Category Archives: Main

Moving? Don’t Forget To Pack These 5 Things

Moving can be an exciting time, but the thrill of moving all your items into another home can quickly fade as you pack box after box of miscellaneous items you wonder why you are taking in the first place. In the rush of last-minute panic to make sure everything is ready for the moving company to stow the goods away and haul them to the new place, you may forget to pack a few things. Here are some of the most common items people leave behind when they move.

1. Tiny Cabinet

Almost every home or apartment has that tiny cabinet above a fridge or stove that is inconvenient to reach and too small to hold anything you use every day. Most people store papers, light bulbs, or other items they don’t use very often in the cubby hole. That is probably why many people don’t remember to pack what they stored up there, and they leave it behind.

2. Dry Cleaning

When you call the local moving companies FL, and they have come to whisk you away, don’t forget to pick up your dry cleaning before making the move to another city. It happens more often than you would believe because, in the whirlwind panic of the last-minute moving lists, the dry cleaning is hidden away in a shop. So, out of sight, out of mind.

3. Prescription Medicines

You leave the medications in the cupboard because you take them every day, and in the rush to get out of the house on the last day, you forget to take them. Make sure you do a walk-thru that allows you to open every drawer and look on every shelf to see what you have forgotten.

4. Electronic Chargers

Whether you leave them at the house, in the hotel on the way to the new place, or at the bistro where you had lunch, chargers for electronic devices are the item that is left behind more than any other. Rather than finding yourself in need to head to the nearest store to replace the lost charger, make sure you have a secure location for all the necessary electronic devices.

5. Important Documents

In an apartment or home with built-in units, many people store important papers on top of the units, so they know where they are when they need them. This could be rental papers, insurance documents, or employment reports. Make sure you run your hand along the top of built-in units to collect any forgotten items.

Moving can be hectic. You can easily pack everything you need when you keep these five things in mind.

Practicing Network Security for Your Small Business

Contrary to what most think, big corporations aren’t the only ones at risk of cyberattack. In fact, cybercriminals have increasingly targeted small businesses in the past few years because they’re less likely to be able to defend themselves. Cybersecurity should definitely be on your mind as a small business owner or entrepreneur. Here are some key points in protecting your business, both by employing network security services and consultants and by encouraging security practices in the workplace.

Install a Firewall

Firewalls are one of the most familiar aspects of cybersecurity to most people, but having one set up on your network remains a good practice even today. Firewalls secure your network’s ports, closing unnecessary ones to prevent access. Many routers have built-in firewalls, but it’s a good idea to double check. You may also want to supplement the network firewall with desktop firewalls for computers within the network, as well as any external devices used for work.

Stay Updated

Older software can have major security vulnerabilities—the older the software, the more likely it is that hackers will know how to exploit it. Make sure to stay on top of updates for all security software—firewalls, anti-malware programs, etc.—as well as the router’s firmware, operating systems and any software that handles sensitive data and is open to the network. This means both regularly scheduled updates as well as staying alert for any emergency updates issued by developers.

Protect the Hardware

A common way to circumvent network security is by gaining access to the devices themselves. Take measures to prevent unwarranted access to worksite hardware, including keeping tabs on laptops, tablets and other portable devices. On the devices themselves, set up separate accounts for each employee when possible, limiting what any one person can access.

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) adds extra security when you need to work outside the business’s network itself. The VPN uses tunneling protocols to encrypt data between two devices, securing transmissions even on public networks. If employees need to take their work with them, either when going home or visiting clients off-site, make sure all involved devices have the same VPN application installed. Large businesses may set up their own VPN, but small businesses can seek out providers.

Encourage Best Practices

Human error remains one of the biggest security flaws—leaving devices unattended, falling victim to malware or scams and failing to update passwords are common mistakes. Take the time to educate your employees and colleagues on staying aware of these pitfalls, as well as how to use any security applications on your network. Be sure to document your business’s security protocols, too, so everyone knows them.

Technology Woes? Managed IT Services Can Help

Keeping a business running is a time-consuming process. If you do everything yourself, you probably won’t have the time in the day to get all the essential things done.

If this sounds like you, outsourcing may be just what you need. Information technology isn’t only a great place to start, but it is also one of the most common outsourced jobs today. Keep reading to learn four ways that it can help you run your business.

1. Get Help With Vendors

You work with a lot of vendors in business today. This can become a problem when you run into hardware or software problems. How do you know who to call?

Managed IT support services can help manage your vendors. They know who to call and the questions to ask to get your issues resolved.

2. Develop Backup and Recovery Plans

Data is one of the most important things for business these days. If you want to compete, then you need accurate information so you can make the best choices. If you don’t have a backup plan for your data, it could be disastrous for your business.

A service provider will work to create a backup solution for your company. All your essential data will be available off-site so you can recover it in case the worst does happen.

3. Receive 24/7 Support

Business has changed a lot over the past few decades. Many people don’t stick to the typical eight-hour workday anymore. This means you’ll have team members working during off-hours.

What happens if something goes wrong? If you handle IT in-house, then you need to hire more staff to take care of the people who work during irregular hours. With a managed service provider, you’ll be able to take advantage of 24/7 support.

4. Fix Your Compliance Issues

Have you ever taken a look at how many laws and regulations your business has to follow? The chances are that it’s a lot. Things are worse if you work in a high-risk industry like healthcare or insurance.

One mistake can cost your company a lot of money. An IT provider will have the compliance expertise to keep your business up to code. You won’t need to stay up at night worrying about your next audit.

Get the Help You Need Today

Don’t waste any more time trying to handle technology yourself. Contact a service provider today so they can walk you through the process of signing up. When you do, you’ll free up your time so you can focus on growing your business.

How To Choose a Blog Topic

Ever think about starting a blog? The easiest part of that process, counterintuitively, is the actual software design. There are many apps available to ease the blog creation process, but the actual hard work comes in when it comes to thinking of a content plan, and before that, the actual content. If you want a solid blog, you may be looking into attaching it to a website like with Eyal Gutentag, or you can have it stand by itself like with Food52. So, how do you go about choosing the right topic?

Your Passions

It is easier to create something that you are passionate about. Take sports, for instance. If you grew up playing football with your friends in the neighborhood, then it would be much easier to draw upon all that experience for your sports blog. Think about where you spend most of your time. If you are like some, then that may revolve around the television. Therein lies a wonderful amount of content for you to peruse. You could start a TV show blog.

Check the Need

However much you have a passion for something, the niche must be something people are actively searching for. You can listen in on your friend’s conversations about what problems they need to have solved. Anything goes here as long as your blog can deliver great content to satisfy those needs. Take good notes on the world around you and see if there is anything you can provide with your content that would make it a better place. After you find a passion that meets a need, the rest can just take off from there.

So, if you are still stuck at this process, try looking up what people are Google searching and match it up to your passions there. In no time, you should have an amazing blog up and running for the world to see.

Looking for Alternatives to Well Known Selling Platforms

It seems like shopping online has taken over our lives. Almost everything we buy these days takes place online and for a good reason: after all, shopping online is the most convenient and easy way to shop and there is no need to leave home. Also, you can browse hundreds or even thousands of items online and buy them even if you happen to live on the opposite side of the country from the seller.

Over the years, some online shopping giants emerged on the market. For one reason or another, some shopping platforms became more popular than others. I believe that I don’t have to mention their names here as I am sure that you know what I am talking about here. I am also sure that most of you have had some experiences with such websites.

Only because an online shopping platform is popular doesn’t have to mean that it is good. On the contrary, you will find sites like ebay that will offer you a better experience compared to the experiences you have had with the website we don’t speak of. Even when I think about it, during the last month at least two out of a few items I bought myself on eBay did not even reach my home. I know that I will get my money back, but the whole process wasted me a lot of my pressure time. For example, almost three weeks ago I ordered Brita water filters. So far there has not been a sign of them. Within the next few days I am going to need to replace my tank water filter with a new one, but guess what, I don’t have a filter because it hasn’t arrived. While I am certain that I will get my money back, I am left with no item and I will have to look for another seller to fulfill my order. What a waste of time it is!And Ebay thinks that as long as they give me my money back everything is going to be alright! Well, not really, I cannot even leave the guy a negative feedback and the whole process wasted me a lot of my precious time. I think it is time to start looking for a eBay alternative!

3 Ways to Enrich Your Teen’s Extracurriculars

So, you know it’s important to provide enriching educational opportunities for your kids, but you’re not sure how to do that with teens without infringing on the development of their personal identity? Here are some great ideas to enrich your teen’s extracurricular experiences that will carry over into essential life skills.

Improve Talents

Most of the time, your teen will already have an idea of what excites them about a potential extracurricular activity. If your teen loves music, you might want to consider singing opportunities for teenagers that will help them find a group of likeminded teens to make lasting friendships. Doing something they love within a group that makes them feel accepted and appreciated is an essential part of building self-worth that they will need to be confident and successful in other aspects of life

Learn Something

Education isn’t reserved just for the school year. Sign your teen up for summer camps or workshops that they find interesting to keep their love of learning flourishing. If you can find community resources that will provide them opportunities to choose what subjects they want to learn about, you will be able to foster a continuously improving educational outlook that will give them memories to look back on throughout life. Whether you can afford a summer space camp or you just take your teen to a local event they showed interest in, showing that you are paying attention to their interests will pay real dividends in your relationship. Who knows? You might even learn something yourself.

Get Moving

Another factor in your teen’s overall well-being is their physical health. Though not everyone wants to be a star athlete, providing activities that reinforce physical health can be a great way to enrich your teen’s life. Whether it’s an organized sport like volleyball or basketball or a more personal activity such as running or yoga, letting your teen try out different physical activities helps them to set healthy habits that will help them later in adulthood. Gaining skills in a sport and improving appreciation for their body can also help boost their self-confidence as well as their mental health.

Overall, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to provide enriching educational experiences for your teens. Whatever you do, your teens will appreciate the effort you’re making if you’re willing to accept that your child’s interests and talents may be different than your own, and that’s okay.

4 Tips to Help You Become Debt-Free

Whether you have a large amount of debt or an amount that’s fairly manageable on a monthly basis, becoming debt-free isn’t a simple process. Many people find it difficult to alter their habits, but if you want to live a debt-free lifestyle, you might have to change the way you spend and save money. Fortunately, these tips will help you start working your way to a debt-free life.

Consolidate Large Amounts of Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt typically carries a higher interest rate than installment loans, mortgages, lines of credit, and auto loans. So paying off credit card debt first, helps you save money in the long run. Also, when you consolidate debts, you only pay one monthly payment instead of several. This can help you lower your monthly expenses.

If you have large amounts of credit card debt, though, you might want to consider taking out a personal installment loan to consolidate it. Basically, you would use the funds you receive from the loan to pay off your credit cards. This bundles all of the credit card debt together into one loan with one monthly payment.

To find an installment loan, discuss your options with your bank or credit union. You can also explore online loans for bad credit if your less-than-perfect credit history disqualifies you for a traditional bank-funded loan. Or, you can also try to fix your credit score quickly so you qualify for a loan from your preferred financial institution.

Pay Off Debts From Smallest to Largest

The fact is, it’s easier to stick with a plan when you have some sort of instant gratification. That’s why you should begin eliminating your debt by paying off accounts starting with those that have the smallest balances and working your way up to those with the largest. Dave Ramsey calls this process the Debt Snowball method. Also, he encourages his students to include all non-mortgage debt in their plan including:

  • Credit card debt
  • Car loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans
  • Student loans
  • Medical bills

Remember, while you’re focusing on paying off your debts, you have to maintain your minimum monthly payments on all other accounts and household bills. You don’t want to default on your monthly bills to pay off one of your accounts.

Cut Your Monthly Expenses

You can’t become debt-free if you’re constantly spending excessive amounts of money on things you don’t need. While you’re paying off your debts, you should only be spending money on necessities — and you should those expenses as much as possible too.

To limit your monthly expenses you should consider:

  • Reduce or eliminate your cable bill
  • Switching your cell phone to a lower monthly plan
  • Clipping coupons and shopping sales to cut costs on household necessities and food
  • Reduce or eliminate subscription services and club memberships
  • Raise the deductibles on your insurance policies

Find Ways to Make More Money

If you don’t want to cut your monthly expenses — or can’t — you need to find a way to increase your income. Fortunately, the gig economy makes this fairly easy to do. In addition to taking on a part-time job, you could:

  • Become an Uber or Lyft driver
  • Deliver food for DoorDash or UberEats
  • Offer services on a freelance basis — writing, editing, and graphic design are all good options
  • Offer childcare services in your home on weekends
  • Sell items you don’t use on eBay or Amazon

Remember, any task you do well can become a service you offer to others. For example, if you don’t work on weekends, you could spend every Saturday doing landscaping work for neighbors, friends, and family members to earn some extra cash. So consider cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and running errands for extra money when you aren’t at work.

It takes time, dedication, and patience to pay off all of your debt so you can start living a debt-free lifestyle, but it can be done. Simply follow these tips and do your best to stay on top of your finances consistently.

Top 3 Customer Appreciation Tips for Small Business Owners

So, you’ve finally started that business you’ve been dreaming of, and you’re ready to tackle the big hurdle: customer appreciation. If you’re looking to inspire customer loyalty to capitalize on important customer relationships, here are three tips to help guide you.

Know Your Audience

The number one thing you need to do when looking for a loyal customer base is to know your audience. Remembering names and faces can go a long way, but remembering facts about that person or group of people that you interacted with can make an even bigger splash. For example, if you have a client who is an avid dog lover, consider bringing any assortment of dog gift baskets. Whatever you choose, let it be a reminder that you pay attention to the people behind the company for a more personal touch.

Follow the Golden Rule

As an entrepreneur, you probably know how it feels to be on the receiving end of shady customer service policies and pushy salespeople. The golden rule is simple: treat others how you want to be treated. If you find yourself getting annoyed at a company rep that drops by unannounced every week or sends weirdly stale boxes of chocolates once a year, that’s a pretty good sign to stay away from that method of acting towards your own clientele. Remember that the wrong kind of attention can get you blacklisted from your client and any potential referrals.

Make it Count

While marketing is certainly a way to get name recognition of your brand, your customers have already heard of you. What you want to do is make sure that they think of you positively when a need arises that you can fill. This means making sure your quality of work and customer service is top notch. It also means that when giving a customer appreciation gift, you make it meaningful. Functional gifts such as pens and pads of paper are more marketing tools than sincere gifts of appreciation, and your customers will see right through those tactics. Instead, make your gift count. Be creative, or at least make your gift relevant. For example, hand-delivering bagels with every sales call can be more meaningful than magnets or cheap office supplies. Doing what you can to have your company name remembered with fondness instead of annoyance can go a long way towards building the loyalty and friendship that can lead to your company’s success.

Exceed Expectations

When it comes to customer appreciation, the more your company exceeds expectations, the better. By familiarizing yourself with your clientele and allowing them to familiarize themselves with your company, you can do more than retain a customer, you can build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.

Why Even the Smallest Pharmacy Needs Cutting-Edge Software

For any business to be competitive in the digital age, they need the best technology available to do their jobs. The medical industry is no exception, in fact, it is perhaps one of the most vital sectors to need cutting edge technology. When it comes to software for pharmacies, there are several practical applications that justify an investment in cutting-edge systems.

Point of Sale

Let’s start at the end. Like any other retail business, pharmacies have point of sale terminals with cash registers and credit card readers. Their goal is to process transactions quickly and be easy to use for employees. In addition, in a pharmaceutical setting, it’s important to be discreet with patients’ medical information and their prescriptions. A great point of sale system will take care of all of this for you.

Inventory

From pre-packaged medications and supplies from vendors to the raw materials needed to fill prescriptions, software for pharmacies helps keep track of the inventory you have on hand. Beyond keeping your business efficient, knowing if you do or do not have a medication or supply on hand can be crucial information for patients and doctors in an emergency.

Signature Capture

Many states require multiple signatures to release certain medications. In some cases, a patient needs to acknowledge that a pharmacist or pharmacist’s assistant has explained how to properly use medication. Secure signature capture hardware and software that allows patients to sign electronically via a stylus or their finger are very helpful in these matters. Using a trusted provider with secure systems and backup can make it easy to retrieve signatures and create and electronic paper trail, should the situation ever arise.

If you offer in-home or on-site delivery to residences, hospitals, or nursing homes, mobile signature capture devices are an invaluable piece of software for pharmacies. All the features of the in-store units still apply, with wireless transmission added to the equation.

Communication with Physicians

Finally, different hospitals and clinics prefer different methods of communication from physicians and pharmacists. While they have been phased out of many businesses, fax machines are still preferred tools in many of these settings. There are software solutions that can combine fax technology with other methods of wired and wireless communication. For physicians that prefer email or text messaging (either automated or manually sent), software for pharmacies can make this easier too.

Pharmacies need to stay ahead of the technological curve. Cutting-edge software makes this painless for pharmacists and their staffs.

4 Ways to Create Your Perfect Home Office

With a rise in people choosing to work remotely, you might be considering ways to improve your home office. Whether you need a quiet place to make private phone calls or you need a space to focus on labor-intensive projects, putting your mark on a specific place in your home reserved especially for your work can help you to stay motivated and increase your productivity. Here are some tips to follow when designing the perfect office space for optimum functionality.

Motivational Art

One of the easiest ways to make an office space your own is by putting your personal touch on the decor. Framed quotes by inspirational role models can reinforce your drive to work hard, while meaningful mementos such as souvenirs from favorite trips or Hallmark figurines can be physical reminders of the reasons you have to make it through the workday.

Comfortable Seating

Not all office chairs are made the same. When designing a space meant for high focus and long hours, it’s important to invest in comfortable, appropriate seating. Feeling comfortable in the place where you work will prevent you from seeking respite in more distracting areas of the house, like a sofa or a bed, that will keep you from being as productive as possible.

Natural Lighting

There is nothing so refreshing in a workspace as natural lighting. Working in light that is too bright or too dim is not only disheartening but can lead to issues with eyesight later in life. Making sure that your workspace is well-lit for the work that you’re doing can help give a fresh look and feel to your workday.

Organizational Hacks

In order to truly make your home office an oasis from the rest of your home, possibly the most important aspect is the organization of your office space. If you know you’re going to need space to file papers, invest in a filing system that will actually work for you. If you’re more likely to have all of your work digitized, keep your work area decluttered to prevent distractions. Keeping your workspace clean and tidy, with easy-to-find office materials, will increase your productivity and your mood.

Putting your personal mark on your home office can help you to increase your motivation, productivity and overall enjoyment of working from home. However you decorate your home office, creating a space that isn’t too sterile can help you feel more at home in your home office, and give you the motivation you need to make working from home a success.