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How Uber Has Impacted The Business World

How Uber Has Impacted The Business World

Uber is more than an alternative to a taxi service. It introduced the world to the feasibility of a new method of doing business, and about how a person can work within the world on their own terms. It has shifted a paradigm in a highly unexpected way, and the full impact of its presence may not be known for some time.

With that in mind, there are certain key points that have already become notable in the business landscape and are brought to the forefront by companies like Uber. Here is an exploration of how Uber has already impacted the world we live in, and one prediction of what may be possible for the future.

A Great App Is The Key

People are inundated with new apps on a daily basis through their app store of preference, so most users have learned to tell the difference between an excellent piece of software and a piece of rubbish. Part of Uber’s success is in the design of the app, with some users turning to Uber for rides multiple times a day. If the experience was more frustrating, users would have abandoned the platform for something new. Its popularity supports its solid design.

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That being said, Uber offers a service that people can use as well. Even the flashiest app won’t convince the masses to pay for something they don’t need…or, at least, not for long.

On the other side, a poorly made app may be a company’s downfall. Expectations regarding what can be accomplished in this area have skyrocketed, and customers are willing to abandon a loser when they see one. If you are looking to stay connected to your clients while they are on the go, you cannot afford to neglect your app. It just is not something you can ignore.

You Don’t Have to Own Anything to Win in Business

Uber does not own a single vehicle. Not one car, one truck, or one SUV. Uber serves as a platform for connecting those that do have vehicles with people who need rides, and that is basically it. The trick is, it does it well. The app allows drivers and riders to connect quickly, providing a precise time of arrival for each party. It also handles the financial side of the transaction, ensuring that payments are processed properly (for a small fee, or course).

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While a large company without any actual offerings may bring about memories of the “dot com” era of the 90s, Uber has found a way to make that work by offering the kind of service people didn’t realise was missing from their lives until it took the marketplace by storm.

With Clear Requirements, You Only Need to Provide Minimal Oversight

Uber driver requirements may be considered basic, but they are clear. Additionally, drivers set their own schedules, completely removing the need to manage the idiosyncrasies that come with having actual employees.

While the concept of connecting contractors, freelancers, or other forms of the self-employed is nothing new, this is another area where Uber takes the kinds of precautions necessary to provide everyone with a minimum level of security without having actually to hire drivers themselves.

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You Don’t Even Have to Explain Your Pricing in Entirety

While Uber does explain how its base rates are applied, allowing a person to estimate the cost of their ride, it does not fully explain the concept of “surge” pricing beyond the basics of supply and demand. Granted, Uber was chastised for charging higher rates during a blizzard based on this price model (and has since vowed not to take advantage of natural disasters), it has left its formula intact for predictable surges, such as after a large sporting event.

The Prediction: Uber May Help Determine the Success of Self-Driving Cars

If you want to see an example of a company that could seriously profit from the self-driving car, Uber would be one of them. While this would mean they would need to acquire the vehicles as business assets, it does help eliminate the costs associated with paying a driver.

Instead of only taking a cut of the fee for managing the transaction, Uber could keep the fee in its entirety. Depending on the selling price of the self-driving car, the math could actually work out in Uber’s favour as it will be able to maintain an entire fleet that does not have to sleep to keep an appropriate level of safety on the road.

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While this won’t be the only factor of the self-driving cars success (the general public would also have to be comfortable with the idea of using them), Uber could certainly make them feel more mainstream…and isn’t that half the battle for introducing new technology in the first place?

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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