Business

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s business tips and advice for momtrepreneurs. She shares valuable knowledge on topics like branding, marketing and consumer insight.

4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Accept Card Payments

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When you own a small business, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay you. You don’t have time for complicated billing systems. If you own a small business and don’t have the resources or desire to install an on-site POS system, then card payments are right up your alley. Card payments are convenient and secure, making them the perfect solution for small businesses. Even if you don’t feel like you have the time or cash to invest in new equipment, it might be worth your while to take a look at accepting card payments as a form of payment from customers. Let’s look at why this is so beneficial for your business…

Increased Credibility

Accepting card payments at your business increases the convenience of your customers, but it also gives your business a boost in credibility. While customers may not immediately realize what accepting card payments does for your business, they will see it as a sign that you are a legitimate business owner who knows what they’re doing. Plus, you’ll be able to accept payments from customers who prefer not to use cash, which can be a big selling point for some shoppers. When someone pays with a card, they are less likely to try to take the business to court over a bad transaction. There’s just less to fight over. If a customer uses a credit card and their transaction is disputed, they could lose between $50 and $200, depending on their card type.

Increased Sales

Studies show that customers who pay with debit or credit cards are more likely to purchase from you than those who pay with cash. This boils down to people being less likely to put extra money into your business. If a customer has $20 on them and wants to get something for $40, they might walk away because they don’t have the cash to put in your hands. With cards, this isn’t an issue. With card payments, customers are more likely to spend more. You can even see this with online shopping. Customers who pay with debit or credit cards are more likely to spend more than those who pay with cash. This can be a good thing if you want to sell more products or services. You’ll make more money from your customers with card payments, which can be great for your business.

Convenience

It is easier to have a card on you to pay for items than cash these days. In fact, with the rise of Apple Pay and Google Pay, more and more people are paying with their devices and don’t carry their cards or cash anymore. If you don’t have a card reader that can accept these payments, you are missing out. Customers like convenience, and taking different payment methods is more convenient for them.

Increased Competitiveness

If you want to remain competitive in the current climate, you need to be keeping up with the competition. With over 60% of small businesses closing within the first three years of business, not accepting card payments can put you at a severe disadvantage. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes… if two businesses offer the same thing at relatively similar prices, but one takes cards, and the other is a cash-only business, and you rarely have cash on you, where you are going to shop? Using this logic, you can easily see that your competitor has the upper hand, and this is where you will struggle to keep up.

Top Tips for Working More Efficiently at Home

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Whether you work remotely for a company, or you are running your own business from home, working more efficiently can make your day better and give you more time to focus on things that are important to you. One of the biggest factors that can slow down your work is your laptop or mac. When you first purchased your laptop, it probably ran fast and smoothly. Over time, its performance and speed will slow down. From slowly opening programs to not having enough space to download any files, it can become frustrating and impact your work.

Making some simple changes to your device will significantly improve your efficiency and the way you work. 

Here are some of the best ways to improve your laptop performance and efficiency. 

#1 Free up space 

Freeing up space on your device can be one of the most helpful things that you do. Even if you don’t need to download files on a regular basis, your device will still need empty space available on the device for virtual memory, to perform tasks and run programs. You must aim for completely clean MacBook storage. Start by removing any old programs and files that you don’t need, delete any temporary files and uninstall any unnecessary or unwanted software. 

#2 Check your device for malware 

Sometimes your device might not be running efficiently due to a virus, adware, spyware or another malicious software or program. This can take up a lot of space, and use a lot of resources on your device, as well as put your security at risk. You should regularly check your device for malware by running a virus or threat protection check in the settings, to ensure your device is running as best as it can. You should also download anti-virus and anti-malware on your device. These steps will keep your device running efficiently, and ensure you do not hit any costly or detrimental disruptions later down the line, that may stop you from being able to work altogether. 

#3 Service your laptop 

You should get regular service on your device, especially if you use it every day. You can do this yourself by watching YouTube tutorials by professionals. Alternatively, you can find a reputable company that can service your device for you. This service will increase the speed and performance of your laptop, by making sure everything is running properly. A service will focus on the hardware, rather than the software. When dust and debris build up on your device, it can impact its performance. All the parts of your device, including the circuit board and other components that sit inside, require cleaning at some point. If you choose to service your laptop yourself, make sure you are careful and put everything back properly. You should also try to avoid eating in your workspace to reduce the crumbs that fall into your device and keep your workspace clean. 

#4 Regularly reboot your device 

When you regularly lock your device or reboot it, you are providing it with the chance to improve its performance automatically. During this time, your device will fix any bugs, reduce memory leaks, and flush the RAM. If you don’t have anything of importance on your laptop, you may also consider the option of resetting your laptop. Over the years, you may have built up many files and programs that you don’t want or need. A reset is quick and will get rid of all the files, and set it back to the way it was when you first purchased it. 

#5 Increase the Random-access memory (RAM) 

RAM is the short term memory of your device. While you might not be downloading a file during your workday, the RAM is used to process all the tasks you are working on. Without RAM or a sufficient amount of RAM, your programs or any activity to try to do on your device, will not work. It works by reading files, temporarily storing them for you to use, and loading applications. Depending on what you do for work, will dictate how much RAM your device requires. For example, if you just use your laptop for basic activities, then 4GB of RAM should be sufficient. If you are running bigger and more demanding programs, for activities such as programming, graphic design, or gaming, then you will need 8GB of RAM or more. Review the tasks that you complete regularly, and consider if increasing the RAM will help your device run more efficiently. 

An efficient workday heavily relies on the performance of your laptop or mac. Follow these top tips to help you improve your working day. 

Why You Should Be A Business Mentor

When you started your business, there would have been challenges and issues that you had to face, and you probably faced them alone. Getting over those hurdles took time and could have cost you dearly if you hadn’t successfully navigated your way through. If you had had a mentor right at the start of your business, everything would have been a lot simpler to deal with. The challenges would still have been there, but you would have known which way to step to deal with them. 

Now that you are more established, is it time you became that mentor for a younger generation of entrepreneurs? There are many reasons why you should. 

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Strengthen Your Learning 

Over the years, you will have learned many important lessons. You know what to do and what not to do now, and that’s a hugely positive thing for your business. If you now choose to pass on that information to someone else, not only are you helping them to succeed as you have, but you will also be strengthening your own learning. That means that you will be even more able and confident to deal with anything that comes your way. 

Helping others is another way of helping yourself, and there is no better way to clarify ideas and think about challenges than by dealing with those someone else has to meet. 

Reinforce Your Customer Service Model 

If you have hit upon a great way to help your customers and offer exceptional customer service, you can teach this system to someone else, reinforcing your own model in their business. Why is this a good idea? It’s because customer service is of paramount importance when it comes to running a business; without good customer service, no matter what else you do, you will never reach the heights of business success that you would otherwise do. Therefore, if you can teach a new business owner just one thing, let it be that customer service is important and how to do it right. 

Learn New Things 

Although you may think of mentoring as teaching someone else everything you know about business, sometimes it can work the other way around; sometimes you can learn new things that will benefit you as an individual and your business. 

By talking ideas through with someone else, you will often see a different side to the idea, either positive or negative, that can have an impact on what you are doing, or how you are going to implement your new plans. You might find out more about the best live chat software for business that you hadn’t realized existed, but that would make a big difference in your business. Or you could start to look at artificial intelligence because your mentee likes the idea of using it. 

Leave A Legacy 

Being a mentor is about ensuring that someone else has as much success – if not more so – as you did in your business. It’s a way of leaving a lasting legacy, especially if your mentee then goes on to become a mentor themselves, passing on information to the next generation. This kind of business immortality is exciting and something that many people want. 

5 Ways to Make Filipino Rice Farmers More Competitive

Thanks to support from the Philippine government, NGOs, credit providers, and other key groups, Filipino rice farmers are more competitive than ever. With increasing access to credit, technical support, and rice farming equipment, Philippines’ local rice farmers have consistently achieved record-high rice outputs in the past few years. 

There is no question that, despite their dwindling numbers and increasing median age, Filipino rice farmers are now more productive than they have ever been. However, despite a record output exceeding 20 million metric tons of palay in 2021, the Philippines is likely to keep importing rice from Vietnam, Thailand, and India to meet local market demands. 

This is especially notable as the annual demand for rice is only at approximately 14 million metric tons of palay. What this means is that the domestically grown rice may not be meeting specific market needs for price and quality, which comes down to factors such as production scale and access to resources.

Fortunately, the recent performance of Filipino farmers shows that they have what it takes to not only secure our nation’s food security but also to be competitive in the domestic market. There is no reason to believe that the Philippines may not become a net exporter of rice as well. 

Below are some key solutions identified by the Department of Agriculture and other 

policymakers for improving the competitiveness of our rice farmers:

1.) Mechanization

Mechanization has long been identified as a crucial component of agricultural competitiveness. The use of machinery is key to reducing labor inputs and waste, thus achieving the kinds of efficiency typical of farms in industrialized rice-producing countries.

For decades, however, the country has faced extreme challenges in mechanizing farms. These range from the difficult terrain in many rice-growing areas, supply and logistics issues related to the acquisition and servicing of farm equipment, and the lack of credit mechanisms. Many farms could not also justify the upfront cost of machinery acquisition, as these often require a certain scale of operations to rationalize.

Recently, however, private businesses and government bodies such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute have developed affordable and localized rice farming equipment. Unlike previous generations of farm equipment, many of these new devices are designed to operate in the context of most Philippine rice farming operations, making them a more attractive investment.

2.) Sustainable Credit

Many rice farmers only receive incomes when they have a successful harvest. Most rice farming areas can only support 2-3 croppings a year, which can leave farmers in a precarious financial situation in between harvest periods. 

Even when their finances are fairly stable, rice farmers may find it difficult to increase the productivity of their farm if they are not able to secure credit to pay for inputs such as good quality seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor. Ultimately, the lack of ready, sustainable credit options may leave farmers unable to improve the efficiency of their operations, leading to a higher production cost per ton of palay. 

Thankfully, there are now many more good credit options for local rice farmers compared to previous generations. Both government and private financial institutions are stepping up their efforts to make workable financial options available to those that need them. This ensures that farms remain competitive and the farmers themselves are not trapped in a cycle of unpayable debt.

3.) Technical Support

Local rice production has improved significantly in large part thanks to the adoption of modern farming practices. The Department of Agriculture, PhilRice, and various agricultural colleges have collectively helped rice farmers implement sustainable production-boosting practices that work in the various contexts of local farms. 

However, there remains room for improvement. The highly mechanized farms of tomorrow will require that farmers are familiarized with different modern technologies, from crop-spraying drones and laser-guided land leveling tools to testing equipment and agricultural satellite imaging.

Even without these cutting-edge tools, modest investments in technical support still have the potential to improve competitiveness. Teaching farmers the proper use of fertilizers and pest management solutions, for instance, can have an immediate impact on the efficiency and productivity of many local rice farms.

4.) High-yield, Location-appropriate Rice Varieties 

Many of the recent gains in rice production is down to the adoption of high-yield rice varieties developed by PhilRice and other research centers. While the improvements in yields are encouraging, things could still be better.

For instance, Filipino farmers today often select rice varieties primarily on yield potential. However, this is not the only factor to consider, as the pest resistance and the marketability or “eating quality” of a rice variety can also determine the profitability and competitiveness of a crop. 

The sole focus on yield has sometimes led to higher than normal losses from pests as well as low farmgate prices. Thus, some farms that are already using high-yield varieties could stand to become more competitive by switching to a comparatively less bountiful variety that is more in demand and suffers far fewer losses to local pests.

5.) Buy Locally Produced Rice

For many Filipinos, rice is far more than just a carbohydrate. Rather, it is central to the many different cultures in the country. As such, the price and demand for rice are subject to political factors outside of its economic and nutritional value. This often leads to the creation of policies that heavily favor cheaper imports so that rice remains affordable for poorer Filipinos. 

Unfortunately, cheaper imports from countries with large competitive advantages can severely undercut disadvantaged local producers, often forcing them out of business.

The job of balancing the needs of less-advantaged Filipinos and farmers struggling to compete is not easy. However, the growing number of middle-class Filipinos and local businesses can make a real difference simply by choosing to buy locally produced rice.

By choosing to buy local rice, ordinary Filipinos can help farmers not just stay in business but also develop their capacity to efficiently produce better rice at a lower cost. This can help them bring profitable yet low-priced and high-quality rice to the market, hopefully reducing the demand for imports even further.

Filipino Farmers Are Up to the Challenge

The production successes of the past few years show that, despite the odds, Filipino farmers are up to the task of producing enough rice for our needs. Now the question is how willing other Filipinos are to support them and help them compete domestically. With mechanization, sustainable lines of credit, technical assistance, better rice varieties, and a better-educated market willing to buy according to their values, anything’s possible.

What You Should Know if You’re in the Middle of a Lawsuit

I have a friend who’s in a middle of a lawsuit right now and it got me wondering about people who are in this situation. I’ve always been a fan of courtroom dramas so I wanted to know more about this. I gathered some information fo people who are in a middle of a lawsuit.

It’s not always easy to find out that you’re in the middle of a lawsuit. You might be looking for information on how to deal with it or trying to figure out what you should do next. This blog post is designed to help people like you who are in the middle of a lawsuit and need some guidance on what they should know.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

#1 Keep all the relevant documentation safe

You need to keep all of the paperwork related to your lawsuit together, so it’s easy for you or someone else to find later on if necessary. This is especially important during a lawsuit because having everything documented will make things easier for your lawyer, and they can use that information as evidence in court.

Keep this documentation organized from the beginning, even if you’re not going through a lawsuit right now. Suppose anything happens at any point down the road where you need proof of something. In that case, it could be helpful to have a record saved somewhere safe, like an encrypted file stored online, or simply kept with other relevant documents in one place (like a filing cabinet). It might also help to take photos of important documents if you can.

#2 Don’t say anything that might be harmful to your case

You should limit the amount of information you share about your lawsuit in public, especially on social media. You never know what someone might do with that information or who they will tell it to. The last thing you want is for someone else to sabotage your case by sharing something important before you’re ready for them, too, because then there’s nothing you can do to fix it. 

And even if no one does anything malicious, sometimes people just don’t think things through and may say something without meaning harm which could also be damaging, so try not to let this happen either way, even if all of this seems like overkill, at least keep conversations relevant only towards the topic of your specific lawsuit off social media so other non-involved parties won’t get confused or have to keep up with too many details.

#3 Get a good lawyer and listen to their advice

It’s important to keep in mind that you need quality representation for car accident cases and someone who knows what they’re doing and is trained for this specific reason. If you end up getting a bad one, then it might not be their fault because there are plenty of lawyers out there who may have experience but don’t know how to win the case or do anything beneficial with that information. 

Make sure your lawyer has good reviews from other people so you can trust them, otherwise find someone else if necessary until you feel confident enough about their skillset. And always listen to what your lawyer says. Even though it seems like common sense, sometimes the best thing for your case is something simple that most people wouldn’t think of themselves without being told specifically what needs to happen next.

#4 Don’t hide anything from your lawyer

Your lawyer needs to know everything so they can be the most effective, which means you shouldn’t keep anything a secret. They will find out anyway, and it could damage your relationship with them if you hold back information that might have been helpful for their case just because you didn’t want to share something personal or embarrassing. 

If there’s not much time, then at least tell them all of the important details about what happened before meeting with them in person, so they don’t waste any time asking questions when they already know most of what went on (and this is true even during mediation).