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5 Questions To Ask About Financial Sustainability

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When it comes to financial sustainability, you’re going to want to know as much as possible. As the negative effects of climate change exacerbate, financial sectors are (finally) starting to shift their investments toward Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations. 

Sustainable finance is the process of taking ESG considerations into account when making viable investments. That means putting money into companies that develop renewable energy, hire and promote employ members of marginalized communities, and infrastructure that will help protect humans in at-risk environments. 

This is a very serious, very complicated issue that we are running out of time to meaningfully tackle. There is also the risk that many of these efforts are performative (see: greenwashing), we have to make sure we are keeping those in power accountable. 

Once again, we bring in our favorite finance expert, Danetha Doe Chief Economist at Clever Real Estate and creator of Money & Mimosas. There is a lot to consider when financing sustainability – and she’s here to break it down in a digestible way. 

Here are 5 questions you should ask when considering financing sustainability, as explained by Danetha Doe. 

Are these investments profitable? Or is this just charity for rich folks to pat themselves on the back?

Imperial College of London’s business school ran a multi-country analysis comparing the returns from each country’s largest fossil fuel and renewable energy stocks over the last 10 years. They found that renewable energy stocks delivered higher returns for both 5 and 10-year time periods. 

Some people such as Kara Swisher and Chamath Palihapitiya think the next trillionaire will be someone that cracks a major problem in green energy. And for better or for worse, Elon is the richest person in the world based primarily on Tesla’s value. 

All this to say, the answer is YES. You can care about the planet and make money at the same time.

Will these investments actually help the environment in tangible ways? How soon?

Broadly, yes, these investments will help – and are helping – the environment in tangible ways. Investing in solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and electric vehicles while divesting from fossil fuels will help to reduce the pollution from power plants. 

The timeline of course correcting the damage that has already been done depends on a lot of factors. addition to investments from individuals, we need governmental bodies, Wall Street, and other parts of the private sector to continue to get on board. 

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes environmental measures that will go a long way to support climate change efforts. The fashion industry, one of the biggest pollution culprits, has started to place a bigger emphasis on resale which will help to reduce waste. Wall Street has pumped out ESG funds that are more greenwashing than helpful, so we will need to hold them accountable. 

As an individual, the way you choose to spend and invest your money will go a long way because it will force corporations to prioritize sustainability efforts.

Will taxing the wealthiest people their fair share help? Would something like a ban on private jets help?

The short answer is maybe. The corporate tax structure may need to be reviewed, but I’m a bigger fan of adding fees to resource use to cover the externalities and then redistributing those funds to climate change efforts. For example, Kourtney Kardashian exceeded her water allotment budget by 101,000 gallons in June. Instead of increasing her base income tax percentage, maybe there’s a fee of $1,000 for each gallon over the allotment budget. The $101,000,000 fee is then redistributed to technology companies solving the freshwater scarcity crisis. 

Instead of banning private jets, you should have to pay a carbon fee for each ride. These fees might not stop the behavior, but they could finance the changes needed to get us to a greener future.

There are wealthy people who are actively trying to help with climate change efforts. Instead of penalizing all of them with a blanket tax, I suggest adding fees to resource use.

What kind of expenses will we be looking at if we fail to address climate change?

Deloitte’s report shows that inaction will cost the U.S. economy $14.5 trillion by 2070. Utility officials in Illinois estimate the warmer summers could cost locals an additional $11 billion over the next 30 years. By 2040, extreme heat in Arizona could add up to $110 to residents’ electric bills each year, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago predicts homeowner’s insurance premiums to rise due to climate change. In fact, some insurers have already stopped covering parts of California deemed too risky because of wildfires

Why me? Why do I have to make these changes? Should it just be the corporations since they’re the ones ruining the world?

This is an all-hands-on-deck scenario. Corporations should be held accountable, but they do respond to your spending and investing decisions. Greenwashing wouldn’t exist if corporations thought no one cared about the environment. At the very least, be selfish and think about the fact that the quality of the environment directly impacts you. The more you do your part, the greater chance you’ll have at being able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors without worrying about fire smoke ruining your lungs or extreme flooding wiping out your island vacation home.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Investing in ESG is critical – but we have to be selective where we divest and relentless in our pursuit to ensure accountability. Further things to consider when financing sustainability are: 

  • Are these ESGs contributing to organizations or projects that counteract environmental harms perpetuated by the company? Or are they arbitrary investments that let them greenwash their reputation/only investments that provide “accreditation” over genuine impact?
  • Are ESGs investing in genuine solutions, or projects that perpetuate inequities and environmental harm?
  • Are companies engaging with ESGs also changing their own practices? Probably not: “They found that the companies in the ESG portfolios had worse compliance record for both labor and environmental rules. They also found that companies added to ESG portfolios did not subsequently improve compliance with labor or environmental regulations.”
    • Also – looking at ESG investments relative to a company’s other investments is imperative.

We send many thanks to Danetha Doe for her expertise in the financial field and her lovely disposition. Be sure to check out Money & Mimosas for other financial tips! 

Big thank you to Molly Blondell for her perspective on sustainable finance as an expert in the field. 

We can solve the climate crisis – we have a lot of work ahead of us. Get involved in your community, start in your neighborhood. Organize a clean-up, press your local officials to get serious about recycling programs, any little thing you can do helps. 

Let’s get to work.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Business

Hypage Review: Is It Better than Linktree?

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Hypage: Worth the Hype?

“Link in bio.”

The phrase is so ubiquitous, it’s almost lost its meaning. If you have a public-facing social media presence, you’ve had to think about what link you’ll put in your bio.

Hypage offers a new solution. Like Linktree, it lets you put your socials, your work, and all your other important links in one place. But it also lets you sell merch, subscriptions, and other digital products.

Is this the next big thing for content creators and entrepreneurs? Here’s our Hypage review.

What’s Hypage?

Hypage home page website screenshot

Hypage is a product by Hyax, a broader platform for selling digital products. Hyax itself is part of Rgrowth, a product incubator that also created the giveaway tool Vyper.

But chances are, you don’t care about all that. What can Hypage do for you?

First of all, chill. Second of all, Hypage claims it can cover your bases from all of the following services in one:

  • Linktree—Compile all your links in one place
  • Gumroad—Sell digital content to your fans
  • Patreon—Create your own membership
  • Ko-fi—Accept instant donations
  • Substack—Curate an email list

On top of everything else, Hypage takes zero transaction fees. They’re a subscription-based service, so you pay a simple monthly fee and get to keep whatever you earn from your content.

Hypage pricing

Pricing plans

Anyone can sign up for Hypage for free, but like I said, they make their money off of subscriptions. That means, as the old saying goes, you gotta spend money to make money.

Hypage offers three payment plans:

  • Free – An unlimited free tier that lets you create a fully custom bio link with a hy.page URL.
  • Pro – $19/mo. Allows you to sell products, accept donations, take fan requests, removes Hypage branding.
  • Enterprise – $39/mo. Allows you to sell subscriptions and memberships.

How to sign up for Hypage

Sign-up screen

You can either sign up for Hypage with a free account, or try a free trial of a Pro plan. Either way, your first step is creating a username, email and password.

Once you sign up, you’ll be asked what industry you’re in. The options include ecommerce, SaaS, music, digital marketing, and a few others. For the purpose of this review, I chose blogging.

Projects

Hypage review Projects tab

On the next screen, you’re asked to create a project; on the Pro plan, you can have up to three. Think of each project as a different brand, each with its own URL. Each project also has its own dashboard.

The Hypage dashboard

Hypage dashboard screenshot

The homepage of your dashboard includes a summary of your page’s activity: new people, orders, and revenue. Beyond that, there are sections dedicated to Hypage’s main functions:

  • Your link page
  • Products
  • Membership

As well as sections to keep track of orders, users, and settings.

Setting up your link page

Link pages tab screenshot

Before you get into page design, you’re invited to add as many links as you’d like. With custom icons and unique link settings, you can really add and customize any link you can imagine. You even have the option to embed code, including video.

Hypage review link page design menu

Next, you’re taken to the design tab, where you can fully customize your text, colors, and backgrounds. The layout is stagnant, but in my opinion, it looks more stylish and functional than the default layout for Linktree.

Keep in mind, on a free plan, your page will include Hypage branding. Pro users can eliminate that branding, but you’ll still have to use either a hy.page or links.page URL.

Another unique feature is uploading a custom thumbnail to appear on social media. For sellers, you can also add your own custom terms of service and privacy policy, and choose whether or not to require customers to check them.

Selling products and memberships

Product creation menu

Hypage offers a great deal of free rein for selling products and services. It’s a bit of a cheat, but you could really use this as an ecommerce tool. At the very least, ecommerce companies can easily use this platform to showcase their latest and most popular products.

You can create a description, add images, set an inventory, add digital files and links for deliverables, and choose from a range of pricing options. They seem to emphasize Stripe integration, but you can also set up through PayPal.

Blog design screen

Memberships are where the industry you picked when you signed up comes into play. Since I signed up as a blogger, it orients my membership page as a blog.

The customization options are similar to those of your link page. It’s not nearly as in-depth as a web design tool like WordPress, but it’s fairly in line with other subscription blogging platforms like Medium, Substack, and Patreon.

The layout is slightly different for users in other industries. Still, you basically create separate outlines for the homepage and for each individual post. You can also choose whether each post is paywalled or free.

Final Hypage review: Is it the future?

Hypage review analytics tab screenshot

Let’s return to the question of Hypage vs. Linktree.

Linktree’s Pro plan costs $9/mo, less than half of Hypage’s. For that price, they offer extensive analytics, design options, martech, and yes, monetization tools. You can accept payments and sell ecommerce products directly through Linktree.

Still, Hypage certainly offers a few things that Linktree doesn’t. Most notably, it allows you to create a Patreon-style subscription page embedded in your bio link. The analytics aren’t all that impressive, but this feature certainly sets them apart.

You also have to consider the basic product. As a free, bare-bones bio link service, is Hypage better than Linktree? Honestly, yeah. It’s just well designed, with a great array of custom options.

No, Hypage is not the only place to create a bio link and sell digital products on one site. With its high prices, it’s not likely to shake the table, even though it lets you keep your revenue. Unless you have a huge audience, the cut you take from Substack or Patreon is probably a better deal. 

For marketing, however, it’s always great to cut out excess and try to keep everything in one place. In that regard, and as a more stylish option for simple, free bio links, Hypage does have something to offer.

Final grade: 6/10 🤷

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The 10 Best Task Management Tools for 2023

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Managing a business can take a toll on you if you try to do everything yourself. Good thing there are numerous software available that can make your work easier and faster. Below are the ten best task management tools you can choose from.

What is a task management tool?

Before we get to the list, let’s understand what task management tools are. As its name suggests, a task management software is a digital platform that helps business owners and their teams manage their tasks. They help plan, organize, and prioritize tasks to complete them efficiently and within the specified time frame—just the help you’ll need in handling your business.

The 10 Best Task Management Software 

The following is our list of the best task management tools that will have you ready for 2023.

1. ClickUp

clickup screenshot

From your simple to-do lists to more complex tasks, ClickUp has got you covered. It allows you and your team to manage everything in one place—chat, tasks, documents, and goals. It provides access to a suite of practical and cost-effective productivity tools. It gives high customization capabilities and suitability for small and large businesses in various industries.

ClickUp has a forever free plan but to enjoy many of its amazing features, you may want to subscribe to their premium plans. Pricing starts at $5 per member per month and can go up to $19.

2. ProofHub

proofhub

If your business requires you to have designs and other visual materials, ProofHub is the best task management tool for you. It can help you collaborate with your team members, especially when discussing visual assets. It is easy to use, thanks to its intuitive interface.

ProofHub has two plans you can choose from, the Essential and the Ultimate Control. Pricing starts at $45 and offers a free trial, so you can check out the app without making a considerable commitment.

3. Chanty

chanty screenshot

A team communication and collaboration software, Chanty enables businesses to communicate through instant messaging and voice or video calls. It is a cloud-based collaboration platform that uses AI to help with team communication, project management, and the automation of many tasks. Its unlimited group messaging feature lets you connect and collaborate with other teams.

Chanty has a forever-free plan suitable for businesses with up to 10 members. Alternatively, the business plan lets you do more for only $3 per user per month. 

4. Basecamp

basecamp screenshot

A reasonably priced task management tool, Basecamp has unique features you won’t find in many similar applications. Real-time communication, client access, and automatic check-ins are some of these. You can easily find projects as it has a designated place for file storage and sharing, making it ideal for team collaborations.

Basecamp is affordable. At only $11 per month per user, you can get unlimited use of most of its tools and features. It has two plans you can choose from, the Business and Personal.

5. Bit.ai

bit screenshot

Create, store, organize, and collaborate anywhere you are in the world with Bit.ai. This task management software lets you create project documents, technical documentation, client deliverables, and training guides, among many others. Its simple and intuitive user interface makes it ideal for first-time business owners.

To get started with Bit.ai, you can use their free plan, but you need to subscribe to their Pro or Business plans for additional features. Pricing starts at $9 and goes up to $15 per user per month.

6. nTask

ntask screenshot

Whether you’re managing small or big teams, nTask is an excellent task management tool. Its streamlining features will help you with project planning, financial summary, resource management, and many other tasks. In just a few clicks, you’ll be able to share files and comments, assign tasks, and track time.

This task management tool lets you try it for seven days without the need for a credit card. nTask offers three subscription plans with prices that start at $3 per month for the premium plan.

7. Trello

trello screenshot

Task management is easy with Trello cards, boards, and lists. At a glance, you can easily see your tasks and who’s handling them. It has a very low learning curve which lets your team get into action quickly. It offers many customization options and integrates with various third-party apps.

Like Chanty and ClickUp, Trello has a forever-free plan that you can use. But if you want to upgrade for more features, the three paid plans will suit your needs and budget quite well. Price starts at $5 per month if billed annually. 

8. Wrike

wrike screenshot

Get more done with a user-friendly task management tool such as Wrike. It has a fully-customizable dashboard, interactive Gantt charts, and real-time project reports, among many other vital features. It will give you complete project transparency, real-time updates, and insightful information that bring value to your business.

You can use Wrike for free, but for more features, its premium plans will let you do more. From $9.80 to $24.80 per month, you can manage tasks and many other processes easily and quickly.

9. Monday.com

monday screenshot

One of the most intuitive task management software, Monday.com is excellent for whatever size of business you have. Its straightforward and easily navigable interface lets you see the work ahead with just a glance. Collaborating is made easy as it enables you to upload and share files, tag members, and manage deadlines efficiently.

Monday.com is free to use forever, but a subscription plan is highly recommended to avail of its key features. 

10. Proggio

proggio screenshot

Track your business’ progress in one place with Proggio. Its Kanban board view lets you effectively manage your team’s tasks. It has customizable templates that help organize and manage everyone’s work anywhere they are in the world. 

Proggio has four paid plans that will provide you with more task-managing features. Pricing starts at $250 per month and can go up to $1,500.

Final Thoughts

In today’s competitive markets, businesses must manage project tasks as efficiently as possible. The responsibility to ensure that the team completes all assignments on time becomes effortless when you use a task management tool.

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Top 10 Free and Paid eCommerce Tools for 2023

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Starting an eCommerce business is no easy feat. You have to think about sales, marketing, customer service, invoicing, and inventory all at once. Some platforms may offer those, but you need other eCommerce tools to make life easier and automate your processes. But which are the best ones? I’ve compiled a list of the best ones here.

1. Shopify

shopify logo

Type: eCommerce platform

Any eCommerce tools list would simply be incomplete without the mention of Shopify. After all, Shopify is one of the leading eCommerce platforms of all time. The eCommerce platform makes it easy for new eCommerce businesses to set up shop in no time. They have a bunch of tools to keep any eCommerce business around, such as branding, point of sales, email marketing, and payment tools. 

With Shopify, you don’t have to create a website immediately if you don’t need it yet. If you want to start small, Shopify has a Starter plan where you can reach customers via social media or messaging apps.

Pricing:

Starter (social and messaging apps only) – $5/mo

Basic – $29/mo

Shopify – $79/mo

Advanced – $299/mo

2. Veeqo

veeqo logo

Type: Inventory and logistics

Even though Shopify has everything you need to get your business ready from launch to your first sale, you can integrate tools into the platform, such as Veeqo. Veeqo is a logistics company helping eCommerce businesses with inventory and shipping. 

You don’t have to worry about keeping track of all your products manually. With Veeqo, you can rest easy knowing they automate your stock every time there’s a sale. Plus, with shipping, you’ll have lowered rates on known logistics businesses, such as DHL and UPS. In addition, you can automate shipping processes.

Pricing: Free

3. SurveyMonkey

surveymonkey logo

Type: Survey

One eCommerce tool that you should use is a survey. This helps you get a pulse of what’s going on with your customers, and one of the survey tools you should use for your eCommerce business is SurveyMonkey

With SurveyMonkey, you’ll also know what your customers think of your products, aside from the reviews they give. Surveys will provide you with more input, and you’ll learn how to improve your products and how you can interact with your customers better. But it’s not just a tool for your customers. You can also ask your employees how they can improve your eCommerce business.

Pricing:

Team Advantage – $25/user/month

Team Premier – $75/user/month

Enterprise – Contact sales

4. Wave

wave logo

Type: Accounting and Invoicing

Most eCommerce platforms will have their own payment portal. But if you want an all-around easy-to-use small business financial service software, Wave is one of the best eCommerce tools to use. They have these nifty features:

  • Invoicing
  • Payments
  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Payroll
  • Advisors

With Wave, you don’t need an accountant. Wave helps you with your taxes, bookkeeping, and billing. And if you still need financial help, advisors are ready to help you learn more about finance terms or concepts. Plus, Wave is free to use for their Invoicing, Accounting, and Bookkeeping features. Or, you can even hire a bookkeeper to do all the work for you. 

Here’s the pricing for their Payments, Payroll, and Advisors features:

Payments: 2.9% + $0.60/ transaction (AMEX: $3.4% + $0.60/transaction)

Bank payments: 1%/transaction

Payroll: Tax service states – $40/mo; Self service – $20/mo

Advisors: Bookkeeping support – $149/mo; Coaching – $379/mo

5. Rewind

rewind logo

Type: Data protection

Any business with a website should know that they need to back up their data. After all, you can put it right back up anytime if outages or something unexpected happens to your website. And if you don’t want to lose your data, Rewind is one of the best eCommerce tools out there. 

Rewind can help eCommerce businesses protect their business from any downtime with their daily backup. If you have integrated a 3rd party app into your website, but it’s not doing you any good, you can just rewind and get back to the last time you didn’t install it. Plus, they ensure your data is secure from any attacks.

Pricing:

Starts at $39/mo

6. Zendesk

zendesk logo

Type: Customer service

Zendesk is one of the best customer service tools of all time, with more than 100,000 brands and users helping customers with their concerns. The customer service tool will help eCommerce businesses connect with customers through email, phone, or live chat.

Pricing:

  • Suite Team – $49/mo
  • Suite Growth – $79/mo
  • Suite Professional – $99/mo

7. Jungle Scout

jungle scout logo

Type: Marketing

If you need a marketing and keyword research tool made for online sellers, Jungle Scout is one of the best eCommerce tools to use. This tool is for Amazon sellers, but you can still use this for your online store anywhere. You can grow your traffic with their keyword research feature, optimize listings, and get more reviews for your site.

They also have an inventory management feature. Plus, Amazon sellers can get more out of the tool with their finances and ads features.

Pricing:

Basic – $49/mo

Suite – $69/mo

Professional – $129/mo

8. Copysmith

copysmith logo

Type: SEO/Marketing

Are you having trouble creating product descriptions for all of your items? Don’t fret, Copysmith is an AI writing tool to help you create a copy in minutes. It can be difficult trying to come up with persuasive copy that will get people to click add to cart. 

With Copysmith, you’ll have an AI assistant giving suggestions from the keywords you provided. From there, you can choose from the best copy and add it to your website. Plus, they ensure that the copy is search engine optimized, so customers can visit your online store and get more traffic. In addition, you can also create bulk product descriptions for SKUs.

Pricing:

Starter – $19/mo

Professional – $59/mo

Enterprise – Contact Sales

9. MailChimp

mailchimp logo

Type: Marketing

MailChimp is best known for email marketing. But it has grown into an all-around marketing platform for any business. They have a comprehensive email marketing platform, allowing businesses to segment their audience, reach more, and analyze open and conversion rates.

Aside from email marketing, MailChimp allows businesses to create optimized landing pages and social media ads and send printed postcards.

Pricing (Marketing platform – Starts at 500 contacts):

Free

Essentials – $11/mo

Standard – $17/mo

Premium – $299/mo

10. Google Analytics

google analytics logo

Type: Analytics

Any entrepreneur or seller needs to keep track of their online business. And if you want to know how your online store ranks on one of the widely used search engines, you can use Google Analytics. 

Most eCommerce platforms will have analytics, but Google Analytics can help you with your marketing, and you’ll know how to reach more customers. Plus, you can run ads with their Google Ads and Search Ads 360 features and get access to the Google Search Console.

Pricing: 

Start for Free

These eCommerce tools have proven their worth and helped other eCommerce businesses thrive in their own niche. Plus, they have also provided immense value and eased the minds of new and existing eCommerce businesses.

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