How to Enhance Productivity by Improving Communication

Workplace communication is essential to achieving your business’ goals. After all, communication, taken as it is, fosters relationships and ensures greater productivity—that is if implemented properly in the workplace so it’s not a source of conflict

According to UK-based business solutions provider Bluesource, at least 85% of employees use more than one communication device at work. Companies also invest in effective communication technologies not just to enhance communication in the workplace, but also to connect to their audiences either through inbound or outbound means.

All of this moving communication needs structure to be efficient. With social media and mobile apps being added to the mix, it’s all the more important that you have a plan in place that allows these channels to work for you instead of against you. Here’s how to begin.

  1.  Set up platforms for anonymous feedback

Look inwards and to one challenge that many modern businesses are encountering today. Of course, we’re talking about openness. A healthy workplace has to promote the free flow of conversations that have implications on the bottom line. When what the employees are saying publically is different than what they’re expressing privately, it could lead to confusion.

Still, many employees are reluctant to voice out their concerns and issues for fear of being ostracized or sanctioned. Seeing that feedback is an essential part of your operations, you will have to provide your employees with a platform for recommendations. For this, you may as well set up an anonymous employee feedback app. This allows you to track your employees’ engagements and identify issues that you may want to address from the get-go.

  1.  Hold meetings less frequently

Business meetings are a key ingredient in modern corporate culture. The results of these meetings will depend on the quality of the discussions, and not on how frequent you will be holding them with your staff.

One thing’s for sure, if your company maintains a text or IM-based communication model, it’s best not to hold meetings more often than you should. Meetings are known especially for killing productivity since they eat up time for more important activities. Holding meetings too often can also reduce employee morale. That being said, it’s important to limit the number of meetings per week.

You may want to call for a huddle as long as it touches on an important and urgent agenda. Invite only the people who have input on the decision and make the goal of the meeting very clear. Otherwise, it will be much more practical to just create an online group where you can communicate with your staff without entirely interrupting their workflow.

  1. Use productivity apps and cloud services

Along with business phone systems such as VOIP for effective customer outreach, you will also need to adopt new technologies that can streamline internal communications to ease up obstacles that are in the way of your staff. This is best done through the use of apps and cloud services.

Apps such as Trello, Keep, and Taskworld are specifically catered towards organizations handling long-term projects. These apps provide for the creation of shareable checklists and feature real-time updating. Your department staff will be able to work seamlessly and are informed of the progress of the work being done.

Cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Apps are also helpful since they allow files to be transferred, shared, and edited freely by anyone in your team. With Google Apps, on the other hand, you can use a chat feature for instant feedback.

How Wearable Technology Is Being Used To Address Injury On and Off the Field

No pain, no gain. This is the mentality that plays throughout elite sports and in American culture, where progress is everything. On elite sports teams, athletes are pressured to play through the pain and to perform at their best for the good of the team. In the workforce, employees are also pressured to work through the pain. After all, their paycheck depends on it. While pain comes to us as a messenger, we often choose to ignore its signs, until the pain becomes too severe to ignore.

Workplace Injury

In the workforce, manual holding injuries have become a growing issue across a number of industries. In fact, chronic disorders caused by unsafe work practices are one of the leading causes of time taken off in the developed world. The amount paid in compensation for work-related injuries costs billions each year. And what’s more? Our employee’s safety is on the line. Despite our efforts to improve health and safety in the workplace, we have seen very little progress in the past five years. The issue is, our solutions are too subjective. Traditional ergonomic workplace assessments do little for our hurting professionals because, in reality, they do not paint a full picture of the movement strain they are subjected to each day.  

Sports Injury

The problem in elite sports is knowing when the time is right. If a player gets back on the field too soon, the risk of further injury increases dramatically. Soft tissue injuries, muscle sprains, and joint problems are among some of the risks that come with re-entry. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, there are several factors that contribute to the risk of future injury. Studying the likelihood of tear after a repaired ACL injury, it was discovered that age, level of activity, and type of graft determine the risk factor. Although, the most important conclusion was that education is key. “With better education about adjustments that can be made, based on these risk factors, patients may be able to minimize re-tears,” said Christopher C. Kaeding, MD of the Ohio State University. Neglecting pain and the body’s need for healing will ultimately exacerbate the pain in the long run. Although, with the right information and the right tools, athletes may make better-informed decisions and return to the game when they are truly ready.

Guiding Prevention With Wearable Tech

It all comes down to prevention. Given the innate impact of technology, more opportunities are being created for injury education and prevention. One such example is wearable motion sensor technology, dorsaVi. With a solution like dorsaVi, organizations now have an objective tool to quantify data from the workplace and indicate the risk of an individual’s daily reality. Combining wearable motion sensor technology, sophisticated logarithms and objective video footage on site, the wearable is able to pinpoint risk in repetitive or sustained movements as well as static postures. DorsaVi has joined the forces of leading global businesses to incite policy changes and ROI that can be quantified through positive impact. Working with Heathrow Airport, dorsaVi’s unique technology contributed to:

– Reduced strain on shoulder muscles by 67%

– Reduced strain on back muscles by 88%

– Increased use of manual handling aids by 60%

– Reduction of manual handling injuries by 53%

In the elite sports arena, the wearable’s objective data has also quantified progress in injury identification, training and rehabilitation. According to Megan Connell, Chief Marketing Officer of dorsaVi, “The precise dorsaVi sensors provide information that previously couldn’t be collected outside a biomechanical lab such as the kinetic forces impacting different parts of the body and how and where the injured body is compensating.”

DorsaVi’s Professional Suite consists of three core assessment modules: Low back, run and knee. Addressing movement data from these common pain points, dorsaVi delivers accurate insights that can be applied throughout an athlete’s journey. And while the solution has been used by the world’s leading sporting teams and Olympians, its data has been made accessible to almost all Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, and other clinicians. Because for dorsaVi, its all about giving individuals the right tools to succeed.

The preventative power of the technology is a crystal ball of what’s to come in the wearable space. What we’re seeing is that movement data is not only for world-class athletes. Optimum performance is relevant to everyone. No matter if you’re a gold medallist or an everyday champion, we may all take it upon ourselves to protect our health and lead the most active and fulfilling lives we possibly can, with the treasure trove of insights now available to us.

Driverless Cars – All you Need to Know

Not too long ago, the concept of driverless cars was only a dream, or the sort of thing movies are made of. But in the past few years, this dream has been getting closer to reality.

 

Driverless cars are not exactly a new concept; they have been long in the making and were spearheaded by General Motor’s 1939 exhibit called ‘Futurama’ which was showcased at New York World’s Fair, effectively laying the groundwork for what would be today’s autonomous vehicles.

Since then, many driverless car concepts have been tried out various times, but they all happen to fall short of technical expectations. It is only recently, due to advancements in technology, that self-driving cars have been able to overcome their three main engineering challenges: sensing the immediate environment, processing the information, and reacting accordingly.

These advances have made the reality of driverless cars even more real and closer than ever.

There is almost daily news of new developments in the search for the perfect driverless car. Virtually every self-respecting car manufacturer, car sharing service and even tech companies such as Apple and Google have caught the self-driving car bug. In fact, Google has plans to see their self-driving car sharing service on the road before the end of 2018, while Apple’s self-driving car can be seen on several occasions driving down the road carrying self-driving equipment. Even top car sharing company Uber has revealed that it is in talks with Google to see about adding Google’s self-driving car (Waymo) to their fleet of car sharing, self-driving vehicles.

Even though the development of self-driving vehicles is still plagued by challenges, the future appears bright, and it is expected that 2035 will see fully functional self-driving cars on the road, creating an industry that will be worth billions.

What are driverless cars?

Driverless cars, also known as autonomous cars or self-driving cars, are cars that are capable of driving to a destination, avoiding obstacles and parking successfully without the aid of a driver.

Simply put, this car must have the capability to perform every function related to everyday driving including commuting and parking. To accomplish this, a driverless car makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) to sense its immediate surroundings, process information from what it senses that allows it to avoid collision, use GPS to determine the car’s current location and where it is supposed to go to and perform driving-related activities such as steering and braking when needed.

Even though the concept of driverless cars has been talked about for quite some time, the idea of sitting in a car and being driven by a computer is sure to make a lot of people nervous, but, for what it’s worth, some level of this technology already exists in today’s more modern cars – such as adaptive cruise control, self adjusting speed control, blind spot warnings, lane management systems, self parking assist and much more.

So, while we are not exactly using driverless cars now, it is safe to say that a huge part of today’s driving experience is actually controlled by an onboard computer.

It is important to point out that even though the terms driverless cars and autonomous cars are currently used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference in their technical meanings. An autonomous car is one that has enough technology to allow it drive on the highway without human assistance, whereas a driverless car is one that does not even need a steering wheel suitable for human drivers.

How does a driverless car work?

A complete driverless car has to have the capacity to obey road rules, respond in a timely manner to road situations and drive safely all the time. To accomplish this, driverless cars make use of a series of built-in systems that are tasked with constantly analyzing the immediate surroundings and interpreting the results to determine the next course of action. The exact technology differs by manufacturer, but the key components are basically the same.

  • GPS – GPS is already a common technology. The GPS technology in driverless cars is no different from the ones available in phone apps; only better developed; and they essentially serve the same purpose – to tell the car where you want to go so the car can drive you there.
  • Detection system – In order for the car to plot its destination and prepare for road situations, a self-driving car works with a very advanced detection system. This is usually made up of LIDAR (light detection radar) used to measure the distance between any surrounding objects and the car, radar, and cameras. So far, only Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 makes use of only radar and camera, no LIDAR. This may be due in part to the first ever driverless car fatality caused by a LIDAR error in a Tesla Model S, where the device misidentified a parked white truck as part of the grey environment and so didn’t hit the brakes.
  • Onboard computers – Cars have had onboard computers for quite a while now but the ones on driverless cars are of a more sophisticated variety. Such a computer is needed to analyze and interpret the data gathered from the car’s detection system and determining the correct course of action, as well as controlling other aspects of the car not connected to the detection system.

How safe are driverless cars?

First of all, the technology behind driverless cars is still undergoing a lot of development. This means that there are still a lot of issues to be sorted out. Already, there have been several accidents during testing, including one that resulted in a fatality, but some of these accidents were a result of driver error.

That being said, several driverless car makers, including Google, are programming their cars not to take any form of action such as accelerating, braking or changing lanes unless there is a hundred percent certainty that the action is safe and will not result in an accident.

In theory, this ensures a safe and secure drive as long as the onboard electronics, computer and sensors all work as intended, and also as long as there is no unpredictable action by other road users. This emphasizes, rather than negates, the position of adequate car insurance to cover for any liability, even though insurance premiums might drop significantly once these cars have been proven to be beyond any doubt safer than manned vehicles.

What are the advantages of driverless cars?

Safety –

The biggest and most obvious advantage of driverless cars is safety. This safety advantage is emphasized by the following points:

  • Faster reaction times: A driverless car has the advantage of being able to react faster than any human driver would. In less than it takes to blink an eye, a driverless car can identify a potential hazard and take action accordingly.
  • Smarter decisions making: A human driver may not be able to analyze and make a decision in the split second it takes an accident to occur. Driverless cars, on the other hand, make use of extremely fast computers to analyze road situations and decide on the best possible move.
  • More efficient drivers: A huge percentage of road accidents can be traced to driver error. Everything from fatigue to drunk driving and ignoring road rules can cause a fatal accident. Computers don’t have these problems. Not only do they obey traffic laws and warning signs, they are also not capable of the excitement and emotion associated with road rages, car races and other forms of bad driving that cause accidents.

Efficiency –

Another advantage of driverless cars is efficiency. Driverless cars will be able to provide better fuel efficiency, better road efficiency and better time management. The usual chaos that normally occurs as a result of hundreds of drivers on the same road, ignoring safety rules, not maintaining consistent speed and not allowing for the proper flow of traffic will be eliminated.

Better for disabled people –

Driverless cars bring a whole new opportunity for freedom to people who have movement-restricting disabilities such as the blind or those otherwise unable to drive. Because the car is essentially doing the driving, these individuals will be able to move about more freely without having to depend on someone all the time.

Driverless cars will also provide an advantage to the elderly who no longer have the speed and reflexes needed to drive safely on the crowded highways.

The advantages of driverless cars are too numerous to fully cover here but suffice it to say that it will change the landscape of the automobile industry the world over.

What are the disadvantages of driverless cars?

No matter how good a thing is, there is always a flipside, and the advent of driverless cars is no exception. First of all, any technological advancement is bound to have an economic impact and driverless cars will too. This is because most of the driving jobs done by humans such as truck driving, taxis and chauffeuring will be taken over by AI.

Here are some of the adverse effects driverless cars are bound to have:

  • Economic impact due to job losses
  • High cost of cars due to high tech features
  • Legal and ethical difficulties
  • Human error

As you can see, there is still a long way to go before driverless cars become available to the public. All we can do as we wait is simply envisage the feeling of moving about in a car that drives itself.

5 Licenses and Permits Needed to Open a Restaurant

If you’re thinking about opening your own restaurant, you will need to do some research before anything else. While running a restaurant can be a rewarding venture, there are some steps you need to take before embarking on your dream restaurant journey. Depending on the type of food service operation you want to open, you may have to apply for some additional permits. You will need to decide if you are going to allow liquor sales within your restaurant or have a live entertainment option, as these require additional permits aside from the standard issue licenses and permits you will need to acquire before opening. Here are some common permits and applications you might need to file if you’re interested in opening your very own restaurant.

Employer Identification Number

Since restaurants have many employees, you will need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN). This is the first step in identifying your business to the government in order to file appropriate taxes for your business and on behalf of your employees. While this is a free process, it may take several weeks for your application to be processed and approved. Therefore, you will need to plan your timeline accordingly as the EIN will be necessary in order to file many of the other required permits/licenses prior to opening.

Business License

A business license is a state regulated license required of anyone owning a business, especially a restaurant. While this license is state regulated, you may need to apply for the federal level business license if you plan on transporting animals, planting products, or selling alcohol. Be sure to double check with your individual state authorities as to which license you will need depending on the services your restaurant will offer.

Building Department Permit

Now that you have started the process of establishing your restaurant, you will need to find a location and bring it up to the required safety and operational codes for your region. This will require building inspections from the city or county health department, as it pertains to the safety of the brick and mortar building you plan to run your restaurant in. This can include a visit from the fire marshal to review fire prevention systems, capacity concerns, and egress routes in case of a fire. In addition, outdoor signage and building features may be limited by local authorities, so a visit to the building department to find out the rules for your region is a must.

Food Service Establishment Permit

This is sometimes referred to as a “food handler’s” permit. This permit proves that you, as the owner/operator, understand and will comply with all food storage, safety, preparation, and sanitation training. This permit also allows your local health department to inspect your facilities (especially the kitchen area) to make sure you are following all requirements for safe food handling. Employees who will be primarily working your kitchen staff will also need to be individually certified for safe food handling procedures. Prior to getting approval for this permit, you need to make sure your kitchen (and restaurant) are stocked with the necessary supplies. Restaurant supply stores like VegaDirect.ca have everything from cookware, flatware, and uniforms to get a restaurant up and running. These supplies will be necessary in order to pass the food handling inspection, as they will be part of the review.

Liquor and/or Music Licenses

If you plan to serve alcohol, a liquor license will be required for your location. There are several levels of licensing for liquor and these can vary by state. Many city or county governments also have specific liquor licensing requirements, as well. If you plan to play music in your restaurant (as many do), you will need a music license in order to play any copyrighted music. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a CD, karaoke night, or DJthis license would be required in all circumstances. However, if your restaurant is smaller than 3,750 square feet, a music license will not be required.

Failing to acquire the required permits/licenses could get you into trouble with various government and regulatory agencies, resulting in fines and even potential closure of your restaurant. So you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before embarking on this journey. Performing due diligence prior to opening your restaurant will help you save time and money in the long run and help you spend your time and energy on running your restaurant.

From Struggling to Multi-Millionaire- Talking Money, Success and Failure with Nenad Korof

It’s easy to fake a persona now days on social media- the luxury watches, car, penthouse and lavish parties, private jets I mean go on Instagram or Google and just start scrolling. However, one person who has earned his wealth and not faked his way to success is Nenad “Neno” Korof. A serial entrepreneur, angel investor, trader, mentor, philanthropist who has a large following on Instagram of 102K and one of the fastest growing accounts- Nenad has shown that hard work and dedication can earn you the lifestyle you desire. Managing different businesses- he is currently focused on Advance Crypto Academy– North America’s #1 Online Education platform which educates people on trading cryptocurrencies and forex. In addition, he hosts webinars in which people can see the trades made in real time and profit alongside him. Through his mentorship- he created 11 millionaires and dozens of 6 figure earners.

Nenad- you have achieved so much at a young age- I am sure you have had countless failures along the way, what is one of them?

The truth is everyone has failures, I am no different. On my way to making my first million, I had 2 MLM’s that were a minimal success and 2 businesses (a landscaping and shisha lounge) which started becoming tedious at a point of time. With the 2 businesses, I was trading time for money to a certain degree and working long hours- the work started to become monotonous and I needed to figure a way out. However, due to poor decisions and the wrong crowd- I was $50K in debt but eventually I figured out forex trading and earned my first million. I took many risks in life, some worked out- others didn’t, but it made me wiser and everything happens for a reason.

Being a successful entrepreneur, what are 3 traits you believe that people need to have to be successful?

  1. Confidence- the truth is if you are scared, you’ll never make money. You have to believe you are the best at your craft because it’s a competitive market and if you are not working to be the best, someone else will outwork you and earn it. Whether it’s a dream, a date, a business- have the confidence to be able to work and not stop till you have earned it/achieved it.
  2. Perseverance- there are times when it’s going to get tough and if you don’t have the wherewithal to survive those tough times, you won’t appreciate the good times. There are many people that want the freedom and lifestyle but the reality is are you willing to die for your dreams and if you fail, get back up and give it another shot? The truth is most people won’t and that’s why the rich are rich- they have a high level of pain tolerance and didn’t get to where they are by luck.
  3. Passion- if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. For me, I find joy in helping people and programming their mind for success and pushing people to go after their dreams and goals. Trading and mentorship are vehicles which allow me to fulfil that purpose.

With diversifying your wealth, do you invest in start-ups- if so, what’s your criteria when you are evaluating them?

I do invest in start-ups and here’s my 2 criteria:

  1. The finances have to make sense and whether it will be/is a profitable venture- for me this isn’t a charity, it’s business and I am looking for things that will make my money grow. The number 1 rule of money, don’t lose money.
  2. I bet on the operator/jockey that will be executing the business and vision. If I feel they have the drive to grow the business, then I will invest. In addition, the idea has to excite me to the point where I think to myself “Why didn’t I think of that ? That’s a damm good idea”

For people that are making money or growing their wealth- what are your 3 top money management tips ?

  1. It’s not about how much you make but how much you keep- you could make a million dollars but if you spend $1.5 million dollars, you just put yourself in the negative. Don’t be stupid to overspend.
  2. Always leave money for a rainy day- there are unexpected events that happen in life. A family emergency, lawsuit, losing a client/job- whatever the case is, make sure you have at least 12 months in savings to ensure you are covered for a rainy day.
  3. Don’t spend money on liabilities- things that don’t make you money. People look at my Lamborghini and think that’s a stupid purchase, however I beg to differ. The Lamborghini makes me money because I use it as a marketing tool that gets people’s attention- people want to learn more about me and what I have to offer which leads to profitability in my business. I enjoy the finer things in life don’t get me wrong but I don’t make purchases that don’t give me some form of ROI in the long run.

Let’s talk Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, is it a fad ?

*Laughs* here’s the thing, bitcoin is here to stay- it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I am a big believer in bitcoin because of the underlying concept of blockchain. Using it as a medium of exchange in a decentralized network where there is no intermediary. My friends and I have earned millions from trading cryptocurrencies so it is a good vehicle that we believe will accelerate financial growth but you have to be patient. The truth is there is an unlimited supply of paper money which devalues its purpose- a dollar isn’t worth a dollar. However, if you look at BTC, there are only 21 million coins and that value in rarity entices people to be an owner of the coin. Second, it’s the belief, if people believe that there will be an increase in the price of bitcoin- this will increase the demand. I believe blockchain to be bigger than the internet; when internet first became a thing in the 90’s- people said it was a fad, look at the evolution of the internet today. My belief is blockchain will be much bigger at a larger scale and when I am right- you can come back and re-read the article.

One final question- you’ve seen both spectrums of life, when you had no money and having earned millions- give us 2 pros and cons of being rich.

Pros:

  1. Options. I choose how to allocate and spend my time, I can decide to get some work done or if I feel that I need a vacation, I can hop on a flight to Miami and relax. If I feel like buying another watch, I can absolutely do that- I dictate how I want to spend my time, not how someone else wants me to spend it.
  2. I don’t stress about money- I know I will pay rent, bills, help my family out and other things that money can buy. If I want to eat out at a nice restaurant with a group of friends and spend $1500, I can do so effortlessly without worrying about if I have enough money in my account or credit card.

Cons:

  1. Jealousy- the truth is some people will change when they see you have money and doing better. It’s even different when people that you grew up with change because some will even feel envious of that success.
  2. Hate- people hate on other successful people and that’s just something you can’t escape. I have haters bash me in the comments section on my Instagram posts or when I am doing Instagram Live- I don’t let it bother me because I am sitting in a Lamborghini or my penthouse reading the comments. The people close to me know the real me and how hard I work for my money.

Xunlei records impressive earnings in Q2 2018, thanks to blockchain and cloud

This week cloud giant Xunlei Limited announced its latest earnings for the second quarter of 2018. The company has been undergoing significant changes over the last few years, yielding positive financial results in the form of rising stock prices and year-on-year revenue increase. Key highlights include:

  • Cloud computing and other internet value-added services revenue saw substantial spike, representing an increase of 186.9% from the same period of 2017
  • Its shared computing model successfully dropped bandwidth costs, improving gross margin by 143% year-on-year
  • Net profit brought Xunlei out of the red, compared with a net loss of US$9.7 million in the second quarter last year

Some investors did question in the past whether Xunlei could adapt itself to the new tech world, especially when AI, big data and other emerging technology are on the rise. Well, it is now clear Xunlei’s CEO Lei Chen has a done an excellent job pivoting the company into a blockchain and cloud computing leader.

Xunlei’s business transformation initiative kicked off in 2014 with the appointment of Chen as its Chief Technology Officer, the company’s first official CTO in a decade. At that time, Xunlei’s download subscription service accounted for most revenues.

In July 2017, Chen took the helm as Xunlei’s official CEO. Chen’s first port of call as Xunlei’s newly appointed CEO was a dramatic but a natural shift in the company’s business model from distributed P2P technology to shared computing and blockchain. All these technologies share similar DNAs with features in decentralization and efficiency.

Onething Technologies was founded as a subsidiary to meet market demands in this space. Notable products include shared computing intelligent hardware solution for individuals, OneThing Cloud; enterprise-level IaaS and CDN service platform StellarCloud; high-performance blockchain platform, ThunderChain along with a decentralized file system ThunderChain File System (TCFS).

Benefiting from the successful transformation strategy, Xunlei’s cloud revenues grew to more than half of total revenues. As of June 2018, Xunlei’s shares were priced at US $12.95, a 282% increase from the previous year. The company has effectively made the transition to a cloud and blockchain company.

On top of strong financial performance, Xunlei’s significant strides in shared computing and blockchain technology have garnered notable industry accolades, including citation in a research paper by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and Xinhua Net’s “Outstanding Entrepreneurship and Innovation Project”.

Without question, Xunlei’s future continues to expand around blockchain.

As Chen said, it’s ThunderChain platform and shared cloud computing will help bridge today’s divides between the emerging technology and real economy. The ThunderChain Open Platform has been seeing an increasing number of startups and developers adopt its infrastructure to create applications across various sectors. Xunlei is positioned as the first choice for Dapps, especially those that intend to reach a great number of users.

Best Way to Finance Buying a Car

Many people agree that the best way to go about buying a car is through cash. However, other financing options are also available if you don’t have the cash. Either way, it is important to save some money towards buying a car. Set some cash aside and see what is available within what you can afford. It is important to buy a car that you can afford based on your income drawn from all your financial sources.  When cash isn’t available to get you the car you need, here is the best way to approach your car purchase:

  1. Know your Credit Score First

Make sure you understand your credit score prior to visiting any dealership. Your credit score should be good enough to get you the facility you need to buy a car. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a car loan if you have bad credit. However, it may attract high-interest rates. Therefore, it is important to understand this aspect first and consider the consequences of each one of them before embarking on the process.

  1. Obtain Financing Quotes

If your credit rating is not good, go for financing quotes. A broker serving various lenders could the best to help you get the best dealership. You can try out online lenders. All you will need is make an application and be presented with the max amount you need for the car alongside the interest rate. Gathering as much information as possible is important in helping you make the right decision. In most cases, credit unions and local banks can provide borrowers with average credit that have competitive rates on both used and new car loans. Therefore, find time to weigh all the options.

  1. Make Some Down payment

Don’t buy your car entirely from a loan facility. Be prepared to put down some payment, say about 20% of the total cost of the car. This will help you avoid a scenario where you owe a lot of money compared to the value of the car. Many car dealers may not require you to do that, especially if you have a good credit score. However, it is for your good – consider making a down payment first.

Getting that new car without some down payment is possible but at the same time, it is a risky move. Should you be required to sell your new car at some point, it may not be possible in the event that you owe more on the loan than the value of the car. With a huge down payment, this option becomes a possibility.

  1. Go for a Short-Term Facility

A short loan term though with high monthly payments will come with lower rates of interest. You definitely need these tricks of managing your car loan so that your car doesn’t end up being more expensive than you can afford. Car salespeople will in most cases try to negotiate with you based on the estimate car payment per month and not on the overall cost. Lower payments come with long terms for the loan with increased interests henceforth and not by cutting down on the cost of the car.

Financial institutions tend to impose high-interest rates for loans that take long to be repaid back. Therefore, the cost of credit can only go higher and higher when you go for a long-term loan and not a short one.  You can be tempted to go for a long-term auto loan due to the small monthly payment but look at the upsides before going that path.

  1. Use Cash to Pay for Taxes and Fees Incurred

Reduce the amount of loan you are getting for your car by all means. One of the ways to do this is by using cash to finance any miscellaneous expenses that come with the purchase of the car. These include documentation fees, registration fees, sales tax and any other additional charges that tag along with the purchase. Dealers can easily roll these charges into the financing which is not good for you because it increases your loan amount. Ideally, it doesn’t add any value to the car which acts as security for the loan.

If you don’t have the cash to buy your new choice car, there is another way out – well-researched financing option. You need to be very practical while sourcing for funds through other means. Understand your credit score and compare different offers in the market before settling on one that serves your needs. Make it a short-term loan facility.

Building Your Team on the Blockchain

Blockchain technology has been hailed as one of the greatest innovations of our time, bringing a new era of accountability, security and a new approach to the way we will conduct our businesses and our lives. Deemed “The New Internet” and “The Blueprint For a New Economy”, blockchain is ready to transform the entire architecture of technology. The “Blockchain Revolution” is upon us all, yet despite all of its promises, the truth is, most blockchain projects can’t even be executed. Stuck on a whitepaper and living on as a concept, the blockchain has not yet been able to reach people’s lives in a significant way. But for those startups that have taken it upon themselves to create their own chain, a team of strong collaborators and innovators, hard-workers and vision seekers, this is all starting to change. After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

At this point, you are probably wondering what exactly the blockchain is. Put simply, blockchain can be defined as a means for recording data. Each record is placed into an encrypted block of code, known as a block. Now, each block keeps track of every block before it, through time and through each transaction along the way. Chaining each of these blocks together, you get the blockchain, where authorized users may make verified transactions and take part in streamlined exchanges called smart contracts. So what makes the blockchain so special, anyway? The blockchain takes place on a decentralized platform, distributing information on a wide and complex network to inhibit outside manipulation. It is secure, it is transformative and its possibilities are endless.

For blockchain platform and multichain oracles framework, Ducatur.com, the goal is to deliver ready to use results. Ducatur believes that as a blockchain project, you must never be limited to just one protocol. This is why their team incorporates multiple frameworks, which integrate with all the platforms out there such as EOS, NEO, ETH, etc. By understanding each protocol in depth and by constantly adapting to technological advancements, Ducatur.com is bringing flexibility to the infrastructure world and efficiency to all businesses.

The team has now won four blockchain ‘Hackathon’ competitions in the last six months. This is an incredible achievement, particularly its latest accomplishment – winning a place in the Grand Finale of the EOS Hackathon, beating 76 other teams. Though, win or lose, it is the team that is most integral to this company. While an application may change over time and target markets might evolve, it is the core team that will most likely stay the same through it all. Building an amazing team spirit and collective culture, Ducatur is here to stay.

According to CEO, George Bell, “The most important element when building a blockchain platform is your team. We’ve worked hard to ensure we have the right team to execute and deliver. Blockchain developers are hard to find. Let alone build a team around. I’d advise entrepreneurs to find their tech team as early as possible and build a strong, hard-working, and winning culture, which also knows how to have fun!”

While the blockchain can provide many solutions for many businesses, implementing the blockchain can be a challenge in and of itself. Ducatur.com makes it easy for businesses to make the transition and to choose the blockchain that complements their business in the best way possible. From there, Ducatur can connect businesses to different data providers on the blockchain, in their own efficient ecosystem. Within this ecosystem exists a framework of oracles. Oracles are one of the greatest crypto innovations at this time. Bringing information from outside the blockchain, to the blockchain system, Ducatur diversifies the capabilities of the blockchain from the inside out. This is especially true for its collaborative culture, which will support the growth and potential of the company into the next eras of technology. If you are a startup, a tech innovator, or a company in need of some team spirit, this story is for you.

Here are the five most important things Ducatur.com has learned as a team:

  1. Be flexible – learn all technologies and know how to adapt
  2. Build a strong tech team – without one you have no chance of succeeding in the long run
  3. Find strategic partners – finding a few large investors who believe in you is more important than raising more money from people looking for a quick flip.
  4. Focus on all platforms – ETH, NEO, EOS, etc. will change and evolve. Other protocols may launch soon with better features like Cardano, VeChain etc. Never stop learning about each technology.
  5. Have fun, travel, and meet people – don’t keep your team locked up in an office coding all day. Visit hackathons around the world and test your capabilities!
Search Engine Optimization

Parxavenue Top Calgary Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO and SEM

What’s the point of building a website if it’s going to rank on Google’s last page?

Building a website in 2018 is a lot different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Back in the day; companies could create a website and use all kinds of flashy and spammy methods to rank their site in search engines, and it was quite easy to do. Search engines’ algorithms have become a lot smarter in the past decade and can now detect these old-school methods in a matter of seconds. Can you imagine a time when you can rank on Google’s first page 24 hours after building a website stuffed with 20 exact match keywords? Ranking your site used to be, that easy!

Many penalties have been given out lately as algorithms get smarter with the growth of technology. If your website has been penalized in any way whatsoever, many experts in the SEO industry will tell you that it might be easier to purchase a new domain and start fresh. Recovering from a penalty is time-consuming. Building back the trust you once had, won’t be easy – possible, yes, but not easy.

Parxavenue Ltd. an excellent SEO company based in Calgary, Alberta; has experimented with multiple domains, using all major search engines to see how hard they can “push.” The answers didn’t come right away, but after a few short months, they did find out how easy it is to receive a penalty and even have your website de-indexed!

Search Engine Optimization
Calgary SEO – Calgary SEM – Parxavenue Top Search Engine Optimization

If your SEO staff, team, or agency is using “Old-School” methods today in 2018, be aware that these techniques will catch up to you faster than you might be thinking. The best-ranking websites from any niche market have a very natural flow to them, using exact match keywords only when completely necessary. When working with the best SEO tools on the market today, it is quite clear that you have to follow Google’s best practices and again, that’s how simple it is. “Don’t be Evil” For helpful information regarding the best ways to go about working on your own website’s SEO, please click here.

5 Good Canadian B Corp Examples

In recent years, the business practices of large organizations has been under a great deal of public scrutiny. This is as both authorities and the general public believe that profit should not be more important than that organisation’s environmental and social footprint.

Transparency and business ethics are two keywords that are starting to define the modern corporate environment and there is even a certification that measures performance in these fields; the B Corporation certification.

Also known as B Lab certification (or B Corp certification) this is issued by B Lab, a non-profit organisation with offices around the world in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia & New Zealand. This certification attests that an organisation delivers social and environmental performance.

Not to be confused with Benefit Corporations, which are a type of business entity, B Corp certifications measure the impact that an organisation has on the environment, on the local community and on its employees. At present, more and more companies are interested in obtaining a B Corp certification and there are more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries.

After reading about US B Corp Giving Assistants’ mission to help non-profits we looked at five B Corps in Canada that set a positive example in the local community and redefine the role of businesses in society.

1. Laridae Communications Inc.

Laridae Communications Inc. is a full-service management consulting firm based in Peterborough, Ontario that works only with non-profits, charities, associations, and public-sector organizations to boost performance and help make a positive impact. They offer consultancy in various fields, including governance, human resources, marketing, branding and engagement, so that leaders can make better decisions and build sustainable, value-oriented organisations. Laridae Communications have worked with more than 120 organisations so far, such as Peterborough Child & Family Centres, Peterborough Public Health and Student Nutrition Ontario. They are also a Vendor or Record in eight categories: Management Consulting Services, Organizational Effectiveness Specialist, Strategic Provincial Entity Review Specialist, Strategic Public Engagement Specialist, Organizational Transformation Capacity Consultant, Strategic Advisor, Workplace Restoration and Commissioned Research Services. Although Laridae only became a Certified B Corporation in 2018, their widespread reach on multiple corporate processes makes them a strong contender for one of the best B Corp examples in Canada.

2. Sustainable Societies Consulting Group

Similarly to Laridae Communications, Sustainable Societies Consulting Group (SSCG) helps organisations maintain a value-oriented corporate culture while at the same time helping them thrive. Their consultancy services focus on social and environmental performance and they promote transparency across all business sectors. SSCG’s mission statement includes three core values: community safety & wellbeing, environmental sustainability, health equity & inclusion. The companies who collaborate with SSCG will receive bespoke advice on how to incorporate these three core values in all their corporate processes and create a sustainable working environment for everyone. Sustainable Societies Consulting Group is based in Kitchener, Ontario, was certified in September 2017 and currently has a B Score of 83.

3. Social Impact Advisors

Just like their name suggests, Social Impact Advisors is all about delivering social impact for building a better community for everyone. They are a team of facilitators, coaches and consultants certified since July 2017 and with a B Score of 109, with offices in Oakville/Burlington, Ontario. Working with enterprises in various fields, they aim to make their clients stand out in the modern marketplace and build a transparent corporate culture. From finance to management, Social Impact Advisors suggest a different approach to running a business, where ethics, sustainability and employee satisfaction are just as important as profit. Sally Fazal and Lynn Fergusson, the founders of Social Impact Advisors, are both certified coaches the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s Innoweave program, in Impact and Strategic Clarity, and senior coaches in Collective Impact, including Youth CI. Their coaching experience in no less than 150 organizations enables them to deliver strategic solutions aligned with B Corp principles.

4. Phil Communications

Phil Communications are non-profit communication experts. When they obtained their B Corp certification in 2017, they pledged to give everything they have to building a better community for businesses and individuals alike. Based in Montreal, they have an impressive project portfolio and a consistent track record of transparency and innovation. Thanks to their thorough understanding on the Canadian economic landscape and the specific needs of businesses here, they are able to help their clients measure their social-driven statements across all channels of communication, social media included. Phil Communications also teaches their clients how to integrate the principles of fundraising into their organisation and define sustainable long-term goals.

5. Common Good Solutions Inc.

Start-up businesses play a crucial role in the Canadian economy and the experts at Community and Social Enterprise Development Services are fully aware of that. Their Impact Incubator, and Social Enterprise Institute are platforms that help local start-ups define their goal and become involved in the community. From business planning to impact measurement and budgeting, they assist clients to start and grow social enterprises that are fully aligned with the B Corp principles. Although they are based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Common Good Solutions work with hundreds of small businesses, nonprofits and community groups across the United States, where B Corps and Benefit Corporations are more popular than ever before.