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27 Money-Saving Tips From Successful Small Businesses
March 26, 2015
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In this article by Annie Mueler, she shares her collection of 27 money-saving tips obtained from real small businesses that continue to succeed in a tough economy.

480351583 Money SavReal people, real businesses and real ideas to help you cut costs, lower your overhead, and still reach your target market and build your business.

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// Categories: Career Advice,Making A Difference,Saving & Budgeting,Self Employment,Starting a Business
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Making a Difference Family Scholarship for High School Seniors!
March 20, 2015
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154271153Know any high school seniors planning to attend college or community college next year? Then please spread the word about NEFCU’s Making a Difference Family Scholarship! NEFCU will provide twelve $1,000 vouchers to any graduating senior who is either a member, or has a parent or guardian who is a member, of NEFCU.

Winners will be selected by NEFCU’s scholarship committee approximately 6-8 weeks following the submission deadline.

Deadline to apply is April 30, 2015. So please spread the word and see details here.

 

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// Categories: Making A Difference,Off Topic,Scholarships & Event Information
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4 Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back
March 12, 2015
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In 2015, it will no longer be enough to differentiate a single company from the competition by creating quality products and delivering exceptional services alone.

86806746Instead, companies will need to consider the true value of their customer relationships and provide meaningful value in return. Here are four strategies for businesses written by Andrew Reid, to be sure customers keep coming back.

 

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// Categories: Career Advice,Self Employment,Starting a Business
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Why Some People Get Promoted (And Others Don’t)
February 26, 2015
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“Research confirms that there’s a real disconnect between your performance and your job outcome.”

stk128227rkeThis interesting article by Janet Choi explores ways in which you can help to ensure your success in moving forward to that next step.

For example, do you assume that those you work with, including your boss, have a good understanding of what you’re achieving with your time? Keep in mind that unless you are proactive about reporting your accomplishments, there’s a good chance that you may go unrecognized. Even those who care about you and are proactive in your development can be sidetracked by their own workload – which is why it is helpful to make relevant information prominently visible to them.

Read on to learn more.

 

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The 12 Psychological Tips You Can Use to Boost Productivity
February 12, 2015
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By Sean Mize

188116692 ProductivityDo you want to increase your productivity in such a way that you get more done in less time and get more done with less work?

So often, when we think about productivity, we think about time management tricks, ways to work faster, and how to get motivated. It’s all about more, more, and more. Which works in the short run. Those temporal things help us work faster and get more done in the short run.

But in the long run, we can burn out. We do too much, too fast, and our bodies can’t keep up. Or our minds get overworked and that can take 6 months to 2 years or more to reverse.

So what if we were to use another route to get the same – or better – productivity, rather than using these tricks and faster, faster, faster techniques?

I believe the answer lies in our underlying core motivation, our internal desire and drive, and the real-world implementation of the most important things. And one way to achieve these internal states of mind that lead to real productivity without the drawbacks of working faster is to influence our own psychological state.

So today I’ll share with you 12 psychological tricks that can help you influence your own psychological state in such a way that you reframe your mindset to create a mental environment that safely results in increased productivity.

Read on to learn more.

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4 Habits of Well-Known People Who Followed Their Dreams
January 29, 2015
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178182379 DreamsThis article by Stephanie Vozza includes inspirational words from the following well-known people who followed their childhood dreams and developed helpful habits to keep them going along the way:
-  Stephen King
-  Steven Spielberg
-  Tony Hawk
-  Amy Tan

Read on to learn how they became so successful.

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Answering Behavioral Questions in a Job Interview
January 22, 2015
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451846939 Job InterviewIn this article by Joe Konop, he discusses using a very helpful interview technique know as STAR.

STAR is an acronym that stands for:
Situation
Task
Action
Result

Used correctly and STAR can help you answer a potentially complex behavioral question in an organized and complete manner.

Read on to learn more.

 

 

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4 Strategies for Filing for FAFSA
January 15, 2015
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86810455With the start of the New Year, every college student knows it is FAFSA time (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Whether you’re entering college in the fall, or entering your sophomore, junior or senior year, the goal is to minimize the costs of school. With the help of these 4 strategies, you can receive the most from FAFSA.

1. File Early.  The closer your file to January 1st, the more financial aid you’ll receive. All schools and grant programs have financial aid deadlines as well as an established budget to distribute per year. Therefore, students who file early are more generously rewarded than those filing towards the deadline. According to Mark Kantroqitz, publisher for Edvisors.com, “Families that submit their forms before March receive an average of double the grants than people who file later do.” If you or your parents haven’t received a tax return yet, you can fill out a 1040 Form, which will estimate your family’s income for the past year.

2. Fill Out the Form Completely.   This sounds like common sense, but it happens often. Many students submit incomplete  FAFSA applications, which in turn delays processing. One minor error can cost you hundreds or thousands. Before submitting your application, make sure you’ve filled out all fields with the correct information.

3. Disappointed in Your Aid Package?  Make an Appeal.  You have an opportunity to negotiate for better aid – even after your college sends you a financial aid package. If your family is dealing with substantial changes and your financial circumstances have changed, call or visit the financial aid office. When my house was damaged by Sandy, I visited the financial aid office to explain my circumstances. As a result, I was awarded a $500 scholarship. The key is to be polite and grateful for the money you’ve been awarded, but also explain your situation honestly. Providing proof of your situation, such as documentation of unemployment, medical bills or a layoff notice from your parent’s employer, will help significantly.

4.  Be Honest, Always When it comes to filling out FAFSA, always be honest.  College is expensive and every student wants the best financial aid package, but through employing these tips, you can receive the best aid possible. Falsifying income or assets on FAFSA can result in up to a $20,000 fine and potential prison time.

Created by: Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

 

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Five Saving Tips for Savers Under 30
January 8, 2015
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178098337[1]What if the actions you took in your twenties could make saving for retirement easier for the rest of your life? Well – believe it or not – they can! Especially when you consider that life doesn’t get any less expensive as you get older.

When deciding how much attention to give your retirement at an early age, here are five important considerations.

1. Take responsibility now for how your retirment will be funded. Common sources of income for retired people include personal savings, Social Security benefits, part-time or continued employment, and a work pension, although this is less frequently offered by employers. What among these sources of income do you think you’ll be able to count on in your retirement to provide for your basic needs, your lifestyle and perhaps family?

It comes down to this: Funding your retirement is your responsibility. It will be important to plan for it, so that when it does happen, you’re not sorry you didn’t save more. In the University of Michigan’s 2012 Income and Wealth Study, 75% of retirees surveyed reported that they would save more if they could do it over.

2. Start early. Getting started early in your working years is a great way to make sure you’re not in financial trouble in retirement. Even if you don’t have large sums of money to invest, by starting now, you’ll reap the benefits of compounding interest over the years. Your balance will grow as you earn income and make contributions with each paycheck throughout your career. It’s also nice to get started early before increasing financial obligations - including mortgages and family expenses like saving for college – make prioritizing retirement even harder.

3. Invest enough. Don’t just go with the minimum. Use planning tools to know how much to put away today to reach your goals.

If your plan offers a matching contribution, consider deferring the fullest amount possible from your paychecks to maximize the match. Or even better, set your deferral percentage to 10 percent or higher, in addition to the employer match. The amount you defer into your plan is the top factor you can control in your retirement plan.

4. Invest well. Ideally your plan’s resources can help you determine how to invest your money, in addition to determining how much to contribute to your retirement account. Many people choose target date funds, which are low-cost options providing an investment allocation based on your projected years to retirement. This means that your investment mix will automatically become more conservative as you approach retirement and have less time to recover from market ups and downs. If you don’t choose a target date fund, make sure that the investments you choose in your plan are diversified among stocks, bonds, cash equivalents, as well as among asset classes.

Once you select your strategy, stick with it over time. During market ups and downs, avoid letting your emotions lead to decisions to move funds that you might be sorrry about later.

5. Don’t be ruled by debt. Do your best to not over-extend yourself in terms of debts. Auto loans and home mortgages are necessary for most people. Shop wisely for loan products and be careful to not obligate too much of your monthly income, which could put your budget in jeopardy. Minimize credit card debt so that it doesn’t build up and become difficult to manage. Budgeting and tracking your expenses is also helpful.

At this time and throughout your life, take advantage of the resources available to you.

 

 

 

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4 Tips to Starting a Business in College
December 18, 2014
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179240002

What do Google, Pizza Hut, FedEx, and Facebook have in common? They were all launched by college students! That’s right! If they could do it, so can you. Here are 4 key tips to bringing your business idea to fruition while in college.

Create a Business Plan. Seems self-explanatory, but many entrepreneurial spirits forget this key tip! Without a clear roadmap, where exactly are you heading? Once you get the idea for your business, begin writing down the details. The more you flush out your ideas, the clearer your vision will become. Once you clearly define your business idea, work to determine your short- and long-term goals, marketing strategies, financial necessities and target audience.
 
Know Your Target Audience. Who is your target audience? Where are they located? What is their age range and gender? Income level? Relationship status? Identify your market. If you’re looking to sell bubble-gum scented lip gloss incased in a Cinderella shaped bottle, it’s safe to say your target audience is young girls between the ages of 9 and 12 years old, not single men between the ages of 25 and 30. Determining your market means being able to effectively market your business. 

Utilize Your Network. Starting a business while in college gives you instant access to the knowledge base of the entire university – use it! Build connections with faculty members who can offer you great advice and perspective when it comes to your business. Alexis Ohanian, creator of Reddit.com, decided to team up with a fellow student to launch what has become one of the leading social news websites at the moment. If there’s someone in your network who shares the same vision as you, it’s okay to consider building the empire together.
 
Time Management is Key. The thing that will sustain you over time is this – your time management skills. Do you know how many people have said they had the idea for Starbucks way before it was created? What separates those people from Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl is this – they had the idea, but Starbucks’ founders brought the idea to life! It’s going to take hard-work, commitment and time management to make your business idea a success. Remain steadfast and focused on your mission and you will become the next business mogul.

Created by Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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