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26 Must-Know Stats to Optimize Your Ecommerce

It’s 2019, and ecommerce is booming. By 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of purchases will be made online. Companies that are looking to be competitive now and in the future need to up their ecommerce game or be left behind.

With the increase in online shopping comes the increase of customer expectations. Shipping times are becoming shorter, customer service is improving, and technology is becoming smarter. People are making more frequent and more significant purchases online.

By better understanding the landscape, retailers can set up strategies for success. If you’re a business looking to improve your online shopping experience, we have an infographic just for you. Below are 26 need-to-know ecommerce statistics for 2019.


Infographic by wikibuy.com.

The #1 reason most people don’t succeed

by Chris Atley

So why is it that most people don’t reach their big dreams?!

1. Well, they start worrying about how they’re going to make them happen and talk themselves right out of going for it!


2. If they have decided to go for it, they let all of the negative self-talk and stories conditioned into their brain from their past stop them from moving forward.

It depends on which stage of the process you’re at.

I tend to see more of the second, as I typically work with people who have already said yes to their entrepreneurial dreams. However, the first does still pop-up when they are still not quite where they want to be and continue to dream of more – a better lifestyle, more support, greater ease – and this is typically after grinding it out and then becoming overwhelmed.

So how do we move through this?

Well, with #1. I’ve found the most helpful thought process is to start seeing evidence in your life and what you have already created, of their being something bigger at play. The universe (insert own belief system here as to what that higher power is to you), is always guiding us and has a plan far bigger than we ever could have created for ourselves. Look at how you just “knew” to make that phone call or follow-up with someone on a “hunch”, and it ended up leading to something great. That’s the guidance we all have there for us.

When we can step into that belief system, we can start to let go of “how” we’re going to make things happen and start having “trust” and “faith” in what we cannot see. Until we see the evidence to support it of course. I’ve seen it over-and-over in my own life and those of my clients, that it is now too difficult to deny and has become a belief I know to be true at my core. I’ve seen enough evidence to support it.

Do I forget it’s there for me sometimes – yep – it’s a constant wake-up call, and I would even go as far to say it’s an awareness on just how deep we can go with the guidance. Where we can literally get support for all of our thoughts and don’t even have to “think” our way out of anything really. But it involves a consistent state of asking and then being open to receiving.

Which brings me to #2. With this one, I see many people getting stuck in old stories and beliefs from childhood (many aren’t even aware of what thoughts and ideas they have accepted to be true) that keep them stuck in an energy that is not conducive to receiving the guidance.

What you put out you get back – so if you feel unworthy or not good enough deep down – that’s the energy you’re putting our regardless of what you “say” you are wanting. Your subconscious is steering the ship and it comes down to the beliefs and feelings you have stored away in there.

Quick example: You can think; “I would love to be successful”, but deep down if you “feel” successful people are in some way rude or arrogant, you will not want to be successful because it violates your value system. Instead you operate from the feelings you have associated with success instead of what you’re saying you want.

That’s just one example and it shows-up in a myriad of ways – procrastination being another.

Unfortunately these things show-up even more strongly when we run our own business. Because we’re putting ourselves out there in new and unprecedented ways, and this feels threatening to our subconscious mind, which wants us to stay safe. Growing doesn’t feel safe. So it will literally show you every reason in the book to stay small – “I’m too tired”, “I’ll do it tomorrow”, etc. and it gets your agreement to stop.

The way to shift this is to start looking deep down at what you believe that’s causing you to be where you are. This can be tough to do alone – it’s hard to see our own blind spots – and this is definitely where I recommend getting some support.

Be willing to go there. It’s hard to look at this crap, but completely worth it.

Then you can start to shine a light on those beliefs, and start reaffirming the belief you want instead over-and-over and add it the emotional feelings of how it will feel to curate what you’re wanting.

For me it was: Your Success is Certain.

And then what that would look like if it was true- how it would feel.

You will then start to make decisions and behave from this line of thinking, thus creating what you have been envisioning.

You strengthen the new belief because now you have evidence of it in your life.

Your subconscious realizes it’s safe to think and behave from this place, and this becomes the new norm.

The two combined together – faith in something bigger than you, and replacing old belief systems no longer serving you – is the winning combination.

Because what you put out always, without fail, comes back :-)

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

Picture credit: 
unsplash-logoGuilherme Stecanella

Breaking the Laws of Love for Success in Your Business: The Love Renegade's Way with Lauren Kay Wyatt on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Show #483

Topic: Breaking the Laws of Love for Success in Your Business: The Love Renegade's Way

On this episode, Lauren shares:

  • The truth about how your romantic life and relationships impact your business
  • What are the laws of love?
  • How do relationships and/or dating affect business?  

Lauren Kay Wyatt is the founder of Love Renegades, a coaching company that shows soul-driven women how to create and grow loving, connected, and romantic relationships on their terms.

Since 2012, Lauren has worked directly with hundreds of women to heal their hearts and “break the laws of love,” a Love Renegades term for letting go of “other people’s advice” and using your spiritual power to create and grow a romantic relationship - something most women, struggle to do - irrespective of the number of years in business, client success, or their revenue.

Through her work as a coach and love psychic, Lauren has witnessed clients take empowering steps and create an abundance of love for themselves - which translates into deeper, long-lasting connection with intimate partners and an acceleration in their businesses.


Visit www.breakthelawsoflove.com to take the "Break the Laws of Love" Quiz.


Listen on Podomatic:

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Ready to Grow Your Business? 4 Things to Consider When Expanding

by Alli Cannon

So, you started a small business and made it profitable. You’ve beaten the odds and want to replicate your success.

Expanding your business may seem like the obvious way to go, but there’s a lot you should consider when making the leap and opening another location.

Here are four things you should consider when expanding your business.

Don’t Try to Reinvent the Wheel

There’s a reason your current business is successful. When you’re expanding, do your best to replicate that success as closely as you can. When adding a new location, it can be tempting to incorporate a bunch of new ideas. But an expansion already has a certain amount of risk. Do your best to reduce that risk by modeling your next location after your current one. Once the new location is operating at a profit, you can try rolling out some of those new ideas.

When considering an expansion, it’s a great time to review your current processes and systems and document them. Creating process guidelines will benefit your business no matter what, but will truly be invaluable during an expansion. Should you decide to expand, having these processes documented will ensure continuity across all locations.

Clarify Your Motivations

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs like a challenge and many of us crave excitement and change. Once your business is up and running, it can start to feel more routine and less exciting than you’re used to. Many business owners see that as a good time to expand, but there’s much more you need to consider when deciding if expansion is the right choice for your business.

  • Why do you want to expand?
  • What do you want to achieve with the expansion?
  • Do you have time to manage multiple locations?
  • Do you have enough capital to support an expansion?
  • Are there any issues with the business that need to be resolved before you can expand?
  • What’s the right time in your fiscal year for the expansion?
  • Is your success tied to your specific location? Can it be replicated elsewhere?

If you’re considering an expansion, it’s critical to have a good understanding of your motivations and expectations before moving forward. You want to be sure you’re expanding your business for the right reasons.

Note: In most cases, it takes a lot of money, in addition to time and energy to expand a business and make it successful. If your main motivation is increased revenue, you should probably explore options for increasing revenue at your current location, such as expanded hours, increased product offerings, promotions, and marketing, before taking on an expansion. It might be possible to hit your increased revenue goals without taking on the risk of an expansion.


Expanding your business will take a lot of planning. Here are just a few of the things you’ll need to plan for when expanding your business

  • If you’re expanding into a new geographic location, you’ll need to understand business licensing and compliance for the new area.
  • You’ll want to create detailed financial projections to understand how much capital you’ll need to invest.
  • It’s important to understand how long the revenue from your existing location can support the new location.
  • If the locations are far apart, how will you manage your time and resources?
  • Will you have access to the same vendors?
  • How will you train and manage staff across multiple locations?
  • What if the new location is unsuccessful? What’s your exit plan?

As we all know, nothing ever goes completely according to plan. However, understanding and preparing for any eventuality will make it easier to spot potential problems and give you a better chance of long-term success.

Keep Your Culture

Your company’s culture is an intangible and often overlooked component of your success. When expanding, it can be difficult to keep the same culture across all locations. In addition to bringing systems and processes from your existing location, you may want to consider bringing some key staff members to the new location, as well. It will help give the new locations continuity and connection and will help the staff feel more invested in the overall success of the business.

A business expansion is a huge undertaking that shouldn’t be launched on a whim. But with proper planning and forethought, it can be exactly what you need to take your success to the next level.

Are you considering a business expansion? What’s your biggest roadblock?

About the Author: Alli Cannon is a licensed attorney, certified mediator, and successful entrepreneur working in Houston. She is the owner of Cannon Law, a law firm she founded, which is dedicated to defending clients accused alcohol-related offenses.

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoMaria Agudo López

International Women's Day 2019

International Women's Day 2019 Theme: #BalanceforBetter

International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women's Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women's Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for over a century - and is growing annually from strength to strength. http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Source: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/About

How to support International Women's Day https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

Follow International Women's Day on Twitter: @Womensday

Photo credit: unsplash-logoAlex Sorto

100 Inspirational Quotes for Women

International Women’s Day is right around the corner –– celebrate the amazing ladies in your life on March 8 (and every other day) with these inspiring quotes from powerful women like Beyonce, Tina Fey, Emma Watson and Oprah Winfrey!

Women are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We command respect, show creativity and uplift each other every day. While we still struggle for total equality, we are empowering others around us to be successful in so many ways.

To keep you feeling pumped up, check out these gorgeous (and free) wallpaper downloads created by FTD –– they feature the amazing quotes of powerful women and will inspire you to be your best self and work towards your dreams!

Olyvia Kwok: How an Art Collector Navigates the Financial World

by Ruby Clarkson

If you love art and have a bit of money to invest, art collecting can be the ideal way to combine the two.

There are a number of financial benefits to collecting art and successful collectors like Olyvia Kwok are on standby not only to show you how lucrative it can be, but also lend a helping hand for those who are trying to get to grips with the world of art collection.

Kwok began collecting art at the age of 22, when she bought her first painting for $33,000. She believed that the Chinese scroll painting which she had discovered was older than the advertised age and she was right! She sold it afterwards for $220,000. Since then, she has gone on to set up and support projects around the world of emerging artists, as well as launch Willstone Management – her company who helps people to invest in art.

The Financial Benefits of Art Collecting

There are a number of financial benefits to collecting art, including:

• Art will never be worthless, and the right piece of art will almost always go up in price over time – unlike other investment options.
• Art is also resistant to fluctuations in the market – unlike other investment options such as property.
• By collecting art, you are personally responsible for your assets and they are not in the hands of an investor or bank.

According to Kwok, the secret to making money in art collecting is to understand what the trends are, and it is her knowledge of emerging artists that has helped her to enjoy a successful career in art investment and collection. She explains, “Art can be like super-high-fashion trends. Prices can depend on trends and what is fashionable. One day it could be Impressionists and the next Surrealists, that’s why it’s so important to stay in touch with the market and to keep a short-term focus.”

Following Trends

Although it is important to buy artwork that you like, if you wish to make good money on your investment, Kwok recommends looking for the next trend. She invested in the American Pop Art market, moved onto German Abstractionism then hit the world of American minimalism, following the trend as she went.

Hitting the Jackpot with Emerging Artists

One of the most satisfying and potentially financially rewarding aspects to art collecting and investment is that you have the potential to find emerging artists and nurture them to bring them – and you – success.

A good way to find emerging artists is to visit open studios, where recently finished artwork is displayed, and collectors and investors can buy directly from the artists themselves.

Art Collecting with Willstone Management

Set up in 2010, Kwok decided to use her knowledge and expertise in art collecting and investment to help other people reap the benefits. Although it is possible to go out alone as an art collector and investor, Kwok’s business – Willstone Management can help guide you through, using her innate knowledge and understanding of emerging art markets to offer bespoke art services – with the best possible return, of course.

With over 15 years’ experience in collecting and selling art, in addition to her natural talent for spotting trends, Kwok is perfectly placed to help clients to invest their money in the most effective way, harnessing the power of art.

Using technology

As with most things, technology is beginning to have an impact in the art world. Kwok’s company have launched a free art auction app called Live Auction Art which can provide investors with transparent data about a piece of art, giving them the opportunity to analyse its potential as an investment.

Kwok states that the aim is to “show institutional clients how fine art assets can be more transparent and liquid”. The app, which Willstone Management are continuing to fine tune, highlights to potential buyers and investors, the value of Kwok’s natural talent and in-depth knowledge of art.

Kwok states that "the art market has not only retained its size since the global financial crisis – it has actually almost tripled in size. There have been some difficult moments, but this market has proven itself over and over again," so it is not surprising that there is a serious interest in collecting and investing in art.

Olyvia Kwok has shown that knowledge and understanding is the key to successfully navigating the financial world of art collecting. With the ability to spot new trends, understand the market and be adaptable, collecting art can be extremely lucrative.

About the Author: Ruby Clarkson has a passion for art, interior design, and telling stories. When she isn't writing or looking at the latest art trends, she can be found with her nose in a book. Accompanied by chocolate, of course.

Picture credit:
unsplash-logoDeanna J

How to Start a Small Recycling Business with Low Capital

how to start a recycle business
by Paige Ellingson

There are many types of businesses that one can start with little capital.

Starting a recycling business is one of the many businesses that don’t require a lot, plus, it’s a sustainable business that helps the community managing waste.

However, a significant number of them collapse shortly due to lack of knowledge to start them with the right steps. In this article, you will find tips on how to start a recycling business.

Choosing a Niche

Some of the areas that you can focus on in your recycling business include:

Used building supplies: The materials are easily available in your homes or in your area. You do not need a high amount of capital to acquire them.
Junk collection service: You require little capital to start a business of collecting waste in your area. The work does not need a lot of labor.
Scrap metal collector: The collection of non-ferrous metals is easy as the materials are readily available and cheap. One of the places where one can find scrap metal is construction sites.
Scrap plastic or cardboard collector: The materials are widely used in our homes. Therefore, you can easily find and collect them and make some extra income with your low capital.
Scrap pallet collector: Pallets are widely used in our homes and local businesses. You can acquire the scrap items and make some money from them.
E-waste depot operator: Every home has electronic gadgets. When they are disposed of in E-waste depots, you can collect them and earn a living from the work with little capital.
Used clothing store: Starting such a shop does not have high capital requirements. The business can do well even in rural areas.

Do Some Research on How to Start Recycling.

Once you have identified your preferred niche, it is recommendable to ensure that it has good potential in the long run. Evaluate the chances of making good returns in the market. Every business startup experiences challenges and you must be ready to employ strategies to tackle them.

Some business experts urge entrepreneurs to ask themselves some important questions about their ideas. Ensure that your idea will involve providing essential products and services for your target market.

Analyze the Level of Competition

Evaluate whether there are other local businesses that are offering similar products and services. The level of competition in the market has a huge impact on the profitability of a business.

One of the factors that affect the level of competition is the pricing of goods and services. Every consumer would want to get value for their money. You may realize that new and established businesses have varying charges. New enterprises tend to charge lower cost to ensure that they can attract some customers.

Review Relevant Regulatory Frameworks

Different jurisdictions have different regulations on which goods and services are allowed to be sold to the members of the public and how to start a small recycling business. There are also laws on how to dispose of different materials in the area. You may need permission from relevant authorities to transport some goods within a certain geographical area.

Recognize the Seasonality of Your Business

Some businesses only do well at a certain period of the year. It is recommendable to take that into consideration when writing your business plan.

Financial Planning

Most new entrepreneurs prefer venturing into areas that require less capital to start. For example, scrap metal collection and cardboard collection. If you start a recycling business, you will need to use a truck for the work. Include the cost of acquiring the truck and other maintenance costs.

Choose Your Preferred Business Structure

Some of the options include sole proprietorship, joint venture, or as a limited liability firm. There are varying legal requirements for each form of business.

Choose and Register a Suitable Business Name

The business name must be unique. It is an important step as the name is useful in marketing. Consider the possibility of geographical expansion in the future.

Acquire the Required Licenses and Business Permits

Different businesses may require different permits depending on the jurisdiction.
The above information is helpful on how to start a recycling business from home.

About the Author: Paige is a creative content writer. She studied business and communication arts. Her passion for helping people and business in all aspects of content marketing flows through in the job role she is currently in.

7 Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Old Furniture

woman working on laptop
by Victoria Hill

Air pollution, deforestation and excess fossil fuel usage has become a normal occurrence in today’s world. People throw out items that are usable, causing more and more waste.

We all know that even just one piece of trash can be harmful to an environment. Recycling, therefore, is one of the most important ways you can be environmentally friendly. Many environmentally aware people recycle their glass, paper, and metal but forget about the importance of furniture recycling.

While making a single sofa requires about 32 board feet of wood, 48 pounds of foam and 70 yards of fabric, an article from Planet Save reported that furniture was the least recycled item in households.

This is not only an issue in a household. Most of the time, corporate or office waste are also discussed in the sense of using less paper and less electricity. When in reality, it’s as important that we discuss corporate furniture waste and how to manage it.

More than 8.5 million ton of office waste ends up in US landfills annually. Business owners and entrepreneurs who want to be more environmentally friendly should be more aware of this and consider how to get rid of old furniture and unwanted desks in their offices in an eco-friendly way.

So, here are some ideas about how to get rid of unwanted furniture and ways to recycle the furniture. Whether you’re a business owner looking for ways to get rid of unwanted office desks or a homeowner looking for ways to get rid of your old couch at home, one of the following ways might be helpful.

1. Donate second-hand shops

Thrift shops and secondhand stores may be the best way to get rid of old furniture as many use the profit made from the sale to support charitable organizations. The donation has value to the one giving the gift too because the retail value of the item at the time of the donation is tax deductible. Do not bring the item to the shop without asking first because these types of retail shops often have limited sale and storage space.

2. Donate to a furniture re-use network

Re-use groups are another option to help get rid of used furniture, but they operate differently than charity or thrift shops. Reuse networks accept the furnishings, make any repairs and updates and give the item to a third-party charitable group so it can go to a person in need. Networks work with reuse charities in various areas around the country, so the items can go where they are needed the most.

3. Give furniture directly to someone else who needs it

It is not always necessary to take furnishings to a shop to find someone that wants the item for their own use. Ask friends, family, and co-workers if they want the furniture for free. Advertise on social media sites or place a classified ad online for the free item. A clear photograph and willingness to deliver can often make the item much more desirable to people.

4. Upcycle old furniture

There are so many ways and so many things you can do to upcycle these furniture. You can check out sites like Pinterest for informative tutorials and how-to guides. If the furniture don’t fit in your home anymore, you can recycle the furniture and use them outdoors.

Consider powder coating metal outdoor furniture. Powder coated paint is used with metal furnishings and is typically sprayed onto the metal and cured under a heat source to strengthen the paint. Coating your furniture enables patio furnishings to withstand the UV rays of the sun and exposure to rain.

Powder coated finishes can be in any colour and can give new life to old furniture. The option enables people to freshen up their outdoor decor for themselves or to boost its resale value, without having to throw your old items away.

5. Sell furniture in good condition

Furniture that is still attractive and usable can be sold as well as donated. Advertise the sale with the same methods used to give away furnishings or add the pieces to a yard sale. Review other online offers or completed sales on auction sites to determine a fair price.

6. Try to trade in your old furniture

Not every furniture shop will accept trade-ins, but it is worth the effort to ask. Choose a replacement item from the showroom first. Ask the manager if they are willing to accept the unwanted furnishings for a credit towards the new purchase.

7. Give furniture to a local theatre group

Theatre groups have an ongoing need for furnishings for their stage sets. Most of these groups have a very small operational budget and will appreciate the donation. Theatre groups are a great option for outdated furniture that other people may find desirable. Many stage performances are set in different eras, so the groups need items from almost every decade.

The reuse of older items reduces the amount of trash hauled to landfills and avoids the need for wasted raw materials. The time and effort involved to find a new owner for used furniture are often minimal. As important as it is to know how to get rid of old furniture, it is also important to remember when to let it go too. Try to find a new home for furniture before a new model arrives to avoid the temptation to throw out the old items.

About the Author: Victoria Hill has been writing as a ghostwriter ever since she was in college. Her favorite topics are human development, business communication, modern and pop art, minimalism, and self-development.

What’s your system?

woman working at laptop
by Chris Atley

Here are a few calendaring & system tips to make your life and business run more smoothly :-)

1. Batch together all like tasks - i.e. if you’re getting dressed-up for a meeting, look at what other tasks you need to be dressed-up for and do them the same day, i.e. filming a video, hosting a webinar, etc.

2. Block out time chunks to work on your business and then focus on two to three strategies within that time frame until they’re seen to fruition i.e. a talk, workshop, Instagram lives, referrals, speaking, reach outs etc. You can keep an ongoing list of other ideas so that you don’t lose sight of them. This will take care of bright-red-shiny-object syndrome :-)

3. You can create other blocks of time for your business as well - look at the top 5 tasks you do, i.e. sales conversations, email, social media, follow-up, team meetings, etc.

4. Look at your top values, i.e. freedom, fun, financial security, family, etc. and make sure there is time for all of it on your calendar. This will help you to prioritize what is important to you, and say no to what isn’t guilt-free.

5. Schedule in time for self-care, success practices and anything that is important to you. It’s the only way it will happen. You can still stay flexible within that time frame and tune into what you’re heart is drawn too, but at least create the time and space in your calendar for it :-)

6. Create systems wherever you can in your business and life. For example, doing laundry on certain nights only unless there’s an emergency of course, having an email system in place to make checking email more efficient, and creating a follow-up system that ensures you stay on top of leads.

7. Make all of these time blocks recur monthly, i.e. every Tuesday from 9-11 am is business-building time, and mornings from 6-7 am are self-care time. Then schedule in time weekly to review and adjust your calendar. It’s important to stay flexible and shift things around depending on the week and what you have scheduled, i.e. you may have a new meeting or talk and need to shuffle some other things around to ensure they still get done.

8. You may also want to put in specific reminders right on your calendar for the date you need to follow up with someone to ensure you don’t miss it. This is where an empowered follow-up system is also important :-)

9. Above all else, choose a calendaring system that works for you. Some people love to keep it old school and use a handwritten calendar. I love using multiple Google calendars with fun colours for all areas of life – work (shared with my assistant), personal, kids, marketing, etc. We also just got a huge paper calendar for our family so that we can all actually SEE where everyone is or what we have going on at any given time. Colour coded to make it fun of course ;-)

Have fun getting organized and systematized!!

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

8 Benefits of OCR Technology for Your Business

woman working on laptop
by Yazi

Paperwork is a necessary evil that all businesses have to deal with. With every business day comes a series of hard files that need to be digitized –every line filled and ever character copied.

This can be time-consuming, tiring, not to mention, it makes for a dull work environment. But what if there was a way to simplify the data entry industry? Well, there is, thanks to the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.

What Does OCR Software Do?

This technology allows you to convert paper documents, including printed paper, PDF files, images, and contacts, into editable digital documents that can be searched electronically. The limitless benefits of OCR have made it an indispensable part of business operations.

Advantages of OCR

1. Easy Accessibility and Recovery of Data

Storing data can be quite challenging, especially for many files. Important folders can get misplaced or accidentally deleted. But, OCR has the ability to centralize and organize your storage space so you can access data with ease whenever you need it. Digital data is easily searchable, which ensures employees find specific documents faster without wasting time. If data is lost after a disaster, OCR enables fast data retrieval, allowing your business to resume work fast.

2. Cloud Storage

This technology allows for cloud storage rather than physical data storage. Many businesses are currently mobilizing their documents to the cloud as it allows employees to access company information from any smart device anywhere, anytime. This ensures easy coordination among employees, and it can be very beneficial to employees who are on the go. In addition, the cloud keeps files secure and encrypted so they can't be accessed by someone outside the business.

3. Saves Time and Money

Every business strives to optimize time and minimize costs. And, given that most businesses still work with tons of data in paper form, OCR can help reduce the amount of time and money spent on manual data entry. For instance, coders utilizes OCR technology to transform those codes into digital output that helps corporations and SMEs in data processing.

Processing paper documents can be time-consuming, not to mention the time it takes to locate, retrieve, scan, and re-file documents can be used on something more productive. When you eliminate the manual process, your business doesn't have to spend on printing, paper, ink, storage space, copying, filing, shipping, or even the costs of retrieving lost or misplaced data.

4. Efficiency in Management

Everything is automated with the OCR technology, which means managing data is much easier and effortless. Confidential documents can be sorted and stored effectively. When data management is done seamlessly, it boosts productivity and business growth.

5. Reduces Human Error

We all make mistakes, but with this technology, you can rest assured that incorrect data or any misprints will be detected and corrected proactively. Plus, you'll never have to deal with lost or misplaced data again.

6. Secure Storage

All business data must remain secure at all times. Any security breaches could undermine your business' reputation and result in lost investors and customers. Paper data can be misplaced, lost, stolen, or even destroyed by natural elements. On the other hand, digital data remains safe in the storage space. Sensitive information is password protected, limiting access to avoid mishandling. Backups can also be encrypted to prevent theft or misuse.

7. Customizable

Every business is different in its own way. Luckily, there are different types of OCR to choose from depending on your requirements. Other uses of OCR include personalizing and customizing documents, including fonts, layout, and formatting, to fit your business' needs. Additionally, this technology can read different numerical texts, images, and languages, and convert them without losing any data.

8. Save the Environment

Businesses have a social responsibility to maintain sustainability, not to mention eco-friendliness is valued by customers. Less paper use equals less environmental impact. Plus, digital documents can be emailed rather than faxed, which reduces carbon print.

Investing in this technology is a proactive way to respond to digital trends. Furthermore, OCR seems like the future of document storage. The earlier your business makes this transition, the more competitive advantage you'll get over your less progressive competitors.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women's lifestyle.

How to Get Bonded Despite Having Bad Credit

Eric Weisbrot photo
by Eric Weisbrot

Having a surety bond is a requirement in many states for several different types of professions. From licensed construction contractors and tradesmen to mortgage brokers and freight brokers, a surety bond helps protect customers against fraudulent or incomplete work.

Financial losses are covered under a surety bond, and the surety agency backing the bond pays the customer for a successful claim. However, the individual owner of the bond repays the claim amount over time. For this reason, having a solid track record of responsible financial management is a must.

Surety agencies want to feel confident that you pay your bills on time, and the best representation of this important information is your credit history and score. When you have a low credit score or a negative credit history, you may think getting a surety bond is out of your reach. The good news is that could not be further from the truth; however, you need to know what it takes to get bonded despite having bad credit. Here are proven tips to help you through the process.

Know Where You Stand

If you haven’t checked your credit in a while but you’re in need of a surety bond for your business, getting an updated credit report is the first step in the process. Many people bury their head in the sand when they have credit blunders on their report, but knowing is half the battle. You can check your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – once each year, for free. Getting these  details allows you to know where you stand so you can move forward in the bonding process effectively.

Work to Fix the Negatives

One of the reasons for gathering your credit reports is to uncover any negative items or errors that may be dragging your score down. Negatives may include missed payments on loans or credit cards, bankruptcies, civil judgments, or liens against you or your business. While these play a big part in a low credit score, you may not be able to expedite their removal. However, errors can also drag down your score, including incorrect account details. These can be fixed with a little know-how.

You can use the dispute process through each of the credit bureaus to have errors removed, or you can work with a professional to do so. Either way, getting inaccurate negative marks off your credit will help boost your financial profile before applying for a new bond.

Establish Good Financial Habits

If you have some time before you need to get your surety bond, working on improving your credit history and score is your next best move. This can be done by keeping your financial house in order. On the personal financial front, take care to pay your bills on time each month, and avoid using too much of your available credit when possible. From a business perspective, be sure to have accurate and organized records ready to present to your surety agency. These small steps can go a long way in helping you get a surety bond with bad credit.

Consider Financing

If you don’t have time on your side when it comes to your surety bond, consider your options for financing its purchase. Surety bonds are priced as a percentage of the total bond amount requested. For those with bad credit, this percentage is far higher than those who have a clean bill of financial health. Some surety agencies offer financing for a larger surety bond price. You can also look to outside financing sources, like a loan, line of credit, or credit card for temporary help. If financing is the strategy you take, be sure to read the fine print, taking a close look at the fees associated with stretching out your surety bond premium.

Work with the Right Surety Agency

Finally, working with the right surety agency is a key factor in securing an affordable bond for your business activities. Surety agencies that work with several different bonding partners offer the most flexibility for those who have bad credit. Additionally, the right surety agency will work to understand your circumstances and budget to help you find the best solution available. A good surety company also helps if a claim is made against your bond in the future, which can save you time and money.

Getting a surety bond with bad credit may seem like an impossible task, but you are not completely out of luck. Start by knowing where you stand with your financial history, and take the time to clean up your credit before applying for a new bond. Build up good financial habits when possible, but also consider your options for financing your bond premium if the cost is still too high. Always be sure to work with a surety agency that understands that bad credit happens to get the best bond possible.

About the Author: Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.
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