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3 Ways to Effectively Assess a Legal Cannabis Company to Mitigate Risk

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How to scrutinize a legal cannabis company for utmost viability to best ensure your investment, partnership, employment or other  engagement doesn’t ‘go up in smoke’

With the legal cannabis industry projected to exceed $50 billion by 2022, according to Cowen & Co., and another report citing that, from just January to September 2017, alone, “cultivation and retail investments tripled to $718 million” with areas like agricultural technology, infused products, and software attracting copious investor dollars, the future for many stakeholders is decidedly green.

Given the extent of near-guaranteed growth and financial upside of the legalized cannabis industry and throngs of sectors related thereto, there’s a gold rush mentality prompting people to invest in cannabis stocks, partner with cannabis companies, accept employment opportunities and otherwise “get in the game” and stake their claim as the so-called “wild west of cannabis” unfolds. Or, “flourish” seems to be a better characterization, given the legal cannabis industry is reported to be the single fastest-growing industry in the United States—one that added over 64,000 full-time legal cannabis jobs in 2018, bringing the total number of positions for the year to 211,000 – up 44% rise from the prior year, according to a new report  from Leafly and Whitney Economics.

So, it’s certainly no surprise that trend-driven, profit-minded companies, entrepreneurs, investors and even job seekers are putting politics and “value judgements” aside, finding ways to leverage legalized cannabis interests to boost their own bottom lines. However, “given the extent and complexity of issues surrounding safety and security, regulatory and compliance matters, technology and other key concerns that can vary from state to state, there are a number of key factors to examine before formally engaging or investing with a company operating in this space to best protect your interests,” warns Zachary Venegas, CEO of Helix TCS, Inc.—the industry’s leading provider of integrated operating solutions in the legal cannabis industry. His publicly-traded company (OTCQB:HLIX), which is heavily staffed with military veterans and law enforcement specialists, oversees security and transport, data analytics and compliance tracking concerns for legal cannabis businesses across the industry spectrum. This as it pertains to producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and governments, alike.

According to Venegas, a pioneering executive helping drive cannabis industry maturation, “It’s imperative to proceed with extreme caution, as seemingly legitimate purveyors in this space can still be riddled with red flags and hazards that they themselves may or may not be aware of, which are often not apparent to an outsider without proper due diligence. No profit-minded professional would prudently ignore such a market, but one must be mindful that this unique sector is rife with complex legal and regulatory risks.”

To help professionals and businesses at large better navigate what can be a treacherous field of issues while engaging with a cannabis company, Venegas offers this advice on a few ways to effectively scrutinize a legal cannabis company (whether private sector or publicly-traded):

  • Be skeptical of fast expansion. This can be an indication that a company is prioritizing growth over regulatory compliance, which varies drastically by state. Professionals will understand that an appetite for risk is often a plus, and that companies that play it safe usually aren’t the ones to end up making waves. But, when it comes to the cannabis industry, there’s a caveat: according to Venegas, being cautious with regulatory requirements isn’t a mistake–it’s good management. However inevitable as it might seem, legal cannabis hasn’t yet hit mainstream acceptance. Not being methodical in complying with regulations at both the local and federal level means these businesses are a step away from disaster.”While any number of companies have so far skirted the minefield of regulations without consequence, they may have been lulled into a false sense of security as heavier enforcement is only a matter of time. Early adopter states like California intend to get tough on illegal pot purveyors. This amid widespread reports that Nicole Elliott, senior adviser on cannabis to Gov. Gavin Newsom, said state funds for enforcement would nearly double in the fiscal year that begins July 1, to $113 million. California is also actively driving public information campaigns helping consumers get “#weedwise” to best ensure their purchases are legal and from properly state-licensed cannabis businesses. This includes production, manufacturing, retail, delivery, distributors, testing laboratories. Using tools like those the California Bureau of Cannabis Control offers at CApotcheck.com, consumers and industry players, alike, can readily vet an organization. One other way to evaluate a business on this point is to examine their legal team to the extent possible. Any legitimate business who plans to stay in this particular game must have proper legal advice. If they don’t have lawyers, it’s highly possibly they’re not being mindful of this sector’s ever-changing legal landscape.
  • Avoid businesses without foundational advantages. When trying to predict which companies will be around for the long-haul, investors should look to Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2018. Nine out of the world’s top 10 largest cannabis companies, all Canadian, first had a solid grounding in supplying medical cannabis before branching into recreational products. “An advantage in infrastructure is huge,” Venegas notes. “We all tend to like the story of the tiny startup blowing up overnight, but the businesses most likely to take advantage of legalization are those who have existing footholds in the industry and the connections to exploit them. A lot of these smaller operations will be squeezed out of the market once legalization is widespread and larger players join in.” In other words, be wary when engaging companies entering the market—or even currently operating—without sound infrastructure, though they might seem like good prospects in the existing competitive environment. The only thing constant is change as the saying goes, so a company must be willing and able to scale, pivot and adapt as needed. Also consider that companies with operations in adjacent industries, like hydroponics equipment, also have a head start.
  • A red flag: no executive experience in a heavily regulated industry. A must in any engagement scenario is studying a company’s team, but this takes on another level of importance when it comes to cannabis. The mess of varying state regulatory environments, future legal developments and political concerns means any business planning to succeed in the industry will face a set of unique challenges that few other companies will. Experience is needed to mitigate those challenges and ensure that growth doesn’t hit a landmine. Executives or advisors with a background in the medical cannabis industry is the ideal scenario, as this can well-prepare a company for future changes across various verticals beyond pharma with respect to recreational marijuana and a litany of CBD and hemp-oriented consumer goods. Even executives or advisors in other industries that comparably navigate stringent regulatory and compliance challenges can be a boon. This might be why Tobacco companies are betting big to become major players in the cannabis market. Even professionals with backgrounds in alcohol, gaming, cryptocurrency and the like may be able to adapt quicker to the fast-changing environment of the current cannabis market than the norm.

“In my extensive work helping legitimate and legal cannabis operations secure the various resources needed to scale their businesses and capitalize on revenue and other growth opportunities, coupled with my private equity and frontier market launches of multi-million dollar businesses across three continents, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly at this point in my career—including how each of these scenarios has impacted the marketplace at large,” notes Venegas. “I’m thrilled to boil some of this key learning down to tips and tools that other professionals and businesses can utilize to keep themselves out of harm’s way…financially, legally and otherwise.”

It would seem that even keeping this bit of baseline wisdom in mind can proffer a make or break difference, helping you avoid getting “burned” by endeavoring into the legal cannabis trade.

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As a prolific branding and marketplace trends pundit, Merilee spotlights noteworthy industry innovators, change makers, movers and shakers. Experts, brands, products, services, destinations and events across all categories are spotlighted in her exclusive cross-media platform that reaches multi-millions each month through several syndication channels: print and online publications as well as broadcast TV and terrestrial radio. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com / Instagram www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews / Twitter www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor / Facebook www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList / LinkedIN www.LinkedIn.com/in/MerileeKern

Sources:

https://cannabiz.media/2017/11/28/2018-marijuana-industry-trends-and-predictions/

https://mjbizdaily.com/report-north-america-marijuana-sales-hit-6-7-billion-in-2016/

https://aca5.accela.com/bcc/customization/bcc/cap/licenseSearch.aspx

https://marijuanaindex.com

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cronos-ceo-says-altria-investment-is-just-the-beginning-2018-12-07

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5 Ways to Improve Logistics Management – Infographic

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Have you already saved up enough money for that business you have always dreamt of to handle? Or are you still thinking of what products that you will sell on your starting enterprise that is mostly demanded by the consumers today?

Before you even start to purchase the things that you need in able for you to begin, do you know well enough to handle your market in the long run?

As we all know, many entrepreneurs are not lucky enough for their establishment to stay that long. There are many reasons why businesses are failing and, sadly, closing. It is either they are in a poor location, they have insufficient capital, the funds that are for their products and materials were being used, lack of experience or they have inadequate skills in management. However, based on the statistics, the latter is always the vital cause of why these firms are closing down.

Henceforward, logistics management is being taught to people before they administer their business.

Logistics is how you synchronize the labyrinthian operation of your market. Not only with your people, but as well as with the facilities and the supplies. This is the fundamental method that enterprisers are practicing. Since this is how you will know the basic needs of your commodities – which are the source of your products and how much the expenditure will be. Both from the provisions that you will purchase and the amounts of rations that may be bought.

Managing your logistics well is enough to strengthen your products for it to be more convenient and pleasing to your consumers. But that’s not all; you should also think of new methods or tactics that will prolong their desire to purchase your goods — considering that the economy today continues to improve and when it is improving, it is also growing. Followed by the changing wants and needs of the people. In that way, you will be able to still stay in the spotlight even though years have already gone by.

In addition to your knowledge, the economy of your country is also utilizing the process of logistics management. That is why the flow of economic operations is stable. Just as how entrepreneur conduct their corporation. The higher-ups are also utilizing a similar method of how to keep developing the products of their country to keep everything not only balanced but accompanied by growth too.

Being the mind and body of your pursuit may be back-breaking. Because there are various challenges that you may encounter, and you must always stay active and keep thinking of new strategies to dodge those circumstances. Make use of your knowledge and your skills for a better business operating performance. Cause without it, your enterprise is going to be one of those firms that come to a standstill.

Excelsior Worldwide Freight Logistics Corp has gathered these five knowledgeable ways to improve your logistics management. If you want to be one of that thriving and known entrepreneur then you got to keep grinding and improving. Develop your tactical side and make logistics management as a tool from your passage to the top:

5 Ways to Improve Your Logistics Management - Infographic

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How is Projection Mapping important for Corporate Events in Dallas?

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How is Projection Mapping important for Corporate Events in Dallas?

Your next big corporate event will look incomplete with only streamers and standees. How about you turn the walls into a live canvas?

Thanks to technology, this is very much possible. Projection mapping is the up and coming wave that is revolutionizing the way people arrange events. The technology uses projected images and videos to turn any surface into dynamic art.

Projection mapping is set to change the nature of corporate events. Seventy-four percent of Americans prefer to pay for experiences over products. These projections immerse the audience and grasp their attention. Dallas-Fort Worth and its vicinity are some of the most happening places in the United States. If your business is situated in this region, you have so many tricks up your sleeves for your next event.

Projection mapping vs. regular projectors

We have seen projectors in offices and cinemas. They shoot a beam of light to a surface and magnify media. These projections are defined by size and area on which the light falls. In our brain, there is a set area dedicated to these projections. Otherwise, the setup will not work.

Projection mapping takes this to the next step. By using more than one projector, the surface area of display becomes limitless. So, if the photo of the forest looks cut-out on a projector, projection mapping can create a panoramic view of the woods in the entire room. It is gorgeous and remarkable.

Works on any surface

The beautiful thing about projection mapping is that it does not require a flat surface. Unlike a projector that needs a flat wall or ceiling, projected images and videos glide smoothly over any surface.

How is Projection Mapping important for Corporate Events in Dallas?

How is Projection Mapping important for Corporate Events in Dallas?                                                                              Photo: source

You can focus on the content for projection, rather than cutting out specific spaces. It can turn your venue into a live arena. Be it the Statue of Liberty or the tower of Pisa; projection mapping can cover anything.

Looks impressive without 3D glasses

Projection mapping is more than a mere display of media on a surface. You can project 3D videos and images with this technology, and the audience does not need to wear 3D glasses! Think beyond PowerPoint decks; you can animate your branding and make it look 3D.

You can set a precedent of Projection mapping in Dallas events before anyone else uses the idea. For inspiration, you can see how NBA utilized projection mapping to make the court ‘collapse’. It is as close to reality as it can be, without wearing 3D aid.

 Easy in logistics

LED panels to look nice, but they are huge and hard to transport. Event organizers know how tough it is to bear responsibility for these bad boys. If you have to put up an event in a short time, the job only gets harder.

Then there are plug and play issues. If the setup is not sitting well at one location, it has to be moved to another location until the installation makes sense. Sometimes this leads to an additional cost.

With projection mapping, you have to map out the entire space and decide what plays where. If you have to change the display, change the direction of your projector, and the job is done.

Highlights your content

Your corporate event will shine brighter if your content is top-notch. Consider the size and quality of images you want to project when mapping. A professional can guide you better because you need some practical experience before pulling off this technology at an event.

The look, feel, and tone of your event will guide the projection mapping strategy. A professional will advise you whether you need video mapping or pixel mapping. It is better to gain experience under these pros about cost estimates, area planning, and stage requirements.

Makes a great first impression

‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ There is a part of us humans that get ensnared by beauty. You have the best chance to mesmerize your attendees by creating a live art display.

Industry tycoons have seen it all when it comes to LED and other displays. Projection mapping is a new entrant in this field, and you have the chance to introduce that WOW factor to them.

Just like a great party host gets a flurry of compliments, your business will receive praise and some new leads as well. The more creative you go with your projections, the better it will look in a space.

Last word

There is inspiration available on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet to map your next event. Think of engaging items like puzzles or logo animations that attract attention. Pretty much anything can be projected, so it is your call to make it look pleasing to the eye.

You will see amazing results if you work closely with professionals and technicians on a great brief. Talk to the organizer about your exact requirements and discuss everything in detail. Some people also perform a few rehearsals to make sure everything works at the right time. Keep experimenting and learning!

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Why Do eCommerce SEO Experts Use Image Alt Tags?

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 What is the image alt tag?

An alt attribute is used in HTML and XHTML documents, which is text rendered to an image when an image is unable to load on the website. It is used to enhance the user’s experience.

How to use an alt tag?

Alt tags are added to images in the HTML code. Just insert the image on the page and then add the alt tag to it. A unique alt tag is given to all images present on the website. The text describes what you will see in the image correctly. If there are multiple images present on the site, then each should have a unique image alt tag.

Why do we need an alt image tag?

Yes, the graphic image will load correctly even when there is no image alt tag is attached to it. But what if it does not load on the website, then what is the alternative to it? Spend some time in creating an alternative description for the image so that nothing can ruin the user’s experience.

How do eCommerce SEO experts use image alt tags?

In order to generate higher leads, it is essential to provide the best user experience to all your users. For alt and title, descriptions need to be prepared using key phrases that include keywords as well. Ecommerce SEO experts need to add the text in the Adjective plus key phrase form. It will enhance the user’s experience towards your website.

Best practices by Alt tag

  • Be specific while describing the image

Make sure you specify the image point to point. Depict the image and be explicit to it. It would be best if you also used the subject of the picture. The text you are going to write should be less than 125 characters, so make sure you are explicit enough in a limited number of words.

  • Don’t use additional words like “image of..”, “picture of…”, with text

Jump directly on the description rather than writing words such as an image or picture. Because the screen reading tool does not consider it as text even if it is considered as an image. It is recommended that you use natural language to describe an image.

  • Refrain from keyword stuffing

Refrain the text from keyword stuffing because of most of the reputed search engines, including Google disfavor such strategies. Make sure you use keywords effectively and efficiently. Besides, you should think about semantic keywords with other main keywords.

  • Don’t just use a single keyword in all the images present on a webpage

If a web page contains multiple images, make sure you are using different keywords on it. The image and its description of both should be relevant to the article written on the web page.

  • Translated alt text

In case if the website is running in multiple languages, then it is an excellent option to add translated alt text. So, a user can get the content in his/her preferred language.

The title tag should not be the same as that of the alt text of the image. These should be different with the different keywords according to the content or article present on the website.

  • The importance of image alt tag!!!

Google search engine is quite good at determining the value and relevance of the content. But here, it should be considered that Google is just a search engine or a machine; it needs humans to run so humans can control it. Right? In the same way, Google is using the alt tag text that is used to understand the content if an image does not load on the webpage of the user to enhance their web surfing experience.

The images with the optimized alt text are more likely to populate in the image searches of an object. It also provides contextual relevance about the page. The image alt tag is widely used by all the eCommerce SEO experts to improve user experience and accessibility. Optimizing all the images present on the web page provides greater relevance to a search engine, which helps increase the ranking of a website.

So, make sure you add the image alt text to all the images while uploading these to your website. This text helps visually impaired individuals to get engaged in your website. And it will bring good traffic to your site.

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Zomato Acquires Uber Eats Reason Behind The Deal or Failure of Uber Eats

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On January 21st, 2020, food delivery giant Zomato acquired Uber Eats. From this time Uber Eats discontinued its food delivery operations. Users traveling outside India can still enjoy the benefits of Uber Eats. Now all its delivery partners, consumers, and restaurants will be directed to Zomato. Zomato acquired food aggregator Uber Eats for ₹2,485 crores, and after this deal, Uber Eats holds ownership of 9.99% in Zomato. After the deal, 245 employees of Uber Eats are on a cliffhanger. Zomato hasn’t given any statement about the absorption of these employees.

Apart from the growth in the smaller cities and towns, the significant business of food delivery app scripts like Swiggy and Zomato is around 65% comes from the top cities. Now with the Uber Eats consumers, Zomato holds about 50-55 percent of the food delivery market industry. Now developers are focusing on developing Zomato clone scripts. 

The on-demand meal delivery service UberEats, connected with Zomato. The potential for many of these online delivery services is substantial, with around 44% of consumers using food delivery services at least once per month in the United States. Furthermore, the survey also found that 43% of consumers claimed to order their food online with an additional 13% ordering using a food delivery app. (source)

Uber Eats’s Journey in India

Cab hailing company Uber started its food delivery services in 2017. At that time two industry giants Zomato and Swiggy were already there. It was the first food delivery company that had a celebrity brand Ambassador – Alia Bhatt. Zomato started in 2008, and after five years, Swiggy began in 2013. By the time Uber launched its food delivery services in India, these two already had acquired more than half of the market. Zomato had around 40 million users, where Swiggy had 42 million users and the newbie Uber Eats had only 10 million user base at that time.

After starting the business in 2017, the average order value (AOV) of Uber Eats was rs 400, then in 2018 AOV was rs 300 with 3.5-4 million orders per month, and last year in 2019 it was rs 250. The AOV is showing its constantly dipping market. Besides having less user base, the users shared their grievance on twitter saying that the company Uber Eats was way better than Swiggy and Zomato. “The delivery experience, additional taxes, and application user interface of Uber Eats were much better than its competitors,” users said.   

Big Wins for Zomato

Zomato got quite a lot from this deal according to experts. Zomato got all its delivery partners, Customer information, business details, customer order history and much more. The delivery partners will benefit from this deal because everyone wants their food to be delivered home at the quickest. More people will order means, more delivery boys and more employment. Zomato serves more than 70 million users every month in 24 countries, with a partnership of 1.5 million restaurants. The addition of Uber’s business will definitely take this figure higher than Swiggy. 

Reasons: Why Uber Eats lagging behind Zomato and Swiggy?

There are several reasons for uber Eats lagging behind Zomato and Swiggy. Here we will discuss some of them.

  1. Facing Last Mover Disadvantages

Where UberEats started its business in 2017, its competitor was already set its feet in the market. They were almost on the top when Uber began its food delivery business as a newbie. There was a lot of pressure on Uber Eats as being a newbie in the market. Being a latecomer in the food delivery market, Uber faced many challenges which lead Uber to this deal.

  1. Slow Growth

Being a latecomer in the industry with limited resources, made Uber’s growth slow. Where Zomato was serving around 500 cities, Uber was only serving 44 cities at that time. The hyper-competitive market and low-value orders slowed its growth. The food delivery market is not so easy to crack.

  1. Less Funding and High Discounts

When Uber Eats started its business in India, it did not get enough funding from the investors. Even its parent company Uber also didn’t provide enough funding. While becoming stable in the market, Uber Eats needed to follow a high discount strategy. Where the competitors were getting substantial funding; hence they were offering impressive discounts that were making them popular in the market. The massive discounting approach was one of the reasons for its downfall. The company losses around ₹2,197 crores and more debts were following it, which made it difficult for Uber Eats to sustain in the market.  

All in All

There are other food delivery companies also in the market like Foo

panda, Dunzo and many more. But the leading players of the game will be Swiggy and Zomato. In any application-based business, only one brand remains on the top. With the huge success of these applications, online food delivery app development companies are seeing their future in it. The other brand remains for back up, and there is no space for the third one. Any brand which is not on number 1 or 2 face difficulty to sustain in the market and face difficulty to make a profitable and successful business.

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Things to keep in Mind while Hiring a Customs Brokerage

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Things to keep in mind while hiring a customs brokerage

A customer broker works on the behalf of the importers and exporters and helps them with dealing with the logistics and legalities which are involved with the process of exporting and importing goods. Importing from across the border seems like a lucrative option if you can purchase some goods at a cheaper price which are not available within your country. This is why people who are in the business of imports and exports wonder about having their products cleared at the border and who would be in charge of the customs formalities at every international border that your products cross.

A customs brokerage firm can help you to get rid of the stress involved and have the peace of mind that you always wanted. However, there are several things to keep in mind while hiring a customs brokerage firm to take care of your products.

  1. Look for experience

Just because someone has the license, does not mean he is an expert in properly dealing with your goods. The sad reality is that not all brokers are experienced enough with providing the necessary skills to provide their service to certain industries while simultaneously dealing with those countries which have a hostile attitude towards yours. Experienced brokers are generally prepared to face these situations and can save you both time and money which you could have lost if you went to a novice.

  1. Research on your own

Although word of mouth is useful when you are looking for someone to deal with your goods but it will be foolish on your part to solely rely on the recommendations you hear from others. Often the reality of the matter is entirely different from what you hear and it will cost you heavy if something happens to your goods while they are on the transit.

The smart thing would be to shop around for names and create a list based on your preference for the list of competitive firms that you would like to consider. You can then visit these brokers and rank them accordingly so that you have a clear idea of what to expect when you would hand them over your goods.

  1. Only look for licensed brokers

While looking for brokers, the first thing that you should do is to look for the license. Although it seems like common sense many people overlook it for having their goods delivered cheaply and then pay the price when something goes wrong.

Unfortunately, they cannot do something about it as the law would not have the jurisdiction to punish such brokers hence you will likely be the only one who will suffer. By producing a license you can trust the custom broker as he will be a professional and you can sue for damages if anything happens to your goods.

  1. Find a broker who has an efficient team

One of the reasons that clients do not trust some of the big firms is because they also offer other services that make the clients question the priorities of the firms. Many reputable companies who offer such services have proved that they can grow in the industry and create a wider range of services for their clients.

As you can never be sure and it is best to practice caution, you should choose the firm that has a dedicated and efficient team with the expertise that you can trust.

  1. Choose one that compliments your business

One of the options you can utilize is choosing a brokerage firm that offers the services which cater to the needs of your business. Large companies usually approach firms that offer a variety of services that can provide efficient services and are in line with the needs of the company.

Small and medium scale businesses can look to brokers of the same scale as they do not need a variety of services and will look for specialized brokers who can complete their job at a fast rate which is exactly what your business requires.

  1. Ask relevant questions

You do not need to shy away from asking questions about stuff that you are not aware of. A customs broker who is sincere about working with you will always be open when discussing the details with you and will respond to your queries. It is important to take a step back when deciding which broker to choose and get in touch with every broker within your shortlist and ask relevant questions regarding customs clearance which will help in your decision making.

To conclude, the first thing you should understand about custom brokers is that they are professionals who are there to help you with importing and exporting goods as they are familiar with the different rules and regulations. You should always go for a broker that is in line with the needs of your business and is in the trade for some time so that he knows how best to handle a situation when it looks tough to deal with.

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