Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Career In Litigation Support: A Future-Proof Choice

While there are still courtrooms, judges and attorneys, the legal profession has changed a lot on the past few decades, resulting in the growth of a whole new sub-branch of the legal profession.. 

As legal processes become more automated, the volume of electronic data for most legal practices is skyrocketing. To cope with this and the increase in large-scale, complex litigation legal professionals have had to outsource a lot of work pertaining to the processing and handling of electronic data to a new breed… the litigation support professional. If you are legally minded and want to work in a cutting edge, technical field that combines legal knowledge and digital literacy then a career in litigation support may well be for you. 

As you can see by checking out litigation support is a broad church, incorporating a range of legal and technical disciplines but generally speaking litigation support has a particular function. 

Litigation support specializes in the identification, preservation, production, collection and management of electronically stored information. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended to change the rules of discovery to encompass electronic information in the form of emails, word processing documents, spreadsheets or voice mail messages resulting in an exponential boom in ESI for most practices. 

Plainly speaking, the legal profession has more ESI than it can handle and it’s slowly waking up to the fact that managing it is a full-time job. As a result, there’s significant demand for litigation support. That’s where you come in! 

Litigation support is a new industry, and while job roles themselves are changing and evolving, most practices have common positions (though they may use different names), at entry level and upwards. 

Let’s look at a typical career path in litigation support: 

6 Effective Ways To Reward Your Employees

Image Source: Pixabay

Rewarding your employees is an effective way of letting them know they are appreciated, giving them the incentive to work harder and increase productivity within your company. Some employers use cash incentives, especially at the end of each year with a boost to the wage packet. While this is something most employees wouldn’t turn down, there are more creative ways you can show your appreciation. 

We have already considered how you can keep your workforce engaged, and the occasional reward is another way to keep them on your side. To help you, here are some great reward ideas you might consider implementing into your workplace. 

Monthly award ceremonies 

Healthy competition is effective within teams, and a monthly award ceremony can be a fun way to show appreciation. Be sure to offer fairness amongst all employees, and mix up serious awards such as ‘best sales’ with informal ones, such as ‘best dressed’ or ‘most positive attitude.’ 

Go here for all your online trophy needs, and choose the shapes and designs that suit the roles within your company. You don’t need to break the bank, as trophies can be returned each month and given to the next ‘winner’ to take home or placed on their desk at work. 

Work from home days 

With modern technology, such as cloud software and Skype, there is no need to work in the office every day. Let your team spend some of the working week at home, giving them extra time in bed when missing the daily commute, and allowing them the comforts that being at home can offer. The workload doesn’t have to suffer as you can still communicate and collaborate, and the relaxed environment may even boost productivity. 

Gift cards 

You may not have the means to raise salaries on a regular basis, but a gift card is a worthy and more personal alternative to handing out cash incentives. Consider the hobbies individuals on your team have and give out relevant gift cards, as well as vouchers from their favorite retailers. 

Gym memberships 

Okay, so not everybody will take advantage of the health benefits you are offering, but you can still give them the option. Some will greatly appreciate the opportunity to get active, and it will also boost their performance at work when they feel energized. 

Buy your team lunch 

Food is always a good way to make somebody feel happy, so going out with your team for lunch once a week will be more appetizing than the limp sandwiches they normally consume. Take turns choosing where to go, ensuring all tastes are catered for. Of course, if you are spending your cash reserves on the meal, you need to ensure your team doesn't break the bank with their food venue choices. 

The gift of time 

Our weekends are too short, while the working week can seem to go on forever. Therefore, allowing your team to go home early every so often, or rewarding hard-working team members with an extra day off occasionally, will allow them to spend more time doing the things they enjoy away from work.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Encouraging Productivity In Small Businesses

Size does not matter; whether your business is a small startup or an established company, everyone needs to work hard to make it a success. Your employees are therefore the most important part of your business. If they don’t work, your startup suffers. That said, you don’t want to bully your employees into doing their jobs because that doesn’t make for a very pleasant work environment. Instead, try some of these tips to encourage productivity in your business. 

Productive space 

If you’ve ever had to work in an office that’s dull, lifeless, and badly lit, you’ll recall that your overall productivity suffered during your tenure in said workplace. Get your team off to a good start by adding some creative, yet productive office comforts. Paint it a calming color, make sure there is plenty of natural light coming in, and provide comfortable ergonomic chairs so they don’t put unnecessary strain on their bodies. Living plants, fresh orchids, a unique stone or seashell, or even an aquarium filled with colorful fish can bring a touch of comfort to the office and make employees feel at ease. You should also make sure you keep the office clear of clutter. If their workspace is scattered and messy, then how can you expect your employees to have clear, concise thoughts. 

Dress code 

While you want your employees to look professional, sometimes a dress code can be stifling. Some people feel more comfortable working in jeans and flat shoes, while others would just be happy to wear shorts to work so they can stay cool in the middle of a heatwave. As long as your employees look presentable, there’s no reason why they can’t wear casual clothes to work. If it’s a matter of identification, you could just have everyone wear custom lanyards while they’re in the office; they’re easy to get from It’s also easier on you if your employees can just get on with their work instead of policing whether everyone is sticking to hemline regulations. If there comes a point when you have to meet with an important client, then just advise them to dress up a little more than usual. 

The Importance of Specialist Advisers in Business Growth

When your grow your business, there are countless small things that you need to worry about. There are loads of small details that you’re probably unsure of, you might want to tackle territory or a business that you are unsure of, and you might find yourself completely lost doing something that you have no experience with. There’s a limit to how much you can do for your business no matter how hard you study, and you need to understand that you’re not a superhuman with an infinite capacity to learn. 

Instead, what you need to do is hire advisers. One of the most common complaints that business owners talk about is how their staff aren’t well-trained enough to take the next step and help grow your business. This is because they aren’t learning much when they work for you. Employee growth relies on putting your staff through training courses in order for them to pick up new skills that can help you grow your business. But unless you know what type of career you want to put them on, it’s unlikely that any level of training can improve their worth to your business. 

This is where specialists come into play. Not only do they have expertise in their chosen fields, but they’re also experts at communicating, making them fantastic mentors, teachers and advisers. Whether you’re thinking of starting up a new company or breaking into a new industry, here are a couple of ways to utilise an adviser. 

Employee Disputes 

As a business owner, you probably have ample knowledge about how to grow a business and how to improve your products. However, unless you’ve been trained in this field, you probably have no idea about human resources. Dealing with employee disputes and managing their needs can be difficult, which is why some entrepreneurs find it incredibly helpful to hire an adviser that understands human emotions and can help you improve your team’s trust, coordination and morale. 

Becoming a Self-Sufficient Business 

When you first started your business, you probably relied a lot on outsourced services, manufacturing plants and all kinds of third parties that charged ludicrous service fees for their work. Eventually, you’ll probably want to take production into your own hands or hire your own specialists to work for you. For instance, an expert factory designer will understand how material handling ball transfer works so you can improve the efficiency of your manufacturing line, while an internet security expert will tell you all the equipment you need to buy in order to safeguard your business’s online presence.

Legal Advice 

No one likes the idea of being stuck in a legal battle. This is why legal advisers are so highly sought after. They’ll help you determine the best course of action to that when you’re in legal trouble and they’ll also advise you on practices that will help you stay out of trouble no matter what you do with your business. Be it defending your brand from copycats or breaking into a new industry without any backlash from consumers, legal advice is always helpful.

The Ultimate Guide To Securing Your Home

The thought of having your home broken into and all of your worldly possessions stolen fills many people with sheer dread. Strangers rifling through your belongings can make you feel violated and physically sick, knowing that they will go on to making money out of items that you have paid for using your hard-earned cash. But it goes beyond the materialistic. Burglaries can cause unknown psychological damage to homeowners, delayed trauma to children and, at the very worst, they can leave you feeling like you want to move from your once much-loved home. It is vital that you secure your home and limit the potential for a break-in at your humble abode. 

Alarm System 

The most obvious way of securing your home is by installing a highly visual deterrent that should put even the most hardened of criminals off attempting to get into your property. By fitting an alarm system that is hooked up to a central manned premises, you will be notified of the alarm going off within seconds. With smart technology, your alarm can be connected wirelessly to your smartphone provided that you are not too far away. This means if there is any suspicious activity around your home, you will be notified instantly. Although seemingly an insignificant detail, ensure you fit a system that has flashing lights visible from the most accessible point of your property. These lights send a subliminal message to any potential burglar that you are a homeowner that takes security seriously and that they will be risking too much if they choose to take on your home security system. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Judging A Business By Its Cover

Despite the adage ‘never judge a book by its cover,’ we all judge based on appearance. In many ways, it’s a necessary step for judging who we do and don’t want to know. It’d be nice to approach things with an open heart, but that’s not always practical. What’s more, those first impressions are near enough impossible to undo once formed. Impressions made within the first three seconds are usually the ones we keep. 

And, people aren’t the only ones who undergo first impression judgements. Initial thoughts and feelings are even more important when it comes to businesses. The market is saturated, and we have no loyalty when we first set out. Instead, we make decisions based off our first impressions. And, as with people, a bad first impression is sure to leave its mark. So, making a positive impact is a secret to success that every business owner should be aware of. With that in mind, we’re going to look at a few of the ways your business can make the best first impression possible. 


In truth, making a positive first impression isn’t enough. Because, before people take the time to form any opinion, they need to notice you. And, they won’t do that if you blend in with the crowd. That’s why it’s so crucial to get creative with your marketing. A great advert which sticks in the mind will take you a long way. If you’ve got an artistic flair, you can put it to good use here. If not, turn to companies like Fechtor who have experience with stand out ad campaigns. If you want proof of why this is a path worth taking, or even just a little inspiration, take a look at their creative advertising portfolio. It’s also worth taking note of what your competitors get up to. You don’t want to steal ideas, but it doesn’t hurt to know what you’re up against. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

So You Want To Write A Book...

Writing a book may not be at the top of everybody’s priorities nowadays, but if you hit the market at the right time and with the right content, it can be quite a lucrative little business for you. Not only that, but it’s something that can be done in your spare time and from home - what more could you ask for? A lot of people do it for enjoyment, and to think that you could make money off of a hobby is something that definitely needs to be aimed towards. It’s the no-brainer win-win situation, but it’s something that does take a lot of work, time and dedication in order to complete. So with that in mind, how do you go about writing a book? 

Publish Your Blog 

What a lot of people are doing nowadays is publishing the entries that they have already written and published online, on their blog. This is especially good if you have a big following on the internet, and there are sites that are able to make it happen for you without having to find a literary agent beforehand. So, instead of having people trawling through past posts that you have uploaded, you can instead recommend that they buy you book if they like what they see. Promoting yourself via social media, on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, has been proven to be successful for those who have already applied themselves online - it’s a simple shout out to your followers, and those who are interested will buy in. It’s helpful if your blog posts have been published via other mediums, e.g. online newspapers, to gain a bit of a much-needed momentum when it comes to selling. 

Write A Zine 

If you have a few niche ideas that you would like to put together, you could instead consider selling a zine rather than a full book. A lot of zines are contributed to, meaning that you wouldn’t have to do as much work but would still have a great collaboration of ideas. There have been a number of successful zines throughout the years, such as Do What You Want and Fanpages; they hit a target demographic and concentrate on maybe one broad subject in which different angles can be taken. It’s a brilliant idea for those who would prefer to offload their thoughts into something more concentrated rather than stretching it out across pages. For those who aren’t a fan of dialogue, but more so getting to the point with loaded information, this is definitely the best idea. 

Having Trouble Keeping Your Staff Engaged?

It’s something that all business owners go through from time to time. One of the many problems that you are likely to experience with your staff is the occasional lack of engagement on their part. This can happen due to a number of reasons, and it might not always be that easy to figure out what that reason is. It could be something personal, in which case you are unlikely to be able to help much. Or it might be that there is something undesirable about the workplace, in which case you probably can. If you think you need to try and engage with your employees a little more, there are some practical approaches which are always likely to be effective. Let’s have a look at what those might be. 

Shake It Up 

It is a fact that many people find themselves getting bored with their everyday job. This can happen to the best of us, and it is often difficult to solve very quickly in a business setting. However, there are things you can do to shake it up a bit - and doing so is usually likely to go down well. For a start, you might want to think about organizing the occasional company event. This can be a useful way to break up the monotony, as well as keeping everyone informed at the same time. Good event management, coupled with the ability to get people excited, can make this one of the better solutions out there. Alternatively, you could think about changing the office around, switching up the layout for example. You might be surprised at what a difference this can make, what a boost to morale it can cause. It’s always worth thinking about. 

Office Comforts: Vital Tips Business Owners Shouldn't Ignore

Business owners need to think long and hard about their approach to office design. It’s essential that all employees feel as comfortable as possible when performing their duties. Failure to achieve that goal will mean your team never reaches maximum productivity. So, take some of the advice from this article and apply it to your office as soon as possible. Your employees are going to thank you for making the improvements. So, that could also encourage them to work a little harder during the next few months. Best of all? You can knock all these expenses off your profits and pay less tax next year.

Regulate the amount of light in your office 

The last thing you need is for employees to have to squint their eyes all day long. That is going to reduce productivity, and it could leave everyone with a nasty headache. So, you have a couple of choices to make when rectifying that issue. Firstly, you could hang some blinds at the windows to better regulate light. Secondly, you could opt for a business window tint by SolarTex, Inc. or other established experts. Your team should notice the difference straight away. With a bit of luck, you should see that all employees get more work done during their time in the office. Tinting your windows can also help to reduce the amount of heat. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Ventures: Why Launching A Medical Firm Is A Brilliant Idea

People who work in medical and health-related jobs might consider starting a new business at some point. That is a fantastic idea, and it’s something everyone should encourage. It’s vital that we have a lot of competition in those industries for the obvious reasons. Patients deserve as much choice as possible when it comes to paying for their care. With all that in mind, this article will focus on three key reasons launching a medical company is the best move you will ever make. Of course, this information only applies to individuals who already have the right qualifications. Everyone else will have to head back to college for a couple of years first. 

You will give something back 

Lots of people spend their entire living taking things from society without ever paying it back. Well, launching a new health company could mean you finally repay your debts. You would focus your efforts on helping sick and ill people to achieve a level of comfort. You might even cure a couple of patients here and there. So, nobody can argue that your business will have a positive impact on this country. That is more than can be said for most entrepreneurs who only create adverse effects. If you’re an experienced professional, going it alone will give you more control over patient care. 

Creating The Right Impression: How You Can Build Trust With Your Clients

Business owners have to work hard to create the right impression and build trust. If your clients don’t feel confident spending money, you will never become successful. Considering that, some excellent tips below this introduction could help. You just have to work out the best ways of applying them to your operation. At the end of the day, you won’t have to spend a fortune to achieve that goal. You just have to follow a proven strategy to create the most efficient results. Regardless of the nature of your company, the same rules should apply. 

Always look the part at meetings 

There is a good chance you will have to attend meetings when you’re trying to attract new clients. Psychologists claim that most human beings will form their first impression within a matter of seconds. For that reason, it’s vital that you correctly present yourself. Don’t make the mistake of turning up in an old car wearing a suit you’ve owned for more than ten years. Use your head, and invest in the right clothing for the meeting. You don’t have to break the bank, but a designer suit from a brand like FarFetch could make a significant difference. Also, make sure you wear some aftershave or perfume for the best outcomes. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amped Up: Watt Could Go Wrong With Electric Cars

Electric cars have gotten a lot of people very excited over the last few years. Companies have come leaps and bounds to find new ways to move people around. Of course, along with electric vehicles, normal cars are still being made. Why is this, though? They’re almost as cheap as regular cars. And they don’t cost as much to fuel. Their environmental impact alone is worth considering, too, as they produce no emissions. These cars, despite their good side, are still far from perfect, unfortunately. To help you to see this, this post will be going through three of the issues you could face buying into this emerging market. 

Powering a car with electricity alone is a great step towards making transport entirely renewable. Instead of the car producing emissions while being made and while on the road, electric vehicles only cause emissions when they’re made. But, at the cost of this, their fuel can be very hard to find. In a lot of places, there simply won’t be power. So, if you break down, you won’t have a way to refuel at all. Though, even when you have fuel, it might not serve you well. The lithium batteries inside electric cars discharge much faster in cold conditions. During winter, you won’t get the same mileage out of your car as you would in summer. With the fuel for these cars being hard to find, this could cause you some real issues. Of course, though, this will depend on where you are. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What You Really Want From Your Investments

It’s no great secret that investing some of your capital is usually a sensible route to take. No matter how much (or how little) you might have spare, it is definitely worth finding some way to turn that amount into even more. When you want to do that, however, there are always a number of important considerations to make. One thing you absolutely want to make sure you get right is that you are choosing an investment type and portfolio which are as close to perfect for your own unique situation as possible. To ensure that, it often helps if you know what you really want from your investments. 


To be clear, the goal of investing is always to turn that money into much more money, and as long as you are achieving this central and basic goal you know you are probably on the right path. It goes without saying therefore that this is one of the first things you will want to look out for when you are choosing between possible investment options. Above all, you want your investment to have real potential; in other words, you need to know that it actually has some significant chance of making you a decent amount of money. All investments have risk, so we are not talking about achieving perfection here - just that you want your investment to have a good chance of working out well in your favor. 

Plug In Baby: The Benefits Of An Electric Car

If you're a petrolhead, you might be a bit miffed about the appearance of electric cars. Firstly, there's no feel - secondly, there's no noise. Two things we like about petrol cars are the feel and the roaring rev of an engine. That doesn't happen with most electric cars unless they make an effort to emulate the sound. Electric cars? They might not be real cars. Not to you. But hey - look. Car's aren't good for the environment, and while the majority of drivers are responsible, there are a few who push their cars - and thus the environment - too hard for the sake of getting from A to B. Even with that, the amount of fumes stemming from responsible drivers is just as bad. There's not much we can do to stop our beloved cars from poisoning the Earth. Except stop driving them, but that's not going to happen. 

What this means is that tariffs, taxes, and charges are going to rise on cars powered by fossil fuels. Driving petrol is going to become more costly - and you know, oil isn't going to last forever. We need to start coming around to the ideas of electric cars, and what better way than looking at the benefits? 

While charges rise for petrol cars, right now it seems there are a few Government granted benefits to owning an electric car. There are certainly parking benefits, as spaces next to plugs are granted to electric car owners - but there are also tax exemptions. Certainly, over in the UK you can get tax credits for plug-in vehicles and as the push to them becomes greater, the rest of the world might follow suite. 

As for repairs? Electric cars seem to be reliable. Auto-repair is always going to be a necessity and that won't ever change - but it's likely that an electric car will have less issue than a petrol motor simply because there are less moving parts. It's likely that your car will spend less time in the shop if it's powered by a battery. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Here's What Nobody Tells You About Small Business Marketing

We all know that marketing is an essential part of starting a business. Behind every successful company is a carefully thought out and well-executed marketing strategy. 

It’s likely you’ve spent a lot of time doing your research and finding some small business marketing tips to help move you in the right direction. I’m not going to waste your time by repeating the same old stuff for you here. Instead, this article will run through a few things nobody seems to tell us about small business marketing. So, read on to find out more: 

There Is No Small Business Marketing ‘Master’ Plan 

To begin, it’s worth noting that there is no master plan when it comes to small business marketing. What I mean by this is there isn’t one plan that fits every different scenario. Businesses will ultimately play a role in determining what strategy you use and how you apply it to gain customers. If you run a law firm, then the marketing strategy will be completely different to if you ran a restaurant. You’d need a law firm marketing strategy or a restaurant marketing strategy. Every business has a plan that’s tailored to that specific business. You will never find a plan online that will fit every small business perfectly. So, stop trying to look for it! Yes, apply some of the tips you find, but bear in mind your strategy may be different to what you see online depending on your company. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Reasons Your Budget Isn't Working

Do you make a budget on a regular basis? Have you got good intentions to get your finances in order, but still find that you’re way off every time you approach the end of the month? Budgeting is really beneficial for those who want to take control of their money, but it doesn’t work unless it’s done properly. If your budget isn’t panning out quite as you planned, and you find that your figures aren’t adding up, here are some reasons why. 

You’re not using accurate information 

Be honest. When you’re budgeting, do you input accurate information or do you use estimates? Even if you’re only slightly out, if you’re not on point with every single payment, this can make a massive difference when it comes to calculating how much you’re bringing in versus how much you’re spending. If you’ve underestimated, even by a couple of dollars on each entry, this can put you out by a considerable margin when it comes to totting up the total. Use a paystub maker to keep track of exactly how much you earn each month and itemize your outgoings. In most cases, you receive bills for your phone, TV package, and electricity a month in advance, so you can use the exact figure for your budget the following month. If you estimate that you spend $60 a month on gas at home and a bill comes for $100 because it’s winter and you’ve had the heating on, going on average payments isn’t going to work. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Simple Strategies For Perfect Business Meetings

Successful entrepreneurs tend to be united in many personality traits, but arguably most dominant of all is their ability to understand time. Not in the sense of basic perception of time, of course - most of us have that nailed by the time we’re a few years old - but the sense of how time can be used, and how it can be wasted, when running a business. After all, time is money, so we are told - so lost time is like burning wads of cash in front of your eyes. 

If there is one area of business that is liable to losing time (and thus losing money), it’s meetings. 

It doesn’t matter if they’re daily briefings or just a once-a-month sitrep for the company; it’s a one-way ticket to lost time and productivity. Why? 
  • Meetings bring together people who might not usually see one another, thus they want to catch up. This can be related to the business, or it might be in a social sense. You don’t have to ban your employees from being friendly entirely, but nevertheless, if their chat is dragging on for too long then you’re effectively paying them to gossip
  • Bringing together lots of different threads, people, and departments, is an efficiency task that few companies manage smoothly. You have to have all the right people in the right place, then the right equipment, then all the tech has to work as it should be working… it’s not easy. 
  • When there are disagreements or discussions, everything is going to take longer to work through. 
  • Meetings often involve the coordination of many people from different areas at one time, which can mean syncing diaries and having to handle unexpected absences. Just dealing with this side of a meeting can be problematic, and that’s just the bit that gets everyone in the same room! 

Friday, July 07, 2017

An Owner's Guide To Maintaining The Perfect Home

Whether you bought your home last week or last year, you know that sooner or later that “new house” feel is going to fade. It’s frustrating, of course, because you’re desperate to hold onto that fresh and welcoming glow of your brand new home. Whilst nothing lasts forever, you don’t need to be lazy when it comes to maintaining your house. There are ways to keep your house looking shiny and new if you put in a little bit of effort on a regular basis. This owner’s guide to maintaining the perfect home might just give you the inspiration to get to work. 

Keep it clean. 

This is self-explanatory. You want to avoid clutter and keep things minimal in the household so as to make cleaning easier for yourself, but you do still need to clean on a regular basis if you want to maintain that “new house” feeling. A good rule of thumb is to clean as you go so as to avoid big clean ups every few months once the house looks like a tip. You’d be amazed how much better things look if you just cleaned a room before you left it. 

Know your limits. 

Of course, it’s important that you don’t push beyond your area of expertise or comfort when it comes to maintaining your home. DIY won’t always cut it when there are more serious problems around the home outside of your knowledge area. You might want to look into getting a house warranty so that elements of wear and tear around your household such as leaky faucets or electrical problems are financially covered for the day that the inevitable happens. The point is that it’s important not tackle any jobs that aren’t actually DIY tasks; if you feel that something is out of your experience level or YouTube tutorials don’t help you then it’s always better not to make the situation worse by working on it alone. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Retro Tech: Cool Stuff You May Have Owned That's Totally Back!

Technology moves at such breakneck speed these days, it’s virtually impossible to keep up. Unless, of course, you happen to be a millionaire. While early adopters will spend a fortune on obsessively amassing ‘the latest’ gadgets and gizmos, they’re often disappointed by how seldom their new tech stays new. 

As technology rattles along at a dizzying pace, there’s been a growing subculture of tech savvy people who pine for the old products and technologies that they remember with such nostalgic fondness, and various industries have risen to answer that very specific call... to give yesterday’s technology a modern makeover. 

So check out these examples of older technology that’s totally back! If you already have any of it kicking around in your attic then you may want to brush it off. If not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy to come by and affordable it is. 


There’s been a growing consensus among music aficionados that no amount of mp3 streaming or lossless digital audio can compare to the personal physical experience of buying, collecting and playing records. The industry has risen to the demands of audiophiles with this new website of Vinyl Vintage demonstrating how dedicated to the enhancement of the analogue experience the consumer electronics industry has become. 

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Shopping Addiction: Its Impact & The Aftermath

Can a person ever really be addicted to shopping? 

It is, after all, something that most of us do on a weekly basis. Is it possible that it could fall into the same category of those most destructive of substance and alcohol issues - addiction itself? 

The answer is: yes. Addiction tends to mean a behavior that stimulates dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine makes us feel good; makes us feel happy - so we want to do anything that stimulates that feeling over and over again. If it’s shopping that gives us a dopamine rush, then there’s no question about it: shopping can indeed be addictive. 

When Is Shopping Addiction A Problem? 

Given that shopping is something much of us have to do by necessity, it’s sometimes tricky to see where the line is. When is it just about servicing your need to buy things you need, and when has it crossed a line into being an addiction? 

While every case is different, there are a few telltale signs of when a shopping habit has become something more sinister: 
  • Shopping even when there is nothing you need or particularly want - you’re shopping for the sake of doing so. 
  • Shopping to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling low for other reasons. Retail therapy on occasion is one thing, but if your immediate thought when you’re in need of a pick-me-up is to shop, then that might be problematic. 
  • Suffering financial issues and a dented credit score as a result of spending more than you can afford. This might start mildly with a credit card debt, but over time, it will increase and become more and more problematic. 
  • If you go without shopping for a short while, feeling the urge to shop just to break the dry spell. Again, this is all the more problematic if there’s nothing you need and you just want to shop anyway.    

Friday, June 30, 2017

Saving for a Small Business Emergency Fund

It makes smart business sense to start up and add to a small business emergency fund that you can tap into when times are tough. Companies that have no safety net in place can find themselves in a very tough spot when these unexpected expenses crop up as they do from time to time. Luckily, all it takes is a little knowledge and a lot of shrewdness on your part to build a small business emergency fund. Here’s what you need to do: 

Save When Times are Good 

The easiest way to start building up a small business emergency fund is by saving the excess when you turn over a bigger profit than expected. Sure, you might want to use some of it to invest in a new website or marketing campaign, but be sure to set aside a decent percentage for your rainy-day fund too. 

Use Teleconferencing Software 

Instead of spending money on American Airlines flights and accommodation for those long-distance meetings, why not invest in teleconferencing software instead? That way, you’ll save a bundle on the cost of traveling, and you can squirrel more away to use on a rainy day. 

Set Up a Separate Account 

If you keep your emergency fund money in your general business account, chances are you’ll end up dipping into it when you don’t really need to. Cut this temptation by opening a separate emergency fund account, and it’ll be easier to build up a tidy sum over time. 

The Social Media Age Gap (And Why It Matters To Your Business)

When it comes to making the most of social media for your business, you’d think it would be largely the same strategy. You’d think you could do X, Y, and Z thing - and then everything would clip along and be dealt with. 

Of course, the more you learn about how you use social media for business purposes, the more you realize that’s not the case at all. You soon learn that while we might group all the different services together under the banner of “social media”, they actually have very little in common with one another. 

You soon realize that you need a separate strategy for each one. The way that you run your business Twitter is very different to how you run your business Facebook. Your Instagram usage is incomparable to the methods you need to use for Snapchat. There’s no tried-and-tested strategy that will work across all platforms. 

Still, when you’ve figured that out… you’re sorted, right? You’re going to be able to use social media to promote and bolster your business, you’ve got all your different strategies set out, and then… 

Sorry: There’s Something You Forgot 

Apologies for being the bearer of bad news, but, yes, there’s still something you have forgotten. Social media doesn’t just break down into what “works” for each one, you also have to think about what type of customer you’re going to be able to target. 

Social Media Age Splits 

Let’s take an example. If you’ve got a small business premises that sells recliners and comfy sofas to a target demographic of 50+, then Snapchat geofilters for your store and a hilarious Twitter account isn’t going to be much use to you. 

On the flip side, if you’re trying to sell clothing to 18-21 year old women, then Facebook and Pinterest boards aren’t going to be efficient. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Treat Your Car Better and Reap the Rewards

Do you really give your car the love and attention that it needs? If you don’t, now is the time to change all that. You don’t need to accept second best from your car. Sure, you might never drive a Ferrari, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the benefits of treating your car right, even if it is a cheap motor with plenty of miles on the clock. 

Keep Checking Your Oil Levels 

The oils levels in your car make a big difference to how your vehicle performs. If you want your car to remain smooth and efficient, you should check the oil levels regularly. As soon as you notice that they’re starting to run a little low, top them up right away. You can get all kinds of oil, so find the one that suits your vehicle best. 5w30 synthetic oil is a popular choice at the moment, so you might want to consider that. You should pay the same amount of attention to the other liquids that your car relies on to stay functional. 

Follow the Maintenance Schedule Outlined in Your Manual 

Every car has a maintenance schedule that should be stuck to. This is outlined clearly in your car’s manual. You should do what you can to stick to this schedule because it will help you to make sure that your car is always looked after. There are so many things that can go wrong with your car if you don’t take it to be serviced and maintained by a professional. You will be rewarded with fewer breakdowns and headaches if you do manage to follow the maintenance schedule, so don’t skip over this. It’s not worth it. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

5 Things Couples Should Do Before Tying The Knot

If you ask anyone that’s married what it is like to have tied the knot with The One they will tell you that it is the most amazing thing in the world. They will tell you they are married to their best friend and that is more than anyone could ask. However, they will also tell you that marriage is hard. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, then you’ll know it isn’t always easy, but marriage is a step up; in the best way possible. You are more responsible for them than you have ever been to anyone else, ever. 

That is why it is so important you experience the following things together, as a couple, before deciding to commit to each other from now until death decides otherwise. Whatever happens, it will be the most amazing fun you’ve ever had. 

Travel As A Couple 

When you travel with your partner you learn so much more about them, about you and about how you are together when you step outside your comfort zones. Traveling has a way of showing one another a more complete you because you’ll get to see how one another reacts in totally new environments; when you are stressed, lost, stranded somewhere or suddenly without money because the bank stopped your card. You get to know each other on an entirely new level.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How To Live Comfortably On A Tight Budget

Being responsible with your personal finances is tough. When you’re constantly under pressure and worrying about how you’re going to make ends meet, you need to tighten your belt and approach the cost of living with a proactive attitude. You may think that a comfortable life and a tight budget can’t co-exist, but this is completely false. Here’s some of the best advice for living well when money’s tight.

Have a Realistic, Practical Budget 

All too often, people come up with a loose budget in their heads, and then tend to forget about it when it comes to actually putting it into practice. A good budget, even an exceedingly tight one, has to be both realistic and executable. When you’re really struggling to make ends meet, the most important part of your budget has to be areas you can cut down on. If you’ve been coasting along with no real budget in mind, you’ll probably be amazed at the amount of money you’ve been wasting in the past! This should start with you effectively carving up your income and allocating it to meet your expenses, with a long-term view to your overarching goals. Whether you’re looking to pay down debt, pay off a mortgage, or start investing, having an endgame in mind is another important aspect to having a budget that works. 

Small Companies' Secret To Success: Outsourcing Where It Matters

Small companies need to be smart with their resources. Indeed, while they need to address every business need in the organization, it doesn’t mean that each requirement has to become an internal job. There is one important thing about small businesses: They are designed around a streamlined hierarchy, where no position in wasted. Consequently, if a specific skill is necessary for the business process to run smoothly, it will have to guarantee full-time or part-time activity for the company to hire new talent. For any business process that doesn’t offer the possibility of an internal job, then the company needs to find an alternative: Outsourcing. 

Outsourcing is extremely common in large organizations where external teams, suppliers, and agencies join for the duration of a project or as recurring service suppliers. However, it is commonly accepted that small companies don’t outsource their work for fear of high cost. This is a myth of the business world. All companies can have access to the outsourcing market. Where there is a need, there is a suitable supplier. 

Outsourcing Like A Pro 

Small companies need to obey the same rules than large organizations when they decide to embrace the potential of outsourcing suppliers and skills. Indeed, the secret of a successful relationship with your suppliers lies in mutual respect. From a company perspective, it is about respecting the contract and paying on time. This establishes your company as a reliable client. It doesn’t mean that the path to outsourcing will be smooth: You need to lay out a clear and structured plan about what you need. It isn’t always an easy task; it’s not uncommon for companies to be only able to define exactly what they need after they’ve already agreed on a different service package with the supplier. Keeping an open and honest communication will help to sort things out, as, after all, your supplier can’t know what you fail to communicate. The more you talk to them, the better they will support your company growth and understand your needs. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

3 Ways To Improve Camaraderie In The Workplace

The most satisfied people in the workplace will not rave about how conducive the working environment is for working or how good their salary and overtime pay are. The happiest people in the office will not go on and on about the shorter periods of time they need work so they can come home early to their families. 

Factors like good pay or a posh office room can very well determine how long a person can stay in his current job, but if you will ask most people from the workforce, it is the good relationship that they keep with fellow workers that almost always determines their length of stay whichever company they may be. Even business owners will attest that a good relationship between their people makes a good team which in turn can determine the success of their companies and businesses. 

It is, therefore, of utmost importance for any business owner to ensure that his people work as a team instead of as individuals. It is also essential to improve camaraderie in the workplace to ensure that employees work together toward a common goal and ultimately a collective success, instead of working independently. 

Here are a few ways you can improve the camaraderie of people in your workplace: 

Exciting Team-building Activities. 

The increase in popularity of the BPO industry also paved the way for establishments and businesses to offer exciting and creative ways to do team-building activities. If you are planning to host one for your company over the summer and you are located anywhere near, you might want to consider zombie escape Atlanta. There is nothing more exciting than having your team figure out a way to come out of the zombie apocalypse escape room together. It will have all their creative juices flowing as they work together to survive the heart-stopping and thrill-seeking adventure. And, you can bet that even the most hostile of your employees will be best of buddies after going out of the zombie escape room together. 

Thursday, June 08, 2017

The True Costs Of A Car Accident, Revealed

Whether you are in a major pileup or just have a minor accident, the costs of being involved in such an incident are a lot more than you might think. In today’s brief guide, we’re going to take a look at all the associated expenses of being involved in an auto accident - let’s get the magnifying glass out and see what you can expect. 


In theory, when you have auto insurance the company who runs your plan should cover the costs of your car if you have an accident, and if it is someone else’s fault, it is their insurer that will pay. But it’s not always the case. Unless you have comprehensive insurance cover, there is a high likelihood that you will need to pay for any repairs yourself. And don’t forget, if you write off your car, you will only receive the amount it is valued at right now - not when you bought the car. 

New to Driving? Here Are Some Friends You Should Make

When you’re new to anything, it’s good to have friends to help you out and assist you in understanding things that you’re unclear about. Most driving tests are fairly comprehensive, but they don’t teach you everything you need to know about car ownership and it’s a lifelong journey that comes with a lot of mistakes, successes and even accidents. However, you could get a fantastic head start on that journey by making some friends along the way. 

Local mechanics 

If you want to learn more about your vehicle, then there’s no better place to visit than your local auto repair garage. Befriend the mechanics there whenever you visit to inspect your car or repair something and you’ll pick up plenty of tidbits of information. The more interest you show in your vehicle, the less likely the mechanics will rip you off by charging exorbitant prices and the better your relationship will be. 

A more experienced driver 

Everyone needs a mentor in life no matter what they do, and the ultimate mentor for a new driver is a more experienced one. It could be a parent, a friend, uncle or even your driving instructor that you made friends with. Whoever it is, make sure you keep in touch with them and ask them for advice whenever you’re unsure. Perhaps you experienced a frustrating situation where you were sandwiched by two vehicles, or maybe you saw behaviour on the road that you didn’t learn during your lessons and want to know more ways to avoid accidents. Whatever the situation, remember to keep asking them questions when they have time. 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

3 Ways to Ensure that Your New Dog is Safe for the Kids

Dogs are much more than just household pets. Having a dog is a commitment. You can’t just introduce some random dog to the family and expect everything to fall into place, especially if you have children. If the new dog doesn’t get along with the kids, your furry new family member could very easily turn into a safety risk. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prevent this from happening. 

Adopt a Pup Instead of an Adult Dog for Easier Training 

Welcoming a puppy into your home instead of an adult dog in its peak is easily the best way to ensure your children’s safety. Apart from the fact that they’re small and relatively harmless, domestic puppies less than 16 weeks old are in a crucial stage of mental and emotional development. This is when they’re just beginning to get accustomed to the world around them, including the adults and children in the family or pack that they now belong to. 

Who or what the puppy meets during this formative period is likely to stick with it throughout adulthood. That’s why it’s extremely important to introduce them to the children as well as to the rest of the family while they’re young. The more your kids socialize with the puppy during this early period in its life, the more it will treat the kids as part of its pack. 

Canine experts and trainers swear by the effectivity of this early socialization period in ensuring the safety of children as well as the healthy development of the pup. If a puppy is raised and socialized around children correctly, it will instinctively know how to be gentle with small, young humans, even ones outside its family. 

Some even say that socializing a puppy is more important than picking breeds that are known to be ‘kid-friendly’. As experts will tell you, canine safety and childproofing is more about training than the actual breed of the dog. Even feared breeds like the doberman or the pit bull can learn to be sweethearts when it comes to kids and other family members, you just have to start ‘em young and train ‘em right. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Building Blocks to Start Your Credit Score

To be approved for many things in life, from renting an apartment to buying a car, you often need to have a good credit score. Unfortunately, having no credit history isn't the same as having a good score. You might think that never having borrowed money using a credit card or loan makes you look good. However, what most people who check your credit score want to see is that you have proof that you are able to pay back a debt. If you've never borrowed any money, you can't do that. But, you might be thinking, how do you build your credit if no one will give you any without a good credit score? Here's how you can improve your credit history. 

Apply for a Credit Card 

One of the first things many people do if they want to build their credit is apply for a credit card. Some cards will be difficult to be approved for if you don't have any credit history. However, some are designed to be a first credit card. These cards might come with high interest rates, although some will have a special offer of a low or even non-existent interest for the first few months. Secured cards ask you to put some money up front to make you less of a risk. GoBear allows you to compare a range of cards so you can find the right one. It's important to compare the different benefits and drawbacks of what's available. 

Monday, June 05, 2017

Keep 'Em Sweet: The Secrets of Successful Supplier Relationships

Great suppliers and vendors that give your business what it needs to succeed are like gold dust. And if you find a great partner, you need to do everything within your power to keep hold of them. At the end of the day, developing first class relationships with your suppliers is as important as it is to your customers. The big question is - what can your business do to cultivate meaningful and profitable relationships with your vendors? Let’s take a closer look and find out. 

Pay up on time 

It won’t be a surprise to anyone to hear that paying on time - every time - is the single most important thing you can do to start off on the right foot with your vendors. Just like you, your suppliers are likely to be operating on thin margins and need cash flow to keep their company running smoothly. Also, you will often find that over time, as long as you pay up on time, some vendors might reward your good payment history with better terms and deals

Everything You Need For A Fantastic Home Office

When you make the decision to work from home, it’s very tempting to work in bed or on the sofa and stay in your pyjamas all day, but this can hurt your productivity and put you behind on your paperwork. Whether you’re self-employed or just telecommuting, to be successful you need to act as though you’re still getting up to go to an office. The best way to achieve this is to create a home office to promote productivity. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. 

A quiet room 

To maintain your work/life balance, you need to keep your work separate from the rest of the house. Set yourself up in a quiet room, and keep the door closed during office hours for privacy. Most people work best if they eliminate any background noise, so setting up a space in the living room with the TV on might be too distracting. Make sure your office has enough natural light coming through, as well as a well-lit lamp in case you work into the night. You could even make the office your own by painting it a color that you like.