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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Some thoughts on growing a business

If your business does something that brings an influx of new clients then that’s great, but it doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to keep that momentum going by figuring out what consumers want next.

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If a business stands still for too long then it ends up in a rut. Perhaps you’ve already achieved some level of success in your company, whether it’s a small business or a large organization. However, success can only be maintained if a company is willing to “change with the times”. Nothing remains the same in the world of business. The entire concept of selling commercialized goods to a consumer market is based on the idea of growth. People want newer and better versions of the things they already own if they’re going to part with their money. That’s why the businesses which remain on top have mastered the art of reinventing themselves over and over again. They might be selling identical or near-identical products to the things they were selling ten years ago, but the important thing is that they repackaged their service. They evolved.

You need to grow, in other words. If your business does something that brings an influx of new clients then that’s great, but it doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to keep that momentum going by figuring out what consumers want next. Your goal is to find a gap in the market and then find the next one. Once you’ve found a profitable solution to a consumer problem, every other company in your industry is going to copy what you did so that they can emulate your success. You might have some loyal clients who become accustomed to your goods and services, but your customers in the wider target market might simply choose whichever business is offering the cheapest or newest deal in your industry. That’s why you’ve got to stay on top of your game. Continuous growth is the key. And if you want to make that an integral part of your business then here are some thoughts on expanding your company.

Start investing to improve your business.

Your business can’t grow until you put something back into it. Maybe you started your company from the comfort of your home, or maybe you got a few friends together because you had a great idea. Whatever the case, your humble beginnings may have served you well in the early days, but there’s only so far you can get with limited resources and limited people. At some point, you’re going to need more employees, a bigger office, and other improvements that all cost money if you want your company to grow. You want to deliver a more extensive service to a wider client base, but that’s going to require some investment on your part.

However, if your company is still small and its profits can’t quite stretch to cover the necessary improvements you had in mind then perhaps you could look into alternative means of financing your next big business venture. You might even want to look into the property market to open up a new source of income that would fund the necessary business investments you had planned. You might want to check out this new launch property as a good place to start when trying to turn over a healthy profit outside your business. Property is a smart way to invest your excess funds. The point is that you need to find some way of funding business improvements. Investments are a necessary risk if your company is going to grow.

Become a more productive company.

One of the best ways to grow as a company is to increase your levels of productivity. And you can do that by putting the focus on your employees. Motivated people work harder, so you need to keep your workforce happy. You could give them incentives such as a bonus or a free lunch for working hard. You could even spruce up the office so as to create a more pleasant working environment. Above all else, you need to remember that your employees are people and they want to work for people. You create a much more loyal workforce when you demonstrate that you care about your workers as more than statistics or machines that keep your business running. You need to humanize yourself as the boss. That doesn’t mean you need to be friends with everybody in the office, as a professional relationship is still important if you want to ensure that you’re respected in the office. However, respect is a two-way street; you need to recognize the value of your workers. Your members of staff will be far more productive if they feel that they’re valued as individuals in a personal and a professional sense. The more productive they are, the great your company’s growth.

Of course, happy workers might still struggle to be as productive as possible if you don’t optimize the way in which they work. If you’re overloading your members of staff with too many different tasks to complete then you’re not putting their work hours to good use. You might want to make things easier for your employees by automating certain processes in the workplace. Repetitive tasks only waste precious hours of the day, but such tasks are also irritating for your members of staff. You can both make lives easier for members of your workforce and create a more productive work environment by automating certain administrative tasks that take up time during the day. If you let technology take control of generating invoices and other tasks then your workers will have more time to devote to the more technical aspects of their job roles. Your company will be more productive, and your employees will be happier.

Get ambitious with your marketing techniques.

You need to get ambitious with your marketing style if you want your business to grow. Use the internet to help you out; if you advertise a good enough deal then people will spread the word online for you. You could offer coupons and discounts to people who refer your business to your friends. You could also target new markets by offering incentives and deals to certain demographics. Perhaps you could offer 20% off your products to students in order to reel in a younger audience, for example. It all depends on the nature of your business, of course. The point is that incentivizing consumers with deals is a great way to spread the word about your business. If you use social media properly then people should share your posts and spread the word for you. And if they get discounts for doing so then they definitely will.

Connect with existing and potential customers.

We briefly discussed this in the point above. Impressing customers can be a marketing technique to spread the word about your business and increase your client base, but it can also be a way of making a direct connection with the target audience. This will help your business to grow because it’ll improve the reputation of your brand name. Excellent customer service is a good way to start with this, of course, but you can go deeper than that. You could send handwritten letters to clients as a way of thanking them; this requires more time and effort than an automated response. It’ll show your customers that you really value them.

You could even give away something valuable on your business’ website in order to entice people to try out your business before they spend any money. Again, it’s all about making a connection with the customer. The best way to do that is to give them something that you can afford to give away for free but which is very valuable to them. This will make them feel as if your business really cares about rewarding its clients. Plus, they’ll return to your business to buy more goods and services if they liked the initial freebie. If you make a real connection with your clients then your business will naturally start to grow.

Health & Wellness

Gender identity conversion efforts associated with adverse mental health outcomes

Reported exposure to conversion efforts before the age of 10 also was associated with greater lifetime odds of suicide attempts.

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Photo by Fernando @dearferdo from Unsplash.com

Gender identity conversion efforts to try to change a person’s gender identity to match their sex assigned at birth were associated with increased likelihood of adverse mental health outcomes, including suicide attempts.

This is according to a study helmed by Jack L. Turban, M.D., M.H.S., of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

The study, tiled “Association Between Recalled Exposure to Gender Identity Conversion Efforts and Psychological Distress and Suicide Attempts Among Transgender Adults”, and which appeared in JAMA Psychiatry, involved nearly 28,000 transgender adults from across the US. This observational study is based on the results of a survey distributed through community outreach to transgender adults in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, some territories and overseas U.S. military bases.

Of 27,715 transgender adults who responded, 19,741 (71.3%) reported having spoken to a secular or religious professional about their gender identity and of these 3,869 (19.6%) reported exposure to gender identity conversion efforts.

That exposure was associated with severe psychological distress during the previous month and prior suicide attempts during their lifetime compared with transgender adults who reported talking about their gender identity with a professional but weren’t exposed to conversion efforts.

Reported exposure to conversion efforts before the age of 10 also was associated with greater lifetime odds of suicide attempts.

Limitations of the study include its inability to determine causation; it didn’t capture conversion efforts by others such as family members; and it’s possible that some adults with worse mental health might have sought conversion therapy.

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The study findings support that gender identity conversion efforts should be avoided in children and adults. Professional organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association, have called conversion therapy for gender identity unethical and ineffective, and some countries have already outlawed the practice.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Running safety tips that are rarely spoken of

When looking online to consider the mainline (and yet completely coherent) running safety advice, it’s all the same. Find the right shoes, keep your form up, listen to your body, breathe well, stay hydrated, look around your environment. All of this is important. Yet the following running advice is rarely given to keep people safe.

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Running is a beautiful sport of course, but it’s much deeper than that. Humans once survived by endurance hunting, that is running so far and long that animals simply became exhausted trying to get away, leading us to secure dinner for that evening.

It is your right to run where you can, on pavements, through public woods, and on public footpaths.
Photo from Pixabay; used by CC0 License

Running is in our DNA, our bloodstream, and our bodies are remarkably well adapted for it. Running is completely free, and one of the most popular methods of cardiovascular exercise. Running is a representation of life, hard at first, but quickly adapting to grow as something in your control, and you get out of it exactly what you put into it.

However, running safety is never something you should ignore, no matter how natural the activity is. Yet when looking online to consider the mainline (and yet completely coherent) running safety advice, it’s all the same. Find the right shoes, keep your form up, listen to your body, breathe well, stay hydrated, look around your environment. All of this is important. Yet the following running advice is rarely given to keep people safe. We hope to break that trend now.

Keep Valuables Hidden

It’s not uncommon for many to listen to music while they are running, or to keep other worthwhile equipment on them. If wearing top of the line running gear, excellent running shoes and perhaps even nice running shades, you can often stand out as someone with a little wealth. This can lead someone with bad intentions to take note of you, and if you are tired at the last leg of your run, you might find yourself less equip to run off or fend them off.

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This is why keeping your smartphone hidden through zipped pockets, ensuring that wireless headphones are only used in relatively public areas or that you keep an eye on your environment as much as you can will make the most difference. 

Understand Your Rights

It is your right to run where you can, on pavements, through public woods, and on public footpaths. However, it can sometimes be that when construction work is taking place, or other unclear diversions between the road and the pavement are causing you confusion, that you are impeded or even hurt by motor vehicles or those who haven’t a runner’s best interests in mind.

This is where understanding where to find the legal representation you need and deserve can make the most difference over time. Understanding your rights to this end might just help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Consider Your Eating Habits

Running fasted or running with a light breakfast is often the preferential option for many morning runners, but it is essential that they build up to these habits and keep them consistent rather than letting them fade every weekend, or jumping into a hard fast immediately. When you find what’s right for your body and give yourself enough time to digest food, you are in the best possible position. But you certainly need to be careful.

With this advice, we hope your running habit can become even safer than it is now.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

How to ensure you reach your potential at the gym

Getting into the best possible shape isn’t just a case of turning up, getting a sweat on, and going home.

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Photo by Daniel Apodaca from Unsplash.com

Your entire reason for heading to a gym is to get into much better shape than before. Each week you want to be better than the last. You may not manage to hit that particular level of consistent growth, but you’ll try anyway. Your goal is to become the best version of yourself when you enter that gymnasium, and you’ll try all kinds of things to tick that big box. 

Getting into the best possible shape isn’t just a case of turning up, getting a sweat on, and going home, though. It helps a lot, but it’s not the be-all and end-all, unfortunately. There are a multitude of other factors that go into it. They’re not difficult or complicated, so you’ll be able to wrap your head around them pretty quickly.

Here are four things you should probably do if you want to become the person you’re always picturing in your head.

Form Over Everything!

If you’re lifting weights or doing a particular movement, then you need to get it spot on. It can be very easy in this judgmental society to opt for what looks the best, but you’ll want to avoid what’s perceived as good and do what actually is good. By this, we mean you should focus less on doing heavy weights in order to impress people. Lower that sucker and do it properly. You’ll want your overall fitness and performance to be a lot better than the five-second glance someone sees of you. If you lower the weight and do it slower, then you’ll get WAY better results. Fact. 

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Hit Each Muscle Group 

Back day is boring for some. Legs are skipped all the time. Triceps? Some people won’t do much of that. If that’s your attitude, then you need to leave that way of thinking at the door and conjure up a better work ethic. In order to become more adept overall and be in better shape, you need to focus on your entire body. You’ll become better at the lifts you DO likes if you build up the other ‘boring’ areas. 

Once you get into the groove, you might start to become somewhat addicted to training.
Photo by Danielle Cerullo from Unsplash.com

Eat The Good Stuff!

If you want to put on weight and muscle; you’ve got to have a good calorie surplus. Just eat more than you already are – and make sure the foods are super good for you. Are you trying to shift a few pounds? Well, you need a calorie deficit. Don’t starve yourself. Just eat a LITTLE less. You can still enjoy the foods you already eat; just don’t completely devour them. Stopping when you’re full is a good start – a lot of people tend not to do this. A lot! 

Don’t Train If You Don’t Have To!

Once you get into the groove, you might start to become somewhat addicted to training. You may not have a physical addiction, but if you don’t go, then your mind might start playing tricks on you. You might start to feel down because you missed out. You might even make yourself feel a little guilty. 

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Don’t worry about not training. You SHOULD have days off in order to recover. You should especially stay away if you’re feeling a little too sore or ill. A few aches and pains in the back should be enough of a warning sign not to do any deadlifts or squats. Don’t overdo it: you may drive yourself crazy.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

4 Ways to counteract overthinking and catastrophizing

If you overthink heavily for, say, an entire year, that’s a lot of time thrown away as you would have accumulated a lot of time in your own head instead of doing productive things. There are things we can do in order to cut down on the overthinking, though.

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Ah, yes, overthinking! One of the worst things a human being can do to his or herself. You’ve definitely done it before, so you know exactly what is and how it can absolutely destroy you. There are people out there that spend the whole day doing it. Crazy, right? It’s so easy for a person to fall into this trap. It becomes almost like an addiction. They begin thinking about something, but they then need to dig a little deeper in order to convince themselves that it’s okay – it never works out, though, as the thoughts become even worse and more negative.

Do something. Do anything. This is probably the best piece of advice you can possibly receive.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

If you overthink heavily for, say, an entire year, that’s a lot of time thrown away as you would have accumulated a lot of time in your own head instead of doing productive things. There are things we can do in order to cut down on the overthinking, though. It can be beaten. It will always be with us because our brains are amazing and are constantly picking up patterns and memories, but we can lower its intensity in this regard.

Here are a few ways of doing so:

Recognize That It’s Never, Ever, Ever As Bad As What You Think

The first idea we’ll talk about is through the act of doing a little more thinking! It’s a little counterintuitive, but it’ll help. You need to realize that what you’re picturing in your head is absolutely not going to happen. Something along those lines may occur, but your catastrophic thoughts are not going to come to fruition – at all. You’re creating a storm in a teacup for absolutely no reason. Get out of that little imaginary instance!

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Don’t Stare At Social Media As Much (Or At All!) 

Social media has done a lot of good in terms of bringing people together, teaching people, and making businesses more prosperous. It has its drawbacks, though, and those drawbacks are pretty heavy. When you get a little too deep into the world of social media, you can find yourself caring too much about the littlest thing that’s on there. You might start developing relationships that don’t actually exist. You might view someone else’s fictional life as something that you want – no matter how realistic it actually is (which, a lot of the time, it’s not). Social media has a great way of making you feel worthless if you go down that rabbit hole too deeply.  

Try A Little CBD And Similar Products  

CBD Oil has become very, very popular over the past couple of years due to its ability to help with the likes of anxiety and depression. It doesn’t fix a person straight away, but it can soothe their minds. It works with a lot of people, so even if it’s a placebo, it might be worth considering! It contains traces of the cannabis plant, so it’s still quite a taboo oil at this stage, but it’s not like heading to a marijuana store and getting some sweetleaf concentrates every few days. The psychoactive and addictive elements are removed, leaving the traits that are best for mental recovery and relaxation.                                               

Don’t Idle

Do something. Do anything. This is probably the best piece of advice you can possibly receive. When your mind is on something, you don’t have the mental capacity to worry about stuff like you were before. You’re too busy focusing on the task at hand. Obviously, you’re only putting the worrisome thoughts to the side for a bit, so they won’t vanish forever, but if you can get into the habit of placing them aside, then that’s a great first step.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Easy ways to improve your small business efficiency

By automating any monotonous tasks, you can then save your team time and you can also give them the chance to be far more productive with the tasks that have been assigned to them.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash.com

The best way for you to make more money for your small business would be for you to focus on efficiency while also making sure that every one of your processes are streamlined.

Take a look below to find out more.

Automate what you Can

It doesn’t matter whether you automate your payment process or whether you invest in an automatic route software for your fleet because you need to make sure that you focus on efficiency as much as possible. By automating any monotonous tasks, you can then save your team time and you can also give them the chance to be far more productive with the tasks that have been assigned to them.

Encourage your Team to Talk Face to Face

Sure, sending a quick email to a co-worker may seem like an efficient way of communicating but sometimes it can hinder your efficiency. All the back and forth can easily take up way more time and you may even find that there are mix-ups too. This can really make it difficult for you to get something done, and the best way for you to avoid this would be for you to try and encourage face-to-face communication as much as possible. This will keep everything moving forward and it will also encourage your employees to work better with one another too.

Limit Interruptions

If your team are having a hard time completing tasks efficiently then this could be because they are having constant interruptions. One way for you to help yourself here would be for you to try and schedule all of your meetings for the same day rather than having them throughout the week. This will help your team to get everything they need clarified on the first day so that they can spend the rest of the working week getting everything done. If you want to take things to that next level then try and limit pop-ups, email alerts and notifications from your project management software.

All the back and forth can easily take up way more time and you may even find that there are mix-ups too. This can really make it difficult for you to get something done, and the best way for you to avoid this would be for you to try and encourage face-to-face communication as much as possible.
IMAGE SOURCE: Pexels (CC0 License)

Vehicle Management

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If you have a fleet of vehicles, it may be worth hiring a fleet management company. When you do, you can then spend more time focusing on the core aspects of your business. Little things like this can make a huge difference and you would be surprised at what an impact it can have on your team morale too.

Task Management

Task management software really is worth having and it can also help your team to stay focused throughout various projects. Another benefit of having it is that it will show you what needs to be done and when, so you can easily tell your team the tasks for the day. Some types of software even show you what your other team members are working on too, and this can really work wonders for your level of communication. If you want to take things to that next level, then consider creating a custom software. This will help you to really stay on top of everything and it will also make it way easier for you to manage your company.


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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Marketing your small business as effectively as possible

If you want to make a serious profit, you’re going to have to make your products obvious to the market and encourage people to buy them.

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Photo by Campaign Creators from Unsplash.com

Running a small business is an extremely complex task. You’re going to have to find and create a product or service that stands out from the crowd and can sell. You’re going to have to run market research to ensure that it’s something your target audience is interested in and will buy. You’ll have to manufacture physical products, run tests and ensure they’re safe or you’ll have to train in your craft if you’re selling a service to make sure you’re the top of your game. But once you have what you’re going to sell, your journey isn’t over.

The marketplace is increasingly saturated and you’re going to have to fight to stand out from the crowd. Sure, you might get a few organic sales where people come across your products or services of their own accord. But if you want to make a serious profit, you’re going to have to make your products obvious to the market and encourage people to buy them.

This process is known as “marketing” and you’re going to have to spend a whole lot of time and effort on it. There are various forms of marketing out there, varying from online marketing to physical marketing. For now, let’s focus on physical marketing.

The custom pop up banners infographic 2019 edition below will show you everything you need to know about pop up banners in particular.

Infographic Design By custom pop up banners infographic 2019 edition

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