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 more than 13,000 health insurance plans available on the site. In addition, more than 200 licensed registered agents are also available. Most noteworthy, this is helpful because researching thousands of plans, all with their details, can be time consuming.

Furthermore, health insurance plans do not cover diseases like cancer, diabetes and in addition, heart attacks. This makes eHealth Insurance a viable option mostly for routine medical checkups.

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 design in Photoshop or Paint will take time and give your ads, brochures, and other marketing materials an unpolished, unprofessional look.

We’ve all seen these pieces. Someone is trying to sell us a high-end product (like a new car) and their flyer features a blurry, askew image, hovering above a mass of text set in huge block letters in all caps (and in multiple colors).

  • Do you want your clients and customers to see your business as being a two-bit amateur operation? If you sell services or quality products, hire someone to do your site and your graphic design.

Don’t Outsource To Family

And no, getting your nephew who “knows all that computer stuff” to do your site is not the answer.

Your business website is part of your physical business. It’s no different than building a brick-and-mortar property. Would you hire someone to build a structure simply because they know how to use a shovel?

  • You can find amazingly high quality designers overseas through outsource sites like Upwork and Elance. They work cheap, they’re fast, they’re incredibly effective.

And, using their services allows you to keep a designer “on staff” without having to pay a full-time employee.

You’ll need to do some research and try different designers before bringing one on to do a big project like your website.

  • Ask for their portfolio and references
  • Give them a small task to start (a logo, label for a new product, a one-sheet flyer)
  • Then, find a back-up designer. Having two designers at your disposal is always a good idea for emergency situations (you have to present something to a new client by tomorrow morning and you just found out about it). If one isn’t available, you have your back up read to roll.

Reception and Appointment Setting

IF you are selling products, you may be able to hire a virtual assistant to hire your phone calls and email responses.

Same goes for appointment setting.

Do you want to have to find the leads, set them yourself, then go sell them?

Do you want to be on the phone all day because your customer’s delivery arrived at 5:15pm when the tracking told them it’d get there at 5:00?

If you’re uncomfortable going virtual, hire someone to do this for you. You may even be ablet o score an intern. There are a lot of talented people looking for work. Put in some effort to find someone competent to handle your appointments, customer service calls, and general reception. This will not only free you up to do more important tasks, but it projects a highly professional image for your business.

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 and your customers frustrated.

Think Big

When you’re ready to grow, start thinking big. If your firm normally handles 10 clients per month, or 20-customers per week, start to think about how it will be to take care of 100 clients a month or 200 customers. Then, think a little bigger.

This isn’t an exercise in daydreaming. It’s actually part of the planning process. If you’ve planned how you’ll handle the extra customers, you’ll be ready when it happens. Sure, no plan is fool-proof, but you’ll be in a much better position if you know where you’re going vs winging it, failing, then losing your new customers.

Find Financing

If you’ve bootstrapped so far, it may be time to consider financing or investors.

If you’re a solo-business, this can be intimidating. But, if you want to jump to the next level (and the levels beyond), finding funding may be necessary.

Before you panic and lose your nerve on this one, understand that funding can mean as little as a few thousand dollars to invest in equipment, marketing, or anything that will help you service more customers.

Concentrate on What You Do Best

The E-Myth by Michael Gerber talks a lot about how most entrepreneurs have one area of expertise, i.e., the baker who opens a bakery. But, most small business owners don’t just do the baking.

They do the baking, the ordering, the marketing, the cash register, the clean-up, and the book.

When you’re ready to scale, you’re ready to hand off some of these jobs. Stick to baking and you’ll have the best baked goods in town. Leave the marketing to a marketer, the books to your accountant (or bookkeeper), and the minutia to your employees.

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

  1. 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.

landing pages

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.

  1. Too Many Visual Distractions

It can be tempting to overwhelm your visitor with slick graphics. You may think you’re helping them find their way to your CTA.
But, there is a point where the graphics cause confusion.

When using infographics, pictures, video, or graphics, make sure they are absolutely essential to achieving the page’s goal. If they’re not, cut them. You can use them elsewhere (Thank You page, in email marketing, on blogs or pages).

Customer Centric Landing Pages

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. They’re asking “What am I supposed to look at?”

If your landing page is littered with graphics, it will confuse them. This includes going overboard with exotic background colors, text colors and fonts, and headline sizes. Keep it simple… white background with black text is still the best option because it’s easiest to read.

  1. Entry Pop Ups

Pop up windows upon entry are, unfortunately, overused. Some sites will display the pop-up every time you refresh the page, visit a new page on the site, and every time you vist the landing page, even if you’ve already opted in. IT can be frustrating for your user, especially if they’re viewing your content on mobile.

Responsive landing page development vector template illustration

Your better option is to use an exit pop-up. At this point, on a true landing page that you’ve driven traffic to, if they’re leaving, they’re gone. An exit pop-up is a last-ditch effort to salvage the lead. It can work fairly well, and will increase your leads significantly over time.

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 year to buy. Combine this with the fact that 35% of sales go to the company that makes the first (or most recent) contact.


The fact that so many leads are never followed-up with is startling. If you are hurting for sales, the first thing you should do is make sure your salespeople are following up several times. If you view sales as a long-term process, with many taking almost a year to buy, you will see that consistent follow up is vital to growing your business.

What About Becoming a Pest?

Yes, some salespeople are overly aggressive, or follow up with information that is of no value to the client. There are entire libraries dedicated to the art of the follow up. Pick a few of the best sellers and study them. You can follow up effectively without becoming that damn salesperson again!

In fact, you can learn to make multiple follow up calls and emails, stay in front of your prospect, educate and help them, then make new sales and have a constantly-full sales funnel, without bothering your prospects.

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

  1. 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.


  1. 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

  1. Split Payment

This is just good business. Pay half up front, half upon completion. If you find freelancers willing to work for a smaller percentage up front, that’s even more ideal.

concept of the coworking center, business meeting

Again, most freelancers are honest, but there are crooks and scammers in every field. Losing fifty bucks on a starter payment is a lot more manageable than losing five thousand by paying upfront.

  1. Find People Who Are Better Than You

This is the old Henry Ford philosophy. No matter what you sell or which services you offer, chances are you’re the best at one or two things. Trying to do everything is going to lead to frustration and lack of profits. This problem hits very small businesses and solo-preneurs the hardest.

If you are a baker, stop trying to design your website. Web design takes thousands of hours to master. Doing it yourself in order to save a few bucks will cost you thousands. That’s time you could be making cakes, learning new techniques, or working with a marketer to develop your brand and get your name out into the community. Those things put money in the till. Sitting hunched over your laptop at 3am with an HTML for Dummies book splayed-out in your lap costs you money.

Finding the best people takes time, and effort, to get started. But, once you get your team established, it’ll pay off many times over in bigger profits, and more free time for you.

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

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.

We The Best and DJ Khaled drop another club banger from Ace Hood. This is a nice record that should do well in the South especially with Def Jam’s clout down there in the street promotion game. It is going to be hard to follow up “Hustle Hard” but this is a nice place to start.

This just looks incredible. Huge Bong fan here, own all the movies on VHS and DVD (not Blueray – its for suckas :)). Seriously though, Sony Pictures, might have delivered the best Bond since Goldeneye in 1995. All our “Superhero” movies are looking, gritty and darker and SkyFall looks the same way.


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