A Guide to Bank Stress Testing

The economic collapse of 2008 showed how closely connected worldwide financial institutions have become. Affected entities included too big to fail financial houses, all the way down to your local bank.

The combination of the failure of the mortgage backed securities market coupled with a liquidity crisis, nearly brought the worldwide financial system to its knees. This failure cast light on the risk to the world of finance. Because of government sponsored bailouts, the solvency of large institutions came under scrutiny.

Banks are more responsible for ensuring they have enough capital on hand to absorb problems in the credit market. However, the Federal Reserve wants proof and they use stress testing to obtain it.

Stress testing is now mandated by law, and the operative legislation is the Dodd-Frank Act. Dodd-Frank mandates stress testing for all institutions with at least $10 billion in assets. As a practical matter this now applies to nineteen of the largest US financial houses, including Chase and Morgan Stanley.

A stress test is a balance sheet assessment that looks to an institution’s insolvency under hypothetical unfavorable economic conditions. One example supposed a 21% drop in housing prices, a 50% drop in equity prices, and an unemployment rate of 13%. These conditions are unlikely but may be possible, and are similar to what some would call an economic apocalypse.

While many subject to the stress test passed, for others it was very close, or a small amount failed. Needless to say, confidence was shaken among those who choose to invest in the financial industry, despite the many bailouts and increased scrutiny.

What does this mean for your local bank? Community institutions are exempt from stress testing, but that does not mean they have no responsibility. The Comptroller of the Currency has issued guidelines for institutions with less than 10 billion in assets. Among the areas that are being looked at are commercial real estate borrowing and commercial transactions.

Because of the connection between domestic banks and European banks, stress tests are now mandated for overseas institutions. Stress tests are planned for 124 banks across 22 countries.

For your local bank, a regulator will be looking at toxic assets. These are assets that the regulator may believe to be illiquid and inflated in value. These will primarily deal with loans, and will look at the risk associated with those loans. Next, the regulator will look at uninsured mortgage backed securities. The regulator will discount the value of these assets.

These potential losses are totaled and factored into the adverse scenario, and they will be offset against the institution’s ability to earn its way back to health. If passed, business goes on as usual. If failed, the regulator may require additional capital to be raised. If the capital cannot be raised, closure will be the final step.

In order to get a sense of whether your local banking establishment is in trouble, look at the kinds of loans it makes. If it is in the habit of making a lot of unsecured loans, you might have reason to feel uncomfortable.

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Money Laundering and Major Risks

The concept of money laundering is very important to be understood for those working in the financial sector. It is a process by which dirty money is converted into clean money. The sources of the money in actual are criminal and the money is invested in a way that makes it look like clean money and hide the identity of the criminal part of the money earned.

While executing the financial transactions and establishing relationship with the new customers or maintaining existing customers the duty of adopting adequate measures lie on every one who is a part of the organization. The identification of such element in the beginning is easy to deal with instead realizing and encountering such situations later on in the transaction stage. The central bank in any country provides complete guides to AML and CFT to combat such activities. These polices when adopted and exercised by banks religiously provide enough security to the banks to deter such situations.

However if a bank encounters any such situation it encounters the following types of consequences:

Reputational risk

The major risk a bank faces when it finds itself caught in any sort of money laundering is reputational risk. The reputation of the bank goes negative and in turn it might face huge withdrawals. There might me loss of profitable business and many other liquidity issues. The quantum of this risk might cause a bank to confront various investigations costs and penalties. The biggest hurdle a bank has to undergo is the situation of mistrust by the customers which is devastating.

Operational risk

It is another one of the major consequences of money laundering which a financial institution faces. It is a kind of risk which lies in the internal procedures, people and system after they breakdown. It is a risk which is included in the operations of the business. Thus it creates disturbance in the smooth functioning of the organization.

Legal risk

Legal risks are also posed to the organizations due to the uncertainties in the legal actions which might come up for the organization to deal with them. These might include certain charges on the bank, the dealing between the money launderer and the bank etc.

Concentration Risk

This type of risks is majorly pertains to the banking industry and defines the probability to which any bank has lent money to a particular group. The increased lending without proper identification or the realization after encountering money laundering act may cause a bank to suffer loan losses which in turns deteriorate banks standing in the industry.

Opportunity Cost

One of the major consequences a bank faces is the increase in opportunity cost. It is increased in a way that the management finds itself spending its time in managing the damage control which the act of money laundering has caused instead of utilizing that time for other better perspective.

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A New Tool To Address Special Needs

In Washington’s current hyper-partisan climate, a law with strong bipartisan support is worthy of notice. Yet one such law, which had the further distinction of creating a new financial planning option for individuals with disabilities and their families, may have flown under your radar as 2014 wound to a close.

Before Congress finished the year, it passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which President Obama promptly signed. Among other provisions, the act created the brand-new 529A account, sometimes also called a 529 ABLE plan or simply an ABLE account. Like the 529 college savings accounts with which many Americans are already familiar, 529A accounts will provide tax-advantaged benefits. Instead of helping families save for educational expenses, however, 529As will help families support loved ones who have special needs.

Since the law only passed in December, it is too early to say with precision how these accounts will look or how valuable they will be. To some extent, we will have to wait until the accounts are available to the public. Most likely, however, the new accounts will prove useful in at least some situations, even if they are not a perfect fit for everyone.

To qualify for a 529A account, a beneficiary must meet the Social Security definition of disability, which excludes short-term or partial disability. Further, a beneficiary must have developed or been diagnosed with the disability prior to age 26. In practice, the Internal Revenue Service will verify eligibility in one of two ways. First, an individual who qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) before the age threshold will automatically be eligible. If an individual does not receive SSI benefits, he or she may still qualify if a doctor submits a letter to the Treasury secretary certifying that the individual is blind or has a “physical or mental impairment which results in severe functional limitations.” The letter must also confirm that the condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months continuously.

While beneficiary eligibility will be confirmed at the federal level, 529A programs will be state-run. As such, the programs may not roll out rapidly everywhere. Some states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland and California, are already looking into setting up 529A programs; other states may take longer to get started. As with 529 college savings plans, states will be able to impose their own additional rules and conditions when they set up such programs. States may choose to provide tax benefits for contributions, such as tax deductions, but are not required to do so.

Assets in 529As will grow tax-free, and distributions will not be taxed as long as they are used to pay for qualifying expenses. The definition of qualifying expenses for a 529A account is broad. Not only will it cover health and wellness expenses, but also housing, transportation, education, employment training and legal fees. If withdrawals are made to pay for nonqualified expenses, however, they will be taxed at ordinary income rates, plus a 10 percent penalty. The beneficiary, or a person able to make legal and investment decisions on his or her behalf, will make investment choices within the plan’s options, and can alter these elections twice every year. (This is a change from the previous once-a-year limit on existing 529s, and it applies to both 529 college savings accounts and 529A accounts.)

Perhaps most important, assets held in a 529A plan do not disqualify the beneficiary from federal and state aid, such as SSI benefits or Medicaid, as long as the total account balance does not exceed $100,000. This is a significant change, since previously, individuals with more than $2,000 in available assets were disqualified from SSI. In addition, if the 529A account balance exceeds the $100,000 limit, SSI benefits are suspended, but not terminated; if the balance falls below the threshold, SSI benefits resume. Because of this limit, 529A balances will be effectively capped at $100,000 for many beneficiaries.

While a 529A is similar to a 529 college savings account in many ways, there are some important differences in addition to the implied $100,000 funding limit. The 529As will have a yearly contribution limit that matches the federal gift tax exclusion. For 2015, that limit is $14,000 – per beneficiary, not per donor. While friends or relatives can make one-time or recurring contributions to a 529A, the account holder must be the beneficiary, and each beneficiary may hold only one account.

Further, that account must be established with the program offered in the beneficiary’s state of residence. This is a major difference; a 529 college savings account holder often shops around for a plan that offers an appealing mix of tax benefits, investment options and cost-effective administration. A 529A beneficiary will be stuck with his or her state’s plan, even if it does not compare well with those offered in other states. For states that do not offer 529As, an eligible participant may be able to seek out another state’s plan, but only if both states have set up the arrangement in advance. If the beneficiary moves, he or she will need to roll over the account into the new state’s plan.

Importantly, because the account holder must be the beneficiary, family members such as parents or grandparents will lose the option of withdrawing contributions to meet personal needs. Gifts to a 529A will be irrevocable. The accounts will not be eligible for the five-year accelerated gifting provision that applies to 529 college savings accounts, either.

The requirement that the account holder be the beneficiary may prove a complicating factor, since many beneficiaries may be minors or adults with diminished capacity. In cases where the beneficiary is not well-equipped to direct his or her own investments, careful planning will be necessary to make sure that someone with custodianship or power of attorney is positioned to manage the account.

It is also worth noting that one of the appealing features of a 529 college savings account is the ability to change the beneficiary. With 529A accounts, changes in beneficiary to a sibling or step-sibling are permitted, but would presumably necessitate a change in the account’s ownership as well, making it more complicated. This scenario may require regulatory clarification.

The 529A accounts come with one major downside, which may be a dealbreaker in certain situations. Any beneficiaries who receive Medicaid will need to proceed with caution, because the accounts include a provision allowing states to make reimbursement claims on 529A assets that remain unspent at the beneficiary’s death. The beneficiary’s estate must repay any Medicaid benefits received after the account was created out of the remaining account balance. This provision could wipe out a 529A’s balance if a beneficiary dies unexpectedly or 529A assets are not spent down over time.

Before Congress created 529A accounts, the main financial vehicle families used to provide for those with disabilities was the special needs trust. While 529As will fulfill many of the same purposes – most notably preserving state and federal benefits while providing for an individual’s other financial needs – some families may find a trust is still the better option, or may wish to consider a combination.

While a trust lacks some of the benefits of a 529A, it also comes without many of the restrictions. Allowable trust contributions are unlimited, and if structured properly, trust assets will never affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for government benefits. In addition, a 529A can only receive cash contributions, while contributions to a trust may take other forms, including securities, life insurance or tangible property. Trusts also carry the advantage of avoiding the Medicaid payback requirement to which 529A accounts are subject (as long as the trust was not funded with the beneficiary’s own savings). Families who think there may be money left over beyond a beneficiary’s lifetime, or who wish to provide for expenses that would not be considered qualified for 529A spending, may prefer a trust that grants additional security and flexibility.

On the other hand, the tax-exempt growth that 529A accounts offer will be attractive to anyone planning for someone with special needs. In addition, a 529A will almost certainly be simpler and cheaper to set up and administer than a trust, no matter what particulars a state’s plan eventually involves. A properly created special needs trust involves legal fees at the outset, along with ongoing administration expenses. This puts such a solution out of reach for many.

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5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Over the past few years, SEO has evolved faster than the previous decade. And this has made it harder for users to keep up with most recent updates. The launch of Penguin and Panda changed the way things worked in the past. In short, the way Google used to rank website has changed a lot. But if you want to reach your objectives, make sure you avoid some common SEO mistakes.

1. Avoiding RELEVANT CONTENT

In the start, Google said that it would rank websites that have the most relevant content on its first page. This statement is still valid. What has happened is that the search engine has become a lot better at achieving the objectives. In other words, now, Google is in better position to know what is relevant and what is not.

So, what you need to do is offer content that is relevant and avoid content is not relevant to your niche. Of course, the content should be informative and unique.

2. Following Tricks

People have been using many illegal ways of cheating the search engine algorithms for traffic, exposure and backlinks. Some of these tactics can still give you a temporary edge, but they are bad for your blog or website for the long-term.

So, you should avoid using low-quality, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, questionable redirects or cloaking for traffic. It may be tempting to go for these short-cuts, but they will just hurt your ranking, and may even get you banned for good.

3. Overloading your site

It has been a common perception that photos, videos and other graphics make a website more appealing for the viewers. To some extent, this perception is true; however, there should not be too much of it or your website will take ages to load. Your viewers don’t have all day to wait for your site to load. If your blog takes longer to load than other websites, the viewers will just click away. You will not only lose viewers, you will also lose ranking against other websites.

4. Making navigation difficult

Navigation is one of the most important factors for any website. It’s important for both viewers and search engines. Ideally, your viewers should be able to get the desired information from your website in one or two clicks. This may not be an easy task for you. So, what you can do is put important content on the main page of your site. This the users will be able to get what they want more easily.

5. Misunderstanding THE BACKLINK PROCESS

You may not want to be obsessed with obtaining a lot of backlinks. Although you don’t have to have backlinks from authority websites to establish your credibility, it helps a lot. However, what you need to do is try to get backclinks in a nature fashion. But it’s not a good idea to buy backlinks. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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Best Support And Opportunities For All Youth

American youth currently face challenging realities along their way to adulthood. With parents working longer hours and the absence of grandparents and other community adults who used to make up support systems, the intergenerational fabric of community has been frayed. Youth development strategies aim to reweave community fabric in a new way – one that takes the supports and opportunities young people should have, and re-institutes them in the context of young people’s realities today. While many of these realities are harsh ones, we know that young people themselves want to be involved in their communities. The importance of building positive youth/adult partnerships in this process cannot be stressed enough.

The mobilization effort is based on influencing three critical elements: information, attitudes, involvement. The transformation of each of these areas, both in the public and private domains, is a necessary condition for change. For example, in the area of information, the country is currently focused on collecting primarily negative youth information, e.g., teenage births, dropouts, and juvenile arrest rate. Inspiring a 180 degree shift, we need to collect information such as: average number of hours youth participate in after-school activities, computer to youth ratio in non-school hours, and the percentage of youth who hold part-time jobs. The three elements are intertwined, for how information is gathered and communicated impacts attitudes as well as how and if people choose to become involved.

Only through broad community commitment, strong public will, and diverse partnerships can youth development take root, go to scale, and be sustained over time. Ultimately, the mobilization must be supported by partnerships among all of the systems in a community that affect young people (i.e., education, corporations, health care, juvenile justice, religious groups, and recreation). To build these relationships and establish youth development infrastructures to improve developmental paths of adolescents will take at least 10 years.

Localities currently spending their resources on efforts to “fix youth” will need to pool, redirect, and increase their financial commitment to youth development. These additional dollars will ensure all youth equal access to supports and opportunities, especially youth living in economically distressed areas.

Our information on the services young people need, and use, is still hit or miss. Communities do not know what they have or what they need. They usually have no way to tell how well services are being used and what services need to be improved.

Good information is important for youth services for exactly the same reasons it is important for everything else. Accurate, accessible standardized information lets people find the services they need and use them effectively. It lets communities manage, evaluate and improve their services and determine the need for changing them, eliminating them, or developing new ones.

Many national efforts to measure outcomes presently use deficit-driven indicators to assess young people’s condition in society, such as teen pregnancy rates, juvenile crime numbers, and percentages of high school dropouts. Although these measures are important, they do not tell the whole story about young people’s experiences. Measures that reflect positive conditions and experiences of young people are also important.

The accelerated trend of the past decade toward empowering our nation’s young people to succeed has fostered a new awareness and commitment to this most valuable resource. Some basic questions are:

- How much do we currently spend?

- How much should we spend?

Some progress has been made through new initiatives in education finance reform and services integration, providing more effective delivery of social, health and educational services for children and youth from the classroom up to the government. This document establishes an initial framework and formula for assessing the financial resources and mechanisms necessary to move American society closer to this ideal. The following were found to be potential root causes of these trends in spending:

- Devaluation of adolescents.

- Lack of consensus on youth development.

- Lack of adequate and protected funding. Funds are not protected and dedicated in the manner necessary to sustain the long-term, comprehensive process that is youth development.

We can support the move toward the ideal by:

- Seeking new types of information.

- Building on the after-school momentum.

- Making a sustainable public investment.

Youth development is an investment that must be made by each sector of the wider community – public and private. Examination of the federal-state matching, local dedicated taxes an incentives for business and philanthropy could lead to models for providing adequate and sustainable funding for youth development. National intermediaries must work to cultivate this leadership at all levels of government, and at the grassroots, by creating constituencies.

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State Sponsored Retirement Plans Continue to Expand

Several states are taking the lead from California, Oregon and Illinois by offering state-sponsored retirement plans that encourage or require private sector employers to participate.

The plans are referred to as auto-IRAs because eligible workers are automatically enrolled, generally within 30 days of employment. The default contribution rate is typically 3-5% of a paycheck and the employee can stop, restart or transfer plan assets depending on their needs. Referred to as “public-private partnerships” by the Pew Charitable Trust, there is no cost to the employer. Proceeds are managed by a private financial firm management for a pre-determined fee. The plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) like other sponsored pension and benefit plans.

This article provides an overview of the states that currently offer savings programs, as well as those that plan to do so in the future.

OregonSaves

Oregon was one of the first states to implement a savings program for employees of small businesses who are not otherwise eligible for a workplace sponsored pension plan. Titled OregonSaves, it is a state retirement program that is available to an employer or an individual planning for the future.

OregonSaves had almost $57 million in assets as of mid-2020. Employee contributions averaged $127 to $135 per month as of that time.

Enrollment is automatic for employees, with contributions being made through payroll deductions. Each employee account is portable and can be moved from one job to another.

All Oregon employers, regardless of employee size, must facilitate the State’s program for their employees if they do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The plan is working with small employers to make the process as simple as possible.

CalSavers

CalSavers is available to California workers whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement plan, self-employed individuals, and others who want to increase their savings. Plan participants contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that belongs to them.

California employers with more than 50 employees must register with CalSavers by June 30, 2021 if they do not already sponsor a retirement plan. Registration is available to all California employers with at least five employees.

The CalSavers program opened statewide in July 2019 and had $4.3 million in assets as of mid-2020. On average, participating employees contribute $105 to $120 monthly. Like the Oregon plan, the default savings rate is 5% of the employee’s pay and employees are automatically enrolled after 30 days of employment. They can stop, restart or transfer plan participation at any time if they change employers.

CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is designed to simplify employer participation with no employer fees, no fiduciary responsibility, and minimal ongoing responsibilities. Employers that fail to offer participation in the plan as required are subject to fines.

In May 2021, a federal appeals court in San Francisco dismissed a legal challenge to the CalSavers plan.

Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

Illinois launched its Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program in 2018. It is a state-facilitated retirement program that is open to employees who work for an eligible employer as well as other employees who want to enroll independent of their employer. Approximately 32,000 Illinois employees saved $8.5 million in the first year of the Illinois Secure Choice program, according to state reports.

The Illinois Secure Choice account is a Roth IRA for the employee. The default savings rate is 5% of gross pay. Employees are automatically enrolled through payroll contributions after 30 days of employment. An employee can opt out at any time. Plan participants are charged a fee of 0.75% of assets per year ($0.75 for every $100 saved), which pays for program administration and operating expenses.

The Illinois Secure Choice had 5,544 registered employers as of May 2020. There are no fees for employers to facilitate the program and employers cannot make contributions to their employee accounts. Employers serve a limited role as a facilitator. As of November, 2019, employers with 25 or more employees that have been in business for two years or more are required to participate in the program. Employers that already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are exempt from this legislation.

New Jersey Secure Choice Savings

The “New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Act,” was signed into law in March 2019, with a two-year time frame scheduled to take effect in March 2021.

The Act requires employers that have been in business for two years and have 25 or more employees to participate in a retirement savings program administered through automatic payroll deductions. Private sector employees of businesses of any size are able to participate in the retirement savings program. Smaller or newer employers could join voluntarily. Failure to comply will result in fines to the employer.

Employees will be automatically enrolled at the leve of a 3% paycheck contribution. The annual contribution maximum is $6,000 for those under 50 years old, and $7,000 for those 50 or older.

Connecticut Secure Choice Savings Plan

Connecticut employers with five or more employees must offer a retirement plan to employees, and private employers with four or fewer employees may choose to do so. Employees are auto-enrolled within 120 days of employment, and employees must be notified of their rights within 30 days. Employers are not permitted to make contributions to the program.

The Connecticut Retirement Security Authority, a quasi-public agency, was formed in 2016 to oversee the program. The state estimates that as many as 600,000 employees may benefit from the plan.

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How This One Thing Can Destroy a Client Relationship

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #18

Why being mindful of clients’ perspectives can keep them supporting your business

We all have them.

Days when everything pisses us off.

In fact, I doubt there’s a human being on this planet who hasn’t been in a bad mood every now and then.

I know I sure have my fair share of them!

And for a variety of reasons too.

But there’s one thing we business owners have an unwritten rule about (well probably it’s written somewhere by someone) is that no matter what, we don’t bring our bad mood with us when communicating with clients.

Would you agree with that fundamental principle?

But how many times have you, as a client or customer, been on the receiving end of someone’s bad mood?

It happened to me recently and that single instance literally destroyed a 30 year working relationship.

I had a hair appointment with the same gal that I’ve been seeing for decades. She works out of her home and lives about 25 minutes away from me.

I know exactly how long it takes for me to get to her place and am typically on time, every time.

Except the last two appointments.

The time previous to this last visit, I had an emergency come up just before heading out the door. It was something I had to take care of or faced dire consequences (as in having a very angry client on my hands!)

It meant I was going to be about 5 minutes late for my appointment. I texted her when I was leaving stating I was hurrying over and will be a few minutes late.

She didn’t reply and never said anything when I got there. We had our usual girl talk that I very much looked forward to.

This recent time I needed to do a quick errand before my appointment. I completely misjudged how much time it would take me to get from that other location to my stylist’s place. Plus… I got lost finding my way there since I was coming from a different direction.

I didn’t want to risk taking any time to stop and text her and honestly thought I was just a minute away… except it was more like 15 minutes before I finally got there.

I’ve never been 15 minutes late for anything and I felt terrible. I apologized profusely but unfortunately, she wouldn’t hear any of it.

She was pissed.

So angry in fact, she first lectured me on “always” being late, citing my text from the previous appointment, and that she was sick and tired of constantly hearing, “sorry I’m late” as if I’m the only one that says that every time I walk into her room.

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian. We apologize for everything, even if we’re 1 minute late!

Stunned at how mad she was, especially knowing I was the last appointment of the day, I apologized again and tried to explain why I was late and even offered to leave with my hair wet to make up for the lateness so we would still end in time.

I didn’t know what else to do to rectify my error.

She was so angry, she gave me the silent treatment and only grunted her “hold your head here” and “move to the sink” commands throughout the entire time there.

I did leave with wet hair, 15 minutes earlier than what our appointment time would have ended at had I been on time, vowing to never return again.

I fully realize I was the catalyst that set off her anger, and I also realize she had to have been having one helluva a bad day before I arrived, and I got the brunt of her wrath.

I get it.

But as a customer, a loyal one for 30 years at that, there’s no excuse whatsoever to be treated like that.

Never.

When I have bad days like what she must have experienced, I set aside whatever is going on and treat anyone who I speak with that day, whether it’s one of our team members, a client, a lead or even chatting on social media, with the utmost respect and kindness.

Even if they are the reason for my having a bad day.

It serves no purpose whatsoever to make the other person feel worse than what I am feeling.

I found this experience to be so distressing, I posted about it on Facebook.

I received a variety of responses, ranging from my owing her an apology (which I did) to justifying why she blew up, right over to demanding I fire her on the spot (which I ended up doing).

These kinds of responses go to show how we are all human and all look at experiences from our own lens and past history.

For me, I was taken straight back to elementary school when I was the victim of bullying quite a bit. A feeling I never want to experience again!

For others, they empathized with her where time is very important to them and get angry themselves when someone disrespects it. (I’m actually the same way – being punctual is a huge deal for me.)

One thing I have done as a result of this experience is to find the lesson behind it all. For one, I will definitely plan my time better and ensure I give myself enough time to do what needs to be done in time!

I also learned just how fragile our relationships can be.

She lost a client of 30 years – and I lost any further opportunities to visit with someone I’ve known a long time to get some of the much valued girl time I look forward to with each visit.

It doesn’t take much to destroy a 30 year working relationship.

Yes I realize I could reach out and try to mend the fences but I am choosing not to. At least not right now.

At the end of the day, this lesson goes to show how important it is for us all to keep our anger in check. To realize our anger is being received by the other person, and be aware of how they are receiving it with their own personal response. They won’t always understand where you are coming from because they’re looking at things from a different perspective.

So what do we do when we’re having a bad day and business must go on?

If you ever find yourself feeling angry, whether justified or not, here’s eight tips on what you can do to avoid creating irreparable situations with your clients:

Exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, box with a punching bag. Whatever works for you to do some venting.
Meditate. Or just sit quietly and practice deep breathing.
Yoga. Nothing is better at centering our emotions and getting back in touch with our bodies than practicing yoga.
Watch a funny show or listen to a positive podcast. It’s amazing how quickly your anger can turn around when you’re laughing or receiving positive energy from someone else!
Use the anger as motivation. If you can control the scenario that’s causing your anger, then you can do something about it!
Focus on something more positive. A great thing to do here is think of something you are grateful for and focus on why you’re so grateful about it. Putting yourself in a state of gratefulness will trigger those happy endorphins and will get you out of that pissy mood fast.
Get productive. Feeling on purpose can be quite energizing. If you have something that’s calling your name, get busy and shift your attention to that.
Write in a journal. A great way to release that negative vibe from your body is to write it out. Keep writing until you’ve vented everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s not the same thing that got you angry in the first place – just let it all out!

I’m curious if you have ever experienced someone either getting angry with you in a business relationship or did you lose your cool and get angry with a client or service provider? How did it turn out? What lesson did you learn? And do you have any other tips on how to let go of anger to share?

To your business success,

Susan

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

READ: Learn effective communication principles from an expert. This book from communications specialist Yvonne Douma is a must-read. It will be available on June 8th but you can get yourself on her notification list and grab some great bonuses if you purchase on launch day: REFRAME: How to Change Your Conversations to Resolve Those Messy Conflicts.
WATCH: Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of customer service from another company and vowed to never do business with them again? And most certainly never told anyone else about them? This is why customer service is so vital to business success as I explain in this eTip episode on why it’s the primary reason we have such a high referral rate: How Great Customer Service Gets You Business Referrals (on our website)
READ: I guess all of us have been on the receiving end of a situation where we are not satisfied with customer service. But how do you respond? Read this great piece from Kindi Gill who shares excellent insights on managing difficult client situations: Five Tips for Managing Customer Complaints (on our website)

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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Custom CMS Development Services With Amazing Features

An impressive, informative, user-friendly and search-Engine friendly website is the key to success in today’s competitive world. You need to focus on each and every part of website design or web development – mainly the right one that you can manage easily without any assistance from professionals. If you are looking for such development platforms, where you can upload image or content without any command over specific language or technology, custom CMS development is the right platform for you – designed and developed on WordPress to provide you seamless web design experience.

Because of having endless possibilities for integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website or apps, WordPress is counted as the right custom CMS development platform. However, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore are other options to choose – mainly to get optimized workflow.

WordPress CMS Development Services by Experienced Professionals

WP CMS development services are offered by experts from a recognized web application and software development company. It is based on innovations, adding new frameworks, Plugins and customizing themes to transform your web presence. Professionals use this platform to make necessary changes, adding real time information pop-ups, Live Twitter Feed and updating module. They deliver high-performance web solutions that you need for a better standing. They help you with a seamless CMS installation and configuration; while you will get a gamut of solutions – from installation to configuration like:

WordPress Design & Development
WordPress Websites & Blog Setup
Free & Paid WordPress Theme Configurations
Web Forms, Email Notification and different automation

You will get complete solutions from WordPress theme development to WordPress Plugin Development and WordPress Migration and Maintenance Services. They also provide you with API Integration and module management.

Custom CMS Development Services with Customizable Features and Modules

Because of endless possibilities of integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website applications, custom CMS development services have become the most vital need amid developers and programmers to develop websites with amazing customizable features. Professionals, who are offering you such services, help you integrate your CMS by following a few simple steps. Professional developers, who are offering you custom CMS development services, implement customizable features, modules, plugins and extensions within existing CMS platform like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore to optimize workflow.

Racketail Offers Custom CMS Development Services

If you are looking for custom CMS development services, you will get precise solutions from Racketail – offering cutting-edge enterprise CMS development and Open-Source solutions – developed from scratch and implemented within your existing workflows through custom feature integrations. Racketail’s custom CMS solutions are SEO-friendly and success-driven that is designed to incorporate with existing content management system – mainly to enhance and lift up your website, application, social media network and e-commerce store or blog.

From experts at Racketail, you will get flexible and customizable CMS solution with integrated features, modules, themes, plugins and extensions. Their service process will help you to enhance existing solutions and to create a brand new custom-tailored system – enabling effective content and workflow management. Racketail offers you enterprise CMS solutions and Secure CMS solutions too.

Experienced professionals at this leading web and app Development Company can develop new Open-Source CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla; while integrating customizable features and modifications within your existing platform – mainly to provide you with added functionality, interoperability and workflow efficiency.

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What a Rank Tracker Can Do for You

If you can find a tracker that can be customized, the better. You may need to track your position ranking globally or even locally so as to make some decisions. You can also monitor universal listings and map listings, and even the rank of your competitors very easily. You would be better placed when you choose a tracker that gives you unlimited access.

Geo-specific kind of rankings

There are trackers that can give you Geo-specific rankings even if not in the area you reside in. A tool, which is able to track the positions accurately regardless of what you choose, is, ideal, as it will give you so much more than bargained for.

The keyword tools

The best trackers make it possible to have all research tools in the same place. When the sources are used together, they can come up with the wide range of keywords that you may not have been able to find anywhere else. When new keyword ideas come up, they are automatically grouped according to the topics. You can analyze and to target whole keyword groups without the need to go through all the terms.

Reinvention of keyword analysis

Apart from finding many keywords that you can use, you will be able to pick the very best ones and give them the priority they need for the targeted audience. A rank tracker can also calculate the difficulty of a keyword. All SEO strengths are assessed and compared to your competitors. This helps you pick keywords that stand out and definitely attract traffic.

Custom reports

The best trackers have customizable reports and they are designed to support different devices. Sharing such reports should be easy and they should be easy to upload. You can even automate some trackers where you set up some tasks for a scheduled time and the tracker will come up with reports and have them delivered to the clients as an attachment or a direct link.

Why you should use trackers

Keyword trackers are important in today’s marketing which is mainly done online. A good tracker is able to give the most accurate ranking information as well as intelligence. This means that you will receive some very clean reports that are very easy to customize including the data which is relevant to every client.

You should choose a fast rank tracker. It is always so frustrating to have to wait for a long time for the tracker to load and give results from different search engines.

What to do after you get the ranking results

After you have done the keyword research successfully and you have a list of the best keywords in hand, you should start tracking the site’s rankings. Even though it seems easy, some preparations need to be done so as to ensure that you do not track the correct things and in the correct manner.

You need to select the target search engines, specify the location, choose landing pages, set up the tracking for universal results, add competitors, and the preferences. When this is done, rank tracking becomes very easy.

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