Monthly Archives: December 2018

How to Help Your Kids Form Health Eating Habits

Children can be some of the pickiest eaters you will ever encounter. This pickiness seems to only be reserved for healthy foods, however. Children will chow down on unhealthy snack foods and processed foods happily, but these are unhealthy eating habits you don’t want them developing. There are a few steps you can take that will help your kids to form healthy eating habits that they will carry with them into adulthood.

Set An Example

One thing that is true in every family throughout the world is that your children look to you, the parents, to be their role model. Many of their habits will look similar to yours because your children will emulate your own habits. One important step towards helping your children to form better eating habits is to show them healthy eating habits in action. This can be accomplished by displaying your own healthy eating habits so that your children will subconsciously adopt your eating habits as their own.

Stock Up On Healthy Snacks

Children are full of energy. To continue to operate on such a high level of activity, children need to snack often. While many people associate snacking with being an unhealthy habit, it’s really only unhealthy if you reach for unhealthy foods. To turn your children’s snacking in a more healthy direction, limit the types of snack foods you keep in your home. Refrain from purchasing snack foods with high amounts of processed sugar, salt, and oil. Instead, stock up on healthy snack options. Dried fruits, vegetables with dip, whole oat cereal bars, and dark chocolate bars are all healthy options that are low in refined sugars, sodium, and fat. Snacking on healthy food while they’re young will help your children to develop a craving for these same healthy snacks as they grow into adulthood, ultimately shaping their snacking habits in a healthy direction for the rest of their lives.

Don’t Be A Mealtime Dictator

For decades, it’s been a common parental privilege to cook a specific set of foods every meal and dictate to children that they eat whatever you cook for them. While this is an understandable feeding style to adopt, taking into consideration the money spent on the food and the time spent cooking it, this position will ultimately cause your children to develop unhealthy eating habits. Being a mealtime dictator will subconsciously cause your children to be unable to recognize when they’re hungry or full. A more healthy approach to managing mealtime pickiness is to give your children a limited number of options. When a child is offered a limited amount of meal selections, it forces them to internally examine their cravings and how full they are or how hungry they are. This, in turn, strengthens their ability to notice when they’re hungry or full, reducing their chances of developing an eating disorder.

Involve Them In The Meal Planning

You should take full advantage of your children’s thirst for knowledge by teaching them how to develop a healthy meal plan. This can begin with something as simple as sitting them down and asking them what they’d like to have for dinner for the rest of the week. Once they tell you what they’d like to eat, write out a list of ingredients required to cook the meals and take them grocery shopping with you. Involving your children in the meal planning process shows them the process required to put a meal on their plate. This will teach them an appreciation for your effort to prepare it in addition to teaching them the value of preparing a meal from scratch rather than relying on take-out meals or frozen meals, both of which are commonly seen in unhealthy eating habits.

Introduce Them To Smoothies

While plain water is boring for children, green vegetables are an absolute villain. Fighting with children to drink water and eat green vegetables is a war that many parents don’t want to wage. Luckily, there’s a clever way that you can ensure your child gets plenty of both, in addition to other healthy foods that will sweeten the deal. A smoothie is a great way to mask the unpleasant taste of green vegetables while introducing a healthy dose of water. Smoothies can be crafted in a variety of different ways with various healthy ingredients that will act as sweeteners and natural flavor enhancers so that your children will develop a fondness for smoothies and implement them into their diet as they grow older.

How Technology is Changing Workers’ Compensation

Technology has changed virtually every facet of our lives – and workers’ compensation is no exception. Today, claims are handled more efficiently and accurately. Employees have higher rates of satisfaction, and costs are lower. This is all thanks to technology.

Here’s how technology is helping change workers’ compensation:

Employees are Empowered

Technology is helping to empower employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Mobile technology in particular has allowed workers to file their own claims, keep their cases organized and stay up to date on their claims.

With technology, there’s no need to worry about lost reports. And if multiple people are filing claims, you can ensure that data is collected in the same way. This preserves the integrity of the data – something that paper forms can’t offer.

Workers are also encouraged to take a more active role in their recoveries, which reduces time away from work. This is achieved through the sharing of information, reminder triggers and gamification.

Better Claim Management

Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, which can make claim management a challenge for national corporations.

“Each state has a system of laws generally referred to as workers’ compensation,” says Jason D. Mills & Associates. “These laws vary from state-to-state and by occupation, but they ultimately serve to protect workers and ensure that employees who suffer injury due to work accidents receive proper compensation including benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.”.

Workers may not know what to report and to whom. Claims may get stuck in limbo. Information may be outdated or inaccurate. Rules and regulations may be overlooked.

Technology can help organize and streamline the management process.

The digital collection of data and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) can make claim management more organized and efficient.

In the future, blockchain technology may be used to ensure that all transactions are secure and the data is accurate.

Improved Communication

Smartphones make it easy to quickly capture and share important information that impacts workers’ compensation claims.

Employees can use mobile technology to report information from the field in real-time, eliminating delays and unnecessary paperwork.

Real-time sharing of information allows the data to be seen by HR, medical providers, administrators and others involved in the claims process. These technological developments have resulted in more accurate claims that are processed more quickly.

Greater Cost Savings

Ultimately, technology has helped reduce the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims. A streamlined, more efficient process reduces cost and time investment.

Wearable technologies and mobile apps can also help prevent claims by warning when employees are fatigued, overheated or engaging in risky repetitive-motion tasks.

The best way to lower workers’ compensation costs is to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Technology is not only helping prevent injuries directly, but also helping managers and supervisors manage safety programs.

Even with wearables and safety programs, injuries may still occur. Technology can once again help cut down on costs by organizing and streamlining the claims process. Efficiency and greater organization will save money in the long-run.

Selling As-Is: Should You Replace the Roof First?

As a seller, you may want to offload your home or renovation property “as-is.” When a home is listed “as-is,” this means that the property owner will not make any repairs when selling the home. The buyer understands this when they go into the bidding process, and the home is often discounted in the process.

The repairs that need to be made may be minor, or they may be serious, such as replacing the roof.

Understanding Appraisal Value Without Replacing the Roof

“As-is” doesn’t mean that the roof is necessarily leaking or in bad shape, but the roof may be old. Perhaps the roof could be replaced because it’s near the end of its lifespan. The best roof shingles can last 25 years if using fiber cement shingles.

But a roof that is made from metal can last 50 years.

If your roof is 23 years old and uses fiber cement shingles, the potential buyer may not want to purchase the home because of the eventual cost of replacing the roof.

Now, in terms of a sales price, if the roof isn’t leaking or doesn’t show signs of damage, it will not lower the appraised value.

A roof that is older yet in good condition will not cause the price of the home to drop.

Judging the Increased Value That the Replacement Offers

How much can you sell the home for if the roof has been replaced? That depends on a number of things. If the roof is leaking or in such a bad shape that it lowers the appraised value, you’ll be able to sell the home for a higher price when the roof has been replaced.

Sales are also faster when there’s been a recent roof replacement.

In terms of insurance, prices are lower when a home has a new roof, so this is an additional selling point.

Generally speaking, the home’s value will reflect the cost of the roof replacement. If you plan on selling the property for $100,000 but the home needs a new roof, you’ll need to deduct the cost of the new roof. Roof replacement can cost $5,000 – $10,000, depending on the size of the home.

In terms of a return on investment, Remodeling Magazine claims that a full roof replacement will provide a return on investment of 53.4%. So, a $10,000 roof replacement may add $15,000 to the home’s value.

If you’re selling “as-is,” you may want to consider a roof replacement to:

  •         Sell the home faster
  •         Add value to the selling price

But you will also be adding to your expenses when selling the home. If you don’t have the capital to make the replacement, selling “as-is” may be the best option. You will need to lower the selling price of the home, and you will have a harder time selling the home unless the price is on the low-end based off of current sales comparisons.

Selling “as-is” means that the final sale price may be lower, but you won’t need to spend extra time on the home or invest more into the home.

Secrets of Successful People to Living a Balanced Life

It is a popular misconception that there is a secret to becoming wealthy and successful. In truth, anyone can be wealthy and successful, it mostly just requires a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance. Having said that, however, there are certainly some habits that are shared by almost every successful person on the planet. One of those keys is balance. For instance, you will never become truly wealthy by socking away and saving every excess dime you have, but you will also never become wealthy by spending – or even investing – every excess dime you have either. To successfully build wealth means finding the balance between knowing when to save and when to spend. Here are 5 other secrets of successful people to living a balanced life.

1. Never stop learning 

Some of the most successful and powerful people on the planet are what is sometimes referred to as lifelong learners. In addition to appearing in more than 32 movies and short films, actor James Franco enrolled at UCLA in 2006 and got special permission to take enough credits to graduate with a BA in just two years. Following that he simultaneously attended three different grad schools in New York, getting an MFA in writing from Columbia, and is currently working on a Ph.D in English at Yale University. Needless to say, Franco probably doesn’t go to school simply because he believes it will help him further his career.

2. Know when to say no – and when to say yes 

Hollywood powerhouse Shonda Rhimes has created some of the biggest blockbuster TV shows on the planet, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. As a successful producer and mother of three, Rhimes had to learn to say “no” to a lot of things. But one year she decided to say “yes” and that year changed her life. After a year of saying yes, it’s unlikely that Rhimes still says yes to every invitation that comes her way, but by saying yes for a year she achieved more balance in her life.

3. Know when to work – and when to not work 

It is a common misconception that some of the most successful people must all be workaholics. In fact, the most successful people understand the vital role that downtime plays in achieving and maintaining success. So much so, in fact, that most successful people actually schedule their downtime, sometimes even before everything else. Success isn’t really success without meaningful relationships and meaningful relationship aren’t something you can just schedule. What you can schedule, however, is the time you need to build and maintain those healthy relationships.

4. Don’t get caught in a rut 

When you want to be the best at something, it is easy to spend all your time learning, building and growing in that arena. Conversely, however, spending too much time working in a single arena can actually lead to burnout and fatigue. Many famous athletes spend their offseason participating in a wide variety of sports ranging from surfing to golf, in addition to activities like painting, cooking or designing clothing. While you may not be a pro athlete, don’t be afraid to try a new activity like tennis, golf or weightlifting.

5. Know where you are going, have a plan for getting there and don’t freak out when things don’t go according to plan 

When you want to go on vacation, one of the first things you generally do is choose a destination. From there, you need to make a plan for getting there and what to take with you and what to do when you arrive. Remember – this is a vacation – a fun thing to do and yet some people have a far more detailed plan for their vacation than they do for their regular life. But what would you do if you went to the airport and your plane was delayed or your flight canceled? Would you just throw up your hands and go home or would you wait for another plane or negotiate a new plan? The likelihood is, you would not be easily deterred from getting to your destination and enjoying your vacation. What is true of your vacation should be true of life. You should have a plan, a destination in mind and an idea of where you want to go, but you should not just quit and pack it in as soon as there is any obstacle to reaching your goal.

Ways Businesses Can Gain More Attention for Their Business

In a world where consumers have short attention spans and suffer from information overload, it can be challenging for businesses to grab the attention of their target audience. But with a little creativity and effort, you can get your brand in front of the right people and keep them engaged.

Here’s how:

Partner with Like-Minded Businesses

Forge partnerships with like-minded businesses to attract more customers. When I say like-minded businesses, I don’t mean your competitors. Find other businesses that complement yours. For example, if you own a car dealership, you may partner with a local car wash.

Together, you can market each other’s businesses by offering coupons, promotional cards, and general marketing support. If you want to take it a step further, you can host in-store events together or even extend loyalty incentives to each other’s customers.

The key most important thing here is to find the right partners. You should both cater to the same target audience, but you shouldn’t be in direct competition of each other.

When you do find the right partner, work on building a long-lasting relationship to extend the benefits of this marketing approach.

Create Original Content

Content is still the king of online marketing, but you’ll need to go beyond simple blog posts. To engage with your target audience, you’ll also want to focus on visual content (think Instagram) and video content.

Video is more affordable than you think and can have a significant impact.

Whatever route you choose (blogs, video, images or all three), it’s important to ensure that your content is valuable, relevant and easily digested by consumers.

Offer a Free eBook

They say that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get $38 in return. That’s a significant return on a small investment.

But growing your email list can be a challenge. One of the most effective strategies to grow your list is to offer something for free – and of value – to potential leads. For example, Vogelzang Law specializes in mesothelioma cases and offers a free mesothelioma guide in exchange for signing up for their email list.

Host a Contest or Giveaway

Who doesn’t want something for free? Hosting a contest or giveaway will get your business attention while also giving someone in your target audience a chance to try out your products or services.

Make sure that the prize is something that people will actually want. The more valuable the prize, the more engagement you will receive.

Take an Active Role in the Community

Get involved with the local community. Local networking groups, Chambers of Commerce, Mainstreet organizations and other local-oriented groups provide you with opportunities to interact with the community and your customers.

Try hosting events at your establishment or volunteering your time in the local community. These opportunities will give you a chance to not only meet new, potential customers, but to also get to know the local market a little bit better.

These are just a few of the many ways to get more attention for your business. Before you implement any of these strategies, make sure that they can comfortably fit into your budget.

How Tax Liens Impact Small Businesses

Tax liens can have significant financial impacts on a small business and even your personal finances. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has put a lien on your business property, it’s important to understand what this means and how it will impact your operations.

What is a Business Tax Lien?

Tax liens stem from a business’ failure to pay its taxes in full and on time. Each year, the IRS issues about 1 million tax liens. A Notice of Federal Tax Lien is the official document the IRS will send to your business if it places a tax lien on your property.

A lien means that the government has first claim to your legal property, which it may seize and sell to pay off your taxes.

If your business is an LLC or a corporation, the government can only file a lien on business property, which might include:

  • Inventory
  • Equipment
  • Buildings
  • Intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents and trademarks

But if you operate as a sole proprietor or a partner, the government can put a lien on your personal property to satisfy your tax debt. Personal property can include your home, your car, your investments and any other property you acquire while the lien is in place.

The Good and Bad News

If a lien is put on your business, it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But there is some good news.

Because it takes a lot of time, money and effort to seize your property, inventory it, evaluate it and auction it, the IRS would rather resolve the debt with a direct payment. The IRS is usually receptive to working out some sort of payment plan.

If you’re able to pay your owed taxes in full, the government can remove the lien with 30 days.

The bad news? The lien can make it difficult or impossible to get a business loan and will likely hurt your business’ credit score.

What are Your Options?

If your business owes less than $25,000, the IRS might agree to enter into an installment agreement.

The lien may also be discharged if the IRS did not file it properly.

Some business owners opt for subordination. This won’t remove the lien, but it will allow other lenders and creditors to move ahead of the line to be paid. That can make it easier to get a loan.

The IRS may also agree to discharge the lien on a certain piece of property as long as they have a lien on other property that will satisfy the tax debt. By removing the lien from one piece of property, it may be easier to get a loan.

Enrolling in a payment plan is the best way to resolve your tax issue. The IRS should send you a Notice and Demand for Payment from the IRS. This notice means that the government is just steps away from putting a tax lien on your property. Enrolling in a payment plan can prevent them from issuing the lien and allow you to pay your debt over time.

10 Ways to Increase Profits For Your Small Business

Your small business is a living, breathing entity. Many mistake the desire to improve the bottom line to be based on pure greed. This is not true. Improving profits will allow your business to survive during lean times. It also ensures your ability to provide a living to your employees. Here are some ways you can improve the profitability of your business. Some cost a lot of money to implement, many are free.

Improve marketing 

One of the best ways to improve the sales of your company is to improve your marketing. There are hundreds of ways to do this. You could advertise in a local newspaper or television show. You can redesign your brochures. Marketing does not have to be expensive as there are many inexpensive advertising methods. You could have your employees hand out flyers. If you advertise on prime time television however, you’re going to pay an arm and a leg. While the cost to acquire a new customer might be pricey, your efforts will pay off in the end if you can get them to become repeat customers. So make sure your level of service is excellent before undertaking any major marketing push. SEO Tools also help a lot.

Use cheaper suppliers 

When was the last time you checked the pricing on your supplies? Cutting the cost of supplies is a fairly easy and straightforward way to improve profit. Just be careful not to sacrifice quality. Also, know how to negotiate with them.

Markup you product more 

If you haven’t increased the prices of your goods over the past few years, it might be worth it to reevaluate your pricing scheme. Don’t worry! Inflation happens normally and customers expect prices to rise over time.

Introduce more expensive goods 

You might want to reconsider the goods or services you sell. Introducing a high end product might make sense for the bottom line. Although not all your customers are going to buy the item with all the bells and whistles, it’s good to have the item available for people who want it.

If you have a service business, perhaps you could include more periphery services in you standard offering and then raise prices. Or start offering a totally inclusive package.

Using the same line of thinking, it might make sense to eliminate your lower priced options. Customers who are very price conscious can always go elsewhere.

Improve sales tactics 

Entire tomes have been written about improving sales departments. Make sure you are using all the tactics available to you. Maybe you could cross sell product more? Would your sales employees be motivated by a competition? Is there enough training? Are your sales employees being compensated fairly?

Lower labor costs 

Although this might not be popular, sometimes it’s necessary to cut labor costs. Maybe you need to cut hours. Is it really worth it to be open late every night? Or maybe the new manager is not pulling his weight.

Better website

A website is the digital representation for your business. Having a snazzy one can definitely improve sales. What’s great is that there are very little ongoing costs and that they last several years. “Many businesses experience a large boost in ROI in their first year” says Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design.

Improve morale 

Morale is very important for business. You might need to speak to your employee with the bad attitude. Maybe you should sponsor a trivia night or have a party. Make sure to let your top performers know that you’re pleased with their performance. There are many ideas.


If you have a retail location, it might be worth it to explore a redesign. Styles change. If your interior design is a decade old, your décor might be dated. Spending a couple thousand on doing a redesign would be great for your brand.

Improve productivity 

Productivity is one of the most important parts of business. You can improve it with training or buy new technology. Unnecessary tasks can be shelved. Doing so will allow you to get by on lower labor costs.

Consult your employees for ideas 

Employees are frequently one of the best sources of new ideas. After all, you only have one pair of eyes. Empower your workers to make improvements in the workplace.
There are many ways you can improve the profitability of your company. It does not need to be expensive.

When to Use Close Protection Services

Although the world is constantly changing, there are some things that stay the same. Despite the fact that the general population is becoming more sophisticated, there are still people who do harm and may pose a threat to you. If we were living in an ideal world, no one would need any kind of protection. Unfortunately, we don’t, which means that you will need to know when you should use close protection services.

In case you’re starting to worry about your safety when you’re traveling or going to a few meetings around the city, then it’s probably time you hire close protection. Looking over your shoulder and constantly stressing about whether someone may pose a threat to you is truly nerve wrecking. Keep in mind that as soon as you have a bodyguard by your side, you will immediately stop worrying.

After all, the individuals that offer you protection are all highly trained to handle any threat that may come your way. On top of that, their focus is solely on keeping you safe, which means that they will watch out for anything suspicious. If this is the first time you’re hiring close protection, you need to know that your expectations are most likely too high. This is completely normal, since we’re used to seeing those big presidential style executive protections teams on TV. In most cases these teams are much smaller. Nevertheless, you can always hire more people if you want.

Know that highly trained executive protection specialists will help you avoid any problems and don’t solve threats by using brute force. They are completely different from untrained bodyguards that some people choose to use. Although some people choose to hire an untrained person from the gym to protect them, this can be an extremely dangerous decision. This can cause more harm than good since an untrained bodyguard will surely use brute force to reach to threats, which is a liability.

Close protection specialists are much more than strong people. They’re individuals who always do a lot of planning before they arrive on the job. Not only that, but they don’t reach violently when they see a threat because they know it may escalate into something dangerous for both you and them. Instead, they focus on de-escalation whenever they notice this option is a possibility.

The first thing that a close protection specialist will do when he sees a threat is help remove his client from harm before reacting to the threat. This means that although the specialist is trained in handling a firearm and is carrying it with him, he will not use it unless he’s sure you’re safe first. On top of that, these individuals also know a lot regarding important subjects like evasive driving, bomb sweeps, cultural sensitivity, technology, and more.

Despite the fact that executive protection specialists are known for their outstanding knowledge and skill, some people still choose to hire untrained bodyguards since they’re cheaper. In the event that you really need any kind of protection and don’t have enough money to hire a trained professional, this option may help you stay safe. However, safety is not guaranteed if you hire an untrained individual to protect you.

In case you were thinking of hiring an untrained individual simply to save some money even though you can afford to hire an executive protection team, you should rethink that decision. Keep in mind that nothing is more important than your safety and if you feel like someone may try to harm you, then you absolutely need to have an executive protection team by your side. Nevertheless, it’s also important not to spend too much money on security in case you don’t need it. Be aware of your situation in order to figure out what type of protection you really need.

5 best careers for college graduates

Are you aspiring to attend a college or graduate from an institution of higher education in an effort to land a great career afterwards? Depending on your education, background and other qualifications, there are possibly lots of careers that you can choose. However, some professions have better pay and more growth opportunities than others. Here’s a list of college graduate careers with lots of employment and growth opportunities and lucrative remuneration packages.  Let’s read on:

  • Biomedical engineering

This is a type of engineering that uses interdisciplinary information from engineering principles and medical knowledge. It involves the development of the technology used in the healthcare field, for instance, the innovation of artificial organs and the replacement of body parts. Also, experts in this field come up with the health care equipment, computer systems, software, and medical devices used to solve various health-related issues.

Biomedical engineering plays an important role in the creation of solutions for health practitioners and patients. They also ensure safety and effectiveness as they research and present findings to scientists and general public on matters concerning health.

2. Nursing

Considering the continued increase of the aging population and generally increasing healthcare needs, nursing is usually called a “recession proof” because of its high demand irrespective of the changing economic trends. Depending on their passion and qualifications, registered nursing school graduates can with time choose various advanced nursing paths such as nurse anesthetist employment, critical care nursing, health policy nursing and medical-surgical nursing, among others.

3. Actuarial mathematics

This is a field that involves the use of a blend of skills in statistics, mathematics, and financial theory to analyze and assess elements of risk and uncertainty in financial decisions. Employed by business clients and health insurance agencies, actuarial mathematicians collaborate with accountants and business analysts to determine company policies and premiums. They can also work for wealthy clients and top business executives. Majorly they set goals to maximize companies’ profits.

  1. Chemical engineering

Chemical engineering is one of the many fields in engineering whereby the engineers involved use the knowledge gained in chemistry, biology, physics, and math to examine problems and devise solutions for different productions ranging from medicine, food and clothing to fuel. The experts spend much of their time in conducting research to develop and improve the manufacturing sector.

Chemical engineers who possess high valuable skills can be very high demand, considering that their work is beneficial to many sectors in an economy. They work in offices, laboratories, and on-site at industrial locations like plants and refineries.

5. Electrical and communication engineering

Electrical and communication engineers are professionals with a wealth of expertise in electronics and communication. They work in a variety of technology industries and specialize in various areas including automobile and aircraft controls, mobile devices, medical instruments, radio and satellite communication.  They typically work in an office, with occasional travel to on-site locations depending on industry requirements

Those are some of the careers that you can venture if you have a relevant bachelor’s degree. Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of what you’d want to be once you are through with your graduate studies or the best career you’d advise a prospective graduate student to target.