What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Credit Cards?

Aug 6, 2017 by

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Credit Cards?

Credit cards are a double-edged sword. They are convenient, universally accepted, and relatively easy to acquire. However, not all credit cards are created equal. Credit cards for personal or business use confer many benefits on their owners. It is estimated that some 9 million US businesses alone accept credit card payments, and that number is growing all the time.

The importance of credit cards in international financing and transactions cannot be overstated. They make up the bulk of e-commerce transactions, retail operations, and remittances to utility companies, et al. However, there are fees and charges which need to be considered when evaluating credit cards.

Tips for Choosing Credit Cards

First things first: there are many types of credit cards that you can apply for. Since your options are virtually ‘unlimited’, it’s important to take your time. Experts advise clients to consider their personal and business requirements when picking one card over another. Another crucial factor is how payments will be made.

Ideally, you will want to pay off your card in full by the end of the month, but many folks spread their payments over a period of time. Remember, timely payments (in full) will avoid the interest-related charges. Interest is payable on cash that is borrowed against the card, and this typically comes at a higher cost. Here are some of the most important factors to look for when picking one credit card over another:

  • Application Fees and Annual Fees – £0 application fees, and £0 annual fees are preferred.
  • Rewards such as Loyalty Points (LPs) – certain credit cards are known to reward their account holders with points for pounds spent. Provided these points can be redeemed somewhere useful, this can be a major enticement for credit card holders.
  • The Annual Percentage Rate – compare credit cards based on their APRs and choose a card with the lowest APR. It’s not always just the APR that needs to be factored in – it’s also charges, benefits, and associated fees.
  • Fees for Exceeding Your Credit Balance – these can quickly rise out of control if you do not stay within your credit limit. Much the same is true if you are late in paying your credit card bill.
  • Making Minimum Monthly Repayments – this is important, since the lower your repayments the higher your interest -related charges.
  • Cashback Offers – credit cards offering the highest cashback percentages are preferred by businesses and individuals. Look around for cards offering a minimum of 1% – 3% in cashback. This money will be refunded back to your credit card.
  • Balance Transfer Fees with Credit Cards – if you have an existing credit card account, your new credit card provider may encourage you to transfer your existing balance over to your new accounts. Check the fees associated with making the transfer before you rush into the transaction. Fees are typically a percentage of the transferred amount or a fixed figure.

Ways to Maximize your Credit Card Utilization

For starters, it’s always a good idea to pay down high-interest credit card debt first before you pay down low-interest credit card debt. If possible, try and use a credit card with 0% interest to pay off your other cards with higher interest. The 0% interest credit cards can be available for up to 18 months. Take advantage of these if your credit score is good.

You can transfer your credit balance from high-interest credit cards to the 0% interest credit card and take advantage of the interest-free holiday. This makes it much more affordable for you to pay off your balance, without paying interest on your interest. You will typically encounter a fee when transferring a balance, and this could be as high as 3%. If your outstanding credit card balance is high, this option will certainly help you.

It’s also a good idea to utilize different credit cards for in-person transactions and recurring monthly transactions. If a card goes missing for any reason, it will have a limited impact on your recurring monthly charges or your in-person credit card transactions. In all cases, it’s important to use credit aggregator services to evaluate the merits of one credit card against another. Cashback, rewards points, 0% APR, and other offers are important considerations when choosing credit cards.

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How to Remove Unwanted Items from a Photo

Jul 31, 2017 by

How to Remove Unwanted Items from a Photo

When you are in a public place, it is hard to take a perfect photo because there are people are walking around here and there. The photo that you snap may end up including some strangers who happen to walk pass without knowing that you are taking a photo. With Movavi Photo Editor, you don’t need to snap the photo all over again anymore. It features an object removal tool that can remove any person or objects that shouldn’t be in your photo. The tool is perfect for removing crowds of people at a beach when you just want the beach photo to features your kids. The following is a simple 4 steps guide on how to get rid of unwanted people or object that appear as obstacles in your photos.

1. Load the Picture with the Unwanted Object

To remove person from photo, you must first load your photo into the work area. If you don’t load the photo, you will not be able to edit it. There are many ways to open your images and the easiest way to do so is to click on the Add Media Files button. If you drag the photos to the work area, your photos will also get load into the software.

2. Utilize the Object Removal Tool to Remove the Unwanted Object

Now that the photo is load into the software, you can go to the Object Removal tab and select the red brush tool. With red brush tool, you are to mark the people that you want to delete from your photo one by one. If the object appears small in your photo, you can use a smaller brush size. You should increase the brush size to mark a larger object. The brush size can be easily adjusted to big or small by dragging the brush size slider.

It is easy to make a mess in the photo with the brush tool and you will find yourself accidentally marking other objects that should not be marked. A quick way to remove all the red marks on the photo is to click on the Reset Selection button. Sometimes, the background of the unwanted object is complicated and this means that the software algorithm will find it difficult to copy the replacement pixels. In this case, the spot of the unwanted object will surely appear distorted after you press the erase button. This is the time when you can make use of the clone stamp tool.

3. Using the Clone Stamp Tool to Fix a Distorted Image

The clone stamp tool can transfer the pattern that you copy from another part of the photo onto the spot of the erased object. It will take some time to clone stamp the area until it look perfect. To clone stamp an area, you must first select the clone stamp tool and then move the mouse cursor to the area that you want to copy. To copy an area, you must hold down the Alt and press the left mouse button at the same time

After that, you can move the cursor to the target area to paint the pattern from the source point.

4. Saving Your Photo

As a reminder, you must always save your photo by clicking the export button before quitting the program otherwise all the changes on the photo will be lost. You can save the photo in JPEG low to high quality. The higher the quality, the more details it has and the larger the image file size will be. Movavi Photo Editor supports three compression methods including packbits, lzw and zip. Packbits’s compression is lesser than LZW. Compressing your photo in LZW format can reduce the size by about half size. Zip format is best for compressing 8 – 16 bits photos.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the object removal tool in Movavi Photo Editor is a great tool for erasing photobombers that happen to walk across when you are taking a photo. It will automatically fill in the selection with a pattern that is similar to the surrounding. Removing unwanted elements in your photo with Movavi Photo Editor will not take much of your time and it can be completed in less than 5 minutes.

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Five Ways You Can Help to Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Happiness

Jul 27, 2017 by

Five Ways You Can Help to Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Happiness

Small and medium sized businesses can often find it hard to compete with large companies that are able to pay the big bucks in terms of salaries. Finding qualified employees, and then keeping them, can be somewhat challenging. Here’s the thing: salary isn’t everything. There are a number of incentives and things you can do that will help sweeten the deal and make sure you’re finding and retaining the kind of employees you need to succeed.
Here’s a look at five incentives and actions you can take that can help ensure job satisfaction.

Initiate a Rewards System

Here’s an incentive that can work extremely well for companies: looking into different reward systems that not only reward but motivate your employees can create job satisfaction and an increase in productivity. There are all kinds of different reward systems you can use, such as offering extra vacation days, travel perks, bonuses, and gift cards and vouchers, among many other things.

Offering a Legal Plan

Why not provide your employees with a group legal plan that allows them to focus on their work rather than outside legal matters? This is very similar to a dental plan, or a medical plan in that it gives the employees peace of mind should they have a legal issue in their life. Legal issues can be extremely taxing both financially and mentally, which will of course affect their performance at work.

Career Advancement Opportunities

It’s hard to stay motivated in a job that is going nowhere, doesn’t offer any sort of advancement or enrichment training, and therefore will never pay them more. Giving your employees the tools to succeed, and providing career advancement opportunities, benefits everyone. The employee will have something to work towards and feel motivated, while the company will benefit from someone who is extremely productive and has plans to stick with the company.

Career advancement opportunities can often lead to less turnaround in a company since you are able to hire and promote from within.

Recognize Achievement and Success

An employee who feels valued is one that is happy and productive. When your employees do an exceptional job with something, be sure to recognize them and let them know how much they are appreciated. Perhaps you can create a recognition board or a company newsletter that recognizes these employees for what they have contributed. This can also be tied in with the rewards system.

Encourage Input and Feedback

A company cannot possibly run with just one person doing the jobs of many. With that said, it’s a great idea to encourage input and feedback from your employees. They are the ones in the job, seeing things first-hand, therefore they can provide you with a different perspective. Again, this also goes back to an employee feeling valued and appreciated since you are letting them know that their voice and opinions matter.

Creating an environment that fosters job satisfaction and happiness is a win-win situation for all.

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How to Open Your Own Forex Company

Jul 27, 2017 by

How to Open Your Own Forex Company

Opening a forex company comes with numerous steps to ensure it’s legal and, of course, worth undertaking in the first place. You’ve decided to start your own brokerage because you’ve heard of the masses of wealth available to you. Or you’ve decided to start one simply because it’s been a lifelong ambition of yours. Whatever reason(s) you have for starting your own forex business, have a look at some of the below steps to consider before doing so, just to make sure it’s still something you have the motivation and willpower to undertake.

Research the Market and Your Competitors

The forex industry is a hugely competitive market, so it’s important you research the market and your competitors in full. By researching the market and your competitors, you’re going to be able to find a niche for your own brokerage and that will essentially make it easier for you to compete as a small fish in a very large pond.

Plan Your Venture

Once the research is done and you feel you have a niche to compete in, always plan your venture so you know what you need to do during every stage of business. A detailed business plan could be the difference in the forex business becoming a success or not, so it’s one of the most important steps.

Get the Necessary Capital

Once you’ve researched the market, you’ll have more idea of how much capital you’ll need to get started and to compete. However, it’s not just the start-up capital you’ll need, as there are several running costs involved to ensure your business doesn’t crumble before it even gets a chance of success.

Many forex start-ups decide to partner with other experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the field because it’s less risky and because more knowledge will give the business a better chance of success. Consider finding a business partner if it’s your first venture or if you don’t have the required capital to start.

Become a Licensed & Regulated Broker

You can’t operate unless you’re fully licensed and regulated within your jurisdiction. Obviously, different rules apply between states and it can be even more complicated if you reside outside of the United States. Contact your local offices to see what’s needed to become a fully licensed entity.

Tie Down Office Space

A smaller entity can work from home or in the garage, but as you grow, you’ll need to consider office space for your other employees to work from. While office space is yet another step needed to ensure the success of the forex company, it’s also wise you gain the necessary leadership skills to be a better boss. By gaining an executive leadership masters or a masters in executive leadership, you’ll be able to take your business to new levels thanks to your employees.

The above steps are just some of the many steps involved when it comes to opening a new forex business. The business plan is one of the most important steps to take when it comes to business, but be sure to pay attention to the strict regulations in different states and countries to ensure your company is fully legal.

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4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

Jul 23, 2017 by

4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

A career in the corporate world is a great way to be a productive member of the society – you earn a salary in exchange for your time and skills. A corporate career can also be a great way to improve your skills, pick up more skills, and test your capabilities – on someone else’s dime. However, a time will eventually come when you’ll start feeling like you are just another employee turning the wheel without making much of an impact on the greater good.

If you are already contemplating early retirement or you can see the signs of a forced retirement on the horizon, you’ll most likely be thinking about firing your boss and becoming a boss in your own business. Here are 4 tips to help you along before you make the jump from the corporate world into the world of entrepreneurship.

1. Sound out other entrepreneurs

Your corporate career will prepare you for the challenges of being a business owner in some areas—but your experience in corporate America can be a liability for you in other areas when you start a business. One of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth transition from corporate America to starting your own business is to pick the brains of those who have taken a similar path in the past.

Talking with other entrepreneurs who made the switch from the corporate world will help you know how to spot and avoid potential pitfalls. They might also offer you insights on how to make a gradual switch or help you to decide if an abrupt switch is in your best interest.

2. Know your support system

You’ll need a strong support system made up of many essential parts to succeed in your move from being an employee to calling the shots in your business. The SBA provides small-business mentorship through its SCORE program and you’ll be doing yourself great favor by taking advantage of the mentorship in order to refine your business strategy.

You’ll also need to identify a support system for your core business operations, financing your business activities, and taking care of legal and regulatory requirements. For your core business, you’ll need to create a production strategy, marketing process, and a management system. For your financing, you’ll need to build up startup capital, know where to go for expansion capital, and have a ready funding source for ad-hoc capital needs.

3. Start expanding your network

Your experience in the corporate world might not give you the best preparation to build a business but it sure can provide you with a great opportunity to build a strong network. Building a strong network makes it easier for you to get your business up and running because you can always leverage your connections to find professionals that could help you with startup activities.

In addition, the people in your network are folks who know and trust you and they’ll be more readily inclined to patronize or recommend your goods and services. More so, having a strong network helps you to keep a social circle that might be otherwise lost when you leave your colleagues at work behind.

4. Uncertainty is a certainty

Corporate America is mostly predictable – you show up, do the work required of you, punch in the clock, and you get paid at the end of the month. However, when you are running a business, the only certainty is that you are living in a world of uncertainties. You’ll need to be grounded mentally in order to maintain your sanity and make smart decisions when the uncertain nature of business rears its ugly head.

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A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

Jul 19, 2017 by

A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

The startup scene in Portugal keeps getting more and more interesting. Startups are entering new and exciting industries and markets at a rapid rate. The recent launch of Sports Accelerator is a good example of how the startup approach can be applied to a wide range of fields.

The rapid growth of startups in Portugal is sparking a new trend: startups whose products and services are geared towards helping other startups succeed. We have a number of these startups already operating on the market, with more scheduled to be released soon. Is the business support services industry the next big thing?

A Revamped Industry

The business support services industry is not an entirely new industry. This is an industry that has been around for years. However, service providers used to focus their offers and efforts on larger corporations with big demands to meet. Large clients were where most of the business came from, so it is not surprising that the entire industry chooses to focus on that market.

The rise of smaller, leaner startups that also need support services changed that. The lively startup scene in cities such as Lisbon attracted more service providers to the market. Instead of offering expensive support services geared towards larger corporations, service providers now cater to small companies that are trying to lower their overhead costs by outsourcing parts of their operations.

Planning and Management

What’s interesting about the growth of business support services in Portugal is how comprehensive the available services are. Startup founders can now rely on third-party service providers for anything from planning to bookkeeping and management.

We’re not talking about basic services either. An upcoming service provider is recruiting people with an advanced project and program management degree – graduates from reputable universities such as Brandeis University nonetheless –to better provide project management services to new startups. Having a team of experts witha masters in project and program management degree will help startups overcome common challenges in the product development process.

After all, overcoming challenges is what the support services industry all about. Instead of having to invest in recruiting experts, startups can remain lean and efficient thanks to third-party services. The overall costs of outsourcing parts of the business operations will also remain low.

The Next Big Thing

The business support services industry is filled with large players, particularly those with years of experience. That, however, is about to change. Smaller, more independent agencies and firms are starting to offer services in various fields. Larger organizations with experiences in offering their services to international startups such as Spark and Incubator are also starting to see the startup landscape in Portugal as a potential target market.

As more players enter the industry, more services will be made available at lower costs. The whole shift will further support startups in this country, offering valuable services at low costs and allowing startups to remain competitive for longer. There is a big opportunity in the business support services industry nonetheless, and it is a development that you wouldn’t want to miss.

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Unlock Productivity With These 3 Awesome Tips

Jul 12, 2017 by

Unlock Productivity With These 3 Awesome Tips

Do you often find yourself struggling with a long list of deliverables? Even after rigorous scheduling and organized to-do lists, you still find yourself easily distracted and procrastinating?

In today’s world, time is becoming a scarce resource; we can never get enough of it. Working 8 hours a day is never enough and it can be a challenge to get things done on time. Moreover, we are often distracted by our countless devices and many social media accounts.

Being productive in this day and age, while challenging, is achievable. To help you get started on your road to greater productivity, here are 3 awesome tips to unlock your productivity.

1. Minimize Potential Distractors

There will always come a time when you become tired of your usual routine and need a change of scenery to be productive. New places bring inspiration and inspiration leads to productivity. Besides, having the same old office can get boring after a while.

Visit your local virtual office for a jolt of inspiration. A shift in your working environment might just be that thing you need to get stuff done. Working in a new space away from the hustle and bustle of your usual workspace will allow you to focus and get your creative juices flowing.

Moreover, today’s virtual offices and coworking spaces come with a variety of room designs to meet your individual needs. Whether you’re looking for a conference room to hold a meeting or a private space for focused work, these places come fully furnished and equipped the tools you need in order to stay productive.

2. Take Occasional Breaks

Do not underestimate the power of mini breaks. Take the time to go for a walk, look at the window, drink a beer with some colleagues, or do some fun activities. Coworking spaces, like Common Desk, are designed to boost productivity by providing facilities for both work and play to help reduce stress and encourage fun in the workplace.

During your breaks, indulge in some stress-busting activities like playing ping pong, relaxing at the coffee bar, napping at the siesta stations, riding a bike, etc. Sometimes, if not often, the best ideas come when you’re relaxed and rested.

3. Prioritize Your To-Do List

Separate critical tasks from the non-critical tasks. Identify one or two things that are absolutely urgent and start with those. Don’t go beyond three because that’s probably more than you can handle at one time. Repeat the process progressively as you go along, and you’ll get the important things done sooner than you realize.

Take 10 minutes at the start of your day to rank your deliverables according to importance. Don’t be fooled by the magnitude and volume of small tasks. No matter how long your to-do list, most of those things can wait.

There are so many little things you can do to make your day more productive. But the most important of all is this: prioritize and focus. To-do lists will always be long with tasks aplenty. The critical things is separating things that can wait from those that need to be done right away. Also, always make time for rest–most things can wait but your health should always be a priority. If you’re tired, just take a break. Step away from the desk, relax, reboot, and come back stronger the next day.

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