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The Basics of Moonlighting

house and landThere are times when your finances don’t seem to suit your needs. This is especially true when you have kids who go to school, you’re paying for your car loan, you’re trying to build your emergency fund on top of your regular savings, or you’re saving up for a big purchase.

As for big purchases, such as house and land, Berstan Properties advises prospective buyers to make extra money through moonlighting. The proposition sounds exciting, but keep in mind that this is not without any repercussion. One upside of moonlighting, though, is that you get to acquire new skills that will make your curriculum vitae look good. But it is always a lot of work, so you might as well manage your expectations. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Speak with the Boss…

You may have an impression that your employer has nothing to do with your endeavour. But to be safe, you may want to talk to your boss. Some employers impose sanctions on employees who moonlight, and it’s better to stall that scenario by telling the truth. When you speak of your plans and your boss agrees, don’t forget to put have a black and white copy of the agreement. Make your boss understand that your moonlighting is not about your dissatisfaction at the job, and that you’re only doing it because you need extra money.

…And with Your Family

Your family should learn of your moonlighting so they won’t misunderstand you in cases where you miss a picnic and other occasions. Explain this carefully to your children. As for your significant other, you may ask them to take charge of some tasks at home in case you come in late.

Back to Budgeting Basics

You will have to revamp the way you budget now that you will get to earn extra money. To make sure that you can set some money aside, condition yourself that the income you will get in your second job will go into savings on top of the savings you make in your first job. Don’t forget to reward yourself a bit so that you stay motivated.

Health is the Real Wealth

Moonlighting is physically and mentally exhausting, so make sure that rest has a slot in your daily schedule. Dedicate some time to exercise and eat nutritious food.

These are only some of the things that will help you lessen the burden of moonlighting. If some problems arise, or your health is at stake, consider quitting the second job.

July 23, 2014 at 6:45 pmDirect Service

Wisdom from Westeros: Business Takeaways from Game of Thrones

management strategiesA few years ago, American studio HBO began broadcasting Game of Thrones, the TV incarnation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Since its first episode, the show has established a cult following – with viewers from the UK being the show’s biggest fans.

But beyond the sex, swords and sorcery we have all come to love about the hit series, Game of Thrones is also a source of knowledge – more specifically, business knowledge.

‘Winter is coming’

The words of the House of Stark have a prophetic ring to them, but it’s something that you can apply to your business as well. It’s all about preparing for the worst, as you never know what might hit you and when it would.

Consequently, the experts agree with this insight. CMRIS.co.uk advises always having a backup plan with every business choice you make. Remember: when you’re always ready for what life might throw at your enterprise, you can reduce the impact or avoid vital business mistakes altogether.

‘A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge’

The beloved dwarf Tyrion Lannister said these words, and they have their weight in terms of management strategies. The business environment will always change, but that means you should adapt and stay relevant. How do you achieve this? Listening, reading and learning every new concept or product that’s out there. This is all about keeping tabs on the latest trends in your industry.

‘A Lannister always pays his debts’

Although these aren’t House Lannister’s words, the sentence rings true when it comes to running a business. You have to know how much you owe who and pay them correctly and punctually. Apart from maintaining a decent credit score, being responsible with your debts has a positive effect on your company’s reputation – and you can’t underestimate the importance of a good name.

You’ll enjoy Game of Thrones more once you veer away from what you see on screen. Once you ponder on the contexts and subtexts of the series’ plots, you’ll learn more than just good cinematography and epic fight scenes.

Take these quotes, for example, which are ideal principles to live by when you run your own business. Apply these in your management strategies and you’d see great results.

July 18, 2014 at 12:20 amStraight Market

Russia Likely To Extend U.S. Fugitive Edward Snowden’s Asylum

Edward_Snowden_2013

Image courtesy of TheWikiLeaksChannel / Wikimedia

Russia will likely prolong U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum on the grounds that “his life is endangered.” Snowden’s asylum is scheduled to end on August 1.

An official close to Russia’s Federal Migration Service was quoted saying that Russia will probably extend Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum, on grounds that “his life is endangered”. The U.S. fugitive fled to Russia on August 1, 2013, and the country granted him a yearlong asylum.

NSA scandal

Snowden came to international attention after exposing thousands of classified documents that he acquired while working for the NSA, in one of the most significant information leaks in U.S. history. The U.S. Department of Justice charged him with two counts of violating the Espionage Act, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Strained relations

The already tenuous relations between Russia and the U.S. were further strained when the former granted Snowden temporary asylum. Washington is determined to bring the American home to try him on charges including espionage.

Continued asylum

Vladimir Volokh, head of an advisory body to migration authorities, said that he found no problem in extending temporary asylum, since the circumstances have not changed, and Snowden’s life is still in danger. Russia’s Federal Migration Service and Snowden’s lawyer were both unavailable for comment.

July 14, 2014 at 10:56 amDirect Service

SEO Trends for 2014 That You Shouldn’t Ignore

seo trendsInternet Live Stats, a site that shows live updates of Internet use around the world, revealed that the World Wide Web might reach a billion websites by the end of 2014. Imagine if a percentage of that is your competitors, it’ll be an uphill battle to become number one. You have to find the top SEO company to make sure that you’ll have the advantage.

In addition, it’s also important to know the leading online marketing trends this year so your site will rank better.

Google Authorship

The launch of author ranking has made it possible for any kind of content to display their respective authors. Whether it’s published on your own site or somebody else’s blog, a photo will appear on the left-most part beside the meta description in search engine results. Google Authorship gives more credibility to content, and can even invite users to click if the author is well known.

Mobile Revolution

About 22% of the world’s population owns a smart smartphone, while 6% owns a tablet. Optimizing your website for mobile users isn’t optional, it’s necessary. If you want to reach your target market effectively, then you have to adjust to their devices. If you’re planning to use other methods, like e-mail marketing, you have to make sure that the templates look good on mobile, too.

Content is Still King

Content still rules the Internet, and it has proclaimed higher qualifications for websites. Everything should be relevant and well written to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). The quality of content weighs more than quantity, so you should start writing topics that will spark the interest of your readers. Something unique that will set it apart from the usual content on the Internet.

These are only some of the top SEO trends for 2014. Browse through different online marketing blogs or inquire with companies that got the highest rankings in SEO review sites to get more information.

July 9, 2014 at 7:01 amStraight Market

Got Bad Breath? 3 Surprising Reasons Your Mouth Stinks

eatingThere’s no doubt that bad breath can drive away anyone and ruin relationships. Everybody has bad breath from time to time, especially when you wake up in the morning. For one third of Australians, however, it’s a regular problem. Chronic bad breath can be embarrassing and may make people feel self-conscious and shy.

It’s easy to notice bad breath in others, but you can never quite be sure about your own. If you’ve experienced it when you believe there couldn’t possibly be a reason, consider the causes below.

Bacteria

It mostly hangs out on your tongue and multiplies at night when the salivary glands slow down. The same bug that is often responsible for stomach ulcers can cause bad breath if it finds a place in the mouth, according to experts many dental Perth patients consult. Always keep your mouth happy to beat bad breath.

Skipping lunch

When you are dieting or regularly skipping meals, your empty stomach may cause foul breath, as acids in the stomach build up. Not eating reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth, and a dry mouth is like a home for bacteria that are looking to multiply. Your saliva has a cleaning action that helps reduce or eliminate bad breath. So if you don’t have enough, your mouth may lose its freshness quickly. Whatever the trigger, your breath may smell sweet if you are not hungry.

Pain relievers

Bad breath is also common in people who are taking certain medications. A number of medications, such as antidepressants, diuretics, and aspirin may entail bad breath as a side effect. Saliva rinses away bacteria that foul the breath and many drugs can dry your mouth.

No one wants to destroy social connections or experience the indignity linked with bad breath. You can have a mouth odour by eating garlic, but it’s not the only cause. It’s important to identify the unusual causes so you can determine an effective treatment.

July 8, 2014 at 4:28 amHealth & Lifestyle

New Content Marketing Strategies for Better SEO Returns

content marketingBusinesses that want to be relevant online need to invest in digital marketing and search engine optimization. Thing is, trends in the said fields are constantly changing and evolving – search engines aim to provide users across the globe nothing but the most relevant answers to their queries.

When it comes to SEO today, it’s content creation that matters most. NuStudio.net.au says SEO for Google requires the maintenance of high standards and implementation of carefully-crafted methodologies. With that in mind, here are some useful content marketing ideas you should look into and think about:

Use Visuals

Research by Social Media Examiner found that 60 per cent of online marketers use visual content. The report also reveals that 70 per cent have plans of using more visual content on their websites – whether it is through pictures or infographics. You also can’t ignore the rise of image-driven social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Go for Infographics

More people are searching for infographics on Google, emphasising just how relevant it is today. Instead of plain and boring text, present your content through infographics. This way, you can quench the needs of both readers and visual learners. Hire graphic designers if you aren’t too confident in your Photoshop skills to ensure that the illustrations, numbers, and graphs look professional and neat.

Longer is Better

What is the perfect length for a blog entry? According to serpIQ, the average blog post length that appears in the first page of search results is 2,000 words or more. The study also notes that as the number of words goes down, so does rankings.

Markets and audiences will keep evolving; so should you. Give your visitors more than just great content. Adapt to their ever changing lifestyles and you’ll gain their loyalty and more followers as time goes by. Hire effective SEO experts so you can make the right impact fast and always.

July 5, 2014 at 1:40 amInfo Tech

Foreign Operations: Types of Business Entities in Hong Kong

business expansionsWhether you’re planning to expand or start a new business in Hong Kong, you need to have knowledge in operating in a foreign place. As you’ll be dealing with a different environment, you should review everything about their laws and business regulations. Choosing the right business entity, for instance, will help you make the registration process and future operations easier.

Here are some examples:

Branch Office

Business expansions under this entity should register under an ordinance. In addition, foreign business owners need to indicate that they’ll be operating a non-Hong Kong company under the Companies Ordinance. According to company formation services like hkcore.com.hk, you’ll need someone who’s living in Hong Kong to accept your service of proceedings and notices to accomplish this.

Shelf Companies

These are ready-made companies, waiting for someone to buy them. It’s a good choice if you want to shorten the incorporation process of your business. This business entity has a given company name and standard provisions in Memorandum and Articles of Association, which you can change after buying the company.

Representative Office

Forming this business entity is acceptable when a foreign company wants to analyse the sustainability of their market in Hong Kong, whether for their products, services, or both. All you have to do is register under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap 310) to have permission on performing association and promotional-related work.

Hong Kong Subsidiary

Foreign companies can request to incorporate a Hong Kong subsidiary into a company. A good thing about this entity is it limits the liability of its parent company. Incorporation is possible with a single member, and the directors of the company don’t have to be local residents. You’ll also need to hire a company secretary who’s a resident of Hong Kong.

The right business entity for your future company in Hong Kong should be suitable to your operations. Make the incorporation process easier and less time consuming by asking the help of experts in company formation.

July 3, 2014 at 12:23 amDirect Service

It’s Like Having Your Own Jarvis for Business: Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

virtual assistantTechnology is constantly finding new ways to reinforce its usefulness. The possibilities and opportunities increase as all sorts of innovations and trends come into play. For example, employers today can skip the tiring process of screening candidates for a clerical job, as it is so much easier to find the best employees in virtual assistance companies without actually employing them.

Virtual assistants perform almost all administrative tasks, proofreading services, and even digital marketing for your business. Technically, they are not your employees, so you don’t providing benefits and other supplies are not necessary. You just pay them for their time and for the effort they put into completing whatever work you toss their way.

Here’s a quick look at what you can look forward to when hiring a VA:

Benefits for Small Businesses

If you own a small business and are running on a tight budget, or if you feel overwhelmed with the amount of work, you can hire a virtual assistant instead of a regular employee.

Unlike when you hire a regular employee, virtual assistants must pass standards with the company they are employed by and are experienced in their field of expertise. They can take the load off your shoulders, making your work less stressful without sacrificing the quality. Virtual assistants save you more time and money, which you can redirect to other essential business aspects.

What They Can Do for You

These aides can do practically anything that doesn’t require their physical presence, such as checking your emails, making appointments, writing and researching, and filling out your expense reports and track reimbursements. If you are on a business trip or family vacation and don’t want to be disturbed, they can take calls and take charge of front office business for the time being.

Virtual assistants are best for start-up companies that has really yet to establish itself. Hiring a VA is a great way to reduce overhead expenses and other employment costs until such time that your business is ready for it.

July 1, 2014 at 4:46 amDirect Service

US IPO Market: Chinese Firm Alibaba Chooses NYSE For Its Listing

Alibaba will be the New York Stock Exchange’s biggest Internet IPO, winning the battle to be the market home for the Chinese e-commerce giant.

NYSE’s reputation

Alibaba_group_Headquarters

Image by Thomas LOMBARD | Wikimedia

The decision is a big victory for the NYSE, which had competed with the Nasdaq for what is expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings.

“We participated in a comprehensive and deliberate exchange selection process, and we are pleased to welcome Alibaba Group to the New York Stock Exchange,” an NYSE spokesman said.

Shares of Alibaba could begin trading in the US this summer, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Hot IPO market

Some industry experts say the public share sale could be worth more than $20 billion. Alibaba handles more than 80% of online retail transactions in China.

Nasdaq and NYSE constantly compete for much-awaited initial stock offerings, hoping to win listing fees and attract other big firms.

Alibaba will be the biggest Chinese firm to list in America.

June 30, 2014 at 7:10 amFinance

It’s All in The Presentation: Tips on Staging Your Products in Your Store

customised fittingsNo matter how good your products are, customers won’t see it unless you present all items in a way that will entice customers. The importance of product staging is that many stores invest greatly in shelves and customised fittings for shops. Some even consult with interior designers for proper floor plans.

Fixing your products depends on a variety of factors. For one, you need to see to it that the way products are displayed will support the image you’re promoting. The appeal of the display, if possible, should be described in one word: organised.

Here are some tips that will help you stage your products in a way that will give your business a good impression:

Using Vignettes

Using vignettes and live product displays don’t only give your customers an opportunity to see how the products work, it also gives them an idea about how they will look when used in the right setting. Kitchen, living room, and home theatre appliances and fixtures are ideal for vignettes to display how they would look like in the home.

The Power of Colour

Conventional marketing and branding wisdom dictates that businesses should use their brand colours. This rule does not apply to all, though, especially for those that use dark and murky colours. What you need to do is use colours that pop, but won’t take the spotlight from your products. In case you can’t use your brand colours because they’re dark, look for bright and light shades that properly complement them.

The Shelves

Shelves should be organised. Make sure that products are easy to locate. Label the shelves according to these categories: size, price, and features. You can make use of vertical displays to maximise space. Shelves that contain new releases should be placed in high-traffic areas.

More often than not, customers already have an impression about your brand before they even step into your shop. They make these assumptions because of what they see in ads and hear from others. The way you display products is your last way to justify the good impression they have about your business or prove them wrong.

June 25, 2014 at 12:49 amDirect Service