The Secret To Packing The Perfect Travel Dopp Kit

The worst thing about traveling is packing, especially for men. However, love it or hate it, every savvy male adventurer knows the importance of packing a perfectly assembled Dopp kit before hitting the road.

Simply tossing items from your bathroom cabinet into a bag is clearly not the best long-term strategy for staying prepared and exuding style while on your travels. There is a fine art to packing the essentials you need for a weekend getaway and we are here to pass that knowledge onto you.

If you’re baffled as to what exactly you need to pack, we’re here to put your mind at ease and help you construct your ultimate Dopp kit.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

The Kit

complete amenity kit

Let’s start with the bag itself. You need a sturdy, preferably dark-colored bag that exudes charm, confidence and charisma. It should be big enough to feature at least 2 compartments for easier navigation. However, it shouldn’t be too big or it will use up a large space in your travel bag.

When purchasing a Dopp kit, go for quality and style rather than cost efficiency, especially if you’re traveling often. If you are unsure where to look for high-quality Dopp kits, you can search online or ask your friends about what they use.

Shaving Foam and Razor

Unless you’re a sworn beard grower, you will need your shaving equipment. This is highly essential, particularly if you’re on a business trip where unkempt appearances are a big no-no.

Make sure you pick brands that you’re most comfortable with. The last thing you need is a shaving rash when you are giving your big business pitch.

Trimmer

For gentlemen who do prefer goatees or full-beard looks, a good trimmer is a must. Neat-looking beards require maintenance and with a proper beard trimmer, that’s easier than ever.

You can find decent beard trimmers on Amazon, like ​Philips Norelco 3100. For its price, it does really well in its job. Just make sure to also pack a pair of extra batteries or your charger.

Shower Gel

No one likes a smelly traveler, so hygiene is crucial when traveling from place to place. Skip bar soaps as much as possible since they usually end up broken and they get squashed. Packing a nice smelling shower gel is the solution to this problem.

Deodorant

Much like shower gels, deodorant can protect you while you travel and leave you smelling fresh throughout the day. Antiperspirants are often not allowed on planes unless they are travel-sized, so your best bet is to go with a deodorant with 24-hour protection.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Dental Floss

travel kit

Bad breath is probably the most embarrassing and off-putting trait any person can suffer from. You may not be aware of it, but people around you can definitely notice it.

To make sure you dazzle people with your sparkling smile, don’t forget to bring your toothbrush and toothpaste. A dental floss is essential, too, since it helps dislodge those nasty chunks of food that can get stuck between your teeth.

Lint Roller

Whether you are on a business trip or you simply want to make a good first impression, appearances matter. Using a lint roller will get rid of any unwanted fluff or debris on your clothes, leaving you looking and feeling crisp, clean and confident.

Hairbrush or Comb

Like it or loathe it, your hairstyle is one of the first things people notice about you. Keeping it looking good is essential.

Get rid of that hotel bed-head look in the morning by running a comb or brush through your locks before getting ready to go out for the day. A comb doesn’t take up much space, but makes all the difference with your appearance.

Hair Gel or Pomade

Now that your morning hair is tamed, it’s time to style it. There is a wide  range of products that can help you get and keep your perfect hairstyle throughout the day. Choose between gels, wax or pomades to keep your hair looking as good as you feel.

So there it is – the list of essential items needed in every modern gentleman’s travel Dopp kit.

Every wash kit is unique and this list is just a guide about the basic things you’ll need for traveling. Pack all of these and you’ll be ready for any situation life throws at you. Safe travels!

See Also: How to Pack Your Suitcase Like George Clooney

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Sleek and Sexy: Five Facts About Owning An Awesome Sports Car

Most of us dream of owning a sleek, sexy and fast sports car. We see these amazing machines in movies, such as in Fast and the Furious, The Transporter and, most recently, Baby Driver.

With movies like these that show how outstanding and powerful these cars are, it’s no wonder why a lot of people want to own one. The sight of even seeing one makes a lot of people have goosebumps. As the driver inside the car revs the engine, its roar makes people shudder and look in awe.

Certainly a head turner in the streets, sports cars are also a unique status of wealth and power. Each car can be custom-made to fit the specifications of the owner. This fact is the reason why almost all of these cars cost a fortune.

However, for those who are financially secure and capable of buying a luxurious sports car, here are five facts you need to know first.

Expect Nothing Less

As an owner of a sports car, you shouldn’t expect less. The reason why these machines cost so much is that everything about it is made to be perfect for you. From the sexy look of the car, the excellent paint job, to the mechanical aspects and engine power, your car is equipped to please your every demand.

In addition to being customized, elite companies, such as Ford, Lamborghini and BMW, all have the capability to let other people know that you are worthy and capable of driving such an awe-inspiring machine.

Reality of Problems

Sadly, even if you’ve finally realized your dream of owning a sports car, reality will soon sink in. Owning a sports car requires tons of meticulous care, expensive repairs, and hefty taxes.

And if you’re a person who has a family, especially with teens, you’re going to have to accept the fact that they want a piece of your car. They’ll want to take it out for a spin, which could mean a bad thing for you and your dream car. Buying a sports car is difficult. Maintaining one is twice as hard.

Not for the Family Guy

cool factor

Most sports cars are only for two: one for the driver and one “riding shotgun”. You can’t cram in more people inside if you want a comfortable ride. Sports cars aren’t for family trips.

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive

Retaining its Value

Another reason why sports cars cost too much is that of their resalable value.

A lot of car enthusiasts or collectors are on the lookout for second-hand sports cars because they know of the difficulties of maintaining one. Since they are properly cared for, second-hand sports cars can remain as good as a new one, but with much lower price tags.

Although a second-hand sports car is cheaper compared to a brand new sports car, its price is still attractive. Some second-hand cars can even cost higher than the original price once their reputation and rarity rise through time.

An example of this is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta which sold for only $33,500. The car was held on by its owner for almost 49 years. After waiting, he finally sold it for a whopping $38,115,000. Now, that’s value through the years.

Cool Factor

awesome sports car

Your sports car can be an absolute head-turner. This is one reason why a lot of people do silly things when driving their sports cars.

No matter how tempting it is, don’t get caught up in the moment and do something that can damage your vehicle. Take pride in your purchase, but don’t do anything stupid that will jeopardize everything that you’ve worked for all your life.

See Also: How Your Car Can Affect Your Personal Branding

Takeaway

A lot of people think that the only hurdle in buying a luxury car is the absurdly high cost. However, when they do get to make that purchase, maintaining the car is twice as difficult. A lot of individuals will discover that going to any mechanic or to any other place that will take care of your car will charge extra.

Fortunately, owning a supercar isn’t just all about expensive maintenance. When you do get to own one, prepare yourself for the immense feeling of joy and pride when you drive it down the road. Flaunt your car responsibly and there will be no problems for you and your sports car.

 

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How Auto Toys Can Keep Your Man Busy Outdoors

Ladies, are you looking for a creative way to get your man out of the house on weekends? Are you sick of watching him sit on the couch, watching TV all day long?

Regardless of your reasons, you need to find an activity that will get him outside, playing and having fun.

Sometimes, adult men and children are not that different. Nowadays, both seem to prefer staying indoors where technology is readily available and no extra effort is necessary. A stressful desk job would do this to you, but this is no excuse to linger around the house while the sun is shining outside!

So, to everyone who asks me, I recommend finding a hobby that tricks men into getting outside willingly. The best way to do it is to get your significant other a few auto toys. This can be anything you think he may like. You can get him a car, helicopter or even a remote controlled boat.

Let’s see how exactly can a remote controlled toy keep your man busy outside.

Men love driving cool stuff

rc car

You don’t need scientific studies to know this is true! So, why not tap into this love for driving and buy him a toy car that he can drive in your backyard?

Make sure to get one that looks cool and implements lots of features that will look cool for an adult.

To get an idea of the type of RC cars men like the most, I talked to John from RC Rank. He says men are most passionate about big, fast trucks with lots of cool features and powerful engines. Just like in real life, right?

So, if you find the right truck or car, you will definitely have a happier man by your side.

He will make new friends

If your significant other is more of a Grinch, then an auto toy hobby may get him out of his shell. Making friends as an adult is a lot more difficult than it is for kids. Priorities shift and, in most cases, life gets in the way.

Still, it’s important to have friends and an RC hobby can be a great way to meet new people who like the same things. All over the USA and the world, people organize RC races and tournaments that bring passionate players together.

Take note, however, that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big event. You can go and find a few guys with RC toys in your neighborhood and you can easily set up a race in no time.

It is relaxing and fun

I already talked about stress, right? Well, I’m returning to the subject because men are still under a lot of pressure to provide for their families. Times have changed indeed, but society is still more inclined to like men who are successful in both business and personal life.

If your man is under a lot of stress, an RC toy may give him the right avenue for release. He can have a lot of fun with the right toy, so make sure to get something he’ll like. For instance, if you know he’s passionate about flying or aviation, get him an RC helicopter or a drone. If he’s passionate about water navigation, an RC boat may be a better gift.

drone hobby active

See Also: The Health Benefits Of A Drone Hobby

Bonding with the kids

A busy man can end up neglecting quality time with the kids and this can put a distance between them. So, to encourage them to spend time outdoors together, get them involved in a cool, fun activity, such as auto toys.

This is a hobby that offers a lot of bonding opportunities. They can try racing or putting together kits and DIY projects to improve their toys.

See Also: 5 Tips to Make Friends as an Adult (by Acting Like a 5 Year Old)

A few final words

While it may seem silly to think of a fully grown man playing with a remote controlled car, it is a healthy hobby that will get your man off the couch and breathe fresh air outside. It’s also relaxing and creates a wide range of opportunities to make new acquaintances and even friends.

So, if your man shows interest in this hobby, make sure to encourage and support him!

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You Need To Stop Telling Women Where To Breastfeed

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see stories of women who get shamed in public for breastfeeding their babies. These stories often involve outrageous circumstances. For example, there are women who shop at lingerie stores who ask to feed their babies in the fitting rooms. Instead of being allowed, they are often redirected to an alley.

There’s also a hashtag trending on social media: #IPumpedHere. This hashtag highlights the degrading conditions in which women are forced to prepare meals for their babies upon returning to work.

In reality, however, women are allowed to feed their babies or pump almost everywhere in the United States. How is that possible? Read on.

The United States Is The Lowest Rated Developed Nation For Breastfeeding Policy

breastfeeding policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be breastfed for at least 12 months. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, recommends two years. For those who can’t and won’t breastfeed, formula milk makes a great and safe substitute but it’s not the best for growing babies.

There are many reasons why women in the United States make the decision not to breastfeed. One of those reasons is the negative reactions women who decide to breastfeed in public gets.

There are laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby in public in 49 states. There are also laws at the federal level protecting a woman’s right to pump when she returns to work.

Unfortunately, these laws only cover women who work at businesses with more than 50 people and limited to one year after the birth of a child. Because of these and many other issues, only about half of babies in the United States are breastfed until six months of age.

Laws For Breastfeeding In The Workplace

When mothers return to work, they will often need to pump at least twice a day. This helps keep their milk supply up. Without pumping, their babies will not be able to get the amount of breast milk they need to be healthy and to grow. Preventing women from pumping can also lead to pain and discomfort.

Federal law requires that companies with 50 or more employees follow these guidelines for working mothers:

  • Provide adequate break time for pumping for up to one year after baby’s birth
  • Provide a space, other than a bathroom, for employees to pump with a locking door
  • Employers are not required to compensate employees for this time
  • Provide electricity and refrigeration for pumping and storage

Why Support Mothers In The Workplace?

mothers in the workplace

The biggest reason to support mothers in the workplace is that it is the right thing to do.

When women have options, they are going to be able to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. This, in turn, will lead to stronger families. In addition to that, keeping women engaged in the workforce longer allows them to grow faster in their careers instead of having to start over from the bottom every time they take a break to have a child or care for an aging parent.

Women do the majority of the unpaid caretaking and it can take a significant toll on their earning power in the long run. And if you still need more reasons to support women in the workforce, the United States won’t be able to compete in the global economy with other industrialized nations if we keep marginalizing the talent of women and forcing them off to the sidelines when they don’t always want to be there.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Breastfeeding Mothers, Know Your Rights

Knowing your rights and being vocal about exercising them is going to be important. Don’t be afraid to talk to your company about your needs because you might find that they are more willing than you think to accommodate you with a pumping room and break time.

If you are going to be breastfeeding in public, and you will be breastfeeding in public more than likely, be ready to confront and diffuse any uncomfortable situations. Remember that you have the right to breastfeed your baby and no one has the right to tell you not to.

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Solar Panels For Home: Do They Make A Great Investment?

The days when solar panels used to be a rare and exotic source of energy are gone. Their popularity is growing and a lot of people are now choosing it as their main source of electricity.

Before installing this system that is supposed to lower energy bills, people are usually curious about the average efficiency of solar panels and the price. If you are one of these people, you’re probably wondering if they are really profitable and how much you can save.

Here are some of the most important facts you should know about solar panels for home.

What is the price of solar panels?

solar panels for your home

The price of solar panels might be different depending on the state you live in as well as your desired size. The more panels you need, the higher the price tags become.

The average price for solar panels is about $4 per watt. A whole system can be as big as 5 kilowatts which means it can cost you almost $19,000. That may seem too pricey but it is worth it in the long run.

If you fear that this price won’t fit in your budget, there are ways for you to spend less on solar panels. Government incentives, for example, can reduce the cost of solar panels.

How to Spend Less on Solar Panels?

Federal investment tax credit is a way to make the price of solar panels lower. It can also save you some money on installation. Except for a national rebate, there are also regional discounts. If you add both, the price can be reduced significantly.

For example, if you have a house in Austin, Texas and want to install a large 7-kilowatt solar panel system, it would cost about $26,000. The city’s rebate will reduce $800 per kilowatt and you will save about $6,000. Thanks to the federal tax credit, you might be able to save an additional $6,000.

All in all, you’ll probably save more than $10,000 in total. So, before installation, consider checking the government incentives you can get in your city.

How Much Money Can You Save With Solar Panels?

The main reason to install solar panels is that it allows paying less for the electricity. How much exactly can you save?

Depending on the size of your system, you can save from $150 to $200 per month. The solar system pays for itself in a period of about 7 to 15 years. It is a good result considering the fact that it can serve you for 20 to 30 years.

The competition on the market of solar panels is growing, making them more affordable. If you also use the incentives and rebates, it becomes possible to install solar panels for less than $10,000.

Is It Worth Getting Solar Panels?

home solar panels

While making a decision about solar panel installment, it is important to think not only about the cost of the system but also about the amount of sun in your area. Both direct and scattered sunlight is good for solar panels but there still should be enough sunny days to feel the benefits.

Before installing a solar panel system, it might be a good idea to check a specialist’s opinion and find out if your state is suitable for solar energy usage. Another crucial factor is the location of the house and the roof.

Make sure it is possible to provide panels with good exposure. Check where the roof faces, the number of trees and presence of constructions that are situated around. In case the location is not satisfying, solar panels can also be installed on a garage roof or you can use a ground-mounted system.

Solar panels installment requires a lot of time but if you pay attention to all the details it might become a great investment.

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How to Study Better – Tips and Tricks from Famous People

Most young people dream of professional success and glorious careers. What they often neglect in that regard is the importance of good studying and self-development.

Some of the biggest authorities in all fields of work emphasize that consistency in learning is what made them so productive and outstanding.

One of the best football players in history, Brazil-born Pele, cleverly noted: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

A vast majority of famous people are well aware of this fact and they nurture all sorts of daily habits to help them achieve their objectives.

A long time ago, Nelson Mandela stated: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

So, in this article, we will show you the best study tips of famous people you can use for your own success:

Daily routines which increase odds of success

What keeps you going and gives you the motive to study depends on your personality. However, the general goal is to secure a fruitful future through learning, making knowledge your personal capital for the future.

According to John F. Kennedy, the goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth. But, how do you improve knowledge and the results of your studying?

Some daily routines are common to many famous persons and we decided to present you our top 5 picks. Let’s take a closer look here.

Get up early

People often say that the early bird catches the worm.

If you get up early, you have more than enough time to plan the day, determine your short-term goals and schedule your activities. Doing so, you will enhance the quality of studying because the brain is always fresh after sleep.

It is not a surprise to discover that many famous persons get up very early. The list includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

All of these people know that they have to seize the day and use it only to complete important duties. Just like Tim Cook once said: “You can only do so many things great and you should cast aside everything else.”

Read a lot

reading habit

Reading is the essence of the learning process and some extremely successful individuals claim that it sets the cornerstone of their career achievements. Billionaire Warren Buffett, TV host Oprah Winfrey and extravagant scientist-businessman Elon Musk are some of those who strongly believe in the power of written works.

Allegedly, Buffett used to read as much as 600 pages each day in the early stages of his career while Musk claims that he literally learned how to build rockets from the books. Needless to say, this is an essential suggestion for all students, teachers and young business people.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Work overtime

It’s a widely known fact that Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, didn’t go on a vacation during the first 7 years of his private business. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used to triple her weekly working hours while she was a member of Google’s team. These people know that they cannot replace hard work with intelligence, talent or intuition.

Sometimes you just need to unplug and do what you have to do. Michael Jordan, the best basketball player of all time, knew this very well as he used to take thousands of jump-shots each week even in-between seasons.

His famous quote precisely describes the principle of hard work: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

Exercise regularly

exercise regularly

One of the most popular Latin phrases claims that a healthy mind is in a healthy body. This couldn’t be more accurate because training gives people physical and mental strengths to deal with the most difficult challenges. Young people should know this just like Hillary Clinton, Haruki Murakami and Richard Branson know it.

These and many other famous persons conduct regular daily exercises and never skip training sessions. They do all sorts of exercises to remain healthy and in a good shape. They do yoga, swimming, jogging, cardio training or weight lifting.

Body fitness is simply a prerequisite for professional success and that is why you should follow these examples and exercise regularly.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Work gradually but steadily

Some people don’t want to nurture the “all or nothing” approach in their lives. Instead, they prefer incremental work processes in a long period of time. This is especially characteristic for famous writers like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. They all had a writing routine that kept them fruitful and productive.

For instance, Hemingway used to write for a few hours in the morning and then he would stop just to let the ideas flourish inside his head until the following day. On the other side, Twain and King used to set the minimum number of pages they ought to write each day and they would do it without exemptions.

The most important thing in this model is to force yourself to start again on a daily basis. Just like Twain used to say: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Conclusion

Success doesn’t come easy. It’s the product of dedication, talent, hard work and a lot of learning. Some of the most famous people in the world often emphasize how passion towards studying enabled them to become successful.

Through learning, you gain valuable knowledge and also create the habit to work consistently. These are the basic preconditions of success, so do your best to follow these 5 study tips and find out which one suits your character the most.

 

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How to Start a Business on A Budget

The cost of starting a business has never been lower, thanks to the internet. And with most startups not having enough budget, making it big in the industry can take a lot of work.

Here’s our guide on how to start your business on a budget.

Sell your skills

Set your business up around your own skill set. If you’ve worked for 20 years in a particular industry, utilize all that valuable knowledge and experience to establish your own business.

If you’re in the service sector and can sell your skills (e.g. accountancy, marketing), rather than having to invest in stock, premises and equipment to run your business, you’ll be off to a flying start on your own. You could start making a profit in your first month of trading.

Ask for help

business help

If you have friends and family with skills that could benefit your business, ask them for help and advice. If they won’t do it for free, the least they could do is supply it at mate’s rates. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Outsource sensibly

As a new business on a tight budget, it seems unlikely you’ll be able to hire a team of staff to help straight away. You’ll have to be prepared to roll your sleeves up and be everything to your business- from being the CEO to the accountant to the cleaner.

That’s all you.

When you reach the stage where it makes sense for you to start outsourcing, you’ll know. If demand for your time becomes unmanageable or time spent performing non-profit making activity is negatively impacting your productivity, it’s time to outsource.

And you can outsource everything these days. Popular freelancer sites like People Per Hour, TopTal, or Upwork let you search for a freelancer to complete almost any business task virtually. You can outsource your bookkeeping for £15/hour or hire someone to run all your social media accounts for five days for £10.

Outsourcing in this way makes sense for new businesses as there is no long-term commitment compared with hiring full-time staff.

See Also: A Practical Guide to Hiring and Managing Freelancers

Embrace the home office

home office

It might not be the slick city center office you had dreamed about, but it’s free. You could look at coworking spaces or cheap shared office space, but that will add dents to your budget as well as time.

See Also: 8 Ways To Set Up An Awesome Home Office

Invest where it counts

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, so make it count. You can register a professional domain name which will serve as your web address and email address. With a .uk for just £4.49/year, you’ll be able to get a good investment you can use in building your brand and reputation.

Get a free website

Websites don’t have to be expensive and free websites don’t have to contain lots of annoying adverts. You can, for example, get your website hosting from a company like Certa Hosting for £3.99/month and you’ll get a website builder free of charge.

If you worry about managing your site, you can create and maintain a professional-looking website using simple drag and drop technology. Most hosting companies offer scalable resources, too. This way, as your business grows, your website can grow with you.

Smart marketing

Unfortunately, it’s not usually the case of ‘build it and they will come’ when opening a new business. You need to tell people you exist, tell them what you do and remind them regularly. Luckily, there are lots of ways to do this for free:

Social media – Leverage the power of social media to launch your business and collect followers.
PR – Get the local media on board. Write a press release announcing your launch and send it to the editors of relevant newspapers, magazines and websites. Make good contacts there and let them know every time you have news to share.
Collect data – Build a database, but be aware of data protection laws.
E-mail marketing – A professional email marketing campaign is a click away at companies like MailChimp where you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month.
Design posters, flyers and social media posts like a pro and for free with a tool like Canva.

Conclusion

Savvy shopping, lean operating and concentrating on what you’re good at is the recipe for success, particularly for businesses starting on a budget. If you’re just starting out, keep one eye on your bottom line and the other on expanding your business. It’s the best way to ensure that your business stays successful, sustainable and profitable.

 

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4 Free Business Productivity Apps To Help You Grow Your Small Business

Managing a business is easier said than done. When you run your own business, you need to give it all your time and attention. It’s a job that is both demanding and fulfilling.

Eventually, you’ll want to turn it into a business that can run without you. This, unfortunately, is the harder part.

The first obstacle you need to anticipate is manpower. For small businesses and start-up companies, it is usually the owner that does most of the work. To help you out, here are the top business productivity apps you can rely on for help.

1. TMetric

tmetric

This is a time tracking app that can help you manage projects and your team at the same time. It can track your team’s work activities which you can view in a simple timeline mode.

If you have remote employees or you’re not in the office most of the time, you can use this app to check on your team’s productivity. As the project leader, you’ll be able to view what sites your members visited or what apps they’ve used in a specific period of time.

Tmetric is completely free and can be integrated with other tools like Trello, Basecamp, Jira, Asana, and RedMine. Compared with other time tracking apps, this one is very user-friendly and does not require training to understand.

It’s a simple click-and-go app with powerful features at no cost.

See Also: Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Productivity 

2. MailChimp

mailchimp

For a business to grow, its mailing list should grow as well. It’s a great way to continuously generate leads and sales.

MailChimp is an easy and professional way to send emails to your subscribers. Its intuitive interface allows even the most non-techy users to make it work.

For small businesses, the free version is a good starting point. You can send up to 12,000 emails a month to a mailing list of up to 2,000 contacts.

MailChimp has a huge directory of integration. Popular platforms include WordPress, Shopify, and Magento.

3. Wave

waveapps

This app is pretty straightforward. It’s a free accounting software that covers invoicing, payroll, bills, and other factors that involve money. It’s specifically tailored for small businesses.

Wave gives business owners an easy and efficient way to manage books. If you want to handle accounting work yourself but don’t want to spend money for more advanced apps, this is a great solution.

You can securely link your banking accounts, send unlimited invoices, and pay as many bills as you want. It is a Canadian-based company with over 2.5 million users.

You can securely link your banking accounts, send unlimited invoices, and pay as many bills as you want. It is a Canadian-based company with over 2.5 million users.

4. Tasytt

tasytt-app

Welcoming a new team member can take a lot of work, particularly when it comes to orientation and training. This is a common experience and issue for most small businesses.

As a solution, you can try a tiny but powerful app called Tasytt. It streamlines your company’s training process so you know who’s reading what and for how long.

See Also: 8 Top Marketing Tips for Small Businesses 

In addition to onboarding new team members, it’s  a great tool for training existing team members without having to set up individual meetings, too. By creating ‘flows’, which are basically tasks made into a smaller set of activities, you can easily track your team’s progress and productivity.

BONUS: You can also consider this free automated timesheet template as an additional resource to help you track time across your teams and stay more productive.

 

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10 Cooking Tips For Beginners To Help You Master The Kitchen

A recent survey showed that almost a third of the US population cannot cook. Decades of TV dinners and ready meals have left many of us unable to find our way around a kitchen. However, with some basic skills, you can find that cooking can be an enjoyable and healthy pastime.

Follow these cooking tips for beginners and easily become a master of the stove- even if you have never cooked before.

How to boil an egg

Let’s start with something simple- a perfect boiled egg.

It’s great for a quick snack or as an add-on to your salad. It is one of the simplest things to cook- put on a tight lid if you know how.

Cooking an egg to the perfect level of hardness can seem like a mystery. The trick, however, is in timing.

Put a pan on the stove with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat slightly to a simmer where the water bubbles gently. Add the eggs carefully and then start a timer. You need to leave them for 6 minutes if you want a runny egg yolk. Leave them for 8 minutes if you want the yolk to be set softly or 9 minutes if you want a hard boiled egg.

Cook a perfect steak

real men can cook

Similar to a perfect egg, cooking a perfect steak is a matter of timing. You need to heat a pan to be smoking hot. Don’t put any oil in the pan. Instead, rub your steak with some oil then some salt and pepper.

Place your steak in the pan and leave it alone! Resist the temptation to move it about. Wait for a minute or so until it is ready to be turned. Depending on the thickness of the steak, you need to cook it for about 1½ minutes per side for rare, 2 minutes for medium rare and about 2½ for medium.

However, rather than just relying on time, here is an additional test. Pinch your thumb and first finger, if you feel the flesh between your thumb and finger, this is what a rare steak should feel like. When you touch your middle finger to your thumb you will get the feel of medium rare and your ring finger will give you the feel of a medium cooked steak. You can use this as a way of telling if your steak is cooked perfectly every time.

Remember, allow your steak to rest for a few minutes before serving to allow it to reabsorb the juices and be totally delicious!

Handle a knife safely

Your kitchen can be a dangerous place. It’s filled with hot pans, sharp knives and more. Because of that, knowing how to handle a knife is vital. You also need to know how to select the correct knife for the job.

Your knife must be sharp! A blunt knife is more likely to slip and cut you. Treat your knives well and keep them razor sharp. Wash them by hand as your dishwasher will blunt the blades.

Remember that you always need to keep your fingers clear of the blade when cutting. Do this by curling your fingers so that the knife is guided by your knuckles and your fingertips are clear.

Speed is not essential. Practice will allow you to work faster and more accurately with your knife.

How to cook rice perfectly every time

Rice is a staple for many meals. However, wet or burnt rice will easily ruin a dish.

For perfect rice, you need to wash your rice until the water runs clear. Take a medium sized pan and put in about ½ a cup (90g) per person. Cover with water so that it’s about an inch above the rice and bring to a boil.

When it’s boiling, keep an eye on the rice as you need to look for holes in the surface of the rice. As soon as you see this, put in a tight lid and switch off the heat. Leave the rice for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Make a pasta sauce

man can cook

A tomato ragu is a simple pasta sauce which you can use to create a delicious and quick pasta dish, meatballs or some grilled chicken. It is a very versatile addition to many dishes.

Finely chop onion, carrot and celery and place them in a pan with a little olive oil. You want to gently heat this so that they soften without browning. Patience is everything here!

Add a tin of plum tomatoes, a sprinkle of basil, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and water. Mix well and simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer if you can. Make sure you stir it every so often and then serve with your favorite pasta or meat.

Become a BBQ master

Mastering a barbecue is a great skill and there is more to it than firing up the grill and hoping for the best.

Step one, preheat your grill. Placing meat on a cold grill will leave you with undercooked food. Heat the grill for ten minutes or so before you place your first items, ensuring it is searing hot.

Check if your meat is at room temperature. You should take it out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you start cooking. You can use a meat thermometer. It may cost a few dollars, but it will save you from having burgers that are burnt on the outside, raw in the middle.

For ground beef, you need to ensure that you have an internal temperature of at least 160℉ to ensure that any bacteria is killed. There is nothing worse than being remembered for poisoning your guests!

Oil the grill using a brush so that nothing sticks. Use wood chips to add a smoky BBQ taste. You can wrap some corn on the cob in foil with butter to add to your steak and burgers.

Bluff your way with wine

There has never been a better time to enjoy a good wine. There is such a great selection available at affordable prices.

If you know nothing about wine, you should start by trying out a number of different wines. Many specialist shops will have taster sessions to help you understand wine better. While you are there, remember to jot down the names of the bottles you enjoyed.

Start with some classic wines, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Rioja. From there, build your selection as you try more new tastes.

Make life simple with batch cooking

We have all been there. We get home from work and want something to eat but we can’t be bothered to cook. So, we reach for a take-out menu.

If you keep on experiencing this issue, then the answer is batch cooking. It’s the art of creating additional portions when you cook meals. It is perfect for dishes like chili con carne, casseroles and soups. You can portion them off into plastic boxes and freeze them until you need them for quick dinners.

Remember to package the meals carefully. There should be no excess air in the packaging as this can cause freezer burn.

Make your own bread

Making bread is something that’s deeply satisfying, particularly if your home starts getting filled with the delicious scent of warm bread. It may not be something you want to do every day, but it’s a great thing to do on the weekends.

The recipes are pretty simple. Basically, you’ll need yeast, warm water and flour kneaded together.

Enjoy cooking

Probably the best tip for anyone who wants to get into cooking is to enjoy it. Look at your time in the kitchen not as a chore, but an opportunity to chill out after work or as a weekend activity. Put on some great music, grab a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy creating some great dishes!

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Are There Benefits to Implementing Business Intelligence for Small Business?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a process for analyzing data and presenting relevant information to business executives. It’s meant to help them make better business decisions and improve their overall performance. There are many benefits to using Business Intelligence for every business. Despite that, it’s still important to know what it can and cannot do for your venture.

While BI used to be exclusively for the ‘big boys’ (since they had the money for IT specialists and data centers), it’s now possible for small businesses to utilize BI to fulfill their different needs. This guide will cover some of the benefits your small business would get from using BI tools.

Large corps are no longer the sole users of BI

Times have changed since only large corporations could utilize BI to make more informed business decisions. It’s quite simple – if it can help large corporations make better decisions, why wouldn’t it be able to help small businesses do the same?

Technological boom in the past ten years has made this possible. Now, small businesses can successfully utilize BI to help their growth and financial decisions.

BI’s impact on business growth

small business growth

Every small business owner should be interested to know which products/services are successful and where. This is particularly important if expansion is in the plan. Business Intelligence allows you to this and more, by pinpointing popular trends in certain areas or within a certain population.

By relying on raw data instead on your instincts, you’ll be sure to lower the risks of decision making. It’ll be quite easier for your small business to reach that next stage of expansion.

Future planning

The best thing about utilizing Business Intelligence platforms is that it allows you to prepare yourself for the future. Adjusting your small business in line with the data you get from BI can help you reach your business’ full potential.

It’s also important to note that some businesses are already shifting from traditional BI towards predictive analytics. Being very cost effective, it’s no wonder that firms like Picnet software development company started using predictive analytics instead of the classical BI. It also saves a lot of time since it only uses extracts of internal data to get the same results.

BI helps you organize

You can easily deduct what’s working and what’s not regarding your management and staffing structure through BI analytics. You can also use it to better control your inventory since it will point out which products/services are most popular in a certain time frame. It will allow you to stock up on certain items and avoid any chaotic situations. This will ensure that your business stays cost efficient.

And if you ever reach that point where you no longer consider your venture to be a ‘small business’, then you can consider creating an analytics team to help you process the data.

business analytics

The security aspect

The security of most SMBs today is highly dependent on the exploitation of Big Data, though not directly. The thing is, many cyber security companies today employ big data analytics to battle the ever-growing stream of cyber-attacks.

What started out as a military technology aimed at battling terrorism has lately been commercialized and available to a broad spectrum of public companies. The system is based on a machine-learning model that analyze vast amounts of data, looking for suspicious patterns in “behavior”. Though it comes with a price, it is nothing compared to the price of losing one’s business in the aftermath of a major cyber-attack.

The importance of such systems is emphasized by the fact that 60% of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. The reason being the lack of defensive possibilities. Malware, DDoS and plain hacks can lead to customer distrust, loss of important data and hefty legal fines.

See Also: 9 Stats About Small Business Digital Marketing in 2017

Conclusion

Investing in Business Intelligence will make it much easier for you to understand how your business is progressing, why it’s progressing at that rate and where you’ll be if you don’t make any changes. This will make decision making so much easier and you’ll never have to rely on your business intuition. As you already know, low risk and high reward is the winning recipe for most startups and that’s exactly what BI brings to the table.

See Also: How to Ensure Growth in Small Business

 

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