How to ask for a raise

Many people feel intimated by the task of asking for a raise, even though it is necessary to growing in your career. Even if you’re new to the workforce, it’s important to lean how to value your skills and get the raise you deserve. With extra income, you can pay off student loans, save for retirement, or splurge on a few luxuries. No matter your level of professional experience, there are a few tools that can help you ask for a raise.


You’ll first have to have a thorough understanding of what value you add to the company. Some things to assess are your daily responsibilities, goals you’ve met, and income you’ve generated. Any ways that you’ve contributed to the company both inside and out of your job description can help you make your case for your worth.


The next thing to consider is the timing of the pitch. It can be effective to time your request after a major accomplishment, the end of a quarter, or with the acceptance of new responsibilities. In addition, while you can ask for a raise within your first year, it’s best to do this only if your responsibilities or expectations have increased.


Finally, you should prepare. This involves doing market research to see what others are making in similar fields with your experience. In addition, you should gather your argument and practice your pitch. This also means that you should prepare for every possible outcome. While most people who ask for a raise are likely to get one, be prepared to accept a rejection graciously. Remember, you can always ask again!

To help you prepare to get the raise you deserve, check out this helpful infographic created by Self Lender:


Should You Join The Maker Movement?

Mass manufacturing still rules the economy. The reason products are cheap and that we have a high standard of living compared to the past is because somebody figured out that if you make something en masse, you can drive down the price of each unit to ridiculously cheap levels. What’s more, the process isn’t over yet, with electronics, clothing, and cosmetics all coming down in price year after year.


But there’s been something of a rebellion of late. People are getting a bit fed up with mass production, not because it’s inefficient, but because it lacks differentiation. Consumers would rather have something unique instead of cheap but the same as everybody else.


The result of this pressure has been the growth of the maker movement, a loose term to describe the myriad businesses trying to create bespoke products for a demanding customer base. Perhaps the most famous example so far is the craft beer movement, an industry which doubles in size every couple of years or so. But there are many other “makers” too, investing in Doosan lathes and workshop equipment to make their products come to life.

Who Is In The Maker Movement?

Millennials, unsurprisingly, dominate the maker movement. This is because they have an understanding of a big chunk of the production process already, thanks to their innate computer skills. A lot of the maker movement is based around new technologies, like CAD design and 3D printing, and demands a degree of programming knowledge too. If the name of the game is to customize products, then makers have to be able to use technologies that allow them to do so in whatever way their customers demand.


What’s more, the ability of those in the movement to learn has grown exponentially. Makers don’t have to rely solely on their experience; they can also learn about their trade on the internet. Dozens of website tutorials and videos exist with the sole purpose of helping new makers deliver great products. A lot of work is open-source too, including product designs, meaning that those new to the work can experiment using the designs of others to hone their skills before taking the plunge and investing in capital.


Big Companies Want A Slice Of The Action

The maker movement isn’t just a grassroots movement. In fact, some of the biggest industrial firms in the world, including GE, are looking for ways to get in on the action. GE wants to provide makers with “garages” or spaces they can use to develop new products.


Is there money to be made? Possibly. What we see right now is the effect of powerful computing technologies on the ability of people to create their own products. Whether startups will be able to take advantage of intellectual property laws to protect their inventions remains to be seen, but there’s a good chance that if they do, they’ll be snapped up by a larger firm. Don’t forget, Makerbot was bought out for an incredible $600 million, so there is potential to make a lot of money in the industry.


Easy To Come By Careers

I am going to try and make this sound like a breeze, because that’s the one thing that we don’t associate with our careers. Usually, all we can think about is the stress that they cause, and how many years we have left until retirement. We bet that gave you a bit of a fright didn’t it! To know that the majority of your life is going to be spent working is a scary thought to think. But, once you get your head around the prospect, you start to realise that you really do just want the easy life with your career, and that all starts with the ones that are easy to come by. In a world where people seem to be struggling with employment more than ever, we think this article will really help a lot of you. Here are some easy to come by careers, and how you can get your hands on one.





This is a bit of a unique one, isn’t it. If it’s so unique, you might be wondering how you could ever make a career out of it? Well, it’s easy. You either start your own company up, or you could easily find a trainee role to start in. If you were to go it on your own, you could set up your own mini farm to earn a living from. You would need things such as livestock, farming equipment, slimline water tanks and housing for the equipment and animal. It sounds like a lot doesn’t it, but in comparison to a lot of other business ideas, you would need a small startup loan here, and it would be easy to make your little farm profitable. Of course, you could go for the completely easy route and just go in as a trainee. You’ll still earn a nice amount of money, earn a trade in whatever part of agriculture you decide to go in to, and have fun whilst doing it!


Self Employed Work


Ooh, doesn’t going self employed just sound lovely!? You’re going to have the freedom to do pretty much whatever you would like to do, whenever you would like to do. We feel that this is the easy option in terms of getting the most enjoyment, and when trying to figure out what it is that you might want to do. For example, people can end up making a lot of money from photography, all that needs to be done is a big portfolio, finding what type of photography you’d like, and setting up social media pages. The same goes with anything else that you might want to set up for yourself, you just have to find something you enjoy, and sell yourself well!


Sports Based


A sports based career as a PT for example, is often the best way to go if you want an easy career. This is obviously going to work if you have a passion for exercise and sports. But people can do a short personal training course, as well as any other desirable courses, and then become a fully fledged PT. There are plenty of gyms that are taking on PTs to work within the gym, and then earn commission on each private PT session they have. It’s a win, win situation!

9 Things To Look For When Hunting For A New Job


Looking for a new job isn’t easy. Whether you’ve been made redundant or feel like it’s time to move on from your current position, finding a new job can take up a lot of your time and effort – especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.


Without knowing too much about a company when you are on the hunt for a new job, it’s hard to know whether or not they’re going to be the right fit for you. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of 9 things to look for when hunting for a new job.


From a bigger salary to employee benefits, these are the things you need to be sure your new job has:



  • Job Security



One of the most important things in any job is whether or not it has job security. Whilst you can’t predict everything, try doing your research beforehand to find out how secure our job is. Ask current employees – if you know any – search reviews on or do some research into the financial state of the company and industry.


If you get through to the interview stages, this is always something you can ask if you’re still uncertain. Whilst they can’t say the job is unsafe, you may be able to gage from their reaction.


  • Long-Term Career Prospects



If you’re looking to work your way up the career ladder it’s important to find out what your prospects are before you start a new job role. If there is no room for you to grow, it may not be the position for you.


If the job description doesn’t mention career progression, it’s worth getting in touch with the recruitment consultant or HR manager asking if this is something they can envision happening.  If the role doesn’t have any career progression, will you learn skills that will allow you to progress in another company when it’s time to move on?




  • A Bigger Salary



As much as we hate to admit it, salary is a big deal for most people when looking for a new job. Luckily, 90% of job adverts detail the salary before you even open them, so you can tell straight away whether or not a job is going to be for you.


If you find a job role that sounds perfect for you but the salary is not enough, it may be worth talking to the company who posted the job advert to see if there is room to increase it. It may be that there is a higher budget available for the right person and there is absolutely no harm in asking.



  • Lots of Employee Benefits



Whilst they’re not everything, employee benefits are important for job satisfaction. Whether it’s discounts at local retailers, team retreats or incentives for the highest earners – employee benefits can be the difference between choosing one job over the other. Usually, benefits are detailed in the job description to attract applications, so look out for them there. To see what employee benefits could be available to you, you can visit Vitaassure here.



  • A Great Team of Employees Around You



This is something you won’t necessarily be able to judge unless you have got through to the interview process, however, its an important factor to consider when job hunting. Being able to find a team that you work well with is difficult so if you do manage to find one, hold onto them.

The best teams are ones that have people who you get on well with, can bounce ideas off and don’t mind sharing a pint with at the end of the day. It makes the job much more enjoyable and you’ll work harder as a result.



  • Management You Can Work For



One of the most important things to look for when searching for a new role is management you think you’ll be able to work for. Managers that treat their employees well and know how to keep them happy at the same time as running an incredible team are hard to come by, but definitely something you should be factoring into your job search.


If you get a chance to interview for a position you’ve applied for it’s a great chance to see if the management team are what you’re expecting and if you think you will work well together. Ask them questions about their management styles and what a typical day in the role looks like.



  • Premises That Inspire You To Work



Gone are the days are boring offices with desks lining the walls, as companies are starting to put much more effort into making workplaces an inspiring place to work. If you get through to the interview stage it gives you a chance to scope out the building and whether or not its a place you can see yourself working day in and day out.



  • A Feeling Of Trust And Self-Worth



Although this is hard to tell from just the recruitment process, you will be able to get a slight idea of whether or not you will be trusted and respected within the new company. If you get a chance, speak to other employees that are there to find out their thoughts and if it comes to it, make a decision based on your gut feeling. Trust and self-worth are so important when it comes to job satisfaction, that they can’t be overlooked.



  • A Place That Will Challenge You



Although it’s easy, most people don’t want a job that doesn’t challenge them on a day to day basis. It’s boring, slow and you’ll begin to hate going to work each morning. Finding a job that will test you, challenge you and put you through your paces will make every day that little more enjoyable.


What do you look for when hunting for a new job? Do you look for great management, unique offices or a better salary? Let us know in the comments!

Financial Advice Successful Entrepreneurs Swear By

If there’s one thing you can bet all successful entrepreneurs have in common, it’s the fact that they know how to manage their money. Managing your money is absolutely key if you want long term business success, and here, we’re going to give you some financial advice that entrepreneurs swear by. Take a look!



Focus On Things That Drive The Most Revenue

If you want to generate the most income, you must focus on doing the things that drive the most revenue, especially in the beginning.


Develop A Financial Plan

Starting a business is easy. Making money is the hard part. Setting yourself appropriate timelines and financial goals can help you to stay stable and focused. Figure out how you can be a frugal business owner, and put all of your financial energy into your business.


Determine Your Value

You need to understand how your product or service brings value to people’s lives. Then you can determine if you have the right team behind you to build your business. These two things will help you to accurately determine your value and come up with the best pricing structure.


Grow At A Steady Pace

Start small, and stay that way for a while. You don’t need to go into huge amounts of debt to chase and reach your dreams. You can look at sites like so you can save money on things like equipment until you are large enough or in a position to purchase brand new pieces.


Look For A Mentor To Help You To Stay Focused

Having somebody mentor you who has already built their own successful business will be a huge help. You will be able to look at things more objectively, stay flexible, and avoid many pitfalls that entrepreneurs face.


Have Cash In Reserve

You won’t always have a consistent income as an entrepreneur. You might not even make money for weeks or months at a time. Having a cash reserve will help you to stay afloat and out of debt when you really need it.


Be Responsible For Your Personal Finance

Maintaining good credit is important when you apply for business financing. You’ll get a lower interest loan and have more chance of being approved in the first place.


Set Goals To Help You Get To Where You Want To Be

You need to stay focused when you have your business up and running, and you can do this by setting goals. Set goals for both the short and long term, and try to keep an objective view of your business so you are prepared for any changes you’ll have to make as you grow.


You will still likely make mistakes as a business owner – that’s fine, providing you learn from them and continue to grow. Managing your money is one of the most important things you’ll ever figure out how to do, so don’t wait. Use the ideas here and continue doing your own research so you’re well prepared. Good luck!


Insightful Reasons Why Your Business Isn’t Retaining The Best Staff

Your workers are the most valuable asset when it comes to your business. Yet, still, companies chose to cut investment in areas that could not only attract but also help to retain the best people for the job. Of course, this is something that can seriously affect your business chances of long-term success. Therefore it is worth reading my post below which can help you recruit and hold on to the best people.  


Your work environment is poor.


We often forget that the environment at work can have a massive effect on our lives. After all, it is the places we spend the majority of our day! What this means is that if your business environment or office is not up to scratch, it could be directly affecting the morale and the overall job satisfaction of your workers, and in some case be contributing to them leaving.


Luckily, there are some things that you can so about this. The first is pretty easy, and it’s to give your workplace a facelift. This means a coat of fresh paint on the walls, new furniture, and even a few plants if possible to make things more comfortable.


Of course, this is only a quick fix and to have a more lasting effect you do need to go into a little more detail. In particular, it can be useful to collect data on the MBTI of your workers with a quiz like the one at and then tailor the working environment to better suit their needs. This is because often introverts and extroverts thrive in very different types of spaces.




In fact, those that register further along the more introverted side of the spectrum will nearly always prefer to have a private space in which they can retreat when then need to focus or process something. Alternatively, extroverts may do much better in an open plan environment, or even in a floating capacity where they get to interact with many different people during the day. In fact, matching people’s personalities with their work environment in this way is something that can help people feel much happier at work, reduce their stress levels, and will ultimately assist you with improving employee retention.  


Your recruitment process is lacking.


Your business may not be keeping the best staff because your initial recruitment process may not be up to scratch. What this means is that it’s impossible to keep the best people for the job, if you’re not getting the pick of the crop to start with.



Happily, there are some tactics you can use to improve your initial recruitment process, without scaring the best people off. First of all, asking them to complete an application form like the examples at along with a detailed statement on why they want the job is a great idea, as this weeds out people that aren’t actually looking to work specifically for your business, and are just trying their luck at any place that will have them.


Secondly, including someone from upper management in the interview process is essential, as this will ensure that you can get a good skill and personality match for the role you are looking fill. To that end, it’s best not to allow agencies to take control of the process at this stage.


Lastly, to ensure you get the best people that will be well suited to your company and so have potential to stay for the long term you must give recruits the opportunity to ask questions, negotiate what they need as suggested at, and see the business as it really is. Otherwise, you are just wasting their time, and they are likely to be much less satisfied once they get into the role, and so are more likely to leave your business for another employer.


You don’t offer enough benefits.


No one works for the sheer joy of it, and all of us have bills and responsibility that need paying every month. Therefore while the salary should not be the only thing that an employee considers, it is still important concerning retention.




What this means is that you need to offer the best salary and benefits package that you can possibly afford, if you want to retain the best staff over the long term.  This may include paying over the industry standard, including paid sick days, and even offering medical and health insurance as a sweetener.



Also, don’t forget that smaller benefits like offering a discounted gym membership, something you can get some advice on arranging at, as well as company parties, and company cars can also make a massive difference to how your employees view their job.


There is no progression and training on offer.


A major mistake when it comes to creating the best staff is not providing enough opportunity for progression and training. After all, if the top salary and position can be reached within a few years, it’s only natural that workers will go somewhere that their potential is less impeded.


To remedy this it’s essential to implement a policy of internal promotion that allows not only the right people to move up into management and senior positions, but also that provide more room from progression at the bottom of the ladder.


Now, this can be something that is difficult because it may mean having to cut back on the board of directors, or those in very senior position to free up funds and space for those below.


Of course, in some cases, this just may not be possible, but all is not lost, because there are other ways to approach this problem. One method would be to offer career advancing training that is provided and accredited by an outside institution.


By subsidizing such training you not only demonstrate to your employees that they are appreciated, and offer them something of value, but also you can help to advance and improve your business with the techniques that they learn. Additionally, many companies that offer such training programs also have a clause that requires repayment of at least some of the cost if a worker chooses to leave before a certain period of time, something that can act as a further incentive to stay.



You don’t provide the rights tools for the job.


Imagine being a master carpenter, but only being given access to a single, unreliable chisel for every job that needs completing. It would be very frustrating, and over time it may even lead you to abandon this job and move on to another instead.


Well, this is precisely what will happen in your business if you don’t provide reliable tools and equipment for the tasks that need completing. Of course at the top of this list in our now largely digital world is having up to date devices along with a reliable internet connection.


The latter being something that site like can help you with. After all, you have little hope in keeping the best people, if they are continually being interrupted and hindered when trying to work.


You are not prioritizing staff wellbeing.


Lastly, as a society, we are finally waking up to the wisdom of prioritizing staff wellbeing, After all, if people are happy and healthy, they are much more likely to be productive and stay in the post for a longer time.


Of course, there are plenty of ways to promote staff wellbeing in the workplace including offering flexible work hours, health insurance, company wise counseling services and even mindful and yoga activities as part of the working day.


Yes, it may seem relatively small and unimportant to start the day with a few minutes of quiet focus on the breath, but the advantages as discussed at can actually be huge. In fact, they may just lead to a reduction in stress and an increase in job satisfaction that will ensure you get to retain the best people for the success of your company, over the long term.

It’s Time For Your Business To Get Online!


The business world is changing fast. There was a time when business was done either face to face or over the phone. You’d be in an office, and the information you need was physically in front of you. And if it wasn’t, you had to get up and find it. These days things could not be more different. Nowadays all those things happen in one, single place: online. If a business isn’t online, then it’s simply not going to succeed anymore. The internet is now the home of most businesses, and you should be taking as much advantage of that as possible. With that in mind here are some simple, easy ways to take your business online that you should be taking advantage of right now.


A website


This is probably the most obvious one. Your business needs a website. It’s a simple as that. Gone are the days when people would look you up in the phone book. Now, if customers or clients want to find you, they’ll look you up online. It’s crucial that you have a presence online that they can reach and get information from as easily as possible. Make sure that your website is straightforward and easy to navigate. Put the most important information about your business upfront and don’t clutter it with fancy graphics. Your website could well become the hub of your business, so it’s important that you make it work for your as smoothly and efficiently as possible.


Social media


The sheer number of different social media sites that are available can be a little intimidating but don’t worry. The chances are that you’re not going to need to use every single one of them. In fact, businesses that do try and do that often end up biting off far more than they can chew. The important thing is to dedicate time to a few particular social networks. Facebook and Twitter are still the frontrunners. Now, don’t treat social media as just another place to advertise your business. Customers want to create a real connection on social media. Use yours as an opportunity to talk to your customers directly. Create engaging content that they will want to seek out and pay attention to. That way you can create a sense of loyalty that you previously might never have been able to achieve.


The cloud


For many businesses, the cloud sounds like something out of science fiction but don’t be scared; it’s very simple. The cloud is simply a network of servers. The most common use of the cloud is for storage. Cloud storage might seem odd at first but can be an incredibly useful tool. Cloud storage allows you to store data and files securely in the cloud and access them whenever you need. This way, you and your staff can access any data that you need at any time without it taking up valuable hard drive space. There are plenty of different cloud storage services so make sure that you find the one that’s right for your business. Of course, if you have more specific or intense data management needs then working with companies like Gartner MDM can be a huge help. You might not want to outsource tasks to any other companies but it can be one of the most useful ways of building your business.


Of course, this isn’t all of the things that you need in order to create a successful online business. However, these things are the essential building blocks that you’ll need to get started.

New Business Venture: New Money


If you’re a budding entrepreneur who wants to start doing more and making a good income so that you are financially free and able to live the life that you want, then you certainly have a lot to think about. There are so many options out there in the world, that it’s important to do as much research and investigating as you can so that you can choose something that is suited to you, that you will not only thrive in given your skill set and ability, but that you’ll enjoy too. You see, it’s very easy to get over excited by the dollar signs and fall into something that you don’t know much about, or that you don’t get any pleasure out of. And while one would argue that as long as you’re making a brilliant income, it doesn’t matter – it will sooner or later take its toll, and you’ll begin resenting everything and everyone. Remember, if you are lucky enough to find a job that you love, then you will never work a day in your life.


Here are some various options out there to get you thinking.


Buying an accounting firm

If you’re looking into accounting, then know that there is always going to be risks within this kind of industry, more so than any other. So if you’re worried, then it’s a lot easier to go into buying a firm that has already been set up and is pretty much on its feet already, with its own batch of employees, licenses, and accounts within it. One great way to learn more, is to attend as many networking events as you can, as that way you can mingle with like-minded individuals while getting your foot in the door. You can find out more tips and advice with Accounting Practice Exchange, so indulge yourself and see whether it’s right for you.


Investing in a business

When thinking about investing, there are so many different types of businesses and organisations that you can invest in. The smarter idea is to find something that you already know a lot about – something you already have a passion for. Essentially whatever you opt for will be starting out, and looking for investors to put some of their own money in, in order to get off the ground and moving. If the business is unfortunate and doesn’t succeed like you thought and hoped, then you have sadly lost your money. But if it does well and becomes a success, you not only earn back the initial money you put in, but you make a regular income as you own a percentage of that business now, so any income they make – you get a cut out of.


Now that you have a couple of examples of the direction you could go, have a think about what it is you want to do. If nothing here tickles your fancy, then carry on looking until you see something that you think you will be good at and enjoy. Once you do, the journey starts there.

Are Home Businesses More Vulnerable Than We Believe


Home businesses are a great idea for a company. It eliminates any costs that you would otherwise have to spend on an office, it allows you to work from the place you love most, and it means that you can always feel comfortable when you are working. But, is this type of business more vulnerable than it would appear? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that your home business could be vulnerable.


Hackers Will Target Small Companies


If you are a small company, a hacker will assume that you are easier to target. For this reason, your business is going to be one of the first that a cyber attacker will look at. There isn’t much you can do about this, because this is just one of the issues that comes with being a small business. Your systems are likely not as protected as they could be so you might be able to do something about getting them up to a higher standard.


You need to be careful with this because the bank regulations on commercial accounts are nowhere near as strong as they are on personal accounts. So, if you do get hacked and they steal your money, your bank might not reimburse you these funds.


Home Businesses Don’t Invest In The Right Security  


There are lots of security options on the market today that every business can invest in, including software like BlueSnap salesforce integration. Using this technology, owners can easily verify individual transactions and protect their company from fraud. However, if you don’t invest in this type of security, you are leaving your business open to risks that could bring down your business.


Hackers know that small businesses like home run businesses don’t tend to have the best online security. This is one of the reasons that they target them, and as such, you need to make sure that your business has at least some level of good online security. There are many ways that you can do this, but one of the best would be to hire someone to keep your online data safe. While you may think this is going to cost you a lot of money, it will be worth it to keep your business protected, and it could save you losing a fortune down the line.


Physical Security Won’t Be Up To Scratch Either


If you work from home, you are likely not going to have any security protecting your home. Larger businesses invest in security so that they can keep their place of work safe from any and all threats. But, because you are working from your house, you might think that there is no need for this. Well, there is. As it is your place of work, you need to treat your home as your business office, and this means that you should consider hiring at least one person to act as your security. If someone breaks into your home for any reason, they are breaking into your business, and you could end up losing important client data.


We hope that you find this article helpful and know more about why your home business might be more vulnerable than it would first appear.


Selling For Success: The Skill Of Persuasion


Whether you realise it or not, we all work in sales. It doesn’t have to be direct selling with a customer, but meetings to pitch for funding, make new business contacts or even just share ideas, are all occasions where we’re hoping someone will buy into what we have to say. Many assume that successful selling is something that only extroverts will be good at, but in point of fact, that isn’t true. The fake camaraderie and back-slapping bonhomie of overly extroverted salespeople simply doesn’t reflect the reality of modern business. These days, people are extremely savvy to old-school selling techniques, and the most successful relationships are build on mutual trust and respect instead.


The Sales Techniques Of Introverts


There are actually many qualities a more self-contained personality can bring to the table when it comes to successfully selling an idea or product. The calm and composure someone with a self-controlled manner has is a powerful factor to inspire confidence, especially in fields that naturally need gravitas such a finance or law. Avoiding the impression of pushiness, desperation or excitability that too much external enthusiasm brings can be a huge plus in giving the right impression.


Building A Relationship


Success in business is all based around the meeting of needs for a client or customer, and in order for that to happen, those people need to be heard properly – again, something a more considered personality type can bring to the table. By picking up on these needs and carefully reflecting them back, introvert business leaders can build strong bonds. Plus, when you listen well, it’s often easier to pick up on things that are unsaid as well – the underlying motivators that may not be fully verbalised, but are crucial factors in serving their needs correctly. Selling anything is no longer about surface techniques such as listing features and benefits – people now expect a more genuine approach that sits more naturally with a quieter, more rational nature.


Adding More Value


Profit is the driver behind sales, so by improving your selling skills, you are aiming to maximise your profit. Having these skills should be an ongoing process for any business leader, and you should seek out good sales courses to improve and teach you new techniques. Adding profit is all about adding value for your customer and helping them to overcome any barriers. Use your listening skills to understand what the pain points of the other party are, and come up with clever strategies or solutions where your offer can help.


Delivering On Promises


If you are in it for the long term, one of the most important factors to increase your sales ability is simply to have the integrity to deliver on your promises. In the world of business, people talk, and with the reach of the Internet – networking sites like LinkedIn and social media – their voices are amplified. People pleasers who over-promise and under-deliver are in the danger zone. It’s important to manage expectations and cover off the small details, like calling when you say you will or following up with additional information. That builds belief to to work up to bigger deals and transactions – so your personal values can have a huge impact. And that’s not something you can fake.