5 Reasons You Should Speak to a Financial Planner

Planning and balancing your finances are always difficult tasks, so in many situations, it makes sense to hire a financial advisor to help. A good financial advisor will help you makes sense of your incomings and outgoings, along with being able to provide you with valuable advice for reaching your savings goals, whether you are putting money aside for a rainy day, hoping to purchase a property, or want to grow a trust fund for your children. Here are some of the main reasons to consider working with a financial advisor. 

#1. Determine Your Personal Financial Status:

Your financial status is calculated by several different factors, such as your total net worth, your credit score, and your other assets and liabilities. Do you have a savings reserve or are you paying off debts? Do you have sufficient insurance cover? Meeting with a financial advisor will help you review where you stand in terms of your money and see where you will be able to make improvements for the future. 

#2. Preparing to Invest Your Money:

Are you interested in investing your money? Perhaps you are wanting to make even more from a recent windfall or are interested in growing your regular salary through investments on a regular basis. Speaking to these investment advisors in Minneapolis will help you determine the right route for you to take when it comes to making investments, help you better understand the process for the type of investments that you are hoping to make, and work out an investment budget that’s right for you. 

#3. Determine the Right Budget for You:

Visiting a financial advisor isn’t just about the bigger financial decisions in life. You can also benefit greatly from meeting with a financial professional when it comes to planning your budget and managing your money better. If you are struggling to make ends meet or simply want to make your money stretch further so that you’re able to save more, speaking to a financial advisor can certainly help. 

#4. Plan a Retirement Strategy:

If you want to enjoy a good retirement, then you should start putting money away for it earlier than you may have realized. In fact, most financial professionals recommend putting money aside for your retirement in your 20’s. And, since there are always unexpected and emergency expenses to consider, it’s understandable that many people worry that their retirement funds will not be enough to live on. Meeting with a financial advisor will help you deal with any worries that you have regarding retirement funds and help you put together a solid plan for your post-work future. 

#5. Plan a Strategy to Provide for Your Family:

Finally, if you’re expanding your family, meeting with a financial advisor is a great idea in order to help you provide for those you love the most. Maybe you are considering the idea of putting money into a trust fund for your children or saving up towards funding their college education; meeting with a financial advisor can help you with this. 

Why would you schedule an appointment with a financial advisor? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

The Fresh Start Tax Initiative: 3 High-Level Facts

Tax initiatives are often programs or credits that are provided to citizens by programs set in place by the government. The Fresh Start program offers citizens with tax debt- a way to pay it back taxes without having a lien placed on their home or vehicle. If you hax tax debt looming over your life, this program is a great option for getting back on your financial feet. Here are x high-level facts that will help you understand the program. 

Not Everyone is Eligible

Though the IRS would like to help everyone with their tax bills, not everyone is eligible for the Fresh Start Initiative. Generally speaking, the Fresh Start program is the best fit for:

  • If you’re self-employed, you need to be able to provide documented proof that your income has reduced by 25% or more. This can be done through PNLs, bank statements, and other official documents. 
  • Single filers need to make less than $100,000 per year.
  • Married couples need to make less than $200,000 per year.
  • Your tax debt must be below $50,000.

If you meet any of these qualifications, you’re likely a good fit for the tax initiative. 

There are 2 Types of Repayment Options

In short, there are only 2 types of repayment options. Though there are a lot more payment options available with the program, they all fall under these 2 payment options categories:

  • The extended installment agreement. If you meet the requirements above, you may enroll in a program that helps you avoid the fees and interest associated with tax debt. Several different options are available, from partial-pay to streamlined agreements. If you cannot pay your debt in the time allotted to you, you will need to get a tax attorney and make a compromised payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service. 
  • A Fresh Start offer in compromise. If you have demonstrated that you simply can’t pay your tax bill in full, the IRS may relieve you of some of your debt and begin garnishing your wages for the other portion of it. You will need a professional tax service to help you with this. 

You know your bill. It should be fairly easy to take a look at your finances and see which program is more fitting for your needs. If you’re unsure, seek professional help. 

How to Apply for the Fresh Start Initiative

Do your research first. Visit Silver Tax Group’s article on the tax initiatives offered through the Fresh Start Program. Once you have a good feeling for if the program is right for you, follow this checklist:

  1. Gather all the documents you need. From your tax returns to your bank statements, make sure that you have all of your documents in one place (and in order). 
  2. Meet with a tax attorney. Tax debt is serious. Make sure that you meet with a tax attorney so that you can fully understand what you need to be eligible. This is especially important when need to make an offer in comprise. To put in simply, you can’t afford to mess it up. The IRS can still pursue you once you’re in this program if you fail to meet the payments or the requirements. 
  3. Mail your documents to the IRS. 
  4. Fill out the IRS application forms. Remember that you have to print them out and mail them and that this cannot be done online. 
  5. Make sure you’re ready to negotiate. Again, this is a benefit of having a tax attorney. Since they already spend their time talking with the IRS, they have a higher chance of negotiating with them.
  6. Stay patient and follow through. This process can take up to 16 weeks. Stay patient and make sure that when you get mail from the IRS, you act as fast as you can. 

Conclusion

Tax initiatives can be found in nearly every corner of the US. They appear on both a federal and state level. Often times, these initiatives have end dates or regulations- but what with the IRS doesn’t? Find a reputable tax source or newsletter update to stay on top of tax initiatives.

Have you ever participated in a tax initiative? Share your experience in the comments.

Trade Lines – Still a Viable Option?

One of the very common questions that we come across in this day and age is that whether trade lines are still a viable option. There are a lot of aspects to these questions that needs to be answered in order to reach a proper conclusion. 

There is a lot of confusion in relation to the legality of trade lines as well. The practice of trade lines has been here for many decades. It is considered legal in most of the countries in this world. Trade line is the term used for account on which you are an authorized user. 

If you add someone as an authorized user, the full history of the account is shown in the credit reports. The people who are added to the account are authorized to use the account but will not incur any liabilities. This is why a lot of account users obtain personal tradelines in order to establish a good credit history. In fact, there are many researches all across the globe that suggests that over 30% of the people have at least one authorized user account. 

Is it a viable option?

The main question that a lot of people are concerned about in this day and age is whether these trade lines are still a viable option or not. Credit scoring is a highly complex process. Each lender will have their own guidelines. There are many different scoring models as well that are followed by different lenders. Many lenders have their own personalized credit-scoring guidelines which are specific for their businesses. 

The trends are changing now. We are seeing that lenders are finding difficulty in adapting the changes in different scoring models. For this reason, we see that there has been a reluctance within the lenders to bring change to the scoring models. 

A law was passed in 1974 by Congress which was named Equal Credit Opportunity Act implementing the Regulation B of the Federal Reserve’s. This law has further encouraged the usage of trade lines. This directly increases the viability of this thing. 

It is undeniably true that becoming an authorized user on a credit card makes the credit history more positive. This is one of the major reasons why it is considered that trade lines will continue to work in 2019. 

There was a whole debate going on a few years back about its viability. The things have changed now a lot. It is determined that piggybacking credit will stay here and it is not at all illegal. The laws and regulations have not yet changed which means that this practice will stay here for a good amount of time. 

Conclusion

Until the law doesn’t change, this practice of trade lines will stay here for a long amount of time. It will help consumers to increase their credit scores in a drastic manner. Consumer benefit is the main thing that every person looks forward to making this a more viable option.

Why Only 1 in 10 Businesses Get Funded

“I believe what has changed during the past years is that the investors are getting more and more critical every day in terms of data and innovation. We live in a period where innovation details and competitive advantages are one of the essential points that differentiate one business from another.”

Caio Buchalla, Bay Angels

The Achilles Heel of Business

Many people have a dream of opening their own business. But for many innovators out there, this dream soon turns into a VC nightmare. The battle for funding is a constant one. It requires constant pitching and selling of your business, your worth, and your ability to succeed. But without the funds to get started and to build your team, it becomes more and more difficult to do so. Without proper funds, it becomes impossible to support your team financially and to see your business through. It’s a heavy weight to carry and as time goes on, the pressure grows significantly.

Presenting Your Business

Only one in ten startups succeed when looking for funding. Why? According to Caio Buchalla, Founder and Analyst Manager of Buchalla Venture Connections, there are a couple of reasons. “Early stage startups don’t know how to present their business with what we, the investors, consider basic information to move them forward,” he says. “When they apply for an angel group or a venture capital process we expect to receive a well-structured pitch deck and five years financial projections, and we expect to find a clear business in there with all the data connected to the market you are dealing with.” Seems pretty simple, but the reality is, not many businesses know how to present their business effectively.

Understanding Your Market

Early stage businesses, especially, lack clarity with respect to the market they are entering. “The idea of TAM, SAM and SOM are not essential for that stage because we already know that the market in the US is already on the millions/billions in value. We want to understand what is the size of the market that you are really starting with, it can be a specific city or a specific community, but it needs to be realistic,” Buchalla adds.

Prioritizing Your Business Model

Another common point is the business model. In his days as an investor, Caio Buchalla has seen many business models that are either unclear or not completed at all. But if you don’t know your basic business model, how can you develop the financials? And without that information locked down, how can you calculate a three to five year’s projections and end up with a realistic valuation to build the terms with which you present to investors? Without a clear business model, really nothing will become clear.

Why You Keep Hearing “NO”

The disconnect is pretty clear, however. Early stage businesses lack the information and the guidance to develop their materials and financials. This is an unfortunate gap, when so many businesses have put their heart and soul into building the future of their company. As an Investment manager at Bay Angels in Silicon Valley, Buchalla has come face to face with a number of early stage and late stage startups, many of which he has had to say “no” to throughout the years. “I started to realize that we were saying “no” to almost 90% when deciding who was going to move forward in our process, and I started to realize that the biggest issue was that startups simply don’t know how to present their business.”

Building a Better Structure

Noticing a gap in both knowledge and the market, Buchalla set out to create Buchalla Venture Connections in January of 2019. Carrying a deep knowledge of the things that hold startups back, he wished to support startups on their journey to market and provide the kind of information that has been lacking for so long. Buchalla Venture Connections now advises the seasoned and novice entrepreneur on pitching and growing their business.

Essentially, the company offers consulting services, providing the best investment strategy based on the market, the amount of money and the innovation the startup has to offer. Buchalla and his team help to shift the way startups look at funding. They also help their clients to create a basic structure for growth; Problem, Solution, Prototype structure/ back-end structure, target market, target customer, business model, go-to-market, marketing strategy, financials, team/lawyer, advisors, milestones, partnerships or potential partnerships, proof of concept, I.P. process, exit strategy, traction, terms, the ask and startup’s contact information.

 

A strong business is built on a strong foundation and it certainly isn’t easy to construct on your own. Buchalla’s best advice for the greatest return on investment: find a very strong, well-connected advisor or mentor that will help position you and your organization for success.

 

Wireless technology in security systems: tips for buying the camera kit

Wireless or wired technology, which one to choose? This is a debate that arises when installing a security system for home, business or company, and here we reveal which one to choose …

The truth is that each one presents advantages and disadvantages, and the final decision should be based on the security needs of the home, business or company.

However, the benefits of wireless technology exceed the security system with cables, covering various aspects such as aesthetics, logistics and functional.

Therefore, here we detail them below.

The benefits of wireless technology

  1. Wireless technology means less installation costs

One of the benefits of wireless technology for the security system is that the sending and receiving of signals has contributed to the reduction of installation costs, the product of internal work such as breaking walls and laying pipes to embed cables or fiber Optics of energy and communication.

  1. The installation of a wireless security system is faster

Another benefit of wireless technology is that the installation of a wireless security system allows to accelerate the works and to do in two hours what was previously done in days or weeks.

In addition, one of the greatest benefits of wireless technology is that you can change the location of the detectors according to structural reforms that could be made at home, business or company (new walls, doors and windows, relocation of furniture, etc.).

  1. Wireless technology offers better performance

Unlike wired security systems, wireless security systems operate on batteries.

And in addition, the wireless technology works by radio frequency signal, which produces a saving in the lithium battery, increasing its life expectancy of 3 to 5 years.

Also, they have bidirectional supervision that allows the alarm panel to constantly monitor each of the detectors, verifying its status, condition and energy level.

  1. Wireless security systems offer great storage power

For example, with a video surveillance system with IP security cameras it is possible to store more than 500 events, and even, work with devices that have extractable memories, and thus increase the capacity of registration.

 

4 tips for buying a wireless security camera kit

Security is an element of the first order if you want the proper functioning of our facilities, whether they are business or residential. Therefore, it is important to follow some tips to buy a wireless security camera kit.

  1. Place where the installation will take place

It is essential to carry out an analysis about the place in which the installation of the wireless security cameras will be carried out, in order to determine if they are really necessary, and also if other security devices must accompany them.

The reason for this is that the wireless security cameras will be responsible for protecting a perimeter, and generate real-time images of what happens in it.

Therefore, it is very important to define each perimeter to be monitored, and for this, you must have the advice of a specialized company with a track record in the sector.

With proper professional guidance, you will avoid making unnecessary expenses, as well as wasting time contacting people without the proper knowledge, or trying to do the installation yourself.

2. Decide the most convenient type of security camera

The wireless security cameras are not limited to a single variant or type. There are many models, sizes and functionalities, aimed at a specific task. In this sense, the person who decides to install them should know which one is best for them.

For example, to monitor corridors and narrow spaces, dome cameras can be ideal. This also applies to small commercial establishments, such as stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, which are places that generally have a small physical space.

On the other hand, larger cameras and rotation capacity work very well in larger structures. This is the case of offices, salons, banking agencies, receptions of hotels or companies, bus terminals, airports, among others.

Regardless of the type of camera selected, they must be installed in strategic locations, where their presence is not noticed in a very obvious way, and from where they can have a correct angle to capture the largest possible field of the image.

Wireless security cameras should be placed at high points, so that their visibility is greater, and are not within reach of intruders.

3. Choose the highest quality brand

The market for wireless security cameras has many manufacturers, but only some of them offer reliable products of the highest quality. In this section, it is important to look at the path and reputation of each brand.

Some of the most important are Samsung, Hikvision, Mobotix, Panasonic, Vivotek, Bosch and Axis. It will depend on a budget of the user and the advice provided by the installation company, the choice of any of them.

4. Complementation with other security systems

It is ideal that wireless security cameras can be complemented with other security devices present in the building so that the security system used can be as effective as possible.

The motion sensorsfire detectorsalarm systems and access controls are among the most common devices that can work together with the chambers.

In addition, it is extremely important that when buying a security camera kit it has access to a web platform or mobile application, for real-time home monitoring from any geographical location.

Conclusion

Technology advances, and with it, it is possible to find more sophisticated and efficient products and systems. And undoubtedly, in terms of electronic security, getting on the train of technology is essential to achieve higher quality protection.

Likewise, the presence of a properly equipped CCTV monitoring room will also allow security cameras to be used to their full potential, without leaving room for different vulnerabilities or threats.

Is Canada a good location for your start-up?

Starting a business is difficult enough without adding the potential bureaucratic issues that may appear along the way. This is the reason why people seek locations that promote a very facile business registration process. Canada is one of these places and that is why it can be found among the top choices for immigrants. Starting your business journey in Canada is a straightforward one, with no intricate details or logical hurdles. The services that the Canadian Government offers make launching a company a commodious process, especially for people who enter the business field for the first time.

 

Canada’s Business Registration Online (BRO)

The Government of Canada set up an online service that is called Business Registration Online. The tax laws are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which offers all needed information with regard to starting a business. The CRA official website provides people with the needed details in terms of payroll, business number registration, excise taxes, deductions, GST/HST registration and much other relevant information that clarifies any confusion that may appear in launching a start-up.

The BRO platform allows new entrepreneurs to obtain a business number, to register for a program account and even to link to other businesses through a provincial program within the online platform. The CRA program accounts include corporate income tax, GST/HST, payroll deductions and import-export.

The BRO platform can be used by any existent business owner, new business owner or third-party requester. The only conditions to be respected are possessing a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and filing the income tax return. The application process for a SIN differs for people who reside in Canada and people who reside outside of Canada. People can apply for a SIN via email by simply providing the needed documents which are listed on the BRO platform as well.

Tax incentives in Canada – the SR&ED Program

The purpose and benefits of the federal SR&ED Program were presented in a mandate developed by the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development Expert Panel. The main purpose of the program is to simplify the tax credit while also improving its effectiveness. Most people can easily access the SR&ED credit considering the changes that occurred in the past few years. The program is running since 1985 and is constantly expanding to meet the current requirements. The SR&ED tax credit covers spending that falls into categories such as labor, equipment, contract, and third-party payments.

The number of credit claims through the SR&ED Program is promising and continues to rise. Since 2012, the program kept accelerating in terms of popularity. An increase in screening SR&ED claims, in the number of requests for receiving more information about the program, in positive reviews, in the number of audits was visible after modifying the tax law. The program is very helpful for start-ups as it returns around 35% of the R&D spending of their business. The threshold reaches $3 million. The SR&ED Program is unique and it is a solid reason why people choose Canada to start their business.  

Obtaining a business loan to finance your start-up

The increase in lending money was obvious since 2014. The biannual surveys managed by the Government of Canada stated that small and medium businesses borrowed more money in the past couple of years. The net volume of loans was calculated for each quarter and the results were totaled to obtain an annualized value. Financing suppliers stated that the amount of credit granted in the first quarter of 2018 added up to almost $880 billion, which is $40 billion more compared to the last quarter of 2017.

The Bank of Canada stated that ease in obtaining business credits was noticed, and the main factor behind this change is represented by the current price conditions. The high demand for credit is attributed to new business and small businesses that require convenient lending conditions. Lending conditions remained – and are going to remain – steady. Obtaining business loans is visibly easier compared to past years, which is another reason why people should add Canada on their list of potential start-up locations. Moreover, there are various supplier types where to choose from, ranging from domestic banks of all sizes to credit unions and Fintech companies. The economic activity of new firms is constantly tracked by the Bank of Canada and numbers show encouraging signs only.

Immigrant entrepreneurs and the Start-up Visa Program

People from all around the world can immigrate to Canada with the purpose of starting a business. Launching a start-up means that new jobs will be created, which is convenient both for the country and entrepreneurs. There are certain requirements that need to be met to be part of the Canadian Start-up Visa Program. The process takes between one year to one year and a half. Canada supports innovative entrepreneurs who want to launch competitive businesses. Immigrants need to apply for a business loan before moving to Canada because financial support can only be offered after obtaining permanent residence. This can be received only when providing active management proof of the new business within Canada.

The requirements involve a proficiency in English or French, which means any immigrant must take an approved language test and pass it with a Level 5 Canadian Language Benchmark. The Start-up Visa Program started in 2013 and around 2700 visas were granted each year. Numerous foreign start-up owners choose Canada because of the convenient way of obtaining a permanent visa. The only drawback with the process would be that entrepreneurs have to possess the amount of money required for getting started or the company must be selected by VCs, incubators or angel investors running in Canada.

Final thoughts

Launching a start-up in Canada has a series of benefits that cannot be ignored, but one must be thoroughly informed about the requirements and law of the country before engaging in the application process. The federal programs of the Canadian Government support leading-edge ideas, as long as all conditions are respected. If gathering all the needed information beforehand, starting a business in Canada should be an untroublesome, easy-to-manage process.

How Pilgrimages Are Increasing the Saudi Arabia Economy

More than 2 million Muslims from all over the world are gathering annually to complete the fifth and final pillar of Islam, which is the Hajj pilgrimage. Until the 1950s, the number of pilgrims coming from overseas was not bigger than 100,000, but by 2013 the total number passed the 3 million mark.

The cities of Makkah and Medina represent a major slice of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy, providing annual incomes of around $12 billion from food, transport accommodation and fees. But with these numbers looking to increase in the next years, how will the local population be affected by the on-growing development of commercial and accommodation sites?

Makkah And Madinah Pilgrimages

To better understand why these areas attract millions of religious visitors yearly, we must first take a look at the meanings behind the pilgrimages.

Makkah is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and hosts the Grand Mosque, house of the Kaaba. The Kaaba is Islam’s holiest ground, a stone structure clothed in black silk, built by the Prophet Abraham. Here, over 3 million Muslims gather once a year, on the last month of the Islamic calendar to complete the fifth and last pillar of the Muslim practice. The pilgrimage begins on the 8th day of the month and ends on the 12th or sometimes the 13th. All Muslims who are financially and physically able to make the pilgrimage, also known as Hajj, are expected to do so at least once in their life.

To complete the Hajj, every Muslim must first enter ihram (the sacred state of a pilgrim), wearing plain robes. Before crossing the outer boundaries of Makkah, the pilgrim must follow certain rules, such as restraining from anger or sexual activities. After entering Makkah, the pilgrims must follow an 8km journey to Mina, where they will be accommodated in tents. On the second day, they make a 14km journey from Mina to Arafat, where prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon. The second day of Hajj is considered to be one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar. The third days marks the longest day of the Hajj. Pilgrims return to Mina, where they perform the symbolic act of stoning the devil, by throwing seven pebbles at the Jamarat, the largest column. On this day, the men trim their hair and all pilgrims remove their ihram clothes. Many choose to return to Makkah to circle the Kaaba and walk between the hills of Safa and Marwah. Both actions are performed seven times. On the last two days, the pilgrims will stone the devil again, this time stoning each of the three pillars seven times. They will spend the rest of their pilgrimage days in Mina. Before leaving, the pilgrims return to Makkah to circle the Kaaba one more time.

Although not mandatory, after the pilgrimage in Makkah, many pilgrims chose to head to Madinah, where Prophet Muhammad is buried. Madinah is the place of another pilgrimage that, although not mandatory, is performed by millions of pilgrims yearly. The Umrah pilgrimage was performed by almost 7 million pilgrims in 2017.

While the Hajj is performed during a specific time of year, Umrah can be performed year-round and is much less time-consuming. It can be performed both in the Hajj period, prior to the actual Hajj pilgrimage, or separate. During the Umrah, similar rituals as those included in the Hajj are performed, such as circling the Kaaba and walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah.

Increasing Economy and Expansion Plans

One of the most important roles in Vision 2030, a development plan aiming to turn the focus of Saudi Arabia’s economy away from oil incomes, are played by Makkah and Madinah, as religious tourism represents 20% of the Saudi’s non-oil income. The plan, initiated by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, aims to increase the number of pilgrims traveling to Makkah and Madina, especially for the Umrah pilgrimage.

One of the important steps taken to increase the number of religious visitors was the ease of the quota system that was very strict until 2017. The visas were reduced by 20% in 2013, in order to ease the infrastructure works done at the Grand Mosque. By 2030, over 6 million pilgrims are expected to enter the gates of Makkah. Although the number of visas decreased, the demand for luxury hotels in Makkah increased, which left the Saudis confused. In 2016, the occupancy percentage in Makkah hotels was around 90% and if the expected targets for the following years are met, there is no wonder the hospitality sector is evolving at a rapid pace. But that is not the only sector expected to benefit from the increased number of religious tourists. Airline companies, telecom operators and catering firms are looking to expand their business, as the demands increase.

Another way of increasing revenue is the introduction of Umrah visa fees. While first-timers are exempt, future visits require a fee of around $500. There is also an Umrah Plus visa, which allows pilgrims to visit other non-religious sites across Saudi Arabia, combining religious and non-religious tourism. The number of Umrah pilgrims is expected to reach 30 million by 2030. Infrastructure upgrades are also ongoing, to facilitate the pilgrims’ arrival in Makkah and Madinah.

But as tourism increases and the demand for accommodation is at raise, another challenge arose. How is the on-growing population of Saudi Arabia going to fit in with the increasing number of religious visitors? A large number of both Makkah and Madinah residents found themselves overwhelmed by the extending number of developments made to meet the needs of pilgrims. The areas around both cities experienced a decrease in residential capacity, as various changes were developed, to make room for accommodation and commercial spaces. Vision 2030 appears to have a solution for this as well, as by 2020 home ownership is expected to increase from 47% to 52%. A solution is to utilize government-owned land to provide housing units at an affordable price. This is expected to decrease the price discrepancy between residential proprieties in the holy cities and Jeddah, the major urban center in the area.

How To Make Sure Your Business Is Getting The Most Out Of Its Investment In These Areas

Getting the best ROI on various parts of the business possible will only help increase profitability. These funds can also get back into the company or be used to reward those that increased the company profits. Technology has made it easier to track the results of something like a marketing campaign than ever before. Taking a proactive approach to try to get the best ROI in everything that company takes part in will end up making a difference. The following are tips for particular areas that money is invested in to get the best ROI possible.

Your Mobile App

Developing a mobile app can be done with different goals in mind whether it is to make the customer’s experience better or trying to make selling products easier. Doing app store optimization is essential with your app as your competitors will be doing this. Using a Free iOS App Store Keyword Tool is wise to make sure you are targeting the right keywords within your marketing and app. Checking out a Free iOS App Store Keyword Rank Checker can help you see where your app ranks for specific keywords. This can help modify strategy with an update of the app in the future.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a competitive landscape with companies putting large portions of budget to this medium. The search engines are where plenty of people turn when looking for a service or product. Creating quality content in digital marketing is imperative to get the best return on investment as low quality content will not convert in a sale. Consumers are much pickier with the content they spend time reading, watching, or listening to as they are constantly doing so on their smartphones.

The Sales Team

The sales team that is given quality leads regularly need to be converting many of these leads into sales. This does not mean that you should not empower them with tools that will make their job easier and more efficient. Email tracking software that allows a salesperson to see open rates as well as how long the email was open can be a huge help. This will not only help convert more sales but it can make follow ups convert at a higher percentage. Sales and marketing need to work together closely to make sure that the leads continue to be high qulaity and adjusting the target demographic if need be.

Company Culture

Investing in company culture will help improve employee retention which is important. Building the perfect team will take work as well as numerous attempts at modifying the hiring process. Investing in quality team building exercises quarterly will not only strengthen the bond the staff has but it gives staff a chance to see management in less formal settings. This also means that you are going to hire people that are culture fits as this can be extremely important when it comes to communication and overall company morale.

Take the time to track how each expense helps the company as you might find you are wasting money in specific areas. Improve your profitability to reducing waste in the above areas to take your business to the next level.

Understanding How and Why to Use a Foam Roller

What’s the big deal with foam rolling? Back in high school, your sports coach may have recommended self-massage to heal tired muscles or even injury.  Now, when you visit the physical therapist or chiropractor, the answer is likely the same. No matter how young or old, how limber or achey-breaky, foam rolling is the go to method for health care professionals, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts alike. But, have you ever stopped and wondered why?

What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a method that is used in training and rehabilitation in all different kinds of sports. Essentially, foam rolling helps to improve performance, relieve tension, and encourage circulation. With increased circulation and blood flow, athletes are able to cut down recovery time considerably and return to the things that they love to do. While overuse, inflammation, and surgical operation can all change the fascial tissue and lead to stiffening, immobility, and pain, foam rollers can help to efficiently work on the musculature of the body, thus improving mobility and bringing pain relief. Foam rolling allows you to reap the benefits of a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home (and without the extensive bill.)

How It Works

There are many reasons why health care practitioners recommend foam rolling as an addition to classical treatment. One major reason involves Myofascial Release. According to Health Line, Myofascial tissue surrounds and supports the muscles in the body. When these tissue tighten and become sensitive, it can create a great deal of pain within different “trigger points” which can be difficult to accurately locate. This is where foam rolling comes in. Covering a broad area of muscle tissue, a tool like a foam roller is able to provide a sense of release to those pain points. Self-massage with a foam roller is recommended before a workout in order to warm up the muscles and lower the chance of injury. It is also recommended as a post-workout ritual to aid in recovery and bring healthy blood flow to those tired muscles.

Common Benefits

Flexibility

According to the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation, coupling foam rolling with traditional stretching may enhance range of motion in the hip more than static stretching, itself. Author and associate professor, Blaine Long states that foam rolling can lower a muscles’ “viscosity,” thus enhancing flexibility as well.

Performance

In recent years, researchers have discovered that standard stretching actually can have a negative impact on performance. A strong correlation has been found between static stretching and decreased reaction time.  Additionally, acute static stretching has been shown to significantly reduce muscle strength endurance. Unlike muscle stretching which can end up inhibiting the body, studies have determined that myofascial release using a foam roller does not have any negative impact on performance. So, athletes can keep on rolling without being off their game

Regeneration

In a 2015 study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, researchers looked into the effects of foam rolling, also known as SMR (self-myofascial release). The goal was to determine its impact on DOMS, which stands for delayed-onset muscle soreness. Following the study, researchers reported, “SMR has been observed to decrease soreness following DOMS, which may indirectly enhance performance by allowing the individual to exercise longer and harder.”

Getting On a Roll

The versatile, cost-effective and transformative tool clearly boasts a great deal of benefits. Although, not everybody understands how to use it properly. This is why recovery and training company, ActiveLife Solutions selected Blackroll as one of their product lines. Blackroll offers people of all ages and backgrounds the tools to enhance strength, balance, and flexibility. Providing the best quality for the greatest impact, Blackroll combines foam-rolling products with a vast knowledge of the latest developments in research and scientific advancement. Developed in Germany, the company has grown tremendously in the fitness market, earning the prestigious Physio prize for the “product with the greatest range of benefits for its users”. 

The company’s dedication to its users continues to shine through with new developments, including the Blackroll® ‘Fascia Training’ app that is now available to supplement treatment and prevention. Providing versatile exercises for each body part and pain point, the app makes foam rolling even more convenient and effective than before.

With benefits ranging from flexibility to regeneration, it’s no wonder health gurus continue to swear by the power of foam rolling. While a cheap and effective modality of healing, it is important to get advised by a physiotherapist or other specialist when suffering from severe pain. It’s time to give your body some love and get rolling!

 

Do Personal Loans for Bad Credit Carry Too Much Risk?

When their traditional brick and mortar banks turn them down for personal loans, consumers with poor credit histories are turning to online lenders.
 
Big banks prefer to offer loans secured with assets, such as mortgages and automobile loans. But as traditional banks back away from unsecured lending, online lenders are flooding the marketplace with offers for unsecured personal loans and same day approval.
 
Online lenders are trying to entice potential customers with the promise of fast cash and the ability to cover unexpected expenses, debt repayment, home appliance replacement, family emergencies, car repairs, special events, and travel.
 
Asking the right questions to find a reliable lender
With this uptick in online lending, there is an increased potential for risk. Finding a reliable loan provider is imperative. No one wants to get stuck in an agreement with a lending institution which might lead to headaches and further financial issues down the road.
 
If they decide to go the route of an online personal loan, consumers must carefully research the options available on the marketplace. Finding an option with a responsible lender might take a bit of time, but it is the responsibility of consumers to protect themselves from signing an agreement with an online lender who could further damage their financial standing. Someone with bad credit may have limited choices, but it is important to find the best lending solution and avoid dodgy offers, like payday loans.
 
Carefully Review The Terms Of The Loan
When seeking online personal loans, consumers with bad credit should clearly understand the terms of the loan agreements they are signing. Not understanding the details of the loan could cost more money than expected over the long term.
 
8 Details to consider while researching a personal loan
1. Is It A Variable Rate Or A Fixed-Rate Personal Loan?
A fixed-rate personal loan is often a better choice. The customer always knows what they will be repaying with a fixed repayment schedule.
 
A variable rate rises and falls with the markets. It is a bit of a gamble for the average person.
 
2. Is The Online Loan Available In The Consumer’s Country Or State?
Some loans are not available in all countries or states. For instance, Upstart loans are not avai lable in West Virginia and Iowa. States and countries have put restrictions on what online loans are permitted within their borders .
 
3. Can The Consumer’s Income Support The Monthly Loan Installment?
Make sure the monthly loan payments are affordable. Taking on too high of a monthly installment sets consumers up for failure and potentially further damages their credit history.
 
Also, consumers must be honest and upfront about their actual income and monthly expenses. “Omissions” regarding hefty student loans or pricey monthly apartment rentals will skew what their salary can actually support. A reliable lending practice involves going over budgets with potential clients to determine what amounts they can handle each month.
 
4. What Will The Interest Rate Be?
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the total cost paid each year to borrow money, including interest rates and fees. A lower APR loan will cost less. For clients with bad credit ratings, APR’s and interest rates will be higher due to the greater risk to the lending institution. This is to be expected since someone with a poor financial history has a higher chance of defaulting on the personal loan.
 
If the rates are high, it won’t make sense for consumers seeking to consolidate and pay down interest credit cards with the loan. The loan would only be worthwhile at a rate well below existing debt to achieve any significant savings.
 
Also, many countries and states have usury laws which forbid excessively high rates of interest on loans. These laws are intended to protect the vulnerable from being taken advantage of by loan sharks and payday loan operations. Carefully investigate the rates offered to determine whether they fall under usury laws.
 
5. Are There Upfront Fees To Borrow Money?
Some lenders charge up to 5% in origination fees for processing the loan, while some charge none. These fees are also referred to as establishment fees or administrative costs.
 
6. What The Reputation Of The Online Lender?
Check consumer protection sites for complaints. Does the provider have positive reviews or ratings online from trusted sources, such as well-known magazines and newspapers with solid business evaluations, like Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and Fortune? Doing a simple search regarding the loan provider’s name and the word “usury” might be a good idea. If there are any red flags, consumers should turn to another source.
 
7. Is There A Penalty For Paying Off The Loan Early?
Some agreements charge a substantial fee for customers paying off their loans early. This penalty allows the lending institution to recoup some of the interest they didn’t make on the loan.
 
8. What Is The Loan Repayment Period?
Based on their application profile, consumers will be offered a period of repayment, usually ranging from 1 to 10 years. The longer the repayment period, the more interest will be paid. Therefore, the loan will cost more money.
 
Risks regarding online personal loans can be mitigated with responsible choices
Bad credit makes it difficult to secure traditional personal loans, but only reputable online loan companies are an option for the responsible consumer. Doing a bit of research and asking the right questions can save consumers money and headaches as they navigate the online personal loan space.