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Dana R

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"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

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For businesses, a new year comes with a new strategy and a new set of goals to achieve. With 2020 fast approaching, you want to start preparing sooner rather than later to help you achieve what you set out to do in the new year.

As a start-up business, growth should be top of the agenda for 2020, and a virtual office can help you do just that. Want to know how? Here’s 4 reasons to choose a virtual office.

Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adults-airport-architecture-blur-518244/

Professionalism

A virtual office will give you a business address, all while you work in the comfort of your own home. This is one of the key benefits to virtual offices, because they allow you to portray a professional business image without the pricey accommodation.

For any small business looking to grow in the new year, a virtual office can certainly help with that. Having a business address and phone number rather than your personal details gives the impression that your business is well-established and trustworthy. Virtual office providers can also give you access to meeting places at a discounted price, allowing you to meet clients in a more professional setting rather than your home or a coffee shop.

Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-white-chair-1181434/

Less overheads

As a small business, you know sometimes funds can be tight. But with a virtual office, you’ll pay much less than you would renting a traditional office or coworking space. There’s no lease, no utility payments and none of the associated costs that come with having a brick-and-mortar space, explains American Express.

Of course, the cost of your virtual office depends on the services you add such as call handling or your location (a London address might come with a higher price tag). However, these prices still won’t break the bank, and this means that you can invest your money in the new year into other areas of your business such as hiring an employee or upping your marketing spend.

Flexibility

Being an entrepreneur gives you the control, meaning you can set your working hours. Having a virtual office means this flexibility is still guaranteed, unlike renting your own office space where typical 9-5 working hours might come back into play.

With a virtual office, you aren’t tied down to a single location. You can still work from wherever you are, whenever, so long as you’ve got the devices you need with you all while maintain a professional image with your virtual business address. This is perfect if you want to maintain a work-life balance or have any other responsibilities such as school runs to take care of.

Other added bonuses

If one of your main goals for 2020 is to spend more time doing business and less time focusing on admin, then a virtual office is for you. A virtual office can offer more than a city centre address and business telephone number – you can get a receptionist too!

If you’re looking for a Virtual Office in London, Be Offices provide a front of house reception team in addition to use of a business address. This will allow your business to give an excellent impression to current and potential clients as well as relieving you from a load of admin duties.

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As a business owner, you should be using your office as a business tool. Your office can have a huge impact on your employees, your company culture, and how you present your business to the outside world.

When it comes to showing visitors your innovative company culture, you want your office décor to reflect that. But if you’re struggling for some inspiration, here are some office décor ideas that showcase your business’s innovative side.

Three Woman Sitting on White Chair in Front of Table
Photo source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/three-woman-sitting-on-white-chair-in-front-of-table-2041627/

Promote your mission statement

Your mission statement defines your business’s existence and communicates what you’re all about. So, what better way to show your innovation to visitors than displaying your mission statement throughout the office?

Displaying your mission statement lets visitors know exactly what your business is trying to achieve. Having your mission statement on display will also help employees to be more productive, as well as embody your company’s core values.

Smiling Man and Woman Both Sitting on Sofa Both Looking at Silver Macbook
Photo Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/advice-advise-advisor-business-7075/

Encourage creativity

One of the best ways to showcase your innovation is to introduce furniture or wall fixtures that your employees can use for creative thinking. When it comes to problem solving, having a creative space can help stimulate creativity amongst your employees.

Try introducing walls or tables that your staff can write on when brainstorming ideas or solving problems. Not only does this demonstrate you value innovation and creativity but it allows staff to hold onto ideas rather than searching for a notepad and pen.

Go green with your décor

Having a green office can change the look and feel of any workspace environment. Decorating your office with plants and greenery has been proven to have health benefits for workers. On top of this, it can improve employee productivity too.

A green office with access to natural sunlight communicates to your staff and any visitors that you care about employee wellbeing. Designing an office inspired by nature also helps your office become sustainable too – offering plenty of innovative opportunities that make your business eco-friendly!

Dynamic office spaces

The modern-day workplace has seen open plan office design become a common layout, increasing communication and collaboration between employees. However, you still want designated “zones” in your office such as a private conference room for meetings, a collaborative work area for employees to work on projects or a quiet area that allows staff to focus on their work.

With dynamic office spaces, however, you don’t have to compromise on that open plan layout. One of the best ways to communicate innovation to your visitors is to show the flexibility of your office. For example, moveable walls, desks on wheels or sit-stand stations are just some of the ways you can facilitate this.

Use your space wisely

Of course, for your office design to be truly functional and innovative, you need to use your space wisely. The layout of your office will make or break your workflow, so no matter how big or small your space, you want to make the most of it.

When planning your new office space, a company such as Maris Interiors can help you to fully optimise your office workspace. A creative workspace that’s well designed encourages movement, creating more opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

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The world keeps getting more complex, filled with niche groups and knowledge. While you can’t be expected to know everything, having some background in common topics keeps you in the global conversation.

Guns are a lot like computers when it comes to common knowledge. Everyone has picked up some basic terms about each but only the enthusiast crowd really understands their use. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot of time to learn everything you need to know about guns.

The most important information can be gained in minutes! Perhaps you’re thinking of becoming an owner of one of the 857 million civilian firearms in circulation. Perhaps you just like knowing things.

Whatever your reason, getting started with a cursory knowledge of the types, parts, and lingo will let you go deeper at your own pace.

Everything You Need to Know About Guns

No understanding of guns and gun ownership can begin without first going over the safety rules. These rules have gone beyond boilerplate to be foundational to the concept of firearms.

Always treat firearms as dedicated tools with an equally dedicated purpose.

Safety First

Any hunter’s safety course, gun range placard, or conceal/carry class will go over these four rules ad nauseam. Learn them thoroughly before you pick up your first piece.

Rule 1 – All Guns Are Loaded Guns

Treat every firearm as though it’s loaded and ready to fire. This goes for any weapon that you didn’t personally unload. This accounts for times when you clean or modifies a firearm.

Pieces of a gun are not a gun any more than pieces of a car are a vehicle.

This rule protects you and others. Remember, a weapon that discharges while you are holding it is your responsibility.

Rule 2 – Only Point a Firearm at Things You Intend to Shoot

Any time you point the gun, you should be prepared to fire at whatever is at the end of the barrel.

This keeps you aware of what it’s pointing at. Same as in rule 1, if the weapon discharges, you bear the responsibility.

Rule 3 – Practice Trigger Discipline

Compounding on the previous two rules, don’t put your finger through the guard and onto the trigger. Not until you are intending to fire.

This keeps you from discharging the weapon until you are ready. It’s also about physical memory. Don’t ready your body and weapon until you ready your intent.

It’s a straightforward physiological reaction to tense up when stressed or surprised. You don’t want either reaction to fire a weapon you aren’t prepared to fire.

Rule 4 – Know Your Target and Beyond

Even when you have selected a target and point with purpose, it’s important to know what’s beyond the target. Comprehensive situational awareness matters when wielding deadly force.

Never take as granted that your shot will hit what you want. Know what it also might hit. Again, you own the consequences and responsibility of your shots.

Storage

Safety doesn’t end with the rules for holding a weapon. You also want to store your weapons carefully.

A gun that you own, that gets out of your possession, and ends up in the hands of someone else is also your responsibility.

Lock up your guns when not in use and promptly report a missing firearm.

Parts (by Firearm)

Now that you understand how to treat a firearm, it’s time to learn about gun basics.

In general, there are three different types of firearms: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Variations exist within these basic types but everything falls within one of these designations.

Each type is composed of the same basic four parts: a frame, an action, a barrel, an ammunition storage device. Terms related to some of these basic parts change across types.

All modern firearms have a safety mechanism, usually in the form of a trigger lock or an action brake.

Handguns

Typically short-barreled and handheld, handguns have two current subgroups in service. Handguns are designed to be short-ranged firearms.

Frame

The frame of a handgun is made of metal, carbon fiber, titanium, or a similar alloy. The frame includes the grip, an ammunition storage device, and a trigger guard.

The other parts of a handgun mount to the frame. Expansion kits add additional tactical features to a handgun. Commonly, these attach to the frame or the housing along the barrel.

Check out the line of products from Arisaka Defense for ideas on advanced handgun tactical gear.

The top portion of a frame houses sights, mounting points for optics, or a slide, depending.

Action

The action of a handgun includes the hammer, firing pin, chamber, and trigger assembly.

Actions in a handgun are single action or semi-automatic. In rare cases, you’ll find a full auto action in something like a machine pistol.

Single action fires one round, cycling the spent cartridge out of the chamber without moving in another. Semi-automatic fires the loaded round when the trigger is pulled, ejects the cartridge, and then loads another in so it’s ready to fire.

Barrel

The barrel of a gun guides the bullet out of the breach, through the bore, and out the muzzle.

Rifling spins the round as it travels through the bore, causing it to travel further and maintain accuracy over distance.

Ammo Storage

The final part of a handgun is the ammo storage. In handguns this is usually a magazine. A magazine is a spring-operated box that pushes cartridges into the gun as it is fired. Magazines are detachable through a release and allow for rapid reloading.

Revolvers

Revolvers differ from pistols in the function of the action and ammo storage. In a revolver the magazine is replaced with a cylinder that rotates to bring the next cartridge in line with the breach.

The action of a revolver can also be double action, requiring the hammer to be pulled back or cocked before the trigger pull will release it.

Revolvers normally load one cartridge into one cylinder at a time. Some cylinders swivel out, allowing them to be speed-loaded with clips.

Rifles

Rifles include any of the long-barrel weapons that fire single shell projectiles.

Many of the parts are the same as a handgun but may have different names.

Rifles are intended for medium to long-range tasks.

Frame

The frame of a rifle is commonly referred to as the stock. The stock is also the butt-end that presses into your shoulder when aiming or holding a rifle.

Stocks, like handgun frames, come in carbon fiber, wood, and metal alloy varieties.

The frame supports the barrel, the trigger assembly, and the action.

Action

Single action rifles use a lever or bolt to load in a new shell and eject the previous one. These are called lever action and bolt action, respectively.

Semi-automatic actions can be spring or gas-driven to load and eject shells.

Fully automatic actions continue to fire as long as there is ammo remaining and the trigger is held down. Fully auto rifles may also have a burst fire option, which fires a number of rounds with a single trigger pull. Bursts can be in three, five, or more rounds per pull.

Barrel

The barrel of most rifles is identical to that of a handgun. The bullet travels from the breech, through the bore, spins via the rifling, and exits via the muzzle.

In the case of some fully automatic rifles, the barrel may have a shroud which assists in venting heat from the barrel to keep it from warping.

Ammo Storage

Most rifles use a magazine to hold ammo. Some older rifles make use of a spring-loaded receiver that pushes rounds into the action. These can use clips of ammo to quickly add rounds to the reservoir.

Though most people use the terms interchangeably it’s important to know the difference between a clip vs magazine. A clip is a disposable clamp that holds a string of ammo. A magazine is an enclosed box.

Lever action rifles frequently also have internal storage that has to be loaded one round at a time.

Shotguns

A shotgun is a long-barreled weapon that fires unrifled projectiles. Shotguns are meant to be short to medium ranged weapons.

Frame

The frame of a shotgun resembles that of a rifle. The key difference is the underside of the barrel may have a tube. This is an empty space used as ammo storage.

The frame of a shotgun typically doesn’t have optic mounting points.

Action

Shotgun actions have more mechanical variety than rifles though most are still single action.

Breech loaders have one or two tubes that must be manually loaded, secured, then fired. Ejection of shells may be assisted or manual when opening the breech.

Pump-action shotguns cycle the shell in the receiver the same as a lever-action rifle, ejecting the old and loading in a new shell.

Automatic shotguns come in cylinders, like a revolver, or a large spring-loaded drum.

Barrel

Shotgun barrels are smoothbore. This indicates that they have no rifling. The projectiles fire without being spun as in handguns and rifles.

Ammo Storage

Ammo storage differs widely for shotguns. One shell is loaded at a time in breech loaders. Side by side and over-under types hold two.

A tube for a pump-action holds up to eight shells loaded manually one at a time.

Drum and cylinder shotguns use large specialized magazines.

Stay in the Know

It’s a lot to take in at first, but now you know the terminology used in firearms. This represents everything you need to know about guns to gets started in the selection process. From here, it’s best to learn more about individual manufacturers.

There’s always more to learn, come back here for more articles on topics of interest.

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If you’re expecting a baby, we know you can’t help but think about all the hard work it will take to prepare a place for them in your life and in your home. Since you are busy with so many important decisions, the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to pay for all of it. This article hopefully removes some of that stress by providing you with helpful DIY suggestions on ways to build a nursery on a budget. For many, the fact that you actually can have a gorgeous nursery that doesn’t break the bank is welcome news.

Have DIY Ambitions

While things like curtains and bedding should be left to the professionals, you can save a lot of money by taking the DIY route. This often requires finding a tutorial online for the specific project you are interested in. Don’t be intimidated by a bit of research, as there are hundreds of tutorials for any project imaginable (no exaggeration!). Finding the right instructions together with some inexpensive, high-quality supplies will let you put together your own nightstands, under the bed storage units, closet organizers, curtain rods, etc.

Creative Use of Paint

A great and inexpensive way to really leave your mark on a nursery is to use paint in interesting and unusual ways. This often adds a more personal touch to the room and is cheaper than many expensive wall treatments. Consider adding patterns and shapes using stencils and painter’s tape. You can even paint and design the ceiling, something your baby will love given how much time they spend on their backs! If you really don’t think you’re up for this level of painting, then consider wall decals that match your room’s theme and colour scheme.

Lookout for Spare Furniture

Although there are plenty of beautiful pieces of baby furniture available at your local store, these can be very expensive, so if you are on a budget, don’t expect that you have to buy everything brand new for your baby to live in comfort. If you can find a good second-hand shop or if you have extra furniture somewhere that can be repurposed, a new coat of paint can breathe new life into old pieces. The Spruce provides some excellent examples of this, which include: reupholstering an old armchair with some baby-friendly fabric, painting a large ornate mirror an unexpected colour, or adding some new paint and custom drawer pulls to an old dresser.

Check online

Make sure to check out sites such as Gumtree and eBay, where you can find second-hand or even new items at discounted prices. This shouldn’t be surprising because babies are well known for growing out of clothes, toys, and furniture very quickly.

DIY Crafts

You can make another big impact by creating unique accessories, with just a handful of inexpensive supplies. A classic example is to capture your child’s tiny handprint or footprint in clay, along with some adorable photos, all in a nice frame. Better yet these pieces can serve as keepsakes for when your child becomes an adult. See Red Tricycle’s list of more DIY nursery accessories for those on a budget. A good rule of thumb is to try to use meaningful decorations such as family pictures and DIY accessories, rather than potential expensive and impersonal, artwork or other wall hangings.

Lack of Storage?

If you are desperate for some more storage on a budget, consider adding a few wicker or cloth baskets, or a handful of floating shelves. These can be inexpensive storage option for clothes or toys. Consider keeping plastic bins under the crib, which can be obscured with a crib skirt. You can even break large drawers into many smaller compartments by using food storage bins or Tupperware if you really want to use every little bit of space.

It is important to consider that because babies grow up so fast, the room will have to be redecorated after two or three years to accommodate the changing tastes and needs of your child. Try to keep it simple and enjoy the time you have together!

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Every year over 2 million people are injured from car accidents; 32,000 die from these crashes. If you’ve been in one recently, you may feel lucky to have survived the accident.

Even if you feel relatively fine, you should still make sure you’re in good health. Here are 6 reasons to seek medical attention and care after a car accident.

1. You Might Be Injured and Don’t Know It

At the time of the accident, your body will pump itself full of adrenaline and endorphins, which is triggered by the “fight or flight” response. This can hide the symptoms of injury. The signs of some conditions, like whiplash, may not even appear until a few days later.

2. Small Injuries May Get Worse

What may seem like some slight back pain today may become something entirely worse the next day. Chances are, you aren’t a medical professional, which means you won’t know if your small injuries are actually something more serious. A doctor can determine if they are and prevent your injuries from becoming more painful and debilitating.

3. Prevent Long-Term Consequences

When a body part gets injured, it’s more likely that you’ll reinjure it in the future. The sooner you get it treated, the lower your chances of that happening.

Also, if some wounds are not treated in a timely fashion, they can sometimes cause permanent damage and even disable you. This can prevent you from leading a fulfilling and independent life.

4. You’ll Have Official Documentation

If you have serious issues from the car crash, you’ll have official documentation of the extent of your injuries and what treatments you need. When everything is written down by medical professionals, it’ll be easier for you to handle any ensuing paperwork.

5. It’ll Help You File for Compensation

Many times, insurance companies will deny your claim if you don’t seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. The reasoning is that if you didn’t need treatment right after the crash, then the injuries are probably not that serious.

Even if you present with serious issues a few days later (such as a herniated disk), if you didn’t go to the hospital and get examined right after the accident, the insurance company can say you were injured due to some other event.

6. It’ll Help You Get Maximum Compensation

Not only will having medical records from an accident doctor surrounding the accident help your claim get accepted, but the sooner you file, the more likely you’ll get more compensation. When you wait and see how your injuries fare, this gives insurance companies more leeway to reduce the amount of money you get. 

Get Medical Attention Promptly After a Car Accident

As you can see, seeking medical attention promptly after a car accident is crucial. Not only is it essential in catching any problems early on, but it can help immensely in building your case for compensation.

Want to read more on medical issues? Then take a look at our news section.

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First impressions are everything.

That’s why 40% of users abandon websites within just 3 seconds.  If you’re looking to build a professional site of your own, start with a great landing page.

You’ll need attractive and engaging content that draws people in straight away. If you’re not sure how to get there, don’t worry. In this post, we’ll give you some inspiration.

Read on for some outstanding landing page copy examples.

5 Examples of Landing Page Copy to Learn From

If you need some inspiration for your landing page copywriting, check out these sites.  

1. TransferWise

At this stage, you may be asking yourself ‘what is a landing page?’

This is the where users arrive when they click a link or ad to your site. It should include clear and engaging content that both tells the user about you, and prompts them to take action.

TransferWise’s landing page does just that. It gives concise information about why their international transfer service is so safe, widely-used, and affordable. Then, it includes boxes for users to fill to make a transfer.

Everything you need is right there on that first page.

2. Pinterest

Pinterest is a first-class website with content that users find almost addictive.

The landing page doesn’t just ask you to sign up. It tells you exactly how many seconds it will take, and how many pins will be available to you when you do.

3. Evernote

Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps out there, and its landing page tells you why.

It invites you to ‘remember everything’ by downloading the app, and provides a short description of how it will make your life more manageable.

Then, there’s a ‘sign up’ button. What more do you need?

4. AirBnB

The goal of AirBnB’s landing page is to convert customers into hosts, and it does a great job.

The first thing they see is a picture of a happy host, next to the words ‘earn money as an AirBnB host’. A ‘start hosting’ button provides a quick call to action, but if that’s not enough, there’s also personalized information to make the prospect more enticing.

The page uses your location to tell you how much you can expect to earn as a host in your area.

5. Shopify

You’ll need to improve your writing skills to great content, but that doesn’t mean your landing page has to be full of text.  

Sometimes, less is more.

Shopify’s landing page proves that. It tells you how many other businesses are using Shopify, invites you to start a free trial, and tells you the benefits, all in two sentences.

The call to action is a box to enter your email address and get started.

Keep them Coming Back

Great landing page copy can have a huge impact on your conversion rates.

But once you’ve got your customers, it’s going to take more than that to get them to stay with you. To retain them, you’ll have to implement strategies to keep them satisfied.

Read more of our business news for some tips on how to take your business to the next level.

Before the internet, most businesses kept data on servers in their local network. The only threats to data security were those that employees brought into the office. However, today the internet connects your network to the rest of the world, increasing productivity but also increasing threats to your client information. If hackers can get into your servers, they can not only steal sensitive data, but they can also install viruses to reroute data or malware to block service. Taking advantage of cloud computing platforms is one way that businesses can keep their data safe and secure.

Protection from Denial of Service Attacks

Using cloud servers for data storage is a bit like renting out a safe deposit box for your valuables. Rather than keeping your data onsite where you are responsible for its protection, you pay the cloud computing platform to maintain your security. They are professionals in protecting data against threats. For example, a growing number of cyber-attacks are distributed denial of service attacks. A DDoS involves hackers using a network of computers to swamp your system, crowding out legitimate users. Cloud computing platforms can detect unusual activity and direct traffic in a different direction, keeping your system running smoothly.

Data Preservation

Especially with growing climate concerns, storing data in a single location carries significant risk. If all of your data is kept onsite, a building fire or natural disaster can lead to lost and unrecoverable data. Cloud computing platforms preserve your data by storing it on servers in several physical locations. You will have access to your data even in the midst of power failures and other unforeseen issues. Your client data is extremely valuable to your business. Investing in cloud computing for data storage is a wise investment in data safety.

Regulatory Compliance

Many businesses that deal with sensitive information are required to meet data security regulation standards. When you work with a cloud computing platform, they will already have those standards in place. Your IT department will not be responsible for maintaining the system or making sure it is in compliance. The third-party provider will have already done it. This is both a benefit to you and your customers. You can maintain regulatory compliance without a great investment of time and effort. Your customers can have peace of mind knowing that their data is kept under strict standards of security.

Third-party support

One of the challenges of technology is the amount of change that happens in a short period of time. Most programs need regular updates and patches to maintain safety. Working in the cloud computing world means that your provider is responsible for keeping things up-to-date. They close any detected gaps faster than your in-house IT department can get to them. This kind of preparation will prevent some of the most common hacking attacks from sneaking into your system. Defending your data against hackers is a constant battle and the sides are not always clear. For example, the hacker arrested for developing the Kronos program that attacks banking information is the same hacker credited for stopping the WannaCry malware attack. Partnering with a cloud computing platform is like hiring an extra IT department dedicated to protecting your data from attack.

Data Security for Mobile Employees

The internet has provided your employees with a great deal of mobile flexibility. You may have employees that work from home or access company data on the road. While these kinds of connections are convenient, they are often much less secure than connections made directly to your local network. Fortunately, cloud computing providers understand the need for data security in mobile connections. With most platforms, the connection to the cloud platform involves a high level of encryption. Only the people who need to see your data have access to it. So long as the device your employee is using is secure, the connection and the data traveling along it will be secure. It is important to instruct your mobile employees on basic security measures to keep their devices safe.

Cloud computing is a smart way to let your business take advantage of the expertise of computer professionals. Your sensitive data will be protected by trained and experienced experts dedicated to data security.

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A simple side hustle can turn into a full-blown career if you invest in it the right way. Right now, more than 44 million people in the United States have some type of side hustle, but there is always room for success. It doesn’t matter whether you sell cosmetics to family and friends or you spend your evenings and weekends selling houses, you just have to know how to run and grow your business.

The following tips may ignite your side hustle into a full-time gig:

Organization of Efforts

The first step is to get organized. Ideally, you need a place and a system to get your ideas in order and track your efforts. Start with listing everything out and dividing those concepts and activities by status and timeline. This way, you can spot any deadlines and identify follow-up opportunities. Getting organized in your business efforts also helps you establish a calendar for your efforts and prioritize your tasks more effectively.

Establish Your Personal Brand

Next, work toward establishing your personal brand. If you sell for a company, they may have their own branding efforts and systems that will help would-be customers know that you exist. From websites that list real estate agents to yoga instructor databases and shopping websites that let people look for a rep in their areas, these bits of marketing are an excellent first step, but they should not be the entirety of your branding efforts.

You also need to consider your personal brand. The customers you attract are going to need to choose you over someone else in your area or another provider. Make that decision easy for them by developing your personal brand. Get on social media and start posting about things that matter to your future customers and establish yourself as a personality in that field. Also, build a website and work toward creating an email list. Make people care about what you have to say within your field. Just make sure you remain authentic in the process.

Build a Team

You can make things easier on yourself by building a team. While you could hire help, there are other ways to minimize your workload. You can outsource many tasks using technology or set up automated efforts, such as scheduled social media posts or reminders about following up with your clients.

Marketing Matters

Whether you sell a service or product, knowing ways to market your business can make a big difference in your level of success. While you can acquire this knowledge by studying a class or reading blogs, there is another way. Consider direct selling. Companies such as Amway invest in creating training videos to help their salespeople succeed. If you sign up, you will have access to all of those tools and resources. Check out this video on how Amway works to learn more. You may even want to start selling Amway!

Conclusion

Turning your side hustle into a full-time career is not impossible. You could shape an entirely new future for yourself by organizing your efforts, building a personal brand, outsourcing where possible, and improving your marketing. Even small efforts in the right direction can have big rewards.

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SIP trunks are a great way of managing the flow of calls coming in and out of your business. Long gone are the days of expensive hardware and physical phones, SIP trunks allow your employees to communicate via the cloud, monitor their calls and talk to customers in a way that greatly improves the levels of customer service you can offer. SIP trunks are essentially communication systems that operate over an internet connection and IP rather than using a physical phone. If all this sounds a bit complicated for your liking, trust me it’s not, switching to the SIP Trunk Call Manager by Gamma is a great way to improve the cost-effectivity and grow your business through positive communication.

What is SIP trunking? 

For years our communication systems have been based on the telephone poles and cross-ocean wires that stretch across the globe. Although we’ve developed a complex and reasonably efficient global communication service it’s time to embrace new technology and innovations. SIP trunking connects your business with potential clients and customers by opening up your communication space to clients from further afield with the same call quality as someone within your own town. This all works by connecting your business’ communications services to your IP address and channelling all your calls through an online rather than physical system. 

How can it help seasonal business? 

There are many different ways the SIP trunk manager can help you improve the success of your small business, with improved cost-effectivity and greater client scope among the benefits. Let’s say you’re a business that sells a service or product that’s primarily used in summer. When it comes around to winter, you’re going to be worse off than during the busy summer months. With that in mind it makes sense to opt for the SIP trunking manager to streamline your calls and open your up to different markets and territories where there may be a more necessary and immediate decision for you products. It’ll be summer in Australia during the UK winter, is this an opportunity to seize the market.

What is SIP trunk call manager? 

SIP trunk call manager from Gamma provides the answers to all those connectivity issues that you’ve been suffering with, allowing you to enjoy greater contact with customers new and old while also opening up your communication systems and internal strategies to a broader client base in the seasonal months. The Gamma call manager allows you to manage all aspects of your inbound calls, consolidating all your numbers into a single, connected platform. This not only improves cost-effectivity and productivity but can also be tailored to the specific requirements of your brand or business. 

While to many of you, the SIP Trunk manager may seem like a costly expense or a piece of industry jargon, the importance that rests behind this sort of technology is one that can’t be ignored. Hardware systems are now a thing of the past, and you don’t want your business left in the dark ages, do you? Give Gamma a call today to find out more about the finer details of your Gamma communications set-up and fast-paced online delivery. There’s no need to miss a call ever again. 

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Are you looking to improve user experience for your customers? If so, check out this guide to learn how to improve user experience.

Today’s internet plays host to 1.7 billion websites and 4.5 billion internet users. By that standard, every website is entitled to about 2 visitors…

Unless you’re selling products that retail for hundreds of thousands of dollars, 2 visitors to your website aren’t going to cut it. To increase your “fair share” of web traffic, you have to optimize your website to make it more useful to online consumers than competing websites.

That optimization process is called improving user experience.

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Companies invest thousands of dollars to improve user experience on their web products every year. Save yourself that money and instead, follow these simple tips to achieve the same result.

1. Understand the Power of Blank Space

In today’s media landscape, people are inundated with information. You’ve got hundreds of thousands of new web pages landing online every day and millions of hours of video content being published on YouTube and competing video platforms. This inundation of information has led to people wanting to scan content rather than going through it with a fine-tooth comb.

Blank space (or white space) on websites break up text enough that users can scan successfully. This is in contrast to websites that try to fill in any white space with information, images or ads.

Websites that fill in all available space come off as endless blocks of content and intimidate many to the point that they quickly hit the back button on their web browser.

2. Speed Your Site Up

Today’s consumer has very little patience for slow websites. There are just too many fast sites out there for people to waste their time with one that’s going to take 5+ seconds to load.

While you might not think that asking users to wait 5-seconds to access your content is a big deal, data says otherwise. On average, a website that takes 5-seconds or longer to load sees 20% higher bounce rates than sites that load up in under 4-seconds.

To improve user experience on this front, use speed checking tools like Google’s Page Speed analyzer.

3. Learn How to Write for the Web

If you’re using the research paper skills that you picked up in college to craft your web content, there’s no way that your site is getting traction right now. Writing for the web is an art and learning what that art embodies is paramount to making sure that you don’t negatively violate your online visitor’s expectations.

The subject of web-writing is too extensive to cover off in our post but a few things to make sure that your writing implements are:

  • Headings that break up your text’s sections
  • Short paragraphs (between 1 to 3 sentences)
  • Use bullet points to break out lists of information
  • Effective titles for headings and sub-headings within your content

The Yahoo! Style Guide is a fabulous resource to take your web writing savvy further.

4. Get Visual

People process images tens of thousands of times faster than they do text. Therefore, your improve user experience efforts should include taking the time to roll out images within your web content.

Be tasteful in your use of imagery online. While there’s no hard and fast rule, some usability experts have stated that using a photo every 300 to 400 words is a good benchmark to shoot for.

5. Double Check Your Copy

Nothing crushes consumer confidence quite like spelling and grammar errors. While online readers will forgive the occasional typo, if your work is absolutely filled with problems, consumers are not going to engage with you.

Doing simple things like reading your copy out loud before publishing and checking it with free tools like Grammarly can do wonders when it comes to reducing text errors. You can also spell/grammar check your website with site-wide scanning tools that you can find online.

6. Use Helpful 404 Pages

When people navigate to a page on your website that doesn’t exist, they get redirected to a 404-error page. By default, this page will simply tell people that the page they’re trying to access doesn’t exist. As a user, that’s a dead-end that almost always leads to clicking away from a website.

To improve that outcome, you could design a 404 page that’s entertaining and suggests alternative pages that your searcher might enjoy.

A 404-error page refresh could reduce the number of people that click away from your site after inputting the wrong link and only takes a few minutes.

7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

It’s 2019. If your website doesn’t have a responsive infrastructure and isn’t prepared for mobile then it can’t survive.

There’s no excuse today to not implement a mobile-friendly design. Just build your website on any popular content management system (WordPress, Joomla!, Squarespace, etc.) and any of those system’s templates will come pre-built to scale to any screen size that users are tuning in from.

8. Learn More About Your Customer

Knowing why it is that your customers come to your website should drive all of your improve user experience endeavors.

Do you cater to business to business clients? If you do, you’re going to want to learn everything that you can about B2B user experience principals.

Do you operate in the business to consumer space? Then you’re going to want to understand what makes B2C sites successful.

The better you can narrow down who your customer is and what they want from you, the better you can optimize your website to get your customers what they need, quickly.

Wrapping Up How to Improve User Experience

If you take the time to improve user experience on your website, you’ll see upticks in web traffic, page retention and sales. If that sounds good to you, leverage the tips that we just hit you with and enjoy your increased online traction!

For more killer business tips, check out additional free and informative content right here on our blog!

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Did you know that only 32 percent of Americans have a household budget in place? Failing to focus on your finances can lead to several problems in the future. If you have a limited amount of money in your savings account, dealing with financial emergencies will be very difficult.

Instead of letting a financial disaster overwhelm you, finding a way to get money in a hurry is a must. People who need money today have a lot of options on the market. Finding the right financial tools to get out of a bad situation will take some time and effort.

The following are some of the things you can do to secure cash in a hurry if you are in a financial bind.

Sell a Structured Settlement for One Lump Sum

Disputes involving personal injuries, defective products, and medical malpractice usually get settled out of court. In most cases, people who are seeking compensation in cases like this will receive a structured settlement. This type of settlement pays the victim monthly instead of giving them a lump sum.

If you have a structured settlement, selling it for a lump sum can help you get a quick influx of cash. Finding companies that buy structured settlements will require some research. By calling a few different companies, you can quickly figure out which one can provide the best deal.

Need Money Today? Sell Unwanted Items

If you need cash now, the first thing you should do is take a look around your home. Most people have a lot of unused or unwanted items laying around. Selling these items can help you get money in a hurry without having to do a lot of work.

People will buy everything from clothes to old electronics. The key to having success with this venture is choosing the right platform to sell your goods on. Forums like Facebook Marketplace allow you to post items for sale without having to pay a fee.

Before you put your items up for sale, make sure you offer a competitive price. With a bit of online research, you should have no problem finding information about what the items in question have sold for in the past.

Using Personal Loans is a Good Idea

Do you have a job and a handful of previous paycheck stubs? If so, you should be able to get a personal loan. Generally, the lenders that offer these loans have very lax approval standards.

Instead of rushing through the personal loan selection process, take the time to weigh all your options. Doing this can help you avoid paying high-interest rates.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way!

Giving up too soon on your search for quick cash will only make your problems worse. If you need money today, by working hard you can find a way to get the money you need.

Are you looking for more personal finance advice? If so, check out the rest of our blog.

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Tens of millions of people enroll in college every year. Among those people, many go on to receive degrees in their field of study which then leads them into a career that they hold down for the next 40+ years until retirement.

If that linear timeline sounds like a snooze-fest to you, we don’t blame you. Coming from those of us that did the whole college, career, get married, buy a house, have kids trajectory – We agree.

Here’s the thing though… Being in college doesn’t need to be 4 to 5 years of mundaneness. It could be 4 to 5 years of you learning while exploring the world.

If you’re interested in figuring out how you can pay to study abroad, this guide is for you! Below, we disclose a few tried-and-true money getting strategies for travel-hungry students.

1. Take Out Additional Financial Aid

Many people that are going through college pay to study via financial aid that they receive from the government.

In a perfect world, you’re collecting free money via college grants. In a less than perfect world, you’re collecting loans from the government which feature low-interest rates.

If you want to study abroad, chances are you could opt into more government loan options or higher amounts in order to fund your adventures.

Talk to your financial aid office to see what’s possible for you.

2. Seek Study Abroad Scholarships

Many schools give out scholarships that are specifically for those that want to participate in their study abroad programs. These scholarships could either be offered through the school or through your specific academic department.

The best thing to do to see what’s out there is to talk to your financial aid office. If they don’t have any leads on study abroad scholarships, shift your focus to the academic advisor you have in your department.

They may know of department scholarships that are available or may even be willing to put you in contact with school donors to see if they can’t set something special up for you.

3. Look Into Private Loans

If you’ve exhausted your government or school-offered financial options, turn to the private sector.

Sure, the private sector tends to offer more self-favoring loan products. That’s not to say though that the products they offer aren’t useful or worth your time to consider.

Student loans bad credit offers are constantly being thrown around by private lenders to attract students that have little or negative credit history. If you have good credit, you’ll qualify for even better student loan products.

Shop around to see what’s out there.

4. Ask Friends and Family

If you have friends and family that love you, maybe they’d love to help you achieve your dreams of seeing the world while learning.

That might seem like a stretch but you never know unless you ask, right?

Try sending out an email to friends and family members letting them know what you’d like to do for school and how much it’s going to cost. Have a Go Fund Me page set up that they can donate to in order to help you transfer money towards your cause.

If you’re feeling really brave, you can share your Go Fund Me page on social media to get additional exposure.

5. Take on a Side Hustle and Save

Sometimes, the best strategy when it comes to paying to study abroad is to get a job (or a second one).

There are plenty of opportunities for students to make extra side cash. They can get hired at a flexible minimum wage job, they can drive UBER and embark on a number of other side-hustle ventures.

Never feel like you’re above working physically for your dreams. If you want something, sometimes you have to get your hands a little dirty to get it.

6. Seek Our Free Study Abroad Programs

Many international schools are trying to build up their reputation as premiere destinations for foreign students. In order to achieve that end, some offer full scholarships to students from affluent countries to study with them.

Finding programs like this is as easy as running a Google search.

You’ll want to be careful when seeking out free study abroad programs. As with most things in life that are free, you may run into scams that could jeopardize your wallet or even your safety.

Talk to a local academic advisor and get their advice before getting official with an international school that’s offering you a deal.

7. See If Your Job Offers Tuition Help

Many workplaces like Disney, Starbucks and even McDonald’s offer college tuition payment programs for their full-time and part-time workers. Inquire with your manager to see what kinds of programs might exist at your job.

If your manager doesn’t have anything to share, information about tuition programs should be available online through your company’s website. HR is also a great resource.

Wrapping Up Ways to Pay to Study Abroad

There are many ways to pay to study abroad. Per that fact, our advice to you is to never get discouraged when you run into a steep price tag on your educational dreams.

With a little bit of creativity and asking around, you should be able to find what you need to make your travel abroad dreams your reality.

Want more financial inspiration? No problem!

Our website is chock-full of great ideas on how to meet your financial goals. All you need to do to absorb our insight is to dive deeper into our content pool!

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You have your whole outfit together, and then the burning question hits: What shoes should I wear with this outfit? Check out this guide for 5 tips and tricks.

The shoes make or break the outfits, we know this — right ladies?

“What shoes should I wear?” is a common question for a night out on the town, lunch with friends or even when going out for a run.

How do you make sure that you wear the shoes that are going to make you look the cutest possible? Continue reading this article for tips on wearing the right shoes.

Answering Your Question of “What Shoes Should I Wear?”

Whether you’re wearing shoes from SSENSE or if you’re wearing some casual shoes, you need to make sure you’re wearing the right shoes! These tips will save your look!

1. Match Shoes to Your Jacket

If you want to follow after royalty or the first lady, you can match shoes to your jacket. You might not be able to afford matching shoes for all of your outfits but if you want to use this tip for a few of your favorite outfits so you can really pack a punch at a special event.

2. Spice Up a Dull Outfit

If you’re wearing an outfit that is on the dull side of things, you can spice it up with a bright shoe.

Let’s say that you’re wearing a dull white pantsuit. You could give it the extra pop of color by pairing it with a bright red shoe.

There are lots of different colors you can choose from depending on what color fits your personality best.

3. Don’t Wear One Solid Color from Top to Bottom

If you wear a blue top and pants, you don’t want to wear the same color of shoes. You will look very drab so change out one of the pieces to give your outfit a little more of an interesting look.

4. Wear Different Shades of Your Main Color

Let’s say that you do want to wear the same color from top to bottom. You could get away with it if you wear different shades of the color. You can’t always make this work so make sure that you try on the outfit and get some feedback on how it looks before you try to wear it out on the town.

5. Consider the Season

Even if you love that one pair of shoes all year, it might not be the best look for you. You don’t want to wear winter shoes during the Summer even if you think they look good.

It’s a fashion no-no.

If you’re in spring or fall then you have a little more flexibility but don’t try to push it too far.

Get More Tips & Simplify Your Life

Now that you know the answer to “What shoes should I wear?” why not simplify your life even more? We’ve dedicated our site to help you through life so don’t forget to navigate to your favorite part of our site and drop a bookmark to come back later for more reads.

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Hundreds of thousands of businesses open their doors on an annual basis. Given how attractive the economy has been as of late, many would-be entrepreneurs have been trying to get in on that trend by starting up ventures of their own.

One of the largest barriers that many of those people run into is coming up with a great business idea.

Circumventing that barrier is the aim of this blog post.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the kind of business that you should open, below, our team shares some good commercial ideas that we feel are worth your serious consideration is given their 2020 growth potential.

Escape the room or escape game, is a physical game where players are locked in a room and a required to examine clues and solve a puzzles. The word “Xcape” is the password for this cryptex riddle

1. Financial Services

With unemployment rates at record lows, there are a lot more people out there with money in their pockets. Many of those people have no idea how to manage their newfound wealth.

If you’re a financial wiz that can help people make sense out of their cents, you can make waves in today’s business landscape.

Many financial services might legally require certain licensure to practice. Other professions in finance may have certifications that prospective clients will expect you to carry.

Look into which facets of financial services you’re most interested in, which pay the best and find out what you should acquire to run a successful practice.

2. Virtual Assistant

Some of the world’s biggest companies were founded by big thinkers. Those big-picture people are excellent at charting out what the future could look like.

What those big-picture people are not so good at is managing the small details that go into creating all of the change that they’re after.

That’s where you come in.

If you’re an organized person, sell your services as a virtual assistant that can help juggle visionary’s administrative tasks.

While being a virtual assistant isn’t a good commercial idea suggestion in the sense that it’s going to make you rich, once you build up a network of people that need assistant services, you could start employing people and build out your own agency.

3. Social Media Consultant

It used to be that businesses could go on social media, throw up some posts and get traction. Today, things are very different.

Impaction on social media has made it difficult for even the world’s biggest brands to hit their platform goals. If you’re a social expert that knows how to cut through the digital clutter, you can help out.

Social media consultants are brought on by businesses ranging from motion picture companies to escape room organizations. Consultants are hired as contractors or even as in-house full-time employees.

If you’re adamant about being a business owner, opt for the contractor arrangement and scale your company from there.

4. Home Cleaning

Homeownership is up in the United States and now hovers around a whopping 65%.

While the vast majority of those homeowners love owning the place where they live, do you know what they don’t love? Cleaning it.

If you can start up your own residential cleaning business, given the amount of expendable income that people have in today’s economy, you can make a killing.

Once you find success on the residential front, you can even branch out to commercial cleaning services to further diversify and stabilize your business.

5. eCommerce Retailer

The average consumer makes 1 out of every 10 of their purchases online. That 10% figure is slowly but surely working its way upwards and many speculate that soon, people will make the majority of their purchases online.

To cash in on that trend which is sure to continue picking up steam in 2020, source goods to sell on popular eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

You can acquire products from yard sales, discount stores or even manufacture items on your own.

6. Tutoring

That state of public schools in America is dire. Depending on where you live, your local school district might, on average, be producing students that fall well below basic reading and math levels.

Many parents that are trapped in these districts and can’t afford private schools opt to hire private tutors for their kids.

If you’re confident in primary school basics and are good at explaining things, this is a commercial idea go-to that’s both flexible and lucrative.

7. Ridesharing

There is perhaps no business that’s easier to get off the ground these days than ridesharing. Simply pick your agency (Uber, Lyft, etc.), pass a few basic checks and start earning money.

The global ridesharing industry is predicted to grow by 11% in the next year. You can be a benefactor of that growth by getting started driving now.

8. Technical Support

Technology is slowly but surely taking over the lives of everyday people.

Many of those people are senior citizens and if we know anything about seniors, it’s that they tend to struggle with today’s latest and greatest gadgets.

A lot of people that spent years mulling over which commercial ideas would net them the best returns have found gold mines in starting door-to-door technical support agencies that are targeted at the adult community. It’s not too late for you to grab your piece of that fortune.

Our Final Thoughts on Good Commercial Ideas That Are Primed for Growth

2020 is going to be a big year for some industries and a painful one for others. In our opinion, throwing your resources behind any one of the good commercial ideas that we’ve just outlined will put you in a great position to succeed in the new year.

If you find yourself in need of more business advice as you get your company off of the ground, dive deeper into our blog’s content pool.

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If you are an avid golfer, chances are you have thought of setting up a little mashie course in your back yard. Designing and building a mini golf course in your back yard is easier than you think. All you need is a little imagination, a plan, and a few materials to build the course of your dreams.

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Make A List Of Materials You Will Need

Make a list of everything you may need to create your mini golf course. You will need grass (if you do not have) for the greens, sand for golf bunkers, materials for pathways, and plants to create a scenic course.

For an authentic feel, add flags and yard measurementsto your list too. Perhaps a small water feature to create the water hazard for your course?

Invest in proper measuring tools and gardening equipment that will make your course a reality. In addition to the tools needed, consider which months will be better to build your course; rainy and wet seasons will be more frustrating to work in than warmer and drier months.

Designing Your Home Golf Course

You will need to design your backyard golf course with a few things in mind besides just the cost involved.

Firstly, the lay of your land; how will you adapt your garden to include your course? Secondly, measure your yard, this will make designing it a lot quicker and easier. Finally, consider what impact the golf course will have on the fauna and flora that currently exists in your garden.

You can use many eco-friendly materials that will enhance your golf course and last for years to come. Sustainability is cost-efficient when planned properly. Think of using recycled materials or composite structures for any walkways, fences or supporting materials for the bunkers.  

Drought-resistant grasses and plants that are indigenous to the area you live in are another great way to introduce sustainability. If you have a greywater system, hook that up to the irrigation for a greener green throughout the year. Use solar-powered walkway lights to brighten up your course as a feature at night.

Designing Software

When planning out your course, you will need to figure out where you want the holes, which obstructions should be included and where, and how long the course will be. This seems daunting but luckily technology is available to help you design the golf course you envision.

Golf course architecture and design software will take your design from paper to the computer to the garden effortlessly. When using the software, you can alter your designs or measure distances accurately according to the lay of your garden.

If you are new to the software, you will need to spend a few hours online getting to know the design program and going through some tutorials. You will be building and designing your golf course virtually, which can be a lot of fun and a gratifying way to see what your end product will look like.

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For employers running a business, the risk of employing people includes the possibility of them getting injured on the job. Of course, there are safety procedures to adhere to which help to reduce the possibility of an injury but it’s never possible to reduce the risks to zero. Life is inherently unpredictable.

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We’ll now explore the role of personal injury lawyers who seek to represent their clients to the best of their ability.

Who Should Handle Personal Injury Cases?

For an employee who’s been injured at work or while outside the premises operating on the behalf of the company (delivery driver, chauffeur, etc.) getting injured is a confusing time.

They usually never expected it to happen – it probably never has before – and they’re unsure what to do. Because they’re not a medical doctor, they cannot appreciate the extent of their injuries sustained nor whether treatment for them will be costly or prolonged. They’re at a knowledge disadvantage and often have advice flying at them from all directions, including from their concerned employer.

Why Do People Hire Personal Injury Lawyers?

Quite often, the information deficit causes an employer to seek out the services of personal injury lawyers in NYC (or elsewhere in the country).

Rather than see it as a personal affront or an attack on their employer, it’s important to realize that they are just trying to protect their interests at a difficult time. While dealing with pain, hospital appointments, and a disrupted work schedule, they’re concerned about what the medical bills will cost and how bad things are going to get as a result of the workplace accident.

Seeking out a personal injury attorney is also relevant because most people have no idea how much the final bill for their medical care will be. They don’t yet know if the injury has created nerve damage or other health issues that will not get resolved easily, if ever. An attorney that specializes in these types of cases will have a far better idea what the range of medical expenses is typical for certain injuries and whether compensation is likely.

Should a Company Take a Compensation Claim Seriously?

It stands to reason that all companies should take the health and safety of their employees seriously. Providing a safe and healthy work environment is expected and there are plenty of laws to back that up.

Whether there’s fault on the part of the company is a good question. That will need to be explored through lawyers once more facts are known about what caused the accident, the seriousness of the injury and what medical procedures are required.

At this point, it’ll enter into a negotiation phase. For the employee, it’s much better to allow a personal injury lawyer to represent them here because they’re too emotionally attached to be their own best representative. It’s certainly possible for companies to reach an acceptable settlement that helps cover or contribute towards medical expenses and other forms of compensation for pain and suffering caused without it getting rancorous.

Personal injury attorneys have a job to do like everyone else. They’re actually extremely useful for distressed employees who are in pain and don’t know what to do about their situation. When approached from that perspectives, companies affected by an injured employee should seek to work proactively towards a satisfactory solution.

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So, you’ve recently set up your own business, and most entrepreneurs will agree that the actions you take during these early stages will be absolutely key to your success in the future. And, saving money when starting out will also be a large priority, so it’s no surprise that many small business owners get around this by doing as many things themselves as they can. Jobs like social media marketing, blogging, and even designing your own website can easily be done by yourself today, plus admin tasks, customer service and much more. But, one aspect of your business that can be very risky to do yourself is accounting. Keeping your own books might seem like an attractive way to save some money but it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

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Do You Have Experience?

Before you decide whether or not it’s a good idea to do your own bookkeeping, you should ask yourself, how much experience do I have? If you have a degree in accountancy and experience in the field, then it might not be such a bad idea. But if you’re like most entrepreneurs and don’t really know the last thing about business accounting, then it’s best to leave it to the professionals. If the very idea of receipts, payments, numbers and tax audits is making you feel stressful, then this isn’t a job that you should try and tackle on your own.

Do You Have the Time?

Even if you have got some accounting experience and are confident that you can do the job well, another important question to ask is do you have the time to dedicate to bookkeeping? Going through all the numbers can be a pretty time-consuming job, and when you’ve got all the other areas of your business to deal with and customers to keep happy, the last thing that you want is for hours of your day to be taken up crunching numbers. Even if you’re using a good accounting software it can still cut into precious time that you could be using to market and grow your business further. And if you’re rushing, there’s more potential for mistakes to be made, which can have disastrous consequences. Whilst tax resolution services are available, you want to avoid putting yourself in a position where you need them because of a small mistake you made when you were pressed for time.

Do You Want Your Business to Grow?

If you’re starting out as a sole trader and running the business on your own, it might be easy for you to do your own bookkeeping during these early stages, as your overheads will not be as high as a larger company. However, if you want your business to grow and start taking on employees, doing your own bookkeeping will quickly become tedious and time-consuming, with more expenses to contend with and employee tax to consider. It might be worth doing your own bookkeeping until you take on your first employee, then consider hiring a professional accountant.

For many business owners, DIY bookkeeping can be a way to save money – but is it really worth it?

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For many people, entrepreneurship is an alluring career choice – and it’s easy to see why. Running your own business means that you make all the decisions, and you’re your own boss. You can make as little or as much money as you like, you can take vacation days whenever you want, and choose your own working hours in line with your schedule. But, running a business isn’t for the faint-hearted. With competition fiercer than ever, being successful as an entrepreneur means being armed with a large amount of current business knowledge and being prepared to face whatever challenges the journey throws at you. So, you might be considering studying for a business degree before embarking on your new venture, but is it worth it?

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Improve Your Business Knowledge:

If this is your first time running your own business then a business degree can certainly help you get the foundations of business knowledge that you’re going to need to become successful. Whilst anybody can learn enough about running a business to get by without studying at college, it’s certainly recommended if you want superior knowledge and an edge over your competition. You’ll not only study about the basics of business, but also learn more about important aspects such as marketing, business finances, and more, which will help you transition smoothly into entrepreneurship and avoid some common mistakes.

Boost Your Network:

One thing that any successful business owner needs is a strong network around them. A business network could consist of experienced professionals that you can turn to for advice and wisdom, investors who may be able to help your company financially, and other company owners who you can collaborate with to get better results for the both of you. Attending college is a great way to start building your network from the start. You’ll meet other students who may already have a background in business, plus professors and tutors who will be highly experienced, with connections of their own that they can put you in touch with.

It’s Easier:

Let’s not forget how much easier studying for a college degree is today, either. In fact, the fact that getting your degree has become so much more accessible is often enough for many would-be entrepreneurs to take the plunge. A range of on-campus, online, full-time and part-time degree programs from colleges like Everglades University have made it possible for aspiring business owners to get on with learning more about business and get a step further to their dream career without having to give up with job that they are currently working in, which can be very useful if you’re working full-time and considering making a transition into entrepreneurship.

It’s an Investment:

Last but not least, consider your college degree as the first investment that you’ll make in your business. Before all else, your entrepreneurship knowledge and skills will be the backbone of your young company and should be the first thing that you invest in, with a massive return on income potential.

If you’re considering starting your own business, studying it at college first can be a very useful idea.

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There were 634,400 medical assistant jobs in 2016. And that number just keeps on growing.

Medical assistant jobs offer a rewarding and exciting career in a fast-paced medical environment. Do you think you have what it takes?

Read on to learn all you need to know about becoming a medical administrative assistant.

What Is a Medical Administrative Assistant?

When you walk into a medical clinic, hospital or health care facility, the person sitting behind the front desk is typically a medical assistant.

A medical assistant plays a vital role in the daily operation of a doctor’s office. Medical assistant jobs involve taking care of all the clerical duties of the office. Read more about the outlook for medical assistants.

The role includes filing records, ordering lab tests, coding medical records, and completing forms for insurance companies. They also send lab results to the right location.

Medical assistants might also use a medical database to log records and can compile medical charts and records for better efficiency in the office.

Besides these clerical duties, medical assistants also perform general administrative tasks such as answering the phone and making appointments. Bookkeeping might also be on the list of duties, especially in a small practice.

Young doctor assistant standing in medical office noting prescriptions

Keep in mind that a medical administrative assistant is different than a medical assistant (though we use the term interchangeably in this article). A medical assistant performs admin duties but also performs medical duties like prepping patients for exams and procedures.

Day-to-Day Duties of a Medical Administrative Assistant

Your most important task as a medical administrative assistant is to keep your office running efficiently and smoothly.

The specific functions you do each day will depend on what type of practice you work in. It also depends on your department. You will spend a good amount each day interacting with patients (in person and on the phone) and also physicians.

You will also give patients exceptional customer service and help them feel comfortable.

Education Requirements

The best way to learn how to work in medical assistant jobs is with on-the-job medical assistant training.

Yet, there are also many medical assistant training programs that will give you a leg up on the competition. Look for colleges that offer 2-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) programs. Or, you can opt to take a one-year program to get a diploma or certificate.

You can also become a certified medical assistant. More on that below.

You don’t have to have medical assistant certification for many jobs, yet it can certainly help get you the job.

Courses You Will Likely Take

Medical assistant programs offer a wide variety of courses that will prepare you for your role as a medical administrative assistant.

Here are some of the courses you may be expected to take:

  • Accounting
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • computer applications
  • Ethics
  • Essentials in pharmaceuticals
  • healthcare law
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical office procedures
  • Medical insurance and billing

However, all programs are different. Check each college’s website for information on pre-requisites and required coursework.

On top of your academic courses, you will also get practical job experience by completing a placement in a medical setting.

Medical Administrative Assistant Certification Requirements

If you were the hiring manager at a clinic, would you rather hire the person with the relevant certification or someone without it?

Many organizations look for medical administrative assistants who have a type of certification.

Many professional associations offer certification including the American Association of Medical Assistants. Sometimes, certification is offered through the school program you attend. Or there are various online certification programs.

There are two choices for certification. You can choose to take a certification program or write an exam.

The certification programs can range from anywhere from six months to a year.

During this certification, you will learn everything you need to know about being a medical administrative assistant. You’ll learn the medical terms and abbreviations you’ll be expected to know. You’ll also learn the guidelines and regulations surrounding health care.

Your other option is to choose to write and pass a nationally recognized exam. This option allows you to bypass the training. This is a good option for those who have already completed a degree or program elsewhere.

Job Prospects and Potential Pay

By now you’re probably wondering if becoming a medical administrative assistant is worth the effort. You are wondering about the job outlook in the next 10-15 years and the average salary.

The good news is that medical assistants are in high demand. America is aging. The rising amount of elderly in the country will prompt a higher need for health care.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the medical assistance field will grow much faster than average. In fact, statistics show that the demand for these jobs will increase by a whopping 22% from now until 2026.

The average yearly salary for medical administrative assistants is $44,950.

With experience, you can expect a steady raise over your lifetime.

Your salary will also depend on where you work geographically as well as in what field. Medical assistants working in research typically earn more.

Skills Needed to Excel as a Medical Assistant

Not everyone is cut out to do well as a medical administrative assistant. On top of the skills you learn in school, you need to have various other soft skills that will help you succeed in your chosen profession.

Medical administrative assistants act as the face of the organization to the patients. They also interact often with insurance providers and physicians. It’s crucial that they have excellent people and customer service skills.

A medical assistant wears many different hats (often at the same time). It’s helpful to be able to be a good multi-tasker. The best medical assistants are extremely organized and efficient.

Decision-making skills are also an asset. This will help you choose the best course of action when things don’t go according to plan.

Where Medical Assistants Work

Medical administrative assistants work in a variety of settings. Many work in private doctor’s clinics as well as walk-in and urgent care clinics.

There is also a need for medical assistants in both private and public hospitals. This includes outpatient clinics.

There are limited jobs at specialist offices such as at the offices of optometrists, chiropractors, and podiatrists.

Alternative Careers

If you like the medical field but aren’t sure if a medical administrative assistant is the right fit for you, there are other options you can explore.

Similar career options include medical secretary and health information technician. Here is what you need to know about each.

Medical Secretary

A medical secretary is a similar role to that of a medical administrative assistant. In fact, some clerical tasks may overlap.

Yet, medical secretaries perform even more complex office duties such as dictating notes for a doctor, fixing billing issues and dealing with insurance companies over patient coverage.

High-school education might be sufficient to get a job as a medical secretary. Yet, most clinics will prefer to hire those who have some college courses under their belt. Particularly in medical terminology and office procedures.

The average salary for a medical secretary is $24,857. And just like medical assistants, medical secretary roles are seeing faster-than-average job growth.

Though it is less money, this may be a better fit for you.

Health Information Technician

Health information technicians deal with the storage and retrieval of patient files. If you are an efficient person who loves to improve processes, this may be the perfect job for you.

Health information technicians organize paper and digital documents. They look at patient records to make sure they are accurate and complete.

They code files for various other purposes, convert paper files to digital formats and make sure documents are protected against unauthorized access.

This role has a lot less interaction with patients though there is still some interaction with insurance companies and physicians.

Those interested in this role will benefit from completing a health information technology associate degree. There are also some certificate programs available for this field.

The average salary for a health information technician is $36,698.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading. We hope this in-depth look at the exciting career of medical administrative assistant has been useful.

If you enjoy interacting with people, enjoy multitasking and can keep your cool in a busy working environment, then this may be the perfect job for you.

Stay up-to-date with the latest world, culture, business, and lifestyle news. Come back again soon for more great articles for you to read.

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The air compressor industry brings in around $12 billion every year in the United States alone.

It’s no surprise considering how many businesses and individuals use these units to power tools and perform other tasks. If you’re looking to buy one for yourself or your business, it’s important to consider a few things before getting started.

Keep reading for our air compressor buying guide which includes information about the four types of air compressors you can buy.

Air compressor system: manometer and accessories, closeup.

Types of Air Compressors

Before we get to the guide, let’s look at the basic types of air compressors you can choose from for workspaces.

Rotary Screw Compressor

These low-maintenance air compressors create air pressure thanks to two rotors which turn in opposite directions. They’re designed for continuous use and are typically large. This can make them difficult for home use and small spaces.

Centrifugal Compressor

For a large amount of power, there’s the centrifugal compressor which can reach up to 1,000 horsepower. They also work well for small areas because of their size. These compress air by using a diffuser to slow down and cool the incoming air.

Reciprocating Air Compressor

This is another small unit that works great if you need different amounts of pressure. A reciprocating air compressor uses a piston to compress air within a cylinder that you can then use.

Air Compressor Buying Guide

When you’re ready to buy an air compressor, you need to look beyond the types available. This is because, within the three main types of air compressors, there are additional ways to determine which unit is right for you.

Let’s look at the five things you need to consider before buying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to get more info so you can avoid buyer’s remorse.

Drive Method

This refers to how the air compressor is powered. The most common drive methods are engines, motors, and steam. In some cases, this determines how much power a unit has, but it can also determine short- and long-term cost.

Cooling Method

This is generally a less important consideration, but one that’s important to know for properly maintaining your unit. Air compressors use either oil, air, or water to avoid overheating.

Compression Stages

If you need different levels of air pressure with the same unit, you’ll want to make sure you get one that has several to meet your needs.

Lubrication

There are two types of air compressors in terms of lubrication. Some use oil while others are oil-free. The oil-free units use oil for some parts, but not those that will come into contact with the compressed oil.

Level of Customization

How much customization you need depends greatly on what you’re using your air compressor for. Most people can get away with getting an existing unit although specialized companies and projects may need a custom-made unit.

Want More Current News?

With this air compressor buying guide, you should be able to go out and get the right unit for you, your work project, or your business.

If you want more current news, check out our blog. We help you keep up with what’s going on in the world today so you don’t feel left behind in life or business.

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Investors and business owners alike follow commercial real estate trends. They wish to know what the future holds and how it may affect their business or their investment portfolio. What are the four most important trends they should be watching in 2019? Furthermore, why are these trends of importance?

Industrial and Multifamily Properties Remain in High Demand

ULI’s 2019 Emerging Trends report announces industrial and multifamily assets will remain popular in 2019. Investors are grabbing up entire portfolios to strengthen their position in the industry. A good example of this is the Blackstone Group. This group recently obtained logistics assets from Harvard University, investing nearly $1 billion when doing so.

Retail locations are becoming hot again, especially those primed for upgrades or redevelopment. Investors snatch up these properties thanks to their low cost and ability to be used for alternative purposes. Anyone looking for commercial real estate needs to act quickly before they miss out on a great opportunity.

Office Space Demand May Slow

Office net absorption remains positive. If the country continues to see job growth in those sectors making use of this type of commercial real estate, investors may once again look to this area to build their portfolio. Experts are noticing office real estate expansion is greatest in those areas in close proximity to entertainment venues and additional amenities.

However, these buildings now consist of smaller workspaces that are more flexible, and co-working is becoming more common. Nevertheless, if fewer jobs are created, office demand will decrease thanks to the supply levels. When this occurs, vacancy rates will rise and rent will grow at a slower pace thanks to increased competition.

Real Estate Tech Will Flourish

Real estate brokers, as with any business person, look for ways to simplify their daily operations. With the help of new technology, doing so will be less of a challenge. New products can be of help with everything from research to property management. Every company needs to look into investing in this area or risk falling behind competitors. In a competitive market, lagging in this area can be very dangerous and lead to customers looking elsewhere. For this reason, many in real estate will make boosting their technology a top priority.

New Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Will Emerge

Thanks to many retailers closing their physical locations, storefronts will sit vacant or so many believe. However, certain online retailers are opting to make use of this space and are opening physical locations to complement their current online presence. Amazon is one company making this move, and it is joined by Athleta and Casper. These retailers have very little to lose because the rents are incredibly low as landlords try to fill the vacant spots that are overtaking their properties.

Although nobody can accurately predict the future, as there are too many variables at play, experts can provide information on what they expect to happen based on their insider knowledge. While these four trends need to be monitored, this does not mean other aspects of commercial real estate are to be ignored.

The more a person knows, the easier it becomes to make informed decisions that are right for their business. For this reason, every person interested in this sector should follow the news to see what develops and what may be coming. Knowledge always remains the most important thing.

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Document automation software can help you save hours on designing and formatting documents. Find out other reasons to use document automation here.

Did you know that 99.9% of all establishments in the United States are small businesses? That equates to about 30.2 million businesses, with 8 million of them owned by minority groups. 

Yes, it’s a competitive world and a majority of businesses don’t survive.

If you want your business to become more competitive, you need document automation software. It doesn’t matter whether it’s thank you letters, quotes, contracts, or other documents. You’ll save time, money, and cut document efforts.

Are you ready to learn the benefits of document automation? Read on and find out more.

Why You Should Use Documentation Automation Software

Aside from its direct benefits, document automation has its own set of indirect advantages that go beyond its function. For some organizations, these can make more impact on their success. Here are some reasons your business should use document automation software:

1. Increase Data Compliance

Your business will see a large improvement in your data compliance as a byproduct of your document process automation. After all, your employees can only access documents using the app. 

Your data integrity improves. It happens since you can complete documents based on the data you employees put into the document automation app.

2. Decrease Resources Used to Documents

A lot of organizations dedicate a lot of resources to help audit and manage documents. That meant you had to hire employees and get more software. With document automation, your company can reallocate these resources to other productive projects.

3. Minimize Training Time

The most challenging part of a new job is to learn the business’s internal processes. If you automate document creation, it’s now replicable and easier to internalize. Your new employees can focus better on the work you hired them for.

That means you don’t need to train them on how to make and deliver documents needed in the sales process.

4. Protect Sensitive Data

A lot of documents you distribute can contain sensitive data. Whether it’s internal or external documents, information like these are private:

  • Pricing
  • Financial figures
  • Sales results
  • Customer consumption data

If you automate your data creation process, it will limit the data exposed on an employee’s desktop. It decreases the chances of information finding its way to the wrong hands.

 Both your data and documents will sit together in a single repository. The best part is that you have control over permissions. This will help in limiting the people that can access your documents and sensitive data.

5. Reduce the Number of Documents Managed

With document generators, you’ll have control on the versions and content of the documents. That will limit the number of documents made by your employees. There are companies out there that automated 98% of the data they have in their contract process.

As a result of automation, these companies decreased the number of documents used to make new contracts from more than a thousand to a hundred.

6. Use Consistent Branding

Regardless of whether you’re a small business with 20 employees or a giant corporation, you need consistent branding. It will apply whether it’s your company’s voice or the visuals that accompany it.

If you automate your document creation, you control the document’s content. You also have control over the template. This will ensure that all your employees represent your company with consistent color schemes, logos, and graphics.

7. Make a Repeatable Business Service

Making documents in a manual fashion can often become a tedious task. Once you automate its process, it becomes a repeatable process for your entire business. Your employees increase in productivity since they won’t feel worn out by starting from the ground up every time.

Your employees can also access the same data regardless of their employment duration. They can merge these with your document to generate a document package. 

8. Easier Storage and Retrieval

Storing your electronic documents on a centralized location will reduce the necessity of physical filing cabinets. That will save your office a lot of space, making employees feel less claustrophobic. Besides, that will also give you more space to put some amenities to boost employee morale.

Document automation applications store your documents in a secure manner, regardless of the total number of people working within your system. With this, your employees won’t accidentally stumble on documents they aren’t supposed to read. It also eases up their search process when trying to access related documents.

Also, it’s important to remember that hard copy document retrieval can become a time-consuming task. Depending on your company size, it will take anywhere between minutes and days. If you’re in a fast-paced business environment, this is an inefficient way of dealing with documents.

Automating your documents will allow you to get all these documents in one secure system. The retrieval is also instantaneous.

9. Allows Collaboration

Do you have different locations for your company? If so, you know the difficulty of teams working in different areas of the office. It’s even harder when you’re trying to make two different departments collaborate.

But if you automate your document creation, you cut the manual collaboration of documents. You can also drop the need for physical collaboration of these teams if you want. This will improve your efficiency since teams can now talk online and work together.

These electronic documents can have updates in real time. It means any collaborator for the documents won’t need to wait for long before they can start editing the same document. That decreases downtime and improves the overall productivity of your company.

Use Document Automation Software Today!

There are a lot of other benefits when using document automation software in your workplace. But the most important advantage is that you save both money and manpower. This helps you allocate these extra resources to more productive tasks.

If you want to look for more benefits, don’t hesitate to do some more research. But the benefits listed here are great enough as a starting point.

Did you enjoy this guide? If so, read more of our posts and discover more tips today.

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In the business world growth is often the name of the game. If growing your business was as simple as wanting it to happen, however, every business would be doing it. The key to taking the company you have today and growing it into the business you want it to be is developing a product or service that people want but also developing the right marketing campaigns to let customers know that your business is out there. If you’re ready for a step up for your business, here are some key practices to implement.

Imagine similară

Do Your Research

Sometimes the simplest tasks are also the easiest to overlook. When you’ve been doing the same thing in your marketing for a long time it can be easy to think that you fully understand your clientele and know exactly the type of customer icon you should be gearing your campaigns around. If you have not assessed your data recently, however, that may not be the case. Not only should you be performing regular research into the types of customers who are purchasing your products, but you should also keep an eye on your competition’s marketing. What are they doing that is effective and what are they doing which seems to be failing to draw in viewers. Take what’s working and adjust it to fit your brand and you’ll be on the path to a bigger business.

Utilize Sales Funnels

If sales funnels are not a part of your digital marketing campaigns then you are likely missing out on potential customers with every ad that you run. On a well-executed sales funnel, browsers are directed from your ad onto a landing page which entices them to provide you with value. Whether that means producing a sale of a product immediately, or simply using a promotion in order to get contact information of interested consumers, the funnel guides them from where they were initially browsing online to where you need them to be.

Reward Loyal Customers

When you’re trying to grow your company it may seem like a tangent to discuss ways to reward current customers but you should approach customer retention as a part of your greater marketing strategy. It’s more cost effective to maintain a current customer than it is to find a new one, so keeping the customers you already earned makes it significantly easier to invest enough in marketing to grow into your targets. Loyalty programs are even better as they often can kill two birds with one stone. While systems like loyalty points keep customers coming back and occasionally provide the extra nudge when a customer is deciding between your store and another, referral bonuses get your customers to market for you.

Grow Your Lists

A fully developed set of email lists is a must for any business in the modern marketing landscape. You should maintain multiple lists with everything from currently active members to former customers and those who merely expressed interest in the past. Online funnels are a great way to gather emails from prospective customers by offering a simple deal for those who provide an email address.Once you have a set of lists set up you can target your email campaigns to hit the types of customers most likely to be intrigued by the emails you are sending. Email lists are an excellent way to get your offers and deals in front of a large number of consumers who have already shown they are intrigued by what you’re offering.

Find the Right Partners

When two companies have crossover in their client lists without having competition it’s the perfect opportunity to work together so that both companies benefit. An office with a health policy which helps to cover gym fees can partner up with a local gym for special rates, for example. The gym gets increased business from the employees choosing to use the gym for greatly reduced out of pocket spending while the office benefits from being able to offer a great deal in order to attract top talent.

Embrace Innovated Technologies

There’s no better way to set yourself apart from the competition than being innovative and changing the game. When your company has something that makes it truly unique you should take advantage of that unique hook to draw eyes to your brand, like Mark Crumpacker, Zume Culinary’s Chief Marketing Officer, did in his time with the company and its fleet of mobile pizza kitchens. There are few industries which are not crowded with competition, so highlighting what makes your business special helps you to make a name for your brand and stand out from the crowd.

The right marketing campaign can take your company to places it’s never been before. If you’re unsure of the next step for your marketing strategies try some of the above techniques and you’ll likely see new faces walking through the doors before you know it.

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Have you ever felt like your income stretches a little less as time goes on, even if the amount on your paycheck has remained the same? Well, the “good” news is that you’re not imagining this phenomenon. But the more challenging news is that you, along with Americans everywhere, are dealing with the rising costs of living—inflation not necessarily reflected in salaries and hourly wages.

So, what’s a consumer to do when the cost of living is outpacing their earnings? Here’s more on what’s happening and some tips for making every cent of your income count.

While Cost of Living Rises, Wages Stay Stagnant

At first glance, the current economy is chugging along: Unemployment’s at a low following the gradual recovery from our last recession, and wages are up. But what’s increasing even more rapidly than income is the cost of living. One survey found the cost of living in America has climbed 14 percent within the last three years. The median cost for a home has jumped 21 percent, while median rent has gone up by 7.6 percent across the same period.

As debt expert and Freedom Debt Relief co-founder Andrew Housser writes, many U.S. consumers are feeling the pinch as a result: household savings rates are down, few people have the emergency funds they’d need to cover an unexpected expense, and household budgets are “more fragile for the lower part of the income distribution.”

The takeaway? In the face of the rising costs of living, it’s more important than ever to make the most of every penny you earn.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Income

Instead of using paychecks as a means to stay afloat, get strategic about how you use each and every one. Here are a few choice tips from the Las Vegas Review-Journal for doing so:

  • Create a budget: Avoid randomly using your paychecks to address expenses by writing them down in order of cost and necessity, then logging how much of your paycheck goes to each one. Prioritize from there. You can use a spreadsheet or a budgeting app to stay current on your budget.
  • Adjust how much you’re withholding: You may be withholding too much from each paycheck in the name of getting a refund at the end of the year; that’s money you could use each month to save, pay down debt, etc.
  • Pay down debt: Interest on outstanding debts will hold you back over time, so it’s wise to pay more than the minimum. Many people find it helpful to pay down debts in descending order based on either balance or interest rate.
  • Set up automatic savings: To avoid the temptation of accidentally overspending, make sure a healthy percentage of each check automatically goes toward saving.
  • Build up your emergency fund: Make sure a portion of each paycheck goes into a separate emergency fund to pad you against future catastrophes large and small.
  • Plan for the future: Even though retirement may seem a long way off, setting aside a percentage of each paycheck will set you up for the future once your income stops.
  • Have some fun, too: Once you’ve prioritized the aforementioned financial goals, you can use some of your paycheck to reward yourself for staying on track. Allowing yourself some wiggle room for discretionary spending is important.

Instead of expecting yourself to avoid discretionary spending altogether, simply build it into your budget as something you can do after you budget for necessities. This will help you wring more value out of each paycheck.

It’s undeniable the costs of living are going up for Americans, which makes it more important than ever to be strategic about how you use your income.

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Do you recall your last experience on a boat ride? It must have been epic! Now imagine owning a boat. It will give you a far better experience.

However, acquiring a boat can be hectic. You need to weigh your options and see if it’s worth buying a boat or renting one.

If you settle on buying a boat, here are some factors to consider.

Speedboat with Sign SALE on White Placard

1. Do You Want a New or a Refurbished Boat?

How much are you willing to spend on the boat? A new boat will cost you more, but it’s more advantageous.

You don’t have to worry about wear and tear for the first several years because all the parts are new.

Refurbished boats are cheaper than new ones. However, some have significantly depreciated and have limited functionality.

In case they have any malfunctioning parts, you’ll have to incur repair costs since it has no warranty. To avoid all this, get a trained mechanic to do a thorough inspection of the refurbished boat before you buy it.

2. What’s the Intended Use?

Why do you want to buy a boat? Boats have several uses that are widely categorized into commercial, security, research, sports, transport, and personal use. Look at the size of the boat and how it functions.

For instance, a family boat should be spacious and have compartments to store food and personal items needed for family vacations. It should also be designed to feel warm and homely. A sports boat should have a strong engine that supports sporting activities.

All the same, don’t limit yourself. Get a versatile boat that has multipurpose functions.

3. Size Matters!

The purpose of the boat dictates the size. A family boat requires more space compared to a two-person fishing boat.

An aluminium fishing boat with measurements ranging from 8-24 feet can comfortably hold eight people. At the same time, a multipurpose speedboat ranging from 16-24 feet can also hold the same number of people.

The occupancy, coupled with the purpose of the boat, should guide you when looking into the specifications of the boat you intend to buy.

4. How Many Times Will You Use the Boat?

How frequently will you use the boat? Every day, once in a week, month or two months? If you intend to use it frequently, then ‘it’s wise to purchase a new boat.

If you ‘aren’t a frequent user, consider other options such as buying a used boat or renting.

5. The Type of Boat

There are two common types of boats; sailboats and motor powered boats. Motor powered boats are easier to drive while the sailing boats usually rely on the wind.

The choice depends on personal preference. It also depends on what you intend to use the boat for. If you need a boat for a relaxing and quite fishing time, a sailing boat is better.

If you enjoy activities such as waterskiing, go for a motor powered boat.

6. Storage Is a Key Consideration

Where do you intend to keep your boat? This is one of the most important considerations to make. Some people may keep their boats on a trailer so they can explore various waterways. Others dock their boats at a home port marina.

The bigger the boat you buy, the stronger and larger the truck, trailer or car you will require to pull it while traveling.

If you end up getting a huge boat, keep in mind that you will hire professionals to move it. You might end up needing permits to move it to long distance locations.

During winter, it ‘won’t be possible to use your boat. So you need to factor the storage costs for such long periods.

7. Insurance Costs

Whether you intend to buy a new or refurbished boat, you must factor insurance costs. For that, you will need an agent who specializes in marine boat insurance.

When shopping for a boat, work with an agent because most of them have relationships with specific boat insurance companies, and they can help you get a good bargain on the boat and the insurance rates.

Also, remember that a boat’s insurance premium and coverage is directly affected by its size, cost of purchase, and the age.

Commercial boats are therefore relatively easy to be maintained. This is because money earned in their operations covers the insurance expenses, unlike non-commercial boats.

8. Payment Methods

Consider your financing options while buying a boat. You can pay cash, take a loan or pay in installments. Whichever way suits you, look at the interest rates and the payment period.

If ‘you’re thinking of paying in installments, keep in mind that different dealers have different requirements depending on the type, value and age of the boat you intend to purchase.

In most cases, depending on the cost of the boat, you will require an initial deposit.

If you decide to take a loan, consider the time you want to service it depending on how your income flows.

9. Do a Thorough Inspection of the Boat before Finalizing the Purchase

Buying a new boat? Make sure a trained mechanic conducts a thorough inspection to ensure everything meets all legal requirements.

You also need to be acquainted about maritime laws. Find out more here.

Ensure your boat has such things as lifejackets, a first aid kit, an equipped toolbox, a warranty, and of course ‘it’s insured.

Before buying a used boat, look out for the following:

1. Inspect for any signs of damage. If you come across cracking, moisture in fiberglass, flexing, and mould on the floor, don’t buy the boat. These are signs of an old and rotting boat.

2. Check the electronics work. Seized bilge pumps and burnt-out bulbs have affordable solutions. However, if multiple devices on the fritz don’t function, it could mean faulty wiring. If the engine overheats, that means trouble!

Ensure You Make an Informed Decision When Buying a Boat

Buying a boat is a significant lifetime achievement. You don’t want to make a mistake of purchasing a faulty, dysfunctional boat. Consult widely.

Shop until you find the one that suits your needs. It’s easier and better to get advice from a professional dealer.

Check out our blog posts to learn more about lifestyle decisions and don’t forget to bookmark our site to never miss a new post!