Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties

Become a Basic Member for free. Click Here

Finnegan Pierson - Blog Page 3

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

Top Ways To Boost Your Business in 2020

Running a small business can be an exciting experience, but it can come with its share of stressors, too. This can be especially true when you are trying to grow your business and take it to the next level. That doesn't mean, though, that you should necessarily feel discouraged. Here are some things to try if you're looking for simple ways to give your small business a boost.

Take Advantage of New Technologies

One way to advance your business it to learn about new technologies and incorporate them into how you do things. Whether you use new kinds of software to help with your sales, or try centrally managed direct ip printing there are many kinds of technologies that can help your business run more smoothly. Because of this, doing some research and taking into account areas where your business needs more streamlining can help you decide what kinds of software or other forms of technology would be the most beneficial for you. 

Set Meaningful Goals

All business owners want their businesses to do well, and make profits. However, sometimes setting specific goals instead of just trying to aim for the best you can do at the moment can make a big difference for your company. When you have specified goals, you will often be more focused on making them become a reality, and will often put in extra effort to reach those goals. Setting clear goals that motivate you is not just a nice way to help measure your progress, but it can often help your business to grow more quickly, too.

Learn to Up Your Productivity

Along with setting clear, meaningful goals, making an effort to increase your productivity can help your business to grow in a big way, as well. Small daily tasks can take up a lot of time out of your work day, so making sure that you're doing them in a way that is as streamlined as possible can save you a lot of extra time in the long run. This extra time is not just nice to have, but could give you more opportunities to work on things that will propel your business forward, which could end up having a significant impact on your bottom line, and overall business growth, too. 

Get Feedback From Your Employees

Most business owners know that having good employees can make or break their business, but what some may not realize is that it's not only important to have good employees, but also to get feedback from them, too. Even though you may know a lot about your business, there are often things that your employees may know or be aware of that you may not. Because of this, taking some time to talk to employees and get their feedback about what they think the business could benefit from could make a difference for your company. 

Tap Into Your Customer's Opinions

Not only do your employee's opinions and feedback have potential to help you see what your business needs to grow, but your customer's or client's feedback can be helpful in this way as well. By making an effort to learn what it is about your business that keeps customers coming back, or what they think could use some work, you can have valuable information that can impact the way you choose to shape and mold your business as it grows. By taking customer feedback and making changes accordingly, you can potentially create more loyal customers, and give your bottom line, and your business, a boost. 

The Bottom Line

Running a small business can be exciting, however, it can come with its share of stress, as well. That doesn't mean though, that you should necessarily feel concerned.

There can be many ways to take your business to the next level, from implementing new forms of technology, to listening closely to your employees and customers. By using these strategies, you can improve the way you do business, and help your company grow. 

Publish Date: June 2, 2020 10:09 PM


4 Critical Ways to Stay in Business

Operating a business is a richly rewarding task. However, there are a number of ways in which your business could fail, and it’s primarily up to you to make sure that it doesn’t. There are many ways that you can improve your odds of long term success; here are a few examples.

Facing a Crisis With Facts

There are a number of obstacles that may have a major impact on your business, and you need to be aware of possible problems in order to avoid them. These issues come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they appear seemingly from nowhere, making it difficult to anticipate and prepare for them. However, there’s one place you can always turn to for advice, and that’s history. For instance, the Great Depression and, more recently, the Great Recession offer us some lessons to learn in order to prevent us from making the same mistakes again. Combing through the Salesforce history, for example, can provide you with examples of potentially catastrophic problems that may befall your business, as well as proven methods to counteract them. Simultaneously, those who have failed to work around these problems can also serve as potent learning opportunities for you and your business.

Keeping Up With Changing Demographics

Many, if not most, of the problems that will face your business can be seen coming, however. These problems can be solved much more easily, and the primary means by which you can avert disaster in these cases is to make changes within your business in anticipation. Markets and demographics can change immensely, but they tend to do so over larger spans of time. This makes them easy changes to track and prepare for. The market entails many things, such as the type of business you operate and the products and services that your business provides, and demographics are, essentially, the audiences to whom you market your brand. Changes in markets and demographics require changes to your business, such as changing up the lineup of products and services offered, as well as changing your marketing strategies. The long and short of it is that you need to observe decreasing interest in certain products and increased interest in other products in order to keep up.

Investing In Data

Data is an increasingly prominent topic in the business community. This is because data allows a business to stay on top of changing demands, as stated above, and it can also be used to engineer more effective marketing and advertising. Therefore, the more data you have, the more prepared you are. Data storage needs have increased dramatically as one simply has access to much more data than in recent decades. Physical storage is now woefully insufficient, driving businesses to invest in cloud storage. Likewise, computational demand can be alleviated with cloud computing, and this has also taken the business world by storm. These twin technologies are revolutionizing data infrastructure, and you need to take advantage of this revolution in your business in order to remain competitive.

Investing In Public Relations

Public relations, or PR, is a field of study that deals with the public image and public reception of your company and your brand. PR firms tackle a number of logistical problems that may be facing your brand at any given time. One prevalent example is that of press releases. A press release is a formal statement, often written, that is distributed to various press outlets in order to make it widely available, and this has a number of applications. Press releases can serve as announcements of new initiatives from your business, such as new products and services, and they can also serve as a response to any number of controversies that may arise as the result of public dissatisfaction with some part of your business’s images or practices. Having a dedicated and professional team of PR representatives ensures that your brand will have a fighting chance in terms of reputation.


Being aware of potential pitfalls is only the first part of ensuring your business’s survival. Taking the necessary steps to avoid them is key. With this guide at your disposal, you are better prepared to anticipate and avoid any problems you encounter.


Publish Date: May 30, 2020 6:39 PM

5 Best Reasons To Consider Online College Programs

Trying to decide which college is right for you? Going to college is one of the most important steps you’ll take in your life, so making the right choice is incredibly important. Here are five of the best reasons to remember that online school is an option when you’re choosing a college.

  1. Online school eliminates your commute.

Imagine hours spent in your car or on public transit as you go to and from school each day you have class. It doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it? By attending an online degree program, you’ll completely eliminate the need to commute to school. All of your lectures and class discussions take place virtually, allowing you to complete your degree requirements from the comfort of home. Cutting the commute out of your day allows you to spend more time studying and learning the course material, instead of wasting time in traffic. Overall, it’s clear that online school helps you spend your time much more wisely!

  1. Online school reduces your overall expenses.

If you’re like most entering college students, you’re concerned about the various expenses that will add up during your studies. While tuition varies among individual programs, there are significant expenses that can be avoided if you choose to go to college online. Moving costs are just one of the expenses you’ll avoid by pursuing an online degree program. Since the degree can be completed from anywhere in the world, you won’t need to pack up and move in order to attend school. You’ll be able to live at home, which will add up to substantial savings. In addition, online school reduces your costs significantly by eliminating your commute, reducing your transportation expenses significantly. It’s clear that when it comes to your finances, online school is the way to go.

  1. Online school gives you plenty of degree options.

With the expansion of online school in recent years, the options for degree and certificate programs have never been better. No matter what career you choose to pursue, there is an online degree that will help you become more competitive in any industry. Don’t forget that online options exist for upper-level degrees as well. A professional degree from a prestigious university, such as a USC online MBA, will give you the upper-level credentials you need to advance in your career. Take your time to explore the wide range of options and find the online degree that’s right for you!

  1. Online school accommodates self-learners.

If you’re a self-motivated learner, online school is a great option for you. Online degree programs often allow you to work at your own pace. Deadlines still exist, of course, but if you’re disciplined and motivated, you’ll be able to work ahead and complete units ahead of schedule. This is a nice change from in-person classes, where the pace is often dictated by the students who are struggling the most. If you believe in your abilities and take charge of your learning, you’ll be highly likely to succeed in an online learning environment. Always remember that your professor is just a quick call or email away should you encounter any obstacles during your studies!

  1. Online school will make you a better job candidate.

Looking to get a competitive edge in your career? Completing an online degree program is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd. A college degree or certificate adds instant power and prestige to your resume, giving you the background and the skills needed to be successful in your chosen career path. It’s common knowledge that degree holders earn significantly more over a lifetime than those who do not possess a degree, so it only makes sense to further your education online to enhance your career.

If you’re looking for the most convenient educational option, it’s clear that online degree programs can’t be beat. By keeping these reasons in mind as you go about your college search, you’ll remember that online school is a great option for you!

Publish Date: May 29, 2020 11:00 PM


Extras That Make Your Company Attractive to Potential Candidates

A company is only as strong as the people who do the majority of the work. It pays to attract bright, ambitious professionals. Offering great benefits can help your organization stay competitive.

Health Benefits

The most basic benefits that job seekers look for in a company are medical, dental and optical plans. An organization that provides health insurance for its employers may even be more attractive than companies that offer higher salaries but skimp on the benefits. Providing health coverage communicates that you care about the people who work for you and want them to be well. 

Financial Security

One of the reasons programs like Bankonyourself are so popular is that employees expect the careers they spend most of their lives building to be financially fruitful for the rest of their lives. They want investment and life insurance opportunities that not only give them cash flow at the time they need it but also help them plan a secure future. Whether this takes the form of extra insurance, retirement plans or stock options, it is wise to offer ways to build a comfortable life.

Flexible Schedule

Most people enjoy having a reliable schedule, but sometimes life happens and they need to be able to roll with the punches without fear of losing their jobs. Sick leave, vacation time and paid maternity/paternity leave are crucial for attracting people who want to succeed in every area of their lives. Some significant life changes may even require alternative working hours or work-from-home options. If you want to keep the employees in whom you have invested your training, it helps to be as flexible as possible so that the job continues to be a feasible part of their lives.

Educational Support

Employers who hire great staff members know that there will likely come a time when they move on to another opportunity. The best bosses continue to support employees' growth, even if it means they outgrow their position. Many professionals, particularly those just starting their careers, are looking for companies that encourage their education through student loan assistance or tuition reimbursement. Even after graduation, motivated employees with a growth mindset look for professional development opportunities and are more likely to pursue jobs at organizations that offer multiple chances to learn new skills.

Free or Discounted Services

It's important to recognize that your employees have lives outside of work. Offering day care to working parents can help them cross one more thing off their to-do list and can facilitate more quality time with their families. Fitness discounts help your employees stay active and healthy. The great news is that you don't have to find a way to offer these services yourself. You can partner with local businesses to get discounts or special offers for your employees. Your employees get a great deal on their gym memberships, and you build good relationships with other companies in the area. It's a win-win situation.

Welcoming Work Environment

Full-time staff spend so many of their waking hours during the week at work, coworkers can start to feel like family. An organization that recognizes this dynamic and fosters a welcoming atmosphere to make employees feel at home attract ambitious professionals who see their work as more than just a job. Designate specific areas of the office as places where employees are encouraged to gather socially. You can even extend social time beyond work hours. Host happy hour outings and weekend retreats so that they can get to know each other in a more relaxed environment.

If you want to attract and keep great employees, you must make staying more attractive than looking elsewhere. A stellar benefits package is the key to taking care of the people who help your company run smoothly.

Publish Date: May 29, 2020 4:55 AM

Making the Best Impression at Work

Your level of professionalism at work can take you to new heights and present you new opportunities, and your behavior, level of initiative and even your physical presentation can influence how you are perceived. If you have ever gotten the raised eyebrow or side-eye at your ensemble, it is about time that you step up your game at work with your wardrobe and be taken seriously. Consider these tips on making your best impression with your look to get a leg up on your career trajectory.


Pairing the Right Accessories

An area that often does not get enough attention is accessories. While these are often smaller pieces, they make big style statements. Whether you are looking to refine a professional look with chic watches, smart belts or attractive wallets, these are the final touches that truly bring your appearance together. Not only can they embellish your outfit, but they also signal a level of detail orientation that is an important quality in many roles.


Choosing Pants and Fit

Many people may feel confident in their choices of pants, but really be getting it all wrong. Pants should fit snugly at the hips without too much tightness, sagging or discomfort. Whether your office is a bit more casual and you can opt for jeans or it leans to a more formal dress code and you need slacks, there are great options that are comfortable for all levels of formality. It is important to assess what fabrics offer the level of breathability, comfort and formality that you need when assessing your pant choices.


Searching for the Right Top

You should complement a fitted pair of pants with a sharp shirt option that gives you confidence. You need to be comfortable in your own clothes so that they can offer you a sense of confidence. Consider trying different layers if you are concerned about hiding areas of your body that concern you, and this offers the benefit of giving you extra layers for a cooler office.


Selecting Shoes

Footwear can feel like a tricky department, as comfort may be the most important quality for you. While there are certainly uncomfortable dress shoes, comfort and style are not mutually exclusive. Some options look smart and still offer a sense of style and formality. It is also important to note that not all jobs require dress shoes, and there are many more comfortable styles like loafers and leather sneakers that can add to your look instead of your worn out, old sneakers that will certainly detract from your chic look.


Grooming to Perfection

Grooming is a key area that many men may not realize plays into their level of office professionalism. While general hygiene practices tend to be obvious for many, your colleagues will be sure to take you seriously if you make sure that your grooming is at peak performance. Making sure that your look is fully tailored to success from head to toe will be key.


Understanding Style

Men’s looks are not limited to shirts, pants and shoes. While accessories can give added flair, there are options to create a wardrobe that truly showcases a personal sense of style. There are interesting ways to both embrace the office dress code and show off your own style that will be sure to catch the eye of all of those you work with.


Deciphering Dress Codes

Knowing what to wear at work can be a big question for many professionals. Each office culture will have a different dress code that employees need to abide by. From casual to business formal, these looks vary significantly and will require different pieces from your wardrobe to fit in. While your office may air on a more casual side, it is still important to have a well-tailored business formal suit to ensure that you are ready for whatever professional occasions that you may encounter.


Dressing for success can set you up to be taken seriously at work, offering you opportunities to grow and thrive at work. When selecting a look, make sure that you consider all details, from head to toe, to establish a look that truly is you.

Publish Date: May 25, 2020 4:03 AM

What Your Resume and Cover Letter Say About You

As a job applicant, you only have a few pages to explain to a prospective employer why he should take the time to call you and bring you in for an interview. The resume and cover letters that you turn in say a lot about who you are. Here are five things that these documents tell the prospective employers when they read it:

1. What Your Skill Set Is

The number one thing that your resume tells a potential employer is which skills you can bring to the table. You should always be thorough in listing any relevant talents that you have because you will only get one opportunity. Additionally, your resume tells a prospective employer about your professional caliber or pedigree. To gain more experience and elevate your skill set, consider pursuing a degree such as online master's in industrial engineering. Not only will you expand your knowledge, but you'll be better equipped to climb the career ladder in your workplace. Let this part of your resume shine, and the employer may just pick you up because of it. 

2. How Dedicated You Are

Your resume shows your level of dedication whether you realize it or not. The prospective employer sees the amount of time that you stayed on different jobs, and he equates that to stability and dedication. It's a plus if you have stayed on your job for several years. Employers love people who want to stay for the duration. They generally aren't looking for "fly by night" employees but rather people who will stick with the company and continue to marinate in its growth. 

3. How Much You Want the Job

Your cover letter is a piece of the puzzle that lets the employer know how much you want the job. Your willingness to take the time to explain extra details about yourself will inform the company that you are serious about it considering you. Take advantage of the time and add as much information you can to your already superb application and resume. 

4. If You're Detail Oriented

The overall quality of your resume will tell the potential employer if you are detail oriented or not. That quality is a highly desired one that many employers seek in their employees. They do pay attention to the quality of resumes and cover letters. You could receive a phone call for an interview if your resume is flawless because many applicants will not turn in a resume that is in that condition. 

5. Where You Want to Go

The person who receives your resume will be able to view your career path. This person will be able to see where you have been, which will give them an indication of where you want to go. You can even elaborate on it in your cover letter. Your cover letter is the part of your application where you get to talk about those elements that are not on your resume. That would be the perfect way to let the employer know that you are interested in long-term employment with them that will be fruitful for both you and the company. 

6. How You Feel About Yourself

Your cover letter and resume tell a potential employer a little bit about the way that you perceive yourself. They will know whether you have low self-esteem, a healthy self-image or a super-inflated image. They'll generally want it to be somewhere in between. They won't appreciate too much cockiness, so don't overdo it when you create these forms. The reader should get the impression that you know you have elements to offer the company, but your ego is not blown up as to where you are completely stuck on yourself. 

If you're thinking about applying for a job any time soon, you should also consider having someone put together a professional resume and cover letter for you. You'll be glad that you put the extra effort into it.

Publish Date: May 23, 2020 4:47 AM

How To Work a Job That Works For You

Work is one of the eternal constants of human existence. One does a job that he or she doesn’t necessarily want to do in order to make money or otherwise survive. Work is a fact of life. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do a job that you don’t like. It can be tricky at times to find a job that’s a good fit for you, but it’s possible, and it’s worth pursuing. Here are a few things to take into consideration in order to make your job work for you.

The Schedule

The standard 8 hour work day is often referred to as “the nine to five,” because 9 am to 5 pm is a common work day. However, there are a wide variety of 8 hour shifts in practice already, and your work day doesn’t have to fit into the 8 hours, and it could be multiple days at a time. The vast array of time frames that a work day could occupy offers you a surprising amount of freedom when selecting a potential job. For instance, many establishments are open 24/7, which is really good news for a night owl. If you tend to be up all night at the expense of your work day, consider taking an overnight shift for your next job. Another unconventional option you have in this regard is an irregular schedule. Trucking jobs, for example, tend to have a driver working one very long shift every now and then. There are also many online jobs that have no predetermined schedules and allow you to work as much or as little as you want, within reason.

The Commute

Traveling to and from work is a necessary evil for most, but there are variations in this regard, as well, that can make a job a better or worse fit for you. For instance, many people who live in city suburbs will commute longer distances to work in the city, because the commute is worth doing every day for the sake of a bigger salary. On the other side of the tracks, you might take a job that pays less if it means you can walk to work. Most online jobs offer work remotely so that traveling to and from work isn’t an issue at all. It all comes down to a balancing act in which you afford yourself a better commute at the expense of pay, better pay at the expense of a lengthy commute, or find a middle ground, all taking into consideration your circumstances and location.

The Actual Job

While most people simply take what’s available and have to live with it, which is fine, there are more niche job options that can play into your interests. While not everyone can be a rockstar, for instance, you could work in a music store. That connection to the work tends to be a big morale boost that can thoroughly improve your mood and, therefore, your productivity. While it can be harder to find a job when you apply a filter based on your interests, it’s entirely possible to find a position that is a natural fit for you. As with any field of work, continuing to work in the same field will make you a more appealing candidate for that kind of work, so consider investing early into making a career out of it.

While everyone needs to work to meet their needs, work doesn’t have to be a grind. With the countless options available in the job market, there’s a position out there that works for you, and if your job works for you, you’ll do a better job. As they say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Publish Date: May 20, 2020 12:33 AM

What Military Card Features Do You Need To Know?

Service members face specific financial and emotional challenges—extended separations from family members and multiple moves over a short period— that are not common in “normal” civilian life. Financial stress is a historic challenge faced by military members, with 56 percent describing their finances as unstable. Luckily, there are certain credit cards and benefits military families can utilize that offer specific military benefits. Additionally, it is important for military members to protect themselves from identity theft, as they are often victims of fraudulent credit card applications. 

Military Specific Credit Cards

Due to the specific challenges faced by military members, a lot of military credit cards have emerged with specific benefits and features that go beyond the traditional benefits of civilian cards. Many credit card companies even go beyond the federal requirements and guidelines, offering military members great options for establishing their life post-service. When considering different credit card options,  veterans should educate themselves on key benefits available to them and important features to look for. 

Finding the Best Military Credit Card: Important Considerations

When looking for a military credit card, it is important to know what to look for and what benefits you are eligible for. Over the years, many credit card options have emerged for military members, and it can be challenging to discern what credit card will best suit your individual needs.  The minimum features you should look for in a credit card include: 

  • A card that waives most, or all traditional credit card fees, such as a foreign transaction fees for international deployment
  • A card that does not require you or your spouse to pay an annual service fee
  • A card that offers a grace period for loan payments during deployment
  • A card that offers extremely low interest rates and APR
  • A card that offers at least 5 percent cash back on military related purchases

Benefits With The Military Credit Card Act

The Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal act that all military families should become familiar with. This act offers military families key financial benefits that should be utilized to ensure financial stability. The SCRA requires all financial institutions to cap interest rates at 6 percent for loans or debt during times of military deployment. Although the federal requirement is 6 percent, many financial institutions go beyond this, offering service members better rates and terms.  To get the benefits of the SCRA, you have to notify your credit card company of your military status. It is important to notify your bank of your military status. 

Benefits with the Veteran Administrations Home-Loan Program

The Veterans Administration (VA) offers service members some amazing benefits for buying their first home. Many service members struggle to buy a home because they do not have enough money saved for a downpayment. Through this program, the VA guarantees up to 25 percent of the total cost of a home-loan, which allows many service members to not worry about the initial down payment. Military members should meet with a financial advisor to determine their eligibility for this program. 

Understand Identity Theft and Take Steps to Prevent It

Identity theft is one of the biggest problems that plagues service members. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends active service members to place an “active status” alert on their credit report to stop any credit card applications under their identity. Service members can request the credit alert by contacting one of the three credit card bureaus—the alerted bureau will notify the other two of your request. Placing this alert will help service members steer clear of fraud and identity theft. 

Managing finances can be a major point of stress for everyone; however, military service members face unique challenges in managing their bank account. Due to the unique problems plagued by service members, the government and many credit card companies have come up with specific features and benefits for service members. As a service member, you should look for the credit card that best benefits your financial situation, and make use of military federal benefits. 


Publish Date: May 15, 2020 3:52 AM

The Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

“Renewable energy” and “clean energy” are phrases that grow increasingly common and important in the modern era. In light of the growing threat of climate change, eco friendly alternatives to traditional energy sources are generally more appealing, but there can be some confusion regarding which of these clean, renewable sources of energy is best, or which is best for a given set of circumstances. Solar panels are the most popular choice for renewable energy, but how does it stack up to the competition? Here’s what you need to know in order to make an informed choice when upgrading to solar energy.

Solar Panels Are Becoming More Efficient

While it has long been a point against solar energy consumption, solar panel efficiency has improved greatly in the last decade. While solar energy overall remains less efficient than other forms of energy, both renewable and non renewable, efficiency increases as a result of better technology is closing that gap. Generally speaking, adopting eco friendly energy alternatives is a sacrifice in efficiency, because the technology still needs to develop further. However, the advancements made thus far show a clear trend of increasing efficiency. Wind and hydroelectric alternatives are significantly more efficient, but they each present problems that keep them from achieving wider usage.

Solar Panels Are Much More Affordable Than The Alternatives

Solar energy remains the most widespread clean energy source for a few reasons, but perhaps the most prominent reason is the cost. Solar panels have the lowest  install cost of the renewable energy sources, and those costs can be further mitigated via loans specifically designed to promote the use of solar energy. Solar panels aren’t as cost effective as other options long term, however, but the upfront cost is as good as it gets. This is noteworthy, as the switch to renewable energy is always a good idea in the long term, but the initial cost can deter many with less disposable income. Therefore, this reduced initial price point makes solar panels more accessible to the masses. Turbines, on the other hand, are so massive in size that their cost is prohibitive. Meanwhile, hydroelectric systems require several individual parts and a more complex and costly installation process.

Solar Panels Are More Versatile Than Other Options

Another advantage of solar panels is that they tend to be easy to install and take up very little real estate when compared to wind turbines, for example. Wind turbines, as a descendant of windmills, are quite large. Therefore, they require a substantial allotment of space. Solar panels, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes, allowing them to neatly fit into most private property and public space, alike. While it may take many more solar panels to rival the raw power output of turbines, there is simply much more room for them, given their size. Likewise, solar panels can absorb sunlight from almost any outdoor location, making them more widely applicable than hydroelectric power systems, which require a running body of water in order to produce power. 

Solar Panels Are Inherently Limited

Solar panels are only able to draw energy from sunlight when the sun is shining. That means that solar power not only is inaccessible at night, but also is weakened on overly cloudy days. Wind Turbines, likewise, are ineffective on days with little to no wind. These two energy sources are often coupled by corporations and governments in order to maximize output, an option that isn’t really available to individuals in most cases. Hydroelectric generators provide a steady stream of electricity most of the time, which is its strongest feature. 

Switching to a renewable power source is the responsible choice, but it can be intimidating. As stated above, renewable energy is cheaper over time than traditional fuel sources, and solar panels offer a much more affordable initial cost, which makes solar a clear choice for individuals, families, and small businesses. As technology improves, solar energy may become even cleaner and even more efficient, but it remains the best available option for widespread use today.

Publish Date: May 12, 2020 1:16 AM

Transitioning Back to Civilian Life is Never as Easy as You Expect

When you joined the military, you learned a new way of doing things. In fact, nearly every aspect of your life changed in some way. Just as those changes required adjusting your mental perspective, returning to civilian life after years of military service will also require a shifting of your attitudes. Many veterans are unprepared for the practical or emotional upheavals that leaving the service can produce, but learning how your life will change will help prepare you for a new path. 

Have You Really Considered the Practical Changes? 

In a way, the military provides a protected and sheltered existence for many of its members by bestowing a handsome benefits package. The benefits offered through military service help make enlisting an attractive option for many, but it also gets you accustomed to certain privileges. Once you return to civilian life, you'll lose some of those benefits. 

One of the biggest practical shocks new veterans face is the cost of living, particularly if they previously took advantage of base living. You'll now have to pay for an apartment or home, as well as utilities. While groceries on the base were likely cheaper or discounted, you'll no longer benefit from those savings. Additionally, you'll have to pay for your own vehicle, auto insurance, and health insurance. Many veterans find that they're unprepared to handle these expenses, as they return to civilian life. 

The Emotional Impact of Your Transition 

Once you leave military service, you'll have plenty of baggage. The physical baggage can be dealt with easily enough, but emotional baggage may be harder to handle. Upon returning to civilian life, many veterans find that it takes an entirely different mindset than that needed to function in their military careers. 

One of the most common problems in this regard is constantly feeling tense or on edge. This can become so problematic that it can affect your ability to concentrate and perform complex tasks. You may also feel that you experience anger and frustration more frequently, though you may not be able to say exactly why you're experiencing these feelings. This flood of negative emotions can increase stress levels and inhibit your ability to sleep, which will serve to complicate the problem. After a while, untreated emotional problems will begin to affect your physical health. 

How Can You Make Your Transition Easier? 

When it comes to practical concerns, making your transition to civilian life can be easier with a little research. First, it will be important to set your goals and develop an actionable plan. Many veterans find that they must start at the bottom rung in their careers, even with the experience and skills they amassed in the military. Expecting the pay cut that goes along with starting over will help you better prepare for civilian life. Alternatively, you may choose to get training to pursue a new career path. Even if it means trying to work from home before completely transitioning into the workforce. Your mental health is important, and it is worth doing what is best for you.

You should also take the time to research your options for keeping your cost of living low. This means renting a cheaper apartment to start, which can help you save up for a home purchase down the road. You should also contact community veteran's services and groups to take advantage of additional benefits and resources. 

Emotionally, it will be important to take care of your mental health. This may mean seeking out therapy options to help you cope with your transition or joining support groups, where you can discuss your experiences with other veterans. You should also feel comfortable telling others that you don't want to talk about your military service. Whether they're simply curious or have negative attitudes towards the military, it can do more harm than good to engage in these conversations. 

In general, the best thing you can do for yourself is to practice a healthy lifestyle. Eating right and getting enough physical activity will not even keep your body fit, it will give you something positive to focus on. Practicing stress relief techniques can also be helpful. You might try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Looking for ways to live happier and healthier will help you reduce the stress of your transition while relying on support from your community and your loved ones will help you overcome most of the challenges you'll face.

Publish Date: May 11, 2020 4:51 PM

6 Steps To Build a Business That Can Succeed in the Digital Age

In this day and age, every business needs to adapt to the digital space, no matter their industry or size. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the online landscape and recent technological advancements, it can be difficult to get started.

What exactly do you need to succeed in the digital age? Who can help you figure out a plan? What should your goals be? These are all relevant questions that require a methodical approach. Fortunately, you can answer them by following these six steps.

woman placing sticky notes on wall

  1. Figure Out Your Goals

Before you start creating a complex plan, you should figure out what your goals are. These should be crafted as long-term goals supported by a series of short-term goals. For example, your long term goal can be higher conversions on your website, supported by short-term goals of improved search engine results rankings, higher social media engagement and increased traffic to your webpages.

Of course, you should also consider areas other than marketing. Can your internal processes be improved with technology? Are you missing out on opportunities because your team isn’t able to respond to quick-changing platforms? Look at every aspect of your business, determine which goals can help your company the most, then set those as a priority.

  1. Get the Right Tools

You can’t implement your vision without the right tools. In regards to the digital space, that usually means technology. For example, if you’re trying to expand your partnerships with long-distance enterprises, you’ll need software to facilitate a virtual meeting. On the other hand, if you want to process digital wallet payments, you’ll need POS hardware with those capabilities.

Take a look at your goals and figure out what tools you need to accomplish them. In some cases, you may be able to use one tool to advance several goals at once.

  1. Find Experts

Having tools are all well and good, but what if you don’t have the expertise to use them? Fortunately, there are a number of professionals out there who can help you design and implement digital strategies.

There are two different ways to form a team of technological experts: in-house or outsourcing. Each has its own benefits, but the choice ultimately depends on what best fits your business. In-house experts are usually members of a small team that exclusively works on your projects. If you outsource, you pay another company that potentially works with many different businesses.

  1. Utilize Digital Marketing

If you’re not using digital marketing, you’re at a huge disadvantage. The majority of consumers use the internet to research before making a purchase, meaning your online visibility plays a big role in building your customer base. To give yourself a fighting chance, you need to have a professional-looking website that’s easy to navigate. Most website visitors only spend a few seconds on a page, so you have a very short time frame to impress them.

You also need to improve your search engine results page rankings to ensure customers can easily find your website. There are lots of strategies to do this:

  •       Pay per click advertising
  •       Search engine optimization
  •       Paid search advertising

This is an area where experts can help; their focus on the digital space means they can choose the best approach and even provide the necessary content to pursue it.

  1. Build Your Brand Via Social Media

Branding is important, especially if you’re targeting the younger generations. What does your business stand for? What is its mission? What do you want customers to connect with?

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, is one of the best ways to reach out directly to consumers. This connection is invaluable, as research shows that consumers are more likely to buy from a familiar brand. It’s also an excellent way to keep tabs on your customers’ feelings about campaigns and policy changes.

  1. Use Data To Determine Your Next Steps

 Perhaps the most important step of all is to track your data. It’s the only way to determine if you’re being more efficient, generating more profit and generally meeting your goals. Make sure to analyze data on a regular basis and use that information to adjust course as necessary.


Publish Date: May 8, 2020 6:42 PM

Tracking Your Network Traffic

Businesses today are more complex than ever before. The data that moves across networks—healthcare records and banking transactions— often have high stakes.  Businesses have evolved to rely on the security of highly confidential, complex data sets, yet network infrastructure was created to simply move “data packets” with little regard to their complexity or confidentiality— in its purest state, the network doesn’t care if your data is from the FBI or your mom. Luckily, computer scientists and engineers have created a solution: network monitoring. 

Network Infrastructure and the Data Problem

Network infrastructure was built on a remarkable simplicity of basic communication protocols— computers send information back and forth to each other based on a series of inputs and outputs. The unbelievable interconnectedness of the modern world comes down to a rather simple system of computer communication; however, the beautiful simplicity of this system causes complications. 

The computer recognizes network communications as “data packages.”  The problem with this aspect of network infrastructure is that all information passed through the web looks the same to the computer. This style of data transferring becomes a challenge for businesses that rely on sensitive information. Since every data package looks the same, it becomes difficult to know if you’re sending the correct information. When you’re a bank or a doctor’s office, this is a huge liability. Network monitoring, such as a fiber tap, provides businesses visibility into individual packets of data to ensure security. 

Data Monitoring and IT Security

The large majority of modern businesses have full departments designated to networking monitoring and security. It is essential that companies that use sensitive information are sending the data they want where they want. While there is a large variety of networking tools available, they all seek to discover the contents of individual data packets. The two most common methods for monitoring network traffic are TAP(Test Access Point) and SPAN (Switched Port Analyzer). 


TAPs and SPANs identify the data inside packets using different methods. A network TAP is a hardware device that is inserted into the cabling network to copy and monitor data packets A SPAN is a software program that is applied to a router and duplicates the incoming and outgoing traffic.  SPANS will usually forward the duplicated traffic to a specific port. 

The Benefit of a Network TAP 

Most commonly, businesses choose a network TAP over a SPAN due to common problems in SPAN software including:

  • SPAN software requires a lot of work from the computer’s CPU, which can result in poor performance. 
  • Errors in data copying are easily “dropped” from a SPAN port, which can result in inconsistent reporting.
  • The storage requirement of data packets can exceed the space available on a port, which can cause crucial errors to be left undetected. 

Different Kinds of TAPS: Passive and Active

Network TAPS fall under two subcategories: passive and active. Passive TAPs require no power generation and don’t communicate or interact with other “players” in the network infrastructure.  Passive TAPs are an attractive option to businesses because they are highly reliable and don’t require a lot of maintenance or configuration. 

Active TAPS require a power source to send their signals and copy data packets. While active TAPS are able to efficiently copy network traffic, many businesses prefer passive TAPs because they don’t require a power source. If a company experienced a power outage, active TAPS would not be able to generate a signal and would not be reliable, whereas passive TAPS would still generate and receive signals. 

The infrastructure of the Internet is brilliant— it has enabled modern wonders, such as online banking and E-commerce. The majority of contemporary companies have harnessed the simplicity of network structure to create the products that define modern society. Although network infrastructure's simplistic nature has created a world in which you can send money to your friends via applications, it has also posed some security complications. Today, modern companies rely on network monitoring to ensure the security of their data. 


Publish Date: May 7, 2020 8:05 PM

Tips to Attract and Retain Talent

Now more than ever, people have choices when it comes to where they work. To remain competitive, businesses need to find ways to attract and retain talent in their market. Some businesses struggle with how to attract and retain talent as they hold onto age-old policies and procedures that stymie growth and don't nurture the type of work environment that today's talent is looking for. If you're a business owner or manager and are looking for ways to attract talent to your company, here are some helpful tips you can use to bring in-- and keep-- the right employees. 

Support Growth

It's a common misconception that today's talent isn't looking for an employer where they can spend most of their career. In fact, younger talent can be extremely loyal to the right employer, but it takes some work on the employer's part to make employees want to stay. One thing that today's talent is looking for in an employer are programs that nurture growth. They want to have a clear career path and tools to help them get there. By implementing a professional development plan at your company, you can encourage your employees to take on additional career training to help them grow in their career. You may even want to consider developing a mentor program, where younger talent can learn from seasoned employees. By investing in your employees' career growth, it makes them feel valued and will increase the likelihood that they will stay with your company over the long term. 

Embrace Flexibility

Today's talent is looking for a flexible work environment that will allow them to have a better work life balance. Companies that aren't getting on board with embracing flexibility are seeing less retention among younger employees and have a more difficult time attracting new talent. Give your employees the flexibility to work the hours that are best for them. This can be helpful for younger employees who may struggle with childcare or other home obligations that may prevent them from working traditional hours. Even if your company cannot allow for employees to make their own hours, considering a policy that allows them to work from home periodically can help retain today's talent. There is plenty of work from home tools that can keep your employees engaged and connected with the office even when they are working remotely. 

Promote Downtime 

Employees who work hard need time to disconnect so they can rest and recharge before heading back into the office. Companies that expect their employees to be available 24/7 struggle to keep talent, as their employees often suffer higher rates of burnout and eventually seek other employment. It's critical to your company's success to allow your employees to have downtime. They'll make less mistakes and be able to produce their best work when they feel rested, so whether you implement a policy that prevents them from answering email after work or encourage them to take breaks, finding a way to promote downtime is crucial. You should also consider adopting a generous time off policy that will allow them to take extended breaks from work throughout the year so they can really recharge their batteries.

Give Back

These days, younger talent is seeking employment with a company with a generous philanthropy policy. If your company does little to give back, you may have a harder time attracting these community-minded individuals who believe in the greater good. In addition to offering philanthropic giving, you may also want to consider adopting a policy that allows your employees to have so many volunteer hours each year so they can also give back to their community in ways that matter most to them. Not only does this attract community-minded young talent, but it also looks great as a company that you're so willing to give back to your community. 

You don't have to completely change your company to bring in new employees. With these ideas in mind, your company should be able to attract and retain today's unique set of talent. 






Publish Date: May 5, 2020 6:56 PM

How You Can Use Inbound Linking to Boost Traffic

If you have a website, you know how important it is to have quality links. These can help you reach the top pages of Google, provide your potential and current customers with the information they are looking for, and make it easier to have an authoritative tone when it comes to the type of work that you do. Take a look at how you can learn more about using inbound linking to boost your traffic and find out what this can mean for your customers. If you are not already taking full advantage of it, you might be surprised by the results. 

Make Social Media Work for You

If you already have some type of social media, make sure you are taking full advantage of it and putting it to work for your inbound links. First, assess the social media channels that you have. This could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others, based on the type of business you have and how often you use them. Next, think about what type of material you want to put out there and make more people aware of. Perhaps it is a blog post you've written about new changes to your industry, or maybe you want to highlight how long your company has been around by offering an anniversary special and enticing new customers in. Either way, you can share your links on social media and encourage others to do the same. This can help you grow your business and get more traffic in ways you might never have imagined. 

Creating Content People Will Want to Share

If you don't already have a blog, it is important to start one as soon as possible. That is because your blog can be a good source for having inbound linking and helping you both rank higher on Google, along with getting even more traffic. Think about what type of content your audience is looking for and how you can help them. Perhaps they need information on when to have their pool fixed or how often it needs to be maintained if you own a pool business. Or maybe you are in lawn care, and they need to understand how you can help them keep their yards looking nice and avoiding bugs and other small predators. The best way to help people understand why they need your services and what you can do for them is to talk about it-or in this case, write about it. This creates interesting and helpful content that people will want to share with others while giving you the chance to establish yourself as an authority in the field. 

Understand How to Use Inbound Links on Your Website

You don't have to limit inbound links to just your blog. You can use them effectively on your website, and help people reach even more information. For example, you can use your services page to link to blog posts you have created on different services, and why they are so important to have. This can make it easier to rank higher in search engines such as Google while giving a boost to your authority in the area of your business. No matter what you do, made sure you use at least a few inbound links on your website. You can always go back in later to either update them or change them altogether, based on your needs and what you think your customers would benefit from the most. 

If you have a small business, you likely already know how important it is to establish yourself as an authority in your field and get to the top results in Google. You can use inbound links to help boost your company through both social media and your own website. You can also attach a blog to your website, and create content that people will read and come back to often, which can help your company even more. 

Publish Date: April 24, 2020 6:38 PM

Marketing: Stay In-House, Outsource, or Both?

Businesses of every size have more marketing opportunities than ever before. In addition to the traditional channels of broadcast, radio, print, and out-of-home/billboard advertising, marketers now have a full suite of digital platforms at their disposal as well. In order to take advantage of these opportunities to build awareness and share messaging, companies must decide what role their in-house marketing department is expected to play. One size does not fit all, and there are pros and cons to different approaches. We’ll look at a few common setups and explore the best mix of insourcing and outsourcing to achieve effective results.

Your Marketing Department

Most companies have either a marketing director, chief marketing officer, or creative director who oversees managing the public’s image of their business. In some cases, public relations are also folded into this role, in others, they focus more solely on advertising, branding, and community outreach. This key marketer may also be responsible for media buying or overseeing the buying of media.

Beyond this manager or executive, department make-ups vary greatly. There may be a single assistant who helps them communicate with outside production and buying companies. Or they may have a producer who can write, shoot video, record sound, and produce marketing materials. Others may have a “cast of thousands” with copywriters, producers, graphic artists, media buyers, and social media leads on their team.

The reality is that most companies rely on some level of outsourcing, whether that means employing an advertising or digital agency, specialty producers like a link building service, or a combination of companies to handle their efforts.

Advertising Agencies

The traditional advertising agency or agency of record is designed to be a one-stop shop for a company with marketing departments of any (or no) size. Beyond owners and executives, agencies usually have account executives who serve as the chief point of contact between their clients and the agency. Their job is to bring in new business, negotiate terms, pricing, and contracts, and to keep the clients abreast of current projects and new opportunities.

Agencies usually have a media buyer or team of buyers who are in contact with local and regional broadcast, radio, newspaper, and out-of-home print companies. In addition to building schedules on behalf of their clients, they must be aware of the media climate in their area, understanding the ratings of television and radio stations, circulation numbers of periodicals, and impressions for billboards and other out-of-home opportunities.

A creative director will oversee the agency’s art department to build graphics, logos, and print pieces, as well as copywriters who are responsible for their client’s brand voice and scripts for commercials, websites, and articles. Finally, they will also have audio and video producers who can shoot and edit commercials and deliver them to advertising channels.

Marketers who hire ad agencies can expect full service, but they will pay handsomely for it. For many, this is a worthwhile investment, as it enables them to save on staff and equipment. For others, the cost is too prohibitive, as they are still paying for advertising as well as the agency’s production costs and commission.

Digital Agencies

As we’ve moved into the digital advertising age, digital agencies have emerged as a boutique option to handle a certain portion of marketers’ needs. Namely, they will perform the same function as a traditional advertising agency, but only for web-based media. Specifically, they will work on digital banners and graphic-based videos for the web, as well as advertising optimized for different social media platforms, including managing social accounts, boosting posts, and paid social ads.

The price tag of a digital agency is usually less than a full-service advertising agency as their services are more focused.

The Best Balance

As you can see, there are tradeoffs to any approach. If you hire a large marketing department in hopes of handling everything in-house, you will need to pay nearly a dozen professionals and invest heavily in video, audio, and digital production equipment. This is more feasible these days as subscription services like the Adobe Creative Suite and powerful computers able to handle production have come down in price. For most companies, the best route is a balance of a small marketing department who can outsource specialized needs to professional producers and agencies.

The key is for your in-house marketers to effectively communicate the company’s vision and branding to anyone they have hired. Consistency is crucial to branding. They must be ready to enforce brand guidelines and insist upon analytics and reporting to monitor results. Agencies and outsources must be held to high accountability standards and show return on investment.

Publish Date: April 24, 2020 5:30 PM

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

ABOUT US IN 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =