Monthly Archives: May 2018

Technology Issues for Business Owners

There are countless different technology tools that can help your business grow. Nevertheless, because there are so many options available today, it means that business owners need to spend a lot of time researching which tools they should use. Keep in mind that once you find the best options for your business, your work will be far from over. Although it may seem like using them will be simple, you’ll find that it will be difficult to integrate them into your business. There are a number of different technology issues that you may face along the way.

Data Loss

Data loss is something that happens from time to time, and every business is bound to experience it sooner or later. In fact, there’s a good chance that you will experience data loss within the first several months of your business. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t properly prepare for this problem. In order to prevent data loss, you will need to dedicate a portion of your budget to data backup, storage, as well as protection. It’s a good idea to backup your data on both an external device and a cloud storage facility.

Not Being Prepared for Cyber Attacks

Hackers often target small businesses because they know that a lot of them simply aren’t prepared to handle cyber attacks. This is because business owners don’t invest enough of their funds into cyber security. Keep in mind that your company is most likely to suffer a cyber attack within the first few months. If you aren’t prepared, then hackers may steal important data like employee details.

In order to keep your data safe, you will need to educate yourself and your employees on how to improve the cyber security of your business. Consider encrypting your data using full-disk encryption tools that come with nearly every operating system. It’s also recommended that you test your current security measures by hiring an IT expert. This will allow you to see what the flaws in your security are and how to fix them.

Make sure that all of your employees know the basics of cyber security. For example, they should know how to come up with strong passwords.

Managing Information

Once you start your business, you will be surprised to find out just how much data you will be generating on a daily basis. Some of the data that you will constantly encounter include financial reports, sales numbers, prospect research, and website analytics. In order to properly review it, you will first need to organize it. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools that will make this job easier for you.

Lack of IT Planning

A lot of business owners don’t realize just how much they would benefit by hiring an IT expert or having an adequate IT support staff. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you find professionals that will help you achieve your goals sooner by doing some strategic IT planning. “Good IT support will not only help your business expand but it will also help you solve technical problems and protect your company from hackers,” notes Alexander J. Hernandez, an IT expert from

Social Media

Social media is extremely important if you want to see your business grow. Despite the fact that most business owners know this, they still rarely dedicate enough time to stay relevant online. Certain people feel like they don’t have the time to build connections or send tweets every day. If this is something that you know you wouldn’t enjoy, then you should delegate the task to one of your employees. Keep in mind that having a big presence on social media will have a huge impact on the growth of your business, so make sure to dedicate time and resources to achieve this.

9 Simple Ways to Take Great Care of Yourself

The crazy pace many of us live by is making it nearly impossible to take good care of ourselves. While we’re chasing career advancements or money to pay the bills, our health can deteriorate, and so can our cognitive abilities. No matter how hectic lives can get, it’s always important to find ways to balance it out by taking good care of ourselves. And if you’re wondering about some simple ways you can start doing it, here are a couple to get you started.

  1. Practice Meditation

Meditation is being lauded for its stress-relieving abilities. You don’t need any props to meditate, you don’t need a special room for it, you don’t even need a lot of time. Learn meditation because it will be your secret weapon for a less stressful life you can always have with you and you can use whenever and wherever you want.

  1. Work Out

There’s nothing like physical activities to counter the detriments of a sedentary lifestyle. Your body is made so that it can move, and you should move it as much and as often as you can. If you’re so out of shape you can’t do heavy cardio, take a couple of nice walks every week. From there, move up to more serious workout that’s appropriate for your health status.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

If you want peak performance, you need to get enough sleep. Being well-rested will help you perform better at work, and it will ensure you have some leftover energy for when you’re not working. Don’t try to get a couple of extra hours of your day by sleeping less. Try to get them by being more efficient while you’re awake.

  1. Pick Your Food Carefully

You are what you eat. If you stuff your face with large quantities of low-quality food, you’re actively doing something bad for you. Learn a thing or two about nutrition — there are some great resources online. Speak with a nutritionist. Find a diet that will keep you energized and healthy and not clog your arteries.

  1. Be Open to New Ideas and Points of View

There are no benefits to being closeminded. Being open to new ideas and points of view will make you a better friend or coworker, and it will help you gain useful knowledge you can later apply to better yourself. You don’t have to jump on every new trend that comes along. But give them a fair shake and learn how to critically assess them and extract the beneficial things from them.

  1. Engage Your Brain

Engaging your brain is part being open to new ideas, and part physical and mental workout. That alone will make your wit sharper for a longer time, even in old age. However, it’s important to remember that you need to vary your activities if you want to fully engage your brain. Work out. Do brain teasers. Learn to play an instrument. Learn to juggle. Read philosophical works. Roller-skate. Engage in a wide variety of activities.

  1. Set Aside Time for Yourself

No matter how much time you have to devote to your work, family, or whatever else that fills your time, always remember to set aside some time that will be your own. You’re of no use to others, let alone yourself, if you don’t take the time to recharge your batteries.

  1. Treat Yourself

You might be familiar with the practice of having a cheat day when on a restrictive diet. Cheat days are fun. They are the time when you get the treats you like the most. Whether it’s a food you like but can’t really eat every day, or another guilty pleasure, treat yourself to it occasionally.

  1. Spend Time with the People You Like

You can’t always choose your company. But in your spare time, when you can, don’t be afraid to be picky. Surround yourself with the people whose company you enjoy. Use the time you spend with them to counter the time you have to spend with the people you don’t like too much.

How to Prepare Yourself for Camping

The great outdoors has a lot to offer. Getting in touch with nature, the clean air, the removal from the world of technology are only some of the things that make staying outdoors appealing. Americans are catching on — since 2014, around a million households a year join the ranks of campers.

But camping is not something you want to do without preparation. If you just go into the woods to spend a couple of days, in the best-case scenario you’d be looking for civilization in a couple of hours because you wouldn’t be able to find clean water. The worst-case scenarios can get downright scary. So, if you’re thinking about going camping, here are some of the things you should think about in advance.

Pick the Destination

There are two types of destinations for your camping trip. There are the established campsites, often approved by some type of authority, or at the very least established as good sites by experienced campers. The other type of destination is everything else — any spot where you can place your tent. This type of camping is sometimes called “stealth camping.”

As a novice camper, your best bet would be to research established campsites. They might not be as wild and intact as a spot in the middle of the woods, but they will probably be much safer and more convenient. You want to learn about the local wildlife, access to water, as well as the proximity to modern amenities. Keep in mind that picking a destination and picking a spot are two different things. You will pick a spot when you get to your destination. Still, you might learn in advance about some of the things you should take into account when picking the exact spot where you’ll pitch your tent.

Start Getting Your Gear

Your choice of gear will depend on your camping destination, the time of the year when you plan to go, as well as your level of outdoors skills. The one thing you should keep in mind when choosing your gear is that if something breaks or stops working, it can spell the end of your camping trip. You should only bring high-quality gear that can withstand all the wear and tear it will receive on your trip. Going to websites like will give you a couple of ideas about the type of gear you should choose.

Tents, tarps, knives, and the like are not the only thing you should prepare for your hunting trip. You should have a first aid kit with you, as well as any medications you usually take. Bruises, scrapes, and cuts are a common occurrence when camping, and so are allergy flare-ups. You should be prepared for them when they happen.

Plan Your Sustenance

Camping and gourmet eating don’t go together. When you go camping, you leave a lot of the conveniences of the modern life behind, including a stove and a fridge. And if you plan to do some trekking, you will want to pack light because you’ll have to carry all of your gear and food and water on your back.

Freeze-dried, dehydrated, and canned foods are popular choices for camping. They are convenient, and they won’t go bad as fresh food would. If you bring perishables with you, make sure you eat them as soon as possible — there are plenty of recipes that will help you create awesome camping meals with the few perishables you bring. Power bars are a popular choice as well.

You will not want to bring with you all the water you will need for the trip. Instead, make sure you research the water sources around your destination and arm yourself with a portable water filtration system.

The last and the most important step in your preparation for camping is the creation of a packing list. By now, you should have a good grasp on what you’ll need for your camping trip. Put it all to paper, and check it off as you pack the items. You don’t want to get to the campsite just to realize that you forgot a very important piece of gear and that you have to go back to get it. So prepare early, do your research, and pack carefully.

How to Minimize Inventory and Transport Costs

Every business should always be striving towards becoming the leaner, more profitable, and less wasteful version of itself. For the professionals who are concerned with supply chain management, cost reduction is the number one concern, followed by risk management and expansion.

CPOs understand that inventory and transportation are two parts of supply chains where costs can always be brought down. With rapid technological advances and the shifting economic climates in the countries that host most of the production, inventory management, and transport can always be improved. For the CPOs who are looking for ways to cut the costs of inventory and transportation, here a couple of tips.

Inventory Control Centralization

Developing a centralized inventory can be difficult for multinational companies. However, even if they can’t benefit from the advantages of a centralized inventory, it doesn’t mean they cannot assume inventory control from one central point.

Multi-echelon planning models can’t facilitate an overall view of a whole supply chain with its multi-location interdependencies. For those reasons, multi-echelon optimization solutions are called for to facilitate better inventory management. And that’s where having a centralized inventory control get very helpful. By allowing increased stock visibility, inventory control centralization can reduce overstocking and attribute to a reduction of obsolete inventory.

Getting Rid of Obsolete Inventory

If inventory is just taking up space, with little hope that it will ever be sold at a profit, it’s putting an unnecessary burden on the inventory management process and inventory costs. And because it’s always better to prevent inventory from becoming obsolete than unloading it at a lower price just to see it show up on a secondary market, getting rid of it means preventing it from accumulating.

Control centralization can help, as we mentioned. However, improving the demand forecasting is of key importance. Tracking every product’s lifecycle can help determine demand patterns. Demand patterns will, in turn, produce a better forecast of future sales, helping the business plan their orders better.

Finding the Best Carriers

On the transport side of things, picking better carriers is among the most important cost-saving methods. The strategy to only work with a small number of carriers has its values, primarily in being able to develop better relationships, offer the carriers a larger volume of work, and get lower rates in return. The downside of this system is that, if something goes wrong with one of the carriers and the remaining ones can’t jump in to compensate, the business finds itself in a tight spot.

One of the ways to keep some flexibility while working with a couple of main carries is to join a freight exchange platform. These websites work like virtual meeting points between carriers and producers and rely on a reputation system to ensure transparency in cooperation. They can be useful when shopping for bargains, or when businesses need a carrier to quickly respond to their transportation needs.

Nearshoring and Other Strategies

“Made in China” has long been a synonym for offshoring production to countries where labor is cheap. However, with the rise of wages in China, the lower production costs are having a harder time offsetting the higher transportation costs. That’s one of the reasons why nearshoring is a growing trend. Placing production closer to home makes it significantly less expensive to transport goods.

Businesses have other choices to lower transportation costs. The practice of designing products, or at least product packaging, for efficient storage is now expanding to include designing for transportation. Investing in software solutions for better transportation monitoring and analysis is a popular choice. These solutions can help with route optimization, planning automation, and even real-time tracking.

Businesses that are not working on improving their efficiency are businesses that are falling behind their competitors. Supply chains get complicated, so it’s not always easy to determine the best areas where increased efficiency leads to reduced costs. However, managers who are not sure where to start could always look for cost-cutting opportunities in inventory and transportation. If there’s nothing there for them at the moment, they only need to wait a couple of months, and new solutions will pop up.

7 Steps to Declutter Your Home

Your home might look like a hoarder’s paradise now, but when you are finished with it, it will look like a great place to live in again. While it can require a little hard work to dig in and rid your home of clutter, you will be glad you did. Not only will you have more space, but you will likely have far less stress too. So, take a deep breath, because it is time to get down to business with your seven home decluttering steps.

Step 1: Make a List

When you start to declutter your home, you will want to build a list of areas that need decluttering. This will make it easier to organize your homes decluttering needs on paper. Once you have a pretty good idea what areas of your home needs the most attention, you will finally be in a position to get started.

Step 2: Enlist the Help of Someone Else

Decluttering your home is going to be physically and emotionally demanding. This is why you should get another person to help. With another person helping you to stay on task, the job will become much lighter over the term of the decluttering process. Additionally, another person can help you move and clean behind heavy furniture. This way, you do not have to break your back moving your couch.

Step 3: Handling Excess Clothing

You will find that clothes can be some of the greatest contributors to the clutter around your home. Generally, what you do not wear a lot either gets stuck on a hanger in your closet or shoved into a box. As you go through the clothes from room to room, you need to decide what you want to keep to wear and what clothes you want to donate. Many organizations and ministries have drop boxes for clothing, so you have options for disposing of those old clothes that you do not want anymore.

Step 4: Getting Rid of Old Electronics

Old electronics, especially those you no longer use, can be a huge cause of clutter throughout your home. From component hardware parts to wires and connectors, electronic devices can really take up space and be a little messy looking too. One way to declutter electronic devices is to work with a company who buys back your old electronic gadgets. You may not realize this, but your old computers, phones and other devices can fetch a decent amount of money from companies that purchase your old tech gadgets. Not only will this help to declutter your home, it might help to put a few extra bucks in your pocket too.

Step 5: A Quick Sweep

Grab a box and start going from room to room. While you visit each room, add items to the box that you no longer find enjoyment in keeping. This step helps to start making a dent in the key areas you want to declutter in your home. It also gets you into the habit of separating yourself from the items that you no longer use so often. They might have brought you pleasure long ago, but now they are just taking up space.

Step 6: Attack the Garage

You thought you could just pack up the clutter and stuff it into the garage for safe keeping, but this was mistaken thinking. Now it is time to go through the boxes and bags hiding out in your garage and figure out where it all needs to go. There is no harm in giving some of these items away. Other people can use items you no longer have a need for keeping. If you want to get money for these items, you may consider having a yard sale.

Step 7: Maintenance Decluttering

Once your home is decluttered to a point that you can more easily tolerate, this is no time to call it quits. Rather, you need to continue to stay on top of clutter in your home. At least once a week, you should make a visual inspection of your home and identify if clutter is beginning to accumulate again. If so, then you need to start to systematically address this clutter and prevent it from gaining a significant foothold again.


These are the seven steps to decluttering your home. The steps are relatively easy, but the hard part is actually committing yourself to do the work. If you are willing to take decisive action to declutter your home, you will have more space and a place that looks more organized when others visit.

6 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

Sometimes (ok, more often than sometimes) in the quest for having work, family, and/or just life in general organized we forget to take care of #1. The secret of people who are enviably unruffled is blissfully simple: self-care.

It’s been said many times before but it bears repeating: if you don’t take care of yourself you cannot show up for the other important people and things in your life to the best of your ability. It’s important. Self-care is crucial to prevent burnout, stay focused, and have a healthy body and mind.

Before you get stressed about the idea of adding another thing to your to-do list, keep in mind that you don’t need loads of time or money to practice self-care. You can do it in sprints and still get the benefits. When you do have some extra – time or moola – invest in yourself where you can. Here are 6 ways you can take better care of yourself on the daily.

1. Declutter the noise.
Go ham on your inbox, apps, email alerts, newsfeed – anything that dings, beeps or alerts you about something that’s not 100% important. Clear it out. Delete those time-sucking apps that draw you in and make you feel like you got robbed of 30 minutes of your life in the blink of an eye. If you can’t bring yourself to delete something altogether, turn off the notifications. We are bombarded with this stuff every day and studies show it doesn’t make us happier. You’ll be shocked at how much time you have when you start cutting back on the digital clutter.

2. Stay active.
You don’t have to go to the gym or do some crazy sport, just do what you like a little bit every day. Maybe its taking long walks with your dog, maybe its riding your bike to the grocery store, maybe it’s doing some yoga poses or climbing a rock wall for playing tennis. Whatever it is, keep moving.

3. Feel pretty.
Do something that makes you feel pretty. Not that makes you more attractive to your significant other or that makes you look like someone else, do what makes YOU feel pretty. That’s an important distinction that often gets lost in the shuffle. If your hair is your thing and making it look just the way you like it and smell yummy makes you feel like a million bucks, then splurge on a great hair treatment and pamper yourself. It could be as indulgent as a spa day or as simple as wearing your favorite jeans. Just do it for you and you alone.

4. Laugh.
Get an audiobook by a funny author or watch a couple YouTube videos of your favorite late night host or comedian. Having a good laugh relaxes your entire body and actually strengthens your immune system!

5. Listen to music.
When was the last time you put on your headphones, closed your eyes, and really listened to music? It only takes a few minutes to listen to a song and it can totally shift your mental focus and help you relax. If you’re not in the mood to sit back and listen, crank up the tunes and dance or sing along! There are very few wrongs a good Beyonce tune can’t make right.

6. Remember that this is your life.
Life is not meant to be a series of errands and habits, it’s meant to be lived! We all have responsibilities that we need to manage, but we’ve only got one life. Remember to stop and smell the roses, indulge in the little pleasures, drop the meaningless stress and find something to enjoy each and every day.

7 Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Transaction

Every business decision is followed by a lot of anxiety. That’s because there is a variety of issues that may occur before, during and/or after it. Transactions are one of the most problematic fields when it comes to real estate. Some situations just can’t be avoided, while you can try to prevent others. Make sure to inform yourself about common situations that may occur during the buying and selling process. This way, you’ll be able to recognize if you’re in a bad situation. Here are the seven most common things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction.


Real estate transactions involve a lot of paperwork. If there’s any document missing, it can sabotage a deal. Many agents start marketing a property without even looking through its profile. This way, there’s a possibility that the transaction can go wrong due to missing documents. That’s usually because when they see a good title behind a property, they don’t see a need in doing any research. Therefore, be sure that both parties have prepared, read, and signed all the paperwork that’s required.


A lot of people depend on mortgage companies when purchasing a property. This is, of course, a common thing if someone has enough income to support the mortgage. But, if someone gets denied, it can cause the deal to turn sour. In order to avoid this from happening, make sure to acknowledge the amount of money that a buyer has direct access to.

Fixing Refusal

There are situations where the seller refuses to make repairs that were agreed upon beforehand. In this case, there’s not much you can do about it. If all parties agree, you can try hiring someone to fix those issues, but remember to include the renovation pricing in the paperwork. Unfortunately, buyers usually back off when they see that the seller was dishonest at any given moment. So, it’s best to get to know the seller before you start marketing a property.


Some people are really stubborn when it comes to negotiating. Regardless of the fact whether a buyer might come across their dream house or not, there’s a possibility that he or she might not get along with the seller. In order to make a deal, both parties should keep in mind that they should compromise a bit. Parties can disagree on a lot topics, starting from pricing to who will cover the repair costs. In order to avoid these situations, get to know the seller before you introduce him to the potential buyer. This way you’ll be able to give some tips to the person that’s willing to buy the property.

Problematic Property

It is a common procedure for a home inspection to arrive after the deal is set. This way, the buyer assures himself that there are no hidden issues with the property. If a home inspector finds something that’s problematic enough to postpone the closing date, there’s a big possibility that the buyer will pull out. So this doesn’t happen, make sure to get a pre-inspection and see if there’s anything that needs to be fixed. If so, consider hiring a contractor that will fix these issues beforehand.


There are people who just can’t make up their mind like sellers who aren’t sure if they want to sell the property and buyers who make realtors show them bunch of properties without committing to any of them.

Outside the Control of any Principal Parties

Transactions may go wrong even if both parties did everything right. There are various reasons why this can occur. For instance, a land transaction may have already been concluded and after a few days, the government acquired the land due to a major construction project.

5 Steps to Make Sure Your Family is Protected Financially

A lot of people handle their financial situation when they’re single just fine. But, starting a family requires you to think about a lot of things you never thought about before. You will need to think about other people and what you can do in order to protect them regardless of the situation your family gets in. There are a lot of unexpected things that can happen, so it’s important to know exactly what to do in these situations. Here are 5 steps to make sure your family is always protected financially.

Set a Goal

Financially protected is a term that people look at in different ways. In order to achieve financial security, you’ll be required to determine what it means to you. For some people, having enough to pay for their kids’ education is just enough to feel protected. However, goals are necessary in order to make a financial plan. Consider making a list of all important people in your life. See where their life is heading and what are going to be their financial needs. This way, you’ll be able to protect yourself effectively.

Emergency Fund

Life is meant to be unexpected. There’s a famous sentence by Woody Allen that goes: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”. That’s why you should start an emergency fund. Experiencing a job loss, property damage or an urgent and important car repair can significantly affect the financial situation of your family. In order to ensure they remain protected in these situations, consider setting a fixed amount of money that you’ll put aside in the emergency fund.

Life Insurance

This can be the best measure of caution you can take in order to protect your family financially. A life insurance offers benefits to the family if the insured person passes away. So, if your children and spouse depend on your income, you’ll likely be able to protect them financially if something unexpected were to happen to you.

There are two common types of life insurance. The most popular and affordable is the term life insurance. With it, you can get quality coverage for less than $50 monthly. Nevertheless, it all depends on your age and health. The second type is permanent life insurance. This insurance will provide you more features but will include taxes as well. The main difference is that the permanent life insurance will provide a lifelong coverage. In order to make a good decision, make sure to inform yourself about the details that both options provide.

Hire a Financial Planner

People have wrong assumptions when it comes to financial advisors. Usually, they think that they have to possess certain amount of money in order to consult with one. But, the truth is that there are different types of advisors. Some of them work with investment projects, of course. But, there are advisors who help people organize their finances. These people are known as financial planners. If you are looking to hire one, be sure to check his licenses and certifications. Keep in mind that there are many unqualified people within this service industry that represent themselves as financial planners.

Be Frugal

In order to protect your family financially, you will need to learn how to save money. This can be an extremely hard obstacle to overcome, so make sure you take it one step at a time. The first thing that you’ll need to do is determine how much money you spend on certain things like food and clothes. After you do that, try to figure out if you really need to spend that much.

In most cases, you will see that you can live without a lot of the stuff you buy on a daily basis. By avoiding the temptation to buy things that you don’t need, you will be able to save a considerable amount of money on a monthly basis.