10 Social Media Engagement Tactics That Can Help You Grow Your Audience

Promoting your brand or business through social media is vital. But getting your content out through these channels is not what will get you sales.

The key to a successful social media campaign lies in engagement.

With an engaged following, it is easy to spread the word about your campaigns, new products and services, and initiatives. Although it takes time to establish an engaged audience, all your efforts can pay off big time.

Here are ten social media engagement tactics that help you grow your audience:

Post Frequently and Consistently

The key to creating a successful social media campaign is posting regularly. The more you post, the more engagement you will have.

Many of the most successful companies around the globe have created a strong social media presence online.

At Voy Media Advertising Agency NYC, we always advise our clients to maintain a strong social media presence. That way, you can engage with your audience.

If you have a hard time posting on social media, you can use scheduling tools to curate your posts in advance. It also ensures that you have a social media post regularly.

This helps you save time and effort, but it also enables you to boost your engagements.

Create Original and Engaging Visuals

According to Wishpond, the average user gets 120% less engagement if Facebook posts don’t include an image.

If you want to boost your engagement on social media, it’s essential to curate original and engaging visuals. It can be in the form of videos, photos, GIFs, memes, etc.

Eye-catching images and graphics, for instance, are a great way to boost your social media engagement. More so if you are using visual-heavy platforms such as Instagram.

So, consider adding videos to the mix to provide a refreshing change to the usual content you publish. It allows your followers to experience your brand in a new way, enticing them to comment and engage with your content.

Curate Others’ Content

Regularly coming up with fresh, engaging, and interesting content that can appeal to your followers can be challenging.

With a lot of brands fighting for your audience’s attention in their newsfeed, it can be challenging to stand out. The best way to capture their attention without having to start entirely from scratch to curate other people’s content.

Fortunately, you do not have to come up with new ideas on your own consistently. For instance, when you retract other people’s content, you somehow branded it as your own. Doing so allows you to draw in more people, and steadily build your engagement.

Overall, this makes the content creation process a lot easier. It is also an excellent way to grow your brand and build your engagement based on content that you do not need to come up on your own.

Join Question and Answer Sessions

Joining online question and answer sessions is an excellent way to provide value to users, allowing you to be seen as a valuable brand.

If you can provide relevant answers to your customer’s queries, you can establish your authority in your niche. As a result, you will be your customers’ top-of-mind choice whenever they need your products or services.

A lot of customers are impatient, and they want answers to their queries and questions almost immediately. So, having a dedicated customer response team is essential in catering to those needs.

It also helps you create in-depth blog posts and guides that will provide customers insights with their queries. When you add links to these responses, this will show them that you’re going above and beyond to help customers.

Users like to buy from brands that they trust and know-how to deliver even if things don’t go as planned. Doing so allows you to become a thought-leader and a force to be reckoned with in your industry.

Use Social Media Tools

Technology allows us to do everything a lot better, and social media is not an exception.

Utilizing the right social media not only allows you to improve your online performance. It also helps you analyze your performance.

There are different tools that you can use to automate your social media presence and enhance your engagement.

Using tools like Tweepi, Unmetric, or Everypost, ensures that you are effectively implementing your social media strategies and tactics.

Doing so allows you to create a strong presence on social media.

Conduct Polls and Surveys

Not only do polls and surveys allow you to collect essential data from your target audience, but you will also know how to effectively engage with them. It is also an effective way to gather information about them.

You are interacting with your audience by letting them vote. On the other hand, you can get useful data that you can use for your future marketing campaigns,

If you want to attract your audience’s attention with less effort, consider conducting a survey. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey to help you create a successful campaign.

Go Live

With the introduction of the live feature on social media, you now have many options to boost your engagement.

You can use it to conduct a free online class, launch a milestone, event, or do a question and answer segment.

You can also go live on a daily or weekly basis, to engage with your followers regularly.

Engage With the Latest Trends and Issues

By choosing to engage with the latest trends and issues, you are somehow showing your support and involvement with these issues.

Just ensure that you engage, respond, or share appropriate content and not create offense.

Doing so will help you build your reputation in your industry. It is also one way to show others that you value all the recent happenings in your industry (whether they follow you online or not).

Add Relevant Hashtags to Your Posts

Another way to make your social media posts more attractive to users is by using relevant hashtags. When promoting your brand on social media, hashtags are the key to success. Using this strategy allows your content to become more discoverable online.

These help your posts stand out. Hashtags can also be excellent in tracking discussions for a specific topic. Not to mention that it can help you connect and engage with your audience.

Properly using hashtags allows you to engage with your audience and expand your following with no additional cost.

Respond Quickly and Thoroughly

Social media is not just a tool that you can use to promote and market your products online. It is also an excellent tool that you can use to stay in touch with your prospects and existing customers.

Most people follow brands and businesses on social media to get updates and have a fast and efficient after-sales service. This is not possible when using traditional methods before social media entered the scene.

That’s why social media is an essential aspect of a lot of companies. So, you need to respond to your customers with the right information quickly.

According to Brandwatch, 53% of social media users expect a response from a brand within an hour. Unfortunately, only a few companies and brands have managed to live with that expectation.

But still, there is a lot of room for improvement, though. You can use various social media tools, setting alerts, and constant monitoring.

Over to You

Brands who focus on social media to boost their engagement receive better reach, ROI, and brand awareness. This makes it easy for them to expand and tap their target market.

Keep in mind that working towards your engagement is a difficult task. It will help if you spend time knowing who your audience is. That way, you will see what you need to do to boost your engagement with your audience.

Ensure that you implement the social media tactics we have mentioned above to keep your audience engaged. Good luck!

Guest Post: About the Author

Kevin is a founder of Voy Media Advertising Agency NY. He helps businesses maximize the benefits of Facebook Advertising – leading to a dramatic improvement in sales while pushing down costs. Voy Media thoroughly studies each client requirement and comes up with tailor-fit solutions to bring about the best results.

5 Technology Trends That Have Improved Employee Culture

Technology is currently what keeps the world going at the pace we have become accustomed to. As technology improves and new things are designed to make life easier, more jobs are both opened up and replaced. This has a huge effect on small businesses and employees.

These new, growing pieces of technology have created whole new roads in business that before were unthinkable. They have also been able to influence trends and helpful pathways through projects. This impacts employee benefits in the workplace more than it impacts anyone else.

Technology trends greatly affect the workplace and the people who spend their days there immensely. These are the trends in technology that improve employee lives and makes their productivity go up. Many of these groundbreaking applications have been able to significantly improve employee culture.

1. Collaboration

Collaboration is not exactly a new concept in the workplace. It is well known that working together as a team and sharing information is the best and quickest way to complete projects. However, technology has made collaboration at work easier than ever.

This begins with things as easy as sharing files and having a company wiki for everyone to check information on. Having a way for employees to ask each other questions and check deadlines or get help from one another. This is easily done by having one or two simple company-wide communication applications.

The collaboration between employees builds investment in your employees’ lives. They become attached to helping one another and being helped. A healthy, communicative company environment is better for employees and employers.

2. Flexibility

One of the hardest parts of any job is finding the work-life balance you need to stay healthy and happy. This is a struggle many employees have faced over the years. Wanting to be a good worker takes away from family life and wanting to be with your family takes away the time you could spend working.

Technology has made this problem much easier to face and solve. The ability to work online has completely changed the need to stay at work all day without seeing your family. It is now possible to work from home when you need to without having to worry about the quality of your work suffering.

New applications are being made all the time to allow bosses and employees to communicate effectively while one or both are not in the office. This opens the ability for employees to find that work-life balance that has always been so elusive. It also makes communication throughout the company much easier and quicker.

3. Security

One of the benefits of technology in the workplace that is not discussed enough is security. Especially for small businesses trying to keep up with what buyers want while not sacrificing safety. The ability to keep information of employees and customers safe online is indispensable.

Internet security companies are all over the world and they were created specifically to keep your information safe. This includes employee information, customer information, and all your money or business information. If everything is online then your business needs to make sure the internet is a safe place for their employees and customers.

Luckily, this has gotten much easier as so many businesses use the internet to buy and sell products. Employees prefer knowing they are working in a place dedicated to keeping them and their earnings safe. Customers will also appreciate the safe space to enter information and know it will not be stolen or sold.

4. Better Experience

Your employees are the most important asset in your business. They keep everything running smoothly and handle the things you don’t have time for. They also deserve to have the best experience working for you as possible.

It does not matter if you are running a tiny boutique or a huge marketing company, technology will make things run more smoothly. Especially in the lives of your employees who work with customers every day. Technology can make the entire transaction go much faster and end in a better experience on both sides.

Making payments digital gives employees the ability to focus on product and customer experience instead of running a cash register or fixing broken machines. This improves employee experience as they deal with less stress and makes for better customer experience.

5. Staying In The Game

Technology is not stopping or even slowing down anytime soon. If anything, it is growing and constantly changing. This means a relevant business has to keep up with these changes and improvements in order to stay in business.

Your employees will be able to get more done and keep your company running at the same pace as your competition as long as they have the technology required to do so. This requires making sure you provide these tools to your employees to help them do their job.

Employees get frustrated just like you do when the company starts falling behind. Giving them the tools to keep your business in the game is the best way to help both your company and employees. This requires keeping up with technology and communicating with your employees to know what they need.


Technology is not going to stop growing. Supporting your employees and helping your business requires keeping your technology up to date. Recognizing how important technology is in the lives of your employees and your business will help you immensely as the internet becomes bigger.

This might require adding new applications for you and your employees to communicate. Putting company resources all in one place so your employees can always know where to look for information makes collaboration better. Even just making sure your technology is all running smoothly is a vital practice.

As long as you keep your employee and company information safe online, you can only benefit from the addition of better technology. This is a great way to improve the lives of your employees and increase employee satisfaction in the workplace.

Guest Post: About the Author

Gabe Nelson is a content specialist of over 7 years of experience, currently working with Everything Benefits. He has a passion and keen understanding when it comes to employee management inside and out. He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids.

Is it Better to Buy or Lease IT Equipment?

At some point in your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll reach a stage where you find yourself no longer able to keep up with the workload. So you decide to hire some in house staff.  This means securing office space and the various IT equipment needed to get things running. 

A problem that many face is that procuring these items can get really expensive, especially if your business involves lots of computers, strong bandwidth, specialized software, and other IT-related items. Usually, you have two options — buy the equipment outright or lease them over a certain period. Now you’re probably wondering which one is better?

The truth is there’s no straight answer to this question. Both options have their unique pros and cons, plus there are a number of things to consider before making a decision. With that in mind, here’s a few key questions that you need to ask yourself before choosing whether to buy or lease IT equipment.

1. How much capital do I have to invest in IT equipment?

Smaller and newer businesses tend to favor leasing IT equipment since they usually don’t have a large enough budget to buy all the computers and software they need. More established businesses, on the other hand, can quickly recoup this expense over the next couple of monthly revenues. 

Cash flow is a big deal and small businesses are not likely to shell out what little capital they have at the expense of other essential obligations like rent and staff wages. It’s true that leasing IT equipment can cost more in the long term, but it has a less debilitating effect on cash flow since the payments are spread out over the lease period. 

That being said, if your business has enough capital to buy the necessary IT equipment outright, and you don’t plan on spending money on upgrades frequently, then buying might just be the best option.

2. What competitive advantages will I gain by having top quality IT equipment?

Leasing gives your business access to IT equipment that you would not normally be able to afford if buying outright was the only option. As leasing allows you to spread payments over a given period, you can use the leased IT equipment to bring in enough revenue to cover the lease premiums.

If your business revolves around technology, for instance – data science and analytics, this can be crucial to success. Additionally, with leasing, you have more freedom to upgrade your machinery as needed, since you’re cash-strapped from the IT equipment that you have purchased.

However, if your business’ IT needs revolve around emails, simple file sharing, and document storage; perhaps there’s hardly a need for regular updates, then it might be best to just buy and own your own equipment.

3. What is my overall IT strategy?

Your overall IT strategy should inform how you acquire IT equipment for your business. On one hand, you can quickly swap machines in and out if you lease them; on the other, nothing compares to the freedom of owning your own equipment and modifying or upgrading them as you see fit.

If your business comprises a lot of distinct roles, then it might be more ideal to own those specific machines and have the freedom to modify them as needed. Generally, you can’t even do this with leasing since you don’t own the equipment. 

By first examining your IT strategy, you can decide if it makes more sense to own the equipment or whether utilizing the flexibility of leasing fits better with your current and long-term goals.

4. Do you have IT experts in your business?

Purchasing computers, printers, webcams, and other IT stuff means you are also responsible for their maintenance. Plus if they ever require troubleshooting or an upgrade, that’s on you too. 

The good news is most of these purchases are covered by manufacturer warranties, so it’s not like you’re always paying. Still, it would be extremely beneficial to have team members who know their way around your IT equipment. 

Whether it’s a quick hardware fix here or troubleshooting a faulty program there, having IT experts in your business to take care of the machines when necessary is a huge plus. 

On the other hand, when leasing the IT equipment, it is the lessor who is usually responsible for the upkeep and troubleshooting. In fact, in most cases, the lease contract will stipulate that you are not allowed to tinker with the machines yourself.

If you don’t have dedicated IT leaders in your business, then leasing the equipment may be the better way to go. This way, you’re effectively outsourcing your IT needs so all you have to worry about it keeping up with the monthly premiums.

Operating Lease vs. Capital Lease

If you’re just starting out in business or perhaps there isn’t enough cash flow to fund your IT equipment purchase, then chances are you’ll opt to lease instead. Before you do, you should first understand what type of lease to go for — operating or capital?

Also known as true leases, operating leases are when you rent the equipment over an agreed period of time. You’ll keep making payments for as long as the contract is valid and return the machines upon expiry. You can then choose to renew or make a new arrangement with the leasing company. 

With a capital lease, you have the option to acquire the equipment once the lease term is over. Often, you’ll have to make some additional payments, but once complete, the equipment is fully yours. 

It’s important to understand these because these leases are not treated the same way for tax purposes. You don’t own the equipment in an operating lease, so the monthly lease payments are deducted as a regular business expense. However, there will be no depreciation deductions. With a capital lease, you treat the equipment as though you have purchased it and therefore qualifies for depreciation deductions for tax purposes.

The Bottom Line 

Buying or leasing IT equipment both offer their fair share of unique benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the right financing option then depends on your answer to the questions listed, as well as how “hands-on” you want to be with the management and maintenance of the machinery. 

Guest Post: About the Author

Sam Maley is the Marketing Manager at Bailey & Associates. He enjoys educating clients about how to get the most bang for their buck from business technology investments.

5 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them

The coronavirus pandemic has burdened many small businesses. One of the ways a business survives the pandemic and looks beyond it is to manage its money prudently. That means being aware of money mistakes and avoiding them, or at least fixing them fast. Here are some of the most common money mistakes and ways to keep them under control.

  1. Starting up without a business plan.

    The plan is the foundation of your business, specifying how it will be operated, marketed, and financed. A business plan also helps you recruit investors and secure loans. It lays out milestones, goals, and metrics to measure whether you are succeeding. Without a carefully considered plan, surprises can cause your business to descend into chaos. If you launched your business without a comprehensive plan, don’t panic. It’s never too late to establish a suitable business plan. If you need assistance, contact your local SBA SCORE chapter – they have the expertise you’ll need to ensure your business has a proper foundation.

  2. Insufficient cash:

    The two main culprits are overestimated receipts and underestimated expenditures. When cash runs short, you face a liquidity crisis in which you can’t pay your bills on time, if at all. This will eventually lead to bankruptcy or a fire sale unless you take steps to prevent it. Start by developing several worst-case scenarios to see where you are most vulnerable. For each scenario, map out a series of steps you can take to correct the situation. And make sure you have a convenient loan source that you can trust, like IOU Financial. Loans can help you navigate through a cash crunch, but you must first work out a plan to use the money wisely and to repay it on time. Luckily, IOU Financial offers extremely flexible repayment terms that our borrowers can live with.

  3. Intermingling business and personal funds:

    This leads to disaster. Paying expenses with your personal credit card or checking account makes it difficult to track your business’ performance. You can also expect problems sorting out personal and business deductions when you file your next tax return. This problem is compounded if you are audited by the IRS or by angry investors. Finally, intermingling business and personal funds will make it exceedingly difficult to obtain a business loan. The fix is to establish a separate business account at your bank and to procure a business credit card. Use these to record all business income and expenditures. If you need to use personal funds for your business, create and document a formal transaction. If you have business partners, include them in your money management strategy.

  4. Falling behind on your bookkeeping.

    Sure, paperwork is a pain in the neck. But you won’t know real pain until you face a financial problem with incomplete, inaccurate, or non-existent records. For example, if you hurriedly stash your purchase invoices in a drawer, you may forget to pay them and/or reap any discounts offered for prompt payment. Conversely, how will you stay on top of your receivables when you can’t locate the invoices you sent out? Will you be able to substantiate your business expenses like travel & entertainment? You can use a friendly software package like QuickBooks to keep your books and records. If you can’t or won’t do the bookkeeping yourself, hire a part-time bookkeeper to whip your business into shape.

  5. Mispricing your offerings:

    Whether you sell a product or a service, setting the wrong price has a significant impact on your business. If the prices are too low, you may increase the total volume of sales while losing money on each transaction. Set your prices too high and you’ll suffer reduced sales while your competitors steal your business. The fix is to do some research and reassess your pricing strategy so that it’s in line with your current local prices.

Cash is your businesses’ lifeblood. You must nurture it if you want to remain in operation, especially during times like these. When the time comes for a loan, please contact IOU Financial first. We can fund you quickly and provide you with flexible repayment terms. Don’t wait until it’s too late – remember, government stimulus packages are unreliable at best, but we’ll still be here at your side fueling the growth of small business.

CRO and SEO: How to Combine Strategies for Your E-commerce Business

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) do not compete but go together. SEO, CRO, and SEM are the tailwinds of running an online eCommerce business

SEO is a tactic employed to gain more traffic to your website. It includes features like keyword research, creating engaging and relevant content, which relates to what your visitors want. CRO implies converting the leads into actual sales. It involves website design, CTAs (call-to-action), and using high-quality graphics.

Below, we have shared the best SEO and CRO strategies for running a successful eCommerce website.

How to Boost ECommerce Business With CRO and SEO

Read the 6 most powerful eCommerce marketing strategies with eCommerce SEO tips and CRO tricks to boost your sales.

1.   Create Catchy Design With Engaging Content

Each eCommerce platform must have a design that goes well with their product. Also, content is king; it must fit into the website design, which greatly contributes to increasing sales.

In short, use Google-optimized text and a user-friendly interface. Choose the relevant keywords for your descriptions and sales pitches. Top experts in the industry recommend various SEO tools for eCommerce websites. Look for the keywords that drive sales and traffic to your platform.

Lastly, do not forget the CTAs. Using the sale-oriented buttons in your website design will attract more visitors and generate more conversions. We would also recommend you hire a designer to improve the UX design of your site.

2.   Know Your Page Speed

When Google released its latest update, some experts considered Page Speed as one of the ranking factors. Well! It might be right. Google may penalize your website if it is running slow.

Optimize your web pages and improve the readability. As your content and design should be better than your competitors, your page speed matters a lot. Make sure you are one step ahead of your rivals.

Our best recommendations for testing your page speed is Google Page Speed, GTMatrix, or LightHouse — 75 or more is considered ideal by Google. Once you have diagnosed it, you will have less bounce rate and more page views.

3.   Use Social Media

According to Lifehack.org,  “Social Media can be a great tool for promoting your brand, business, or products. It helps you find clients, get jobs, and sales pitches. Social Media for your eCommerce business is a big plus.”

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms can be a great tool in harnessing your traffic and, eventually, enjoy more sales. Learn how to use social media channels to attract visitors to your website. SEO uses various keywords and texts related to your social media platforms to give visible signals to Google.

4.   Design Your SEO Sales Funnel

SEO specialists have one thing in common: they aim to get more visitors with the intent to purchase goods or services. If you aim at 50,000 visitors with a 2% conversion rate, it would be better than 1,000,000 visitors with a 0.5% rate.

The main goal is to get more traffic. We would here advise you to design an SEO sales funnel to ensure you do your best to attract new clientele.

The three-step process for eCommerce SEO sales funnel includes:

  • Know the Top Sales Funnel Queries: The top sales funnel will help you get many potential visitors by answering your customers’ broad-term requests.
  • Middle Sales Funnel: This part consists of creating content with a specific client in mind. Thus, you need to follow eCommerce for SEO to drive more engagement.
  • Bottom of the Funnel: Lastly, this step is crucial for your conversion rate optimization campaign. It would help if you answered everything about the products, including shipping, pricing, tax, and other relevant details.

5.   Mobile-Friendly Page

Mobile-friendly pages are the linchpin of your SEO and CRO efforts. Google’s update considers mobile-friendliness as one of the most crucial factors in ranking. Fix your site navigation for mobile and tablet devices.

Also, more than 50% of sales are made through the mobile device. While you are optimizing your page for gadgets, make sure it has a fast loading time. Use mobile-friendly images and design elements to reduce the bounce rate.

SEO for mobile alone will boost your CRO efforts as both of them complement each other. And hence, it is a cornerstone of your sales cycle. Create a customer-centric page with visible CTAs and discount buttons.

Bottom Line: Is SEO & CRO Crucial for Your eCommerce Business? 

The short answer is yes. As said above, your SEO & CRO efforts are the tailwinds of your business. eCommerce meaning has been rethought due to Google roll-out features and a more competitive market. Thus, it is vital to keep your potential customers on record. SEO works by driving organic visitors to the sales page, whereas SEO focuses on sing the targeted paid ads. In the end, CRO gives a final push to turn the leads into conversions.

We would recommend you to hire eCommerce SEO services, which are now available at an affordable price. Once you have got your loyal customers, you can make your business a goldmine.

If you have valuable eCommerce SEO tips or questions, share them with us in the comment box.

Author’s Bio

Thomas Glare is a skilled SEO specialist and copywriter who runs the PR agency with his friend and works part-time for an online magazine. He is crazy about the Book of Ra, so when he finally gets some free time to relax, he spends long hours trying his luck there.

Mid-Year Financial Checkup: 11 Tips

Usually, we at IOU Financial share financial checkup tips with our readers every half-year. In normal times, we would discuss the prudent steps you should consider to increase revenues and cut costs.

Then, along came Covid-19.

So, this installment is dedicated to ways for small businesses to survive the pandemic in the second half of 2020.

  1. Don’t panic:

    Millions of business owners are going through the same problems that you’re facing, so you are not alone. There are a couple of problems with panic. First of all, it wastes physical and emotional energy that would be better applied to solving problems. Perhaps even worse is that panic begets desperation, which leaves many vulnerable owners to consider bad advice. Carefully think through your decisions using your good common sense.

  2. Don’t count on more government help.

    We can’t KNOW that the government will come out with another stimulus package or relief funds.

  3. Be proactive:

    It’s hard to stay ahead of the pandemic because it keeps on changing. New hot spots pop up and old ones cool down. The best you can do is to pay attention to what’s in front of you and figure out if there’re any actions you can take that are under your control.

  4. Involve your workers and partners:

    Nobody wins when businesses fail. You might find that employees, vendors, and suppliers are willing to accommodate you in your hour of need.

  5. Communicate with reputable experts:

    Good advice is worth a lot, so speak with your local Small Business Development Center, your lender, your CPA, and your political representatives. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t.

  6. Strength from unity:

    Perhaps you’ve noticed how businesses have come together to find ways to help the surrounding community during the pandemic. For example, restaurants in Brooklyn have banded together with each other and with financial resources to help feed folks who have lost their jobs. Whatever your business, you might be surprised to learn the many ways you can make a positive difference (and earn long-term goodwill).

  7. Identify key employees:

    If layoffs are unavoidable, try to protect your key employees. Perhaps they will agree to a temporary pay holiday in return for staying on the company health plan. Work with your best employees to brainstorm the most pressing problems.

  8. Model your cashflow:

    You need to know how long you can remain solvent. Stress test various scenarios to see what’s possible under different conditions. Consider marketing steps you can take to spur sales, even if you must take a hit to your profit margins. If you can cover your expenses, you are ahead of the game.

  9. Consider factoring:

    Perhaps you can sell off your invoices to collect the bulk of your accounts receivable. You might also want to liquidate some of your inventory and other assets you can survive without. If appropriate, see if you can induce your customers to order in bulk and speed up purchases. Use these moves to build an emergency cash fund.

  10. Provide extra service:

    You may be able to keep operating if you can provide extra services for free, especially if it saves your customers money. You may be able to provide free services without greatly increasing your variable costs. If you have some time on your hands because of decreased demand, spend that time helping your best customers in meaningful ways.

  11. Borrow carefully:

    You may be operating at a suboptimal level right now in which your cash inflows don’t quite meet your unavoidable expenses. In other words, if you can hang on until conditions improve, your business can survive. That’s where borrowing can make a crucial difference. You can use borrowed funds to limp through the current situation in preparation for better times ahead.

IOU Financial stands ready to work with you to fund your business based on your current and projected cash flows. We can fund you quickly and offer you flexible repayment terms. Contact us today and let’s help each other survive the coronavirus nightmare.

Resources for Business Owners with Disabilities

In 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.3% of Americans with disabilities were employed, compared to 66.3% of those who did not have a disability. Those with disabilities were also much more likely to own their own business compared to those without disabilities.

Why would someone with a disability want to own their own business?  There are a lot of perks. Self-employment offers a lot of flexibility. You can set your own hours, determine the nature of your work, and, to a point, decide what your income will be.

If you are a person with a disability who is thinking about or already owns your own business, you are not alone in your venture. There are many ways you can get the help you need, whether that be financial help, outsourcing, or business counseling services. There are also special avenues for disabled veterans with small businesses. This article will help you get the assistance you need.

Going into Business

So, you’ve decided to go into business. The first thing you need to decide is what you want to do. You can be a writer, a craftsperson selling a unique product, or own a venue that you rent out for special events. The ideas are endless, but you shouldn’t go into business without at least some idea of what you want to do. Even if you have just the sliver of an idea, there are plenty of resources that can help you get the ball rolling. After that, the next step is to write a business plan. Need help with that? There are a lot of places you can go for help. The Small Business Administration, for example, offers counseling to help you through the process.

Once your plan is in place, the next step is to look for financial assistance. There are many funding resources in place specifically for disabled entrepreneurs, including grants. You can look into a grant sponsored by the federal government, or if you’re the creative type, check out the National Arts and Disability Center that offers grant money to artists who need financial backing to promote their work. The best thing about grants is that you do not need to pay them back. If grants don’t work out for you, there are also plenty of places to find an affordable loan.

When you’re an entrepreneur, not only do you need to find money to get you started, but you also need to find ways to save money. Luckily, there are many tax breaks and credits specific to entrepreneurs. You can save money by tracking the miles you travel for your business or write off debts from clients who didn’t pay you. You also qualify for a tax break if you offer your employees a 401K.


Once you’re established and your business is going well, you may want to start outsourcing some of your responsibilities. There are many aspects of your business that you may want to consider hiring someone to do:

  • Generating leads
  • Managing your inventory
  • Handing your transcriptions
  • Providing customer service

One advantage of outsourcing is that it can actually save your company money. It is much cheaper to hire someone for a specific task rather than hiring an employee whom you’d have to pay taxes and benefits for in addition to paying for training.

When considering outsourcing, do not outsource anything that may cause your business to lose its competitive edge. In addition, interview your outsourcing prospects carefully and remember that the cheapest person you can hire is not always the best person. Quality is sometimes more important and will save you money in the long run.

With today’s technology, there are a lot of outsourcing websites to use to search for the best candidates to fit your needs. Upwork, Outsource.com, Fiverr, and Guru are just a few of the websites you can look at.

Self-Care and Business Resources for Veterans

For many veterans, the transition back to civilian life can be difficult and many of those who do not seem to fit in turn to entrepreneurship. Approximately 9% of all businesses are owned by veterans. That’s about 2.4 million businesses.

Caring for your body as well as your mind is important for everyone, but for a veteran, life can be especially hard, and it’s important for veterans to practice self-care.  This can entail a number of different things and will vary according to the needs of the veteran:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Finding a new hobby

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs also provides assistance towards self-care. It is in the form of a self-assessment than veterans can use as well as a month of reflections and activities that veterans can participate in to help them turn their attention towards themselves.

If you are an entrepreneurial veteran, in addition to the resources listed in the above sections of this article, there are resources specifically for you and your special needs as a veteran. You can check out the local Veteran Business Outreach Center, who can hook you up with training and mentoring right in your community. The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association and VetToCEO program are other great resources that provide a wealth of information.

Many people with disabilities including disabled veterans choose the route of entrepreneurship. It offers them the flexibility they need, and, in the case of veterans, a place to call home in the turbulent, civilian world. And they are not alone. There are many resources out there to help them on their journey towards becoming their own boss.

Guest Post: About the Author

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and digital marketing topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.