If you are putting together a tight staff for your small business, it's important to have the right mix of employees you can count on. Of course, each member of your team needs to be well-suited for their specific job at hand, but it's key to have a potpourri of personalities and skill sets to create a workplace ambiance that jives while saving you time and money. With these 5 types of employees on the roll, you'll be secure in knowing the job will get done and your small business will become a well-oiled machine that will get better and better with every move these people make both individually and as a team.

The Showman

You may be the boss, but it's important to have another person on the team who is a born leader too. Investing a little more in someone who's well-seasoned and can teach other staff members the ropes is highly valuable for the bottom line. The "showman" will be able to take charge, yet offer advice and direction to the rest of the group with strategies that have worked before. Think of the showman as you're #2 guy or gal, so if you're able to spend a little more salary-wise to get this person on board, the payoff will be worth it. Entrepreneur backs this up, "Having an employee that wants to share their knowledge with others can take a load off small-business owners' minds. It can eliminate the extra cost of hiring outside trainers and offers a layer of institutional knowledge that only people on the inside of a company possess." According to Salary.com, "Leaders are excellent for successfully taking charge of projects or teams. Talent is one thing, but you need someone who can harness that talent and manage it to achieve the best results." Let the showman show you what they've got, and he or she will help the team rise to the top.

The Sponge

Whether an intern or newbie to your general field or the workforce as a whole, it's always a plus to have someone on your team who's eager to learn and prove they've got the chops to get ahead. The "sponge" is always ready to listen and apply what they've absorbed to good use for the company. As long as there is passion and drive, the sponge is one of the best types of employees to have on the force, especially if they grow with the company. When you have invested in a person who's craving knowledge and not trying to outdo the others just for the sake of it, you've got a diamond in the rough on board. This person may help you out financially if they've started at the bottom, but if they help make the company stronger, it will pay out for you both in the end. As Entrepreneur notes, "They want to continue learning, whether it's on the job, through extra training courses or even graduate school. This type of attitude is something that can rub off on other employees and perhaps inspire them to further their education in some way." When the whole team's inspired to be the best version of themselves, you're bound to achieve.

The Wearer of Many Hats

While having dedicated employees who are experts in their area of specialty is crucial, there's always room for that special someone who's great at lots of things and is willing to pitch in when and where it's needed. Versatility is a hot commodity for a small business thanks to the problem-solving capacities and usefulness the "wearer of many hats" beholds. Bosses can save time and money by putting their minds toward the sweeping business needs and let this person handle the minutia of day-to-day necessities. Entrepreneur confirms, "People who can dabble in several different areas of the company – pinch-hitters – can be immensely valuable. Small-business owners can become overwhelmed at the sheer amount of work to do at various points throughout the year, with limited staff to tap into to get it all done. So, with others to juggle some of the duties, owners can focus on growth and strategy."

The Cheerleader

When a bunch of people are working for a small company, things can get rough. There is often so much to do, and at times with limited resources. Morale can dip without that perky person keeping things cheerful and in perspective. Sometimes the company owner is swamped and cannot give that 'pat on the back' to everyone for every milestone reached. While the "cheerleader" may not make or save money directly, by keeping the team energized, production will stay on track and positivity will prevail, making employees happier with their atmosphere and willing to go the extra mile. And this will make you money in the end.

The Creative One

In our overly technological world, "techies" are highly sought after for all types of small businesses, and for good reason. Every company wants to stay ahead of the curve on what's new and trendy for plugged-in consumers. That said, don't leave out the creative types. These out-of-the-box thinkers can help make your company stand out from the rest with innovative ideas and interesting outlooks on projects and plans. As Salary.com says, "Companies need creative individuals to assist them in navigating the ever-evolving world of technology. Companies can't afford to rest on their laurels these days, and the innovators are the ones who propel everyone else forward." So be sure to blend your team with those who use different sides of their brain for smart ideas for your company. It only takes one brilliant idea to make your small business explode!

Make sure your small business staff includes these 5 prominent types and you'll be covered when it comes to your demanding needs as you navigate through new steps in the business world.


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Home garden and porch

As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.

Extensive Plants and Greenery

A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.

Lawn Care

As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.

Paved Pathways

There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.

Usable Outdoor Furniture

Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.

A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.

Unfortunately, giving back can sometimes go haywire. If you're ready to make a donation, first consider common mistakes made when giving back.

Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.

Acting Quickly Out of Emotion

Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.

Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.

Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation

Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.

If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.

Donating Unusable Materials

Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.

Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.

Strictly Giving at Year's End

As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.

With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.

Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.

The Age of Your House

Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.

The One-Percent Rule

An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.

The Square-Foot Rule

Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.

The Mix and Match Method

Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.

Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.