Steps To Take Before Looking For A Cash Advance Lender

The gas prices may be sending more people to online cash advance lenders. I heard on the news this morning that in the next few months, the prices will remain high. High is relevant. When I first started driving, the possibility of paying $1.00 for gas caused an outrage. What I wouldn’t give to have that price back.The spike in gasoline prices has caused me to go back into my budget and squeeze more money out to cover the cost. I am glad that the temperatures are dropping so my electric bill will be able to shed some light on this new extra cost. One of the things my father always told me when budgeting is to have a plan for the unknown. No matter how hard you try, there will always be something ready to disrupt your finances. I am pretty lucky in fact that I grew up with a very frugal father who had to learn the hard way when providing for his family. Splurges are all fine and dandy, but if the necessities are not paid for in full, the extras get pushed aside.This is true, but depending on them month after month, you will end up spending more. Paying fees each month to use third party money for essentials ends up being very expensive needs. If you pay $35 – $45 dollars each month just on fees, somewhere some other budgeted cost will have to go without. For me, that money is a credit card payment, part of a full gas tank, groceries or what could have gone into a savings account.When you have fixed expenses each month, the extras will have to come from those other areas. Fixed expenses for me would be mortgage, car payment, and childcare. Utilities vary a small amount on a regular basis with electricity skyrocketing in the summer months. The biggest areas for me to squeeze money will be found in the groceries, slush fund and savings categories.I have a pretty regular routine with driving, so saving in fuel cost would keep me from work or the kids from school and activities.It will not hurt to not save for one month. It’s a tough call because using money for savings can be habit forming. If you absolutely have to skip saving one month, do what you can to double up the following month. A payday loan lender will provide extra cash, but it will not take the place of having your own saving’s account. A slush fund is my way of having some play money. Money in my wallet to buy a coffee, treat the kids to a burger or tuck away for a rainy day. This $40 is easily an amount I can shrink to help cover extra costs. It may pinch me to not be able to grab a coffee when I was running too late to make my own at home, but if I only have to do it for a month, I will make it a priority in order to keep my budget on track. My grocery bill is definitely a place where I could squeeze extra money form without hurting too much. I try to include meat in four dinners each week. That alone helped me cut grocery costs. If I am looking to cut some fast money out for a quick payment, the junk will go. My children will live without potato chips and boxed drinks for a few weeks. It is good for them to learn that sometimes t is essential to make sacrifices in order to make the household budget work.If you truly cannot find a place to squeeze extra money out of your budget, you will know that a cash advance lender can be found online a last ditch effort for extra cash.

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E-commerce Application Development

Selling and buying is an integral part of everyday life. Its existence is as old as human in different formats. After entering into internet world, where people prefer everything online, E-commerce is touted as one of the most viable online business opportunities on the Web today. In comparison to traditional brick and mortar businesses, e-commerce site requires minimal start-up cost and with relatively low-risk.However that does not imply creating an e-commerce site is a simple process; neither does it guarantee your future success. Since it had become an integral part of our nature, every time anyone looks for an e-commerce application they have to start from scratch and needs to redo all the work by just viewing any online e-commerce website and thus e-commerce development becomes a typical job as the progress was not being distributed among the developers.Especially after the occurrence of open source technologies need of a centralized e-commerce application become mandatory. Keeping this in mind few organizations/groups started developing. Now in the market there are many build-in e-commerce applications, os-commerce, Zen cart, Xcart are few very popular build-in E-commerce applications. Build-in applications are very popular and you get a basic structure with all the required functionality of an e-commerce application which you can customize accordingly to make it work for you. Some of them are free while few are paid.At this stage it has become hard to select any application to start your e-commerce business, below are few tips which may help you to select the best possible application.

Easy Setup of store and availability of contributions and forums: Set up of a store should not be a struggle for you. A good wizard having effusive operational facilities will help you to set up your store in minutes.

Since stores are based on a general requirement, you have to modify it to suit your requirements, availability of free contributions, forums may help you to get the work done quickly and efficiently.

Data Management: Every online store needs their data to be imported and exported. This facility helps in smooth product management and effortless migration in case we plan to change the hosting service provider.

Web Analytic: One of the key to the success of e-business is the web analytic. This will help you to understand the business scope and measure your failure rate.


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Is Fashion A Tool For Self-Realization?

The standard clothing of girls and women was for centuries a dress and a skirt with blouse and within these clothing types the designs for special occasions and festive events were created.The social constraints put on women lost their grip around 1910 in the Western World; women gained more independence and took up careers. Mass production of clothing developed fast and made fashion for women accessible, affordable and more variety was available. Prior to this, fashion was reserved for the rich and wealthy.Being granted more rights and codetermination in society and public life, women realized the need to reflect their newly adapted role in the clothes they were wearing. Equipped with a growing self-esteem and the desire to dress up in styles that signal their distinct personalities, new fashion styles were needed.Until 1920 skirts of women reached down to the ankles and in the era of the “Crazy Twenties” a sudden change took place. The first mile stone was reached, when women discovered the beauty of their legs and that these were worthwhile to show off. The result was that the hem of dresses and skirts started to fluctuate between ankles and knees.Physical constraints such as corselets were removed and replaced with brassieres that flattened the bust. Focus on the waist completely disappeared, instead the hips were garnished with loose sitting belts, creating a curveless style. The “Boyish Look” turned into a female revolution, not only in the history of women’s fashion but the general role women played in society.The first short hair style in women’s history, called “the bob”, was introduced and enthusiastically embraced by the female gender. For many it was a symbol of liberation from the traditional long hair, for others it was simply the fact that maintaining short hair is more convenient.Ensembles of separate sweater and pleated skirt grew more popular by the day and suits dressed working women and girls. Participating in businesses and being part of the staff in offices, the suits were like a statement of the change that women were seeking a way to find their self-determined place in a world that was ruled by men. The fashionable straight cut style lasted a full decade and the liberation of traditional clothing proceeded with high speed in 1930.In 1930 women replaced the straight cut fashion with a style that was more in line with their femininity. Graceful, slim lines and a natural waist enjoyed a growing popularity. Feminine shapes were again accepted and also emphasized. The length of skirts and dresses stayed for nearly a decade on mid-calf, to which we refer today as “Midi”. At the end of the 30ies the hem ended 6 inches below the knee where it stayed until the forties. Slightly padded shoulders gave a hint what would be trendy in the 40′s.In “the forties” the attention for fashion had not as much space as many women wished for. Women had to replace the work force of men in factories and service industries because men went off to fight in World War 2. Women had to be mother and father to their children and kept the Nation functioning. They took on roles that were until then reserved for men only. The fashion then was held simple; the garments had to last a while. Nevertheless an appealing fashion could be showcased and the most eye-catching difference with past styles was the padded square shoulders, which are a kind of symbol for these years: a woman had to stand her ground and needed broader shoulders to carry the load. Skirts and dresses ended just above the knee and were tailored for a small waist. Most popular in this time was the suit composed of skirt and jacket.Pants, reserved until then for the male gender only, turned also into a garment for women. Presented in a film by a female actress wearing a suit with pants and tie and looking breathtaking sexy, created the “Marlene Dietrich Look”. The pants reached up to the waist and were closed with a zipper on the side. Using a fly for women pants did not even cross the mind of designers; it was simply out of question. Anyway the success of the pants was certain; they conquered the hearts of women in the Western World by storm and are since then vast fashion items.In 1947 the “New Look” caught the attention of women, replacing the “utility fashion look” of wartime. With the return of the men, femininity in fashion was back too. Women wanted to look pretty and desirable; therefore the feminine flair of the “New Look” created by Christian Dior was enthusiastically embraced. Rounded shoulders, accentuated bust lines and a clearly defined waist marked dresses, coats and suits. Half-circle, ruffled dresses and skirts, were extremely popular. Collections offered more versatile designs, from plaited skirts above the knee to dresses that ended just below the calves.Created on the streets of America was the fashion of teenage girls. Bobby socks, knee length skirts and sports sweaters was at the end of the 40ies their favorite fashion. This was swiftly picked up by the fashion industry having discovered a new target group.Teenagers had the feeling that they were very different than their parents. Rock and Roll, the film industry, television and magazines in the 50ies confirmed this feeling as all these trends were in most of the cases not understood by parents nor approved. The fashion industry gladly fulfilled the need of these teenagers to be different. Jeans, T-shirts, leather and denim jackets were introduced and teenage fashion took off. The more rights for own decision making was granted to the young people, the more variety and fashion styles could be found in malls and boutiques.During the 50ies the way fashion was presented changed drastically. Collections did not last a decade but changed to two collections in one year. An array of clothes was available ranging from full circle, ruffled skirts, supported by starched petticoats to the very popular dirndl dress. The 50ies brought new and dashing patterns to choose from to women. Cotton skirts with a tropical landscape showing palm trees, beach and a sunset printed all around or the cute, slim fit, polka dots ¾ pants that emphasized a pretty figure. Creativity exploded in Paris, after a time of hunger and the fear not to survive the next day. Life was lived to the fullest in Western Europe and America.Fashion accelerated in the 60ies. From a revival of the “Marlene Dietrich Look” to the introduction of the mini-skirt that celebrates its success up to today. Gypsy followed by the Hippie Look, meaning: girls were wearing see-through batiste Indian shirts with no bras and long skirts or velvet bell bottom pants with embroidered tops leaving their belly uncovered. Jeans had reached the status of evergreens and dressed from teenagers to daddies. Grown women could wear anything they wanted, be it a mini-skirt or ankle-length skirt, figure-hugging narrow skirts or a suit with a rainbow colored blouse, pretty much everything was in fashion.A loop back to a more conservative style was tried in the mid 70ies. Convincing women to choose a mid-calf length skirt as the only available fashionable length above a mini skirt failed miserably. Women demanded both and the fashion industry provides since then both.End 70ies children were finally heard and since then designers create also fashion for kids. Children are allowed to choose from a huge diversity of styles & trends and have a voice in how they are dressed and have a clear idea how they want to look.Fashion is picking up social trends and mirrors the roles of groups within a society. It is an extension of people’s personalities and a tool to express self-realization. It seems that it also mirrors in how far these groups are allowed to express themselves freely in a creative, unhindered way.

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The Basics of Credit Scoring and Credit Reports

What is credit? What is a credit report? What is a credit score? Where can I safely get a copy of my credit report for free? These are some of the most important questions in personal finance and they will be addressed in this article. The subject of credit scoring has become an increasingly hot topic, and for good reason. For many years, the general public only associated the concept of credit scoring with the need to purchase high−ticket items such as a new car or a home. Today, credit scoring goes much further. Your credit score can affect your ability to get a good rate on commodities such as car insurance, cell phones, or even determine whether or not you get the job that you want. Indeed, the financial snapshot provided by the credit score has also become a gauge for many employers, especially those who seek to place employees in a position of financial responsibility.What is Credit?Credit is like a report card telling you how well you have paid your bills. Credit is a record of how you pay your credit cards bills, auto loans, mortgage loans, etc. Whenever you buy something with a monthly payment, the people who you collect your bill report this information to create a credit report. Examples include buying furniture on credit or using a Best Buy store card to purchase a computer. Exceptions include utility bills, cell phone bills, and rent payments. Collection accounts, court judgments where you owe money, and bankruptcies are also part of your credit.Who Collects My Information?There are only three companies in the U.S. that collect all your credit information. They receive this data from all of your creditors, like the credit card company or your auto loan company. The companies are Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, also known as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus. They compile all the information they receive and create a credit report on you.What is a Credit Report?A credit report is a document that shows all the information collected by the credit bureaus. A “tri-merge” or “merged” credit report contains the information from all three credit bureaus in one report. This report lists all your past credit accounts that have been reported to the credit bureaus. The report lets you know how much money you owe to creditors, what your available balance is, and your complete payment history, including any late payments. The credit report can also list your current and former addresses and even employers. Additionally, the credit report will also give you a number that each credit bureau assigns to you, called a credit score.What is a Credit Score?A credit score is a number from 300 on the low end to 850 on the high end. Each of the three credit bureaus will evaluate your credit to determine your score, and each bureau will give you a score. The higher the number, the better the credit history. But, exactly how do they assess what’s on your credit report to give you a number?What Makes Up My Credit Score?There are five parts to your credit score (also known as FICO score). Points are awarded for each of these five parts, and a high score is most favorable. The factors are listed below in order of importance.1. YOUR PAYMENT HISTORY − 35% IMPACT on your credit scoreHave you paid your credit accounts on time? Paying debt on time and in full has the greatest positive impact on your credit score. Late payments, judgments and charge−offs all have a negative impact. Missing a high payment will have a more severe impact than missing a low payment, and delinquencies that have occurred in the last two years carry more weight than older items.2. HOW MUCH YOU OWE vs. AVAILABLE CREDIT − 30% IMPACT on your credit scoreThis factor marks the ratio between the outstanding balance and available credit. Ideally, the consumer should make an effort to keep balances as close to zero as possible, and definitely below 30% of the available credit limit when trying to purchase a home. The more you owe compared to your credit limit, the lower your score will be.3. LENGTH OF CREDIT HISTORY − 15% IMPACT on your credit scoreThis portion of the credit score indicates the length of time since a particular credit line was established. A seasoned borrower or longer credit history will always be stronger in this area. However, you can get a high score with a short credit history if the rest of your credit report shows responsible credit management.4. TYPE OF CREDIT − 10% IMPACT on your credit scoreA mix of auto loans, credit cards, personal lines of credit, and mortgages is more positive than a concentration of debt from credit cards only.5. INQUIRIES − 10% IMPACT on your credit scoreThis percentage of the credit score quantifies the number of inquiries made on a consumer’s credit within a six−month period. Each hard inquiry can cost from two to 25 points on a credit score, but the maximum number of inquiries that will reduce the score is ten. In other words, 11 or more inquiries within a six−month period will have no further impact on the borrower’s credit score. Note that if you run a credit report on yourself, it will have no affect on your score. Credit scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, in part by the length of time over which inquiries occur. If you need a loan, do your rate shopping within a focused period of time, such as 30 days, to avoid lowering your credit score.Additional Resources:To order your free credit report, go to this outlet established by the U.S. Congress:www.annualcreditreport.comTo read the Fair Credit Reporting Act, go the Federal Trade Commission’s information on consumer credit, go []To get additional education about your credit and how to improve credit scores, go []

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401K Investing For Beginners

Most people investing money in a 401k plan in 2011 and beyond will likely feel like confused beginners because they don’t understand the various investment options. Investing in a 401k has great advantages and can be as simple as investing gets, even for beginners. Now that I’ve told you that let me prove it.Your 401k is the most convenient way to set aside money for retirement with a tax break, and the perfect place to start investing for beginners. You have your investment options spelled out for you, and you can make changes at will without income tax consequences every year. Plus, you automatically have money going into your account on an ongoing basis which mellows out your risk. Where else can you find such a retirement program? You can get help from human resources if you have questions. But they will not stick their necks out and get specific about investing and the investment options offered. I will.For 2011 and beyond, your first step should be to get your hands on the literature that describes your 401k plan, its investment options AND other features available to you. The second step is to be honest with yourself in terms of your risk profile for investing your hard earned money: conservative, moderate or aggressive. Third, simplify your life by eliminating from consideration the investment options and features that are not important to beginners. Since the vast majority of you are investing as beginners (don’t follow the markets daily and don’t care to) the following features and investment options you can or should ignore.If you have the option of investing in a brokerage account, ignore it. This is for people who want to pick specific stocks and bonds to invest money in. If your employer’s stock is one of your investment options, tread lightly because it’s just another stock in the eyes of the world of investing; and any single stock can be risky. If you have TARGET retirement funds as investment options I’d ignore them too if you are relatively safety conscious and want to control your own financial future. These funds sell themselves as the haven for investing for beginners, one stop shopping. Often they are riskier than you think.When investing money for 2011 and beyond, what investment options and features should beginners focus on? If you have a stable account or fixed account as one of your options, use it as your safe place to invest money. The interest rate will likely be higher than you’ll find anywhere else. Otherwise a money market fund will be your best safe investment option. If your 401k has an automatic rebalance feature, investing for beginners just got better. We’ll explain later.Now, we focus on the basic investment options in virtually all 401k plans that you really need to focus on: stocks funds and bond funds. These are simply professionally managed portfolios of securities ranging from safer to riskier. The stable account or money market fund is where you allocate money for safety, bond funds offer higher interest income with moderate risk, and stocks funds offer the greatest profit potential with the most risk. Investing money in all three of these basic investment options gives you diversification, and is your best way to get long term growth without excessive risk.Investing for beginners guidelines: go with high quality intermediate-term bond funds, and high quality equity-income stock funds that invest in large companies and pay yearly dividends of about 2%. Now the question becomes asset allocation: what percent of your money flowing in each pay period goes to each of the investment options. Secondly, what percentage of your invested assets (the value of your 401k account) should be allocated to each of the investment options? A simple example follows for beginners who consider themselves conservative to moderate in the risk department.Investing for beginners model portfolio: equal money (1/3 each) goes to your safe investment option, bond fund(s), and stock fund(s). Also keep the money already in your 401k account allocated the same way. If you have an automatic rebalance feature, request that your account be rebalanced each year. This way, you keep risk under control. Otherwise, you could end up with too much money in one place because the investment options will all perform differently. If you don’t have the auto rebalance feature, move money around once a year to get the investment options back to equal.If you are conservative invest money heaviest in the safe option, followed by bond funds with the least going to stock funds. Reverse the emphasis if you are a risk taker and want to be aggressive. Investing in 2011 and beyond could be tricky, especially for beginners. In a 401k you have the advantage of money flowing into your investment options each pay period to mellow out the ups and downs of the stock and bond funds. If you follow the investing for beginners guideline we’ve covered you should do just fine over the long term.

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How to Make A Business Bloom

One of my favorite things to any time I visit a place is check out the local shops. They always have so much character, and usually great buys! A small business run from home can be a very successful career choice if managed effectively. It requires a good understanding of Business strategy and business planning, but other than that all you need is an inventive idea! Once you muster an idea, what’s left is the dirty work of finance and real-estate. After you have the nitty-gritty settled, you’re ready to open up shop.Location is an imperative to a successful store. If you pick an outlet in a bad part of town or an area where no one visits, it will affect your business. Small businesses have no means of large advertising, since it is so expensive. So, no one will know that such a jewel is hidden in a bad location. Picking a lucrative spot can be the difference between money spent and money earned. My favorite stores are the ones located in cute towns. Anything near a waterfront or the city is a jackpot. Giving your customers a reason to stick around your store is great. If you’re located next to an ice-cream shack, tourists enjoying ice cream will wander into your store. What more could you want!Also, the store must be inviting. You have to entrance customers into your store. This should be done is a subtle way. People are often offended by flashy signs and in-your-face advertisement. Little touches of homeliness and cheer will do the trick. Adding bright colored window curtains will attract viewers from across the way, or even those driving by. Another nice touch would be chairs and tasteful decorations outside. This will make your business appear welcoming and friendly. Being tasteful is very important however, you don’t want to exclude anyone of any belief from your store. Failing to do this will loose you customers and credibility. You never want to burn bridges with what could be an advantageous client. Always keep an open door.Another important thing to remember when opening a store is your product. After all, the sole purpose of a store is to sell a product. You want your store to have a purpose. Avoid being the “junk drawer” of retail. A good way to decide what types of things to sell in your business is by looking at your audience. If you’re located near water, a kayak store would be a smart investment. If you’re near the city, maybe clothing and accessories would be more appropriate. Targeting your product to the area your in will also bring in visitors. When people travel they like to experience the culture, so stores that mirror the culture of their area will be very popular among tourists!Home run businesses are often some of the best stores. Being run by individuals makes them have character, appeal, and they are usually very nicely operated. Opening a small business can be a great money maker if you have the right stuff. It doesn’t have any set pre-requisite other than, maybe, people skills. Some things to keep in mind while thinking of opening a small business are location, appeal, and product. The location of your store is directly related to success. Also, your store has to be inviting or else you will loose customers. Lastly, your product is key. You have to sell something people want and need.

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How to Reach Students in the Digital Age With a Certificate in Instructional Technology

The field of education is constantly changing and growing with technology. In this digital era, children grow up with computers from the time they are very young. In order to reach these children, educators need to adapt to technology in education and learn how to teach students using technological tools. It’s nearly impossible to avoid using technology and computers these days, especially when it comes to education. Most students have grown up with computers since birth or childhood and use them to learn too. It’s important to know how to use computers if you want to be an effective educator.Getting a certificate in instructional technology is designed to improve classroom technology and integration skills and inspire teachers interested in improving their classroom instruction through technology integration. Beyond this, completing an instructional technology program also helps build resumes. Teachers interested in learning more about technology or enhancing their technology skills should strongly consider pursuing a certificate in instructional technology as a way to improve their careers and expand their knowledge.It’s important for teachers to know the foundations of educational technology. This will help form a basis for which to build upon. Learning about educational technology usually begins with understanding how a computer works, including hardware, operating systems, and networking for educators. This includes learning how to upgrade, repair, maintain, and troubleshoot computers for the purpose of providing positive learning environments and experiences for a diverse array of end users including teachers themselves. Even for teachers who aren’t interested in teaching technology, learning about the basic foundations of educational technology can be helpful for teachers and students alike.Some courses show teachers everything from the beginning, including how to use a computer, so you don’t need any experience before taking any classes. Classes in the foundations of educational technology will focus on everything involving computers, even the details for beginners including how to use a printer. This can be extremely helpful for educators, especially those who have not had much or any practice and experience with computers. Whether you don’t own one or are not part of the digital generation, you can still learn by starting from scratch. This will advance both your personal and professional lives for the better because whether you teach technology or not, you will definitely need to use it one day if you continue with a career in education.Because technology is so important, you should understand not only the basics, but also how to incorporate it into the classroom setting as well as within lessons and classroom activities. However, before that can be possible it’s necessary to understand the social and historical development of the use of technology in education. Learning about the evolution of technology and its applications to education and having an understanding of the social and historical development of the use of technology within K-12 education will take you much further than merely learning how to use a computer.Computer ethics, etiquette, the digital divide, equity regarding students with special needs, English as a second language, and socio-economic factors are also important themes to explore and discuss. Research can show you a lot about the equity issues concerning access and use of computers and related technologies.Perhaps the best part about expanding your knowledge of instructional technology is the effect it has on learning for students. Project based and collaborative learning with computers are fun and effective ways for students to learn. This learning can be implemented in a regular classroom or in a computer laboratory, but either way, ethics, etiquette, and safety online for students and teachers should be of utmost concern at all times.

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Internal Crisis Communications

Why effective internal crisis communication is importantYour employees are perhaps your most important ‘stakeholders’ during a crisis. Poor internal crisis communications can undermine all your efforts to manage a crisis externally, and the lack of trust, low morale, employee turnover and poor customer relations that result can compound the issues you face.So see your employees as your front line to the world. Keep them informed, up-to-date and involved in your organization’s response to the crisis. Read on for some ideas for internal crisis communications – before, during and after a crisis.Good employee communications can avoid a crisis in the first place.Crises seem to come from nowhere. However, very often they are the result of bad practices or issues which have been smoldering for some time. Your leadership team may not have known about them but your employees almost certainly will have.Remind people at least once a year about the policies and processes your organization has in place. For example, tell them about your health and safety, security and financial policies and processes and what they should do if they have an issue.Raise the profile of important messages. Digital signage on screensavers is a great visual way to raise the profile of important messages. Think legal compliance, financial compliance, health and safety… A compliance desktop alert is another useful way to ensure employees read and acknowledge important messages. And an on-line forum that allows anonymous posts can let employees ‘blow the whistle’ and bring smothering issues to the surface so that you can address them before they become a crisis.Planning is the key to effective internal crisis communication.Set up internal crisis communications channels.Make sure your internal crisis communications channels are in place before the crisis hits. The middle of a crisis is not the time to be asking your IT team to set up a new discussion forum or be training your employees to use a communications channel.Make sure the internal crisis communications channels you choose are easy to use, effective and simple to activate and manage.Have a range of internal crisis communications channels available to communicate during a crisis, not just one. Depending on the nature of the crisis, some channels may not be effective so build in some redundancy.These are some crisis communications channels you may consider using:Desktop alerts can be a fast way to get messages to employees who use computers.
Message reporting tools can show which employees have read the messages and identify ‘gaps’ in your coverage. These gaps may indicate that your computer network is down in a particular area and that you need to find other ways to communicate with some employees. Back up these desktop alerts with digital signage on screensavers, and use desktop newsfeeds to update employees on progress.
Set up ‘sleeping’ discussion forums and blogs in advance, target the employees you want to reach and the rights you want to give them (e.g. view, read, comment), and choose moderators. Then just click to activate the discussion forum or blog when you need it. As soon as an employee posts a comment, your moderator will receive a desktop alert notification. You can activate other communications channels quickly too (e.g. desktop alerts, desktop newsfeeds and digital signage on screensaver), to make employees aware that these discussion forums and blogs are available.Use social media to listen to your employees.Some organizations shy away from setting up social media channels internally as they are concerned they will turn into an ‘on-line complaints desk’. This can be a valid concern. However, you cannot turn off employees’ dissatisfaction just by refusing to hear it and many crises start as small, smoldering problems that people have chosen to ignore. Social media are a good way to bring these issues to the fore. While they may create more work in the short term, they will let you keep a finger on the internal pulse and respond to issues early.Set up target audiences in advance.Use an internal communications solution that lets you target the employee groups you communicate with.Connect people in advance and help them collaborate.Use an internal crisis communications solution that lets you set up a crisis management team as one of your target messaging groups. So when your emergency strikes, you can communicate with the crisis team quickly and easily. You can also set up, in advance, a secure discussion forum for the crisis team to use to share ideas during the crisis. Both features will help you respond to the crisis quickly.Carry out scenario planning and plan messages ahead.Set up different messages in advance, target them to the relevant employees and store them without publishing them. So when a crisis hits, you can update the relevant messages and publish them to your targeted employees within minutes, using a range of channels: digital signage on screensavers, desktop alerts, desktop newsfeeds, discussion forums and blogs.When a crisis hitsMake and communicate decisions quickly.Fast, effective decisions are critical during a crisis. But making the right decision at the right time often means bringing together busy people in different time zones. An online discussion forum can help here. Set it up in advance and activate it quickly when you need to. Use the targeting, security and authentication features to restrict access. Delete or archive the messages when you no longer need them.As soon as you have made your decisions, tell your employees. If they understand your decisions, and the reasons for them, they are likely to get behind them. An approval desktop alert can helpful here, particularly if one or more people needs to approve messages before they go out. Use the recurrence settings to get quick sign-off. This will help you finish messages and push them out to employees in a timely way.Tell your employees first.Whenever possible during a crisis, communicate internally before you spread the word externally. Open, timely communication with your employees will help build trust and make them willing to represent your organization and support the way it is handling the crisis.Communicate face-to-face.Face-to-face communication can be one of the most effective ways of communicating during a crisis. However, small, personal gatherings tend to be more appropriate than large ‘town hall’ meetings. Use a RSVP desktop alert tool to offer different session times and gather employees’ questions and concerns before the meetings.Listen to your employees.Use a popup staff survey tool to ‘temperature check’ and gather employees feedback quickly and easily as you respond to the crisis. Deliver your survey onto the desktop of the employees you target and repeat and escalate the message, to encourage employees to reply.Employee discussion forums let you gather qualitative feedback. Employees may be reluctant to disagree openly with the way you are managing the crisis but, if you let them voice their opinion online (anonymously, if needed), they are likely to be more candid. You may not want to hear some of their comments but they will give you a valuable point-of-view.Offer answers to employees’ questions.An interactive Q&A forum can be a simple, effective way to provide answers to concerned employees. You may not be able to predict all the questions they may have, as the situation may be changing fast, so use this online forum as an evolving FAQ.Manage ‘data deluge’.'Information overload’ is a problem in most organizations at the best of times. During a crisis, managing this issue is more critical than ever. Employees may become confused about where to find correct, up-to-date information and important messages may be buried in the deluge of data.Shield employees from low value, mass internal communications. You may wish to defer all communication that is non-critical. Or consolidate ‘lower value’ updates into a ‘one-stop magazine’.Managing information overload helps increase the chances that employees will notice your internal crisis communications. An acknowledgement desktop alert also lets you check whether employees have read and acknowledged important messages. Use the up-to-the-minute reporting tools to see which messages employees have read and where you may need to use other channels to get your message across.Make sure your leaders are seen to be leading.The more visible your executives are during the crisis and the more open they are about what is happening, the better. An executive blog can be an effective way to communicate during a crisis and show the executive team leading from the front. If face-to-face meetings are not possible, video can be a fast, personal alternative.Involve your line managers.Employees will look to their direct manager for information about the crisis and what it means for them. So make sure you give your managers the information they need. The urgency of the crisis may force you to update employees directly, rather than ‘cascading’ information through your managers in the way you usually would. However, there are other ways to support your managers. Consider using a discussion forum for them to ask questions and share concerns. Or set them up as a targeted group and use tools like desktop alerts and RSS feeds delivered onto the desktop to remind them about the important role they play in leading their employees through the crisis.Keep your messages short and simple.Crises breed concern and concern breeds short attention spans. So keep your messages short and simple. Use simple terms, short sentences and features like headings and bold type to highlight your main points.Repeat messages using a range of internal communications channels.A crisis can be a crazy, distressing time. Different people absorb information in different ways and at different times, so repeat your important messages regularly, using a range of channels. For example, consider using:
Desktop alerts for fast ‘cut-through’;
Face-to-face meetings, information hotlines and discussion forums to communicate, listen and give more context;
Screensavers, desktop feeds and e-mag articles to remind and reinforce;
Helpdesks, Q&A spots and the intranet for more information;
SMS messaging and audio-conferencing for employees without computers.Focus on employee well being.Some crises put employees’ health and safety at risk. Addressing this risk should be a high priority. Until you can reassure employees that your organization is taking appropriate steps to deal with the crisis, they are unlikely to be able to focus effectively on anything else. The Swine flu pandemics have been recent examples.Screensavers can be a great way to focus on the precautions the organization is taking and to encourage employees to ‘do their bit’. Highly visual messages help reassure employees that the organization is prepared.Focus employee discussion internally.Due to social media, messages can now spread faster and wider than ever before, both inside and outside your organization. They can be subjective, distracting, hard to manage and inaccurate. In fact, social media can spread panic as effectively as they reassure.One way to limit the negative effects of social media is to provide your own social channels and to restrict their use to within your organization. While this will not stop employees posting on external sites, it will reduce this and concentrate the debate inside your organization. Any external postings employees do make are more likely to be accurate and support the organization’s response to the crisis.Use secure internal social media channels that let employees have their say in a way where you can follow the postings and correct any misinformation. Unlike email which can end up in the hands of people outside your organization, be sure to use channels that are designed to keep internal messages exactly that – internal.After the crisisGet back to ‘business as usual’ as soon as you can. Focus your internal communications back on the things that matter to your organization – your strategy, how you are performing, new projects, the good work your employees are doing.Recognize how your employees have contributed during the crisis.Use screensavers, posters or the staff magazine to thank your employees and profile those who have played an important role in dealing with the crisis.Lighten upIf you have been controlling some of your channels more strictly than usual during the crisis (e.g. moderating social media more closely or editing internal communications more tightly), lighten up on the controls.Wipe the slate clean.Remove old messages that only serve to remind employees of the difficult time your organization has been through. Replace visual messages, remove old discussion forums or archive old posts. Your focus needs to be on the present and the future, not the past.Learn from the crisis – and start planning for the next one.Every crisis brings opportunities to learn. So take the time to review. What worked well? And what could you have done better? Use this information to refine your internal crisis communications plan. Review your scenarios, update your draft messages, improve your internal crisis communications channels.

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10 Essential Investor Tips For Successful Investing

Trading and investing into the financial markets has never been more popular. More and more people are starting to see the benefits of taking a little time to, first invest in themselves through a trading and investing education, but also using that knowledge on the financial markets.Whilst traders may take quicker positions and investor will most likely be holding positions for much longer, perhaps months or even years. So, if you fancy investing into the financial markets successfully, and profit from companies you already know about like Google, Facebook or Microsoft, then these are the ten essential things that an investor must do and know before they start. Let’s take a look…1. What are your goals?It sounds simple but many people start investing into a trillion dollar market without any type of plan which, let’s face it, is essentially a gamble. Whilst it can be very simple to invest profitably for the long-term you must define your goals as this will align your expectations correctly, so you don’t kick yourself in the teeth if you don’t hit a million dollars in one day. For example, knowing whether you are investing for the next five or twenty-five years can make a huge difference to how you decide to invest.2. Start early for compound interestThe single biggest reason to the success of most billionaires is the power of ‘compound interest’. Even Albert Einstein regarded this as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. It basically means that your money makes you money as all the gains you make you put back into an investment so it compounds and builds over time. Sounds good right? It definitely is! The earlier you start the better but no matter how old you are it’s never too late to start but imperative that you do actually start!3. Every little helpsNo matter how little or how big you can invest, it is well worthwhile investing on a regular basis. It sounds so simple but most people don’t see the point in investing just $10 per month. However, if you look to the future by the time you’re very old that amounts to a lot especially if you parked it into some good investments over the years. Of course, most people have a ‘spend today and save tomorrow’ mentality and that’s the trap folks. Save and invest regularly to reap the rewards in the long run – you’ll be glad you did.4. DiversifyIt’s imperative to spread your capital across a wide range of investments to reduce your risk and increase potential returns over the long-term. Whilst some investments are doing poorly some others may be doing great, thereby balancing it out. However, if you’re fully invested into just one thing then it’s either 100% right or wrong. There are thousands of markets across currencies, stocks, commodities and indices so the opportunity is there.5. Educate yourselfBy far the most important tip. You must educate yourself and learn your craft. After all if you’re investing your hard-earned capital it makes sense to do your homework. Even if you read all the articles here and watched all the videos you’ll be doing far better than the majority of investing wannabes who simply give away their money to the markets.6. Have practical expectationsOf course, we all want that million dollar investment and for many it will come at some point. But you can’t plan for that, if it happens great if not then you still need a plan to survive and to reach your goals as discussed in the first tip. Remember it’s the journey that’s the most beautiful part and what you do on a daily basis that makes the difference.7. But don’t limit yourselfIt’s important one must remain conservative in deciding which investment to take. However, that shouldn’t limit you to just what you know. Be creative and find opportunities no matter how uncomfortable they may be. After all if it was that comfortable everyone would be doing it. Be adventurous in finding opportunities but be conservative in deciding which ones to take.8. Manage your riskSuccessful investing is all about managing risk. If you have $1,000 to invest then there’s no point in putting all of that on just one investment. You’re basically saying it has a 100% success rate… which of course is highly unlikely. If you follow the steps above, like making sure you diversify, then you’ll be on the right path.9. Review constantlyA very simple step to achieving more from what you are already doing is to review your investments constantly. However, this does not mean to look at your profit and loss of a five-year investment every single day – you’ll never make it to the fifth year as markets move up and down. But it’s important to review what investments have worked and have not worked. Concentrate on doing more of the stuff that has worked and find out where you’re going wrong with the stuff that hasn’t.10. Have fun!Sounds simple but most people forget that are best work comes from when we enjoy the process. Whilst investing is a serious process you are allowed to enjoy it too. In fact the buzz of finding an opportunity, researching it, investing into it and then seeing the result is exciting in itself.There you have it ten essential tips for successful investing.

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10 Email Marketing Best Practices

Primary! Social! Promotional! Ya… it is the format of our Gmail accounts. It has been incorporated long since today, and is the most lively adopted format which is heartily adopted worldwide. Why it has been divided so? It has been employed to enhance the functionality and the look of the Gmail accounts and you have surely felt the difference when all mails were merged and when all are dispersed into the chunks. Emails are the most professional and technical approach to transfer any attachment and to making on-line diverse deals. Actually, the mail you have sent to your client should be engraved with proper format and the language you will use.Gone were those days, when email ids were identified by only mails and attachments. It is the cut throat era in which email marketing is in vogue. Email marketing is the type of direct digital marketing tool that employs the electronic mail for the purpose of delivery of commercial message. Now, the email marketing is becoming more prominent as the days pass by. Many agencies create the marketing content and then diffuse it to the customers via an email marketing campaign. The problem is that the results can be hit or miss.Now, it is time for a question. How do you increase your chances of getting a click-through? Utilizing the righteous email marketing technique, you can surely enhance your conversions. Just like any other marketing strategy, the email marketing campaign lies in the attention to detail, careful planning, solid content and follow-up. Knowing how to reach your customers is just a piece of the puzzle. In a nutshell, the key to the successful marketing campaign is to pick the apt email marketing path.Email Marketing Best Practices:Let us discuss some tips for developing a strategic email road map that assists you to be prepared to hit the ground running in 2015.1. Go mobile; It’s the future:Responsive design can lead to a 130% increase in email clicks. Yes, you have read absolutely right. Just read once more! With the leading-edge world, this has been clearly stated that regardless of any marketing channel, small screen’s vitality can’t be overlooked. Every single aspect from the website design to newsletters, email template and landing pages, everything has to be responsive. Moreover, adding the social buttons in the email will increase your success rate.2. Invest in Analytics:Data and analytics make sure that you will go with the righteous approach and channel to acquire the better results. That’s why, step up your pace vigilantly about what you are doing, what’s the general market behaviour, what visitors generally behave towards your brand and then perform the steps. If you will spend a dollar on analytics, it can secure your $1 million from going waste.3. Get in front of the readers:Creating the blog and email content are all what was required to reach to the top of the search engines, convert them into users and beat your competitors. The world is not constrained up to just having the content, you will have to promote it utilizing appropriate tools and tactics.4. Lead the conversation on social media:Follow your customers. Go where they move. It is not adequate to join social media networks, you must engage with the customers. Choose the networks your customers prefer to use. Social media channel is the huge and imperative mode to get your brand endorsed. Through the content promotion and the authentic engagement, you can drive the visitors to your website and convert them into email subscribers.5. Emphasize the quality writing over the visual content: Visually compelling emails might be proved stunning, but they are ineffective at the same jiffy. Some email subscribers say they prefer emails with lots of images whilst some emphasize on the more content-oriented email. So, monitor your click through rates to search what style of email your audiences prefer.6. Make it easy to sign up for your emails:This is the busy-bees ambiance and an individuals skips out the website which will take time to sign up or any other option to enter into the site. Make facile for the users to register and increase your conversion rate. Employ the floating footer bar, slide in, sidebar widget and after post widget to use various categories of alternatives to grab the most subscribers.7. Increase the email automation and drip marketing:Drip marketing is the fruitful campaign in the world of email marketing. It allows the agencies to remain cognizant in the minds of the customers even at the specific jiffy, it is not accessible in the market. Apply this significant drip marketing in several ways such as if your emails have primarily focused on the selling, then you can utilize automated drip marketing to build up more trust and credibility.8. Double opt-in:This pioneer method allows the recipient to pick a brand’s email program by sending a blank email to the specific email address. When someone completes that then it triggers an opt-in confirmation request email that asks the individual to activate their subscription by clicking on a link in the email. A US author has stated that this process is slighter easier than signing up for email via SMS.9. Execute an email-optimization process:The email elements such as copy, design, calls to action, subject lines, headlines, landing pages, frequency and time sent require the continual improvement. An audit is very essential component in the email marketing. Analyse the email optimization tests for each campaign to determine what will best work out for your target audience. Execute this after a regular span to gain the higher performance of your email-marketing program.10. Test everything secluded:You are besieged with various new advices all the time. However, employ the split test for each to ensure whether that factor will work out for your email marketing. Just because something works for someone that doesn’t seem it will work for you and your business.

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