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February 28, 2017

Great Habits Of Successful Real Estate Investors

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Investing in real estate is one of those fields that many people would love to get involved with - and with good reason. Property and real estate investment have long been known as a fantastic addition to your portfolio, and the vast majority of successful investors have a huge amount of real estate assets behind them. But, whether you are looking at buy-to-let, vacation homes, or fixing up a rundown property and selling it on for a profit, there are some key characteristics you need to develop before turning your dreams into reality. Let’s take a look at some of the great habits possessed by successful real estate investors. 

Pitch perfect planning 

Real estate investment needs to be seen in exactly the same way as you would see running a business. And like all successful companies, great real estate investors know the importance of planning. Long-term and short-term goals all need to be laid out properly to align with the big picture. You’ll need planning to focus on your goals, and keep you on track when things might go awry. And finally, you’ll need a robust plan to protect yourself from potential trouble - financial or legal risks, for example.

February 28, 2017

Feeling Crabby? Get Your Freekeh On

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freekeh, food

Ah, we love a good pun although we probably have you asking ‘What the Freekeh is that?’ well don’t worry, make yourself a nice cup of green tea and we will tell you. 

Freekeh is the next super food that you need to know all about. Put the Quinoa down guys, finally we have something better which is a lot easier to pronounce. Freekeh (literally pronounced Freek-eh) is the ‘new’ ancient grain. Sometimes referred to as Farik it is a wheat that’s harvested while young and green. Roasted over an open fire, then the straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. The grain on the inside is too young and moist to burn, so what you're left with is a firm, slightly chewy grain with a distinct flavor that's earthy, nutty, and slightly smoky. It would go well with the earthy flavours of a beetroot salad

Where is it from? It’s pretty much a staple food in Palestine. But you can find it across most of the Middle East. 

Now, don’t get too excited. This is not for you if you are gluten free. However Freekeh totally smacks Quinoa out of the rice cooker when it comes to nutritional values. Low in fat, high in protein, high in fiber. If you compare it serving to serving you will find more protein and twice as much fiber as quinoa. (in 40g you will find 6g of fiber and 6 of protein compared to quinoa’s measly 3g and 5 ½ respectively)

So, you are going to feel fuller for longer which is great for those watching the waistline and if you are looking to keep your blood sugar levels steady then it’s a great choice as it is lower than its grainy compadre on the glycemic index. It doesn’t stop there, Freekeh acts a little like a prebiotic helping good bacteria grow in your digestive system and will boost your iron, calcium and zinc levels too. 

You’ve just thrown the Quinoa in the bin haven’t you? 

So, what the freak do you do with it? You can follow this fantastic recipe for a start. 

Crisp Crab Cakes With Freekeh 

150g Freekeh (boiled until just tender and well-drained) 
200g Fresh breadcrumbs 
100ml Peanut oil 
300g Snapper, minced 
120g Red onion, finely sliced 
4 each Egg whites 
4 each Egg yolks 
Peanut oil 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Tabasco sauce to taste 

Mix together the breadcrumbs, cooked Freekeh , peanut oil, crab meat, snapper, red onion, egg yolks, tabasco sauce and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg whites until they form a soft peak. Fold the egg whites into the crab mixture, then form into 10 3 inch diameter patties. Fry the patties in hot oil on both sides, then finish cooking in an oven. 

That was simple wasn’t it. If you want to complicate it you could make your own Aioli or, just dip them into a sweet chilli sauce! 

Try adding some Freekeh into your life and never stumble over how to pronounce quinoa ever again.
February 28, 2017

Brand Building Benefits Of Buying A Fleet For Your Business

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Not all companies are in the financial position to consider creating a fleet of vehicles, of course. But if there is a valid business reason for doing so - and you can find the capital to invest - a fleet of cars, trucks, or vans could well prove hugely beneficial. In today’s guide, I’m going to take a look at some of the incredible advantages that a fleet can provide to your company, and achieve a level of brand building that will end up paying for itself. Let’s take a closer look.


The portable billboard 

If your business model relies on delivering goods or services, there is a good chance that those products and services will spend a long time on the road. So, instead of relying on second-rate delivery companies, why not invest in a fleet and go down the DIY route? Doing this will give your business exposure on every single journey, and if you can create a stunning visual impact on your cars, trucks or vans, it will get you noticed. 

The customer-friendly company reputation 

A fleet of cars or other vehicles need to be driven - and the people you hire to do it can make sure that every encounter they have with the general public is first-class. Take the delivery company example again - you have no control over another company’s customer service levels. Going down the fleet route means you can ensure that courteous and friendliness are part of the job description for drivers - and your brand will benefit as a result.
February 27, 2017

Paper Will Never Die

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There’s a huge movement surrounding paperless businesses that has been rearing its ugly head over the past couple of months and it’s something that needs to be discussed before too many entrepreneurs get the wrong idea or start to make drastic changes to their business that are simply ludicrous and don’t need to happen. Let’s dive straight into the article and skip the intro because the quicker you ingest this information, the faster you’ll realise that these “go paperless” articles are a complete joke. 


Going Paperless Doesn’t Save Trees 

Forget all the nonsense you’ve read about going paperless and saving the environment. First of all, a single company making the switch to paperless doesn’t mean they will stop cutting a tree. That tree is going to be harvested for the sake of other products. For instance, it will be turned into lumber for buildings and structures, it might turn into fuel, or it might turn into tissues. If someone is serious about saving trees then they’d better stop using tissues to wipe themselves after going toilet and they should probably stop using wood-based furniture such as their desk—see how ridiculous this notion is? 
February 24, 2017

Deal With Your Debt The Easy Way

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If you have any kind of debt, don’t worry - you’re not alone. Of course, just because you’re not alone doesn’t mean it’s a nice position to be in. Having debt is a terrible situation, and when it is really bad it can affect your life in some seriously negative ways, ways which can have lasting effects. However, it is worth trying to stay grounded and present moment focussed if you want to properly deal with your debt. Getting too worried about the future will only lead to a mindset which brings about more poverty, so make sure you do your best to think positively. You will also want to take some practical steps towards easing your debt; let’s take a look at what you can do now.

Take Stock 

The first, and most essential, step is to take stock of what debt you actually have. No matter how bad it is, you need to actually look it square on, as this is the only way you will have any chance to deal with it properly. If you do not take stock of your debt, then you might continue to bury your head in the sand rather than deal with it. This might be tempting, but it is not the way to solve your problems. So sit down and work out the exact, full extent of your debts. You might actually be surprised at how much better you feel after doing this.


Consider Consolidation 

If you have never heard of it before, then you might be asking: what is debt consolidation? Actually, it is pretty straightforward to understand. It is also a viable option for anyone who has a lot of debt that they don’t know how to properly handle. When you consolidate your debts, it simply means that you combine them into one payment. This has some benefits which are worth noting. In some circumstances, it might be that you end up paying back what you owe even faster than you would currently.

Prioritise Your Debts 

Whether you consolidate or not, you will need to know which need to be paid back first, as this ensures that you are repaying in the most logical way possible, thus saving you as much money as possible. First up should be any debts which are likely to cause real problems, such as anything where they are threatening legal action and so on. Next, you should order your remaining debts based on their respective interest rates. Basically you want to make sure you pay off high-interest first, as this saves the most money possible in the long run. Once you have ordered your debts, you might be surprised at how good you feel about the whole thing. This is a real, active step forwards, and you should be proud. 

Pay 

Now it’s time to actually begin paying them off. Again, this is simpler than you might think. Simply set up a direct debit or standing order, and pay whatever you can each month. Budget yourself first, check what you can afford, and then make sure you do os every month. Before long, you will wake up one day debt free.
February 24, 2017

Go Big With Your Business Or Go Bust

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There was a report yesterday about a designer who complained Kate Middleton caused her business to fail. Long story short, the royal one day queen bought a dress from the woman’s company. This immediately lead to a rapid increase in demand that the business wasn’t prepared for. As such, they couldn’t meet the requests, the reputation was damaged, and the business was forced off the market. Business owners might be thinking the message here is to expand slowly. Don’t rush things and let your company grow naturally with the level of demand. But actually, the message here is to be prepared for a huge bubble of growth. Be ready to expand your company and always think on a grander scale. How can you do this? 

Awesome Marketing 

If you want your business to grow at a rapid rate, you do need to think about some awesome marketing tactics. These days that means using the tech at your fingertips. For instance, you can think about investing in an app. With a mobile developer, you can bring an idea that you already have for an app to life, and this is a smart move. On average, people look at their phones approximately one hundred times each day. If you don’t have an app, you could be missing out on huge marketing potential. 
February 23, 2017

The Signs Of A True Gentleman

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Men want to appear sincere, down to earth and gentlemanlike. It isn’t easy, but if you present yourself in such a way you will see your personal life excel in all of its dealings. You should present yourself well to everyone, but if you are in business it has exceptional value. People are more likely to do business with someone who presents themselves well instead of someone who looks scruffy or comes across in the wrong way. You can spend hours shopping for the right stuff, but it isn’t just clothes that matter. There are other things to consider too. Here are some top tips regarding how you can present yourself. 

Stay Well Groomed 

If you are presenting yourself as a businessman at an important event then appearing well groomed is important. You can keep a beard or stubble, it just needs to look neat and classy otherwise people will think you don’t invest time in yourself, and someone who does not invest time in themselves may not do so in their business. It is a strange connotation to make, granted, but it is how many people think across the world. Keep your beard and facial hair touched up. The best way to do this is with a razor and you can find the best ones reviewed at http://www.manlymatters.net/. Stay well groomed and you’ll appear as such.

February 23, 2017

Make Your Product Incredible!

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There are a lot of things that are important when it comes to your business but there's no doubt that there is one thing that is more central to your success than just about anything else: your product. Without an amazing product to offer, your business is as good as useless. All of the drive and passion in the world isn't going to do any good if you're not actually able to offer your customers and clients something truly fantastic. That can often be a lot of pressure, but the fortunate thing is, if you're setting up your own business, there's a pretty solid chance that you're going to have an idea of exactly what you want your product to be. But that doesn't mean that you've got everything figured out. With that in mind, here are a few things that you need to think about in order to make sure that your product is as incredible as possible. 

Your audience 

If you have an idea of the kind of product that you want to create then it's an incredibly good idea that you also know exactly who it is that your product is for. Unless you've created the single most useful and universal product of all time, there's a chance that you're going to have a specific demographic in mind. Think about your product critically and try to understand who it will appeal to the most and why. When you know that, you'll be able to gear the product itself towards that audience as effectively as possible. Don't be afraid to get specific with it either. If you try too hard to make your product appeal to everyone then your run the risk of making it generic and uninteresting. 
February 23, 2017

No More Road Rage: Making Your Commute More Enjoyable!

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I'm well aware that not everyone is lucky enough to get to work from home. In fact, most folks have to climb into their cars every morning and drive through the traffic to get their office. For some, their commute can be a relaxing time of the day. Where they get to center themselves and prepare for the tasks ahead. For others it a can be a stressful rush through heavy traffic, and other angry drivers in a bid to not be late to work again. To be the former commuter rather than the latter you should check out my tips below for a much more pleasant trip to work. 

Get Up 

So your alarm goes off in the morning and your pull the cover back over your eyes and hunker down to get 10 or 20 minutes more sleep before you have to get up. But is it worth it? All you are doing is back loading your morning routine which inevitably puts you in a stressed mood and behind schedule for your commute. 

Yes, it is agony sometimes to drag ourselves out of bed. But this feeling soon fades. Is it not so much better to arrive at work on time, calm and ready to start your day than having 10 lousy more minutes asleep? 
February 23, 2017

Back Breaking? Chiropractor Businesses

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If you want to run your own chiropractic business, either by yourself or with a business partner, it is not just about the treating of patients, although that is a fundamental part of it. While you are striving to provide a service to people who need it, you are running a company, and with running a company comes having to deal with more than just spondylolisthesis! If you are hoping to embark on this journey, here are some things that you will need to bear in mind…

Build A Brilliant Business Plan

accounting, business plan

If you are looking for funding to get your business ready, you will need to create a business plan that details every aspect of what you need for the business and your estimations on how much it will all cost. If you are looking for a location for your business, you will need to do as much detailed research as you can. Maybe there are aspects that you can do from home to keep the costs down. Or you could start the whole business from home. By itemizing how much you estimate everything will cost, with the research to back it up, you are helping your potential investors make an informed decision, which will help you massively rather than having a half-finished idea without any projections for the first few years. 

Get The Right Resources

chiropractor tools, for massage

Running a medical business means getting proper resources. Staff and equipment need to be of the best quality. As with many small businesses, budgetary constraints are common, so you could go to a medical equipment leasing company and rent long term while you build up the money to invest in your own equipment. Finding a location to run your business is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can decide on. You would need to be as central as possible to attract the most custom. Many chiropractors set up offices in the back rooms of health shops if they are unable to afford a lease on an office or professional location. Or you could run a mobile business, and go to patients’ homes. This gives you the opportunity to widen your customer base, and there are potentially no limits to where you can travel, as long as the benefits outweigh the cost of travel. And people are willing to pay big if they have lived with a problem for years without relief. The right insurance is another factor. As you are working with the public, you will need to be insured in case you are liable for damage. Working with people in pain means that it is critical you have the right certification and insurances in place, so you don’t have to pay severance to people in case something goes wrong. As any business that deals with the public, they are essential. 

The business of being a chiropractor will always be one that is demanded. After all, we all get injured in one way or another! And there is a potential to make a great living from it. Now get cracking!
February 22, 2017

Bringing Your Business Into The 21st Century

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It’s 2017, which means that if you aren’t fully on the technology bus then you need to hop on soon because otherwise it’s going to leave without you. Leaving that metaphor aside, it’s important to do your best to keep up with the latest innovations in business. Here are some tips on how to do so…


Make Your Office Beautiful

There’s nothing more depressing than the idea of going into a grey, gloomy office on a Monday morning – so as a boss it’s your responsibility to lift a little of that doom and make it a beautiful work environment. Provide pot plants (although make sure you water them regularly, because a row of dead plants has a slightly apocalyptic vibe) and make sure that there’s plenty of open space, as well as facilities to make food, tea and coffee. You should also make sure that the bathrooms are equipped with quality soap – treating your employees well will make them feel valued at work and loyal to the company.


February 22, 2017

Easy Paleo Cod

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paleo cod

There are many diets going around that are very trendy, but have you heard of the Paleo diet? It’s just a posh term for just eating naturally, things that we’d find on this earth, instead of the processed pizza and ready meals we tend to consume a lot of in the western world. Your diet would rely a lot on organic meat, vegetables, and fruit. For a lot of people, the Paleo diet is just an excuse to eat lots of meat and fish, and why not? Red meat is a great source of iron and vitamin B12, and fish has a lot of healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and both are an excellent source of protein. 

The whole Paleo approach to food also encapsulates the whole “catch it, cook it” method, which is difficult if you are after venison for your evening meal! But fishing provides a lovely way to catch your own food, and it’s also very relaxing! When it comes to this specific atmosphere, you need to be adept in cutting and filleting your fish, because you don’t want to cut away most of the fish nor do you want to throw away the edible bones, because that’s where the nutrients are, but beware of choking hazards on larger fish bones. There is a fine art to filleting which can be explored online. But the best thing about catching your own fish and cooking it is the joy of experimenting with flavors, and fish is such a staple part of the Mediterranean diet as well as the Paleo diet, there are millions of healthy and tasty options for meals. Here is one that’s restaurant-quality, but it’s also easy to make. Cod with tapenade, and celeriac fries. 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cod fillet (skinned and boned) 
  • 1 celeriac root (large) 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (if you can afford extra virgin, great) 
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for the extra nutrients) 
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper 
  • 1 lemon (medium size) 
  • 3 cups of arugula (also known as rocket leaves) 
  • ½ a cup of olives (green or black, whichever you prefer) 
  • 2 tablespoons of capers 
  • 1 medium garlic clove (chopped roughly) 
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  2. Cut the celeriac into strips, roughly a 1/4 inch each to resemble French fries, and put them in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle them with a splash of olive oil and season with the salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes. 
  3. Put the fish in an oven-proof dish. Season with salt, pepper, and the juice of the lemon. 
  4. After the fries have been in for 10 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 400 F and put the fish in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  5. Blend the arugula, capers, garlic, and olives in a food processor until the texture is smooth, and serve the tapenade on the cod. There are so many things that make fish incredibly tasty, but a tapenade is a wonderful combination of the saltiness of the capers with the zing of the garlic! Enjoy!
There are so many things that make fish incredibly tasty, but a tapenade is a wonderful combination of the saltiness of the capers with the zing of the garlic! Enjoy!
February 21, 2017

Biggest Flaws Of Your Device Resolved

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We are all after the latest gadgets that are on the market. After all, every time a new Samsung phone or an iPhone gets released, people are queuing out the doors at the tech shops. And they can’t wait to see what the latest gadget has to offer. But while they are amazing inventions, they can provide a nightmare when it comes to flaws. And you might be surprised to know how many people end up Googling for help when it comes to their phone or tablet. Here are some of the biggest flaws when it comes to your device, and how to resolve them so you can use it effectively.

woman using an Ipad

Struggling to see website content 

One thing which can be annoying is when you are trying to look online on your mobile or tablet, and you find that you can barely scroll through the content on a website. In fact, it can become unbearable to move across the page and read the article. But this flaw can easily be fixed if you look to see if there is a mobile or tablet friendly option. More sites than ever are creating mobile-friendly sites as they know their viewers are looking at the sites while on the move. Therefore, see if there is this option to ensure you can look without any trouble. And if you are still having issues, check out the settings on your phone to make sure it’s aligned correctly. 

womaing using a smartphone

Running out of room for photos and videos 

I don’t know about you, but I have had ‘storage is nearly full’ on my phone or tablet. And once it does reach capacity, you struggle to fit any more photos or videos on your device. But as you want to use your device while on the move, you want as much storage as you can. For one thing, you should set up iCloud which is perfect for holding more of your photos and videos. And you could even look at downloading apps like MovieBox which will ensure you have a collection of films you can watch on the move. In fact, you can access their official site via this link to download it straight to your device. And you can use other apps like Dropbox to hold all your photos and videos. Also, when you get a new device, remember to go for the biggest storage available to ensure you don’t run out of space. 

Getting constant app notifications 

Of course, when you get the latest gadget, you will want to download an array of apps. But it can be annoying when you constantly get notifications through on your phone. After all, you don’t need to be reminded about what’s happening on Facebook ten times a day! To ensure you don’t receive these notifications and updates all the time, set it so that they can’t send you notifications. That way, you will have a quiet afternoon and then can click on the app later to see what’s going on! And as this feature reveals, it will save you some battery too! 

And talking of battery, it’s worth carrying a portable charger along with you. After all, when you have a dozen applications up, it’s easy for your battery to run down. That way, you can quickly give it some charge!

iphone, smartphone
February 20, 2017

How To Maximise Your Next Gaming Experience

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Playing games isn’t just about the great outdoors anymore. The way technology has advanced in leaps and bounds is incredible to watch. In the past, we used to be told not to sit too close to the television screen, or we would get square eyes. Now, we have gaming masters creating virtual reality games that require a headset of screens right in front of your eyes – ironic, isn’t it!?

keyboard

Anyway, gaming has come on so far that now the choices have moved from a game of rounders outside with a bat and a ball, to an online role-playing game experience (RPG) requiring two games monitors and a decent graphics card with your computer. Gaming can be expensive and it isn’t just the game you’ve paid for either, it’s the kit that comes with it! From graphics cards to headsets, the larger monitors you’d need for PC gaming and the extra memory cards, your games equipment can be as expensive as you need it to be. If you are willing to spend some bucks, then check out the top models mentioned on this page! 

Maximising your gaming experience is the only way to be able to enjoy the game and normally, games companies do this for us by upgrading their consoles or their games. Handheld consoles have gone from button pads to touchscreens for our convenience. Games consoles with controllers have gone wireless to allow us more comfort and distance from the screen. PC games have evolved to graphics that look almost realistic. You can save money on your tech upgrades by searching for the best deals, overclocking your video cards and backing up your game data onto external drives to have less burn-out on your graphics cards. If you want a little satisfaction and are a hardcore gamer, never pay full price for your PC games. Steam often have tons of games go on sale through the year so rather than get a brand-new game with a brand new price tag, just wait a little and watch the pennies at the same time. 

Upgrading your games and your technology is the first step. The second is ensuring the chairs you use for gaming are ergonomic and comfortable. You can buy specific gaming chairs for consoles that are all singing and dancing where you can plug the game into the chair and the speakers are in the headrest. You can also ensure that your desk chair is friendly on your back, allowing you longer gameplay. If you’re playing PC games, you can have a far better experience by upgrading your mouse and keyboard too to more responsive kit. You can do the same with surround sound or great headphones for that truly immersive experience. 

Gaming is a great past time – not only are you in another world (quite literally!), you are also able to invoke imagination, hand-eye coordination and develop your problem-solving skills. Buying the best equipment can be so satisfying as you have no buffering to worry about, making your gaming experience all the sweeter.
February 20, 2017

The Keys To A Strong Financial Strategy For Your Business

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It might not be the be-all and end-all of your business. But there’s no denying that money is an essential factor in keeping any business going. Not only making it, but knowing how to use it. Even the most successful of startups can stumble because of mishandling their finances. In how they track them, how they protect them, and how they use them to create a better business. Here, we’ll look at how you should be using your business finances.


Be thorough in watching where your money goes 

This is an essential business finance practice, but there are many who keep their eyes off how their finances are running. You need to have a full understanding of your expenditures. Know your regular bills and track individual payments and expenses down to the penny. Every month, you should be looking at where you spent your money and how you might be able to spend less of it next month. Without constant review, it’s all too easy for certain expenditures to get out from under your feet, burning a hole in your bank account. To better track your finances, it’s a good idea to keep your personal money separate from your business account. You’ll be glad you did when tax season comes around, too.

February 19, 2017

5 Things Employers Get Wrong All the Time

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Running a business means being an employer. Unless you work for yourself and hire no one else, this is always the case. But there are some things that employers always seem to get wrong when it comes to managing a team. If you run a business, you need to ensure you don’t make these common mistakes. Read on to find out more about them now. 

1. Encouraging Teamwork 

Teamwork is something that is certainly very important in an office setting. There is no doubt about that. People need to be able to collaborate to produce the best results for the good of the business. That’s just the way it is. However, encouraging teamwork is something the employers often do terribly. Team building exercises tend to be formal wastes of time which no one enjoys. Instead of trying to force teamwork on people, encourage it more casually and naturally. That way, it won’t feel like people are being forced into it.

2. Firing Employees 

Firing people is something that is never very pleasant. Even if you have a valid reason for doing so, it can still be pretty tricky. You should always use the help of an employment law expert, such as Ellis Whittam, if you want to fire someone. You need to ensure that you are doing it for a valid reason. You could end up paying out compensation for unfair dismissal if you get this wrong. And that is very common these days. It’s also a good idea to look for ways to encourage employees, rather than instantly sacking them. 

3. Goal Setting for Staff Members 

Goals have to be set for your employees if you want them to do well and reach their full potential. That’s just the way it is. They give everyone something to set their sights on and aim for. That can be really useful, but only when it is done in the correct kind of way. If you set goals that are too high, as many business owners do, you will only succeed in demoralising the team. They will feel like too much is being asked of them, and they won’t even try to reach their targets.

February 19, 2017

Business On The Go: How Technology Has Changed How We Work

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The never-ending march of technology has changed the way we all work. Rather than everyone having to be under the same roof, businesses are now finding a range of natural advantages to giving their staff freedom to work from wherever they choose. Laptops, tablets and smartphones mean that people are contactable 24/7, and realistically everything can be turned into an office from your cosy bed to your local coffee shop outlet.

Despite all this, a lot of businesses are still slow to embrace the trend. Trust is one of the key issues, but with many talented individuals now embracing flexible working ahead of salary increases, companies that have faith in their staff members are starting to reap the rewards.

man using a tablet

Escaping the Office 

There’s still a level of distrust amongst both business owners and other employees about flexible working, but for office workers in particular, it just makes sense. Eliminating the daily commute and cutting out dead time are just two of the reasons workers love flexible working, while companies can find themselves saving thousands without the need for desk space. Some businesses are even looking at virtual offices, offered by companies like The Hoxton Mix. Ultimately, employees are more productive when their life is more balanced and they have the freedom to pursue other interests and spend time with their families. 

Stay in Touch, All the Time 

Collaborative working is now more possible than ever without every member of the team having to be in the same room. Virtual conferences provided by the likes of Skype mean that idea sharing is possible between people anywhere in the world. Not only this, you can do business with people all over the globe without the need for expensive travel, accommodation, food and a myriad of other costs. 

A Wider Pool of Talent 

No longer is your business restricted by only being able to hire people a one hour commute away from your office. Embrace flexible working, and the entire country’s worth of talented people are available to you. Not only this, they are more likely to want to work for your organisation because, as already stated, flexible work is what they are looking for as well. 

Once you have assembled a top team, they are more likely to stay with you for longer. This saves significant costs in constantly having to recruit all the time, and you are also likely to have a reduced rate of employee absenteeism. In turn, this is likely to be positive for your clients, who will benefit from an improved level of service from people who are happier in their jobs. 

Before rushing in head first, you need to think about the ways in which you can implement flexible working - whether you will need people in the office sometimes, or can offer them complete freedom to work from wherever they choose. Once the groundwork has been done, your business should be in a strong position to experience the benefits of introducing a flexible working system that works for everyone.
February 19, 2017

Farming For The Future: Protect Your Investment

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Any farm owner, farm manager and farm worker will be able to tell you the same thing; agricultural equipment and machinery do not come cheap. It is a serious investment and one that can either make your break you. It can raise your bottom line or it can sink you. As such, it is important you do all you can to reduce the chances of anything going wrong so that you can maintain a steady production line that will increase your profits. 

Storage 

One of the big machinery killers is the weather, and that is why it is imperative you store your most valuable machinery inside and away from harm. Not only will this protect your machinery and ensure that it runs at maximum capacity year after year, but it will also allow you to command a higher trade-in value if, and when, that time comes. But it isn’t just the trade-in value that you are looking after. A well stored machine will also save you money when it comes to repairs, or the time it has to spend being repaired, both of which can affect your wallet in a big way. To specify a bit more, good storage will have a direct and positive impact on certain vulnerable parts, such as belts, hoses, and tires. 
February 19, 2017

How Technology Can Streamline Your Business

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Over the last few years in particular, technology has totally transformed the world of business. While many companies are quick to adapt to change, others are a little more slow on the uptake and find themselves falling behind. Technology often helps businesses to cut costs in a number of different areas. While some employees feel threatened by the march of technology, it should be used as a facilitator, rather than a way of replacing people. As the world continue to advance at a rapid pace, here are a few areas in which you could be making crucial savings for your business.

using technology in a business
Phone Systems 

We all know about the importance of communication in any business, and technology has advanced this particular area at warp speed. Still, many companies have not updated their phone systems in many years. Modern systems have call forwarding options to various staff members’ mobiles, internet access and adaptable voice mail settings. This means that people are more contactable than ever before, making doing business more flexible than ever before. 

Accounting 

Many companies now use specific business software to handle their various accounting needs, streamlining the payroll, invoicing and payment functions of the business. It is now also possible for companies to sync their website product orders with their other sources of income. This helps to prevent any errors or duplications which may occur. Much of the top business software combines various functions that reduces the need for investing in various different ones. 

Internal Communications 

Instead of just relying on emails, there are various other ways of getting your employees to communicate with each other. Instant messaging services mean that small queries can be answered efficiently, while using an intranet calendar means that every member of staff can see when everyone else is in meetings, on annual leave or otherwise engaged for some other reason. 

Data Storage 

So much literal storage space can be freed up by having an advanced data storage system. As well as this, with so many back ups in place, you can avoid any of your important files being lost. Paper storage can all be lost in a single fire, whereas keeping things up in a storage ‘cloud’ is much safer. As well as this, keeping everything paperless means that you will need a lot less space in your office, as well as making valuable efficiency savings in filing cabinets and other storage systems. 

Communication 
Skype conference calls mean that employees no longer all have to be in the building, and your business can cut costs by allowing flexible working practices. If you have a team of people that have their own office space, you will find yourself making massive savings in the need to provide this space for them. You can also do business with people thousands of miles away without needing to spend thousands on travel bills, accommodation costs and the myriad of other expenditures that come along with these types of business trips.
February 19, 2017

Doctor Or Nurse? You Decide

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doctor, nurse, thank you, frontliners

If you want to enter the medical industry and work in a hospital or a clinic, you really have two main options. You can either be a doctor, or you can be a nurse, and it’s entirely up to you on what choice you make here. Although there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of each option. Let’s take a look at a few and see which one could be ideally suited for you. 

No Time For Patients As A Doctor 

Yes, it’s true, as a doctor you’ll have very little time for patients interactions. In fact, essentially, you’ll spend about 90 seconds each day with one of your patients. That doesn’t give a lot of time for human interaction and is certainly not the picture medical dramas paint of the situation. 

Long Hours Low Pay 

Nurses on the other hand, often work for long hours, usually staying later than even the doctors and work for less pay. As a doctor, your salary can be anything all the way up to half a million a year. The highest position as a nurse will pay somewhere in the region of forty, thousand. 

No Degree Needed 

Although the main benefit of being a nurse might be the best option. As a nurse, you won’t need a degree. Instead, you can enter into the medical professional without the eight years of training and huge list of qualifications. You can jump right into helping people and your choices won’t be limited there. It’s even possible to be a midwife, delivering babies without a full doctor's degree. You can read more about that in the infographic below.

 
February 19, 2017

Have A Nice Day! How To Train Your Retail Staff

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How To Treat The Customer Well 

Remind your retail staff that it’s important to be welcoming towards customers and to make eye contact with them and smile and greet them in whatever manner is your store policy. Although it’s great to be helpful towards customers, retail staff should not be too pushy or follow customers around – sometimes it’s nice to simply browse in stores without feeling as though retail staff are aggressively trying to sell products. Encourage your retail staff to rely on their instincts when they’re interacting with customers – be friendly but don’t go over the top, and remember that it’s important to give them a little breathing space. Remember that older customers may be frail and require a little extra help and kindness.

How To Use Technology 

There’s very little that makes you feel more uncomfortable than not understanding how to use technology at work, unless it’s not knowing how to use technology in front of an audience. Every store has a different till system and even though you might have used your NCR counterpoint system to the point where you’re dreaming about it at night, you need to remember that new technology can be confusing and difficult to a new employee, particularly if a customer is standing there looking at them. Don’t leave them alone behind the cash desk until they’re completely confident. 

February 18, 2017

Madonna’s “uncomfortable questions” During Petition to Adopt Malawian Twins

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Madonna

Being one of the biggest pop stars in the world is not an excuse for Madonna to experience some uncomfortable questioning during her petition to adopt her Malawian twins. 

I think it’s safe to say that the singer charmed the Malawian adoption judge by her selfless answer when she was asked questions because the judge somehow feels like Madonna might be “robbing” the country’s greatest assets, which are the children. During the petition, Madonna was asked by Judge Fiona Mwale about her age, her health, her celebrity status and her motivation for wanting to adopt the twins, when she already has 4 kids of her own, with two of them also adopted from Malawi.

Madonna

Madonna answered, "There is no doubt that the petitioner can offer the infants not only the best money can buy, but also guidance with a high likelihood of ensuring that the two infants grow to be self-sufficient adults… [Madonna] is motivated by her desire to offer a home, love, protection and guidance to the infants." 

Isn’t that answer sweet? That’s how wonderful adoption is. You love someone who doesn’t even come from you. When it comes to the judge, we understand that it’s a part of her job to make sure the petitioner’s motives are right and true about adopting the kids. Adoption sounds like an easy process but it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be, as it’s the children’s future that’s at stake at every adoption. It seems that the 58-year-old’s answer to the questions thrown at her by the adopting judge justified her since she was given the permission to adopt the kids. Congratulations to Madonna and the kids!
February 18, 2017

Extra Cash? Here’s What To Do With It

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Now, we’re not saying we’re too familiar with the idea, but from time to time you might find that you’ve got a little extra cash than normal. Perhaps you received a bonus from work, perhaps you got a windfall inheritance from a family member, or perhaps you’ve managed to sell one of your larger assets. It’s all good and well, we’re sure, to have some money burning a hole in your bank account, but what on earth should you do with it? Luckily, there are a few tried and tested areas where you can put your money. Here’s a few of the most common (and one that’s the most rewarding).


Save It For Your Retirement 

If you’re at a loss as to where to spend your money, then why spend it all? It’s not going to anywhere if you don’t spend it the first day you get it (and it’s unlikely to disappear ever unless something goes drastically wrong in Donald Trump’s America...yikes). Instead, keep it in a savings account and wait until you’re retired. It’ll take the stress of saving a portion of your monthly wage away, and you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing you have the cash for that cruise in the Arctic you always wanted to go on! 
February 18, 2017

Creating A Big Splash As A Little Business

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As a small business, you are going to face plenty of obstacles. One of the obstacles you don’t need in your way is appearing as a ‘small business’. The mom’n’pop store appeal works for some, but not for all. If your eyes are aimed at a bigger future, you need to be moving toward it now. Think about the business you want to be, not the business that you are right now.


The face of the business

Regardless of where your business is situated, nowadays the website serves as the public face of the business. If your site is poorly designed with generic imagery and little content, it’s going to reveal the small operation behind it. Invest in your site, populating it with compelling content and a sharp image. This is doubly true if you’re starting an ecommerce business. You need to implement the tools the bigger businesses use, from live support when available to breadcrumb navigation to keep buyers informed of their purchasing process. 


Know your story 

Big businesses don’t just market a product. They market what a product and, in turn, what they stand for. They boil down the value of a product to its emotional value, creating a narrative of how the product can impact someone’s life. Similarly, they have a story for the business as well. Tech companies will create a story of innovation and young minds breaking the barriers of the past. Food companies might create a story of love and dedication to the craft that goes into creating masterworks. Finding your product story and your brand story can give your business the finish it needs. 
February 18, 2017

Is Anybody Out There? How to Entice Visitors to Your Website

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There are a number of reasons why you might want to improve the traffic to your website. Firstly, web traffic can, in of itself, generate revenue. Online advertisers are willing to pay lucrative sums to be displayed on high traffic sites, providing your business with a valuable income stream. Another factor is that the more people that visit your site, the more opportunity they will have to view, and subsequently purchase, your products and services. And finally, a high traffic website lets you communicate with your customers en masse. 

However, attracting visitors to your site isn’t easy, particularly considering the amount of competition on the World Wide Web. If you’re struggling to get the traffic figures that your website deserves, then here are a few tips to consider. 

traffic, google analytics, website traffic, website statistics

Check out the competition 

As anyone with an internet browser will be well aware, there are a lot of websites to choose from. Even if you narrow down your search criteria to a particular industry, a niche one perhaps, you’ll receive hundreds, if not thousands, of results. For businesses, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. 

Take a look at your competitor’s websites and try to be as objective as you can. What features work well and which ones leave you cold? If there’s plenty to admire then think about whether you can incorporate similar features within your own design. Don’t steal ideas, but take inspiration from any avenue you can. 

Improve your search ranking 

Search engine optimisation (SEO) simply cannot be ignored by businesses if they want to achieve large numbers of website visitors. On a basic level, businesses will be able to carry out some SEO techniques themselves by increasing their keyword usage, adding relevant hyperlinks and making sure all of their content is tagged correctly. 

For more advanced SEO, however, specialist agencies may prove useful. Companies like CandidSky offer the latest in SEO techniques, which are constantly being updated to match with updated search algorithms. 

Get social 

Social networks are revolutionising the way that businesses connect with their customers and you can use this to your website’s advantage. Create accounts on the relevant networks and begin sharing content and engaging with other accounts. Once you’ve built up a following, you can start directing your audience to your site. Just remember to keep your language as natural as possible to avoid putting off your audience. 

Make your site a speed demon 

Speed is so important to the modern internet, which is getting faster all the time. Visitors to your site only have to be delayed a few seconds longer than they would like before they switch to a different webpage. Investigate different web hosting companies until you find one that delivers the speed you need. 

Create interesting content 

Despite all the developments that have occurred to the internet over the years, content remains king. If you produce quality blog posts, videos and images then people will come to your site. Keep it fresh, keep it regularly updated, but most of all, keep it interesting.
February 18, 2017

Common Areas of Small Business Overspending & How To Stop It

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All small businesses are guilty of overspending in some respect. Whether it’s due to a careless attitude towards company credit cards or just a lack of financial nous and naivety makes no difference. Ultimately, there are money drains everywhere which you can target, fix, and make a significant difference to your business profits. Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas of small business overspending - and how to stop the waste.


General spending 

The first step is to get a grip on your overall finances. Many small business owners decide to do their accounts themselves and don’t want to have the expense of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper. The trouble is, a financial expert can help you save a fortune. Not only can they help you reduce your tax exposure, but they can also show you precisely where you are spending money. The end result is a massive return on your investment, for a relatively small monthly outlay. 

Costs of good and services 

How much are you spending on raw materials, equipment, and services that help your business make sales? These direct costs are all responsible for a significant proportion of your business expenses and make up much of your cost per sale. It makes sense, then, to ensure you are getting the best deal possible on every service or product you are regularly buying. Consider hiring a buying or procurement specialist to help you build deeper relationships with suppliers and get better deals - take a look around for local procurement recruiters if you are struggling to find the right people. The result will be a lower cost of sale, meaning you can reduce your prices, get more customers, and start being more competitive in your industry. 
February 18, 2017

Freelance? Think About A Startup

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The freelance life can come across as a laidback, easy and reposed way of making a living. However, often it is the complete opposite of that with freelancers working to short deadlines, waiting for what can be a long time for payment and their working hours fluctuate to all hours of the day. A freelancer can often feel a lot of pressure to hand in work by a deadline, especially if they are working on more than one project and even though they may feel their work is to the best quality possible, if companies need something changed or edited, the work will be sent back to the freelancer to make those changes. This means more working hours, and often the extra hours do not get added onto their final payment - particularly if they have agreed to work for a flat fee. 

However, a freelancer does tend to have a lot more creativity in their work and also have more spare time than people in traditional 9-5 full time jobs. This allows them to live more free lives, and they most probably will not be sat in an office for most of the day. Freelancers can choose to work anywhere, their kitchen, their living room, at a friend’s house or at cafes and bars. This enables them to have more freedom in their lives.


Once a project is done, though, it means a freelancer’s time with a company comes to an end - until more projects are sent their way. A freelancer then has to look for more work, approach companies and business owners, or contact previous employers to ask if there is any work available. If a freelancer doesn’t manage their income and future jobs properly, money and work can dry up pretty quickly. 

February 17, 2017

How To Stop Taking Chances With Your Finances

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None of us know what’s going to happen in the future, but that’s exactly why we should be planning for it. You might be raising an eyebrow in confusion, but this makes perfect sense, if you really think about it. Unexpected expenses or money troubles can arise at any point in our lives, and they usually do for the majority of us, but it’s about the possible routes out that we’ve paved for ourselves which determine how we deal with such situations. It’s about planning for multiple eventualities and always having a safety net, because time can be a funny thing where money is concerned.


Of course, in an expensive world, it’s all very well and good to promise yourself that you’ll look after your finances, but the cost of living can quickly put a dent in a healthy-looking bank account. Still, there are always ways to better safeguard your money and stop wasting it away on unnecessary things. Here are some tips for the anxious spender or those of you who simply don’t know how to protect your wealth. 

Be strict with yourself each month. 

Yes, I know that brand new drone looks like an enticing new gadget, and I know that restaurant down the road is beckoning you because you’re tired of cooking, but sometimes restraint is all it takes to completely secure your financial future once more. You likely have a substantial amount of disposable income every month, as most people do if they’ve ensure their rent and bills fall well within their spending means, but the majority of people who end up struggling to make ends meet simply dwindle away their excess funds on excess luxuries and non-essentials. 

February 17, 2017

Making your Website Stand Out in the Busy World Wide Web

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Having a strong website is the cornerstone of any successful business today, but this is not easily achieved considering the amount of competition out there. Currently, there are in excess of a billion sites online, which makes standing out from the crowd a tricky task. 

computer monitor

Getting the design right 

The design of your webpage can really make a difference to how memorable your site is, for good and bad reasons. If you want to ensure it’s the former then make sure you invest in talented web designers for your business. Although you may have plenty of ideas regarding the kind of content you want on your site, remember the importance of clarity. A simple design that is easy for the visitor to navigate will be appreciated much more than a cluttered mess. 

By enlisting the help of an external design agency like PRWD, businesses can create a user-centred design backed up by data and customer research. Creating a webpage to cater for your users, rather than just your business, will set you apart from other organisations. 

SEO 

If you want your webpage to stand out then you need to make sure that your audience can find it. For this, Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, techniques are what you need. SEO ensures that your webpage ranks as highly as possible against the relevant terms. By analysing search data, SEO teams can create a strategy for your site that aligns your content with the keywords that people are searching for. 

Accommodate mobile users too 

Smartphone usage is growing rapidly, which means that the devices we use to go online are getting smaller. To make your website memorable for all the right reasons utilise a responsive design to ensure that your webpage adapts to the size of the screen that it is being viewed on.  

Constant content 

Even if your webpage has a fantastic look, it will quickly fade into obscurity if you don’t give your audience a reason to return to it. Constantly adding fresh content is the way to achieve this, but make sure it’s relevant to your target audience. Regularly updating blogs, videos and images will help drive your traffic to new heights. 

Use illustrations 

When browsing online, attention spans are short… very short. Lots of numbers and large blocks of text can quickly bore readers, but if the information is important then why not turn it into a colourful illustration or infographic? 

Use high-definition images 

If you’re using images on your site, then make sure you choose them carefully. Although the preview may have looked fine, make sure that that the image is crisp and clear when expanded to its full size. There’s no excuse for your webpage having poor quality images in this day and age. 

Inject it with your personality 

To really make your website stand out, inject it with a bit of your own personality. Quirky is fine as long as it doesn’t clash with your company’s brand image, so don’t be afraid to do something a little different. Your business is unique and your website should be too!

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