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How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost in 2021? (+ How to Make the Most of Your Budget)

While Facebook and Instagram advertising work using the same Ads Manager, their respective advertising costs vary. With Facebook being around longer, having more data, and more ad placements compared to its younger adopted sibling platform, we do find that more often than not, Instagram is slightly more expensive than Facebook in some instances. While that is the case, don’t let it deter you from exploring this lucrative and effective visual counterpart in the Facebook ecosystem. With fewer ad placements, increased competition for impression share, you may pay slightly more to use Instagram, but you may also pleasantly see it being much more cost effective than the results you’re getting with Facebook.

Image via Pexels
Paid advertising is a powerful marketing tool on Instagram and complements what brands are able to do in their Feeds, Stories, and Explore tabs. While Reels and IGTV don’t yet have ad placements, we may very well see them added as placement as the platform continues to scale and the need for more impressions comes about. Like Facebook ads, Instagram ads offer advanced targeting and flexibility so as to be accessible for just about any business. If this visual platform is a popular channel for your target audience, you may want to advertise on Instagram. To help you understand the cost, we’re going to cover:
How Instagram ads work
What makes Instagram advertising worth the price
Factors that influence Instagram ad pricing
Average rates of Instagram ads
Ways to get the most out of your Instagram ad budget
Read on to learn about the workings, advantages, and cost of advertising on Instagram this year.
How do Instagram ads work?
Depending on your campaign objective, ads appearing on Instagram can have up to 18 call-to-action button options, can link to your website, and give users options to download applications or shop online stores.
You don’t actually even need an Instagram account to advertise on Instagram. Since Facebook is its parent company, all you need a Facebook Business Page. However, it is best to have an Instagram account so you can familiarize yourself with content that resonates best with your target audience and complement and amplify your organic Instagram marketing efforts.
To set up Instagram Ads, use Facebook’s Ads Manager to set up campaigns, ad sets where you select your budget, target audience, ad placements, and optimization options. Similarly to Facebook Ads, your ads will run within the selected time frame, budget parameters, audience selection, and optimization goals.
What makes Instagram advertising worth the price?
Advertising on social media brings many benefits, and there are some particular benefits of paying for ad impressions on Instagram rather than simply running campaigns and promotions directly from your business’s account.
Advanced targeting
With over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram ranks second after Facebook. These platforms have an incredibly robust arsenal of targeting data and since Facebook owns Instagram, Instagram advertising utilizes the same comprehensive demographic and geographic data. This advanced targeting is what makes Facebook Ads work so well, as you can be incredibly prescriptive when targeting various audiences. Whether you are utilizing Facebook’s native audiences based on interests, behaviors, or other demographics, or utilizing your own custom audiences that utilize your Pixel or SDK, email lists, or other sources, you can find success in reaching the right people in your prospecting and retargeting campaigns.

Higher engagement rates
Instagram is known for its high engagement rates—organically and through paid ads. Images on Instagram receive an average of 23% more engagement than when shared on Facebook. When it comes to organic engagement, brands on Instagram say that they have about 4% of their followers seeing their content compared to the nearly non-existent organic reach that Facebook has today. While it’s better, it’s still wise to pay to play in order to expand your reach and visibility with paid ads.  While any form of visual content can perform well, brands typically see more engagement on video ads—about 38% more. As a visual platform, images and videos are powerful in driving more engagement than on other more text-based social platforms.

External links
Instagram does not currently allow clickable links in organic posts. You can include a link in your caption or message, but the recipient has to copy and paste it into their browser or visit the link in your Instagram bio. With Instagram advertising, you can include outside links, which enables you to designate a destination URL to your website or another external URL. To be able to better track website traffic from your Instagram Ads, it’s recommended to use your own domain as you should have your Pixel implemented there, whereas you may not have it on other website URLs that you don’t control.

Longer videos
Instagram Feed and Explore video can be up to 60 seconds in duration and while Stories are typically up to 15 seconds in duration, if you run ads in these three ad placements, you can have up to 2 minutes of video content. This gives you more opportunity to convey both your brand and the features and benefits of your offer through your products and/or services.
How much do Instagram ads cost?
When it comes to Instagram ads where we have a destination URL, we’ve been seeing link click cost per click (CPC) range from $0.50 – $0.95. When it comes to CPC (All) metrics, we see those a bit lower, ranging from $0.40-$0.70. This CPC (All) metrics takes into account all clicks that happen on an ad, which includes not only link clicks, but likes/reactions, comments, and shares. In terms of CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions), Instagram costs since January 1, 2021 have been ranging between $2.50-3.50 for better performing campaigns and their respective ad sets. When it comes to engagement costs, we’re seeing $0.01-0.05.
When it comes to CPMs, our findings show that Facebook tends to be higher than Instagram, by nearly 2x but CPCs tend to be lower by nearly half on Facebook compared to Instagram.

Image via AdEspresso
Factors that influence Instagram ad pricing
Similar to other platforms, Instagram ad pricing is influenced by a number of variables. Campaign objectives can cause your advertising costs to be automatically higher or lower, depending on which you choose and how it relates to where your target audience is in the funnel. For example, if you select a brand awareness campaign objective, it will be lower in cost than something lower down the funnel and that has a higher value objective, such as conversions. Having broader, colder audiences seeing your ad to help drive more brand awareness is a lower value action compared to someone being further down funnel, more familiar with your brand and offerings, and ready to open their wallet or take a higher value action in a retargeting oriented conversion campaign that may be optimizing for purchases.
Other variables that play a part in determining ad pricing is audience size. If you are targeting broader audiences, they are typically lower in cost as there is less competition for a group of people. As you narrow your audiences, perhaps by reducing their geotargeting or age ranges, you may see the price go up as competition for those eyeballs increases in parallel. Retargeting audiences are typically smaller as well, hence why we often see higher costs in retargeting campaigns.
Budget also influences pricing because if you have a small budget, it may take longer to get out of the Learning Phase if your campaign or ad set is starting anew. Costs may be more expensive at first before the system learns and understands how your campaign type, optimization goals, and how your audience engages with your ads. If your ads are well engaged with, Facebook and Instagram will reward you with lower costs over time.
Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) can also play a role in your pricing. If CTR is low, then we may see higher costs as the system thinks there may be some disconnect between your target audience and what you’re messaging in your ads. You want your ads to resonate with your target audience and CTR Is a strong indicator of that. Aim for a healthy CTR which is about 2%. If you have a healthy CTR, you should see your costs decrease.
How to save money with your Instagram aads
Make the most of your budget by selecting funnel-appropriate campaign objectives to start. If you are targeting colder, broader, prospecting audiences, test less expensive campaigns to introduce your brand to audiences with an awareness, engagement, or better yet, a website traffic campaign so that these users leave Instagram and get to your website and tagged with the Pixel so you can later retarget them if they don’t convert on that first click. If you’re new to Instagram Ads, you can drive sales from the first interaction and click, but more often than not, users will need to have several interactions with your brands in order to develop trust, perhaps do some shopping and comparing, and then come back to you through retargeting or other means to open up their wallets. If you have a low cost product that doesn’t need much research, impulse buys can be successful from Instagram.
Another way to lower your Instagram costs is to use automatic placements in the ad set level and serve across both Facebook and Instagram. By having more placement liquidity, the system can use its algorithm to determine where to best serve your ads, thus giving them more options across both platforms and more ad placements, thus, lowering competition on Instagram’s three current ad placements, thus lowering your costs.

You will also want to test audiences with different ad variations by testing the different lines of ad copy and creatives – images and videos. By running tests, you can learn what resonates with your audiences and it can help improve your engagement rates and CTR, thus, also helping lower your costs and making your budget go further.
Leverage Instagram ads in 2021
Instagram continues to grow and the advertising options only become more robust. It’s not yet saturated and it’s safe to assume that more ad placements will come our way, hopefully this year, so that our budgets can go further and find success for our brands and our for our clients. Give Instagram Ads a test and see how it fairs in comparison to Facebook Ads and other advertising platforms you may be running on. It may end up being an important part of your funnel by driving more brand awareness and engagement or it may end up bringing a primary source of revenue.

Elon Musk Plans to Write a Book About Tesla and SpaceX

The tycoon broke the news on his favorite social media platform.
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February 8, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

As is common for the billionaire, he announced his upcoming projects through Twitter after two days of “being absent .” In a message on the social network, Elon Musk wrote that “It is time to tell the story of Tesla and SpaceX”, followed with “From Earth and Mars”, in addition to “Lessons learned”, in a third.

Time to tell the story of Tesla & SpaceX
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2021
Among his millions of followers asked him if the enigmatic messages referred to him wanting to write a book, Musk wrote that he did.

And it is
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2021
Another user suggested a podcast, but this idea “is not so easy” according to the owner of Tesla. This is because it requires reviewing two decades of intense work, in addition to your old notes, emails and texts. Wow, go back to when you started your entire entrepreneurship process.
However, this is not the first time Musk has thought of a book. In 2019, he argued that his early life might be worthy of a book one day, but that doing so would alienate him from his work at SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink.
Although we do not know how he will take some time to write it, since he runs various companies and is known for working 85-100 hours a week and sleeping only 6 hours a day.
If this project is achieved, it would be the second biography of Elon Musk, only it is from his words. The first was published in 2015 by journalist Ashlee Vance, entitled ” Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the search for a fantastic future .”

What Workplace Changes Can Employers Expect Under the Biden Administration?

Changes are coming for small businesses under President Joe Biden’s administration. And, as a small business owner and employer, there’s some things you need to be aware of.
Small Business Trends contacted David Barron, a labor and employment attorney with the national firm of Cozen O’Connor. He supplied some thoughts on how employers should prepare for these changes from the Biden administration. We also contacted some other business owners for their input.

Small Business Employer Changes Under Biden Administration
“The Biden Administration will focus on the rights of employees and organized labor,” he writes. “The Trump administration focused on reducing regulation.”
Barron points to new leadership and policy reversals. Like those at the NLRB and OFCCP. He says these are new trends.  The National Labor Relations Board protects workers’ rights to unionize.  The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs oversees SMBs doing business with the federal government.
Here’s some specific things small businesses can  expect.
On Equal Employment
Barron says the  Biden administration has vowed “to make racial justice and gender equality important issues.” Look for expansion and aggressive enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws.
On Paid Family Leave 
Barron says Biden has discussed extending the Families First paid sick leave program.
“We may see an effort to make two weeks of sick leave a permanent federal entitlement,” he says.
On Retirement Plans
Bradley Stevens, CEO at LLC Formations, talked about changes to retirement savings.
“ The individual deduction for a retirement plan will be replaced with a flat savings tax credit,” he writes. “The savings tax credit go into the employee’s retirement accounts. This will mean more savings support for all income group employees.”
On Employee Protections
“There’s a clear nod to social distancing/masking and how we think about ERISA protections,” says Colin Rogers, at Zenefits.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sets standards for retirement and health plans.
On Minimum Wage
Barron says a current bill wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 over four years.
“This legislation should pass and be signed by the President.”
 On Anti-Discrimination Laws
He also sees a big change in  agencies enforcing these laws and the approach they take to rulemaking and enforcement.
“For example, the Biden Administration will take a much more aggressive view on LGBTQ rights,” Barron says.
On Marijuana
“We are very likely to see a federal legalization of marijuana,” Barron says, adding there could be unintended consequences.
“This may impact certain safety sensitive businesses that rely on drug testing programs. It could also make it harder to catch employees working under the influence.”

Tesla Invests $1.5 Billion in Bitcoin

The electric vehicle maker plans to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 8, 2021 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

As the price of Bitcoin continues to climb, Elon Musk’s company plans to start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, according to information from Bloomberg.
Tesla invested $ 1.5 billion in Bitcoin, while the price of the cryptocurrency stood at $ 43,725.51, an increase of 13%.
“We hope to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis,” Tesla announced.
After updating its investment policy last month, the electric car maker stated that it decided to allow the company to invest in digital assets, as well as gold bullion and gold exchange-traded funds.
Earlier, Elon Musk said that “Bitcoin is about to gain wide acceptance” among investors and indicated that he should have invested in the cryptocurrency eight years ago.

Derrick Ashong On Creating ‘The Mic: Africa,’ A Music Competition To Highlight The African Diaspora

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Derrick N. Ashong is founder and host of “The Mic: Africa.”
Derrick N. Ashong, born in Accra, Ghana, and raised  in the United States, is the content creator and businessman behind AMP Global Technologies and the Take Back the Mic app, a platform that rewards consumers who discover and share trending  content with ad-supported mobile data. 
“Our team at AMP Global is committed to expanding internet access and creativity for communities around the world,” says Ashong. During the  global pandemic, he launched and hosted the first season of The Mic: Africa, a virtual hip-hop competition based on his two-time Emmy-nominated digital series, The World Cup of Hip Hop.  
The Mic: Africa is a multi-platform music competition where viewers use the TBTM app, available for Google and iOS devices, to select 18 semifinalists from six countries: Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius and Kenya.  

Those 18 semifinalists compete over the course of five episodes in front of a global jury from across the diaspora, as well as celebrities including music artists DJ Maseo of De La Soul, Doug E Fresh, Lady of Rage, Nigerian rapper M.I Abaga, Indian rapper Raja Kumari and South Africa’s standup comic David Kau. The first season just wrapped with Nigerian artist Fecko winning the grand prize and title. 
For(bes) The Culture spoke to Ashong about launching a global platform during a pandemic and what he’s planning next to amplify the creativity and voices of artists across the diaspora.
For(bes) The Culture: Why did you choose music to unify the various countries across the continent of Africa?

Derrick Ashong: People talk about music as a universal language. African music is undeniable in the scale and power of its global impact, but a lot of people are unaware of the core African influences in music like hip-hop, reggae, the blues, salsa,samba, jJazz and rock and roll. Ultimately, Africa is where the flavor was born, and music is the tapestry that weaves the continent and the diaspora together as an interconnected whole—discovering, reflecting and evolving each other’s voices as we continue to innovate and redefine the architecture of global pop culture. We believe that by beginning with music, we give Africans at home and across the diaspora, a common space where we can discover ourselves and each other through new eyes, and invite the world-at-large to join us there. 
For(bes) The Culture: How has the Take Back the Mic app amplified the creativity of artists across the African diaspora? 
Ashong: The Take Back the Mic app helps creators to build movements around their content. In tandem with The Mic: Africa series, the app is helping to turn the most promising undiscovered artists on the continent into global stars. Because the TBTM app puts the power in the hands of the audience, it enables unexpected creators like graffiti artists, dancers and songwriters to also be amplified to a bigger stage.  
For(bes) The Culture: How is this multi-platform music competition the first of its kind?
Ashong: The Mic: Africa is the first-ever interactive TV format born on the African continent to be exported around the world, carrying an African cultural framework to audiences across the globe.
Unlike traditional mainstream music competitions, the series is truly interactive because fans cast, curate and determine the outcome of the show from start to finish. 
For(bes) The Culture: How are you continuing to shift gears during the pandemic?
Ashong: The pandemic forced us to really stretch our creativity and think differently about how to develop and launch a new series. One “happy accident” of the covid era was our decision to engage filmmakers on the ground in each of the countries, instead of having one crew fly everywhere. Probably our biggest take away from the experience was the realization that while global internet use went up 70% in the early days of the lockdowns, high speed internet use was flat at 7% in Africa. That’s because people here pay the highest prices in the world for mobile internet access. 
So, we built a toolset within the app to enable users to earn mobile data based on their engagement, and to use that data anywhere on the internet. That “gateway to the internet” capability inspired a broader initiative called 70 x 25, to take Africa to 70% high-speed internet use by the end of 2025. 
We’ve been able to bring on our first telco partners as part of that moonshot coalition, including 9Mobile in Nigeria, Kenya Telkom and Liquid Telecom, and are working to expand the initiative with brand partners across a variety of sectors, as well as inter-governmental institutions like the UN, UNESCO and UNHCR.
For(bes) The Culture: What initiatives are you and your team planning on launching in the future?
Ashong: We will definitely be doing more seasons of The Mic: Africa, and are already in talks to expand the format to other regions.  We are also working with some really cool media partners in Hollywood and other global markets, to launch new content properties that leverage our technology to drive deep engagement between creatives and their fans. In the coming months we’ll be launching a series of features that enable partner brands to build direct relationships with fans on the platform, and make it easier for creators, distributors and content owners to build and grow movements around their content.

Learn Excel the Way Microsoft Teaches Its Own Employees

With eLearnExcel, you’ll find out how to organize mass amounts of information, complex data analysis, and even how to automate workflows.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 8, 2021 2 min read
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Microsoft Excel is the most ubiquitous office software in the world. Excel lets you do so much, from organizing mass amounts of information to complex data analysis, and even automating workflows. If there is any skill that should be on your resume, it’s Excel.
Anyone can learn Excel online, but when you’re swimming in work, you owe it to yourself to learn as efficiently as possible. eLearnExcel is used and trusted by leading companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and HSBC, and you can access its Excel Certification School for just $49.99 now.
This eight-course bundle is taught by Fiona Hannon, a training consultant for the International Academy of Computer Training (IACT), working with clients such as Microsoft, Allianz, and Hibernian. She has 22 years of pedagogical and 24 years of professional experience delivering the highest-quality Excel educational programs on the market. eLearnExcel is IACT’s Microsoft-focused company that has taught Excel to more than 800,000 people over 25 years.
Excel is the backbone for companies in just about every industry. It helps you accomplish tasks and solve problems more quickly. And, when you can work more efficiently, you can produce more and potentially climb the career ladder. This eight-course bundle aims to give you advanced skills and knowledge that are better than 99 percent of Excel users. You’ll get an advanced look at Excel’s formulas and functions, learn how to analyze data, create charts and graphs, and much more. There are also courses dedicated to advanced subjects like macros, VBA, and pivot tables.
Learn Excel the way big companies teach it to their employees. The Excel Certification School Bundle is on sale for just $49.99 now.
Prices subject to change.
Don’t forget to check out DiversyFund to start investing in private real estate in 2021. You don’t have to be in the 1% to get started. Invest today for as low as $500.

Maggie Lena Walker Made History as the First Woman To Own a Bank in the United States

On top of that, she was a Black woman. The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank became a catalyst for economic advancement in the Black community.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 8, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise
Maggie Lena Walker made history when she became the first woman to own a bank in 1903. On top of that, she was a Black woman. The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank became a catalyst for economic advancement in the Black community.
“First we need a savings bank. Let us put our moneys together; let us put our money out at usury among ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves,” said Walker during the Independent Order of St. Luke Annual Convention in 1901. “Let us have a bank that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.”
The birth of a history maker
Walker was born on July 15, 1867 (some sources say 1864) in Richmond, Virginia. The American Civil War had ended and the country was stepping into the Reconstruction era.
During this period, millions of freed slaves were working against another threat: Black Codes. These laws were designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and maintain white supremacy. There were restrictions in place to prevent Black people from buying property and owning businesses. Essentially, the Black Codes represented another level of oppression where Blacks would not be able to partake in the essential pillars of wealth creation in the United States.
This is why Walker centered her life mission around economic opportunities for African-Americans and women. She once said, “I was not born with a silver spoon in [my] mouth, but instead, with a clothes basket almost upon my head.” Walker was determined to leave the world better than she found it, and there is no doubt that her work has been the launching pad for the advancement of many Black leaders.
Creating a lasting legacy
In 1901, Walker delivered the address at the 34th annual session of the Right Worthy Grand Council of Virginia chapter of the Order. This speech unraveled the economic plan and vision needed to give Blacks a chance in the race of life.
“What we need is an organ, a newspaper to herald and proclaim the work of our Order,” says Walker during the 1901 annual convention. “No business, no enterprise, which has to deal with the public, can be pushed successfully without a newspaper.”
She added, “We need consecrated men and women, who will raise something else besides points of order…we want an executive to run a factory, run a paper, run a bank, that will develop something and give some of the noble women work.”
In 1902,  Walker became the founder and editor-in-chief of The St. Luke Herald newspaper. Then, she became the first woman to become president of a chartered bank in the United States in 1903. The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank offered what many Blacks couldn’t get anywhere else: mortgages, investment capital, and checking accounts. During Walker’s life, she emphasized the importance of the Black dollar and how it could be used to create economic independence.
Walker passed away in 1934 but her legacy still lives on through her home and monument located in Richmond. Walker’s home is a national historic site. Her family deeded the house to the National Park Service in 1979. The home, located in Virginia, captures the essence of the last few years of Walker’s life.

Under Pressure: 6 Ways to Be a Good Manager in an Ongoing Crisis

February 8, 2021 8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As the Twitterverse put it, “We’re not just at home working. We’re at home, during a crisis, trying to work.” Over the past year, crisis mode has become the new normal. Even the most fortunate among us is likely struggling in some way. Knowing this, good managers everywhere are feeling pressure to “fix” situations for their teams. Guess what? You can’t fix this crisis. And that’s ok. Even if you don’t have control over the conditions or fallout from the ongoing public health, social justice and economic crises, you do have control over building and supporting your team’s resilience. 
Related: 3 Ways to Lead Through Crisis at a Distance
It’s time for a new approach to the situation we’re in now that we’ve officially crossed into the long-term-near-permanence territory. Businesses must acknowledge new priorities and goals, and managers must be open to fresh ideas and candid discussions with employees. To help managers reframe their thinking, here are five best practices to consider. 
1. Acknowledge you can’t solve everything
Many managers are stressed out knowing their team members feel isolated and anxious, may be grieving or are stretched thin between work, childcare, homeschooling, elder care and more. The fact that you know what your team members are struggling with means you’ve been consistently checking in with them — job well done. Although you can’t fix what they’re each going through, the very act of asking “how are you feeling?” and making space in meetings or one-on-ones for everyone to answer can be a more supportive and effective approach than trying to be the problem-solver. 
Rather than trying to solve every problem, having and showing emotional intelligence (EQ) can go a long way. One exercise that Udemy instructor Leila Bulling Towne uses when coaching clients is called, “Feel it. Place it. Get it.” Feel it: Identify what you are feeling by finding where you’re feeling stress in your body. Are you over-heating? Stomachache? Place it: Why are you feeling that way? Who is there? What’s the situation? Get it: This is when we connect all of the dots and can begin to assess ways to alleviate our stress. By bringing this type of perspective to our teams, we can ultimately build their EQ muscle and create space to increase resilience.
2. Support a psychologically safe work environment
A psychologically safe environment is one in which employees feel safe, comfortable, included and can share perspectives and challenges and make mistakes without fear of repercussion. Amy Edmondson, Harvard professor and author of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth, links psychological safety to innovation and business success. In addition, feeling secure to speak one’s mind is particularly important today for helping individuals cope in different ways with what’s going on in the world. For example, a safe space makes it alright for someone to say, “I need to take a break; I’m too upset to work right now.”
Team members can’t do good work if they’re sick or highly stressed. Therefore, it’s important to clearly communicate to your team how wellbeing and mental and physical health are a top priority. Managers should regularly encourage team members to take time off and take care of their families and themselves. Although you still need to have conversations about work and productivity, these can come second. Taking this approach might seem frustrating from a business perspective, but compassion and empathy have to be at the forefront in a crisis. And if you need further convincing, this approach also makes good business sense by helping to prevent burnout or increased turnover. 
Related: How to Create Psychological Safety Among a Team
3. Give yourself permission to say, “I don’t know” 
The early days of this global crisis, during which we essentially kept trying to operate as we always had — albeit from home — did not provide anyone with a playbook on how to manage this alternate reality in the longer term. Because we’re all trying to do our best to figure it out as we go, it’s ok to give yourself space to admit to your team that you aren’t sure how to handle a new situation. As my brother likes to say, “I don’t know; this is my first pandemic.” I’m not recommending that you shouldn’t bother trying to find solutions to new challenges. But often, admitting you don’t know takes the pressure off and allows for more collaboration, innovation and even buy-in to try something different. At Udemy, where I work, we leveraged a Slack channel for managers to provide a way to lean on and support each other — they use it to ask questions and discuss helpful resources and information. 
4. Help your team reframe their perspective
Most of what we’re dealing with right now is truly difficult. Even so, some of what we’re dealing with can be tackled with mindset. The stress and anxiety that comes with a crisis push us into raw emotional states, and things that wouldn’t normally bother us, might be just enough to set us over the edge. Early in the pandemic, I recall intense frustration over a simple failed cookie recipe. Something I would normally have laughed off. A little time and distance later and I know this was a manifestation of other feelings, completely unrelated. Helping our teams reframe perspectives by looking at situations through a different lens can be a game-changer and help us see what’s actually bothering us. 
Ask your team to identify the problem, challenge their assumptions, and then reframe it. This can be as simple as asking how someone we admire would respond to the situation, or how a fictional character might react. All it takes is a tweak in the angle to look at a situation in a whole new way.  
5. Create space to learn through challenges
For me, learning is the way to process challenges and is my path forward during uncertainty. Unfortunately with everything going on within organizations around the world, many employees either feel like they don’t have the time to set aside for learning, or they worry that they need to always look busy and can’t take a “break” to learn. Latent fear about furloughs or cutbacks permeates even healthy businesses. Learning shouldn’t be thought of as a break but as an essential part of any career. “Signal value” can go a long way in creating time and space for learning within teams. For my team, I expect and try to model that learning is part of the job. I start team meetings by asking about a recent “win” and a “learning” from each person. As a business leader, you can lead by example by regularly talking about the learning you’re doing and the impact that it’s having as you navigate and adapt to change. 
Related: Making Time for Learning When No One Has Time
6. Communicate proactively
Many employees will continue working remotely this year. As we experienced in 2020, regular communication is key to keeping teams working in sync and feeling connected. It’s critical to continue communicating transparently, authentically and in a timely manner — about work as well as events that impact our lives. For example, most employees appreciate when leaders acknowledge an event in the news, share their own perspectives and communicate empathy for others.  
For many, 2021 feels hopeful. A new year presents an opportunity to start fresh. Although it’s good to be positive, and we need hope to keep moving forward, the challenges we’ve been facing over the last year are far from over. Successfully managing a team during a long-term crisis requires fostering team agility and resilience to roll with the punches. You can do this by reframing priorities and getting real about what support your team members need to adapt in today’s world.
Related: 4 Essentials for Employee Engagement in a Remote World

Who Should Get the Coronavirus Stimulus Check? Depends Who You Ask.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Senator Bernie Sanders have different visions.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

February 8, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on ValueWalk
Talks over the third round of stimulus checks are still ongoing. It is very likely that there will be another stimulus payment, but it is uncertain who will get the payment and how much they would get. Though Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Sen. Bernie Sanders came up with answers on who would get a coronavirus stimulus check, they gave different answers.
Related: Wait, What? The IRS Can Ask You To Return Your Stimulus Check.
Who would qualify?
Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package promises stimulus checks of $1,400. Republicans are opposing it and are demanding checks to be more targeted. So, it is still unclear who would eventfully qualify for the checks.
In the first two rounds, those earning up to $75,000 qualified for full coronavirus stimulus checks. However, with the third round, it is believed that the checks would go only to those who need it the most, or to low-income people.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated the same on Sunday. Yellen said checks should go to American workers earning up to $60,000 per year.
“The exact details of how it should be targeted are to be determined, but struggling middle class families need help,” Yellen told CNN.
Further, she said that President Biden has already said that he is open to negotiations on the stimulus package, and he “wouldn’t want to see a household making over $300,000 receive these payments.”
Yellen also stressed the importance of the $1.9 trillion package. She noted that if Congress approves the $1.9 trillion plan, the U.S. would return to the full employment level by next year.
What Sanders says
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has a different viewpoint on who would qualify for the stimulus checks. Sanders, who is the new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and is expected to play a significant role in shaping the next stimulus package, said that the $1,400 stimulus checks should go to Americans making $75,000 or less.
Also, he rejected proposals that call for sending full payments only to those making up to $50,000.
“When people said, we don’t want rich people to get that benefit, I understand that,” Sanders told CNN. “And what we need to do is have a strong cliff, so it doesn’t kind of spill over to people making $300,000.”
Sanders reiterated that income thresholds for the third round should be the same as the first two rounds. In the first two rounds, those earning up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) qualified for the full amount of the stimulus check, while those making over $99,000 got no payment.
Sanders said the idea of lowering the threshold is “absurd” from a political point of view. The idea of people getting less under Biden, who is “fighting hard for the working class of this country,” doesn’t make sense.
“It makes no sense to me at all, nor do I think it makes sense to the American people,” Sanders said.

This Is Why Best Buy May Best the Competition

The company, which was ailing in the years going into the pandemic, is emerging from the crisis stronger and in a better position.
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February 8, 2021 4 min read
This story originally appeared on MarketBeat
The Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) story is one that is fast becoming a significant theme for Wall Street stocks. The company which was ailing in the years going into the pandemic is emerging from the crisis stronger and in a better position. In this case, it is the combination of pandemically life and work-styles, the accelerating shift to everything digital, and the company’s internal efforts to turn business around that have the stock looking so attractive. Not only has the business been boosted by the pandemic but profitability is better than ever, and there is an outlook for a double-digit earnings CAGR over the next 4 to 5 years at least.
The analysts are warming
The analysts are bullish on Best Buy with both the consensus sentiment and price target moving higher over the past 30 and 90 day period. The caveat is that the consensus price target while rising is lagging the price action and implies the stock is fair to slightly overvalued. The good news is that the trend in sentiment is upward and still rising. The most recent analysts’ notes, all issued in the wake of the very-strong 3Q results, have a consensus closer to the $125 to $135 range than the $112.50 to $115 the stock has been trading for recently. That’s an upside in the range of 10% and there are both the dividend and buybacks to consider.
Bank of America recently came out with a bullish call on Best Buy referring to it as a “sleeper win”. Analysts Curtis Nagle made note of the company’s record cash position, low leverage, and ample room for capital returns in his comments. As of the last reporting period the company had over $5.8 billion or $22.40 per share in cash with a leverage ratio of only 0.28 and 48X coverage. The company already has a history of dividend increases so an 8th is certainly not out of the question. With the payout ratio sitting near 28%, an expectation the company will post a strong 4th quarter, a positive outlook for business, and a 20 percent distribution CAGR and the odds the 8th increase will be worth roughly $0.44 annually are very high.
Related: Investors Lining Up for 20X Gains on Giant Copper Find 
“We have long seen BBY as one of the highest quality names in our coverage and we are taking a more positive view given: 1) our belief that BBY should come out of the COVID-19 period in a stronger and more profitable position; 2) there is room for a continuation of steady growth in multiple segments and compares for the next several quarters are easy; and 3) valuation is attractive with shares trading at 14x 2021E EPS and below other stay at home beneficiaries and hardline peers on the whole.”
Best Buy is undervalued
Best Buy is trading at only 15X this year’s and next year’s earnings which makes it quite the bargain. The valuation implies the company will see no growth next year which is crazy because growth accelerated in the 4th quarter and is supported by consumer trends, work-from-home, the housing boom, and several other secular factors that have years if not a decade or more to run.
As for value, the 15X earnings is a deep-value compared to the broad market and peers with comparable business. The S&P 500 is trading closer to 22X earnings and pays less than 1.5% while leaders in the consumer discretionary group like Target, Walmart, and Costco trade in the 22X to 32X earnings range. Even Tractor Supply Company, another up and comer in the new retail world, is trading at 22X its earnings.
Shares of Best Buy have been stuck in a trading range since the stock hit a new all-time high in late-summer 2020. The price action has begun to look bullish again, however, and may lead the stock higher as the next earnings report approaches. The company is expected to release the 4th quarter results on or around the 25th of February and the news will most likely move the market. If the report is acceptably strong investors might expect this stock to set a new all-time high somewhere near $140 or $145. If not then a continuation of the range is the most likely outcome. Either way, there is a safe and growing dividend and share buybacks to help support the market.