Category Archives: Work & Money

4 Reasons Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

In a digital world, it may seem like direct mail is a thing of the past. Many marketers have focused their efforts on email and social media marketing. However, the data shows that direct mail is still effective. In fact, consumer response to direct mail is increasing. Here are 4 reasons direct mail deserves to be part of your marketing strategy.

1. It’s Tangible

Social media ads and emails are quickly scrolled past or deleted. Direct mail can stick around a customer’s home for days or even months. Placing a special offer on your piece will encourage people to save it in a location where they won’t forget about it.

2. It Commands Attention

No one wants to accidentally throw away an important piece of mail. This means that most recipients of your piece will at least scan it before throwing it away. As many as 80% of customers read each piece of real estate direct mail. Your marketing campaigns through email are unlikely to receive the same amount of undivided attention.

3. It’s Trackable

Social media marketing gathers a wealth of analytics. Many marketers rely on this information to gauge success or to adjust their campaigns when they aren’t meeting targets. Direct mail doesn’t have the same depth of data but still allows you to track response rates and return on investment. Use a unique phone number and website URL to track the response rates of each campaign.

4. It Reaches all Ages

Approximately 40% of seniors are smartphone owners. This means that a significant portion of your potential target market is unreachable through digital strategies. Mail reaches everyone, expanding your reach beyond social platforms, and email marketing.

Direct mail may be less common than before the internet, but its impact is still going strong today. If you haven’t considered a direct mail campaign before, hopefully, these 4 reasons have convinced you that it may be worth the effort.

Types of Real Estate Contracts Every Investor Should Know

To be a successful real estate investor, you should become a master of real estate contracts. These legal documents can seem confusing and overwhelming at first. It helps to understand the primary goal of any real estate contract is to protect your investment and limit your liability. Let’s increase your confidence with contracts by breaking down the most common types you’ll encounter.

Purchase Agreement

When learning how to invest in real estate, this will likely be the first type of contract you encounter. This contract is the sales agreement for real estate transactions. It will lay out the terms of sale between the buyer and seller. Purchase agreements change slightly based on the state of purchase or if a real estate agent is involved in the sale. However, a good purchase agreement will cover all the details of the property and the transaction, including any contingencies and which party is responsible for the various costs associated with selling the property.

Lease Agreement

Many real estate investors are looking to earn income through rental properties. If this is part of your investing strategy, you will need to become familiar with lease agreements. As the property owner or landlord, you will outline the terms of rental occupancy in a lease agreement. It should cover rent, security deposit, utilities, and any other expectations for the tenant.

Real Estate Assignment Contract

Slightly more complex than previously discussed contracts, a real estate assignment contract is used when wholesaling properties. This strategy is used when you find a distressed property that you plan to sell to a third party. It provides extra flexibility in your investment while allowing you to secure properties quickly.

You can simplify real estate contracts from their overwhelming state. Now that you have familiarized yourself with the most common types you’ll encounter, you are one step closer to investing mastery.

Remember These Simple Steps Before Trying to Get Out of Mounting Debt

Though credit abounds in many financial sectors and the economy remains vibrant for those with plenty of expendable income, these systems can also lead to financial ruin among those trying to live beyond their means. Countless individuals become mired in debt and monthly expenses without having a full understanding of the circumstances leading to the situation. Fortunately, even the most desperate times can come to a quicker end by taking a few simple steps. The guidelines listed below will set anyone on the best path to financial freedom.

Determine Who Is On Your Side

There are likely multiple paths out of a debt spiral. Depending on a person’s history, current needs, and desired results, it might make sense to look into borrowing options. This will likely include shopping around to find a business capable of providing low interest loans Bordentown NJ or a similar community anywhere else in the country. Start with a search online for those companies with a great reputation for providing reliable cash for a reasonable rate.

Determine Where to Turn for Help

After finding the best immediate response to the pressing problem, it is important to start learning from the experience. Upon making strides to pay down outstanding debt, use the opportunity to reach out for guidance and advice. Some experts in the field offer financial advice that does not require big investments or a thorough understanding of the stock market. For those who just need some practical tips and tricks for establishing a budget that works, the right professional is out there waiting to provide that assistance.

Determine How to Avoid Future Problems

Armed with the knowledge gained throughout this ordeal, people struggling with debt can make sure they avoid similar pitfalls in the future. Unfortunately, there are real and systemic issues that prevent large segments of the population from easily reaching their financial goals. Nevertheless, anyone can make smarter choices that will allow them to make the most of whatever amount is in their bank account.

Paying bills and purchasing necessities can often result in mounting expenses that make any escape seem unattainable. With a resolute spirit and some appropriate advice along the way, however, the light at the end of the tunnel might be closer than it first appeared. If you or someone you know is struggling with bills and expenses, the guidelines presented above can make all the difference in the world.

Make Your Retail Business Handicap Accessible

With more people living longer due to advances in medical technology and healthier lifestyles, your business may see an increase in elderly customers, some of whom will likely have mobility issues. In addition, a significant percentage of the general population is classified as disabled, so you should expect customers with various levels of mobility issues in your store. Depending on the target customer base for your business this can be a primary concern. Making sure your setup will accommodate all customers who want to patronize your business is a great way to support your local community and build goodwill.

Set Up Retail Shelving for Easy Access

In a retail store, how the shelving is organized can have a major impact on how easy it is for a customer with mobility issues to get around. Parallel aisles with wide end spaces are a great way to layout your store. Not only will this make it easier for customers in wheelchairs or mobility scooters to shop up and down the aisles, but it also helps customers quickly find what they are looking for. Be sure to also have prominent displays offering assistance from your staff to retrieve items from high shelves for customers who need assistance with this.

Check Your Entry Door Width

For customers to shop in your store, they first need to enter your store. That means they will need to get through your entry doorway regardless of whether they’re walking on 2 legs, with a cane or walker, in a wheelchair or in a mobility scooter. If you ensure your doorway is wide enough for a common mobility scooter, such as the Invacare Leo 4-Wheel Scooter, it should be wide enough for virtually any customer’s needs.

Ensure Restrooms Are Handicap Friendly

For most businesses, complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act can be very important for avoiding fines levied against your business, and restroom access can be a big part of it. Ensuring your restrooms are appropriately sized and contain elements such has handicap railings will help to ensure compliance with the ADA.

Comply With Handicap Parking Regulations

Check with your local business licensing body for regulations on handicap parking stall requirements for your business to make sure you are in compliance. Providing handicap parking access as close as possible to your business entrance will be appreciated by any customers with mobility issues.

Ensuring your retail business is friendly to handicapped customers is a great way to provide customer service and generate happy customers.

What to Expect During Your Employment Lawyer Consultation

If you already made up your mind that you need an employment lawyer, then it’s time to prepare for your first meeting with an attorney. If you’ve never had legal issues before, this can be particularly stressful. After all, you don’t know what to expect. The initial consultation can be stressful because it’s your first meeting. Hopefully, by now, you have done the research necessary to know that you want this lawyer. To help ease some of the stress, here is what to expect when you hire an employment lawyer.

Bring Along Documents

An employment lawyer is there to advise you on legal standards, whether you are an employee or employer. Before your meeting with the lawyer, you need to make sure that you have all of the relevant documents. Before your appointment, the lawyer may give you a list of documents to gather. If you know of any documents that are relevant to your case, make sure that you have them with you. It is better to be prepared.

Answer Questions

The lawyer will have questions of his or her own about your case. You need to be prepared to answer these questions. It should not be that difficult, especially if you have the right documents with you. When it comes to the specifics and technicalities of the case, you need to be able to talk openly and honestly about them.

Ask Questions of Your Own

You do not want to spend the whole time only answering the lawyer’s questions. When you choose a Toronto employment lawyer, then you want to be able to ask questions to find out if this is the right choice. You should be able to ask him or her about his or her pricing options, about his or her opinion on your case and more. Do not be afraid to ask what is on your mind. You are going to be working closely with your lawyer and so you should always feel comfortable asking questions.

If you checked the websites, online profiles and did your research, you may already have a solid idea of what lawyer you want to use. Of course, even if you set up a consultation, you don’t necessarily have to choose that attorney. You are allowed to ask questions and to decide for yourself who is best suited for your case. It should always be an experienced firm and lawyers who you trust and get along with.

How to Make Your Digital Journey Savvy and Successful

.There comes a time in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize that traditional advertising just isn’t enough to get noticed. Not if it’s industry domination they’re after, anyway. If you want to expand your influence and leave your competitors in the dust, you need to bring your brand into the online world. By accessing simple, savvy strategies, you can make sure that your internet marketing process is a successful one. Below you’ll find just a few tips and tricks that can get your company’s digital journey going and growing.

Know Your Target Market Well

Your first step to success in the internet marketing sector is knowing your audience. When you know who your target market is, you will know which tools you can use to connect with and then convert them. There are several key questions you can ask to gain a clearer understanding of your specific market. Here are some of them:

  • What is the gender of your target audience?
  • Where do your current clients and prospects live?
  • What is the education level of your audience, and what types of occupations do they have?
  • What types of goods and services are your potential customers most excited to buy?
  • Do the majority of your customers buy online or do they prefer shopping in-person?

Build Your Website

Your website is much more than just your online store. Your website is your introduction to the world. It is where potential customers will learn about your brand and what you stand for. It is important for your website to inform your audience about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

But just because your website is more than merely an online store, you still must make sure that the e-commerce portion of your website is as streamlined as possible. A simple and easy to navigate website will help convert your traffic into sales. Making use of minimalist graphic design elements will make your product pages more visually appealing and engaging, without overwhelming your visitors.

Spread the Word

Now that you have your online home all set up and ready for business, it’s time to get the word out. While industry domination may be your ultimate goal, your hometown can help jump start your online presence.

A tried and true web optimization strategy is to have your web address printed on advertising materials. If you hand out business cards, appointment cards, invitations, or newsletters, having your URL printed on them can help convert real-life prospects into online customers. Be sure to also include any social media accounts that you use for your business.

Niche marketing services can help those just starting out or taking their humble online business to the next level. Specifically, it can be a good idea to work with a team of professional digital advertising experts who are skilled in helping individuals within your field. For example, say you work in real estate and sell property regularly. A high end marketing company such as LuxMark would provide you with customized web design and development services. For more information about these type of services, and how they can ensure your business is advertised effectively, visit luxmarkint.com.

Begin Your Digital Journey Today

While you may think there is a right time to bring your business online, truth be told, no company, business, or product can gain traction without an online presence today. Instead of delaying your company’s progress, begin your digital journey with the help of the tips in this article today.

Insurance Areas That are Worth Splurging On

When you have a family, it is very easy to get focused on balancing your budget and cutting expenses wherever you can. At the same time, though, when you have a family, you have an obligation to make sure that you are taking care of your family properly through any means possible. One of the best ways to care for your family is with insurance.

There are many different types of insurance that you may have. In general, insurance of any kind is an expense that is well worth it. However, when it comes to specific types of insurance, there are some that are worth splurging a bit more on than others. Here’s a look at a few insurance options and where to save and where to splurge.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is important to keeping your family healthy. You may be limited in your insurance options. The chances are that you or your partner, spouse or child’s other parent have insurance coverage through an employer, which is used because it is the most affordable option available. When it comes to health insurance, you should consider your family’s health before deciding to splurge.

While it may be nice to have a policy that has low deductibles and out of pocket expenses, this type of policy usually costs more each month. If you are mainly using preventative care services and only go to the doctor for other issues a few times a year, it is rarely going to be worth it to splurge on a low deductible/out-of-pocket expenses policy. The bottom line is that if nobody in your family has a serious, chronic health condition, then you should save as much as possible on your health insurance costs.

Car Insurance

Car insurance is actually one type of insurance where you can really customize it to meet your needs and your budget. There are many ways to get discounts, and you have a lot of control over pricing. The key is to work very closely with your insurance agent to construct a plan that meets your budget and needs. You may want to save by avoiding extras, like rental reimbursement, and splurge by lowering your deductible, so you can actually afford it should you ever get into an accident.

Life Insurance

This is one type of insurance many people don’t have. It isn’t something that will really benefit you directly because it only pays out once you have died. However, it will help your family, and everyone should have it. Life insurance can help with burial costs, paying off debts and even replacing lost incomes. You don’t have to splurge on it, but do get enough that it will be beneficial to your family after your death.

When it comes to insurance, it may seem like you are throwing your money away. There are many types of insurance that you may never even use, like car insurance, and others that you aren’t required to have, like life insurance. However, insurance is there to provide a piece of mind. While you don’t really need to splurge on any type of insurance, you should make some room in your budget for it. In addition, you should make choices carefully and ensure you get the best coverage for your money.

Understanding the Wide World of Health Care Careers

As health care evolves in modern society, the roles of health care professionals also are changing. New and revamped degree programs are developing to meet the culture’s needs. A career in health care today is not just about being a doctor, a nurse, or an office manager. It can also encompass working with advanced technologies to provide better patient care or filling new niches in the area of public health. Today, multiple levels of degrees in public health and health care informatics can be earned completely online. This means that you have more degree and career options than ever before.

Why Invest in an Online Degree?

Today’s online degrees are just as respected as those earned from traditional universities, and there are many reasons why an online degree might be right for you, including:

  • No commuting costs
  • Fewer expenses for study materials
  • Flexible schedules
  • Better time management between learning, family, and work

If you live in a rural or remote area, distance learning can make it possible for you to further your education as easily as someone living in a large city. Some online classes are even free and are designed to help you finish basic required courses at no cost. Distance learning opens up a myriad of opportunities for a large number of potential students, no matter where they live.

Online Degrees in the Medical Field

Technology plays a large role in the curricula of today’s degree programs, as well as in the means by which students earn degrees at all levels. As population demographics change, students taking fresh online courses can be prepared to meet the needs of today’s society. From undergraduate programs, to completing a doctor of nursing practice program online, online degrees can cater to students of all levels and ages, and at every stage of their career. Two other fast-growing fields that offer many career options are public health and health care informatics.

Master in Public Health

The field of public health is the science and art of forging healthy communities through research, education, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. Public health focuses on preventative health rather than illness treatment. This field has grown a great deal, perhaps in part due to the large role that public health professionals play in emergency preparedness and response.

A master’s degree in public health is a multi-disciplinary professional degree, and in the United States, anyone with an accredited undergraduate degree may pursue it. Areas of focus include culture, communications, public health biology, and informatics. This degree is available online, and you can also learn more about the online MPH degree from USC.

Health Care Informatics

The field of health informatics is a developing specialization that blends technology, communications, and health care to improve the safety and quality of patient care by creating better communication between patients’ various caregivers. Informatics also plays a key role in health care reform. This field has seen remarkable growth in large part due to the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). You can earn this degree online as well as use the Internet to learn more about a career in health care informatics.

The medical field is changing, and so are the careers and specializations within health care. Two modern expanding work options are in public health and health care informatics. Both fields are growing, and subspecialties within them allow for interesting careers that accommodate many interests. The Internet has a plethora of information on both, and degrees in both areas are also available online. This makes it easier for you to decide your best personal path.

Master’s Degrees in Library Science: A Gateway to Career Opportunities

Library science professionals remain in demand. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects only a 2% growth for the profession in the next decade, the relative stability of the field is still good news. Additionally, there’s some compatibility between the library and information services field and other vocations, such as archivist, curator or museum worker. These fields will average about a 7% growth in the next decade, according to the BLS. With these statistics, it’s a wise idea to consider advancing your education by earning a master’s degree in library science.

Types of Graduate Degrees in Library Science and Related Disciplines

Courses of study that offer master’s degrees at their conclusion are the most common form of graduate education programs. Depending on the school, you might earn a Master of Arts (M.A.), a Master of Science (M.Sc.), or a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). The American Library Association (ALA) website mention other kinds of degrees in the field, which include the Master of Library Science (MLS) and the Master of Librarianship.

However, some programs take a slightly different approach to pedagogy. You may find programs that offer a Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS). This degree typically focuses on not only library science curricula, but also leadership and business management pedagogy. One example of this is the USC MMLIS, a course of study housed in the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Students learn topics such as business administration, marketing and management. The focus is of these curricula is to train professionals in leadership, outreach, advancement and similar skills.

Accreditation Means Opportunities in the United States and Abroad

Depending on the country and its governing body for libraries, the degree you earn in the states may be recognized. For example, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a body in the United Kingdom similar to the ALA, has formed reciprocal agreements with the ALA, the Library Association of New Zealand and the Australian Library and Information Association. Should you relocate to the UK, this may assist you in finding employment. However, you should check for specific requirements in your country of interest.

The Next Steps

First of all, you’ll need to research each school’s admission requirements and ensure you gather the information they request prior to applying. Keep in mind that you will likely need some letters of recommendation and a statement of personal intent, in addition to transcripts from your undergraduate or other coursework. Finally, you’ll need to submit relevant test scores, such as those for your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if you’re not a native English speaker.

The next thing to consider is how you plan to pay for your educational investment. Student loans are a common method of financing degrees. However, no matter what vehicles you select to foot the bill, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). U.S. News and World Report offers some additional sound advice, such as checking with your employer for tuition reimbursement programs. Lastly, paid assistantships and scholarships are other options that you don’t have to repay.

Increase Your Employability With Advanced Education

With continued employment prospects in the library science fields, and growth in related vocations, now may be the perfect time to pursue advanced education. Master’s degrees in these disciplines may come in a variety of forms, but the end goal is to get you ready for higher positions of responsibility, including management, collection development, advancement and directorships. Opportunities may open up both in the states and abroad as a result. With the right preparation and funding, you’ll graduate with more knowledge and better employment prospects.

4 Strategies to Make Your Startup a Success

Anyone will tell you that starting a business can be a risky process. Many startups fail and some people have to try several business ideas before finding the one that works. However, there are many potential benefits to starting your own business so taking the risk can be worth it. While there is nothing that can guarantee your startup will be successful, there are a few things you can do to give your startup the best chance to prosper.

1. Follow Your Passion

Growing a startup into a successful company is a challenge in any circumstances, but it’s nearly impossible if you aren’t passionate about what you are doing. Before starting your business, you should ask yourself if the industry is really something that sparks your passion. If the answer is not a resounding “yes” you should take a step back before investing more time and money into something about which you are ambivalent. Nearly every successful entrepreneur will agree that part of the reason for their success was their passion for the company and drive to make it succeed.

While part of making your business work is a being passionate about your idea and industry, the balancing point is being realistic about the market. If your passion isn’t something that you can reasonably monetize, it’s probably not the start of a profitable business. Likewise, if the market is already saturated with companies relatively similar to the one you want to start, you might not be able to garner a large customer base.

2. Form a Partnership

It may be ideal to form a business partnership to help your startup succeed. This could mean a financial partnership with one or several investors, or a creative partnership with someone who shares your passion and brings additional ideas to the table. When forming a professional partnership, it’s important to make sure it’s done in an official way. When your startup takes off, you don’t want to risk arguments over shares or lawsuits over intellectual property. Before any official paperwork on your business is filed, make sure the legal documents regarding your partnership have been drawn up and signed.

You can also consider creating an informal “partnership” with potential investors and clients. Using a funding site such as Kickstarter is a great way to engage your potential customer base and get a head start on advertising your business. Additionally, it allows you to raise funding for your startup costs from a large pool of potential investors. Of course, it’s essential that you understand all the terms and conditions of using a funding site and know what you are agreeing to provide your investors.

3. Be Patient and Persistent

Starting a business and bringing it to fruition is usually a slow process. While there are stories of overnight successes, this is not the way most profitable companies achieved their status. A large part of building a company from the ground up is doing the boring but necessary work of figuring out legal requirements, filing necessary paperwork, creating a financial structure and accounting setup and figuring out your marketing and expansion plans.

Part of being patient involves finances and your own personal investment in the company. In most cases, starting up a company involves a large amount of capital and it can be years before your business is bringing in enough income for you to take a normal salary. You should ensure that you have enough financial stability to survive during the time before your business is consistently turning a profit.

4. Learn From Others’ Success

One of the best ways to prepare and help your startup succeed is to learn from other successful companies. Hampton Creek is a great example of people who followed their passion and persevered to make their business a success. Their ability to build a successful business based on a pea-protein egg substitutes should serve as inspiration and encouragement for you to follow your own passion.

Starting a company can be an exhilarating and frightening endeavor. Before you commit yourself to the risks, be sure you are passionate about your idea. You should also make sure the market is reasonably favorable. Form partnerships if desired. Patience is important, especially financially because it can be years before your company is stable enough to pay you a salary. One of the best places to find encouragement and inspiration for your dream is in the success stories of other companies. You can learn good strategies and see the steps other people took to create a profitable company.