Pandemic

Life After a Pandemic: Is There Any Health Complications?

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We have seen how our world has been changing in the previous two years. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in an unprecedented manner. We saw how it forced different sectors in our society to pause and to adapt to the ‘new normal’. We have been subject to major adjustments in our daily routine as we adapt to the changes the global health crisis is posing, thus, building resilience amidst the pandemic.

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The good thing about our word today is our capacity to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of our society. Of course, with the help of the technological advancements brought by science, we are still able to enjoy the things we were having before the pandemic.

Education, for instance, is one of the most-affected sectors in our society. Because of the global health crisis, students are not allowed to go to their physical classrooms, hence, the sector has been able to modify and come up with a remote class learning scheme which enables students to still learn from the comfort of their homes. Indeed, our access to education, even at a time of a pandemic, has been made available through the help of the internet.

Additionally, the health sector has also been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In the year 2019, the pandemic drastically affected the entire world. A lot of us were really afraid to go out of our homes due to the looming risks that we might get. Our access to health services has also been affected because much of our hospitals were addressing patients with the COVID-19 disease.

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As cases around the world rapidly increased, hospitals across the world have also maximized their capacity, leaving few to no rooms for non-COVID patients. Specifically, for developing countries, we saw in the first three quarters of 2019 how their health sector suffered, causing thousands of casualties due to the healthcare meltdowns. Moreover, millions of our people employed in the health sectors were also put into risk as these modern day heroes attend to the needs of patients that were infected.

It is undeniable how these changes marked a lot of issues concerning our healthcare system. Issues concerning our access to medical help, such as consultations, monitoring, treatment, etc were really affected by the pandemic. This begs the questions, how can we adapt to these changes without compromising the need for non-COVID-19 patients to be treated equally?

Moving forward, with the help of science and the development of technology, we were able to create a website for doctors that has restored our access to our healthcare needs. With online healthcare providers being readily available online, we wouldn’t have to worry about going out of our homes to have our health checked by medical practitioners. From online booking appointments, online consultations, online treatment, up to evaluation, websites for healthcare providers were able to cover vital services that we need at a time of a pandemic to make sure that we are safe even without going outside the comfort of our homes to go to physical clinics. Below are the top benefits that you might get from having online consultations:

1. Keeps you safe from being exposed to the virus

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As mentioned, we’re still faced with the threat of acquiring the virus whenever we go out. Although vaccines are now being rolled-out, we are still encouraged to avoid unnecessary travels outside our homes. With the help of online healthcare platforms, we’re now assured that it will help us in keeping us safe from the virus. Our medication can now be done at home! More and more people around the world and in the US rely on these platforms at present. From the process of online bookings, consultation, medication, and even reviews and recommendations, all can be done with just a few clicks.

2. Saves much of your time

Who would imagine that our healthcare needs can now be done at any time? Online healthcare providers are now equipped to provide 24/7 services to us, saving much of our time. We can readily choose our preferred time to have our consultations online by booking our available time on the web. Additionally, it also cuts the time we spend for traveling and long queues at clinics.

3. Provides comprehensive assistance

Maybe you are worrying about the quality that these platforms might provide. There are hundreds of healthcare providers online that have tested and credible track records. If you are skeptical about trying one, you can always check its validity by browsing the review section of the website to validate their patient’s experience. Online healthcare providers are equipped with tried and tested medical professionals that are more than able to attend to our needs virtually. Further, the quality of service that we are getting will not be compromised as the process that we will undergo is still the same, but with these platforms, it will be done remotely.

4. Values your overall health and welfare

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Online healthcare providers made online consultation and medication more accessible at a time when going out to visit physical clinics puts ourselves at risk. We are also sure that whichever service that we are getting comes from credible and experienced medical professionals online. These online healthcare providers assure us that we can still prioritize our health even at the comfort of our zones, thanks to the internet, for making it easy for us to access.

Indeed, there are multiple benefits that we get from the internet. Online healthcare platforms are just examples of the positive products of technology. The health sector was able to adapt to the ‘new normal’ setup that we have and is more than ready to attend to our needs virtually. Of course, the experience is still different from face-to-face consultations, but at the end of the day, we still wouldn’t want to put our health at risk, right? Thanks to the help of online healthcare platforms, our health issues can now be solved with just a few clicks on our mobile devices. Afterall, our health is also our wealth.

Furnished Apartments For Rent During а Pandemic – What You Should Be Aware Of

Pandemic has changed the rules of how we live, spend our free time, travel, shop and make essential decisions like buying a new home, moving or renting If right now you are in search of furnished apartments near me, you are welcome to proceed with this guide since here we have gathered some tips, tricks and best practices for renting a new apartment during the time of uncertainty.

Renting Furnished Apartments Near Me During a Pandemic – 5 Things to Keep in Mind

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Below are some essential things you have to be aware of while looking for and deciding on renting furnished apartments near me.

Know your rights

Surviving through the pandemic was challenging for both tenants and landlords. That’s why the US government has created a program to protect and support both of the parties and help them handle their obligations according to a leasing contract. This initiative is called the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. According to its statement, you as a tenant, may apply for help from the government during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and within 60 days after it is over. The government will help you to pay for rent up to 5 times the rental amount depending on the specifics of the housing, its location, and your income.

The Program also provides for more flexible conditions for paying rent and something like a loyalty program for those who cannot pay the entire amount at once. In extreme cases, the trial may be postponed.

Read your contract carefully

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Despite the great flexibility and government protection of tenants and landlords, you should still read the contract carefully, pondering every clause of the furnished apartments near me lease agreement. Fraud cases in the real estate market have become more frequent as fraudsters understand the difficult financial situation of most people across the country.

Therefore, also pay attention to the price of furnished apartments for rent near me. A price that is too low could be a trick, so be vigilant.

Make sure apartments are disinfected

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If you are looking for furnished apartments for rent near me but still want to make sure that your health is protected, feel free to ask the potential landlord about the disinfection procedures that took place on the premises after the previous tenant moved out. There is no shame in this question; what’s more, responsible landlords will disinfect the premises on their own, without the need to be asked by the future tenants.

There are Coronavirus cleaning services that use the ultimate set of disinfectants to make sure there are no viruses on the surface. They also issue some kind of report or certificate of completion, which you can ask your landlord for. Pay attention to the date of this document issue.

Make sure you aren’t infected as well

Also, make sure you aren’t transmitting covid before moving into a newly rented fully furnished apartment near me. During the pandemic, this is a common-sense requirement you should follow in order not to risk the health of others. Consider making a lab test to make sure you are healthy.

Furnished Apartments Near Me to Rent During COVID – Reasonable Choice Factors

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If your health is your top priority when looking for furnished apartments for rent near me, consider the following points that will help you to choose safe and comfortable housing.

Delivery service coverage

Renting a fully furnished apartment near me is quite a comfortable option since you may avoid visiting shopping malls to buy something you may need in a new place. To make your stay even more comfortable and safe, find out whether there are delivery services that suit your needs. This is especially important if you consider renting a fully furnished apartment near me in a suburban area since most delivery services operate only in the city.

The opportunity for social distancing

A lot of people working remotely move to small cities or suburban areas to limit face-to-face contact with others. Consider this option as the one that may suit you as well. Surely, private houses for rent are better options for volunteer self-isolation but fully furnished apartments near me may also be quite suitable for social distance maintenance. To find such a winning option, consider the location of the apartments (the ones in residential areas of the city are better than apartments in a business center), if possible find out more about your neighbors, plus consider the infrastructure. The presence of a forest, lake, or park nearby will be a good option for you to safely stay outdoors.

Urgent medical services available

The new reality forces us to take this factor into account as well. We sincerely wish that you do not need urgent medical attention, but if we talk about the specifics of renting a new apartment during covid, it would be wrong to miss this moment.

Where to Look for Furnished Apartments for Rent Near Me in the Post-Covid Period

Source:vrbo.com

There are three ways to find safe housing during a pandemic.

Local ads/newspapers

If you are in search of a “near me” option, that is, you don’t plan to change the city or the state, pay attention to local ads in public places and the ones published in local newspapers. The latter way of advertising real estate for rent may sound strange in 2021 but it still has the right to exist and is especially useful when looking for local opportunities.

The word of mouth

Also, get in touch with your friends and colleagues and ask them whether they have heard somebody rents out a furnished apartment. This is one more effective strategy to land a new home not only quickly but also effectively and safely.

Moving Nationwide During the Pandemic? What’s your Safety Plan?

Pandemic has changed how humans used to interact or do things. It is more than a year into the pandemic and we have learned a whole new chapter about being safe and maintain distance. While things halted for quite some time, life has to kick start again. There are many things that do not stop and moving to new places is one of them. There are endless reasons why one has to change their base. The stressful event has now become more overwhelming thanks to the constant risk of getting infected, even though the conditions are largely under control. According to top rated nationwide movers associated with movingfeedback.com, people still have their doubts about hiring professional moving help and planning a relocation. It is natural to be skeptical but, if you have to move, you got to do it anyway.

Gladly, there are a few tips that the experts share with us with the aim to make the tough relocation amid the pandemic easier for you.

Engage with nationwide movers who have a COVID-19 safety policy

The first thing to look for when searching for a moving company is their concern towards their employees and clients. A reliable moving company must have a COVID-19 action plan in place to ensure safe operations during these uncertain times. The policy must be through with inclusions such as daily check-in screenings of the employees to have up-to-date status in their health, regular hand washing and sanitizing, and minimized customer contact provisions. Moving a house is a complex process and it is best to ensure that you are associated with health-concerned professionals on your way.

Virtual moving estimates are win-win

Source:moversdev.com

While in-person/ in-house estimates have had their advocates since forever, the pandemic has changed the situation a lot. Post pandemic, it is best to get virtual estimates for moving a house and office and ensure the safety of yourself and the family. Online estimates limit the contact with the movers and safeguard you against the virus. The most reliable movers use modern AI-based technology to ensure that the in-house estimates are as much accurate as possible. You can submit a video of your moving inventory and the smart apps offer you a moving estimate. Moving companies that are concerned about offering customer-friendly services are finding newer ways to combine innovation and convenience.

Stay ahead of the schedule

Whatever you do, make sure you stay ahead of your schedule. Especially when it comes to packing, try and pack 24-hour before the arrival of the movers. Coronavirus has an unpredictable survival time on different surfaces and hence packing in advance makes the entire operation safe for you as well as the movers. Although the movers come equipped with all sorts of personal protective equipment, a little precaution goes the extra mile. Advance packing also means that the movers can start loading the truck as soon as they arrive. The whole exercise saves you a lot of time and effort.

Restock your sanitation supplies and masks

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When you engage with a credible moving company, the movers will arrive with a healthy stock of masks and sanitation supplies to ensure the safety of both parties involved. However, as an additional layer of protection, you must make a COVID-19 prevention kit for the moving process. The kit must contain ample masks and sanitation supplies including hand sanitizer, masks, and disinfecting wipes. The movers will take the responsibility of sanitizing themselves as well as the equipment. However, it is always better to stay precautious and sanitize yourself as well as the new house during the move.

Choose storage only when necessary

When moving nationwide, storage facilities come up as a reliable option to cut down the moving woes. There are a lot of unpacked boxes with you that can be unpacked later. These boxes do crowd the house and leave you with limited space. In such situations, hiring a storage unit is a feasible option. Considering the pandemic situation, it is best to avoid moving a lot of times and prevent cross-contamination.

The best practice is to counsel the moving company about their storage services and how they are maintaining the sanitation guidelines. Many movers offer discounted rates on storage units. Try to find such moving and storage providers. However, it is recommended that you must avoid hiring a storage unit in the first place.

Discuss it through with your moving company

Discussing all the crucial information about the move with the movers is crucial. If god forbid, a member of your family catches a coronavirus infection during the moving process, it is crucial to inform the moving company about the event. You must ask the movers to schedule the move for a later date and avoid any problems. The best movers will be willing to offer you all the assistance required and will be ready with the flexible scheduling policy.

Even if you test positive for the infection immediately after the move, you must inform the movers then as well. This will help the movers take the necessary actions at their end.

Follow the coronavirus guidelines at all times

Source:chessmoving.com.au

Finally, it is of utmost importance that you follow all the COVID-related restrictions and health guidelines issued by the health authorities. From social distancing to sanitation restrictions and more, make sure you stay safe throughout the process & beyond.

While you cannot avoid moving, you must always try to ensure full safety during the moving process. These tips will help you move with all safety and make your nationwide move successful while following the Coronavirus precautions. Keep the above-mentioned aspects in mind and plan a safe and successful move.  The virus has been tamed but still out of control. It is advised to make your moving process as safer as possible and enjoy the transition process. Find a reliable moving company that has a COVID-19 actin plan in place and get started with your moving process.

Investments Growth: 2 Best Stocks to watch this year

ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN)

ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN), a leading provider of employee placement and workforce services. As reported by beststocks.com, the company’s results are under pressure as governments and companies respond to the continued spread of COVID-19. While some employers are cautiously optimistic about the pace of economic recovery, Manpower has noted that many of the company’s clients may either delay the hiring of new workers, temporarily bar existing workers from coming to their place of business, or face long-lasting damage from changes in consumer behavior. We expect this disruption in the labor market to result in several quarters of disappointing earnings before Manpower returns to strength.

Recent Developments

Source:finance.yahoo.com

Manpower topped consensus-adjusted earnings expectations in the third quarter. On October 20, Manpower reported that adjusted EPS fell 39% in constant currency to $1.20 per share but topped the consensus of $0.62. Third-quarter revenue fell 15% year-over-year on a constant currency basis to $4.6 billion.

Although there is uncertainty from the pandemic, the guidance assumes no material lockdowns impacting economic activity in any of the company’s largest markets. The company expects 4Q20 adjusted EPS to be in the range of $1.06-$1.14, including a $0.03 positive impact from currency. The company expects revenue to decline 10%-12%.

Earnings & Growth Analysis

Manpower organizes its business primarily by geographic region. In 3Q20, the company generated 46% of consolidated revenue in Southern Europe, 21% in Northern Europe, 20% in the Americas, and 13% in APME.

In the Southern Europe segment, revenue fell 15% in constant currency, while the adjusted operating margin was down 90 basis points to 4%. France comprises 57% of the Southern Europe revenue, and was down 17% in constant currency. The company says that although revenue from France continues to recover, the rate of improvement in the revenue trend has slowed.

In the Northern Europe segment, revenue fell 22% in constant currency. In the UK, which is the largest market in Northern Europe, revenue fell 22% in constant currency. The adjusted operating margin narrowed 180 basis points to 0.2%. The company estimates the UK will show a slight improvement in the rate of revenue decline during the fourth quarter.

In the Americas segment, revenue fell 11% in constant currency. All countries included in the Americas segment experienced revenue declines. U.S. revenue declined 13%, Mexico declined 9%, Canada fell 10% and other countries within the Americas declined 6%. The adjusted operating margin narrowed 20 basis points to 5.2%. The company expects to see a revenue decline of 9%-11% in 4Q20.

Revenues in Australia declined 8% in constant currency. In Japan, revenue grew 5% on a constant currency basis in 3Q20. The company expects the Japan business to continue to perform well and anticipates fourth-quarter revenue to be flat or see low single-digit growth. The company expects revenue to be down 4%-6% in the fourth quarter for the APME segment.

At the expense line, the adjusted operating margin narrowed 100 basis points year-over-year to 2.6% in 3Q20. For 4Q20, the company expects the adjusted operating margin to be down 130 basis points, in the range of 2.3%-2.5%. Management intends to continue strong cost actions but at lower levels of year-over-year SG&A reductions as activity levels progressively increase.

Management & Risks

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Jonas Prising is the chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. Mr. Prising became CEO in May 2014 after serving as president for a year and a half, and chairman in December 2015. He has worked for Manpower since 1999The CFO is John Thomas McGinnis. Mr. McGinnis has served in the role since February of 2016. Prior to ManpowerGroup, Mr. McGinnis worked for Morgan Stanley as Global Controller. Investors in the MAN shares face risks. The primary risk for MAN investors is the company’s sensitivity to global economic conditions and labor markets. With global markets slowing down due to the coronavirus, some of the company’s clients may restrict the hiring of new workers, temporarily bar workers from coming to their place of business, or lay off their existing workforce. Manpower also faces risks related to global trade, which could impact business conditions and employment in a range of industries. The company has a high exposure to Europe, and thus has currency risks related to both the pound and the euro. The company also faces potential disruption in the staffing industry from new entrants such as Uber.

Company Description

Operating in 80 countries, the company manages a range of brands, including Manpower, Expersis, and Talent Solutions.

Valuation

Given challenges from the pandemic, we do not expect MAN to achieve significant multiple expansion until market conditions improve. We would consider returning the stock to our BUY list on signs of greater resilience amid staffing market weakness and stronger margins and earnings.

Non-GAAP revenue came in $35 million above management’s guidance though $55 million below consensus.

Second-quarter non-GAAP revenue fell 29% from the prior year to $910 million. GAAP revenue fell 15% to $1.15 billion. Management noted year-over-year timing differences for certain releases, including FIFA 21, which was moved to 3Q21 this year from 2Q20 last year, and Madden NFL 21, which was launched later in the 2Q21 than in 2Q20.

Electronic ARTS INC

Non-GAAP operating income fell to $27 million from $335 million in 2Q20.

Earnings & Growth Analysis

Full-Game Download bookings were down 58%. Mobile bookings rose 4% in 2Q. Packaged goods revenue was down 70%.

Management launched its biggest franchise title, ‘FIFA 21,’ on October 9. This followed the launch of its second-biggest title, Madden NFL 21, in 2Q. EA Play is the company’s videogame subscription service bundle, in which the company sells access to a bundle of games for a monthly fee. So far, the company has done platform deals for EA Play with Valve/Steam and Google Stadia. It also recently signed a deal with Microsoft for EA Play to be offered on Xbox Game Pass in November, in conjunction with the new Xbox console launch. EA Play has 6.5 million subscribers.

Financial Strength

Source:pennystocks.com

Outlooks are stable.

With its 2Q results, EA initiated a dividend for the first time in its 31-year history as a public company. We are setting an FY21 dividend estimate of $0.34, representing two payments in the second half of FY21, and an FY22 forecast of $0.70.

EA did not repurchases shares in 2Q, but did announce a new share repurchase program with its second-quarter results.

Management & Risks

As we predicted, investor sentiment regarding EA and other ‘stay-at-home’ stocks has dimmed recently on news of positive COVID vaccine trials.

Valuation

EA shares lost about 9% on news of a recent positive vaccine trial, which the market may be interpreting as a negative for so-called ‘stay-at-home’ stocks.

A Guide to Collecting Payments from Clients

Many people have fallen upon hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread layoffs, along with the impact this crisis has on economic activity have made it difficult for many to write off debts and make timely payments. Sure enough, government policies have instructed businesses and property owners to forego their payment collections in a bid to ease up the financial burden of the most vulnerable sectors. However, this was met with widespread criticism from small business owners who are also reeling from the effects of this pandemic.

In these uncertain times, business owners will need to show compassion and wait until their clients get back on their feet.  Sadly, there are those who take advantage of this need for compassion. There are cases of people who hide the fact that they can pay their dues on time and insist they are going through a difficult time like anyone else. As a business owner, you also need to make a living, and the way to do that is to collect money from clients who have it. It gets tricky from there, but there are a few methods that can help you go about it:

1. Explain before asking

In most cases, we tend to ask clients to tender their payments immediately before legal action is taken. Considering the current situation, it is best to keep your cool and let your clients know why you are asking them to pay. If your business took a big blow to the bottom line during the pandemic, let your clients know that you also have bills and salaries to pay.

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Whether it’s through phone or email, requesting payment from clients is a minefield. At the very least, you wouldn’t want to get on your clients’ bad side by sending them a forceful email or subtle threats of legal action. There is always a better way. You can start by providing them the details about their unpaid invoices and providing them with options on how they can write off their balances.

If they still could not settle the amount they owe, it’s still best to keep your head cool and avoid any action that could escalate the situation. For this reason, it’s essential to have a team of experienced customer care specialists who are skilled in debt collection and conflict resolution.

2. Don’t surprise your clients

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Asking your clients to pay immediately comes off as unprofessional. For this reason, you might as well send a notification weeks in advance. By giving your clients a heads up, you also open yourself up to negotiation and give your clients enough time to consider their options. It is also important to be clear and considerate so your clients won’t respond in a negative manner.

It’s not always a good idea to demand payment when your clients aren’t expecting it. As much as possible, you need to keep them informed about their due dates and make yourself available in case they want to defer making any payment for the recent billing cycle. With that being said, you might want to use a customer relationship management system that sends out automated reminders. Make sure to pace your notifications properly. You wouldn’t want to spam your clients’ inboxes with reminders, as this can cast your brand under bad light. It’s always best to allow your clients to set their expectations early on so they couldn’t be caught off guard when their bills are due.

3. Provide a billing schedule

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If your clients are way behind schedule and have accumulated a large bill over time, you can always reach out to them and come up with a manageable payment schedule. With this method, you provide your clients with a flexible timeframe to settle their accounts. Seeing as many people are currently not able to make payments on time, modifying your payment terms helps you maintain close relationships with your clients and make sure that everyone is satisfied.

While you might not get the full amount they owe, they may be able to pay back the amount owed in smaller increments without too much financial hardship on their part. For this reason, try to reach out to your clients through your customer service reps and see how you can help them with lessening the burden.

Then again, not everyone is going to be honest about their situation, and some could take advantage of the safety nets you provide for them and dance around new deadlines. In this case, you might need to dig a little deeper to find out if certain clients are having a hard time as they say they are.

4. Learn how hard up they really are

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Still, there will be cases when clients refuse to disclose their current financial health in a bid to forego any payments. There are ways for you to detect such acts as this. For instance, you can conduct an asset investigation on an individual to know their actual financial standing. For this, you should opt for a company that lets you build an asset search database.

Check here for more info: like digroup-us.com/asset-search

However, you may run into legal issues or complications when you are conducting an asset search and other methods of investigation. Privacy laws can get in the way of the process and unless you work with an experienced due diligence company, it will be difficult for you to determine the actual financial situation of your clients.  Make sure you review any relevant laws and contact certified investigators. In addition, avoid working with companies that operate under the radar. You wouldn’t want to get tangled in a more complicated legal mess, so be sure to scrutinize the company that will be helping you scrutinize your clients.

Collecting payments from clients can be challenging, but using the right approaches can help small businesses stay afloat. After all, everyone has been affected by the pandemic, and we all need to do what we can to get by.

Concrete Contractors: How to Be Ahead of Your Game

The post-pandemic world is uncertain, but the one thing we know is that times will be tough for a while still. If you’re worried about what the future holds for your business, you’re not alone.

However, the good news is that with every market shake-up, there’s an opportunity. In this article, we cover things concrete contractors like yourself can do to get ahead of the game.

These are some good ways to take advantage of every opportunity.

We take a look at how you can show yourself to your best advantage with customers. There’s advice on how to keep everyone safe. And how to make smart business choices that will have you operating efficiently and reduce risk.

Read on to find out how to pandemic-proof your concreting business.

Tip 1. Be a Peacock

Source:gocontractor.com

If you think of how a peacock attracts his peahen, he showcases his best assets. He goes big: Look at how great I am!

Clients shouldn’t have to chase you for your credentials. Make it easy for prospective clients to close with you by taking the following steps;

  • Provide your team’s qualifications upfront. Clients want to know who they’re entrusting with their property. They want a contractor who is properly trained and certified.
  • Display your affiliations to any professional bodies. Likewise, for any community organizations. It offers people comfort if they know they have recourse to a “higher power.” And memberships can indicate you play by the rules. Being part of an organization says you can get along with people.
  • Ask for testimonials from happy past clients. Request that people review you on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Angie’s List. People are going to the internet more and more for reviews of services they are considering. So, it is also critical that you respond immediately to negative reviews.
  • Ensure you and your employees look neat and tidy. Your branded vehicles and equipment should also always appear cared for and clean. Think peacock!
  • Provide value in each encounter. Educating your clients will leave a very good impression as well as building their confidence on your craft. Assure them of the accountability you put in each project, just as how you take insuring your business and their property seriously in case something happens during and after the project.

Tip 2. Be Safe

Your safety protocols are also something you should make available to prospective clients. Always ensure your team is observant and respectful of their own and the client’s safety.

COVID has placed an additional burden of safety on contractors. But it’s in everyone’s interest to get through this period with as few fatalities as possible. It’s too easy to get caught in a spiral of despair. Change your mindset and try to think of the new protocols as an opportunity. See it as a chance to demonstrate your professional diligence. And the care you have for your staff and clients.

Source:pymnts.com

Tip 3. Stick to Your Knitting

The concrete industry covers a vast number of focus areas. It can be tempting in tough times to try to be all things to all people. This never works.

Don’t fall into the trap of spreading yourself too thin. Or taking on working you’re not adequately skilled for. It can damage your reputation irredeemably and isn’t a cost-efficient way of working.

Instead, use downtime to skill yourself up on the latest developments. Make contact with suppliers to see what’s new. When was the last time you had time to read a trade magazine or contribute to an online forum conversation?

Establish yourself as an expert in your niche by strengthening and sharing your knowledge. You can find a listing of reputable contractor forums.

Develop a referral network of other contractors with complementary skills. Give people comfort that you don’t compete with them. They will be happy to recommend you for work they don’t do themselves. That way, everybody gets a piece of the pie.

Tip 4. Mitigate Risk

Use pandemic downtime to get your admin in order. Specifically, make an appointment with your insurance broker. Review your policies and ensure you’re adequately and appropriately covered. Are there COVID-related risks that leave you exposed, perhaps?

Standard insurance requirements that are normally secured by concrete contractors include:

  • liability insurance
  • commercial property insurance,
  • business auto, and
  • workers compensation.

It’s essential for new and small contractors to provide prospective clients with proof of adequate liability cover. Liability insurance pays damages if you’re sued for damage to property or people.  It protects your business and you personally. But it also provides peace of mind to your clients.

Insurance allows you to hold your own: clients feel safe giving you a chance. This is one of the best ways insurance policies help you to get ahead.

Tip: There’s a specific team that specializes in Contractors Insurance providing services all over the U.S. It is best to read well-written contents at ContractorsLiability.com and here is a more detailed article specifically about Concrete Contractors Insurance

Tip 5. Embrace Technology

Source:propertycasualty360.com

Smart devices and cloud-based technology are revolutionizing the construction industry. Contractor management apps allow you to track project progress and remotely manage your workforce. They will help you prepare professional quotations, communicate with clients, and handle billing and payments.

Good contractor software can take just a small investment of time and money. (Some excellent contractor apps are even available for free). In return, you could reap significant efficiencies and drastically improve your management practice.

The pandemic has fast-tracked many industries into digital work mode. Those businesses that are thriving are the ones that were already set up. If you haven’t already gone cloud-based, use pandemic downtime to make the switch.

Top Tip: Take Action. Now.

To be ahead of the game requires action. Embrace the downtime forced on you by COVID to look critically at your business. Apply these 5 tips to strengthen your concrete contracting business.

These are just some of the ways to be ahead of your game, and it’s never too late to advance and learn… These tips can jumpstart your business in no time!

How Felony Cases are Progressing during the Pandemic

A 2020 mass incarceration report indicates that out of 631,000 people held in the United States jails every day, 74% are usually not yet convicted. Many people are typically held because they cannot post bail, which averages out to a median of $15,000 for felony cases in state courts. And when you consider how the current pandemic can indefinitely delay those cases, it creates a lot of problems for lawyers and their clients.

Since the pandemic started, the justice system also had to figure out how to operate during tough times. The courtrooms shut down, and delays left many criminal cases in limbo as courts could only offer essential services like bail hearings and arraignments.

Source:martinandkent.com

Changes in Speedy Trial Requirements

Some jurisdictions decided to lower overcrowding in jails by releasing vulnerable inmates and not arresting nonviolent offenders; however, the decisions still leave many pre-trial detainees. Although the 6th amendment gives defendants the right to a speedy trial, it does not specify a time frame, and many have had to set their parameters to set the length for various cases.

In California, felony cases must be tried within 60 days; failure to do so may lead to dismissal unless the defendant abdicates the requirement; states like Texas have no fixed period. The closure of state courts due to the pandemic has compelled the states to modify their laws. Therefore, without specified deadlines, detainees may sit in jails until the courts reopen.

Some attorneys and judges conveyed doubts about the resumption time of in-person court proceedings. Public defenders understand the need for the suspension of speedy trial but wonder when it will end. As the reopening of states continues, Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, and others have made plans to return in-person court services; many planned to resume physical jury hearings in June or July. However, systemic limitations and the need for states to undertake careful planning and adhere to public safety measures mean a continued increase of backlogs.

Attorney-client Communication

Source:onlinecitizenasia.com

Prisons and jails have become hotbeds for the Covid-19 transmission. For example, in April, out of about 2500 inmates in an Ohio prison, 73% tested positive while an Indiana facility had 92% positive tests out of 137 inmates. Additionally, a legal aid society report indicates that New York City jails had more infections than the rest of the population.

The health concerns have led to lockdown in correctional facilities, which restricts lawyers from seeing their clients. Defence attorneys typically discuss sensitive matters with their clients face-to-face because of phone calls’ susceptibility to monitoring. Due to the restrictions of movement, the situation has made it impossible for them to handle certain portions of their work.

Defence attorneys have turned to work remotely, which has become the new normal for various sectors. Although working from home keeps you safe, it comes with some challenges. Law practice requires confidentiality, so lawyers like Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP have had to find secure communication methods with clients and colleagues.

Proper communication and collaboration between colleagues, law firm management, and clients streamline the work of a lawyer. With the absence of one-on-one meetings due to the pandemic, lawyers rely on emails and phone calls to communicate with their clients. Technology has been an invaluable resource helping attorneys do their job remotely. Law firms have cloud-based platforms so employees can securely access data and files from home to help prepare for their cases. They can also communicate with their clients through video conferencing.

Remote criminal proceedings

Source:firstlegal.com

While defence attorneys push for the release of inmates and prosecutors work to lower populations in jails across the country, some districts are keeping cases going remotely. For example, Judge Scott Schlegel of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, oversaw the implementation of digitized records, video conferencing, and shared online scheduling and many more technologies to increase his court’s efficiency.

Although several courts are looking into remote jury trials, many experts have doubts about the efficiency of conducting criminal jury cases through remote technology and the constitutionality of remote proceedings. Jury trials usually involve monitoring jurors, attorneys, and clients for distractions like the internet and texts. The decision made by jurors affects one’s liberty and freedom, so they have to focus and pay attention to the proceedings and endeavor that is difficult to achieve through video conferencing.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act passed by the Congress in March 2020, allowed the United States judicial conference to expand the Federal judges’ authority to use remote proceedings in more matters. Courts can now use video and telephonic hearings to conduct felony cases sentencing and pleas if the judge determines that delay could impair justice, and in-person proceedings compromise public safety and health.

Effects on Plea Bargains

Several critical cases in the United States are settled through plea bargains. By pleading guilty, a defendant can get a lesser sentence, the number of charges reduced, receive a lighter punishment, or other concessions placed by the prosecutor. The COVID-19 gives prosecutors and defendants a significant incentive to strike a plea bargain.

Plea bargains may help a defendant stay out of jail and allow prosecutors to coherently reduce the backlogs and settle cases. However, defendants should be wary about pleading guilty because a criminal record may affect your chances of getting employed, particularly during the adverse economic conditions brought by the pandemic.

Fees and Fines Payment

Source:aecf.org

A defendant incurs a certain amount of court fees, fines, and restitution to the victim of the crime as part of a sentence. These charges can accumulate quickly and make an already stressful situation worse. The closure of courts does not waiver the fines and fees payments, failure to make the payments without a convincing reason can cause a judge to compel you to appear in court or put out a bench warrant.

The pandemic has forced people to make changes in how they operate daily activities at home and work. Adapting to the uncertain times ensures that we remain productive while also taking care of your health.

The COVID-19 Lockdown has Shown the Difference we Could Make to the Planet

COVID-19 and the lockdown have been difficult for most people, but there is a positive effect in the middle of all the turmoil, the influence on the planet’s ecosystem. This difficult time has taught us a lot about emissions and the environment.

We all need to work together

For many people, annual Earth day is often full of good intentions which never seem to last long. They can quickly become despondent when their efforts fail to produce results, or when few seem to share their enthusiasm in protecting the planet. Activists such as Louise Gund, who is also a successful Broadway producer, can be quite vocal and makes many valid points which many will agree with. However, before COVID-19, it seemed impossible for a comparatively small number of activists to make a significant difference. While businesses and government agencies were starting to take the threat to the environment more seriously, it was something which relied on everyone to work together. This seemed an unlikely reality, until many countries around the world went into lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the process, they reduced the pollution and greenhouse emissions.

Source:cordmagazine.com

Many people can work from home

Professions such as retail, construction and food production can never be done from home. Although, many sectors which previously claimed that staff needed to be in the office all or most of the time, found new ways to clear their workload as staff worked from home. This has played a big part in reducing the volume of traffic on the roads, resulting in lower emissions. Assuming things go back to a reasonable level of normality, home-working has been proven to work for a large number of people. It poses questions about whether this method of work could be continued, to keep down emissions and protect the environment, now that we have been shown it can work. Of course, there may be times when workers need to be physically present, but we’ve learned it’s not as often as we thought. The positive effect on the environment could also inspire people to look at other ways of saving energy.

People will find other ways to keep in touch, from a distance

Source:nbcnews.com

With the temporary closure of social venues such as restaurants and bars, people found other ways to keep in touch. Some who lived within walking distance of each other, left the car at home and took advantage of their allowed exercise to walk to family and friends’ houses, even if it’s just to drop off essential supplies to their doorstep, then to stand back and catch a brief glimpse of them. While others had to make do with social media, video calls or the telephone, the impact on the environment was less than traveling to a venue to meet up in person. Clearly, the businesses being shut also meant less of an impact on the environment. It’s not a long-term solution for those businesses and for the livelihoods of their employees but may at least make people reconsider whether they can walk somewhere in future, as opposed to driving there or taking a bus.

We don’t need to use all those shops

With many shops deemed non-essential and having to shut during the pandemic, it has shown that we can make do without them, at least for a short time. Again, they employ people and are important, but in the near future, people may rethink how frequently they shop there. As well as the environmental implications of buying more clothes, furniture and other items from these shops. We as customers could ask ourselves if we really need to purchase them as often as we do. People like to save money, and if they’ve gone longer than usual without buying them, it could lead to cutting down. That means fewer emissions from the production and transportation of goods. The lack of takeaways (as delicious as some of them are) has led to more baking and home cooking being done.

We can shop locally

Having discovered that we can shop less, we’ve also learned we can shop locally, With many consumers reluctant to travel too far, the local shops have provided a safer way of getting essentials. Small shops which may have been overlooked before, in favor of supermarkets, have shown us that local outlets can provide what we need. While many shoppers who were classified as vulnerable, will have been reluctant to queue outside larger stores, local shops have provided a safer alternative. When “non-essential” shops re-open, we could continue that trend and keep emissions low by shopping closer to home, resulting in less travel or a shorter drive if need be. If others follow suit by shopping locally, this can have minimal impact on sales – with everyone shopping in their local area, and a higher reduction in emissions.

Source:channelsight.com

We don’t need to travel so much

Having discovered we don’t need to travel as much has shown positive results for the environment, and what can be achieved when we all (unintentionally) work together to reduce the damage to the planet. Holidays abroad are less essential compared to the privilege of being able to see our loved ones closer to home. For some, the lockdown has been an opportunity to discover new places closer to home, previously they would have driven a beauty spot a greater distance away.

We’ve proven (without trying) that we can make a positive impact on the environment. When lockdown is over, we can put into action some of the things we may have been forced to do, to stay local, work from home and focus on what matters to make the world a better place to live. This may mean that emissions will rise slightly, but if we consciously work together to minimize the impact on the environment, we can keep the rise to a minimum.

It may have taken a pandemic, but one positive thing to take away from this is that we’ve been given an insight that it is possible to preserve the planet for future generations.

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