Insurance Policies for Independent Contractors

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First of all, getting sick, hurt, or being sued is something that no one wants to happen. However, in business and life, this stuff does happen. That’s why insurance is a necessity. Paying your medical bills out of pocket is always a painful job. For employees, this is almost always solved by using company insurance. As an independent contractor, you are the company. This is where finding a solid policy comes into the picture. A good policy can save your business and your health. There are three policies for the self-employed and independent contractors that are cost-effective and budget friendly: 1. Health Insurance Exchange Plans: This plan was designed to meet with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Under this act, individuals, families, small business owners and freelancers can purchase a customized and affordable health package. The most important part of this plan is the provision of subsidy in cases where the independent contractors’ total taxable income is between 122% to 400% of the federal poverty level. This subsidy will reduce your premium amount up to 10% of your gross income. And, you are free to cancel or amend this plan at any time without any additional costs or penalty. 2. National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU): This association employs more than 100,000 agents in the USA. These agents guide you to select the best plan according to your needs and budget. NAHU provides services to everyone from Fortune-500 companies to small business owners and the self-employed. With NAHU, you can enjoy different benefits and savings, personal development & training, user-friendly apps and even wellness programs. 3. eHealth Insurance: eHealth insurance is one of the best health insurance solutions available for independent contractors. On the eHealth Insurance web portal, you can compare prices and benefits of the many different health plans available. There are…

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Top 3 Tasks to Outsource for Your Small Business

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Top 3 Tasks to Outsource for Your Small Business Retaliate1st grew through hard work both internally and externally. We spent most of our first year using freelancers and a team we had to outsource to. We wanted to share some of the critical elements we chose to outsource. Bookkeeping and Invoicing Nothing can eat up the time of a small business owner quite like keeping the books, crunching the numbers, and invoicing. Chances are you started your business because you had a talent or passion for your product or service. Unless that passion was accounting, hand the books to someone else. As you grow, keeping the books will only become more complicated and time consuming. Instead of letting record keeping eat up a huge percentage of the time you could be putting into pulling the big levers on your business, outsource the task to a CPA. If you need help with the day-to-day numbers, tracking, and invoicing, you can easily find and train an employee or intern to do this for you. Graphic Design and Your Website If there’s one area where small business and solo entrepreneurs make a huge mistake it’s in doing their own graphic design and website building. Learning a “little about SEO and websites” will give your business a site that looks terrible, is extremely time consuming to build, generates no sales, and projects a very unprofessional image. Free site creators give you a website that looks like it was made for free. Doing your own HTML or CSS usually looks like an amateur did the site… at best. Remember that designers and developers go to college for 4+ years to learn coding. This is not something you can become an expert in by reading a For Dummies book over the weekend. Doing your own graphic…

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Do You Really Want More Clients and Customers?

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Do You Really Want More Clients and Customers? If you’re running a small business, or are a solo entrepreneur, you probably spend much of your time thinking about how great life would be if you could only get a few more clients, get a few more customers, or land that one big account. But, before you go big time, you should take a moment to make sure you’re ready to scale your small business up. From Barley in Business to Busty to Death It happens all the time. A small business is doing ok, but the cash flow isn’t exactly overwhelming. When you run an online or service based business, especially if you’re running the show alone or with a small group, this can be a frustrating time. Then, all the work, all the banging your head against the wall, and all of the planning takes a turn. You hit the tipping point. Whatever you want to call it, your business goes from scraping by to breaking through. Now, it doesn’t have to be breaking through to super-stardom. Even if your business grows 20% suddenly, that can translate to a lot of extra income. And a lot of extra work. Are You Ready to Grow Your Business? Take a minute to assess your current work load, productivity, and efficiency. If you have a few customers or clients and you’re behind on orders or fulfilling service agreements, you’re probably not ready to grow. Getting more contracts might help your bank account, but it will not magically cure your productivity issues. However, if you are consistently knocking your work load out of the park, you might be ready. If you work with a team, make sure everyone is on board. Having a key employee bail during a growth surge can leave you…

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The Three Reasons Your Landing Pages Don’t Convert

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Landing pages are still the most important pages on your website. They are the funnel that allows you to convert your ad traffic and social media traffic into paying customers. landing pages are the pages that showcase your value proposition, your product and close your leads. These landing pages are the life blood of your business. At Retaliate1st, we specialize in developing landing pages that convert, that achieve their goal. We want to showcase the landing page mistakes we continually see, so that your business can thrive. Why Your Landing Pages Don’t Convert Too Many Options Barry Schwartz wrote about the paralysis that sets in in many shopping situations in his book the Paradox of Choice. He uses the example of a man shopping for shampoo at a grocery store. He is faced with hundreds of choices – for dry hair, for brittle hair, for oily hair; olive oil base, coconut oil base; flower scented; and just about every color imaginable. This leads to frustration, and often people with either simply leave the store, or buy the closest option and later be unhappy with it. Now, take a look at your landing pages. Are they leaving your customer in the isle frustrated because there are so many options they’re not sure which to choose? If so, narrow it down to one choice (two, maximum). What’s the goal of your landing page? Email opt-in? Make sure the opt-in form is easily accessible, easy to read, and has a strong, clear call to action. Do you want phone calls? Make your number big and visible and clickable. Would you take either a phone call or a web form opt-in? Make it clear that either option gets them the same result: contact, free estimate, discount, services, etc. Too Many Visual Distractions It can be tempting…

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Best Days and Times to Make Sales Calls

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Does your sales team make many sales calls to leads. Do they ever wonder what the best days are to perform these sales calls? Well there is a little science behind it and the Retaliate1st sales team provide their insights on what days and times are best to make sales calls. Best Days and Times to Make Sales Calls Wednesday and Thursday are by far the best days to call on prospects, with Friday coming in a distant third. Tuesday is the worst. Why mid-week? Perhaps because it is mid-week, and most prospects will have a lull in their responsibilities, motivation, and to-do list. A sales call that would annoy them on Monday morning may be welcome on Wednesday afternoon. Best Time for Sales Calls 4 pm is the best time of day to call sales leads, by far. Between 8 and 9-am was second, with the rest of the day coming in all over the map. If you have an important sale to close, wait until the afternoon. This could be because prospects are at their “Weakest” as far as energy. It could result from boredom, similar to the mid-week phenomena. Whatever the reason, batch your most important sales calls for the morning or late afternoon. Sales Calls and the Follow-Ups Studies show that nearly 30% of leads are never contacted. Many salespeople and businesses fear making too many contacts with the same prospect, but the research shows that 6 seems to be the sweet spot for number of follow ups needed before significant contact is made. Making 4+ calls lead to a 70% increase in conversions. 80% of sales require 5+ follow ups Over 60% of customers requesting info on your company will not make a purchase for at least three months, some will take as long as a…

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3 Tips for Hiring the Best Freelancers

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Growing your business is hard and it is expensive. Sometimes hiring staff can be a huge expense. This is why many start-ups begin to hire the best freelancers for roles, to get the work done. Freelancers allow for talent to perform tasks at a low cost and with a minimal commitment. Here the team at Retaliate1st lay out our tips for hiring the best freelancers. 3 Tips for Hiring the Best Freelancers Shop Around The reality is that no matter how good a freelancer looks on paper, you won’t know how good they are until they do work for you. When you find potential candidates, start them off with small tasks with a clear deadline and expectations. Handing them the responsibility of redesigning the company website without having seen how they handle instructions, time-pressures, or setbacks is asking for disaster. Learn to Communicate Your Needs Most freelancers are honest, hardworking people eager to do great work for your business. But, if you are incapable of communicating what you want, in exact terms, frustration will strike. Remember that not all freelancers are native English speakers. Until you can ascertain their fluency, keep sentences short, use bullet points, and avoid idiomatic language. Do you want 3 three article so a few? Do you want the graphic to be 650 x 350 pixels, or around the size of a 5×7 picture? Language concerns aside, being clear cuts down on the time you spend managing freelancers. Tell them what to do, on the first try, and you’ll have less back-and-forth. Remember, you’re hiring them to cut down on your workload by assigning them tasks that free you up to do more important things. Freelancer Payments Split Payment This is just good business. Pay half up front, half upon completion. If you find freelancers willing…

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Fred P drops “Testimony” MixTape

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Alabama’s All-Star Fred P drops his latest, and greatest, MixTape titled “Testimony.” Honestly, this is the best thing i have heard from Fred P in awhile. This tape is packed with heaters and the “documentary” he dropped to show how the tape was made really adds to the tape. Fred P is real and has to be one of the hardest working rappers. I’m hoping this tape takes him over the top. Download the Tape Here Follow him on Twitter Check out his Website

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Young Suave – LeBron James

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Young Suave drops the video for his Miami club single, “LeBron James.” Suave has been doing shows all across the South-East and has scene lots of love from Miami for this record. Its been featured on TrapsNTrunks and some of the other Top Urban sites out there. Check out his website for booking information.

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