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Hi Elizabeth – You might try searching the web (particularly to see if there are any jobs offered in those areas. Search under “work at home” or similar titles. Otherwise you might put together an impressive resume of the skillsets you have to offer, and shop them around to small businesses. There are millions of online business who hire freelancers to do specific jobs. If you can get just one, you can build on it by adding others as you go along. That will enable you to move into it gradually, and at your own pace and comfort level. Good luck!

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Why Switch Energy Providers for Your Business? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should

In 2017, a staggering 39% of total U.S. energy consumption was used for commercial and residential buildings, equating to about 38 quadrillion British thermal units. Virtually all businesses rely on energy to perform everyday functions. Energy is an expense no business can escape. However, when it comes to improving your bottom line and becoming more environmentally responsible, it could be time to switch provider.

Why Switch Energy Providers?

Here are five reasons why you should think about getting a new energy provider for your business.

Lower Your Bills

Through better energy management, businesses can achieve annual savings of between 2 and 10 percent. Researching the market and changing to a more cost-effective energy provider is a key part of a comprehensive and effective energy management strategy, alongside conducting an energy audit to find out where you can make the most savings on energy bills.

Switching to a better energy provider may give you a better deal for your business. This can be one of the simplest and quickest ways for businesses to save money and improve their bottom line.

Choose the Energy that Works for You

The energy demands for one business can be entirely different for another. Some companies consume vast quantities of gas and electricity, while others consume relatively little.

With Energy Choice, you can pursue energy plans and pricing options that are more strategic and lower cost to fit with the specific demands, requirements and budget of your business.

Improve Your Energy Service

Like all businesses, some energy providers are more customer-friendly and practice better customer service than others. If you’re not satisfied with the service your provider gives you and yearn to receive your energy from a company that answers your queries in a timely manner and is friendly and professional, it might be time to change provider.

You can determine the quality of a provider’s customer service credentials by looking at their testimonials, checking how many complaints have been made about the provider and researching how they communicate with their customers.

Become Greener with an Eco-Friendly Provider

More and more businesses are establishing environmental commitments to ensure they conform to environmental policies and goals and are seen as a corporately and environmentally responsible business.

Some energy providers offer more green initiatives than others. For example, dedicated green energy suppliers source a larger proportion of their energy from renewable sources. Therefore switching to a more eco-friendly provider can be a huge step in ensuring your business adopts a greener attitude and ethos.

Ensure Your Bills are Accurate

Discrepancies in bills, problems with energy estimates and inaccuracies in meter readings can cost businesses dearly. It is in your best interest to ensure your billing is as accurate as possible and that may include switching to a supplier with smarter meter reading options.

Accurately metered data can help your business identify energy and cost-saving opportunities. Given the energy and cost-saving implications of accurate meter reading and improved energy billing, switching to a supplier that prioritizes reading and billing accuracies by offering smart meters or, at least, online reading submissions, could be an effective way to help your business make savings on this inescapable business expense.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Thinking About a New Energy Provider for Your Business? 5 Reasons Why You Should” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Vine 2 App Will Be Called byte

For the millions of fans who regularly watched and loved its quirky videos, the sudden shut down of the Vine app in October 2016 came as a bitter blow. If you happen to be one of those fans or one of the creators who made those videos, there is good news because the co-founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann, is bringing the app back with a new name: byte.

Vine 2 App

In November of 2017, Small Business Trends reported Hofmann’s intention to launch Vine 2 or V2 as it was being called then. But developmental and financial issues to bring the short-form videos back to life delayed his efforts. Fast forward almost a year later, and Hofmann is sure this time around he will be launching byte (with a small b) in spring of 2019.

At its height of popularity, Vine was being used by many brands, including small businesses seeking to engage the young demographic the platform reached. And just as things were ramping up for Vine, it was shut down by its parent company, Twitter.

Twitter, which had purchased Vine in 2012, shut it down in October of 2016. The company tried to revive it as Vine Camera, but it was a resounding flop.

There was yet another attempt by Twitter to capitalize on the popularity of Vine by launching an archive of all the videos without allowing users to upload any new content. This didn’t pan out either for the company.

That said, the popularity of Vine videos on YouTube and other social media channels has made Vine videos highly popular. At the same time, the community of creators has also grown after its closure, which may be the perfect time to launch byte

At one-point Vine had 200 million active users and the six second videos were being looped a billion times every day.

So, What is byte?

At this time no one knows since the only thing to go on is what Hofmann has announced on the byte Twitter account — and so far that’s not much!

There is website at and an Instagram page to go along with the Twitter account, but that is it for now.

The information on the website is also limited, but it describes byte as “A new looping video app by the creator of Vine.”

There is a form which allows users to join byte’s creator program. The page says “We’re building byte with creators in mind.” This is an important piece of information because Vine was driven by creators, many of whom established accounts on YouTube, Instagram and other sites after its shutdown.

You can sign up to get email updates for the app, and if you are a creator, byte wants you to participate in its “budding creator program.”

So, stay tuned until spring 2019 to see how byte will be received in a world which has become more mobile and connected then when Vine was launched back in 2012.

Image: byte

This article, “New Looping Video App Planned from the Creator of Vine, Could Your Business Benefit?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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What is as unique, authentic and differentiating to your personal brand as a handwritten thank you note in a world of email, text messages and instant message? The answer: following through on promises and closing the loop, even if conflict is involved or you don’t have the answers.

Friends and colleagues are generally surprised when you take the time to follow-up. How many emails have you received saying, “thanks for getting back to me so quickly?” or “I appreciate your follow-up and for providing that information?” It makes you feel good and you get an extra boost of dopamine in your brain, right?

Take a minute and reflect upon how well you do on follow through. Taking out a piece of paper and pen for an informal “Real Deal” quiz. Rate yourself on a scale from 1-5 (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest).

  1. When you commit to writing a recommendation or review on LinkedIn, how often do you do it?
  2. When you promise to introduce colleagues for networking purposes, how quickly do you do it?
  3. After a conference, do you follow-up with new people that you meet?
  4. When a team member asks you for information, how many times does he have to remind you?
  5. If a sales person sends you a cold-call email, how often do you respond?

Chances are, you thought to yourself when reading this, “oh my goodness. I have room for improvement.” So no need for formal scoring!

Don’t feel bad. We live in a world where multi-tasking is part of our day-to-day survival. We balance work, family, money, household needs, friends, health and exercise, to name a few. Many of us self-talk our way through the day, saying “Everything is great. Everything is awesome. I am great. I am awesome.”

Unfortunately in solving our follow through challenges so that we avoid undermining our personal brands, there is no Program Management Office to help us with our day-to-day follow through. As professionals, it is up to us to make sure that we do what we say. Here are some simple tips:

  • Follow through in the moment: If you are enjoying coffee with someone who needs an introduction, stop, pull out your smart phone and make the introduction. If you do it in the moment, it is up to the other person to kick the ball forward. It’s one of the few times that using your smart phone in a coffee shop or restaurant, or multi-tasking in front of someone else isn’t rude.


  • Write it down: Tasks on our to-do-lists, are typically not forgotten and do get done. 
  • No thank you: Saying “no thank you” or declining “a request or invitation is okay. Sometimes we just need to do it and not feel guilty. Imagine if the community bank client would have said to the executive coach, “I’m not much of a LinkedIn user and am sorry that I won’t be able to write you a recommendation. I would be willing to serve as a reference if another client were to call.”


  • Lose the temptation to ignore: If someone sends a long email request, ask the individual to cut through the details and be more specific about what they need or want. If the task is too daunting, let the person know that you are struggling and could use extra time, or to talk it through. If you are regretting promising to connect someone with a colleague, let them know that it’s not a good time. Just don’t ignore others.


Remember, people do not just listen to what you say. Your credibility, trust and integrity of your personal brand is on the line, based upon what you do. Imagine a game of Simon Says. If you were to say to your group, “Simon Says, put your hands on your hips” and you put your hands on your head, what do you think would happen? More than half the group would put their hands on their heads.

The post Following Through: The Toughest Easy Job appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

who else really loves having a business

Thanks to

Hi Elizabeth – You might try searching the web (particularly to see if there are any jobs offered in those areas. Search under “work at home” or similar titles. Otherwise you might put together an impressive resume of the skillsets you have to offer, and shop them around to small businesses. There are millions of online business who hire freelancers to do specific jobs. If you can get just one, you can build on it by adding others as you go along. That will enable you to move into it gradually, and at your own pace and comfort level. Good luck!