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How To Turn Your Useless Home PC Into IP Phone PBX?

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When we are talking about setting up the IP phone PBX system in our home, the first thing that comes to our mind is where or how to begin. Here, we will discuss at an easy way to turn your home PC into a fully fledged IP phone PBX. Let us first understand what this technology really is.

Installation using the old method:

The old method of installing the asterisk was one of the most awful ways to install the IP phone. Using CLI (command line interface) based interface to do anything is no more a choice, and when we are talking about Linux, that becomes even more painful. This is the single biggest reason why people now think of installing asterisk in their homes nothing short of a nightmare. When this CLI based Linux installation was carried out, it took many dark twists and turns, at the end of the day. There were fundamentally, two teasing things. For a layman, the first one was remembering all those commands and executing them at the right time. Secondly, for installing Linux separately, you also needed to install asterisk, which was nothing short of climbing the Mount Everest.

GUI Based Asterisk:

Now, users do not have to wrestle with the text based command prompt. New packages have included everything in just one CD and you just don’t need to install different software packages in bits and pieces.

There is a GUI based Linux software which solves half the worries related to remembering all the Linux CLI commands. Now ordinary people like you and me can see as well as relate to what is happening on the screen. Secondly, asterisk’s new GUI based version further makes things easy for the users.

They can make all the changes in asterisk through graphic user interface instead of using the command line interface. There are many GUI based asterisk available and most of them are open source like AsteriskNow, Flash in a PBX, and many others.

All these changes have not only made the installation process a lot easier but also reduced the unnecessary headaches which ordinary people had to go through earlier.

We talked about a useless PC on which asterisk work. Anyhow, we will still have a look at the minimum requirements for the computer that can be used for this purpose.

– You need a PC that is x86 with Linux GUI based operating system installed on it.
– The PC should be a minimum Pentium III with 500 MHz of processor.
– There must be one PCI slot available.
– You must have Digium TDM-400P that supports 2 X FXO daughter cards and 2 X FXS daughter cards.
– Your PC must have a sound card installed and working in perfect condition.

Assuming that you already have Linux operating system installed on your PC, we will proceed with the Trixbox installation as this is one of the most common GUI based asterisk in use.

Installing asterisk on your PC using Trixbox

Once you reach the console, login using these details.

Username: root
Password: The one you provided at the time of installation

Once you have successfully been able to log into your system, your system will mention you the DHCP server received IP address. Now you need to give your system a permanent address which you can do by two ways, either through the GUI or by system-config-network.

Upon configuring the IP address you need to restart the service network.

You will need to use your web browser to continue doing the configuration task through the IP that you just assigned.

Now you will need to click on Switch next to User Mode for opening the Admin GUI. Login details provided below.

user: maint
pass: password

Select the Asterisk – PBXconfig from the GUI.

Go to tools – module admin. Here you can select from a list of modules given. Install the ones which you really think of benefit to you.

Now go to setup – extensions – generic sip device to add your first extension.

Now you can enter different phone extensions that you want to use. Many people prefer starting from 200.

What to do next?

Once you have successfully configured all the settings, now you need to have a phone to make and receive calls. But as in this case, you are using your PC. Make sure you have good quality VoIP headset pair with a mic. This will help you make and receive phone calls. Make sure you have enabled voicemail to get the extra benefits. Now you can virtually attach as many phone users as you want. Just make sure to correctly configure it in your GUI based asterisk and do not forget to assign an extension to each new phone user added. The extension would be unique which can only be assigned to one phone user.

Enjoy managing a big network of phones with secure OS like Linux run by asterisk. There does involve some hard work but at the end. You will not need to invest that much amount of money or effort.

To reduce the cost of the whole process and increase the joys, make sure that you have a reliable internet phone service like Vonage, Axvoice or Skype at the backend.

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Finance

Guide to Financial Success

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Maintaining a healthy mind, body & soul is important when it comes to having stability in all aspects of one’s life. This includes financial decisions we make on a daily basis. The better choices you make the less stress you will have.

I. Think & Feel Positive – The less stress we have on a daily basis the more we are able to make decisions that lead to successful results. One has the start with the way we think and feel about things we deal with in our lives. Remember to always take care of your mental health so that your mind is clear and free of negative thinking that will lead to bad decisions making. Maintaining a healthy mind set will also lead to better physical health.

A. Starting your day with a positive attitude – It is important to always be positive before getting into anything you plan or not for the day. Being positive always helps you maintain focused, motivated and full of energy towards carrying out your goals. Staring your day with a positive attitude will also help you maintain calm if and when things get stressful.

B. Be realistic with yourself – Know that part of planning something is also expecting things not to go as planned. Learn from your mistakes and move on. This skill is useful when managing one’s finances, as you will learn to better handle the situation.

C. Learn to relax – always make time to relax your mind & body as much as possible. 5-30 minutes 3-5x per week engaging in to whatever activity you find relaxing will help you maintain good mental health. Being able to maintain calm when making financial decisions will always be a benefit for you!

D. Have confidence in yourself – If you do not believe you can do something there is no point in doing it at all. So make sure you have enough confidence to trust your decisions especially with your finances as this will help you reach the financial success you desire.

II. Feel Good, Look Good – It is also important to remember that image isn’t everything, but it is also true that working on your physical appearance is a positive first step in working on to have a successful financial life.

A. Eating & Drinking Right – We’re not saying that you need to be a health nut, but it is important for you to be involve in a healthy eating program that will help prolong your life. After all, the longer you live, the longer you can enjoy your financial success.

B. Activities & Exercise – Once again we’re saying that you need to be a on some extreme exercise program, but you should involve yourself in activities that will help

C. Skin, Hair & Nails – You don’t need any big budget makeovers or it doesn’t matter if you like to experiment with different styles and colors, but keeping yourself well groomed is a basic organizational skill that will help you get use to having your financial life organized.

D. Clothes, Shoes & Accessories – Try to be a smart shopper & spend your money wisely. There are always sales throughout the year that one can benefit from. Always have a budget and limit of what you can afford to avoid overspending. Shopping at big department stores always helps to find good prices.

III. Inform, Protect & Invest in Yourself

A. Inform Yourself – Knowing and understanding what you are getting into always makes it easier for you to do. Your level of stress will also be under control.

1.You must want financial success- No one can force you into wanting to be financially successful. You have to want it and you have to work to be financially successful. Having a clear picture of what you are setting out for always makes it easier to accomplish.

a. Be in control – If YOU want to be financially successful, YOU must do the research and only you can make the best decision for YOURSELF.

b. Don’t be afraid of money – You are in charge. You make the money. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Before you make a decision make sure it is the best decision.

c. Be a hustler, not a customer – Don’t believe anything until you see it. Don’t believe everything you see. If your going to do business with a company or a person you should try to know as much as that company or person in the business your getting into.

2.Knowledge is Power- Know what you owe and where you can make some money. The more you know the better prepared you are as you will have less questions about whatever information you need.

a. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know, but I’m going to try to find out.”

b. Try to get as much details as you can before making a decision

c. Try to carefully review and fully understand your details before making a decision

3. Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ Equity – Assets are the value of “equity” plus “liabilities.” The term “equity” describes the value of the things you own and the term “liability” describes the value of a present obligation you owe.

a. Acquire as many assets as possible – It is important to remember to in order to be financially successful you have to acquire as many assets as possible. You must keep liabilities at a minimum because many times the interest rates on your liabilities can eat away at the value of your equity.

b. Liabilities acting as assets – It is also very important to be aware of the liabilities that act as assets. Many times people see buying a new home as increasing their asset value. But the reality is that your asset value can somewhat still be the same since your home is an increase in equity and the mortgage loan you used to get the home is an increase in your liability. So be aware that acquiring thing is not always an increase in your asset value.

c. Assets as Income – Many times you can find assets that can be a great source of income. It is very important to remember that some liabilities act as assets when you are looking for an asset that can make you income.

B. Protect Yourself – Remember it is very important that you are financially protected. Always consider how you are benefiting & protecting your from the results of the decision you are making. Take your time to think things through and select the best services based mostly on the benefits it will provide you.

1.Will & Testament – A Will gives you full control over such issues as who gets your property, who will be the guardian of your children, who will manage your estate upon your death, who will inherit assets that you haven’t left to anyone else and other issues relating to the management and distribution of your estate. The importance of a Will cannot be understated. A Will is perhaps the most important legal document the average person will ever have.

2.Savings/Checking Accounts & CDs – If you need a safe place to keep money, a bank account is often the best choice. Banks offer different kinds of accounts for different purposes. With a Savings and Checking account you can put your money in a safe place and still have easy access to it in case you need it. With a Checking Account your even giving checks so you can pay other people with the money you put in your bank account. A CD or Cash Deposit is the same but with a CD you actually let the bank hold a certain amount of your money for a certain period of time.

3.Life & Health Insurance – Life insurance or life assurance is a contract between the policy owner and the insurer, where the insurer agrees to pay a sum of money upon the occurrence of the policy owner’s death. In return, the policy owner (or policy payer) agrees to pay a stipulated amount called a premium at regular intervals. Health insurance is a type of insurance whereby the insurer pays the medical costs of the insured if the insured becomes sick due to covered causes, or due to accidents. The insurer may be a private organization or a government agency. Market-based health care systems such as that in the United States rely primarily on private health insurance.

4.Auto & Home Insurance – Vehicle insurance (or auto insurance, car insurance, motor insurance) is insurance people can purchase for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of traffic accidents. An insurance company may declare a vehicle totally destroyed (‘totaled’ or ‘a write-off’) if it appears replacement would be cheaper than repair. Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowners insurance (often abbreviated in the real estate industry as HOI), is the type of property insurance that covers private homes. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of its use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home.

C. Invest Yourself – Looking to invest your money properly is knowing how to protect you and your family. Use your knowledge and act now so that you can benefit now and in the future. Find out what services are best for you. Take time to know what you can and are getting yourself into. Don’t be afraid to ask questions no matter how stupid you think they may be and take time to get those questions you have answered.

1.Traditional & Roth IRAs – A traditional IRA is an individual retirement account (IRA) in the United States. The IRA is held at a custodian such as a bank or brokerage, and may be invested in anything that the custodian allows (for instance, a bank may allow certificates of deposit, and a brokerage may allow stocks and mutual funds). Unlike the Roth IRA, the only criterion for being eligible to contribute to a Traditional IRA is sufficient income to make the contribution. However, the best provision of a Traditional IRA – the tax-deductibility of contributions – has strict eligibility requirements based on income, filing status, and availability of other retirement plans (mandated by the Internal Revenue Service). Transactions in the account, including interest, dividends, and capital gains, are not subject to tax while still in the account, but upon withdrawal from the account, withdrawals are subject to federal income tax (see below for details). This is in contrast to a Roth IRA, in which contributions are never tax-deductible, but qualified withdrawals are tax-free. The traditional IRA also has more restrictions on withdrawals than a Roth IRA. With both types of IRA, transactions inside the account (including capital gains, dividends, and interest) incur no tax liability. Here is a 401(k) versus IRA matrix that compares various types of IRAs with various types of 401(k)s. A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account (IRA) allowed under the tax law of the United States. Named for its chief legislative sponsor, U.S. Senator William V. Roth Jr. of Delaware, a Roth IRA differs in several significant ways from other IRAs.

2.Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds – A stock is the capital raised by a corporation or joint-stock company through the issuance and distribution of shares. A person or organization which holds at least a partial share of stocks is called a shareholder. The aggregate value of a corporation’s issued shares is its market capitalization. A bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and is obliged to repay the principal and interest (the coupon) at a later date, termed maturity. Other stipulations may also be attached to the bond issue, such as the obligation for the issuer to provide certain information to the bondholder, or limitations on the behavior of the issuer. Bonds are generally issued for a fixed term (the maturity) longer than ten years. U.S Treasury securities issue debt with life of ten years or more, which is a bond. New debt between one year and ten years is a note, and new debt less than a year is a bill. A mutual fund is a form of collective investment that pools money from many investors and invests their money in stocks, bonds, short-term money market instruments, and/or other securities. In a mutual fund, the fund manager trades the fund’s underlying securities, realizing capital gains or losses, and collects the dividend or interest income. The investment proceeds are then passed along to the individual investors. The value of a share of the mutual fund, known as the net asset value per share (NAV), is calculated daily based on the total value of the fund divided by the number of shares currently issued and outstanding.

3.Independent Businesses – In business, an independent business as a term of distinction generally refers to privately owned companies (as opposed to those companies owned publicly through a distribution of shares on the market). Independent businesses most commonly take the form of sole-proprietorships. “Independent” is frequently used to distinguish one-of-a-kind businesses from corporate chains, indeed dozens of communities have organized Independent Business Alliances to help distinguish independent businesses from chains. Other terms of distinction used in addition to independent businesses include small business, locally owned business and startup business, which have varying subtleties of distinction.

4.Real Estate – Real estate or immovable property is a legal term (in some jurisdictions) that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. Real estate (immovable property) is often considered synonymous with real property (also sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (also sometimes called chattel or personality). However, for technical purposes, some people prefer to distinguish real estate, referring to the land and fixtures themselves, from real property, referring to ownership rights over real estate.

IV. Other People’s Money – Always remember lines of credit are not paychecks. A line of credit is money that must be paid back with interest. You must always be aware of the real numbers in the deal you are getting into so that when you borrow money you are comfortable with the payment options that are available to you.

A. Credit Card – A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. A credit card is different from a debit card in that it does not remove money from the user’s account after every transaction. In the case of credit cards, the issuer lends money to the consumer (or the user). It is also different from a charge card (though this name is sometimes used by the public to describe credit cards), which requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, a credit card allows the consumer to ‘revolve’ their balance, at the cost of having interest charged. Most credit cards are the same shape and size, as specified by the ISO 7810 standard.

B. Auto Loan – In some instances, a loan taken out to purchase a new or used car may be secured by the car, in much the same way as a mortgage is secured by housing. The duration of the loan period is considerably shorter often corresponding to the useful life of the car. There are two types of auto loans, direct and indirect. A direct auto loan is where a bank gives the loan directly to a consumer. An indirect auto loan is where a car dealership acts as an intermediary between the bank or financial institution and the consumer.

C. Home loan – A mortgage loan is a very common type of debt instrument, used by many individuals to purchase housing. In this arrangement, the money is used to purchase the property. The financial institution, however, is given security – a lien on the title to the house – until the mortgage is paid off in full. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the bank would have the legal right to repossess the house and sell it, to recover sums owing to it.

D. Debt Management Plan – A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a method used in various countries for paying personal unsecured debts (which typically have gotten out of control in the sense of payments due taking too large a portion of income, or even exceeding it) that involves cataloguing all the debts, assessing income and budget, and re-negotiating interest rates and payments with the lenders, based upon evidence that the result will be a higher likelihood of collection by the lenders. A third party group typically manages a DMP. There are two types of DMPs. The first type is a fair disbursement of available funds from the debtor to their creditors based on a percentage of debt. For example, if a debtor has 100 monetary units available each month for debt repayment and Creditor A is 25% of his overall debt and creditor B is 75% of his overall debt then Creditor A would receive a fair and balance percentage of available fund. In this case Creditor A would receive 25 and Creditor B would receive 75. Typically the debtor pays the group managing this for them for their service. The second type of DMP is typically run by consumer credit counseling service groups that are funded by creditors to collect and distribute money. In this model, repayment plans are developed by creditors telling the groups what the creditor requirement is and rewarding the group by paying them a percentage of funds collected from debtors and sent to creditors.

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Finance

Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your Product on Amazon

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Amazon is one of the most trusted online businesses. As leaders in the field on internet retailing, Amazon has the e-commerce technology and the traffic to sell your products to a global market. If you’re an internet marketing newbie, quickly read through following features that Amazon offers for product sales.

Amazon Features

To give you a feel for the site, let us first take a look at the basic features offered by Amazon. Feel free to visit the site right now – do a search for any product and see what appears on your screen.

Features to notice:

  • Results always contain a professional photo or some sort of graphic of the product.
  • The price is made visible and it is combined with an offer, i.e. free shipping. Notice how the amount that is saved off of retail is made visible. This is an established advertising strategy – Amazon is telling people what the product is worth and that it´s presently selling for less than the amount that it is worth.
  • Amazon mentions the number of items that are in stock and the estimated time that the product will take to get to the customer. Shoppers are more inclined to buy an item when they are aware that the product’s quantity is limited. Time expectation is also a useful feature for most customers and sellers.
  • Amazon makes use of Cross-Selling and Up Selling. This refers to a concept of selling that is based on product similarity or asking the customer if they would to purchase another product that compliments the first one that they bought i.e. when a customer considers one product; Amazon makes a mention of another product that might also interest the customer.
  • A ‘Look Inside’ feature is offered to customers who are shopping for books. This life-like feature allows the customer to have a closer look at the book.
  • Reviews – The ‘Editorial Review´ section describes the product in great detail.
    Amazon also allows customers to review a product. These reviews are usually reliable, fair and act like testimonials about the product. All kinds of feedback can be useful for the seller.
  • Added Extras – Amazon includes various other types of cross-selling and interactive devices i.e. customer discussions, a Listamania feature, Wiki Info etc. All these extras can be used to create interest around specific products or topics.

What CAN and CAN’T be sold on Amazon

Amazon permits sellers to place their products in the following categories: Books, Music, DVD, Video/VHS, Automotive, Baby, Camera and Photo, Electronics, Everything Else, Health and Personal Care, Home and Garden, Musical Instruments, Office Products, Software, Sports & Outdoors, Tools and Hardware and Video Games.

Please note that you will need to get a prior authorization in order to sell in the following categories: Apparel, Beauty, Cell Phones and Accessories, Gourmet, Grocery, Jewelry & Watches, Personal Computers (in Electronics category), Shoes & Accessories and Toys & Games.

The following products cannot be sold on Amazon: Magazines and Newspapers, Adult Toys, Gift Cards and Gift Certificates, Guns and Ammunition, Photo Processing, Prescription Medication, and Tobacco and Alcohol.

How it all works:

  • Registration
  • For you to start selling your product on Amazon, the first thing you need to do is register. This is a simple process that requires you to fill out a short online form to register as an Individual seller.

    If you think that you will need to process more than 40 orders per month you should register as a Pro Merchant.

  • Upload Product Inventory
  • Amazon has made it really simple for you to upload your product inventory. After your registration, you have three options for submitting information that is related to your product:

    Option 1: Use the Add a Product feature on Seller Central to create one product at a time. If you are unfamiliar with Seller Central, all you need to know is that it is Web interface used to deal with all aspects of selling on Amazon.com. You can use this tool to add product information, make inventory updates and later on, handle orders as well as payments though it.

    Option 2: Make use of the Seller Desktop. This is a free and user-friendly desktop application that you can use to add products in bulk or individually to your inventory.

    Option 3: If you want to submit info about many products simultaneously, make use of the inventory files to create multiple products.

  • Your Products get Spotted
  • By listing your products on Amazon, they reach millions of potential customers 24/7 – Amazon’s traffic, now also becomes your traffic.

  • Your Product gets Purchased
  • Buying a product from Amazon is not only convenient, but also really simple and quick. Your product is easily purchased at the click of a mouse.

  • Shipping
  • Essentially, you are in charge of shipping your product to its new owner. Amazon will notify you about the purchase via email when an order has been placed. All you have to do is, pack and ship your product to the customer.
    If you would prefer not to handle this section you could opt for the Fulfillment by Amazon option.

  • Money in Your Pocket
  • Amazon then does the payment to you via a direct deposit into your bank account. You will also be notified about this deposit via email as soon as your payment has been sent.

While we are on the subject of money, let me give you an outline of Fees involved in becoming a Seller on Amazon…

There are 2 major ‘seller’ packages that have been made available by Amazon.

If you are looking to sell only a few products or expect to have less than 40 orders placed per month, you would want to register as an Individual seller. The only fee involved here is a ‘per product sold’ fee of $0.99 – this means that you only pay $0.99 per product that you sell.

On the other hand, if you think that you will be selling much more than 40 products per month, you should sign up to be a Pro Merchant. Here you should expect to pay a standard monthly subscription fee of $39.99 as well as a minor referral and closing fee when your products sell. These fees are related to your products category.

Remember, for both selling options, there are no individual item listing fees and no credit card processing fees.

If you are new to e-commerce, you may be a bit concerned about the idea of doing financial transactions over the internet. Not to fear though- Amazon has developed a few handy features that may help set you mind as ease.

  • Fraud Protection
  • Amazon offers its sellers a world-class payment fraud protection service. They have devised a system that is ridden with personalized notifications that tell you exactly what is going on with your orders and payments at any given time.

  • Credit Card Facilities
  • Naturally, Amazon is licensed to perform secure transactions with most major credit card providers.

  • A-to-z Guarantee Program
  • This program is particularly designed for the safety of the customer but it is important to be aware of a program of this nature as it has been created to establish a sense of business confidence between the customer, Amazon and you.

    The A-to-z Guarantee Program has been fashioned to handle situations where a customer:

    1) Never receives a product or
    2) Receives a product that is different to what was ordered.

    The customer is initially encouraged to contact you (the seller) personally if this type of product arises. If you cannot resolve the problem, the customer can then file an ‘A-to-z’ claim to Amazon. Amazon then sends you an email, which outlines the customer’s claim. You are requested to respond by mailing the order’s basic information and an outline of the fulfillment process. Amazon will then decide how the claim will be settled – this may result in you having to refund the customer.

So now that you know how to get yourself started, you need to learn a few tricks of the trade…

It’s all about the SALES, so what can you do to make sure that your products sell like hot cakes?

Tip 1) Keywords

Appropriate keywords are vital to high product sales over the internet. Keywords drive potential customers to your product, thus it is important to try to add product specific keywords to your Amazon product description as well as anywhere else that you may be writing about your product. If you want to get really high traffic from search engines, you might need to do a keyword phrase analysis of your main product. This can be done by using Google’s external keyword tool, or WordTracker’s free tool. It is essential that you choose suitable keywords, with the highest rankings.

Tip 2) Write about your Products

The more online content available about your product, the better it is for sales. It is important that you write interesting content that will appeal to your market, and make sure that it contains your product’s keywords. The next step is to publish this info all over the web. You can make use of the ‘Listamania’ or ‘So you’d like to%u2026guide’ features provide by Amazon, but you can also feel free to blog about your product or make use of social media sites for further product publicity i.e. make friends or start a group with people on Facebook who possibly have an interest in the type of product that you are selling.

Tip 3) Online Product Promotion Companies

Feel free to do a Google search to find a list of top product promotion companies. There are many companies available that will aggressively market your product online – with this type of external help; you won’t have to personally take on the marketing of your product. The only downside about making use of these types of companies is that most of their services require you to fork out a hefty bundle of cash.

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Finance

How to Start a Low Cost Home Based Business

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Low Cost Start Up Businesses ideas are literally lying around, just waiting for you to snatch them up. In fact, there are so many of them, you might have trouble deciding which one you want. One thing is for certain, there has never been a better time for home business start-ups. So the sooner you get going, the better.

One idea out of the many for low cost home based businesses that you should know about is right here at your computer. Online auctions are big business these days, and it’s likely you already have items ready you can post for sale.

With the profits from sales on those things you might otherwise call junk, you can hit your local flea markets, estate sales, and garage sales for more goods to sell online. You will be amazed at how easy and profitable this is!

Another low cost home business that you might want to consider is to buy vending machines. These are generally low-cost and low maintenance, and you can place them everywhere from your large local companies’ break rooms to carwash waiting areas.

The possibilities for where to put vending machines are as limitless as your imagination. Ideas for what to put in them range from peanuts to bubble gum. You can pick up this type of item at any discount club or grocery store for a song and pull in big profits in the bargain.

You can also form a personal errand service. The need for these just can’t be stressed enough. People are so busy these days that getting to the dry cleaners can feel like trying to get to the top of a mountain.

Other people who are in major need of a personal errand service are the elderly. They are particularly grateful to have someone to do their personal errands for them. Creating a personal errand service is a great choice for a low cost home based business because it offers so many people what they really want more of-time.

You also might want to consider car detailing as your low cost start up business. Americans spend more time in and money on their cars than anyone else in the world. And they’re willing to pay $150, and often a lot more, to have their cars clean and shiny. If you love cars and being outdoors, this is the low cost home business for you.

Moving services are also a good choice from the list of low cost home businesses. Do you know anyone who wouldn’t love to have someone else do the heavy lifting when it comes to moving? Didn’t think so. Plus, they’re willing to pay big bucks for someone else to do it! Also, this is an especially great home business if you live near a college or university. If you like physical activity, a moving services business might just be the ticket for you.

If having fun is more what you have in mind consider becoming a party planner. You can plan parties ranging from children’s birthday parties to gala events for large local corporations in your area. The terrific thing about this low cost home business is that you get to go to lots of parties! After all, you simply must be at those parties to make sure all those little details you planned for so carefully are attended to correctly!

The list for low cost start up businesses could go on for days. Hopefully, you’ve found the one for you or have gotten the idea for one from this brief guide. The main thing you want to remember when choosing the business that’s right for you is to consider your likes and dislikes.

After all, it’s going to be your business and you’ll be spending lots of time at it, so make sure it’s something you enjoy. After you make your choice, make a plan for the things you need to do to get your business up and running. Follow it, and before you know it, the checks will be filling up your mailbox!

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Possession of Controlled Substances

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What will happen to you if you are arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances? Drug possession is one of the most common crimes in the U.S. Any possession of an illicit drug, such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, or heroin, can lead to serious charges. If the court determines that you had in your possession more than would be used for one person, you could even be charged with possession with intent to distribute or sell. If you or a loved one were charged with this crime, you need to be well-aware of every aspect of your case as well as how you can defend yourself.

A person may be arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances pursuant to Health and Safety Code 11350(a), which states: Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

Health and Safety Code 11350(a) is not a wobbler, and can only be charged as a felony, which could result up to 3 years in state prison. Fortunately, if a person is charged with personal possession of a drug offense, the majority of the time that person will be eligible for a diversion program where their arrest and conviction could be ultimately dismissed as long as they fulfill the necessary requirements. A few different options for that person would be programs such as (PC 1000), (Prop 36) or (Drug Court).

Remember that each case is looked at differently and the outcomes could be greater than what is listed based upon circumstances of the individual cases. If you or someone you know has been arrested for charges under Health and Safety Code 11350(a), contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the handling of these types of offenses. Which attorney you choose to defend you could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Please do not risk your future or your freedom by failing to retain a strong legal advocate to fight for you.

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Is It Worth Bringing a Claim?

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One of the most common questions raised when you consider bringing a claim for compensation is “will it be worth it?” It is commonly known that bringing a claim is a long, laborious and stressful process. It is not something that should be taken on lightly. Even if your legal team do the majority of the heavy lifting for you, you will still need to be involved and you will need to be able to commit to the case. Therefore, it is not uncommon for many people to want to know if the hard work and the potential stress involved will be worth it.

To answer this question firstly your legal professional will need to know what your idea of worth is. For some a claim will be worth it if you can have your day in Court, stand up in front of a judge and say, “these people did me wrong, they were negligent,” to have a judge agree with you and confirm that you have won your case is enough for some. But for others the financial outcome of the case is what makes it worth it, will the claim, if won, provide enough compensation to make the work involved worthwhile.

The majority of clients tend to fall in the middle of these two, the fact that they feel they have been treated negligently and want to prevent that treatment from happening to someone else is a large part of their motivation, however the financial aspect is also present and needs to be sufficient enough to make the work involved worthwhile.

Sadly, it is almost impossible for any legal professional to answer either of these questions. There is no guarantee that you will win your claim just because a firm has taken it on. Things happen in cases that make weak claims much stronger and strong claims much weaker and these events can happen at any point in the claim. Just because your legal profession says you have a 70% chance of winning at the beginning of your claim does not mean that on the day of the trial you will still have a 70% chance of winning, you might only have 50% or you might have 80% circumstances change regularly.

It is also almost impossible to give a valuation of a claim right at the beginning. This is because your legal professional will need to break down your compensation into what is known as General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages being the compensation for pain, suffering, loss of amenity and Special Damages being the monetary loss. The money you have had to spend because of your injury that you would not have had to pay otherwise. For example, pain killers you had to purchase, time spent by friends and family in helping you that they would not have done if you had not been injured.

So to provide a proper value your legal professional will need to know all of your financial losses incurred because of the negligence, as well as have a detailed medical report from an independent medical expert to value the pan and suffering part of your injury.

Once your claim has reached the point where you have provided your legal professional with all of the information as to your financial losses and you have been examined by an independent medical expert then a financial value can be placed on your claim/

To calculate your general damages your legal professional will review and analyses your medical report which details your injury, your treatment and your symptoms. The report may also hazard a guess at when your symptoms will resolve or plateau. Once your legal professional has that information they turn to a publication called the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines which list various injuries and give a bracket of value. For example Wrist Injuries, Bracket a) Injuries resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist. Deformity may increase the award depending on severity are worth between £35,000 – £72,500.00

Once your legal professional has a bracket, they will then look at previous case law. They will be looking for cases where someone suffered an injury similar to your and had a similar recovery period. The mechanics of the case does not matter. So if you suffered a broken wrist in a car accident that healed fully after six months, your solicitor wouldn’t be looking for someone who suffered a broken wrist in a car crash. They will be looking for a case where someone suffered a broken wrist that healed fully after six months. Once a few cases have been found with similar injuries and recovery times inflation will be added and you will have a figure!

Unfortunately just because your legal professional says your claim is work £5,000.00 does not mean you will receive £5,000.00 at the end of the day. Negotiation will cause the figure to change, if you settle before trial you will usually be advised to accept a slightly lower figure as you are removing the risk of attending trial. If you win at trial it will be up to the Judge to award you compensation.

With regard to Special Damages, these are paid to cover all the costs you incurred as a result of your injury, they are essentially refunding/reimbursing you.

There are a lot of various expenses that can be reclaimed such as:

  • Travel costs for medical appointments and treatments such as Physiotherapy
  • Loss of earnings
  • Time spent by friends and family helping you do tasks that you would normally do yourself.
  • Medicines either prescribed or not

Tip: Keep your receipts! I cannot stress this enough. You will be asked to prove your loss, and you will struggle to do that without receipts.

In conclusion, it is up to you to decide what your claim is worth to you. Compensation is broken into two headings General and Special. General is the payment received for your injury and Special is the compensation received for any financial loss you have suffered. The two headings are then added together giving a figure to start negotiations.

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How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign Your Audience Will Love

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4 Reasons to Discover the Value of Email Marketing

Whether you sell a product or service, work from a home office or a corporate one, starting an email campaign can be incredibly beneficial.

Sending consistent newsletters to your followers gives you the ability to develop a “Know, Like and Trust” relationship with them that will dramatically increase your brand visibility and market reach.

Yet many business owners and entrepreneurs pass up this golden opportunity to build relationships and increase sales. Are you one of them?

In this week’s blog, I’m going to share some reasons why your small business should create an email marketing campaign and offer some tips to help you increase open rates.

What is the Value of Email Marketing?

Let’s start with 4 reasons why your small business should send out a newsletter.

1. It reminds people that you’re there. As much as you’d like it to happen, your customers aren’t sitting at their computer daydreaming about your brand. Sending them relevant content can keep you top-of-mind among your target audience.

2. You can get truly personal. For example, greeting someone by their first name, or even using data on their past purchases to suggest complementary products or services can be hugely beneficial. In fact, open rates for personalized emails average 18.8% compared to 13.1% without personalization.

3. It boosts your website traffic. Links within your newsletter drive traffic to your website and social media platforms, which means increased brand awareness, leads and sales.

4. It’s cost-effective advertising. By using a service like Constant Contact to create newsletters, you can quite easily design a newsletter to send to thousands of people. From segmenting your audience to managing unlimited marketing campaigns and lists, you can do a lot within a platform like Constant Contact.

See our recommended newsletter providers for more info. And remember while it may be tempting to use a newsletter template, hiring a professional web designer to create a unique one that reflects your brand is better for your customers.

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Read: How to Target Your Ideal Clients with Digital Newsletters

Regardless of the size of your business, eNewsletters are an efficient way to reach current and potential clients and to easily measure the results of your efforts.

But before you send out newsletters for digital marketing purposes, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people with the right messages. Here are 5 ways to get started.

Read more on our website.

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4 Email Basics to Increase Open Rates

Your open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened your newsletter.

While open rates vary by industry, stats show the average is about 17.80%. So if you want to get that number even higher, here are 4 things you need to do when you create an email marketing campaign:

1. Determine your goals.

Like any page on your website, your newsletter needs to serve a purpose. Here are a few common goals for Digital Newsletters:

â— To drive traffic to your website

â— To increase brand awareness

â— To build your authority in your industry

â— To increase leads and/or sales

â— To promote a product, service or event

Like I mentioned in my last blog, you need a compelling CTA. What do you want your visitors to do on a particular page? Each page on your site should have a call to action that encourages your potential customers to do something.

2. Craft a compelling subject line.

The subject line is the first thing anyone sees, and it’s what encourages people to open your eNewsletter. It should be short and attention-grabbing, telling your audience what to expect when they open the email.

Obviously, you can’t cover every topic within your newsletter in the subject line. Focus on the meatiest, most important message you want your target audience to receive.

3. Give people a reason to sign up.

With so many messages flooding your customers’ inboxes, it’s hard to cut through the noise. Instead of just saying “sign up for my newsletter,” offer your website visitors a discount, free content download or something else enticing.

It’s also essential to remember the purpose of sending your eNewsletter is to inform, engage and entertain your audience. It’s NOT a place to drive a pushy sell. If you do that, expect to see your newsletter subscribers drop off.

4. Learn from your data.

It’s not enough to just send out email newsletters with the content that you think your target audience wants to see. To ensure the value of email marketing, you need to measure your efforts.

You need to look at your eNewsletter metrics to see:

â— Who’s opening your emails

â— What links people are clicking on

â— Who’s unsubscribing

Once you have some numbers around your emails, you can tailor them better to meet your audience’s needs.

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You can’t argue with the value of email marketing! Sending out consistent newsletters is one of the most effective marketing tools for your business and can grow your brand visibility and sales big time.

If you don’t feel like starting an email campaign is the best use of your time or energy, find a professional marketing team like us who can handle the writing, marketing, and technical components. It’s the ideal way to increase open rates, leads and sales even more!

To your business success,

Susan

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