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August 2017

HOW TO MAKE YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS MORE PROFITABLE

Running your own business is the best way to have complete control over your income in the modern age. It’s easier than ever to do so from the comfort of your own home study, so it’s no longer a privilege reserved for those rich enough to buy a proper office space and build a physical-based business with physical marketing and physical people working in the company. Now you can build it all online and utilize platforms across the internet to help promote your brand. Still, finding clients and making a steady profit is just as difficult for the self-employed entrepreneur as it is for anyone else in any industry. Here are some tips to help you make your freelance business more profitable.

 

freelance

 

Monetize your website.

No matter what industry your freelance business falls in, whether you design graphics for other businesses or write promotional content for them, there’s always a way to monetize your business’ website in order to bring in extra income. You could create a blog section to your website and try out affiliate marketing, for starters. You don’t have to be fake. You can endorse products you genuinely like to your followers and get paid by companies to do so. Just accept the companies and products in which you know your subscribers will genuinely be interested. You can keep your integrity and make extra money for doing so.

 

Expand the team.

Creating your own business is an exciting venture because you get to break the ties with the dull 9 to 5 and make your own employment. You can work from home or anywhere in the world if the majority of your business is based online. Of course, if you really want to grow your company into a more profitable entity then you might want to consider expanding out from a solo operation into a larger team. It won’t take away from the fact that this is your business but a team of more than one could help ensure that a larger workload can be covered and your business can start to grow.

 

If you have no idea where to start with regards to building up your team then you might want to look into headhunters who can help search for the ideal candidates to fit your particular company in your particular industry. Professional agencies will know the best people to fill your job vacancies, and it’s exactly what your company needs to grow. This may not have been the intention when you started your business, but if you always wanted to grow it into something more profitable then it’s the best route to take. You can’t tackle an ever-increasing number of clients and operational responsibilities on your own.

 

business more profitable

 

Loyalty schemes.

It can be so hard to build up a client-base as a freelancer. Treasure the first few clients or even the first client you get because these people are the key to your business’ continued success. You can encourage reviews from satisfied customers if you want to build a good reputation, but your client-base can help you in more ways than this. You can offer a loyalty scheme whereby people get discounts and great deals from you if they refer your business to one or more of their friends. Everybody’s a winner.

 

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR COMPANY BECOMES INSOLVENT

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When you’re in business, the long-term goals are at the forefront of your mind. One of these goals rarely differs from person to person: make as much money as you can. Whilst this is a good start to have, there’s always the idea of debt lurking on the horizon. So on the other hand, we should also have a debt management plan in place if we’re either regular workers, or if we’re starting our own business. Below are a few tips on how to prepare for and cope with insolvency.

 

insolvent

 

What To Do As An Entrepreneur

 

Having to face bankruptcy as a business owner is extremely hard. Often it can represent a massive decline in your goals, and can make you want to immediately give up. However, there are ways to face business insolvency, with the minimum including help blogs and debt centres designed specifically to be a guiding light.

 

If your company has more liabilities than assets then you risk becoming insolvent. Make sure you know how to read your balance sheet correctly. Always know what current assets you have that can be immediately turned into cash if it would help. This can mean putting on a sale if you have a boutique to help lessen the effects of insolvency.

 

It’s a good idea to reach out for professional advice. As mentioned, you never have to face debts alone, so don’t let yourself.

 

What To Do As An Employee

 

Employees are at just as much risk when a company becomes insolvent as a employer. It doesn’t have to mean the loss of your income straight away, but can affect family life. If your employer no longer has the means to pay you, remember that you have rights. You still have the right to be paid if your employer is trying to sell a business, meaning you can collect any pay once this is done if you’ve been kept on in the meantime.

 

Similarly, you can also experience a temporary layoff. This is a short term solution to handling a company’s insolvency as you won’t be scheduled for shifts in that time, but you’ll still be on the payroll. However, if you’re out of work for longer than a month, you then have the ability to claim redundancy pay.

 

Don’t let yourself feel singled out if you don’t receive the full amount of pay you are owed; this is quite a common occurrence. You’re likely to receive at least a month’s worth of pay, but you cannot claim anything over £500 in a single wage. This is an unlikely pay rate anyway, so gaining what’s owed to you is a fairer game than you might have first thought.

 

Debts don’t have to be the be-all end-all of your business or income. Just make sure you know how to handle them if you find yourself in the situation, and don’t lose sight of the future. We all want to protect what we’ve made, and plenty of options are available for this.

 

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HOW TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO A HIGH PAYING CAREER

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Gone are the days where people stayed in the same career until retirement. You now have the chance to change careers as many times as you wish without it being frowned upon. If you’re sat at your office desk, wishing you could find a higher paying job and thinking the situation is hopeless, you may want to read on. No-one can switch to a higher paying job just like that, right? That’s not necessarily true. Take a look at some of your options.

 

changing career

 

Data Scientist

The word ‘scientist’ is enough to put anyone off because you automatically assume that you’ll need year’s worth of training to get the job. However, if you’ve got a background in engineering, analytics or even graphic design, you could be perfect for some of the roles. Jobs include roles in data research, data engineering, data visualisation and more. Jobs in this area are averagely paid up to £50,000 a year. Most data analysis companies don’t have clear goals, so if you go into an interview ready to present your ideas and suggest what you could offer, you may have a clear advantage against your competitors.

 

Start a Business

There’s no better career change than starting your own business when you want to do something that gives you more satisfaction than your current job. It’s a fantastic option for anyone willing to work hard, but it’s unlikely you’ll have a good income for at least the first three years. If you want to start a business but want to avoid the initial struggles, consider purchasing a business instead. If you’re wondering how to purchase a business, you have a few options. You could consider buying into a franchise, where everything is already set up and the brand already has a name for itself. Or, you could invest in a friend or family member’s business and become a partner. Do your research and find out what businesses will become most lucrative.

 

changing career

 

Social Media Manager

No business can survive without a strong social media presence these days. But, business owners don’t have the time to sit down and post regularly on social media accounts or reply to comments and messages. That’s where a social media manager comes in. If you have a flare for social media and creating campaigns, you may have what businesses are looking for. The upside is you won’t need any additional qualifications. You’ll just have to prove you can successfully run social media campaigns and convert your target audience into sales.

 

Fundraiser

There are so many organisations that rely on the goodwill of others to survive – charities, schools, medical centres. Therefore, these places are willing to pay someone handsomely to increase donations. A background in sales and marketing will set you up nicely for this job, but all your employers are looking for is the ability to get people to give generously. You may also need to organise events, arrange donors and recruit volunteers.

 

Sometimes, all you need to do in order to change career is think outside the box.

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HOW TO TREAT YOUR LOVED ONES WITHOUT GOING BROKE

Whatever the occasion that’s coming up, it can be very difficult to get the perfect gift for your loved one. You want to show them how special they are for you, but money might be too tight to buy diamonds, games consoles, holidays, or other expensive things every single year. Here are some tips on how to treat your loved ones to something special without going broke in the process.

 

treat your loved ones

 

Give them the day off.

Whether it’s your mum or your best friend, nobody can say no to putting their feet up for a day whilst you look after them. You could cook your loved one’s favourite meal, as this won’t break the bank and it’s an incredibly thoughtful gift. You have to actually put effort into this one rather than simply heading into the shop and simply buying something (unless you’re cooking a ready meal, but you might want to put in a little more effort than that). It doesn’t matter how you choose to treat your loved one; just show them how much you care and how much effort you’re willing to put in to give them a rest on their birthday or whatever the occasion might be.

 

Get a good bulk deal.

Rather than spending a lot of money on one specific thing, you could save by buying items in bulk or a bundle of things for one decent price. You could look into cheese hampers if your loved one is a big fan of different cheeses. Then you could dish out one new cheese for every occasion (birthdays, Christmases, and perhaps even anniversaries). The point is that you can save a lot of money by thinking ahead into the future for other events at which you’ll need to buy your loved one something special. You can be thoughtful and still save money; it just requires additional planning ahead of time. Bulk-buy for a good price and rid yourself of your gift-buying fear for future occasions.

 

Give them a sentimental gift.

It’ll make more of an impact on your loved one if you gift them with something that shows just how much you care about them. Photo albums are a great sentimental gift, for example, because they showcase all the great times you’ve shared with your friend, partner, or family member. They’re also tangible unlike Facebook photo albums, so it’s something that your loved one can keep safe forever. Of course, you might prefer to make new memories rather than reflecting on old ones. You could give an experience as a gift to your loved one. A trip to a fair or a lovely day on the beach is something that they’ll remember forever, and that’s far more fun as a present than some novelty expensive item that’ll be forgotten very quickly.

 

gifts

 

Opt for long-lasting gifts.

If you’re going to spend money on a gift then it might as well as be something relatively permanent, so that your gift makes an impact on your loved one for a long time. Candles are a great option in this regard because they add a beautiful ambiance and fragrance to a room, they last a long time, and they’re very cheap.

 

It doesn’t matter what you buy, at the end of the day. What matters is your intention. It’s better to spend nothing and hand-craft a beautifully sentimental gift than to spend a lot of money on something into which you put no thought at all.

 

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HOW PLAYING GAMES COULD HELP YOU BOOST YOUR BANK BALANCE

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If you’re the kind of person that enjoys chilling out in the evenings by playing games, you might be missing out on a big money-making opportunity. You no longer have to be an expert in the latest video game, or compete in tournaments to earn a bit of extra cash; just set up your laptop, or head to a local bingo centre to make big wins, or pay your grocery bills for a week. Not convinced? Here are just a few ways you can boost your bank balance just by playing games.

 

making money

 

Swagbucks

The majority of us spend our time online surfing the web, watching videos, taking surveys, and also playing games. Imagine if there were a way to earn money while doing all the things you were going to do online anyway? This is where Swagbucks comes in; there are a few games on this site that allow you to earn “swagbucks” when you play their games. There is a memory game, and some action games where you guide a character to jump over pits and obstacles to gain points. You can also earn “swagbucks” by shopping or recommending friends. You can redeem Swagbucks in the form of Amazon gift cards, coupon codes and several other amazing prizes, or you can also ask them to convert the game credits into cash, which can be transferred to your PayPal account.

 

Casino games

Perhaps you’re more confident about your gaming abilities, or you’re just feeling lucky. In which case, there are plenty of websites where you can try your hand at increasing your winnings. You can find casino online games such as Poker, Blackjack, or Roulette on sites like Unibet, Bovada, or Red Flush Casino. However, these websites are aimed more towards people who are willing to bet real money for the chance to win a big jackpot. If you’re not comfortable playing for higher risks, you’re better off playing for virtual money that can later be converted to cash or rewards.

 

 

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SecondLife

What started off as a way for people to escape the real world and construct a fantasy life online, has now turned into a surprising way to earn extra cash. If you’ve created a business on SecondLife, then you can get paid real money when other users buy your virtual goods. You can also make money by renting real estate on SecondLife, or by creating an entertainment venue like an arcade or nightclub. It’s like real entrepreneurship, only virtual.

 

YouTube

You might not have made it as a video game tester just yet, but you can make money while you build up a reputation. When you upload videos on YouTube you can enable adverts and get paid each time somebody watches them. Thousands of people visit YouTube daily, so finding viewers for your videos isn’t difficult. Gamers of all abilities love seeing someone else beat a high level on a difficult game so they can adjust their own strategy, or they like getting an honest review before they buy it.

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY PLAYING BINGO

make money playing bingo

 

I’ve read a lot of stories over the years of some people winning big at bingo.  With everyone that wins there is often someone that loses.  I guess the key to making money playing bingo is to not get carried away.

 

Where on earth do you start finding the best bingo sites?  There are hundreds out there and for someone starting it can be bewildering.  With this in mind I wanted to share with you my tips on how to figure out the best sites and also what to look out for in terms of sign up and bonuses.

 

 

Finding the best bingo sites

If you are just starting to play bingo, the first place to go is Bingo Kings.  Here you will find a great website with reviews of all bingo the sites out there.  Bingo Kings outline the sign up process, how much deposit, minimal withdrawal, games on offer and the sign up bonus.  This should be your go to site at all times.

 

Sign up for a Welcome Bonus

Nearly all bingo companies make welcome offers to new sign ups. This is normally a bonus which is very attractive to get you to sign up.  If you want to make money then sign up for as many of these are  you can.  They can be different types of welcome bonuses, you could be offered a no deposit bingo play or a deposit match bonus.

If you wan to make the most of these bonuses it’s best to sign up to as many as you can.  Again check out Bingo Kings where you will be able to compare bingo bonuses on offer and read reviews of all bingo sites.

 

Watch out for a Reload Bonus

Once you sign up and have worked through your welcome bonus, some bingo sites will offer you what is known as a reload bonus.  They normally offer this to encourage you to play.  It is another way of increasing the amount of money you have to play with.  My top tip is to keep going back to Bingo Kings to read the reviews and see what types of bonuses are on offer.

 

Check Loyalty Bonus

Some bingo sites will give you loyalty points for playing with them.  Loyalty points can be given out in several ways from prizes, playing specific games or if they are running specific campaigns.  Keep an eye out for these loyalty points when you sign up.

 

Setting limits

Most bingo sites will have a function so you can set a daily, weekly or monthly deposit limit.  This should be done as part of your set up process to encourage responsible gambling. If you have any issues go to Gamble Aware for help.

 

While there are many different games out there, choosing the right one is important. Bingo is part of British life so I’d encourage you to give it a try and see what you can win.

 

 

 

Good luck!

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SO YOU THINK YOU’RE A SMART SHOPPER?

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Everyone that does the weekly grocery run knows that there are plenty of tricks that supermarkets employ to try and get you to spend more money. Everything from mixing the colours of products to putting easy-to-reach snacks near the tills can eventually catch us off guard, and before we know it we’ve fallen into the trap of spending more than we initially intended to.

 

However, thanks to our experience as shoppers, we tend to learn how to avoid these tricks so we can cut down on expenses (and also calories) so we can save money. Frugal shopping isn’t a secret. There are many articles out there that express the importance of smart shopping. However, there are always ways to improve our knowledge, and it all starts with changing what we think we know.

 

smart shopping

 

Do your research

 

We all look at the internet and follow the advice of our friends and family when shopping, but how much of that information is old? Take a look at websites such as Sunny that explain some of the most updated tricks that supermarkets use to try and trick us. Keep up with shopping communities and learn all the latest tips and tricks that you can use to save money. The more you research, the more likely you’ll continue to save money, learn about the latest deals and be able to take advantage of fantastic savings.

 

Watch you who shop with

 

Who do you usually go shopping with? If it’s a friend that loves to spend money, then it’s probably not a good idea to go on regular shopping trips with them. They’ll likely try to convince you to try something else or spend a little and hide your frugal ways for a day or two. While this can be a lot of fun to shop with people and break your habits, you shouldn’t make it a regular thing because you’ll only end up losing money over a long period of time.

 

Don’t be seduced

 

Whether it’s fancy packaging or big labels that tell you something is 50%, don’t let the supermarket seduce you with their colours and designs. If you want to save money on your grocery bill, then you need to stick to your regular purchases. Is there a branded type of cereal that costs twice as much but has a fancy looking discount label that promises you more? Before you know it, you’re going to buying that on a regular basis after trying it because you’ve been seduced by the packaging. Muster up the courage to stick to what you normally buy and don’t let the store change what the reference price in your head is.

 

Freebies usually aren’t always free

 

If you’re smart about shopping then you’ve probably got a store card or a loyalty scheme that helps with your purchases. However, when you get these in the mail, they’re usually discounts only if you spend a certain amount of money. If you have to spend twice your weekly shopping budget just to save 10%, then it’s probably not worth it and you can safely get rid of these unless you plan to purchase a lot of items.

 

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HOW TO SET UP YOUR FAMILY’S FINANCIAL SECURITY

Anyone with a family knows that the future is uncertain. That doesn’t stop all of us working hard to try and make it a little more secure, especially for the kids. You might already be saving hard for the simple things, like a holiday, or a special event. If your kids are proving to be quite academic, you might even be putting cash away for university in the future. Is there any more you could do today that won’t break the bank?

 

If you don’t have a mortgage, chances are you haven’t spent much time thinking about things like life insurance. These policies are designed to cover the cost of the outstanding loan on your house should something happen to you. Sometimes they cover serious injury or illness too. Usually, you have to request extra cover if you want it to cover any additional health costs or your funeral.

 

 

So how can your family cope if something happens to you that means your income is no longer there? Well, a funeral is perhaps the biggest expense they will face straight away. You can avoid them having to deal with that bill at such a bad time by looking into pre-paid funeral plans. You might also choose an insurance policy that promises a prompt payout should it become necessary in the future.

 

Putting a little cash aside each month now can be an affordable approach to ensuring your family can manage if something goes wrong. Of course, these scenarios are, thankfully, unlikely to happen. Instead, you might be keen to find ways to make sure your kids have access to funds for things like their education. What about their first home, and their future wedding? Where should you put your cash for those things?

 

Trust funds are a popular option. This is because the money cannot be touched until certain clauses are met. This might be something like reaching a milestone birthday or graduating with a degree. You are in complete control of this side of things, and it means the money is safe. High-interest options are also high risk, but it does mean your money has a chance to grow while it is waiting to be used.

 

family finances

 

Do you need a Will? It’s considered to be a good idea if you have a family. It means that all your assets are listed and made available. A solicitor will usually take care of everything when the time comes and find the people listed on the Will. Generally speaking, your next of kin inherits everything. A Will gives you the chance to specify who gets what as well as identifying where your money is!

 

family finances

What about a pension? Some private and some company pensions do offer a payout or continued income for your partner and dependents if you’re not around. However, these are the exception, not the rule, so check what benefits are included in your pension plan. You can always set one up that is more suitable to your requirements. Take a look at your household budget. Can you be sure that these bills can be met if you weren’t around?

 

 

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HOW TO CREATE A BRIGHTER FINANCIAL FUTURE IN SIX EASY GOALS

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There is never a bad time to set ourselves financial goals. Some of us are good at managing our money, and some of us struggle. Whatever the case, we should always plan for the future. We never know when disaster might strike, and we might want to plan for our children, as well as ourselves.

These are the financial goals we think you should set to give yourself a brighter financial future.

 

financial goals



Record your expenses



Whether you use a mobile app to help you keep your finances on track, or use the simple paper and pen method, ensure you know how much you are spending. Make a note of everything, from single purchases at the local store to the cost of your monthly bills. This is one habit you need to keep on top of, as knowing where your money is going is your best bet in knowing where to save and cut back.


Reduce your debt



It may take you years to clear your debts, but set yourself some attainable goals. How much can you reasonably afford to pay each month? Set yourself a target and stick to it. Should you have multiple debts, the good idea is to amalgamate them into one monthly payment. So, as crazy as it sounds, take out another bank loan or credit card, but find one that offers low or zero interest. This way, you will get out of debt sooner.



Set up an emergency fund



Search for the best savings interest rates, and set up a savings account. Only put into your savings what you can afford each month, but something is better than nothing. Having the extra money to hand when you need it in an emergency will reduce some of your stress. Again, knowing how much you spend helps. Stick to your budget, and if you have any money left over at the end of the month, put it in the emergency fund.

 


Save on household bills



There are many bills we pay each month, but we can cut down on the expense. For starters, use a price comparison service to find a better deal. Then make it a habit to cut down on the energy you use. From remembering to switch lights off when you leave a room, to reducing the number of baths you take a week, make it an effort within your family to set yourself this energy saving goal.


Remember your pension



There is some great advice here for saving for a pension, and no matter how old you are, there is no bad time to start. We will all get old, eventually! Your company may already pay money into a pension fund, but if you have the means, you should also top it up on a regular basis.

 


Stop wasting money



Finally, make a concerted effort to stop wasting money. You may have a bad habit, such as smoking or drinking, or you may go crazy at the supermarket on things you don’t need. Try and cut back on addictions (and that includes shopping) and only buy what you need. There is no harm in treats occasionally, but you need to spend within your means.

 

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THREE OPTIONS FOR YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY BEYOND RENTAL

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If you have an investment property in a popular area, it can seem like the route to your fortune is easy. All you need to do is make a few adjustments to the house, find a tenant, and then enjoy your new status as a landlord.

 

Of course, the reality is… somewhat different. While it might seem like a nice idea, the truth is that renting a property out is not without its difficulties. Even if you hand over the majority of the rental control to an agent, that still means you’re making a dent in your profits, and you might not be any more guaranteed a seamless landlord life anyway. With changing legislation always an issue and landlords high on the target list for national ire, there’s plenty of reasons why the idea of being a standard landlord isn’t going to work well for your situation.

 

So – you have a property, or at the very least thinking of investing in one. You don’t want to go down the conventional route when it comes to letting it out. So what can you do with it?

 

investment

 

Option One: Nothing At All

 

It’s not the norm, but it does happen: you own the property and then, aside from an annual inspection to ensure everything is still ticking along as it should be, you leave it alone.

 

This is an expensive option, without a doubt. You’re not going to have an extra stream of income to help with the mortgage and tax burden, so you’d have to be financially sound to even be considering it. On the plus side, it does mean you don’t have to worry about tenants damaging your building or jumping through the various legislative hoops – which if you prefer a worry-free life, might make it worth considering.

 

Option Two: Short-Term Lets

 

The so-called sharing economy has become all the rage in recent years, and there’s no reason why your property investment shouldn’t be a part of it. Without the constraints a traditional landlord-tenant relationship might place on you, short-term lets offer you a chance to increase your income without the hassle.

 

The platform that introduced the entire concept – Airbnb – is still overwhelmingly popular, and you may find that Airbnb management services make it easier than you ever would have imagined to run such a letting. On the negative side, you’re not going to be guaranteed a steady stream of renters the way you would be a more conventional tenancy agreement, but that also means that you won’t be dealing with an endless stream of problems, too.

 

Option Three: Live In It

 

Of course, just because it’s an investment property doesn’t mean that you have to have other people live in the house at all. If you pool the money you have available from your home and what you have to invest, you could buy a truly remarkable house which you can then downsize from in retirement – and earn yourself some money at the same time.

 

This does mean that you’re going to be using – and thus potentially damaging – the house as a family home, but on the plus side, it guarantees that you will always be able to keep an eye on the property.

 

So which option do you think might be for you?

 

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