January 30th, 2013
It's no secret any longer that drinking bottled water is a privilege that carries some consequences. It takes significant energy to produce and distribute the plastic used in each bottle, making bottled water expensive not only to consumers but also to the environment. Many of these bottles end up in landfills, where they take over 500 years to decompose. And in many cases, you're just paying for filtered and repackaged tap water. Major brands like Dasani and Aquafina source their water from the same municipal sources that go straight to the tap. Yet tap water also can carry impurities and chemicals used in treatment.
One way to beat the system and gain access to fresh, clean water at home is to install your own home filtration system. There are filter pitchers, home water coolers, and even instant hot water tap options to choose from, all of which take the regular tap water and remove impurities for you. This leaves you with essentially the same product you'd be paying a lot more for, without the plastic packaging.
October 12th, 2012
Some basic spread betting tips should be followed by anybody indulging in the practice.
You should record your trades: the date, the stake, the buy and sell prices, the reason for trading, what you will do if the market moves against you, why you closed a bet and why you didn't close when you were losing. If you cannot state why you placed a bet, then you are gambling and not trading. This record will show you how markets move – which is often complex – and how one affects another. If you keep having large losses, it will show you where you have been going wrong.
You are not a hardbitten detective who relies on hunches. Bet with your head, not your heart. If you like to play poker, bet on sports and dream of winning the lottery, financial spread betting is probably not for you.
The most obvious tip is to use a trading demo account. This will give you thousands of pounds of credit to test your skills and get used to the software.
You should trade in markets you know. Beginners should not bet on indices such as the FTSE 100: predicting the price of shares in one company is hard enough, never mind a hundred. You should not open positions in too many markets because you will not have time to research them.
You should beware of tips. Sometimes, these are put about by people with something to gain from a market movement, as the City Slickers of the Daily Mirror did. Even if someone posting a tip does not have a stake in the matter discussed, they might be plain wrong.
The most important tip is certainly that you should not spread bet with money you cannot afford to lose.
August 8th, 2012
Designed for those who want to run an ecommerce store, Shopify is a useful piece of software. There are lots of features about Shopify that are worth recommending, especially to those of us who don't have any experience with setting up websites. One of the features that stand out is a website wizard that walks you through the whole set-up process of your site, so that you don't miss out on anything important.
There are over 115 different templates to choose from, or if you wish you can even incorporate your own one. These templates can be customized, to make sure that you have a unique-looking website that stands out from your competition.
Another area that's worth talking about is the set of management tools available. Shopify ecommerce software solutions give you a centralized management dashboard, so that you have everything you need in one place. You can add details to each item listed in your inventory, along with images and descriptions using their store builder interface. The platform also organizes all of the information about your clients, so you can start focusing your marketing efforts more effectively. For example, it can help you filter a list of the individuals who have spent the most money in your shop, so you can use this list for email marketing or social media campaigns. You can also see who has visited your shop most recently, and where they come from.
Organizing your stock is easy with the products menu, which helps you rearrange your inventory when needed. The central navigation dashboard helps you with content management. Blogs are really important for marketing purposes these days, so you can manage your blog and integrate your content throughout the store easily with this central navigation tool. The overall layout for customers is professional, so they will feel confident making purchases.
The only con that I would mention is that it can take some time to get acquainted with all of the features that Shopify offers, so you will need to clear an afternoon to play around with it before you start really setting up your store. They do have a fair bit of information listed to help you navigate through their website, however, so you won't miss out on anything important to help you. The overall verdict for this software is that it is extremely useful for beginners, but it has enough advanced features to be of use to those who have more experience with ecommerce as well.
April 26th, 2012
Trendy or traditional business outlook? Which view do you think is winning? Of course it would be trendy!!
In case you are wondering there is no conspiracy working against traditionalist, or in fact no magic helping the major corporations keep up with the trends, instead they utilise information that is readily available to all companies. It’s the way in which they utilise the information that sets them apart. They seemingly find and fill gaps in the market with unprecedented speed and precision. Many companies try their best to keep up with the market and fail, not for a lack of trying but rather because of misguidance. It's much harder for a company to change their position, for the better, from the 'inside looking out'. It is best to do what the big companies do and hire an independent business consultant who can analyse the business and give the best advice 'from the outside', to help the company stay ahead of the curve!! Think of it as a guided Bow & Arrow system to keep your company trendy and on target!!
April 11th, 2012
So I've been trying to not spend too much this money this month but I've also been completely ignoring my bank balance. I've just been using my card and refusing to check what's actually coming out of it. But yesterday I accidentally asked for a receipt with my cash withdrawal and that was definitely a mistake!
I should be keeping on top of things but I was living in denial, now my rent is due and I've spent almost all of my money on going out, clothes and giclee printing! I ordered loads of nice frames and some black and white prints online so I can decorate my house with them a bit, and I ordered some other bits and bobs and now the money has trickled away...
I'm not allowed to spend any money now for the rest of the month. I have to eat all the food in my house and not buy a thing, just pay for my travel fares!
Photo: shareski (Flickr)