Facing a Financial Crisis? What Items You Should Store & Take with You

Have you ever faced a financial crisis? Everyone, at some point in time, will face money problems. Whether you do not have enough money to pay the bills or you are just starting to get on your feet financially, it happens. If you find yourself in a situation where you must move from your home because of finances and you are without a home and must live with family or friends, you likely do not know what to do with all your items. So, what items should you take, throw out, and store? Let’s look.

What to Take with You When You Leave

If you must leave your home behind, it is going to be a difficult time. You may be wondering what exactly you can and cannot take with you and what you will do in a couple of months.

Before you panic too much, there are some items that you want to keep with you, no matter where you plan to go.

Always keep these items with you:

  • Kid’s toys and supplies to care for them
  • Important documents (i.e. bank records, birth certificates, SSNs, etc.)
  • Kitchen items (i.e. utensils, pots and pans, etc.)
  • Computer/laptop/hard drive

What You Can and Should Store

Of course, you do not want to take too many items with you, especially if you are sleeping on the couch at a friend’s house. Below, we will talk about some of the items that you want to store.

  • Clothing you will not need or use at the time (i.e. seasonal clothes)
  • Duplicate items
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Indoor furniture
  • Lawn equipment

What to Toss Out

You are already facing a hard-enough time as it is and now you must think about things to throw out. When it comes down to it, only toss out what you are comfortable letting go. For instance, if you have items you have never used or items that you never plan to use, don’t hold onto them.

Store what you want and only toss out what you feel you can do so without any issues.

Quick Storage Tips for You

If you do need to move in with a friend or family, setup your storage unit for easy access because you will likely be in and out of the unit often. Below are some details to determine how much storage unit space you need.

https://www.storagearea.com/blog/how-much-storage-space-do-you-need-storagearea-com-answers-all-your-questions.html

One of the ways that you can organize your unit is to mark the boxes with what is inside. This way, you can quickly identify the box you need and grab what you want from it.

Don’t Let a Financial Hardship Bring You Down

Yes, it is easier said than done, but try not to allow your financial hardship to bring you completely down. Do take time to get back on your feet and don’t be ashamed that you had to place some of your items in a storage unit. People store items all the time, so take this extra time to focus on yourself and know that your items are safe as you do work to get into a better financial spot.

 

Peer to Peer Lending 2019 Outlook

The peer to peer lending industry in the U.S. has grown dramatically since its inception less than fifteen years ago. Total loans issued by Lending Club and Prosper total over $50 billion. In 2018 alone, Lending Club issued over 500,000 loans worth over almost $10 billion. It is clear that, barring some unexpected regulations or legislation from the federal government or many state governments, this industry is firmly established and positioned to grow in the future. In this article, we will look at the outlook for peer to peer lending investing in the U.S. for 2019.

First of all, the state of the consumer lending market in general is probably the most significant indicator of the near term prospects for this investment. According to credit score provider Transunion, the consumer credit market is expected to grow in 2019. This outlook is based on the current low unemployment rate, strong consumer demand and continued low interest rates (by historical standards).  This opinion is also shared by The Kenyan Wall Street which sites low unemployment and rising personal income.

Another important factor is the competitiveness of the major peer to peer lending platforms, specifically Lending Club and Prosper. Prosper is a privately held company so there is limited information available about the company’s financial situation. However, Lending Club is publicly traded so there is plenty of information available to the public. While the company has experienced significant revenue growth, it is expected to lose money for 2018. According to CNN Business, analysts expect an increase in the share price of 35% to 175% and their consensus rating is ‘Hold’. This is very encouraging news for the stock and should give comfort to P2P loan investors as well.

The ability of peer lending platforms to compete with traditional lenders like banks is important to the prospects for the industry. As we have seen, the amount of peer to peer lending the U.S. has increased every year. Clearly, these lenders have been able to compete in the past. With no significant changes to the way any of these organizations operate, there is no reason to believe that the relative competiveness of Lending Club and Prosper will change. Therefore, continued growth should be expected.

There are two significant operating expenses to look at when comparing P2P lenders to banks. One is the overhead that banks have in terms of employees, marketing and physical locations. This adds costs to every transaction that the bank undertakes. Peer to peer lending platforms have significantly lower overhead costs which gives them a competitive advantage. On the other hand, banks likely have better techniques for evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers. This means that they will likely have fewer defaults and therefore, higher profitability. It is hard to say what the net effect of these two factors will be, however, I am included to believe that lower overhead costs outweigh any competitive advantage that banks have with assessing borrowers.

So what is the outlook for prosper and lending club investing in 2019? Based on the factors analyzed here, it is clear that the future looks very promising for this industry as well as individual investors. Of course, every investor has a different strategy and experience so there will be success stories as well as unmet expectations. However, the overall experience should be positive as the industry continues to grow in 2019.

Business Card Design Tips

Having a great business card that attracts customers is not just listing your company name on a small paper. Instead use the hundreds of ways that you can design and format your business card, of course, with your contact included, that really makes your company stand out.

Remember your business card is often the first impression of your firm in your prospects minds. Make your business card work for you to help make connections and network to new business deals.

Follow these guidelines to make your business card perform well for your company.

Only the Most Important Info

You do not need to include every piece of information on your small business card in tiny print. That is an amateur move that reduces the effectiveness of your card as a sales pitch.

Powerful business cards are meant to attract interest and be memorable and that is virtually impossible when you try to print an essay on a small card. Instead be selective and only include the most important information on your card.

Get Printed Professionally

Don’t try to save a few pennies by printing your business cards at home on your office computer printer. It is such a turnoff to new customers and indicates a lack of professionalism on your part and makes a poor first impression.

Today business cards can be printed professionally for under $20 so even the entrepreneur with the tightest budget can afford professionally printed business cards. Save more with this Tim Ferriss 99designs code for your logo design.

Make it Easily Readable

Save those quirky fonts for your personal Christmas cards and leave them off your business card. Be certain that the typeface fonts that you utilize on your business card are not too small or difficult to read. Remember many people may not have their glasses readily available so make the font large enough to read at a glance easily.

Your logo is the design element that should communicate strongly and add interest. The text is merely to communicate data and support your logo’s brand message.

Leave White Space

Many new entrepreneurs try to cover their business card with so much color and information that the vital brand message gets lost. It is better to leave white space for the eye to relax and also to allow your customers to make a notes on your cards.

Design for Your Customer

If your firm has multiple product lines, consider using both sides of your business card one for each business division –  if your businesses are complementary.  However if you have two very different business functions create a separate business card for each company to avoid confusion. Design a more powerful message on each card to speak directly to that type of customer.

Choose Options Carefully

Today there are so many attention grabbing finishes available for business cards it can be tempting to use them all. Some of the most popular are rounded corners, die cut, hole punches, unusual sizes, foil embossing and folds to turn a business card into a small brochure. All these design elements are terrific but be sure that you choose one that is related to your brand and not just cool.

Add a Call to Action

While your business card needs to remain simple and streamlined that doesn’t mean that you cannot add a special offer. Create a short message that offers a discount or a helpful guide on your website which will be useful to your customer.

 

Testing Til Destruction – Preparing Your Product for Global Distribution

Your design is ready for production. Or, at least you think it is. You and your team have done the required quality assurance testing required by North America authorities. You’ve gone through the FCC, DOE, EISA 2007, and EnergyStar. All tests came out green.

How About International Testing


However, have you done any testing for the international market? Though you are ready to go in North America, you may not be certified for overseas sales. For instance, your product may not be ready for the EU grid connection. Or, it’s not compliant with Northeast Asia’s Energy Label.

If you haven’t thought about these markets yet, then you need to pause and determine how best to test your product for global compliance. This is where you need a company that specializes in global market access product safety testing.

International Approvals Management


Many companies, Curtis-Straus being one of them, conduct a series of tests under International Approvals Management to certify your product is given the global green light. Once you provide your design to their team, they’ll go over the specifications to determine if any changes are needed to pass international tests.

These companies have other benefits as well when it comes to global market access product safety testing. One of these is knowledge. As they work in the environment on a regular basis, these testing organizations are aware of updates to international policies. Therefore, they can alert you immediately if there is a significant change that could delay distribution.

Another benefit is timeliness. These companies are aware you’re on a deadline. So, their liaisons reach out to these international agencies and work with them to complete their testing on schedule. In the case there are delays, the approvals team alerts you to the reasons and what they are doing to keep the project going.

Yet another benefit is cost. Performing these tasks on your own can cost more than your product development. Consolidating those efforts through the approval management group lowers those costs. In the end, you can utilize the saved funds to promote your product.

How to be More comfortable in Your Office

Our offices is where we spent a lot of our time. Since many of us work from home these days, we are responsible for the quality of our office. Of course, if you work for somebody else, you still have a lot of influence over how excited you are to come to your working place every day. This can make a huge difference between wanting to show up at work and not wanting to do it at all, so keep reading about some useful tips to make your office space a better place.

1. Add some family pictures on your office desk to remind you of your family as much as possible. This way time will fly faster. Bring some items that remind you of your previous holidays and the people you love.

2. Get a comfortable chair, even if your employer has already taken care of this for you. For some reason you might not like the chair that has been provided for you, so try your best anyway. Of you are working from home, choosing your perfect chair is totally your responsibility, so feel free to find the best office chair under 200 now.

3. Add some fresh plants to make your office greener. Not only will it look better, but the oxygen around you will become easier to breathe. Add some plants that are easy to clean so that you don’t spend a lot of time taking care of them. Alternatively, artificial plants are good as well. Maybe you won’t get the benefit of fresh air, but they look great and don’t require as much care as their natural counterparts.

4. Make sure that your office is very bright, especially during winter months. Many people don’t realize it, but they actually might suffer from depression during winter months solely due to lack of proper sun exposure.

How Businesses can Use Storage

It is not uncommon for business owners to use storage facilities as part of running their businesses. If you ask around, you would be surprised how many company owners choose this option to supplement and run their business. Of course, different businesses have different reasons to opt for storage units Grapevine, but one common trait that unities everybody is the fact that storage units have tremendous benefits to all those who choose them. If you are a business owner, here are some of the things you will be looking for when choosing your perfect storage unit:

1. Distance from your premises to a storage facility. This can be a huge factor as you don’t want to end up having to drive for too long to deliver your belongings. This is especially important if you are planning to use your storage unit often and visit it often. If your business is located in an industrial area, chances are that there is a storage facility located somewhere near you. Make sure to check it out to know what is available to you in your particular area.

2. Price. This is another factor that can make a huge difference in terms of running your business. Before you sign any contracts, make sure to get at least a few quotes from similar storage facility units. It doesn’t come as a surprise that you will get different offers from different places.

3. Security. This is something really important as well as you don’t want to compromise on your security levels. If you know that you will be storing something that is important to your business, you might want to store it in a way that is safe. This way you will have peace of mind knowing that the important data related to your business is not compromised and that no unauthorized people are going to have access to your facility. Look for any clues as to how safe is a storage facility you are about to use. You might be able to get an idea how effective their security system is after only one visit to the place.

Can you use social media for your Mobile App Promotion?

There have been uncountable changes in the world of internet since it was first brought into our lives in the year 1990. Out of all the changes, the biggest one has been the invention of social media. No matter what platform it is, social media has brought the entire world together in the most literal sense of the phrase.

The marketing tactics of enterprise an start-ups across the world have been changed based on the social media platforms they’re targeting. In a world where an average person spends a crazy amount of their daily time on their smartphones, industries like entertainment, e-commerce, everyone has dipped their feet in the waters of social media marketing.

How these companies follow some of the best marketing strategies and promote their products and services is one thing but can social media platforms be really used for the promotion of Mobile applications?

The answer is, yes. Companies as big as Netflix, Uber, Amazon (Amazon prime), all are mobile application service providers. Some in entertainment sector, others in on-demand industry but they provide services through mobile applications and they’re prominent on every social media channel, therefore, it is safe to say that social media marketing for your application is not just an idea, rather, it’s a great idea.

Let us move forward and have a look at the possible strategies that can be followed to put your mobile app on the map of visibility on various social media platforms.

  1. Establishment of a remarkable online presence

SOcial media presence takes a while to build itself up. You cannot just land up on a new platform and expect deals and leads to flow into your pipeline. It’s a rather gradual process. ANd like the name suggests, it is built by being socially present on these platforms. The same rule holds true for your mobile app development company or mobile application itself.

Only research can help in cases of new businesses. Research to identify your target audience, your competitors, the strategies implemented by your competitors on social media platforms, etc. will help in giving you a headstart about marketing your own product.

  1. Enhancing your visibility

This strategy is the main objective behind any social media platform – to put you on the map. In simpler words, if you want to let the world know about the amazing a mobile application that you have to offer or that you’re a serious mobile app developer, you have to be regular and constantly present on these platforms. In this way, more and more audience will start recognizing you and may be even start asking questions. You can use those questions in your posts to answer them. This will start building a relation between you and your followers, and slowly more people will start recognizing you and your application. In other words, you will gain more visibility.

  1. Always be open to feedback from the users

Social media platforms are open platforms. That means that users are allowed to voice their opinion at any point of time about anything. And keeping in mind that you have created an application for people to use, always be open to their reviews and feedbacks. As the end users, it is best to provide upgrades based on real time feedbacks from customers. It will give you an insight in what they want and what you might have missed in you mobile app that could be added further.

Secondly, responding positively to customer feedbacks builds a reputation in the market and the word spreads to let more users know about your product.

  1. Make use of paid advertisements

There is always a feature of paid advertisement provided in every social media platform. Organic traffic, audience and customers are the best, without arguments. However, when you are only beginning to step into the industry and still working hard to root yourself, paid advertisements caan work like a charm. They increase your reach, visibility and engagements manifold. Additionally, you can always select the interests of people you want to target, the number of days and the maximum reach you want to buy. This means that there will never be any blind arrows shot when it comes to paid advertisements.

These are some of the core values of social media marketing. Over and above everything, you should always be constantly active and engaging on these platforms. Because, remember, as difficult it is to gain followers, it is as easy to lose them due to inactivity. Always let your users know what upgrade will be coming next, or what new features are on the way, answer their questions, build a network on the basis of give and take. Commenting and acknowledging other people’s work and being genuine always goes a long way.

Now for the question we started with, that whether or not it is possible to use social media for your mobile app promotion?
The answer is still Yes. With the right tactics and strategies, it is more than possible to build the platform for your mobile application through social media.

 

Corporate Law Departments Now Rely on Legal Analytics

By now, we’re all familiar with the rising of importance in using data reporting and analytics to help drive digital marketing. Now, analytics are helping to transform the way we do other things, as well. For instance, the legal departments in many corporations are learning how to adapt analytics reports to their situations. Legal departments are making use of data in new and unique ways to help them manage their personal and to drive their operations in a positive way.

Where does this data come from? Legal departments comb through their own digital data to develop helpful analytical reports. Each legal department develops strategies based on these reports to help them reach objectives set by the department. By targeting their efforts and using data reports to make more insightful decisions, many legal departments are boosting their daily efficiency levels.

This doesn’t mean every legal professional must suddenly become an expert data analyst. To the contrary, there are a number of services and applications, like Mitratech, which offer user-friendly dashboards. These interactive platforms present the data in a readable, easy-to-understand way. The way the information is presented can be customized, so it will be relevant to the role of the individual accessing the data. This can help each person make data-backed decisions, which help them improve their job productivity.

Making use of data analytics can help legal departments reduce their spending in a number of ways. First, it allows legal professionals to compare the costs to the outcomes of each case to determine where their efforts and resources are best spent. By looking at the department’s trends over a longer period, they can estimate what areas constitute the largest portions of inefficient spending. Once this data is examined, department managers can make changes that will help save on the overall budget, while also enabling the staff to work more efficiently.

Does your legal department have to make use of data analytics reports? No, but failing to do so may actually hurt your department in the long run. Other corporate legal departments will be making use of data in this way, enabling them to work more productively and at lower costs. This may mean falling behind the competition and losing business for your department. Your department will ultimately lose clients to competitors, who can deliver faster and more efficient services.

In addition to streamlining productivity, legal departments can actually use data to reach new clients faster. Corporate actions, such as acquisitions and mergers, can be completed faster, as well. While these advantages may be enough to help you understand the importance of using data analytics in your corporate legal department, also consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars you can cut in operating costs. Lower costs mean raising revenue, which helps a data analytics platform pay for itself.

3 Business Ideas That Are Fun for You and Your Customers

Are you thinking about starting your own business, but you want to be sure that it’ll be something different and fun so that you and your customers can have a great time? Then keeping reading for a list of three fun business ideas that you might not have thought of, but might be just what you are looking for in terms of your career path.

1.      Escape Room Games

When it comes to games nights, one of the most popular options has become the escape room. A superb example is this Indianapolis escape room. To start this business, you will need the right real estate, as the more interesting and unique the setting, the more fun the game can be. Basically, customers come in and pay to play a game in which they are locked in a room together. Using clues that you hide throughout the space, they need to figure out how to get themselves out of the room before time runs out. It is loads of fun and encourages detective work and teamwork, while you make money.

2.      Party Planning

If you love partying, why not plan parties for other people to enjoy? Becoming a party planner is a great way to always have a new project to work on, and you also have the opportunity to work with a variety of people too. Plus, if you would prefer having a business that allows you to do a lot of the work from home, this is a great choice. You will have to meet with clients and head over to venues and shops to purchase necessary supplies, but you can do a lot of the planning on your computer at home. Plus, you can plan everything from fun fundraisers and corporate events, to beautiful weddings and exciting birthday parties, as a few examples, so you can always keep your creative juices flowing.

3.      Interior Design

Another fun business idea involves becoming an interior designer. There are many schools as well as online programs that can teach you the ins and outs of this type of design, which can be thoroughly enjoyable because it really lets you get creative. If you love designing your own spaces at home and you constantly find yourself giving your friends and family suggestions on how they can spruce up their homes, this career could be perfect for you. Plus, you get to be your own boss while working with a variety of clients in homes and businesses of all sizes. Consider doing things differently by getting your customers more involved so that they, too, can have some fun while you guide them towards the design elements that they will love to see in their homes or offices.

These are just three of many fun business ideas that you can embark upon in order to make your career more exciting and interesting. Offering customers an enjoyable experience, whether you’re helping them design their homes or plan a party, is a great way to feel fulfilled in what you do every day.

Top Four Ways to Fund Your New Business

Starting a new business is both exciting and daring. You are going off on your own and trying to make your dreams come true and become profitable at the same time. The biggest hitch to pulling off this dream, however, is going to be funding. By pulling in this funding from several sources, you can minimize your debt and have all you need to bring your new business to life. Here are four of the most common ways you can get started.

Self-Funding

Self-funding is one of the most obvious ways forward when it comes to funding. Though very few will likely have the capital to fund their entire project, putting your own savings upfront can help you reduce the total amount you need to borrow.

Pros  

It is your money, meaning you do not have to worry about repayments. You can also reduce the total amount you need to borrow, and thus lower your repayments.

Cons

Not everyone has the savings, and if they do, it is not wise to put all your savings on the line. Keep some for emergencies and to keep you and your family financially secure.

Through a Personal Loan

Personal loans are great for those who need the money but don’t want to be indebted to investors. You can get them through a bank, or you can get a Peerform peer to peer loan instead.

Pros

Peer-to-peer loans are ideal for those who want to consolidate their loans or enjoy a fixed APR rate. It means you can not only get the money that you need, but you can simplify the repayment process and enjoy more steady repayments.

Cons

If you already have a lot of debt or bad credit, then your repayments can be quite high. This can put a strain on any new business. In this case, it is often wise to build up credit or to pay off a few loans first before you start your own company.

Through a Crowd-Funding Campaign

Your friends and family can invest in your company with either no intention to be repaid or to be repaid without any interest. Alternatively, you can try your luck at sourcing money from crowd-funding websites.

Pros

Allows you to obtain the funding without either needing to repay it or without interest.

Cons

It is not a guarantee. With crowd-funding websites in particular, if you do not reach your goal, you do not get any of the funding put forward.

Through an Angel Investor or Venture Capitalist

Angel investors and venture capitalists are two sides of the same coin. Angel investors often lend you money either with the intention of being repaid, or not. Venture capitalists invest in your company in the exchange of a percentage of the said company, meaning you not only owe them a repayment, but also a percentage of profits.

Pros

Is often necessary for ambitious companies that need a lot of up-front capital to create the product or service.

Cons

Angel investors are rare, and venture capitalists often come with a long-term commitment and reduction in profits or control.

Funding will always be the biggest hurdle to overcome when you want to start a new business. You need to know your options and even consider using one or more of the choices available to you so that you can minimize your debt and make it easier to pay off.