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Does your business take you places? Whether you work remotely or you’re on the road often, here are five tips to better manage operations from anywhere.

• Treat yourself: When traveling for business, it’s important to arrive at your destination energized and ready to meet clients, investors, and partners. With that said, it’s worthwhile to consider strategies for streamlining the logistics of getting from point A to point B. For example, you may want to apply for TSA PreCheck, a convenience that comes at a cost, but one that can save you significant hassle at the airport. Or, if you frequently hit the road, consider acquiring an electronic toll collection pass for the highways and byways you use most often. This can save you money and help you avoid time-consuming bottlenecks.

• Lean on new tech: Whenever you’re away from your home base, it’s especially important to keep a finger on the heartbeat of your company. New technology can help. For example, Motiv powered by Eturi Corp., is the world’s first mobile app delivering productivity metrics to CEOs, managers, and leaders. The app features analytics in concise graphs that collectively function as a virtual corner office vantage point. This can help to smooth out communication and collaboration and give you insights into whether your team is running efficiently. Easily adopted by small- and medium-sized businesses, which have been underserved by existing productivity solutions, Motiv is available through the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. To learn more, visit motivapp.com.

• Maintain your “open door” policy: The same open-door approach to management that works when you and your team are sharing a physical space can be virtually replicated when you’re on the go or otherwise away from your staff. Make sure key members of your team know how and when they can best reach you.

• Stay connected: Most business owners can’t afford to go off the grid for too long. When you’re on the go, be sure to bring chargers for all your devices, a battery pack, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. This way, you leave nothing to chance.

• Schedule your social: If social media plays a big role in your customer engagement or marketing strategy, be sure to schedule your social media posts when you know you’re going to be out-of-pocket for a long stretch. Using a social media dashboard like Hootsuite, you can set it and forget it.

If you’re like many business owners today, you’re regularly on the go. Be sure to take advantage of the latest tools and strategies to avoid the most common bumps and snags that can occur with remote management.


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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Saklakova / iStock via Getty Images Plus

More than a year into the pandemic, the “open” sign in countless online and retail storefronts has evolved into a universal symbol of the grit of small businesses. Tenacious entrepreneurs nationwide made a way to stay open in spite of all the obstacles.

As part of an effort to amplify these inspiring stories, Wells Fargo has commissioned three artists to design custom “open” signs for businesses that persevered and is also pointing entrepreneurs to resources that can help.

Dedicated to showcasing women and diverse voices, illustrator and graphic designer Sophia Yeshi is paired with Roxtography, a woman-owned business based near the Colville Reservation, outside of Seattle. Owner Roxanne Best shifted from in-person yoga and photography classes to outdoor stand-up paddleboarding classes and photography that embodies her love of nature.

Precision Productions, a new rental music studio, was just about to open its doors when the pandemic hit. Optimistic owner Kasey Phillips, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago, pivoted to a hybrid in-person and virtual studio model, never wavering from his plan to expand the music scene and own his first studio. Taking cues from music while paying homage to Phillips’s Caribbean roots, Korean-born illustrator Deborah Lee, known for her use of bold, vivid colors, is interpreting how Precision Productions made a way to stay open.

“As an artist, it was rewarding to support not just a small business that stayed open in tough economic conditions, but one that’s a platform for creativity,” says Lee.

Writer, illustrator, visual artist, and community organizer Gabriela Alemán has a passion for helping combat food insecurity. With her comics and pop art aesthetic, she’s working to bring the mission of PREP Atlanta to life, which focuses on offering diverse food truck owners and caterers access to a commercial kitchen. During the pandemic, PREP Atlanta was a venue for keeping the city’s restaurant and food industry afloat, including for many Black-owned businesses. Aleman will combine her art with a shared dedication to feeding the community as she depicts PREP Atlanta’s grit.

This project comes on the heels of the July 2020 announcement of the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort providing grants to nonprofits that serve small business owners. The fund was created by donating all gross processing fees from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans made in 2020. The company has also committed not to make a profit from the second round of PPP. Overall, the Open for Business Fund is expected to translate into roughly $1 billion in available financing and 7.5 million hours of technical assistance for small business owners, helping them close the gap on rent, utilities, and employee pay while accessing expertise to adapt for the future.

To learn more about available support or to download an artistic “Open” sign, entrepreneurs can visit wellsfargo.com/together.

“Today ‘open’ signs represent much more than they used to, embodying the ingenuity required to pivot in this ever-evolving economy,” says Jenny Flores, head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “We are inspired every day by small business owners pushing through these tough times, particularly those who have been hard hit. This effort aims to shine a light on stories of resilience so entrepreneurs can learn from each other and seek the resources needed to keep their dreams alive.”


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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Gabriela Alemán

This year more than most, people want to go on adventures and enjoy all life has to offer. Use these tech tools to help you explore and enjoy the long summer days:

• Pool party jams: Who says electronics and water don’t mix? Get yourself a set of floating speakers and bring the music directly to you and your friends while you’re in the water. Whether you’re pumping up the jams at a pool party or taking a dip in a lake, speakers that are designed to withstand full immersion can be a game-changer for all your water-based recreation.

• Outdoor bound: For outdoor enthusiasts of all levels, great wearable tech can support future undertakings. To that end, consider the timepiece of choice for climbers, hikers, campers, and other adventurers: ProTrek, which combines innovative technology and design. Among the models in the line-up is the PRT-B50, a hiking watch with Bluetooth capabilities, enabling data communication with a smartphone. Plus, Quad Sensor technology provides altitude, barometer and temperature measurements, a compass, as well as an accelerometer to track steps. Calculating calories burned by taking both steps and altitude into consideration, this information is recorded by the PRO TREK Connected app. The app also automatically records altitude data and GPS so you can manually plot altitude points using its Route Log feature. And for those wanting that perfect photo opp, the watch acquires latitude and longitude information used to calculate local sunrise and sunset times.

• The world is your workplace: You don’t need to wait until your day off to make the most of the world around you. Expand what the concept of the “remote workplace” means to you. With a pocket-sized travel router, create a safe and secure Wi-Fi hot spot anywhere. Pair it with a good set of noise-canceling headphones that have a high-quality microphone and you’re all set for those on-the-go Zoom meetings too.

• Sounds of summer: Need to practice the piano? There’s no longer a need to be stuck inside during gorgeous summer days. Take a portable, versatile keyboard on adventures through the woods, to the beach, or into the park. The lightweight, portable Casiotone CT-S1, for example, includes strap pins so you can tote it along with you on adventures and jam anywhere you see fit. Aside from its 61 full-size keys with touch response, it packs 61 sounds onboard, including a stereo German grand piano. When inspiration strikes, the one-button recorder allows you to capture ideas on the fly. Finally, it features a class-compliant USB-MIDI port for MIDI playback via the free Chordana App. Just add a strap and batteries, and set out for summer fun.

• Road tripping: Become a savvy traveler with The Outbound app. This free app offers up-to-date information on attractions specific to your location, as well as travel tips and stories you can use to plan future trips.

With the right gear, tools, and tech, having more adventures and making the most of them is simple.



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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) monkeybusinessimages / iStock via Getty Images Plus

With life returning to normal and summer upon us, it’s a good time to focus on creating an outdoor space to enjoy on warm summer evenings. Whether it’s a place for unplugging and relaxing alone or gathering with guests and entertaining, having a spot that you can enjoy well into the fall is key. Below are six tips for turning an average patio, porch, or deck into an outdoor oasis.

  1. Whether you use your outdoor space for reading a book on a summer day or catching up with friends on a warm night, incorporating plants into this area can create a barrier to privacy. Plant bushes, place large planters in corners, or put hanging baskets on hooks around the perimeter. For small patios, you may even consider building a planter wall. Not only will it help with privacy, but it will also add color and dimension, making space feel like a sanctuary for you and your guests.
  2. Add string lights overhead to create ambiance in your space at night. Duck Max Strength Nano-Grab is a versatile double-sided tape you can use for mounting. It’s clear, holds up to 20 pounds per 5-foot roll, and sticks to painted drywall, wood, glass, tile, metal, stone, and brick without leaving a residue. Nano-Grab will keep your lights secure and in place and make it easy to take them down and store them for winter.
  3. If you are sticking with the rest and relaxation vibe in your outdoor oasis, think about adding a fountain or other small water feature for relaxing background noise. Keep that sense of zen going into the night with a fire pit, heaters, or bamboo torches for warmth on cooler evenings.
  4. For those interested in entertaining guests, you may want to mount an outdoor TV for watching summer ball games or a sound system for listening to background music. You’ll want to ensure this equipment is properly installed for outdoor use in areas safe from wind and rain.
  5. Creating an outdoor dining area doesn’t have to break the bank. When entertaining guests, a beverage cooler, bar cart, and BBQ station are convenient additions you can make to what already exists on your patio. Building a cart or station for storing paper towels, tin foil and other essentials for the grill master can be a fun DIY project, too.
  6. Having an amazing space doesn’t always mean starting from scratch – you can simply add a fresh coat of paint in a bright color palette to update existing privacy walls or tables and chairs. All you need is a can of paint and a roll of FrogTape brand painter’s tape to keep lines crisp and clean. As for color, you may be tempted to keep it neutral, but don’t shy away from crisp blues and soft yellows. They will give a fresh and fun feel for all your summer entertaining.

For additional tips and uses for Nano-Grab, visit duckbrand.com.

With just a few simple tweaks, you can transform any outdoor area into a beautiful oasis ideal for rest, relaxation, and fun.


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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Jamie Hooper / Shutterstock.com

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