6 Tricks to Get Your Projects Done on Time With a Small Team

6 Tricks to Get Your Projects Done on Time With a Small Team

Any small business leader would admit that maintaining a compact team has its benefits: administration duties are low, agility is high, and team morale is easy to keep track of.

For entrepreneurs with big plans, however, it may seem like your team is too small to execute some of the projects you have in mind. While small teams may not be able to take on every enterprise-level challenge, the right tactics can help your small business take on challenges you might otherwise never have thought possible.

Maximize Your Small Team

Maximizing on your team’s size means accentuating your strengths and giving special care to any potential weaknesses — here’s how you can do that:

1. Have the right tools at your disposal.

No team, no matter the size, is going to be able to do their work properly without the right technology behind them. Platforms like project management software and instant messaging apps are crucial for ensuring the kind of business-wide cohesion that makes it possible for small players to make big moves.

Evaluate what your team needs most right now: for remote offices, it’s going to be tools that promote connectivity, while brick-and-mortar businesses might need scheduling software that improves shift management. The tech you use should conform to the ambitions of your business, not the other way around.

2. Do your research.

Before you even scratch the surface of project development, be sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. In today’s market, it’s not the size of the project that makes an impact: it’s its capacity for disruption. It doesn’t matter how big or small your project is — if there’s not space for it to make an impact on your team or business, it’s not going to be worth it.

Small businesses might not have the ability to do the kind of heavy-duty market research that their competitors do, but getting a sense of how your product will fare once its released is absolutely critical. Before you start development, be sure you know who you’re developing for and how they’ll respond.

3. Plan early.

Thanks to their size, industry titans are often able to simply throw resources at a project until it’s finished — you probably don’t have the same luxury. Small business plans need to be thoroughly developed before any real action is taken: once you start a project, you need to be sure that not a single dollar is being thrown away.

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Planning every aspect of the development process ahead of time can make it easier to stay within tight margins later on. By considering any possible externalities ahead of time, you’re guaranteeing yourself the smoothest possible path to completion.

4. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

One of the biggest pluses of working on a small team is the ability to delegate. At large companies, widespread delegation can make it almost impossible to know who’s working on what and when. Small, tightly knit operations can trade tasks freely without getting lost in the shuffle.

Keep close tabs on what each of your employees has on their plate: workers who are overloading themselves should have some of their responsibilities shifted to someone else. By giving each member of your team just the right amount of work, you’re guaranteeing that everyone’s working at their peak productivity.

5. Focus on the essentials.

For companies of all sizes, it can be tempting to start adding features to your product before you’re even done with its central features. While there’s nothing wrong with having a feature-heavy offering, don’t let it distract from the product’s original purpose.

Perhaps the best way around this is by always developing a minimum viable product first. Once you have the bare essentials of your product figured out, you can start adding the features that fit within your schedule and budget — ensuring that you don’t let your reach extend beyond your grasp.

6. Make your meetings democratic.

No one knows more about your business than you do, but you still may not have a firm grasp on every aspect of it. If you want to know precisely what you should be working on and what you’re capable of as a company, you need to put it to your workers.

Surveying your team before meetings allows you the opportunity to focus on the things that your team is concerned about and address those issues first. By making each of your employees part of the regular conversation, you’ll always have your finger on the pulse of what you should be focusing on next.

It’s a tough market for small businesses, but they’re also more important to the economy than ever. As big businesses work to cover their losses and stay afloat in these difficult times, it’s time for your company to step in and start tackling the big projects you’ve always hoped to.

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Want to Improve Your Workplace? 16 Productive Questions to Ask Yourself

Want to Improve Your Workplace? 16 Productive Questions to Ask Yourself

As a leader, you know your workplace dynamic directly impacts employee morale and, in turn, your bottom line. No matter how great your company culture might be, there is always room for improvement.

But to make impactful changes, you’ll have to first understand which areas warrant the most attention.

Advice on How to Improve Your Workplace

To help you identify those areas, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members this question:

“What’s one productive question business professionals can ask themselves in order to better understand what they need to improve in the workplace?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Are We Accomplishing Our Daily and Weekly Goals?

“This question refers to time management and productivity. How well are you and your team handling the hours in the day when working with clients or completing assignments? Do daily check-ins work with your team? Will time management tools prevent people from goofing off? You need to constantly assess, especially in times of uncertainty.” ~ Duran Inci, Optimum7

2. Am I Living the Brand Values?

“Often companies will go through the process of creating brand values. Everyone in the company is excited, but after some time, that rush of enthusiasm wears off. The leaders in the organization are not living and breathing what the company says it stands for, leading to misalignment. By focusing on realigning values to the north star, it clears up a lot of confusion and decision-making, boosting productivity.” ~ Rishi Sharma, Mallama

3. Am I Reaching My Full Potential?

“For your team and your business to continue to prosper and grow, you must first tap into your full potential. Continue to increase your knowledge. Train and invest in yourself. Make it your mission to take massive action toward your goals and identify the areas where you can improve. When you are at your best, this positivity will trickle down and boost your business and everyone around you.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

4. How Are We Spending Our Time?

“One productive question business professionals can ask themselves to improve the workplace is, ‘How am I or my team spending time?’ It’s very important to know what tasks consume most of your time during the day, rate their level of complexity and see if you can delegate them to someone else or put a process in place to complete them more efficiently.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

5. How Can I Make Myself Obsolete?

“One key goal that’s always in the back of my mind is, ‘How do I make myself obsolete?’ If a year from now my day-to-day looks like today, I will have failed to grow. Stagnation is death. To be clear, I’m not talking about ‘climbing the ladder.’ It’s all about impact and expanding my horizons. As a founder, my job is to create, to set direction and then hand it off for execution.” ~ Alex Furman, Invitae

6. What Are We Avoiding?

“Is there one element of your business process the team shies away from? What is that? Usually this is due to a lack of understanding around that piece. Whether it’s a confusing technology, an unclear line of reporting or conflicting goals or processes, people procrastinate when they’re unsure of what to do. Identify this and then work on creating clarity to improve.” ~ Thomas Smale, FE International

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7. What Am I Tolerating?

“As a method for self-accountability, I often ask myself ‘What am I tolerating?’ What am I tolerating from myself, from my team, from my career? The answers help me take stock of where things are heading and get them back on the right path.” ~ Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

8. Am I Focusing on the Right Metrics?

“Most people in business today are swimming in data and tracking all types of metrics. It’s essential to track your results, but it’s just as important to focus on the right data. Make sure you are tracking numbers that are directly relevant to your goals. Review your main objectives and ask yourself if you have a reliable way to measure your progress.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

9. Did This Task or Project Add Value?

“When looking at whether a task or project is creating value, you also need to consider the time spent. Could the time spent on this task be put to better use? Could I accomplish more in the same time? Answering these questions honestly will tell you whether it’s worthwhile doing the same thing again or if you should change what you’re doing.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

10. What Is Confusing People?

“I frequently ask the managers on our team, and then ask myself, ‘What do we think people are confused by?’ Are there decisions that have been made that we haven’t explained the ‘why’ behind enough? Are there any areas of the business where we are sending mixed messages? Is there anything we announced that might happen that we haven’t followed up on? This challenges us to improve our communication with everyone.” ~ Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

11. Would I Recommend Working Here to my Friends and Family?

“The immediate answer to this should be yes, and if it isn’t, you should consider why. This question opens the opportunity to make changes in areas of business that would make you more likely to promote the company to others. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees this question as well and see what their response is.” ~ Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

12. Is Our Culture Sustainable?

“It’s really important to understand when there could be flaws entering into the company culture. If people are not completing tasks, are giving excuses or overworking themselves, it’s important to be able to ask questions about that. This means looking at how sustainable the current culture is. Does it encourage growth?” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

13. How Can I Simplify the Business?

“Simplifying your business can remove complexities and increase revenue, so it makes sense to get back to the most simplistic form of your business and then figure out how you can scale. Find one product that will make all the difference, get rid of all the nonsense and focus on this one product.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

14. Am I Making the Best Use of My Abilities?

“It’s vital to get people doing tasks that are best suited to their abilities. For example, you may have strong technical skills, but if you’re great at marketing, then that’s what you should be doing. You need to ensure that you and your team are using your skills to their best effect. It’s a time-waster to put the wrong people in the wrong jobs.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

15. Do I Have the Right Team?

“If you hire people who don’t understand the company culture or vision, then it’s safe to say they won’t carry out procedures properly. When you bring people on board, make sure you provide adequate training and resources to ensure they’re on the same page.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

16. Are People Happy?

“Happy employees are productive employees. When people feel a sense of pride and happiness where they work, they will go above and beyond to be more productive and work toward achieving the goals of the business.” ~ Josh Weiss, Reggie


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Vulnerability Expert Brené Brown explains how to be a braver leader

Vulnerability Expert Brené Brown explains how to be a braver leader

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<p> I made exactly zero attempts to <a href= hide my love for Brené Brown . Last week I was lucky enough to interview her with one of my favorite Salesforce customers, Eric Rodriguez of the Coliving platform Common .

The conversation turned out to be feasible and inspiring. Here's a beautiful visual summary from a listener – Melinda Walker on One Squiggly Line – and check out some of my favorite tips below.

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1. We must give priority to communication

Like so many companies, the coliving platform Common had to redefine its business practices during this pandemic. Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of Operations, opened our discussion by sharing how the company changed operations early to help customers and at the same time committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees.

Rodriguez emphasized the need for both quick decisions and the transparency of leadership. His suggestions for customer communication were really inspiring. Listen to an excerpt from my interview with Eric below.

2. We must be braver leaders

The pandemic has put everyone on alert. If you are a leader and are not scared at the moment, do not pay attention. How should small business executives respond? Brown exclaimed: We need braver leaders and braver cultures. "There is no fear that stands in the way of courageous leadership," she said. "What stands in the way of courageous leadership is armament – what do we do when we are afraid?"

When we are afraid, our neurobiology ARMOR UP screams. Everything shouts: "Self protection!" As Brown says, if we want to consciously trust ourselves, we don't have to say armor. We have to double in order to be both transparent and vulnerable. If you're feeling beaten up, you're in good company. The simple thing is to protect yourself, but if you want to keep moving towards your mission, you need to refuel.

3. Gratitude is particularly important in a downturn

Brown's research background came out when she explained that sometimes we are afraid to take our foot off the pedal because we lose our sense of urgency. But data shows the opposite : Gratitude actually helps you celebrate victories and avoid burnout.

Prioritizing gratitude can sometimes be a real challenge, like in global pandemics. However, it is a tremendous relief to take time each day to consider what you are grateful for and to let others know how much you appreciate them. Thanks to Brown's memory, we are now starting team meetings with moments of gratitude, and it was both exhilarating and inspiring. But remember: As Brown says, “Gratitude is not an attitude or a choice; it is a daily practice. "

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4. Have tough conversations with empathy

So many companies currently have to make difficult decisions about downsizing, so a viewer asked for advice. Brown reminded us so nicely: "Make reductions in the most generous way and with the dignity that you can muster." This approach has two advantages. First, it is of course the right approach for people who lose their jobs. Second, you also create a safety net and an infrastructure for the people who stay.

As managers, it is important to lead with empathy and to have support for your employees who have lost their colleagues, friends and partners. Allow them the space to feel sadness. We were conditioned to believe that those who keep their jobs will be overwhelmed with gratitude, but that is not the case. Those who stay also see tremendous leaps in fear and fear.

5. Supporting mental health requires a culture of courage

A viewer asked about mental health and how managers should provide access to additional support. Brown replied that companies should not only have the structure and resources to get help, but also a culture that supports asking for help.

Unfortunately, when people find the courage to express their mental struggles, this often meets with resistance. We need to normalize mental health problems and prioritize wellbeing. This goes back to building courage and vulnerability. We have to promote and support the necessary hard talks.

6. "There is no courage without vulnerability"

This line is Vintage Brown: “To lead means to be vulnerable every minute of every day; There is no courage without vulnerability. “Here Brown suggests that companies operationalize their corporate values ​​- take every value and translate it into three visible behaviors. This exercise will help you figure out what kind of leader and person you want to be.

There is no playbook for this pandemic. Managers need to learn things and make decisions in a snap. It is important to be honest and transparent. Instead of making empty promises, say (and mean) things like "Here's what you can rely on" and "I don't have all the answers right now, but I can promise to keep in touch."

With Salesforce, you can find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can be successful. Learn more about our CRM solutions for small businesses by following us on Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram .

You can find more inspiration about companies and executives in our entire series Leading Through Change .

Photo via Salesforce

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How to Achieve Business Continuity in a Crisis

How to Achieve Business Continuity in a Crisis

Too many small business owners want to stick their heads in the sand and wait for "normal" to come back. <! – ->

This is a bad strategy since nobody knows when the market will be "normal" again.

Interview with Dave Silke von Mitel

In the Small Business Radio Show Dave Silke, Chief Marketing Officer of Mitel discusses what every small business owner must do now to ensure business continuity during a crisis.

<! – -> First, he proposes a four-phase approach to business continuity – response, mitigation, reassurance, and recovery. Organizations must go through these four phases to recover from the strain the pandemic has created on their employees, customers, and businesses.

Dave says that in the reaction phase, all small business owners can expect a phase of emotional upheaval. The company finds a new balance in damage limitation when work and life collide. For calming. Entrepreneurs are beginning to reorganize and strengthen their business to avoid further business losses.

Finally, Dave adds that in the recovery phase, the new normality takes place in a world after COVID-19.

Dave emphasizes that most states will be at different stages when states restart their economies.

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Businesses try to survive by either remedying or calming down when leaders in the organization promise employees that the chaos that has happened to the pandemic will not recur. <! – ->

In this phase, companies focus on work and business processes and how technology can complement people's work. Dave suggests that cloud communication and collaboration can keep people efficient anywhere, anytime, on any device.

In the calming phase, Dave believes the goal is to eliminate disjointed technologies. A study showed that a company's technology stack is critical and poorly integrated communication apps can cost the company $ 6,000 to $ 10,000 per employee per year.

<! – -> Dave believes this could now increase if the company has not developed remote work / work-from-home functions or executives do not know how to fully remote teams manage . He insists that there is a solution in which all the necessary elements (telephony, chat / messaging, file sharing, video and work areas) work together instead of putting together different technologies to adapt them to individual functions (e.g. Slack, Zoom – and Google documents). ensures internal productivity with your external customer experience.

Dave believes it is critical that small businesses recognize the choices they are making today regarding their technology strategy to determine their communication culture for future crises. The sluggishness that a business owner now creates will be difficult to redirect without the right systems and services.

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show .

Image: mitel.com

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15 Ways Managers Can Encourage Employees to Take the Initiative

15 Ways Managers Can Encourage Employees to Take the Initiative

Within a company, the ambitions of individual team members should support the growth of the overall organization. <! – ->

However, a leader is required to integrate this ambition into a plan that helps both team members and the entire organization.

One way for leaders to get their team members to achieve their ambitions is to take them on a self-taught basis and take the initiative to expand their knowledge and skills while taking advantage of new opportunities in the company.

Tips for your employees to take the initiative

<! – -> To help, we asked 15 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to do the following:


"How can managers encourage their team to teach themselves or take initiative?"

Here's what members of the YEC community had to say:

1. Show them their effects

“The best way to make people curious about the industry they work in and the work they do is to show them the impact they already have. Too many people only work to get a paycheck and do not fully understand how their efforts benefit the company or society as a whole. Fill it out. Once they understand where they fit, they are more likely to start exploring. "~ Ismael Wrixen FE International

2. Lead by example

“We have weekly meetings in our company called“ Breakfast and Learning ”. During these meetings, company leaders teach participants what they learn and encourage other team members to share new insights. "~ Kevin Urrutia Voy Media <! – ->

3. Assign difficult tasks

“Assigning each team member a difficult task that requires a creative solution can result in a team working outside of their comfort zone. This “boost” can promote and motivate self-learning. "~ Jordan Edelson Appetizer Mobile LLC

4. Set up a training program

“We’ve set up a quarterly training program as part of each employee’s goals. We help research the courses, purchase and plan the time to complete each course. Most of it is online, for example through learning from Udemy, Lynda or Treehouse, but it can also be (sometime) personal. "~ Peter Boyd PaperStreet Web Design

5. Create a great process checklist

<! – -> “Back then, when manufacturing was everything, checklists and procedures made sense – you created a widget and that's it. The world is now more complicated and quick adaptation to reality is crucial. If you encourage your team to add notes and questions to your process, you can document their thinking. This enables independent thinking and helps them understand the "why" of the things we do. "~ Richard Fong Automatic growth

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6. Take fear out of the equation

"You will see team members thrive if you empower them and let them know that mistakes are being made, are expected and are opportunities for learning." Create an environment where mistakes can be corrected before they affect the customer. Removing the fear of failure will not solve everything. Not thinking twice or making the same mistake doesn't mean taking initiative – it's lazy. "~ Gregor Watson Roofstock

7. Be transparent about challenges

“People may not take the initiative simply because they don't know where to add value to the company. Being transparent about the challenges the company faces can inspire people to see where they can take action through increased initiative. "~ Kelsey Raymond Influence & Co.

8. Give people time to learn

“One way to encourage people to learn is to give them time to do it. Yes, you need a training budget and may even have access to a learning tool. However, if people don't have time to study, it makes no sense. Encourage your team to block the time in the calendars for learning and ensure that they stick to it. "~ Thomas Griffin OptinMonster

9. Make the company's needs known

“Over-communicating with your team is important for so many reasons. Communicating your vision for the company – where you want to grow, what your goals are, etc. – will unite your team and inspire them to take the initiative. You may even find that the skills you are looking for are secret passions of your team members. "~ Reuben Yonatan GetVoIP

10. Provide opportunities to move forward

“Distribute invitations to employees to take the initiative. This can look like passion projects that need a new leader, or you can just ask your team who can lead the next event. Some may be too shy to take a step forward, but if the option is more accessible, it will be easier to take a step forward. "~ Matthew Podolsky Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

11. Provision of the necessary resources and instructions

“Employees sometimes don't teach themselves because they lack a plan or priorities. The best way to stimulate this is to provide useful and necessary resources to help them grow. Instead of endless PowerPoints on Law, ask who is interested in subscriptions to The Economist or JSTOR. Praise proactive staff and ask about their studies. You appreciate your interest in their growth. “~ Duran Inci Optimum7

12. Allow them to follow their curiosity

“Allow and encourage employees to walk the path of their curiosity. This way, they can develop the mindset they need to learn for life. Being a role model and sharing what you learn can also encourage them to walk the path. "~ Rishi Sharma Mallama

Hold 13th monthly one-on-one meetings

“By holding monthly one-on-one meetings, you can teach your team to take the initiative and teach themselves. It is so important that you encourage your employees to grow both personally and professionally. Individual interviews offer you the opportunity to look after your employees and learn more about them. Give them advice on what they should do to achieve their goals, such as: B. More independent learning. "~ Chris Christoff MonsterInsights

14. Organize a book club

“Books are a great way to teach yourself! Organize a book club and let your team read all the relevant books related to your industry, or make a list of the books you read on your trip, and organize a meeting every two weeks to discuss with your team about concepts, topics and speak ideas. ”~ Riccardo Conte Virtus Flow

15. Appreciate those who show initiative

“An effective way to encourage initiative at work is to show people that you reward them. You can do this by publicly recognizing and appreciating your employees who do an excellent job of solving problems and developing ideas. Consider posting them in email or on your Slack channels, and also mention the great work you've done in online meetings. "~ Blair Williams MemberPress


Image: Depositphotos.com

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15 best places to get a tenant background check

15 best places to get a tenant background check

If you are a landlord, the last thing you want is a tenant who pays no rent. However, a tenant who has made property damage or records as a sex offender is also undesirable. <! – ->

You must thoroughly check every potential tenant. But who has so much time?

Tenant background screening services are fast and affordable. In addition, the services have checked a tenant's history in the past! A tenant screening service already has a procedure for performing a background check and a credit report .

<! – -> Companies that specialize in tenant background checks are not all the same. You will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable these services are. It is worthwhile to commission screening services.

Best service for background checks for tenants

At least one credit report is a must. But that's all. A credit report does not tell you whether an applicant has a criminal history. A credit report does not indicate when the applicant damaged the rental property.

Most verification services offer a menu of reports that you can request for a prospective tenant. You can also branch the background check to include information from national databases.

We have done the work to identify the best background screening services that are suitable for landlords or independent companies. Here are the 15 tenant background services:

1. RentPrep

The basic package for RentPrep includes a credit report and a verification of the social security number for $ 18.95. You can also get a national screening that includes eviction reports, judgments, mortgages, and bankruptcies, as well as information about criminals and sex offenders. <! – ->

RentPrep also has a Facebook group page on tenant screening with discussions in questions and answers. RentPrep customers can also enjoy podcasts and other business-related questions and answers on the RentPrep Facebook page.

2. SmartMove

SmartMove offers a $ 25 base package that includes tenant credit and a national criminal record search. Additional background checks for potential tenants include eviction reports, credit reports and a background check.

<! – -> SmartMove uses TransUnion, a credit bureau, for its credit checks. Its services can include a resident score.

The "Resident Score" is a credit measurement tool that the company uses to review potential tenants. SmartMove carries out a credit check, searches the criminal history and checks the clearance documents. After collecting this data, the tenant applicant receives a "resident score". This score is used to measure risk.

3rd e-tenant

E-Mieter offers standard and customized packages. The basic client background verification package costs $ 19.95 and includes background verification and identity verification. A tenant credit check costs $ 29.95.

E-tenants can perform national searches and do them quickly. The search can be completed within an hour (or the same day after regular business hours and / or weekends).

4. StarPoint

StarPoint creates a basic credit report for just $ 10.95. A landlord can then choose from a specific menu of reports. Instead of packages, StarPoint lets the landlord choose which tenant verification report applies to the requirements.

For example, a landlord can add a nationwide criminal record report for $ 8.95. If a landlord prefers, the national criminal record report is $ 14.95. The menu of report options is extensive and specific.

5. MyRental

MyRental offers a basic referencing package for tenants for $ 24.99. This basic package contains the eviction history of the applicant, the crime and / or sex offender history and a terrorist warning. A landlord can receive this basic package and a credit report for $ 34.99.

MyRental also offers additional individual reports.

6th Experian

Experian offers a comprehensive service that includes more than a background check of a potential tenant. With an Experian account, a company can conduct customer, supplier and contractor reviews.

Without the business account, basic credit reports cost $ 14.95. This fee is paid by the potential tenants. The landlord would pay for any additional reports requested.

The cost of the business account varies depending on the type of review reports that the landlord most often needs.

7. Cozy

Cozy can conduct background tenant checks. The company also offers management services, including rental listings, an integrated application for potential tenants, and an online rental collection. Cozy also offers tenant insurance.

A background check or credit report costs $ 24.99 or $ 39.99 each for both.

The cost of additional tenant screening reports vary as does the cost of management services. For example, the online rental collection service costs $ 2.99. Standard tenant insurance costs $ 20 a month.

8. Buildium

Buildium offers administrative services as well as tenant screening services. Checking the tenant background can be part of a comprehensive management package.

Buildium conducts a tenant background check that includes a complete credit report, criminal record report, and eviction history. With this information, Buildium creates a custom credit score for the applicant. Applicants have a minimum custom credit rating requirement.

The administration package can include the tenant's investigation to determine the custom credit score, inspections, and the management of leases. The fees for services vary.

9. Tenant Screening Center Inc. (TSCI)

TSCI has been processing tenant references since 1985. His services include an online rental application, which takes over this task from the landlord's schedule.

The TSCI Rental Connect package costs $ 29.95 and includes the rental application, credit report, and search for clearance documents. For $ 49.95, the landlord can add a crime report and various other credit checks.

10. LeaseRunner

LeaseRunner offers a full menu of reports for a potential tenant. A popular offer is the LeaseRunner instant evacuation report for $ 12.

Additional services include a credit report ($ 20), a criminal complaint ($ 15), and a financial tenant reference ($ 10).

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LeaseRunner also offers free advertising for rent.

11. TurboTenant

The base report TurboTenant costs $ 35 and includes a credit report and a criminal history review. TurboTenant is said to have the applicant paid for these reports.

For $ 45, the landlord can request TurboTenant Pro, which includes a review of the national clearance report. The applicant also pays for this report.

12th National Tenant Network

The National Tenant Network has a membership fee of $ 19.97. Members then pay less for searches. For example, a crime report costs $ 8.25 and a sex offender report costs $ 6.50.

National Tenant Network also offers a service called NTN Decision Point ($ 18.50). The background search includes evictions and violations of rental contracts, a check of the social security number, the search for terrorists and previous landlord identification. The NTN decision point contains a credit score and a recommendation (based on the background search).

13. Available

Avail is often used by business owners who own multiple units. Potential tenants each pay $ 30 for a credit report and criminal record review, or $ 55 for both.

For referencing tenants of apartments, a landlord can also opt for a unit fee that starts at $ 5. This plan includes credit and criminal record reviews and online rental payments.

14. TenantAlert

The basic package TenantAlert costs $ 24.95 and includes a credit report and a list of previous addresses.

The Pro report costs $ 39.95 and includes nationwide clearance documents, criminal history, sex offenders, and federal crime reviews.

The Pro Plus report costs $ 49.95 and includes the national search for the information searched in the Pro report and the search for fraud with social security numbers.

15th tenant background search

The standard service for Tenant Background Search costs $ 19.95 and includes a national search for the criminal history and status of the applicant's sex offender.

For $ 22.95, the service adds a credit report with a score, a list of past addresses, and records of foreclosures and medical collections.

For $ 29.95, the service adds a national clearance check.

FAQs about background screening

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) address general concerns of independent landlords regarding leasing and tenants.

Do I need a written rental application?

Yes, it is best to have a written rental application completed and signed by the tenant. Contact your lawyer to get an application form that meets the requirements of your state. You can also find online application forms at places such as e-renters .

Some tenant verification services include getting an online application. The service can include this as part of an overall audit or management package. In this case, a landlord should always have a signed copy of the online application.

What is included in a tenant background check?

A standard background check includes a credit report and a criminal history report.

This is the typical information contained in a background check. A landlord may require certain other specific controls, such as: B. previous addresses or clearance documents.

A tenant background check (sometimes referred to as a tenant screening) differs from a credit check. It contains additional information to help the landlord make a more informed decision before renting a property to a tenant.

A credit report versus a background check – what's the difference?

A credit report consists of all numbers. The credit report contains various financial information that was collected to create a credit report.

Here are some examples of information in a credit report: your name (including previous names or aliases); current and previous addresses; Your past and present employers; revolving accounts; Installment loans and credit status; open and closed bank accounts; Payment history of the account including additional costs; current credit and loan applications; Collection accounts (all accounts managed by a collection agency).

A background check includes the credit report and other information such as the criminal history. It may contain other information that has been requested by a landlord, e.g. B. Records of previous evictions or violations of rental contracts. The background check can be limited to information in a government database, or the report can be expanded to include national and even international research.

How do I check a tenant in the background?

Of course you can do a background check yourself as long as you have the following qualifications:

  1. You have a lot of free time.
  2. You don't mind just blaming yourself if you miss something.
  3. You are a talented contractor who can easily repair drywall, plumbing, windows and doors.

Okay, just kidding. But for every glowing report from a big tenant, a landlord has stories of nightmare tenants. There are few things that are more daunting to swallow than a tenant who doesn't pay or a tenant who has damaged your building.

What is your time worth? Background research services are inexpensive, thorough, and fast.

Who pays a background check – tenant or landlord?

This can go in both directions. A landlord can pay or the tenant can pay. Some background tenant services are set up so that the applicant pays.

We would argue – if a prospective tenant doesn't want to pay $ 20-40 for the credit report and background research, the tenant may not suit you.

How much does a check of the tenant background cost?

The cost of a tenant background check is between $ 20 and $ 40. If you add a credit check, you can pay an additional $ 10 to $ 20.

Many services through a menu with additional search options at additional cost. Some services offer all-inclusive packages.

What else do I need to know as a landlord?

You must know the laws of the federal, state and local authorities. For example, you may need to receive the rental agreement in writing. You may be limited in what you can ask the prospective tenant to do. Ask your lawyer for detailed advice. For quick reference, Avail.co has a good listing and map of state landlord-tenant laws.

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10 Reasons to Increase Employees %% sep %%%% Site-Name %%

10 Reasons to Increase Employees %% sep %%%% Site-Name %%

It takes a lot of self-confidence when an employee turns to their employer to get a raise – and a lot of decision-making confidence as an employer to decide what reasons and not to give for a raise. <! – – ->

There is no playbook for managers and business owners to assess whether an employee deserves a raise or not. There are several ways to decide whether an employee earns more. From value creation to team support, everyone plays an important role in deciding whether an increase is justified – but there are other factors to consider. For this reason we asked 10 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to do the following:

“A representative recently spoke to you about a raise. What is an important factor to consider before deciding whether to give them one or not? Why is this factor so important? "

Reasons to increase employees

<! – -> The members of the YEC community said the following:

1. How they have improved

“An increase should be about improvement. What did the employee do in the past year to expand their skills, expand their knowledge or generate higher quality work? Check out these factors to determine if you should get an increase. "~ John Rampton Calendar

2. Your value for the company

“To know whether an employee should receive a raise or not, it is of course helpful to understand the value they bring to your company and their level. Are you an A-level employee, do you accept challenges with minimal complaints, do you see that they may be promoted in the future, and do you see where they can ultimately get to? "~ Nicole Munoz Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

3. The skills they have acquired

“Find out whether your employee took advantage of the training opportunities you offered or whether he or she learned something new himself. New skills and familiarity with your business processes make them valuable and difficult to replace. Consider their skills and how they can help you make a decision to offer a raise. "~ Blair Williams MemberPress

4. Common values ​​and corporate vision

“It is very important to assess whether this employee has a conviction and feels committed to the company, whether he shares his values, and this is reflected in his productivity and his daily tasks. Does he or she bring value? Does he or she make a profit and benefit the company? In what way? Prioritize and reward the most loyal and effective people so that the final decision is yours. “~ Kevin Leyes Leyes Media & Team Leyes, from Leyes Enterprises <! – ->

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5. Your potential

“We always view our employees as people like us, with the full potential of the world at their fingertips. Increases are reported based on performance, but the percentage increase depends entirely on their potential and the amount of work they put into the company. "~ Chris Christoff MonsterInsights

6. Your influence on the team

“While it may be easy to rate everyone based on their financial performance or market rate for their salary, it is often more important to important team members. For example, some team members may not be your A-player, but they are very popular and motivate the people around them to increase the productivity of the entire team. "~ Andy Karuza FenSens

7. The way you ask for it

<! – -> “For me, everything depends on your approach and the words you use to ask for the increase. Was it in a one-on-one interview or a team meeting? Was it a spontaneous comment or joke, or was it a serious question? Did you do homework before asking? Have you adequately explained why you should get one? I am more inclined to discuss it and may even agree if you have thought about it. "~ Thomas Griffin OptinMonster

8. Your time with the company

“Even if someone in your company thinks they deserve a raise, you have to consider everyone else before giving them to them. For example, if someone was in the same department for longer, the raise should go to them instead. It is important to practice fairness in all business areas so that no one can accuse you of choosing favorites. "~ Stephanie Wells Formidable Forms

9. Timing and motivation

"Have your financial needs grown? Did you achieve anything? Have you been with the company for a while? Do you feel undercompensated, revised or something similar? Consider timing and motivation before you start entering the numbers. Sometimes the real wish is not even the money itself. "~ Joey Bertschler Bitgrit

10. Alternatives to increases

“If you are just starting your business and entrepreneurial career, you may not be able to grant wage increases. Consider alternatives that still add value to employees, such as performance-related bonuses, additional paid free time, or a more flexible work schedule. In many cases, employees prefer their additional flexibility in the workplace to a one-time raise. "~ Jared Atchison WPForms


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How to notice and fight the signs of depression, anxiety and stress

How to notice and fight the signs of depression, anxiety and stress

Starting your own company is an exciting journey. When you create something from scratch, work in an area you are passionate about, and consider the financial potential of your business, you can feel excited. <! – ->

Unfortunately, these feelings of elation may not be consistent during your tenure as the leader and figurehead of your company. If you're not careful, there may be an increased risk of depression, burnout, and other mental illnesses.

Fear of Small Businesses

The World Health Organization estimates that around 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, which corresponds to about 5 to 6 percent of the world's population. It is one of the most common psychological problems and therefore one of the most effective. The depression rate is even higher among entrepreneurs.

<! – -> According to a study by the University of California up to 30 percent of entrepreneurs are dealing with depression. This is 5-6 times the rate for the "average" population.

Depression is of course more than just being sad. It can be demotivating and make it more difficult to be productive all day but in severe cases, depression can lead to self-harm and suicide. You don't have to look far to find anecdotal examples of founders who have succumbed to the pressure of the job.

For example there is Jody Sherman, founder of Ecomom who committed suicide at the age of 47. Just 6 months earlier, the company raised more than $ 5 million in funding, including more than $ 12 million in total funding. Not long after Sherman's death, the 22-year-old co-founder of the social networking site Diaspora Ilya Zhitomirskiy committed suicide.

Zhitomirskiy was described as talented and idealistic, and his death was a shock to many. There is also Austen Heinz, who ended his life in 2015 at 31 and Faigy Mayer who jumped off a roof in the same year.

And if you speak to other entrepreneurs, it won't be long before you discover more stories that show how quickly depression can manifest itself. Bradley Smith, the CEO of Rescue One Financial is currently successful after a growth phase of 1,400 percent between 2010 and 2013. <! – ->

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But in 2008, Smith was plagued with personal debt for trying to get the business going after cashing in his 401 (k) and running out of $ 60,000 credit. In addition to the daily stress of managing customers and dealing with challenges, Smith describes this as one of the most difficult periods of his life.

Why Depression Is So Dangerous for Entrepreneurs

Depression is a harmful illness for everyone, but especially dangerous for entrepreneurs and founders for a handful of unique reasons:

  • Risk and Accountability. Starting a business is a serious financial risk. The average business of costs $ 30,000 to start which may require you to redeem your savings (in addition to leaving your current job). This lack of stability, combined with the accountability you face as the leader of the organization, can make everything more stressful and overwhelming.
  • Time restrictions. Founders are also notoriously busy. If your weekly schedule is already full, it is difficult to find time to visit your therapist or participate in your stress-relieving hobbies. You may not even have time to manage your relationships as you once did.
  • The wrong smile. Finally, being a founder can be shockingly isolating . You may be surrounded by other people, but in a leadership position, you have to pretend everything is fine, even if it isn't. As a partner or seller, you have to project trust and happiness even on your worst days. It feels like there is no one to talk to and share your feelings with, which can make things worse.

How to recognize depression early on

<! – -> If you want to have a chance to alleviate or completely overcome depression, you have to learn to recognize it early. The American Psychiatric Association lists the following symptoms to be considered:

  • Feel persistently sad for several days.
  • Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed.
  • A sudden change in your appetite (along with weight gain or loss).
  • Persistent sleep disorders.
  • Low energy and persistent fatigue.
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Recurring purposeless physical activity (such as hand presses).
  • Increased difficulty making decisions or solving problems.
  • Persistent thoughts of death or suicide.

These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Even if you only feel a minor version of these symptoms, it is important to take action.

Don't let depression get in your way, which could be an amazing business (and an amazing life). When you see these signs, you need to seek help, whether you're talking to friends and family about the real stress of your position, going on vacation, or looking for a therapist. Take your time and take your mental health seriously.

Some of my preferred methods for fighting depression, anxiety and stress are:

  • Take a deep breath (it really works!)
  • Meditation (there are tons of meditation apps that you can try for free )
  • Exercise daily
  • Try journaling
  • Creating art (or playing a musical instrument)
  • Go outside
  • Take a walk
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation if you have trouble sleeping.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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How to Get Up Early and Do More

How to Get Up Early and Do More

We have all heard about the benefits of getting up early. On the one hand, we have the opportunity to do more and integrate additional activities into our everyday lives. Several studies indicate that getting up early can lead to career success, promote discipline, improve concentration, and enable you to achieve higher levels of productivity. Even Benjamin Franklin as a testament to waking up early wrote his famous words "Getting to bed early and getting up early makes a man healthy, rich, and wise" in his book Early Rising: A Natural, Social, and Religious Duty . <! – ->

Not only Benjamin Franklin, but a number of successful people who get up early have helped them to be successful in life. These include retired U.S. Army general Stanley McChrystal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and president of Pixar and Walt Disney animation studios, Ed Catmull.

The key to productivity starts in the morning with energy and vitality. So if you want to know how to wake up earlier and are convinced of the benefits of waking up early, you need to know something about sleep hygiene to make waking up early as painless as possible. Sleep hygiene is basically your behavior and patterns that cause you to go to sleep.

<! – -> Good sleep hygiene allows you to fall asleep faster and sleep well. This means that you should have a consistent sleep and wake-up time. A routine helps your body relieve stress, improve memory, and put you in a better mood. In addition to consistency, you also need to make sure that you plan enough hours for your sleep time. The Center for Disease Control advises an average adult to need 7 or more hours of sleep a night. If you don't sleep well, you will feel dizzy, irritable, and generally not your best self.

Here are 10 steps for getting up early.

How To Get Up Early

Set your alarm

Waking up with an alarm clock is probably the most common way to get up early, especially if you have to wake up at 5:00 AM. This is a good place to start building an early daily routine. But over time, you need to create a routine that can help you get up without an alarm.

Avoid the snooze button

You should be strong and resist the urge to press the snooze button. Place your alarm clock further away from your bed to resist temptation. Just get up and use the day.

Make your bed

Navy SEAL Admiral McRaven once said: "If you want to change the world, start by making your bed ". Sounds too simple, but it tells your brain that you did a job early in the day by simply making your bed. This feeling helps you to concentrate better and to be motivated to do more tasks during the day. It also has the added benefit of preventing you from going to bed again. <! – ->

Limit your screen time

Restricting screen usage before bed can also help you. Avoid these annoying emails, late night shows, or the internet 30-60 minutes before bed. The backlight of these devices gives the wrong perception that it is bright outside and there is no time to sleep. If you go to bed immediately from your phone or laptop, you cannot fall asleep.

Do you have a bedtime ritual

A bedtime routine can help your body relax. They can help develop a bedtime mindset. You can either take a warm shower, meditate, or read a book. You can also dim the light and try to relax. This can help you set a relaxing bedtime. And always remember to use your bed not to work, but to sleep. It will help you relax and prepare your body for some sleep.

Going to bed early

<! – -> Waking up earlier can be counterproductive if you have only slept a few hours the night before. You need to match your bedtime and wake-up time. If you are a night owl and go to bed late, this affects not only your productivity, but also your health. You should also avoid heavy meals and alcohol. Ideally, we should sleep between seven and eight hours a night. You can count backwards from when you need to wake up to find out exactly when to go to sleep. It is important to sleep well for a few hours each day and stick to this routine. This makes the task of waking up earlier more bearable. Try to keep this routine for the weekends to get a good effect.

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Open the curtains

Sleeping with the curtains open is an old and effective way to wake up with daylight. Natural sunlight gently wakes you up in the morning. This is a better option than a loud and irritating alarm. This is because the early morning of your biological watch says that it should go into the light sleep phase and thus prepare you for waking up. Natural morning light also helps keep your body clock in a healthy sleep-wake cycle and balance your life.

Take a cold shower

Cold showers in the morning can give this extra boost to get started. A 30 second cold shower as morning routine can give you an extra boost in the morning. Cold water contracts your blood vessels so that the blood approaches your organs and keeps them warm. This increases blood flow to your body and makes you more energetic.

Let the blood pump

A 10-15 minute workout in the gym or at home can be enough to get the blood to pump, but also to lift your spirits. This will cause your brain to stay alert and keep you healthy too. Studies have shown that exercise promotes better sleeping habits, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.

Take Small Steps

You may be tempted to get a cold turkey and commit yourself to an earlier wake up from your routine. In some cases, this might work, but this may not always be the case. Resist the temptation to suddenly get up an hour or two before your normal routine. You can start with a humble goal, wake up 15 to 30 minutes before your regular wake-up time, and gradually build up to achieve your goal. This helps your body adapt to the new times with a manageable transition without having to take too much effort to adapt.

Take your morning coffee

Let's admit that coffee helps make our early morning hours easily bearable. A healthy dose of caffeine can give you the extra spring in your crotch. However, experts warn against taking your morning dose of caffeine right after you wake up, as this could be counterproductive. They say coffee will increase cortisol levels; A hormone that can make you awake or anxious. Instead, they recommend drinking coffee in the morning for a good effect. Conversely, avoid drinking coffee late in the afternoon as this will disturb your sleep time.

Some of these tips for waking up earlier are easier to include in your routine, others are not. The key is to create a sleep plan that will help you achieve your goal. The good thing about routines is that you can maintain habits that match your goals and personal aspirations. With the right routines, you have a clearer structure, clarify your priorities, take a healthy path and reach your full potential.

What are the advantages of early ascent?

There are 5 advantages to getting up earlier. Entrepreneurs use early risers to:

  • Do more before meetings and interruptions devour your day.
  • Be more creative while your thoughts are fresh.
  • Find time to stay in shape and move.
  • Maintaining work-life balance through meditation, family time or other activities.
  • Prepare for the day by looking at their calendars and checking your goals.

How do I wake up early without an alarm?

The best way to get up early without an alarm is to create a consistent routine in your daily life. You need to go to sleep and exercise your body at around the same time each night to wake up at the target time. The key is that you get used to making a good night's sleep a priority. Otherwise, this is counterproductive. Make sure you set a time early enough so that you can sleep well.

Why are early risers successful?

Early risers are successful because they:

  • Start your day with a feeling of control.
  • Gain trust by doing something right instantly.
  • Have more willpower earlier in the day and get less distracted.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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How to Encourage Employees to Go Back to Work %% sep %%%% Site-Name %%

How to Encourage Employees to Go Back to Work %% sep %%%% Site-Name %%

Are you concerned that your employees may not be able to return to work after the pandemic? <! – ->

Some may fear for their safety. Others could temporarily receive higher unemployment benefits. In any case, getting some people back to work can be more difficult than you originally thought.

Small Business Trends contacted Arran Stewart, CVO and co-founder of Job.com who gave some helpful tips to encourage your employees to return.

<! – -> It provided five ways that small business owners can encourage their employees to get back to work.


Encourage employees to return to work after pandemic

He started by highlighting some of the remaining obstacles.

"Fear will be the biggest hurdle for business owners," Stewart writes. “We need a suitable vaccine or medical treatment. Until then, there is constant concern that you will get sick in a public place. "

Stewart says another problem is that some states are paying people more unemployment than when they were working. People may also not want to return to a job that could expose them to the virus.

Here are some things SMEs can do to solve these problems. <! – ->

Show them that you are interested

Stewart explains: Owners and managers must lead with empathy and compassion. This is a stressful time for everyone when people feel insecure about their health, safety and future. These principles should determine how you lead your employees through this and beyond. “

Here are some things smart business owners can do.

<! – -> It helps to keep up to date with wellness websites and other resources . Post information about them in the office or on your website and other shared areas. Ensuring that your employees have the latest information from credible sources shows that you are taking care of it.

If they know that you are compassionate, they are more likely to want to return to work.

Good communication is a great way to lure your employees back. This is one of the best ways to show them that you are compassionate. Make sure that all channels you use are bidirectional. Knowing that they can meet their needs and concerns will make them feel more comfortable

Building an internal channel via Slack or Skype helps.

Show them that you will protect them

Stewart says small business owners need to redevelop the workplace.

"They want to keep the high-touch services clean and give employees access to personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks and hand disinfectants," says Stewart.

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Adopting a routine where everyone wipes equipment and desks encourages a sense of togetherness. This is particularly important for places with layers.

It's one thing to find this equipment to protect your company and your people. You need to do a little more to make this aspect appealing. You should train your employees in how to wear gloves and masks and how to use the disinfectant effectively.

Here are some CDC tips on .

The provision of printed matter and signs is also good. If you set this up in your small business you will see that you care about your employees and their safety.

Change Your Health Insurance

Stewart explains some other possible changes that employees will withdraw.

"Office capacity may need to be scaled down or staggered to achieve a policy of social distancing," he says. "In addition, the sick leave guidelines can be adjusted to broaden the definition of qualifications," he says.

Include remote work

Another way to adapt your business to the times is to encourage teleworking. He says that if employees have been able to stay productive, they should be allowed to work from home. Properly presented, this is a great incentive to get people back to work

"Some of the changes brought about by the pandemic were more positive and progressive for some industries," he says. "Use some of the changes as an opportunity to improve and expand your business."

If you make sure that your people have the right technology, you can work from home. The right communication system is important. Cloud-based VOIP phone systems are vital. Office workers will feel comfortable with backups for video conferencing systems like Zoom.

Funding a schedule helps to get workers back into this kind of situation. It's a good idea to offer a routine. It helps workers return to a familiar rhythm even when they are not in the office.

Start planning now

"Despite the circumstances, this is an ideal time for small businesses to use their ability to change quickly and start over with new work practices," says Stewart.

If you want to get started, check out some of these office designs inspired by COVID 19. The new six-foot office combines social distance and jobs. The company concerned also offers paper place mats for desks. These are thrown away at the end of the day.

Stewart delivers the last word.

"Now is the time to think carefully about the future of your business and how agile you can be to survive and thrive out of the pandemic."


Image: Depositphotos.com

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