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Blogs started out as online diaries where people could share their thoughts and experiences with the world. While personal blogging is still a thing, the modern-day blogging has become more professional. It is one of the most popular online marketing channels that is used to attract and educate existing and potential clients.   While it takes a lot of work to get a start and maintain a successful blog, the pay off is worth every penny. Below are some of the benefits of blogging for small business.

1.      Boost Search Rankings

Boost Search Rankings
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Posting industry-related content on your blog on a regular basis can help improve the ranking of your business on search engines. This works well if you focus on writing informative pieces rather than promotional ones. Make sure to include a set of keywords that are relevant to your niche. If the quality of your content is good and your posts are engaging, then visitors will stay longer on your site and this can also help boost your search rankings.

2.      Educate

Educate
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Posting informative blog posts will not only keep visitors on your website for longer and lower bounce rates but will also be a source of valuable information for your customers. A blog is a great way to build trust and increase conversion rates.  This is because reading your blog is akin to creating rapport with them. They’ll be more willing to buy from someone they’re familiar with when the time comes.

3.      Establish You as an Authority

Establish You as an Authority
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This is one of the key benefits of blogging for small business. If you’re an expert in your field, then having a blog helps you build your profile as a thought leader. You can share all the knowledge you’ve gathered over the years to help boost your credibility and open up a ton of opportunities for you. This can help grow your business in leaps and bounds. To be a thought leader, you have to avoid posting generic pieces and instead focus on in-depth thought-provoking pieces that add value. You can do this by adding a new angle to old subjects

4.      Explain Your Services and Products

Explain Your Services and Products
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You don’t have to stick to general industry information when posting to your blog. You can also use it to explain what you offer and how it benefits the end user. Do not make the mistake of ditching other pages such as services and products page for your blog. Instead, use them to compliment each other. For example, you can explain a product or service in more detail on your blog. Providing valuable information about your offering helps keep your products top of mind for when the prospect is ready to buy.

5.      Offer 24/7 Customer Support

Offer 24/7 Customer Support
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Small businesses find it hard setting up and paying for a 24/7 customer service line due to resource constraints. A blog can help solve this problem if you include support-oriented posts where you answer the most frequently asked questions. Post troubleshooting tips, instruction tutorials, and how-tos. This will not only impress your customer but will also lighten the load for your customer support team since they’ll only be dealing with the most pressing issues. This is one of the benefits of blogging for small business.

You’re finally done with your move. You have unpacked everything and settled into your new home and the movers have left. So, what exactly as you supposed to do with the moving boxes? A garage full of unpacked boxes is not what you’d envisioned for your new home. You need a way to get rid of all this clutter. Here’s a guide on how to get rid of boxes after moving.

1.      Donate Your Boxes After You Move

Donate Your Boxes After You Move
Credit: Pixabay

Boxes are increasingly getting harder to find due to the upsurge of green initiatives today. However, they are still useful. Churches, charities, libraries, and thrift stores are some of the places where you can donate your moving boxes.  They will come in handy as they’ll be used to transport stuff from one place to another.

2.      Recycling

Recycling
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You should consider recycling the boxes. It will help you get rid of the clutter in your home and is an environmentally friendly way to go about it. You can search for “recycle moving boxes near me” on your favorite search engine to get recyclers in your area. Make sure to confirm that they can take all your cartons at one go. Also, find out whether they’ll be able to pick them up or you’ll have to drop them off.

3.      Sell

Sell
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You can actually sell used moving boxes and make some money instead of letting them sit idle in storage. Boxes are a hot product and you’re bound to find people in your city or neighborhood that are moving and looking for boxes. You can post your boxes on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji.

4.      Use the Boxes for Storage

Use the Boxes for Storage
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Do you have things that need to be put in storage? Chances are that you do. You can use the moving boxes to store these items in your garage, basement, or even a storage facility. Boxes help keep things organized and easier to manage. By doing this, you will also have a chance to use the boxes for a future move should the need arise. This is how to get rid of boxes after moving.

5.      Have Fun with The Boxes

Have Fun with The Boxes
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If you have kids, then cardboard boxes can be tons of fun. Once all the hard work of unpacking and putting things in their place is done, you can use the cardboard boxes to make a castle, an airplane, and other stuff with your kids. This will help keep them occupied and get their creative juices flowing.

6.      Create an Emergency Kit

Create an Emergency Kit
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You can use some of the boxes as emergency kits. The kits can contain a flashlight, blankets, water, food, and any other relevant items. You can use the smaller boxes for an emergency kit for your car while the larger ones can be used for the home.

7.      Use the Boxes Around the House

use the boxes around the house
Credit: Pixabay

Doing some renovations in your home? Cardboard boxes can come in handy since you can use them to create a convenient place to put all your painting gear. This will ensure the floor stays paint free. You can also use carton boxes to keep your garage floor clean when your vehicle has a leak.

I just lost my car keys. What to do? This is a tricky scenario many people find themselves in from time to time. It can get particularly tricky if you’d traveled and can’t leave your car parked in a lot and go home. It is important to prepare yourself in advance for such scenarios. One way to prepare for this is by cutting a spare key and keeping it safe. If you find yourself in a situation where your car key is lost and can’t access the spare, or you do not have a spare, there are certain steps you can take to remedy the situation. Here is what to do.

1.      Search the Immediate Area Again

Credit: Pixabay

It is important to remain calm after you realize that you have lost your car keys. Being calm allows you to comb through the area where you might have lost them more meticulously. Assess the surroundings and try to retrace your steps. You may just have left them lying on a desk or dropped them as you walked around. Try to think of the last time you had the keys with you and where exactly you were. Could you have left them in the bathroom?

2.      Check Inside the Car

Credit: Pixabay

If you still can’t find the key, check the inside of the car. There are numerous cases reported every day concerning car lockout and you may be in a similar situation. If you are exiting your car in a hurry, it is possible to forget to remove the key from the car. If your key is in the car, you simply need to get in touch with the best locksmith services in your area to have the key retrieved.

3.      Gather Your Vehicle Information

Credit: Pixabay

For a dealership or a locksmith to be able to help with a lost car key situation, they will need the details of your vehicle. This information makes it possible for them to get the right key for your car. Also, it helps the locksmith in deciding what tools to bring to the site if they need to break into your car to retrieve your key.

4.      Call A Locksmith

Credit: Pixabay

Once you have all the relevant details about your car, you need to get in touch with a locksmith. A professional locksmith company will have the required skills and tools to help in either retrieving the key from inside the car or cutting a new key for your car. Make sure to get a reasonably priced locksmith owing to the fact that this is an unplanned expense. Calling a locksmith is especially ideal if you have an old car.

5.      Consider Reliability and Cost When Getting a Car Keys Copy

Credit: Pixabay

If you lock yourself out of your car, it is very possible for you to do things in a panic without considering the cost and reliability of the car locksmith services. Even in such a situation, it is important to think logically. Ensure you get a key done to last as opposed to having it done to serve the current situation. Also, get a spare key done and keep it within reach in case you get yourself into this sticky situation again.

 

Investing in education for your child is very important, and to ensure that families all across the country take it seriously, Canada encourages its citizens to take advantage of a Heritage Education Funds Plan. There are a few things that you will want to know about saving for your child’s future so that you get the most out of this savings and understand how to correctly open the account.

1. Be Prepared
One problem that many parents have when they go to open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for their child is that they are not prepared with the right documents. This will prevent you from being able to open an account, which is why you want to make sure that you know what you will need and have everything with you. You will need to bring not only your child’s social insurance card, but yours as well. Additionally, you need your child’s permanent resident card or birth certificate. It’s only when you are prepared with this information that you can open an account.

2. Plan Ahead
Before going and opening a RESP for your child, you will want to have done some planning as to how you want to invest the savings. While you can make this decision at the time of opening the account, it’s a good idea to spend some time considering your different options before you meet with the financial advisor. There are a few options for how you are going to invest the savings, including mutual funds, a low-risk GIC, or a no-risk savings account. What you choose will be determined in part by how adverse you are to risk and what kind of savings you have already started for your child.

3. Learn About the Canada Learning Bond
You will want to spend some time to find out whether or not your child is eligible for the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). There are a few qualifications that your child will have to meet, including being born in or after 2004, and you must receive the National Child Benefit Supplement as a part of your Canada Child Tax Benefit. If you and your child are eligible, then you will be able to enjoy an extra deposit when you apply for the CLB and open a Heritage RESP, so it is something that is worth checking out and taking advantage of, if possible.

4. You Don’t Have to Open with a Deposit
Some people avoid opening a RESP because they do not have the money to put in an initial deposit. If you are eligible for CLB you can go ahead and open a RESP and apply for the CLB. This is a great way to start planning and preparing for the future education for your child.

5. Get Your Match
By making deposits to your child’s RESP, you will be eligible for a savings match. The amount that the government will match will vary and depend on your income. Make sure that you understand the income requirements for various match cutoffs so that you can plan for the most money to be saved in the RESP.

Not many years ago, runners, men on horses and even pigeons were used to deliver parcels and messages. This has however changed tremendously following the improving technology. Could you imagine a world without delivery and courier services in the modern world we’re living in? The courier Toronto and delivery services and others in the world have tremendously transformed our present world. Below are the top 5 courier services for your express deliveries.

1. Flagship

This is arguably one of the best courier services in Canada. This is attributed to its affordable rates, timely delivery, customer service and easy process among other strategies.  This company offers an array of services that include personal shipping, LTL and FTL freight services, and E-commerce integration. It has an easy to use and navigate website that has all the requirements.

2. DHL

You’ve probably heard of DHL or even used this service before and experienced their professional and exquisite services. DHL was started back in 1869 to send parcels between two cities in America. After a year of its inception, the services started its international deliveries. Over the years, the company grew both domestically and internationally and is now delivering to all parts of the world and is part of the Deutsche post logistics with its headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

3. FedEx- Federal Express

FedEx was named after its air division and was the first to start the express distributions. Currently, FedEx is the international leader when it comes to express, reliable and time definite deliveries in over 220 regions in the world. It also incorporates the latest technologies which further solidifies its global leadership position. It also has a money back guarantee in case your parcel is not delivered in time.

4. United Parcel Service

Commonly abbreviated as UPS, United parcel service was started by James Casey and was the first company to use their own and personal aircrafts to deliver parcels. It was also the first company to deliver to all addresses in America.  Over the years, it has grown to be the biggest courier service in the world delivering to over 220 worldwide regions. It can deliver to the furthest parts in the world and in just two days.

5. United States Postal Services

Normally known as USPS or US mail to many, it runs as an independent wing of the US federal government providing postal and package delivery services in the whole of America.  It also has close ties with most of the famous courier companies such as FedEx which enable it to reach to over 220 regions worldwide. It has over 65000 employees and also offers parcel tracking services.

A global survey conducted recently reveals that nearly 82% of shipping companies and logistic companies have access to state-of-the-art digitalization techniques and process automation or are about to implement them soon.

This is primarily because evolving smart technologies with some incredible potential, are not only big game changers in global shipping but in courier services as well.

This again is an inextricable part of international logistics operations. The following are the 5 smart technologies (certainly not created by Alan Harper from Two in a Half Men or Napoleon Dynamite) used by shipping companies, including operations pertaining to shipping in Canada.

1. Use of Blockchain Technology by Shipping Companies

Global shipping is taking a serious look at the applicability of blockchain technology, a decentralized system that ensures data-authenticity and consensus.

It is expected that blockchain will revolutionize the shipping industry and operations of logistics companies in future, particularly in trading. Shipping giant Maersk for example, tracks cargo through its blockchain-based platform to eliminate label tampering and enhance shipping time.

Image via Pixabay

2. Augmented Reality

Even though it’s in its nascent stages, Augmented Reality (AR) connects employees of most shipping companies and logistics companies spread over multiple global locations, helps to train them and enhances product repair efficiency. This is highly applicable to the shipping industry for pinpointing repairs, executing ship inspections, and conducting meetings virtually.

Image via Pixabay

3. The Autonomous Ship

This is a joint venture between Rolls Royce and Google Cloud to develop an intelligent awareness software and is being used by shipping companies already.

This is expected to play a crucial role in developing the future concept of the “autonomous vessel” by 2020 (this has nothing to do with Megatron in those outstanding Transformers movies). In fact, Norway already has the world’s first autonomous shipping system and other countries are expected to follow suit soon.

 

Image via Pixabay

4. Cloud Technology Applicability in Shipping & Logistics Companies

Cloud technology too, is significantly impacting the operations of shipping companies and logistics companies the world over. It enables easier access to data 24×7 regardless of location and reduces data silo volumes also.

Additionally, cloud technology makes system and process integration much easier for companies. One of its core benefits has been vastly improving communications between on land and off shore staff. So whether its crew planning, payroll execution or performance appraisal of seamen, up-to-date digital data is always available as and when required.

Cloud-based technology has also considerably simplified processes like stock planning and purchasing as also in regulation compliance and its monitoring.

Image via Pixabay

5. Smart Speakers

Smart speakers that are expected to invade at least 70 million households in the US by 2022, thanks to Google Home, Amazon Echo and Sonos will also be used by shipping companies and logistics companies in their daily operations in the foreseeable future. As this technology advances, these voice-controlled devices will certainly make information access easier and quicker or to simply add or edit data by way of voice commands.

Image via Pixabay

Thus, it’s evident that technology is certainly helping both shipping companies and logistics companies to tackle management challenges and improve efficiencies. From fleet and crew management to automating processes, technology is enhancing their business performance, cutting costs, and improving operational efficiencies.

Credit scores can be a pain especially when you are faced with loans and debts from every corner staring at you looking to be paid with very little income from your job. You may end up having very bad days when your total income is only enough to pay up your loans and probably not enough to sustain you until your next payment becomes due. Sadly, this is an issue that many people face on a daily basis and may not even know how to go about it or where to start from and try to start making things easier without damaging their credit scores.

One fact is this; you are definitely going to damage your credit score if you default or repay your loans late. And you definitely don’t want that happening. So, here are some five crucial tricks and tips you can use to improve your credit score throughout this year.

1. Apply for new credit

Your debt compared with your credit limits or credit utilization ratio usually accounts for 30% of your total score. Which means you will want to have a healthy one of 30% or even less. You can also ask your current lender if it’s possible to get a limit increase or even open another card which you will rarely use. www.lendgreen.com  credit experts, explain that your starting point also greatly determines how much you can actually improve you overall credit score.

2. Add positive info to your credit report

Make efforts to look for accounts with positive information or in good standing that are not listed in your credit report, explains April Lewis-Parks of education for Consolidated Credits. You can even use your phone contracts that have a good payment history which can help to significantly boost your credit history and score as well, adds April.

And the same can also go for the internet, utility, and cable providers. These providers aren’t obliged to report any of your payment records and history but still, it can’t hurt to ask.

3. Shop for new loans within short periods

This step won’t necessarily boost your overall score. It can help protect your current score though. Try shopping for a loan within a span of between 14 to 45 days. Doing this can help protect your score from being dinged as there is usually an exception whenever you do loan shopping.

4. Pay your credit cards at least twice a month

Don’t be duped that paying your cards off every month will lead to $0 balances when it comes to your credit report. But rather, you need to know that your report will only reflect your balance on the day that your lender actually reports it. This means that even a temporary high balance can take you back a long way with your credit score as it will result poor utilization ratios. Try and see if you can pay your bills at least twice a month to keep the balances down.

5. Sweet-talk your lender

Sometimes negotiating with your lender or collection agencies can help you a great deal and even soften the blow of any negative item that shows on your credit report, explains April. Even though these bureaus aren’t allowed to interfere with accurate records, they can still help with “good will adjustments” to ease the blow on your credit score.

The techniques used in underground mining technology have changed a lot since it first began and the modern world has seen to it that the mining industry gets the best and newest tech to improve the industry. Digital technologies that now have the potential of enhancing the productivities and managing the variables in all fields in the mining industry have been developed. Overall, work in the mining sector has never been any easier and less straining with the presence of these new tech and machines available. And as a business person in the mining sector, you need to owe your success to the four clusters of technologies which have been adopted by the industry and have accelerated the whole concept of underground mining to a whole new level.

  1. Data, connectivity, and computation power

You must have noticed by now the large numbers of sensors that have been embedded in physical objects with large volumes of data now being churned out for analysis and even enabling easy and efficient communications among machines. All these processes have been made possible and are now more affordable and accessible than ever before. There are smart grids which can report the overall power usage in millions of homes. Not to mention the sensors set on remote deep-sea oiling wells which can signal alarms back to the control centers whenever any problem occurs. And with these pieces of technology, you can easily obtain more accurate and relevant information about the reality of the underground world than ever before. Records have it that more data was generated and collected in a single day and every day in 2015 than had even been collected throughout the whole year of 2003. And this is just a tip of the iceberg.

  1. Analytics and intelligence

Machines can now learn more improves statistical techniques that can be used for integrating data with the help of improved and advanced analytics through the ages. You can now read large volumes of data sets and be able to predict the probability of certain events occurring. Nowadays, even the telecommunication companies use smart algorithms to try and predict their customer churn, and most of the time it works for them. Tasks that used to be so complexes like geological modeling and predictive maintenance are now more about optimization and smart statistical algorithms.

  1. Human-machine interaction

The introduction of smartphones has also changed the way humans interact not only with other people, but with machines as well and consumers are now more reliant on their smartphones for booking taxis, driving directions, and even monitoring their health than on themselves. Why go through all the hustle when you have a smartphone that can do it all for you? The invention of work clothing which collects and transmits data to the managers about any hazardous conditions as well as the physical conditions of the workers wearing them which further improves their safety outcome.

  1. Digital-to-physical conversion

There has also been a major advancement when it comes to robotics, which has led to the production of more autonomous, affordable, and effective products with the cost of most industrial robots falling by about 50% since 1990. And the labor costs have, in turn, rising by up to 80% in the same period. Tech advancements like Artificial Intelligence have led to more sophisticated and advanced robotics. Most miners now use tele-remote or assisted-control equipment to work in hazardous areas.

Thinking about it, technology has revolutionized the whole mining industry a great deal.

Studies have found that many real estate agents are still using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or any other simple contact managers to organize and manage their database. Well, these methods of organizing and managing data, especially for real estate agents and brokers can become very tiresome and time-consuming sometimes. Not to mention that these agents miss out on a lot by not adopting the automated systems offered by the Ixact Contact real estate CRM programs in developing and even maintaining good relationships with their leads and people in their database.

The difference between a CRM and an excel spreadsheet

CRM systems are integrated into your emails which enables you to contact your leads directly from your CRM. CRM systems also come with a dashboard and a calendar which the Excel spreadsheets lack. Here are 10 reasons why you need to start using CRM to manage your database as soon as possible in the real estate business.

  1. The “Daily Five” routine

When molded and planned well, this method can be very effective, especially towards your real estate business growth. The “daily five” routine will also add discipline to your work processes like contacting the people you have in your database.

  1. You focus more on your follow-up efforts

The most common issue that usually makes most referrals not turn into actual business opportunities is the lack of sufficient follow-ups, explains Michelle Hamshaw, Seattle-area real estate agent. With a CRM system in place, you will know who is on your list as soon as you log into your email and from there, you will automatically know whether to call, email or text your leads.

  1. Automated digital marketing

You can automate your messages to your customer list in your database through emails, messages, or even on the online lead generation platforms. Everything will be automated so you can relax your mind.

  1. You stay in touch with your past clients

Maybe you got too focused on current events that you lost track of your past clients. You will need to worry about this no more with the sophisticated CRM features that can do these tasks in a jiffy.

  1. You develop stronger relationships

CRM improves your overall interactions with your clients which eventually will improve and develop stronger relationships between your business and leads.

  1. You will also give – it’s not all about getting referrals

With a good CRM set in your business, you will also have the luxury of giving out some referrals to other businesses as well.

  1. You can use the social media more productively

Most agents are now using the social media to keep in touch with their clients and how the market is moving. With the CRM system in play, you can now easily integrate your social sites like Twitter and LinkedIn with your email address to keep track of all your social media contacts and interact with them as well.

  1. Helps to manage your closings

With a good CRM system in play, you can easily keep track of all activities that need to occur that will end all your business transactions with a successful closing.

  1. You stay competitive

With more than 70% of the current real estate agents managing their database using CRM, it would only be wise to follow suit and stay in the competition and if you can, even surpass it.

  1. Use CRM more and earn more

A survey conducted with some real estate agents by Active Rain showed that those agents who used the real estate CRM software in their business more earned more compared to those who didn’t.

People who travel abroad need the help of money exchange service providers in order to obtain the denomination of their destination country. You can either exchange money before traveling or do it at your destination country’s airport. Here are some tips on how you can save and reduce the amount of time spent during the exchange.

Understand the exchange process

You must know the process of currency exchange so that you get a good deal. Dealers have different rates. What you need to understand first is that these rates vary over time depending on the state of the economy of your destination country. Your goal should be to exchange at a time when your currency is high and the destination country’s currency is low. You must also understand that the relative cost of items in that country is not directly linked to the value of the currency. For example, an apple in England may be cheaper than an apple in Canada, even though the pound is stronger than the Canadian dollar.

Exchange a fraction of the money before

It is imperative to exchange some money before you leave. Though it is cheaper to exchange in the country you are traveling to, you will require some cash immediately you arrive. A lot of things can go wrong between the time you land and the time you spend to exchange the currency. Hence, it is a good idea to have a little cash for emergencies. The amount will vary, but $50 is a good starting point.

Do a little research on the exchange rate

You need to look at the status of the exchange rate before you make a decision. This will help you study the available options so that you do not lose a lot of money in the process. If your currency is currently failing, it is better to exchange it before you leave because brokers in the destination country will take advantage and offer you very low rates. Just google about currency exchange and see where your country sits.

Contact your bank

The bank is the most convenient and safe place to exchange currency. Simply walk to your favorite bank and ask them about currency exchange. Banks charge a smaller amount of fee when compared to other dealers.

Get a traveler’s account

The account you have should be friendly for traveling in a foreign country. You do not want an account that has large transaction fees once you are abroad. Ask the bank about the current rates based on the account you have. If they are too expensive, ask whether there is a cheaper option. Some banks have traveler’s accounts that offer good rates once you are in the foreign country. You may want to consult with the online resources from the Interchange Financial website.