Increasing Your Employees Financial Literacy May Boost Your Business

increasing payment success

One of the driving forces behind a successful business is a team of happy and productive employees. If you don’t have the right balance in your workforce, you are doomed to fail before you begin. But keeping employees happy and ensuring they continue putting 110% into the job is pretty tough. CNBC reported that one of the leading reasons that employees suffer personally and, in turn, professionally is financial issues and money worries.

So how can you fix that? Encouraging your employees to strive for financial literacy and helping them access the tools to do so will increase their management skills, improve how they manage their funds, and potentially decrease their stress related to financial matters. Furthermore, them attaining financial literacy can also benefit how they perform their duties at work.


Understanding investments

There are many different ways to invest – stocks, bonds, commodities, CFDs, forex, property, art…the list goes on. But not all investments are shrewd ones. People must learn how to effectively invest money in a way that will keep it safe and ensure the best chances of seeing financial returns in both the short and the long term. For example, knowing how to build a diversified investment portfolio and how to maintain it is an important life skill and can help create long term security for your employees. The most popular way for investors to invest is via online trading sites like Trade 360 which offer a selection of services tailored to traders at all stages of their journey. These include forecasting and projection tools, demo accounts, and other tools that can help increase the financial literacy of users.


Managing debts and credit

One of the biggest causes of anxiety for people today is mounting credit and debit card debt, as per a Frontiers in Psychology study. This combined with mortgages, overdrafts, student loans, car loans and store cards, can be truly overwhelming for many. But there are several ways that these can be managed. Firstly, there are several debt consolidation advisories out there that can analyze the income and outgoings of individuals and help them understand where they are going wrong. These groups make great guests at staff meetings or as a part of regular ongoing training.


Knowing how to save

Does your company provide any guidance on saving, for employees? Providing courses or the opportunity to learn more about how to save can be vital for your staff. This can help them to make saving a habit and be sure to put money away each month, helping to support their wellbeing outside of work.

Not only does teaching good financial habits benefit your employee’s wellbeing and help them to focus more on work, but it also provides soft skills that can be beneficial for their roles. Restraint, responsibility, and understanding how currency markets or stock markets work can help them in various ways at work. As an employer, teaching your staff how to manage their finances is an investment in your business.

Issue 1 2021

Welcome to the January issue of Corporate Vision magazine, providing you with all of the latest news and features from across the corporate landscape.

As we take the first tentative steps into a new year – somewhat hesitantly, impacted as we all are by the challenges of the previous twelve months – it’s important to focus on what good things did happen in 2020. The groundwork that was established. The new products that were launched. The changes that were made to better protect businesses moving forward.

By all regards, technology played a key role in 2020. From keeping people connected when we all felt so very distant from one another, to opening new doors for companies of all sizes to continue, in whatever way they could. In many ways, it’s the closest the business world has come to being fully integrated with technology, across all industries and sectors. In all locations. It’s difficult to see how those close ties can now be untangled, so entangled as it is in the fabric of the professional business landscape. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how this symbiotic relationship develops, and how businesses -who perhaps had ignored those elements in years past – embrace the opportunities that the online world and better connectivity can offer.

But, for now, let’s hope 2021 proves to be a better year for everyone. See you next month!


Here’s What COVID Has Taught Us About Doing Business Going Forward

socially distanced office covid

Even though the calendar has flipped from 2020 to 2021, the pandemic hasn’t gotten the message. It is still here, and worse than ever. We are dealing with at least two new variants that are more contagious than the original, and more easily contracted by younger people. Indeed, a new year on a calendar changes very little. We have to continue doing the same things like wearing masks, socially distancing, and staying within our bubble to the extent possible.

That said, there is hope. We have multiple vaccines on the way and two already here. Some businesses are thriving. And there is good reason to believe that more economic stimulus is on the way. Right now, business schools are writing new curricula To address all the lessons learned from the pandemic.

No matter how harsh the lessons have been, there are definitely lessons to be learned. One of those lessons is to always have a contingency plan. Look at how many businesses there were that couldn’t survive past a few days of lockdown. They had no plan for anything other than business as usual. Well the pandemic has been anything but. Here are a few more lessons that will help post-pandemic businesses thrive:


Harness the Power of Big Data

Many businesses have a superpower that is at their fingertips if they were able to see past the current moment. That superpower is big data, and what it can do for them. If you are not familiar with master data management, start here:

Gartner defines Master Data Management (MDM) as a “technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets. Master data is the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies, and chart of accounts.”

Big data can be used to predict the future. Those making the full use of their companies data could have seen the pandemic coming before it arrived on U.S. shores. We could have seen the need and shortage of PPEs and stocked up on basic supplies. Businesses could have seen the pivot from on-prem to delivery services, and so much more, all with the proper harnessing data they already had, or could have easily accessed. Businesses of the future will be data-driven. No more flying by the seat of their pants.


Let Sick People Stay Home

Corporations have a history of making it difficult for sick workers to just call in and stay home. Some companies make being sick a badge of shame. Small businesses offer no benefits that would cover an absentee. And many workers can’t afford to spend a day off work.

These policies and attitudes have led to the spread of viruses throughout the workplace long before COVID came to town. Now, some companies are wondering if they can make vaccines mandatory.

That is a major change in corporate thinking. It is past time corporations take the health of their workforce seriously. Beyond vaccines, they need to reverse course on those ridiculous, open plan office spaces that allow airborne viruses to spread with impunity. Post-pandemic businesses will not be brought down whenever someone sneezes.


Make It Easier to Work from Home

Viral spread is just one reason to make it easier for people to work from home. Many people would be able to do their jobs perfectly well from home even when suffering from sickness or a mild injury. There is no good reason to have so much time lost from productivity.

There is also the matter of having easier access to skilled labor. Not every good fit for your company lives within an easy commute. You could get qualified workers from anywhere in the world, and never have to put up with excuses about traffic making them late to work every morning. COVID blew up all the reasons managers thought working from home was a bad idea. Now, it looks like the most sensible way to work.

Things will get back to normal, even if it is a new normal. Just be sure to learn the lessons that have come at such a high price. Harness the power of your data. Make it easy for sick people to stay home. And make working from home a permanent option.

Ways for Small Businesses to be Successful in the New Year

Improve your small business

If you’re like many small business owners, you’re more than ready to say goodbye to 2020. With the new year here, it’s time to get back on track and experience success in 2021. Below are a few tips to help you achieve your goals.


Reducing Debt

Small business owners don’t have the advantage of a large budget. They must account for every cent they earn and use it wisely. Unfortunately, 2020 was anything but normal, and many otherwise solvent businesses needed to rely on all forms of available credit, including credit cards. The good news is that if you’re now wondering how to pay off credit card debt, you have several options. You can pay a little over the minimum required payment or take out a loan to consolidate the debt into one lower, affordable, monthly payment.  


Marketing Campaign

Most people spend most of their time on their electronic devices such as computers and iPhones. Take advantage of this opportunity. Place an ad on social media that appears when the audience you want is most likely to be online. Send mass emails with catchy intros that prompts opening. These two measures are also cost effective. Regarding your website, gain more traffic by working to reach a higher ranking on a Google search. 


Maintain Your Loyal Base

Assuming that your existing customers will remain loyal is a big mistake many small business owners make. Now, more than ever before, it’s important to remain in contact. Sending random emails to introduce new products or services ahead of a public announcement is one way to ensure they remain on board. Another way is through rewards for loyalty. Offering discounts or free services or supplies after purchasing a set amount is beneficial. 


Expand Your Presence

Besides social media, expand your presence on the web. Find a few reputable coupon sites that list companies and their deals and sign on. Coupon sites have a large following of loyal viewers. Offering even a small discount on your products or services can increase sales significantly. 


Employee Incentives

Your staff has a direct line of communication with your customers. One way to ensure that they are performing beyond expectations is to offer incentives for future sales. Some businesses, like insurance companies, use this method to keep employees working hard. They offer a bonus for each policy they write. If you can’t afford to pay each employee a monthly bonus, hold a contest each month and the one with the most sales claims the prize. 


Get Creative

In times like these, it’s critical to think outside the box. Instead of charging for deliveries, make them free. If you didn’t offer a delivery service, it’s time to consider the implementation. The competition is stiff and standing apart by leading the way is something necessary to achieve sales and expand your small business. 


Know the Competition

Knowing your business competitors works to your advantage. Gain an understanding of all of the services they offer and their pricing structure. Go online as a nameless potential customer and check out their website and the remarks left by their customers. This will disclose their weaknesses and allow you to use them to your advantage.  


Consider Outsourcing

Having people on staff that aren’t necessary for full-time employment, can cause you to lose profits. Instead, consider outsourcing some of these services. Payroll, customer support and IT are a few examples of common services that small businesses outsource to save money. 


Track Inventory

Many small businesses experience a loss or minor gain each year because of purchasing the wrong stock. They buy products and never track their sales. Thankfully, you can avoid this by utilizing management software. 


The year 2020 is no longer. Make 2021 the year your small business takes off! 

How Schools Can Combat Waste

In 2018, the UK government published a waste management strategy for England. It set out various targets for waste reduction and sustainability. One of these targets was that 50 per cent of household waste should be recycled by 2020. The realisation of this target is yet to be demonstrated and published. However, the government remains optimistic.

However, while local authorities continue to combat household waste, another public sector is being neglected. Figures indicate that the education sector only recycles 11.2 per cent of its waste.

Primary schools generate about 45kg of waste per pupil, while secondary schools produce 22kg per pupil. This totals 250,000 tonnes of waste every year.

While the figure is disappointing, it does not detract from the enthusiasm of students to utilise more sustainable practices in their schools. Many students have encouraged authorities to ensure that the environment is a priority. Recycling, composting, and litter picking are all aspects of waste management that children are helping to put into motion.

Here, we look at why waste is a problem for educational institutions, and how schools and local authorities can help combat this problem.


Wasteful spending

Education requires a lot of resources. It is unsurprising, therefore, that 70 per cent of all education waste is made up of food, paper, and card. However, while 80 per cent of this waste is recyclable, the reality is that only 20 per cent of it is actually recycled.

Food waste in the education sector is particularly expensive. The price of procurement, labour, utilities, and waste management means that food waste can cost £2,100 per tonne. Over the course of a year, local authorities will dish out £250 million to manage food waste.

Equally, Landfill Tax adds to an avoidable cost which schools could manage better. Estimates suggest that local authorities could save £6.4 million by utilising more sustainable methods of waste management.

The problem can be tackled by both local authorities and individually at education organisations.


Sustainable schools lead the way

The Eco-School campaign has registered 52,000 schools across 67 countries. These schools follow a seven-step framework to claim a coveted green flag. The steps include forming an eco-committee of students, making an action plan, and putting that plan into motion. Some schools can compost more or grow their own fruit and vegetables on school grounds.

Meanwhile, other schools are taking more proactive measures to reduce waste. Biomass digesters are used to transform food waste into biofuel. This can then be used for heating and energy. On school grounds, this device not only reduces waste. It can also cut emissions from transporting waste to disposal facilities.

Composting is also a common practice at many schools getting to grips with sustainability. Most unavoidable waste, such as eggshells and tea bags, can be composted. Meanwhile, cooked food is better suited to wormeries. Primarily, avoiding food waste is achieved by encouraging students to eat all of their lunch.

Local authorities tackling problems

The main focus for local authorities regarding waste management is to reduce overheads and operating costs. With increasing budget restraints, new solutions are needed to combat this problem.

Avoiding landfill is an obvious option for local authorities to save money. However, school waste going to landfill may be an unavoidable consequence. Public waste services are also struggling with stripped budgets. Instead, contracting waste management businesses may be the solution. They can implement waste strategy plans and organise waste effectively.

Single-stream waste recycling is becoming increasingly common across all sectors. And even local government offices are becoming more aware of their waste responsibilities. Most use waste procurement and waste removal companies. They can organise and dispose of their waste, with assurance that sustainability is ensured.

Education centres can also benefit from this approach if it’s implemented by local authorities. Commercial businesses must follow stringent guidelines when it comes to waste. They must ensure that everything is done to reuse, recycle, or recover waste—in this order. It’s therefore surprising that education isn’t currently achieving the same. With recycling targets for household waste at 50 per cent, it should be possible for the education sector to meet those targets too. Especially when education waste consists of predominantly recyclable materials.

Leading by example is the best form of education. Depriving students of the opportunity to work in an environment where sustainability is a priority is damaging. Students have a considerable enthusiasm for climate change. They understand the consequences of unsustainable practices. Schools must continue to use their platform to inspire the next generation to use waste responsibly and ensure they remain leaders in the green revolution.

What is 3PL logistics and how can it give you peace of mind?


Today, most people prefer to build an online business as it allows flexibility and ease of use. However, running a business isn’t an easy task, especially when you’re just starting out. You’ll need to conduct product and market research, purchase enough inventory, plan your marketing strategies, and officially launch your brand online. While that is definitely hard work, it’ll get even harder when you’re already live and taking orders.   

When your business is running and orders are incessantly coming in, you’ll probably feel happy and stressed at the same time. You’ll be glad because your company is becoming a success and stressed because you’ll be facing difficulties fulfilling multiple orders while simultaneously handling customer service and marketing campaigns. 

To reduce your stress, consider hiring a third-party logistics company (3PL) for your business.  


What is 3PL?   

Third-party logistics is an outsourced service that handles your warehousing, packaging, and delivery. 

When a customer orders an item through your website, instead of picking the items, packing them, and bringing them to your local courier company, the 3PL logistics company will do the job for you as soon as you forward the order details to them. They’ll handle every step necessary to bring your products to your customers safely.   

A 3PL company will take the item from their warehouse, securely wrap the product—especially if it’s fragile—pack it, and send the product to the customer using their couriers. In this way, you’ll have more time to focus on the other aspects of your business that you’d like to improve.   


What Are The Benefits Of A 3PL?   

Many companies either do drop shipping or use a 3PL company. It can make you wonder, why are business owners going for their service? What do they gain from it? 

Listed below are the advantages of using a third-party logistics service for your store:   



If your business is handling a large number of orders every day, you might not be able to fulfill your orders on time. To keep business running smoothly and ensure you’re sending out orders within one to three days, you might need to hire more staff to handle your order fulfillment process. While that can be helpful, it can also be an added cost for your business.

By availing the services of a 3PL company, you don’t have to worry about hiring more people, as the company will get it done for you. They’ll handle any issues, including hiring additional staff. All you have to worry about is keeping up with the inventory. They’ll handle everything else on their end.   

While hiring a 3PL company can be costly, it’ll save you money and time as you don’t need to worry about employing more people and renting a warehouse.   


Saves Time

Sorting and packing orders can take up a significant chunk of your day. You need to make sure that they’re correctly sealed and wrapped perfectly to avoid any damage while in transit. While you’re handling that area of your business, you may not have enough time to manage other aspects your business such as customer service.   

Hiring a 3PL company will enable you to use the time you spend on order fulfillment to work on other essential areas of your business.   

With a 3PL company, you don’t need to worry about allotting a specific time of the day to pack orders when you can just focus your attention on handling your customer concerns and planning effective marketing strategies


Improve Customer Experience  

When customers place an order through your website, they expect it to be delivered to their doorstep immediately. To do that, you must start shipping out their items as soon as you receive their order. However, that can be challenging to do if you frequently get a lot of orders daily. A 3PL company will be able to fulfill your order promptly, so your customers can receive their items as soon as possible.   

If you’re residing in a rural area, using a local 3PL company may not be the best choice as it’ll take additional time to get your products out to the customers. To help you minimize your delivery timeline, work with an interstate logistics company as their team and couriers are typically faster with handling orders coming in from different areas.   

When your customer receives their orders quickly, preferably within one to three days, they’ll be delighted with your service and would consider re-ordering from your store. Remember, some customers tend to give a lower rating on review sites if they received the item late, even if they enjoyed the product. To avoid unfavorable reviews, deliver the items as soon as possible.

Limitless Inventory   

One of the most significant advantages of hiring a 3PL company is that they allow you to store as many stocks as you like. You don’t have to worry about storage space when the 3PL company has got it all covered for you.   

If you’re a huge business and you’ve been selling considerable product volumes, having a well-stocked warehouse would help you never miss a sale. You can continue to sell your products without having to worry about where you’ll store your inventory.  

Peace of Mind  

With a 3PL company, you’ll get peace of mind as they’re professionals who are good at what they do. You don’t have to worry that they won’t be able to deliver on time or use poor packaging because you can easily customize the solutions you get. You’ll also get daily updates about your orders’ status.   

When looking for a 3PL company, ensure that they’re a legitimate company so that they won’t run off with your products. Additionally, you should check their capability to handle large order volumes per day and their warehouse size. Lastly, the 3PL company should be responsive so you won’t have any issues when you have shipment inquiries.   


Running a business is time-consuming, especially if you do everything on your own. Allow yourself to have extra time to focus on the more important aspects of your business and hire a 3PL company. 

You don’t have to worry about handling the orders by yourself when you can simply forward the order details to your 3PL company. You’ll save plenty of time and money. You’ll also be more confident that things are being handled efficiently and professionally.

Blue Monday in lockdown: Are your employees overworked?

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Sadly, Blue Monday is here. But in 2021, not only are we having to tackle the January blues, there’s also the matter of being in the middle of a  global pandemic. 

Almost a year in, employers and employees are still trying to make adjustments and find the best way to work efficiently during these exceptional circumstances.  And, it seems many are feeling the effects of burnout, with a recent report1 revealing employees are working almost six extra hours a week during the pandemic, which equates to 41 days a year.   

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to do everything possible to keep up your employee’s morale at work, and most importantly, ensure they aren’t overworked. Nikki Thorpe, People Operations Manager at the workforce management platform, Planday, provides some expert tips on how to do just that: 


Acknowledge your team’s resilience

“Now that we are almost a year into lockdowns and working from home, the best way to support your team has shifted from people’s immediate needs to an acknowledgement that your team has persevered and is resilient despite it all.

“It’s been such a hard slog to adapt to this working situation for so long. As a leader or manager, showing the shared understanding of these difficulties, of how the team has continued to be productive despite the challenges of 2020 and the first few months of 2021, is vital as the initial adrenaline has worn off.

“We’re all exhausted but it’s also important to stop and acknowledge how far we’ve come.”


Keep a structure

“We’re naturally creatures of habit, and with the longer-term changes to our daily routine, it’s something that is important right now. 

“Encourage staff to be open and transparent when it comes to what’s on their task list for the day,  and share it with other employees – perhaps on Slack or instant messenger. This will help keep focus and normalise the process of having everyone work from home, and ensure all team members are aware of each other’s capacity.”                                   


Be flexible

“Everyone’s situation is different, meaning that some people experience more obstacles than others. This makes it even more important to maintain flexibility right now and show employees that you trust them.

“When it comes to planning shifts, we recommend creating schedules a month in advance to avoid any last minute changes, and leave employees feeling relaxed. It also gives them a window of opportunity to raise any issues they have with the shifts they’ve been allocated.” 


Show your vulnerabilities and be real

“There’s a real strength in leadership to showing your own vulnerabilities and being real with your team. By taking regular breaks, encouraging people to get out and see the sun or even making sure that you switch off after hours, is an important example to set. It will help your team build the psychological safety net to know that doing the same is encouraged.

“Think about a walk and talk for your one on ones and consider how teams can use meeting time to get active or even get outside for a while and get some fresh air.

“Showing that you are comfortable expressing these vulnerabilities and challenges will help your team do the same.”


Use shared experiences to help keep your team motivated

“Team quizzes and after-work drinks are a good start, but it’s also good to think outside the box to help keep your team motivated and engaged right now.

“Whether it’s a shared experience like a virtual yoga session on a Monday morning for those who are interested or cooking something together as a team online, there are a range of ways to encourage people to relax and unwind – and bring your team closer together – when all the days can feel the same.”

From Months To Minutes

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Created in the UK, mnAI is the award-winning platform that holds billions of data points on millions of UK companies, which can be used by investors, advisors and corporates as information and insights to make faster decisions. In fact, mnAI’s ground-breaking platform has reduced a research process that usually takes months into only a matter of minutes. As the platform prepares to take off on an international scale, we dug a little deeper to find out more about the impacts of this revolutionary technology.

mnAI is a platform providing information, insight, research and due diligence on all unlisted companies in the UK for investors, advisors and corporates. Currently holding over 9 billion data points on more than 7 million+ UK companies, mnAI applies a wide variety of machine learning algorithms and filters to enable users to access targeted information far more rapidly than is currently possible. Often, this means completing what used to take months of work in only minutes.

Fundamentally, mnAI believes in a world where technology can be used to accelerate decision making. As such, Founders John Cushing and Andrew King began their enterprise with the mission to provide a single source of unified data that made deal origination, due diligence and customer search really easy. The result would be to dramatically reduce the time it takes investors, companies and individuals to identify and understand an industry or business, enabling faster, more productive decisions based on informed, real-time data. 

Therefore, they created the mnAI platform, a comprehensive, easy to use, efficient product at a competitive price point which is backed by a relentless focus on customer service. The solution uses thousands of web crawlers which scan the internet, capturing relevant company data such as financial, governance, social media, online reviews, websites and more. As a result, mnAI is able to add over 100million data points a week to their platform, which is organised into a comprehensible system by the platform’s Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning Algorithms. 

mnAI then combines and aggregates the data to create proprietary insights that clients can tailor to their individual needs, whether they be looking to form an overall picture on public and private companies, see the key financials of these companies to make predictions of future growth or acquire information of key professionals or investors within an organisation and their networks or much more besides. 

To truly understand the exhaustive nature of the mnAI data source, it is easiest to break it down into its raw numbers and statistics. With 9 billion data points, mnAI is the most comprehensive data source for UK company information and is always growing. The platform has amalgamated, digitalised and visualised 170.4 million governance records and autonomously tracks 37.1 million Directors, Shareholders, Officers and PSC profiles in real time, creating rich insight with mapped connections that couldn’t be replicated by human touch. mnAI is also able to identify seven million UK companies and 500,000 investee companies and create insights from this data within only five minutes.

From its inception, mnAI has been a design led company driven by its devotion to customers, which has been encapsulated in five simple but integral values: first, to keep it simple, to always be transparent and in return, listen carefully to clients and colleagues alike, to always do the right thing and finally, to make it personal. 

In this way, mnAI’s approach focuses on increasing the insights and efficiency of the clients by enhancing and supporting their operations while at the same time reducing costs. The beauty of mnAI’s simplicity as a single platform is that is can be used effectively by several departments, whether they be deal teams, sales, due diligence or compliance (especially on gender), across several industries. mnAI is designed for any company or person looking for potential investments, customers or company information and has as such curated a clientele that includes Private Equity and Venture Capital investors, Corporate Finance boutiques, Wealth Managers, Banks, Commercial Real Estate companies, Family offices and Professional and Financial Services. mnAI has also seen notable interest from business schools, some of which are considered the best in the USA.

With ambitions to begin scaling the platform on an international platform in the near future, mnAI is still faced with the substantial challenge of brand development and raising global awareness of what mnAI can do. The platform’s abilities that are accessible at a remarkably low price point are unmatched by any other organisation in the world, and as such, mnAI is working hard to communicate to prospective clients within their core industry verticals how they can help them to improve their working practices, reduce their costs and give them greater internal capacity. 

It is hard work operating in a growth stage company and requires a great deal of grit. However, arguably this makes every success that much sweeter and the mnAI team celebrate each one together. For the organisation, the people behind mnAI are what have seen the company grow from strength to strength, being instrumental in building the technology, the brand and the relationships with each mnAI client. 

As such, mnAI has been able to cultivate an environment that promotes personal and professional development, trusting in each one of the team members in tech, marketing and sales to do the right thing. For them, the platform they have created is not just a job, it is their passion which drives them to be the best and push the boundaries in knoweldge and innovation. Constantly on the look out for new ways to improve their technology, sell their product and better serve their clients, mnAI is staying true to the values which drive it as they look ahead to the future.

As a pure tech business, mnAI’s entire infrastructure is cloud based so, despite Covid-19 restrictions, the firm has been able to continue the development of its technology. Recently, this has included Insight, which enables customers to generate their own industry reports, and Gender Analysis, which allows mnAI’s entire dataset to be filtered by gender, which has helped make compliance with the Rose Review quick and easy.

As the firm nears the point of scaling the mnAI platform internationally, the team are preparing for their biggest but most exciting challenge yet. There is no doubt that we can continue to see many years of success from this revolutionary enterprise as they achieve their ambitions for global expansion.

7 In-Demand Careers for a Post-COVID America


The events of the beginning of this decade have permanently altered what will be considered an in-demand career for years to come. As a result, you might have noticed a change from which careers were considered solid in 2017, 2018, and even 2019. Let’s look at an updated list.


Construction Worker

Jobs in the construction industries will likely continue to be in demand as more housing will be built, and existing business models will change. The average salary for construction workers is currently just over $31K a year, making it an attractive job for high school graduates who want to start working right away. Construction workers, or laborers, typically start out with tasks such as cleaning debris from job sites, loading and unloading tools, assembling barricades, helping more advanced workers, and holding “slow” and “stop” signs to regulate the flow of traffic. With time, experience, apprenticeship, and/or specialized training, construction workers can go on to become carpenters, electricians, structural metal workers, floor installers, or construction managers.


Certified Nursing Assistant

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) works directly under the supervision of a Registered Nurse in a variety of medical and healthcare settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes. Training to become a CNA includes learning how to take vital signs, feed patients, change bed linens, bathe and dress patients, move patients, and record observations of patient health. Nursing assistants average about $28K a year and should have a high school diploma (or GED) and state certification. 


Registered Nurse

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you’ll need much more education than you do to become a CNA, but your earning potential is much higher. The national average salary for RNs is just over $70K a year. To become an RN, you’ll need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, either from a traditional university or a specialized nursing college, and you’ll need to pass a licensing exam (known as NCLEX-RN) and fulfill state licensing requirements. RNs can administer medications, perform diagnostic tests, and collaborate with medical doctors to provide the best possible patient care.


Long-Term Care Administrator

A long-term care administrator (or nursing home administrator) manages long-term care facilities by overseeing all departments and operations. The average salary for nursing home administrators crosses into the low six-figure range, and the career field is expected to grow over the next decade. To become an administrator, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare-related field, plus graduate work such as a Certificate in Healthcare Analytics or a Master of Health Administration. After completing coursework, potential long-term care administrators must become licensed.


Medical Technologist

If you’re looking for a healthcare career but don’t want to interact with patients directly, consider getting your bachelor’s degree in medical technology or clinical laboratory science. You’ll want to hone your biology and chemistry skills and learn to work with a variety of medical equipment and tools. Medical technologists test blood, other fluids, and body tissue samples, and they work with medical lab technicians. The work a medical technologist does is vital to the healthcare process. Technologists may specialize in a variety of fields, including forensic pathology, transfusion medicine, neuropathology, and others.


Truck Driver

Truck driving might not sound glamorous, but without truck drivers, there would be nothing on your local grocery and retail store shelves, and none of the packages you order online would ever get to you. Truck drivers can earn a living wage, too; the national average salary is over $57K a year. The lifestyle appeals to people who like the call of the open road. Training typically involves attending a trade school; upon completion, you’ll need to test for your commercial driver’s license, pass a drug and alcohol screening, and demonstrate that you have a clean driving record. 


Information Security Specialist

With all of our information online, information security specialists are going to become more and more important. Analysts in the information security field typically earn an average of over $81K a year and have earned a bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science, or a related field. If you work in the information security field, you’ll work with firewalls, antivirus software, and proxies, and you’ll need a firm grasp of networking. 

Five Issues Web Designers Should Address

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Whether you are just beginning your web design career or you have years of experience under your belt, mistakes can happen, and issues can be overlooked. Here are five of the most common issues every web designer should address.


Designing without Considering the Target Audience

One of the most common mistakes web designers make is coming up with an enticing design that stands out of the crowd but does not cater to the target audience. You can design the best-looking website in the world, but if you have not first identified the target audience and customized the design and content accordingly, you can easily fail in your design task.


Making Websites User-friendly and Accessible             

It’s essential that a website is user-friendly and easily accessible by all. But too many web designers make the mistake of trying to make a website look different from others. While an innovative approach is welcome, if you change design elements so much that users can’t even find the navigation bar, they will soon leave the site and search for another. Web designers can also fall into the trap of providing too many options. Overcrowding web pages with pop-ups and content that vies for attention actually causes users to feel like there are no options to pursue. You must ensure audiences don’t get confused after a few clicks if you want to avoid a high bounce rate. Take inspiration from the top web design companies on the planet to ensure the sites you develop are easily usable and accessible.


Making Websites Responsive for Different Devices

According to Statista, mobile devices now account for around half of all web traffic. Therefore, it’s vital that you make websites responsive for mobile devices as well as desktops. If users have to spend lots of time pinching-and-stretching on mobiles to access information, they will soon look for a better source. To make web pages responsive for mobile devices, use a fluid grid, adaptive images and text, and media queries appropriately.


Making Websites Compatible with All Browsers

Websites do not just need to be compatible with different devices. They also need to be compatible with all browsers. So, make sure your web design is code optimized to suit the needs of different browsers. You can use validator to avoid coding errors and utilize CSS reset rules to fit all browser needs. Also, be cautious when using JavaScript, as not every browser supports it.


Avoiding Slow Loading Speeds

If users have to wait more than two seconds for a web page to load, they usually won’t wait. Instead, they will find a faster-loading website for their needs. If the web pages you create take more than a couple of seconds to load, you must address the issue. You can create faster loading times by getting rid of any unnecessary media, such as images and videos. You can also compress images using software like RIOT. Another option is to split pages by taking one page’s content and creating a new page for it. Multiple short pages are much better for quick loading. Clean coding is also a crucial element so that website crawlers and basic bots can understand the simple programming language.

The Importance of Local SEO and How You Can Implement It?

local seo

For the longest time, if a big branded store opened up in an area, the business of small, local businesses offering the same or similar products or services would start dwindling. In some cases, retail chains have even forced local businesses to permanently close their doors.

However, thanks to the wonders of the web, the playing field has been leveled. 

With that said, while the internet itself is not that old, there was a time when big players with seemingly endless marketing budgets would outperform their local competitors with ease.

Thanks to the rise of local SEO and local SEO services, things have changed for the better.

So what is local SEO and why is it so great? Let’s find out.


Why Local SEO Is Equal Parts Amazing And Important

First, let’s talk about what makes local SEO so amazing. As the name may have already given away, local SEO is amazing because it is local. This means, local businesses that offer services or products in a specific geographical location can ensure they are found by potential customers using local SEO. This also means that only the businesses that operate in a specific area will compete for a location specific keyword for that area. 

For instance, for the keyword “marketing agencies in Greenville” only the marketing agencies operating in the Greenville area will be competing. This reduced competition makes it much easier for businesses to rank for location specific keywords, virtually taking away the undue advantage that was being enjoyed by big businesses for many years.

In short, less competition to rank for location specific keywords makes local SEO awesome. Now, let’s look at what makes it important:


  • The number of local searches with intent to purchase is increasing. That’s right, searches containing the terms “where to buy” and “near me” have grown by over a whopping 200% in the last two years.
  • Local searches lead to action. Over half of all “near me” searches lead to a store visit. When you consider that over a third of all online customers in the USA are conducting local searches, it isn’t difficult to imagine the effectiveness of optimising for local searches.


Now that we have understood the importance of local searches, let us see a few tactics that you can employ to optimise your website for local searches.


How To Implement Local SEO To Your Website:

While a professional local SEO service is perhaps the most surefire way to ensure your business website outranks your local competition, there are certain things that you can do on your own to improve your website’s ranking. Here are a few of them:


Ensure NAP Consistency

NAP is short for name, address, and phone number. These are the most basic details of your business that are used by prospects and search engines to learn more about it. However, many business websites don’t have consistent NAP information on their own pages, and it can turn out to be a big problem.

Besides confusing and frustrating prospects that may be looking for information about your business, inconsistencies in NAP information also confuse search engine algorithms and can negatively affect your business website’s ranking in the search results.

Ensuring consistency in NAP details takes very little effort but can provide incredible local SEO results in a relatively short window of time, especially if your competitors have discrepancies in their NAP details.

When ensuring your NAP details on your website are consistent, it is also a good idea to find any other mentions of your business on other websites such as local business directories and ensure the NAP details associated with those mentions are consistent.


Target Local Keywords

In order to rank for local searches, one must target local keywords in their SEO efforts. While this may seem like a straightforward thing, finding the right keyword can be confusing, especially if you are a beginner. 

While there are several tools available online that can help you conduct keyword research, most good tools are paid. If you can afford spending a few bucks, a few good options are RankWatch, Moz, AHREFS, and SpyFu. 

However, if your budget doesn’t allow you to spend on paid tools, you can utilise the free tool offered by Google, the Google Keyword Planner.

Using the Google Keyword Planner is incredibly simple. You can either start your research with a keyword or with an URL.

To start your research with a keyword, simply think of one or more keywords that your ideal customers may use to search for the product or service that you are offering. Once done log on to the Google Keyword Planner and select the option that says “START WITH KEYWORDS”, as shown in the screenshot below:

Enter the keyword(s) that you came up with in the top bar, and Google will present you with keyword suggestions related to your keyword, along with their search volumes and the level of competition.

Ideally, you should target a mix of high and low competition keywords with moderate to high search volumes.

The other way to conduct keyword research using Google Keyword Planner is to select the “START WITH A WEBSITE” option. When you do, the page will look something like below:

diagram 1

Enter the keyword(s) that you came up with in the top bar, and Google will present you with keyword suggestions related to your keyword, along with their search volumes and the level of competition.

Ideally, you should target a mix of high and low competition keywords with moderate to high search volumes.

The other way to conduct keyword research using Google Keyword Planner is to select the “START WITH A WEBSITE” option. When you do, the page will look something like below:

diagram 2

Simply enter the URL of your website, or a competitor website (if your website is under construction or doesn’t have a lot of content), and Google will present you with a detailed list of keywords that it thinks should be targeted by the URL. 

Using the “use only this page” option, you can even search for keyword suggestions for specific pages on your website.

Once you have obtained a list of local, location specific keywords that you want to target, start including them in your website’s content. The following are some areas where adding keywords is absolutely critical:

  • Website content
  • Meta titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image alt texts
  • URLs


Build A Mobile Ready Website

2020 is almost over and if you don’t already have a mobile ready website, you are seriously missing out. Not having a mobile screen optimised website means that your website is not fit to be viewed by over half of the users on the web.

Moreover, the percentage of mobile users among those conducting local searches is even more. In the US alone, 56% of all searches with local intent are conducted on mobile devices.

Optimising your website for mobile devices is not rocket science, thankfully. One can find a number of pre-built website themes that are optimised for screens of different sizes and orientations.


Build Citations

Simply put, a citation is a mention of your business, anywhere on the web (except your website). Search engines use citations as a way to measure the legitimacy and credibility of websites and these citations have emerged as a known factor that influences the search engine rankings of various websites.

As you may have already guessed, building citations is pretty simple and straightforward. All you need to do is create a business listing on as many business directories as possible. Foursquare and Yelp are great places to start. Beyond this, you can search for the most active local business directories in your area and create listings on them.

Remember to ensure consistency of NAP details when you are building these citations.

Submit Schema Markup

Schema markup is a piece of code that enables search engine algorithms to find relevant details about your business from your business website. In simpler words, schema markup contains your website information in a language that search engine algorithms can understand with ease. The code is added to the HTML code of your website.

When done right, the schema markup enables search engines to send more relevant traffic to your website. When this happens, it won’t just positively affect your conversions, it will also reduce the bounce rate of your website. As a result, the likeliness of your website’s ranking improving will increase.

The mention of code may have made some of you a bit worried. However, there is nothing to be worried about as this free tool will help you get your schema markup right and will even guide you through the process of adding the schema markup code to your website’s HTML code.


Encourage Customers To Drop Reviews

Many website owners don’t realise this but customer reviews are actually a ranking factor that search engines use to determine the rank of different websites in their search results. Depending on the industry and website, review signals can account for anywhere between six and fifteen percent of how Google ranks a business in its search results.

This means, websites with better reviews have a better chance of being placed higher in the search results.

Besides, having good reviews is important from a customer point of view as well. A survey revealed that over 93% of respondents will read the online reviews of a product before making a purchase. Moreover, 82% of web users will not make a purchase if the retailer is rated less than three stars.

There are a ton of similar stats about the importance of reviews that you can find in this article. The summary however, is simply that you must continuously make efforts to collect as many positive reviews as you can.



These were just some of the many, many things that you can do to improve the local search rankings of your business website. To ensure you leave no stone unturned to improve its ranking, it is also a good idea to seek the help of a professional local SEO service.

We hope that the advice given in this article will help you secure better rankings for your business website. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

Not Digitizing Your AP May Have Cost Your Business Thousands of Dollars in 2020


You don’t need a finance professional to tell you that paying the bills means money coming out of your pocket, that’s just common sense. Still, many small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners fail to realize just how much more, on top of the amount due, they are spending on simply making these payments happen, especially if they do so manually, as Tofi Stoler of Melio (a US B2B bill payments company focused on SMBs) explains.

According to a 2018 study by accounting firm PayStream and consulting company Levvel, the average cost of processing a single invoice for novice businesses is $15. This means that if your business has, say, 20 bills to pay each month, just the cost of processing them adds up to $300 a month or $3,600 a year. Earlier data from enterprise information management company Iron Mountain indicates the cost of the non-digitized processing of a single paper invoice could even be as high as $25.

The good news is that much of these sums can be saved by making smart payment management decisions and switching to a digital accounts payable (AP) tool, like Melio.

Below are five ways in which not digitizing your business’ AP may have cost your business thousands of dollars in 2020.



Processing payments manually can take an overwhelming amount of time for you and your staff. Consider, for example, the fact that each vendor typically has their own accepted payment method, which forces you to alternate between making transfers on your bank’s website, using a vendor’s dedicated platform or phoning in to pay via credit card, and manually writing and mailing out paper checks.

Keeping track of payments, each made on a different platform, for accounting and tax purposes, takes additional time and is also prone to error.

Iron Mountain estimated that the shift to digital AP solutions could boost labor productivity by up to 25%. Just imagine how you could better spend the money you save on salaries to develop your business or what your staff could otherwise accomplish in these salvaged hours.

With digital AP solutions, you save staff-hours by automating recurring payments, scheduling all your transactions to go out exactly when they need to, and eliminating human error.

Best of all, you can take care of all of your due bills in one session on a single platform, regardless of what payment or delivery methods you choose.


Penalties and late fees

Whether it’s in an effort to maximize cash flow or simply due to poor task management, or lack of time, many businesses tend to put payments off to the last minute. This poses the risk of payments arriving too late, resulting in penalties, additional fees, and, sometimes, irreparable damage to their relationship with vendors.

Using a digital AP tool, you can get a clear picture of all of your due bills and schedule them in one sitting to make sure they leave your account and arrive at your vendor’s hands at just the right time for both parties.

And, if you still need more float, some digital AP solutions, including Melio, allow you to pay with a credit card even if your vendor doesn’t accept cards. This way, you can defer payments until your next billing cycle, which can make a huge difference if, like many other business owners, you’re still waiting for a check that’s “in the mail.”



There is no way around it, manual payment processing methods can be risky. Checks can get lost in the mail or stolen, and making credit card payments over the phone or on various websites could make you vulnerable to fraud and phishing attacks. 

Online AP tools are far safer and provide a clear record of when and how a payment was sent, as well as its current status. Additionally, these systems have layers of security protocols and encryptions and you always have someone to call in the unlikely scenario something goes wrong. 


Human error

To error is human, and when humans are manually processing bills and payments, it is also quite common. According to a 2010 survey by software company Sterling Commerce, each paper invoice error costs companies an average of $53.5 to rectify. This alone can easily amount to hundreds of dollars a year.

With digital AP solutions, you reduce the need to manually and repeatedly type or write addresses and account numbers, as the system automatically saves these. All of your transactions are well documented, and any errors are easier to spot and fix before the funds leave your account.


Physical goods

This may sound like small change, but the cost of the physical goods required for manual invoice processing adds up. Consider envelopes, stamps, ink cartridges, printing paper, file folders, file cabinets, and even the physical space they take up in terms of rent. With a digital AP service, you can significantly reduce these expenses.

To conclude, processing invoices manually costs more than most business owners realize, and digital AP tools can not only make your life easier, they can also save a hefty sum. So, don’t make the same mistake in 2021 and join SMBs across the country who are already managing their payments online the smart, secure, and cost-effective way. Start now with Melio. It’s simple, fast, and free.


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