The 3 Best Tips For Building Your Business In A Regional Area

business plan

business planWhether you are building your business from scratch or branching an already successful enterprise into a new area, setting up shop in a regional area has some additional considerations for business owners to take into account. Attracting and retaining talent in regional or remote areas can be challenging because there is typically a smaller pool of viable candidates to choose from. Read on to find out some strategies to help your staff your business outside of a metropolitan area.

1. Look Into Any Grants or Subsidies You May Be Eligible For

Your local chamber of commerce, regional development organisation, or government agency should be able to give you information about any subsidies, grants, or bursaries you and your employees are eligible for. These organisations often manage or promote programs designed to help businesses find or keep skilled, qualified and talented workers in the region.

2. Consider Training And Developing The Workforce You Need

There is often a number of enthusiastic, willing and sometimes skilled workers in a regional area who could benefit from some training and development opportunities that they haven’t previously had access to. Rather than spending time and resources on trying to bring and keep people in the local area, why not turn to the people who are already living and established there? You may need to consider a trainee-ship program or another kind of formal development program, particularly if locals haven’t had the opportunity to work in your industry before. Reputable recruitment agencies like the Chandler Macleod group can help you put something formalised into place, particularly if you are looking into Indigenous recruitment or youth trainee-ships and apprenticeships, to help fill your skills shortages.

3. Outsource Some Business Functions

Fledgling businesses and expansions don’t always have a need for full-time staff in every department. With the advent of cloud-based computing and teleconferencing tools like Skype, collaborating with team members in other states, towns, and even countries has never been easier. Have a good look at what roles you actually need in your regional office and see if things like your human resources, bookkeeping and accounting, marketing, and even some administration functions would be better filled with consultants as opposed to hiring permanent full-time or part-time staff. In addition to high wage costs, paying for things like computers, software and other tools and resources for your team to do their jobs can really add up, especially when you’re just starting out. The rate you pay your consultant team might be a little higher than a casual wage, but they supply everything they need to hit the ground running for you.

There are some savvy ways that you can staff your regional business that can help your bottom line, your productivity, and – ultimately – your success. It is just a matter of evaluating what you need and what the best way to achieve it is.

Have you opened a business or additional outlet in a regional area? What advice would you give for building a qualified, capable local workforce?

The Truth About Tax Deductions

tax deduction

tax deductionNow that tax season is upon us, many people look for ways to reduce their taxes (hopefully most of you took advantage of some tax deductions before the end of the year!). There is usually a mad rush to claim all of the deductions one can in order to reduce their tax liability. But are tax deductions really worth it?

Before getting into this discussion, I need to make a clarification between a tax credit and a tax deduction. Too often, people confuse the two and think they are equally as good. But, this isn’t the truth.

What Is A Tax Credit

A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax you have to pay and it is a dollar for dollar match. For example, the lifetime learning credit, which is currently $2,000 reduces your income tax by that $2,000. [Read more…]

Solving Your Saving and Investing Problems In 2 Steps

spending and investing problems solved

spending and investing problems solvedWhy do people overspend? Why are most of us such bad investors? Why can’t we all be the 1% instead of the 99%? For most us, the reason is a lack of understanding. While we all know we have to save 15% of our income, why don’t we do it? It’s because we don’t realize what that 15% represents. In this post, I am going to break things down to the most basic levels possible. By doing this, I am certain you will see finance and money in a new light and maybe, just maybe, make the changes you need to put yourself on a path towards financial freedom.

Why Can’t We Save?

We can’t save any money because we don’t realize just how much money we need to save and how quickly we spend. For example, I tell you that you need to save 15% of your income. Great. But how much is 15%? Most of us just stop after saving $100 or so and think that this is close to 15%, but it isn’t. You need to figure out how much 15% is based on your salary. Luckily, here is a chart to show you: [Read more…]

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

kick in the pants

kick in the pantsToday I am going a little off track with the finance talk. It’s a Friday and I feel like having a little fun. So, I decided to write a post about me. Don’t worry, I’m not this arrogant in real life! I thought long and hard about what makes me, well me and decided to share with everyone 15 things about me that you most likely didn’t know. So without further ado…..

15 Interesting Things About Jon The Blogger

I love hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning are my favorite team. This is interesting because I’m a Philly guy. But, I got into hockey around 7th grade. At this time, the NHL was expanding and two new teams came to be: Tampa Bay and the Ottawa Senators. I became a fan of Tampa Bay because my grandparents had recently moved to South Pasadena, FL, which is close to Tampa Bay.

I am an introvert. I love being by myself. I don’t do well in social settings and the bigger the group, the worse I am. Many times in large group settings, I will “disappear” for 15 minutes just to recharge and enjoy the quiet.

I am a picky eater. Though I have really expanded my tastes in the past few years. I love Asian food now as well as anything spicy. Of course, pizza is still my all-time favorite food and I am lucky that I get to live in the pizza belt. A close second is a tie between a Five Guys burger and a Smashburger. [Read more…]

Best Way To File Taxes: DIY or Pro?

best way to file taxes game

best way to file taxes gameAre you debating doing your own taxes this year or hiring a professional? If you have trouble calculating your tax return, or even following the convoluted 1040 and other worksheets, then hiring a professional is not a bad idea. In fact, it’s the best way to file taxes.

But in the absence of a regulatory body that can dictate who can and who cannot prepare tax returns, virtually anyone can set up a business and offer their service claiming themselves to be the best, regardless of whether they are trained in tax laws or not. This makes it difficult to separate the good guys from the bad ones.

Best Way To File Taxes: Go Pro

Get Advice From People You Know

The best way to start your search is by asking the people you know – your relatives, friends, colleagues, business associates, financial advisors and attorneys. Some of them are bound to know a good tax accountant who has the expertise and experience you are looking for. Ask them to tell you truthfully about their experience with the tax pro they had hired and ask them what score they would be willing to give him or her out of 10. Get the name of at least three tax accountants and do an online search to find out more about them. [Read more…]

8 Free Excel Spreadsheet Templates

Personal Budget

budgetingIn honor of America Saves Week, I want to talk about budgeting today. I know, I know, budgeting isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world. But it is needed if you ever want to attain financial freedom. Too many people are stuck in life because they have no clue where their money is going. Honestly, how many times have you logged into your bank account, saw your balance and were surprised because it is much lower than you expected? Heck, I’ve been there plenty of times myself.

The way you overcome this is by budgeting. To some reading this, you might shudder at the thought of a budget. After all, it is limiting your spending right? Wrong! Stop looking at a budget as a short term tactic to stop you from spending and start looking at it as a tool that will help you reach your wildest financial dreams. Want to retire early? A budget can help you achieve it. Want to go on a killer vacation? A budget can help you here too. Once you see how a budget benefits you and doesn’t limit you, you can begin using one to get you to where you want to go.

Finding The Right Budget Template

OK, so I’ve got you interested in budgeting. We are getting somewhere. Now the trick is to find the best option for you when it comes to budgeting. After all, if you don’t like eating peas, it doesn’t make sense to make them a staple of your diet right? You should make broccoli a staple since you enjoy eating it. This will make sticking to a diet that much easier. [Read more…]

5 Things To Do When Approaching Retirement

approaching retirement cake

approaching retirement cakeI recently read an article on the Time website about 5 things you need to do when you are within 10 years of retirement. Overall, I thought the article was good, as it covered a lot of the things you should think about as you near retirement. In fact, it included one thing that I think most people often overlook. With that said, all of the items on the to do list should not be ignored until you are approaching retirement. So what are these 5 things? I list them below and then go into more detail as well as action steps you should take to be in the best financial shape possible as you are approaching retirement.

  • See if you’re saving enough
  • Stagger retirement with spouse
  • Don’t quit on stocks
  • Do mortgage math
  • Make friends with co-workers

5 To Do’s When Approaching Retirement

Are You Saving Enough?

When it comes to investing, time is your best friend. For this reason, you shouldn’t wait until you are approaching retirement to see if you are on track with your savings amount. You need to do this throughout your working years. [Read more…]

8 Ways To Pay Off Student Debt

student debt

student debtStudent loans suck. There is no sugar coating it. But, student debt is for most, a necessary evil if we want to go to college. While there are tons of ways to avoid student debt in the first place, I am not going there with this post. In this post, I am going to be talking to those who already have student loans and are trying to get rid of them.

There are all sorts of ways you can pay off your student debt and I am going to walk you through 8 such ways. I’ve done a few of these and know some friends who have done some others. In all, picking a few of these tips will help boost your repayment and help you eliminate your student debt once and for all.

8 Tips To Pay Off Student Debt

Prioritize

The very first thing you need to do is to prioritize. This means taking the time to sit down and review the money you have coming in and the money you have going out. How much can you afford to put towards your loans each month?

Note that I didn’t tell you to verify that you can make the minimum payment each month. Just doing that isn’t going to get you out of student debt anytime soon. In order to get rid of the debt, you need to pay as much as you can. This is where prioritizing comes into play. [Read more…]

5 Great Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas On A Budget

valentine's day

valentine's dayWhat options will you consider if you find yourself with an empty wallet as Valentine’s Day approaches? If you are like some people, you may max out your credit card. While an expensive gift would certainly wow your partner, going into debt because of it will eventually put stress on your relationship. So, before borrowing money to buy a gift, consider these gift ideas.

5 Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas

Romantic Dinner For Two at Home

Restaurants hike up their price on Valentine’s Day. But you don’t have to treat your partner to an expensive dinner in a classy restaurant to impress him or her. A cozy dinner for two at home can be just as effective if you can create the right environment. You can either cook his or her favorite dish or get take out. You can top off the evening with a bottle of wine.

Minimize The Gift Items

Rather than cutting out gifts altogether, try to minimize them. Instead of a bouquet of roses, give her a single red rose. Instead of a box of chocolates, give a chocolate bar. But think of something creative to make it special. For example, with the rose held in one hand, reenact the moment you proposed to her, but with different words this time. [Read more…]