Category "Business"

There’s a method for making sure you don’t miss an opportunity at converting.

3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As your number-one ROI chaser, I’m here with another tale of a business getting it wrong. You see, I am trying to sign up my daughter for dance classes. Four of them. She loves dance, has been on company teams before and is ready to go “all in” (i.e. they’re about to get a payday from me over and over again). The problem is, I can’t get the dance studio to take my money.

I’ve tried emailing, calling, showing up in person only to find it closed, showing up in person when they are open. None of it has worked so far. The latest exchange involved the owner telling me to use a different email address because the one that I used requires him to log in, and he always has trouble doing it. This was in response to my last message that asked for us to sign her up. Seriously.

If the school wasn’t so close to our house and I hadn’t heard such great things about their program, I would have given up a long time ago. As I am sure many have. Can you imagine how much they have lost in sales?

So the question is: Is this happening inside of your business, too? Before you’re quick to say no, ask yourself: Was there ever a question that came into our website that took me a minute to respond to? Did I ever miss someone contacting us on social media? Was there a voicemail that got lost somewhere? Does my team always capture every lead?

I know that at Powerful Professionals Business Coaching, we occasionally mess this up for sure. And when we do, it hits that pit in my stomach normally reserved for roller coasters and grownups wearing clogs.

Related: The 1 Secret You Need to Know to Increase Sales

To elminate the need for such a moment of angst, I browse the inquiries that come into our customer service team a few times a week, and we’ve built time into our planning to comb through all channels to make sure everyone is answered. We even hired a VA whose only job is to monitor and reply to my social media messages and comments so we don’t miss anything any longer. These systems collectively plugged the hole of missed sales opportunities and increased revenue without inreasing ad spend. 

Are there sales opportunities you are missing that can be captured right now? Look for a chance to make a sale that exists in front of you now and … Take. Their. Money. Schedule time this week to get it done.

And now I’m off to camp out in front of the dance studio with a wad of cash to see what happens next.

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New kinds of startups like Nunbelievable can solve the world’s greatest challenges while driving profit and building a scalable, sustainable business.

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kuda Biza knows about the catastrophic consequences of hunger. Growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe, he lived through the 1992 drought that left millions without food and killed several of his friends and neighbors. “In the worst affected areas, people would go for three or four days without food; if relief didn’t arrive in time, death was inevitable,” says Biza, whose father was part of the food relief efforts during that period. “For me, hunger is personal.”

So years later, when Biza had the chance to co-found a cookie company to combat hunger, he didn’t hesitate quitting a lucrative corporate job to join serial food-startup entrepreneur Bryan Janeczko. With Nunbelievable, a nonreligious brand inspired by nuns, the duo are attacking hunger one cookie at a time.

But their task is immense. More than 37 million people struggle with hunger in America, including over 11 million children — equivalent to the population of Canada. “As the father of a 5-year-old, I find that statistic horrific in a country with such immense wealth,” says Janeczko. “No kid should ever go hungry.”

Solving Problems With a Conscience

Nunbelievable’s co-founders both tasted business early in life. When Biza’s mother wouldn’t give him money for ice cream one day, the 9-year-old decided to earn it, offering to clean windows for his neighbor, who paid him $5 for three hours of work. Pretty soon, the mini mogul could afford more than just ice cream and employed several friends to scale operations. “That experience taught me the power of entrepreneurship: solving problems for others is liberating.”

As the economic situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated, many young people couldn’t afford school. At 17 years old, Biza committed to help change that. Coming from a lower-middle-class family, he spent two years after graduating high school applying for scholarships to attend college in America.

With help from his sister, who took out a loan to cover the remainder of his tuition, Biza attended Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, to study aviation and business. While there, he launched a socially conscious clothing line from his dorm room with only $150. By donating a portion of the profits, he paid to educate over 100 African children.

After college, Biza was hired by the innovation team at a Fortune 500 company to identify and bring to market disruptive business opportunities. He launched several startups in multiple industries and locations, learning Arabic for his Middle East business. He also started a nonprofit to empower underprivileged children in Africa with scholarships and education supplies. 

Kuda Biza at 13 years old with his father.

Image credit: Kuda Biza

Starting With Why

Janeczko — recently recognized by Business Insider as a leader in tech — developed his commercial awareness in high school by selling candy bars. He went from making $2 one day to earning several thousand dollars by creating a mini distribution network. The school principal eventually shut down his fledgling business, but it was too late: Janeczko was hooked on entrepreneurship.

After a stint in finance at J.P. Morgan, he took one summer off to travel the world and was inspired by global cuisine, particularly Mediterranean-based eating; it was clean, healthy, fresh, and simple — and studies backed its effectiveness. 

“I realized this diet was an incredibly healthy, balanced way to live a better life, which was getting busier and more stressful for people,” recalls Janeczko. “It seemed possible to create a convenient eating solution, so nutrition wouldn’t take a back seat if you were a time-starved professional like me.” The spark of inspiration led Janeczko to co-found NuKitchen in 2004, which pioneered fresh meal delivery — now a multibillion-dollar industry.

But growing NuKitchen wasn’t a picnic. “I had some dark moments,” says Janeczko. “We were the first to launch this type of business in an emerging industry, so it was important to learn valuable lessons along the way. At one point, we ran out of money after co-signing a $750,000 business loan and didn’t know how to repay. It was scary.

“Even though we created a multimillion-dollar business that was growing, I was pitching investors out of desperation because we weren’t yet profitable; so I began focusing on my mindset and attitude. Self-development was critical for breakthrough thinking, escaping self-limiting thoughts, and finding inspirational guidance from thought leaders like Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle.”

The mindset shift worked: in 2009, after raising $2 million in venture funding to grow the business, Janeczko sold it to Nutrisystem in a multimillion-dollar transaction. “I’m proud that helped hundreds of thousands of people eat their way to healthier lifestyles,” says Janeczko, who went on to launch and lead multiple “better-for-you” brands.

He became a founding advisory board member of Sparks & Honey, a tech-led cultural agency for global consumer insights that works with Fortune 500 brands to innovate and grow, and co-founded, which empowers fellow LGBTQ entrepreneurs like him. “I’m devoted to mentoring early-stage entrepreneurs in how to start up smart, develop their models, gain traction, and get funding,” he says.

The Nunbelievable duo met in 2012 when Janeczko was hired to consult on a project for Biza’s Fortune 500 employer. They became “partners in crime” after working together so closely, and it was inevitable that they would join forces to combat something greater. 

Partnering With a Purpose

The name Nunbelievable was inspired by a group of nuns who devoted their lives to providing meals for the hungry. In 2016, these nuns made headlines when they were unable to pay the rising rent on their San Francisco soup kitchen. They were on the verge of being evicted. But once their story was out, help poured in.

For every dozen cookies sold, Nunbelievable will donate 12 meals to soup kitchens.

Image credit: Nunbelievable

Many good Samaritans donated to buy them a mission, and the nuns were able to continue providing meals for those in need. “We were inspired by their devotion to help others,” says Janeczko, Nunbelievable’s CEO, who recruited Biza as CMO for his marketing and social enterprise expertise. “Our vision is to build the world’s leading premium mission-based baked goods business,” says Janeczko. “By partnering with organizations and nonprofits, we can end hunger in the most delicious way.”

With such a powerhouse team, it didn’t take long to get off the ground. “While a typical consumer packaged-goods company can take 12 to 18 months to go to market, we did it in six,” says Biza. “With an accelerated launch, the quicker you can get to market to test, learn from consumer insights, make changes, and scale.”

Launched in October 2019, the company is seeing early signs of success. After sampling the non-GMO cookies, one person committed to buying close to six figures’ worth. For every 12-pack box of cookies sold, Nunbelievable donates two meals to partner soup kitchens across America. Based on sales to date, Nunbelievable plans to six-times their donations to 12 meals for every box sold in 2020 and to exceed one million donated meals by 2022.

Second Chances

“For some, missing one week’s paycheck can mean going hungry or becoming homeless,” says Janeczko. When his team volunteered at a soup kitchen in Harlem, New York, they talked to people receiving the meals to better understand the root causes of hunger. “These are people just like you and me,” says Biza.

Janeczko explains that they met one man who used to work on Wall Street. One day he was making six figures, with a high-rise in New York City. The next, his wife cheated on him. He started drinking and doing drugs, got fired, and soon found himself on the streets, homeless and hungry.

“What if we could go beyond just giving them a meal? As the adage goes: ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ We want to provide a path to self-sustenance, so they never go hungry again.”   

They believe entrepreneurship is the missing piece of the puzzle. “Entrepreneurs can make a difference for the problems that the government couldn’t solve,” says Biza. This model doesn’t just help the world; it’s also good business. “Businesses that are going to survive today and thrive tomorrow must have a purpose,” adds Janeczko.

One of Biza’s favorite quotes is from Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” But he says there’s a third important day missing: the day you act on your why.

Their why? Creating profitable businesses to help solve one of the world’s biggest problems. What’s your why?

Learn more about Kuda Biza and Bryan Janeczko by visiting the Nunbelievable website or following them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Strategies for staying ahead amid a dizzying e-commerce landscape.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Online retail has always been a crowded market, and thanks to the plethora of free website builders, it’s more competitive than ever before. If you’re entering a niche that already has a dozen entities fighting for dominance, you’re going to get lost in the white noise. And even if you don’t have much direct competition, there’s always the threat of generalized juggernauts like Amazon to worry about.

So, what steps can you take to stay competitive in a saturated online retail market?

Target a Distinct Niche

Your best bet is to try to avoid competition by targeting a distinctive niche. There are thousands of online retailers focusing on clothing, but if you focus on a specific type of item, like wool coats, you’ll instantly narrow the field. Customers who are passionate about wool coats specifically will go out of their way to find a specialist.

Related: Why Digital Marketers Should Be More Like Personal Shoppers

This is also helpful if you’re making use of search engine optimization (SEO). In SEO, your goal is to increase your webpages’s rankings in search-engine results, but if you’re competing with brands that have been building their online presence for years, you’ll find it hard to penetrate powerful keywords like “online apparel.” Instead, you can target long-tail phrases, which come with less traffic but are much easier to rank for.

Lower Prices (If You Can)

This is an obvious tip, but try to lower your prices if you can, at least initially, to generate more traffic and paying customers. People often conduct price comparisons on the items they need, so if yours are the most appealing on the market, they’ll flock to you.

That said, most small online retail businesses can’t compete with major players on price without cutting into their profits, so you may need to find an alternative option.

Give Customers Something Your Competitors Can’t

For some companies, this could mean offering amazing customer service. For example, the online shoe brand Zappos became popular in part because of its unparalleled commitment to making customers happy. For other companies, it means capitalizing on an existing legacy. For example, Diamondere has been designing custom jewelry for 125 years and uses that experience in combination with modern technology to produce unique pieces unlike anything their competitors sell.

Start Local

If you’re struggling to generate momentum for your business, you could focus on a specific local market and expand from there. Depending on the nature of your business, that might mean opening a brick-and-mortar retail location, or simply mean optimizing your site with local-specific keywords. Targeting a local audience will instantly narrow your demographics, giving you more power to tailor your products and services to their needs. More importantly, it will greatly reduce the number of companies directly competing with you. Once you start seeing growth, you can expand to target other areas.

Get Customers to Try You

If you have good products at good prices and quality service to match, the only thing stopping customers from shopping with you will be familiarity. They’re probably used to shopping with a bigger, more established retail brand and won’t go out of their way to try something new. That’s why you need to make the effort to get customers to try you. Distribute free samples, reach out to people in your target demographics, and offer amazing deals to get people started. Consider it your foot-in-the-door.

Retail: These 2 Graphs Explain the Retail ‘Apocalypse’

Leverage Your Competition

If you can’t beat a competitor, find a way to use them in your favor. For example, some ambitious online retail brands have taken to buying pay-per-click (PPC) ads that utilize their top competitor’s brand name; that way, you can capitalize on customers specifically searching for your competitor and persuade them to visit your online store instead.

Offer Unparalleled Customer Service

You can make up for a number of potential shortcomings, including online presence, customer familiarity and price, by offering unparalleled customer service. Anytime a customer has an issue, do everything in your power to make it right, even if it means taking a short-term loss.

Provide your customers with surprise “extras,” like free samples or bonus products in their shipments. Make sure they’re absolutely satisfied with every purchase. If you go above and beyond, you’ll build a loyalty that’s practically unbreakable.

Competing with well-established powerhouses in your own online retail niche may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you’re not afraid to make adjustments to your business, and if you offer something your competitors can’t match, you should have a good chance of rising to prominence. Just make sure you’re doing everything with your customers’s interests in mind.

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Apple’s News app pulls together election guides and live news.

2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Like Apple’s done during previous election years, it’s announced special dedicated Apple News coverage for the presidential election, just in time for those tricky caucuses. Sources will include most major US news networks and outlets, including CBS, CNN, FiveThirtyEight, Fox NewsNBC, ProPublica, Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

All the stories and information can be accessed through the News app across iPhone, iPad and Macs. Apple says it’ll include content and guides for readers from “all political viewpoints”, and will include live coverage of Super Tuesday, both the Democratic and Republican conventions and election night itself. Real-time election results from AP can be monitored inside the Apple News app now, with the ability to check out county-by-county results and other tracking metrics. No word on how many needles Apple News is planning to offer yet, however. The New York Times is up to four.

The aesthetic doesn’t swerve far from how Apple News looks in general, though there are a few more patriotic dashes of red, white and blue. Judging from Apple’s own images, content appears broader than previous efforts, with stories from Time and the Washington Post rubbing shoulders with Men’s Health.

Apple has created its own dedicated guide to the most pressing topics, including trade, immigration, health care and others. There’s also a guide to help the reader identify misinformation — hopefully outside of Apple News’ curated garden of news.

Apple’s recently-struck deal with ABC News comes to the fore too. The app will add live video coverage to the 2020 presidential election and the first live stream will be the New Hampshire Democratic Debate on February 7th, later this week. You’ll be able to watch along on iOS devices, Apple TV, several smart TVs and Fire TV and Roku streaming devices.

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Engage, connect and begin to experience better employee retention.

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are two main sets of reasons employees decide to leave a company. The first is a life event like moving or staying at home to raise children. These are circumstances that exist outside of work and are harder to address. The second group  is more inherent to the workplace and its culture, and tends to more frequently affect an employee’s decision to leave. If employees feel a disconnect with their bosses or co-workers or find opportunities for advancement lacking, they’ll inevitably look for something better. Fortunately, leaders can address these issues directly with their teams. 

Poor management, either in terms of personal performance or management-employee relationships, is considered by many to be the number one reason for employee turnover. While employees don’t need to be friends with their bosses, a constructive dynamic is still important. When conducting team-building activities, managers and leaders should not just be the facilitators — they should also be part of the process. Here are four actionable steps to make that a reality.

Related: How to Create a Winning Employment-Retention Strategy

1. Conduct “get connected” activities

“Get Connected” activities involve employees sharing something new about themselves, and leaders can set the tone by sharing first. It doesn’t have to be work-related, though sharing their experiences of when they where non-management themselves might help create a bridge. These activities can even be held outside of the office so employees are more relaxed and able to freely mingle.

2. Launch a mentorship program

Employees often feel that they’ve been left alone to figure out how to do their jobs well. Having a mentorship program ensures that new employees know exactly what is expected of them and how to execute it. Further, it can also improve employee relations as the mentors and new hires get to know each other. This should help establish workers’s sense of belonging, as the mentor can offer a warmer welcome than in a general company meeting.

3. Set “gamification” goals

Some of your employees might feel unchallenged, unrecognized or unimproved. Managers and leaders who want their employees to stay need to engage their employees. One useful team-building activity to this end is “gamification,” a process by which managers and leaders create goals that the entire team must strive for. While each individual member will have their own goals, gamification allows leaders to create sub-teams that compete with each other for a prize, such as incentives and bonuses. Rotating the groupings will allow employees to interact with each other better.

The prize is really just a form of recognition, and even the “losing” team can benefit from being given advice on what needs to be improved. However, keep in mind that the gamification should still promote a team-based goal. Teams may be competing against each other for the top spot, but the end result should still be an increase in productivity for the entire company.

Related: How Improving Work Lives Increases Retention

4. Invest in corporate social responsibility 

Programs that help the community, such as “clean and green” drives and helping feed the less fortunate, have a two-fold effect. They show employees that they’ve joined a company that values its community it belongs to, and they also provide another opportunity for bonding outside of the office. In this kind of activity, managers and leaders are less bosses and more peers bound by common cause. And when employees forge a positive bond with each other and their bosses, that creates a positive company culture, which goes a long way toward keeping employees in-house.

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Score a great deal on an incredible mattress and revitalize your life.

4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

The most important aspect of running a business? Getting a good night’s sleep. That may sound like your mother talking but your mental, emotional, and physical well-being are all affected by your sleep. You simply can’t overstate the value of a good night’s sleep and you can’t do your best work without one. This year, make it a priority to get better sleep. If you can’t get your eight hours, at least sleep soundly throughout the night.

Tempur-Pedic wants to help, and right now they’re offering a number of great deals on their world-famous mattresses. Each mattress comes with Tempur-Pedic’s 90-night risk-free trial and a 10-year warranty, so you’ll have ample time to make sure its the right choice for you. They even offer white glove delivery, eliminating many of the annoying pitfalls of buying a new mattress.

Check out the deals below:

TEMPUR-Cloud® – $599 off

TEMPUR-Cloud® - $599 off

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If you want a sleep experience that’s tailor-made for you, the TEMPUR-Cloud® is the way to go. When you first throw yourself on the TEMPUR-Cloud® mattress, it will feel a little firm, but the bed’s TEMPUR® material will soon start adapting to your own weight, shape, and temperature, creating a truly personalized sleep experience. 

Save an extra $599 off a TEMPUR-Cloud® mattress today.

TEMPUR-Adapt® – $100 off

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The TEMPUR-Adapt® has a cool-to-touch cover and advanced adaptability that offers truly personalized support. It’s a medium feel mattress with a TEMPUR-ES® Comfort Layer that offers support and helps you relax. It adapts to you, not the other way around, so you always get better sleep.

Save an extra $100 off a TEMPUR-Adapt® mattress today

TEMPUR-ProAdapt® – $100 off

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The ProAdapt® comes in a variety of feels, from soft to firm, making it an excellent option for picky sleepers. The TEMPUR-ES® comfort layer works to offer support and relaxation while the SmartClimate® Dual Cover System has a cool-to-touch outer layer to keep you comfortable. Meanwhile, the TEMPUR-APR™ Support Layer relieves pressure better than ever.

Save an extra $100 off a TEMPUR-ProAdapt® mattress today

TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® – $300 off

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Made from groundbreaking material that intuitively adapts to your body shape, the LuxeAdapt® offers a truly luxurious sleep experience. It’s elevated to deliver maximum pressure relieving power and superior motion cancellation. Plus, it has the SmartClimate® Dual Cover System to get you a better night’s sleep.

Save an extra $300 off a TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® mattress today.

TEMPUR-breeze° – $300 off

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Like the name suggests, the TEMPUR-breeze° is cool to the touch when you lie down. But then, it stays cool all night long. Research indicates a cooler sleep environment helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, thereby giving you a better quality sleep. TEMPUR-breeze° keeps it cool.

Save an extra $300 off a TEMPUR-breeze® mattress today.

TEMPUR-Cloud® Pillows – $59 off

TEMPUR-Cloud® Pillows - $59 off

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Not quite ready to invest in a completely new mattress? The TEMPUR-Cloud® Pillow offers cushion-soft comfort with a traditional shape and an added layer of adaptive support. Basically, it’ll keep cool so you can stay asleep longer.

Save an extra $59 off two TEMPUR-Cloud® Pillows today.

TEMPUR-Symphony™ Pillow – $23 off

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The Symphony™ Pillow combines two designs into a single pillow. On one side sports a gentle arch to support back sleepers, on the other is a flatter side for side and stomach sleepers. With a special formulation of TEMPUR® material included, this pillow always feels soft.

Save an extra $23 off two TEMPUR-Symphony™ Pillows today.

TEMPUR-Topper Supreme – $59 off

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Love your bed, but just haven’t been sleeping well recently? Give the TEMPUR-Topper Supreme a try. This topping pad features 3” of supportive TEMPUR® material that can help you get better sleep every night.

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The budget offered optional tax regime with lower tax rates and deductions removed, increased deposit insurance and proposed schemes to fast track tax dispute settlement

4 min read

In the Union Budget 2020, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a new tax regime with lower tax rates for different income groups. But, the new regime is subject to foregoing various tax deductions and exemptions available to taxpayers.

Four new tax slabs have been introduced, making it a total of seven slabs.

Under the new tax rules, those earning INR 5-7.5 lakh will get a concession of 10 percentage points from the current tax rate, whereas annual income of INR 7.5-10 lakh attract 5 percentage points less tax. However, all without deductions.

Further, those with an annual income of INR 10-12.5 lakh will pay 10 percentage points less in taxes, while income of INR 12.5-15 lakh will get a 5 percentage points concession from the current applicable tax rates.

The taxpayers have the option to continue with the current tax rates and avail various deductions available. Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, Cleartax, says the government offering a choice between the two tax regimes might be an exercise for them to see how the new proposal works out. “The new regime appears as the government’s roadmap to taking away all deductions and exemptions in the coming years,” he says.

While a break for middle-class taxpayers, the new tax regime offers no respite to the rich and super rich as tax rates of incomes above INR 15 lakh remain unchanged.

In the wake of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank crisis, the government has also decided to increase the deposit insurance from the current INR 1 lakh to INR 5 lakh for each account. This will be a huge relief for depositors as many lost money in the PMC incident.

Also Read: Budget 2020: Government Focuses On Data and Technology To Build New Economy

Deductions Removed

Currently, taxpayers get around INR 5 lakh worth of deductions under Section 80C (INR 1.5 lakh), interest on home loan (INR 2 lakh), health insurance premium (INR 25,000), National Pension Scheme (INR 50,000) and standard deduction of INR 40,000, among others. Also, house rent allowance (HRA) and leave travel allowance (LTA) are some of the exemptions that help taxpayers lower their net taxable income.

The new regime has removed around 70 of the existing deductions and exemptions including HRA, LTA, standard deduction and 80C, which includes investments in Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Equity-Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), among others. (see graphic)

The exchequer will have to forego about INR 40,000 crore in tax revenues due to revised tax slabs, as stated by the finance minister during the Budget speech.

Also Read: Budget 2020: A Precious Little Something for Everyone

How Will the Taxpayer Benefit?

Experts say the new tax regime may not be suitable for everyone. “With the optional new regime, taxpayers will have to evaluate what works better for them,” says Gupta. “Those committed to long-term saving and investing via Section 80C may be discouraged and this may likely demotivate taxpayers to opt for tax-saving linked investing, like in ELSS and PPF.”

Sousthav Chakrabarty, CEO and co-founder, Capital Quotient, sees a silver lining in the deductions. “With the host of deductions removed, mis-selling of insurance and other products that happens in the name of tax saving will hopefully reduce,” he says.

Also, Sitharaman said during her speech that this will help taxpayers file their tax returns on their own without the help of professionals.

Resolving Tax Disputes To Get Easier

The Budget proposed two schemes with regard to dispute settlement, which aim to fast track appeals and impart greater transparency.

First, in line with previous year’s ‘Sabka Vishwas’ scheme for indirect taxes, Sitharaman announced amnesty scheme ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ to reduce litigations in direct tax. Under the scheme, a taxpayer will be required to pay only the disputed amount and get a waiver of interest and penalty, provided he pays by 31 March, 2020. However, the scheme will remain open till end of 30 June, 2020, but taxpayer will have to pay an additional sum.

Second, Sitharaman proposed faceless appeals for resolving tax disputes without personal contact between the taxpayer and IT official. If implemented, online appeal will also lead to transparency in the dispute resolving process.

Also ReadBudget 2020: 3-themed Budget Seeks To Address High Unemployment, Low Demand and Falling Economy

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2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner details five rich habits required for multi-millionaire status. They include the following:

  1. Surround yourself with successful people. Rose points to a popular quote: “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” If you want to live a motivated and ambitious life, surround yourself with motivated and ambitious people. 
  2. A love of failure. Failure can be hugely positive. It represents the bravery necessary to take risks and put yourself out there. 
  3. The ability to say “no.” Saying “no” lets you place a high value on your goals. On the other side, saying “yes” to everything will quickly decrease your mental reserves. 
  4. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Entrepreneurs must become comfortable with the prospect of surprises and the unexpected. 

Click the video to hear more.

Related: The High-Earning Investment Techniques Only the Wealthy Know

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on RokuApple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

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Big-picture goal-setting can stop future stress before it starts.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a businesses can be like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Even if goals were initially clear, once the rubber hits the road, things continue to change and morph, keeping us reactive and out of the driver’s seat. It makes sense then, that one of the most common causes of burnout — according to Pi Slice founder and CEO and Entrepreneur contributor Genny Ghanimeh — is “working hard with the inability to shut off.” Many entrepreneurs find themselves doing just this: working long, laborious hours around the clock to make their business click in this period of chaos, when the real work should start with one intensive strategy session to create a business plan.

Now, this isn’t just a business plan in the traditional sense. This a plan for how and when you’ll work on your business, and what your weekly and monthly priorities will be moving forward. Once you have a clear picture of these priorities and the order of attack, you can prevent burnout by constructing a work-life balance. Here are four tips on how to do so as you strategize for the new decade.

Related: 7 Time-Management Strategies for Busy Entrepreneurs  

1. Create three clear, objective goals for the year

Sit down with your team or a mentor and list out all the main goals that come to mind for the year; David Newman writes on Vistage that there should ideally just be three core objectives. These could be specific to the business, or more personal-development based, such as how many conferences you want to attend or how many speaking engagements you want to land. Once the list is exhaustive, survey it. Which three are truly worth your time and energy? You may find that some goals play into each other, too, and can go underneath larger buckets.

Once you feel good (and excited!) about the main three objectives, write them on a poster board to hang in your office or on a wallpaper you can put on your laptop desktop. As you start to break down the quarters, months and weeks, all smaller goals and initiatives will feed into these three core objectives.

2. Break the year down into bite size pieces

It can be massively overwhelming to look at all 365 days ahead of you and try to strategize a day-by-day plan of attack. Instead, start with bite size pieces. Take the upcoming quarter. What should a smaller sub-goal be for each month? What will you do each week to achieve that sub-goal, and how do daily habits and practices amount to these weekly, monthly and quarterly achievements?

As you start to bring the goal down to the granular, you’ll already start to feel more organized. Now, knowing what you’ll accomplish on a day-to-day basis (e.g. how many articles you’ll write, sales calls you’ll make or coaching sessions you’ll host) will ensure you are always in control of your business.

3. Create parameters that enable you to be proactive, rather than reactive

Ultimately, the process of creating this granular plan will empower you to be proactive, rather than reactive. Jessica Zimmerman, wedding planner and the founder of a seven-figure floral design company, is also the mother of three young children and has had to find a work-life balance based on this notion. She had to ditch the need to be reactive (responding whenever a client emails, working all night if feeling overwhelmed) to be there for her kids and create a work-life balance.

“Have clear start and stop times for your work,” she shared with me. “In our historic agrarian society, humans would work with the rhythms of the sun. It is not in our DNA to work non-stop.” Zimmerman recommends creating parameters by working shorter time blocks to do more high-impact work, and having time in the morning and at night without your laptop. She also only checks her email once a day (in 30-minute time slots). This way, the time you spend working is maximized, and you can block burnout before it has a chance to creep in.

4. Schedule vacation time

Contrary to the latest trend of hustling all the time, vacations will leave you better off than they found you. Emma Seppälä Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today that “even a short weekend getaway can provide significant work-stress recovery, while longer trips away provide even more relief.” 

And when you take vacation, that means disengaging from everything at work. You won’t soak in the full benefits of time away if you’re on your laptop by the pool. Halt everything for a week, or have someone on your team take over. Since you’re planning it this far in advance, that won’t be hard to do. 

Related: Understanding Entrepreneurial Burnout

Burnout may seem impossible to avoid when it comes to starting and running a business, but it’s imperative that you protect your health and well-being. Be proactive, create a granular plan and make sure to take plenty of breaks. Your business —and your happiness — depends on it.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

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Years in the hectic TV trenches taught this best-selling author how to focus and thrive under pressure.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The other day, while taping an upcoming episode of Entrepreneur’s Get a Real Job podcast for this very website, I was reminiscing with host Dan Bova about our days producing television together. We shared stories about demanding talent, disastrous productions, and great shows that never went. I left that conversation thinking about how much I’ve learned while producing television over the last twenty years…

Specifically, I left thinking about how much producing television has taught me about running my own business, and how I wouldn’t be a successful author of two novels, Oil and Marble and Raphael, Painter in Romewithout that experience. So, here are my favorite lessons from television that I hope will help you produce your own success.

1. There’s a new show every day

For most of my career, I produced five-night-a-week of television. Some days we put up great shows, other days, real stinkers. But the next day, we always had to put on another show. I treat my writing and business life the same: yes, I make mistakes, but I don’t dwell on them. I learn from them and put out a new “show” every single day, no matter what.

2. “No” is as good as “yes” 

When I was learning to book guests on talk shows, I was disappointed when someone said, “No.” But a more experienced producer taught me that any answer is good because it lets you take action. When you get a “Yes,” you get to start producing the segment. When you get a “no,” you get to cross that person off your list and move onto the next ask. In business, you’re going to hear “no” a lot, but when you start taking that as an opportunity to move on, you’ll stop dreading rejection and start feeling empowered by it.

Related: Let Your Doubters Drive You to Success

3. Obstacles are opportunities for success

At 5 AM the morning after Osama Bin Laden was killed, I drove to the studio to cancel our guests and book a new line-up. Even though I had to cancel weeks of work, I wasn’t upset; I was excited. Yes, I could’ve approached that morning as a “problem to be solved,” but instead I saw it as an opportunity to take our guest list from good to great. When something goes wrong, I challenge you to see it as an opportunity to make your “show” even better. This outlook will not only improve your business, it’s more fun, too.

4. No matter how bad it seems, it’ll work out

I’ll let writer Tom Stoppard take this one, with this exchange from his brilliant screenplay for Shakespeare in Love:

Henslowe: Allow me to explain about the theater business. The natural condition is one of the insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. 

Fennyman: So, what do we do? 

Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. 

Fennyman: How? 

Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

These are the truest lines I’ve ever read about the entertainment industry, and I apply them to my business, too. Yes, things always fall apart, but somehow, if you keep working, the answer appears. How? I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

Related: 8 Success Lessons From the Richest Person on the Planet

5. “No” is not an answer

Even though I said above that “no” is an answer I often get from others, it’s not an answer I give to myself. One of my favorite production coordinators had a sign hanging over her desk that read, “No is Not an Answer.” When someone asked for something, she never said, “No, that’s impossible,” even if it was; she said, “I’ll figure it out.” In Hollywood, you must find ways to make the impossible possible; I apply the same attitude to my business.

6. Anticipate questions

Prepping a host for an interview is like a verbal pop quiz. I had to get good at guessing which questions my host would ask me, so I could be prepared with the answer. I still try to guess the questions that might arise during any speech, pitch session, or meeting, so that I can always come across as the expert in the room.

7. Have a sense of urgency

In television production, if someone asks for something, they don’t need it ten minutes from now, they needed it ten minutes ago. I inject this same sense of urgency into my business. I don’t rush unnecessarily, but I also don’t put things off. If I can do it now, I do it NOW. I work and write like the TV cameras are about to roll in five, four, three

8. Don’t be intimidated

I’ve been in rooms with every kind of “important” person: presidents, billionaires, rock stars, Nobel Peace Prize and Oscar winners… And you know what? They’re just people. Some are nice, some are mean. Some trip or pass gas on the way to stage. I don’t care which agent is reading your work or which CEO has agreed to meet with you, don’t be intimidated. You deserve to be in the room with ALL of them.  

Related: 10 Things This First-Time Novelist Did to Write and Sell a Successful Bestseller

9. Insecurity is normal

I’ll tell you another secret about meeting famous people backstage: they’re just as insecure as you. They have me check their teeth for food. They test their jokes on me. They ask me if their answers are good enough… So, the next time you’re up all night wondering whether you’re talented enough to succeed, just tell yourself that you’re no different than (insert favorite celebrity name here).

10. Listen to your own voice

After nearly two decades of producing interviews with famous people, I’ve found that the most successful all have one thing in common: they are uncompromising in their vision. You must find your voice and always listen to it. That’s the best way to produce your success.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

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