September 29, 2017

Planning Ahead: Be Financially Savvy For Your Family

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When you’re young and have a busy family life; it can be a challenge to think too far into the future and plan ahead. However, the more you put in place now for a comfortable and secure future for you and your family, the better the results will be. Nobody enjoys working out their family finances, but, unfortunately, it’s one of those tasks you can’t escape if you want to ensure a fruitful life. 

Therefore, it’s worth taking some time out of your weekend or during the evening to work out your situation and make sure that you’re doing all you can for every eventuality. The following are some tips and advice for those who are concerned with the maintenance of their income and want to feel protected and happy for the years to come with their loved ones. 

family, at the beach

Money For Your Future 

It might be difficult to think about what your situation will be when you become a pensioner and start living through your golden years. But, surely, you want to ensure they’re enjoyable and as comfortable as possible? Therefore, planning your pension and making sure that you’re putting money away every month, regardless of your income, is crucial to a happy and financially healthy future. Savings accounts, pension schemes, and financial advisors are all routes to putting your money away and creating the ideal nest egg, so don’t put it off and you’ll thank yourself in the long run. 

Enough Protection

Whatever your job role; whether it’s in the private or public sector, you’re going to need to insure all that you hold dear. Make sure that all your insurance plans are up-to-date, and you’re paying the best rate possible for your cover. You can check out Cornmarket's insurance options and discover how best to get your home, car, travel, and an array of other insurance, to protect you should the worst happen. Make sure that every vacation, new item of jewellery, and even your pets are insured. If you don’t invest in the cover of your health and most valuable assets; it could end up costing you in the future, so it’s best to sort them out now before it’s too late. 

A Contingency Fund 

As well as adequate savings plans and insurance cover for you and your family; it’s always a great idea to squirrel away money here and there when possible, and build up a contingency fund. Having that bit of extra cash somewhere will allow you to enjoy a treat for the family, or perhaps invest in furthering your education, or your kid’s future education. You may want to stay in the home you’re living in; however, if it gets too small as your family grows, or becomes outdated, you’ll want to utilise those extra funds for extensions, renovations, and interior decorating to give yourself the dream home. When it comes to those things in life that you want, but don’t vitally need’ you’ll appreciate having the spare income to spend on home and lifestyle improvements.
September 29, 2017

What To Do When Work Forces Your Family Into A Location Move

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Sometimes, our jobs take us to unexpected places. When we’re young, this is the most exciting thing about embarking on a career. The world is your oyster, and you can uproot without leaving too much destruction behind. Ahh, to be young again.

man looking at the window

But, when you get older, significant changes in your job don’t get your blood pumping in the right way. Instead of seeing a move for your career as exciting, you’ll be bogged down in the logistics. How can you move your family halfway across the world? Do you even want to

The sad fact is, saying no to an opportunity in your career could leave you at a stalemate as far as your company’s concerned. There are laws against sacking someone for refusing a move, but it’ll still be a black mark against your name. Your boss will start to question your commitment, and be hesitant to offer anything else. 

As such, the easiest thing can often be to grin and bear it. This is particularly the case if a pay rise is involved. You want to make the most money possible for your family, right? 

But, to lessen the impact of a long-distance move on your loved ones, it’s worth following these points. 

Look for houses together 

Nothing is as good for getting people excited about a move as a good house hunt. In a situation like this, you can’t afford to be above bribery. Promise your wife the conservatory she’s always wanted, and offer your kids a room with an ensuite. Whatever it takes to get everyone on board.

This joint house search is also a good idea for getting to grips with housing in different countries. While the priority here is on private ownership, the same can’t be said everywhere. In countries like Paris and Germany, the majority opt to rent, rather than buy. And, in areas like Singapore, 80% of the population live in public housing, also known as HDB Flats. Research these things with your family, to ensure that they’re as aware of cultural differences as possible. This is a journey you’re taking together, so make sure you’re all learning at the same pace.

It might also be worth taking the family for viewings. It seems like a lot of expense to fly the whole family abroad, but it’s worth doing to ensure the move is smooth for them. Plus, they’re sure to get excited about all those amazing houses!

Learn about the area 

As mentioned above, you might want to take your whole family to view houses in your new destination. And, while you’re there, it’s worth doing as much exploring of areas as possible. You can walk around and get a feel for favorite restaurants, or shops. You could even take your children for a tour of their new school. All these steps will go a huge way towards helping when the time comes. Plus, you could use this experience to get everyone excited. The sooner you all start visualising your new lives, the better. 

Join a language class as a family

books, language books

Often, a move to a different country will see you all speaking a new language. If you don’t get on top of this before you leave, the culture shock your family experiences on arrival will be a lot worse. The feelings of isolation will be highlighted, and it’ll be much harder to get settled.

So, take this time to join a language class as a family. This can be a lot of fun, and fantastic bonding. Not to mention that it’ll set you on the right footing for your arrival. In all honesty, you probably won’t be fluent before you leave. But, knowing the basic conversation will take you far. You’ll find that the rest will follow once you arrive.

You could either join an evening class or buy a course online. If you know where to look, it’s even possible to learn languages for free. The benefit of doing this from home is that you can fit your learning around your lives. But, bear in mind that you may learn the wrong pronunciations, which could set you all back. In a class, you get the benefit of a teacher who can correct you if you get things wrong. 

Say goodbye with a party 

When children are involved, saying goodbye is important. It’s the best way for them to move on from the past. Otherwise, they may find it difficult to let go of what they’ve lost. To ensure they say goodbye in the right way, it’s worth hosting a farewell party. This is also an opportunity for you and your partner to say goodbye to old friends.

When planning the party, make sure to keep things lighthearted. You want this to be a celebration, so try not to get sentimental about everything you’re leaving. Your positive attitude will rub off on your kids, and keep them happy throughout. Make sure, too, to take contact details for all their friends. Kids often forget these things, but they’ll be glad of all those email addresses once you get where you’re going.

kids, kids painting their faces

Make your new house like your old home 

A move like this is unique, in that you’re leaving because you have to. The chances are that you were all sad to say goodbye to your old home. After all, that wasn’t the problem. So, get to work making your new house like your old one as soon as you can. Unpack fast so that everyone can feel settled. And, arrange your furniture in the same way. It may seem strange, but you’d be amazed how much this will help you all feel more at ease. 

Move a few weeks before you start 

If possible, you should attempt to move a few weeks before you have to work. This will be formative quality time, and you and your family should stick together to start with. You’ll provide each other with comfort and emotional support as you embark on your new lives.
September 28, 2017

Do You Really Need To Pay Somebody To Handle Your Social Media Marketing?

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Any company that hasn’t got their social media marketing campaigns sorted is going to struggle. It’s central to any marketing strategy so that means no half measures, it needs to be absolutely perfect. You’ve probably seen plenty of social media marketing companies that can do it for you, for a fee, but is it really worth spending this money to do something that you can do for yourself. Whether you do it yourself, or put together an in-house team to deal with it, that’s going to be cheaper than outsourcing, but not always best. So, should you outsource or not? 


Do You Really Know What You’re Doing? 

Most people will immediately say yes to this question. You build a following on your social media and post meaningful content that appeals to your target demographic. But it isn’t that simple. So many people make the mistake of thinking that they know what they’re doing because they’ve got a Facebook account but even if you’re posting well, that will only take you so far. There are so many more aspects of social media marketing that you need to use if you want to be successful. Understanding search engine optimization, for example, is absolutely vital for driving customers to your site. Knowing when to use pay per click adverts and where to place them is another thing you probably don’t know about. Online marketing companies will know all of this, but make sure you’re getting the service you pay for. You can always try to learn these things yourself or hire a new employee that does know what they’re doing, but when you’re just starting a new business it’s just more work on the pile if you’re trying to become a social media marketer as well. 

Can You Afford It?

This is obviously an important question. I can go on for hours about the benefits of outsourcing your social media marketing but that doesn’t matter if you can’t afford to hire a company. If you haven’t got the spare cash then you might have to end up doing it yourself, however, it’s worth getting a line of credit from somewhere like to pay for it. Remember, a good social media marketing strategy is going to make you money so borrowing a bit of cash to fund it is always sensible. It’s great having fewer debts during the early months of your new venture but it isn’t worth it if you aren’t getting any customers. 

How Important Is It? 

While I said it was absolutely vital, that isn’t always strictly true. It is an important consideration to make but, depending on your target market, it won’t always be your main marketing strategy. If you’re trying to appeal to a younger audience, social media will absolutely be the best way to reach them and if your campaign is lacking, your sales will reflect that. However, if you’re selling a product that is designed for over 60’s, you aren’t going to find that many of them on Twitter. You still need some sort of a presence but there’s no need to shell out loads of money on outsourcing it. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that social media marketing is easy and invest in outsourcing if it’s an important part of your marketing strategy.
September 28, 2017

Love To Cook? How To Launch A Food Truck Business

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Inside every single one of us, there is an entrepreneur waiting to get out; it’s just a case of finding what your calling is and the type of business you could launch. Say, for instance, cooking is a passion of yours and is also something that you excel at, perhaps a business related to cooking could be the ideal venture for you? 

Love the concept of starting a food-based business? If the answer is yes, then it could be worth considering launching a food truck business. While a restaurant may be your dream, everyone has to start somewhere, and a food truck is the ideal place to start; it has fantastic business potential and low overheads. What’s not to love? 

Like the idea of launching your own food truck? Then read on for everything that you need to know to launch a successful food truck business

food truck
Get inspired 

First things first, it is vital that you take the time to get inspired. When it comes to launching a food truck business, before you can start the planning process, you need to take the time to get inspired. Maybe you already know what kind of food truck you plan on launching, or perhaps you need a little inspiration. For inspiration and ideas, sites like Pinterest can be great. It’s also worth thinking about the types of food that you prefer to cook and are best at cooking, such as a certain type of cuisine, like Mexican or Italian, for instance. 

Create a business plan 

Regardless of the type of business that you are creating, a marketing tool is a crucial tool. You can’t build a business without having a business plan in place, as a business plan is the framework of any business. So, if you haven’t already, the first step to launching your food truck business is creating a marketing plan. Don’t know where to start with this? Don’t worry; there are plenty of templates online that you can use. 

Map out a budget 

Once you have created a business plan, you should have a better idea of the costs that will come with launching a food truck business. Use your business plan to work out a budget for the first 12 months after launching your business. If you aren’t able to afford everything, then it could be worth using resources like to determine if taking out a startup business loan could be something that is worth considering. Money is a vital part of running a business, which is why mapping out a budget and your spending is so important. 

Take your marketing seriously 

You could have the most amazing food on offer, but if no one knows about it, then your business has little chance of success. That’s why it is so important to take marketing seriously from the start; even before you launch your business, it is vital that you have a marketing plan in place that will help to build excitement and exposure. Sneak peek posts on social media, coming soon blog posts, banner adverts - basically, you want to take advantage of anything that will allow you to build your business’s exposure, even before it has even launched. 

There you have it, everything that you need to know about launching a food truck and ensuring that it is a success.
September 28, 2017

Unusual Ways to Get Around

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Most of you reading this will get around by car, motorcycle or bike, but for many people, that’s just plain boring. There are so many more interesting and unusual ways of getting around that the car is starting to look decidedly dull. Admittedly, many of these rather unique modes of transport aren’t exactly practical or even desirable (for the average person) on a regular basis, but there’s no denying they bring the fun factor… 

The Segway 

We thought that walking was one of the biggest advantages of being humans, but you know what, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon, and some bright spark has done just that by automating the walking process. With the segway, we can now traverse the pavements where transport would once have been forbidden, save our legs from aching and our feet from swelling, and still see all of the sites. 

With a top speed of 12.5 miles per hour, you won’t exactly be living life in the fast lane if you buy a segway, but you will get where you’re going way faster than if you walked! The only real drawback is, that like the Daleks of old you might find stairs to be a bit of a challenge! 

The Trikke Scooter 

If you’re weighing up the moped vs motor scooter debate right now, let me throw a spanner into the works by bringing to your attention the trike scooter. Okay, not really, the Trikke scooter would hardly compete with the power and convenience of those distinctly much more grown up modes of transport, but it would arguably be more fun! 

The Trikke, which can be purchased for just $199 is a hybrid of sorts of a scooter and skate. Unlike traditional scooters, it has two wheels at the back. These can be swung in and out, causing the Trikke to move forward. It’s pretty slow, but it’s also great fun, and you can kind of get a good workout when you ride it too! 

September 28, 2017

6 Simple Ways To Change Up Your Look

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Everyone comes to a point in their life where they look at themselves in the mirror and just want a change. This isn’t to say that you dislike the way you look currently; You’re just used to it, sometimes even bored by it, and want to switch up the way you look. This can just come with time, or sometimes after a big life event. There is nothing wrong with wanting a bit of a change, and if you’re one of the many that do, then perhaps you’ll find one of the simple ways below appropriate. 

1. Switch Up Your Lippy 

When you’re talking to someone, often you are either focusing on the eyes or their mouth, so your mouth is a very important feature of your face. Changing up your lipstick to a brighter and bolder shade is certain to help transform your whole appearance. A classic berry red is not only cool and on-trend, but it also works on almost any complexion. 

2. Take Care Of Your Brows 

When you think Cara Delevingne, do you think of her movie roles, her amazing modeling career, or her eyebrows? My guess: her eyebrows. That’s because they make a statement, so never underestimate the power of a good pair of arches. To ensure your brows are bold and beautiful, fill in any sparse areas of your eyebrow with an eyebrow pencil and use gel to keep tricky hairs in place. 

beautiful girl, woman smiling
3. Move Your Parting 

The parting in your hair has the power to affect the appearance, shape, and size of your entire face. Maybe try moving you parting to a side, if it’s currently in the center, or flip it over to the other side if it’s not. 

4. Length Is Everything 

If changing your parting isn’t enough, why not opt for a whole new do? Look at shorter hairstyles if your hair is on the longer side, or tape in hair extensions if it’s a little shorter. Just ensure your extensions match the color and texture of your hair, or they won’t look at all believable. 

puttling a lipstick, woman

5. Wings Of Wonder 

If you’re not quite brave enough for a bold lip, you could always change up your eyes instead. If you’re used to quite a plain eye makeup, then why not try your hand at winged eyeliner? Getting your wings just right isn’t the easiest talent to pick up, but there are plenty of tools available to help you out, and once you’ve got it down it looks gorgeous. 

woman in the beach

6. Get Your Glow On 

Nothing is more beautiful than when someone comes home from a holiday abroad with a glowing tan, so why not get one yourself. I’m not necessarily saying that you should book a week in Spain (though I’m sure it wouldn’t do you any harm), a spray tan looks just as good, and has the power to make you look completely different. 

By following just one of these steps you will be looking brand new in no time, so give it a go and experiment.
September 27, 2017

The Secret Crimes That Everybody Commits Without Realizing

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The majority of people like to think they’re upstanding citizens that are always on the right side of the law. When you think of criminals, you think of shady looking people lurking around in dark alleys, committing terrible crimes. You probably don’t think of yourself, or your family, or that old lady that lives next door. But what if I told you that every single one of those people, including you, is a criminal, whether you realize it or not. I’m not suggesting all of your neighbors are sneaking out at night and burgling houses, but they’re probably committing these crimes without even knowing it.

Using Somebody Else’s Wifi 

If somebody leaves their wifi without a password they’re just asking for people to use it aren’t they? It’s not stealing, at worst it’s just borrowing without asking. It can’t be illegal, surely? Actually, it is. In a lot of places, using somebody else's wifi connection without permission is considered a theft. Obviously, you aren’t going to get thrown in jail for doing it and most of the time, people aren’t going to press charges against you, but it is still technically a crime. 

September 27, 2017

The Inside Scoop: Nine Tips For Retail Business Success

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The retail business is full of competitors no matter what your niche or unique selling point is, which is why having a successful retail business can be tricky. But, nothing is impossible, and retail is still one of the fastest growing areas of business to date. A new shop opens all the time, and the excitement and the buzz surrounding that doesn’t go away quickly. But, of course, like any business, you need to apply certain techniques and consider a lot before launching your retail business to guarantee its success. Otherwise, you can fail at the first hurdle. I wanted to share with you the inside scoop on retail business and share with you nine tips for business success. 

Location, Location, Location 

The location of your store is one of the first big decisions you will make, after, of course, deciding what you want to sell or what kind of store you want. So the location needs to be something that is considered and not a decision you rush into. What good will it do you to have amazing products and great staff without having a location where people can get to you or even know you exist? You want footfall and traffic, so a location on the high street or in a shopping mall would be advantageous to your business plan. However, one last point to consider would be to scout for any competitors in the area. You don’t want to be opening a store next to your biggest competitor, and it is worthwhile to stand alone if you can. This website has some great tips for choosing a good retail business location. 

Stocking those shelves 

Selecting the merchandise for your store is one of the most exciting things you can do when launching your retail business. However, it can be the most time-consuming and costly parts of the job, so again it certainly isn’t something to be rushed. You need to really consider your market here, and ensure that your merchandise, whatever it may be, matches in with the theme of your store and also runs in line with the other things you are going to stock. You don't want to create a confusing message to your potential customers if on one side you have baby clothes and then on the other you are selling food, just to give you a broad example. You also need to think about how you present the merchandise you have. Perhaps pricing them up with a price gun from or whether you consider pricing them up yourself by hand. Perhaps having them individually priced or even as a collective price in one pile. The choice is yours and often can be dictated by the type of merchandise you are selling. 
September 26, 2017

It's All About Pet-ertainment

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Getting a new pet in the family is always an exciting and nerve-wracking time. You want to make sure you’re settling in your new companion, while at the same time keeping everyone in the house secure in their position – especially if you have existing pets living with you. Getting a new cat is a big decision and the biggest is often whether to have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.

Cats are the one pet who are often renowned for being able to entertain themselves. Cats are picky about the company they keep and if they want to play with you, they’ll come to you in their own sweet time. Those who are working full-time jobs can often prefer to have a cat than a dog, as dogs often need far more concentrated attention than a cat does. Despite this, it’s always important to provide entertainment for your cat. Indoor cats tend to get bored far faster than an outdoor cat, as they don’t have the same exploring abilities as an outdoor cat does. We’ve put together some of the best pet-ertainment out there so that you can have a blast getting your kitty settled and secure in your home.

  1. Windows. Cats love to look outside, even if they aren’t particularly inclined to get going out there! Setting up a comfy window seat with a view to the world – especially to the trees and birds – is a great way to give your cat something else to look at than the four walls of the home. 

  2. Lasers. You’ve seen the YouTube videos and likely experienced it for yourself, but laser pointers are an amusing tool for any cat. It engages their minds and gets them moving in a way that’s entertaining for both them and you! 

  3. Fish. If you’ve got a fish tank in the house, you’ll have likely noticed the cat paying particular attention to the movement of the water. Obviously, ensure that your cat has no access to your scaly companions; the last thing you need is pet murder in the house! 

  4. Furniture. Cat trees like these are fantastically interactive. Cats love to explore so encourage them to sniff around their new toy with cat treats hidden around it. They are comfy to relax in and have great hiding places, so if you have more than one furry friend they can play games together! 

  5. Remote Control Toys. Wind up mice and cars are fantastic fun for cats that love to play chase. They won’t fetch them for you the way a dog would, but they have a great time burning energy and diving onto toys. 

Cats may not be as sociable as dogs, but they are just as in need of our attention and entertainment. Spending some time getting to know what makes your new cat happy is going to make such a difference to the way you spend your money on your entertainment for your pet.

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September 26, 2017

Online Marketing Services: Are You Really Getting What You Pay For?

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Online marketing has become crucial in modern businesses for a lot of reasons. Over the years, a lot of agencies, consultants, and management teams have built businesses out of learning the tricks of the trade and helping adapt your brand to the different mediums on the internet. They can be an invaluable ally in helping you learn what’s what and really make the best of a campaign. But there are plenty who will take a business owner’s poor understanding of online marketing to give them the short end of the stick. Here’s how you make sure you’re not on the unlucky hoodwinked many. 

smart phone, iphone

Know precisely what you’re looking for 

Even experts can only do so much without a specific direction to take their expertise in. There are a lot of broad “online marketing agencies”, and many of them can do the job. It’s a good idea to know what exactly you’re looking to get from the online world before you open up negotiations with them. It can help you find which kind of services work best for your strategy, whether you want to improve website visits and grow brand visibility or increase revenue by building leads. 

Know what you’re not looking for, too 

On the other hand, it’s a good idea to know the techniques that just don’t work. Keyword stuffing, as described by is one of the once hugely-popular techniques that has now become kryptonite to good SEO. Other spammy marketing techniques worth avoiding include auto-playing media on websites, a cluttered, hard-to-navigate webpage, unoptimized pop-ups, fake reviews and so on. Think about not only how you want to market, but do a little research on the less effective ways of doing them. That will help you spot the providers looking to make a quick buck for something that sounds impressive but nets you very little long-term return. 


Make sure you can always see the data 

There are plenty of analytics to help you measure the effectiveness of different techniques, too. Google Analytics, for one, can help you get low-down on how traffic finds and uses your site. Great providers track analytics on the long-term alongside you. Some will even help you use metrics to find where your current efforts are ineffective like SEO audits at If they don’t use any analytics, then how are either of you supposed to know what’s effective? If they don’t share those analytics, then they might be trying to keep results quiet for a reason. Perhaps because they’re not very good. 

Look for the proof 

Online reviews are a great place to look for some opinions on a service, but they’re not always trustworthy, either. They should be a starting point, but it’s worth asking the providers for references or even by looking at their own site and online marketing. If they have those working impressively, they should be able to do the same for you. 

Just remember, not all poor results are the fault of consultants and you need to understand when it’s your own goals or your own brand that could use a little refreshing. Otherwise, the tips above should help you steer in the right direction of reputable services.
September 26, 2017

Simple Ways To Make Your Business More Efficient

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The key to business success isn’t profit; profit is the consequence of a successful business. If you want to achieve that success in the first place then you need to look to the core operations of your company. You need to be creating an efficient and well-oiled machine that understands just what it takes to reel in sales from an ever-changing target market. Here are some simple ways in which you can make your business more efficient. 

Improving employee productivity 

It’s important to remember that it isn’t a criticism of the skillset your workforce possesses to say that they’re unproductive. You may have hired your employees well and they may be very skilled at their work but numerous factors can lead to them being unproductive. When it comes to the more technical roles involved with your business, it’s important that you supply your team with the right tools, materials, and other resources necessary to ensure that they can do their job to the highest standard possible. You might want to look into model based systems engineering to help engineers within your company to understand the complexities of technology as it improves. If you want your workers to adapt to the changes both inside and outside your business then you need to give them the tools to do so. 

September 25, 2017

How To Choose A Financing Option Based On How Much Time You Have

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When it comes to launching your own business, or starting a new venture for yourself, more often than not, you’re going to need to have some kind of budget to be able to do it. However, in order to be able to get your business off the ground, you also need to be able to consider your financing options. Now, a lot of these are quite standard - from speaking to investors, to putting the money in yourself. However, the important decision isn’t always going to be based on what finances are available to you, but instead, which can be arranged in the time frame that you have. So let’s take a look at your options based on the time that you have. 

1-2 Weeks 

Sometimes, you may find that you only have a few weeks to get things in place. This can often be because you’ve had other options fall through, or you’ve made a decision to get started pretty quickly. When this is the case, it can be hard to find another investor in such a short space of time. However, you can invest in yourself. If you have savings and only a few weeks to get the money you need, you should think about borrowing from your own savings as your financing option. 

2-3 Months 

If you’ve got more than a few weeks, and something more like a few months, then you could definitely think about going down the more traditional loan route. When you speak to a specialist lender, such as, you’ll find that you’re able to arrange financing in the right amount of time. But make sure that you research your options, and find the right amount, terms, and loan agreement for what you need. 

September 24, 2017

6 Ways Music Calm the Mind

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woman playing violin

In our stressful, workaday lives, we often turn to music to calm or even distract our minds from the problems and situations that regularly arise. Needless to say, a calm mind is not always one that is quiet and/or reflective—although we all need that feeling from time to time—but sometimes active and engaged, focused on an enjoyable task or experience rather than our everyday stressors. 

Given those parameters, below we have listed and described 6 ways in which music, directly and indirectly, calms the mind and distracts us from the stress and problems that we all occasionally face. 

Whether you’re using a Beatbuddy ( or any other instrument or equipment, you’ll see more than a few benefits.

1. Music Can Help Combat Stress 

After a hectic day in which everything seems to go wrong, music can help combat our pent-up stress and allow us to unwind. In numerous studies and experiments, listening to soothing music, whether classical, soft jazz, or spiritual tunes, among other genres, has been shown to lower the level of the stress hormone cortisol—a hormone that when elevated can also lead to obesity and a slew of other stress-related illnesses. 

2. Music Releases Endorphins that Can Lead to a State of Euphoria 

Have you ever noticed that people just seem to be calmer and happier when listening to their favorite tunes? If so, the release of the brain chemicals known as endorphins may be responsible. When endorphins are released by the brain people tend to feel a sense of euphoria—a pleasant feeling that can certainly melt away the problems of the day. 

3. Music Aids Memory Recall and Reasoning

music notes

When our brains are stressed, depressed and/or cluttered, it can often be difficult to perform simple mental tasks that require any type of memory recall. Fortunately, music has proven to be very beneficial in this realm. According to what is known as the Mozart Effect, certain types of music, especially classical music, not only calm the mind but can also assist with spatial-temporal reasoning and other cognitive functions. Although there is no indication that classical music makes individuals more intelligent, it does stand to reason that a calmer mind will be better equipped to solve complex mental problems. 

4. Music Helps with Meditation 

Meditation can best be described as a practice in which individuals strive to dwell only in the present moment, without the worries of the past or anxiety of the future cluttering their mind. The calming practice, which has been used to treat pain, mental disorders, and even hypertension, can be even more effective when music is also included—soft, rhythmic and repetitive sounds that keep practitioners focused only on their breathing. 

5. Music Wards Off Anxiety 

Anxiety is defined as a “fear of the unknown,” but for those who suffer its often debilitating effects, it can be a very frightening condition. One way doctors and therapists are trying to treat irrational and situational anxiety is through music. Music is one of the best mediums for distraction. Thus, when anxiety sufferers are focused on the music—preferably music they enjoy—rather than on a potential anxiety or panic attack, these anxiety events can be drastically reduced. 

6. Music Helps Us Exercise 

One of the best ways to cope with the stress and pressure in our lives is through exercise. Experts say exercise helps calm and distract the mind. Exercise can also wear us out physically, leading to a deeper and more restorative sleep. Music helps individuals get the most out of their exercise regimen. Not only are exercisers more apt to enjoy their workout while listening to their favorite upbeat tunes, they are also likely to exercise longer and harder than they would without the musical accompaniment. 

Given its ability to soothe, inspire and motivate our minds, music is—and should be—a vital and consistent component in our daily lives, regardless of the type of music one prefers.

September 23, 2017

To Grow Or Not To Grow: Is Opening A Second Location The Right Move?

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Even if it was never your intention to expand when you first went solo, most small business owners eventually find that their ambitions have changed and that expansion is most definitely something they are now interested in. It is only natural. Of course, wanting to grow and achieving this are two entirely different things. But a great place to start is by opening up shop in a second location. To help you do this, we have pulled together some advice that should guide you in the right direction and open your eyes to any hurdles that stand in your way. Just remember, you go this far, so you can definitely take it the next step. 

Your Business Must Be Able To Run Without You 

The idea of opening up in a second location is not going to be feasible if your business cannot succeed without you. If success relies on your presence, then it is worth working out how you can create an autonomous operation first. If your customers don’t insist on doing business with you directly, though, then expansion should remain on the cards. 

September 23, 2017

Working Hard? How To Stay On The Ball

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Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just aren't able to focus and stay organized. Whether that be because you have other things going on in your life while working, or you just aren't very good at keeping your concentration - there's no need to worry. Here you can find the best tips and tricks to keep you on the ball at work. 

Make sure your desk is clean 

Messy home, messy mind, right? Well, the same goes for your work environment too. If you sit down at your desk ready to work and there's clutter covering it, how do you expect to have a good day? A clean desk is a happy desk, and the prettier it looks to the eye, the easier it will be to work at. Plus, you'll know where everything is because it's tidy, so you won't have to have that mad 2-minute panic because you can't find a pen and you're supposed to be taking notes from the conversation you're having over the phone! (We've all been there...) Remember that your performance begins in the environment you're in, so if that's not a good one, you just aren't going to be able to perform to the best of your abilities. 

September 23, 2017

Key Areas for Any Small Business Setup to Invest In

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Starting up your own small business can be a pretty intimidating experience. After all, you’re fending for yourself in a huge market that is absolutely saturated with competitors. You need to stand out from the crowd in order to succeed, but how do you go about doing this? Well, the answer to all of your problems is a smart investment. You need to invest your cash flow into the right areas of your company in order to raise brand awareness, show your products and services as preferable to those of your competitors and secure sales. Here are a few key areas that you should focus your time, effort and money on in order to see the most prosperous results possible. 

Product or Service Development 

At the end of the day, the main thing that is going to secure a sale is the quality and innovation of your product or service. You need to ensure that it is superior to anything else on the market to draw customers’ attention to you. So don’t skimp out on product or service development. Take your time and ensure that every single aspect of what you’re selling is spot on. You may need to invest more than you have to ensure this, but not to worry. A can provide you with a source of cash that can be paid back in installments at a later date once your product starts to sell and bring in profit. Think of the loan as an investment, opening new doors and opportunities for your company and its success. 
September 22, 2017

Mastering Corporate Communications

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In the world of modern business, communication has become more important than ever. With companies making deals and trading without ever meeting, and big projects being handled over the web, being able to communicate effectively is critical to any business person. Of course, though, the skills required to achieve this can be hard to pick up. A lot of people forget what they learn in school, instead relying on bad habits which they gather over the years. To help you with this, and to get your corporate communications up to the highest level, this post will be going through everything you need to know. 

The Methods 

To start, it’s important to have a good grasp of the modern methods companies use to communicate. A large amount of these tools are computer-based, and some people will have to spend longer learning them than others. Common services for instant messaging are Skype for Business and Google Hangouts, but these tools can also be used to video chats and calls, too. Along with this, a wide-variety of emails clients are used for emails, and some companies will like to use fax machines, as well. This gives you a lot to learn, but it’s only the beginning. 

The Language 

With a good knowledge of the machines and devices you’re going to have to use throughout your career, you can start to think about the way you speak. Language can be a very difficult thing. The words you use and the way that you say them will impact what people get from your communications, especially when using a written method. An expert like AJ Hoge can help you to learn how to use words effectively, with power and precision. Of course, though, you will also have to do some of the work yourself. 
September 22, 2017

Could Real Estate Provide A Nest-Egg For Your Children?

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All parents go above and beyond to ensure the stability of their children's financial futures. Many start thinking about it the moment their little ones are on the way. They put money in high-interest savings and invest in bonds. Even those who aren’t so fast to save do what they can to provide. They work extra hours and go without so their kids don’t have to.


But, with prices ever on the increase, those savings may not be enough to see them through. Now, it’s necessary to look at more extreme forms of saving.Of course, there are a few different routes to go down. Some people opt to invest in stocks and shares, while others buy businesses to hand down. 

But, if you want to keep things on familiar footing, it might be worth considering real estate. You already own a family home, so you know how to buy houses. If you have the money behind you, why not use your knowledge to invest? Of course, even if you know how to purchase a home, real estate investment can seem daunting. Which is why we’re going to break down your options. 

Buy to sell 

If you want to keep things simple, you could buy property and sell it. As well as providing a chance to increase your money, this could lead to a business exploit. Thus, there’s double the nest egg potential.

To ensure you buy and sell effectively, study the market. To find real success, you’ll need to reach a point where you can spot areas with potential. Investing while properties are cheap is the best way to make a profit. Bear in mind that this can easily become a full-time pursuit. It may take you away from your family. Remember that a large nest egg won’t buy back their affections if you’re never around! 

Buy to rent 

As a less time-consuming alternative, you could consider buying to rent. This way, you work with just one property and set of tenants at a time. To break this down further, let’s look at the two different options for renting:

Holiday rentals are one option. Here, you’ll buy a property abroad, and rent it out to holidaymakers. This will involve some work as you’ll need to keep on top of various occupants and pay out for advertising. It also requires some research to get things right. You’ll need to know about different locations. It’s best to look out for up and coming areas. By finding out about the condition of real estate in each, you’ll be able to get an idea of where best to invest. This option will also provide you with cheap holidays for all the family, which are sure to go down well.

Long-term rentals are the most traditional rental route. Here, you buy one property to rent for extended periods. It’s hassle free, as tenants often stay put for years. And, as well as increasing your money, this provides you with a property to pass down later on.
September 22, 2017

Travelling With A Mortgage? It’s Doable!

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Do you want to get away and see the world? Are you desperate for sun, sea, sand, and adventure? Lots of homeowners are, yet are tied into a mortgage. Damn you, responsibilities! The idea of going abroad while you have a loan to pay off isn’t appealing whatsoever. So, the majority of homeowners who are in the red put it off until they are older and mortgage-free. But, this isn’t the only option. If you’re looking to get away ASAP, there are ways to see the world and cover the costs of owning a house. To find out more, take a look at the following. 

Home Equity Loan 

One way to cover the costs while you are away is with a loan. Of course, not every agreement with a bank is suitable due to the differing terms. Usually, though, a line of equity credit is a viable option. The way it works is that the homeowner uses the positive equity in the house to pay back the mortgage. Although it results in more debt, there are benefits. Experts like point out that the repayments are small if you choose correctly. Also, it’s a good debt to have because the equity might increase again. More importantly, it’s a quick and significant sum of money. 

mortgage application form, mortgage

Roger The Lodger 

If the idea of getting into debt doesn’t appeal, there are alternatives. The best one is to find a person to rent the house while you are away. Then, their rent will cover the cost of the mortgage and there is no reason to fall behind. Plus, they can cover the overhead expenses as they are the ones living in the house. Yes, you might have to pay tax, but it won’t be a significant amount. Just be wary of the applicants. No one wants to go away and come back to a squat. 

Slash Costs

It is possible to reduce the costs of owning a home to the bare minimum. Barring the mortgage, the rest of the expenses are easy to overcome. The key is to turn off anything which isn’t essential. For example, there is no reason to use electricity, so all the appliances should get switched off. And, make sure you do it at the socket and take out the plug to break the circuit. Also, turn down the heating to save on gas. A word of warning: don’t switch the heating off completely. During the winter the pipes can freeze and burst. 

Sell Up 

For those of you whose life dream it is to travel, there is no better option. Owning a house is great, but it isn’t what makes you happy. What makes you happy is catching a flight to exotic destinations and soaking up the culture. With a mortgage to pay for, it is a difficult prospect. However, by selling it, you wash your hands of the payments and responsibilities. Oh, and don’t forget the cash that will burn a hole in your pocket. 

open house

Now you know the options, the decision is yours to make.
September 22, 2017

Emergency Financial Backup Plans That Business Owners Can Turn To

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The world of business is never steady, but that’s what is so exciting about it. You take the good with the bad and sometimes you have to take hits in order for you to persevere and keep charging forward. This doesn’t mean that you should be unprepared for unforeseen expenses or potential losses. Every business owner should have the mindset of preparing for the worst. Nothing solves a problem better than money because as we all know, money makes the world go round. One must have a resource of money ready to be quickly utilized at the drop of a hat when you’re running a business. Financial backup plans should be in place for any hiccups are or negative spikes in profit and sales.

Emergency investor fund 

Having an investor on board with your business is something you should be really thankful for. Another person has put their money where your mouth is and has decided to fund your dreams. However, in reality, both parties know what kind of risk the other is taking. Before you sign an agreement with the investor, make sure you have a clause that demand they have emergency funds at the ready. You’ll have to agree to a set amount, which could be a couple thousand or perhaps in the six-figure range. If a global recession sparks, you need this extra funding to keep your head above the water. 
September 22, 2017

Legal Ways To Make Your Look Car Better Than The Rest

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So you’ve bought a car off the lot, and it really doesn’t look a lot. It’s a base color, and it’s a standard model. It doesn’t really do a lot for your style or appearance. But hey, it’s safe and economical. OK, none of that matters when you want to make a statement! If you want your motor to impress, then don’t panic. There are plenty of upgrades and alterations you can make to even the most boring of compacts. Try some of these tips to improve the look of your new wheels: 

Wash, Wax, Protect 

If you bought a brand new car, then the body work has already had a polish. But even factory fresh models will need a bit of work to keep that body in good shape. Valeting is essential if you want the paint to stay pristine. And if you’re changing the paint job, then these tips are essential. 

Pick a wash or shampoo product that is designed for the job. Standard detergent will destroy your paint work! It needs to be pretty powerful though to cut through the muck and debris that cars collect when they’re outside the garage. Take your time to cut into the trims, arches, and the inside facing door frame. If you take care of the paint, none of the metal in your motor should be exposed. Exposure can lead to degradation and even rust. 

The wax brings out the shine, and it also provides a protective layer or barrier to prevent hard buildups of dirt. When you consider how many exhaust pipes are chugging out muck when you’re stuck in traffic, it’s easy to see how cars get so dirty so quickly. If you buy a good product, there is no need to double coat. 

Tires And Trims 

If you’ve bought a good car with good tires, it’s important you look after them. Tires can be painted to bring back that absolute black we all love. Trims and alloys are easily scuffed on the road. They can be replaced, but it is usually cheaper to use a special cutting paint that will mask the damage. Some people even use sticky plastic covers to protect their trims as these are a little more hard wearing. 

You might not be able to afford the fastest car in the world, but you can still reach serious speeds with the smallest of motors. Your tires need to be appropriate for the vehicle and in good condition to be able to stop you safely in an emergency. In most places, good tires are a legal requirement, so check yours monthly for pressure and tread. 

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