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Merchant Account Solutions are Helping Businesses Thrive

Businesses are capitalizing on a variety of innovative trends in merchant services to build their enterprises, increase sales and have greater profits. Most retail stores and online merchants require the use of credit card processing to thrive in their businesses and build their customer base. Convenient credit card processing methods help to promote business efficiency and improve performance and productivity. Also, companies are taking advantage of options to customize their accounts to fit their business needs.

Mobile Credit Card Processing

Mobile credit card processing allows companies to accept credit card payments on the spot from any location by using a mobile device such as a tablet or a smartphone. This is beneficial for small and large companies and independent contractors who travel to their clients’ locations to perform services and accept payments. A card reader can be attached to the mobile device, allowing you to process payments and direct the funds into your business bank account. You can simply swipe your client’s card or enter the credit card details from any location in the world.

According to Entrepreneur, mobile systems are transforming the payment environment. Barclays Capital reported that sales performed through mobile devices in the U.S. accumulated up to $5.3 billion in 2011. This represented an 83 percent increase between 2010 and 2011 with regards to companies that transacted business using mobile card readers. This convenient method not only increases sales, but businesses can save time and money and process payments quickly rather than billing clients for services rendered. If you can access the Internet from your smartphone or tablet, you can accept credit cards online. There is no need to determine whether a client has the available funds to pay for your services or spending unnecessary time keeping track of billable hours. The mobile credit card reader will withdraw the required amount for your services immediately from the client’s account.

Cash Advances for Businesses

When overhead costs increase during low sales periods, many small businesses struggle to pay their expenses and keep their businesses afloat. However, due to increased government regulations on banks, many banks are denying loans to small businesses. They are requiring applicants to have higher credit scores and larger assets to get approved for loans. According to a study conducted by Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, 48 percent of privately held businesses who responded to the summer 2011 survey revealed that bank loans are a major source of funding to help keep their business operations running smoothly.

Because of the declining rate of bank loan approvals, businesses are finding alternative ways to secure loans. Credit card processing companies are offering merchant account cash advances to businesses, providing lump sum payments at quick turnaround times, competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. According to Motor E Magazine, merchant account cash advance loans are now accessible to companies without credit checks. Therefore, businesses that do not need meet the credit score threshold required for bank loans have options to secure capital from alternative lenders.

Science:

Tips for Finding the Perfect Care Home for Your Loved One

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If you have an elderly or handicapped loved one that needs some sort of assisted living facility, you may be anxious about helping to make the decision. The same can also be said if your loved one will need a nursing facility to recuperate from surgery before heading home. Here are some tips for finding the right care home.

Search Inspection Reports and News Stories

The Medicare website allows you to check on the track record of facilities you may be considering. You can also ask for copies of inspection reports from the facilities, which they should happily furnish. If administration hesitates to provide them, look elsewhere. Also, run a search and carefully review any news stories about potential facilities, both positive and negative. If the facility was shut down at one point or has undergone a complete change in management, you may want to restrict your searches to only include items that have occurred since that event took place.

Consider Reviews and Opinion Sites

Do some digging on the Internet and see what families and the residents themselves have to say. While no facility is going to be perfect, be alert for allegations of cruelty, neglect, an overwhelmed or indifferent staff and other such claims. There are disgruntled people everywhere, but decide for yourself which complaints will factor into your decision.

Weigh the Total Costs

Few families can say that cost isn’t a factor when it comes to choosing a facility. If your loved one is on a fixed income, some places may be simply out of reach unless members of the family are willing to make an ongoing contribution towards their care. If your loved one’s care may last years, you don’t want to have to move them because of financial concerns. Choose a place that is acceptable to the family budget.

Visit the Facilities Yourself

Whether you’re looking for a long-term nursing home or a nursing facility for short-term recuperation, make it your business to go and check each place. Don’t be afraid to talk to the residents and those working there. If your loved one has certain religious, dietary or accommodation needs, now is the time to ask about them. The facility should be clean, fresh-smelling and welcoming. Trust your intuition. If you feel welcomed, at peace and happy while you are visiting, there is a great chance your loved one will.

Other Comfort Considerations

While everyone is different in what they would like in a nursing home, talk to your loved one about special circumstances for their comfort. Most facilities allow residents to have their own bedding, but they may not be allowed to bring in their own bed. Find out about the visitation policies, especially if those who will be visiting regularly work odd hours. If your loved one is a night owl, is there a lounge or solarium they could enjoy? What about opportunities to be outside or interact with therapy animals?

Being called upon to help choose a care home for a loved one can be an anxious experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these tips in mind, you can find the best possible facility for the one you love.

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last update: September 19, 2014

Lifestyle:

Beyond the Car: Honda Technology On and Off the Road

HondaJet

Honda is a well recognized brand across the world. It is known for its quality cars that retain high residual value. Hondas are known to resell for top dollar in the private and public sectors, but what most do not realize is the reach Honda really has throughout the world. Honda not only builds the best vehicles, they also build other mechanical machines that outrival the competition in all facets of their business.

So we all know about Honda’s alluring vehicle lineup like the luxurious Accord, the sporty Civic, the CR-V, Odyssey, and Pilot, all of which can fit a large brood, the “green” cars that include the CR-Z, Insight, and Fit, and let’s not forget the rugged Ridgeline, but there is so much more to Honda than meets the eye. Did you know that Honda has a full line of powersports, jets, marine, and power equipment?

Continue reading Beyond the Car: Honda Technology On and Off the Road

Mobile:

Mobile Technologies That Allow You To Manage Apartment Investments

Apartment building ownership can be extremely profitable, so long as you have strategies in place to secure and manage your new properties. Renters can provide you with significant and reliable streams of income. Apartment building owners can keep track of their investments by monitoring several facets of their properties from their mobile phones. Take a look at these four app categories that will help you maximize your profits.

Security

Some property owners will invest in home security solutions to safeguard entire apartment buildings, especially in areas with high crime rates. Vandalism and break-ins can cause damage to your property investment and lower the value. Security systems with remote monitoring features can help you or your property management company cut down on the risk of crime at an apartment building. Some of the security systems even from with automation features, allowing you to manage lights in community areas from your mobile phone, so that lights automatically switch on at a certain time in the evening.

Property Management

Property owners who decide to tackle management tasks often find that they have their work cut out for them. You can get ahead of these responsibilities by using apps like Yardi to track maintenance tickets and progress. These systems provide tenants with clear channels of communication when they need to report broken fixtures.

Rent Tracking

Some rental payment companies provide tenants and property managers with convenient mobile options. These apps allow your tenants to wirelessly access their online rental payment accounts, send money, and check their payments histories directly from their smartphones. Some local governments even provide online rent payment tools in their areas. As a rent collector, you can access these funds, get notifications when payments are late, and examine individual tenant accounts. Mobile app services cut down on the hassle of paper checks and postal systems, so your tenants never have to wonder if their payments have gone through, while saving you a trip to the bank.

Property Values

At some point, you might decide to sell an apartment building and hopefully gain a substantial profit. You can get an idea of property values in the area by monitoring apps like Zillow and Trulia. These apps can help you make an informed decision before you sell an apartment building.

Becoming an apartment building owner requires a significant amount of planning and responsibility. Take control over some of these processes by using mobile apps to manage maintenance tickets, rent, security, and watch property values. A well-managed apartment building can really pay off as an investment!

Lifestyle:

How to Squeeze Certification Into Your Lifestyle

Remember the college years when it was your job to study and do well on tests? Unfortunately those days are long gone and most people didn’t take advantage of that kind of sweet arrangement. Now you might have a full-time job, family responsibilities, vacations already booked and perhaps a pretty solid routine down as an adult. What happens when you realize an additional certification can boost your career?

Whether it’s a Microsoft certification or other industry certification course, it can make a huge difference in your career. It might lead to a promotion, the ability to demand much more money or opportunities otherwise closed off to you. However, some of these certifications are nearly a full-time job in themselves and you don’t have time for it. Or do you?

Time management skills

It’s time to buff up the foundation you set in college and get back into super time management mode. Start by knowing that every single person has time wasted each day and that everyone has the same hours, so you’re not at a disadvantage. Figure out some time at least five days per week that you can carve out for studying. It might mean staying up past everyone else, getting up early or giving up your weekends for awhile. Set your priorities.

There’s no point in pursuing a certification if you’re only going to do it halfway, but you can buckle down and give up some R&R time knowing that it’s temporary. Keeping a tangible calendar that marks down the date to the test can help you stay motivated. Also ensure that everyone in the house is on board to keep you accountable and not disturb you during study time. If you have kids, this is a great way to lead by example.

Tricks of the trade

Ideally, you can create a study space that’s quiet and free from distractions. Know your own best study habits (if possible, night owls should study at night) and keep any digital devices far away so you’re not tempted to check your phone or play Angry Birds on your tablet. With your laptop, keep any tabs and windows besides what’s necessary to study closed so you’re not tempted.

There are different options for certification courses including online, in-class and a mix. You know what environment is best for you, so don’t think that “just this once” you’ll be able to swing online classes if it’s not for you. Give yourself advantages because nobody else will volunteer to do so.

 

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Mobile:

Managing Portfolios in a Mobile World

You’ve spent weeks slaving over that portfolio and it’s perfect. When your display it on the big screen from your laptop, you know everyone will appreciate the clear graphs, the beauty in the simplicity and all the work you put into making every shade and font choice just right. What you don’t expect is that your portfolio will be skimmed over on a tiny screen in a crowded train.

The reality is that there are now more people on mobile devices than on desktops and you have to seriously compete for their attention. Even if the recipient is the COO and this is a huge project, she might be glancing over your finished product while on her iPhone while waiting in the dentist’s chair. Don’t assume your project will be seen on a screen similar to the one you worked on.

Stacking the odds

You can ensure that your portfolio is seen in the best light possible, but there will be factors you have no control over. For example, start by using the right software and programs for your analytics and research. This helps keep responsive design in check so you know your file will showcase correctly and adapt to different screen sizes. This is project management 101.

However, it’s also beneficial to do a few test runs yourself. Get your hands on as many different types of mobile devices as possible and check out the portfolio “in miniature.” Even when displayed correctly, this might show you a different, better way to display your portfolio and help you see it with fresh eyes. It’s kind of like writers who put a piece to bed before sending it to their publisher.

Respect the recipient’s time

Even if you’re asked to dissect something that nearly demands 100 slides, still try to keep it as simple as possible. Your job is to make information as easy and fast to digest as possible, and sometimes this means skipping the pomp and circumstance. Yes, your work should speak for itself, but it should also be talking in a fast, clipped voice.

Finally, when it comes to flash such as images and videos, stick with the basics (which will be the default in proper portfolio software). Getting too fancy can slow down page loads and infuriate the recipient. Simple is better, in both text and images, so keep the extreme creativity for another time.

Social:

Can Social Media and Project Management Go Hand in Hand?

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If you’re in charge of a work project or oversee a portfolio, at some point you’ll have to share your findings and that’s where it can get tricky. Many companies are leaning on cloud technology, but what if you want a more social aspect than making a few more people viewers in Google Drive? While the cloud is an excellent source for data sharing, when it comes to management and presentation, you need a little more.

Start by choosing a system that prioritizes project and portfolio management so you can get the structure down. However, don’t forget about social media when it comes to sharing and encouraging discussion. There’s a time and place for boring meetings, but there’s also a time for injecting some fun into the mix and social media can help. Here are a few easy ways to use social media in project/portfolio management starting now:

1. Practice good thread management

People naturally want to comment on social media so use this to your advantage. If you’ve been struggling when it comes to getting everyone in the group involved in the conversation, social media can level the playing field. Some people are simply more comfortable contributing in a familiar online forum while others can dominate real life conversations in meetings. It’s your job to practice good thread management techniques so everyone’s voice is heard.

2. Keep it private

There are many ways to keep things private on social media whether it’s with a special group or an event invitation. Check out the privacy options for the platform you’re using and make sure only key people are invited to participate. This also offers a sense of exclusivity which can promote more participation.

3. Choose the right platform

Don’t assume that Facebook is your only option because it all depends on what the project is. Maybe Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ or a lesser known SM platform is a better fit for your company or project. Do your research and choose wisely.

4. Don’t let SM replace all communication

Except in some instances such as if participants are peppered around the world, don’t forget about regular “Real life” check-ins, too. Social media is one of many tools for managing projects and helping with work, but face to face (without a screen) is important, too.

If you’re getting ready to take your project to the next level, putting it in a realm that people are familiar with and enjoy can help greatly.

Social:

The Fascinating World of Modern Advertisement

advertising

Whether located in a temporary or a permanent setting, displays serve as the means of attracting attention when people walk past. Visual advertising is essential to any merchandising adventure. A creative approach to advertising not only draws attention, but is also serves as a call to action. Advancements in technology and design offer great possibilities in the world of advertisement. Regardless of the platform used, key elements ensure that displays do not go unnoticed. Visit www.bestdisplaysonline.com for ideas that bring attention to your product or service.

Windows

Window displays are like billboards for storefronts. The window serves as the first impression passers-by get of a business establishment. Depending on the time and creativity used to build the presentation, such displays may either entice potential customers or go completely unnoticed. To make sure your display doesn’t fade into the background, select a theme or tell a story. Artful designs not only demand notice, but also motivate viewers to learn more.

While keeping the main point of interest at eye-level, use the entire space, placing items at different levels to encourage the eye to travel from one location to another. However, resist the urge to clutter the space with too many objects, which only causes confusion. Bold colors and shapes naturally stand out while helping to make a strong visual statement. Choose lighting carefully. Lights hung incorrectly will create shadows and dull a display. On the other hand, when positioned strategically, lighting serves to illuminate particular focal points.

Billboards

The use of billboards dates back to 1900. While the styles have changed, the purpose has not. With the innovations of design and object manipulation, the possibility for creating stunning displays are virtually endless. Advertising experts take images to a whole new level through billboards that deserve at minimum a double take. Though most examples found on this blog represent large two-dimensional depictions, the clever techniques utilized help to create some of the most realistic examples of art viewed by thousands everyday. The adage “a picture is worth a thousands words” comes to mind when gazing in amazement at larger-than-life advertisements.

Print Advertising

Though maybe not seen as frequently as in years gone by, print advertising still exists and continues having an impact on potential customers. Constructed by talented graphic design artists, the ads effectively grab a viewer’s attention while conveying a specific message. The colors, content and design characteristics of professional ads are typically high-quality and appropriate for a brand, product or business. The concepts are intended to be interesting and thought-provoking in order to leave a lasting impression.

Websites

From sleek, simple and sophisticated to the mesmerizing or macabre, website advertisements boast an almost infinite number of ideas. Not merely limited to two-dimension design, three-dimension displays combined with animated features take guests into unimaginable virtual worlds. With the assistance of design software and a vivid imagination, advertisement enters the realm of entertainment. While capturing a visitor’s attention, some sites offer interactive opportunities that are simply too fun to resist. RealityPod compiled a list of some of the most innovative examples of websites ever seen.

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