Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tips for Avoid Stressful Jobs

Since they require putting your life on the line every day, it may not be surprising that jobs in the military and public safety again rank among this year’s most stressful positions, as new research finds. For the second year in a row, careers as enlisted military personnel, firefighters and police officers make up three of the top four most stressful jobs, according to CareerCasts’s annual Most Stressful Jobs report. Airline pilot also ranks in the top four for the second consecutive year. Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast, said many of the factors the company uses to evaluate workplace stress apply to military service, police work and firefighting more than, or at least as much as, any other career.

“These include physical demands, on-the-job hazards, environmental conditions, [and] the risk of personal injury or injury to another for whom the worker is directly responsible,” Kensing told Business News Daily. Overall, CareerCast’s ranking system considers 11 different job demands that can be expected to evoke stress, including the amount of travel, the growth potential, having deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards, risk to one’s own life, risk to the life of another and meeting the public. Although they may not include the same physical dangers, jobs that require strict deadlines, like jobs as newspaper reporters and broadcasters, also rank among the most stressful. In addition, those working in the news industry face the fear of lawsuits and a dwindling job market, factors that also keep stress levels high.

Although they may not include the same physical dangers, jobs that require strict deadlines, like jobs as newspaper reporters and broadcasters, also rank among the most stressful. In addition, those working in the news industry face the fear of lawsuits and a dwindling job market, factors that also keep stress levels high. Kensing named a common factor shared by some of the jobs on this year’s rankings: These professions are crucial to safety and democracy in the U.S. “Firefighters, military and police officers protect us, and newspaper reporters and broadcasters have a big impact in showing us the truth amidst the trend of ‘fake news,'” Kensing said.

Loans Still Pose Challenge for Small Businesses

While the ability of small businesses to obtain capital has improved in recent years, getting a traditional bank loan is still a tough obstacle, a new study finds.

Research from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet revealed that over the last four years, there has been a 13 percent increase in access to capital for small businesses. However, most are getting that money from personal assets and not banks or online lenders.

The study revealed that only 38 percent of small business respondents qualified for a bank loan within the last three months, compared with 70 percent of mid-size businesses. While that’s up from 30 percent in the first quarter of the year, it is down from a four-year high of 46 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

When it comes to alternative lenders, small businesses had the most success with merchant cash advances. The research found that 41 percent of the small businesses surveyed were able to obtain a merchant cash advance, compared with just 20 percent who were able to get a regular loan from an alternative lender.

Most small business owners are relying on their own personal assets to help fund their business. Specifically, more than 70 percent of those surveyed used personal savings, 45 percent used personal credit cards and 19 percent used cash from the sale of personal assets.

Crowdfunding is growing increasingly popular with small businesses. The research found that 19 percent of small businesses that sought financing in the past three months used crowdfunding as a funding source, compared with just 7 percent of mid-size businesses.

Jeff Stibel, vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, said when they began conducting these studies four years ago, small businesses were reeling from the effects of the Great Recession.

“Since then, we have seen steady progress for small businesses being able to acquire the capital they need, although the financing is still predominantly not coming through traditional lenders,” Stibel said in a statement. “It will be interesting to see how the new option of crowdfunding will affect small businesses, as our study has shown more eagerness to use that option as compared to their mid-sized counterparts.”

Although access to capital improved over the past three months, the number of small businesses needing it declined. Overall, demand for capital from small businesses dropped from 38 percent in the first quarter of the year, to 32 percent in the second quarter.

 

Mistakes to Avoid on Business

Business meetings have a longstanding reputation for being unexciting, boring and a waste of time. Entertainment and stock photos characterize meetings with scenes of bored employees watching the clock, rolling their eyes and falling asleep while the presenter seems to drone on interminably. Though the representations on TV and photos seem overdone, they’re true to life. According to a recent survey by enterprise intranet company Igloo Software, about half of all employees find meetings to be unproductive. More specifically, employees are annoyed with unnecessary meetings (76 percent), meetings going off-topic (59 percent) and people repeating one another (58 percent). “When people sense a meeting is lacking in productivity, they’re less likely to retain confidence it’s a good use of their time, and thus they disengage,” said Amanda Milligan, a spokeswoman for Igloo Software and project manager of the survey.

It’s important for managers to evaluate how they’re conducting meetings — and how often — to see if it’s the best for their teams, Milligan said. If your employees don’t seem to get anything out of company meetings, you may want to evaluate whether you’re making these mistakes.

Meetings without a distinct goal get classified as “pointless” and “unnecessary” by employees. “Meetings must have a clear purpose beyond a status report, which can be handled very well by one of the many online project management tools that are out on the market,” said Stephen Sheinbaum, founder of Bizfi, a financial technology company and alternative finance provider. “Make a meeting agenda, and send it to all attendees ahead of time [so] they know what is expected of them at the meeting.” Tim Eisenhauer, president of intranet provider Axero Solutions, agreed that forgoing an agenda is a big mistake, as this often leads to lengthy, off-topic meetings. “Keep it short,” Eisenhauer said. “Have defined start and end times, and most important, have someone to lead the meeting and keep it on track.” – See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8633-business-meeting-mistakes.html#sthash.HhBzoJ2G.dpuf