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Nancy Clayson

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Nancy is a young, full of life lady who joined the team shortly after the BelleNews site started to run. She is focused on bringing up to light all the latest news from the technology industry. In her opinion the hi-tech expresses the humanity intellectual level. Nancy is an active person; she enjoys sports and delights herself in doing gardening in her spare time, as well as reading, always searching for new topics for her articles.


Image source Pixabay

The main purpose of website builder platforms is to simplify the entire website creation process. It is now possible to create a website without much technical knowledge and design talent with their drag-and-drop technology and professionally-designed templates.

Why Use a Website Builder?

Website builders benefit people with little or no technical and design skills. Using these platforms, your website can also be edited and updated at any time.  It is also easy to regularly maintain the website with its easy-to-use interface.

Top Website Builder Platforms

Using a proper website builder, you will be able to create a decent website for your business and have it up and running in no time. Here’s a list of 5 of the best website builder platforms:

  1. com

Wix.com has been consistently voted as the top choice for overall the best all-around website builder. With this website builder software, you can build just about any site imaginable – from a simple blog to an e-commerce store.

Wix has endless customization options. Websites that depend on ad revenue, such as what banner advertising provides, need these numerous design options that provide the necessary screen space and layout for selling ads.

  1. Site123

This simple and straightforward website builder has at least a few hundred templates to choose from. It also delivers a strong uptime at 99.99%. With Site123, everything is tailor-made and customizable. The platform even has plans for creating multiple pages.

Its huge dedicated help section heavily supports e-commerce stores. This is a big plus for website builders who need to be able to design websites that can produce             ad revenue and still meet the needs of visitors. Ads can easily be integrated by those who want to make extra income online through marketing platforms such as Click2sell.co.               

Weebly

Many users claim that Weebly is the easiest website builder to use. It could be used by either growing start-ups or more established businesses. Its intuitive editor makes it easy to customize site options.

Weebly is one of the most versatile website builder platforms because it is compatible with every device. It is also full of e-commerce solutions such as automatic tax calculator, digital gift cards, and Paypal integration.

  1. GoDaddy

GoDaddy’s different design templates are grouped into different categories based on the site you want to build.

One great thing about this site builder is that it offers a free trial for one month. It also offers a great customer support, with its 24/7 phone availability, Live Chat, Forum, and Knowledgebase.

  1. IMCreator

IMCreator has a user-friendly “point and click” interface where you can build e-stores, blogs, and e-commerce websites with a simple click. This is a scalable platform, supporting both single page and multi-page layouts.


Since it has unlimited web hosting and domain services, this is a great option for start-ups. One unique feature of IMCreator is XPRS, which helps users build a website with the use of beautifully-constructed ready-made blocks.

This list of 5 of the top website builders all have one thing in common: they know that there are three most important factors that users appreciate: usability, uptime, and speed. Aside from all of these factors, they should also have top-notch customer support should you need additional assistance.

Image source Pixabay

Technological advancement has taken over almost every field in the world, including vehicles. The structure, electronics, and equipment used in cars are uniquely designed by each company and this makes it difficult for a normal repair shop to handle the repairs, services, and maintenance rightly. So to provide the right maintenance & repairing services for car, manufacturing companies have started a chain of certified auto body repair shops around the world. This has made it much more convenient for people who own complex designed cars like Tesla to get the correct kind of repair services while keeping the warranty intact.

What Does Certified Mean?

A car repair shop becomes ‘Certified’ when its team including the manager, engineers, mechanics & painters etc, go through & complete authorized training provided by a specific automobile manufacturing company. This means that they need to follow specific procedures for every vehicle-related job they do. This ensures to keep the warranty intact while not compromising with the quality of services. You can easily find the finest certified shops in Long Island like Keri Coach Works online and get in touch with them.

These shops have been set up all around the globe by automobile manufacturing companies and can be easily found by searching online. You can either visit them or get your car towed away, in case its engine is not starting up. The staff of such firms is really understanding and patient with the customers to ensure full satisfaction.

Training

The training is provided at the authorized centers that have been specially set up in various cities and the car repair firms can get in touch with them to join the training program & get the authorization from them. All the personnel needs to clear the training as only then the certificate will be provided to them.

Services Offered By Certified Auto Repair Shops

Certified shops such as Keri Coach Works have basically been set up to provide a wide range of services including paint jobs, dent removal, cosmetic repairing, servicing, towing services, realignment, towing services, aluminum casting, car rentals, and regular maintenance etc. These shops usually have highly experienced teams to ensure a high quality, hassle free service always. Technologically advanced and uniquely designed cars like Tesla require immense expertise and standard procedures for all kind of vehicular problems and thus a certified shop is the best option for you.

Reasons To Choose Certified Shops

Choosing a certified shop provides you with a long list of benefits such as:

  • Standard procedures are followed to ensure safe and best services are offered for your vehicle
  • Written documentation is maintained to keep the written records about regular maintenance of your car
  • Warranty remains intact when you get the car repaired or serviced from an authorized center
  • You can get the faster response time from these centers rather than uncertified ones
  • The charges in these centers are quite lesser as standard prices are already set
  • Only manufacturing company equipment & hardware is used to ensure authenticity always
  • There is no compromise with the quality as these represent the automobile firms and any negative feedback can prove too harmful for their status

Finding The Best Certified Shop

You can easily check the online reviews of previous customers about a shop, check their websites for certification detail or you can ask the market experts as they can provide you with a detailed insight about the company. This way you can ensure the best services and repairs for you Tesla car. Mostly, all certified firms ensure to provide the finest quality of services & thus you can visit the nearest one without hesitation.

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Image source NASA Earth Observatory

At least 17 deaths have been confirmed so far in a swath of Hurricane Michael’s destruction stretching up to Virginia.

Rescuers have still to search the worst-affected areas of Florida’s flattened Mexico Beach.

Michael, one of the most powerful hurricanes in US history, struck on October 10 with 155mph winds.

So far at least 8 people are confirmed dead in Florida, 5 in Virginia, 3 in North Carolina and one in Georgia.

Rescuers using heavy machinery and trained dogs found the body of a man, the latest reported fatality, while searching through rubble on October 12 in Mexico Beach.

However, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said the number of deaths was expected to rise as teams combed through badly hit areas in Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe and Panama City.

Residents of Mexico Beach had been under a mandatory evacuation order, but it is believed at least 285 people among a population of 1,000 had stayed behind to ride out the storm.

Hurricane Michael Hits Florida Killing at Least Two People

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said: “You hope that somehow at the last minute a bunch of people got up and left or went somewhere else.”

Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for across the area, but this may simply reflect an inability to communicate with relatives, with mobile phone coverage out in many areas.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said as he visited Mexico Beach on October 12: “It’s like a bomb went off. It’s like a war zone.”

The governor said more than 1,700 rescue workers had been deployed.

Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey said: “When you walk down and see this… your emotions run away. This is just a small unique coastal community.”

Many homes on the affected Florida coastline suffered storm surges of 12-14ft.

The residents of Mexico Beach, those who stayed and those who evacuated and have now returned, were simply trying to come to terms with the destruction.

Thousands of people were still in emergency centers on October 12.

Distribution centers have begun to spring up, but many residents remain desperate for basic services. Long lines had formed in some areas for fuel, food and water.

There are fears of unrest in poorer areas of affected towns and cities. Military personnel could be seen guarding one store in Panama City.

A spokesman for the Tyndall Air Force Base told the 3,600 men and women stationed there not to come back following their mandatory evacuation, with runways and buildings devastated.

At least 33 of its 55 F-22 stealth fighters, which each cost $339 million, had been flown out ahead of the storm.

The air force said some planes remained for maintenance reasons, although it would not confirm the number or type. A spokesman said damage was likely but had still to be assessed.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power in Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and in some parts it could be weeks before it is fully restored.

An insurance company, Karen Clark & Company, estimated Hurricane Michael caused about $8 billion of damage.

Michael is now a storm-force post-tropical low and is well out into the Atlantic Ocean, heading towards the Bay of Biscay.

Image source NASA Earth Observatory

Hurricane Michael, the third-strongest storm in recorded history to hit the US mainland, has battered north-west Florida killing two people, including one child, and flooding beach towns and snapping trees.

It made landfall on October 10 as a Category 4 storm with 155mph winds in Florida’s Panhandle region.

According to officials, the victims were killed by falling trees.

Hurricane Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakened over Georgia on its way to the Carolinas.

The US National Hurricane Center says that storm-surge warnings are in place between Panama City Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida, and between Ocracoke Inlet and Duck in North Carolina.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were left without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

There are fears for people who ignored evacuation warnings in some of the areas now flooded.

According to Florida officials, a man was killed when he was crushed by a tree in Gadsden County while a child died when a tree fell on a home in Seminole County, Georgia.

The storm earlier reportedly killed at least 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, at around 14:00 on October 10.

Only the unnamed Labor Day hurricane, which hit Florida in 1935, and Hurricane Camille, which struck Mississippi in 1969, made landfall with greater intensity.

The Labor Day storm’s barometric pressure (the lower the number, the stronger the storm) was 892 millibars and Camille’s was 900, while Michael blew in with 919.

Hurricane Florence Sparks Evacuations in South Carolina and States of Emergency in North Carolina and Virginia

Hurricane Nate Hits Louisiana and Mississippi

Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Power

Hurricane Michael was so powerful as it swept into Florida that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland.

Its rapid intensification caught many by surprise, although the storm later weakened.

Only on October 9 Michael was a Category 2 hurricane but by October 10 it had reached borderline category five, the highest level.

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.

The storm knocked out power to a quarter of a million homes and businesses, as power lines were smashed by falling trees.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said at the White House that he was especially concerned about buildings constructed before 2001, and not able to withstand such high winds.

President Donald Trump responded: “We just hope those structures can hold up.”

“And if not, that they’re not in those structures.”

States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week and Florida has activated 3,500 National Guard troops.

Image source Wikipedia

A stretch limousine crash left 20 people dead in Schoharie County, New York, police say.

The vehicle was taking people to a party.

All 18 people in the limousine died along with two pedestrians in the incident on October 6 in the town of Schoharie, police confirmed.

Witnesses described seeing the SUV-style limousine shoot across a junction and hit another car before hitting the pedestrians.

The cause of the crash is unclear.

Officials did not name the victims, but a New York Times report says that they include four sisters and at least two pairs of newlyweds. All those killed were adults, police say.

According to Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), t is America’s deadliest transport crash since 2009.

Initial reports suggested the limousine had been taking the group to a wedding reception but later reports said they were travelling to a birthday party.

On October 7, New York police said that the passengers in the car, described as a 2001 Ford Excursion, would not have been required to wear seatbelts.

The driver was also killed in the crash, they said.

Justin Bieber charged with assaulting limousine driver in Toronto

Mercedes Williams, a reporter for local news site Spectrum News, tweeted images and footage from the scene of the incident, which took place near a store and cafe on routes 30 and 30A in Schoharie County.

The images show a long line of emergency services vehicles lining the roads, which were closed to traffic.

New York State Police Cpt. Richard O’Brien said several separate police units were involved in the investigation, including an identification unit and a drone team.

Authorities have said they expect investigators to be at the scene for at least five days.

Police said that a phone line had been set up to help assist relatives of the victims.

The NTSB is sending a team of investigators.

The location of the intersection is said to be in a hilly region and local authorities had only recently banned large trucks from using sections of the route.

Image source Pixabay

If you’re the kind of person that has a lot to say, then you’ve probably been thinking about starting a blog. An important factor that might motivate your further is the fact that monetizing your blog is an easy and rewarding process.

 

Here, we present you with the best give marketing strategies that will see you making income from your blog.

1. Engage your audience through a narrative

Your blog posts are a great way to capture the attention of a potential customer, through talking about a recent trip you took or discussing our favorite brownie recipe. By creating quality content for your readers, you can capture their attention with your narrative, whilst using marketing techniques to generate leads. One way to do this is through using affiliate marketing links throughout your text, which will earn you referral bonuses with online marketplaces.

2. Build up your search engine rankings

Where you sit in a search engine result for a particular keyword depends on how authoritative the search engine considers you. If you are a new site that no one links to yet, the search engine will place you towards the bottom of the list. However, if you share reciprocal links with highly regarded websites, you’ll see yourself starting to climb to the top of the rankings. This is called link building for SEO, and it’s not so hard to do. This is by far one of the most effective marketing strategies that you can engage in.

3. Offer coaching services

If you consider yourself to be a wealth of knowledge on a particular subject, then you should consider coaching others. Your blog can be a very important asset to people that want to learn very quickly. For instance, you can write an ebook that contains your practical guide to learning your skill, whether it be martial arts, cooking, sewing or photography. There’s a market for everything, so all you need to do is write.

4. Guest write for other blogs

One of the best ways to get your name out there as an authority in your field is to begin writing guest blog posts for other people’s blogs. Not only will you be able to share your knowledge, but you’ll gain a wider audience than the one you have already. You can also reciprocate by allowing other writers to feature on your blog from time to time. It’s all about networking.

5. Become an Influencer

If you’ve managed to start a rather successful blog, you can use your success to the advantage of others, by sponsoring products and services on your blog. This comes with a whole pile of benefits for you: not only will you make money from taking sponsorship deals, but you’ll end up with a ton of free stuff too.

Starting a blog can bring many positive aspects to your life. Not only can it give you a platform to speak your opinion and share your knowledge, but it can also generate an income stream for you. If you follow our guide and implement one or more of these marketing strategies, you’ll begin to turn your blog into a new job for yourself.

Image source Pixabay

A 7.5-magnitude earthquake has triggered a strong tsunami after hitting Indonesia’s coastal city of Palu, officials say.

Waves of up to 6.6ft high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island, not long after authorities had lifted a tsunami warning.

Video on social media shows people screaming and fleeing in panic and a mosque amongst the buildings damaged.

According to officials, five deaths have been reported, but it is not clear if those were as a result of the tsunami.

Last month, a series of earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing hundreds of people – the biggest on August 5 killed more than 460.

The earthquake hit just off central Sulawesi at a depth of 6.2 miles just before 18:00 local time, the US Geological Survey said.

A tsunami warning was issued, but lifted within the hour.

The dramatic video footage of the tsunami hitting Palu shows the high waves sweeping away several buildings and then the large tilted mosque in the town, about 55 miles from the quake’s epicenter.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s meteorology and geophysics agency, BMKG, said the tsunami had receded.

The 2004 tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra killed 226,000 across the Indian Ocean, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire – the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

More than half of the world’s active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

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Image source Pixabay

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro sparked outrage in his crisis-hit country after he was filmed eating in an upscale steak restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

The video shows Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gokce, also known as “Salt Bae” carving meat in front of President Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, at Gokce’s Nusr-Et restaurant in Istanbul.

Almost two-thirds of Venezuelans have reported losing weight as shortages of food worsened in recent years.

Red meat is especially scarce.

Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro to End Cheap Fuel

Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro Survives Drone Attack

Petro: Venezuela Launches Ethereum-Based Cryptocurrency

Chef Nusret Gokce posted three videos of Nicolas Maduro’s visit on Instagram, but has since deleted them.

The chef, who has been dubbed Salt Bae for his stylized way of sprinkling salt on his meat, is seen carving meat in front of the couple with dramatic flair.

President Maduro can be heard saying: “This is a once in a lifetime moment.”

Other videos show President Maduro smoking a cigar taken from a box with his name engraved on a plaque, and his wife holding up a T-shirt with the chef’s image.

Nusret Gokce owns several luxurious restaurants in the US, the Middle East and Turkey, and videos of him carving meat have been watched by millions of people.

The chef’s restaurants sell some cuts of meat for several hundred dollars.

Nicolas Maduro and his wife were in Istanbul on a stop-over from China, where the president was trying to drum up investment.

The videos were shared widely by critics of Nicolas Maduro.

Opposition leader Julio Borges, who is living outside Venezuela for fear of arrest, tweeted: “While Venezuelans suffer and die of hunger, Nicolás Maduro and Cilia Flores have a good time in one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, all with money stolen from the Venezuelan people.”

In Venezuela, 64% of people have reported losing significant amounts of weight, 24lbs on average, amid worsening food shortages.

Child malnutrition is at record levels and 2.3 million people have left Venezuela since 2014.

Nicolas Maduro spoke about the now-controversial lunch during a TV news conference, confirming that he had eaten there during his stopover from China.

He said: “Nusret attended to us personally. We were chatting, having a good time with him.”

President Maduro also said that chef Nusret Gokce had told him that “he loves Venezuela”. The chef has not commented.

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Image source Wikipedia

The city of Wilmington in North Carolina has been cut off from the rest of the state because of heavy floods following Hurricane Florence.

According to officials, all roads in and out are now impassable and have warned evacuated residents to stay away.

About 400 people have been rescued from flood waters in Wilmington, described as an island within the state.

Two of the first known fatalities – a mother and her seven-month son – were reported in Wilmington on September 14.

At least 15 other people are reported to have died in storm-related incidents across North and South Carolina since storm Florence made landfall on September 13.

In Wilmington, with its population of about 120,000, some 400 people have had to be rescued from flood waters, and most of the city remains without power.

The National Weather Service has warned of at least two further days of possible flash flooding in the area before conditions are forecast to improve.

The area is usually best known as a filming location for One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek.

Storm Florence: Risk of Life-Threatening Flash Floods in North and South Carolina, Virginia

Hurricane Florence Sparks Evacuations in South Carolina and States of Emergency in North Carolina and Virginia

Michael Jordan – who is fundraising to help residents affected by the storm – also grew up in the city.

Many roads inside Wilmington are still passable for residents who defied evacuation orders to ride the storm out.

However, a city-wide curfew has been extended after five people were arrested on suspicion of looting from a store in the city on September 15.

According to the National Hurricane Centre, Florence has now weakened into a tropical depression with winds of 35mph.

Some parts of the Carolinas have seen up to 40in of rain since September 13 – and officials have warned river levels are yet to peak in places.

The US coast guard and volunteer boats have been helping people left stricken by rising flood waters across the states.

Officials in North Carolina have said about 900 people have been rescued from floodwaters there, and about 15,000 people are still in emergency shelters.

President Donald Trump has declared a disaster in several North Carolina counties – a move that frees up federal funding for recovery efforts.

He has praised federal and local law enforcement response to the storm on Twitter several times and the White House has indicated he may visit the affected area in coming days.

Power companies are working to restore power to the almost 650,000 homes and businesses that are still without electricity.

The center of the storm is still over North Carolina but is expected to accelerate north before turning to head toward New England on September 18.

Eleven deaths were reported in North Carolina, and at least six have been reported in South Carolina.

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Image source Wikipedia

Storm Florence is hitting North and South Carolina, and Virginia and weather forecasters warn of the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of the states.

Florence has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes.

It is slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 65mph.

Five deaths have been linked to the storm and thousands of people have been staying in emergency shelters.

Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region.

All five deaths linked to the storm are in North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence Sparks Evacuations in South Carolina and States of Emergency in North Carolina and Virginia

Florence originally made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a category one hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center said on September 14 that “catastrophic fresh water flooding” is expected in parts of both the Carolinas.

Some parts of North Carolina have already seen surges as high as 10ft in places.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was likely to “continue its violent grind for days” and described the severity of the downfalls as a “1,000 year event”.

Florence is expected to dump 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on US soil, meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted.

Almost 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks.

More than 20,000 residents have packed into North Carolina emergency shelters, and officials have told those still in the storm’s path to stay in place.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight on September 13 from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm.

Parts of New Bern, North Carolina, which is home to 30,000 people, were 10ft underwater on September 14 after local rivers flooded their banks.

Scores of residents in the riverfront city were plucked to safety, local reports say.

Image source Wikipedia

The US East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence.

Evacuations have been ordered in what may be the strongest storm to hit the region in decades.

North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency while South Carolina’s governor ordered the evacuation of its entire coastline.

According to officials, Florence is now a Category 5 storm with 130mph winds, and gaining strength.

Florence is expected to strike the Carolinas by September 13.

The storm – which was 1,200 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, on September 10 – started the day as a Category 2 storm.

The weather system could reach Category 5 as its draws strength from the warm Atlantic waters, say forecasters.

Florence would be the first Category 4 storm to hit the region since Hugo ravaged North Carolina in 1989, wreaking $7 billion in damage and claiming 49 lives.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the hurricane has the makings of an “extremely dangerous” meteorological event.

It may bring catastrophic levels of rain and flooding to coastal and inland regions.

Hurricane Nate Hits Louisiana and Mississippi

Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Power

The NHC said: “There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds.”

President Donald Trump has cancelled plans for a rally on September 14 in Mississippi because of the hurricane.

In North Carolina, there have been long queues in supermarkets around communities near waterways and coastlines as residents clear shelves of water, batteries and plywood.

Governor Roy Cooper waived agricultural transportation restrictions in order to allow farmers to move goods more quickly.

Red flag warnings are keeping swimmers off beaches, as residents sandbag their homes in the communities of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval installation in the world, is preparing to send ships away from bases to weather the storm out at sea.

Two other hurricanes are currently churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricanes Isaac and Helene are expected to accelerate, but at this point, are not expected to threaten the US mainland.

Image source TechCrunch

This December 2018, TechCrunch will host TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018. TechCrunch, like many other publishers and businesses, is starting to take notice of Africa’s thriving startup scene. There are several benefits to entering the competition as an African startup. Aside from potentially winning a cash grand prize and trip San Francisco, all participating startups will receive extensive media exposure, and may even meet influential people in the startup world. Some of the most successful—and recent—African startups include:

  • Cellulant, a digital payments solution company raised $47.5 million
  • Branch, a micro lending platform, raised $20 million
  • M-Kopa Solar, an off-grid solar power company which raised $10 million
  • Jamii, a micro-health insurance company that offers health insurance policies for as low as $1, raised $750,000 (half of which came from grants)

Across the continent, there are over 300 tech hubs that are helping startups through mentorships, investment deals, and professional advisement. In the last six months alone, 11 startup incubators and accelerators have been launched to help these startups grow and secure funding. Furthermore, during the first half of this year, African startups managed to raise $160 million, which surpasses all investments made during the entire 2017 year.

TechCrunch welcomes eligible African-based early-stage startups to apply for participation in Startup Battlefield Africa 2018. As TechCrunch sorts through its volume of applications, it will base their decisions largely on which startups have the highest potential for an exit or IPO.

A team of highly skilled editors, who have years of experience analyzing potential high-value startups, will ultimately select 15 startups to compete. According to TechCrunch, eligibility requirements include:

  • Be early-stage companies in “launch” stage
  • Be headquartered in an eligible countries (which you can find on the TechCrunch website)
  • Have a fully working product/beta that’s reasonably close to, or in, production
  • Have received limited press or publicity to date
  • Have no known intellectual property conflicts

Like many startup competitions and programs, it’s important that you have all the little details lined up. Before you apply, you should have a branded website with reliable hosting. You should understand the difference between shared and VPS hosting, as it can mean the difference between a smoothly running site and one that crashes. For example, if you plan to receive an influx of leads after you’ve been accepted into the competition, your website could lag with shared hosting.

Furthermore, it’s important to understand how this particular competition works. These 15 chosen startups will receive free pitch coaching from a team of editors chosen by TechCrunch to help them prepare for their Battlefield presentations. Each team of startups will participate in three preliminary rounds in batches of five. Each team will have just six minutes to pitch their products or service. After each demo, a panel of judges have another six minutes to engage in a Q&A session, where they’ll be able to learn more about what each startup has to offer and what their current or potential future financial trajectory looks at.

Five of the 15 startups will move on to the semi-finals, and one of those five will be chosen as the winner. Winners will receive a $25,000 prize to help grow their startup and will not lose equity in the process (which is what usually happens when startups participate in accelerator or incubator programs). If the winning startup team qualifies, they’ll also receive a free trip to compete at TechCrunch Disrupt 2019 in San Francisco.

You’ll also want to take your time with your application. Have other people read over it to ensure that it makes the most sense, and that aren’t you aren’t missing any integral parts that could be important to the judges.

Another tip for ensuring success with your application and in the competition is to watch other people pitch their startups, and there are plenty of videos online to aid you. Look at pitch decks for other startups, too. By looking at other startup pitch decks, you’ll gain insight into how successful companies are securing investments and spots in competitions and programs. A few necessary components of a pitch deck include:

  • Problem & opportunity
  • Value proposition
  • Business model
  • Marketing plan
  • Competitive analysis
  • Financial projections

This isn’t the first time TechCrunch has turned to Africa to offer local startups a chance. Last year, the publisher held Startup Battlefield Africa in Nairobi and focused on technology that optimized supply chains, strengthened farmer’s revenue, and increased access to education. You can check out the entire event on this YouTube video covering the competition.

Startup Battlefield alumni include Yammer, Dropbox, Mint, LearnVest, Zenefits, Trello, Fitbit, and many others, and they’ve cumulatively raised over $8 billion.

 

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Image source Pixabay

On August 23rd, 2018 Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and eight other residents of the Motor City appeared in federal court alleging that the current Michigan no-fault auto insurance laws requiring drivers to pay for this type of coverage is a violation of due process. At the same time, they claim this law is unconstitutional.

In the Eastern District Court for the State of Michigan

According to the lawsuit filed by Duggan et al., the group states it is their firm belief that a law requiring all drivers in the state to carry no-fault insurance coverage is in direct conflict with a Michigan Supreme Court Finding. This finding is the result of Shavers vs. Kelly in 1978, stating, ” a driver’s license, once issued, is a significant interest subject to constitutional due process protections.”

In the claim filed by Duggan et al. the complaint is that the high cost of no-fault insurance impedes due process for anyone with a Michigan driver’s license. Because the state requires all motorists to carry this type of coverage and pay its incredibly high cost, it stops many drivers from seeking employment or educational opportunities, going shopping for food and necessities, even taking their kids to school.

The Law was Supposed to Drive Insurance Rates Down

When the law first passed in 1973, the impetus behind it was to drive insurance rates down and ensure victims of auto accidents would receive compensation that was adequate and in a timelier manner. With this the new law, victims could no longer take the responsible party in an automobile accident to court. Instead, victims would be able to go to their own insurance companies for compensation. The impetus was to drive auto insurance premiums down and reduce the level of litigation, the exact opposite happened, and insurance premiums skyrocketed. In fact, the average cost of insurance nationwide is $1512.00 per year. In Michigan, the average price for auto insurance is $3,509.00. More specifically, motorists in the City of Detroit pay the highest auto insurance rates of any city in the country.

It Gets Worse (If That’s Possible)

If having outrageous insurance rates isn’t bad enough, the 1973 law has made criminals out of otherwise perfectly “honest ” citizens. In Michigan, approximately 20 percent of the cars on the road are running around uninsured. One of the highest rates in the country. In turn, the high number of uninsured motorists causes insurance rates to go up even further.

When the law passed, the Michigan Supreme Court stated that the No-Fault law is constitutional providing insurance rates were not unfairly discriminatory or excessive. This left a loophole that made the claim by Duggan et al. possible as rates have reached the point at which many have to choose between paying for insurance or buying food and paying the rest of their family bills.

Along with stating the law is unconstitutional, Duggan et al. ask that the state be given no more than six months to correct the law and take steps to reduce the high cost of insurance. If at the end of the six-month period a solution has not been found, the state should be required to return to the traditional tort system. While the outcome of this case may have a significant impact on future insurance rates, it does not help to find cheap car insurance right now under the current laws. What you need is an agency that will work with you to find the right insurance coverage based on your needs and budget.

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Image source Pixabay

Many people only see a dentist when experiencing a big health issue like a severe toothache or tooth loss. Are you one of them? If so, remember that regular dental checkups play a critical role in preserving oral health. It lets your dentist identify and treat a problem in the initial stage before it becomes more serious and costly.

If you’re wondering about the real state of oral health and hygiene of the nation, we will provide you with data and statistics related to dental trends.

How Often We Visit the Dentist?

It’s impossible to give a universal answer because this widely varies from country to country and person to person. Generally speaking, those having a healthy mouth need to see a dentist every six months.

However, this doesn’t apply to people at high risk for some dental problems. They are advised to visit the dentist more frequently, preferably every three months. Those people can fall into any of these categories:

  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • People with gum diseases
  • People who often suffer from cavities or plaque buildup
  • People with a weak immunity to bacteria

The good news is that more and more people visit the dentist on a regular basis. A growing number of people give high priority to oral health, so it’s a little wonder that nearly 40% of adults visit the dentist twice a year for preventive services and cleanings.

A recent study conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute has revealed that the vast majority of Americans highly value good oral health. Even 95% regard their oral health as a critical factor of overall wellness, while 93% said that regular dental visits help them keep healthy.

Why We Visit the Dentist?

As already stated, most of us only go to the dentist in an extreme case. The most common dental problem is caries or cavity. In fact, this is why most adults and kids visit the dentist. Additionally, we also see a dentist due to the following oral health issues:

  • Tooth or root decay
  • Bone disease
  • Gum disease and infection (periodontitis or gingivitis)
  • Facial or jaw pain
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral cancer

The factors like genetics and age play a role in the severity and susceptibility of these conditions. Whatever the case may be, the dentist can detect just about any sign of a dental problem that should be closely monitored or addressed as soon as possible.

How Do We Maintain Oral Health Routine?

Even though there are numerous tips for improving dental routine, we don’t care enough about oral health and often avoid receiving dental exams. Unfortunately, many people maintain a very simple dental routine. That said, most adults merely rely on a toothpaste and toothbrush for their oral health routine. It’s estimated that every fourth person incorporates mouthwash into his/her daily routine, whereas less than 20 percent use dental floss. This is definitely not enough.

Despite being a very important aspect of a general health, oral health is often underrated or overlooked. Let’s improve the current state. Be sure to regularly make dentist appointments to get proper dental care in a timely manner. Prevention is better than cure.

Image source CBS News

At least 26 people were killed and other 15 severly injured in Genoa, Italy, after a dramatic collapse of a highway bridge.

Dozens of vehicles fell 45m (148ft).

Rescuers are now searching into the night for possible survivors

Reports say cries can be heard from people trapped in the debris. Twelve people are said to be missing.

Some 300 firefighters from across Italy have been using sniffer dogs and climbing gear in the search.

Hundreds of people were evacuated amid fears other parts of the bridge might fall.

The cause of the bridge’s collapse, which occurred during torrential rain, was not immediately clear but questions had been raised about the safety of the structure.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has vowed to bring anyone responsible for the collapse to book.

The Morandi Bridge, built in the 1960s, stands on the A10 toll highway, an important conduit for goods traffic from local ports, which also serves the Italian Riviera and southern coast of France.

Highway Bridge Collapse Kills Two near Ancona, Italy

Colombia Highway Bridge Collapse Kills Nine in Chirajara

The Italian fire service tweeted a video of one person being extracted and carefully lowered on cables from a shattered vehicle, which was suspended in the wreckage of the bridge, high above the ground.

Between 30 and 35 cars and three heavy vehicles were on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

A huge tower and sections of the bridge collapsed on to railway lines, a river and a warehouse. Reports suggest that nobody was killed on the ground, although some people were injured.

A section measuring about 200 meters fell at around 11:30 local time. Police say there was a violent cloudburst at the time.

An unnamed witness quoted by Italy’s Ansa news agency said: “We heard an incredible roar and first we thought it was thunder very close by.

“We live about 5km [3 miles] from the bridge but we heard a crazy bang… We were very scared… Traffic went completely haywire and the city was paralyzed.”

The collapse of the bridge was an “incident of vast proportions on a vital arterial road, not just for Genoa, but for the whole country”, said the governor of Liguria region, Giovanni Toti.

“The Morandi bridge connects three major ports in our country, used by tens, even hundreds of thousands of people. They depart from these ports on holiday. These docks receive most of our country’s imported goods. It damages the very structure of the Italian logistics system. We are expecting a very fast response from the government.”

The new government has pledged to increase public investment.

Italy spent more than €14 billion ($16 billion) on its roads in 2006 but that had dropped to less than €4 billion after the 2008 financial crisis, after the according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The figures cover spending on new transport construction and the improvement of the existing networks.

At least 300 people have been injured, five seriously, after a section of wooden platform collapsed at O Marisquino urban sports and music festival in the north-west city of Vigo, Spain.

The platform had been packed with people watching a rap artist at the two-day O Marisquiño event in Galicia.

According to eyewitnesses, the wooden platform gave way during the first song of the concert as Rels B, who had just started his performance, told the crowd to jump, local media report.

Police confirmed that there were no known fatalities.

Witnesses reported scenes of panic as people – many of them teenagers – tried to scramble to safety. Some fell into the sea.

Personal effects such as mobile phones and handbags were left scattered on the ground.

Image source Wikipedia

Radiohead postpones European tour dates following stage collapse in Toronto

Indiana State Fair stage collapsed before Sugarland concert. 4 deaths and more than 40 people injured

Several emergency teams attended to the injured, and divers were sent into the sea to check that no-one was trapped beneath the structure.

The incident happened shortly before midnight on August 12 as a crowd was listening to the Majorcan rap artist Rels B.

Earlier, the regional health minister, Jesus Vazquez Almuina, told local radio about the nature of the injuries people suffered.

He said: “These are provisional figures, patients are still being evaluated… The vast majority are light injuries for bruises. There are five hospitalizations, mainly broken bones and some head injuries.”

In a tweet, Rels B wished “strength” to the injured and advised anyone worried about friends or relatives to contact an emergency information point set up by festival organizers.

The mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, has said there will be an investigation into the causes of the incident.

It is not yet clear whether the platform collapsed because there were too many people on it, or because the structure itself was weak, or whether other factors were involved.

Image source Public Domain Pictures

As we all know, email is a very convenient marketing channel. It is reliable, fast and returns consistent revenue when used for sending newsletters and campaigns. But your email marketing outcome depends on the quality of your email list. Invalid leads cannot buy anything from you, so use an email list verification system to prevent such useless addresses to make it on your list.

An email list verification system is an online tool that checks the validity, accuracy and deliverability of email addresses.Email hygiene is a foremost priority if you want to reachyour subscribers.Digital marketers have understood the power of email marketing, but there is no power in email marketing if you don’t have a reliable email list.

Email list verification plays a vital role in your email marketing success, as it eliminates fake and incorrect email addresses and offers you a fast, dependable solution to a high bounce rate.Sending emails that frequently bounce hurts your sender reputation and, eventually, affects your email deliverability. Instead of reaching your customer’s inboxes, you’ll end up in the junk folder or you won’t be delivered at all. Email verification solves this issue fast, so you can focus on your email content and not worry about low deliverability anymore. It is a preliminary process which must be undertaken before sending out an email blast.

If you have an email list, you want to develop and maintain a long-term relationship with your subscribers.Email list verification will support you in this goal. It cleans out all risky, dormant and invalid contacts from your database and returns your list clean and ready for effective communication.

There are many benefits of email list verification:

*It reduces your bounce rate and, thus, your email marketing costs.

*It removes risky email addresses, like abuse, catch-all, disposable emails and spam traps.

*It improves your sender reputation.

*It verifies the all emails by using syntax and domain check.

*It checks all email addresses with thorough analysis of dots, @’s, spellings etc.

Online, you’ll find many email list verification tools. There are some important factors to be considered before selectingan email listverification system:

  • An email verifier must be accurate. Make sure you ask what the company’s guaranteed accuracy is.
  • It must handle your data safely and keep it confidential. It’s best to ensure they are GDPR compliant.
  • It must be available at a reasonable price.
  • It should have professional customer support, ideally 24/7.
  • It must be fast.

Email list verificationmaximizes the performance of your email campaigns byscanning the validity and value of each email address.Such systems are safe to use and, if you choose the right one, it gives you accurate results at high speed. A good email list verification software improves your email hygiene, email deliverability and sender reputation.

Author Bio:                                                  

Nidhi Mahajan is a Business content writer and link builder. She loves to write business article. For more info you can check her Business blogs at pop-pins.com

Two firefighters have been killed and tens of thousands of people forced to flee their homes in a raging wildfire in Shasta county, northern California.

According to fire officials, the fires are being sucked up by strong winds to form “fire tornados” that are uprooting trees and overturning cars.

The fires have destroyed at least 500 structures and are threatening thousands of homes.

Firefighters are battling the blaze, which is only 5% contained so far.

The wildfire, which has been named the Carr fire, began on July 23 and has scorched over 48,000 acres of land – an area larger than the city of San Francisco.

Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott told reporters: “We are seeing fire whirls – literally what can be described as a tornado.

“This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity” by gale-force winds, he said, “uprooting trees, moving vehicles, moving parts of roadways.

“These are extreme conditions… we need to take heed and evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”

Image source Wikipedia

Thomas Fire: California Governor Jerry Brown Brands Wildfires as New Normal

California Wildfires: At Least 17 Dead and More Than 150 Missing

Two firefighters – fire inspector Jeremy Stoke, and a bulldozer operator who has not yet been named, died trying contain the blaze.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, three people – a great-grandmother and her two great-grandchildren, are currently missing.

About 37,000 residents have been forced to leave the area.

Wildfires are a common occurrence in California during the state’s long, hot, dry summers.

However, experts say this has been the worst start to the fire season in 10 years – partly due to the 2012-2017 drought that killed off large amounts of vegetation.

In December, California Governor Jerry Brown said devastating wildfires fuelled by climate change had become “the new normal”, and that large fires “could happen every year or every few years”.

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Image source Pixabay

Once the hustle and bustle of getting your children back to school dies down, it’s time to think about a fall school fundraiser. According to the experts at ABC Fundraising, fall is the perfect time to raise money for your child’s school.

Why is that? Autumn is filled with delights, from Halloween to apple cider. School sports are in full swing. The weather is still decent in most parts of the U.S. A fundraising event fits the season.

Here are six school fundraising ideas perfect for fall and the school year ahead:.

1.Pumpkin Painting Contest. This is a fun and friendly competition where everyone wins. Ask a farmer in the area to donate pumpkins. If that’s not possible, make it a BYOP — Bring Your Own Pumpkin — event.

Raise money by asking participants to pay a small fee or request donations from attendees. Ask local businesses to donate refreshments. Bring the community together to make it work.

Create categories for different age groups. Come up with special types of winning categories, such as most creative and best use of color. Ask local celebrities to judge the competition.

A Pumpkin Painting Contest is a low-cost fundraiser that’s sure to bring in a crowd as long as you plan carefully.

2.Back to School Breakfast. Local merchants and restaurant chefs take on most of the hard work for this fundraiser. Plan to have the breakfast on a Saturday to make it easy for parents and the rest of the community to attend. Make breakfast free for kids, but charge a fee for adults. Make sure you charge enough to cover expenses and raise funds at the same time.

Add more event interest with an auction, bake sale or flea market.

3.Sell T-shirts. T-shirts supporting the sports teams, clubs, band or another school group usually sell well. Boost school spirit with designs that include team mascots or the school logo.

Get everyone involved in selling shirts, including teachers, parents and children.

4.School Day Event. Whether it’s a bake sale or auction, a school day event is a welcome diversion. Volunteers donate gifts or baked goods and their time for a low-cost, high-yield fundraising event. Give your fundraiser a Harvest Time theme to celebrate the season. Pumpkin cookies, anyone?

5.Take Orders and Deliver:  A take-and-order fundraiser not only raises badly needed funds but also teaches students about business. Students take orders and money from “customers.”

When the fundraiser ends, ordered merchandise is delivered to the student who in turn delivers orders to the customer. Candy, sandwiches and popcorn are typical items sold.

6.Discount Card Fundraiser: One of the easiest and highest-earning fundraisers is the Discount Card fundraiser. People purchase cards from students and use the cards to save as they shop or eat out. Who wouldn’t want to save money at the places they already frequent?

Participating local businesses see more customers, people in the community enjoy savings, and your school reaps the reward. It’s a win-win.

Japan’s authorities have declared a heat wave sweeping the country a natural disaster, with at least 65 deaths recorded in the past week.

The country’s weather agency spokesman warned that “unprecedented levels of heat” were being seen in some areas.

According to emergency officials, more than 22,000 people have been admitted to hospital with heat stroke, nearly half of them elderly.

Forecasters say the heat wave shows no sign of abating.

On July 23, the city of Kumagaya reported a temperature of 41.1C (106F), the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Image source manichi.jp

India Heat Wave: Phalodi Records Country’s Hottest Day Ever

In central Tokyo, temperatures over 40C (104F) were also registered for the first time.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that temperatures of 35C (95F) or higher would continue until early August.

Spokesman Motoaki Takekawa said: “We are observing unprecedented levels of heat in some areas.”

He added that the heat wave was “a threat to life and we recognize it as a natural disaster”.

In Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo, a 91-year-old woman was found collapsed in a field and later pronounced dead in hospital. In nearby Saitama two elderly women were found dead in their homes.

With less than half of Japan’s public schools equipped with air conditioning, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the summer holidays could be extended to protect pupils.

Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on July 24: “As a record heat wave continues to blanket the country, urgent measures are required to protect the lives of schoolchildren.”

People are being advised to drink plenty of water, to use air conditioning and to rest often.

In some cities, people have taken part in an event known as uchimizu, or “water ceremony” – pouring or sprinkling cold water on to the hot pavements in an attempt to cool them.

The heat wave closely followed torrential rain that caused severe flooding and landslides in the west of Japan.

Two people, a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, have died after a gunman opened fire on a busy avenue in Canada’s largest city, police say.

Another 13 people, ranging in age between 10 and 59, were injured in the attack in the Greektown district of Toronto, police chief Mark Saunders told reporters.

The 29-year-old suspect had an exchange of gunfire with police officers before being found dead nearby.

The reason for the shooting is unknown.

Police have not named the suspect, who was from Toronto, and it is unclear if he was killed by police gunfire or took his own life.

The attack happened on July 22. In a video clip shared by Canadian media, a white man wearing a dark cap and dark clothing and carrying a shoulder bag can be seen stopping on a pavement and pulling out a handgun before firing shots.

PM Justin Trudeau sent his sympathies to the victims and the city in a tweet, while Toronto Mayor John Tory condemned the “despicable” attack on “people innocently enjoying a Sunday evening”.

Image source CBC.ca

Toronto: Van Attack Kills Ten Pedestrians and Injures Other 15

Emergency services were called out just after 10PM local time. The site of the attack is a piazza with a fountain that is popular with local people and was busy at the time, the Toronto Globe and Mail writes.

A number of people were reportedly hurt in a cafe called the Demetres, while others were hit in the street.

Detective Sgt Terry Browne, who is leading the investigation into the shootings, told reporters on Monday that “some individuals have what may be described as life-changing injuries” following the attack.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which looks into incidents involving police which result in death, the gunman was tracked by officers to Bowden Street, a short distance from the cafe.

The gunman fired at a crowd of people waiting to cross the street, he said.

Police chief Saunders told reporters that, as yet, they “don’t know why this has happened”.

It is unclear whether the suspect was shot by police or killed himself with his gun.

A post-mortem examination is planned for July 24, according to SIU spokeswoman Monica Hudon.

Gun violence is much rarer in Canada than over the border in the US, but Toronto has seen attacks increase dramatically in recent years.

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Image source Pixabay

As a business owner or manager, you’re always busy. Your time is valuable and it probably always feels like you don’t have enough time to mark off all the things on your to-do list. No matter how excellent you are at managing other people, it’s always a challenge to properly manage your own time.

But there are some things that you can do to make the best possible use of your time, without completely overhauling the way that you already operate.

Here are a few tips you can incorporate into your daily life, to get the most out of your waking hours.

Make routine tasks virtual or automated

One of the biggest time wasters in your day may simply be your drive to the bank or your time spent double checking whether or not you paid that credit card bill.

Whenever possible, take in-person tasks online, and make online tasks automated. This will save you the time of physically traipsing around town, and the time of worrying about whether or not you already accomplished some task.

For instance, while you previously may have applied for loans in person, there are now easy ways for you to apply for small loans online. This will save you driving time, and the time that it takes to wait in line at a bank or other loan center.

Further, you can automate tasks that you already accomplish online, such as monthly bill payment. Take one more item off your to-do list by setting your credit card bill to be automatically paid on a certain date every month, and save yourself from worry in the process.

Focus on one task at a time

Although multitasking may seem like the way to get more done in a shorter time period, research has shown that it actually slows you down.

Instead, focus on accomplishing one task at a time, and you’ll find that you save time in the long run. This is because multitasking splits your focus and makes it difficult for you to accomplish anything at all — you may accomplish two tasks in one hour, when you could have completed each task individually in 20 minutes.

Save yourself some time and focus on each objective in turn. As a bonus, you’ll likely find that the quality of your work also improves when your attention is undivided.

Block out time for yourself

Another counterintuitive way to save time in the long run is to block out personal time for yourself every day.

If you work every hour of every day — even if you’re just checking email during dinner or browsing through reports in bed — you’ll begin to feel constantly stressed and, eventually, burnt out.

You aren’t a robot, which means that you need time to unwind, relax, and think about something other than work. Block out regular time so that you can exercise and socialize without having work stresses still on the forefront of your mind.

You’ll soon find that this practice makes you productive when you are at work — and it might even help to break you out of a creative rut or a writer’s block that you would never have been able to just work straight through.

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Image source Max Pixel

Whether it is a grocery store, services provider, or an online store running its operations via internet, each and every business has its own costs and expenses to generate profits. Since all the business costs cannot be eliminated in full, there are a lot of ways to reduce business costs in order to maximize the profits in results. My making some significant but productive changes, a business can enjoy lower overall costs even without losing the work efficiency and performance.It is always beneficial for small business owners to explore more and more ways to cut the business costs down because it is the only best way to develop and expand business by getting more in less. Below are some practical ways to cut business costs and raise profits wonderfully.

Reduce employment costs by hiring interns

Highly experienced and professionally trained employees will always want attractive salary packages but interns can do the same work in less if trained for your business operations and processes accordingly. They can get valuable experience in the industry and you (as an employer or business owner) can enjoy lower employment costs to save business money for other productive things.Hence, always stare the resume carefully to hire an intern with relevant study and basic know how in the industry in order to get better results.

Lower the office space costs

If you can easily run your business operations or other office work from a less expensive office space without compromising the efficiency, be quick to move because you can save a lot of bucks by shifting to a less expensive office space instead of paying huge rental amount for an office situated in the famous commercial area of town.You can also opt for a virtual office if you are running an online business and there is no much need of physical presence.

Outsource where you can save more

Outsourcing is a great way to get most of the jobs done by freelancers or outside contractors where you can save more for your business. For example, you can hire a facility management company or professionals in order to get all the preventive maintenance related jobs done efficiently even without paying huge sum of money and hiring more employees to do so.In this way, you can save business money in terms of hiring no special employees and no investment in special maintenance tools and machines for proper asset maintenance.

Never spend much on business meetings

No doubt business meetings are vital to make sure that everyone is doing his/her job very well and overall business operations are running smoothly, there are so many ways to cut the business meetings related costs effectively. You can choose your business conference hall as the meeting venue instead of paying lots of bucks for booking of an expensive place in the town. Making bit changes in the meeting meal menu can also help you save $$$.

Maintain your assets

Effective asset management and maintenance helps you keep all your business tools and machines in good working condition even without facing asset breakdown and failure. You can also invest in cmms maintenance software for your company or business in order to automate and streamline its maintenance management processes not only to save time but to cut the business costs down as well.

Pay your bills quickly

It is obvious that most of the vendors and suppliers always offer handsome discounts when a business pays bills or invoices before deadline or due date.So, you shouldn’t miss this golden opportunity to save money if you have enough cash on hand to make the immediate payments for recent purchases. In results, you can also make your business relations with vendors or suppliers stronger than ever by making payments ahead of time.

Ask your suppliers for rebates or discounts

When you are buying raw materials or other stuff for production in bulk, you should ask the vendors or suppliers for discounted rates or rebates specially when making payments via cash. In this way, you can buy more in the same amount to produce more for the rapid business growth and development.

Train your employees for multi taking

Skilled and competent employees are one of the great business assets and you can polish their skills and expertise to get more from them. First assess their skills and professional experience than train them for multi taking at the workplace. For example, if your employees are able to troubleshoot the tiny faults or issues in the equipment or machines without calling the technician, they will be more likely to produce more than their strengths and you can save the money in terms of not hiring an expert for troubleshooting.

Image source Pexels

The product or service your business is offering has passed the test of consumer acceptance.  You’ve found a niche.  The customer base is growing by word-of-mouth and expanding.  Obviously, you are offering something that consumers want and now it’s time to surge, get the word out, and let the outside world know that what you’re offering is worth considering and, ultimately, buying.  You’ve decided to give advertising by Direct Mail a shot.

The first thing you have to learn about with Direct Mail is the 40/40/20 Rule.  This is the concept of breaking down any Direct Mail campaign into three key components: The Target Market, The Offer and The Creative Design of your mailer.

WHAT IS THE TARGET MARKET?

The Target Market is the group of consumers whom you are trying to reach with your particular offer.  Once you identify them, either by income or location or profession or a myriad of other criteria based upon your product offering, you need to go to professional mailing list provider and work with that supplier to find the right list of direct mail recipients for your product or service.  About 40% of the success of your new business campaign will depend upon the efficacy of this list, which is what the first ‘40’ of the 40/40/20 Rule denotes.  That’s why most direct marketers allocate about 40% of their budget to procuring this list.

The list of consumers and their mailing addresses that you end up buying will probably not be a perfect fit for your campaign.  Direct mailing lists rarely are.  As a matter of fact, it might only satisfy a small part of the criteria that you originally desired.  That is not uncommon because, obviously, the world outside your nascent business’ narrow customer base is a huge, diverse, unpredictable zone.  But that’s part of the beauty of a Direct Mail campaign – you are expanding into the unknown.  These are all new customers with different needs and wants and your company’s offer is being placed right smack dab in front of them at their mailbox.  Who knows what might happen?  There could be a gigantic customer base just waiting to be mined somewhere outside your experience or environs that you never even dreamed of finding.

WHAT IS THE OFFER?

The Offer is a request for your potential customers to consider changing what they have been buying, or to try something completely new.  It is a call to action for mail recipients to eschew what they’re used to and to break new ground.  Your offer could be anything from a discount coupon to an invitation to a grand opening to a logo’d t-shirt to a chance to win a new car.  It is the reward a consumer gets for just walking into your store.  But the more exciting The Offer is, the more likely your direct mail solicitation will yield results, which brings us to the second ‘40’ of the 40/40/20 Rule.  You should allocate at least 40% of your campaign budget to The Offer.  It will add to the Return on Investment (ROI) of this Direct Marketing campaign more than any other single component, so you should think long and hard as to exactly what this enticement is going to be.

WHAT IS THE BEST CREATIVE DESIGN?

The actual Direct Mail card or letter that ends up in the consumer’s mailbox is the ‘20’ in the 40/40/20 Rule and, thus, should be around 20% of your marketing budget.  This is the one-time, brief contact a potentially new customer has with your company so it must be dynamic, colorful and attention grabbing.  If your solicitation takes the form of a letter, with coupon and bonus inserts, you’re going to need personalized envelopes with some eye-catching graphics to make sure that envelope gets opened and to keep it from hitting the trash can, unopened.  The rest of the graphics in your mailer should support a single theme and drive it home with forceful, single-minded purpose – get the customer engaged and entice him or her to follow through on your offer.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR CAMPAIGN?

The typical response rate to a Direct Mail campaign usually ranges from about 1% to 5%.  There are a lot of factors affecting this rate.  If you have a ‘warm’ list, that is, a list that you’ve direct mailed before, meaning that this solicitation would be the second time a consumer has seen your announcement, you should be in the upper extent of that range.  ‘Cold’ (first time) list will probably be less.  To help you decide how much you should allocate for your first campaign, there are Direct Mail Online Calculators that will demonstrate how much you can expect to gain.