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The Easy Way to Amplify Your Brand

Let’s face it, the thought of posting on yet another social media platform is overwhelming, right? Insta-what? Tik-too much work? Face-endless scroll? We get it. But there is one platform that many real estate agents overlook to their detriment: LinkedIn. Before you brush it off, here are some benefits of using LinkedIn. Designed for business… The post The Easy Way to Amplify Your Brand appeared first on RISMedia. Let’s face it, the thought of posting on yet another social media platform is overwhelming, right? Insta-what? Tik-too much work? Face-endless scroll? We get it. But there is one platform that many real estate agents overlook to their detriment: LinkedIn. Before you brush it off, here are some benefits of using LinkedIn. Designed for business LinkedIn, unlike all other platforms, was designed for business. In translation, you won’t be penalized for connecting with people that could be potential clients, nor will those potential clients find your content on business-related matters tiring. So, go ahead, post about your open houses, post about your client’s closings, and post videos where you are educating your community about significant trends in your area or the industry. Less competition. Less noise. More visibility. According to LinkedIn, only 1 – 2% of its users post content. This means that LinkedIn is a content-poor platform, which allows you to stand out from the crowd with your posts, videos, and overall content. In translation, this means that, on average, 98 – 99% of the users in your network are consuming content on LinkedIn rather than creating it. How many of the people in your network could be potential customers? So, go ahead, share away and take advantage of the less-crowded nature of content on LinkedIn. Read the room Unlike other platforms, you can hone your search for connections on LinkedIn. You can target connections by their profession, geography, employer, job title, etc. This extreme targeting based on professional factors rather than just personal factors gives you a chance to speak to your audience rather than just throw content out there and hope something sticks. You can create content based on your local market, offer advice to your network based on things going on in your area, and build your overall know, like, and trust factor with your audience as THE market expert. Knowing what to post So you are ready to get started on LinkedIn, but you sit down to write out a post and crickets. We’ve all been there. Sometimes we just don’t know WHAT to say. If you are unsure of what to post or need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, check out our free guide to 60 social media prompts. Don’t post and ghost. When you post on any platform, but especially on LinkedIn, make sure to leave yourself a few moments to comment on the posts of others, like another person’s post, and reply to comments on your posts. This sounds like it would take a lot of time, right? It doesn’t. Just leave 3 – 4 minutes while drinking your coffee in the morning to do this, and you will soon reap the rewards. Read our creative content guide here. The post The Easy Way to Amplify Your Brand appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMay 20th, 2022

2 Surging Stocks to Buy to Fight Market Volatility

Here are a couple strong, dividend-paying stocks to consider buying amid the current economic uncertainty and market volatility. Stocks ripped off a solid stretch over the last week that helped many investors breathe a sigh of relief amid the triple threat of higher interest rates, rising energy prices, and geopolitical chaos. The Nasdaq is up about 10% from its March 14 lows, even with Wednesday’s 1.3% drop.Wall Street appeared to cheer the fact that the first rate hike came in at 25 basis points and not 50 bps. Perhaps most importantly, investors are pleased that Powell and the Fed provided a roadmap for the remainder of 2022 as the U.S. ends its easy-money policies and attempts to clamp down on 40-year high inflation.The current outlook for interest rate hikes could easily change if inflation doesn’t start to slowly come down. Plus, higher rates are historically bad for stocks. The continued Russian attacks in Ukraine only amplify the nerves and uncertainty. The fighting and sanctions have also sent global energy and oil prices, which were already surging well before the invasion, even higher.The backdrop may continue to keep many investors on the sidelines, especially after the tumultuous start to 2022. But hoarding cash amid 7%+ inflation is also somewhat risky. Even though the 10-year U.S. Treasury is near three-year highs that only puts them at 2.3%.Therefore, we could see many on Wall Street continue chasing returns in stocks for the foreseeable future, even if the big tech trade of the last decade goes a bit dormant for the time being as investors look to energy and other recently booming areas.Here are a couple strong, dividend-paying stocks to consider buying amid the current economic uncertainty and market volatility.Public Storage PSAPublic Storage is a REIT that primarily acquires, develops, owns and operates self-storage facilities. PSA’s portfolio included nearly 2,800 self-storage facilities in roughly 40 states at the end of 2021. Public Storage has been gaining momentum for years as Americans continue to buy more things, from furniture to clothing, electronics, and beyond.Tons of this stuff is poised to end up in Public Storage units and other self-storage facilities that are full of what function like giant walk-in lockers or garages. People all over the country from all walks of life pay to rent units, often on a monthly or yearly basis. No matter whether you live in a big city to a rural area, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot a self-storage facility.Public Storage and other players have benefited from the covid economy and the housing boom. Businesses use these facilities as well, and some people even use them to store cars and other large items. Public Storage is also focused on bolstering its digital offerings where people can currently sign up, manage their accounts, and open gates and doors all from PSA’s mobile app.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchPublic Storage had grown its revenue a steady clip for the past decade before it posted blowout FY21 results in late February that saw it top our Q4 FFO estimates and issue upbeat guidance. PSA’s revenue climbed 17% to help lift its FFO (which are essentially earnings for REITs) by 22%.Zacks estimates call for Public Storage’s revenue to climb 15% in 2022 to reach $3.9 billion and lift its adjusted FFO by 17%. The company’s improved bottom-line outlook for FY22 and FY23 helps it land a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) right now. The post-fourth quarter release revisions are part of a much longer trend of strong upward FFO revisions over the last several years.PSA shares have surged 50% in the past year to blow away the S&P 500’s 15% and its industry’s 7%. The stock has also managed to move roughly sideways in 2022, even as the market drops. This is part of a 170% climb over the last 10 years that’s helped Public Storage crush its industry and the broader Zacks Financial sector that it's a part of.Public Storage stock trades a few percentage points below the records it hit earlier this month. Despite its run and current levels, PSA trades at a 16% discount to its year-long highs at 23.7X forward 12-month earnings and slightly below its median. The stock is also trading just above its 10-year median despite its 170% climb.Wall Street is also rather high on PSA, with eight of the 13 brokerage recommendations Zacks has at strong buys. And its 2.17% dividend yield is not too far below the 10-year U.S. Treasury and blows away the S&P 500’s average. It is also worth stressing just how much stuff the average person or family has and how unlikely many are to ever get rid of it.AbbVie ABBV AbbVie and its stock price are thriving even as patent protections run out for one of the world’s best-selling drugs, Humira. Biosimilars are currently available outside of the U.S. Thankfully, AbbVie prepared to move forward, in part, through its $63 billion Allergan acquisition that it completed in 2020.AbbVie’s deal brought Botox and other popular drugs into a diversified portfolio that features immunology, oncology, neuroscience, a strong R&D pipeline, and beyond. ABBV’s FY20 revenue surged 38%, fueled by its Allergan deal. Most recently, the pharmaceutical giant topped our Q4 estimates in early February and its fiscal 2021 revenue surged another 23%, even though international Humira revenue dropped nearly 10%.The strong top-line growth helped ABBV’s adjusted earnings climb 20%. Zacks estimates call for its FY22 EPS to jump another 11% on 7% higher sales that would see it pull in just over $60 billion. AbbVie, which lands a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at the moment, has seen its FY22 and FY23 consensus earnings estimates pop since its release.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchAbbVie has consistently topped our quarterly EPS estimates and it lands “B” grades across the board for Value, Growth, and Momentum in our Style Scores system.  Plus, Wall Street is high on the stock, with nine of the 13 brokerage recommendations Zacks has at “Strong Buys,” with nothing below a “Hold.”AbbVie also offers investors a solid dividend payment that it’s continually raised, with the payout up 250% since the inception in 2013. ABBV’s current 3.5% yield crushes its industry’s 2.5% average and the 30-year U.S. Treasury’s 2.60%.AbbVie’s yield isn’t boosted by a falling stock price. The stock has surged 141% in the last five years to blow away the Large-Cap Pharma’s 65% and the S&P 500’s 100%. This includes a stellar 54% run in the past 12 months and a 17% climb in 2022, as investors rotate out of technology into more stable, dividend-paying names. In fact, ABBV touched new records Wednesday of over $161 per share.Despite the run, AbbVie trades at 11.7X forward 12-month earnings at the moment. This marks a nearly 20% discount vs. the Large Cap Pharma’s 14.2X and 40% compared to the benchmark. Plus, AbbVie trades 35% beneath its own highs over this stretch and not too far above its median. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2022? Last year's 2021 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +147.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buysAccess Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 today >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Public Storage (PSA): Free Stock Analysis Report AbbVie Inc. (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMar 24th, 2022

25 HR leaders building the world"s most innovative, inclusive workplaces amid upheaval in corporate America

Meet the human-resources managers helping employees learn critical job skills, develop into effective leaders, and advance quickly in their careers. Kazi Awal/InsiderInsider compiled its third annual "HR Innovators" list of 25 prominent figures. Some of this year's most innovative HR leaders (shown above, starting from the left) are Sara Cooper, Karsten Vagner, Shirley J. Knowles, and Elaine Mak.Rachel Mendelson/Insider The "Great Resignation" and the transition to hybrid work have put tremendous pressure on HR. Insider put out an open call for talent heads who are leading successfully during the pandemic. Our list spans industries and includes human-resources leaders from Cisco, Maven, and Wiley. Insider recently undertook a search for human-resources leaders executing the most creative and ambitious plans for their companies.For a third year in a row, we asked our readers to tell us about HR stars. Then, we picked 25 who really impressed us. We looked for execs who bettered their companies through new policies regarding worker safety and wellness amid the pandemic, the "Great Resignation," and louder calls for diversity and inclusion. These talent professionals work across industries and at organizations of all sizes, including Cisco, Meta, and Wiley.Women hold most HR positions, and our list reflects that, with Insider featuring only a handful of people who are men or nonbinary. This was unintentional but not surprising.With workplace dynamics in flux, these executives are shaping the future of corporate America. They're building long-term policies around flexible work, finding new ways to attract talent, and addressing inequities that leave certain demographics at a disadvantage.Their accomplishments include promoting 30% of the workforce in one year, building early-career programs for underrepresented talent, and helping employees find programs to meet their educational goals. Cassie Whitlock, BambooHR's director of HR, said, "The pandemic elevated core 'human' needs that have always existed in business but were, for some, easy to ignore."In no particular order, here are the top 25 innovators in HR and their exclusive insights on reimagining work. These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.Shirley J. Knowles, chief inclusion and diversity officer at Progress SoftwareShirley J. Knowles.Courtesy of Shirley J KnowlesCompany: Progress is a software company that offers custom software for creating and deploying business applications.Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Authenticity is an important core value. In conversations about diversity and inclusion, I use real-world scenarios — including my own experiences — to illustrate why this work is essential. I don't use buzzwords that many people are unclear of. I talk about things in a way that anyone can understand.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I have taken a particular interest in the well-being of our employees, specifically their mental and emotional health. We offer fitness classes, meditation sessions, and mental-health training led by a Harvard professor who is also a licensed mental-health counselor.By offering exercises that focus on burnout, avoiding isolation, and finding meaning in work and one's personal life, I am helping employees find balance while trying to navigate through the ongoing pandemic.Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy, and purpose officer at CiscoFrancine Katsoudas.Courtesy of Francine KatsoudasCompany: Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecom equipment, and other IT services and products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: In early 2020, right before the pandemic, we established our Social Justice Beliefs and Actions at Cisco outlining our ambitious goals for addressing injustice and establishing a framework to hold the company accountable to its commitments.Although we didn't know it at the time, this blueprint would guide our approach to social-justice issues that arose over the course of the pandemic. While these beliefs and actions were first focused on supporting the Black community, they have become an invaluable working guide to how we as a company respond to injustice and address inequities overall.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: Every quarter, we conduct "engagement pulses" to check in with employees about top-of-mind issues and concerns. We've found that employees who aren't invited to participate in an engagement-pulse meeting are 21 times as likely to leave Cisco than their invited counterparts.We've also done more work to understand people's career trajectories within Cisco, examining the velocity of promotions for groups and individuals. As a result, we're proud to have promoted 30% of our workforce over the past 12 months.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: I'm reading "Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned from Trauma and Triumph'' by Chad Sanders, who is powerful and inspiring. It was recommended to me by a leader here at Cisco. He said that it reminded him of his experience in corporate America. So by reading it, I have gotten to feel more proximate to his experience and journey, and that has been a wonderful gift.McKensie Mack, CEO at MMGMcKensie Mack.Courtesy of McKensie MackCompany: McKensie Mack Group is a research- and change-management firm that centers on racial and social justice.What initiatives they have taken to address the Great Resignation: Last year, in collaboration with Project Include, we published research on the impact of COVID-19 on remote workers. We developed and shared resources and guiding principles for leaders looking for support and education in reframing how they think about work, benefits, and productivity. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: My training and education as a transformative justice facilitator help me bring a restorative framework to the ways I work with people, de-escalate when situations get tense or uncomfortable, and seek noncarceral and nonpunitive approaches to working with people who make mistakes or cause harm.My knowledge of power, privilege, and positionality has been valuable in HR.Cassie Whitlock, director of HR at BambooHRCassie Whitlock.Courtesy of Cassie WhitlockCompany: BambooHR provides HR software for businesses. Skills they've used to be successful in HR: Understanding data and analysis has been essential in elevating my impact across the organization. Using data has helped me identify and solve complex challenges around screening and hiring, role progression, designing department structures, employee engagement, and retention. Data is the language of business, and it's critical in HR. How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Diversity starts with hiring practices. We had already implemented essential diversity, equity, and inclusion hiring practices like gender decoding on our job ads, diversity representation in the screening process, scorecards for consistent and equitable screening criteria, and antibias training for all hiring managers and interviewers. We also looked at internal diversity to understand how to best support employees. We adapted some roles to help working parents juggle remote work and homeschooling. We offered paid time off for employees who contracted COVID-19 or had to provide care for a family member with the virus. It was also essential to create income stability for employees with personal or family health risk factors.Sara Cooper, chief people officer at JobberSara Cooper.Courtesy of Sara CooperCompany: Jobber provides job tracking and customer-management software for home-service businesses.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: The pandemic required HR leaders to be very quick on their feet, to make fast decisions often with little information and in an environment changing by the day. There was no pandemic playbook.The most successful companies did this by creating plans that took into account the evolving information almost daily and listening to their employees and customers. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: We realized early in the pandemic that performance during this time had to be approached in a very different way.For example, we implemented "wellness Fridays" in the summers of 2020 and 2021, which provided employees with Fridays off to focus on self-care. In addition, we offered various programs for folks who needed to reduce their hours or take job-protected leaves to focus on themselves or their families. When we eventually reopen our offices, we will be moving to a hybrid structure.I realized early on that there's no single solution for every company but that the key to creating a thriving hybrid environment requires the input of the company's most important stakeholders: its employees.Danielle McMahan, chief people and business-operations officer at WileyDanielle McMahan.WileyCompany: Wiley is a global leader in scientific research and career-connected education.Initiatives they've taken to address the effects of the Great Resignation: We offer employees over 1,000 flexible and affordable degree and nondegree programs, including bachelor's and master's programs. As a global leader in research and education, we practice what we preach to unlock potential and support lifelong learning.How the events of the pandemic affected their view of HR's role: We transformed our department to become more people-centric: focusing on people rather than processes. To formally acknowledge this shift, we said goodbye to "human resources" and renamed our department the People Organization. Our employees are at the center of all that we do.Their favorite interview question: "Tell me your story." I love to hear people's career journeys, and it allows the candidate to reflect on what roles they've held in the past and how those roles inform the type of job they're looking for today.Through these stories, I also typically get to know the candidate personally. I am able to learn what is important to them and what they value. Susan LaMonica, chief human-resources officer, head of corporate social responsibility at Citizens Financial GroupSusan LaMonica.Courtesy of Susan LaMonicaCompany: Citizens Financial Group is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions offering a wide variety of retail and commercial banking products.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: I've played a role in introducing initiatives such as the TalentUp program, which aims to reshape Citizens' workforce and prepare it for continual innovation focused on talent acquisition, reskilling and upskilling, mobility, and redeployment, partnerships, and expanding the talent pipeline.As a result of the program, in 2020, there were nearly 100 new hires sourced directly from early-career programs, with a significant segment identifying as women and people of color. With my main focus being democratization, I have ensured managers have the training and resources available to create equitable and inclusive environments for all colleagues. My team also began tying accountability goals to performance reviews to ensure managers prioritize democratization within their teams while understanding and working to eliminate biases at work.Books, podcasts, shows, or movies that inspire them: "How I Built This" with Guy Raz on NPR is my favorite podcast. Each episode highlights a well-known entrepreneur and their journey. I enjoy learning about the people and the journey behind many successful companies and brands. I'm inspired by the vision and tenacity of these entrepreneurs, many of whom had repeated failures.Ashley Alexander, head of people at FrontAshley Alexander.Front via InkHouseCompany: Front is a software company that develops a shared email inbox and calendar product. How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Once we made the decision to transition to remote work, my mission was to ensure that our employees felt supported and connected. We doubled down on activities that fostered a sense of community, like our weekly all-hands meetings on Zoom, ask-me-anything sessions with our executives, and virtual companywide off-site activities.Why they pursued a career in HR: I got into HR because I wanted to help people, but throughout the course of my career, this idea has dramatically expanded. I now view my role as an employee advocate. I strive to demystify why things happen at a company the way they happen. I've found that even if they aren't happy with everything that happens in a company, if they understand our choices, ultimately, they can respect them.Lori Goler, head of people at MetaLori Goler.Courtesy of Lori GolerWhat their company does: Meta is the parent company of Facebook.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We were the first tech company to shut down our offices, and employees began to work from home. We established an emergency-paid-leave program designed to give people time off for "in the moment emergencies," including eldercare, childcare, and school closures. We developed and executed a global return-to-office health strategy across 60 sites to enable a safe transition for those coming back to the office and created an office-deferral program for those who were not yet ready to return.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: Meta committed publicly to have at least 50% of our workforce composed of underrepresented groups by 2024 and to increase the number of US-based leaders who are people of color by 30%. We announced in our eighth annual diversity report that in 2021, we increased representation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities and veterans to 45.6% of our workforce. This will continue to be a focus for us.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: This year, we introduced a number of new benefits, including a wellness-reimbursement benefit of up to $3,000 annually that people can use for expenses like financial planning, tuition reimbursement, fitness equipment and services, childcare for children over the age of 5, and eldercare. We also launched "choice days," which gives people an additional two days off per year to use however they choose, and we increased our 401(k)-match program to help people save more for retirement.Kali Beyah, global chief talent officer at HugeKali Beyah.HugeWhat their company does: Huge is a digital design and marketing agency. Clients include Google, Coca-Cola, and Unilever.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: Whether giving mental-health days, reimagining our return to the office, extending summer Fridays, flexing for childcare, shifting to "no-meeting Fridays," or continuing to invest in development, transparency, wellness workshops/resources, and DEI — we've taken a holistic and evolving approach.The constant as we evolve is that we listen to our people regularly, and we are authentic in our responses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We are reimagining the future of work as the world not only encounters the "Great Resignation" but also the "Great Reevaluation." Our reimagining includes things such as "Huge holidays" (closure and collective recharging three weeks a year), "Huge summer" (work from anywhere in July), "no-meeting Fridays," and summer Fridays.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: We have an opportunity to reimagine work and the role it plays in people's lives — and we have an exciting opportunity to debunk false binaries and prove that people and businesses can both thrive.Lauren Nuttall, vice president of people at Boulevard LabsLauren Nuttall.Courtesy of Lauren NuttallCompany: Boulevard is a client-experience platform built for appointment-based self-care businesses.How they've supported employees during the coronavirus pandemic: I opted to take Boulevard 100% remote early on in the pandemic in March 2020. However, as the pandemic persisted into 2021, I realized that with the significant paradigm shift around the viability of remote work, coupled with the growing employee (and candidate) interest in staying fully remote, we needed to deepen our commitment.That meant giving up our physical office space altogether and allowing all employees to move wherever they want in the US without it negatively impacting their existing compensation package. Additionally, the need for better virtual access to mental health and high-quality medical care prompted the decision to bring on One Medical to provide complimentary subscriptions to all employees and their dependents.How they've been supporting their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: One of the programs that I'm most proud of was a virtual-speaker series where we sought to highlight and amplify underrepresented voices within the beauty and wellness industry.We invited a massage-business owner that catered specifically to LGBTQIA+ clientele for one of the sessions. This created a dialogue around how even limited pronoun options within a booking workflow can be harmful and resulted in us making actual changes to our product to better represent our customers and their clients. Surfacing these opportunities to educate and create dialogue can have incredible ripple effects.Tanya Reu-Narvaez, executive vice president and chief people officer at RealogyTanya Reu-Narvaez.Courtesy of Tanya Reu-NarvaezWhat their company does: Realogy is a real-estate-services firm that owns brokerages including Century 21, Sotheby's International Realty, and Corcoran. How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: To help increase representation in the industry, we established a new partnership with the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America and expanded the Inclusive Ownership program, an industry-first initiative designed to attract brokerage owners from underrepresented communities to launch their own franchise businesses.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We have a Go Further Today program where we've made small but impactful changes that decrease meeting and email fatigue and increase efficiency by working smarter.We have no internal meetings on Fridays, encourage employees to make smart decisions about whether to accept or decline meetings, and embrace an "exhale, then email" philosophy to help mitigate the pressure of email overload we're all facing. These are small but mighty changes that make a significant difference for our teams.Noa Geller, vice president of HR at Papaya GlobalNoa Geller.Eyal TouegWhat their company does: Papaya Global is a cloud-based payroll platform. How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We added a learning and development budget for every employee to choose the development course that is meaningful and impactful to them. Driven from our employee-engagement survey, we took initiatives to support work-life balance, such as a work-from-anywhere benefit, allowing our employees to work up to one month per year outside of their home region.Also driven from our engagement survey, we are implementing more trainings around best practices and tools to ease the burnout that is a part of a hypergrowth company during COVID times.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: During the pandemic, the HR role became an even more crucial role within every organization. We were proactively working to support COVID policies and work-from-home best practices, and many of these things were unprecedented.HR managers really had to be innovative and creative — and in a very short amount of time. We have supported managers in learning how to manage remotely, how to navigate illnesses and emotional distress among their employees, as well as help employees remain connected to their teams and the company, while not only fully remote but often completely isolated.Tara Ataya, chief people and diversity officer at HootsuiteTara Ataya.HootsuiteWhat their company does: Hootsuite is a social-media-management platform whose clients include Ikea and Costco.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: We restructured the global offices to be used as creative hubs, built for collaboration and social connection, with a special focus on health and mental wellness.In addition, employees were granted the autonomy and benefits they needed to reshape their work environment to choose what works best for them by restructuring our workplace policy so every employee can choose if they wish to work full time in office, remote, or take a hybrid approach.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: During the pandemic, we built on our partnership with the Black Professionals in Tech Network in Canada to help end systemic racism in the technology sector by providing Black professionals with equal access to opportunities in tech, an expanded peer network, and support in accelerating career growth.This helped foster a stronger sense of belonging in the workplace by joining an allyship training with the Black Professionals in Tech Network, along with 125 Hootsuite employees, including all members of the executive team, about best practices for sourcing Black talent.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: The pandemic shifted HR teams from being the best-kept secret superpower to the front-and-center compass for navigating through the most difficult time many organizations and generations have ever faced. The role of HR is one of strategy, that is adept at navigating uncertainty with agility and enables the business to drive meaningful business results with people in mind.Félix Manuel Chinea, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging manager at DoximityFélix Manuel Chinea.Courtesy of Félix Manuel ChineaWhat their company does: Doximity is a professional medical network for physicians. The company went public in June.How they've supported employees during the pandemic: My focus during the pandemic has been to make DEI initiatives at Doximity meaningful, impactful, and tangible across the whole organization.By aligning DEI with our company mission and values, we are able to both directly support our employees and empower them to make a meaningful impact in their communities during and beyond the pandemic.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: The Great Resignation has given us an opportunity to reflect on what makes working at our company fulfilling. Our organizational purpose at Doximity is to connect medical professionals and build clinical tools that will ultimately impact patient care. Amid a global pandemic and demand for racial justice, I believe our purpose allows us the opportunity to both attract and retain top talent and make a meaningful impact on health equity across historically marginalized communities.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Both the pandemic and recent demands for racial justice have highlighted the long-standing need for all leaders to develop solutions and cultures that recognize the full humanity of employees.While every person is responsible for fostering an equitable and inclusive culture, DEI leaders must develop a strategic understanding of how to integrate these concepts into their company's organizational structure.Gloria Chen, chief people officer at AdobeGloria Chen.Courtesy of Gloria ChenWhat their company does: Adobe is a global software company. How they've supported employees during the pandemic: What I am most proud of during the pandemic is not what the company has done for our employees but what our employees have done for each other.When India was overcome by the Delta surge, and our employees and their families were ravaged by COVID, our employees created a phone tree to locate hospital beds, located oxygen to bring to hospitals, and cooked and delivered meals to families in quarantine. Our employees were truly our heroes.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: In 2020, our diversity and inclusion team and our Black Employee Network launched the Taking Action Initiative task force to explore and drive actions we could take to make meaningful change internally and externally to the company.The effort led to strategic partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and a sponsorship program to support career advancement for underrepresented individuals.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: Having stepped into the role of chief people officer in February 2020, my entire HR experience has been shaped by the pandemic.I learned that the basics of human needs — physical and mental health, a sense of security, and connectedness — cannot be taken for granted in a professional setting. During the pandemic, we lost one of our beloved cofounders. That gave me a tremendous sense of responsibility as a longtime Adobe employee to carry the torch for the values that they instilled in us.Kim Seymour, chief people officer at WW InternationalKim Seymour.WWWhat their company does: WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) offers a program for weight loss and wellness.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts during the pandemic: WW recently released an extensive report titled "Black Women & Wellness" to shed light on the disparities and biases that Black women face within the healthcare system today.The report showcases what is being done by changemakers within their communities to create safe spaces, better access to healthcare, and underscore why Black women deserve health, wellness, and quality healthcare.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: Some of our most recent investments to address potential employee burnout include offering Sibly for resilience, One Medical for convenient medical care, and ClassPass for fitness goals. All of our employees at WW are also members and have access to the WW program.In addition to a personal-well-being allowance of $1,000 per employee, my team also created "flex Fridays," which allows employees to start their weekend early by redistributing the hours they work the remainder of that week, whether that's a Zoom-free Friday afternoon or signing off early.Manish Mehta, global head of human resources at BlackRockManish Mehta.Courtesy of Manish MehtaWhat their company does: BlackRock is a global investment manager that employs 16,000 people and manages more than $10 trillion in assets.How they've supported their company's DEI efforts: We are fortunate to have over 80% of our employees participate in one of our 15 global employee, professional, and social impact networks.Each network is sponsored by one or more of our Global Executive Committee members who engage with them to help navigate important cultural and strategic topics. I am a sponsor of our Asian and Middle Eastern Professionals network, which was formally launched in 2021.How they've addressed the Great Resignation at their company: We supported and enabled managers through training modules on delivering feedback, effectively setting objectives and managing performance, motivating and managing teams, and having productive conversations on returning our people to the office.We sustained our focus on career development. This includes career pathing in areas like technology, development programs for our emerging vice-president leaders, and our Black and Latinx managing directors and directors, and increasing our sponsorship programs.How the pandemic changed their view of HR's role: I have seen the difference HR can make in people's lives. Helping people navigate the loss of a loved one or a colleague, supporting the family of an employee we've lost, recognizing and helping those suffering from mental-health challenges, being there to listen and act when an employee does not feel like they belong, growing our benefits to respond to what employees are dealing with in their lives — these are just some of the things that HR does that are not always seen.Karsten Vagner, senior vice president of people at Maven ClinicKarsten Vagner.Courtesy of Karsten VagnerWhat their company does: Maven Clinic is a virtual platform that provides support across fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting, and pediatrics.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Some of the companywide initiatives and programs included Donut, a Slack-integrated app, to help employees maintain that serendipitous connection they've all come to love at the office.We also experimented with other virtual events, like weekly "coffeehouse cabaret" sessions with Broadway talent over Google Hangouts, cooking challenges, a companywide talent show, Halloween in April for employees' children, and more. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: Working with Maven's people team, the company created employee working groups devoted to getting feedback about various aspects of Maven's business. While it was rewarding to see employee feedback come to life, what I'm most proud of is the fact that neither I nor the executive team did this work in a silo.Our DEI program was completely ground up and centered on employee needs. And it continues to be to this day. The work our organization has done — in recruiting, partnerships, volunteering, product— it's all been led by our employees.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: To combat work-related stress, Maven introduced new programs to support employees' mental health, including group sessions with Maven's mental-health providers and career coaches, mandatory mental-health days, twice-a-week no-meeting blocks, and several weeks where employees had time to recharge and unwind.Elaine Mak, chief people officer at ValimailElaine Mak.Courtesy of Elaine MakWhat their company does: Valimail is a cloud-native platform for validating and authenticating sender identity to avoid phishing, spoofing, and brand hijacking.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: As the pandemic unfolded, it was an opportunity to lay a strategic foundation on Valimail's organizational design to serve a dual purpose: Drive talent acquisition and retention and seat people at the table to become an integral voice in making decisions that affect them.In 18 months, my team has refreshed Valimail's company mission, values, and strategy to explicitly prioritize and resource people and DEI efforts. My team has also pivoted the leadership model to a cross-functional structure that distributes power, agency, and autonomy of decision-makers across levels.I've also led the people team to expand and diversify the leadership team at Valimail to ensure appropriate voices and perspectives have a seat at the table to inform strategic decisions. How they've supported their company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during the pandemic: We empowered a DEI committee resourced with an executive sponsor and budget focused on wellness initially to address burnout. Along with other company efforts, we have the foundation to execute a strategic road map on DEI education and development and further cement DEI at the heart of our business and people strategy.Lastly, our efforts in people and DEI culminated in an employer-brand makeover that authentically reflects a day-to-day reality where people-first is core to our culture.Kerris Hougardy, vice president of people at AdaKerris Hougardy.AdaWhat their company does: Ada is an automation platform that powers brand interactions between companies and their customers.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Ada's first priority during the pandemic was to assess the health and safety of its employees and to implement an immediate change to the work environment.The transition to a full-remote, digital-first culture required Ada to ensure its employees could work and communicate effectively.Our employee-relations team is on hand to support anyone going through work or personal issues. We have a wellness fund for each employee to get access to support — mental health and physical, access to ClassPass, and lunch and learns where they can listen to speakers around burnout and resiliency.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? HR is no longer only about hiring and firing employees, but about supporting and engaging with employees as whole humans.People should be able to show up authentically and do their best work, to feel acceptance and belonging, and to feel supported with life's ups and downs.Cheryl Johnson, chief human-resources officer at PaylocityCheryl Johnson.Courtesy of Cheryl JohnsonWhat their company does: Paylocity provides cloud-based payroll- and human-capital-management software.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: My HR leaders collaborated with Paylocity's Diversity Leadership Council to ensure that company benefits intentionally built an inclusive and equitable culture for current and future employees and their families.The group also confirmed that medical plans aligned with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People.For financial flexibility, we rolled out a loan program, offering interest-free loans to any employees in need, along with on-demand payment for early access to earned wages if needed. At the same time, we introduced voluntary furloughs for up to 90 days and implemented an international work program to allow employees to work abroad for up to 90 days.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: We formed task forces to understand why people were leaving but, more importantly, why people were staying. Recently our HR team has found success socializing "stay interviews," which help managers to improve their direct-report relationships, keep at-risk talent, and provide broader insights to build culture and connection.Giving employees greater transparency helps them spot career opportunities and paths to growth. Our HR team is implementing succession planning efforts to identify and develop key talent and give employees more freedom to impact how, where, and when they work. Dave Carhart, vice president of people at LatticeDave Carhart.Courtesy of Dave CarhartWhat their company does: Lattice is a people-management platform that helps leaders build engaged, high-performing teams.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: Work was stressful in "normal" pre-COVID times, but the pandemic has created new levels of burnout and exhaustion.Recognizing this, in 2020, I oversaw the rollout of Lattice "recharge days," a number of designated days where the entire company is off on the same day with the explicit goal of stepping away from work mentally. The recharge days has since been made permanent, with six annual recharge days added to our annual calendar on top of national holidays and flexible PTO. How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? It's reminded us how critical it is to lead with empathy and represent a very human voice within our workplaces. We are asking people to bring their whole selves and all of their energy and commitment.With that will also come their personal passions, their family commitments, and the individual challenges that they are facing. We need to embrace all of that and come with support for the whole person and their family, too.Marlee Raber Proukou, director of people operations at JetsonMarlee Raber Proukou.Courtesy of Marlee ProukouWhat their company does: Jetson is a personal-mobility-devices company that sells electric bikes, electric scooters, and hoverboards.How they've supported their employees during the Great Resignation: In addition to navigating a global pandemic, our employees have had to adjust to the company's rapid growth, resulting in many being spread thin and approaching burnout.We've tried to address this two ways — focusing on both recruitment and employee appreciation. We built a larger people-operations team to increase our recruitment efforts, bringing in much needed full-time and contract hires to assist with our ever-increasing workload so our employees can enjoy more of a balance.Through bigger efforts, like rewarding our employees with promotions, bonuses, and raises to smaller changes like our new "all-star award" — a peer-nominated cash award presented monthly to an employee who is impacting their teammates — we continuously try to let our employees know we are grateful for them.How have the events of the pandemic affected your view of HR's role? The role has evolved from what many people thought of as traditional HR functions, like payroll and benefits administration, to encompass more people-centric priorities like supporting employees' work-life balance, ensuring a work environment that is both productive and safe, and creating an increasingly diverse workforce.In today's world, a successful HR team is quick-thinking, strategic, and empathetic. Most importantly, we are working to understand and support our employee's personal and professional experiences in what has been an extremely turbulent two years.Karen Craggs-Milne, vice president of ESG at ThoughtExchangeKaren Craggs-Milne.Courtesy of Karen Craggs-MilneWhat their company does: ThoughtExchange is a patented antibias enterprise tool that leaders use to gain insights that inform decision-making.How they've supported their employees during the coronavirus pandemic: With the pandemic causing a global shift to remote work, and recognizing the diverse circumstances of the company's employee base, we brought an equity lens to the people team's COVID-response initiatives.By asking diverse employees what they needed most to navigate the pandemic and how to best support employee well-being across different employee populations, we helped ThoughtExchange identify tailored solutions that made a big difference to employees.Listening to its employees, we offered financial support during school closures so parents could hire tutors, purchase memberships to educational sites or resources, and continue to ensure their children's educational needs were met.What are the skills you have used to be successful in HR? Empathy and patience are arguably the two most important characteristics to grasp when being a leader in HR.Employees want to feel heard and recognized during their time at an organization, and leveraging the ability to understand where all opinions are coming from, and then negotiating the best collective outcomes, is key to maintaining top talent that feels safe and valued within their work environment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 18th, 2022

How TikTok is changing the music industry

Insider has been tracking TikTok's ascent from social-media newcomer to music industry power player. Here's a breakdown of our recent coverage. Gia Woods. Rich Fury/Getty Images for LA Pride. TikTok has become a go-to platform for discovering new music. Record labels, music marketers, artists, and other creators are all flooding the app with songs. Here's a full breakdown of Insider's recent coverage on TikTok's impact on the music industry. See more stories on Insider's business page. TikTok is an essential promotional tool for music artists and record labels.Songs can rise up organically on the app even if they've been outside the mainstream for decades. Marketers can also hire influencers to try to make a song take off, sparking a wave of user-generated posts from their fans. And some artists even write songs that directly reference TikTok trends in the hope that it will help it gain steam on the app. "TikTok has really become a critical part of artist storytelling," Kristen Bender, SVP of digital strategy and business development at Universal Music Group, told Insider during a webinar on TikTok's impact on the music industry. "Since we signed our deal with TikTok earlier this year, our labels have been extremely leaned into the platform."Watch a full replay of Insider's webinar on TikTok's impact on the music industry, featuring execs from TikTok, Universal Music Group, and UnitedMastersThe industry's attention on TikTok isn't unfounded. Songs that trend on TikTok often end up charting on the Billboard 100 or Spotify Viral 50. And 67% of the app's users are more likely to seek out songs on music-streaming services after hearing them on TikTok, according to a November study conducted for TikTok by the music-analytics company MRC Data. Song promo deals between music marketers and influencers have also become an important source of income for TikTok creators. Some users can earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single video where they promote an artist's track. "Music marketing on TikTok is huge," Jesse Callahan, founder of the upstart marketing firm Montford Agency, told Insider. "It's a big way that labels have brought artists into the spotlight the last couple of years. It's also a big way that creators have made a lot of money."Read more about the different rates for song promos for TikTok creators who have a few hundred thousand followers or up to 10 millions fans From left to right: Jahan Karimaghay, Haley Spencer, Sanu Hariharan, and Gaby Fainsilber Benchmob; Warner Records; Creed Media; Crush Music; Marianne Ayala/Insider How record labels, artists, and marketers use TikTok as a promotional toolTikTok has become a hub for labels to promote both new releases and back catalog tracks. And a new cohort of social-media music marketers has sprung up to support promotional efforts on the app. Check out Insider's power list of the 23 music marketers, artists, digital creators, record labels, and other industry insiders who are using TikTok to help define popular musicMany record labels have teams dedicated to monitoring the app so they can help fan the flames on a trending song when it starts to take off. "Our entire music catalog is effectively tracked on a daily basis," said Andy McGrath, the senior vice president of marketing at Legacy Recordings, a division within Sony Music focused on the label's catalog of songs dating back decades. "We're constantly monitoring actions, reactions, and trends that happen on TikTok."Read more about how Sony's marketing team jumps into action when an old song begins to trend Surfaces duo Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki. Stefan Kohli @photokohli/Surfaces While some songs take off on TikTok accidentally, as was the case with Matthew Wilder's 1983 song "Break My Stride" or Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," other times, record labels and marketers pay TikTok influencers to promote a particular song in a video.The media company Flighthouse helped boost the popularity of Surfaces' "Sunday Best" almost a year after the song was first released by creating a user-generated video trend around the track. The company hired about 20 TikTok influencers to amplify its efforts. "When Flighthouse gets hold of a record, it's kind of incumbent upon us to create context for a song, especially for TikTok," Sher Chaudhary, Flighthouse's strategy lead, told Insider last year. Read more about Flighthouse's music marketing strategiesIt's impossible to predict what video or music trends will take off on TikTok.RCA Records' SVP of digital marketing Tarek Al-Hamdouni said the label's promotional strategy involves a fair amount of experimentation with each campaign. The company will often work with an influencer agency to find somewhere between 10 and 30 lower-follower-count influencers to promote a new track in videos and then go after trends that stick. "We actually give them the freedom to post what they'd like with that content," he said. "If you see one or two posts start to overperform based on a consistent creative, what we can do is go find those bigger influencers and get them on board with the trend. In the best-case scenario, your micro-influencer campaign is so successful that it creates the trend on its own and then the bigger influencers are going to jump on board organically."Read more about RCA Records' strategy for promoting songs on TikTok Tiagz. John Arano/Epic Records. While TikTok is often a go-to platform for promoting a newly released track, some artists incorporate the app even earlier in their creative process. The Canadian rapper Tiagz (Tiago Garcia-Arenas) built a following of 4.2 million fans on the app by writing songs that directly referenced the app's popular memes and trends, effectively gaming its search and content recommendation algorithms. "I tried to understand the platform," Tiagz told Insider. "I kept doing these memes because I saw that it worked."Read more about how Tiagz used TikTok to land a record deal with Epic RecordsNot all song trends on TikTok happen serendipitously or via external music marketing campaigns.TikTok also has an internal music division dedicated to monitoring music trends on the app. The team has a series of "promo levers" it uses to boost the popularity of songs. The company can add new tracks to playlists in the "Sounds" section of its app and apply keywords on the back end to optimize song discoverability in the app's search interface. Read more about how TikTok's music team shapes trends on the app The music trio Taylor Red have 8.6 million followers on TikTok. Matthew Simmons. How TikTok creators can make money from working with music industry professionalsMusic marketers regularly pay TikTok influencers to promote songs. The practice has become so common that there are entire agencies dedicated to song promotions on the app. For the app's creators, it can be an easy way to monetize their following without having to create a sponsored post for a brand. "We've still found that TikTok remains the most engaged, the most used, and the most rewarding per dollar spent," Griffin Haddrill, an artist manager and cofounder of the marketing agency VRTCL, told Insider. As TikTok's user base has grown and content has become more saturated, marketers are turning more to micro influencers over superstars for song campaigns. "The price point for mega stars is extremely high," Zach Friedman, a cofounder at the upstart record label Homemade Projects, told Insider. "The way the TikTok algorithm works, it's hard to know what's going to be successful. Instead of paying a premium for a D'Amelio, you could pay a micro influencer $200 and their TikTok could get 10 million views. Because of this, it's better to cast a wider net."Read more about why some marketers are choosing micro influencers to promote new tracksRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

Saturday links: solace and patience

On Saturdays we catch up with the non-finance related items that we didn’t get to earlier in the week. You can check... AutosEastern Germany is becoming the hub for EV manufacturing. (ft.com)Los Angeles could ban the building of new gasoline stations. (protocol.com)China is rapidly electrifying its fleet. (wired.com)TransportThis town made its buses free and plans to keep it that way. (reasonstobecheerful.world)Airlines are still struggling to keep up with customer service requests. (wsj.com)EnergyHow long can Europe depend on LNG? (nytimes.com)The UAE is a big funder of alternative energy projects around the world. (wsj.com)How 'agrivoltaics' can produce power and allow for crops simultaneously. (nytimes.com)Startups like Sealed want to be a path forward for home decarbonization. (protocol.com)EnvironmentA new service looks to attribute temperature differentials to climate change. (axios.com)Melting ice and permafrost is going to unearth all sorts of (nasty) stuff. (phys.org)Why not turn landfills into 'brightfields'? (insidehook.com)AnimalsBirds change their songs due to noise in cities. (daily.jstor.org)Check out the largest freshwater fish ever measured. (npr.org)How facial recognition for seals works. (hakaimagazine.com)Maryland has a blue crab problem. (baltimoresun.com)TechnologyHow to hard lock your iPhone, i.e. require a passcode to get back in. (daringfireball.net)How to pass on your passwords. (wsj.com)BehaviorSuccess does not necessarily make you miserable. (wsj.com)A behavior science book reading list including "Hidden Games: The Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behavior" by Erez Yoeli and Moshe Hoffman. (behavioralscientist.org)HealthThe prospect for an effective malaria vaccine is getting closer. (theguardian.com)Evidence that fecal transplants can help ease IBS symptoms over time. (newscientist.com)How getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. (newatlas.com)Why can't the U.S. have better sunscreens? (theatlantic.com)How bias affects the placebo response. (statnews.com)CovidThe Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants make up more than 50% of cases in the U.S. (nytimes.com)Pfizer's ($PFE) new boosters showed effectiveness against Omicron. (npr.org)There is a debate about how to roll out vaccine boosters for new variants. (statnews.com)Why patients on immunosuppresants should take a short break to get vaccinated. (ft.com)Funding for Eli Lilly's ($LLY) antibody drug bebtelovimab is running low. (marketplace.org)Why Norway was a Covid-19 success story. (wsj.com)It's easy to miss long Covid in seniors. (washingtonpost.com)How AI could be used to predict future variants. (scientificamerican.com)CannabisTeens are getting sick from vaping high THC oils. (nytimes.com)Funding for cannabis-related startups has fallen off a cliff. (news.crunchbase.com)FoodGrain prices are easing. (qz.com)Rice prices are going down not up. (wsj.com)Farms are sprouting in an Alaska with longer growing seasons. (reasonstobecheerful.world)Why we shouldn't let orphan crops die off. (modernfarmer.com)The history of the fried chicken bucket. (eater.com)Give people money, not food. (vox.com)SportsThis is a big problem with LIV Golf. (pragcap.com)Could live sports disappear from traditional television? (latimes.com)MediaWith the release of "Minions: The Rise of Gru" the pandemic film backlog is now spent. (variety.com)A24 wants to turn its film success into a full-blown brand. (fastcompany.com)EducationCollege completion rates are on the rise, you can thank grade inflation. (aeaweb.org)California is going to require later school start times for teens. (theatlantic.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsWhat you missed in our Friday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Podcast links: the business of Berkshire. (abnormalreturns.com)The Covid-19 vaccines saved a nearly unfathomable number of people. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaIs Mackenzie Scott the future of philanthropy? (ft.com)Who doesn't like to get a postcard? (artofmanliness.com)Small habits compound over time. (dariusforoux.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturns20 hr. 23 min. ago

24 great gift ideas for your best friend, whether they"re a foodie, movie buff, or always outdoors

From gourmet snacks to personalized jewelry, these are the best gifts for best friends of all kinds. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From quirky home decor to personalized jewelry, these are the best gifts for best friends of all kinds.Anthropologie/Kendra ScottBest friends know each other inside and out, but that doesn't mean they're easy to shop for. Your best bet when shopping for this special person in your life is to hone in on one of their interests and go from there. With that in mind, here's a gift guide that covers an array of hobbies. Whether you're best friends with a foodie, music lover, or travel aficionado, we've got you covered. So if you're at a loss as to what to get your BFF for their next birthday or any other occasion, look no further than this list. 24 great gifts for best friends in 2022:A set of face masks to relax inAmazonFaceTory facial mask collection available at Amazon, $13.95Best for: The friend who could use some self-careA best friend in desperate need of some self-care will greatly appreciate this set of seven face masks. Each mask has a different beauty benefit, so your friend can pamper themselves each day of the week.A durable water bottle they could use this summerAmazonHydro Flask available at Amazon, $24.71Best for: The best friend who loves the summer heatAs temperatures rise, staying hydrated is essential, and the Hydro Flask bottle gets the job done. This gift is excellent for any friend spending a lot of time outdoors this summer.An air fryer they'll thank you for endlesslyAmazonInstant Pot Mini Air Fryer available at Amazon, $49.99Best for: The best friend who always complains about meal prepIf your friend is late to the air fryer trend, get them up to speed with this affordable Instant Pot model. They'll understand the hype in no time. A gift that even the most diehard fan of "The Office" probably doesn't haveAmazonThe Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There available at Amazon, $18.18Best for: The bestie you'd watch "The Office" reruns withIs your best friend an obsessive fan of "The Office"? If so, look no further than "The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There," the book written by "The Office" costars and real-life best friends Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey.A set of high-quality soap and cleaners from Courtney Cox's brandHomecourtHomecourt soaps and cleaners available on Homecourt, $65Best for: The Monica Geller in your lifeFor friends who like to keep things clean, help them step up their cleaning game with this Kitchen Trio from Homecourt, actress Courteney Cox's home brand. This set includes a surface cleaner, hand wash, and dish soap and comes in four decadent fragrances. A scented candle catered to their birthdayBirthdate CoBirthdate Candles available at Birthdate Co., $49.99Best for: The astrology buffAvid astrologist friends will love this birthdate candle. Birthdate Co. manufactures 366 candles, each with a specific scent and meaning based on the recipient's birthday. If you want to go the extra mile, you can pair this with an astrology book.Their favorite food from their favorite place, delivered to their doorGoldbellyE-gift card available at Goldbelly, $25Best for: The foodie friendFor foodie friends craving a taste of home or something new, Goldbelly is an excellent choice. Goldbelly delivers regional delicacies right to their door, whether they're craving Maine lobster or Chicago deep-dish pizza. If you're not sure what they want, you can also opt for a gift card.A classic, quirky plant holderAnthropologieGrecian Bust Pot available at Anthropologie, $22.40Best for: The plant lover and/or classics fanThis beautiful and functional Grecian bust pot is the perfect gift for your plant-loving bestie. Plus, at only $24, it's a budget-friendly find. A Tiktok-famous lampUncommon GoodsSunset lamp available at Urban Outfitters, $35Best for: The friend who loves a calm spaceIf your friendship consists of sending home-improvment TikToks back and forth, your friend will definitely appreciate this sunset lamp that frequents the for you page. The lamp's projector will cast your space in a calming orangey glow reminiscent of the setting sun. A cozy hammock they'll use all summerREIDoublenest hammock available at REI, $74.95Best for: The best friend who loves to lounge outsideFriends who like to get outside will especially appreciate the ENO Doublenest Hammock. It's perfect for lounging on lazy summer days or sleeping under the stars. A box of sweets they can curate themselvesSugarwishTreats from Sugarwish available at Sugarwish, $23Best for: The bestie with the sweet toothIf your friend prefers sweet over salty, you can't go wrong with a candy box from Sugarwish. The candy package comes jampacked with a wide array of throwback confectionaries that can satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths. You can also pick from cookies, gourmet popcorn, and even dog treats.A set of subtle friendship braceletsKendra ScottMother of pearl friendship bracelet available at Kendra Scott, $40Best for: The nostalgic BFFNothing says friendship like matching jewelry, so treat both you and your best friend to a set of Kendra Scott friendship bracelets in one of the nine stunning variations. A pretty tiled mug that'll become their new favoriteAnthropologieMonogram mug available at Anthropologie, $11.20Best for: The coffee or tea loverGet them something they'll use every morning, like this beautiful, tiled monogram mug. A stunning embroidered journal that'll encourage them to writeRifle Paper CoEmbroidered journal available at Rifle Paper Co, $38Best for: The writer friendFor the best friend who expresses themselves best through pen and paper, this unique, embroidered journal is the perfect place to store their thoughts. A poster of 100 must-see moviesUncommon GoodsAt home movie critic chart available at Uncommon Goods, $20Best for: The cinephileFilm buffs and casual moviegoers alike will love the At Home Movie Critic's Chart. This interactive poster features IMDB's top 100 movies and is the perfect addition to a movie night with friends. A weighted blanket that's practical and life-improvingBrooklinenWeighted throw blanket available at Brooklinen, $143.65Best for: The friend who struggles with sleepLet your bestie know you care about their comfort by gifting them a weighted throw blanket to help improve their sleep and well-being. A pair of the coziest socksBloomingdalesUGG Leda Cozy Crew Socks available at Bloomingdales, $18Best for: The best friend who loves practical giftsTreat your bestie to a sock experience like no other with the UGG Leda Cozy Sock. These plush crew socks come in different shades and are sure to impress. A jigsaw puzzle that's also a murder mystery gameUncommon GoodsMurder Mystery Jigsaw Puzzle available at Uncommon Goods, $19Best for: The friend who already has every board gameThis murder mystery jigsaw puzzle is the ideal gift for friends who enjoy a challenge as the mystery unfolds with the placement of each piece. Not to mention, puzzles are a great activity to do together. A cute, personalized gift of why you appreciate themUncommon GoodsFriendship messages available at Uncommon Goods, $40Best for: The sentimental BFFTell your best friend 12 reasons why you love them so much with a beautiful handmade gift. This box of messages allows the gift giver to choose a dozen meaningful, heart-shaped reasons for their friendship that all fit in a beautiful birch container.A skincare gift set with everything they needKiehl'sKiehl's skincare gift set available at Kiehls, $58Best for: The bestie who feels overwhelmed by beauty productsEveryone seems to have an elaborate skincare routine these days, so if your best friend doesn't yet, give them a jumpstart with The Ultimate Kiehl's Skincare Gift Set. It's got everything a skincare newbie needs to improve their complexion.A kitchen gadget that'll make their whole summerWilliams SonomaWatermelon wedger available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Best for: The best friend always hosting BBQsAny summer party with friends wouldn't be complete without fresh fruit, hence the Watermelon Wedger. This ingenious gadget simultaneously slices and cores any watermelon and is sure to become a BBQ essential. A mini set of fancy olive oils and vinegarBrightlandBrightland Mini Essential Set available at Brightland, $70Best for: The home chefIf your friend loves to cook, bring a touch of luxury to their kitchen with the Brightland Mini Essentials Set. They'll think of you every time they reach for these little olive oil and vinegar bottles, which happen to be some of our favorites.Crystal coasters to complement their homeWest ElmClouded agate coasters available at West Elm, $31.50Best for: The crystal enthusiastCrystal-loving friends will appreciate these Clouded Agate Coasters. They come in a set of four and are a complement to any table or home bar. A customized phone caseBaubleBariPhone case available at Bauble Bar, $68Best for: The best friend who loves their phoneFor something a bit more customized, consider treating your friend to the Talk To The Sand iPhone Case. Adorn the case with their name for a one-of-a-kind gift they'll use daily.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider21 hr. 39 min. ago

A guide to the pet deals we"re expecting for Prime Day 2022 — plus early discounts happening now

Amazon's Prime Day 2022 will include pet deals on some of our favorite pet gear, food, and treats. Here are the early pet deals you can shop now. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; InsiderWe expect to see big pet deals on Amazon Prime Day 2022, which will be held July 12 and 13, and some excellent early deals are already live. Prime Day has historically been one of the best times outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shop for pet products. (Although Amazon is reportedly planning a "Prime Fall Deal Event" for later this year too.)Typically, some of the best discounts can be found on automatic feeders, pet cameras, litter boxes, dog DNA test kits, and vacs for pet fur. Discounts on dog food, cat food, and flea and tick medicine also pop up. Retailers like Chewy, Walmart, and Target will likely price-match for their competing Prime Day sales, but you can save even more on products like pet food and treats by signing up for Amazon's Subscribe and Save. Amazon will also offer other perks, so read up on everything you need to know about Prime Day.Related: See Insider's picks for the best credit cards to use on Amazon purchases.The 3 best early Prime Day pet dealsPetsafe Drinkwell 1-Gallon Pet FountainPetsafeWe tried Petsafe's 2-Gallon Drinkwell Fountain and found our pets loved it. This smaller model is suitable for a single-pet household. It provides a continuous flow of filtered water for your cat or dog. It's also easy to clean and refill. While this isn't the lowest price we've ever seen, it's typically been priced $10 higher for the last 12 months.Petsafe Cozy Up Folding Dog StairsAmazonSmall dogs and those with limited mobility can benefit from a durable set of stairs. Whether you want to give them easy access to the sofa or your bed, Petsafe's sturdy yet collapsible design is a good bet. These stairs are 20 inches high and cannot be adjusted, so be sure to measure your furniture. Over the last year, these have usually sold for $50, and this price is the lowest we ever see — the last time being Black Friday 2021.Petsafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet FountainAmazonIf you're looking for a pet fountain with visual appeal, Petsafe's Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain is it. The sculpted fountain is available in four different colors: blue, red, brown, and white. Like the brand's classic Drinkwell Fountain, it provides a source of continuous filtered water for your pet. It has a 70-ounce capacity that's best for small- and medium-size dogs and cats. The fountain has been going for its retail price since February, so this is a solid deal to score now.Check out our other great early Prime Day dealsEarly Prime Day dealsEarly Prime Day gaming dealsEarly Prime Day headphones dealsEarly Prime Day tech dealsEarly Prime Day Music Unlimited dealRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 1st, 2022

Antonia Wade, PwC"s global CMO, tells Insider how B2B spending changes in tough economic times

Antonia Wade, global chief marketing officer of PwC, offers insights into how companies prepare for challenging economic conditions. Antonia Wade, chief marketing officer at PwC spoke about the ways marketers and business leaders will adapt their spending in an economic downturn.  Before the pandemic, she said, marketers might have had a five-year plan. Now it's down to 18 months.  Wade spoke to Insider at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. As the pandemic has dramatically shifted consumer and business behavior, marketers no longer have the luxury of long-term planning, according to Antonia Wade, global chief marketing officer at PwC. "The move towards digital channels, the move towards multichannel, the move towards experience, and how your brand lives your experience, those things were happening anyway. They've just had to happen a lot faster," Wade said. "What that's meant is that marketers perhaps had a plan to do something over a five-year time period that needs to shrink down to being 18 months.The tricky part can be balancing the forward planning with the need to be responsive to a dynamic market. "You sometimes have to make financial commitments months, sometimes a year into the future," she said. "So, it can be challenging when unprecedented or unexpected events come in because it's not always easy to just quickly pivot and reshuffle the deck."Wade says it's advisable for marketers to keep aside a little bit of their budgets in order to react to the unexpected.Looming worries over the global economy will impact the way B2B customers are spending money, and how many people are involved in making those decisions. "Companies try and take a reasonably risk adverse approach to buying," she said. "The way that's manifesting itself is more people are involved in the buying process...I think it's an enduring trend. We tend to see this when there's internal pressure on money and people are being more careful about the decisions they are making."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 1st, 2022

15 of the most popular items from last year"s Nordstrom Anniversary sale that you can shop again this July

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening soon. We're looking back at the bestsellers from last year so you can know what to expect this year. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Nordstrom The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts July 15, but now's the time to get ready for the sale. As the brand's biggest sale of the year, there are always a bunch of amazing deals to be found. To give you an idea of what to expect, we rounded up the bestselling items from last year's sale. As the brand's biggest sale of the year, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the best times to find deals on clothing, accessories, beauty products, home goods, and more. The sale officially opens to the public on July 15, but savvy shoppers will want to start preparing for it well in advance.In addition to becoming a Nordstrom cardholder to gain shopping access as early as July 6, one of the best ways to get ready for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is to have an idea of what items will be on sale and which ones will be the most popular among customers. Although there are new items included in the sale every year, looking at last year's bestselling items is always helpful.So, to help you get a head start on planning for the 2022 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, we rounded up 15 of the bestsellers from 2021. Several of these are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview, live now, so you can already see the deal price and save them to your wishlist. Check them out, below.Alo Cover TankNordstromAlo Cover Tank, $58Featuring a faux wrap design and a super stretchy material, this performance tank top is both stylish and sporty.Nordstrom Everyday Poplin ShirtNordstromNordstrom Everyday Poplin Shirt, $69 ($45.90 during the sale)The classic look of this white long-sleeve shirt is easy to style year-round.Ray-Ban 50mm Wayfarer SunglassesNordstromRay-Ban Wayfarer, $163The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is one of the most iconic and timeless sunglasses of all time. They're often imitated, so whenever they go on sale, it's a good deal.Caslon Miller Water Resistant Chelsea BootNordstromCaslon Miller Water Resistant Chelsea Boot, $99.95 ($69.90 during the sale)Featuring a premium water-resistant suede upper and a thick lug sole, the Caslon Miller Chelsea Boot is durable and well-made.UGG Genuine Shearling SlipperNordstromUGG Genuine Shearling Slipper, $100 ($69.90 during sale)These cozy slip-ons feature a shearling upper and durable soles and can be worn inside or outside of your home.Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream SetNordstromCharlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Set, Currently Sold OutFeaturing the Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, Magic Eye Rescue, and Magic Cream, this bundle from last year included everything needed for a moisture-rich skincare routine. We expect to see similar Charlotte Tilbury sets this year.La Mer Travel Size Creme De La Mer SetNordstromLa Mer Travel Size Creme De La Mer Set, $95 ($155 value)This gift set includes La Mer's cleansing foam, treatment lotion, renewal oil, and Creme de la Mer moisturizer bundled inside of a reusable travel case. La Mer's travel sets are quick to sell out during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so we suggest shopping them first if they're on your wishlist.NuFace Petite Facial KitNordstromNuFace Petite Facial Kit, Currently Sold OutNuFace's microcurrent facial toning tool is designed to even skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. When bundled with NuFace's skincare products, it has a $358 value. It's a great deal when on sale. Although currently sold out, we're predicting to see NuFace kits like this to be included.Diptyque Travel Size Scent Candle SetNordstromDiptyque Travel Size Scent Candle Set, Currently Sold OutIf you're new to Diptyque candles, the travel sizes are a great way to find the scents you love without buying full-size candles. While this exact set is currently sold out, a similar 4-piece Diptyque candle set is included in this year's preview for $110 (a $152 value).Fellow Stagg EKG Electric KettleNordstromFellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle, $189Some of the key benefits of using the Stagg Electric Kettle are that it can heat your water to a precise temperature and keep it hot for hours on end. Nordstrom Hydrocotton WashclothNordstromNordstrom Hydrocotton Washcloth, $10 ($7.90 during sale)Chances are you could use some new towels and washcloths at home. The perfect time to buy them is when they're heavily discounted during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Nordstrom Baby Fleece Wearable BlanketNordstromNordstrom Baby Fleece Wearable Blanket, $39 ($24.90 during sale)Whether shopping for your own newborn or for baby shower gifts, Nordstrom has a huge selection. This wearable fleece blanket was a hit last year, and it's back again for the 2022 sale.Rava Flame Retardant Free Convertible Car SeatNordstromRava Flame Retardant Free Convertible Car Seat, $549.95 ($399.99 during sale)Designed to be used rear-facing for children 5 to 50 pounds and forward-facing for children 25 to 65 pounds, the Rava Convertible Car Seat is the only seat you'll need until your kids are big enough to ride without it. Even at full price, it's versatility makes it worth it, but on sale, it's an even better deal.Uppababy Vista V2 StrollerNordstromUppababy Vista V2 Stroller, $1,099.99 ($824.99 during sale)The Uppababy Vista V2 Stroller was one of the bestselling baby products last year and it's returning to this year's sale. At more than $200 off, you'll want to add this to your wishlist and grab one before it sells out.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

The salary journeys of employees across every industry: from the administrative assistant making $16.50 an hour to the pharmaceutical exec making $200,000+ a year

From marketing directors to software engineers, Insider's "Salary Journeys" series gives job seekers more info so they can advocate for fair wages. Alyssa Powell/Insider "Salary Journeys" is a series that reveals what people have made over the course of their careers. The goal is to increase salary transparency and empower people to achieve a fairer wage. Each salary journey spotlights a different person's path and the relationship they have to money. With predictions that skyrocketing prices aren't cooling off soon, US job seekers may be contemplating switching jobs, asking for the raise they've been dreaming of, or even changing industries entirely. Insider's "Salary Journeys" careers series, showcases how employees have navigated these types of transitions — from the data architect making $150,000 a year who loves getting to spend time with his family to the clinical psychologist making $72,000 who feels underpaid."If I'm being honest, I've come to understand that while my salary is important to me, my worth is more than the money I make," said one lawyer, who makes $154,000 a year. "I want to feel valued."The goal of "Salary Journeys" is to create more transparency for job seekers who want to make sure they are paid a fair wage. One Glassdoor study found 70% of employees across seven countries said they believed salary transparency is good for employee satisfaction. An even more sizable portion, 72% of respondents, thought it was good for business.Each salary journey, while anonymized, is an effort to provide a fuller picture of where opportunities lie and which career paths may intertwine in unexpected ways. If you are interested in submitting your salary journey, please email salaryjourneys@insider.com. All submissions are kept confidential.Data architect, $150,000 a yearEven though he knows he could make more elsewhere, a father of two in the South explains the trade off he makes to keep his work-life balance. He says the job isn't grueling, and it allows him to spend time with his wife and kids. "The work is interesting, my colleagues are smart, and this company is committed to its workers and its workers' families," he said. "If I ever need to leave work in the middle of the day to pick up my children, my manager or coworkers cover me."Read more: I'm a data architect in my 40s earning roughly $150,000 a year. I could make more money, but I know that comes with trade-offs.Social media editor, $70,000 a yearCurrently, in her second job, a 24-year-old white woman at a major media company believes she's underpaid by 20-30%. She's currently pulling double duty as an editor and show host for the brand, and says she's built much of the company's social following herself. "I'm in the process of drafting something telling my company that I need a raise to $85,000 or $90,000, or I'm going to look elsewhere," she said. "Even though I like my job, if another offer came my way that offered better opportunities, I'd take it without hesitation.Read more: I'm a 24-year-old social media editor making $70,000. I'm learning to ask for a salary that matches my worth.Associate director, $170,000 a year plus a 15% end-of-year bonusThis 42-year-old associate director loves her job working at a biotech company with oncology patients — she's passionate about her work, makes a high salary, and operates remotely. However, as a woman working in STEM, she has had to be bold about asking for what she wants. "There's more money on the table, and you just need to know how to ask for it," she said. "It doesn't come naturally — it's not a thing that women are socialized to do, but men do it all the time."Read more: I'm a 42-year-old woman researcher in biotech making $170,000 a year plus bonus. I've never been afraid to ask for a raise because 'there's more money on the table.'IT manager, $67,000 a yearA 30-year-old white man started working at his current employer in 2010, and made about $32,240 a year. Today, he earns around $67,000, but based on listings for similar jobs, he thinks he should be making closer to $85,000 or $95,000."I know that changing jobs is typically the most effective way to increase your salary," he said, "but I have a lot of anxiety about the idea of switching jobs." Growing up, his father bounced between many jobs after leaving the military, creating a feeling of instability. Read more: I'm a 30-year-old IT manager making $67,000. I've had one employer for 12 years, but I'm too anxious to leave.Marketing director, $125,000 a yearA 30-year-old Asian American woman who works with influencers says she owes a vote of thanks to social media for her own salary journey.After realizing she was the lowest-paid director on the team at a former job, she vowed to do her research and make the case at her current company that she deserved more."I had heard mention of 'salary adjustments' on TikTok and looked into that," she said. "They're not annual raises but out-of-cycle pay increases that get you where you need to be based on your role and responsibilities."Read more: I'm a 30-year-old influencer-marketing director making $125,000 at my dream job. TikTok helped me negotiate my salary.HR professional, $81,000 a yearFor over a decade, a 32-year-old white woman in human resources felt hamstrung by the Great Recession's effects on her compensation. She tried negotiating and asking for more responsibilities, but in the end, the only thing that worked was finding a new job.Now, she says, her employer pays her fairly and she feels valued by her manager. "It's clear that the job market is very different from when I first started," she said. "I'm glad to finally be making what I'm worth, with a work-life balance that is comfortable for me."Read more: I'm a 32-year-old HR professional making $81,000 a year. Job-hopping was the only way to make what I'm worth.Head of employee relations, $170,775 a year plus a $20,000 signing bonus and 25% target bonusA 31-year-old Black human-resources manager is a proponent of job-hopping, having benefited from the practice herself —today, she's with her fifth employer and earning $212,000 a year. Since she works in HR, she has a transparent view of salary dynamics and how pay works. She also believes most employees will only see an annual raise of 3% or 5%. The only way to get a significant salary increase is to take a new job, she added. "Some of my more traditional colleagues look down on job-hoppers and see them as less committed to their organizations," she said. "I don't look at how long candidates stayed in jobs. Instead, I ask: What did they accomplish?" Read more: I'm a 31-year-old Black woman in HR who makes over $200,000 a year. Job-hopping gets a bad rap, but it's always helped me make what I'm worth.Telecoms sales, $7,000 a monthAfter an early stint as an ad executive in radio broadcasting, a 26-year-old Black man living in the South moved into telecommunications sales as an hourly employee.He is the sole breadwinner for his family, so he was determined to achieve a managerial role within the first year. As it turned out, his dedication and willingness to take advantage of opportunities that came his way led to a promotion offer within the first six months, taking his income to $3,500 a month, plus an average of $3,500 a month in commission.Read more: I'm a 26-year-old in telecommunications sales making $7,000 a month. Hard work and clever planning helped me negotiate a life-changing promotion.Clinical psychologist, $72,000 a yearThe COVID-19 pandemic has made this 59-year-old white woman's job as a clinical psychologist even more challenging. She's been working with patients with severe and persistent mental illness for 14 years, and while she loves her work, she feels underpaid and has $32,000 in debt."It's really unfortunate because, especially over the past two years of the pandemic, it seems as though everyone has a mental-health problem," she said. "But mental-health providers can't take any more clients." Read more: I'm a 59-year-old psychologist who used to be a private chef. I make the same salary as I did 20 years ago, but now have $32,000 in student-loan debt.Software engineer, $183,000 per yearGrowing up with two engineer parents and a strong understanding of finance, a 32-year-old white man living on the West Coast talked about feeling underpaid relative to his peers in Big Tech. "I know I'm incredibly lucky and privileged," he said. "Still, given my field, when I apply for a job, I'm probably not going to settle for less than $220,000 a year, which is closer to what I believe other people in my position are making."Read more: I'm a 32-year-old software engineer at a Big Tech company making $183,000. I know I've been incredibly lucky, but I'm still underpaid.Lawyer, $154,000 per yearFeeling valued at work was never part of the equation for a 36-year-old white male lawyer, until he began making more and noticed it was coming with a cost.His current job — in-house counsel for an environmental-markets company — has been a radical shift from his grueling prior roles. He described the culture and atmosphere as "life-changing." "My boss treats me well," he said. "And my colleagues take an interest in me, getting to know my wife's name and asking about my kids' T-ball team."Read more: I'm a 36-year-old lawyer making $154,000. My salary journey over 7 years is a story of learning my self-worth.Accounting specialist, $50,000 a yearThis 59-year old woman found herself unemployed in August of 2021. Even with more than two decades of experience under her belt, she struggled to find a job that would compensate her fairly or offer her a flexible working environment. She finally found a hybrid role and will be making $50,000 annually. "In the midst of the Great Resignation, I seem to be left sorting through the scraps of jobs that no one else wants," she said. "The places that would give me more money were places I didn't want to work — they didn't offer remote work."Read more: I'm a 59-year-old whose accounting job was eliminated after 20 years. Finding something new felt like 'sorting through the scraps' of bad jobs.Administrative assistant, $16.50 an hourCOVID-19 was devastating for this 37-year-old white woman working in the Midwest. She was jobless for nine months and said she didn't receive unemployment for half that time.Today, she works in a role that she loves and looks back at the experience as a learning opportunity. "I know how to ask for a raise and adjust to a pay cut," she said. "And I've learned to look out for myself and keep an eye on potential opportunities."Read more: I'm a 37-year-old administrative assistant making $16.50 an hour, and I've never been happier. Here's my salary journey over 4 jobs.Editor, $46,000 per yearNegotiations have never come easy to this Latina editor in the Southeast, and she fears it could be having a negative effect on her overall career trajectory.As a result, the 27-year-old said she's never had a negotiation go well and has settled for what she's been offered."Working closely with my higher-ups has taught me how replaceable we are to them," she said. "I'm nervous that if I push too hard, I will be out of a job."Read more: I'm a 27-year-old editor earning up to $46,000 a year. I have a hard time negotiating and don't know what it will mean for my career.Pharmaceutical executive, $203,000 per yearThe 25-year salary journey of a white male pharma executive is one of slow and steady increases. Starting as a contractor 16 years ago, he worked his way up the ladder. Today, he makes $203,000 in salary plus bonus, and an additional $25,000 in stock options."I'm never going to be a millionaire," he said. "But I think I'm well-compensated and that I make a fair wage for the kind of work I do. At this point, I'd have to be offered an exorbitant amount of money to jump ship to a new company."Read more: I'm a 46-year-old pharma exec making over $200,000 a year. I had no idea the industry would be this lucrative.Property-management sales, $125,000 a year, plus a $75,000 commissionThis 38-year-old Black man found himself struggling to build his career in interior sales after signing a non-compete contract with a former employer. The multiple lawsuits he faced from his former employee were anxiety-inducing at the time, but they eventually led him to real estate—a field he really connects with and loves. "My parents' generation was staunchly loyal to employers," he said. "As a millennial, I feel a little differently: I feel like I have to do what's best for me, my mental health, and my career path."Read more: I'm a 38-year-old Black man making $200,000 in real-estate sales. I finally feel like I'm making what I'm worth.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

These 46 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOSussing out bad actorsFrom left to right: Cofounders CTO David Movshovitz, CEO Doron Hendler, and chief architect Adi DeGaniRevealSecurityAn encounter with an impersonation hacker led Doron Hendler to found RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that monitors for insider threats.Two years ago, a woman impersonating an insurance-agency representative called Hendler and convinced him that he made a mistake with his recent health insurance policy upgrade. She got him to share his login information for his insurer's website, even getting him to give the one-time passcode sent to his phone. Once the hacker got what she needed, she disconnected the call, prompting Hendler to call back. When no one picked up the phone, he realized he had been conned.He immediately called his insurance company to check on his account. Nothing seemed out of place to the representative. But Hendler, who was previously a vice president of a software company, suspected something intangible could have been collected, so he reset his credentials."The chief of information security, who was on the call, he asked me, 'So, how do you want me to identify you? You gave your credentials; you gave your ID; you gave the one time password. How the hell can I identify that it's not you?' And I told him, 'But I never behave like this,'" Hendler recalled of the conversation.RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cyber startup that tracks user behavior for abnormalities, used this 27-page deck to raise its Series AA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingSpeeding up loans for government contractors OppZo cofounders Warren Reed and Randy GarrettOppZoThe massive market for federal government contracts approached $700 billion in 2020, and it's likely to grow as spending accelerates amid an ongoing push for investment in the nation's infrastructure. Many of those dollars flow to small-and-medium sized businesses, even though larger corporations are awarded the bulk of contracts by volume. Of the roughly $680 billion in federal contracts awarded in 2020, roughly a quarter, according to federal guidelines, or some $146 billion that year, went to smaller businesses.But peeking under the hood of the procurement process, the cofounders of OppZo — Randy Garrett and Warren Reed — saw an opportunity to streamline how smaller-sized businesses can leverage those contracts to tap in to capital.  Securing a deal is "a government contractor's best day and their worst day," as Garrett, OppZo's president, likes to put it."At that point they need to pay vendors and hire folks to start the contract. And they may not get their first contract payment from the government for as long as 120 days," Reed, the startup's CEO,  told Insider. Check out the 12-page pitch deck OppZo, a fintech that has figured out how to speed up loans to small government contractors, used to raise $260 million in equity and debtHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

The Best Marketing Strategies For eCommerce Businesses

Every day, new internet users buy products online. From America to Europe to Asia, eCommerce is here to stay. Therefore, it’s no surprise that global eCommerce sales are expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022, according to Statista. But while you have more potential customers, more competitors are also trying to take their share of […] Every day, new internet users buy products online. From America to Europe to Asia, eCommerce is here to stay. Therefore, it’s no surprise that global eCommerce sales are expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022, according to Statista. But while you have more potential customers, more competitors are also trying to take their share of the eCommerce pie. So, don’t expect internet users to land on your website and launch a buying spree without your effort. That’s why marketing is vital to any successful eCommerce business’s operations. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Now, there’s no single strategy that works for every eCommerce business. So how do you know the best for your business? This guide will show you the most effective marketing strategies and how to identify the best for your needs. How Do You Know What Strategy Is Best For Your eCommerce Business? As I mentioned earlier, every eCommerce business’s marketing strategy is unique according to various factors. Nevertheless, here are three critical considerations to help you discover the best marketing strategy for your eCommerce business. Your ideal buyer While billions of users are online, only a few profiles of people qualify as your ideal customer. Therefore, defining your ideal buyers will determine most of your marketing and even business decisions. You can define your ideal buyer by creating a buyer persona, which will include details such as: Name Gender Age Income Favorite marketing channels Location Pain points Ambitions Hobbies These pieces of information will determine elements of your marketing campaigns, such as marketing channels, brand voice, targeting criteria, and more. Here’s an eCommerce buyer persona example from Drip: Your marketing goals Although your overall goal is to acquire more customers and revenue, there are many stages of that journey. Your marketing campaigns at various buyer journey stages will have different goals. Common marketing goals for eCommerce businesses include: Brand awareness Lead acquisition Customer acquisition Customer retention Once you have a goal for your marketing campaign, it will inform your marketing messages, channels, and tasks. You must also define the metrics to measure your goal during the goal-setting process. Without setting a goal for your marketing campaigns, you can easily fall into a scattergun approach. As a result, there’ll be no way to measure the success or failure of your campaigns. Your marketing budget First, your overall budget will determine the channels you’ll focus on. With a big budget, you can have more space to experiment. However, a small budget will restrict you to only a tried-and-tested strategy. Whatever your budget, it’s vital to optimize it to obtain the best result possible. Considering these factors, you can create a unique eCommerce marketing strategy to meet your business needs. The Best eCommerce Marketing Strategies Below, we’ll consider six proven strategies to help you reach more customers. Of course, you can combine some of these strategies to achieve your marketing goals. Let’s go into the details. Ecommerce SEO Before a customer is ready to buy your product, they’ve done a lot of research. So to give your business the best chance of converting prospects, you must connect with them during the research stage. ECommerce SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages to rank high for essential business keywords. Here are tasks to execute to improve your eCommerce SEO: Content Marketing: no page can rank on search engines without some content on it. Hence, valuable content is one of the most vital criteria for ranking high for a keyword. Today, SEO has gone beyond just stuffing a page with keywords. Search engines consider search intent and ensure your content provides the information a searcher is looking for. Therefore, creating pieces of content that solve your visitors’ problems is vital. Technical SEO: includes tasks you execute in your website’s backend to ensure search engines can quickly discover your website. For example, you can submit your sitemap to index your pages and make them crawlable. Another aim of technical SEO is to improve the website experience for visitors. For instance, you can increase the speed of your website for a boost in rankings and usability. Another similar focus is making your website mobile-friendly to complement both of the points mentioned above. On-Page SEO: these are SEO tasks you do on your web page. They include tasks such as adding your target keyword to the page URL, title, subheadings, and other aspects of your page. Header tags are essential, they help break down content to help search engines better understand your content. Off-Page SEO: while you can improve SEO for your eCommerce website through many actions on your website, you can also take steps outside your website. One of the most prominent off-page SEO tactics is link building. When other websites relevant to your niche link to your page, they help build the authority of that page. Another critical factor is that the website linking to you already has a lot of high-quality backlinks to your pages will boost your chances of higher ranks. By engaging in eCommerce SEO campaigns, you can acquire more leads and customers through search engines. Pay Per Click Advertising Improving organic search and social media performance can take a lot of time that you don’t have. However, with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you can reach your audience now. For PPC advertising on Google, you must take the necessary steps to improve your chances of success. They include: Conduct keyword research: what keywords are your potential buyers putting in the search box? You can find the best keywords to reach your prospects through keyword research on Google Keyword planner and other research tools. Adjust bidding according to your goals: Are your ads showing up for your preferred keywords? Is the competition too high? Is a click worth much higher than you’re currently bidding? You can also achieve better success with your bidding if you increase your ad quality score through high-relevant ads and better click-through rates. Build relevant landing pages: your ad copy must align with your landing page copy to improve your chances of conversions. Some landing page builders allow you to take it further through dynamic text replacement. This will feature searchers’ keywords on your landing page. Use Google shopping ads: These ads are usually created for transactional keywords. These ads will display your products and their prices on the search results page. You can also add shipping information and ratings. Use retargeting ads: if someone has visited some pages on your website, you can send them ads related to those pages. For instance, you can target a shopper who has visited a product page with ads for that product. This will make them more receptive to your ads. After executing these tactics, you can improve performance through A/B testing. Frankly, there’s no single ad that works for every business. So, you have to test various ad campaign elements to improve performance. Email Marketing According to statistics from Litmus, email marketing can deliver an ROI of $45 for every dollar spent by eCommerce businesses. So, unsurprisingly, this is one of the best marketing channels to improve performance. That is because email marketing for eCommerce has many advantages compared to other marketing channels. First, your marketing messages will land in your subscribers’ inboxes. This is more exposure than other channels. Second, sending different messages according to the subscriber’s interests is easy. In other words, personalization can make a lot of difference in your marketing campaigns. Naturally, the best email marketing software you can use today will allow you to personalize your emails based on many criteria such as: Name Birthdays Gender Location Purchase history Emails opened Website pages visited As a result of sending relevant emails to subscribers, you’ll increase your open and click-through rates. And since you’re directing them to a relevant web page, there’s a higher chance of converting such visitors. Beyond personalization, email marketing automation is another effective strategy. Email marketing automation involves sending a series of messages to your subscribers based on a schedule or when some conditions are met. Some examples of automated email sequences are: Welcome emails Lead nurturing emails Promotional emails Abandoned cart emails Up-sell and cross-sell emails Onboarding emails Re-engagement emails To create these emails, you’ll find the necessary tools in your email marketing software. Better still, some software packages will provide automation templates you can use to create your campaigns. Here’s an example  of a sequence built with While creating your sequences, you can add triggers or conditions to add or remove subscribers from your email automation. For your eCommerce business, email marketing is a must rather than an afterthought. Social Media While social media is a platform to connect with friends, users also follow businesses and check out information and product offers. Here, eCommerce brands can provide value to their audience through content that can solve their problems. Of course, your business needs to focus on social media platforms where you can reach your ideal customers. Some ways eCommerce businesses can use social media include: Posting product tips Displaying product use cases Providing industry information Making product announcements Featuring user-generated content (UGC) Featuring influencer content Selling products Customer care In many industries, you’ll find experts and celebrities who have gained a big following due to years of excellent performance in their industries. As a result, these influencers have audiences who trust their product recommendations. Naturally, eCommerce businesses have taken advantage of this phenomenon to promote their products. However, while launching an influencer marketing campaign, you need to find the right influencers. The right social media management tool can help you find the right influencers. Then, it can help you track the effectiveness of your influencer campaigns. Fortunately, you’ll find many examples of brands using influencer marketing on Instagram. Over the years, social selling has become a popular strategy for eCommerce businesses. For instance, Statista found that about half of American social media users aged 14 to 34 made purchases through this channel in 2021. In fact, some social media platforms now allow you to sell your products on their platforms. For example, Instagram allows you to add shopping tags to products on your Instagram posts. A user can click on this tag to buy this product or shop more products without leaving the Instagram app. This allows you to eliminate the barrier of taking users out of Instagram. Pinterest also allows influencers and brands to create shoppable pins. This will let users shop products on Pinterest or click a link to visit the eCommerce website. On social media, there are many opportunities to promote and sell your products. Affiliate marketing Since you can’t reach all your prospects through your efforts alone, you can partner with publishers who will promote your products on blog posts, emails, social media, and videos. In return, publishers will take a share of the sales they refer. This will help you increase your reach faster. After all, according to Backlinko, “40% of U.S. merchants cited affiliate programs as their top customer acquisition channel”. First, you have to find a suitable affiliate marketing platform. This will help you organize details such as your affiliates, commissions, and other pieces of information. Moreover, your publishers can see the number of clicks, affiliates, paid affiliates, commissions, and more. Some affiliate marketing platforms such as PartnerStack, Everflow, and Impact.com provide tools to run your affiliate marketing campaigns. On the other hand, you can use affiliate marketplaces such as ShareASale and Commission Junction. Beyond this, you need to create an affiliate marketing page on your website. On this page, you’ll explain your affiliate terms to publishers. Publishers should also have a link to register. After a publisher has registered as an affiliate, you should send emails to them providing tips on how they can promote your products more effectively. Optimizing Website UI/UX Your website is the first impression a shopper will have about your business. If your website design is poor, shoppers will see your business as sloppy. And sloppy businesses don’t make great products, right? So, a shopper can leave before they get to see your wonderful products if your website UI/UX is poor. However, there are a few steps to ensure this never happens. First, you need a simple site structure. This means shoppers should be able to get to any page in no more than 4 clicks. More so, you can install a search bar to help visitors find products easily. You can also use a chatbot and live chat to answer any vital questions prospects may have during shopping. Another way to optimize your eCommerce website UI/UX is to make your website scannable and use obvious CTAs. Today, a large percentage of your buyers will be on mobile devices. Having a mobile responsive website ensures all the essential elements on your page will be visible to mobile users. Adding the geolocation feature helps provide shipping information and addresses of your nearest physical stores. Implementing these tactics will help provide a seamless experience to shoppers during the buyer’s journey. Conclusion As more people shop online, your eCommerce business should prepare for more challenging competition. Effective marketing is one of the best ways to give your business the right exposure. Even if you have an excellent product, nobody will buy it if they’ve never heard of it. But with the right marketing strategies, you’ll attract more shoppers to your online store and sell more products to them. Employ the strategies explained in this guide to boost your marketing results. Article by Diana Ford, Due About the Author Diana Ford utilizes over seven years of experience in marketing. She covers some industry-specific topics such as money management and business finance. Updated on Jun 29, 2022, 3:40 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 29th, 2022

I live and work out of Airbnbs in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and it"s paradise — here"s how I stay productive while still feeling like I"m on vacation

Meagan Drillinger's Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta has a rooftop pool and she's able to do her job "seamlessly" from an open-air Starbucks near the beach. The author is staying in an Airbnb with a rooftop pool in the quiet neighborhood of Versailles, Puerto Vallarta.Meagan Drillinger Meagan Drillinger has worked remotely from all over the world and says Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is her top choice. It's a beautiful, relaxed beach destination and modern international city all in one, with plenty of coworking spots. She keeps up a super productive, "semi-normal routine" — all while feeling like she's on vacation. One of the biggest perks of freelance work is that it can be done from anywhere, so when I left my desk job in 2014, I made it a point to pick up and work from all over the world wherever I could. I've worked from Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, and, most extensively, Mexico. Of all the countries I've tried, it's Mexico that I find to be a remote worker's paradise — particularly the city of Puerto Vallarta.Puerto Vallarta blends the cosmopolitan with escapism I first started visiting the city in 2013, and it's since become a second home. I even met my now-husband there (on Tinder, believe it or not). A far-cry from the sleepy beach town it used to be, you can go so far as to call Puerto Vallarta a full-fledged city these days, thanks to all the hotels, Airbnbs, restaurants, infrastructure, shopping malls, coffee shops — you get the idea. But even though it's fully connected and modern in its own right, Puerto Vallarta is still very much a coastal Mexican town with all of the charm, history, and quirks that come with a tropical paradise. An example: After a day of work, I stroll down the Malecon (boardwalk) past an ever-changing rotation of public art toward El Solar, a cash-only beachfront bar with a relaxing soundtrack and a menu of succulent ceviche, fresh tacos, and frosty drinks. I usually go here for happy hour by myself after a long day to unwind, toes in the sand — and it sure beats my 9-to-5 desk job routine in my previous New York City life.Meagan Drillinger.Meagan DrillingerI've been able to do my job seamlesslyWifi is very fast and reliable in Puerto Vallarta, and it's free in most restaurants, bars, Airbnbs, and hotels. Unlike other more remote parts of the world, where the wifi can drop unexpectedly, you rarely have that problem here.The city's also teeming with coffee shops and coworking spaces, most of which offer air conditioning, lockers for storage, private meeting rooms, and phone booths. Vallarta Cowork is one of the best in the area.But as a creature of habit, I prefer working from a Starbucks on the Malecon and affectionately refer to it as "my office." It has outdoor tables under a covered awning, a picture-perfect view of the Bay of Banderas, and great people-watching. The WiFi is fast (and free) and they never kick me out, even if I sit there long after the ice from my cold brew has melted, which I often do.Drillinger affectionately refers to a Starbucks on the boardwalk as her office: "There's something about this spot that keeps me super focused and productive."Meagan DrillingerAround me is a constant rotation of people on their laptops, taking calls, or simply breezing in and out on their way to the beach. There's something about this spot that keeps me super focused and productive; I get more done in four hours at Starbucks than I do in an entire day in a beautiful Airbnb. I'm able to structure my days in a way I love Puerto Vallarta is a very easy city in which to adopt a semi-normal routine, while still feeling like you're on vacation. I'm a member of Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour gym with more than 4,000 locations around the world that costs about $50 a month (less if you buy six months at a time). The one in Puerto Vallarta is on the second floor of the Plaza Caracol mall. It's spacious, with strong AC and brand-new equipment. I go around 9 a.m. and frequently have the place to myself.The city does not lack grocery stores, either, from Walmart and Costco to more local (yet similar to Walmart) chains like Soriana or Chedraui. You can even find gourmet supermarkets like La Europea, which has high-end imports from France and Italy. I'll do a big shop at Soriana (since it's right underneath the Anytime Fitness) and will spend about $75 for two people for a week's worth of groceries.I often book an Airbnb so that I can cook most of my meals, but of course there are many restaurant options around the city. Prices now are a lot higher than in previous years, but you can still get a night out for four people at nice restaurant with two bottles of wine for less than $200, so it's cheaper than cities like New York City or Los Angeles.My work-life balance is never better than when I'm hereWhat I wanted most when I went freelance for the first time was a better work-life balance, and living in Puerto Vallarta allows for that beautifully. The surrounding mountains are veined with hiking trails and picturesque waterfalls. One of my favorite things to do is to grab the bus from the Zona Romantica and head south to the small fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan. There's a mountain hike here that runs along the coastline and weaves in and out of coves and secluded beaches, opening up to one of the most beautiful restaurants in the area, Casitas Maraika."What I wanted most when I went freelance for the first time was a better work-life balance, and living in Puerto Vallarta allows for that beautifully," Drillinger writes.Meagan DrillingerMy husband and I have also taken to driving our motorcycle up and down the coast of Nayarit, popping into the smaller beach towns that remind us of what Puerto Vallarta used to be like when we first started visiting.There are several great neighborhoods for a remote worker to liveI'm staying in an area called Versailles right now, and going forward, this is where I'll always stay. It's a quiet residential neighborhood with charming cobblestone streets and a mix of historic architecture and modern condo-style apartments. Our two-bedroom, two-bathroom Airbnb has a rooftop pool deck, full kitchen, and washer/dryer and costs roughly $70 per night (but can change depending on the season). We've been here a month, and will likely return for another month and a half in the fall.While we're walking distance to several grocery stores and shopping malls, it would require a taxi or a bus to get to the energy of downtown or a 15-minute walk to the beach. Remote workers who are newer to Puerto Vallarta might do better in either the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, which is packed with restaurants, bars, and coffee shops; Centro, a busier and more historical neighborhood that can get noisy at night; or Zona Romantica, the oldest and most visually stunning neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta (that's also the main tourist section of the city, so expect prices to be a little higher). I've stayed in all three and had great experiences. San Pancho, one of the small beach towns along the Nayarit coast that the author and her husband visit.Meagan DrillingerOf course, there are a few downsidesFor one, Puerto Vallarta does not have the most beautiful beaches in Mexico; to find those, you'll have to venture outside of the city along the southern Costalegre or up north into Riviera Nayarit. Second, it's a city that's teeming with both domestic and international tourists and there's no way to get around that — though it's unique to see how well the tourists and residents intermix with each other. What makes Puerto Vallarta such an appealing spot for remote work is that while it's a beach destination, it has blossomed into such an international city that it can give people the best of both worlds. As long as I'm able to work remotely, I will always find a reason to come to Puerto Vallarta at least once a year. I'm not saying we are starting to look at real estate yet, but it certainly has been a conversation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 29th, 2022

How pickleball became one of the fastest-growing sports in America — and which companies are benefiting from the boom

With the legions of new pickleball fans has come a demand for cool, stylish gear — and the startups to supply it. Recess offers stylish pickleball gear aimed at recreational players.Recess Pickleball, a hybrid of tennis and ping pong, is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US. Its popularity, spurred in part by the pandemic, has led to a cohort of new gear companies.  Recess, Disco Country Club, and Nettie are a few of the startups aiming to ride the pickleball wave. Maggie Brown's pickleball obsession began on a cruise ship about five years ago. Brown, cofounder of pickleball startup Recess, stumbled upon a court aboard the ship, and she and her three siblings taught themselves to play. Fast-forward to pandemic-era lockdowns, and Brown was playing pickleball with her siblings every day in what they deemed, fittingly, recess. "We ended up building a legit court: pouring cement, painting the lines, doing the whole thing," Brown told Insider. "Then I went online to buy paddles and there was just nothing that really fit my aesthetic."Brown and her cofounder, Grace Moore, decided to launch their own company that offers stylish pickleball paddles, balls, and some apparel and accessories. About a year after launch, the Austin-based company's gear is being stocked by Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, and Nordstrom.The success of Recess and other pickleball startups like it is the direct result of the sport's soaring popularity in the US. Once considered a recreational pastime for tennis players trying to go easier on their joints, pickleball has become one of the nation's fastest-growing sports, driven, in part, by the pandemic. And with the legions of new fans has come a demand for new gear — and the startups to supply it. 4.8 million pickleball players nationwideDisco Country Club's pickleball paddles have a retro vibe.Disco Country ClubFor those who haven't yet been bitten by the pickleball bug, it's best described as a cross between tennis and ping pong. Like tennis, pickleball can be played as a singles or doubles game on a court with a net, albeit with a much smaller footprint than a tennis court. Like ping pong, the game is played with hard paddles and a hollow ball, although the ball is perforated, much like a Wiffle ball. Pickleball was invented in 1965 by a group of dads outside Seattle, and in the decades since, has become a pastime akin to badminton or bocce ball: easy to learn and low-impact. Those who want their own gear have typically turned to major sports-equipment brands like Franklin and Head, or companies that serve the pro space, like Selkirk. But over the past five years, pickleball has had a double-digit growth rate annually, according to data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a trade group that represents the sporting goods industry. All told, there were 4.8 million pickleball players in the US as of 2021, the bulk of them between the ages of 18 and 34. According to SFIA data, the average age of people playing pickleball continues to drop: it was 41 in 2020, and 38.1 in 2021. "During shelter-in-place, we were all sort of living like the quasi-retired," Alyssa Carroll, founder of Los Angeles-based pickleball brand Disco Country Club, told Insider. "People needed something that was outdoors. They wanted something social and active. So to me, I think that was a lot of the impetus for it catching on with younger people."Carroll, a longtime tennis player, started her company when, much like Brown from Recess, she couldn't find many options for pickleball gear that fit her aesthetic. The company now sells retro-inspired paddles, balls, and carrying cases, with a set retailing for $115. And as for the company's name, it, too, was born from the depths of the pandemic doldrums: Carroll said she started thinking about where she'd rather be and landed on a country club, but chill and cool, like the disco. Disco Country Club was born. Hopping on the pickleball bandwagonA couple plays pickleball with Nettie's paddles.NettieTequila brand Casamigos is sponsoring pickleball tournaments (one of its founders, actor George Clooney, is apparently a fan of the game). Fashion label Alice + Olivia launched a pickleball collection that includes fitted tops and tennis skirts. Media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk now owns a Major League Pickleball team. And Architectural Digest recently touted pickleball courts as the hottest amenity in luxury real estate developments, eclipsing attractions like golf. But while pickleball may be becoming a luxurious amenity, it remains a pretty democratic and affordable pastime, according to Catherine Baxter, the founder and CEO of Cincinnati-based pickleball company Nettie.Baxter told Insider that what drew her to pickleball is the fact that you don't have to spend a ton of money to get started, and you can play pretty much anytime, anywhere. Case in point: Baxter's in-laws shoved their couch to the side to erect a makeshift, mini-pickleball court inside their New York City apartment during the pandemic. After seeing how much the sport was catching on, both in her own family and across the country, Baxter started working on Nettie in February 2021 — by November, she was ready for a soft launch of her colorful, '60s-inspired paddles, which can be bought in a $150 set with two balls and two sweatbands straight out of "The Royal Tenenbaums." She sold out about two weeks after launch, she told Insider. Now, Baxter is focused on getting paddles into the hands of as many people as possible, regardless of age and ability. "There aren't that many games and sports that you can actively play with your in-laws or your parents or your grandparents," she said. "It's pretty rare."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 29th, 2022

The One Simple Measure to Identify Outperformers

If you want to beat the market, you have to own stocks that are outperforming the market. “Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.” – ConfuciusIf you want to beat the market, you have to own stocks that are outperforming the market. It really is that simple, but many investors insist on complicating the process. There are hundreds of indicators available to help pick stocks. But in my experience, the more complicated a strategy is, the less likely it will work in the future.A strategy that is easy to learn and has a history of profitability is much more likely to work in actual investing than an overly complicated approach. The more complex an indicator is, the more difficult it is to use and the higher the probability that an error will occur. My motto in investing, as well as in life, is simple is better.One of the most useful measures to help investors identify leading stocks and funds in any market environment is relative strength. This technical analysis tool assists us in gauging how an investment has performed relative to the market or another relevant benchmark. For example, we could use relative strength to detect stocks that have outperformed the Nasdaq so far this year.This convenient measure is not to be confused with the relative strength index (RSI), which technical analysts use to generate overbought and oversold conditions. Investors using relative strength tend to assume that the trend of outperformance will continue into the future. Let’s take a look at an example of how we can use this simple indicator to identify a stock that is widely outperforming the market.Richardson Electronics, Ltd. (RELL)Richardson Electronics is an electronic component provider of power and microwave technologies and customized display solutions. RELL is a global powerhouse whose products are used to control, switch, or amplify electrical power signals, as well as to display devices used in alternative energy, medical, aviation, military, and semiconductor markets. The company also manufactures and distributes products for the healthcare sector such as imaging replacement parts for CT and MRI systems. Richardson Electronics was founded in 1947 and is based in LaFox, IL.Take a look at RELL’s relative performance versus the Nasdaq year-to-date. We can see that the stock has been steadily outperforming other technology companies and has been making a series of higher highs:Image Source: StockChartsThe stock has returned investors north of 95% over the past year, while the Nasdaq has fallen over 20%:Image Source: StockChartsIt’s easy to see the power behind using relative strength to identify leading stocks. Adding to the bullish case is the fact that RELL is a component of the Zacks Electronics – Parts Distribution industry, which currently ranks in the top 2% out of approximately 250 industries.Quantitative research studies suggest that approximately half of a stock’s price appreciation is due to its industry group. By focusing on stocks that are showing relative strength in leading industries, we can dramatically improve our odds of success. Also note the favorable characteristics for this industry below:Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchRELL is set to report fiscal Q4 earnings on July 20th. Analysts are expecting continued momentum, with the Zacks Consensus Estimate standing at $0.21 per share – a 50% growth rate relative to the same quarter in the prior year.Make sure to include relative strength in your process to help uncover leading stocks like RELL. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Richardson Electronics, Ltd. (RELL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 28th, 2022

3 Stocks That Warren Buffett Can"t Get Enough Of

Buffett has been on a buying spree in 2022, undoubtedly a rare occurrence. It raises a valid question - what has he bought this year? It may not be as surprising as one would think. One of the most widely-followed individuals in the financial world is the mega-popular Warren Buffett. Recognized as one of the most successful investors of all time, it’s easy to see why eyes are constantly fixated on him and why investors are always waiting on his next move.Warren Buffett is a philanthropist and businessman. He’s the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company whose subsidiaries engage in insurance, freight rail transportation, energy generation and distribution, manufacturing, and many others.Throughout his life, he’s reaped stellar returns in the market. Simply put, he’s been excellent in choosing stocks, and that’s what we’re here to look at today.On Monday, it was revealed in a regulatory filing that Berkshire Hathaway had acquired an additional 795,000 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. OXY, which increased the company’s stake to 16.4%.Buffett has been on a buying spree in 2022, something we typically do not see. However, it does raise a valid question – what else has he bought in 2022? Let’s take a deeper dive into his OXY purchase and two other of his 2022 purchases.Occidental Petroleum CorporationFounded in 1920, Occidental Petroleum Corporation OXY is an integrated oil and gas company with significant exploration and production exposure. The company is also a producer of various basic chemicals, petrochemicals, polymers, and specialty chemicals. OXY operates through three segments: Oil and Gas, Chemical, and Midstream and Marketing.OXY shares have been scorching hot year-to-date, as illustrated in the chart below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company has reported strong quarterly results, exceeding EPS expectations consistently. Over its last four quarters, the company has beat bottom-line estimates on average by 7.6%, and in its latest quarterly release, OXY crushed EPS estimates by a sizable 26%.Additionally, bottom-line growth rates are stellar across several timeframes. The $2.88 EPS estimate for the upcoming quarter reflects a jaw-dropping 800% growth in earnings from the year-ago quarter.Perhaps even more impressive, FY22 earnings are forecasted to climb a massive triple-digit 306% year-over-year. Analysts have pushed their estimates higher across the board over the last 60 days.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOXY is a Zacks Rank #3 with an overall VGM Score of an A.AppleWe’re all familiar with Apple AAPL, the creator of the legendary iPhone, among many other widely-popular products. The company has completely shifted the mobile phone landscape over the last decade, and it’s been one of the best places for investors to park their cash.AAPL shares have struggled year-to-date, declining approximately 21% in value and slightly underperforming the S&P 500.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNumerous times, Buffett has stated that he’s attracted to Apple due to a simple fact – brand loyalty. Apple consumers have a strong tendency to trade in old Apple products for new ones, establishing a loyal customer base. Additionally, he believes that the company’s services and products are very beneficial and crucial to society.AAPL has provided stellar quarterly results, exceeding bottom-line expectations in a whopping 19 out of its last 20 quarterly reports. The company has acquired a four-quarter trailing average EPS surprise of a double-digit 12%, and in its latest quarter, it exceeded EPS expectations by a robust 6.3% in the face of adverse business conditions.Analysts have primarily dialed back their earnings estimates over the last 60 days, with the $1.14 per share estimate for the upcoming quarter reflecting a somewhat concerning 12% decrease in earnings from the year-ago quarter.However, the $6.11 EPS estimate for FY22 displays a robust 9% growth in the bottom-line year-over-year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchApple is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with an overall VGM Score of a C.Chevron Chevron CVX is one of the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, with operations that span nearly all corners of the globe.CVX shares have been hot year-to-date, increasing approximately 30% in value and extensively outperforming the S&P 500.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBerkshire Hathaway significantly raised its stake in the oil giant, becoming one of the largest holds in the portfolio. Similar to OXY, it represents a massive bet on the oil industry, a primary focus of attention within the market throughout 2022.CVX has had mixed quarterly results over its last four reports, missing EPS expectations twice and exceeding them twice. In its latest quarter, the company reported EPS of $3.36, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.44 per share by a slight 2.3%.Analysts have dialed back their earnings estimates over the last 60 days, but bottom-line growth remains robust. For the upcoming quarter, the $4.69 per share estimate displays a substantial 175% growth in earnings from the year-ago quarter.Furthermore, for the current fiscal year, the $17.50 EPS estimate reflects a massive triple-digit expansion of 115% within the bottom-line year-over-year.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCVX is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with an overall VGM Score of an A.Bottom LineCommonly referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett has amassed a fortune within the stock market, making it easy to understand why investors anxiously await every move he makes.He’s been on a buying spree year-to-date, which we generally don’t see. The Berkshire CEO undoubtedly recognizes all of the discounts that 2022 has brought us and has deployed an offensive approach.All three stocks above are ones in which Buffett has increased his position size in throughout 2022, putting them in the spotlight. For investors seeking to invest like the Oracle of Omaha, all three companies above would provide that approach. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 28th, 2022

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is almost here. Here"s how to preview all the deals and get early access to shop them.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public on July 15, but cardholders can gain early access. Learn how to shop early and what brands will be on sale. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Nordstrom The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public on July 15, but members can gain access early. Learn how to shop ahead of time, get a $60 Bonus Note, and what brands will be on sale, below. From Nike and UGG to Charlotte Tilbury, Hugo Boss, and La Mer, you'll find many top brands on sale. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the brand's biggest sale of the year — and it's almost here. As the company's annual sitewide savings event, this is the time to find some of the best discounts and deals of the entire year — and that includes Black Friday. The sale officially begins on July 15, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare beforehand, including saving the items you want to buy.Starting June 29, everyone will be able to preview the items that will be discounted. As of right now, you can expect brands like Nike, Allsaints, UGG, La Mer, Hugo Boss, Zella, and more to be on sale. You can add items to your wishlist, making it quick and easy to find them and check out once the sale begins.Nordstrom cardholders can also shop early depending on their membership tier. Icon members can begin shopping on July 6, Ambassador members can begin shopping on July 7, and Influencer members can begin shopping on July 9. On July 15, the sale goes live to the public.NordstromIf you're not already a cardholder, you can sign up now and get a $60 Bonus Note to spend upon approval.Below, we've rounded up all of the categories that will be on sale, followed by an FAQ section to answer all of your questions about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Where to shop by category:Women'sMen'sKids'BeautyHome and kitchenDesignerFrequently asked questionsWhen is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and when does it end? The Nordstrom Anniversary sale opens to the public on July 15, but cardholders can gain access as early as July 6. The sale ends on July 31 for everyone. Is everything on sale? While not every item is on sale, there are items in every category available at a discount during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. From women's and men's clothing to home and beauty, you'll find sales across all of Nordstrom's product categories. You can shop online, in-store, or even through curbside pick-up. What other Nordstrom sales should I know about? Nordstrom's Half Yearly and Black Friday Sales are two of the brand's other big shopping events. However, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale remains to be the biggest with the best discounts.Should I sign up for a Nordstrom Credit Card?If you're thinking about becoming a Nordstrom cardholder, it's recommended to sign up before the upcoming sale. That way, you'll gain early access to the sale and receive a $60 bonus note to shop.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

If You Invested $1000 in Winnebago Industries a Decade Ago, This is How Much It"d Be Worth Now

Why investing for the long run, especially if you buy certain popular stocks, could reap huge rewards. For most investors, how much a stock's price changes over time is important. This factor can impact your investment portfolio as well as help you compare investment results across sectors and industries.The fear of missing out, or FOMO, also plays a factor in investing, especially with particular tech giants, as well as popular consumer-facing stocks.What if you'd invested in Winnebago Industries (WGO) ten years ago? It may not have been easy to hold on to WGO for all that time, but if you did, how much would your investment be worth today?Winnebago Industries' Business In-DepthWith that in mind, let's take a look at Winnebago Industries' main business drivers. Headquartered in Iowa, Winnebago Industries is a leading producer of recreational vehicles in the United States. The motorhomes or RVs are made in the company's vertically integrated manufacturing facilities in Iowa, while the travel trailer and fifth wheel trailers are produced in Indiana. Winnebago distributes its RV and marine products through independent dealers throughout the United States and Canada.The company produces and sell conventional travel trailers and fifth wheels under the Winnebago and Grand Design brand names. It manufactures and sells Motorhomes under the Winnebago and Newmar brand names. Premium quality boats are built and sold under its Chris-Craft and Barletta brands through an established network of independent authorized dealers. It also manufactures other specialty commercial vehicles tailored for specific requirements, such as law enforcement command centers, mobile medical clinics, and mobile office space. These specialty commercial vehicles are built in Forest City and distributed through the firm’s dealer network.On November 8, 2016, Winnebago acquired towable RV manufacturer Grand Design to expand the existing towable RV product offerings. With the acquisition, the company expanded the number of reporting segments to two: (1) Motorized products (constituting 44.7% of overall revenues in fiscal 2021) and services and, (2) Towable products and services (constituting 55.3% of overall revenues in fiscal 2021). The Motorized segment comprises of all products that include a motorized chassis as well as other related manufactured products. The Towable segment includes all products that are not motorized and are generally towed by another vehicle.The recreational vehicle industry is influenced by many strong macroeconomic factors and is extremely sensitive to overall strength of the economy. The Global RV Market has enjoyed exponential growth since 2008 on the back of rising popularity of van life movement among millennials and changing customer lifestyles. The demand for RVs in luxury camping and travel amenities is likely to keep growing in the future.Bottom LineWhile anyone can invest, building a lucrative investment portfolio takes research, patience, and a little bit of risk. If you had invested in Winnebago Industries ten years ago, you're probably feeling pretty good about your investment today.A $1000 investment made in June 2012 would be worth $5,377.57, or a gain of 437.76%, as of June 28, 2022, according to our calculations. This return excludes dividends but includes price appreciation.The S&P 500 rose 192.83% and the price of gold increased 11.17% over the same time frame in comparison.Going forward, analysts are expecting more upside for WGO. Winnebago has been riding on the strength of its acquisitions including Grand Design and Newmar, which have bolstered its product portfolio. The recreational vehicle (RV) maker has also fortified its marine market foothold on the acquisition of Barletta Pontoon Boats, which closed in August. The company's balance sheet and investor friendly moves are praiseworthy. Winnebago’s all-electric e-RV camper van testifies its commitment toward innovation and sustainability. However, supply chain bottlenecks owning to shortage of RV components have impacted the margins. Escalating commodity and operating expenses may also weigh on the company’s performance. Additionally, rising interest rates and recessionary fears may result in demand reduction. Thus, the stock warrants a cautious stance as of now. Shares have gained 5.57% over the past four weeks and there have been 5 higher earnings estimate revisions for fiscal 2022 compared to none lower. The consensus estimate has moved up as well. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 28th, 2022

How many Instagram followers you need to start getting paid

When can a content creator start making money on Instagram with brand deals, or affiliate marketing? We spoke with dozens of influencers to find out. Tomi Obebe is a micro influencer on Instagram.Tomi Obebe A couple thousand followers on Instagram qualifies some users as "influencers." But at what point — and with how many followers — can an influencer start making money? Insider has talked with dozens of influencers about when they started making money, how, and how much. With a few thousand followers on Instagram these days, it's easy to ask yourself: When can I start making money doing this?The good news is, there's no strict minimum. Three influencers Insider interviewed — all with under 3,000 Instagram followers — said they got paid by brands to post to their small audiences.For instance, Kayla Compton became a brand ambassador for jewelry company PuraVida with less than 2,000 followers, she told Insider last year. She said her starting sponsored-content package at the time was $250, and that she also got paid by sharing affiliate links or codes with her followers and earning a small commission.And now, it's easier than ever to share affiliate links on Instagram stories since the company rolled out access to link stickers to all accounts in October. Instagram is also directly paying some influencers through incentive programs like "Bonuses" for Reels, which requires at least 1,000 views on Reels (rather than a follower minimum). On the other hand, other Instagram monetization features like "Badges," Instagram's tipping tool for IG Live, require that creators have at least 10,000 followers. Many of these programs also are limited to certain countries, have an age minimum of 18, and require accounts to be registered as business or creator accounts on the app. While the doors have opened for many more creators on Instagram to start making a living, often they don't start making full-time incomes immediately (although a fair number of micro influencers with under 100,000 followers work full-time as influencers). Read more: 19 content creators share how they turned their social-media side hustles into full-time jobsToday, influencers no longer need hundreds of thousands of followers to start earning cash.Here are a few reasons why:"Nano" and "micro" influencers (typically accounts with fewer than 100,000 followers) are being hired by many brands across industries. These smaller influencers have demonstrated the power of niche and engaged communities on Instagram, where fake followers and disproportional engagement have flooded the platform. Influencers can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars from these deals. Meta-owned Instagram is opening its multi-billion-dollar wallet and paying some influencers, which it announced last year with a flashy $1 billion investment into content creators through 2022.Affiliate links are easier to share now than ever. Some affiliate programs do have their own requirements, however, such as LTK or ShopStyle. Instagram also is testing its own affiliate marketing program, which is available to a select number of creators at the moment. Influencers can get paid a commission on sales driven directly through Instagram. Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, who's already enrolled and had 16,000 followers when Insider first interviewed her, earned more than $500 in one month. Check out: Leaked commission rates from September 2021 reveal how much brands in Instagram's affiliate marketing test like Sephora were paying influencersSo, how much money are these influencers making on Instagram?Insider interviewed over two dozen Instagrammers about how much money they make, with follower counts between 2,000 and just over 100,000. Here's a full breakdown of our coverage:From brand deals:Natasha Greene, a food and lifestyle creator with 137,000 Instagram followersMacy Mariano, a travel and fashion influencer with 102,000 followersJehava Brown, a travel and lifestyle influencer with 70,000 followersNick Cutsumpas, a plant influencer with 63,700 followersAshley Jones, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 45,000 followersTomi Obebe, a lifestyle influencer with 40,000 followersEmma Cortes, a lifestyle influencer and podcast host with 47,000 followersBritney Turner, a lifestyle influencer with 27,000 followersCaitlin Patton, a lifestyle influencer with 22,000 followersMary Margaret Boudreaux, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 20,000 followersGigi Kovach, a part-time lifestyle blogger and mom of two with 13,500 followersTyler Chanel, a sustainability influencer with 12,000 followersKhadijah Lacey-Taylor, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with 9,800 followersTess Barclay, a lifestyle blogger with 5,600 followersLaur DeMartino, a nano influencer and full-time college student with 5,200 followersJalyn Baiden, a skincare influencer with 4,000 followersJen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with 2,900 followersAmber Broder, a part-time skincare influencer and full-time college student with 2,300 followersKayla Compton, a lifestyle nano influencer with about 2,000 Instagram followersFrom Meta Platforms, including Instagram:Kelly Anne Smith, a personal finance influencer with 12,000 Instagram followers shares how much she earned from Bonuses in MarchJackson Weimer, a meme creator who got paid more than $6,000 for views on his Reels with 114,000 followersSeveral influencers reveal the different 'bonus' payments Instagram is offering, with some stretching up to $35,000From affiliate links:Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a lifestyle micro influencer with 16,000 followers, makes money using Instagram's native affiliate programVi Lai, a skincare influencer, uses Instagram and TikTok to make thousands of dollars per month using affiliate marketing4 Instagram influencers reveal what the platform's exclusive affiliate marketing beta test is like — and how much they're earningRead more: Instagram is abruptly shutting down its affiliate marketing bonuses, which used to pay up to $400 a monthRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 27th, 2022

The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage And Revisionism

The Dobbs Decision Unleashes Rage And Revisionism Authored by Jonathan Turley, In the aftermath of the historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, politicians and pundits have denounced the Supreme Court justices and the Court itself for holding opposing views on the interpretation of the Court. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the justices “right-wing politicians” and many journalists called the Court “activists.” Most concerning were legal analysts who fueled misleading accounts of the opinion or the record of this Court. Notably, it is precisely what the Court anticipated in condemning those who would make arguments “designed to stoke unfounded fear.” Vice President Kamala Harris and others repeated the claims that same-sex marriage, contraceptives, and other rights are now in danger. The Court, however, expressly and repeatedly stated that this decision could not be used to undermine those rights: “Abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because it destroys what those decisions called ‘fetal life’ and what the law now before us describes as an ‘unborn human being.'” The Court noted: “Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights, but the dissent’s analogy is objectionable for a more important reason: what it reveals about the dissent’s views on the protection of what Roe called “potential life.” The exercise of the rights at issue in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Lawrence, and Obergefell does not destroy a “potential life,” but an abortion has that effect. So if the rights at issue in those cases are fundamentally the same as the right recognized in Roe and Casey, the implication is clear: The Constitution does not permit the States to regard the destruction of a “potential life” as a matter of any significance.” Indeed, I cannot recall an opinion when the Court was more adamant in prospectively blocking the use of a holding in future cases. Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, suggested that the Court should reexamine the rationale for such rights but also emphasized that the majority of the Court was clearly holding that the opinion could not be used in that way. Thomas wrote: “The Court’s abortion cases are unique, see ante, at 31–32, 66, 71–72, and no party has asked us to decide “whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised,” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 813 (opinion of THOMAS, J.). Thus, I agree that “[n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be under- stood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” Nevertheless, on CNN, legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers echoed the common claim that this decision could now be used to unravel an array of other rights and “criminalizing every single aspect” of women’s reproductive healthcare. However, Rodgers went even further. She suggested that states could ban menstrual cycle tracking: “Are they going to be able to search your apps—you know there’s apps that track your menstrual cycle. You know how far are these states going to try and go?” On ABC, legal analyst Terry Moran declared “We are in a new era where the reaching for the center to keep the court’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public, to keep the debate going, is over.” I do not want to be unfair to Moran. I understand that Moran was referring to how the Court would be perceived by the public, though many citizens obviously support this ruling. The comment reflects the view of many that the legitimacy is now lost because a majority follow a narrow constitutional interpretative approach rather than the preferred broad interpretative approach. That sounds a lot like your legitimacy is based entirely on whether I agree with your constitutional views. Moran said that this reflected a “new era” of the “activist court.” However, the Court has actually rendered a high percentage of unanimous or near unanimous cases. I have been writing for a couple years how the Court seems to be speaking through its decisions in issuing such rulings in contradiction to such claims of rigid ideology. Justice Stephen Breyer and other colleagues have swatted back such claims that this is a “conservative court” driven by ideology. Even ABC itself has recognized this record, writing in an earlier story: “An ABC News analysis found 67% of the court’s opinions in cases argued during the term that ends this month have been unanimous or near-unanimous with just one justice dissenting. That compares to just 46% of unanimous or near-unanimous decisions during the 2019 term and the 48% average unanimous decision rate of the past decade, according to SCOTUSblog.” None of that has stopped legal analysts from portraying the court as “activist.” Of greater concern are the attack on the justices themselves, including the entirely false clam that Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch committed perjury in their confirmation hearings. One can obviously disagree with this interpretation. I have long disagreed with some of these justices on rights like privacy. However, this is a good-faith constitutional view that is shared by many in the legal profession. Of course, few law professors share this view because there are comparably few conservatives left on law faculties. There are even fewer conservative or libertarian legal analysts with mainstream media. That creates a misleading echo chamber as legal experts and media figures dismiss the decision of the Court as “activist” and “political.” During the Trump Administration, many of these same figures denounced former President Donald Trump for his attacks on judges who ruled against his cases. Many of us noted that those judges had good-faith reasons for their rulings and their integrity should not be questioned. Yet, it now seems open season on any justice or judge who follows a more narrow, textual approach to constitutional interpretation. Media figures and legal experts are not just content with disagreeing with the Court’s analysis but want to trash these jurists as craven, unethical people. Politicians like Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., called the justices “far-right, racist.” There was a typical exchange on CNN Tonight between conservative former Politico reporter Carrie Sheffield and former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA). Sheffield said: “I personally prefer that, but I know that people on the other side don’t prefer that. That is the beauty of federalism to say that people will migrate. They will vote with their feet at the end of the day. So, as much as I would like to see a federal ban, I know that is politically unlikely. So, that, I think, is the best compromise. In fact Ruth Bader Ginsburg said …” Sheffield was then cut off by Finkenauer, who said, “Do not say her name tonight from your mouth.” That is a curious moment since Ginsburg herself criticized the opinion as going too far. At The University of Chicago Law School, Ginsburg stated on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade that Roe gave “the opponents of access to abortion … a target to aim at relentlessly and attributed not to the democratic process, but to nine unelected old men.” She added that “the history of the year since then is that the momentum, momentum has been on the other side. The cases that we get now on abortion are all about restrictions on access to abortion and not about expanding the rights of women.” On “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” in 2019, Ginsburg noted: “The court had an easy target because the Texas law was the most extreme in the nation,” she maintained. Ginsburg explained that based on the Texas law at the center of Roe v. Wade, “abortion could be had only if necessary to save the woman’s life” with no exceptions for rape or incest. I thought that Roe v. Wade was an easy case and the Supreme Court could have held that most extreme law unconstitutional and put down its pen,” she added. “Instead, the court wrote an opinion that made every abortion restriction in the country illegal in one fell swoop and that was not the way that the court ordinarily operates.” Finkenauer’s insistence that pro-life advocates could not utter the name of Ginsburg did not apply to pro-choice advocates, even those who blame the late justice for the Roe reversal. I wrote during Ginsburg’s service that she was taking a huge risk by declining to retire to guarantee that her seat would be filled by someone appointed by a Democratic president. I specifically noted that Roe could be reversed and her legacy lost due to a desire to remain on the Court for a couple more years. I was criticized for that column. However, now liberals are raising that decision and blaming Ginsburg for Dobbs. Hollywood Reporter columnist Scott Feinberg tweeted “the terrible irony is that her decision to stay too long at the party helped lead to the destruction of one of the things she cared about the most. Sadly, this will be a big part of her legacy. Journalist Eoin Higgins was more direct “Thanks especially to RBG today for making this possible.” In a particularly offensive posting, writer Gabrielle Perry  declared “Ruth Bader Ginsberg is slow roasting in hell.” This reckless rhetoric is becoming the norm in our discussions of this and other legal controversies. We are losing a critical mass of mature and sensible voices in discussing such cases. Instead, analysts are expected to reinforce a narrative and amplify the anger in the coverage of such cases. That is a great loss to our profession and only will fuel the unhinged rage of some who only consider the conclusion, and not the analysis, of this opinion. Tyler Durden Sat, 06/25/2022 - 12:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 25th, 2022

The 4 best sewing machines we tested for every skill level, from beginner to pro

I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.I used my experience as a theatrical costume maker with 30 years of experience to test four sewing machines and determine the best one.AmazonIf you want to make clothes that fit you perfectly, repair clothes or upholstery, or sew anything you want, you'll need a good sewing machine. I've been sewing for 30 years and one of the reasons I love it is because of my sewing machine. As a theatrical costume maker, I've made everything from heavy corsets and hoop skirts to whisper-thin chiffon dresses and elegantly tailored suits.I tried a lot of machines before I landed on a second-hand mechanical model that I bought 20 years ago and still use today. If you're just starting out, it's important to find an easy-to-use machine that does the kind of sewing you want, whether it's quilting or simple repairs. No matter how much you might like to sew, struggling with an unresponsive or frustrating machine can turn it into a terrible chore. That's why I used my own experience, consulted three experts, and tested four machines to evaluate the performance and ease of use for each one. You can check out my full testing methodology below, along with tips on how to shop for a machine.Here are the best sewing machines in 2022Best sewing machine overall: Brother CS7000X, available at Amazon, $199.99Best mechanical sewing machine: Singer Heavy Duty 4452, available at Amazon, $219.99Best high-end sewing machine: Bernina 535, available at Bernina, $3,799Best budget-friendly sewing machine: Brother CS5055, available at Amazon, $159.99Best sewing machine overallElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Brother CS7000X is a beginner-friendly computerized machine that makes it easy to sew at the touch of a button.If you wanted to start a project right away, you could do it without looking at anything besides the Brother CS7000X's Quick Start Guide. This is a great, easy-to-use, beginner-friendly machine with a lot of features that advanced and tech-adverse sewers will appreciate too. For most sewing projects, you'll just need a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, and a buttonhole. This machine did an excellent job with all three of them — and quietly too. It also handled fabrics like lightweight cotton muslin, cotton jersey, and layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well.It also has a lot of extra features that make sewing easier for beginners and advanced sewers like the needle up/down button, which allows you to move the needle in a single step. The machine can also be programmed to your preference, so you can set the needle to default to the left or center while sewing, or have the needle stop in the up or down position, which is a great feature to sew sharp corners more easily. Beginners will especially appreciate that the machine gives a small beep if they're about to commit a user error, like forgetting to push the buttonhole lever down before trying to sew a buttonhole. I also liked the speed control, which tells the machine how fast or slow you want it to go, so you can use slower speeds for more careful work or faster speeds for zipping along straight lines. The brand lists the machine at around 18 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around. It comes with a hard plastic case, which is good for protection. The flatbed attachment on the front of the machine doesn't have a hinged compartment for storage though — any accessories in the storage compartment have to be kept in a plastic bag. It's not convenient, but not a dealbreaker either.This machine is great for its price, which I had to stop to double-check. Most good machines start around $200, but with all these features, I expected to pay a lot more. It's a great general-purpose machine for garments, crafts, and quilts, and it comes with a lot of stitch options and useful accessories too. Pros: Quiet, reasonably priced, 70 utility and decorative stitches, seven buttonholes, has a wide variety of useful features such as needle up/down and automatic backstitchCons: Computerized controls can be intimidating, inconvenient storage compartmentBest mechanical sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Singer Heavy Duty 4452 is a powerful, low-maintenance mechanical sewing machine that will power through any fabric.This machine is so easy to use that a time-traveler from 1963 could probably thread and start sewing without ever having to look at a manual. In fact, a manual wasn't even included in the box, just a Quick Start Guide for how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine. Everything on the machine is controlled via knobs, levers, and dials, so you can pick things up quickly. The Singer Heavy Duty is loud, powerful, and fast. In testing, it handled lightweight cotton muslin, stretch jersey, and several layers of heavy upholstery fabric very well. All the fabric went through the machine evenly, and the stitches were even and straight, though the backstitch didn't look very neat. At first, the zig-zag stitch on the stretch jersey also looked too tight on the bobbin-thread side, but after I adjusted the top thread tension a bit, I was able to make it look even on both sides. This machine can sew lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon and charmeuse, but it's more difficult because the powerful feed yanked the delicate fabric too quickly, causing the fabric to shift and the seam to pucker. To make the seam look nice, I had to test several different thread tensions and baste, or roughly hand sew, the seam to keep the layers from moving. If you plan to use this machine for light fabrics, you'll want to remember to use a sharp, fine needle for delicate fabrics.There's also no speed control other than changing how much pressure you put on the foot pedal. If you push too hard, the fabric might fly through so quickly that you can't control it. This machine has a maximum speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, so it's very fast when you want it to be but it takes some time to figure out speed control.The flatbed attachment at the front of the machine has a convenient hinged compartment for storing accessories. It comes with five presser feet, including a walking foot, which is good for dealing with very thick fabric. It also comes with a light cloth cover to protect it from dust.While this is a simple and straightforward machine, it won't hold your hand the way a lot of computerized machines do. This machine expects you to do all the work, and when something goes wrong, it expects you to troubleshoot it, making it a good option for an experienced sewer who just wants something inexpensive, powerful, and portable without having to learn a whole new sewing machine. Pros: Fast, powerful, simple to use, easy to care for Cons: Only has 32 stitches, doesn't have many decorative stitches, doesn't have an attractive buttonhole, loudBest high-end sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderThe Bernina 535 is an expensive computerized machine for people who know how to sew and want to take advantage of its huge array of special stitches.Using this machine is the next best thing to having elves come into my house at night and sew all my projects while I'm asleep. It's solidly built and feels sturdy and well-made. The stitches were perfect and precise on every fabric I tested without having to make any adjustments. The fabric glided through evenly with no pulling or puckering — even the chiffon that was so difficult with the other machines. The stretch zig-zag stitch was so even and balanced that it looked like it came from a store, and made me feel like a better sewer.A machine that costs nearly $4,000 will definitely have more of everything. Where an entry-level machine might come with a simple operating manual, the Bernina 535 has a 180-page spiral-bound user manual and a digital version too. It explains all the features of the machine clearly and offers tips and project ideas. There are also classes online or at various Bernina Creative Centers around the US. This machine is available online, but if you pick it up from a dealer, you can get personal instruction about how to set it up and take advantage of its features. Be warned though — it weighs around 35 pounds, so bring a hand truck.With so many features, it can be overwhelming, so it's not a machine for beginners. With a bit of practice and instruction though, it becomes clearer how to select different functions and operate special features. It has a brightly lit, 3- by 2-inch touch-screen control panel which you can operate with your finger or the included stylus.Overall, this machine helps users avoid a lot of the petty annoyances of sewing. A lot of typical sewing problems are caused by incorrectly putting in a bobbin, but it's physically impossible here because there's only one way to fit it into the case. The machine even alerts you when the bobbin is running low, so you won't have to worry about sewing long channels, only to discover you've been sewing with air the whole time. It also has an automatic thread cutter, which can neatly finish your stitch and snip threads whenever you stop sewing. The Bernina 535 comes with five presser feet, a dust cover, a box for accessories, a slide-on table to increase the sewing surface, and a free-hand system so you can raise and lower the presser foot with your knee without having to let go of the fabric. Pros: Handles lightweight and heavyweight fabric well, easy to control, makes beautiful stitches, has embroidery capability, includes slide-on sewing table Cons: Requires a lot of practice to learn how to use for beginnersBest budget-friendly sewing machineElizabeth Licata/Business InsiderIf you're looking for a powerful sewing machine without a ton of accessories, the Brother CS5055 is an easy-to-use machine for clothes, crafts, masks, and more. It's as powerful as our top pick, the Brother CS7000X, but has 10 fewer stitches and three fewer presser feet, though none of the missing ones are truly useful for most projects.Due to the minimal price difference, we think the CS7000X is a better value and will serve most people's needs perfectly. But if the CS5055 is on sale or the CS7000X is out of stock, this is a great machine that we're happy to recommend.Pros: Affordable, easy to use, and works for basic sewing needsCons: Fewer stitch options and presser feetOur testing methodologyI tested each machine by making the same stitches on different fabrics and trying out all of the machine's functions.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderWith three decades of sewing experience, I know what stitches most people will or won't need. I also consulted quilt artist and educator Valerie C. White; couture designer, educator, and Threads contributing editor Kenneth D. King; CEO and designer of Style Sew Me Patterns Eryn Shields, and my own professional colleagues.Basic stitches on different fabrics: When I spoke with Shields and King, they confirmed that you need three basic things from a sewing machine: a straight stitch, a zig-zag stitch, and a good buttonhole. I tested how each machine performed those three tasks on four common fabrics I would use to make or repair clothes, quilts, or upholstery: plain-weave cotton muslin that has a similar weight to a basic quilting cotton, four-way stretch knit jersey that's 90% cotton and 10% Spandex, lightweight 100% silk chiffon, and heavy-weight upholstery fabric.Every sample was also pressed and pinned before sewing for consistency. I sewed through two layers of cotton muslin, jersey, and silk chiffon to mimic a simple seam made of two pieces of fabric sewn together, and four layers of upholstery fabric to make sure the machine could handle a very thick, heavy project. I tested each machine with Gutermann Sew-All Thread, an all-purpose polyester thread, as both the top thread and the bobbin thread. Due to the different fabric weights, I used the universal needle that came pre-installed on each machine to sew through the cotton muslin and upholstery fabric, a ball-point needle for jersey fabric, and a 70/10 needle for silk chiffon.Decorative stitches: With the three computerized machines, I also tested a sampling of the decorative stitches on cotton muslin to see if the machine could stitch something like a cute row of stars or flowers. Buttonholes: All four machines came with a buttonhole foot, so I used them to create a basic rectangular buttonhole. Because the cotton jersey has some stretch to it, I also tested a stretch buttonhole using the three computerized machines — it's not an option with the manual Singer Heavy Duty machine. Ease of use: During my testing, I also evaluated the machines based on ease of use, taking into whether it was a computerized or mechanical unit.   Extra features: I tested each machine's extra features such as needle up/down buttons, noises or lights that notify you of a user error, knee lift, and more to see if they were helpful or novelties. How to shop for a sewing machineIt's important to have a walking foot for many projects, especially for quilting.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderHere are some tips for sewing machine shopping from our experts:Shop in person if you canOur experts suggest going to a dealer for hands-on guidance and support, as well as for future classes, repairs and maintenance, and potential trade-ins — here's how to find a dealer for Brother and Bernina. Singer sewing machines are more readily available at craft stores and big-box retailers around the US, and you can register your machine for warranty and repairs.A good dealer will help you develop your sewing skills, learn to use all the features of your machine, and help troubleshoot if things go wrong. But we realize that some people don't live near reputable dealers. That's why all of our picks can be purchased online, meet criteria based on the experts I spoke with, and performed well in our tests.Know your brandsKing said he likes Bernina machines, but also said Brother and Janome are both reputable brands with good machines."What I like about Bernina machines is that the quality is consistent throughout the line," he said. "You can get a lower-end Bernina machine with fewer features for less money, but you're still going to get a quality machine."Brands like Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff, Juki, and Babylock are also well-regarded and known for making very good machines. Decide what kind of sewing you want to do, but give yourself room to growAccording to Shields, for garment sewers, a straight stitch, zig-zag stitch for stretch fabrics, and a buttonhole are going to take care of all your basic needs.For quilting, one of the most useful attachments is a walking foot. This moves the presser foot so both the presser foot and the feed dogs move the fabric, which keeps the layers from shifting while you sew. White says one of her favorite features for quilting is a knee lift, which raises and lowers the presser foot, so you don't need to use your hand. White also likes a machine that warns you when the bobbin is about to run out — this is especially helpful for beginners. Of the machines we tested, the Brother CS7000X and the Singer Heavy Duty both come with walking feet, and the Brother CS7000X and the Bernina 535 both alert you when the bobbin is low, but only the Bernina 535 has a knee lift. White also suggests a machine that you can grow into. "You're going to learn to do other things, and you should have a machine that will push you to explore some creative avenues," White said. Test the machine on different kinds of fabricShields says garment sewers should think about what kinds of fabrics they want to sew and bring samples with them to the store, if possible, so they can test the machine on different fabrics. "Some people like to sew kids' clothes, so they'll be sewing with a lot of lightweight cottons and you can pretty much use any machine for that," Shields said. "If they plan to sew a lot of outerwear or work in heavy fabrics like wool and denim, they'll want to make sure that they have a workhorse machine that can handle those types of fabric." Of the machines we looked at, the Singer Heavy Duty is a great option for anybody looking to sew heavy outerwear fabric. Look for good customer serviceWhite emphasizes the need for good customer service, which all of the brands we recommend have. "If I call with a question, they're more than happy to answer it," White said of her Bernina dealer.A dealer can be more helpful than videos or online tutorials and can answer questions about what to expect in terms of service, repairs, and more. Read reviews from people who have tried the machineIf you can't shop in person, Shields says to make sure you read a lot of reviews to learn about the experiences of people who have actually been sewing with the machine. Why sewing machines are so expensiveA mechanical machine has knobs and dials, which are easier to fix than computerized machines. They can last for decades with regular maintenance.Elizabeth Licata/Business InsiderSewing machines are available at a range of price points, but many of the good ones can start somewhere around $200 when they're not on sale. While the price is a factor in any purchase, King advised against going for the very cheapest machine you can find, if you can help it. "There are a lot of machines that are very inexpensive, but they aren't very good," he explained. That's especially a problem for beginners, he said, because struggling with a difficult machine can be demoralizing and could put a beginner off sewing forever. Most people will never need a $10,000 sewing machine, but spending $200 or $300 on a sewing machine can be a worthwhile investment, even for a beginner.Here are some things that make sewing machines more expensive:Durability: There are a lot of moving parts inside a sewing machine, and many of them are expected to move very quickly for long periods of time, often in the presence of large amounts of dust, threads, and fluff. Machines with metal parts cost a bit more but are much more durable than machines made with cheaper plastic parts. A good mechanical machine should last for decades with a bit of regular maintenance. Reliability: The most annoying thing about sewing is the tiny day-to-day malfunctions that can happen to anybody. Any machine can jam, skip stitches, or have tension problems, but based on my experience, it tends to happen less often with higher-end machines.  Stability: The quality of the internal parts and engineering also affects the way it feels to sew with a machine. A small, inexpensive machine might be very portable, but it can be uncomfortable to sew if shakes or rattles while you sew with it.  Additional features: Higher-end machines have extra features that aren't essential, but are nice to have. They can cut the thread, add an automatic backstitch, adjust the presser foot pressure, and remember your preferences so the machine is always set up the way you like it. Stitches: Computerized machines can come with tons of stitches, including alphabets and numbers. Some machines even have embroidery capabilities. Most people won't need all those stitches, but they can be fun to play with, especially for adding a bit of flourish to napkins, doll clothes, and masks. Service: If you're spending a couple hundred dollars or more on a machine, there should be some guarantee that it will continue to work. If you buy the machine directly from the manufacturer, it should have a warranty of at least two years for a computerized machine or 20 years for a mechanical machine (Brother has a generous 25-year warranty). Specialized technology: The most expensive sewing machines are designed for specific uses, like quilting or embroidery. A top-tier professional embroidery machine can embroider custom designs using 16 spools of embroidery thread. Special long-arm machines that can make enormous quilts are prized by quilters, but many of them cost well over $10,000.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022