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5 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

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Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Business owners often find themselves with too much to do and very little time to get it all done. When you are overwhelmed by your workload and you have already stretched your staff thin, you should consider hiring a virtual assistant. This a great option when finances are tight and you can’t afford to hire another full-time employee. It also becomes a way to get some help with areas where you don’t have the skills or interest need to be efficient. Regardless of what you think your budget looks like, the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant are worth the small investment you will make.

Reduced Labor Costs

When you hire another employee, not only do you have to pay out a salary, but you also to worry about providing benefits. These could include sick days, holiday leave, medical benefits, and workers’ compensation. You also have to create a room within the office or work location, adding on extra costs for furnishings or utilities. If you are self-employed, this adjustment could cost a lot of money. Having a virtual assistant solves this problem. They work as independent contractors, paying their own taxes, expenses, and insurance. If you are already using a virtual phone system, it’s a snap to connect in a virtual assistant.

More Flexibility

You are limited by your office hours and your manpower. When you have a virtual assistant answering your phones and scheduling tasks, you don’t have to stick the regular 9-5 office hours. This assistance can operate in a different time zone than where you are, allowing you to create a schedule that will maximize output. You aren’t limited by eight-hour shifts or the inability to find someone to work with the weekends. There are a lot more assistants to choose from when you try a virtual option. You don’t get this kind of flexibility with a full-time, on-site employee.

Increased Productivity

There are a lot of distractions in the average office environment. Checking emails, headed to the breakroom for coffee, or jumping online to order some new things from Amazon are constant interruptions for employees. Your virtual assistant won’t have these same distractions. They work differently and are able to focus on what it takes to get tasks done. As a self-employed individual, they realize the importance of client satisfaction. If they start missing deadlines or failing to deliver results, they realize it could mean the end of their contract and poor references. These assistants are often more motivated and have higher productivity rates than a typical employee.

Better Work Quality

As mentioned, the distractions of the work environment can keep you from work that needs to be done. Even though you are working through an inbox or managing the website, at the end of the day, you probably experience frustration over how little you seemed to accomplish. At the very least, you haven’t done one thing well but barely got things finished. With a virtual assistant handling the busy work, the overall quality of your business will improve. There is a dedicated person addressing important tasks like email and phone calls, while you spend time training your employees and working on new products. Virtual assistants also tend to be aware of the newest technologies and software for streamlining operations, saving you valuable time in trying to get your current staff up-to-speed.

Lower Risk for Growth

The nature of your business may lead to fluctuations in profit, and you may be unsure of what you should do next. You want to prepare for growth, but you aren’t sure that you have the finances to do so. You don’t want to commit to hiring a full-time employee for a position that you aren’t sure will pan out a few months down the road, and then have to let them go. A virtual assistant is a solution that takes on less risk. You can have the extra help while you need it without hurting the budget. If you find that growth occurs more rapidly and you need extra help, considering hiring on another virtual position before investing in a full-time hire.

With a virtual assistant, your office or business gets the skills and help it needs to run efficiently. You are given a break from picking up all the pieces, and your budget doesn’t feel the burden of new hire expenses.

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The Top 8 Stock-Market Sectors You Should Invest In 2020

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Top 8 Stock-Market Sectors You Should Invest In 2020

The stock market has been in the game of money-making for the long haul now. Some stocks will see a rise in the value while other stocks will fall behind, which brings us to the most critical question, which stock should we invest in?

The main issue with the stock market is that it doesn’t move in a synchronized way. You can never predict absolutely where the stocks will be in the next month. Investors generated decent revenues over the last ten years, thanks to the S&P 500. Some potential sectors hold a lot of promises to outperform the general market. Given the COVID-19 outbreak situation,  the critical question remains which sector will probably generate the most returns.

That said, hop on board as we suggest the top 8 sectors to invest in to be successful-

1. The Field Of Technology

Tech stocks have become one of the highest-grossing sectors for investments. By introducing newer technologies every year, tech stocks get a boost up. However, the competition is also enormous here as fresh & new tech giants are emerging every year.

So, have a clear vision of those tech stocks’ success out of thousands out there.

This sector includes IT firms, anything involved with the internet, high-tech devices, and even blockchain technology.

Speaking of blockchain, the latest “cryptocosm” powered by blockchain technology has got all the investors hyped up about the $16.8 Trillion Reboot and is said to impact all the tech industries worldwide. To know more about it, you can check out the blog post on George Gilder’s prediction.

2. Banking Sector

The banking sector is one of the most diversified sectors in the stock market.

It holds great promises. But people have been fed misconceptions for so long that they mistakenly ignore investing in the banking sectors.

Coming out of recession in this modern age, banks hold risking values regarding loans & financial services.

The banking sectors pose a significant threat of loss, too, when the economy is sinking. But given the current pandemic situation, the economy is steadily recovering.

Under the new law of Federal Reserve Policy, the long-argued complaint of high-interest rates in short-term loans has vaporized. This situation will probably continue for an extended period.

Thus, banks will borrow money at a lower interest rate & lend it at a higher rate. Hence it will be wiser to invest in banking sectors considering the current situation.

3. Health Service

This sector is one of the most common players in the stock market all over the world. The main reason is that the demand for health sectors will always remain regardless of its financial & economic condition. For as long as there is life, there will be a demand for health services.

Being consistent also gives rise to steady growth over the long term.

So, people discard investing in the health sector for an extended period. The main reason for denial is that people don’t believe that the steady nature will transform, like the tech field.

Again, this sector’s appeal increases when people want to make unlimited investments. But that happens only on some particular occasions like today. The outbreak of COVID-19 has boosted the health sectors to the peak. This specific demand is for the vaccine. Thus, people will invest enormously now to get the remedy.

The health sectors mainly cover hospitals & other healthcare providing services. So, investing in this sector may as well get you an all-weather investment.

4. Consumer Products

Consumer products are mainly of two types: consumer staples & consumer discretionary. However, these two types have distinctive values in each respect. Let’s find out which products belong to which group.

Discretionary products are related to automobiles, travel, retail, and apparel.

We may or may not need it always, but we eventually buy these products.

When the economy is swiftly creating jobs, people buy these products more. That gives rise to its stock values.

Now the staple products are our daily life beverages, foods, household products, groceries, etc. These products will always have a demand.

Unlike discretionary goods, they won’t have high returns; instead, they will move steadily. Walmart, Coca Cola, etc. are examples of consumer staples.

Seeing the world at a standstill, the demand for discretionary products won’t be much. That’s why investing in consumer staples will be a smarter choice.

5. Media

The media has always given a fair competition to other sectors of the stock market.

However, considering the current scenario, the picture has completely changed. People are living in quarantine for almost 6/7 months now. Being locked down, people will spend more & more time on recreational activities.

Media is the perfect getaway for them to cope up with the pandemic. Nowadays, the demand for Netflix subscription is higher than owning a vehicle or fancy clothes.

People are watching TV more than ever. Besides that, many recognized entertainment brands have switched their side by introducing online streaming sites. By introducing Disney, Apple+, Netflix, etc., media is a hot cake in the stock market.

6. Material Manufacturing Sector

Chemical groups have seen a massive boost to their stock values this year, thanks to the pandemic.

The need for hand sanitizer, masks, PPE, etc. has given the rise in stocks of material manufacturing firms.

Given the current situation worldwide, this sector will generate enormous profit.

7. E-commerce

Online transactions have always been a great alternative to the banking sector.

These days, people are ordering everything online more than ever! Thus services like MasterCard, PayPal, etc. have seen a boom.

Their share prices have gone up consequently. So, investing in E-commerce is also a safe bet.

8. Real Estate Sector

Real estate sectors include companies that are involved in direct selling of real estate. If a country goes through economic expansion, this sector flourishes the most.

The same goes for the situation of coming out of recession. This sector can outperform the market if the economy is growing.

The downfall is also massive. If there’s any economic decline or outbreak of something like COVID-19, it severely underperforms.

The perfect alternative to real estate is real estate investment trusts. But here you will deal with hotels, large complexes, medical buildings, and offices. Given the current situation, it can be a better alternative to the real estate sector.

Takeaway

Investment choices and strategies change over time. It is essential to stay updated with current financial trends. Consider the sectors mentioned above to make safe investments and get better returns.

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Beginner’s Guide to Survey Data Analysis

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Chattermill Data Survey Analysis1

Conducting customer feedback surveys is a powerful way to gather insight on your products and services straight from your target market. You’ll be able to determine what’s working, what’s not and discover any tweaks you should make to your business strategy. While collecting this data may seem easy, it’s important to understand what your findings even mean. This is where survey data analysis comes into play. 

When analyzing the data being collected, there’s many different ways to explore your findings to ensure you are reading and utilizing the data correctly. Looking at trends and patterns in the data you collect can help you discover any challenges in order to develop a solution. 

Take a look at this beginner’s guide on survey data analysis from Chattermill that highlights survey analysis variables, the best times to send a survey, and how to accurately analyze the data you collected. Or, take a look at the visual summary below: 

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Millennials Are Diverse — Here’s What That Means to Your Startup

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Millennials Are Diverse -- Here's What That Means to Your Startup

Your startup is working on appealing to millennials, but for some reason you’re seeing more work than results. It’s frustrating because of just how many millennials there are out there, and you know they could benefit from your product or service. The value is real and you’ve got some super intelligent people on your team. Yet despite all ads, website content, and social media presence, sales to millennials remain flat.

To engage a millennial audience, you must recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion to this generation. 

Why Diversity Is Important to Millennials

About 44 percent of millennials are members of a minority group, meaning this is the most diverse generation America has ever seen. Purely from a numbers perspective, it’s easy to see why a group of diverse individuals would put a premium on companies that include people of varying ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds.

About 83 percent of people feel marketing messages are more likely to have a positive impact if they accurately represent modern society. 

Given these factors, over 91 percent of marketers say there’s still a lot of room for growth when it comes to portraying diversity in ads.

As society becomes more diverse, millennials want to see this reality reflected by brands. Millennials are a value-driven generation that believes a company’s level of social responsibility is just as important as its offering(s). Millennials have grown up in an interconnected world, and, at least in America, they were taught to believe in fairness and equal opportunity for all.

The fact that millennials are digital natives plays a big part. Through the internet, this generation gets input from people all over the place. On Facebook, you can be friends with someone whose skin color, gender identification, and culture are completely different from your own. On Instagram, you can follow and be followed by a diverse array of people; likewise on Twitter.

In a study of millennials conducted by the Atlantic Marketing Group, participants were most likely to purchase items their friends “liked” on social media (primarily Facebook, but also Twitter and YouTube — the study was released in 2013 before Instagram was huge). The influence of friends was more important than celebrity endorsements, TV commercials, and emails. This finding corresponded to other findings in literature on this subject.

In other words, social media facilitates easy connections with a diverse array of people, millennials are very active on social media, and their purchasing decisions are influenced by what their friends like.

What Your Startup Can Do about It

The value of your product or service is important, but for millennials, there are thousands of products and services to choose from. Alongside showcasing the value of your product, showcase how you value diversity.

Start a conversation

Having a conversation with people is a way to get them interested in what your brand has to offer. As an entrepreneur, you know the market and the numbers you need to hit. Harness your knowledge of your target audience to start a conversation. Through conversation, you introduce people to your brand. The numbers come later. 

The conversation can involve blog posts, social media posts, webinars, videos, and white papers. Make the topic of conversation something that minority members of your audience are interested in discussing with you and each other (e.g. If you’re a tech company, a blog post could be something like, “Why Don’t Tech Companies Pay Women As Much As Men?”).

Most importantly, think about issues that you and your team care about and are affected by, and how these issues connect to diverse audiences. Start a conversation about these issues.

Express your values 

Use your website as a place to express your values. Make it easy for users to navigate to the values page; include pictures of your team and a thorough write-up on what you value in people, non-profits, causes, and fundraisers.

The values page isn’t a place to sell anything, it’s a place to express yourself as humans. Be sure to include input from as many members of your team as possible. If your values page is compelling and real, users will stay on your website to find out what else is going on.

Values are part of branding: about 66 percent of people want brands to take a strong stand, and 58 percent want brands to handle social media controversy head-on. Don’t be afraid to voice your values on social media.

Make sure your team is diverse

If you express support for diverse cultures and ethnicities, yet you don’t hire and promote minorities, you’re being inauthentic. That’s bad for business. Your brand could receive bad press, and your conscience will feel the twinge. 

Set that aside for a moment — Forbes’ Anna Johannson reports that “companies in the top quartile of diversity are 35 percent more likely to have above-average industry returns.” Diversity is good for business, in part because it brings bright minds and new ideas to the fore.

Embrace Diversity — Let It Shine in All Your Endeavors

Let’s go back to one of the statistics from earlier in this piece: over 91 percent of marketers say ads could be more diverse. The problem with that is diversity is not an advertisement. It’s not a strategy for selling more stuff to people — it’s an ongoing process, a value you must embrace and bring to fruition in your company.

Do your best to bolster minorities inside and outside of your organization and let your actions proceed from there. Millennials who value diversity will take notice. As for millennials who don’t value diversity, they’ll still be happy about the value of your product or service.   

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