Business

Accounting

Revenue Management

Revenue management is the application of well-organized analytics that forecasts consumer behaviour at the retail level and boosts product accessibility & price to enhance revenue growth. In an internationally competitive business environment, firms are constantly trying to enhance their profitability. A revenue management system is an effective tool to accomplish the objective with comparatively low technological investments and at present,

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Best stock trading apps to use?

In this digital age, trading is moving towards mobile platforms. Be it a traditional stockbroker or a new age apps-based platform that is finding its foothold in the world of stocks and shares online (you can check here to find one that works). With many applications available on the Google PlayStore and iOS AppStore, choosing which ones to use can be confusing at times.

So if you’re looking for some of the best stock trading apps to use, read on. Here is a compiled list below:

SaxoTraderGo

SaxoTraderGo is a feature-packed app that has been around since the inception of the iPhone. It’s perfect for all those serious about trading because it provides real-time quotes, live streaming newsfeed and daily news updates to keep you in the know.

Free accounts are available even with minimum deposit requirements, but their premium service can get pretty expensive.

Robinhood

The Robinhood app has been one of the most popular free trades apps for quite some time now, with over 2 million downloads from their Android version alone. A simple interface sends your friends exciting notifications whenever you buy or sell a share. Also, it gives you the flexibility of using your phone as a remote for their web version so you can place trades from any device.

The app is free and doesn’t charge anything extra on top of the cost of buying and selling stocks, unlike most other brokers. Robinhood also has no account minimum, and if that wasn’t enough, they offer up to $1000 for referrals. However, remember that not all states are eligible to use the service.

GoPro (GPRO)

The GoPro stock price isn’t doing too well now, but there’s always hope for recovery ahead. The best thing about this app is its real-time quotes which give you second by second updates on how the market is moving. Also, over 15technical indicators are available to help you analyze your portfolio.

Although GoPro isn’t as popular as Robinhood, the app is free to download and glimpse how stock apps can revolutionize the trading world in one simple click.

Zacks

Zacks has been one of the top finance apps for quite some time now, with a 4.5 rating on Google PlayStore. The fact that it’s completely free, full-fledged and offers no limitations or distractions makes Zacks an obvious choice for investors looking for a little more from their stocks & shares application. The web version of their services provides real-time quotes with detailed charting capabilities. To add icing to the cake, you don’t even need to log in every day because their cloud service takes care of everything for you.

TD Ameritrade

Td Ameritrade happens to be another one of the best stock trading apps available because it offers a fully functional mobile version that’s compatible with all devices. The app is free and provides nearly every feature you need from a regular brokerage. Also, they have no account minimum, which means smaller investors can also participate in the frenzy.

The only downside to TD Ameritrade is that there are pop up ads, but these can be removed by paying $9.99 per month. Overall it’s still an excellent application if real-time quotes & charting capabilities are what you’re looking for.

If you need more than just information on how the market moves, you’re looking for a more advanced stock application with real-time quotes and charts; then these applications are the best. They all offer great features at no cost and might even earn you that extra buck by referring friends or family members. However, if simple information and tracking capabilities are all you need from your investment app, there are plenty of those as well, which have been listed down below.

Bottom line

In the end, it’s essential to keep in mind what exactly your requirements are so you can find an application that suits them perfectly. The above apps simplify choosing, but ultimately, it is up to you how much you wish to grow or invest. So happy trading, everyone.

Tips for Choosing a Reliable Boiler Repair Service

Every homeowner should remember that when they are experiencing problems with their boiler, it is not wise to attempt to repair it on your own. Calling in an experienced boiler repair service is a much better option because they are experts and can handle the boiler because they are trained and qualified to do so. But, you have to opt for a reliable boiler repair service to ensure this. How can you do that? Follow the tips below:

Look at their qualifications and experience

First things first, you need to make sure that the boiler repair service you are considering has the right qualifications and experience. Check the number of years they have been in operation to determine their experience and look at their staff to know what kind of qualifications they have.

Check their reputation

Good boiler repair services would not only have years of experience, but also have a well-established reputation that makes them a credible and trustable choice. Always do your research to determine what kind of reputation they have. How to go about it? The best way to assess the reputation of a boiler repair service is by taking a look at their reviews.

The customer reviews can give you the best insight into a company and the kind of services it can provide. The internet is an excellent resources for this purpose and you will be able to find all relevant information. Good services, such as https://zoom247.co.uk/, will also be ready to provide references.

Assess the repair costs

A key factor that can help you choose the best boiler repair service is the cost involved. Ask for quotes from several services and do a comparison to find an affordable option that can also give you top-notch services. You don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to get quality services.

A Quick Guide to Selecting a First Response Training Provider

You will come across a horde of first response training providers when you start looking for one to train your workforce. Of course, this is not something you can neglect because you want your staff to be well-prepared to deal with any kind of problems. The problem is that it can be challenging to know which provider to select, but the good thing about variety is that you can find one that doesn’t just meet but actually exceeds your expectations. How to select one? Let’s find out:

  • Check the courses

The first place to begin when you are looking for a first response training provider is to check their workplace training courses. There are different types of courses that can be found, such as those that primarily focus on first aid and others that also include food hygiene, fire safety as well as social care. You need to consider the courses available and shortlist first response training providers accordingly.

  • Look at their staff

It is a must to know who will be providing training to your employees. When you want to equip your workforce with some essential skills, you do not want to handover the responsibility to someone who cannot handle it. Make sure you choose a provider who has the properly qualified and experienced trainers who can provide not just adequate, but quality training to your employees.

  • Check their reputation and reviews

You also need to do your homework where the first response training provider is concerned, which means checking their reputation and the reviews they have received. This will further confirm if they are really capable of providing the services they claim.

Along with these factors, you can also consider the charges and any certification the provider may offer to your employees for first response training.

How To Differentiate Between a Good and A Bad SEO Company?

SEO forms the foundation of digital marketing. Since the evolution of marketing, internet marketing has come up as the best option to advertise your products online with little or no hassle and high productivity. There has been a Skyfall increase in the number of brands that incorporate digital marketing in their marketing strategy today.

This increases the importance of SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it is the algorithm of the search engines which determines the rank of the webpage on the search engine result page. A little or no web users venture to visit the second page of the search engine results, this increases the need of staying on the first page.

Moreover, the better the rank on the first page, the more traffic your page will attract and more revenue will be generated. Thus, your SEO game must be impeccable. If you are new to SEO, then you must take the assistance of some SEO experts who will walk you through the strategies or perhaps execute them too.

If your business is based in Sydney and you are looking for some SEO agency in Sydneythen the best option available to you is Australian Internet Advertising. They are the best SEO experts when it comes to Australia. They are the certified marketing partners of Google and Facebook. They have been in the marketing business for a long time, their experience will help you achieve a lot which you can alone.

They prepare such pieces of content for their customers which attract huge traffic. They believe in results and not mere statistics thus, they do not rest on getting a high rank on the SERP, their goal is to generate real monetary benefits for you. They conduct various tests like error tests, page speed, internal linking, etc. which allows them to deliver the finest results to you.

Signs of a good SEO agency

1- They focus on your site content- an expert understands that the strategy of spamming the content with keywords is a thing of the past. Google is getting smarter by the day and it values content quality over anything. A good content manager would add content specific webpages to the website.

2- They would also modify the site structure to improve the visibility of certain search terms. They do not hesitate in optimizing all the site structure if that is what’s required to be done. An expert understands that changing the site structure can improve the conversion rate.

3- They are helping and cooperative- An expert who knows his job well has nothing to hide from his clients and works in a very transparent manner. An expert would regularly update you with work reports for you to understand the progress of the work that is been executed on the website. Besides that, they are happy to advise you at all times.

Conclusion

SEO is not a child’s play, if done in a shoddy manner, you can lose more than you gain. Thus, you must hire an expert in the field to execute the job. It is a small investment towards the job.

How Smart Are Our Smart Cars?

The Prodigal Child of the Automotive Industry

DON’T LET ITS PETITE LOOK confuse you with its superb performance delivery on modern road – the micro city coupe “ForTwo” is just above 8 feet long, less than 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall. Weighing 818 kilograms and 3 feet shorter than a Mini Cooper, this Vikings have roll cages similar to racecars, anti-lock (ABS) brakes, advanced electronics, microprocessors and superior drivetrain that offer better stability, braking and general comfort. It has luxury enhancements such as GPS navigation, reverse sensing, night vision, assisted parking, climate control, smart card and keyless voice control. Of course, the smartest car is the one that is fully automated and drives itself.

A smart car is a mini-compact two-seater with advanced electronics and microprocessor that are perfect for crowded places and city driving. The first prototype known as the Micro Compact Car (MCC) was developed in 1994 by Swatch and Daimler-Benz and this ‘Swatchmobile’ was exhibited at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997. In fact, the word ‘Smart’ derives from cooperation between Swatch and Mercedes: Swatch Mercedes ART. The updated Smart “ForTwo” was released in 2008 in the USA.

What’s so smart about it?

The idea of building a small car came with Nicolas Hayek, the inventor of Swatch watches. He wanted to make a small car that would be fuel-efficient, environmental friendly and easy to park in confined spaces. Today, his progeny at DaimlerAG’s Smart division and other automakers such as Renault, and General Motors (GM) offer cars that have electric motors or hybrid engines and are fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible.

Although initially people were hesitant to go for Smart, now the notion is changing. Till date, more than 750,000 ForTwos have been sold in Europe and Japan. Subcompacts are also gaining much attention to the trend. Waiting lists and pre-booking for Tesla and Chevrolet Volt show that people are more concern about fuel economy and the environment. The Smart line has conveniently positioned itself among the high-end design and technology segment that targets urban upper middle class, especially the younger generation.

These micro-cars are small in stature but big on economy. Compared to a 7 feet wide Hummer H1, ForTwo is only 5 feet wide. In real life application this means that a Smart Car can back right up to the curb instead of parallel parking in line with other cars. Two or three Smart Cars can park that way in a single curbside parking space. In fact, Swatch wanted to make such a car initially for USA and European market, where parking space and gasoline come at a premium. The cars are ultra-maneuverable and quick of the line – it can even beat many supercars when it comes to acceleration in the city traffic. With its diminutive length, ForTwo can turn within a jaw-dropping 22.8 feet circle, compared to 35.7 feet from a Honda Civic.

With its Tridion Safety Cell in the front, Smart has also governed the safety issue quite well. This stiff structure activates a crumple zones of a colliding vehicle which creates a safety bubble around the passengers. The second generation ForTwo has been awarded 4 out of 5 stars in the Euro NCAP Adult Occupant Protection.

ForTwo is one of the most fuel-efficient four-wheeled vehicle with a conventional gasoline engine in the market. Obviously it cannot compete with a hybrid when it comes to mpg numbers, but it has an artsy design and is certainly easier to park than a conventional four-wheeler. It can snatch the last parking spot virtually anywhere and comes with a vast of color options for its unibody and Tridion Safety Cell. Environmentally, Smart is the most promising four-wheeled vehicle. As it is electric driven, it does not cause any environment pollution.

However, in case of price, Smarts are not so smart and never have been. The base price of a ForTwo automatic drive is $20,640 in the U.S. and $19,650 in the European market, not to mention the $28,750 price-tag of the all-electric ForTwo Cabrio (smart ED). Buyers seeking fuel efficiency also seeks bank account efficiency, and they can find a small conventional car with decent mileage for several thousand dollars less than the cost of a ForTwo.

The electrically assisted power steering offers very little haptic feedback from road surface, making ForTwo jump excessively at road bumps. The disc and drum brakes also feel artificial in expert hands.

The Smarts are also slow when it comes to speed and mileage. Although quick of the line, the latest ForTwos Cabrio can hit 0-60 mph in 10.2 seconds, compared to 5-7 seconds required for most of the conventional sedans. Its top speed has been capped only at 81 mph, as excessive speed drastically cuts mileage and electric range. The projected 70-80 miles of single range is also not practical when it needs 3 hours of charging through a 240-volt outlet or 16.5 hours through a 120-volt household plug.

Even Smarter

DaimlerChrysler debuted an all-electric version of the Smart Car, the ForTwo EV, at the British Motor Show in July 2006. Now in 2018, if offers ForTwo Electric Drive – a quirky hatchback with $24,550 price-tag and a mid-mounted, 80-hp electric motor that runs 70 miles with a single charge. The latest ForTwo Cabriolet is the ‘convertible’ version of the quintessential Electric Drive. Like its forebear, Cabriolet also comes with an electric powertrain and a surprisingly spacious cargo room.

ForTwo is not the only one in the Smart line. Toyota’s Scion iQ was a worthy competitor which held most of the Smart car records before its demise in 2015. Now, ForTwo faces stiff competition with Mitsubishi I-MiEV and Fiat 500e. Honda Fit and Chevy Volt may not be the smallest cars in the market, but when it comes to hybrid drivetrain, automotive intelligence and fuel economy, these cars boast a good competition in the Smart segment. Mini Cooper is another challenger that offers stylish yet tough performance. All of this cars are engineered to maximize passenger space, while minimizing exterior length. ForTwo also has its cousins from the Smart segment in Mercedes – Smart Roadster and Forfour. The latter is being rebuilt to offer a pint-sized 4 x 4 SUV for the USA and Brazilian domestic market. Hyundai is currently building complete self-driving cars for the next generation and Samsung is developing in-vehicle infotainment system. Both firms are vying in the industry to introduce hyper intelligent cars.

While it is evident that this Smart is a great choice for city car, what’s less clear is whether it will fully replace the gasoline-powered conventional cars. Only time will give us the answer. But, with fuel prices at historic highs and environment restoration a burning issue, it is the highest time for automakers to offer and consumers to adopt more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly Smart cars for daily commuting.

Succeeding With Outsourced Software or Web Development

Having employees or freelancers several thousand miles away in a different time zone can present its own set of problems, regardless of the difficulties of just trying to get everybody on the same page with a development.

The Agile and Scrum processes were direct responses to the needs of modern businesses, where employees might be clocking in in the morning as their comrades left for the evening. Having tasks chopped down into manageable and (very importantly) trackable chunks meant that it was suddenly possible to coordinate complex tasks across continents and get a result.

Communication is Key

There are a number of communication platforms that everybody can use together to keep communications and tasks in one place. Skype, WhatsApp, Google, they’ve all got ways of making sure everybody gets the message and knows what they’re doing. Uploading tasks to the cloud so everybody can access it, comment on, test and review it makes successful development much faster and more comprehensive. You need a revision quick? Push it into the cloud and see who can be allocated the task.

Meetings

Yes, meetings. They shouldn’t be what everybody dreads, and with Agile they’re supposed to be kept to a minimum 10 minute “stand up” at the start of each work session. Not often the case in reality as there’s often a lot to discuss, when done right they can ensure everybody knows what they’re doing and when to do it. Outsourced tasks are treated largely the same as tasks taken inboard with the Scrum process, making it a (hopefully smooth) process.

When a development task is broken up into small slices and allocated in the Scrum process, employees are generally going away to work on their task and reporting in when they need help or have finished. To avoid this being isolating, having a meeting where everybody gets to report both helps people feel part of a team and makes sure everybody is doing the right thing. It’s not uncommon for someone to say in a meeting “no, that’s not what I asked for!” And that’s the benefit.

Work it out

What needs to be outsourced and what needs to be kept onshore? That is the question. An analysis with Agile can show you who has what skills and what time available, giving you a pretty quick answer to the question. You can then Scrum it and allocate where needs be. It sounds much simpler than it often is, but it is efficient when you get it right.

Time Differences

If you can, exploit the time difference. If they’re doing it right, at the end of the day all your employees and freelancers will report in at given times, meaning you can set tasks for the “night shift” to do in preparation for your “day shift”. This works for everybody as it keeps nobody waiting and makes everything much faster.

Know the Goal

Everyone on every team needs to know what they’re working towards and a rough path of how to get there. Especially your outsourced help, talk to them as much as possible, as often as possible about developments, improvements, revisions and the tasks at hand.

Research Supports How Alcohol Disrupts the Body Clock With Bad Results for Frequent Fliers

Research conducted at Rutgers University and supported by Colorado State University suggests that the practice of drinking alcohol to get over jet lag is detrimental to health. The research singles out shift workers whose body clocks are at odds with circadian rhythms due to their work patterns. Frequent fliers, pilots and flight attendants may also be included in this group as they also have to cope with circadian rhythm disruption caused by flying.

Dipak K. Sarkar professor of Animal Sciences at Rutgers Cook College and director of the endocrinology and biomedical division at the Center of Alcohol Studies, says that alcohol can alter the body’s rhythmicity, this is the body’s ability to keep its rhythm. Rhythmicity is mediated through the circadian rhythms of the body which are in turn controlled by the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) in the brain. Furthermore the professor points out the far-reaching effects the circadian rhythms have. Circadian rhythms handle more than 100 unique functions of the human physiology ranging from body temperature to hormone levels to immune response to pain threshold and many more.

It is thought that alcohol either interferes with SCN’s role in syncing with the physiology or alcohol stops the physiological systems from responding to the signal. Whichever the case the results are disorder with possible increased risk of sleep problems, hormonal dysfunction, compromised immunity and increased incidence of certain cancers.

Supporting professor Sarkar’s findings Robert I. Handa of Colorado State University says alcohol intake may influence the molecular underpinnings of circadian rhythmicity. The best interpretation of the data says that if one has a body clock that does not function properly that person may be increasingly motivated to consume more alcohol. “Chronic alcohol administration appears to significantly alter central and internal clocks that govern neuroendocrine functions” (Sarkar).

If that is not enough bad news for fliers Handa goes on to say that immune function can be influenced by stress hormones and stress hormones undergo daily rhythmic fluctuations themselves. The challenge for fliers is that they are in an environment out of sync with the timing cues they are getting from the SCN therefore immunity could be compromised.

Frequent fliers all have body clocks that don’t function “properly” due to all the flying they do, it comes with the territory. According to this research this puts them at a disadvantage. Alcohol abuse by frequent fliers, pilots and cabin crew is not uncommon and speaks to the point the researchers make about being predisposed to alcohol. While not everyone who drinks when they fly is in this category it would demonstrate the airline industry’s duty of care if they were to take this information into consideration. It would be even better if individual fliers took note and recognised the risk factors involved and better still stopped using alcohol as a crutch for getting over jet lag.

Works Cited –

Sarkar Dipak, Handa Robert; The Body’s Biological Clock: Alcohol May Lead to Physiological Anarchy, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) Volume 29, Issue 8, 2005 pages 1550 – 1557.

How To Choose A Consultant?

Retreats or meetings are facilitated by a consultant. An extra pair of hands can be offered by a consultant, which entirely depends on your requirements and the approach of the consultant. Expertise can be provided by a consultant, something that you may not get in your own company. A mentor can also serve as a consultant. Training can be provided and you can partner for solving various problems of your organization.

Some of the ways of engaging a consultant are given as follows –

Using RFPs

A request for proposals, also called RFP is issued by some organizations when a consultant is needed by them. A fair and unbiased process can be provided by a RFP. Responses can be evaluated by you with the help of a RFP from different consultants. Each proposal when comes in, is evaluated by a team depending on a system of scoring. You can be exposed by the proposal to a wide range of ideas. These ideas are generally about the approaching aim of your project. You will be given the chance to evaluate the price of these projects.

The downside of RFPs

You must remember that RFPs are something that most of the best consultants do not respond to. The best bid can easily be identified with the help of RFPs. Sometimes, the exact approach or the best consultant is not required to solve a problem.

The consultants take a lot of time to respond to a RFP. It is mostly very difficult to know the real requirements of the organization depending on the RFP. It is very necessary to have a conversation with your consultant to develop and explain the approach easily. You also need to have enough knowledge about the background of the organization.

Hiring a consultant without a RFP

It will be best to organize an in-depth discussion session before hiring a consultant. You must try to collect some background information for a meeting by consulting with some consultants who have worked previously on the same issue. General information about your company must be provided to the consultant.

Evaluating fit

The consultant should be a good member of your company. Questions will often be asked by the consultant in an interview to know more about your organization. He will also try to understand the issue properly for which he will be appointed.

Follow the above mentioned ways properly in order to hire a good consultant for your company, one that can help to make you successful in your own business.

A Tale of Two Lumberjacks

I see people spinning their wheels all the time getting nowhere. They see the next bright shiny object and off they go, once again. The worst is when you see someone who can’t keep focused on their goals. It usually means they don’t have one. It pretty simple to realize that if you don’t have a road to follow and a compass on hand, you may end up going in circles. Have you defined your goals? Have you come up with a mission statement? Does your company have its own mission statement? What are you all about anyway?

If you are a salesperson working for a company, take the time to define exactly how much in sales you will need to do each month to accomplish your personal goals and take care of your family. That will be your minimum. Then work it through. How much commission do you make off of each sale? If you add that all up, how many sales on average would you have to make each month, each week, each day to get there. Once you’ve defined the numbers, how many actual client contacts must you make each day to make that many sales? Then finally, how many calls each day must you make to keep your pipeline full and make actual contacts. In my experience as a sales manager over the years, I’ve seen some of my best salespeople be able to make 80 to 100 actual phone calls each day with at least 20 actual client contacts. A contact is where you actually talk to a client and accomplish some small item to move the sale ahead. Where are you in this? Are you willing each day to make the commitment it’s going to take for you to accomplish your goals? I’ve prepared this little story to illustrate what working smart is all about. It’s an oldie but goodie.

A Tale of Two Lumberjacks

Two lumberjacks were given axes and told to go into the woods to cut down trees. The first lumberjack found a tree and started chopping. He chopped all day without stopping. The second lumberjack also did his share of chopping, but kept stopping once in a while during the day. He’d walk away, and then come back a few minutes later. The first lumberjack just kept working.

At the end of the day, the second lumberjack had cut more wood than the first. The first was much more tired than the second. What happened?

The second lumberjack who took breaks went to go sharpen his axe. The point is that both had the same tool, but only one took the time to learn how to use it properly. Work smarter, not harder.

We all get the same tools. We have the same rules. Some of us learn how to use our tools better than others. The playbook is not as important as the execution. Is your execution of the tools that you have getting any better? Your ability to carry out the “execution” of the plan can make you better than your competition. It can give you the success you need.

Resilience Training For Leaders

A leader is someone that works with a team to achieve goals and accomplish tasks. However, a leader is more than that – they are an inspiring force that encourages members to be productive and contribute to the organisation in a positive way.

To see improvement in the performance of your team, it is essential to become a better leader. You can do so understanding your leadership style, building resilience, remaining positive, listening and communicating, and encouraging contributions.

Understand Your Style of Leadership

The first step to becoming a better leader is to understand what your leadership style is and how it affects team members and productivity. You should also assess your strengths and weaknesses, looking for areas of improvement.

You can take leadership quizzes to figure out your style of leadership and how the qualities of your leadership style help or hinder workplace situations.

Grow Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability one has to bounce back from strife and overcome challenges and difficulties that are thrown their way. To become a better leader, it is necessary to build resilience by taking part in a resilience training program and working with experts that can help you learn invaluable techniques and strategies to conquer the workplace.

Train your resilience by taking classes, participating in workshops, and practising mindfulness both at work and in your personal life. Group members can also participate in a resilience training program, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

Remain Positive

A positive attitude goes a long way in motivating and inspiring others, so put on a happy face and keep your attitude upbeat. It may not be possible to show up to work each and every day in a good mood, but once you train your resilience it becomes easier to focus on the task at hand and keep negativity from impacting your workplace performance.

Even when your team members seem disheartened, staying positive can help them overcome challenges and push through difficulties and problems.

Listen & Communicate

Active listening and communication skills are two very important things that a leader should practice as often as possible. Communicate with team members often, keeping them up to date on the happenings of the organisation and inspiring them to meet goals and accomplish tasks.

By communicating, you maintain rapport with members of your group and they are more likely to make valuable contributions to the organisation.

Accept & Encourage Contributions

What’s the point of having a team if you don’t listen to any of their ideas? Let your team members know that their ideas are welcome, encouraging them to become involved in decisions. You don’t have to accept every idea; listen to their contributions and use them to come up with a plan or solution.

You’ll still have final say over the decision, but your team members will feel like they have taken an active role and participated in the process, building connections and establishing trust. You also gain important insight.

Becoming a better leader benefits you, your team members, and the organisation you are working with. Keep these tips in mind if you want to better lead your team.

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