Author Archives: knjohn

Memorial Day 2020 travel plans? Not even AAA will bother | Fast Company

This Memorial Day weekend, you’ll likely be traveling from the bedroom to the kitchen.

COVID-19 has all but halted plans for what is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. Even with some states reopening, many Americans are choosing to stay put—or at least close to home.

For the first time in 20 years, AAA won’t be issuing its annual Memorial Day travel forecast.

Memorial Day is the last Monday in May; the holiday weekend is viewed as the unofficial start of the summer season. Traditionally, many summer-home rental agreements begin then, as do companies’ summer-hours schedules.

Read More

Student Loan Servicers Are Dinging Credit Reports For The CARES Act Forbearance | Forbes

Robert P., a student loan borrower from Queens, New York, was surprised to find out that this credit score had dropped by 100 points after his federal student loans serviced by Great Lakes Higher Education were automatically placed into a forbearance. This happened following passage of the CARES Act. Another borrower named Ashley Higgins experienced a credit score drop during the same time period and told a local news affiliate about what happened. Other borrowers (who wished to remain anonymous) have reported similar credit score hits, as well.

Read More

How many people are napping while working remotely | Fast Company

Feeling tired?

Perhaps you were out late or maybe that long, tedious meeting almost put you to sleep. Whatever the reason, it’s not so uncommon to be fighting a yawn at work.

But how common is it to give in to temptation and take a quick nap on the clock? With so many now working from home and the bed right there, surely now is the best time ever to sneak in a snooze.

We surveyed 2,000 American workers to find out how many could put napping on their resume. Each worker was asked the same 6 simple questions on off-task behavior conducted during work hours. It turns out one-in-three are taking advantage of the situation to get so much needed shut-eye.

Read More

Why A Private Equity Firm Backed By Bernard Arnault Is Putting $400 Million Into Norwegian Cruise Line | Forbes

As shares of Norwegian Cruise Line continued to sink like the Titanic—down 80% from the end of 2019 to $12 per share by late April—Scott Dahnke and his team at L Catterton were quietly eyeing the wreckage. The partners at his Greenwich, Connecticut, private equity firm had already made a killing by taking a cruise ship-based beauty chain public and they were focused on high-end brands. After all, the “L” in their name comes from their financial backing by LVMH, the French luxury goods giant and they had already scored a string of successes from investments in the upscale home decorator Restoration Hardware, Lily’s Kitchen, a London-based organic dog food maker and Peloton, the Internet-connected stationary bicycle concern

Read More

How Businesses Can Provide Tax-Free Financial Assistance to Employees |

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders, businesses are considering ways to assist employees and other workers who are financially burdened by the crisis. One simple and tax-favorable action is to make disaster relief assistance payments under Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Under Section 139, payments for personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are both tax-free to the individual recipients and tax-deductible expenses for the business. Payments are free of IRS reporting requirements and a plan can be quickly adopted with minimal expense.

Businesses large and small can take advantage of this favorable tax treatment to help their workers during these challenging times. With careful planning, even businesses that have had to reduce salaries or adopt furloughs may be able to implement such a financial assistance plan to help their hardest hit workers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

OnPay Survey Reveals Business Accountant Satisfaction | Small Business Trends

If you contact your accountant once a month or once a quarter, you should try to do it more often. Your accountant can be your trusted advisor who you can turn to for a wide range of business advice.

According to a survey conducted by OnPay, 61% of small businesses are completely satisfied with the range of services their accountant offers. What’s more, a majority of small businesses call their account a trusted advisor, the survey notes.

OnPay Business Accountant Survey

Though an accountant plays an important role in the success of any small business, only 30% of small businesses choose to work with an accountant. So a majority of small businesses are still managing finances themselves.

Despite the fact that 61% of small businesses are satisfied with their accountant, only 21% of small business owners contact their accountant more than once a month, reports the survey.

Read More

5 Pro Tips for Transforming a Lockdown into Killer Testimonials | David A. Fields

Your consulting firm’s prospects and clients are settling into the video call format. Other than the relationship-building advantages of video, has this newly-accepted communication medium ushered in any valuable opportunities for your consulting firm?

You betcha.

Video testimonials are where it’s at.

Any testimonial from a happy client builds credibility for your consulting firm.

However, since most people trust what they see more than what they read, videos of people earnestly extolling your consulting firm’s virtues pack a particularly powerful punch.

Also, clients who record testimonials for you are more likely to hire you again and recommend you.

Read More

Startup Funding From Friends and Family |

There is a right way to ask for financial help for your startup from friends and family.

  • Startups need funding to be successful.
  • Experts agree that you should avoid asking friends and family for funding.
  • If you do ask, be cautious and professional.

Online funding management systems have made it popular and convenient for entrepreneurs to ask for and collect startup funds from family and friends.

Hundreds of now successful young businesses got their early boost from benevolent relatives and friends.

Read More

Why I Hate My Microsoft Surface Book 2 | Digital Trends

In addition to reporting about technology as dispassionately as we can, we technology writers are also technology consumers who spend our own hard-earned money just like everyone else. As a very personal example, I swiped my already-strained credit card for over $3,400 on a top-of-the-line 15-inch Surface Book 2.

Now I regret it.

Don’t misunderstand me: I love my Surface Book 2. It’s fast, innovative, and exudes quality. I love the display’s excellent contrast, high resolution, and lovely text — quite important for a writer. I love its battery life and its keyboard, and tearing off the tablet to flick through RSS feeds and watch video feels like the future.

Read More

Marketing tools you may not have thought of | The Startup Magazine

Forget those traditional marketing methods – in today’s digital world, it makes sense to create a strong digital marketing strategy to give your startup company a boost from day one. Your strategy needs to incorporate SEO, social media, keywords, Google Analytics and strong, shareable content.

If you get this right, then you’ll be in the strongest position possible to help your company grow and your client base increase. So, what other marketing tools might be of interest to a company like yours? Read on to discover some marketing tools that you may not have thought of.

Read More