Category Archives: BUSINESS

Understanding Contaminants That Affect IAQ in Health Care Facilities

Man checking the air duct to have an indoor air qualityNext to homes, hospitals are among the places you’d want indoor air quality (IAQ) to be at its best.

The services of companies like Clinicair are valuable in improving IAQ in healthcare facilities. It also pays to understand the components that impact the quality of air to be able to address contamination at its roots. Here are some of those factors:

Patients

While patients are among the top reasons for improving IAQ, they are also a considerable source of contamination. Patients stay at the hospital for various reasons, from infections to viruses, and certain symptoms and patient activity can contribute to the spread of these triggers.

Patient coughing, for instance, can introduce contaminants into the air. Body fluids from infections, wounds, and incontinence, meanwhile, can be transferred from the patient to bedding, clothing, and other surfaces.

Facility Staff

Staff members tend to come in immediate contact with all of the contaminants generated by the patients. For this reason, institutions impose hygiene protocols that include hand washing, the use of gloves and proper disposal of used accessories. When not followed, the facility’s staff risks exposing patients, visitors, and other staff members to contaminants.

Housekeeping employees, meanwhile, contribute to air contamination by not covering carted trash or not drying cleaned surfaces properly. Damp surfaces create the perfect environment for mold growth, which is a significant air quality hazard.

The Facility

The duct work that distributes air throughout the facility can trap contaminants and even biological organisms. Moisture from HVAC humidification, meanwhile, can instigate mold growth.

As people go to the hospital to receive treatment and recuperate, you want the kind of air quality that is conducive to your healing and the improvement of health. Moreover, good indoor air quality can help keep doctors, nurses and other staff members to be on top of their health so that they can take care of patients better. By looking into these categories, engineers and designers can develop a methodology that will address and mitigate detriments to IAQ.

Leaping into Business: The Real First Steps to Success

Men preparing for their business planThe thought of starting a business might have always been in your mind. Taking the first step, however, can feel like a big leap than when you think about it. Over time, you might find yourself daydreaming and wishing that one day you do take that step. The prospect of starting your own business does not have to be a scary thing. It’s a big responsibility, but you will not get anywhere as long as you make the active decision to start.

Now that you have decided to pursue this path, Venture Bank and other experts noted that applying for small business loans in Bloomington is not the immediate step. It’s only second to planning. Before getting your hands on money to spend, you need to take note of the following:

The Business Plan

Many people would rather take off and wing it rather than putting it all in writing. What writing a business plan achieve are the boundaries you set on yourself and the goals you wish to achieve. Without a proper guide for yourself, you might fall into some pitfalls or wrong decisions when it comes to your business. A business plan gives you an outline of what you aim to achieve every step of the way to ensure your success.

The Budget

Now that you have everything in writing, you can now see how much money your business may require getting off the ground. You should never sacrifice the quality of your product, but you also have to make sure you aren’t spending as much. You need to find that balance so you don’t end up going bankrupt on something that’s supposed to make you money.

Starting a business takes a lot of thinking and preparation. Don’t let this part of the process prevent you from starting your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Turned Down: Possible Reasons Behind a Denied Business Loan Application

business loan applicationLaunching a new business requires money. So, even if the road to business success may be tough, some might say that these business people should be thankful that they were able to start or boost their business. Less fortunate would-be entrepreneurs never get the opportunity to even establish a business. Lenders, all too often, reject business loan applicants. The rejection doesn’t even have to be due to a bad business idea but a shortcoming on the applicant’s part instead.

Entrepreneurs who are applying for a business loan should take note of these possible rejection reasons and learn from them.

Poor Credit

While not everyone has excellent credit, having bad credit just isn’t an excuse as far as lenders are concerned. Poor credit is simply an indication that debt repayment is not a priority for the borrower. Even if the applicant unintentionally misses a payment on a car, a piece of property, or a credit card, such lapses speaks volumes to creditors. Additionally, ARF Financial, a trusted business loan financial company, says that having a poor credit score can seriously affect an individual’s reputation and their chances of getting a loan approved in the future.

The good news is that bad credit doesn’t last forever. Individuals can take steps to rebuild their credit by keeping debts low, making timely payments, maintaining existing credit lines, and avoiding opening too many credit accounts.

Insufficient Collateral

Even if the borrower has a good credit score, lenders usually won’t risk lending money without some form of guarantee for reimbursement. Borrowers, unfortunately, face rejection when they don’t have (or present) enough collateral to support the size of the business loan they’d like to borrow.

One solution for this is to create a document that enumerates all possible assets for collateral. The borrower can include both business and personal assets on the list.

Inadequate Cash Flow

Apart from collateral, lenders also want to make sure that the borrower can repay the loan monthly on top of all necessary expenses. Creditors, obviously, won’t accept loan applications from businesses with major cash flow problems. There’s no point in providing a business loan if there’s not enough money coming in, after all. Some of the easiest ways to solve cash flow issues are to cut unnecessary expenses and to have an emergency fund.

Bad credit, inadequate collateral, and insufficient cash flow are just a few reasons behind the rejection of a business loan application. Before submitting any business loan application, borrowers should first do their homework by tackling possible loan application problems in advance.

How to Enjoy an Edge or Two Over the Competition

Edgy competition with the employeesEvery day, hundreds of businesses enter the market, making it all the more challenging for any new entrepreneur to enter almost any segment in practically any industry. To have a fighting chance of surviving and thriving in any business, you need to have a few advantages over your competition.

Here are a few suggestions on how to do this:

Make your products up-vote-worthy

Products that aren’t any good are not likely to make a dent on the market, even if they happen to be the cheapest. To make your product “sell itself”, so to speak, you have to make it reliable. It has to be useful and reliable enough that people remember it and recommend it to friends. Word-of-mouth is pretty strong marketing, and there are more channels (such as social media) now than ever before to use that to your benefit.

Know what the competition is up to

You can’t rest on your laurels; that’s how giants get toppled by other giants who are new to the scene. You have to know what your competition is doing and how they’re doing it. For example, competitor monitoring software like PriceManager can help you determine how much your competitors’ equivalent products cost, so you can adjust your pricing. You may also find out whether they’re following minimum advertised prices.

Provide great customer service

After a product is sold, there should be customer support in case it breaks. This is one area where you can show how much better you are as a company, an opportunity to provide the best customer service experience. People who are happy with a company’s customer service are more likely to buy again and recommend the product or service to friends and family.

It’s important to have an edge over the competition. This will not only keep your brand and your products relevant but in-demand.

4 Types Of Loans: Which Best Fits Your Needs?

Man explaining the types of loans to the clientThere are times that you might find yourself in the middle of a financial crisis or a situation where you need a hefty amount of cash. You might have exhausted all your finances, and the only option is to acquire a loan.

Loans are designed to provide people with the needed sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest. Though the end price is higher than what you borrowed, a loan can be a lifesaver. For instance, if you need money for health reasons, emergency cases or a home renovation, acquiring a loan is the best way to have the needed money as soon as possible.

However, before getting one, you should know the different types you can for which you can apply.

Home Loan

Home loans are the most popular ones in the financial market. There are many individuals applying for this type of loan in the hopes of having their own house. However, in this type of loan, there is a need for a down payment, and the payment terms depend on the plan you choose. Home loans are payable in 20 to 30 years, but for some, they can choose shorter terms.

Car Loan

Owning a car is a dream come true. There are car loans available for individuals who can’t afford to buy a car outright. The loans are also payable in certain time frames, depending on how much your down payment is.

Tax Loan

Tax Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL) or tax loans are created by a lender based on an expected federal income tax refund. The taxpayer receives a tax refund from the government, and it’s directly paid to the party who made the loan, be it a bank or a financial loan firm.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are types of loans which are unsecured. That means you don’t have to offer a collateral or down payment in order to receive the money. There are various financial companies offering this type of loan, and usually, it’s used for various purposes – business, school or personal reasons.

Loans help many people with their financial burdens, especially during emergency needs. Though there are added fees, these loans are important in providing people with financial help when needed.

What Should Your Product’s Package Say About Your Brand?

Different Product PackagingThe packaging of your product has a positive or negative effect on its ability to attract and convince a potential customer to buy your brand. Eye-tracking studies conducted by experts noted that a consumer reads only seven words when they shop, they buy instinctively based on the familiarity of an item’s location, shape, and colour.

Signet and other luxury packaging design experts say that in order to succeed, a brand must distinguish itself and be able to express a reason to choose it over the competition. The package of a product makes it easier for a potential customer to identify who you are, what you offer and why are you relevant to them, even with a glance.

Differentiation Point

One of your goals should be that your brand is your audience’s signpost to the niche, whether it is in fashion or toiletries. Simply adding more items to the shelf is not an effective strategy that delivers results. You need to differentiate your product by creating a point of orientation on the packaging that arrests a potential customer’s eyes and communicates your value proposition successfully.

One example of effective packaging was for the Disney premiere of Maleficent wherein the lead’s, Angelina Jolie, headdress, eye makeup and even clothing formed cusp shapes that grabbed the attention of those who see them.

Elicit an Emotional Engagement

A potential customer acts when your brand elicits an emotion from them. When someone looks at you, you will likely look back to determine the reason a person is looking. Thanks to this concept, many brands include people that do not make direct eye contact with the potential buyer they are either looking in another direction or slight past the person looking. This piques the curiosity of a person and may even trigger an emotion.

These are some of the things that your brand’s packaging must elicit from the potential customer. These concepts give you ideas and insights on what to add to your product package.

Being a First-Time Landlord: 5 Important Things to Know and Do

Two Men at Doorway with Keys and ContractFirst times are always memorable. Regardless of whether it went well or not, the first time you did something will be etched in your memory forever. When it comes to owning a business, the first time should have little to no room for error. The same is true when you decide to get into a property rental business.

Here are some useful tips for first-time landlords or investors:

1. Know the law

There are different types of first-time landlords. Some would try to figure things out by themselves while others would seek professional help from one of the investment property management companies in Portland. Whether you are the former or the latter, what is important is you are familiar with housing laws in your state. Violating them unknowingly would cause a great problem in the future.

2. Screen tenants properly

Be meticulous when it comes to accepting tenants. Choose workmates, friends, and acquaintances, or the people whom you know have a stable financial background and a good business character. Doing a background check can also help you sort prospective tenants.

3. Be strict on rents

Set a schedule and stick to it. Do not be afraid to run after tenants who do not pay their rent on time. Don’t hesitate to initiate an eviction process if your tenant does not honor the payment terms and agreement stated in the contract.

4. Put everything in writing

Make sure both parties have a clear understanding about the contract and honor it. Put amendments and other agreements in writing no matter how minor they are.

5. Market effectively

Effective marketing is key to getting tenants rent your property. You can post your listing online, offline, or spread it by word. But you can always opt to seek help from real estate agents to get the job done.

It is natural to feel a bit overwhelmed the first time you rent your property out. But proper preparation and research can help you minimize mistakes that fellow first-time landlords commit. Learn from them.

What Does the UK Law Say About Marketing Remote Gambling?

The UK is one of the lenient countries when it comes to remote gambling as it allows you not only to set up operations but also to market it all over the country. Needless to say, it requires you follow certain conditions.

If you are a new PR officer or online marketer, it’s time to learn the rules, which are many and comprehensive. To give you some basic ideas on what you should and should not do, check out the list below:

Spam Marketing

The UK takes spam marketing seriously. The rules are found in EC (Electronic Communications) Directive Regulations in 2003.

If you want to buy gambling traffic as part of your aggressive online promotion, make sure the company you are dealing with can provide you with real people who voluntarily provided their information.

Advertising Codes

The kind of ad you wish to create should fall within the guidelines of the three advertising codes. The Non-broadcast Advertising Code (CAP Code) is the guide for marketing and non-broadcast communications, as well as sales promos. If you intend to create ads for TV or radio, you use the Broadcast Code (BCAP Code). There is also another code for socially responsible advertising.

Promotional Offers

It is normal for casinos to offer a variety of promos such as free bets and bonuses to attract players, but the Gambling Commission has specific regulations about them. First, any promo that may affect a player’s wager or decision to participate in a bet must appear prominently on the ad, which simply means the text about these conditions must be readable. In situations where space is not enough, players are allowed to create another page specifying these conditions as long as they can view it within a click.

Introducing yourself to the different rules takes time, but it is an effort you should take if it means not having to pay fines for violations or worse getting your site banned and damaging the business’ reputation.

Why You Should Buy Secondhand Diamonds

A pair of tweezers holding a diamond One of the most stable medium-to-long-term investments you can make with your money is in diamonds and jewelry. It is almost a given that these types of investments, unlike real estate, will appreciate in value over time. Disposing of them is also much easier and scalable. You can sell just enough for your needs.

Jewelry is also a great gift to give to loved ones because it has utility (you can wear it as jewelry), emotional value (it shows you care), prestige (jewelry says “class”) and monetary value. You cannot go wrong with jewelry. The question is, where will you buy these great investments? Your best bet would be to buy them from a reputable diamond pawnshop for the following reasons.

You’re sure they are authentic.

The people who run pawnshops are experts in spotting real versus fake diamonds and jewelry. That’s their business after all.

They are cheaper.

When pawnbrokers appraise an item used as collateral for a loan, they focus more on the material (the diamond’s 4Cs – Carat Weight, Clarity, Cut, and Color, and the type of metal for the setting). This means that they don’t really put too much premium on the craftsmanship of the jewelry.

They will not charge you with the actual amount of the jewelry.

They cannot price it close to a jewelry store’s price range because their merchandise is considered secondhand. Even if they are, they are as good as those you can buy in jewelry stores.

They also only allow a percentage of the appraised value as the allowable loan amount.

So when they sell these precious stones and jewelry, their objective is normally to recover the amount they loaned out plus interest and, possibly, an additional profit percentage.

Jewelry is a sound investment you can make with minimal capital. You can make it even sounder by purchasing it from a pawn shop. Make sure, however, that you are purchasing from an establishment that has a good reputation for fairness. If in doubt, have an independent appraiser check the jewelry first.

Landlords Expand Presence in U.S. Housing Market

House keychain and house keyLandlords are increasingly becoming more relevant in the U.S. housing market, as several factors such as rising home prices lead more people to rent homes.

Other reasons for a growing number of renters include a slow pace of new construction projects and demographic changes, which have caused homeownership rates in the country to fall to 50-year lows. Even big companies took a step back in acquiring homes due to rising prices as well.

However, Americas Housing Alliance, LLC added that small investors have become more active in snapping up homes with the intention of reselling or leasing them as turnkey rental properties.

Bigger Role

According to data from Attom Data Solutions and ClearCapital.com Inc., institutional investors’ home purchases in 2016 fell to 2.9% from 7.8% in 2012. On the other hand, smaller investors’ home purchases in the same year rose 37%.

These buyers did not live in the properties that they acquired last year. Sales of homes to non-occupants have emerged as a growing trend, due to people seeing property rental yields as a lucrative option for their retirement funds.

Improving Market

The Housing Tides Index showed that affordable housing improved in 33 out of 41 cities in the U.S. in March in terms of purchasing and rentals. Out of the top five markets, St. Louis recorded the biggest development with an index score of 78.1.

The index based its ratings on 18 market indicators, including jobless numbers, housing approvals, rental vacancies and mortgage foreclosure rates. Despite rising interest rates and a smaller inventory, the index noted that the country’s residential property market is moving in an upward trend.

The housing sector in the U.S. has improved, so make the most of today’s favorable market conditions whether you’re looking to sell or buy homes. For sellers, research what factors drives the local real estate industry in your area to make an informed decision on pricing your property, while buyers should also do the same before fielding an offer.