Being your own boss is a liberating and fulfilling experience. When you’re making your own hours and setting your own prices and policies, the benefits are exponential. Being self-employed does mean you’ll require assistance now and again, so we’ve compiled a list of the five tools you need if you’re self-employed.
1. Time Management Software
You can be the hardest and most talented worker out there, but if you’re constantly missing or late for appointments, you’ll find keeping clients to be a challenge. Being on time shows professional responsibility and maturity, and shows the attendees that you’re serious about the purpose of the meeting.
While there are hundreds of apps for time management on the web, the best one for you will depend on your needs. Are constantly showing up late? You may just need an alarm clock and reminder that you can set to an earlier time.
Are you always forgetting about your engagements? You may need a calendar to help you document those important dates and send reminders before they arrive.
Google Calendar is a simple and free time management application that can be downloaded onto any mobile device or used on a desktop/laptop. It allows fully customizable events and reminders, as well as the ability to invite anyone with a Google account to said events.
This makes tracking the attendees easier than ever while providing a simple and reliable interface to help you keep your appointments.
2. Invoice Generators and Payment Processing
Receiving payments and sending invoices is arguably the most important part of your business. Your revenue stream keeps you paid and the business running smoothly, so your billing process should be as painless as possible for both you and your customers.
Your invoices should be professional and concise. They should contain your logo, contact information, and details of the sale, as well as your payment and return policies. If you’re not familiar with designing documents, you can try using an online invoice maker instead.
This will allow you to choose and customize templates rather than starting from scratch. The invoices will look clean and professionally created, which in turn makes you look more professional as well.
After you’ve created the perfect invoice, you’ll need to set up a way to send and receive customer payments. Wave offers payment services as well as an online invoice generator so that all of your billing needs are organized in one central location.
Make sure your customers are aware of your invoicing preferences. If you deal strictly with online invoices, keeping the customer aware will ensure there are no surprises during your first transaction.
Likewise, if you’re making the change to online invoices, be sure to let the customer know as
well. Keeping your customers informed increases the likelihood that you’ll be paid on time and generate returning customers.
3. Project Management Tools
Once you’ve got your time managed and your billing system in place, you’ll want to utilize some tools to help your projects remain on task and organized. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of projects, especially when you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
Project management software makes it easy to organize tasks and delegate to other team members (if any). Sites such as Basecamp provide the user with a central hub where projects can be assigned, and users can be held accountable for their role in those projects.
If you’re unsure what to look or in a productivity app, or which are the best rated, Proofhub has compiled a list of the 36 best project management software and tools for 2019.
Once you’ve taken control of your tasks, you’ll find you’re much more productive and organized, allowing for extra time to start new projects or even take a break. Organizational skills are the key to running any successful business.
4. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is the best alternative to the traditional filing cabinet or bin storage for important documents. It’s also a great way to send and receive documents, pictures, and other media from anywhere in the world.
Cloud storage is essentially a virtual hard drive. Your account is linked to a predetermined amount of storage space (which is usually free up to a certain amount) from which you can grant permission to other users to view and edit documents.
The best cloud storage is secure, although nothing that’s internet based is ever entirely airtight. Choosing cloud storage can save you money in paper and printing costs while consolidating space and facilitating easy sharing of documents. That’s one advantage which any self-employed worker should consider.
5. A Website Builder
Every business should have a stunning website associated with their brand. Your website acts as a central hub for your services and products, and as a catalyst for your customer base to give feedback and request support.
Website building is easier than ever with sites like Wix, which offer free templates and discounted hosting services. With online templates, you can design a professional looking website for much less than the cost of a web developer.
In addition, you can create and update your website from anywhere in the world, meaning real- time improvements and adjustments on the go.
Another Great Addition To Any Self-Employed Worker
While these tools we’ve listed are definitely necessities, one of the most important tools at your disposal is your team. The team you choose to build can have a significant effect on the success or failure of your business.
Be sure to recruit reliable and passionate people, and never be afraid to share a larger vision. A team that helps your company grow will benefit from said growth, as will your business in general. People will always be the most important tool for any business.
More seniors reach their 70s and 80s with natural teeth intact, something that was unheard of decades ago. As you plan your active retirement, make sure your teeth can stand up to all of the new things on your plate. It’s possible they have a few battle scars, like old fillings, or a bit of wear and tear. Your teeth have served you well, so make sure you give them a little TLC, so they’re in tip-top shape as long as you need them.
Dental care is even more important as you age
Modern dentistry has better tools and technology than ever before. For example, in the past, many people didn’t have widespread access to fluoridated water, and a higher percentage of people smoked. These factors can raise your risk of tooth decay as you age.
You can’t isolate dental health from your overall well-being. Dentistry doesn’t just treat your mouth; it provides a view of your whole health. Consider your dentist one of several specialists on your medical team who can help keep you healthy. Just as your endocrinologist advises you about diabetes or thyroid disease, your dentist is a mouth specialist.
Dental problems are common as you age, due to side effects from medication, aging fillings, and receding gums. From dry mouth to periodontal disease, these issues become more widespread the older you get. Oral health directly impacts your overall health, so it’s important to address tooth and gum health with the same level of priority as heart or digestive health.
Bone loss from dentures
Although every effort is made to limit bone loss, once you lose all of your natural teeth, it can be hard to stop the process. Natural teeth and implants stimulate the jawbone to grow with every bite you take. But without the bone-strengthening stimulation of chewing, your jaw bone starts to shrink.
Over time, dentures that once fit well will feel loose. Dentures are custom fit to your jaw when they’re made, so if they feel loose, they need to be adjusted to match the changing shape of your gums and supporting jaw bone.
You can use a denture adhesive for a short term fix, but see your dentist to consult about the bone loss causing your jaw bone to shrink away and remodel. Left untreated, this issue can cause nutritional shortcomings because ill-fitting dentures cause people to avoid hard to chew foods.
Replace missing teeth quickly
If you lost a tooth to time and decay, an implant is the only restoration to permanently replace the function of a natural tooth. Implants replace the root and visible portion of an extracted tooth without damaging the adjacent healthy teeth. The replacement keeps the rest of your teeth from shifting into the space next to them and can be used as an anchor to hold other artificial teeth or partial dentures in place.
Like your natural teeth, dental implants need regular dental checkups, but you can plan on them lasting a lifetime. Careful planning and extensive surgical experience are required for the best outcome, like the local dental surgeons at ED USA.
Screenings for other health issues
Visit the dentist regularly for a full oral exam, even if you wear full dentures and don’t have natural teeth. Your dentist performs a cancer screening with every exam. Your doctor will thoroughly screen your mouth, lips, and neck for signs of cancer. The average age of diagnosis for oral cancer is 62, and the highest risk factor is long-term smoking. If you find an ulcer or rough patch anywhere in your mouth, see your dentist to have it evaluated.
Dentists are often the first medical professional to diagnose conditions like diet deficiencies, eating disorders, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. All of these conditions are interrelated with your oral health, so your mouth is frequently the first place to show symptoms. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to many of the same illnesses and conditions, so it’s critical to see your dentist regularly.
As you age, conditions like dry mouth, aging dental work, tooth loss, and the wear and tear of years can leave your teeth more susceptible to decay. It’s important to take the best care of your teeth so you’ll have them for years, but also because they impact your overall health. If you need a dental procedure, get it done as soon as possible to deter long-term bone loss. Maintaining healthy teeth is far easier than fixing issues afterward.
Across franchise and independent auto dealers, more than 36,000 new and used dealerships exist today. Throughout these businesses, many auto dealers understand the importance of having a surety bond in place as it is a requirement for having an auto dealer license. However, most fail to think about their auto dealer bond until it is too late – that is, when a claim is filed against it. Understanding your auto dealer bonding as well as how claims can derail your business success are crucial to keeping the dealership doors open and customers coming in.
Learning About Your Bond
An auto dealer bond is a necessity for nearly all licensed auto dealers, whether selling new or used vehicles. Auto dealer bonds vary from state to state as far as the type of bond needed, the amount, and the price of the bond, but one thing remains constant. Auto dealers are required to have a bond in place because it provides certain protections for customers. If a dealer fails to abide by its state regulations or laws and customers are harmed in the process, a claim against the bond can and likely will be made.
Understanding how an auto dealer bond works in practice helps professionals in the industry stay ahead of the curve in terms of managing claims and protecting their business. It can be challenging to do so, however, with ever-changing industry regulations, when switching surety agencies, or when an inaccurate claim is made. The best step for auto dealers is to recognize the impact claims may have against them, and how their surety agency can help throughout the process.
The Impact of Claims
As with any business in any industry, there may be customers who file claims that have no merit. In these cases, auto dealers need to work with their surety agency to get to the bottom of the claim and have it dismissed or otherwise handled before it becomes an issue. However, when claims are legitimate, due to an auto dealer’s bad business practices, they have a significant impact on the business.
Auto dealer bond claims not only have a negative impact on your reputation, making it more challenging if not impossible to get new customers, but they also influence the cost of doing business in different ways. First, auto dealer bond claims that are found to be accurate are initially covered by the surety agency – that’s the reason the bond is in place. But dealers must repay the claim amount at some point in the future. This can represent a significant cost to the business.
In addition, auto deal claims that result in a payment to a customer or organization such as the state impact the dealer’s claim history in a negative way. When it comes time to renew your required auto dealer bond, you are likely to pay much more for the price of your bond, even if the amount has not changed. This is because surety agencies are extending a form of credit to you with a new bond, and when that credit is used because of a claim, the cost of your next bond goes up. This additional expense, combined with repayment of previous claims, can derail your financial footing as an auto dealer.
Working with the Right Surety
Auto dealer bonds are required as part of doing business in the industry for a reason, and in most cases, the cost of purchasing a bond for your dealership will not be prohibitive. However, to ensure that cost continues to stay at a manageable level, working with the right surety agency is a must. Be sure to find a surety company that understands the auto dealer business, offers tools and resources to help you manage your surety bond and claims, and provides access to claims specialists that know how to handle claims, legitimate or otherwise, when they come.
Having the right surety agency on your side limits the potential for closing the dealership’s doors due to claims over the long-term, and it keeps the cost of your auto dealer bond affordable each renewal period.