July 31, 2019

How to Create a Logo for Your Business

How to Create a Logo for Your Business

Your business’s logo is perhaps the most important element of your company’s branding. Ideally, your logo should represent what your company stands for and help customers easily recall your business.

How to Create a Logo for Your Business

So what makes a good logo? There are several important design elements and considerations to make before diving in. Here are some of the most important logo design tips and other things to consider as you create this important representation of your brand.

What to Include in a Logo

There are different types of logos out there. But for most small businesses, it’s a good idea to include your business name in the design to make things easy for customers. In addition to your name, your logo should include some kind of graphic that makes it stand out. This might be as simple as a customized font. Or it could be an additional shape or illustration.

Some businesses also choose to have a couple of different logo variation. You might have one full logo that includes your name and every design element in one. Then you might have a smaller version that just has your initials or a small image that you can use for small things like social media icons.

When to Design a Logo

It’s a good idea to have a logo design before you really start promoting your company. A logo is meant to pull all of your branding together and help customers easily recall your business. So you want to have it in place when you first start working with customers so there won’t be a disconnect if you go to change it shortly thereafter.

However, you should at least wait until after your business name is registered to go through the logo design process. If not, you risk wasting a ton of work or expense and will need to create something new if you’re not able to secure your name of choice.

How to Design a Logo

When it comes to the practical elements of logo creation, you have a few basic options. For solopreneurs or business owners with design skills, you can try to design your logo on your own. Or if you have a design team in your business, you can have this task completed in-house.

Otherwise, this important task is usually best left in the hands of professional designers. You can find a local or online logo designer to work with on a custom branding package. Or you can try out platforms like Fiverr or 99designs to find designers and logo options that suit your needs.

Logo Design Tips

Whether you work with a designer or want to create your own logo, you’ll need to start with some idea of what you want your logo to look like. Color is one of the most important elements to consider, since it can be super eye catching.

Different colors tend to carry different connotations with consumers. For example, red tends to be associated with power. Green is popular with companies that want to seem fresh and natural. And Yellow is often associated with happiness. You can include just one color in your logo or a combination. Just make sure the shades you select complement one another. Many brands also choose to include black or another neutral shade for the type, and then integrate color in other ways.

The font that you select for your business logo is also essential. Similar to your color choices, the typeface should be indicative of your brand in some way. If you want to appear professional, opt for classic fonts. For those who want to appear modern or trendy, something more stylized will probably be better. Additionally, you need to make sure the type is easy to read no matter what size or format your logo appears in. It should be as clear on large, printed materials as it is on small online icons.

Once you have a general color scheme and font style, it’s time to tie everything together. You might include a small symbol or image along with your company name, as long as it’s clear and simple. Think the Nike swoosh or a small outline of a dog for a pet supplies company. Then you can add small details and embellishments like line work or shapes around the type that pulls it all together.

Finally, no matter what colors, fonts and graphics you select for your logo, it’s always important to keep things as simple as possible. Lots of extra words and images can make a logo seem cluttered or confusing. Complicated logos also tend to look worse in print and when sized down for small graphics. Avoid this by keeping yours very basic yet clear and indicative of your overall brand image.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "How to Create a Logo for Your Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 31, 2019

Cyber Attacks Don’t Worry 66% of Small Business Leaders

Cybersecurity Statistics

There is a perception gap about how vulnerable small businesses are when it comes cyberattacks. The cybersecurity statistics from the 2019 SMB Cyberthreat Study from Keeper Security leaves no doubt of this fact.

In the report, 66% of decision-makers say they are not very or at all likely to experience a cyberattack. That is good and well, but a Ponemon Institute and Keeper Security survey revealed 67% of businesses were attacked in the last year.

More than the same amount of people who don’t think they will be attacked are attacked. So, where does this misconception of threat vulnerability come from? According to Darren Guccione, CEO, and co-founder of Keeper Security, this is a crisis.

In the press release for the report, Guccione adds the vulnerability businesses face won’t get better until cybersecurity becomes a priority. He goes on to say, “Our Cyberthreat Study findings show that many companies don’t know where to start with cybersecurity prevention and even more don’t think they will fall victim to an attack, but it’s time they dramatically change their perspectives and put a plan in place.”

Cybersecurity Statistics

In the report, Keeper points out the top six things the company learned from the survey.

Topping the findings, businesses don’t have cybersecurity on the to-do list. To this day, most of the respondents or 60% say they don’t have a cyberattack prevention plan.

Even more distressing, only 9% rank the issue of cybersecurity as a top business priority. And the findings don’t get better, because, double this amount or, 18% rank cybersecurity as their lowest priority.

If you think this lack of awareness is only prevalent in the rank and file of a business, it isn’t. When it comes to CEOs, corporate chairs and owners, only 7% of them say a cyberattack is very likely. And close to half or 43% say a cyberattack is not at all likely. Keeper says this is higher than any other management group surveyed.

The other findings are:

  • Leaders underestimate cyber risks and think they have better things to do.
  • The problem starts at the beginning. This means businesses don’t know where to start. Twenty-five percent say they don’t even know where to start with cybersecurity.
  • Misconceptions about vulnerabilities are real. Respondents in the survey say I’m too small, too new, too unappealing to be targeted.
  • There is a lot of confusion about the job of cybersecurity. Thirty-three percent believe company leadership is responsible for cybersecurity.
  • Passwords policies and sentiment are improving. Sixty-nine percent associate passwords with security, they think it is the first line of defense against an attack.

Password Security is a Strategic Prevention Plan

Passwords are ubiquitous, but not everyone is fully aware of the role it plays in cybersecurity. Keeper says 81% of breaches are caused by a weak or stolen password. Therefore, a strong password policy with robust governance can help prevent breaches.

However, there is a disconnect when it comes to understanding the importance and value of having a strong password policy.

The good news is more businesses are implementing policies. In the survey, 75% of the businesses have policies for updating passwords regularly.

Small Businesses and the Cyber Threat

The lack of awareness and threat is especially high for small businesses, as 43% of cyberattacks target them. And when they are attacked, up to 60% of small companies go out of business within six months.

So, it is not an exaggeration to say the impact can be catastrophic for small business owners. If you are a small business owner in today’s digital ecosystem, you must make cybersecurity a priority.

Takeaway

The cybersecurity statistics in the Keeper Security survey points just how unprepared businesses are for cyberattacks.

A very telling fact in the survey is 70% of businesses operating for 10 or more years believe a cyberattack is not very likely or not likely. But you don’t have to be part of this 70%. Whether you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 days, cybersecurity must be one of your top priorities.

With so much information about the subject, there is no reason you should be in the dark about the threats your business faces.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Cyber Attacks Don’t Worry 66% of Small Business Leaders" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 31, 2019

Cyber Attacks Don’t Worry 66% of Small Business Leaders

Cybersecurity Statistics

There is a perception gap about how vulnerable small businesses are when it comes cyberattacks. The cybersecurity statistics from the 2019 SMB Cyberthreat Study from Keeper Security leaves no doubt of this fact.

In the report, 66% of decision-makers say they are not very or at all likely to experience a cyberattack. That is good and well, but a Ponemon Institute and Keeper Security survey revealed 67% of businesses were attacked in the last year.

More than the same amount of people who don’t think they will be attacked are attacked. So, where does this misconception of threat vulnerability come from? According to Darren Guccione, CEO, and co-founder of Keeper Security, this is a crisis.

In the press release for the report, Guccione adds the vulnerability businesses face won’t get better until cybersecurity becomes a priority. He goes on to say, “Our Cyberthreat Study findings show that many companies don’t know where to start with cybersecurity prevention and even more don’t think they will fall victim to an attack, but it’s time they dramatically change their perspectives and put a plan in place.”

Cybersecurity Statistics

In the report, Keeper points out the top six things the company learned from the survey.

Topping the findings, businesses don’t have cybersecurity on the to-do list. To this day, most of the respondents or 60% say they don’t have a cyberattack prevention plan.

Even more distressing, only 9% rank the issue of cybersecurity as a top business priority. And the findings don’t get better, because, double this amount or, 18% rank cybersecurity as their lowest priority.

If you think this lack of awareness is only prevalent in the rank and file of a business, it isn’t. When it comes to CEOs, corporate chairs and owners, only 7% of them say a cyberattack is very likely. And close to half or 43% say a cyberattack is not at all likely. Keeper says this is higher than any other management group surveyed.

The other findings are:

  • Leaders underestimate cyber risks and think they have better things to do.
  • The problem starts at the beginning. This means businesses don’t know where to start. Twenty-five percent say they don’t even know where to start with cybersecurity.
  • Misconceptions about vulnerabilities are real. Respondents in the survey say I’m too small, too new, too unappealing to be targeted.
  • There is a lot of confusion about the job of cybersecurity. Thirty-three percent believe company leadership is responsible for cybersecurity.
  • Passwords policies and sentiment are improving. Sixty-nine percent associate passwords with security, they think it is the first line of defense against an attack.

Password Security is a Strategic Prevention Plan

Passwords are ubiquitous, but not everyone is fully aware of the role it plays in cybersecurity. Keeper says 81% of breaches are caused by a weak or stolen password. Therefore, a strong password policy with robust governance can help prevent breaches.

However, there is a disconnect when it comes to understanding the importance and value of having a strong password policy.

The good news is more businesses are implementing policies. In the survey, 75% of the businesses have policies for updating passwords regularly.

Small Businesses and the Cyber Threat

The lack of awareness and threat is especially high for small businesses, as 43% of cyberattacks target them. And when they are attacked, up to 60% of small companies go out of business within six months.

So, it is not an exaggeration to say the impact can be catastrophic for small business owners. If you are a small business owner in today’s digital ecosystem, you must make cybersecurity a priority.

Takeaway

The cybersecurity statistics in the Keeper Security survey points just how unprepared businesses are for cyberattacks.

A very telling fact in the survey is 70% of businesses operating for 10 or more years believe a cyberattack is not very likely or not likely. But you don’t have to be part of this 70%. Whether you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 days, cybersecurity must be one of your top priorities.

With so much information about the subject, there is no reason you should be in the dark about the threats your business faces.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Cyber Attacks Don’t Worry 66% of Small Business Leaders" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 31, 2019

Quit Losing Revenue and Getting Headaches From Fraudulent Chargebacks

Fighting for the reversal of a fraudulent chargeback is both time-consuming and can cause anxiety and aggravation for the customer that has a legitimate reason. Set a system in place that can help guard against wrongful chargebacks and give you peace of mind and continuity of revenue.

Deciphering Fraud From Legitimate Chargebacks

Trying to determine a fraudulent chargeback from one with merit is not always easy when it can days to receive notification there’s a disputed charge. The banking institution is always on your side and can allow a chargeback for situations in which they aren’t warranted.

The Price of Chargebacks to Customer Service

One major problem with frequent chargebacks is that it makes any company leary of dealing with card transactions. It makes it more difficult for a customer with a legitimate reason for a return or chargeback to get it done without a battle. Having a system in place that alerts to potential chargeback fraud helps reduce this problem.

Get the Chargeback Assistance You Need

Seeking the chargeback representment you need from a company like Ethoca is the most sure way to cut down on fraud and rising numbers of chargebacks. You’ll finally have tha ability to communicate rapidly about chargeback issues, rather than waiting days for answers to disputes.

Make Immediate Monetary Reimbursement Simple

Better determine right away if a chargeback is for the right reasons and make the decision to not fight the process. The customer can be reimbursed faster and is made happier. It reduces friction between merchants, banks, and consumers. Customers will prefer coming to you to do business if the process for legitimate chargebacks is without hassles.

Protect Your Ability to Generate Revenue

Fraudulent or loose chargebacks for buyer’s regret is a way to take money out of your own pocket on a daily basis. Get the alert system in place that’s necessary to protect your profits and business revenue. It’s important to bring in the money you need to stay solvent and operational.

Stop Fraud From Ineligible Chargebacks

It can be difficult to know what every banking institute uses as guidelines to reverse chargebacks. By setting agency services in place that can find this information out quickly, you’ll drastically reduce the number of ineligible chargebacks to your business.

Keep more money coming through and staying in the door of your business by reducing the number of chargebacks that happen on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar business or sell strictly online, losing money through ineligible chargebacks and fraud is a problem you need to combat right away.

The post Quit Losing Revenue and Getting Headaches From Fraudulent Chargebacks appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

July 31, 2019

Unfair Performance Reviews Would Make 85% of Employees Consider Quitting

85% of Employees Would Consider Quitting After an Unfair Performance Review

A new report from Reflective reveals unfair performance reviews is prompting 85% of employees to consider quitting. This is because the way we now work is completely different from the time performance reviews were created.

As Liz Ryan, a Fortune 500 HR SVP, writes on Forbes, “Performance reviews are artifacts left over from the Industrial Revolution.” Ryan further emphasizes this argument by pointing out the way we work today.

She adds, “Knowledge Work is more complex and nuanced than that. Knowledge Worker jobs don’t boil down to a number of widgets polished per hour or per quarter.” And the research from Reflective confirms this exact view, and employees are looking for alternative review methods.

So how does today’s workforce want to be evaluated? In the press release for the report, Rachel Ernst, vice president of employee success at Reflektive, says “Employees crave accurate, growth-oriented feedback – and they don’t want to wait until an annual job review to get it.”

If your workers are not making widgets you have to reassess how you evaluate their performance. A once or twice-yearly review is no longer an accurate metric.

Ernst goes on to say, “When employees receive regular attention, recognition, and guidance on how to improve from their managers, they tend to be more engaged and productive.”

The Importance of Accuracy and Frequency

The takeaway from this survey is employees want accurate and frequent reviews. More than two thirds or 68% say bias is responsible for impacting a performance review. By providing accurate, transparent and unbiased performance reviews, everyone can see how decisions are made.

Ernst says, “Creating a culture of feedback that implements a modernized performance review structure based on data helps to eliminate these costly problems.”

Considering most of today’s workforce has grown with digital technology it makes perfect sense; they want to see the data.

Survey Results

The data for the report comes from a survey of 1,000 full-time workers. And if there is one thing which speaks loud and clear from the result is, employees want a fair shake.

According to the report, bias is a big problem. The respondents say reviews which don’t reflect their actual performance accurately is responsible for not getting a promotion. And one third say inaccuracy is something they are least likely to tolerate in a review.

By giving performance feedback on a regular basis, it is much easier to stay accurate. In the survey, 92% say they prefer getting feedback more than once a year. As to the frequency, 42% say they want formal feedback conversations with their manager at least weekly and 72% at least monthly.

When it comes to what they like about reviews, 64% of employees say it gives them helpful feedback, good face time with managers (45%), and makes what the need to get promoted clear (41%). But not everyone is this positive.

The Consequences of an Unfair Performance Review

If an employee feels their review is inaccurate or biased, they can get angry and take some vengeful actions.

Of those who plan to quit, 51% say they are going to do so in a blaze of glory. This includes exposing company secrets (12%) and bad-mouthing coworkers, boss or company (18%). But 78% say they will create an “I Quit” video and post it on social media.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Unfair Performance Reviews Would Make 85% of Employees Consider Quitting" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 30, 2019

Enhance EHS Implementation through an EHS Software

 The integration of an EHS Software in an organization can immensely contribute to the effective implementation of workplace safety practices. The reason is because there are already a lot of individuals who are becoming interested in an organization’s approach to laboratory environmental health and safety (EHS) management that includes laboratory personnel, customers, clients, supplier, the students (if applicable), the community, shareholders, contractors, insurers, and the regulatory agencies. There is already a growing number of organizations that have attached the same importance to high standards in EHS management as they do to other key aspects of their activities. These high standards, however, will demand a structured approach to the identification of hazards and the control of work-related risks.

Role of EHS Software to EHS management

There is already a comprehensive legal framework that already exists for laboratory EHS management. With this, it will require organizations to manage their activities so that they can anticipate and prevent circumstances that might result in occupational injury, ill health, or to an adverse environmental impact. This is where the integration of an EHS software comes into play because the process of manually monitoring all of the flags and hazards will be greatly minimized, thereby providing for an efficient and effective implementation of the EHS policies in the organization. The EHS performance of an organization as integrated into the EHS management with other aspects of the organization will also be improved through an EHS Software. There are also a lot of effective EHS management features that are identical to management practices which are advocated by proponents of quality assurance and business excellence.

Within a lot of organizations, there are already some elements of EHS management that are already in place, like policies, risk assessment records, however, there are still other aspects that need development. As part of that development, the organization should consider integrating these data in an EHS software in order to easily provide analysis and resolutions on critical areas. It is also essential that all of the necessary elements are being incorporated into the overall EHS management system. The manner and the extent as to which individual elements are to be applied will depend on factors like the size of the organization, the nature of the activities of the organization, and the conditions in which the organization operates. The organization should carry out an initial status review especially if they do not have an established EHS management system yet. The output of this initial status review will then provide information regarding the scope, adequacy, and the implementation of the current management system. If there is no existing formal management system, or the organization is a new one, then the initial status review should indicate the position of the organization with respect to managing risks.

Why is EHS Software important?

One obvious primary benefit in integrating EHS software in the workplace is that it helps in preventing incidents like injuries, illnesses, and harmful environmental releases.

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire incident was one of the classic and most horrible historic examples that manifested the need for EHS efforts. The Bhopal/Union Carbide explosion in 1984, the Upper Big Branch Mine-South explosion of 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, and the fire and ultimate downfall of the Saval building in Bangladesh were other well known and the more recent incidents that call for the need of EHS integration.

These hazards are real, that is why there really is a need to put in an EHS software that can provide real benefits to the organization. Thus, for example, there is this OSHA website on safety and health management programs that provides a lot of case studies that demonstrate these benefits.

Furthermore, the integration of EHS software at work will show employees that their company cares about their well-being. Thus, if your organization has an active EHS culture, then your company sure has fewer incidents in the workplace. This will also make the employees in the organization to feel safer and more valued as an individual component of the organization. With this, it will create a positive effect on employee morale, retention, productivity, including hiring.

There was a recent study conducted by the American Psychological Association that showed millennials are ranking safety as an issue of workplace stress higher than among other types of issues. This, of course, makes sense for a generation that was practically raised in the shadows of the 9-11 tragedy, the Great Recession, school shootings, and the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Thus, since there is already a growing number of millennials who are entering the workforce, the integration of EHS programs is going to be increasingly important in an organization.

This is just one way of how EHS programs can help provide a dramatic positive effect on your company’s bottom line. As an example, a certain study shows a direct correlation between the safety and health program and the stock performance of a company. There are websites that provide you with an online calculator that you can utilize to estimate the cost of health and safety incidents at your own workplace. You can give these websites a try so that you can see it for yourself.

With the integration of EHS programs, this also increases customer loyalty. There are a lot of customers today that are researching these issues before they go decide which companies will be getting their money. Your organization can consider tapping into this EHS-friendly revenue stream, by doing the right thing at the same time.

What to do before integrating an EHS Software?

  • Establish an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Policy

The top management of the organization should first set in place the procedures that will define, document, and endorse a formal Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) policy for their company. This policy should be able to deliver a clear outline of the roles and expectations for the organization, the faculty, the EHS personnel, and the individual employees or students. The policy should be developed in communication with the laboratory personnel to make sure that all major concerns have been properly addressed.

The EHS policy and the policy statement should be periodically reviewed, revalidated, and if necessary, revised by the top management as often as needed. This should also be communicated and be made readily accessible to all of the employees and be made available to relevant parties who are interested.

  • There should be a commitment from the management

One of the elements that are widely recognized to be the most critical in order for the EHS program to succeed is the management’s commitment to EHS performance. Therefore, it is essential that the management system documentation will be able to institute management commitment with a formal statement of intent defining examples of how performance goals are supported.

  • There should be planning

Planning is indeed an integral part of all the elements of the management system. And for the system to be effective, this will involve the design and development of suitable processes and organizational structure to manage EHS aspects and their associated risk control systems which are proportionate to the needs, hazards, and risks of the organization. It is equally important to deal with planning so to further deal with the health risks that might only become apparent after a long period of latency. This is also going to establish the objectives defining the criteria for judging the success or failure of the management system. The objectives should be identified on the basis of either the results of the initial status review, subsequent periodic reviews, or other available data.

When the applicable EHS aspects have been identified, a risk-based evaluation should be performed in order to determine the potential impact and adequacy of existing control measures. If there are additional controls or corrective actions needed in order to reduce risk to acceptable levels, these are going to be integrated into business planning. By categorizing each item in this manner, this will allow gaps that are identified to be prioritized and incorporated which is based on the level of importance and available resources.

There should be precaution when it comes to developing and disseminating new controls and corrective actions. If these requirements are perceived by the laboratory personnel as non-essential, then there is a potential for lower compliance within the organization and it may even create a loss of credibility on the part of the EHS personnel.

  • Implementation of the EHS policy

The design of the management arrangements should be reflective of the organization’s business needs including the nature of their risks. But, there should also be appropriate activities across all of the elements of the model, stemming from policymaking, planning, implementation, performance measurement, audits, and change management, and management review.

Although it is the responsibility of every individual researcher to make sure that work is being performed in a prudent and safe manner, it is still in need to be formalized through the implementation of the EHS policy. These regulations, policies, and plans will never be able to cover every contingency, therefore it is important for these different groups to communicate with each other in order to ensure that new situations can be handled appropriately.

The post Enhance EHS Implementation through an EHS Software appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

July 30, 2019

Insurance for the Self-Employed? 53% Think They Don’t Need It

Insurance for Self-Employed Folks

When you run a business, your risk exposure increases. If you are self-employed, the outcome of these risks can have serious repercussions.

Insurance for Self-Employed Folks

A survey from Qdos reveals more than half or 53% of those who are self-employed don’t think they need insurance. Even though there is a difference between thinking you don’t need it and having it, 29% say they don’t have insurance at all.

If you are a small business or a freelancer working as an independent contractor, clients are now demanding insurance before they hire you. So, knowing your liability exposure and insurance requirements can protect you from financial losses and potential lawsuits. The problem is most small businesses and independent contractors are not fully aware of their liabilities.

In an emailed press release, Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos, addresses the risks and liabilities for self-employed workers.

Maley says, “Self-employed workers are exposed to all kinds of risks on a daily basis – many of which they have no control over and cannot see coming. When running a small business, there’s no escaping the fact that you might have an accident and not be able to work, make a mistake for which you’re liable or even be investigated by the taxman.”

Maley adds if a small business doesn’t have the right insurance, the owner could be personally liable. And oftentimes the cost is more than owners can afford, which can result in the business shutting down.

The Reason for Not Buying Insurance

Surprisingly cost is not the top reason for not buying insurance. While only 25% believe it is too expensive, the majority or 53% don’t think they need it.

The reasons self-employed workers don’t buy insurance:

  • 53% do not think they need it
  • 25% believe it’s too expensive
  • 17% have never considered it at all
  • 8% are looking to buy it
  • 1% can’t find the right policy
  • 1% say they are self-insured
  • 5% stated ‘other’ reasons

The survey also revealed 71% of the respondents hold at least one form of insurance. And the most common policy amongst this group is public liability insurance.

Additionally, 95% of those who earn more than $61K are more likely to have insurance, while those earning under that amount are less likely (63%) to have a policy in place.

Insurance in the Freelance Age

It is not always the case, but when a client requires insurance you have to buy it or lose out on the job. Increasingly clients are asking for insurance because of the work freelancers are performing.

This is especially the case for freelancers working with sensitive data in the healthcare, financial, and security industries. With highly skilled and specialized freelancers now part of the workforce, insurance will increasingly be a requirement. And if it is a big-ticket project which requires compliance, it will most definitely require insurance.

If a client requires insurance shop around because there are many affordable options out there. Don’t just give up without first checking what is available in your price range.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Insurance for the Self-Employed? 53% Think They Don’t Need It" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 30, 2019

Unfair Performance Reviews Would Make 85% of Employees Consider Quitting

85% of Employees Would Consider Quitting After an Unfair Performance Review

A new report from Reflective reveals unfair performance reviews is prompting 85% of employees to consider quitting. This is because the way we now work is completely different from the time performance reviews were created.

As Liz Ryan, a Fortune 500 HR SVP, writes on Forbes, “Performance reviews are artifacts left over from the Industrial Revolution.” Ryan further emphasizes this argument by pointing out the way we work today.

She adds, “Knowledge Work is more complex and nuanced than that. Knowledge Worker jobs don’t boil down to a number of widgets polished per hour or per quarter.” And the research from Reflective confirms this exact view, and employees are looking for alternative review methods.

So how does today’s workforce want to be evaluated? In the press release for the report, Rachel Ernst, vice president of employee success at Reflektive, says “Employees crave accurate, growth-oriented feedback – and they don’t want to wait until an annual job review to get it.”

If your workers are not making widgets you have to reassess how you evaluate their performance. A once or twice-yearly review is no longer an accurate metric.

Ernst goes on to say, “When employees receive regular attention, recognition, and guidance on how to improve from their managers, they tend to be more engaged and productive.”

The Importance of Accuracy and Frequency

The takeaway from this survey is employees want accurate and frequent reviews. More than two thirds or 68% say bias is responsible for impacting a performance review. By providing accurate, transparent and unbiased performance reviews, everyone can see how decisions are made.

Ernst says, “Creating a culture of feedback that implements a modernized performance review structure based on data helps to eliminate these costly problems.”

Considering most of today’s workforce has grown with digital technology it makes perfect sense; they want to see the data.

Survey Results

The data for the report comes from a survey of 1,000 full-time workers. And if there is one thing which speaks loud and clear from the result is, employees want a fair shake.

According to the report, bias is a big problem. The respondents say reviews which don’t reflect their actual performance accurately is responsible for not getting a promotion. And one third say inaccuracy is something they are least likely to tolerate in a review.

By giving performance feedback on a regular basis, it is much easier to stay accurate. In the survey, 92% say they prefer getting feedback more than once a year. As to the frequency, 42% say they want formal feedback conversations with their manager at least weekly and 72% at least monthly.

When it comes to what they like about reviews, 64% of employees say it gives them helpful feedback, good face time with managers (45%), and makes what the need to get promoted clear (41%). But not everyone is this positive.

The Consequences of an Unfair Performance Review

If an employee feels their review is inaccurate or biased, they can get angry and take some vengeful actions.

Of those who plan to quit, 51% say they are going to do so in a blaze of glory. This includes exposing company secrets (12%) and bad-mouthing coworkers, boss or company (18%). But 78% say they will create an “I Quit” video and post it on social media.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Unfair Performance Reviews Would Make 85% of Employees Consider Quitting" was first published on Small Business Trends

July 30, 2019

Here’s How You Can Foreclose a Loan for Business?

The successful operation of a business is dependent on a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to, the product or service being offered, the competition, the brand image, the market conditions as well as the availability of excess funds. Of these factors, one with the highest capacity to impact the business is money. After all, it is money that helps meet various needs of the enterprise. Some of the common expenses include working capital needs, purchasing new equipment or machinery, upgrading technology, hiring new personnel, recouping with sudden changes in the marketplace, and dealing with emergencies, amongst other things.

In cases when your business is running low on funds, and you wish to accomplish any of the aforementioned objectives, a business loan can come in very handy. You can opt for one of the two types of business loans:

Secured Business Loans

These loans are procured by offering collateral to the lender. Since the risk proposition of the lender is low, the interest rate of the loan is also comparatively lower. This loan type is ideal for new and small businesses that are in need of funds, but may not have a strong financial standing or the requisite level of creditworthiness to enjoy an Unsecured Business Loan.

Unsecured Business loan

These loans are procured without offering collateral, thereby increasing the risk proposition for the lender. Consequently, one may avail this loan at a higher business loan interest rate. Large-scale businesses generally avail this type of loan.
Foreclosure of a Business loan

Regardless of the type of loan a business procures, one thing remains constant – the interest outgo. As a thumb rule, every business tries to keep its expenses to the minimum to ensure greater profits. One way to do so is to save the money going towards the interest component on a Business Loan. This can be easily taken care of by Foreclosure, which essentially means paying off the loan in multiple parts or full, before the end of the stipulated tenure. This is usually done, when the business enjoys a surplus cash flow.  In this case, the interest component only needs to be paid until the loan has been paid off in full, thereby helping in saving on the interest outgo.

How to Foreclose a Business Loan?

More often than not, an SBI Business Loan or other Business Loans for that matter cannot be foreclosed online. Hence, you should be prepared to visit your branch to initiate the process of foreclosure, which usually includes the following steps:

On your bank visit, get in touch with a loan executive, and seek assistance for loan foreclosure. At this point, the executive will guide you through the steps, while also handing out a loan foreclosure form.

You will be then required to fill the form with your personal details as well as the information pertaining the loan, and duly sign the same.

Next, you must furnish the following documents to the bank-

  • Proof of Identity (Passport/ Driving License/ Aadhar Card)
  • Loan Documents
  • Bank statements of the loan account

After the submission of documents, you can clear the outstanding loan payment via cheque, demand draft, or cash.

Once the payment is made in full, the bank will issue an ‘Acknowledgement Letter’ stating the same. You should preserve this letter carefully. Then, in the next few days, you will receive the loan agreement, thereby indicating the process is complete from both sides.

Things to Know before Business loan Foreclosure

As simple as the process of foreclosure is, as a business owner, you need to take into consideration the following aspects before going forward with the decision.

The Lender will Levy Foreclosure Charges

While foreclosing a loan helps you save money, it proves to be a substantial loss for the lender. In order to discourage you from prepaying the loan, the lender will levy a foreclosure penalty. This penalty may range anywhere between 0.5% and 2.5% of the outstanding loan amount. You should be prepared to shell out this money, before deciding on the foreclosure.

Besides, it is extremely important that you weigh the savings made through foreclosure, against the penalty, and see if it is still beneficial to pay off the loan. If not, it is better to carry on with regular EMI payments.

That being said, if you enjoy a good relationship with the lending institution, you can always try to negotiate the penalty, and even place a request of waiver of the same.

Your Business Might Face a Cash Flow Crunch

Of course, closing a loan comes with its own benefits, but you must only do so, if you have surplus cash. Otherwise this step may lead you towards an uncalled for cash crunch, with little or no cushion for any bad days ahead. Hence, make sure your finances allow you the ‘luxury’ of foreclosing your Business Loan.

Excess Cash Can Be Used Towards Investments

Even when you have surplus cash, wherein you can comfortably pay off your loan you should always analyse if there are any investment opportunities available. In case, there is an investment which can help you earn greater returns than you will save on the interest outgo towards the loan, then go ahead and invest the surplus money. After all, generating revenues/ returns is the primary goal of any business.

You can Claim Tax Benefits on the Loan

When you file your Income Tax Returns, you can claim deduction on the interest paid towards the loan, by indicating the same as a business expense. When you foreclose your loan, you won’t be able to do so anymore. While the deduction may not be substantial, it can surely be of help if you are a relatively new business.

Timely Repayment of Loan Can Boost Your Credit Score

If you are looking forward to building a favourable credit history for your business, you may want to continue repaying the loan in the form of regular EMIs. The timely loan repayment will reflect the financial discipline of your business, therefore increasing your credit score over time. This may not be the case if you foreclose the loan. Considering that as a business you will need more loans in the future, you should aim to boost your credit rating as much as possible; as it will help you procure Low-Interest Business Loans in the future, that too with considerable ease.

We hope that you now know all that there is to about Business Loan foreclosure, and the aspects revolving around this significant financial decision.

The post Here’s How You Can Foreclose a Loan for Business? appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

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