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Finnegan Pierson - Blog Page 19

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3 Ways To Nurture Your Mental Health When You Have a Call Center Job

Going to work is a normal part of everyday life. While all jobs are different they all require a lot, whether it's physically, mentally or a mixture of the two. No matter what your profession is, prioritizing health is essential for your success and comfort. 

If you work in a sedentary or isolated work environment such as a call center, prioritizing your mental health is one of the most important things you can do. When you don't have much face-to-face interaction with others or you're sedentary for most of your shift, it can be detrimental to your well-being — especially if you're not taking care of yourself properly.

Here are three ways to nurture your mental health so you're at your best when you're on the job. 

1. Commit to Positive Changes

Who doesn't have something about themselves that they'd like to improve or change? While it's only natural to want to do this, there are certain situations where putting your health first makes certain changes necessary.

Unfortunately, there isn't always a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to doing this. That alone can be a detriment to progress. And when you're working in a call center environment, finding ways to feel your most stable and comfortable will make a big difference in your workday.

If you're having difficulties managing stress, working with a therapist could be helpful in finding a better overall balance. If you're struggling with addiction, seeking out support through professionals such as Peter Dodge could be exactly what you need to overcome your addiction and become your best self. 

Because this type of work environment can be isolating, it's common for personal issues to become exacerbated. It's also easy to feel alone, even when you aren't. You might even consider forming a group of sorts at your workplace, even if it's just to share experiences or resources. Connecting with others going through similar trials is a great way to give and receive support, which is good for everyone.

2. Get Quality Sleep 

When you work a job that's typically sedentary and isolated, ensuring you're as well-rested and on a consistent sleep schedule will be essential to being alert throughout each shift. This is especially important if you work an alternative shift, such as overnight

Fortunately, the same tips and tricks for those working daytime schedules will also be helpful here. Keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, making it as dark as possible and limiting your exposure to blue light an hour before your turn in will all make a difference in the quality of your sleep. 

If you're going to be switching to a new shift, be prepared for an adjustment period in your routine. Remember, consistency is everything.

3. Improve Your Environment 

It's no surprise that the environment you spend your time in has a big impact on how you feel. However, work environments aren't always ideal, especially when it comes to mental health. Even if you work from the comfort of your home, it's important to make sure your workspace is conducive not just to work, but to your mental health as well.

Finding ways to improve the lighting or invite more fresh air into your space will go a long way. Try swapping out lighting in your workspace for some that's more natural, such as a sunlight lamp. An easy-care houseplant or having stress-relieving gadgets within reach will go a long way in making your space friendlier.

Don't forget about ergonomics. Fortunately, there are many ways to make improvements. It could be as simple as swapping out your traditional desk chair for a yoga ball or convertible desk, or learning new techniques to stretch and move your body throughout your shift. Feeling good at work will be invaluable to your mental health, so do what you need to do to get there.

No matter what you do for work or where you do it, you should always prioritize your mental health. While everyone's journey to maintain and improve it is different, one thing remains the same. There are always things you can do to look out for yourself and there will always be resources available to help you along the way. 

Publish Date: April 16, 2021 11:01 PM

Save Money From Home With These 6 Tips

Everyone has different reasons for wanting to save money. Whether your bills are rising, you want to get out of debt, or you want to save for something important, chances are your life could be improved with a little cushion in your bank account. If you want to save some cash from the comfort of your own home, here are some tips to help.


  1. Get Organized

The first step to saving money is understanding where your income goes. Organize your life with a tool like the Zinnia app to stay organized in a way that is completely unique to your personal style. Once you have an idea of what your budget looks like, you can start setting goals and altering your spending habits for the better.

You should also work on organizing the space around you. When your home is organized, you can find items quickly. This keeps you from forgetting and buying new items when you don't need them, and reducing physical clutter can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. 


  1. Use Alternative Energy Sources

While switching to green energy may cost more upfront, solar panels can help you save lots of money in the long run while ultimately being better for the environment. There are probably many habits you have that can be changed with some environmentally friendly focus. With the right detergent, you don't have to wash all your clothes in hot water. You can replace your light bulbs with more efficient ones, and you can set your thermostat so that you don't use more than a certain amount of energy. If you're devastated by changing energy bills each month, this is one way to make sure your bills are never a surprise. 


  1. Harness Your Creativity

Instead of spending money to entertain yourself outside of the home, harness and unleash your creativity from the comfort of your own couch. What items can you update or make into something new with a little DIY crafting session?

On the other hand, you can utilize technology to help you save money on your hobbies. If you like video games, focus on buying games with a high replay value, or play app games that regularly release new content. Don't buy a new coloring book every time you fill one up and try digital coloring instead. Apps like Pigment have the added benefit of stress relief when you use it and really get into a flow state. 


  1. Exercise at Home

If gym memberships and expensive equipment are eating into your finances, consider working out at home. There are plenty of affordable options for home workout equipment, and the internet has millions of exercise videos that are accessible for free. You can take a walk and explore your neighborhood or try yoga to increase mindfulness.


  1. Get Competitive

If you're struggling to meet your budgeting goals, see if some competition can help motivate you. You can ask your partner or roommates to compete and see who can save more money in a predetermined time frame. Keep track of your advancements in a public place so you can get an extra motivation boost any time you see it, or keep your tips and tricks secret until the end of the competition to surprise one another with your new discoveries. 


  1. Update Subscription Needs

One last way of cutting back on spending is by updating your subscriptions. Chances are there's at least one subscription service you aren't using. This is especially true with all the different streaming options out there. Consider how much content you can actually consume and start hacking away at the services you don't need.

Saving money can be a huge challenge at the start, but finding new ways of cutting back on spending can become just as satisfying as any other hobby. When you dedicate time to staying organized and mindful while working on reducing stress, a clearer mind can help you meet your goals faster than ever before. 

Publish Date: April 15, 2021 2:06 PM

Effective Ways To Improve Your Small Business

Business owners spend around $194 billion on expansion and growth each year. Successful entrepreneurs realize that if you aren't constantly expanding, it is only a matter of time before low profit margins start to surface. If you are the owner of a small business, constantly optimizing the way you run your day-to-day operation is crucial.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your small business. With these improvements, you can put yourself in a position to grow in the years to come. Read below for some helpful tips on how to improve your small business. 

Fix Bottlenecks In Your Supply Chain

If you run a business that sells goods to the general public, you know how important a strong supply chain is. The more success a business has, the easier it is to lose sight of problems in a supply chain. Things like shipping delays or vendor reliability issues can cause your business to lose money. This is why you need to take the time to audit the way you are currently managing your supply chain.

With  better supply chain visibility, you can stay one step ahead of supply issues. Using state-of-the-art software and common-sense practices can significantly improve the strength of your supply chain. 

Work On Customer Retention Strategies

Did you realize that attracting new customers is nearly three times more expensive than upselling existing customers? Attracting new customers is important, put you also need to have a plan in place regarding how to keep your existing customers happy. 

One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by developing a loyalty rewards program. These programs keep consumers engaged and can help you grow your bottom line.

Providing loyal customers with exclusive coupons helps to ensure they spend their money with your business. This is why investing time and money in the development of a loyalty rewards program is worthwhile. 

Don't Lose Sight Of Your Finances

Financial problems are to blame for the majority of small business closures in the United States. If you want to avoid meeting a similar fate, you have to focus on keeping the financial side of your business healthy. One of the best ways to do this is by reaching out to accounting professionals for help. 

Allowing these professionals to help with taxes, payroll and other financial tasks can save you a lot of time and stress. Before hiring an accountant to help you out, take the time to assess their experience and reputation. Ideally, you want to work with an accountant that has worked with other businesses in your industry. 

Invest In Online Marketing

Expanding the reach your small business has will be much easier if you have an online presence. Modern consumers seek out information about a business online before using the products/services they offer. If your business does not have an online presence, it is only a matter of time before you lose your competitive edge.

Investing in a website and search engine optimization can help you engage with people all over the world. Successful online marketing campaigns can help you take your business global, which means more money in your bank account. 

Trying to handle the creation and monitoring of online marketing campaigns on your own is a recipe for disaster. This is why working with a reputable marketing agency is your best course of action. With their help, you can grow your business online in no time. 

Hire The Right Employees

As your business starts to grow, you will need to hire more employees. When this time comes, you need to take your time to avoid making hiring mistakes. Having a list of the qualities and experience you are looking for can help you narrow down the list of candidates at your disposal.

Working with a hiring agency is crucial when trying to get access to top talent in your industry. These agencies can make the hiring process more successful and efficient. 

Publish Date: April 8, 2021 11:42 PM

What You Need To Consider While Launching Your Business

Deciding to become an entrepreneur and launch your own business can be an exciting experience. It can change not only your professional life, but your personal life, too, and expand your horizons. However, while it may be a fulfilling experience, it can be challenging at times, as well. The good news is, though, that it doesn't have to feel overwhelming. There can be many straightforward ways to keep yourself on track and to help ensure that you are starting your business off the right way. If you are looking for some tips when it comes to launching your business, then here are some things to consider.


Do More Research Than You Think You Need To

While most may be aware that research is important, especially in the initial stages of launching a business, they may not realize just how big of a difference it can make, and why doing more research than they think they need to can be essential. This is due in part to the fact that there are so many things that you need to research when launching a business, and that all of these things can have a lasting impact on your business and its overall success. Not only should you be researching things that are related to the bigger picture of your business, but you should also be looking into the small details, like finding quality court reporters Spokane as well.

One of the first thing you need to make sure that you have a firm grasp on before you launch your business is what your role will be in your chosen market. You need to understand what your competitors are doing, and how you can either improve upon what they are offering, or offer something different altogether. Beyond that, you also need to spend plenty of time familiarizing yourself with market prices, and make sure that you have a clear idea of what you will be able to charge for your products and services, as well as how many sales you will need to make within a given time period to make a profit.

Along with understanding the market, you also need to do a lot of research to ensure that you understand who your target audience is and what they want. This is important because who your audience is can end up shaping not just how you market yourself, but also your products and services themselves. Additionally, the more that you know who your target audience is, the better able you will be not only to create products they will love, but also the better you will be at marketing to them effectively. While some may think that it is best to spread information about their business as much as possible, the reality is that being able to zero in on your audience and market more directly to them can mean more sales per ad, which can save you time, stress, and funds in the long run.


Take Time With the Planning Process

Once you have done plenty of research and feel confident in your findings, it is time for you to begin your planning process. As with the research stage, this may take longer to complete than you may think, but it is essential to make sure that you are patient during this stage, as well as careful about the decisions that you make. Choices that you make during the early stages of your business can have a lasting impact on your business and the form that it takes.

Also, it is essential not only to put lots of effort into writing a well thought out formal business plan, but it is also key to make sure that you write down some less formal plans that are meaningful to you as well. The more that you can look at your business through both the lens of how lenders may view it, but also how you want it to grow and take shape, the clearer of an idea you can get about what you truly want for your business, and what you will have to do to reach your goals. While creating a solid business plan at the beginning is highly important, it can also be beneficial to remember that it is fine for you to change your plans later on down the line, if you need to.


Make Sure You Understand Your Financial Options

While you are doing your research and building plans that you care about, you also need to make sure that you are looking into the financial aspects of running a business, and that you are aware of all of your financial options and how they can impact your company in the long term. Understanding your business structure can help you in choosing the right financing for you, as well as assessing your current personal financial situation. The better your finances are personally, the more options that will be available to you when it comes to getting funding for your business. Also, you may want to get a clear idea of exactly how much funding you will need, and if you plan to finance any of your business yourself.

If you are certain that you will need a loan, it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with different loan types and how they can help you. For those who will need a large sum upfront and are comfortable making regular monthly payments right away, a traditional loan could be the best option. For those who may need less money but will require more flexibility as they get their business going, a line of credit could be a better option.


Hire the Right Team

After you have taken the time to do your research and understand your financial situation well, you need to start thinking about the people you will hire, and how they can impact your business. While all businesses are impacted by the employees they hire, the reality is that at a small or new business, each employee can have a more significant impact, and their work ethic or lack thereof can have a larger role in shaping the business than at a larger company.

Because of this, it can be essential to make sure that you are hiring the right kind of people for you. Not only do you need to take into consideration things like their work history, but you also need to consider their personalities, and how well they will fit in with the company culture that you are trying to create. Beyond that, it can also be beneficial to consider employees that may not seem like they should be your first pick.

While most may think that it is always best to go for the candidate that has the most experience, the reality is that for a new business opting to hire those that are newer to their field may be a better bet. This is because these candidates are often excited to prove their skills, and may be more willing to go the extra mile to develop their skill sets, as well as help your business succeed at the same time.


The Bottom Line

Deciding to become an entrepreneur can be an exciting life journey. However, it can come with some challenges, as well. The good news is, though, that there are many ways you can help make the process of launching a business a little smoother, from being thorough with your research to thinking outside the box when hiring.

Publish Date: April 1, 2021 2:56 AM

Improving Your Soft Skills in the Workplace

There are endless clear paths to improve your work skills: training for new technologies, degrees in your field, or programs that can teach you the hard skills you need to succeed in your workplace. However, so-called "soft skills" like communication, time-management, and problem-solving are often rated as being more important by hiring directors and employers. Anyone can learn how to code or use new technology if they're given enough time and support. Soft skills are different. These aren't the skills you learn in a classroom and they probably aren't what you got your degree in, but they're still essential to your work life. How can you pick up these vital skills on the job?



The first thing to recognize is that your employer wants you to be good at these things, and they may even offer assistance in improving those soft skills. If the company offers negotiation training or leadership seminars, sign up. If your company doesn't have resources like that, there's plenty that you can do on your own to improve your soft skills. Free lectures and online courses can help you improve everything from your problem-solving skills to your ability to manage your time productively.


Ask and Listen

It's not always easy to know what you need to work on. If you have them, you might not recognize what they are, and if you don't have them, people are often too polite to mention that. Consequently, if you want to know where your soft skills lie and where you need to improve, you will need to ask, and more importantly, you will need to listen to the answer, even if it isn't what you wanted to hear.


Get Organized

One simple step you can take is to get organized. Getting yourself organized and being aware of your habits, both good and bad, is probably the best thing you can do to quickly upgrade your soft skills. In order to organize yourself and your time, you will have to learn both problem-solving and time management skills. You'll gain a better understanding of your own work process, which will in turn help you improve your work ethic and productivity overall. It will also free up time to say yes to new things, and that is just as important.


Say Yes

Getting organized can help with the internal soft skills of work ethic, time management, and problem-solving, but what about the more extroverted soft skills like communication and teamwork? For that, you need to get involved and say yes. A lot of these skills are best learned by doing. While you can learn a lot about leadership from seminars and training, you'll learn a lot more about leadership from the reality of leading your own team. Even if it's just a chance to shadow someone in another department and observe how they do things, it's well worth asking for the opportunity or saying yes when it's offered.


Have Fun

Sharpening your soft skills doesn't have to be a drag. A lot of soft skills are people skills and humans are naturally social creatures. That company retreat or big conference isn't just an opportunity to network and build your soft skills of communication and presentation; it's also supposed to be fun. Part of the reason that soft skills are often hard to learn is that they are skills that most people pick up organically from hanging out with friends and family as well as co-workers.


There's a common misconception that soft skills are somehow inborn. You're either a leader or you aren't. You're either a team player or a lone wolf. This is patent nonsense. While many people have learned soft skills passively over the course of years, they still learned them. Maybe while you were busy learning how to code, one of your co-workers was studying leadership skills by playing club football. You both studied, you both learned, and you both have opportunities to learn the skills that you currently lack.

Publish Date: April 1, 2021 2:54 AM

5 Fun Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is an important skill that can help you to make better decisions, become more creative and improve your interpersonal relationships. The good news is that critical thinking can be honed and improved over time. Here are five fun ways that you can improve this crucial skill.


  1. Puzzles

Completing puzzles is a great option for those wishing to strengthen their critical thinking skills. While jigsaw puzzles may be the first place your mind goes, there are many other types of puzzles to choose from, including crosswords, Sudoku or KenKen. In today's digital age, you can play most of these puzzles on your phone, making them a convenient option if you have a few extra minutes on line at the grocery store. Not only do puzzles sharpen your critical thinking, but they can also improve short-term memory and visual-spatial reasoning. In addition, completing puzzles is perfect for those who want to unplug from technology and have some alone time amidst the mayhem of everyday life.


  1. Escape Rooms

Although relatively new, escape rooms have seen a sharp increase in popularity. If you've never heard of them, escape rooms are real-life adventure games where your goal is to solve a series of clues in order to "escape" the room in the allotted time. Not only are escape rooms enjoyable, but they also give your brain quite the workout. Critical thinking is essential to beating an escape room, and you'll find that you can strengthen this skill the more escape rooms you complete. If going to a physical escape room seems like too much of a hassle, you can play a virtual escape room from the comfort of your home. All you need is a  laptop and a few friends, and you'll be ready to go.


  1. Board Games

Similar to puzzles, board games are a fun and effective way to improve your critical thinking skills. Games like checkers and chess require you to predict your opponent's next moves and use reasoning to determine your next action. You'll also need to recognize patterns, solve problems and think strategically, all of which hone your critical thinking skills. In addition to improving critical thinking, playing board games can also teach patience, reduce stress, allow you to spend time with friends or even meet new people.


  1. Writing

Whether you choose to write in a journal, start your own blog or pen a short story, writing is a great way to strengthen your critical thinking skills. Although you can learn about the different aspects of writing, such as research, planning, grammar and layout, thinking critically is essential if you want to be able to effectively express your ideas to your audience. Critical thinking ensures that you omit research that isn't relevant, examine the evidence and only choose the most appropriate ideas to include in your final draft. Developing your critical thinking skills can help you to become a more powerful writer and connect with your audience on a deeper level.


  1. Podcasting

Podcasting features the human voice, which reaches humans in a way that writing can't. When people listen to podcasts, they can feel the podcaster's personality and emotions, which can sometimes be more difficult to convey through the written word. Therefore, podcasting is a great option for those who enjoy the critical thinking skills that come with writing but enjoy the dynamic audio platform that a podcast offers. The good news is that there are plenty of podcast genres to choose from, including comedy, true crime, politics or music. Choose whichever genre you resonate with most, and your passion will show through to your audience. Podcasting is a great way to exercise a part of your brain that you've likely not used before, and it can also help you to build self-confidence and a sense of community with your listeners.


Just like any other skill, critical thinking can be strengthened with practice. Using these five methods can be a fun way to hone this essential skill.

Publish Date: April 1, 2021 2:51 AM

4 Tips To Thrive as a Summer Salesperson

It takes a lot to be an effective salesperson. You must know your product inside and out and know your target audience just as well. On top of that, you must learn creative avenues of communicating with consumers in a way that draws their attention. Making all of this even trickier is that fact that the most effective sales strategies change over time and between different seasons. If you are trying to maintain your sales throughout the summer, consider a few tips that may help you to adjust your approach as productively as possible.

1. Alter Your Sales Pitch to Fit the Current Season

If you work in sales, you undoubtedly have a few well-practiced pitches that you use to explain your products to potential customers. While this is a great skill to have, remember that the descriptions you use during one season may no longer be as convincing later in the year. Be sure to incorporate aspects of summer that all people can relate to. 

For example, if you aim to inform consumers about how and where to buy solar panels, be sure to explain why solar panels are a great investment during the summer months. Perhaps these panels can generate an especially large amount of electricity using the intense sunlight during this season or this electricity will help lower peoples' air conditioning expenses. It's important to instill a sense of urgency, that summertime is really the ideal time to make a certain purchase.

2. Understand How Consumers' Habits May Change

Another important tip to keep in mind is that your target audience's routines may be different during the summer months. Many people travel during this season or have breaks from school, for instance. This may change where they go during the day, which websites they visit, when they spend time on social media or how much money they have available in their budget. 

Because all of this data impacts the way you connect with consumers, it's important to modify your marketing approach accordingly. For example, you may wish to pay to place ads on webpages you believe your target audience may visit more often during this season, such as travel sites. Additionally, pay close attention to the times at which you attempt to contact a potential customer. This includes door-to-door sales, phone calls and social media posts. You may be more likely to find people at home during the day in the middle of summer than in other seasons.

3. Introduce Special Promotions

Another great way to boost your sales during the summer is by offering new promotions or discounts. Everyone loves a good deal while doing their summer shopping. These promotions could include everything from a coupon code mentioned on the radio to a limited time discount for repeat customers. Consider communicating summer specials over social media, through email and via advertisements in order to reach both past and future customers.

4. Design Fresh Advertising Content

A final piece of advice when it comes to being successful in your summer sales endeavors is to switch up the ads you use. Summertime is often an especially fun time for many families, so let your slogans and graphics reflect this. People are more likely to invest in a product when they feel it adds to their enjoyment of the season. Consider incorporating summer-themed images into your advertisements, such as people sitting by their pool or on their porch. You may even wish to do this verbally in your product descriptions.

Working as a salesperson in the summer presents some unique challenges. Namely, many consumers are out and about and doing different things than their normal routines would dictate. Although this may trip up some peoples' sales approaches, you can stay ahead of the curve by modifying your sales pitch, advertisements and means of communication to fit the season. You may just find your summer sales end up being your very highest!

Publish Date: March 13, 2021 1:29 AM

How To Build a Great Relationship With Your Customers

Your customer base is the foundation of your business and will determine your level of success. If you want your business to be profitable and grow, focus on developing a good relationship with your customers. This will inspire loyalty to your brand and repeat business. Happy customers will also recommend you to others, which will positively impact your bottom line.


Use the Right Tools

The right tools and software can make a huge difference for your customers. Focus on working with a platform that is easy to use and offers a high level of communication between customers and within your workforce. A customer relationship platform will allow you to build a company that is highly efficient and organized. Some CRM examples include the ability to streamline your business processes and easily access, share, and analyze data. It's also a great way to offer quality customer support and monitor feedback that you may get.


Offer a Great Product

Customers are more likely to buy from companies that they trust. One of the best ways to build that trust is by offering high-quality merchandise. No one wants to feel cheated or that they wasted money on a faulty or inferior product. Put some time and effort into developing your line and conduct testing to make sure the product functions as expected.

Quality control is another important way that you can monitor your output and be on the lookout for any problems. It's best that you catch any issues yourself so that they can be fixed before the product reaches the customer.


Employ Knowledgeable People

If you have a great product to offer, then you need some excellent salespeople and team members to market your items and run your business. They need to be knowledgeable and able to troubleshoot problems as they arise. Give all your employees proper training to instruct them on office procedures and to make sure they are familiar with all the details of the products in your brand.


Personalize Their Experience

A personalized experience will be highly valued by any potential or long-term customer. Offer ways to make your relationship more personal. Perhaps you can offer a choice of features in your product so that any client can choose a tailor-made option that better fits their needs. They will appreciate the fact that everything they need can be included in one package and they aren't paying for something that they won't use.

Developing a friendly relationship with large order customers and those that have been loyal to your brand for many years will also make a difference. You can hold sales and discounts that are directed towards these clients. Try to have the same salespeople work with repeat clients so they are already familiar with their needs and can offer suggestions and specific options without wasting time.


Invest in Great Customer Service

Customer service should always be a priority if you want your company to be successful. Sometimes people will have an issue with an order that was packaged or shipped incorrectly. Or, maybe they received a damaged product. Your customers want to be heard. They need to know that you take their satisfaction seriously and will do all that is in your power to rectify the situation.

Employ highly trained customer service agents who are able to diffuse highly charged situations without getting upset. They should be able to address most issues themselves and know who to forward the more difficult cases to. While online and email service options are great for some people that have general questions, having a phone contact available for the more pressing concerns will show your customers that you care and are available to help.

If you put in the effort to foster a good relationship with your clients, you are likely to see a boost in sales and overall satisfaction. Your customers are a great source of feedback and support that can help you to notice trends in demand and help you to expand your business into new channels to meet their needs.

Publish Date: March 2, 2021 11:39 PM

The Basics of Modern Tech Explained

The technology of today is truly incredible. Modern tech has reached a point at which even small, incremental updates can massively improve the quality of life of users and the efficiency of businesses. However, technology is known for its complexity, and that can be a huge barrier to entry for the average person. Here’s what you need to know about the basics of today’s most powerful tech.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is an accurate term, but not one that’s incredibly descriptive, meaning that it’s easy for it to bounce off the understanding of the average person who hears or reads about it. However, IoT is more of a design philosophy than anything else, and it’s one that has impacted much of daily life, even for those who have no idea what it entails.

The smartphone is a great everyday example of this technology, because the fundamental IoT philosophy is that of using internet connectivity to augment the capabilities of a given device and, more importantly, allowing them to connect with each other, forming a network. It’s no surprise, then, that smartphone apps often serve as the means to remote-control IoT devices. Likewise, a hub device is typically required for a smart home or a smart office, because it gives users a central device that can manipulate or monitor the others. Typically, IoT devices contain sim cards with an ICCID number to allow the tracking of the device, as well as additional functionality.

The primary use case for IoT technology is either a smart home or a smart office. A smart home is one that uses IoT devices and apps to simplify various mundane tasks. For example, smart light bulbs can allow users to control all of the lights in their homes using an app or voice commands via a virtual assistant. On the other hand, a smart office tends to incorporate a variety of apps focused on reducing the labor involved in clerical tasks such as accounting and payroll. In both cases, the goal of IoT networks is to make life easier and more convenient, and the results thus far are promising.

Cloud Technology

Like IoT tech, cloud storage is far more common than the knowledge of what it is or how it works. Email services, for example, are a form of cloud storage, because the term simply refers to storing digital files in a remote location, offered as a service. Cloud storage has seen widespread use as a means of accessing various files on multiple devices and recovering data in the event of a hardware failure. For example, the average cloud storage platform allows users to easily access their files from their phone and computer alike, and it also gives users the ability to store all of their photos in a safe place, allowing them to keep all their personal pictures, even if their phone is irreparably damaged.

Cloud computing, however, is more of an edge case. While it’s a promising technology, it hasn’t seen a lot of use among consumers. Primarily, cloud computing offers businesses, as well as entrepreneurs, the ability to compute things more quickly and easily, which is important when it comes to resource-intensive computations such as compiling a program for testing and/or release or analyzing data. There have notable cases of cloud computing as a consumer service as well, though they’re currently few and far between. For example, cloud gaming services are currently in their infancy, but you can expect similar concepts coming out of the woodwork as the technology becomes more cost-effective and more advanced.

While much of this technology is mind-bogglingly complex to the layperson, it will only become even more deeply entrenched in daily life. Therefore, it helps to understand the basics of the latest and greatest advancements. Becoming a tech wizard may be difficult, but it’s also not necessary for most people. These tips can help you learn just enough to get by.

Publish Date: February 26, 2021 6:08 PM

Checklist Of Important Things To Do When Moving Into A New Home

When people think about the concept of moving into a new home, they primarily assume that the most important step is packing and unpacking. The reality is, in order for you to experience a seamless transition into your new home, there is a checklist of things you need to do. In this post, we take a look at 5 critical things you should consider when it comes to moving into a new home.


1) Deep Clean Your Property

One of the last things that may be on your mind as you undergo the moving process, is to do a deep clean of your property. But in the same breath, it would be very stressful for you to realize that there were hidden areas of concern that needed to be cleaned after you took the time and effort to move in your belongings. In fact, most experts agree that you should consider using professional cleaning services before you place your personal property inside a new home.


2) Identify Things That Need To Be Repaired

Unless your home was built from scratch, it may have several issues that need to be addressed. In some cases, it could be major such as rotted wood or old roofing systems and in some cases it could be relatively minor such as a malfunctioning doorknob or carpet stain. Even though you may already have a list of things that need to be addressed as a result of a home inspection that was conducted, it doesn't hurt to walk through the house to see if you can locate issues that may have been overlooked.


3) Get New Furniture

If you have several pieces of furniture that you want to bring into your new home, consider the possibility of replacing them with brand new furniture pieces. This is especially important if you lived in a property that had a pest infestation such as rats, spiders or bed bugs. The last thing you would want is to move a rat or bed bug with you, into your new home. In some cases such as bedroom sets, you may be able to get something that is much more visually appealing and comfortable, as opposed to spending money to move old, faded furniture into your new home. When it comes to getting brand new furniture at reasonable prices, Copper and Tweed has developed an excellent reputation for providing furniture at affordable rates, without a compromise on quality.


4) Change Your Locks

Many homeowners have admitted that they never changed the locks on their new home when they initially moved in. Regardless of how you feel about the previous owner, the reality is that you do not know if other people in their circle have access to their keys. This could be anyone from their parents, to children and disgruntled exes. Your home is your sanctuary and you should treat it as such by ensuring that it is 100% secure.


5) Child/Pet Proof Your Home

If you have pets or children, do not wait until you're already settled into child/pet-proof your home. Do a quick run-through and identify problem areas such as wall sockets. In addition to that as you move your belongings in, establish a kid/pet-free zone that you will use to discard materials such as boxes, tapes, and cords.


Publish Date: February 26, 2021 12:17 AM

5 Tips for Making Your Tech Last Longer

From laptops to smart watches, most people have technology they use in their daily lives that have become necessary for their lifestyle. But these devices can be expensive, and replacing them becomes impractical over time. Use the tips in this article to extend the life of your devices and save yourself a lot of money and inconvenience.

  1. Use the Right Charger

One of the biggest mistakes people can make when using devices like cellphones and tablets is trying to use unapproved chargers. A lot of the time, buying a knockoff product online will be cheaper than the manufacturer's recommended charger. But these knockoffs or unapproved chargers, even if they fit your device and charge it successfully, may have the incorrect voltage and amperage. Aside from using DCIM software for surge protection, the best way to protect your device's inner workings from being fried is to know the right voltage and use the corresponding charger.

  1. Extend Battery Life

An easy way to extend the life of your device is by extending the life of the battery. Over time, you might notice your device charges more slowly or doesn't hold its charge as long. This is because batteries can wear out over time, especially with poor charging habits. New devices are made with lithium-ion batteries, and these types of batteries can be worn down by charging from 0% charge to 100% charge on a frequent basis. It's better to plug in your phone when there's still a small amount of battery left, rather than waiting until the last minute.

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

A fast way to wreck your devices is by taking them out in the extreme cold, particularly if you intend to take the device out of your pocket to snap pictures in these temperatures. Most of your usual devices are engineered for use in average temperatures, from 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking your phone into extreme temperatures outside of this range can result in a drained battery, damage to the touchscreen, and in some cases condensation built up on the inside of the screen.

At hotter temperatures, hard drives on computers can fail, screens can crack, and battery life can be permanently decreased. It's best to avoid taking your devices with you in these temperatures, but if you must, have fans available for cooling or keep your device in a pocket with a hot pack in freezing temps.

  1. Update the Software

Particularly for phones and laptops, software updates can be a pain and can interrupt your day. Even when the devices offer scheduled updates, it can be tough finding the time and patience, and it seems unnecessary a lot of the time. But keeping your device's software up to date is a great way to extend its life. An update being available means that the software developers have found and fixed bugs, and updating makes sure you're as safe as you can be from things like hacking, data theft, and malware. Take the time to update now to avoid accidental damage to your device, or even your privacy, later on.

  1. Defrag the Drive

"Defrag" is shorthand for "defragment". Essentially, the data you store on your computer can end up becoming "fragmented" over an extended period of use, and might be the cause of it slowing down to a snail's pace. Before you start looking for a new computer, if you have a spinning hard drive, look into how to "defrag" it and try that first. However, if your hard drive is solid-state this won't be applicable to you. If your spinning hard drive becomes a pain to defrag, you may want to switch over to the simpler solid-state drive and avoid this problem coming up again.

There are hundreds of other ways to keep your device safe and ensure its longevity, but these five tips are a great place to start for taking better care of your devices today.

Publish Date: February 25, 2021 1:03 PM

10 Tips for Saving Up for Your Child's College Expenses

Once a child enters your life, it's time to start saving for college. Unfortunately, this tends to be a confusing process. So, here are ten tips for saving up for your child's college expenses.

1. Reexamine Your Mortgage

Your housing costs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering college savings, but reexamining your mortgage could be helpful. By looking into mortgage refinance rates, you may be able to change the interest rate on your home. This could save you thousands of dollars for years, which would help substantially in saving up for college.

2. Open a 529 Plan

A great way to save for college is to open a 529 plan. These are plans that are specifically meant for future educational purposes, and most don't have any income requirements or taxes with growth. 529s are also beneficial since there's often no annual contribution limit. Just try to find one that can be transferred between children.

3. Talk With an Advisor

Sometimes the best thing to do is talk with an expert. Financial advisors can look at your finances and determine the best ways for you to save money. Even if you don't like what you hear, take the given advice seriously and make changes accordingly.

4. Secure a Roth IRA

While Roth IRAs are known as retirement accounts, securing one can be beneficial for your child's educational future. Essentially, those who've had a Roth IRA account for over five years can use it for specified educational purposes. This is particularly beneficial since you won't be penalized if your child doesn't use the money - it can just go towards your retirement.

5. Make an ESA

Another method you can use is making an education savings account (ESA). This allows you to invest up to two thousand dollars every year for each child, specifically after taxes. Similar to a 529 plan, it grows tax free. Unfortunately, there's usually an income limit, and the money must be used up by the time the beneficiary is thirty years-old.

6. Get a UTMA

If you trust your child with money, you may want to use the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA). Trustworthiness is key since a UTMA can be used by your child once the student turns eighteen. On the bright side, UTMAs can hold practically any type of asset, and there generally isn't a limit for how much you can put in.

7. Make Your Savings Mandatory

It can be difficult to stick with a savings plan. In order to prevent incorrect monetary spending, just think of your savings as another necessary expenditure. Write it on your budget as a cost that can't be avoided, such as utilities. This can help you prepare for immediate life without expecting any benefit from that money.

8. Stay Consistent

When you're trying to make any change in life, it's vital to stay consistent. Otherwise, it becomes second nature to continually cheat. So, when it comes to saving for your kid's education, it's important to stick to your budget. Unless an emergency occurs, don't stray from your plan for any reason.

9. Evaluate Your Spending

In a world where shopping has become easier than ever, it's hard to avoid making purchases. However, saving for college requires you to be more careful. Go over your recent expenditures. If you spent an exorbitant amount on nonessentials (such as dining out and clothes shopping), it's time to make a change.

10. Encourage Your Child To Apply for Scholarships

While your child should by no means have to pay for college alone, it's important to have your kid be proactive. By simply displaying talent, your child can pay for a large percentage of the tuition. You may even end up securing a full ride. This is too lucrative an option to miss, even if your kid is extremely busy.

Saving is rarely easy, but giving your child the ability to attend college is essential. Stick to your plan and keep the future in sight.

Publish Date: February 22, 2021 11:39 PM

7 Ways To Be a Success at Multi Level Marketing

Who couldn’t use a second source of income? Whether you are saving for retirement, your dream vacation, your children’s college fund, or working hard to get out of debt, taking on another job can help. However, it can be difficult to find the time to work a second job outside of the house, around someone else’s schedule. Multi level marketing can help to solve this problem.

What Is Multi Level Marketing?

In multi level marketing, a company’s own customers are recruited to sell the product, such as kitchen gadgets, candles, cleaning products, or personal products such as Young Living Essential Oils. It offers the chance to work from home and set your own hours, selling a product you trust and believe in.

How Can I Be a Success at Multi Level Marketing?

As with any business or job, a lot of your success depends on how hard you work! However, there are a few other things you can do to nudge the odds of success in your favor:

1. Know the Product

You should be able to tell customers and potential customers the benefits of the products offered, what exciting new products are coming soon, and what products might suit their needs.

2. Love the Product

If you don’t genuinely love (or use) what you are selling, it will easily show through when you talk to people. Choose a company with products that you have used for years and have always found satisfaction with.

3. Find Your Target Customer

You may feel like your family and friends are the perfect people to sell to, but this can get annoying fast to those around you. It can also result in few sales, if they just aren’t interested in what you are selling. As with any business, you need to find your target customer and work toward selling to them – you’ll not only have more success this way, but it will help you keep the friends you have!

4. Find Ways To Share the Product

We’ve all seen those makeup catalogues left in waiting rooms at doctor’s offices, and such a technique can get sales. However, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and do other things to make sales and develop a customer base. Share samples, host a neighborhood party, or start a social media account praising the product (if this is allowed by the company you are working with).

5. Follow Up (Without Being Annoying)

Some people don’t want to be pestered when they’ve already said “no” to a salesperson, and others are grateful for the reminder about a product they were interested in but didn’t purchase. If you think the “maybe” may have changed to a “yes,” follow up with a phone call or email (you even use reminder software to make follow up especially easy).

6. Be Persistent

Many people aren’t successful at multi level marketing (or any kind of business) because they give up too easily. It is going to take some time to make sales and to build a client list. If you keep at it long enough, there is a good chance that soon people will be coming to you when they are looking to get more of what you are selling.

7. Treat It Like a Business

Most everyone with a home business agrees: if you treat it like a hobby instead of a business, you will have a difficult time succeeding. Don’t just work on it when you have spare time; make time in your schedule every day or every week, and then stick to it. Also, if you have 5 or 10 hours blocked off to work, make sure that is how you spend that time – getting new leads, coming up with new marketing ideas, or out on the road selling.

Multi level marketing can be a great way to make extra money, without interfering in your life like another job outside the house would. Make sure you pick a product you are passionate and enthusiastic about and jump right in!

Publish Date: February 18, 2021 12:52 PM

3 Major Considerations for Shipping Companies

A career in shipping is one that will always be in demand. For this reason, plenty of business owners are ready and willing to commit to shipping business models. However, even a lucrative job is work, and you’ll need to be ready to give it your all if you want to succeed. Here’s what you need to know in order to build a successful shipping company.


The primary concern for any shipping company is going to be transportation. After all, shipping in all its forms is simply moving cargo from point A to point B. However, simply having transport for the products you’ll be moving isn’t enough. These vehicles will need to be maintained regularly in order to prevent progress halting mechanical failures, for example. Likewise, these machines will need to be fitted with certain gear to facilitate shipping. For example, installing GPS for commercial trucks is necessary for modern shipping that promises customers up to date information regarding their shipments.

Another important consideration to make when operating a shipping company is weight. The weight of your vehicle, cargo and fuel included, will dictate its energy efficiency, and this can have two major downsides if it’s mismanaged. Using more fuel increases your operational costs, for starters, but it will also increase the chance of running out of fuel during a trip. However, you can’t simply avoid heavy loads, because that starts to diminish the value of each trip, leading to a similar outcome. Looking for the sweet spot at which the weight is appropriately balanced between cost effective and lucrative will serve you well.


Part of the trouble with running a shipping outfit is that your customer base is necessarily based around the needs of other businesses. Finding clients for your shipping business can be as simple as studying the state of the market at large, because that kind of information can paint a picture of what needs the market is meeting adequately and which it isn’t. The latter in particular can help you find an underserved demographic to focus on. It’s also important to understand the basics of the supply chain, because the primary role of shipping companies is to facilitate exchanges between manufacturers and retailers. Distributors and shipping companies are similar on paper, but the difference is that distributors typically provide added value in addition to the delivery of the requested products. However, shipping makes up a large part of the responsibility of a given distributor, making distribution a potential alternative to shipping alone, especially when you consider the fact that you’ll otherwise be working with distributors as your primary demographic.

Legal Concerns

As with any industry, the shipping industry has a set of regulations associated with it, and the specific regulations impacting your business depend heavily on a few factors. For starters, domestic shipping and international shipping tend to have wildly different rule sets. In some instances, you’ll need to have a shipping license, whereas there’s no such requirement in many others. Knowing the laws surrounding the shipping industry is essential, especially as it pertains to international shipping. Because policies tend to differ from country to country, you might be dealing with two completely different sets of rules on each end of your international shipping runs. Likewise, you’ll be on the hook for providing your staff with good working conditions and appropriate safety measures under penalty of law. Staying within the letter of the law can be complicated if you haven't done your homework, so the best way to keep yourself from being blindsided is to consult an expert in business law and take notes.

There will always be a demand for shipping services, and the trends are showing an increase in commerce overall with the advent of e-commerce alternatives to traditional shopping experiences. However, in order to claim a spot for yourself in this lucrative market, you’ll need to plan with success in mind. These tips give you a great foundation, but it’s up to you to build something with it.

Publish Date: February 12, 2021 4:32 AM

Travel Tips For When You're On a Baseball League

person holding two baseballs


Nothing is quite as exciting as stepping out on the field, bases loaded, holding your bat high and preparing for that fast pitch that you know you are going to crack out of the park. There are many aspects of baseball that are intense and exhilarating. A part that might not be as thrilling, though still of high importance, is travel preparation. When traveling for a game, it is important to make sure your team is prepared, so all can go as smoothly as possible and you can spend more time focusing on the game. Read on to learn ways you can prepare for upcoming travel for your baseball team.

Designate a Person to Handle Equipment

Many baseball teams have a bat boy who manages the team’s equipment. If your team does not have a bat boy, designate a player or two to take point. It is important these team members are well-organized. Baseball teams have a lot of equipment and while some players might keep track of their own items, the last thing you want is for some custom baseball gloves or bats to go missing! The people handling the equipment will need to ensure all items are accounted for prior to leaving, during game time and when heading back home. Depending on how much your team has, it may be beneficial to develop a tracking system. It can be as simple as a notebook documenting all articles that need to be accounted for. Update the document regularly as new equipment is added and removed. Another option is tracking the items via a spreadsheet on an iPad or laptop.

Get the Vehicle Checked

Prior to leaving for the game, make sure the vehicle or vehicles your team is using have been inspected by an auto shop. You do not want your van to break down on the way to your destination and possibly impede on game time. Shop around for a dependable auto shop that you trust, who will ensure the van is safe and will not overcharge you. While you definitely want the vehicle looked at prior to travel, make sure it is getting inspected on a regular basis as well. Should something unexpected happen while you are driving, have a backup plan ready. If an accident occurs or the engine gives out, you do not want your team stuck on the side of the road indefinitely. Invest in reliable insurance and make sure you have towing and rental coverage included.

Check the Weather

Nothing puts a dent in prepping for a game like unexpected weather conditions. To make sure your team is amply prepared, check the weather and check it often! In the week leading up to the game, make sure you are monitoring the forecast for your day of travel. If you are flying, the weather will likely not make as large of an impact to your travel plans, unless there are extreme conditions, such as thunderstorms or snow. Even so, you will want to know the conditions so you can plan accordingly for when to leave for the airport. Give yourself ample time to arrive, unload and check-in. If you are not flying, pack your van with staple items if you are expecting bad weather, such as an extra tire and safety equipment. As with flying, make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to arrive at your location; leave early if poor weather is expected, factoring in that it could take longer to get there than usual.



When it comes to game day for your baseball team, you do not want anything standing in the way of a competitive, fun-filled game. While traveling is inevitable for your team, there are ways to streamline the process to help the day go as smoothly as possible. Take time to prepare your travel plans to make sure nothing gets in the way of game day.


Publish Date: October 23, 2020 11:19 PM

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