On the surface, starting a service-based business like public relations, consulting, writing or coaching seems easy enough. You have the skills to deliver high-quality work and results, so you set up a nice website and spread the word among your network contacts that you’re looking for clients.
But running any type of business, especially a service company, is never “easy.” There will be long hours, difficult clients, frustrating projects and many other obstacles along the way. But for those who have what it takes to persevere, the rewards of turning your passion and skill set into a viable business far outweigh the challenges you’ll face.
So, what is it really like to start and run a service business? Entrepreneurs who have done it weighed in on the challenges and advantages, as well as the best practices for getting your company off the ground.
It’s estimated that “regular telecommuters will total 4.9 million by 2016.” In addition to that, some “50 million U.S. employees hold jobs that are telework compatible, although only 2.9 million consider home their primary place of work (2.3 percent of the workforce).”
A fundamental change in the workplace such as this one can have a profound impact on the economy and job market. But what is driving this trend and why should we be kosher with this latest development?
With Edge in Windows 10, Microsoft has finally delivered a capable browser to replace the aging Internet Explorer. Microsoft likes Windows 10 so much, it makes Edge the default browser in Windows 10, even when you’re updating from a system that previously used Chrome or Firefox as the default.
Unsurprisingly, Mozilla is not amused and its CEO Chris Beard today wrote an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to complain that the company is taking away its users’ choices and ignored Mozilla’s calls for keeping the default during the upgrade process.
“When we first saw the Windows 10 upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the Web browser and other apps, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue,” Beard writes. “Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.
You’re increasing your sales. Your team is more productive. You get out of the office earlier to do what you love with those you love…
…and yet there’s something missing. You struggle to keep all the business plates spinning simultaneously. It’s exhausting most days. Your family and friends ask, “Are you okay?”
The missing something is Gratitude.
Here are 3 Strategies to Grow Your Business with Gratitude:
Gratitude Focuses on the Positive
You see what you look for.
Is your default zoom set on what’s wrong with your business? That’s exhausting.
Of course all of our companies have room for improvement. Systems and strategies can be tweaked for greater efficiency. If that’s all you see when you look at your business, you completely miss what’s working positively.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has signed an executive order authorizing the creation of new supercomputing research initiative called the National Strategic Computing Initiative, or NSCI. Its goal: pave the way for the first exaflop supercomputer—something that’s about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machines.
Supercomputers are at the heart of a huge number of important scientific and defense research projects. They’re used by aerospace engineers to model planes and weapons, and by climatologists to predict the the near-term impact of hurricanes and the long-term effects of climate change. Researchers involved in the White House’s Precision Medicine initiative believe exaflop speed supercomputers could aid the creation of personalized drugs, while the European Commission’s Human Brain Project hopes they will help unlock the secrets of the human brain.
v.19 n. 31 – Released July 28, 2015
This Week’s Headlines:
Among the relatively newer tactics to emerge in the online marketing world are ones that work on both an SEO and a social level—all while promising their own, independent benefits.
Local reviews are exactly what they sound like—reviews of your business written and posted by real customers on third-party directory or review sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Cultivating these local reviews by giving stellar service and making your presence on these review sites known (as directly soliciting reviews is a violation of most directory sites’ terms of service) holds numerous benefits for your business, and is becoming one of the most successful and most important online marketing strategies today.
So what is it that makes local reviews such an important and useful strategy?
Boston revealed Monday afternoon that it had withdrawn itself from consideration to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The announcement came hours after mayor Marty Walsh said he wouldn’t sign any contracts that left local taxpayers on the hook for cost overruns, which are virtually guaranteed to balloon anytime anyone hosts a global sporting mega-event.
At first glance, his words may have seemed like a relatively minor act of populist defiance. Yet Boston’s thanks-but-no-thanks actually reveals something much deeper. No one wants to host the Olympics anymore — nor should they.
There are, of course, success stories — Barcelona in 1992 is seen as a win for all involved, for example. But for illustrations of why the Olympics have become radioactive for most prospective hosts, one need only look at the recent past.
Surely you haven’t forgotten Sochi last year, when journalists and athletes stepped into a chaotic construction scene just days ahead of the Games. The most expensive Olympics in history cost more than $50 billion to pull off, enriching a small minority as the rest of the country’s economy languishes. Just eight months after the closing ceremony, Sochi was described as a “ghost town.”
Or let’s look back 10 years before Sochi, to the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Greece spent $10 billion to host those Games. Today, Greece’s economy is in tatters. Could these two things somehow be related?
In February 2014 Kim Kotary was living in Queens, N.Y., working 25 hours a week in three part-time jobs at nonprofits and as a freelance crafts teacher and designer, and worrying how she’d ever pay off the $20,000 she borrowed to earn a master’s from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology back in 2002. So when she heard a radio ad offering information about how those working for nonprofits could get student debt forgiven, she called the 800 number. A phone rep told her Broadsword Student Advantage could get her monthly payments suspended, based on her poverty-level income, and help her apply to get her debt forgiven after ten years.
Kotary agreed to pay Broadsword $500 and signed its forms online, without, she admits, reading them closely. On top of the $500, Affordable Life Plans, a Securities & Exchange Commission-registered investment adviser, started taking $29.95 a month from her bank account. Then, last August, Kotary lost her main part-time nonprofit gig. Finally, this past March, after 13 months of paying, she discovered she wouldn’t be eligible for the debt forgiveness unless she worked 30 hours a week in the not-for-profit sector, and that she could have applied for forgiveness herself, for free, at http://www.studentloans.gov. “When I found out it was free, it really pissed me off,” says Kotary, 43, who has stopped the monthly payments. “I was told that they could help me save more than they charged me for the services.”
Discrimination in employment practices can land your business in legal hot water, even if it’s not intentional. What matters is the result of certain actions. In broad terms, discrimination is defined as changes in an employment practice — such as recruitment, hiring, job assignment or promotions — that have the “purpose or effect of denying employment or promotional opportunities to a class of individuals,” stated the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). It’s important to note that by this definition, the employer’s intention may be irrelevant if the “effect” is discrimination.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Attorney General has authority to bring suit against an employer “where there is reason to believe that a pattern or practice of discrimination exists.” Authority to prosecute employers also resides in anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Here’s a recent example to illustrate this concept. In June, the DOJ settled an “immigration-related discrimination claim” against a major national retailer. According to a DOJ announcement, the retailer had “required a non-U.S. citizen, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to produce specific documentary proof of her immigration status for the purpose of verifying her employment eligibility.” In other words, additional documentation was required of this applicant compared to others.