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4 Things To Do Before You Start a New Business


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Planning a new business is an exciting time; it can also be incredibly stressful. Proper planning can help alleviate some of that stress and make the process of getting your new venture off the ground easier in many ways. Here are four things that every prospective new business owner must do before opening the doors to clients or customers.

1. Conduct Market Research

You want to be as sure as possible of your potential market before you start any other planning, and conducting solid market research is the best way to do that. Done properly, market research will help you uncover valuable information about your future customers and their habits when it comes to similar products or services.

This is one task that you may find best to outsource; however, it is possible to do your own research. Reaching out to your local Small Business Administration office can be very helpful. There are also countless online resources available to make it easier.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Take the time to develop a comprehensive business plan. This will serve as a guide for everything from getting your business off the ground to taking it to full scale. According to the NFIB, a business plan should have seven sections. You’ll want to be sure to include as much detail as possible, but avoid embellishing if you do not have data in a particular area.

3. Secure Financing

Pay careful attention to the financial portion of your plan. This will help you determine how much capital needs to be raised before you can move from concept to reality.

Too many small business owners underestimate the amount of financial support their new venture will take. That can lead to serious cash flow problems, not to mention disrupt household finances. It’s a good idea to work with a professional who specializes in financial planning for small business owners to get a realistic picture of what to expect and how best to protect your personal financial future.

4. Schedule Self Care

Getting your business off the ground will require a large investment of your time and effort. It is imperative that you take time out of the chaos to care for yourself. Otherwise, you might feel burnout creeping up on you after a few months of going non-stop. Find an activity you enjoy and that recharges you, and then make a point of fitting it into your schedule every week.

Starting a new business is an exciting and stressful time. Conducting market research, developing a business plan and securing financing can make it go more smoothly. Be sure to leave some downtime so you don’t get overwhelmed and burned out.

 

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How Do Private Equity Funds Work


Private equity funding is a kind of investing that occurs privately, rather than publicly as on the stock exchange. Here, an investor puts in the capital with a private equity firm, the firm then manages that money into a company, and the investor receives a buyout on that in time. Expert advisors such as Ralph Thurman would say that private equity is not a short-term investment where money can be made that day, such as on the stock exchange.

In 2006, buyouts reached the $502 billion mark. By 2018, the global investment value was $2.5 trillion US dollars, with buyouts reaching $582 billion. To get a better idea of how private equity funding fuels an economy, learn more about how private equity investment works here.

How Does Private Equity Investing Work?

Private equity investing works in similar ways that public investing does. It is just done privately. First, investors provide capital to a private investment firm. Then, advisors such as Ralph Thurman will manage that money and invest it into what is called a private equity fund. They will look for a company to invest in.

Generally speaking, the investors in private equity funding have to be a little more qualified than the average stock investor. There is some risk to private equity investments, but the return is higher.

In many cases, the private equity firm will buy a company completely. Sometimes they will buy out the original founder of the company. You probably heard of private equity buyouts more often than you know. Private equity funds won’t always use the funding of their existing investors. They will often borrow additional money called a leveraged buyout to purchase the assets of the company they are interested in.

The advantages of this model in the corporate world are that private equity funding saves a lot of companies that are floundering. Many companies will even rely on private equity firms to help them out when there is an economic downturn.

How to Qualify

There is usually a very large sum required to invest in private equity. It can be in the $1 million per investment range but it isn’t always. You may just need a net worth of $1 million dollars to qualify, but that could include equity you already have in a home or other properties. In some cases, an annual income is set to qualify. That could be an annual income of $200k or more.

There is a requirement with every firm, because private equity firms are using your investment to buy out companies. Your money is then pooled with the million-dollar investments of others to purchase or help a company.

There Are Risks

As with every investment, there are risks. Private equity funding carries higher risks than the average investment. The payoff is larger as well. This is often a long-term investment where you could wait as long as 10 years for the payout.

That is often why investors put money in private equity, to begin with. You also are not guaranteed to make money. The private equity firm will make a commission either way, but you may not necessarily. This is why it is so important to research the firms you are dealing with or considering before putting money into a private equity firm.

Invest in Private Equity

Private equity firms and their advisors like Ralph Thurman help investors every day find the long-term solutions they need to manage their assets. Learn more about the firms that do this for people, and begin the exciting process of investing in private equity.

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What Are the Best Colleges in the State of CA?


If you are looking for a beautiful place to go to school, there is a good chance you have thought about going to California. This only makes sense, as California is one of the biggest states in the country. It also has beautiful weather, outstanding academic programs, and numerous job opportunities. Therefore, if you are thinking about going to college in California, what are a few of the top options on the list? Take a closer look at a few of the choices below. 

Stanford University

Without a doubt, one of the best universities in the state of California is Stanford University. In addition, Stanford University is one of the best schools in the country. Stanford University has an absolutely beautiful campus. It looks like it has been manicured perfectly to meet the needs of the student body. In addition, Stanford also has a wide array of academic programs. These programs have expanded over the years, making it easier for students to take the classes they require. Furthermore, there are even online courses available for students who might not be able to commute to campus. Stanford has developed an outstanding reputation over the years for both academics and athletics. This reputation makes it one of the top universities in California as well as the country. 

The University of California at Berkeley

Another University in California that many students are considering is the University of California at Berkeley. Usually abbreviated UCB, this is an outstanding University in California that is not as competitive as some of the other schools in the state. Furthermore, it is also less expensive than some of the private options. The University of California at Berkeley is well known for its outstanding science and math programs. Students who graduate with a degree from this University will be competitive in the job market. For this reason, this is one of the top schools in California, particularly when looking at state schools. 

The University of Southern California

The University of Southern California, commonly abbreviated USC, is another outstanding University in California. Even though this is relatively expensive because it is private, there are financial aid options available. Furthermore, the University of Southern California also has outstanding academic programs. They will even challenge students who came from a rigorous high school. In addition, the University of Southern California also has a wide array of amenities that other schools simply do not have. Their dorms are beautiful, their food is delicious, and the campus is absolutely gorgeous. For all of these reasons, USC is one of the more competitive schools in California; however, it also provides an outstanding learning experience. By focusing on developing real-life experience, this is a school that prepares students to be successful in the working world.

Find the Best College in California for You

These are just a few of the top options that are available when it comes to the best colleges in California. Because California is such a large state, there are numerous academic options available. Even though you are probably looking for the best college in California, you need to think about your specific needs. There is no singular “best” option out there. Instead, you to think about your specific requirements, the schools that are available, and find a good fit for you. Remember that there are also ways for you to save money on college tuition. It is important to think about how you can get the best education possible. Then, explore avenues to make the financial situation easier to bear.

 

 

 

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How Drug Counseling Helps In Addiction Recovery


Fighting addiction means making hard decisions to enable the recovery process to be successful. Enrolling in a drug treatment center is among the major decisions that you have to make. This is because you can fight addiction with intent through the care and attention provided in the facility. A patient is taken through a detox program as a start. The process is long and uncomfortable. Counseling is the next step and a mainstay of addiction treatment for many patients. But how does drug counseling help in addiction recovery?

Drug Counseling

After detox, your body and mind are still in shock. There are several withdrawal symptoms that a patient will experience. The symptoms, however, differ with the severity of the addiction and the health status of the patient. Detox is not the last stage of recovery, as chances of relapse are higher. The patient needs proper care and attention, including medication to curb the withdrawal symptoms, counseling, and therapy.

Addiction is a physical process that builds up with time until you become a slave to substances or alcohol. The root cause of the problem needs to be identified and appropriately addressed to achieve effective recovery. Through counseling and therapy, the cause, stressors, and triggers that compel you to use drugs will be known. The psychological and social factors that are powerful triggers are identified, and the treatment is worked out together with other healthcare practitioners.

How Drug Addiction Counseling Helps

Allows for New Perspective in Handling the Problem

When the psychological factors (behaviors, thoughts, and habits) and social factors (networks, family, jobs) are identified, the treatment approach changes. A new perspective is found after long and productive counseling and therapy sessions with the addiction treatment center specialists. With a drug addiction counselor, it is easier to change patterns that might be posing a threat to the recovery process. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, the patient learns new approaches making the treatment process productive.

You Get All-Around Support

You get deeper into drug use when you feel alone and have no one to turn to. The comfort and console you get from using only lead to addiction or relapse. However, when you sign up for addiction counseling, you get a connection with people or someone who cares about your situation and is willing to help. You get individual and group support, making it easier to express and talk about the problem. The more support you get, the easier the rehab and recovery process.

You Develop Coping Strategies

It will help if you understand that the rehab process doesn’t last forever. You will go back to the community and your family in the long run. Coping with the psychological and social stressors after the addiction treatment center is crucial. When you sign up for drug addiction counseling, you are taught and guided through the different coping strategies that will work effectively with your case. Learning how to resist the triggers or working around them helps you develop and become productive with ease.

Advice on Creating and Repairing Broken Relationships

The effects of drug abuse and addiction are felt in every corner of the community. Directly or indirectly, you might have broken the strong relationship and bond with your family and or the community. With the help and advice of drug addiction counselors, you get to find out more about the reconciliation process and the necessary steps to take. When you mend the broken relationships, handling the social triggers becomes easier and contributes to your full addiction recovery.

The best step to take in fighting addiction is by signing up in an addiction treatment center. In the facility, you get detox, proper medication, and counseling services. Addiction counseling plays a significant role in your recovery process, as stated above. It is paramount to work with a drug addiction counselor and achieve full recovery.

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Be Prepared For Your Judicial Internship


Snagging that judicial internship is a key component to advancing your career in law. Although a lot of hard work went into securing your internship, now is not the time to slack off. Be prepared for this all-important appointment by knowing what to expect from the experience.

Brush Up On Those Soft Skills

Judicial internships vary widely. You may work mostly with law clerks and other staff, or you may find yourself frequently in the judge’s chambers. Regardless, your soft skills need to be in top form. These are the skills that enable you to work well with others, such as communication, conflict resolution, and adaptability. Respect everyone you come into contact with and remember that you have been placed into an office with interpersonal relationships that span years, if not decades.

Hone the Hard Skills

Your time as a judicial intern will be spent largely on writing and research. Your appointment will likely be similar to that of Rachel Lader, who spent her internship with Presiding Judge Acosta reviewing legal briefs and observing court hearings. Study opinions and take note of the writing style and follow the examples you read. Always proofread everything you write. Attention to detail is a critical component of successful legal writing.

Adhere To Deadlines

Just plan now to make schedules and set an alarm for important items that need to get done. Courts have strict timelines they follow, and you must not be the judicial intern that clogs the machine. As soon as you have an assignment ask the law clerk the following questions: What format should you follow? Who is the audience? What is the desired length? Is there a deadline? Then make sure you meet all these expectations.

Understand the Protocols

All judges’ chambers have some level of confidentiality. You may be able to discuss cases with other interns as long as you don’t talk about the judge’s comments. Or your judge may demand a stricter code of conduct and insist that you speak to no one outside of chambers. You might even have to shred all your work folders and notes when the internship is over. Make a point to learn what the protocol is for your judge and follow it faithfully. And remember, just like Vegas, what happens in chambers, stays in chambers. Always.

Put In the Time

Understand that a successful judicial internship will demand a lot of time, much of it in the evenings. Commit now to having a flexible schedule and to putting in the hours. Unless you’ve been explicitly told otherwise, never be the last to arrive and the first to leave. At the end of your workday ask if there is anything else you can do to prepare for tomorrow. Be willing to go the extra mile to show that you are a team player and are able to bear your share of the load.

A judicial internship is an exciting opportunity. Make the most of it by being prepared, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and you will grow exponentially.

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Help Your Car Wash Customers Maintain Their Cars


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Businesses face challenges to maintain profits under the best of times. Remaining viable during economic and health crises means reevaluating customer relationships. Customers should be given the opportunity to have an outstanding car cleaning experience while feeling secure. Take the following steps beyond CDC guidelines to provide a safer onsite environment.

Get Your Shop in Top Shape

More than ever your site should run efficiently and present a pristine appearance. You need to avoid breakdowns, which will leave customers stranded or needing to exit their cars. Create or rethink plans for effective and safe traffic control. In the unlikely event your tunnel does not use a dryer system, now is the time to install one. To best implement these strategies, work with a car wash maintenance support team.

Communicate Safely

Rather than handing out flyers, cards and other hard promotional items, use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get your information out. Create a website, but be certain to make it professional even at extra cost. Finally, create large onsite signage and use billboards pointing to your digital business content.

Make Transactions No-Risk

Just as with your communication methodology, for payments employ touch-free methodology where possible. While you may lose business, do not accept cash. Instead, use contactless payment systems and make certain your professionally-created website hosts secure transactions for prepayments. Also, offer subscription monthly washes to minimize transactions.

Spell It Out

Clearly document how you and your employees are acting to make your car-wash stress-free. Again, use your digital communication and extra-large signage to convey the information; do not overload the content, but instead use just a few bullet points.

Take care to create a comprehensive working system for your car wash that provides peace of mind for your customers – as well as your employees. If you plan well, you can have confidence your procedures will serve you well for many years.

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3 Ways To Boost Your Cardiovascular Fitness


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Thinking about your cardiovascular health today can help you ensure that you don’t have issues with heart disease and obesity as you get older. Cardiovascular fitness primarily focuses on your heart and arteries, however keeping your cardiovascular system healthy is a great way to gain overall fitness which will help with energy levels and a sluggish metabolism. Check out these 3 tips to boost your cardiovascular fitness today:

1. Cut Out Negative Factors

Most of the time you’ll see advice on how to add healthy choices to your lifestyle, but it’s easy to forget about cutting out the things that are making it harder for you to make those healthy additions. One big component here is overeating particularly sugary or fattening foods. While you shouldn’t try to cut out all of the unhealthy food you eat at once, it is a good idea to start replacing your favorite sugary foods with healthier alternatives. You can try replacing sugary energy drinks with natural sources of energy such as green tea and black coffee.

A second big issue can be smoking. Smoking tobacco products can lead to major health problems down the road, but it can also affect how well you are able to participate in healthy activities like sports in the present. Quitting tobacco use cold turkey can be incredibly difficult, but you can replace the harsh effects of smoking with a smoke-free alternative. These alternatives include nicotine gum, nicotine patches and smokingthings e-cigarettes and vape pens.

2. Participate in Daily Exercise

Cardiovascular fitness is tied directly to exercise such as walking and running. You don’t have to be a fitness nut to improve your cardiovascular system significantly. Going for a short walk once or twice a day will have a big impact on your health. A good idea can be to use a pedometer to help you gauge what your current activity level is.

3. Add Supplements to Your Diet

No matter how health-conscious you are when picking foods each day, supplements can be the extra boost you need to take your heart health to the next level. Supplements that are particularly good for your heart include omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin and coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is particularly important as it is one of the main components in converting food to energy but it also acts as an antioxidant.

As you work towards your cardiovascular fitness, remember that nothing happens overnight, but nothing will happen at all if you never start!

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Investing for Retirement – Questrade Review


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You have many choices to invest for retirement. It all depends on your preferences and interests. If you have no interest or knowledge about trading or the market, park your savings in a mutual fund or if you have perhaps 100,000+ in investable cash you might consider a fund manager.

If you are interested in self-trading, Questrade is the preferred broker in Canada. By far. The biggest reason is the many options Questrade provides. From 100% self-trading to a managed portfolio. READ MORE

Questrade was established in 1999. The company is now considered by many to be the best brokerage in Canada. The IIROC regulates the company, and Questrade is also a member of the CIPF. In addition to being regulated by one of the best regulators in the business, the company has a long, outstanding reputation. During the last 20 years, Questrade has earned the trust of Canadian investors.

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Safeguarding Your Business With Comprehensive Commercial Insurance


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Whether you’re just getting your business of the ground or you’re simply reevaluating your business’ risk mitigation strategy, you need to make carefully guided decisions about how to insure your operations affordably and effectively. Here are a couple of important considerations to bear in mind when you’re choosing a package policy for your business.

Evaluate Your Individual Coverage Requirements Thoroughly

Depending on what type of activities your business is engaged is, some of your insurance requirements may be regulated by municipal code or licensing authorities. In addition, you may have minimum insurance coverage levels stipulated in a small business loan or financing agreements for company property, equipment, or vehicles. However, it’s important to recognize that minimum coverage requirements may not be sufficient to meet your business’ needs and risk exposure. Your activities, assets, and location may have a big impact on how much insurance you need to shield your business from loss. When you’re looking for commercial insurance in Peoria AZ, you should work with an agent who has extensive experience serving commercial clients and can thoroughly analyze your business’ individual needs in order to help you choose the right coverage levels.

Select a Carrier Who Can Offer Every Type of Policy That Your Business Needs

A complete commercial insurance package may include more than just general liability or property insurance. It’s important to work with a carrier who provides every type of policy that your business needs to avoid gaps in coverage or policy exclusions. In order to find the right carrier, you should work with an agency that has well-established relationships with multiple carriers and can help you get competitive and comprehensive quotes.

Making proactive and well-informed decisions about insuring your business requires some independent due diligence as well as professional guidance. Work with an expert to assure that your policies will be cost-effective while also meeting all of your business’ coverage needs.

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Are good chef’s knives worth it?


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I have two chef knives and wouldn’t be without them. The most important thing is keeping them adequately sharp – no matter how much you spent on a quality chef’s knife. It is important that you learn how to sharpen and maintain your knife blades. Prices for quality kitchen knives start at maybe $30, and there seems to be no end to be seen. Note that price doesn’t necessarily translate to a “better” knife. Somewhere in the middle is probably a safe bet. Then there is the look and feel. Some, like me like the wooden handles the Japanese knives are famous for. Others prefer the more traditional black handles. If you are looking for great chef knives, especially the Saga/Boker products you go to this site: www.sagaknives.com. We only list knives with the top reviews on Amazon.ca and recommended Saga/Boker chef knives.