How Automation and Innovation Can Improve a Company’s Financial Health

Over the last several years, businesses all over the world have found themselves squeezed by changing economic conditions and disruptive world events. Once reliable revenue streams have evaporated overnight in some industries, as the daily way of life for consumers came to a sudden halt. For many manufacturers, overseas workplace closures resulted in critical shortages of parts needed to keep the assembly line operating. Even homebuilders were affected, as they encountered a shortage of skilled labor and appliances were on back order.

With this churning sea of change, businesses have to increasingly look for ways to prepare for money emergencies, cut costs, and add revenues to their bottom line. The very survival of firms today depends on their ability to quickly adapt and evolve to do things in new ways. It’s no longer possible to succeed by relying on the way it has always been done. If a company wants to prosper, they need to leverage automation and innovation as key foundational principles in their evolution. Here are some key ways that automation and innovation can improve a company’s financial health.

Innovation: Electric Vehicles

The past year has been beset by two disturbing trends, namely soaring fuel prices and extreme weather events. The cost of gasoline and diesel skyrocketed as the recovery from the pandemic surged ahead. Unfortunately, the increased use of fossil fuels has also helped trigger climate driven severe weather events. Some nations have seen one-third of their land flooded, and cities all over the world have been inundated by flash flooding and record setting rainfall. Companies that are looking for a cost-effective way to reduce their fleet operating expenses are moving to electric vehicles. Recent innovations have made these vehicles a reliable and profit enhancing alternative to traditional modes of transportation. They are also a far cleaner alternative that is good for the environment. A company’s focus on the environment and sustainability is also a great selling point with consumers.

Automation: Email and Social Media Marketing

Email and social media marketing make up an important part of any company’s efforts to reach and sell to customers. You have to go where the eyeballs are, and consumers spend hours per day on the different social media channels. Email marketing is also an important avenue for getting your message and special offers in a customer’s hands. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly time consuming if you are manually managing your social media or email marketing campaigns. Advanced automation tools let businesses create a continuous presence on social media and produce posts that can be sent out at regular intervals. Sophisticated email drip campaigns can provide an automated way to turn leads into buyers when crafted correctly.

Innovation: Disruptive Technologies

One of the most powerful ways for companies to harness the power of technological innovation is to tap into newly emerging, disruptive technologies. Most firms live and die by the mantra of doing what they have always done. If a firm wants to open up new markets and see their profits soar, then disruptive technologies are the way to go. New technology can give businesses an incredible edge in the marketplace, or create entirely new market segments. Ecommerce giants emerged on the internet and grabbed market share by eliminating the middleman and keeping those profits for themselves. Being one of the first adopters of hot new technology can result in incredible business success.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Money Worries

Finances and bills are often a major source of stress for many of us. When the cost of living starts to rise, we often find ourselves spending hours awake at night, trying to figure out how to make ends meet. This stress can have an impact on our physical and emotional health over time. While you can encounter money worries with any amount of income at your disposal, there are steps you can consider taking to reduce your concerns. The following steps should make you feel more confident about how you use your cash, and manage your savings. Plus, they’ll give you an insight into ways of increasing your available income.

Increase Your Earning Potential

One of the easiest ways to reduce money worries and stress, is to increase the amount of cash you have at your disposal. This might sound easier said than done, but there are a number of ways people can increase their income. One option might be to consider looking into external side gigs and freelance jobs you can do outside of your regular working hours. Another solution could be to go back to school and earn a degree or certification in your field. You can search for scholarships for college students online which should help you to manage the costs of your education. With these extra forms of financial support to assist you, you’ll be able to expand your resume, and apply for a wider range of roles.

Create a Budget

There are several common mistakes to avoid when getting out of debt and not accounting for dollars in and dollars out is one of them. Many people look at budget building as a restrictive activity. However, it’s a necessary part of using your money effectively in the modern world. At the start of each month, you should have a clear idea of how much money you’re going to earn, and where that cash is going to go. Sit down with a list of all your expenses and available income, and make sure you know what you’re spending. Looking closely at your budget and spending habits will also help you to determine whether there are areas you might be able to cut down on. You might be able to switch to using just one streaming service, instead of paying for multiple forms of entertainment. You could also reduce costs by switching energy and insurance providers.

Talk to Someone

They say a problem shared is a problem halved, and this certainly applies to people suffering from money worries. If you’re concerned about managing your expenses, it can be helpful to sit down with your partner and come up with a strategy for how you’re going to reduce your spending, or increase your income together. Talking to friends and family can also help you to discover extra tips for saving cash you might not have thought of yourself. If you need more specialist assistance, you could consider talking to a financial advisor about how you can save cash to get the best return on your investment, or where you can begin paying off your loans to reduce the amount you give away to interest rates each month.

Common Mistakes When You are Getting Out of Debt

Getting out of debt takes hard work, and it’s about more than just paying off your credit cards. You’ll also need to create a budget and change the way you look at money if you want to stay out of debt. The process has a lot of details, and it is easy to make mistakes along the way. Understanding these mistakes can help you avoid them.

Ignoring Your Student Loans

If you have debt from a variety of sources, you may be tempted to focus on those with the highest interest and ignore the rest. Student loans may fall to the bottom of the list, but it’s important to prioritize them along with the rest of your loans. Falling behind on any payments can negatively impact your credit score. One way of making your student loan debt more manageable is to refinance it into a new one. By refinancing student loans with NaviRefi, it makes it easier to meet the minimum payments while you focus on digging yourself out of debt.

Dipping into Retirement Savings

You may already have a bit of money that could be used for your loans in the form of your retirement savings. However, as you plan your retirement you should think beyond the short-term and consider whether you still want to be working full-time when you are a grandparent. It’s a good idea to avoid dipping into your 401(k) or other accounts, especially because there are usually penalties for early withdrawals. You may receive matches on your retirement contributions, so stopping contributions means you aren’t getting your free money.

Trying to Do it Alone

While you can try to get out of debt on your own, it’s easier if you have a support system in place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if it means showing you have a problem. You can get assistance from credit counseling agencies. You can work with trained counselors who can suggest solutions like settlement or credit consolidation. They can also suggest ways of staying away from loans in the future.

Getting Scammed by Relief Programs

You can get help through debt relief programs but know it will still take a lot of work on your part. If a debt relief program sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. Don’t believe the lie about relief magic. Scammers like to make promises that are too good to be true to get more people to sign up for their illegitimate programs. They then charge high fees, and the only ones benefiting are the scammers.

If you are considering a relief program, it’s a good idea to investigate them through the state attorney’s office, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the Better Business Bureau. You can also get recommendations on legitimate programs through universities, credit unions, and other organizations in the area. But know that no matter the program you choose, there is no overnight fix. You will most likely be in a debt relief program for around three to five years, so know you will need patience.

Tips For Helping Your Teen Manage Money

As a parent, you may or may not look forward to the teen years. While some teens coast through these formative years, others might hit a few bumps in the road, making it one heck of a ride. Either way, your goal is to help your teen become a well-rounded young adult; one who is financially savvy and understands the importance of earning and saving money. Below, we’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you teach your teen some of the best ways to make and save their hard-earned dollars. Read on to learn some of the most important money matters you need to talk about with your teenager.

Let’s Talk Personal Finances

Your child is just starting to gain independence. They might have started a part-time job and are thinking about which college they want to attend. You’re the one person they need to show them the ropes of how to make it in the world, especially when it comes to money. It all starts with budgeting. If they already have a bank of their own, then sit down and help them create a budget. Talk about how much they earn (if they have a job) and how much they should be saving each month. If they aren’t working just yet and are only doing chores around the house and get an allowance, that still counts. Show them how to divide needs and wants, and decide how much they can save by making better financial decisions.

If they’re almost out of high school, paying for college needs to be discussed. Even if you’ve been saving since they were little, it might not be enough. Talk about the different options they have, like getting a scholarship or student loans. There are Earnest student loans that can cover the cost of tuition without exorbitant interest rates. The terms are also flexible and loans are personalized to theirs, and possibly your, financial situation. Keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different, so it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of taking out any type of loan prior to applying.

Earning Money

If they’re old enough to get a job, they need to understand the different deductions taken from their check and how to file taxes. If they’re only working part-time, then they might not owe income tax. However, if they decide to work full-time during the summer, that’s where things change. Even if they get a W-2, they still need to create a savings account and put money away for possible tax debt. Go over the different types of deductions and explain how exemptions work as well. Since tax laws can change periodically, it’s best to research prior to giving any advice.

Opening Bank Accounts

If you open an account when they were born, then you have two options. A custodial account can usually be converted into a regular checking or savings, or you can simply sign off it. However, it’s important that your child is financially responsible and understands how withdrawals can cause overdrafts prior to giving them free reign. In either case, go over the different types of accounts they have or can open, and explain how to use them properly. If there’s a minimum monthly deposit amount or service fee, review how that must be fulfilled. If they do work, they can set up direct deposit and avoid having to go to the bank.

Mad Money and Saving

When you were younger, you probably couldn’t wait to spend your first paycheck. After all, you worked hard and finally had money of your own. Unfortunately, you probably did what most do and spent every cent without thinking. While doing this once isn’t that big of a deal, making it a habit is. Teenagers, especially ones who are headed off to college, need to learn how to save. Habits they develop now will follow them into adulthood. If they continually blow through their paychecks without repercussions, how will they ever learn financial responsibility?

Together, have them create a list of monthly expenses, like their cell phone bill or gas, in addition to a set amount they need to save. If they’re saving to buy a car, that amount needs to be separate from their actual savings account. Also, remember to teach them how to reconcile their accounts, how to accurately track how much they spent and how to account for pending transactions.

Set Long-Term Goals

Aside from paying for college or getting a new car, you also need to talk about long-term goals. These goals should be more along the lines of buying a home or having a set amount of money in the bank by a certain age. One way to help your teenager be successful is with money management apps. There are plenty to choose from online. Some round up to the nearest dollar while others help track spending and send alerts when accounts reach a specific balance. There is also beginner invest apps they can use to learn the basics of investing. Since they’re so young, they have the time to start small and eventually watch their money grow.

Start Building Credit

Starter credit cards are a great way to build credit and teach financial responsibility. In addition to opening with your child, they can sign up for a secured card. They add a certain amount of their own money onto the card prior to use. Over time, and with a positive payment history, the lender will then convert the secured card into an unsecured one. Their goal should be paying off their balance in full every month.

Education is Key

Ongoing financial education is the key to proper money management. Talk about debt management, how to live with less and the best ways to avoid high interest rates on credit cards. You should have a serious conversation about what they need to do if they overdraw their bank account or can’t make a car or credit payment. They can also use a debt calculator, which will show how long it takes to realistically pay off their debt.