Hiring the Right People for Your Business

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Hiring the right people for your business is very important and you should put a lot of effort into finding good candidates. However, many people have noted that business owners and managers seem to often hire the wrong people for the job. This leads to significant issues and it makes people wonder how they can do a better job of finding the ideal person to fill a particular role. Hiring the right people might involve approaching the interviewing process in a different way. 

Hiring Based on How Much You Like Someone Might Not Be Best

It probably isn’t a good idea to hire someone just based on whether you like them or not. Sadly, many interviewers wind up hiring people based purely on how much they like their personality during an interview. This can be problematic because someone being charming doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to do a good job. Having an agreeable and appealing personality is good, but it isn’t everything. 

Hiring Based Solely on the Resume Is Also Problematic

It’s going to be a bad idea to hire someone based solely on how good their resume is. You might wind up with someone who only wants to be at your company for a short period of time. It’s also possible that you could hire someone who doesn’t mesh properly with your business philosophy or ideals. You have to consider things beyond what someone has to offer on their resume even if having experience and skills will still be important. 

Some Are Turning to Video Interviews

Interestingly, some businesses are turning to offering video interviews where candidates will send in an interview video where they answer questions that they received via email. This allows candidates to answer the interview questions in creative ways and it also takes some pressure off since they won’t be facing an interviewer. Certain people see this as a way for job candidates to show why they want a job in a much more unique way. This still isn’t common practice for job interviews, but interview ideas like this could be helpful in the future. 

Put Effort Into Finding a Candidate That Fits Your Needs

As long as you put effort into finding a candidate that fits your needs you’re going to be fine. Try to hire someone who has a mix of experience, good personality traits, and an interest in growing with the company. If you can do this, then you should find someone who is right for the job. You’ll have a good employee who will become an important part of the business for many years to come. 

from Moss Sidell on Business

Building Equity in Your Home

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Building equity in your home can come in handy in several situations. The problem is that many homeowners don’t have a clear understanding of how to build equity in their homes. Read on to learn about building equity and you’ll see that there are easy steps that you can take. You’ll be able to build equity reliably and it’ll put you in a better position overall. 

Larger Down Payments

Putting a larger down payment on your house can help you to build up equity. Depending on your financial strategy, it might be best to put a bit more money down on your house than you have to. You can ask for advice from your lender or from a financial adviser. They will be able to help you determine the optimal amount of money that you should put down on a house. 


Your home will appreciate over time and this can cause it to become more valuable. Depending on the situation with the market, this will either take a long time or it will happen pretty fast. Some properties in specific areas might appreciate exponentially within five years while others will barely see any increase at all. It’s also possible for property values to go down for factors that could be out of your control. 

Pay Down Your Mortgage with Extra Cash

Paying down your mortgage with extra cash can be helpful for building equity in your home, too. If you get a large tax return, then you could make a few extra mortgage payments with that money. Likewise, if you receive an inheritance from a relative, you could pay off a chunk of your mortgage. It will always be beneficial to pay on your mortgage so that you can build more equity in your home. 

Improving Your Home 

You can also choose to improve your home so that it will be worth more money. Some homeowners might choose to put new siding on the house. Others might decide to update the floors and purchase new carpeting. Whatever you decide will be fine as long as it improves your home and adds to its overall value. 

from Moss Sidell | Real Estate Attorney

How Failure Can Make You More Successful

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The fear of failure often keeps business owners from making certain decisions. It’s normal to want to avoid failure, but sometimes you need to understand that failure is a part of the process. In fact, failure has the potential to make you more successful. Keep reading to learn why failure isn’t something that you should fear. 

Failure Is Always a Possibility

Failure is always a possibility in this world. When you’re running a business, there will always be a risk that the market could shift and your business could take a turn for the worse. Sometimes you can make solid business decisions and you will still fail. If you go through life fearing the possibility of failure, then you’re not likely ever going to succeed. 

Fear of Failure Can Cause You to Play Things Too Safe

It’s also true that the fear of failure can sometimes cause people to play things too safe. For example, someone might be so conservative with their business choices that they will fall far behind their competitors. This could lead to failure due to not being aggressive enough in business to survive a changing market. You can’t let fear guide your decisions and should try to make the best moves that you can make based on the data that you have available to you. 

Learning From Failure

Learning from failure helps business owners to succeed. You can learn a lot from failure and it will help you to figure out how to do better next time. Sometimes having the courage to fail can make you a better entrepreneur and you should always try to see things as a learning experience. Those who fail to learn from failures will be doomed to repeat them, but entrepreneurs who learn will be able to put themselves in a better situation. 

Becoming Stronger

Getting through failures and hard times will make you a stronger individual. It can make your business stronger as well. Some of the most successful businesses and ideas have come about because of failures. Consider using your failures as a launching pad rather than fearing them or failing to acknowledge them. 

from Moss Sidell on Business

Planning for Hidden Costs When Buying a Home

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There are so many factors that need to be considered when you’re buying a home. Some people forget to think about certain costs that can pop up in the home buying process. If you don’t plan for hidden costs ahead of time, then you could be put in a bad financial situation. Keep reading to learn more about planning for these hidden costs when buying a home. 

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is a crucial aspect of moving into a new home. You need to get a homeowner’s insurance policy and you’re going to want to get it right away. Try to find the best deal that you can while also getting a good policy. This shouldn’t be a huge hurdle for you to overcome, but it’s still a hidden cost that many new homeowners forget about when getting ready to close on a house. 

Closing Costs

The closing costs will sometimes catch people off guard when they’re buying a home for the first time. Do a bit of research about the closing costs and ensure that you have the money factored into the budget. You can communicate with your real estate agent about the closing costs to help you get ready. They should be able to tell you what to expect and you’ll have an easier time budgeting things out. 

Necessary Appliances

There are also many necessary appliances that you will need to purchase for your new home. If this is your first house, then you likely don’t own a refrigerator or stove yet. You also might want to buy a washing machine and dryer for your convenience. These appliances cost money and you need to include them in your budget since you’re not going to want to go without them. 

Comfort Costs

Comfort costs should also be considered when you’re budgeting for your move into your new home. For example, you might want to get cable and Internet hooked up right away. Depending on the going rate in your area, it could wind up costing you some money to make this happen. You should try to fit this into your budget if it is important to you. 

from Moss Sidell | Real Estate Attorney

SEM vs SEO vs PPC: What’s the Right Balance for Your Business?

SEM. SEO. PPC. What’s the best mix for your business?

The question is more complicated than it might first appear. After all, who wouldn’t want to optimize their SEM, SEO, and PPC efforts? But limited budgets, limited capabilities, and limited expertise can be obstacles—particularly if you’re stronger in one area than another. Let’s discuss what these phrases mean and how you can find the right mix for your own small business:

SEM vs. SEO vs. PPC: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve had enough acronyms thrown at you in your time in business to fill a bowl of alphabet soup, you can be forgiven if you sometimes miss the distinctions in these digital marketing terms. But let’s separate SEM, SEO, and PPC from each other and get really clear about what they are—and what you should expect from them.

SEM, or search engine marketing, is an umbrella term. It’s there for marketing efforts (both paid and organic) that are directed at boosting traffic from search engines. However, keep in mind that SEM, as an umbrella term, may sometimes be used to refer to PPC marketing in some contexts, which helps explain some of the confusion.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing strategy aimed at organic search. The concern here is how to improve your natural position in popular search engines without paying anything additional to said search engines. Yes, you can buy a position with PPC, but with SEO, you’re concerned about the quality of the links pointing to you, the quality of your content, and the relevance of your topics to the search queries that users are typing into Google. The goal is to create high-quality content that will continue to drive your SEO strategy in the future.

PPC, or pay per click advertising, is aimed exclusively at paid ads in search engines. In PPC advertising, you can bid on certain keywords to buy your traffic. But it’s not always as simple as that. PPC often requires that you build high-converting advertisements to ensure that the search engines aren’t just putting anyone with money at the top of the listings; they still want to serve their users.

What is SEO?

Let’s dive into greater detail on SEO. Search engine optimization is the art of designing your page and your content for targeted placement in organic search results—no paid advertising required. Although the search engine algorithms are highly sophisticated, SEO remains a top priority for many business owners; 61% of marketers list improving SEO and rankings as their top goal.

Today’s top search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo, with many of the content marketing and internet marketing campaigns aiming at Google and Bing. You’ll find that the majority of your SEO efforts will tend to focus on Google, thanks to its dominant place in the market.

The beauty of SEO is that any business can compete for organic listings; you just have to have the most relevant, valuable information available for any search query. Sound difficult? You don’t have to start creating the world’s greatest blog posts just yet. Search Engine Land has a guide for small businesses so you can begin optimizing your site as soon as possible. From on-page SEO to technical SEO, there are always small improvements you can make to give your site a leg up on the competition.

Here are some of the other terms you’ll want to be familiar with in SEO:

  • SERPs: Search engine results page.
  • Backlinks: The links pointing to your site, used by search engines to determine your page’s popularity and relevance.
  • Crawlers: Automated bots that search engines use to scan your site and log the latest information, which they can then use in their search results. Crawlers might dig through your meta descriptions, title tags, and on-site SEO to get a gauge of what your site is and what your business has to offer.
  • Technical SEO: search engine optimization focused on the technical aspects of your website, not necessarily popularity and relevance.
  • Link building: The practice of promoting your site to as many potential linking avenues as possible in an effort to drive up your relevance. These days, legitimate link building practices tend to be those that are mostly organic, such as guest posting on popular blogs.

What is PPC?

PPC has potential benefits for small businesses in that it offers an opportunity to buy your way to traffic if you have the budget. Small businesses that need growth now will find that PPC generates the quickest results when it comes to getting on the first page, while content and SEO tend to require focus on the long-term future.

To optimize your PPC, you’ll want to make keyword research a hallmark of the way you market. Tools like the SEM Rush PPC tool will help you identify those keywords that are most relevant to your business, all while driving a substantial amount of traffic. Google Adwords, the most popular PPC platform, also has plenty of tools for you to use as you research. But don’t forget that Bing also has keyword tools you can use to gauge interest in keywords.

With PPC, your goal is simple: combine relevance and traffic. Relevance is how well you can answer the “question behind the query.” In other words, relevance is how well your website answers what customers are really thinking. Someone typing in “vacations,” for example, may be looking to book a travel agency. But your travel agency business won’t do well by serving those who were only curious about vacation statistics.

With search ads, your goal should be to get as much relevance as possible, because you’re going to need to optimize your click-through rates.

When comparing SEO vs SEM and the strategies listed above, you’ll find PPC can produce the most immediate returns. After the proper keyword research, a PPC campaign can quickly give you access to a large amount of traffic that is highly targeted to your keyword and your business—that is, if you’ve put in the time to ensure that your business lines up with the search queries you’re looking for.

How to Strike a Balance Between PPC and SEO

There’s no single answer for whether search marketing, SEO or PPC is best for you right now. But if you start with competition research, you should notice opportunities for advancement—whether that comes in specific keywords, sponsored ads, brand awareness, or even simply building a better landing page. Look at your budget and understand where PPC and SEO most help businesses—and make your investments accordingly.

from The Grasshopper Blog – Insights for Entrepreneurs the Right Balance between SEM SEO and PPC/

Tips for Achieving Long-Term Goals for Your Business

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You want to do your best to stay focused on your long-term business goals. Achieving those goals will be easier if you keep certain tips in mind. Keep reading to examine several important tips about achieving long-term business goals. It’ll help you to focus your approach to business so that you can find the success that you have been desiring. 

Create a Plan

Create a plan that will help you to realize your goals. Use research to inform your planning so that you can create a path toward success. You should be able to use market research data, sales data, and other information to formulate a solid plan to achieve your long-term goals. Also, you should make sure that your long-term goals make sense while avoiding setting goals that conflict with each other. 

Keep Checking Your Progress

After you have set your long-term goals, it’s going to be important to check on your project. Your goals won’t just suddenly be met overnight, but you should keep an eye on things to ensure that you’re making progress. Keep everyone focused on the goals that you have set and you’ll be able to take actionable steps toward achieving them. If you notice that your progress has slowed, then use the data that you have to determine how to get things back on track. 

Set Smaller Goals

Setting smaller goals can help you to keep things moving in the right direction. Your large long-term goals might take time to achieve, but smaller goals could give you milestones to work toward in the short-term. These smaller goals should relate to your long-term goals, but they will be achievable in a short period of time. Try to think of good short-term goals that will help to motivate your team. 

Consult with Professionals

Consulting with professionals might be useful if you have run out of ideas for how to achieve your long-term goals. Sometimes a business consultant will be able to look at things objectively to provide a fresh perspective. You might need another opinion and should use this opportunity to approach your long-term goals from a new angle. Not every business owner will need a consultant, but they have proved very useful for many businesses. 

from Moss Sidell on Business

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent for You

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It’s important to be able to get the right help when you’re trying to buy or sell a home. If you don’t have a real estate expert that you can count on, then you’re going to have a much tougher time throughout this process. How can you choose the right real estate agent to make sure that things go smoothly, though? Keep reading to examine how you can choose the perfect real estate agent that suits your needs. 

Hiring a Real Estate Agent with a Good Reputation

Hiring a real estate agent with a good reputation is going to be best. You want to make sure that you’re working with someone who is going to be able to do a good job for you. This means that taking the time to look into the reputation of a specific real estate agent can be helpful. You’ll be able to feel more confident that your agent will meet your high expectations and you can get to work. 

Find a Real Estate Agent That Is Great at Marketing

Of course, if you’re selling a home, then marketing is going to be essential. You need to make sure that you hire a real estate agent that has great marketing skills. It should be simple to examine the type of marketing that they are capable of by looking at their online offerings. If you are impressed by what you are seeing, then you’ll be able to hire the agent and you can expect them to do good work while marketing your property. 

Ensure That Your Real Estate Agent Has a Personality That Meshes with Yours

All of the real estate skills in the world won’t matter much if the personality of your real estate agent doesn’t mesh well with yours. Most real estate agents are very good at getting along with just about anybody. Even so, it can be beneficial to take the time to find an agent that has a personality that suits your tastes. You’ll be working closely with this individual over the course of several months and you want the interactions to be pleasant. 

Hire an Agent That Respects Your Time 

You also want to hire an agent that respects your time. They need to only call you every so often so that you don’t feel like you’re being pestered by constant communication. A good real estate agent will call you when they have something good to show you or when it is truly important. An impatient one might bug you by reaching out too often and you’ll wind up feeling annoyed. 

from Moss Sidell | Real Estate Attorney

How to Raise Money for Your Business Quickly

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Being able to get money for your business could prove to be difficult. Sometimes it feels tough to get the amount of money that you need and saving up cash will feel like a slow process. There are methods that could help you to raise money quickly, though. Read on to examine ways to get the money that you need for your business. 

Opening a Line of Credit

Opening a line of credit at a bank is a perfect way to get money for your business. It will allow you to get the business loan that you need so that you can start things off. A line of credit will be useful because it will remain available to you and you can keep using it as you pay down the balance. Look into whether opening a line of credit at your local bank will be an option for you. 

Find an Alternative Lender

If you aren’t having an easy time getting the banks to work with you, then looking for an alternative lender could be an option. These lenders will often work with people who have less than stellar credit scores and they can get you money fast. Within a few days, it’s possible that you could have the money that you need for your business. Just consider whether the loan terms are good enough for you to want to make this move. 

Crowdfunding Options

You’d be surprised by how many entrepreneurs have turned to crowdfunding to get a business idea off the ground. Many products have launched successfully thanks to crowdfunding campaigns. If you can get people interested in your product or business idea, then they will donate money to your cause. Within a few months, it’s possible that you could raise a lot of money that will help to turn your business idea into reality. 

Investments From Friends and Family

Some people prefer to allow friends and family to help out. If you have people in your life who could assist you financially, then this might be a solid idea. They could pour money into your business as an investment and could profit from things once your business launches. Conversely, you could see if these people are willing to give you small loans that you can pay back once your business becomes profitable. 

from Moss Sidell on Business

Avoiding Common Moving Problems

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Everyone knows how difficult moving can be and it isn’t something that a lot of people look forward to. You might be excited about moving into your new home, but the actual process of getting your stuff there is a different story. If you can keep a few tips in mind, then you might be able to avoid certain common moving problems. Examine the things that you should look out for below. 

Waiting Too Long to Start Packing

You should really start packing your belongings well in advance of your move. If you wait to start packing your stuff until the weekend of your big move, then you’re going to be very stressed out. It is so much easier to pack a bit at a time over the course of a month than it is to pack an entire home in one or two days. Consider getting an early start on your packing to make things easier on yourself. 

Spending Too Much Money

It’s going to be best to try to stick to a budget when you’re moving. If you aren’t careful, then your moving costs could wind up putting you in a bind. Pay attention to how much you’re spending on packing materials and how much it costs to rent a truck. Remember that you also have to factor in fuel expenses and other travel-related expenses. 

Watch Out for Untrustworthy Movers

You might think that hiring movers will be a good way to make things easier. This can be true sometimes, but you can also wind up dealing with untrustworthy movers. If you hire movers who aren’t trustworthy, then they might try to charge you a lot more money than you originally agreed on. This could be very problematic so you should always research moving companies to ensure that they have a good reputation before hiring them. 

Paperwork Issues

Sometimes people encounter paperwork issues when they’re moving as well. One good example is when someone forgets to transfer utility bills to the new address. You also need to take the time to update your driver’s license and do all of the other little things that you need to do when you’re moving. Try to remember to do all of this stuff by making a list of things that you need to handle. 

from Moss Sidell | Real Estate Attorney

6 Tips to Help a Struggling Small Business Stay Afloat

It’s a fact that most new small businesses struggle. It’s part of the process. And though some don’t ultimately survive, those that can power through early problems can emerge strong (and profitable). Still, reaching that point is difficult, particularly in a rough business climate. However, there are certain steps you can take to keep you from feeling as though you’re drowning and to help keep your business financially healthy.

Tip 1: Set Yourself Apart

In a recent look at common struggles of small businesses, we talked about the problem of having too many competitors. There, we suggested that business owners use competition to inspire innovation. More simply, use this problem as motivation to figure out how to set yourself apart. In the early stages, that might come down more to messaging than actual business products or services. But the sooner you make your company appear distinct among its competitors, the faster you’ll gain customers.

Tip 2: Address Your Debts

The idea of tackling debts before seeking more gains is actually an investment principle many adhere to — whether or not they’re running businesses. The idea is that debt is usually a compounding burden, with interest mounting over time, and should thus be addressed as efficiently as possible. This is particularly important for a small business in which time is of the essence. While it’s not always as simple as deciding to pay off debts, small business owners should start prioritizing debts. The sooner they’re addressed, the sooner the business can be free to grow.

Tip 3: Take Reinvestment Seriously

When you’re running a small business, it’s important to consider the idea of reinvestment. This is basically the idea that it can be beneficial to take some of the company’s profits and invest them directly back into company needs.

Whether that means marketing efforts, a new employee, better technology, etc., it’s sometimes recommended that you reinvest half of what the company makes. It’s seen as a way of fostering fast growth, and it can also build the business up such that you have to do less on your own. In that sense, reinvestment can double as an investment in your own time as well.

Tip 4: Consider Personal Investment as Well

While there’s always some risk involved, you might also be able to expand your own funding by doing some light personal investing. However, you’ll want to do so carefully. If you’re looking to invest in the most traditional sense — in the stock market, for instance — it may be best to do so through alternative methods. Full-on trading is essentially a job, and it’s a lot for any small business owner to take on, particularly without the requisite expertise. However, there are other ways to grow funds in the market.

If you still want some say over your portfolio, CFD trading is an option to explore. This is a method that allows the trading of shares purely with regard to whether they’ll increase or decrease in value. So, rather than buying a share of stock and timing your sale correctly to maximize profits, you merely make a decision of whether you want to buy it (anticipating gains) or sell it. CFD trading also enables stop-loss orders, which can allow careful investors to automatically limit their losses. If this is still a little too hands-on, there are also more automated or hands-off trading options such as mutual funds or apps that will trade on your behalf.

Tip 5: Cut Costs Where You Can

Usually, a struggling small business will already have cut costs wherever possible. However, it never hurts to do another thorough, numbers-based assessment of where you stand. Is there something you paid for in helping to launch the business that you no longer need? Are you using a supplier you might be able to move away from in favor of a cheaper alternative? Is there anything you have the time and ability to take on your own that you’re currently paying someone else to do? These are all questions worth asking when you’re struggling to make the business work.

Tip 6: Employ Freelancers Where Possible

This is not a suggestion that your small business should be staffed entirely by freelancers. You’ll need some employees to build a sustainable operation. However, where possible, you might want to look into freelance contributions. In-depth analyses have shown that freelancers cost less money, and these days — with so many people unemployed and/or looking to work remotely — they’re theoretically more available than ever. So, for the odd job here or there or for regular contributions that don’t necessarily demand full-time employment, you might want to explore the freelance market.

There are ultimately no guarantees for a struggling small business. Each company’s strategy should be distinct, and a little bit of luck comes into the picture as well. With these tips though, you might hope to keep the business afloat — in a challenging climate or when future struggles arise.

from The Grasshopper Blog – Insights for Entrepreneurs Tips to Help a Struggling Small Business Stay Afloat/