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September 09 2013

bloglog

Five Tips to Send Bulk Email Without Getting Blacklisted

                    

Not everybody is out to SPAM you. If you have a small business or a non-profit, there are ways around SPAM filters to reach the people and clients who depend on you.

In the world of internet reality and social media networking, there are a lot of safeguards. There are so many ways of gaining unwanted access to other people's information that there are just as many, if not more, ways to combat it. Firewalls, junk mail filters, and history erasures all serve to help keep your computer safeguarded against attacks, fakes and frauds. This is great for regular people who'd like to steer clear of mass emails, but what about those who'd like to legitimately send bulk emailfor business purposes? Small non-profits operating on limited budgets can run into this problem regularly. If you count your business among these in this situation, all of these safeguards are in place to stop you from being able to successfully reach clients and colleagues, and can result in your email address being blacklisted. Thankfully, there are ways around these tools to avoid being listed as SPAM.

One way is to avoid using an ISP (internet search provider) email address. There are typically stringent limits to how many emails you can send in a day or at one time in place for most ISP generated emails. Switching to an SMTP server (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) will drastically improve your chances of avoiding a blacklist. These are used for relaying emails to your clients, and accept a higher limit of emails to be sent at one time.

Another method is to simply keep your limit of mass emails low ,and send them out over the span of a few days. The thing that typically flags your system when you attempt tosend bulk emailis the amount of information that is traveling over a server at one time. If your information is not highly time sensitive, chopping up the amount of sends from one mass email sent to several smaller ones over a few days can save your messages from being flagged for the blacklist.

Third party mailing services are also another option, and there are several easily accessible and for download on the net with a quick search. These are specially designed for this purpose, following all the guidelines automatically to avoid restrictions. They also ensure that the recipient is provided with the option of opting in or opting out from your mailing list, which is the law in most instances. Some services provide templates for you to fill out, and offer statistical reporting on the emails being sent out.

You can also choose to host a forum or message board that people can check in on periodically. This avoids the need to send the information yourself. The client will know to check in regularly for updates if you also provide the incentives of your business. You can then keep the volume of emails to be sent out to all clients much lower, or completely eliminate the need to send bulk email altogether.

The most expensive option is to purchase and host your own servers within your office. This way there will be no bombarding of other servers with information, and you can cut out the problem altogether. However, as mentioned, this can be very costly. Major email and office software offers programs specific to setting up these needs.

August 15 2013

bloglog

7 Things You Should Know Before Using Speech Recognition

                 

In the medical industry, speech recognition software can be useful and save you time. By speeding up the process by which notes are dictated, patients can be seen and treated faster. However, there are some important things you need to consider before purchasing a software program.

Medical speech recognition software can help your business out in a big way. It can significantly increase the speed with which doctors and nurses take notes, allowing them to spend more time with patients.  This is definitely beneficial to everyone involved—both patient and professional. Here are the top ten things that you need to know before you start using this software for your medical business.

       1. Accuracy. Not all programs operate with the same degree of accuracy. Check out the independent internet watchdogs and review sites that compare the different software programs that you are considering before you make your purchase.

       2. Vocabulary size. You want to make sure that the software you are using is compatible with what your purposes are. This is especially important in the medical industry where a lot of technical biological terms are use. It’s pointless to have a software program that isn't compatible with the vocabulary you're going to be using.

       3. Distortion. A program that is easily distracted by background noises is not going to be very helpful in a hospital setting. You want to find software that will be able to pick up on the dictator's voice and filter out ambient noise.

       4. Continuity. Doctors and nurses may take pauses during their dictation, so you want your software to be able to continue working even if you don’t speak for a few minutes.

       5. Ability to pick up on accents and other speech differences. Not all people have the same pattern of speech, but some softwares struggle with these differences more than others. You want your software to be able to identify what your staff are saying in an accurate manner no matter what kind of speech patterns you might have in order to avoid inaccuracies.

       6. Adverse conditions. There are many different technological issues that could arise and interrupt your speech program. What if your computer momentarily freezes? You don’t want to have your data lost because of a malfunction, so make sure your software stays functional.

       7. Confusion. Some words sound alike. A good software program should be able to discern these homonyms and identify which word makes the most sense given the context.

July 25 2013

bloglog

Indoor vs. Outdoor Contamination

                 
Avoiding both indoor and outdoor contamination are important parts of healthy living. Contaminants can be man-made or natural, but they're all still very dangerous. Green living doesn’t have to be difficult; by taking the proper steps, you can keep your environment clean and teach your children to do so too.

There are two main types of contamination, both of which can be reduced by the use of green packaging. Indoor and outdoor contamination are both major problems, but outdoor contamination is much more dangerous to our environment. Still, both can have big repercussions, and they need to be neutralized to as great of a degree as possible.

Indoor contamination is pollution that takes place within a home, office building, or warehouse. This type of pollution can be severe, but it is often self contained. This makes indoor contamination a much more manageable issue. While it's still a big concern, there's only a very small threat to the outdoor environment. Also, there's a much smaller threat to living creatures. Outdoor animals may be affected to a smaller degree, but this effect is much less problematic.

Major problems with indoor contamination can arise for humans, however. For example, the growth of mold within a home can prove to be extremely dangerous. Mold spores within a home can cause respiratory disease within the inhabitants of an affected home, and can lead to major illnesses. This type of indoor contamination isn’t even man-made; mold is a living organism, but it's still a danger to humans because of its toxicity.

Outdoor contamination is a much bigger problem. The outdoor environmental system is affected to a much larger degree here because the natural restraint of the pollution is not in place. When a chemical is leaked indoors, generally, the spread of the toxic substance is stopped by the walls of the structure. Only in very rare instances will the pollution spread beyond the indoor setting. But take something like an oil spill, for example. When an oil tanker begins to leak crude oil, the spreading of the toxic substance will go on for miles and miles, affecting nature and the natural inhabitants that occupy that space.

The main thing to remember is that any type of contamination is dangerous, regardless of its location. Toxic substances can make us sick, or even eventually lead to death if they're severe and prolonged. In order to minimize the damage of a contamination, proper steps should always be taken. Avoid contact with chemicals, and keep your home free of excessive moisture by running a dehumidifier. Mold and fungi love damp environments, and will grow out of control if they're in the right setting. Even though these things are a part of nature, they're still considered to be contaminants due to their negative effects on human health.

The best way to live a contaminant free life is to be socially responsible. Don’t litter or dump things where you shouldn’t. Pick up your trash and recycle your waste products as much as possible. A clean environment requires everyone’s help, so make sure you're passing your environmental concerns on to the next generation, too. A child is much more apt to recycle if they see their parents doing it as well.

 

July 16 2013

bloglog

How Hard Can it be to Find a Good Roommate?

                

If you’ve ever even seen one sitcom episode in your life, you probably know about the stereotypical strange roommate. You know the guy who barges in and knocks everything over, has strange antics, eats all your food, and is maybe a little too fond of his pet snake? College grads and young professionals are chock full of odd roommate stories, and it’s not surprising. Especially in college, there is just about no way to know beforehand whether the people you are renting an apartment with will have anything in common with you. You show up for the first day of your stay together and run the risk of realizing that you have absolutely nothing to say to each other! It’s very possible to get stuck with a roommate that is rather sub-par.

The reason that people end up with such terrible roommates is because usually the process is random. Of course you’re not going to like everyone you live with if some accident of fate is the only reason you live together. Choosing a roommate is a very important decision that should not be taken lightly. After all, the person you’re living with will inevitably have a huge impact on the quality of your life. So, you’d better choose carefully! Here are some ways that you can go about searching for a roommate that can help reduce the risk of you ending up with someone you can’t relate to.

1. The best way to choose a roommate is by word-of-mouth. Ask your friends if they know of anyone who is looking for a roommate. This way, you will have the word of someone you trust as to whether or not this person is going to be great to live with or just a pain in your neck. 

2. If you’re going to go the Craigslist route or go through some other service where the exchange of information is anonymous, you must interview or meet with potential roommates before making any offers and promises. Not meeting a potential roommate before move-in day is just a recipe for disaster. The worst case scenario here is that you could get seriously hurt or even robbed, or maybe just end up with a meat-eating smoker when you’re a vegan asthmatic.

3. It may not be the best idea in the world to shack up with your best friend, even if that seems like the most obvious option. Often, the person with whom you are closet in the world is often the last person you should consider living with. Best friends are often perfect complements to each other, but that means that they may have very different opinions about things like cleanliness and noise. You may love the fact that your best friend is the life of the party, but you may not like it so much when that party ends up back at your house. 

The best defense against bad roommates is good judgment, so use yours and you’ll be sure to find someone stellar to share your apartment with!

July 08 2013

bloglog

Five Big Recruitment Trends

People are going back to work and are more qualified than ever before. The corporate world is becoming competitive for companies looking to hire qualified candidates, and these trends are leading the way.           

The most recent economic recession is declining, and as the impact of the accompanying financial meltdown subsides, people are slowly getting back to work. Unemployment rates, while still higher than before in some places, are decreasing in most states, and the outlook of the job seeker is starting to look better. There are many different results that came about during the economic crash, and one of those was the fact that many highly qualified workers were left jobless. This was, of course, bad news for them, as the majority of these people had worked their way up to a lofty position in their companies, only to be suddenly let go. The good news for companies that are beginning to hire again is that there is now a large pool of highly qualified, highly skilled workers out there, since many people used their forced time off to go back to school or seek further training in their field. The competition for this well qualified work force is now growing, and companies are finding better and more efficient ways, beyond employment testing, to lure the best candidates to their business. Here are five recent recruitment trends that are helping businesses get the right people:

Promoting a strong brand

Companies can easily forget that potential employees are also mass consumers with a wide network of friends and family. If they have a negative experience during the hiring process, such as lengthy employment testingor poor communication between themselves and the company, word will spread among the applicant's network and the company's brand will suffer. Businesses should stand behind their brand in all aspects, even before and during hiring, in order to continually drive the public to associate their brand with success.

Sell the job

Hand in hand with a strong corporate brand is the ability to make the position and, by extension, the business, a very attractive place to work. Selling the lifestyle and environment of the company as a culture will ensure that employees see the business as more than just a job, and will therefore be more motivated to want to work there. Once hired, the chances of retention of their services increases exponentially as well.

Focus on retention

Since the job market is so highly competitive, the focus shouldn't solely be on bringing in new employees, but making sure to keep the best among the workers that are already there happy. There will always be companies hungry to lure away the shining stars of other businesses. A happy and content worker is a great selling point for the business, and can be very effective in the recruitment process.

Recruitment through social media

Social media is one of the biggest trends in the world and is, in fact, how the vast majority of information is shared among family, friends and acquaintances. A strong social media presence can make all the difference in evaluating and recruiting the best talent to a company, taking the place of employment testing and providing streamlined referrals.

Internal hiring

The economy is still growing, and while companies are hiring again from the outside, many are finding that certain existing employees have undiscovered strengths and skills that might be better utilized elsewhere in the company. This may require a small amount of extra training, or even an outlay for further schooling, but is often worth it because of the employee's established familiarity and loyalty within the company.

July 05 2013

bloglog

How to Benefit from Adjustable Rates

An adjustable rate mortgage can offer a number of different benefits.  However, there are some situations in which an adjustable rate mortgage just doesn't make sense.  As a result, you may want to know how you can make sure that you will actually benefit from an adjustable rate.

There are a number of advantages to an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), but it is important to remember that there are a number of disadvantages as well.  In fact, one of the greatest advantages and disadvantages to an ARM is that the rate is designed to change depending on the market.  This means that the interest rate that you have on your mortgage may go down in some cases, but it can also go up.  As  a result, there may be some situations in which an ARM just doesn't make sense for you, and you may want to know how you can tell whether you will actually benefit from an adjustable rate mortgage or not.

One of the ways that you can tell whether an adjustable rate mortgage will help you or not is by looking at the caps. Many ARMs have set limits known as caps that limit the amount that your payments can increase in a given period.  These caps are typically related to the amount that the interest rate can increase or the total amount that each payment can increase in a specific period.  Caps are, therefore, an extremely important thing to consider when you're looking for an ARM because they can you help make sure that your payments won't suddenly skyrocket to an amount that is far beyond anything that you could ever hope to pay. 

Another way that you can tell whether an adjustable rate mortgage will help you or not is by looking at the introductory rate restrictions. Some ARMs have a special restriction that is designed to give you a fixed rate in the early years of the loan.  These ARMs, which are also known as Hybrid ARMs, will offer you a fixed interest rate for a specific period of time before you actually have to pay the adjustable rate.  This means that you can lock yourself into a rate that is usually much lower than the rate of a typical fixed rate loan for a specific period of time, which can be very helpful when you're trying to build up the savings that you may need if the rate does jump.

The third and final way that you can tell whether an adjustable rate mortgage will help you or not is by looking at the length of time that you plan to hold the property for. The length of time that you plan to hold the property for is an important thing to consider for any ARM because the longer you hold the property, the more likely it is that you will have to pay a higher rate than you are paying now.  This is especially important for hybrid ARMs because you may actually be able to lock-in a lower rate for the entire time that you own the property if you sell the property before the adjustable rate kicks in.  This means that if you're only planning to live on the property for the next five to ten years, an adjustable rate mortgage may be the best way to go as long as there isn't a penalty for paying the loan early.  However, if you are planning to live on the property for at least ten years or you can't find an adjustable rate mortgage that doesn't have a penalty, you may want to look at a fixed rate mortgage instead.

 

May 09 2013

bloglog

How To Make Your Checking Account Work For You
 

Opening a checking account should always be beneficial to you. Freed checking should make your life easier and cut down on costs. But not everyone needs free checking, so it’s important to know what your needs are and figure out which bank products will work best for you and your situation.

Have you been looking at different checking accounts? If you’re like most people, you probably have no idea what you can do to find the best possible account for your needs. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the easiest problem to solve. The best way to start this process is to write down what you want to get out of a checking account and then shop around until you find the one that best suits your needs. Even though this might be unrealistic at times, this is a good way to find something that will work for you. Still, there are some things to be aware of.

Did you know that you can almost always find a free checking account MA  with a debit card attached to it? This doesn't mean you will get free checks; in fact, many banks are now moving away from this. But in most communities, there are banks that will not charge you for holding an account with them. This is true even if you have a lot balance.

Beware of fees. Some accounts are better than others for this reason. If you overdraw your account, you will almost always be liable for paying a fee for this privilege. Some banks are better than other here. Obviously this is something that you want to avoid, but if this does happen, you will want to have to pay as little as possible if you can. Also, if you are susceptible to overdrafts, make sure that your bank is not continuously raising the rate of what you will have to pay as a penalty. What seems attractive at first can quickly change to your detriment if you are not paying attention.

If you have a larger balance in your account, just going with a free checking system isn’t enough. Some banks reward their bigger customers by giving them a small return on their checking balances. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you can find a bank that will pay you a small amount to do your checking with them, this is much better than earning nothing at all. If you want to earn money but do not have a large amount to put in the bank, you can still earn some. Look into opening a money market account. Some banks will allow you to write checks out of these accounts and pay bills with your balance in a very similar way in which a check account works.

Finally, if you want to get the most out of your bank, having the customer service representative on your side is important. If you explain what you want to the customer service department, they will be able to help you find the products and accounts that will best serve your needs. Sometimes people enter the bank looking for checking accounts, but leave realizing that they needed something else completely. If your bank has a good customer service department, they should be able to accomplish this for you pretty easily if you explain to them your situation.

May 07 2013

bloglog

How to Reach a Large Customer Base with Your Advertisements
 

In this day and age, an internet marketing strategy is absolutely crucial to the success of any business. It’s no longer enough to rely on word of mouth or TV, radio, and print ads in your advertising. If you are a business owner and have not yet started to build up your company’s online presence, you should start brainstorming right away. These days, a business without a well-built website and social media campaign might as well not exist. 

When people are searching for new products and services, they head straight to the internet, rather than to the TV, phonebook, or radio. If you advertising goal is to reach as many people as possible, then you definitely have to get your business on the internet.  

If the task of launching an online marketing campaign is too daunting for you, never fear. There’s no reason why you have to take on the project alone. A new trend in internet marketing is to hire an internet marketing agency, rather than take on the challenge yourself. Companies very often outsource their marketing needs to experts, rather than grapple with the challenge on their own. This is a perfectly legitimate way to do things, and had been successful for many different companies. 

Still other businesses hire people with internet marketing skills so that they can keep their operations in house. This is also a perfectly legitimate way to do things, it simply depends upon your preference.  

Whether or not you choose to employ an outside internet marketing agency, you need to make sure that you’re putting strategies into place that will get your company noticed. There is more competition in the market than ever, thanks to the internet itself. The marketplace for just about everything is global now rather than local. Customers are able to choose from services and products from all around the world, and it’s hard to get noticed online without a good strategy. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that you can employ to make your business as attractive as possible online. 

Here are some ways that you can reach as large a customer base as possible with your advertisements:  

1.   Be strategic about where you place your ads online. Try to think of what other sites your customer base might be visiting, and target those pages first. By anticipating where else your customers go online, you can reach them all that much easier.  

2.   Build your company a social media campaign to really get noticed. Social media is the new way that people communicate with each other, and you certainly don’t want to be left out of the loop!  

3.   Make sure that all of your online ads and pages follow the same sort of design principle. You want people to be able to recognize you online immediately by the tone and look of your ads.  

Get started on your internet marketing strategy by considering who your target audience is and how best to reach them. Once you’ve made yourself known through online marketing, the rest is easy!

May 06 2013

bloglog

How To Avoid The Recent Rise In Bank Fees

 

You don't have to be a victim of the rise in bank fees.  Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid them.

As Americans, we live in a world where almost nothing is sold at the advertised price. Taxes play their part in most states on most sales and, if those don't get you, additional fees will. Concert tickets, for example may have a face value of $20, but once it's time to check out, the final outlay could be almost twice that due to processing fees. Banks, of course, are notorious for such practices and they seldom make their fees known, especially when people are looking to open checking accounts with them. It can be a daunting experience joining a bank or attempting to evaluate your budget when you're not exactly sure where your money's going to go every month or after certain transactions. Here are some methods on how to side step some of the most annoyingly common bank fees.

            Step 1: Know your fees

When you step into a bank or are speaking on the phone with a representative, it's basically mandatory to go into the situation armed with a base level of knowledge to avoid getting taken advantage of—of being casually nickeled and dimed, extra dollars relentlessly being plucked from your online checking account .  Overdraft fees are standard, but usually carry different payment options, many of them standing at around $35—not small change when your account is nearing or dropping below zero in the first place.  First, you can opt to keep the fee in place, being punished by the fee safe knowing that it won't result in an embarrassing situation of being denied.  However, if you'd like to avoid the fee, opt out of it.  Just remember that you run the risk of being denied, which could potentially ruin your first date.  Much the same applies to insufficient funds for checking which can bring similar fees of over $35 if there's not enough money in your account to cover the amount on a check that you've written.  You can also be charged for not keeping a minimum balance, or for extended periods of inactivity, receiving paper statements, using your checking account while outside the country, or even using an ATM, especially if it's an out-of-network ATM.

            Step 2: Monitor your usage

Make sure that you don't simply throw away any statements or correspondence from your bank as it may contain vital notices about changes in policies or you may catch hidden fees that you weren't previously aware of.  Since the Great Recession, most banks decided to do away with free checking accounts and charge a monthly or annual fee just for having the account in the first place.  Pay close attention to your spending as well.  If you have several checks out and are concurrently making debit card transactions, you may be subject to over draft fees depending on what time of day the bank decides to process your checks.

            Step 3: Don't be afraid to move

If you find that your bank is hitting you with more fees than you can afford or even count, don't be afraid to shop around for a bank with a better deal.  If you don't need paper statements, you can go paperless and avoid statement fees.  You can also go completely online which will help you avoid possible teller fees just for visiting a branch.

May 03 2013

bloglog

Companies Founded by Harvard Grads Worth Investing In

 

This article gives an overview of great businesses created by Harvard students that have already graduated. These companies or start-ups are perfect options for those who want to invest in hot new ideas. 

We all know the prestige and quality the University of Harvard represents. It is located in Cambridge in the United States of America and produces thousands of amazing graduates each year.  Many of these students have brilliant ideas boiling in their heads and that is how they decide to create their own company.  There are several types of different businesses opened by these students. There are many different Harvard Grads Companies in the fields of medicine, technology, and fashion with new ideas that are likely to grow more and more each passing day.

One of the primary top ventures founded by Harvard Grads is known today worldwide. This project started off as a simple tool to better connect students; it has since expanded to a whole new level. If you haven’t guessed it yet, the name of this project is Facebook.  In 2004 Mark Zuckerberg, together with a few Harvard colleagues, founded what we know today as one of the largest social networking sites in the world.  The site was limited to Harvard students and as time went by it was expanded to other universities in the region.  Little by little Facebook grew and now, over 1 billion people maintain a profile on the site.  Today, Facebook is worth over 100 million dollars. 

Another household name, Microsoft, was founded by Harvard freshman Bill Gates and his friend Paul Allen. Though Gates was just a freshman, his new business exploded. Since 1975, it is one of the most famous computer operational systems known to man. 

Investing in Harvard Companies such as Facebook is a great option for those who are looking forward to success! These companies are innovative and forward-looking: everything that’s hot right now. As the recession has decreased, new ideas like those driving Facebook and Microsoft have become everlasting legends. These two are only some examples of important companies that offer great chances of continuous growth. After all, if you are willing to invest in new ideas, you might as well invest in one that will guarantee you a profit. 

Every day new, innovative projects appear on the market. These ideas usually begin small and, thanks to the economy, are able to grow. Sometimes, investing in simple, creative ideas with the potential to later become huge enterprises is the best thing you can do.  These students are full of will and energy to create and innovate the market. 

There are many other ideas that are worth your investment. These were also created by Harvard Grads and are promising! For instance, you can invest in an interesting business called The Taxonomy of Bras that standardizes bra sizes, giving all women the opportunity to feel comfortable. Magpie, on the other hand, provides great contacting tools for people or even big companies. The Doorman Project provides doorman services for buildings and others. In the world of apps, you can invest in the Totem, a platform that allows other people to help storywriters increase their job quality. Another is the Top Tipples, which allows people find the best wine options available on menus. 

These are only a few options for those who want to invest in new companies, especially those that were created by Harvard students and that are worth investing in. Starting a business takes a lot of courage and resources, but having the right mentality and plan can get you to the top no matter how rough it seems. Take a lesson from what you’ve seen from the successful operation of these businesses; the astounding part is that they were all started by young Harvard Graduates. If you are an investor that is exactly what you need: new and fresh ideas hot from the oven!

May 02 2013

bloglog

Why Should You Establish Your Business Near Your Competitors?

 

Boston, once known primarily for its wonderful clam chowder and college hockey teams, is gaining popularity by the day. Though the city has obviously been around for far longer than the Red Sox, Boston has remaining in the cosmopolitan shadows for decades. Bigger cities like NYC and LA have always trumped Boston, being larger and more bustling. 

In the past, companies and luxury real estate have existed primarily in these bigger cities by virtue of exposure. But these difficult economic times are transforming the landscape of modern business practices. It no longer makes sense for many companies to base themselves in those larger metropolises, as they are so terribly expensive. Renting an office in NYC or LA might just be off the table for many business owners, and real estate developers are not keen on building apartments that people might just not move into it. It’s for this reason that Boston is seeing a new surge in popularity these days.  

Boston luxury properties are springing up all over the small city. If you are looking to relocate in order to start a business, you may have already started contemplating Boston as an option. After all, Boston has every amenity and comfort of Manhattan, with much more leg room. 

From the arts and entertainment to major league sports, there is truly something for everyone in Boston. And these days, business is booming all over Bean Town. If you’re just building a new business now, Boston might be an excellent place for you to consider. It will be far less expensive to set up shop in Boston, after all, and getting into a brand new office building could be the kick start you need to get going. But you may be asking, why should I come to Boston if that’s where all the competition is headed? 

Here are some reasons why it’s actually a good thing to establish your business near your competitors:  

1.   It’s a proven fact and economic principle that competition drives business up. If there is only one store in town, that store will never be pushed toward challenging and innovative ideas. If, on the other hand, there are several similar operations in the same place, they must innovate and come up with daring new risks in order to stay relevant.  

2.   If you place your new business beside your competitor’s, chances are that your location will be excellent for business. Traffic is a huge component of having a successful business, as is exposure. By putting yourself among already-established businesses, you’re claiming your part of the attention that consumers have to spare. 

3.   Being among competitors also means that you can keep an eye on new developments in their business strategies. This is essential for you to stay relevant. Keeping up with your competition is one of the smartest things that you can do, as a business owner.  

So why not consider basing your new business in Boston? Competition is getting stiffer by the day, but that means that you’ll have every opportunity to join in! 

May 01 2013

bloglog

Making a Long-Term Electronic Investment
 

On paper, bringing your company into the digital age sounds like a fantastic idea, and it ultimately is. The image of joining companies around the world in embracing all things internet related is a satisfying one, as the internet is where more and more business and enterprise are migrating as the years go on.

With each passing day, more of commerce is occurring on the web, rather than in person and on paper. There are great advantages to getting your company online, and you’re probably already familiar with a great deal of the arguments. Getting online means being at the forefront of your field. It also means that your marketing and advertising efforts will pay off even more than they already do.

Yes, getting online is absolutely crucial to the success of your company, whether you want to accept it or not. And even more than that, it’s the competitive edge that you need in order to stay relevant in an ever-growing marketplace.

But all this talk about going digital may have you wondering what, exactly, it will mean for your bottom line to make this big transition. While it may sound all well and good to bring your company in the digital age, it’s not exactly like you can flip a switch and be done with it. There is a lot that goes into making that kind of shift, and you should be realistic about the demands beforehand. Ultimately, going digital will pay off in terms of returns. But, at the outset, the investment inherent may seem too tremendous to consider. After all, there is a lot that goes into creating an online presence for a company.

Here are some of the investments that you might have to consider along the way:

1.   Hiring an SEO company might be necessary if you don’t feel confident in creating an advertising campaign on your own. And if none of your in house employees have a knack for SEO, hiring an outside agency might be your best course of action. Sure, you’ll have to pay at the outset, but hopefully that investment will be made up for with all the additional traffic you get online.

2.   You might also want to consider hiring a web and graphic designer to set up and design your web site. These professionals will be able to walk you through the branding process so that you can troubleshoot your site on your own, but there is definitely an initial investment to take into consideration.

3.   You may also need to invest in some new equipment if you’re really trying to revamp your company in a way that is technologically advanced. New computers, printers, and software can really add up if you’re not selective about what you want. But ultimately, it makes more sense to invest in a pricey piece of equipment rather than purchase one that’s just-okay and will need to be replaced.

Though the initial investment seems tremendous, it will be well worth it in the end to get your company online!

Dewitt Medlock is a real estate agent with a passion for marketing and technology. Dewitt uses the internet to market himself and grow his business. Search engine optimization, bulk email service, and pay per click advertising are three of his favorite online marketing techniques.

bloglog

3 Easy Apps for Working out of Office

 

Today there are a seemingly endless number of Apps now available for smart phones and mobile devices.  While many of them are just games or entertainment, but if you are working out of your office there are several apps that will allow you to be away from the office more easily. This brief article will go over 3 easy apps for working out of your office that can make your work more organized, increasing productivity and reducing stress when you have to be on the road.

More and more business professionals use social media as part of the marketing communications mix.  Twitter and Facebook seem to still be the top platforms for connecting with colleagues and customers, and for many it’s the best way to get instant news.  Water main break in town and streets closed, you can get that feed instantly on Twitter, before it hits the radio or TV, and re-route to make your meeting on time. 

So, when out of the office, you will want an app for staying connected to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. TweetDeck is an app that allows you to seamlessly manage multiple accounts on mobile platforms. And if you have more than one social media account it allows you to very easily see what’s going on with your various accounts, from the convenience of one easy interface. If you are a big Twitter user you will definitely want to look into TweetDeck as an easy app for working out of your office. 

Skype, the popular video conferencing and calling program, is now also available for mobile devices.  When out of the office, it is possible to still attend virtual meetings, and have those face-to-face discussions that cannot be replaced with a short text.  Skype is free to use, but to connect, all parties must be on the network.  To use this service when out of the office, you will need to plan ahead, and be sure your staff and colleagues have Skype accounts.  Then it’s easy to stay in touch. 

One last invaluable app for working out of the office is a recent development in mobile payments.  If you have a PayPal account, the online payment giant now offers a simple app for taking credit cards through your smartphone.  Best of all, the app, as well as the reader, is free!  There is also the added advantage that if you have a business account, fees are lower when the customer is present with their credit card, rather than the credit card being used online.  This is because there is less chance of fraud when the person is standing in front of a merchant with their card, and the merchant, if they choose, can actually verify ID.

Many businesses have credit card processing in their retail locations, but there are many instances when mobile payments would ensure an instant sale.  Just think about trade shows and fairs.  Rather than a customer getting some information and then forgetting about it before they get home, you can clinch the sale and they can walk away with the purchase.  Not only is the new PayPal app convenient, it should also increase sales revenue. 

These 3 easy apps for working out of the office are actually almost like a virtual assistant that travels with you – and it’s one that doesn’t need coffee breaks! 

This article was written by Phillip Presley he is interested in computer science and new technologies. He recommends that all companies consider integrating new remote access software technologies into their business. 

April 30 2013

bloglog

Love Story Inspired Looks For The Working Woman
 

This article takes a look at the workplace fashions that have been inspired by the 1970s romantic movie Love Story. You can read about the trends that modern women are wearing to work, and how they originated from this classic movie.

The movie Love Story, which came out in 1970, is the sweet story of two young people who meet and fall in love, only to face challenges from a disapproving parent. All attempts to reconcile are refused, and the couple must continue to go on with their lives together. Like the stories in most great romance novels, they believe love can fix everything but soon learn their beliefs are naive. It becomes the love story of a lifetime. Ali McGraw’s clothing from the movie has inspired women's fashions ever since.

Trends from past decades fade in and out, but some seem to have a greater impact and reappear more often than others. This is probably because of their timeless styles which can suit most body types and can be worn for work - or play. In the same way that great romance novels stand the test of time, so does genuine style. The old adage, “what’s old is new again” comes into play when you have the opportunity to raid your mom’s closet and find clothes like sweater dresses, wool trench coats, pleated plaid skirts, and chunky knit sweaters that are appropriate to wear in today’s workplace. These items never seem to go completely out of fashion because their designs are classic, tailored, filled with lots of bright colors and most importantly, they are comfortable. Also, a lot of modern clothing on the market for the working woman is either drab or too revealing.

With a little bit of research, it is easy to see that today’s hot brand names like Burberry, in the design of their plaid wool coat, or Yves Saint Laurent’ in the design of their mini shoulder bag, were inspired by the movie. Although the top designers offer these looks, prices for this style of clothing are not usually inexpensive. A few choice pieces added to your wardrobe will enhance your look and bring you back a little of that 1970s love.

Even today’s celebrities are not immune to the lure of Love Story inspired fashion. Most recently, Taylor Swift wore a similarly styled dress for her music video, Oprah featured a photo shoot with Angie Harmon wearing 1970s inspired sportswear, and Jenna Elfman donned flare pants and platform sandals.

Clothing trends can move swiftly and sometimes go unnoticed unless the style is dramatic and far reaching. The fashions from this movie, and those inspired by great romance novels as well, have survived for decades. It does not look like the styles from this movie are going to leave us any time soon – they may evolve slightly, but the influences we see today in women’s clothing will continue into tomorrow.

Women’s taste in clothing may vary with the passing of the generations, but we will always be looking for something to wear to the workplace that is stylish, attractive, yet still appropriate. Love Story is just one of those rare inspirations that got it right. So go ahead and inspire your own fashion Love Story…

April 29 2013

bloglog

Apps That Will Help You Fight Diabetes

 

Now-a-days almost every phone available in the market allows you to download applications, or if yours doesn’t, you can do so on your iPad or iPod. Some applications available can help people with their fight against diabetes.  

Almost everyone around the world downloads applications on their phones or on other gadgets. If you aren’t aware of it, with the help of some applications you can try to control and keep track of your diabetes. The applications help you can get the information on hand and free of cost. Before the introduction of computers, people used to get the blood glucose results on paper. Today, there is no longer the need to visit a doctor as often as you used to do so.

The benefits of such applications are that users get the information electronically, so the information can be saved on their phones, and it also helps them save money and time. There are many applications available in the market, a few apps are mentioned below:

-  Wave Sense

-  On Track

-  Glucose Buddy

-  Vree

-  Calorie Counter by My Net Diary

Wave Sense: This application is available on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This application helps you know the blood glucose levels. Some of its features are that it comes with 50 or more diabetes related videos, it allows you to  record the number of carbohydrates consumed, and allows you to view graph trends from 7, 14, 30, 90 days.

On Track: This application is available on Android phones. Some of its features are that you can keep track of your blood glucose levels, body fat percentage, weight, exercise, pulse and blood pressure. Also, it also allows you to send your reports to the doctor with the help of an email and you can add personal notes. 

Glucose Buddy:  This application is available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. If compared to other applications, it not only allows you to records blood glucose levels, but it also records the time of the day. It helps keep track of glucose levels “before breakfast” or during the course of the day. The Apps website allows you to create your own account and adds your contact information. You can also view your records and interact on Glucose Buddy forums.

Vree:  This application is new to the market, since it was recently launched. It is free for a limited time, after that it costs $1.99. This application can be downloaded on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices. Some of the features are that you can store articles and tips for exercising, weight loss, type 2 diabetes and nutrition. It helps keep track of blood glucose levels, blood pressure, weight and exercise. It also allows keep track of food and medication intake if needed. You can even view and email graphs to your doctor.

Calorie Counter by My Net Diary: This application helps record meals, medications, water intake, exercise and weight. You can even search for packaged foods you can consume. This application is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

This article was written by Christian Adelman, an experienced dietitian and fitness enthusiast. Christian believes that a Dash diet and regimented exercise routine can get anyone into great shape. Christian also enjoys reading, biking and vacationing in the Caribbean.

April 26 2013

bloglog

What Are the Benefits of Term Life Insurance When Choosing a No Medical Exam Policy?

 

The main benefit of getting insurance without a medical exam is that you're odds of getting denied coverage is highly decreased. There will be a price to pay, however. 

The subject of life insurance is almost always a tough one for most families. Browse the keyword “insurance” in most search engines and you'll begin to see the endless list of advertisements: “Get no medical exam term life insurance fast and easy by clicking here!”. It's obviously a serious and heavy commitment to discuss, but a very necessary one. The heads of the household are responsible for the majority of the family's good fortune, lifestyle and future because of their financial income, but if that were to be suddenly taken away, they'll want to make sure that the family doesn't suffer as a result. Life insurance can also be looked at as an investment, with term life insurance providing a certain amount of coverage over a specific amount of time. The one hurdle of course is the medical exam. A medical examination could reveal health issues that will skyrocket your premiums, or they might deny you coverage altogether. In light of that, there are definitely some benefits to getting no medical exam term life insurance. 

The main benefit of term life insurance is that it provides security for family members for a designated period of time. This can be good for covering burial expenses, medical costs, estate taxes and more. It's also the better option ahead of whole life medical insurance for things with ongoing expenses such as college tuition, mortgage, child care and paying down debts. Unlike whole life medical insurance, the premiums are higher because the vast majority of term life insurance policies run their entire length without being claimed. While both types of life insurance usually involve an in depth medical exam, there are many programs that allow you to skip this step. 

The best and most obvious benefit of having no life insurance medical exam is that you can skip the hassles commonly involved with getting medical tests, like the tedious tasks of finding a doctor to do the exam and making an appointment that is convenient for you. The basic exam includes blood tests, blood pressure, urine samples, height and weight measurements. However, at a certain age, usually around forty years old, exams can be a bit more involved as the life insurance company seeks to reveal undiscovered health conditions. Insurance companies know that the older you get, the higher the chances are of you having medical problems that could result in death. 

Opting for no medical exam term life insurance is the best option for people who know that they have a pre-existing medical condition, because the insurance company will predict that the likelihood of them having to pay out will be higher. In turn, they opt to charge higher premiums to the consumer, and the policy can be quite expensive. This is obviously counterproductive to the point of the insurance. While you can expect to pay a higher premium anyway when you skip the medical exam for your life insurance, as the company seeks to counterbalance their risk, it will likely still be the most cost effective option.

bloglog

How to Pick the Best Stocks to Invest in
 

The stock market can be very intimidating.  Here are some tips on how to get in trading with confidence.           

Almost everybody knows of the stock exchange, and when you mention it, most people get an image in their head of the frantic trading floor on Wall Street with wild eyed screaming businessmen in loosened ties waving papers above their heads with one ear on a phone.  While that is definitely a daily occurrence, there is also now a growing legion of day traders who conduct their investment businesses from home on their personal computers or tablets while simultaneously taking advice from their financial planning consultant.  No matter what people's view of the phrase is however, few people actually know what the stock exchange or trading really is and how it works, let alone how to do well making money with it.  Indeed, the vast majority of day traders lose money doing what they do.  If you are interested and curious about delving into the stock market though, there are some things you should know before you take the plunge.

            Step 1: Educate yourself           

The stock exchange is no place for the ignorant, as you will surely get eaten alive and quickly without knowing what you're doing.  A financial planning consultant would offer some advice, but you might not be able to afford their services, especially if you can get a grasp on it yourself.  Basically, you buy a piece of a company because you think that their product is going to do well.  If it does, the value of your piece increases and you make money.  If it decreases though, then you lose money.  You should know the risk involved and the statistics that most people, if you're doing it from home, lose money.  A broker would be a good start.  For a fee, the broker will have their finger squarely on the pulse of the market, what's rising in value and what's losing, and help make trades for you.  Read blogs, pick up a few books from the recognized industry experts and make sure you know the basic terminology so you don't get lost when the technical jargon starts to fly. 

            Step 2: Know the stocks you choose 

While you should eventually work your way into diversifying your portfolio, start with stock in a business or industry that you know and follow already.  That way you're likely to be more attuned to the trends, rise and fall of the market which, in the end, is what stock trading is all about.  It should be a relatively up and coming business that's not quite famous.  The public at large may not be completely familiar with the Ready Rocket Widget, but if you're in the know and follow closely, you can be in on the stock before business takes off and the stocks explode in value. 

            Step 3: Trade with confidence            

Your financial planning consultant will be the first to tell you that, while you do want to be smart with your money on the stock market, a good deal of that comes with having the guts to stick with a stock both when it's doing well and when it may take a dip.  All businesses will have bad days or weeks, but you must be confident that they will come out stronger.  Trading in and out of different stocks in short spans of time will cost you thousands in fees.  Of course, if you know the stock is done for, don't be afraid to sell.

bloglog

How to Grocery Shop Effectively in a City

 

If you’ve just moved into the Longwood Apartments, then congratulations on a wonderful new step in your life! The Longwood Apartments have become some of the most popular properties in Boston, and for good reason. 

More and more, people are staying out of huge cities like NYC because they’re simply too expensive to live in. New York rents are skyrocketing, as are costs of living, which means that small cities like Boston are only becoming more and more popular. And, among all the communities in Boston, Longwood is proving to be one of the most prosperous. 

Located within the Longwood Medical Area, the Longwood apartments are decked out with just about every amenity you could ask for. All the exciting things to do in Boston are close enough to be accessible, but far enough away to not be a nuisance. If you’ve chosen Longwood, you’ve definitely chosen well. 

But if you’re relocating from the suburbs, rather than from a bigger city, city living might still be perplexing you a bit. There is definitely a learning period after moving into a big city, where one must grow accustomed to the different ways of doing things. Even the smallest tasks have to be reevaluated when you switch over to city life. Don’t be worried if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the new information, everyone gets the hang of it in time. Just take things one task at a time, and you’re sure to be a city living pro in no time. 

Starting with something that is pretty everyday, here are some tips about how to grocery shop effectively in a city:

1.  One very popular method of grocery shopping in the city is having groceries delivered. This may sound like a very fancy option, but it’s actually a very affordable and convenient way to do things. Using different websites, you can order the food you like from your home and have it delivered to your doorstep. And it isn’t just the big, fancy stores who make this available now, but all kinds!

2.  If you’re going to forgo delivery, then scope out all the options in your area. The big stores may not be the best way to go all the time. There is often better produce to be found in local markets, rather than at those huge shops. Try buying local for a richer, more healthful shopping solution.

3.  Pick up staples as you go, rather than buying all at once. Eventually, you’ll build up your stores of essential items, but there’s no reason to rush into it. Better to simply buy as you go and save yourself the back breaking trip. Since most people don’t have cars in the city, this is a much better solution.

4.  Learn the public transportation system and get your groceries home on the train! It’s better than walking all the way, after all.  

You’re sure to master this and other city skills in no time once you’re living in your new apartment. Longwood makes it easy for anyone to feel like a real city dweller.

January 22 2013

bloglog

How Sustainable Packaging Is Important Across All Industries 

There has been a lot of talk recently about the importance of minimizing the environmental impact that the typical consumer products cause. And there have been a lot of solutions proposed, such as recycling programs being put in place for materials that are potentially hazardous, like batteries and fluorescent bulbs. Manufacturers are also being asked to make products that are more durable, which are less likely to end up in the garbage on a short term basis. But one of the largest sources of waste is not the product itself, but rather the packaging that the product came in. 

Most of us don't keep the packaging that a product came in, but we rather throw it in the trash. What this does is further fill up our nation's landfills, which in many cases are already close to capacity. 

As environmental consciousness increases greatly during the past decades, manufacturers are now taking action in order to reduce the overall impact on the environment that their product's packaging will have. Some have switched to packaging that is more minimalist, being just enough to house the product, thereby reducing the amount of waste that it will generate once it has been disposed of. 

In some other industries, we can find product manufacturers that create packaging that the consumer will want to keep and maybe re use for other purposes in the long term. This is a good idea, as it reduces the overall packaging waste, but it comes with a few problems.

  1. packaging that is more durable costs more to produce
  2. this kind of packaging may not be suitable for all industries, especially the snack foods segment. After all, who would want to keep the plastic box that a sandwich they got from the corner store came from? 

But there is another alternative: using sustainable packaging. This is something that has started to gain much attention across several different industries, like the food industry and consumer electronics manufacturers. Ordinary packaging is usually made out of plastics, which use petroleum based products to create them. Now that oil prices have been going up on a steady basis for the last couple of years, the costs to make products which use oil have also gone up, prompting manufacturers to try and find alternatives that could be cheaper and that won't deplete the world's oil reserves as much. 

There is also the issue of many plastics that don't biodegrade, but rather stay in landfills almost indefinitely. One solution is to use bioplastics, which are plastics that are made out of various types of plants. In this case, the cost of creating the packaging is lower as it doesn't use oil, plus there is the advantage that these plastics have less harmful effects on nature. 

In light of these issues, it is important that all industries which create packaged goods look for ways to create packaging that is more sustainable. It not only saves money for everyone, but is also a good environmental gesture. 

January 21 2013

bloglog

Do we pick products who have green packaging over others?

Packaging is an important part of almost any consumer product. But it is also one of the biggest sources of waste generated by households around the nation. 

Recently, a lot of focus has been put on how different consumer goods industries can take actions that will help safeguard the environment now and in the future. Obviously, the topic of packaging is one that came up very often in these discussions. Companies have now put forward plans that will help the environment, by using packaging materials which are less likely to have negative effects on the environment. But the question is: are consumers listening and more likely to choose products which have more eco-friendly packaging over others? 

Now one thing to know is that we're talking about the ordinary consumer here. There will always be people who are very environmentally conscious and will always seek to find ways that will limit the environmental impact that their activities will have. It is obvious that these individuals are already looking at how “green” the products that they buy are, including their packaging. But for the ordinary consumer, there are usually other factors that they use to determine whether they want to purchase a certain product or not, like its price, quality and suitability for their needs. 

However, thanks to all of the efforts put forward by environmental groups, many ordinary consumers are now starting to realize that their purchases also have consequences for the environment. A lot of them have been made to realize that all of the packaging materials they throw away on a regular basis contribute to the problem of pollution and that they should take steps to minimize the amount of waste that they create when they buy certain kinds of goods. 

But there is some good news in all of this. Partly thanks to the efforts of environmental groups to bring to light the problem of environmental damage caused by product packaging, an ever increasing number of consumers are drawn to Green Packaging, if they know that a certain product has an eco-friendly package. Companies that use sustainable packaging materials, or who used recycled materials to create their packages, have noticed this. It is for this reasons that you sometimes see:

- green colored plastics on certain consumer products that are on the shelves

- stickers that inform the consumer that the product they're looking at has environmentally friendly packaging

-  press releases about corporate green initiatives

-  information on company websites about the efforts that they do to safeguard the environment.

And for now, it looks like it's working. Recent studies show that consumers are more likely to consider a product which has a packaging that they know is made from sustainable materials. This is why companies are now integrating their “green” efforts as part of their overall marketing message, as they know that this will help boost sales by capturing the attention of their targeted consumer base. 
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