Category Archives: Main

Organization and Motivation: Is Working From Home Right for You?

Just had a baby and you can’t imagine leaving her at a daycare while you return to an office job? Maybe you have moved to your dream home in the country and the commute to the city just isn’t worth it. For whatever reason you are thinking of working from home, you need to weigh the pros and cons. It can be the perfect arrangement for you and your family, but it is not for everyone.

Know thyself

Are you self-motivated, with strong time management abilities? Or do you put everything off until the last minute, assuming you will have everything you need in order to get the work done? If you tend to be a King or Queen of Procrastination, you might find that working from home is too distracting for you. It requires setting a schedule and sticking to it. Successful home-workers do meal planning just like the rest of us. They leave housework to the evenings and weekends and they avoid taking social calls during business hours. Can you stay off Facebook and avoid the temptations that threaten to pull you away from the task at hand? If you are able to focus at home, you might actually find you are even more productive than in the office environment.

Maintain a work/life balance

Whether you are running a business or working a salaried position from home, you need to ensure you protect yourself from work overload. It’s far more difficult to leave your work at the office at the end of the day when the office is at home. Make sure you join some sort of professional business or social network outside the home so that you meet other adults face-to-face during the week. This is important quality time for you when you work at home and see no one but your family most days. Pick up the phone and speak to your clients or colleagues, to have that adult connection during the day. Make sure you book regular vacations and take days off too.

Lay the foundation for success

You don’t have to put all of your eggs in one basket from the beginning. Perhaps the smartest thing to do is to try working from home just one to three days a week at first. If it works out and you get into a routine, you might decide to transition to working from home full time. You may find it difficult to command a high wage while working from home, as senior management and executive positions are not usually accommodated in this working environment. If life hands you a surprise or an unexpected opportunity and you need some money in a hurry, you might consider looking at http://unsecuredpersonal.loans/. Many unsecured loans do not require collateral.

With careful consideration and planning, working from home can be an ideal situation for you and your family. You just need to treat it like any other job, with a firm schedule and commitment to completing assignments on time.

 

A Look at Your Options for Financing Your Business

Every business needs financing – whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, there will always be a need for initial investment. It gets worse when, after much work, the enterprise actually starts to show promise and more funds are needed for expansion and growth. The manager or business owner is often confronted with a difficult question: to what extent are they willing to give up their own stake in the business for the benefit of the business as a whole?

The advantages of private equity financing are real, and should never be doubted. On the other hand, they also come with some disadvantages, and that’s where the trouble lies. Here’s the good news: there are ways in which you can find the perfect balance. In fact, you can get the best of both worlds. Here’s a look at your options for financing your business.

Private equity is on the rise

The appetite for private equity on the British market has always been very popular, and it continues to rise. Though alternative financing deals have also become popular and more established (think of loans through a bank, or more recently: angel investors and such schemes), most people continue to see private equity as a means of continuing their personal mission whilst giving them tax relief.

Checking the risks

There are, however, some important drawbacks everyone should be aware of. The most important disadvantage is the risk that the investor’s goals may be quite different than those of the entrepreneur; the investor is looking for a return on investment and will have an exit strategy, whilst the entrepreneur is more likely to be emotionally involved.

Asking important questions

In order to make a sound decision that fits you best, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my business have a good management team that can deal with adversity and change in plans?
  • Do I have a good and reliable supply chain?
  • Are we confident of the financial forecast?
  • Do we have a solid business plan that would convince parties with different interests in mind?
  • Do we have a good product or service, and what are the chances of growth given the current business environment?

In the end, there is really one (and only one) important question to ask: is this your private business, something you want to make a stamp on for the history books to show, or is this a business for most everyone, which can grow in ways you may not now anticipate? It’s a personal question, to be sure – but it’s also a practical question. It’s a dilemma that only the entrepreneur can solve. It’s a matter of finding out what is most important to you, as advised by the business strategists and accountants in central London from GSM & Co.

Image attributed to Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Matthew David Parker on the Basics

Matthew David Parker is an influential Las Vegas photographer that has presented Las Vegas and its people in a manner in which offers a fresh perspective on the intrinsic planned and unplanned beauty of Las Vegas. Because of this, Matthew David Parker has a following of loyal viewers that await his latest offerings.

So much of art in general and specifically photography concerns the way the artist goes about capturing light. Because of the purity of light, many beginning photographers think good photography occurs because of a camera instead of because the photographer utilized the camera to capture the light in a thought evoking manner because the magic of photography and art in general is light. After the elements of art and photography are taught, it is with an understanding then that the budding photographer realizes the camera is designed around the principle of capturing light and not just an instrument to capture an image.

However, in order to do this artistically, the photographer must be able to manipulate the camera or otherwise manipulate themselves, the camera and even the time of day and weather conditions in order to maximize the effectiveness of this light. So a basic camera is set up so that a person can affect this instrument to capture light. The basic theory surrounding this will give us three tips, and each tip will be a point in a theory called the exposure triangle.

It is not only believed theoretically, but proven in many situations photographically that good shots only occur when these three points of the triangle can be manipulated most effectively by the camera’s operator. These three elements are aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and they affect the image that results from a camera’s shutter opening, collecting light and producing an image. So our three tips are a primer on these elements.

Aperture is defined as the size of the dimensions of which a lens can open, and a small number corresponds with a wide opening because the size of the aperture determines how much light is allowed into the camera through the lens, but aperture also effects depth and blurring among other things. The aperture is expressed in a number set like f/5 or f/11 for example.

Next is shutter speed, but is more accurately defined as the length of time the shutter is open, so slow shutter speeds allow more light in because of the amount of time the shutter is open is greater. Faster shutter speeds allow photographers to freeze motion or to make effects from the slower shutter speeds like motion blur because shutter speed makes the camera very sensitive to motion. Shutter sped is expressed as measure of time in very small increments of seconds like 1/200 sec up to 5 sec in some cases.

The third point of the exposure triangle is ISO. Cameras have a light sensor, and the measure of a camera’s light sensor’s sensitivity to light is called ISO. Cameras that possess very high ISOs are utilized to take photographs in darker situations, but with a negative side effect of producing often grainy images. ISO is expressed as 100 ISO to 6400 ISO for example.

 

A Few Words about Debt Settlement

It is true that today many people are in debt. As a matter of fact, the number of people who are finding themselves in this sort of predicament is truly staggering. It is something that has never been seen before. Just look around you and you will know exactly what I am talking about here.

The truth is that once you start being in debt, it might not be that easy to have your financial life under control. You will soon start realising that those who gave you the money start having demands that are usually high to fulfill. This is something that happens to many people, but fortunately such situations can be easily avoided with the help of debt settlement companies who are there to help.

Those who are in debt usually seek debt negotiation help that can relieve them of debt as soon as possible. When you want to succeed in debt settlement, you will need to negotiate the settlement with your creditors. You need to be prepared for the negotiations and you definitely should never ever go for it alone as it can end really badly for you. In other words, you need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that you are as prepared as it is possible because only this way can you succeed. This might not be an easy process, as you will have to convince your lenders to reduce your payments even if you are very late with your payments.

I am sure that you would all agree that having a credit card debt can be a stressful experience especially for those who happen to find themselves in such a situation for the very first time. Since it might be very difficult, I suggest that you use the help of professional finance advisors. Professional advisors will help you with credit card debt reduction in a way that nobody else can help. I am glad that companies offering debt settlement services exist, as usually debt settlement can be confusing for an individual. As I have learned from my own experience, the whole process can be difficult to understand for an average person such as me or you. This is why, if you found yourself in a financial crisis, know that things do not look as bad as they seem to look even if they look really bad. In every situation, there is always a solution. If you struggle paying your debts, know that debt settlement benefits are bigger than filing for bankruptcy. Debt settlement or debt negotiation can solve all your problems. The companies who specialise in such matters will make you debt free in no time, even sooner than you might think. Debt settlement advisors are trained in credit negotiation so that they can help whoever asks them for a helpful hand as this is something they do on a daily basis. They are professionals who negotiate with creditors every day. Debt negotiation services are available to you no matter where you live or where your country is located.

E-commerce warehouse: tips from Logistiko

Since most courier companies offer delivery within one day, the key task of the warehouse is to prepare the orders for dispatch on the day of placing them by the customer. How to achieve this goal using simple methods?

It would seem that warehouse designed to handle e-commerce is a warehouse like any other. Products come in deliveries and then they are released. However, the specificity of e-commerce and high expectations of buyers mean that the organization of an e-commerce warehouse entail several specific requirements.

Order completion is essential.

Nowadays, almost every client who makes a purchase online expects to receive goods on the next day. In e-commerce survey conducted by Gemius in 2016 in Poland – the most common problem with online shopping mentioned in customer’s opinions is the long wait for delivery of goods (35% – Logistiko internal data). In a similar survey from 2015, high cost of shipping was in the first place, while the long delivery time was second. It is clear that the order completion time and expectations associated with it are gaining importance year after year.

Since most courier companies offer delivery within one day, the key task of the warehouse is to prepare the orders for dispatch on the day of placing them by the customer. How to achieve this goal using simple methods?

Courier package collection hours

Depending on the location of the warehouse and the number of packages per day, couriers offer a variety of schedules for collecting them. Of course, the key is to find a courier company that will offer not only favourable prices, but also the latest pick-up hours. This will allow the warehouse to have more time for handling the orders (e.g. if the courier collects the packages around 15:00, then automatically no order placed after that time has a chance to be sent out on the same day and delivered on the next day).

Warehouse working hours

The natural tendency is to balance the number of warehouse employees during the day. For example, if the warehouse employees work on two shifts, it is natural to balance the number of employees for both shifts. However, most often in the case of e-commerce, the number of orders is not distributed evenly throughout the day. Usually, the amount of orders increases in the afternoon. In addition, the later the orders get to the warehouse, the less time is left for packing them and preparing for dispatch.

Therefore, before assigning working hours to employees, it is always a good idea to consider whether you really need the same number of employees on each shift?

Almost certainly the answer will be – in the afternoon, we need more staff than in the morning.

Arrangement of goods on the shelves

This is very often ignored in the case of warehouses using WMS support, where recognition of products is based on barcodes. In such a situation, it seems that the placement of goods is of secondary importance, because the employee has to scan the product before taking it from the shelf anyway. The error in such reasoning is that before the employee scans the product, he first needs to find it, most often visually (otherwise, he would have to mindlessly scan every product on the shelf until he finds the right one).

The greater the density of goods on the shelf, the more time it takes to identify and scan the right one. Since warehouses are not made of rubber, the density on shelves is often inevitable. So, what to do? Ensure that products that are similar to each other are not placed next to each other. Optimization of the products’ distribution for one of our clients who sells small electronic products, which differ from one another only by symbols, shortened the time of searching for products by more than half, and thus, increased our confidence that we will be able to deliver all orders on the same day.

As you can see, improving the work of your warehouse for e-commerce does not have to require big investment or costs. Sometimes, it is enough to think carefully about what prevents faster completion of orders and remove these obstacles one by one. For more details please visit http://logistiko.eu/.

5 Simple Ways to Slash Your Car Budget

Trying to maintain a balanced budget is a little like trying to maintain your balance on a tightrope. Just when you think you have the hang of it, a gust of wind comes by and leaves you flailing. For most people, transportation costs are some of the most unpredictable and burdensome budgeting factors. However, you are not doomed to a lifetime of hefty car expenses. Here are five changes you can make to your vehicle-related spending that could help you enjoy bigger savings and a more predictable budget.

1. Trade in Your Car

While the actual process of trading in your car is not always simple, the results can dramatically simplify your life and your budget. For example, if you bought a new car this year and have been struggling to make the payments, you can do yourself a huge favor by selling your current vehicle and purchasing a slightly older but gently used model. Car values depreciate so rapidly that you may be paying top dollar for a vehicle that is already worth 20 percent less than when you originally bought it.

On the flip side, perhaps you have been driving an absolute beater for a while and regularly drop hundreds of dollars into making repairs. The wisest course of action, in this case, may actually be to spend a few months saving for a down payment on a more reliable vehicle. In both cases, your end goal is to minimize the sum of your monthly payments plus your monthly maintenance costs.

2. Update Your Car Insurance

Shopping for car insurance is such a hassle that most people are content to stick with whatever policy they already have. However, thinking this way can be a big mistake when it comes to your budget. Circumstances change over time, and you may qualify for discounts today that did not exist four years ago. To learn more about what different companies have to offer, you can use comparison tools like the one on www.carinsurancecheap.net. Tools like this one provide useful information about coverage rates in your area as well as crucial saving tips.

3. Learn Maintenance Basics

Most people lack the time, resources, or desire necessary to perform all their own vehicle maintenance, which is why mechanics shops exist. However, you can save hundreds of dollars if you learn to handle some basic maintenance tasks on your own. For example, instead of paying labor and facility fees for a mechanic to change your tail lights, you can do the same job on your own for a few dollars. There are millions of car maintenance tutorial videos available online, so you can teach yourself some useful new tricks for free.

4. Walk or Bike

Cars are obviously meant to be driven, but excessive use is one of the major contributors to breakdowns. You can prolong the life of the car and reduce the frequency of breakdowns by walking or biking to your destinations whenever you can. While it might seem easier to drive two minutes to the post office, walking there instead will give you the exercise you need and your car the rest it deserves. Walking and biking more will also help you cut back on your gas expenditures, enabling you to allocate that money to different areas of your budget.

5. Use Public Transportation

Of course, you probably do not live within walking or biking distance of all your regular destinations. If this is the case, then consider using public transportation when possible. Once again, you will save money on gas and avoid putting excessive wear on your car. Public transportation also gives you the opportunity to walk a few extra steps and avoid the hassle of finding and paying for parking in busy areas. If you need more convincing, try using a fuel savings calculator like this one to see exactly how much you can save with public transportation.

Simplify and Save

No one wants to waste money, but it happens all too easily. While cars tend to be a particularly significant source of costs, there are multiple ways to modify your spending habits in this area. Whether you adopt all five of these methods or stick with just one, they can help you enjoy more room in your monthly budget and more simplicity in your daily life.

How to Benefit from LinkedIn More

we live in the times when we constantly need to rely on the Internet in order to get or keep our job. Our professional lives changed dramatically the moment the Internet became popular and it seems like adapting to this new reality is the only way to go these days if you plan to be successful.

One website that has been big for a while with all those looking for a job as well as employees is LinkedIn. The site has grown so much that today many people use it to look for new job opportunities, but to also look for that perfect candidate. In other words, this is a marketplace where people meet. It is no wonder then that after some time of its existence LinkedIn developed a premium plan for all their members.

You might be wondering about LinkedIn Premium cost. Another question you will be asking yourself is the following: is LinkedIn Premium worth it?. Well, look at the prices, all the benefits listed, and you will be able to see clearly for yourself. Now if somebody asks you how much is linkedin premium you will precisely know the answer and you will be able to decide for yourself whether this will be something that is worth paying for.

Research and Writing: Tips, Tech and Tools for Producing Top Copy

As a writer, you’ll know that time is money, which is why you’ll have a number of ways you try to make the most of your time. However, there are also a variety of different tools available which can help you to produce stellar copy by enabling you to organize your time and remove any unwanted distractions. Here are just some of them:

Removing Distractions

One of the hardest things most writers face is distractions, whether these are chores that need doing around the home or the Facebook tab you’ve got open on your laptop. However, an app has been designed to help eliminate many of the distractions you’ll find on your computer – meet FocusWriter.

Available on a number of computer systems, this has been designed to try and remove things from your computer screen that you may find distracting, allowing you to focus on one thing – your writing.

Recording Conversations

If you’re a journalist or you’re involved in interviewing clients, you’ll no doubt find it quite stressful gathering notes from your meetings. This is especially challenging if you’re not going to be working on the piece until a later date, as you’ll want to make sure you’ve captured all the essential details you’ll need, just in case you forget them.

However, there is an app that enables you to keep track of all your important conversations for a later date – Call Recorder for Me. You can automatically turn this on to record all your conversations, or you can pick and choose which ones you want recording. One thing’s for sure – you’ll never have to take notes again!

Editing Work

Even though there are plenty of apps you can download to help with your work, it’s always nice to find something that’s available online and without the need for a download. The Hemingway App can be a writer’s best friend as it’s a free web app that helps you to edit your work with ease. Highlighting your text in different colors to draw your attention to various things, including common grammatical errors and complex sentences that are too long, it helps you to see where you might have gone wrong in your work.

Unnecessary adverbs are also picked out as are uses of passive voice, which helps you to see where you might need to make changes. This is a really good tool if you’re editing your own work or want to double-check your text before you send it on to your clients.

Creating eBooks

Writing books doesn’t have to mean publishing hard copies, as many authors go straight to an eBook. And there are a number of ways you can create an eBook, including uploading your work from your favorite word processor. However, one app has been designed to help you edit books with much more ease – Sigil. As it hasn’t been bolted onto an existing app, Sigil allows you to check your book against EPUB standards (eBook file formatting) and offers WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing. It also allows you to fix and format your work and comes with a number of optional plugins, which you can use to further enhance your eBook.

 

Beat the At-home Blues with a Networking Event

Working from home can sometimes be a lonely venture. Even if you communicate with people online and over the phone, you might not get to see people in person very often. If you feel like you need some more engagement with fellow professionals and at-home workers, there are a few things you could do to get some people together. One idea is to host a networking event for local people who work at home so that you can get together to socialize and perhaps share ideas. It can also be a good way for you to learn some new skills and add something interesting to your resume. Put together an event using these tips.

Artist: Ghozt Tramp

Find Your People

Firstly, you need to find the right people who could be interested in coming to your event. They need to be local people who work from home or perhaps use coworking spaces and public places to get their work done. They don’t necessarily have to work in any particular industry, and they could work full-time or just do some casual online work. Try looking for relevant LinkedIn groups, or creating one if there isn’t one. Facebook can also be useful to find other people in your area who want to network. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone who would be interested too.

Get a Venue

If you’ve asked about interest in a possible networking event, you need to find somewhere to host it. Don’t set anything in stone until you’re sure people are going to come, though. For your first event, it might be a good idea to use somewhere casual that you don’t need to book, especially if you don’t know how many people will turn up. You can use a variety of spaces, from your own home to cafes and bars (warn them in advance if you’re going to turn up with a large group). If your event will be more formal, you might want to book a meeting room or private event room.

Promote the Event

You need to get people interested in coming to your event, and possibly have people sign up, so you have solid numbers. You can promote your event both online and offline. For example, if you make flyers you can use them on social media pages and forums, as well as print them out. Try displaying your printed materials in places like coworking spaces or even local cafes. You never know who might spot them.

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Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone

Make Your Event Fun and Useful

Your event needs to be useful to those who come, especially if you want to host another. It might be a purely social affair, allowing everyone to chat to each other. Or you might decide to have some people speak about making the most of working from home and other helpful topics. However you structure your event, it’s a good idea to make sure there are drinks and food available. This is easy if you’re somewhere that serves food, but you might need to arrange something if you’re not.

A networking event is an excellent way to connect with other people who work at home or remotely. If you need some more in-person interaction, a regular event could be a great idea.

Mom’s Money Makeover: How to Improve Your Credit Score

Being a mom is a juggling act. Sometimes when life gets busy you can lose track of your finances. Maybe you miss a payment one month. No big deal? Well, it is if it happens more than once and you are trying to apply for a loan. Your credit rating will slide if you aren’t on top of things. Here’s how to whip it back into shape if it has gone for a dive.

Never miss a payment

In many instances, a poor credit rating can be a result of a disorganized lifestyle. You may have the money to pay your bills, but you are missing your regular payment due dates. In this case, automatic payments will go a long way to getting you back where you should be. Schedule your payments to happen throughout the month, coinciding with your pay cheques, so that your bank account isn’t emptied all at once. For example, rent comes out on the first of the month, cable at the end of the first week, Internet on the second and cell phone bill on the third.  If you show that you can pay on time, your credit rating will begin to climb again.

Pay more than the minimum

Ideally, you will pay your credit card off every month. If this isn’t possible, try to keep your running debt load under 30% of your allowable amount. This will protect you from higher interest rates and monthly fees. When you put some money toward your credit card balance each month, make every effort to pay more than the minimum amount due. You also need to look at other areas of your life where credit is involved. If you can reduce your debt load by eliminating a car payment, this will immediately improve your debt ratio and credit score. You can also ask your lender to increase your credit rating for this purpose. If you have been making regular payments, there is no reason why they shouldn’t raise your limit, especially if it is going to help your credit score.

Don’t allow numerous inquiries

If you are shopping around for a mortgage or a new car, or checking your own credit score, it doesn’t have much of an effect on your credit rating. These are called “single probe” inquiries. But if you are applying for every store credit card that is offered to you, those “hard inquiries” add up. Half a dozen credit rating inquiries in one year can be detrimental to your credit worthiness.

Credit ratings are a snapshot of your life at the moment the inquiry is made. If you just bought a car, paid a kid’s university tuition and took a trip somewhere, you might be hurting credit-wise. Try to spread out your bigger expenditures over the year so that they don’t all happen at once, leaving you in a tough spot with high payments to make. By following these steps and monitoring your own finances carefully throughout the year, you should score higher within a year.