxation policy for this business structure is also quite favorable making this one of the most common choices for company formation in the UK and in other countries as well. In most cases, if you are registered as a partnership you will be exempt from personal income tax and you will only be paying tax in the form of company tax.

Limited Liability Company

The limited liability company (LLC) is a slightly more complicated business structure and is best suited to larger businesses that will involve a mix of partners, owners, and shareholders. The main advantage to this company structure is the limited liability that members have. This means that they are not personally liable for the operations of the company. In the case that the company incurs losses or needs to be liquidated the personal assets of the owners are protected.

The LLC structure gives owners the benefit of being protected from liability like large corporations and also allows them to show company earnings as their personal earning which saves them from tax implications. It is a solution that gives you the best of both worlds. It is more expensive to register this business and does require more paperwork but it is well worth it because of the benefits it provides.

Corporation Business Structure 

business-structure

Corporation structures are usually used by large companies and the main highlight of this structure is that the business itself is seen as an entity and is completely different from the owners. In this way, the company itself can be sued, can own assets, can have ownership of rights of assets like stocks, and do many things in the legal framework that an individual would be able to do. They have legal personhood. Within corporations, there are several other types such as C corporations and B corporations, closed and open corporations, and others.

Another big advantage to the corporation is its continuity. Since it stands separate from the owner, even if the owner dies, the company continues to exist. The other main advantage is the ability to raise a large amount of capital. Moreover, since the company is a separate entity, raising lots of capital from multiple sources does not burden the founders or owners with liability.

Most businesses will not start out as a corporation but as they scale up they will eventually change structure to become a corporation.

When finalizing the company structure that you want to go for, the key things to keep an eye out for are the liability factor, taxation concerns, and how easy or difficult it will be to gain financing. These things will vary a lot with the kind of registration you choose, and at different stages of the business, you will have different needs. Also, some structures such as the corporation will also have requirements that a sole proprietor may not be able to fill in its early stages. The good thing is that the structure of the company in terms of how it is registered can be changed in due time. If you find that you need to evolve to a more complex framework then you can always make the changes when you need to. This is a better way to grow as at that point in time you will have a clearer understanding of exactly what it is that you need.

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