Help Your Children Turn Ideas into Money

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Back in the days of pink bubblegum and hula hoops, a junior high school kid from a rural neighbourhood was contemplating ways in which to invest and earn money.  In due course, he followed his yearning with a very shrewd action.  With his entrepreneurial spirit intact, he bicycled down to the small, rural town’s local general store and bought up the town’s entire supply of pink bubblegum.  In turn, he made continued attempts to resell the pink bubblegum to kids in the neighbourhood hiking the price to allow him to realize a profit.

Well, the other neighbourhood kids understood the concept of price gouging and were not receptive to purchasing pink bubblegum at inflated prices.  Suffice it to say the idea went over like a lead balloon.  Though the kids suffered a week-long withdrawal from chewing pink bubblegum, they effectively boycotted sales by the entrepreneur and in no time at all prices and supply returned to normal.  In fact, the whole affair ended with the entrepreneur apprehensive to depart his parent’s home for weeks after being branded the town traitor who created the bubblegum famine in the first place.

What the young entrepreneur didn’t count on was the emotional response that resulted in the price hike, and his bubblegum venture quickly failed. The entrepreneur’s spirit was in the right place and he was just steps away from a viable idea.  His only failure was the execution of his plan. Imagine how the story might have ended if this young entrepreneur had sought advice from his parents and his parents became involved in his venture.  He may have benefited from that advice and made his purchase directly from another supplier selling his pink bubblegum for a few pennies less than the general store.  If only the story had ended that way, the young entrepreneur very well may have been elected the town’s local hero rather than the lowly and sought after pink bubblegum bandit. 

The morale of the story is should your child exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit such as that of the pink bubblegum bandit, be attentive to and support your child’s dreams by helping your child develop their ideas into a small business.  Working with your child in a teacher/apprentice capacity affords you and your child many opportunities to learn together as your child builds character and self-confidence.  Developing a business is very educational and your child will gain essential life skills in a fun and profitable format.  Your child will practice setting goals, time management, communicating, organizing and will learn lessons in computer software, general accounting, money management, banking, sales, marketing, and more.

So, how do you and your child get started on such a venture? Listen to your child’s ideas and choose an idea that has potential; an idea which can be developed into a small business your child can operate.  After agreeing on an idea, consult with your accountant.  Minor children are required to file tax returns on earnings just like everyone else.  In addition, your accountant may advise your child of financial benefits such as making contributions to their very own, tax-free educational savings fund and other planning strategies.

After consulting with your accountant on tax issues and how to set up your child’s business, apply for a business license if required so your child is legally operating the business.  Next, you and your child can open personal and business bank accounts so your child has a safe place to store all that money they’re going to be earning.  Shop around because there are a lot of checking and savings accounts that offer special perks to kids that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Once your child is squared away with creating a tax plan, obtaining a business license, and setting up banking accounts, help your child create a simple business plan.  The exercise of developing a business plan will help you and your child focus on the guts of your business and teach your child to use problem-solving skills and creativity in devising a plan.  Your child’s business plan serves as an outline of overall business objectives, describes the business, explains how the business will operate, and presents sales and marketing tactics to be executed to achieve plan success.

With your business plan in place, you and your child will enter the start-up phase of your small business where together you will create action items in a “to do” list format technically referred to as a start-up plan. Determine what inventory items to purchase to support your child’s small business and what items are critical to getting the small business up and running.  Determine who comprises your target market and develop a message that reaches your market.  Purchase marketing items for your business such as a website or blog and inexpensive marketing tools like business cards, bumper stickers, and flyers.

Finally, put your child’s ideas into action and begin working through your business and start-up plans.  Prioritize tasks and check off items as you complete them.  Help your child overcome obstacles as they arise, discuss ways in which to accomplish tasks, and problem-solve with your child. Finally, your child will be ready to hit the streets (or the Internet) with their product or service and will begin selling!  Good places to start selling and marketing include friends and family, your local community, your local community newsletter, flyers posted at the local swim club, church, and social networking sites on the Internet to name a few. 

We hope you and your child have fun together as you enjoy the thrills of success and overcome the disappointments of failure encountered along the way to developing your small business.  Become involved with your child’s venture helping your child correct small errors that could result in bursting their bubble and their entrepreneurial spirit should they inadvertently become the pink bubblegum bandit of your neighbourhood.

 

Choose a Strong Domain Name for Your Website

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Every business website or blog benefits from having its own, unique domain name. This gives it professional status and helps it to stand out from the crowd. What's more, the domain name itself can play a key role in attracting visitors, with appropriate wording and so it pays to word it carefully. But there's more to stringing together an attractive, promotional name than you might think. It' II need to be catchy, memorable and original, for instance, while also giving an indication of what your website offers. Check your preferred domain name for maximum effectiveness by asking yourself if it will do the following: 

Lead Searchers to your Site:

Choose words that searchers are likely to use when looking for a website like yours.  If it advertises knitwear that you sell, for instance include "Knitwear" "Knit" "Wool" or another word that searchers are likely to use.  Check SEO (search engine optimization) rankings for the most frequently used words appropriate to your business, then see if you can work the top ones into your domain name.

Say or Hint at What you do:

Attract searchers to your site by indicating your specific niche or service, as well as your general topic. To take the knitwear example, perhaps you make the garments yourself or provide organic or ethically sourced ones, or maybe you offer a platform for buying and selling knitwear, in which case, say so in your domain name. The more you can reveal about your website's content in its name, the more traffic you will draw.

Offer a Soundbite or Eyecatcher:

You'll want your site to stand out from the crowd, so pick a name that will attract browsers and stay in the minds of previous visitors. Try to phrase your name so that it rolls off the tongue and sticks in the memory. It might have a catchy rhythm, quirky pun or nice rhyme, for instance, or two words starting with the same letter. Make it easy to read, too, by using short or familiar words, and separating them from each other with dots. Suppose you sell downloadable waterfall photos, for instance, and want to use that full description in your name, you' be wise to divide them up with dots. Ideally, though, you'd avoid this tricky mouthful by using a more straightforward phrase.

Offer Easy Letters for Keying in:

Some people have difficulties with typing, spelling or both, so try to avoid uncommon letters, like “Z” and “Q,” and number digits, in your domain name. Words that are difficult to spell present off-putting challenges to potential returners and could prevent some searchers from finding you at all, so pick simple alternatives when you can. If your website features pharmaceutical products, for instance, you'd be wise to avoid the long, complicated word, "pharmaceutical," using a simple, familiar alternative instead. Before settling on a domain name try keying it in yourself to see how your fingers cope.

Be Unique:

For both practical and legal reasons, your domain name must be different from all others, even if only by one letter, but that side will be taken care of automatically by the registering process. If your intended name is already in use, it will not be accepted, and you'll need to alter it (perhaps several times) to find an arrangement of letters and dots that no one else is using. Your application will then be accepted.

For further information on acquiring a domain name, such as where and how to apply and what costs may be involved, browse some of the many online sites that address these matters. You'll find advice, clarification and useful Inks for everything you need to know for setting up your online business, or for establishing an online promotional platform for an offline business, depending on the nature of your enterprise.

Registering your website's domain name will be like putting the "Open" sign on your shop door and switching on the lights, ready for customers. It's a simple step, once you've fixed the wording. Just make sure you're ready for all the business coming your way.

Should I Teach my Kids About Taxes?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

I think that one of the inevitabilities of life, taxes, is something that we should learn about early in life. From why we need to levy taxes, how they affect your life, from your job, business, to what you buy, it’s a good thing to know about taxes. Sadly, school doesn’t do this as well as it should, or at all, so it’s up to you parents to teach your kids about taxes. 

Working Teens

Do you have a teen with a part-time job? This is a good time to show them how taxes work and helping them prepare their tax return come the following tax season. With online resources, it would be easy for them, let’s face it their more tech savvy than their parents, to file online. Better yet, get them to find a tax preparer on their own, so they can see what it’s like when they’re an adult and have to deal with their taxes.

The younger we teach them to do something, the better they can handle it as an adult. You’d be surprised how many young adults (early to mid-twenties) come to us, and have absolutely no clue what to do, or even what they need to provide to us.

The good thing about filing a tax return each year the teen has a T4 is that this accumulates his RRSP contribution room, so when they turn 19, they can start to contribute to an RRSP. Or, for later in life the monies they earned as a teen are contributing to that future contribution limit.

Of course, when they turn 19, it’s time to register for the GST/HST tax credit too. If your child has the confidence to figure that on their own, then the better. Get them reading about taxes, and what they need to do for filing their taxes.

Purchases

When your kid, no matter the age, wishes to buy something this is a good time to teach them about consumption taxes (GST/HST and PST). It’s fun to save for something they want, they know how much that toy will cost; however, they go to buy it and now don’t have enough money as they didn’t know about the taxes (from 5% to 15% depending on the Province). They’re now sadly disappointed and have to save more for the taxes.

If you teach that whatever they want to buy they need to think about the consumption taxes, then they know they need to add more to their savings to cover such taxes. Here in British Columbia you need to add 12% onto most purchases, food is mostly an exception except for pets. For example, if your kid wants to buy a toy that’s $39.99 then they need to add $4.80 for GST/HST ($2.00) and PST ($2.80). The kid needs to save $44.79. 

As a parent, you should think about teaching your kids about taxes as early as they would be able to understand. This way the kids won’t be disappointed when buying something, nor, later in life, will they get in trouble with Canada Revenue Agency because they didn’t file their taxes for five years. Ideally, the schools would teach such things too, maybe parents need to start demanding that schools start teaching kids about real life. As Crosby, Stills & Nash sang, “Teach Your Children Well”. 

Resources

Where Your Tax Dollars Go (Department of Finance Canada)

https://www.fin.gc.ca/taxdollar/text/fanfold/pamphlete.pdf

CBC News report, Feb 2018

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tax-dollars-1.4545415

Doing Your Taxes (Canada Revenue Agency)

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/income-tax/personal-income-tax/doing-your-taxes.html

Get ready to do your 2017 income tax and benefit return (Canada Revenue Agency)

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/taxes-get-ready.html

How to Retire the Right Way

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

An Ipsos poll stated that 55% of respondents indicated they planned to spend their retirement years travelling, while 54% indicated they wanted to spend more time with their family. Are you a small business owner harboring those same retirement dream? If so, you need to start thinking long and hard about how you plan to retire from your company. Retiring from a small business is not quit the same as retiring from that 9 to 5 job. You need to figure out how your retirement plans will impact your business, and how you will make a graceful exit from it. The following planning tips will help you retire the right way from your business.

Succession Planning

The best move that you can make on your retirement plans is to come up with a succession plan way ahead of when you eventually plan to retire. The earlier you start thinking about training your successor, the quicker you can start imparting your knowledge to someone on your team. When hiring employees have management training in mind, focus on helping team members learn to do your job in your absence, and do whatever you can to build a team that is invincible. Are you planning on selling your small business as part of your succession plan? Having a strong team in place will make selling the business that much easier.

Tax Planning

For small business owners who plan on retiring someday, the critical thing is advanced tax planning. You need to know how the tax laws will impact your retirement plans if you don’t want to get hit with unpleasant tax penalties when you retire. Find a good accountant and financial planner that specialize in retirement, so you know the significance of everything from a diversified retirement savings plan to self-directed retirement funds and capital gains taxes. When you adopt a ‘big picture’ mentality in regard to your tax planning, making your retirement dreams a reality becomes an easier goal to achieve.

Retirement Age Planning

Have you determined an age when you plan to retire? As a small business owner, you need to figure that out, however, that doesn’t mean you have to retire at 65, it can be before or after that. Find someone who is a certified retirement specialist to better understand your options. With careful financial planning, you could retire early, maybe 45, 50 or 55. You might even be able to develop a retirement plan that allows you to hand over control of your small business while retaining ownership rights. Your retirement doesn’t have to begin at 65, and you may find it amazing what options you have to explore.

For a sound financial future as a small business owner, it’s critical that you start retirement planning. Once you realize how many events can impact your future and small business (health, technology, etc.), you start to see the importance of developing a long-term retirement plan for your company. 

 

Is a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) Worth it?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

You may already know what a RESP is; however, here’s some information just in case you aren’t sure. A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a person or organization (the promoter). Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries.

A RESP is a great way for you to save for your children’s education, much like you’re saving for your retirement with an RRSP. Look at what you can afford to put away and do a monthly contribution so it’s easier on the pocketbook. A RESP is also a great way for the grandparents or aunts/uncles to contribute, just remember that you can only contribute up to a lifetime maximum of $50,000 per child.

Rather than all those toys, and other things that kids just grow out of, this is a great present (the kid may not realize it now though) for when the child is grown and off to post-secondary education. You can even show the child how the fund is growing, and maybe have them contribute when they get jobs.

The advantage of a RESP is that the withdrawals are taxable to the beneficiary. The income earned is paid as educational assistance payments (EAPs). Beneficiaries include the EAPs in their income for the year in which they receive them. However, they do not have to include the contributions they receive in their income. The student will get a T4A with the EAPs in Box 042.

An educational assistance payment (EAP) is the amount paid to a beneficiary (a student) from a RESP to help finance the cost of post-secondary education. An EAP consists of the Canada Education Savings Grant, the Canada Learning Bond, amounts paid under a Provincial Education Savings Programs and the earnings on the money saved in the RESP.

Another great thing about RESPs is the government gives you money in the form of grants. These grants can be the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG), Canada Learning Bond (CLB), or any designated provincial education savings program. If the government is giving out money you may as well take some and help your child out at the same time. 

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG)

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) provides an incentive for parents, family and friends to save for your child's post-secondary education by paying a grant based on the amount contributed to a RESP for the child. The CESG money will be deposited directly into the child's RESP.

No matter what your family income is, ESDC pays a basicCESG of 20% of annual contributions you make to alleligible RESPs for a qualifying beneficiary to a maximum CESG of $500 in respect of each beneficiary ($1,000 in CESG if there is unused grant room from a previous year), and a lifetime limit of $7,200.

Canada Learning Bond (CLB)

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) also provides an additional incentive of up to $2,000 to help modest-income families start saving early for their child's education after high school (post-secondary education). 

For families entitled to the national child benefit supplement (NCBS) for their child, the CLB will provide an initial $500 to children born on or after January 1, 2004. To help cover the cost of opening a RESP for the child, ESDC will pay an extra $25 with the first $500 bond. Thereafter, the CLB will also pay an additional $100 annually for up to 15 years for each year the family is entitled to the NCBS for the child. 

Certain provinces encourage families to plan and save for their children's post-secondary education by offering incentives to open an RESP. Currently, only Alberta, Quebec, and Saskatchewan offer such incentives. 

Let’s face it, and education is somewhat pricey, and will probably only go higher. We’re better off than some counties as our post-secondary education system is highly subsidized. That said, it doesn’t hurt to start early in a child’s life to start saving for their education and get other family members involved. Make it fun and let the child know that you’re thinking of them by saving for their future.

 

Improve Your Business with Integrated Workflow and Financial Software

By Randall Orser | Small Business

In the business world, time is money, and one of the biggest time sucks in your business is the sharing of information. What are you wasting too much time doing? Examples are downloading content, faxing documents (yes, we still do that especially to government), emailing lost files and simply running across the building to get that important file. Now your staff have less time to actually do what you hired them to do, and even though the tasks don’t seem that important in the overall scheme of things, they do lower productivity and then your bottom line.

Improved Productivity

An integrated workflow and financial (accounting) software system will help to boost the long-term productivity of your business. The reason is that they can directly access system resources, without needing to go to a superior or other source. You have the necessary information right at your fingertips so you are no longer wasting time searching or making pointless phone calls, emails or faxes (one day we’ll have stopped using this archaic transmission feature).

Your employees have everything direct at their fingertips, and with this easy access they’re spending less time from their desks and on needless tasks. With this new workflow system, they can remain focused without the tasks they would normally need to complete. All of this makes it much easier for your business to produce the necessary products and services without spending time on those other tasks that waste time.

Greater Financial Security While Avoiding Downtime

The financial software aspect of this integrated Workflow system is perfect for companies with multiple departments providing financial information. The sales department may need sales figures, while the marketing department must provide advertising costs.

Without the integrated workflow and financial software system available in the business, all data must first be emailed or sent to the financial department, who then compiles the data in order to come up with the accurate financial report. This is incredibly tedious and does leave the window open to possible errors and incorrect numbers, especially if someone forgets to provide their content by the designated time frame.

However, with software, it’s now possible for every department to easily upload their figures, which is fully integrated with the rest of the company and every other department. Your staff no longer have to run around collecting data just to create and finish that financial report. The software automatically collects this data and allows the financial department to quickly produce the financial report.

Reduce Waste

It’s important for any business to reduce waste as it allows it to focus this time elsewhere on other tasks, which in turn improves productivity and the overall number of necessary tasks completed. It may not seem much of a waste of time running around to various departments to gather files and reports, but over the course of a year that can definitely add up. Having an integrated workflow and financial software system in place is exactly why you can reduce this wasted time considerably. Everyone can complete their tasks, upload it to the system and even gain access to the files which they need without ever having to leave their desk.                                                                                                          


Improving productivity is always important, which is why applying such a system has very favourable meaning for the business. By integrating workflow into the financial structure of your business, you can save time, cut costs and boost productivity. All of which comes back and helps boost your bottom line.


You may be thinking, I’m a small business and don’t have departments as it may only be your or maybe a few employees. However, you still have departments as you have employees doing certain jobs and you can break up tasks accordingly and using integrated workflow and financial structure system can help you relieve the work maybe only you’re doing. You can achieve this with QuickBooks Online and Hubdoc (or Receipt Bank), and other software that works with QuickBooks Online. This can help sales people do invoicing as it happens or work orders are entered and the worker can turn it into an invoice.

What Child and Family Benefits are Left?

By Randall Orser | Personal Income Tax

The federal government in its infinite wisdom decided to eliminate many benefits for families with children and did prop up the one benefit left giving families a monthly stipend depending on their income. Now the only benefit left is the Canada child benefit (CCB).

What is the Canada Child Benefit (CCB)?

The Canada child benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. The CCB might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs, such as the BC early childhood tax benefit.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses information from your income tax and benefit return to calculate how much your CCB payments will be. To get the CCB, you have to file your return every year, even if you did not have income in the year. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they also have to file a return every year.

Benefits are paid over a 12-month period from July of one year to June of the next year. Your benefit payments will be recalculated every July based on information from you and your spouse’s (if applicable) income tax and benefit returns from the previous year. If any of your information from the following list changes during the year, we will recalculate your benefit the month after the change occurs.

For July 2018, in its Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposes to strengthen the CCB by increasing the benefits annually to keep pace with the rising cost of living. In the fall of 2016, the Government committed to index the CCB to inflation starting July 2020, but the government believes that a growing economy and improved fiscal track means it can deliver on this commitment two years sooner. 

To be eligible for the Canada child benefit (CCB), you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You must live with the child, and the child must be under 18 years of age.
  • You must be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child.
  • You must be a resident of Canada for tax purposes.
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner must be:
    • a Canadian citizen
    • a permanent resident
    • a protected person
    • a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months,                    and who has a valid permit in the 19th month
    • an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act

What Benefits or Credits Could you Get?

When you apply, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine if you are eligible for:

  • the Canada child benefit
  • any related provincial or territorial programs

The CRA will also register your child for the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit.

When Should you Apply?

Apply for the CCB as soon as possible after:

  • your child is born
  • a child starts to live with you
  • you or your spouse or common-law partner meet the eligibility conditions

CCB payments can begin the month after you become eligible, as long as you are still eligible at the beginning of the current month.

You should apply even if:

  • you share custody of your child
  • your child is living with you for a determined temporary period of time
  • your current family net income is too high to get the CCB (you might be eligible for other benefits)

Although the Canada child tax benefit and the universal child care benefit are no longer being issued, you can still request an adjustment for previous years, if you were eligible.

Who Should Apply?

The individual who is primarily in charge of the care and upbringing of the child should apply for the CCB. You are primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child if you:

  • supervise the child’s daily activities and needs
  • make sure the child’s medical needs are met 
  • arrange for child care when necessary

For CCB purposes, when a male and a female parent live together in the same household as the child, the female parent is usually considered to be primarily responsible for the child. In this situation, the female parent should apply. If the male parent is primarily responsible, he must attach a note to his application from the female parent. The note must state that he is primarily responsible for all of the children in the household.

If two parents of the same sex live together in the same household as the child, one parent should apply for the CCB for all of the children in the household. You are not considered primarily responsible if the child is legally, physically, or financially maintained by a child welfare agency. For more information on this situation, see children's special allowances.

Do you Share Custody?

You share custody if the child lives with you and another individual in separate residences on a more or less equal basis. The child might regularly alternate between residences in the following cycles:

  • four days with one person and three days with the other
  • one week with one person and the next week with the other
  • any other regular alternating cycle

Both individuals must be primarily responsible for the child's care and upbringing when the child lives with them. Each eligible individual will get 50% of the payment he or she would have received if the child lived with him or her all of the time. If you have just entered into a shared custody situation you have to apply for benefits.

Although a court order might state which individual should receive the CCB, the CRA is bound by the Income Tax Act, which is the legal authority the CRA uses to determine who eligible individuals are. If you start or stop sharing custody of a child, let us know as soon as possible.

How is the CCB Calculated?

Your Canada child benefit (CCB) payments are calculated for the period of July of one year to June of the next year using the following information:

  • the number of children who live with you
  • the ages of your children
  • your adjusted family net income
  • your child’s eligibility for the child disability benefit  

CRA recalculates your payment every July based on your adjusted family net income from the previous year. Your net income is the amount from line 236 of your income tax and benefit return. Your family net income is your net income plus the net income of your spouse or common-law partner, if you have one.

CRA "adjusts" your family net income so that we don't count any universal child care benefit (UCCB) and registered disability savings plan (RDSP) payments you receive. CRA does this to make sure that people with low and modest incomes get the most benefits they can. However, if you have to repay any UCCB and RDSP amounts, they will include them as part of your adjusted family net income.

Your marital status affects how your benefits are calculated. If your marital status changes, you need to tell CRA before the end of the month after the month your status changed. For example, if your marital status changed in August, tell them about the change by the end of September.

To estimate the amount of CCB you might be entitled to, as well as any benefit from CCB-related provincial or territorial programs and other benefits, use the child and family benefits calculator. Calculations are based on the information you enter in the calculator fields.

Basic Benefit for July 2018 to June 2019

CRA calculates the Canada child benefit (CCB) as follows:

  • $6,496 per year ($541.33 per month) for each eligible child under the age of six
  • $5,481 per year ($456.75 per month) for each eligible child aged 6 to 17

We start to reduce the amount of CCB you get when your adjusted family net income (AFNI) is over $30,450. The reduction is calculated as follows:

  • families with one eligible child: the reduction is 7% of the amount of AFNI between $30,450 and $65,976, plus 3.2% of the amount of AFNI over $65,976
  • families with two eligible children: the reduction is 13.5% of the amount of AFNI between $30,450 and $65,976, plus 5.7% of the amount of AFNI over $65,976
  • families with three eligible children: the reduction is 19% of the amount of AFNI between $30,450 and $65,976, plus 8% of the amount of AFNI over $65,976
  • families with four or more eligible children: the reduction is 23% of the amount of AFNI between $30,450 and $65,976, plus 9.5% of the amount of AFNI over $65,976

The CCB is now pretty much the only kid friendly tax benefit from our government. Only time will tell if it will actually benefit the lowest income people or not.

Great Summertime Jobs for Girls

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Summertime jobs are being sought after more and more by girls. In 2017, 59% of girls were working a summer job, representing an increase from the previous year. 2018 will see an increase as well as more girls seek seasonal jobs. The summertime job is much more than just a way to pass the time between school years. Many girls are working summer jobs to help them pay for college, at the same time gaining valuable experience in the employment world. The following are some great summertime jobs for girls.

Summer Camp Counsellor/Counsellor in Training

The American Camp Association says there are about 7,000 overnight camps and 5,000 daytime camps running all over the US; Canada has quite a few too though not as many as the US. With over eleven million kids and adults participating in these camps, girls have tons of opportunities to hone their skills as a camp counsellor or counsellor in training.

Lodge and Resort Jobs

According to the US Bureau of Labour and Statistics:

"In July 2017, the largest percentage of employed youth worked in the leisure and hospitality industry (26%), which includes food services."

The hospitality industry is attractive to girls as it’s an environment that nurtures companionship among peers. Jobs at resorts are bountiful in the summer as additional staff is required to adjust to the increase in vacationing guests. Some of the jobs at resorts and lodges are: assistant management, tour guide, restaurant server, front desk attendant, greeter, and housekeeping.

Pet Sitter

Most Canadians own a pet of some sort, the majority own a cat (37%) according to government statistics; dogs are at 32%. Pet owners also need to take vacations, so there’s the opportunity to help in caring for their pets during the daytime, creating the perfect job opportunity for money-minded girls who love caring for animals.

Swim Coach/Lifeguard

Coaching the neighbourhood swim team or serving as a private swim coach for a local club or organization is a great way for active girls to get their feet wet in the job market. These are an excellent way to stay active on the job while helping others learn how to master a new sport. It also gives them a chance to work with younger children, and what it’s like to coach them.

Lifeguard is another job that could be good for active girls. This could be at the neighbourhood pool, or even the beach. Great way to stay active and get acquainted with working with the public.

Social Media Assistant

According to statistics over 70% of girls use more than one social media site, and many display a great aptitude for designing and updating social media sites than their parents or members of the older generations. Working as a summertime social media assistant allows tech-savvy girls to channel their social media expertise in a way that bolsters business for their employers. The tasks of a social media assistant can include:

  • Design social media websites for companies
  • Update social media sites with daily posts and photos
  • Assist in the preparation of social media blog content
  • Help respond to customer inquiries sent through social media sites

Amusement Park Jobs

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) says there are over 400 amusement parks in the United States; Canada not quite as many but there are over 25. These parks employ over 600,000 people, including about 500,000 seasonal jobs. Walt Disney world is probably one of the most popular parks that hires summer employees and is known for providing jobs that are seen as challenging and interesting by those who work them. If you want to work at an amusement park this summer, here are some of the opportunities available:

  • Thrill ride operator
  • Gift shop cashier
  • Front gate attendant
  • Greeter
  • Ticket issuer
  • Security assistant

Blog Writer

A growing number of girls are making money by writing blog content for companies and as freelance writers. Many companies are looking for teenage girls to server as blog writers and provide age appropriate and gender specific content. Some of the most successful young female bloggers end up blogging full-time and make thousands of dollars per month by launching their own blogs.

Tutor

Tutoring is a rewarding and lucrative job for girls who are academically inclined and who excel at helping others learn and retain information. Tutoring opportunities are plentiful in the summer, especially in the subjects of math, science, and English. You can also tutor students who are preparing for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Or, teach foreign students who are learning English for the first time.

Summer Intern

From internships.com:

"Employers can attract talent from all over the United States for internships over the summer months.       Companies such as the Walt Disney Company even offer housing and relocation assistance to attract the most talented students to their summer internships".

Summer internships are a great way for college students who are seeking employment while also looking for opportunities to satisfy college coursework requirements. Organizations such as internships.com make it easy for girls to search for available internships by location, company, and industry. You can even find valuable tips on finding the best internship to meet your educational needs.

Landscaping Technician

We tend to pay more attention to our lawns and landscaping during the summer as we spend more time outdoors. Girls who love the outdoors and appreciate greenery are great candidates for summer landscaping jobs. As a landscaping technician, you would be maintaining lawns, gardening, planning trees and shrubs, and enhancing the overall appearance of outdoor properties.

Selecting the best summertime job for you is process that should be more than asking how much money you get. When deciding on a summertime job, take the time to think about your passions, your skills, and your future goals. Ideally, the summer job you choose should facilitate your skills and passions while being challenging and rewarding. No two girls are created with the exact same set of skills and aptitudes, and you deserve to find a summertime job that will allow you to shine.

Four Tips to Help You Work Successfully from Home

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Working from home is fast becoming a trend. Many have succeeded in their home business although there are others who fail in such a set-up. The most common reason a lot of people fail in a work-at-home set-up is they lack the motivation. It is quite easy to adopt a lax attitude if you run your business from home. The comforts of home (e.g., the TV, video games, the fridge!) are temptations that are simply easy to give in to than resist. You need to create an environment that is conducive to working if you wish to achieve home business success.

Define Your Workplace at Home 

It is important that you designate a specific area of your home you can use as your office. Having a defined workspace helps you achieve two things. One, you will subconsciously associate your home office with work so that every time you sit at your desk, you automatically get into your working mood. Two, you will be able to organize your work better. Your home office can be a spare room or even just a quiet corner anywhere in the house. The only requirement is you have enough space where you can have all the things you need when you are working. You should also be able to isolate yourself during your working hours to avoid being distracted by the daily activities at home.

Get the Appropriate Office Furniture and Equipment 

As you build your home business office, you may easily be tempted to buy stylish furniture, high-tech pieces of equipment, and fancy gadgets. If you do give in to that temptation, you may discover sooner rather than later you have only wasted money if it turns out you hardly have use for them. Thus, plan the furnishing of your home office and plan it right.  

Depending on what kind of home business you have, you must first determine the types of furniture and equipment you will need for your daily operation. Identify which ones are necessary and which items you could do without. This way you could shop wisely and save your money for other, more productive uses. And do not forget your communications system. You will need a separate telephone line and an email account to be used exclusively for your business. You may also need a fax machine but do check your actual communication requirements, which must depend on how or what you will communicate with your customers, associates, and suppliers.

Develop Self-Discipline 

When you decide to work at home, you become your own boss. With this comes the responsibility of finishing your work on time. This means you should not be playing with your kids when you know you must be working on a project. Arrange for a sitter or place them on day care when you have to work but do set a family time so you can spend quality time with them. Online chatting and playing computer games are also big time robbers that you must be smart enough to pass up during your working hours. Of course, you also need to go on breaks during your workday but schedule those breaks to avoid disrupting your focus. 

Organize Your Work and Create a Routine 

One way you can efficiently work from your homebusinessoffice is to regard it as a regular work place. Organize your paperwork, file your documents regularly, and schedule all your tasks. Observe cleanliness in your home office and keep your desk uncluttered at all times. Set priorities and arrange your schedule accordingly. 

Follow the aforementioned tips and you can be certain to achieve home business success.


PESTLE Analysis for Your Business

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Politics, economics, sociology, technology, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) is an analysis framework the allows businesses to determine the health and potential of their business. These six factors of the PESTLE method contribute contextual information that expedites more targeted and informed business decisions. You can gain a better understanding of your business and industry by doing your due diligence of these six areas. In the end, you’re much better placed to make proactive decisions that promote growth and stability.

Politics

What is the government on the federal, provincial and local level up to as it relates to your industry? Whatever the government does can have an impact on your industry and the economy. Tax laws and trade restrictions (think the trade war happening now) can greatly influence your operational procedures and sooner or later your profit margins. You need to stay informed of any pertinent changes to political policies or legislation.

Political changes often reflect the attitudes of your target market, so it’s smart to stay on top of local and national political sentiment. The political environment can be a positive as well as a negative influence on your day-to-day business, however, knowing about any changes in advance helps you to be proactive in your preparations so you can at least try to take advantage of any situation that occurs.

Currently, the housing market is one area right now (2018) that the government is sticking its nose into thinking it can make housing affordable, not realizing that by doing so many owners may end up in financial ruin.

Economics

The success of any business is fundamentally related to the wider economic climate. You need to look at how present and anticipated economic factors, such as inflation and interest rates, are affecting your business. Stay informed about the economic outlook for your industry and community and make decisions based upon what’s right for your business.

The timing of major financial decisions can have a great impact on your financial prosperity. An example would be getting a loan when interest rates are low would save a large amount of capital that could be better spent in other areas. The key to using various economic changes to your advantage is keeping abreast of what’s happening so dedicate sufficient time and resources to collecting economic data.

Sociology

Your market demographics should be a foundational component of your sociological research. Take the time to determine the descriptive characteristics of your market such as their age, location, and disposable income. The more you know about your potential customers, the more strongly you can direct your product and marketing to them.

Knowledge of all cultural and demographic aspects of a market can help you develop your service. All businesses need to fulfill a role in society and only through detailed sociological analysis can you clearly define yours.

Technology

Technology is often a critical driver of innovation and market growth. Keep apprised of technological advances that could improve your efficiency and profitability. Technology is changing faster than ever, but you still need quickly figure out which ones will have a tangible and positive impact on your business.

Whether you commit to your own research and development or just keep your finger on the pulse of innovation, technological research is an important aspect of business development. Determine your current setup and identify any areas that could be improved by a change in technology. Executing technological changes in your business will prove to be a wise investment if it increases efficiency and widens profit margins.

Legal

You need to assess the legal landscape of your industry and business as they may directly affect the operation of your business. You need to be aware of the basics all businesses must follow, such as consumer and employment laws, but you also need to know of any legislation that may specifically relate to your business.

There may be industry specific laws that your business is subject to, however you may find that you’re actually exempt from others. Governments will regularly encourage certain industries via individualized legislation and tax breaks, so it pays to be aware of the law as it applies to your business.

Environmental

Some industries can more keenly benefit from environmental research, however, it’s definitely advantageous for all businesses to have a base knowledge of how environmental factors may impact business. For example, the climate and ecology of a specific area are certainly relevant to the tourism, insurance and farming industries. The environmental impact of your business may also be driving potential customers away, so apart from the ethical side of things, it can be undeniably more favourable to lessen your environmental impact of your operation.

An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your business, in relation to your industry and market, will increase your understanding of the operational health of your business. Using a mix of the factors in the PESTLE framework is a simple and dynamic approach to assessing your business and its potential for growth and sustainability.

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