These days, social media isn’t just a fun pastime; it’s a vital tool that links us to friends, family, like-minded folks, and vibrant online communities. However, it is important to recognize that not everyone has equal access to these platforms. Some individuals may face barriers due to disabilities or limited technological resources.
Many have spoken up and their voices have been heard. Advocates for a more inclusive and varied digital environment have pushed for features that allow people with disabilities to access and engage with social media platforms more easily. These features and new assistive technology supports allow everyone to engage in conversations, tell their stories, and form connections with others in ways that were previously unattainable.
Understanding the Impact
In today’s digital landscape, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting us to a vast network of individuals and communities. However, for millions of people around the globe, the digital realm can be rife with obstacles. According to a report by the World Bank, an estimated 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. In the context of social media, this equates to a substantial number of individuals who may encounter challenges when navigating online platforms.
These challenges include inaccessible content and user interfaces, as well as limited support for assistive technology. As a result, there is a growing need for social media platforms to prioritize accessibility and ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate in the digital conversation. By prioritizing accessibility, social media platforms and content creators can create a more inclusive and diverse online community. This not only benefits individuals with disabilities but also promotes equal opportunities for participation and engagement for all users. Additionally, making social media platforms user-friendly can also lead to increased user engagement and satisfaction, as it allows a wider range of individuals to connect and share ideas.
Embracing Accessibility: A Paradigm Shift
Social media accessibility is more than just following the law; it’s about adopting a different perspective that sees accessibility as a means of achieving diversity and inclusion rather than merely a legal obligation. According to a study done by the Global Disability RightsNow campaign, 71% of people with disabilities will instantly exit a website if it is not accessible. This data emphasizes how important accessibility is to draw in and keep online viewers.
In addition, making social media platforms accessible also enhances the overall user experience for everyone. By incorporating accessibility features such as alt text for images and closed captions for videos, social media platforms can ensure that all users, can fully engage with and interact with the content.
For example, adding alt text to images allows individuals with visual impairments to understand the content of the image through screen reader technology. This inclusive approach not only fosters a more diverse and inclusive online community, but also opens new opportunities for businesses and organizations to reach a wider audience.
Adding closed captioning to stories, Reels & TikToks helps users who are hard of hearing, or who have difficulty processing auditory content. It also may help some users enjoy content while they are in a busy environment.
ACCESSIBILITY TIP: Always check the captions before posting, as this fairly new technology is not without flaws. Taking an extra couple of minutes to edit any misrepresented words may drastically improve a user’s experience.
As a business, you can also improve social media experiences by ensuring graphics with text offer clear, legible, large text. Laying text over a picture without a background to separate the two makes it difficult to read for some users.
Benefits of Social Media Accessibility for Business
By making social media platforms accessible, businesses and organizations can reach a wider audience and tap into new markets. They can also demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and diversity, which can enhance their reputation and brand image.
Additionally, accessible social media platforms can facilitate better communication and engagement with customers or stakeholders with disabilities, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Over to You
The journey toward social media accessibility is not just a technologically driven endeavour; it is a testament to our capacity for empathy, understanding, and progress. As we navigate the digital sphere, let us remember that by embracing accessibility, we are building a future where everyone, regardless of ability, can partake in the vibrant tapestry of online interactions. In doing so, we foster a sense of belonging, collaboration, and empowerment that enriches the digital landscape for all.
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger
Our CEO, Karen Try, recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with Mike Randall with Nour Insurance Services. Mike and Karen’s conversation centered around one of his products, Key Partner Insurance for business owners (sometimes referred to as “Key Man” Insurance).
Getting to Know Mike Randall
Since 2003, Mike has been a trusted advisor, offering solutions to individuals, business owners, professionals, and their families. With over 20 years of experience in insurance, investments, and business financing with reputable institutions such as London Life, Scotiabank, BMO Bank of Montreal, and IG Wealth Management, Mike brings a wealth of knowledge. Rooted in his entrepreneurial background, Mike, a former Financial Consultant and Relationship Manager, understands the entrepreneur mindset, allowing him to serve his clients effectively. His business principles revolve around building strong relationships and delivering exceptional client service, focusing on life insurance, business insurance, cashflow management, and investment tax and estate planning strategies.
Mike applies an integrated approach to create personalized and successful programs aligned with each client’s goals. He values client relationships as true partnerships, ensuring integrity and care at the core of his services. Beyond his professional life, Mike, a London, Ontario native, enjoys golf and actively volunteers as a parent head coach for the local high school varsity baseball team, where his son attends school.
We would like to note that while Mike has been gracious to share his expertise with us, he encourages you to discuss any tax related matters specific to your business with your Accountant.
Q&A with Mike Randall
Q: Mike, could you tell us about the insurance solutions you offer for businesses, families, and individuals?
Mike Randall: Certainly! As an Insurance Agent at Nour Insurance Services, I provide a range of insurance solutions, including term, whole life, universal life, critical illness, and disability insurances. For businesses, we offer protection plans such as disability, key partner, and other business insurances. Additionally, we specialize in tax-efficient corporate wealth transfer plans and provide Group Benefits for employers.
Q: One interesting aspect you mentioned is key person life insurance for business owners. Can you explain how this type of insurance works?
Mike Randall: Absolutely. Key person insurance is designed to financially support a business in the event of the death of a crucial individual, whether it is a company owner, partner, or indispensable employee. The policy is owned by the business, and the company pays the premiums. The benefit is triggered upon the death or disability of the key person, providing funds to ensure business continuity.
Q: When should a business consider a key person insurance policy?
Mike Randall: Businesses often consider key person insurance when applying for a loan or financing, as it may be required by lenders. Other situations include businesses named after key individuals, where the loss could jeopardize the company. Partnerships may use it as part of a buy-sell agreement, and sole proprietors may utilize it to provide heirs with an insurance payout to close the business and pay off debts.
Q: Determining the coverage amount seems crucial. How can a business decide on the right coverage for key person insurance?
Mike Randall: It’s essential to consider a range of factors, such as the cost of finding and recruiting a replacement, operational disruption, lost sales, and the impact on the company’s finances. While there is no magic formula, a starting point is adding the person’s salary to their direct financial contribution to the company’s bottom line, then multiplying the result by at least 5.
Q: You also mentioned the type of policy matters. Could you elaborate on whether a term or permanent life policy is more suitable?
Mike Randall: Certainly. Term life insurance is more affordable but temporary, while permanent life insurance has higher premiums but provides additional benefits. Whole life insurance offers a guaranteed premium with accumulating cash value, while universal life insurance provides flexibility and potential market investments. The choice depends on factors like ownership and long-term goals.
Q: What are the tax implications of key person insurance?
Mike Randall: Premiums are generally not tax-deductible, but the cash value in a permanent policy is tax-deferred. Small businesses can borrow against the policy without causing a taxable event. Depending on policy details, the death benefit may not be taxable either.
Q: Finally, how does key person insurance fit into the broader picture of protecting and strengthening a business?
Mike Randall: Key person insurance is just one way life insurance can safeguard a business. Collaborating with financial professionals helps assess complex needs and tailor solutions for immediate requirements and long-term goals.
Thank you, Mike, for shedding light on key person insurance and its importance for business owners!
If you have additional questions, you can contact Mike directly at 519-872-5705, or by email at email@example.com.
Feel free to visit his LinkedIn profile:
Imagine this: you are overwhelmed with invoices, multi-tasking through emails, and attempting to craft an engaging Instagram caption that won’t be lost in the algorithm. Suddenly, an amazing opportunity presents itself, promising engagement, growth, and a way out of the social media grind. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? But before clicking on that “buy now” button, let’s determine if these Instagram AI tools are truly the solution to your small business challenges.
When considering any new tool or technology, it is essential to thoroughly understand its features and limitations before deciding to buy or use it. Businesses should identify the specific areas that Instagram AI tools can improve, such as automated posting, targeted audience reach, or analytical tracking. It is also important to evaluate your budget and determine if these tools align with the overall marketing strategy.
AI’s Impact on Engagement and Growth
According to recent statistics, AI presents the potential for Instagram enhancements that can considerably help businesses. Take a look at these numbers:
- 80% of Instagram users engage with AI-powered content. (Source: Sprout Social)
- AI-driven hashtag research boosts post reach by 30%. (Source: Social Pilot)
- Scheduling tools save you six hours per week. (Source: Hootsuite)
- Instagram ads powered by AI see 20% higher conversion rates. (Source: Meta for Business)
- Using AI-generated captions can increase comments by 15%. (Source: Later)
AI Resources for Small Business
Let’s examine some popular AI solutions for Instagram and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Jasper.ai (formerly Jarvis): Jasper AI can generate inventive hooks, product descriptions, and even hashtags for your Instagram posts.
Pros: Saves time; combats writer’s block; generates catchy copy.
Cons: Requires fine-tuning to match your brand voice and can occasionally produce generic content.
Canva: AI-powered features like photo resizing and background removal make it a one-stop shop for visual storytelling.
Pros: User-friendly interface; diverse visual content; AI simplifies design tasks.
Cons: Limited free plan and a learning curve for complex designs.
Tailwind: Tailwind schedules posts, suggests hashtags, and even analyzes competitors’ strategies.
Pros: Smart scheduling; competitor analysis; hashtag optimization.
Cons: Free plan limitations; some features can feel overwhelming.
Predis.ai: Predis suggests responses to comments, automates direct messages, and even identifies potential brand ambassadors.
Pros: Automates engagement; identifies valuable followers; saves time overall.
Cons: Can feel robotic if overused; limited free plan.
- Before committing to a paid subscription, try out free trials and demos first. Most tools provide a taste of their AI magic so that you can make an informed decision.
- Define your objectives and identify your target audience. Doing this will help you choose the most suitable AI tool for your Instagram journey.
- Experiment! Not every tool will fit your needs perfectly. Explore different options to find the AI tools that resonate with your workflow.
Using AI: Challenges and Considerations
AI has great marketing potential for Instagram but misusing it can damage your brand’s voice. Choose AI tools carefully and avoid quick fixes for success. Instead, focus on genuine engagement and organic growth for a sustainable Instagram account. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Over-reliance on AI can lead to robotic and impersonal content. Incorporate your brand’s voice and personality to make your content stand out!
- Not all AI tools are created equal. Do your research and choose tools that align with your needs and budget.
- Be mindful of Instagram’s policies on automation. Avoid tools that promise fake followers or engagement.
Over to You!
AI is a powerful tool, but it is not a magic wand. Use it strategically and prioritize authenticity while always maintaining your brand’s voice. With the right AI companion, you can streamline your workflow, boost engagement, and watch your Instagram presence flourish.
Are you ready to up your Instagram game and take your small business to new heights? Which AI tool sounds like the best one for you?
When you’re ready to outsource your social media management, we have a great team at MYOB, ready to work with you!
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger
The holiday season is filled with joy, celebration, and relaxation. However, it can also be a time of increased stress and pressure for many businesses and their staff. With vacations, family obligations, and year-end deadlines during flu season, the holidays can take a toll on employees.
As a leader or manager, supporting and caring for your staff during this time of year is crucial. Ensuring your team feels supported and valued during the holiday season can significantly boost morale and productivity into the new year and beyond!
Here are some ways you can offer the support your staff will appreciate this time of the year.
#1. Discuss taking time off sooner rather than later.
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, including your staff, who may have personal commitments that require them to take time off. As a result, it is a good idea to discuss time-off policies and expectations with them in advance of the holiday season. This allows everyone to plan their holidays and manage their workload accordingly. By giving them ample notice, they can make arrangements to ensure their work is taken care of while they are away. Being open and understanding about their time-off needs also helps foster a sense of trust and transparency in the workplace.
It is also important to consider the impact of time-off requests on other team members. It is essential to have clear communication regarding how their absence will affect the team’s deadlines and projects. This can prevent any last-minute stress or confusion and help distribute the workload evenly among the remaining staff members.
It would also be beneficial to set a deadline for when time-off requests must be submitted in advance so that the schedule can be adjusted accordingly. It is important to remember that maintaining a balance between employee needs and business needs is crucial to a successful and harmonious holiday season for everyone.
#2. Provide mental health support.
The holiday season can bring up a whole range of emotions for your staff. While some may be looking forward to spending quality time with their loved ones, others may be dreading uncomfortable family gatherings, or struggling with grief, financial stress, or feelings of loneliness. As a manager, it is crucial to recognize the impact of these emotions on your staff’s mental health and well-being. Encourage open communication and provide access to mental health supports such as counselling or employee assistance programs. Remind your employees that it is okay to take breaks, practice self-care, and seek help when needed.
As a manager, it is also important to lead by example and prioritize self-care during this busy time of year. Encourage your staff to take breaks, use their vacation days (if possible), and disconnect from work during the holidays. Try sharing your own self-care practices with your team and let them know that taking care of themselves emotionally is a significant part of their overall well-being. This could include exercise, mindfulness techniques, or spending time with loved ones. Remember, a healthy and happy team leads to a successful and productive workplace.
#3. Clearly state your expectations.
To ensure a smooth workflow during the holiday season, it is essential to communicate expectations to your staff. Be specific about tasks that need to be completed before, during, and after the holidays. Communicate any changes in deadlines or priorities and delegate tasks accordingly. At the same time, avoid overloading your employees with extra work, and be flexible with your expectations. Remember that your employees are entitled to enjoy their holidays and recharge for the new year.
Setting clear boundaries and expectations early will also help to prevent conflicts or misunderstandings. Be sure to communicate the importance of meeting deadlines and keeping organized during this busy time. Encourage your team to plan ahead and schedule their vacation time beforehand to avoid any last-minute disruptions. Additionally, consider offering incentives or rewards for those who exceed expectations during the holiday season. This can boost morale and motivation for your staff, ensuring a successful end to the year.
#4. Show appreciation to those who work for you.
As a leader, it is important to show appreciation for your staff’s hard work and dedication throughout the year, and the holiday season is the perfect time to do so. If possible, organize a staff holiday party or a small end-of-year celebration to thank them for their efforts. Consider giving out small gifts or bonuses to show your gratitude. Your staff will feel valued and motivated to continue their hard work in the new year. One of our previous blog posts, “Do You Feel Appreciated?” shares ideas for ensuring your people feel valued and appreciated!
#5. Demonstrate respect.
As a business owner, it may be tempting to contact employees if there is a client crisis, but you should do everything you can to resist the temptation. Respect the personal time and privacy of your team members during the holiday season.
Over to You!
The holiday season can be stressful for many, and it’s important to remember that your team members are not immune to this. Taking the time to check in with them can make a big difference in their well-being. Show genuine interest in their lives outside of work and offer support if they are struggling. This demonstrates that you value them as individuals, not just as workers, and can strengthen the bond between you and your team.
A small gesture like offering flexibility in their work schedule or a thoughtful gift can also go a long way in making them feel appreciated and motivated during this busy time of year. After all, a happy and supported team will lead to better productivity and success for your organization.
December is here and London has everything you need to support local and delight everyone on your gift list. We’re back again this year to share some of our favourite local spots and this year our list is bigger than ever before!
For the One Who is Hard to Buy For
Meet us at The Market at Western Fair District in the heart of Old East Village! They are open on Saturdays & Sundays. When we say this place has everything – we mean it! The vendors here offer locally made clothes, delicious food and treats, artisanal cheese for your holiday gathering, stunning art, books, records, jewellery and even something for your furry family members. https://themarketwfd.com/
Locally Made Marketplace has made it onto our list every year! They are the ultimate local-lover destination. This unique London shop is full of quality merchandise, handmade from local vendors. You can find something for anyone on your list. https://www.locallymademarketplace.ca/
Thoughtfull Gifts is a great choice for that person that is tricky to buy for. Our former team member, Jenny Baxter, curates thought-filled gift baskets on any budget. You can find examples of her brilliant creations on Instagram (@thoughtfull.gifts)
For the Health Enthusiast
Forge Fitness Studio – owned and operated by Personal Trainer, Mandy Rust – offers a semi-private studio in south London for your athletic loved one to train. They offer flexible monthly session packages and high-end equipment! Check them out on Instagram – @forge.fitnessstudio – to find out how you can share the gift of fitness with your loved one!
Kaizen Personal Training embodies continuous small changes resulting in major improvements. Whether your friends and family want to try a drop-in class, or a 10-session package at this gym in Byron, Kaizen has options for you. https://kaizenpersonaltraining.com/
Nuga Best Canada East offers holistic products that help your body heal itself. Their products use non-invasive patented technology to relieve pain in your body. The N5 Massage Bed, T20P Heating Mat or E5 Massager would make a great gift for anyone looking to relieve pain and discomfort. https://nugabestcanada.com/
For the Food Lover
Buzwump Bakery offers sweet treats! Shari graduated from Fanshawe College for Baking and Pastry Arts Management. No time for Christmas baking? Ask about her plate of delicious cookies and give a gift to yourself! Of course, there are pies, cakes for every occasion and custom orders available to gift your favourite people. You can find Buzwump Bakery every Saturday at Trail’s End. Other days you can call or email: https://buzwumpbakery.ca/
DoughEV is a new donut shop that opened in London this past summer. Support this budding small business by stopping in for a donut and coffee during your holiday shopping or grab a gift certificate for your favourite sweet-toothed friend. Visit them at 621 Dundas Street. https://doughev.com/
Mamasim offers both meal support and catering for holiday gatherings or any other occasion. Check out their Instagram for the most mouth-watering meal options! A Mamasim gift certificate is on some of our loved ones’ lists this year! https://mamasim.ca/
Oh Bombay! is one of our favourite new places to eat. Experience the flavour explosion of authentic Indian cuisine for yourself! Local owner, Aman welcomes you to dine-in for your holiday party, enjoy delicious catering options, or purchase a gift certificate. Located at 631 Commissioners Road East in London. https://www.ohbombay.ca/locations/london/
The Hot Sauce Co. is London’s very own high-quality hot sauce makers. They create small-batch hot sauces made with quality ingredients and bottled in-house. Check out their flavours here – https://thehotsauceco.com/
We also encourage you to support any local restaurant that you love! Celebrate the holidays by planning your gatherings, or pick up a gift certificate for your favourite foodie!
For the Book Lover
Good Apparel Co. has a brand-new line for book lovers! New designs featuring the “Coffee and Cats Book Club”, and sweaters that don “one more chapter” recently launched and are ready for purchase for your book-loving loved one – https://www.goodapparel.ca/
Support your favourite local author! Did you know that you can support your favourite local author – even by shopping at a bigger store like Indigo or Amazon? Pre-ordering their upcoming work, ordering their existing work, or requesting their books at your local library and small bookstores also supports them. London has some wonderful small bookstores like Attic Books or Bread & Roses Books for you to visit and a great deal of talented authors! Emily recently pre-ordered Londoner (and friend) Laura Bontje’s debut children’s book, Was It a Cat I Saw?
For the Movie Lover
Do you have a film lover in your life? Make a donation in their name to the Forest City Film Festival! They also offer a Film Society membership which offers great deals during the festival itself. https://fcff.ca/
London’s only marquee theatre – Hyland Cinema – recently spoke to CTV about the very real concerns they may have to close. Take your movie-lover for an experience gift. Pick a showtime and take them on a classic movie adventure! Want something to wrap and place under the tree? The Hyland also has a great gift shop and offers gift certificates as well.
Jumbo Video/Microplay is the locally owned epicentre for movie fanatics. You can find movies, board games, video games, and all sorts of cinematic collectibles all under one roof. Grab some fresh-made popcorn and a movie rental while you’re there! Located at 1080 Adelaide St. in London. https://jumbovideomicroplay.com/
For the One Who Could Use a Little Pampering
Is there someone on your list who loves a warm bath? Belle of the Bomb has an array of choices to turn every bath into heavenly relaxation. Shop online, or find these bath bombs and other body products at Duck & Dodo.
One of Karen’s favourite jewelry designers is Lori Schmidke of Klas squared. Her designs are unique, high quality and expertly made. Choose a stunning piece for your loved one or purchase one of their gift certificates to make the women in your life feel powerful and feminine. https://shop.klassquared.com/
Sandy Weatherhead is an RMT in nearby Komoka. She takes a human-centred approach to massage and is ready to relieve your loved one’s achy muscles. Check out her Facebook page for details on how to book.
Written by: Emily Leye & Karen Try