Things to Know Before Opening Your Own Restaurant

Posted by in Business

Businessmen in restaurantIf you’ve ever had a crazy dream of opening your own restaurant and feeding the masses, you’re not the only one. It’s a romantic notion, being a restaurateur, but it’s an incredibly difficult and challenging profession – not a simple hobby that you can do in your spare time – so you’d better know a few things before you even begin.

All Too Many Restaurants Fail in their First Year

A new restaurant faces an incredibly challenging environment for its first year. Unless you have a solid, experienced service staff and a hard-working group of cooks that can work together seamlessly a team, you’re going to be hard-pressed to see any repeat customers come through the door. You can even have the best staff in the world but still end up failing because of things beyond your control, like the economy in your town taking a nosedive, so make sure you get all your ducks lined up in a row before pulling the trigger on a new business like this.

Never Buy Retail

If you’re going to be a business owner, you need to understand how to control your operating costs as closely as possible without sacrificing your level of service. It might be appealing to buy frozen, pre-cooked food that you can just thaw out and reheat before serving it to your customers, but not only is this going to cost more than making food fresh it’s going to drive away anyone who has even one taste bud on their tongues. Likewise will you need to make sure you’re buying in bulk when it comes to table settings and glassware, as paying retail prices for large quantities of items is going to eat into your overhead quicker than anything.

Be the Boss, but Don’t Be a Jerk

If you’re going to be the owner of a restaurant, you have to be both present and engaged in the day-to-day operations of the place. This doesn’t mean being there every hour of every day that the restaurant is open – even you are going to need to sleep sometimes – but whenever you’re not there, you need to make sure that you’ve got a manager there in your place that can be trusted to look after the best interests of your restaurant. You also can’t try to be anyone’s friend or parent when it comes to your staff, as this will result in your servers or cooks walking all over you – they may like you, but if they don’t respect you they’re not going to work very hard for you. On the other hand, you also have to be fair-minded and open to suggestions, or you’re going to be resented as a micro-managing jerk.

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The Growth of Car Insurance Comparison Sites

Posted by in Investment & Debt

car lotJust a few years ago, you might have been able to visit the website of a particular car insurance company to get a price quote, but if you wanted to compare that quote to a rival insurer, you had your work cut out for you: you had to go through the whole process again at a competitor’s website. And then if you wanted a third quote to compare to the first two, you had to endure yet another round as well. At this point most people used to give up, possibly missing out on a great deal on their insurance, but the frustration was simply too much for them.

Luckily this isn’t the case today thanks to the advent of the car insurance comparison website, one of the most useful tools you could possibly use if you’re in the market for a new insurance policy. Here’s how the industry has changed as the car insurance comparison site phenomena has grown.

The Benefits are Real and Many

There’s more to the popularity of insurance comparison sites than just saving time and keeping your sanity. The opportunity to save money while finding the absolute best cover for you – no matter what that price may be – is immense, especially when you can choose from a wide range of well-known, major insurance companies that are all in competition for your custom.  You can find comparison sites in almost every sector now when it comes to financial services and products, from mortgages and business loans to home and life insurance, there’s no market that a comparison site can’t help but improve.

No One Wants to Be Left Out

Originally, there were insurers that felt that associating with a comparison site was something they didn’t want to do. Instead, they paved their own way, forcing their prospective customers to compare their rates to other insurance providers the old-fashioned way. However, this has slowly evolved; now nearly every major insurer is a member of at least one comparison website. In fact, even markets that are tangentially related to car insurance are getting into the act. Finance and vehicle sale companies like Mylbrook Vehicle Finance also offer car insurance comparison services as well, which means that it’s only a matter of time before those last few dinosaurs that have been holding out against the rising tide will soon be swept away by the car insurance comparison movement as well.

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How to Find the Best Deal on Van Insurance

Posted by in Investment & Debt

bright car lightsIf you’re trying to control the costs of owning a van, one of the biggest expenses you’ll have to deal with is how much a year’s worth of insurance is going to put you back. Outside of fuel, insurance is a major contributor to the cost of keeping any vehicle, whether it’s a car or a van, but there is one way you can save on your van insurance costs: use a comparison website.

Comparison Sites Can Save You Time

Now more than ever is it true that time is money. When you’re on the search for insurance for your van, the amount of time you can sink into what could actually end up as completely fruitless searches can frustrate and exhaust you, but if you use a van insurance comparison website to streamline the process you’ll be able to find a good deal in much less time than you would need to take by checking each insurer one at a time. This is because an insurance comparison site aggregates several price quotes across a wide swathe of insurers and presents these quotes to you with just one click of a mouse, making it easy to tell at a single glance which insurer may be the right one for you. Even in the event that you have to check more than one comparison website to find the best deals – sadly not every comparison site is created equal, and many insurers will only deal with a limited number of sites -  you’re still saving much more time and sanity than you would by  going to each insurer in turn.

Comparison Sites Can Also Save You Money

As important as it is to get in, get a price quote, and get out so you can get on with your busy day, a comparison site is no good to you if it doesn’t offer the best deals on insurance as well. The same technology that lets a comparison site pull quotes in from several insurers in the blink of an eye also helps you choose the van insurance provider that makes the most financial sense for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest quote, either; if you can find an insurer that offers you the highest level of cover you will need at a price that doesn’t break the bank, it’s more valuable than that fly-by-night insurance company that’s willing to offer you cut-rate prices in exchange for bottom-barrel cover.

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How Bankruptcy Can Help – and How It Can’t

Posted by in Investment & Debt

business tug of warMany people think that filing for bankruptcy can solve all their financial problems. While it’s true that many of the problems you may be having with unmanageable levels of debt can be solved with a bankruptcy filing, there are even more that can’t be helped, or can only be helped by a specific type of bankruptcy. Here are some important things to consider when you’re thinking about gathering up those bankruptcy forms on your desk and filing.

Unsecured Credit? No Problem!

Most bankruptcy courts can wipe out any unsecured credit-related debt that you may have. It’s a specialty of Chapter 7 bankruptcies in particular, and it’s the best choice if you’ve got several credit cards that have gotten away from you. However, if any of your credit-related debt is secured debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t going to help you. Even a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be of limited help, as that particular type of bankruptcy will require you to agree to repay a portion of the secured debt in order to get it discharged.

Stop the Madness

There is some good news when it comes to what filing for bankruptcy can do, though. Thanks to the legal instrument known as the Automatic Stay, once you file all your creditors are legally required to leave you alone for the entire course of the bankruptcy proceeding. This means no more creditors harassing you day and night and no more threats to repossess your property. The Automatic Stay is one of the best and biggest reasons to file for bankruptcy, over and above the discharge of consumer debt of course.

Hope You Don’t Have Student Loans

On the other side of the coin, there’s nothing you can do to get yourself out from under the thumb of your student loan, even if you file for bankruptcy. Well, there is, but it’s going to require you to prove you can’t possibly afford to repay the loans now or never, and the only way you can do that is to prove to the courts that forcing you to be held to these loans will cause you “undue hardship.” In case you haven’t guessed, the requirements for meeting the undue hardship threshold is so high as to be nearly unattainable – unless you truly are destitute and have no prospects for the future.

Be it Cash or Property, You Can Say Goodbye to It

Part of a bankruptcy proceeding is to satisfy your creditors to the best of your ability. This means that if you have valuable property that is over and above a certain number of things that are exempt from consideration – second cars, second houses, valuable heirlooms like gold rings or pearl necklaces, or even that second television in your bedroom – you could end up having to give it up in order for it to be sold and the proceeds used to pay off your creditors. Now you can avoid having to give up your property if you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of a Chapter 7 one, but you’ll have to pay for the privilege: you’ll be responsible for making at least some sort of cash payment in return for the right to keep your non-exempt property. Either way you’re losing something.

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How Accountants Can Help You Set Up a New Business

Posted by in Business

balancing booksWhen most people think of accountants, they imagine someone who can help you manage your personal taxes or aid in keeping the financial details of an already existing business in order, but the truth is that accountants have the kind of specialized knowledge that can help you set up that new business right from the beginning. Here’s a few ways an accountant can make the set up process easier for you.

Setting Up Your Plan

Before you even begin trying to sell the first of your products or services to the public, you need to make sure that you set up a viable business plan. If you don’t know the first thing about business plans, an accountant can help you organize your thoughts in such a way that they can be distilled down to a straightforward business plan that can help you manage and grow your business. Business plans are incredibly important, especially if you’re going to seek an investment from a local bank; lenders dislike agreeing to take on your debt in the form of a business loan if you can’t even be bothered to submit a viable business plan to them to peruse.

Choosing Your Legal Structure

You may think that when it comes to choosing the legal structure of your business you should exclusively talk to a lawyer to get the best information, but an accountant can answer most of the same questions you may have, especially accountants like the ones at that have lots of experience in helping set up new businesses for people. Whether you’re planning on being a sole trader or a limited company or if you’re going into business with one or more partners, a good accountant can tell you exactly what each one would entail as far as the type of financial responsibility you personally bear towards your new project.

Understanding Your Tax Responsibilities

Finally, we come to the most obvious way that accountants can help when it comes to setting up a new business: helping you to determine what your new tax responsibilities are in regards to this new business. An accountant can walk you through the steps and explain exactly why you are or aren’t responsible for paying corporation tax on your new company. It may sound straightforward but it’s really not – there are so many different things to consider and so many different permutations and combinations that the only way to get through safely is to have a qualified accountant help you through the woods.

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How to Embrace your Freedom through Electronic Cigarettes

Posted by in Health

woman with freedomThanks to the number of anti-smoking laws that have gone into effect over the past decade in Canada, it’s becoming harder and harder to simply put your feet up and enjoy yourself at the end of a long day with your favorite brand of smoke. In some provinces and territories, you can’t even smoke in your car any more, let alone in public places, but there’s a way to reclaim some of your lost freedom by embracing the technology of the electronic cigarette.

It’s All About the Tech

E-cigs are amazing pieces of technology, especially considering how they not only offer you the look and feel of smoking a traditional cigarette but also do it in such a way that is safe and inoffensive to onlookers. There’s no second-hand smoke with an electronic cigarette, as the “smoke” exhaled by an e-cig user is harmless water vapor that disperses almost immediately. There’s no smell, there’s no adverse health effects, and most importantly you can light up an e-cig everywhere you can’t smoke a cigarette.

It’s the technology behind an electronic cigarette that makes all this happen. At one end, most e-cigs have a little red LED light that draws power from an internal rechargeable battery – much like the battery in your mobile phone – and when you inhale on the e-cig’s other end, the LED lights up to simulate the lit end of a real cigarette. More than that though, that same battery powers the atomizer, or the chamber where liquid – supplied from the interchangeable mouthpiece of an e-cig – is quickly vaporized and then inhaled by the user. The liquid is water-based but can include flavorings, but more importantly it can include varying concentrations of nicotine – or even none at all if you’re trying to quit but don’t want to give up the feeling of having a smoke. It’s a fantastic technological achievement, and all in the same rough shape and size of a regular cigarette.

Keep More Money in Your Wallet

Not only are e-cigs the wave of the future in that you can light up anywhere without drawing dirty looks from those around you, they can often be cheaper in the long run as well. Your initial electronic cigarette purchase may be a bit more than a single pack of cigarettes – sometimes the equivalent of buying anywhere between two and four packs at once – but most e-cig starter kits come with more than one liquid cartridge.  Each cartridge lasts for a certain number of uses, but once they’ve run dry you don’t need to buy a whole new e-cig; just replacing the cartridge is often much less expensive than it would be to purchase an equivalent number of cigarettes.

E-cigs are becoming increasingly available all over Canada, but if you live in an area where there are no stores offering them for sale, don’t worry: you can easily order electronic cigarettes right over the internet. If you’re looking for the perfect place to go in order to not just shop for a new electronic cigarette but to get invaluable information on your options when it comes to the e-cig market, then a website like simply can’t steer you wrong.

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Why You Can’t Go Wrong With a Local Financial Provider

Posted by in Investment & Debt

business man and cardIt doesn’t matter if you’re on the hunt for a credit union in Peoria or a company that will buy your structured settlement in New York – sticking to local banking and financial services providers are going to benefit you better than some faceless multinational conglomerate. Here’s why you should avoid huge, many-tentacled financial monsters and stay local instead.

National Banks Aren’t All That They’re Cracked Up to Be

When you think about the biggest banks around, they’re household names because they’re everywhere you turn. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Capital One – they’re everywhere. They’re also almost universally awful. These big banks are so large and amorphous that there’s no focus on customer service with these institutions. If a bank treats one or two of their customers badly, there’s no consequences for the bank if their customer pulls up their tent stakes and goes elsewhere – they still have tens of millions of customers feeding them a massive amount of money on a regular basis. These institutions could care less if you leave. On the other hand, a local provider that’s only active in your geographical area has a vested interest in keeping its customers happy. Each of their customers are precious to them, and the level of customer service you’ll get at a bank with only a handful of branches is going to be far and above what you get from a big box bank.

You Won’t Lose Any Accessibility

Thanks to the prevalence of innovations such as online and mobile banking, even if you’re somewhere that’s far from your local, small-scale financial service provider you’re likely to be able to conduct all the business you would need to do at a local branch. Checking your balance, scheduling and managing direct debits, and even mobile check deposit services are being offered by smaller banks as well as the big ones, which means that you’re not going to have to be bound by geographical restrictions any more. On top of that, it’s never been easier to get cash from an ATM or debit card; these cards are incredibly convenient and even in the land of heightened ATM fees, many small banks will reimburse a set number of your fees per month. It’s just one more of the perks you get for using a local provider – and something you’ll never get from a massive, continent-spanning bank that could care less if you live or die.

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6 Ways to Save Money

Posted by in Investment & Debt

money jarNo matter what your situation, there are multiple ways you can save money. With just a few small changes, you could have an extra few thousand dollars at the end of the year to go on a vacation or buy a nice car.

Here are 6 ways to save money:

Avoid short term loans

While a short term loan often seems tempting, the reality of the situation is they work out very expensive because of the high interest rates. With this in mind, only get a loan when it’s a financial emergency.

Install a water meter

Water bills are rising year on year, which means you should do everything in your power to reduce water consumption in the home. Installing a water meter is a great way to achieve this, as you can keep a close eye on how much water is being used and how much you’re spending. Never be shocked by an expensive water bill ever again!

Pay as you go

Another good tips to save money is to consider switching your mobile phone from contract to pay as you go. Once you have done this, only use your phone when you absolutely need to, as call and text charges soon start to mount up.

Use a shopping list

Always overspending on your weekly grocery shop? If this is the case, then a good way to cut your spending is to write out a shopping list before you go to the supermarket and then stick to it. Don’t be tempted to buy things just because they are on special offer, as this is a surefire way to go over budget.

Avoid brands

This is the age of the big brands, and if you want to buy their products then expect to pay a premium. For example, a simple t-shirt can be $60 just because it displays the name of some designer or company. Why pay that much money, when for around $10 you can get the exact same shirt without the brand name.

Get handy around the house

Need home improvements? Don’t reach for the Yellow Pages just yet. Ultimately, builders, plumbers, gardeners, and other tradesmen don’t come cheap, which is why you should consider doing some of the jobs yourself to save money. For example, if your bathroom ceiling needs plastering, don’t fork out a few hundred dollars to hire a plasterer when you could probably do it yourself for nothing.

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The Truth of Jailbreaking Your iPhone

Posted by in Technology

cellsJailbreaking – if you’re not familiar with the term – if all you think of is Steve McQueen digging his way out of a Nazi prison camp – you’re going to need an education.

Mister Jobs, Tear Down This Wall

The jailbreak as it’s known today is all about taking your iOS device – whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, or even an Apple TV, and breaking the chains that bind it to Apple. No, it doesn’t mean that you’re cutting yourself off from your iTunes account or the App Store; it means breaking out of the so-called “walled garden” that Steve Jobs and Company set up around Apple’s mobile devices.

Jailbreaking your iPhone means that you’ve unlocked its full potential, nothing more. Now you can install apps from sources besides the App Store – and that means you can do pretty much anything you want to your iOS device, from changing the look of your lock screen all the way to turning your iPhone into a mobile hotspot for your laptop. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do with a jailbroken iOS device.

This Can’t Be Legal, Can It?

If you ask Apple, there’s no greater sin than a consumer jailbreaking their iPhone. However, the Cupertino company has tried and blissfully failed to make it illegal to do so. In fact, there’s a specific exemption in the Digital Copyright Millennium Act that makes it perfectly legal to jailbreak your iPhone or any other iTouch device. Apple does its best to discourage the practice – right now jailbreaking your iOS device “may violate your warranty,” the company says, and every time there’s a new iOS version it has to be jailbroken all over again, but there are enterprising people out there that are dedicated to allowing people full access to the electronic devices they pay hundreds of dollars for. What terrible people!

You Must Need a Computer Science Degree for This, Right?

You would likely be incredibly surprised just how easy it is to jailbreak an iOS device, especially an older one that’s been on the market long enough for those back-alley whiz kid programmers to crack the code. Jailbreaking is often as simple as a one-touch process that installs Cydia, the biggest and best third-party App Store out there, and once you gain access to Cydia you can quite literally do anything you want.

The apps you find on Cydia are incredibly varied, and they’ll help you do things like installing widgets to your home screen, changing the look or function of your lock screen, or even providing functions you never thought were possible, like exposing the inner file system of your iPhone just like you can do on a desktop or laptop computer. It can be somewhat overwhelming at first to be presented with so many different options, but the community round jailbreaking iPhones and modifying them with fun and useful third-party apps is massive; websites such as CydiaApps can offer the best tips, tricks, and reviews when it comes to the best selection of jailbroken apps for you.

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Where to Start When Sellinga Structured Settlement

Posted by in Investment & Debt

startIf you’ve ever thought “I’d like to sell my structured settlement payment, but I don’t even know where to start,” you’re not alone. Plenty of people have the need to unburden themselves from a structured settlement because they need their money sooner than once a month for the next ten or twenty years. It does seem like it might be an impossible task when you don’t know where to go or what to do, so here are some easy-to-follow steps if you’re interested in learning more.

Survey the Marketplace

There are plenty of companies out there that are more than willing to purchase your structured settlement off of you for a discounted lump sum payment. This is both good and bad, as it can be difficult to choose one out of such a large selection, but when you have more than one buyer competing for your settlement you’re likely to get a better deal in the outcome. Make sure you keep in mind how much money you’ll actually get from the transaction, but also how long it will take and if there are any fees or charges that you might have to absorb as a result.

Wait to Sign on the Dotted Line

Once you find a company you want to work with and they’ve made you an offer, don’t immediately sign it and send it back to them. Instead, make sure you have a third party look it over on your behalf. A legal expert with experience in settlement buyouts can make sure there’s no language in the contract that could take you unawares because you missed it yourself. Once your expert has looked over the contract and found nothing amiss, feel free to sign it and return it – you’re nearly there.

Your Day in Court

If you’ve found a good company, had their offer looked at from all angles, and then agreed to their offer, your next step will be to return to court –the site of where you received your original settlement. A judge needs to sign off on the settlement buyout to make sure that everything is on the up-and-up, and he or she might ask you a few questions about why you’ve decided to sell your stake – just answer honestly and you should be fined. Once that’s done, the judge can approve the sale and you can walk off into the sunset with your lump sum payment.

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How to Visit Santa Barbara in Style without Going Bankrupt

Posted by in Buying & Selling

hotel poolSanta Barbara is one of the most beautiful and popular vacation destinations in the United States. It’s also one of the most expensive places to visit, but there are ways to visit this wonderful city and enjoy everything it has to offer without having to risk bankruptcy court; here are a few of the best tips on how to enjoy a vacation in Santa Barbara without breaking the bank.

Finding a Place to Stay

There are plenty of luxury hotels in Santa Barbara, and the most decadent of them can easily be the most expensive. It’s not unheard of to find the very best hotels offering rooms at an astonishing $1,000 a night, but you don’t have to pay a king’s ransom to live like royalty during your visit to Santa Barbara. For every overpriced luxury hotel there are fantastic hotels that offer just as much attention to its guests but at a fraction of the price. Using the internet to find deals on hotel rooms can easily see you finding an absolutely beautiful and perfectly nice hotel for around $100 a night; they might not all be four-star establishments but you’ll be able to enjoy yourself much more if you know you’re not being bent over a barrel on your hotel costs.

Good Food Doesn’t Cost a Fortune

Santa Barbara is well-known for its haute cuisine, and you can easily spend $500 on a meal at one of its many renowned fine dining establishments. However, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you pass up all the amazing eateries that proliferate in the city, especially because the food is just as delicious and doesn’t have the massively high price tag. On top of that, if you’re looking to sample the famed local wines but don’t feel like spending a fortune on a bottle of an award-winning vintage, the many wineries in the area host wine tastings for as little as $5, offering a taste of several wines. Many wineries will even provide you a lovely commemorative wineglass to take home as a souvenir!

Entertainment Need Not Be Expensive

There are a number of sights to see in Santa Barbara, and luckily there are plenty that are incredibly modestly priced. Many of the art museums in the city offer free admission on Sundays, and you can gain entrance to attractions like the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for less than $10. On top of that, traveling through the city is easy, as many places offer free parking; however, you can travel in style on a wonderful cross-town trolley for the high price of a single quarter. How’s that for savings?

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The Different Kinds of Car Accident Claims

Posted by in Law & Claims

accidentNot every injury claim is created equal, and that goes double for car accident claims. There are several different types of claims that are regularly made in the wake of a road traffic accident, but here are the ones you’ll most often see talked about.

Brain Injury

Some of the worst and most debilitating types of car accident claims involve brain or head injury. An accident where a driver or passenger suffers head trauma can easily be fatal, but even if the accident doesn’t involve the death of the injured party there are very long-lasting effects to injury to the head or brain. Brain trauma can cause neurological disorders such as epilepsy, impede motor functions such as walking and even standing, and can often lead to reduced cognitive abilities or diminished speech. Such injuries often require exhaustive therapeutic care to help heal the damage, but there’s no guarantee that the injured party will ever reach their full level of ability once more.


While brain and head injuries can be quite debilitating, they are blessedly rare. However, there’s a much more prevalent injury to the same general area of the body that, while much less serious, can be quite painful: whiplash injury. Whiplash occurs when the soft tissue in the neck of an injury victim is whipped back and forth violently and quickly, causing pain, inflammation, swelling, and possibly even nerve damage. In fact, according to personal injury websites such as the number of car accident claims made for whiplash are on the increase. Part of the reason for this is how you can receive a whiplash injury even at relatively low speeds, and the fact that there are no real treatments for whiplash injury besides just allowing the injured tissue to heal on its own make it a painful and frustrating experience.

General Bodily Injury

Luckily, the rest of the body is much more resilient than the head and neck; however, it’s still common to see general bodily injury in car accidents. Cuts, scrapes and bruises can give way to dislocated joints, broken bones, and deep gashes very easily, and crush injuries of the extremities and even the abdomen have been known to occur in quite severe accidents. The unfortunate truth is that you can easily lose the use of a limb from a serious injury, either through being damaged enough to necessitate an amputation or damage to your spinal cord that leaves you with paralysis.

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The Benefits of Custom-Branded Products

Posted by in Business

branded capIf you’re looking to increase the awareness of your business, one of the most effective ways to do so is to make sure your branded merchandise is out there in the public eye. However, if your company provides products or services that aren’t something that people would visibly carry around with them regularly, you can still harness the power of highly visible merchandise by making custom-branded items available to your customer base for free.

Everyday Objects Make the Best Items

It doesn’t matter if you’re a purveyor of goods and services in an esoteric, highly insulated market; you can still leverage your brand by using promotional items that are branded with your logo. No matter what your customer actually does for a living, it’s almost a guarantee that they’re going to have a few things in common with everyone – whether it be apparel like t-shirts and baseball caps or things like keychains or reusable water bottles, there are niches out there that are so universal that your brand will be able to get its name out there.

Custom water bottles bearing the brand of your company are a great example of this. Most people aren’t too keen on using disposable plastic water bottles any more, as environmental conservation efforts have been pushing people towards using more sustainable products. People carry their water bottles with them everywhere, from the office to the gym to simply running errands, and this means that your brand is circulating throughout as many circles as possible.

Custom Branding Isn’t as Expensive as You May Think

You might believe that ordering merchandise with your logo custom-printed on it might cost a bundle, but when you put it in perspective with other types of marketing and advertising, it’s actually quite cost-effective. Most companies that specialize in making promotional items not only offer custom labeling for a nominal additional fee but can also offer deep discounts when buying in bulk, and the total price may just be a few hundred dollars. When you compare this to the price of a more traditional marketing campaign – or even one that involves more cutting-edge methods like social media or internet-based marketing- the price of 10 dozen widgets with your company’s logo custom printed on them is going to be much more affordable.

On top of that, an everyday object with your brand on it has a much longer shelf life than a set, finite advertising campaign. When people use your merchandise every day in highly visible manner for weeks, months, or even years, the return on your investment is much higher than a marketing campaign that you have to keep paying into in order to keep it active. You only need to make a baseball cap with your brand on it once, but it could very well end up adorning the head of a living billboard for many years if you’re lucky!

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Where to Go to Find a Vaporizer in Canada

Posted by in Health

canadaWhether you enjoy smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco, your hobby is your own, but it’s sometimes hard to enjoy thanks to the unpleasant after-effects of a long drag. Just because you enjoy having a smoke now and again doesn’t mean you’re not interested in smelling like a tobacco factory, and getting stained teeth and fingers in exchange for your hobby isn’t exactly a good trade, which is why smart tobacco aficionados will look into vaporizers as a fantastic alternative, but where in the world are you supposed to go to find a good vaporizer?

It’s Not Exactly a Secret

It’s not nearly as hard as you might think to find a good, reputable vaporizer dealer, and you won’t even have to go to the seedier parts of town, either. There are so many websites out there selling vaporizers in Canada, and it’s no secret that you can order them easily and quite cheaply. Despite this, there are good websites and there are bad ones when it comes to vaporizer sales, so you need to make sure you’re ordering your product from a reputable source. Online retailers that offer several different payment options that include PayPal as well as major credit cards, feature secure checkout systems using SSL technology, and have a dedicated 24 hour customer service contact phone number or at the very least an email address will most likely be safe to order from, but always do your research first before putting down any hard-earned cash on what could turn out to be a fly-by-night online retailer!

Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean High-Quality

Just because you’re thinking of purchasing a very expensive vaporizer from your favorite online retailer doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be buying a high-quality product. Keep in mind that the commercial vaporizer industry is still in its infancy by many standards; it’s only been around 15 years or so since the first commercially available vaporizers went on the market, and while there has been plenty of innovation throughout those years there are new breakthroughs happening all the time. For instance, the portable vaporizer market has exploded recently thanks to advances in USB-charging and rechargeable batteries, and new advances are coming down the pike all the time. Sometimes it’s better to buy a less-expensive vaporizer, see if it works well, and then save up for a more fancy model with extra bells and whistles somewhere down the line.

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“You Are What You Eat” Isn’t Just an Old Saying

Posted by in Fitmess & Diet

Breakfast CerealThe saying might be older than dirt, but it’s just as true now as when it was first uttered all those generations ago: you are what you eat. Your body is like an engine -what you eat is used as fuel to keep it running – and just as you wouldn’t put anything but high-octane fuel in a race car, you shouldn’t put food in your body that’s not going to provide you with the best nutrients you can find.

Eating Right Keeps You Fit

Everyone knows that you’ve got to exercise regularly to stay in good shape, but it’s just as important to make sure you’re eating right if you want to build good muscle tone and reduce overall body fat. The science of staying fit is well-proven, and building good health through excellent nutrition is just as important as taking nutritional supplements like garcinia cambogia extract or adopting a rigorous, consistent exercise regimen that gets your blood pumping.

You don’t have to be a personal trainer or a nutritionist to know the value of having a well-balanced diet. This is where many people get tripped up when they’re trying to change their body for the better, as it seems counter-productive to focus on what you’re eating when most people think that taking a good multivitamin and exercising regularly will do it, but the truth is you can make or break a fitness plan by what you eat.

It’s More Complex Than You Think

Most people just keep a close eye on the number of calories they eat every day and take a diet pill on top of that to attempt to keep themselves from putting on too much body fat instead of muscle. Now you can calculate calories as much as you want – and you can pore through as many medical journals as you can find to make sure there’s no garcinia cambogia side effects you need to worry about – but if you’re not eating the right kinds of foods to begin with, your overall health is going to suffer.

Instead of simply limiting yourself to a set number of calories a day, make sure you’re not eating large amounts of processed foods. Diets high in these types of foods tend to be loaded with simple sugars that can lead to weight gain because the simple carbohydrates in these processed foods get digested very quickly; you’ll get hungry much quicker than you would if you ate high-fiber foods that have their sugars bound up in harder-to-digest complex carbohydrates and proteins instead.

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What to Do If You’ve Got a Financial Emergency

Posted by in Investment & Debt

blue lightNobody likes to think about it, but sometimes it’s inevitable: you’re going to run into a financial emergency at least once in your life, or know someone who will. Don’t panic – you might make bad decisions if you aren’t thinking straight – and just think about the following points.

Timing is Everything

The best personal loans have always been the ones that boast low interest rates and more modest monthly payments than those of their competitors. Ideally, you may even be able to find a lending product with a longer repayment schedule; this will stretch your payments out over a longer period of time but typically drops the minimum monthly payment down as well. However, if you’re going to be taking out a long-term loan like that, take steps to ensure that your interest rate is as low as possible; the longer you’re paying back your loan means the longer you’re going to be paying interest on that loan as well, and the overall difference could see it actually being cheaper to go with a shorter-term loan with a better interest rate.

Short Term Loans Aren’t Always the Best Choice

So you have run into a sudden need for money and you know a traditional lender won’t get you the cash in time. Whether it’s a home appliance breaking down or an unexpected injury that has left you unable to work for several weeks, you’ve got to get yourself back up and running as soon as possible so you don’t miss a beat. Ultra short-term lending like payday loans may be able to get you the cash you need in a hurry, but the trade-off is usually that the expense of the interest rate, which can be exorbitant to say the least – and if you forget your repayment deadline, you’re in for a world of hurt. This is why payday lending and other short-term financial assistance is most likely going to be your best bet when it comes to emergency funds – you’d be better off finding another way.

It’s All Relative

If you’re really in a bind and you know you aren’t going to be able to get through without a bit of help, there’s one more possible solution, and you’re most likely not going to like it: you can always turn to your relatives. This can be a humbling thing to do, especially if you don’t always see eye-to-eye with them, but if it’s truly an emergency most of the time even the most estranged of relatives can put aside their differences to help out their children, siblings, cousins, or nieces and nephews. You’re going to need to pay them back as quickly as possible if you don’t want to have to hear about it for the rest of your natural life.

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How to Make Informed Financial Decisions

Posted by in Investment & Debt

yes or noWhen it comes to making decisions about your financial health, it’s important to know that path you’re embarking on before you take that first step. Going into investment opportunities blind to the possible risks isn’t being a bold investor – it’s simple foolishness – and can end up ruining you financially. Instead, you need to make the types of informed financial decisions that minimize undue risk and provide a good chance to leave you enriched and better off than you were before.

Some Risk Is Good – But Only When You Know About It

There’s risk inherent in any investment opportunity and financial decision, and balancing that risk versus the potential reward is an important component of good financial health. There’s no way to completely eliminate risk from your finances, just as you can’t keep yourself locked in  your bedroom because you’re afraid you’ll get hit by a car if you step outside of your house; it’s simply impossible to live without the assumption of a minimal level of risk. However, assuming excess risk without an appropriate potential reward may pay off once or twice but is more likely to end up ruining you, so you need to take the time and energy to fully research every investment opportunity that comes along well before you decide to put your money where your mouth is.

Don’t Rely on Reputation Alone

Even companies that are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and that have been operating for decades can still be a poor choice for you if there are new developments that you might know about yet. For example, if you’re considering whether you should use a precious metal investment firm like Monex, you can’t simply just jump in with both feet without first testing the waters, even though Monex has been around for decades and has relatively positive reviews. At the very least, you should most definitely check out the latest Monex review from a reputable, independent source before making your decision, as this will prevent you from investing in a company that might not be right for you.

Seek an Expert Opinion – Or Two

Just like when you’re diagnosed with a serious illness and you seek a second opinion from a different medical professional, you should also seek a range of opinions from financial experts as well. If your investment manager is urging you to pounce on a particular opportunity but you’re still reticent, seek out another investment expert and ask them if they think it would be a good idea. If you get conflicting information, you may want to re-think your strategies going forward – or perhaps find a different investment manager!

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New Advances in Coupon Clipping Technology

Posted by in Buying & Selling

typingBack in the day, no trip to the supermarket was complete before first spreading those circulars across the kitchen table and snipping out the best coupons you could find. The art of coupon clipping may have evolved over the years, but it’s just as effective as it used to be – in fact sometimes it’s even more so!

Put Down the Scissors

Nowadays there’s no reason to have to spend an hour or two painstakingly cutting out coupons from a newspaper insert or mail circular, as many coupons are now accessible online. You can easily trade in the printer for the scissors – and save your sanity as well!

All you need to do is to pick and choose which coupons you want from any number of free couponing websites and then just print them out. Now you’ve got just two or three pieces of printer paper with the coupons you want on them, and you can take them just like that to the store. If you’re lucky you could even just load them up on your smart phone and eliminate the middleman altogether – your cashier should be happy to scan that phone screen of yours, sending you on your way with a quarter of the clutter created by those little slips of paper.

Go Online and Save

Coupon clipping might be an art, but there’s more to it than just rooting through circulars or printing out coupons at home. You’d be leaving out an entire realm of shopping: the online marketplace. It’s easy to forget that online shopping sprees offer more opportunities than just a few books from your favorite retailer shipped to your house. You can find services as well as products online, and in fact it’s become easier than ever to find great deals for things like subscription services and yearly memberships over the internet. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for either – there’s a site out there that has great coupon deals and discount codes for whatever you’re looking for.

It’s amazing; by using these online codes  – one example being Weight Watchers promo codes – you’ll save 30% or more on the cost of a yearly membership. Other sites could provide you with an online discount code that can slash the cost of your gym subscription, or grant you the ability to bring a friend for free over a set number of visits. The sky truly is the limit when it comes to the kinds of discounts and money-saving opportunities you can find with just a little bit of hunting around.

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Binary Options Trading – You’d Be Crazy Not To

Posted by in Investment & Debt

Businesswoman on the PhoneIf you’re in search of a new investment opportunity, look no further – you need to learn about the binary options trading market. Looking for investment opportunities? The number of advantages binary options offers to investors is higher than you might think; here are a few of the best reasons to consider the binary options market.

Accessibility is Key

It simply couldn’t be easier to jump into binary options trading with both feet. Investors don’t need to micro-manage their investments at all: all you need to do is select an asset, make a prediction as to whether it will increase in value or go down instead, and put your money where your mouth is.

No High Price of Entry

The amount of investment capital needed to begin binary options trading is quite low. Don’t have much extra cash at the moment? No problem – a good number of brokers will welcome you with open arms if you’re willing to put up just a few hundred dollars as investment capital, and the minimum for each binary option transaction can be as low as a few dollars.

High Return on Investment

The ROI on a successful binary option transaction is mind-numbingly high. Where else do you have the option to make 65% to 100% of the value of your investment in pure profit? A few transactions could see you raking it in very easily if you continue to be successful.

No Long-Term Investments

You’re never going to have to wait months or years for a binary option investment to mature. Instead you could spend only a week or so before your investment pans out, though there are plenty of binary option investment opportunities that mature in days or sometimes even minutes.

A Supportive Community

The community of binary options investors is a strong one, leading to a large number of opportunities for learning. Online avenues for education into the realm of binary options trading are diverse, offering free advice and training for anyone who’s willing to listen – and if you want to be successful, you’ll undoubtedly listen!

No Fair-Weather Friend

It can be difficult to make money through investment opportunities during times of economic slowdown, but this simply doesn’t apply to binary options trading. Since each transaction deals with a single asset and that an investor can make money whether the price of the asset rises or drops, it doesn’t matter if there’s an economic boom or the market is in free fall.

Any Port in a Storm

The best part of the binary options market is that it’s egalitarian – it doesn’t just concern itself with one particular type of asset. In fact, many brokers will offer investors the opportunity to choose between a wide array of assets like foreign currencies, indices, stocks, or even commodities, al thanks to the derivative nature of the binary options market.

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2013: The Year of the Online Deal

Posted by in Buying & Selling

bagsIt’s the 21st century, and nobody subjects themselves to the danger and inconvenience of shopping in brick and mortar stores anymore unless they have to. If there’s a dire need for something quickly or if it’s not feasible to shop for the item online, people will go out to the mall or the supermarket, but it’s a vestige of a former world.

The Death Knell for Brick and Mortar Stores

This year, the world will see just how powerful online shopping has become. The beginning of the holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and this year will be much different: Black Friday sales are almost guaranteed to be lower than they were last year while online sales revenue are going to explode. Last year’s Cyber Monday came in at just under $2 billion in sales, and for new Cyber Monday on 2013 it’s going to undoubtedly be even higher than ever – especially if past history has been any proof.

You Can’t Argue with Statistics

The truth is that that $2 billion made on Cyber Monday in 2012 doesn’t mean anything unless you look at it in context. This is where the proof comes alive, as Cyber Monday sales have been growing steadily for years. 2011’s sales figures were at around $1.25 billion, and the year before saw around $1 billion in sales total, which means that the online shopping marketplace is growing by leaps and bounds and is likely to continue to do so.

Closing Up Shop

It’s no secret that brick and mortar stores aren’t doing very well when it comes to Black Friday anymore. Yes there’s still lots of sales volume and when it’s compared to the amount of sales that take place online, it looks like Black Friday is the big winner here, but the truth is that purchases made by customers in store have been on the decline for some time.

The truth is that the $11.2 billion made on Black Friday in 2012 – almost six times more than what was made on Cyber Monday – is less than what was made the year before. Sales declined by 1.8 percent, which doesn’t sound like a lot but when you compare it to the massive jump that Cyber Monday sales underwent at the same time, the message is clear: people are tired of shopping in person and are doing it from the comfort of their own homes instead, and they simply can’t be blamed.

So don’t go with the crowd this year when it comes to your holiday shopping! Skip the lines at the big box store on Black Friday and enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend instead. Those Cyber Monday deals will blow you away without actually having to step foot out of your own house. How cool is that?

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Why Binary Options Trading is Perfect for the New Investor

Posted by in Investment & Debt

If you’ve been wanting to get involved in investing but have been daunted by the price of admission, you’re in luck: there are options open to you that can make your introduction into the world of investment opportunities as painless as possible. One of the best investment methods for the neophyte is undoubtedly the binary options trading market, and here’s why it’s such an ideal fit for the new investment trader.

The Process is Easy to Grasp

The process behind investing in a binary option simply could not be easier. All an investor is doing is choosing a particular asset to invest in – whether it’s a specific stock, commodity, or foreign currency – and making an informed decision on whether he or she expects the value of the asset to increase or decrease over the course of a set period of time. If you predicted correctly, congratulations: you’ve just made a successful binary options investment. It’s as simple as that!

The Price of Admission is Ultra Low

womanMany investment opportunities involve relatively large amounts of capital, and this can prove daunting to a brand new investor. Even more traditional low-threshold investments can run as expensive as $1,000, but the investment capital needed for binary options trading is a fraction of that amount.  You can open an account with most brokers for as little as around $250 and have minimum transaction investment amounts ranging from $1 to $25, making it an ideal platform for low-cost experimentation.

Education Resources Abound

Unlike other investment markets, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to gain insights into how the market works or find important tips on proven investment strategies. In fact, the non-adversarial nature of binary options trading – where investors engage not with other investors but instead with brokers – has created a community of investment experts across the globe, accessible on websites like, that are dedicated to educating fellow investors for free.

Any Time, Day or Night

In addition to the connectivity that the internet brings to investors looking for information and education, the world marketplace is open to binary options traders in a way that can be truly liberating. Depending on your choice of broker, you can gain access to assets any time of the day or night, regardless of time or date, because of the varied nature of the different asset markets. This means that if you feel the need to make an investment at 3 in the morning on Christmas, there’s a market open somewhere accepting investments on its assets.

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