Challenges Small Businesses Are Facing During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused small businesses everywhere a lot of problems. Social distancing, the limits on who can work, and even wearing masks and other protective equipment have created several problems for small businesses. Restaurants and grocery stores have been especially hard hit; restaurants have been forced to be even more careful than normal, and grocery stores have to be especially wary of how customers act within their stores. There is no question that the pandemic has changed business, and some of those changes are going to be with us for quite a while.

The Basics

Every business has had to deal with masks and social distancing, as well as determining if they are considered an essential business or not. That latter question is definitely a question for a business lawyer; which businesses are considered essential are not always clear, making for a question that can require a definite answer. Social distancing is another issue that businesses are finding to be interesting. While some businesses are already set up for it, others have had to place markers on the floor to help delineate exactly where customers can stand in line. A number of businesses have found some clever ways of getting the point across.

Masks have made life interesting, especially for businesses with a number of security concerns. Enforcing masks has become a major issue, both for customers and employees; some customers are balking their use due to political issues, while some employees are finding them restrictive at work. Even alternative gear, such as face shields, are disliked. Fortunately, most businesses have put up plastic shields near cashier stations as another form of protection for both customers and employees. Most businesses are quickly adapting to the majority of problems presented by the pandemic.

The Problem With Food Preparation 

Businesses that rely on food preparation have been especially hard hit. They have had to enforce new standards while at the same ensuring that old standards are still followed; the mask issue has really become an issue for some places due to how employees hate wearing them, but management has usually prevailed. Some items on various menus have been discontinued due to how they prepared, while others have had to be prepared differently. Some restaurants have had to curtail dine-in service, while others have limited seating to allow for social distancing. All of this has made preparing and serving food an interesting venture.

Curbside and Delivery

A shining light has been an increase in curbside and delivery. Businesses started offering curbside service as a way to deal with social distancing: A customer could place an order, pay for it through credit cards, and then pick it up once they arrived. This is something that some businesses may keep as it reduces the time customers are inside the store while providing a valuable service to the customers. Delivery has become a lot more popular, and apps and various delivery services have increased their range and services that they are attached to, making for a great service to the business and customer.

How A Business Attorney Can Help

Obviously, a small business can use whatever help they can use in this environment. There are a number of new legal codes in use in order to help limit the spread of the virus, making the advice of an attorney invaluable when it comes to navigating the new codes. An attorney can help a small business determine which codes apply to specific businesses as well as how to post the signage necessary to communicate the changes to customers and employees alike. The attorney can also help navigate any breaches of those laws, should it be necessary. One shining example is Cory Briggs, a San Diego attorney who works tirelessly to help small business owners when it seems like no one else will.

A business attorney can help any small business even under normal circumstances; there are always legal questions that pop up over even the smallest matter, and there are always legal forms that need to be updated and gone over. However, in an era where the rules seem to keep changing every few months, a little paranoia is not necessarily a bad thing and having someone able to go over the rules with a business owner can be well worth the money. You need someone whose expertise can make life easier for you, and given how vital following the rules can be to just doing business, an appointment with an attorney can be the best thing for your business.

7 Alternative Traveling Jobs for People Who Love to Travel

Traveling Jobs for People Who Love to Travel

Vacation is a great time to travel. But, sometimes it feels too short and is not enough to satisfy your wanderlust. If you have a serious taste for exploring new areas but not enough funds to do it regularly, there is a solution. Traveling jobs are a great way to support yourself when you have itchy feet. Not to mention, there are many different types of opportunities and options.

Whether you are needing to spice up your life or want to change your career altogether, here are some traveling jobs worth checking out for people who love to travel.

7 Traveling Jobs to Consider

1. Teacher/Nanny

So, you love kids, and you’re bilingual? Why not become an Au Pair or teacher in a different country? With a college degree and a TEFL certificate (Teaching English in a Foreign Language), you can teach English in a variety of locations. There are also TEFL course programs you can do abroad. They give you a taste of what to expect while also introducing you to a new country.

With technology making education easier to access online, you’ll have even more options.  In addition to online programs, there are also virtual teaching options. Furthermore, you can even take online classes yourself while completely immersing yourself in the country’s culture. Many universities now offer remote learning and online degrees. Moving abroad will open doors and new opportunities for traveling jobs.

2. Digital Nomad

This term was coined for those who work remotely. These types of job have become even more readily available in 2020 as companies restructure for their existing employees. If you have an online business, you can also build it up so you can work from anywhere in the world. Work as a digital nomad includes but is not limited to: freelance writing, translation, web design, social media management, or affiliate marketing.

3. Athletic Recruiter

Sports enthusiasts will likely find great enjoyment from a job as an athletic recruiter. Not only do you get to travel to schools across the country, but you also get to attend sporting events. The admission to events is free and also part of your responsibilities. Not a bad gig for sports fans, huh?

4. Auditor

If you are an accountant needing some excitement, becoming an auditor may be an excellent option for you. Auditors may not usually go to exotic locations, but they do travel across the country examining businesses. This traveling job provides more stability and consistency than other options while still giving you a taste of life on the road.

5. Tour Guide

Being a tour guide, particularly internationally, is an excellent way to travel for work. If relocating to a different country to work as a tour guide, you first need to know what certifications and visas are required. It is also a good idea to learn the language and familiarize yourself with the culture and customs. Even though you are catering to tourists, you want to have a good relationship within the local community.

6. Bartender

For those with an open schedule and some nightlife experience, bars and clubs worldwide are always seeking bartenders. This is especially true in touristy hot spots. Whether you want to go overseas or simply across the country, there are a variety of options as a bartender to travel to a new location for a while. Depending on your talents and the type of bar, bartenders can also make quite a bit of cash.

7. House/Pet Sitter

Another option you probably never considered was house sitting or pet sitting. This traveling job is precisely what it sounds like. Home owners post listings on house sitting websites to get matched with caretakers. In exchange, you get free accommodations and complete privacy in a locale of your choosing. These jobs can last a few weeks or turn into a long-term arrangement. It also provides the unique opportunity to experience your travel destination through the eyes of a local resident.

Considerations for Traveling Jobs

With the right skills, you can make traveling a part of your job requirements. Moving to a new location can be a very difficult, yet rewarding decision. However, it’s important to note that not all traveling jobs will pay well, and these professions still involve work and dedication. Depending on how much you want to make traveling a part of your career will depend on how much behind the scenes you will need to do.

Do you travel for a living? What kind of traveling jobs have you done or would like to do?

Also, if your doing good with the traveling job, don’t forget to save. Acorns is a perfect way to save money using spare change. Check them out.

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How to Build an Affordable and Attractive Benefits Plan for your Small Business

Finding valuable employees isn’t an easy task and an even harder one if you’re a new or small business owner. You want to find people who will not only put the necessary value into their job but also represent your business well. Fortunately there is a pool of qualified great professionals out there waiting for their opportunity to gain your attention, but with so many competitors, the trick is keeping their attention.

For small business owners, there’s no use in trying to outdo big corporations when it comes to your employee benefits package because although we want to give our all, if we did that, we’d have no company left.

The key to creating the most attractive benefit plan possible is to know your limits while also maximizing on the value of what you can provide. For example, did you know that small business owners can help their employees find practically anything from the best yoga classes to the best auto insurance for the independent contractor?

Small businesses may not be able to offer every possible benefit, but that doesn’t mean the benefit plans have to be terrible. Find out how to make sure your benefits are both attractive and affordable to your employees.

Know Who You Attract

To be a good business owner you have to know your business inside and out, which includes knowing what kind of people your business attracts. Just like dating, every business has “a type,” so knowing who is likely to come work for you will make designing a benefit plan easier than shooting blind.

What are the common health issues folks in your line of business usually have? What are the most popular attractions in your area? Great benefits include anything that makes life easier or more enjoyable, and by offering perks for future care and local activities increases the quality of company culture and can also gather local support for your business.

If buying the mandatory employee benefits in bulk seems to be overwhelming your business’s budget, try exploring smaller multiple options that your employees can choose from. Having multiple options for health, dental, or even student loan repayment programs allows you to keep from overspending on benefits that don’t get utilized.

Think Creatively

The good thing about being a small business is that even though you may not have a corporate budget, you have the freedom to tailor your needs based on worthy talent.

Familiarize yourself with the needs of your community and pick the benefits that tailor to those needs in order to give your business compelling starting points against your competition. If your budget for benefits is small, look into annual and seasonal perks like events and bonuses that give your staff things to look forward to or assistance with things they need.

Helping provide extra money during birthdays or the holiday season for holiday turkeys or extra groceries, or child care are incentives that make employees feel valued which keeps them around longer. You don’t want to lose good talent simply because you couldn’t do the small things you could’ve that show you care about them and their family’s well being. 

Chances are if you’ve thought about starting your own business, you’re a creative person even if you don’t see yourself as such. After pricing out the necessary benefits like health, dental, and retirement plans, try to have things career seekers can actively value and enjoy that will make the positions you offer stand out.

Provide A Cell Phone

This is easy. Business accounts with mobile providers are extremely flexible and great for small businesses. Everyone needs a phone nowadays so why not offer discounts or even to provide mobile devices for your team.

The upside to this is you’ll have dependable communication with your team as well as be able to reap the benefits of having multiple lines. Cell phone carriers want your business so ask for everything, and you may be surprised at what you can get!.

Invest In Mental Health

Health plans are a basic standard when creating a benefit portfolio, but it’s not often someone has an extreme medical emergency so most employees don’t actually feel the perks of this benefit. One way to keep this necessary cost low while giving potential employees something extra to think about is offering something in your benefit package that caters to mental health. This can be something as simple as offering to provide or assist with anything from gym membership to EAP benefits to specified counseling costs. Tailor this to fit your business and your employee’s needs. Look into offering the benefits as individual or office perks depending on your budget.

With the rise in anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are increasing the quality of their mental health benefits for their employees, which just goes to show that mental health care is always needed.

It’s been proven that happy workers are better workers so if you want to optimize the potential with each hire, you should invest in your employees’ mental health just as you invest in your own if not more.

What Options to Take Away

Maybe you’re here, and your business still has some growing before you can fully include more compelling qualities to your employee benefits packages. However, sometimes the best things in life really are free.

Keep your business attractive to talent by providing a positive safe atmosphere for your employees. Attitude goes a long way when deciding if, where, and who you’ll be working with. Make sure you offer an environment that is attractive to all potential talent.

Remember coffee only goes so far when people are showing up everyday to help grow your dream brand. Investing in them in a variety of ways will multiply the value that comes back to you.

It’s okay if you can’t afford all of the bells and whistles as long as the benefits you provide add to your employee’s benefit of life, and these things show that working for you is an experience unlike any other job offer.

 

 

Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. Danielle has grown up around entrepreneurs and is a small business owner herself.