Meet Elena Jones, the founder of FinanceJar, which is a website and service dedicated to providing the best and most accurate financial advice.
Growing up, she realized that managing your money the right way was an important skill. A skill that conventional schooling did not cultivate. Over time, she started to read books to be better able to manage her money and eventually, enrolled herself in a plethora of finance courses as this subject piqued her interest unlike any other.
After gaining her Master’s Degree, Elena soon established her own business, FinanceJar. She hopes to educate and help all those that are in need of financial assistance through FinanceJar.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Elena Jones: I’m excited to be doing this! I’m a personal finance/credit expert and founder at FinanceJar. At FinanceJar, we are dedicated to providing fresh, accurate, and honest guidance to anyone that needs it. I started this when I was intrigued with finance growing up. It was intricate and confusing for some but after getting my Master’s Degree, I realized that a lot of people are in dire need of simple financial advice to help them with their money. That’s how I first established my business.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Elena Jones: Boost your online visibility
Your internet presence is vital to your future success, whether your firm succeeds offline or not. The e-commerce business is expanding, and it is predicted that retail eCommerce sales in Canada would reach $40,352 million by 2025. A website may aid in the development of confidence in your company, as well as enhance sales, brand exposure, and email marketing.
Another tool that should not be overlooked is social media. The majority of social media users say they use the platform to search for brands and items, and they want to buy products offered on the platform. Simply concentrating on a few social media channels where your target clients are engaged may have a significant impact on your organization.
It’s critical to pay attention to client feedback as your business expands. It’s easy to dismiss negative input, yet both constructive and positive feedback may be beneficial to your business. Urge customers to contact you as well. Product reviews are a terrific method to gain feedback on your products. Social media and conversations with recording capabilities are two alternative approaches to connect and collect feedback.
Prioritizing customer service enables businesses to transform unsatisfied customers into loyal customers, allowing them to expand their client base. This will definitely assist in the future in case there are hiccups.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Elena Jones: Trust leads to growth.
Conscientious consumerism is rising rapidly with 32% of customers hoping to buy more plant-based or fairtrade foods and 52% hoping to cut down on single-use plastic according to research. The purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles has also increased by 40%. To establish trust and future commercial success, a brand’s capacity to portray honesty and shared values will be vital. Consumers are distrustful of greenwashing, despite the fact that many industries and business structures have shifted to satisfy this new demand.
The scheduled elimination of third-party cookies by Google has been postponed until 2023, giving performance marketers one extra year to prepare. As a result, by 2022, it will be necessary to have a firm grasp on how to collect and use first-party data, as well as develop cookie-free tactics. Businesses should start by identifying the gaps where data can no longer be gathered and tailored adverts can no longer be provided. Do you have a good understanding of your target audience’s demographics, interests, demands, and needs? What tools or promotions do you now use or run that will be impacted? These are important questions to consider and be prepared for.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Elena Jones: The industry has been hit by a combination of significant asset withdrawals as investors seek liquidity, as well as reduced asset prices, which have eroded the stream of management fees. Furthermore, reduced asset values are anticipated to diminish the number of performance fees available, if any, which have become a significant source of income for both traditional and alternative funds.
Certain mutual funds have had trouble fulfilling investor redemptions. As a result, the ManCos or alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) in charge of these funds first concentrated on complying with regulatory requirements and avoiding a liquidity shortage. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, financial authorities were already concerned with fund liquidity, and given these new threats, liquidity management is much more important.
We have adapted by prioritizing liquidity over other short-term business concerns by reducing our trade receivables turnover and increasing our trade payable turnover periods.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Elena Jones: I wish I knew that taking care of my own well-being meant taking care of the business as a whole. After all, how will you take care of your company and employees if you don’t take care of yourself? Because your attitude and emotions will be reflected across the company, this is the most crucial component. If you’re anxious about your business, you could be inclined to labor all hours of the day and night, which might not result in the best outcome. Make sure to engage with your team, as well as your friends and family. Make a daily regimen for yourself, with a defined start and finish time and frequent breaks, and stick to it. That’s what I will continue to focus on in 2022.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Elena Jones: At the end of 2021, Facebook released its new Horizon Worlds platform. It’s not quite ready for marketing or in-world eCommerce sales yet, but it will be soon!
Nike, Gucci, Coca-Cola, and Vans are among the global firms that seek to offer virtual, branded products to customers. Other gaming platforms, however, will allow eCommerce transactions on their platforms. Balenciaga, for example, recently teamed up with Epic Games to create its Fortnight apparel collection. Nike has also just established Nikeland on the Roblox gaming platform, where users can purchase virtual Nike clothing for their gaming avatars. I believe more and more companies will start entering the Metaverse.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Elena Jones: Everything we do today is mostly in front of a screen. From entertainment to managing my business, I have to sit in front of a screen. As a result, I spend at least 6 hours a day in front of the screen but I do manage to take multiple breaks.
To rest my eye, I usually take a stroll outside for some fresh air and to stretch my vision.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Elena Jones: I do use storytelling as well to communicate accomplishments and encourage workers to perform better. The longer you wait to report on a recent event or achievement, the less influence it will have. Authentic real-time tales are what your employees want to see. It allows them to be a part of the milestone celebration and to congratulate their colleagues on a timely basis. I communicate milestones achieved in other divisions as soon as possible so they can celebrate and be inspired.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Elena Jones: Talent will continue to be the most important consideration for the C-suite in 2022. We’ll be transitioning from The Great Resignation to a world where the employee’s voice is growing. They’re weighing their options for where they’d like to work. They desire greater employment flexibility. They want to work for firms that share their values and have a mission. They want their voices to be heard. And if talent is at the top of [executives’] priority list, it will be incumbent on them to listen to their workers and put in place systems to allow them to do so.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Elena Jones: Mendix, Quixy, and Microsoft PowerApps are examples of low-code application platforms (LCAPs), which are alternatives to complicated current software development tools. To create basic commercial apps, low-code platforms require little programming experience and a tech mindset.
Because software development necessitates meticulous planning and maintenance, low-code platforms are a godsend for managers, marketers, and other non-developer users who need to generate and change code without the danger of damaging something. As a result, low-code development frees up IT departments and reduces the cost of IT outsourcing. It’s quite interesting and I am trying to master it.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Elena Jones: In the face of staff issues, managers may feel powerless. Simply listening may not appear to be very noteworthy or beneficial.
Employees who have a boss who is always eager to listen to their work-related difficulties, on the other hand, are less likely to become burnt out. To put it another way, listening is important for employee retention. It also makes employees feel as if their input and opinions are valued.
Managers may not always be able to limit the quantity of work that needs to be done, but they may assist employees in sorting and organizing their work. Employees may become anxious about little matters if there is a lack of communication. Alternatively, people may be overwhelmed by the quantity of work that has to be done. In such cases, a few words of encouragement or moral support can go a long way.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Elena Jones: I believe Telepathy would be pretty cool. Knowing what your workers are thinking can be great for improving the overall culture. Employees usually keep most things bottled up inside so knowing how I can actually help them would be incredible.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Elena Jones: The definition of success is a shifting objective for me. At least in our own thoughts, I don’t believe we ever reach ‘it.’ But there is one thing I am aware of… If you believe you have reached your pinnacle of achievement, you have definitely decided to stop pushing yourself.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Elena Jones for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.