Award-winning stories in business, healthcare, social welfare, and payment tech.
**This piece just won First Prize from the Illinois Women's Press Association in the 2019 Online Feature Category. When headlines broke earlier this year about the routine practice of separating migrant children from their parents or caregivers at the border, many became up in arms. Millions of dollars were raised to help these families through their legal battles. Professional organizations associated with more than 250,000 physicians issued statements, decrying the separation practices. But beyond the news articles, denouncements and gut-wrenching photos, and regardless of the political views, there remain the families who have been forever traumatized. And that trauma can have mental and physical health effects on children and their parents for their lifetime.
Is much of your creative energy going into status updates instead of your business? It may be time to adjust your role in the distraction economy to help build a more rewarding life and company.
If you're in the market for a new home, you may be wondering, "How much do I need to buy a house?" From down payments and closing costs to reserves and moving expenses, the thought of buying a house can quickly become overwhelming.
Studying for your degree can be demanding enough without cash problems placing unnecessary stress on your college life. Here are some real-world savings tips to help you stretch your student cash even further while living the good life during your college years.
Hellendrung had the guts to take on a brand left for dead. But whether you're a startup or a brand in need of a makeover, how do you avoid the land mine of arrogance that's so common?
Founded in the early 1800s, Kidron, Ohio, is home to fewer than 1,000 residents. But the town, in the heart of Ohio's Amish country (a community of about 40,000 people), is where you'll find Lehman's hardware, a business that, since 1955, has expanded from a small storefront to an internationally known, 42,000-square-foot showroom.
When's the last time an idea you dreamed up over a whole lot of wine held up until the next morning? Usually the day after such a session is more about "Pass the ibuprofen" than "Holy crap! I had this brilliant idea to grow my business!" But for brothers Butch and Jerry Milbrandt, the owners of Milbrandt Vineyards, wine-y nights--and, more so, a willingness to be flexible about their product offerings and invest in their business--have led to solid growth.
A few of you might also need a good smack on the pricing front. So I reached out to Greenville, S.C.-based business strategist Dan Waldschmidt (who has worked with everyone from tiny startups to the NFL) to get his take.
Asking for help is a good thing, but … there are times when reaching out can make you sound like an askhole. Yes, an askhole: a person who doesn't respect the value of other people's time, relationships or expertise. Askholes are takers--and they don't even realize (or care) that they're doing it.
From issues of cash flow to audience apathy, from poor sales to personnel matters, business problems usually start as you problems. There are three situations guaranteed to land you and your business in the mud. The only way to get out is to see these problems for what they are and move forward. Ready?
You messed up with a client. To mend fences, you consider the flowers or bottle of wine approach. Stop. Situations like these can’t be effectively resolved with anything that can be shipped to your client’s office with a quaint card. So, how do you not only salvage but also improve a damaged customer relationship?
It’s like striking gold: After hours of scouring homes for sale in Atlanta, GA, or Seattle, WA, you’ve found the house of your dreams. In fact, you went home last night and played a little game of Where Does the Sofa Go? But before you can say “home sweet home,” there’s an offer to be made (and accepted). While these three tips won’t guarantee that your offer will be chosen, they will help you be competitive, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream home.
We're likely all familiar with how personal credit works, but one of the most important things to note about getting business credit is that business credit is not tied to your personal credit file or social security number. There are specific steps you'll need to go through to build your business credit profile so you can get a line of credit under your business' name.
Let's say you're already running a seasonal business. Or perhaps you have an idea for a business or business expansion that's heavily dependent on good old Mother Nature. Putting your livelihood at the mercy of the seasons is a bold move, yet many seasonal businesses all over the globe find ways to thrive operating at full throttle only part of the year.
The hustle of the holiday season can see many-a-thing lost in the shuffle, but you may not want to let business planning for the year ahead be one of them. You have goals for your business and brand, and they deserve your attention and energy.
Is your business in need of positive cash flow? It may be time to take a look at your pricing strategy, according to these experts.
Wondering how to lead in this era of volatile politics? Try focusing on driving employees’ personal and professional goals forward as a team.
Managing a nimble business and keeping track of your cash flow go hand in hand. Because few things can lock a business out of innovation like a lack of cash flow.
If you feel you've hit a brand plateau, it may be time to look inside your brand. You might be missing a certain something that's necessary to push your branding beyond “meh" back into “marvelous" territory.
A social media advertising budget used to be an add-on, reserved to boost special content for brands already crushing the online engagement game. However, businesses that used to enjoy thousands of fans consistently interacting with their social media content have experienced a significant drop-off. Posts now garner meager levels of interaction and it seems only a fraction of a brand's following ever sees content organically. Welcome to the new reality—the one where your business needs a social media advertising budget.
If your business operates outside of the IT realm, you might be wondering if there's a place for agile principles in your business. Let's look beyond the phrase “agile process" and into the values that make it an empowering process for any business. This way, you can see which of these values could both apply to your business and bring the greatest benefit. It may even inspire you to adopt new processes that can help your business thrive like agile does with software development.
As a local business, it's only natural to be curious about how to expand your business beyond your front stoop. Your local customers have given your business life and purpose, but surely that can happen with international customers as well, right?
Let's explore how you can incentivize the teams you build in this competitive economy. It turns out that attractive and appreciated incentives extend well beyond the benefits package. Supporting teams and retaining talent is a cross-company effort—and you might be surprised that the most attractive “benefits" that keep high-performing teams intact are the least tangible.
Before you make the leap across the pond, continent or mountain range with content you've used to fuel your international expansion goals, heed what can get lost in translation. The following strategies can help.
Are five-figure speaker fees realistic? Six speakers share the not-so-secrets to their ongoing success.
Curious how your company can bring equity to the workplace? Explore these tips to bring gender bias into the light and elevate everyone on your team.
Invoice financing, reviewing vendor terms, evaluating materials costs and doing regular reviews for hidden recurring expenses... You know your balance sheet and cash-flow projections forward and back. But when's the last time you reviewed your pricing strategy? There's more to the dollar amount in front of a product or service. Customer value is the engine behind pricing strategies that can lead to long-term, positive cash flow. “Having well-considered pricing strategies is crucial to sustain profitability in a business system," says Phil Jones, author of the best-selling author behind the Exactly book series. Those well-considered strategies are the foundation for positive cash flow in your business.
When it comes to turning a company's culture around, these experts know a thing or two. Here are a few ways businesses can emulate their success stories and apply them to driving culture at their own companies.
Whether you’re interested in donating time, money, in-kind items, or more, here is a list to spark some ideas for giving. And don’t worry — there are plenty of ways to be a part of Giving Tuesday even if your finances are tight. Read on to learn how to leverage what you have and turn it into something that benefits a cause you love.
Have you ever wondered if you could wave a magic wand and get better credit card customer service? The good news is that you’re in luck when it comes to your credit card. Customer service wants to hear from you, and there are five simple questions you can ask that can transform you from merely being a content cardholder into one that’s a cardholder for life.
Sale prices were rising, and I wanted to move closer to the city center. It was time to sell the adorable condo I’d bought in 2013. I knew about home buying. But how to sell your home? I was a bit in the dark. Thinking of selling your home and want to learn from my experience? Here’s what I went through, step by step, to sell my condo.
As you begin the mortgage process, you'll hear words like "escrow" and "escrow balance" with an increasing frequency. To help you become the savviest homebuyer possible, let's break down the escrow process to help you understand what an escrow account is, and what the escrow balance pays for throughout the homebuying process as well as the life of your mortgage.
During the process of settling a loved one's estate, cash is often among the first assets distributed to beneficiaries. On the surface, a cash inheritance has immediate benefits: validation, comfort, potential. However, professionals advise proceeding with an ounce of caution to help separate grief from spending.
If you've found yourself retired, but still carrying debt, you might wonder if debt consolidation for during retirement makes sense. Your first inclination might be to put money away in savings versus a more aggressive strategy to pay down your existing debt. However, there are ways to continue saving during retirement while you pay off your debt.
There's no doubt you want to spend wisely, while making your home the next better version of itself. Here are the five biggest mistakes professionals see homeowners make with their home improvement and renovation projects, to help you avoid them.
We sat down with Jose Pascual, Director of Mortgage and Home Equity Originations of BBVA Compass. He's a lending professional with over 20 years experience in the industry, and has some information that might help the renter make the transition to homeowner—faster than you may think.
There are over 4 million college-level students aged 35 and older in the United States today, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, paying for an advanced degree at this age can be tricky, and if you're not lucky enough to have access to employer-sponsored assistance programs through your job, your mind could be racing. Where is all the money going to come from?
According to Trulia, summer is the hottest season for real estate so if you’re thinking of listing soon, spring is your last opportunity to make those home improvements. If you missed out on winter home repairs, here are a few home maintenance items to tackle as spring puts the spring back in your step.
Thinking like a buyer will help make your home move-in ready for just the right buyer (or maybe even a bevy of bidding buyers). The less work for the buyer, the shorter the time between the viewing and the closing table.
There are solid reasons why some of you shouldn’t sell, even in a seller’s market. I reached out to Mark Zipperer, broker/owner at RE/MAX Edge in Chicago to get the skinny on why many sellers should think “stay put” instead of “sell, sell, sell.”
Can you buy a home with bad credit? Probably. But if you’re thinking that your less-than-stellar credit is nothing more than a minor bump on the road to homeownership, you’re in for a rude awakening. Even a few hiccups in your credit history can make buying a house tricky, but the good news is, you can always work to improve your credit score.
Modern checking accounts make it incredibly simple to access your money. From debit cards to mobile wallets, transactions are as seamless as a swipe or tap. This makes spending easy, but frugal living more challenging. In this tech-savvy age, how can you manage your checking account while being frugal?
Frequent flyer miles aren’t just for travel anymore. Miles can be used for anything from charitable donations to statement credits to cash back on gift cards. This means that savvy folks in pursuit of points want to accumulate frequent flyer miles as quickly and in as many ways possible. Here are some tips to help you maximize and accelerate the points you earn to make your mileage-related perks available faster than ever before.
Fertility conversations tend to fall by the wayside in the gender-diverse communities. How one non-binary person and medical experts are helping and hoping to close the gap between options and knowledge.
Hospice isn't about dying. It's about living to the fullest with the greatest support.
An exploration of issues faced by today's trans youth and the medical professionals who guide their journey.
The changing ways consumers access medical care in the age of technology and diverse choices for wellness.
“Diabetes is a family issue,” says Elizabeth Littlejohn, MD, associate clinical director of the Kovler Diabetes Center at University of Chicago Medicine. “If one child is having prediabetic symptoms or develops type 2 diabetes, there are generally other family members battling the condition as well.”