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There are many people who are interested in running their own business. A business gives you a lot of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are successful, you can change your financial life forever. In the market today around Philadelphia, there are a lot of companies that are earning more money than ever before. Here are some of the profitable companies and industries in the city of Philadelphia.


Pet Stores

Although it sounds odd, pet stores are thriving right now. There are basically two reasons for this growth. People are willing to spend a lot of money on their pets, even if it is a luxury purchase. In addition, the margins on pet products are really high. This means that the companies selling the products make a lot of money on each sale. This is a trend that is expected to continue in the future. Not only are people owning more pets, but they are spending much more than people of previous generations. This is a great thing for pets, and a great thing for people who own pet stores.

 

Food Service

The restaurant industry is in a steep decline right now, especially in urban areas. Young people today do not like to go out and sit for hours at a restaurant. They would rather spend their time and money on things that add more value to their life. This is one of the reasons why food service companies are starting to become a powerhouse in Philadelphia and other major cities. With all of the changes going on, many people are excited for the future. Food service trucks are in many parts of the city, and the food is generally healthy and tasty. In the coming years, many industry experts expect that this trend is going to continue.

 

Law Firms

A discussion about profitable companies would not be complete without mentioning law firms. There are a lot of great law firms in the city of Philadelphia, and most of them are doing really well financially right now. With all of the changes that go on in the industry every year, you need to have a solid lawyer on your side who can keep up and fight for you.

 

Divorce attorneys are one of the most common services right now. Although the divorce rate is lower than it has been in many years, there are still a lot of marriages that end in divorce. With all of the changes that need to take place when this happens, a solid divorce lawyer can be a huge value to people in all situations.

 

Dentists

There are a lot of people who are now spending a lot of time and money on their oral health. With all of the new technology that is available in this industry, it is really amazing what a quality dentist can do. There are many changes that can take place in a short period of time with your mouth. Now is the time to start looking and making changes if that is the path you want to take.

 

Not only are dentists expensive, but they are usually really busy throughout the year. A dentist office that provides quality work is going to have more clients than they can handle. This results in a lot of sales and profits for people within the industry who do a great job. In Philadelphia, the dental industry is one of the most profitable to be in.

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, running any business is going to take a lot of time and money. There are many people who are interested in running their own business, but few people have the experience to do so. With all of the changes going on in the business industry, now is the time to look at various options that will work.

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. It is gaining the reputation of a fast growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a diverse city, it is home to innovative science and information technology (IT) startups. Progressive Policy Institute, a non-profit organization, and Telnet, an IT solutions consulting firm, are responsible for creating a report on startups around the country. Philadelphia is taking homage as one of 25 Emerging Startup Hubs in the U.S. Here are some of the startups that are responsible for Philadelphia gaining this status:

 

LIA Diagnostics

LIA Diagnostics founding date is 2015. Their workflow process believes that women should design for women. It also believes that a product should be safe for the environment. This is developing a new type of pregnancy test. You can administer this test in the privacy of your home. There is one thing that makes it different from other types of tests. You will be able to flush the kit down the toilet. Also, the test is a paper product, so it is easy to fold. As a result, this will prevent any privacy issues in the future.

 

The developers of this product were in a master's program for the Integrated Product Design at the University of Pennsylvania. For their final project, they were looking for an eco-friendly device. After deciding on a medical device, they chose the pregnancy test.

 

LIA Diagnostics are winners of the U.S. Small Business Administration's InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge. They were also the receivers of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator program. This test is in the beta stage. They are predicting that sales of this product will start in 2017.

 

Oncora Medical

Oncora Medical was found in 2014. It develops software to help radiation oncologists fight cancer. Their product is a tool, which uses data to assist radiation oncologists in making decisions about patient care. In the past, radiation oncologists did not have access to large amounts of previous data. Today, they will be able to access the research and treatment plans from other oncologists.

 

The initial founder of Oncora Medical is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. While training with a radiation oncologist, many issues were brought to light. After seeing the limitation of access to data, the creation of Oncora Medical was put into motion. Oncora Medical is now offering services to radiation oncologists.

 

The One Health Company

The One Health Company provides treatment for animals with serious diseases. Their starting date is 2014. The startup is a clinical trial network. They use the same medicine that treats humans with certain types of illnesses. Some of these conditions are bone cancer and lymphoma.

 

Board Certified Veterinarians administer these medications to the animals. The animals stay at home with their caregivers. Their owners bring them to the clinic for their treatments. The use of treatment data is for future care of animals and humans. The mission of One Health Company is to help humans and animals. During previous trials, 6 million animals were needing treatment.

 

HomeGrown Farms

Three friends found HomeGrown Farms in 2014. Their mission is to grow vegetables minus the pesticides and herbicides. They eliminate all bugs and other kinds of pests that ruin crops. They accomplish this task by keeping the vegetables in a closed area. Constant lighting makes the vegetables grow. Additionally, a certain amount of water is important for the plants. This startup will bring vegetables to your door. They do not require a minimum order. All of their vegetables are available year-round.

 

HomeGrown Farms is the winner of the 2016 Philly Mag's The Pitch competition. They donate vegetables to local food banks. They also team up with nonprofit organizations to provide training to farmers.

 

Philadelphia is one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial ecosystems in the U.S. It is providing opportunities for new startups in the area. These new startups will provide jobs and more revenue for the city.

 

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He's had the opportunity to manage his own startup businesses and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.

 

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Are you long overdue for a family vacation? Ready for the sun and fun of Southern California but worried that you can't afford it? Travelling isn't just for the wealthy. Stop California dreaming and read on to discover how you can have the family trip of a lifetime on a shoestring budget.

Frugal FlyingSouthern California: Are you long overdue for a trip?

Making the hop from Philadelphia to Southern California doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of options online where you can find discount tickets if you’re willing to think outside the box a bit. A nearby airport may also have a less expensive option! Trenton-Mercer Airport (TNN/KTTN) is only 43 miles from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Atlantic City International Airport (ACY/KACY) is 58 miles away. Web sites like SkyScanner let you choose from any number of different airports nearby and compare costs.

A quick search for flights leaving tomorrow show round-trip tickets for as low as $360! Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays are the most cost effective days to travel. Rumor has it that booking flights late Monday night will get you cheaper flights as well.

Affordable Accommodations

Thrifty travellers know that the best way to avoid sticker shock when finding a hotel is to plan in advance. Do your homework. Web sites like TripAdvisor and HipMunk have tons of choices. You can filter by price and location, and read reviews to determine which one is the right fit for you and your family. Also, don’t rule out Airbnb. Their website has an abundance of options for families, with ratings, so you can find a place to stay that is right for you. Book online in advance to avoid the headache of scrambling to find a hotel when you land. Your wallet and your sanity will thank you!

Comfort Cuisine

California might have a reputation as the kale capital of the world, but you can still find some good old fashioned Philadelphia comfort food on the West Coast. Cortina’s Italian Market has multiple locations and serves up a tasty Philly cheesesteak. ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney boasts a delectable steak sandwich too, along with other delicious fare. If you’re missing soft pretzels, head to Slater’s 50/50 where they’ve fashioned the iconic snack into homemade burger bread. Wash it down with their signature Bananas Foster milkshake for an out-of-this-world experience!

Economical Entertainment

What’s the first thought in your mind when arriving in Southern California? Disneyland! A visit to Mickey and his friends can cost you some big bucks.

Fortunately, you can still find cheap Disneyland tickets if you try. Start by going online and finding a reputable ticket provider. There are several that work directly with Disney to offer legitimate discounted tickets. Avoid buying any Disneyland tickets from people selling them on the side of the road or from places like Craigslist or eBay. These tickets are part of a common scam that tells you that you can “rent” tickets. You can’t rent tickets and will be charged full price for admission if you try to enter the park. Another way to get inexpensive Disneyland tickets is to avoid days when the entry fee to the park is likely to be the highest, such as national holidays, school breaks and weekends.

Had your fill of Disneyland? Southern California has countless family friendly options. A very popular one that's also wallet friendly is K1Speed. Have some friendly competition and get your adrenaline going! You can also take your family exploring some of Southern California’s most breathtaking National Parks. It’s a budget way to see some amazing nature and get a little exercise in too!

An amazing vacation to Southern California is doable for you and your family! It just takes a little bit more work ahead of time. Keep an eye out for discounts and pounce on them when you find one that matches your interests and budget. You’ll save money, and as a result, it will be easier to enjoy your California getaway!

 

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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 With the onset of global trade, competition among businesses has been redefined as local firms face off with foreign firms. This has driven firms into adopting and implementing new and innovative approaches to trade such customer relationship management (CRM). CRM strategy enables a firm to remain ahead of its competitors by interacting with its clients better.

 

CRM is the best-suited approach to create and maintain a relationship with clients. This is because CRM creates a strong bond among different stakeholders, which drives businesses to new levels of success.CRM is the best-suited approach to create and maintain a relationship with clients. But why? Lee Flynn explains.

 

CRM is concerned with understanding both the current and prospective customers. In the education sector, for instance, students are the consumers of the services offered by learning institutions. The importance of an institution nurturing a relationship with students cannot be emphasized enough as it enhances the understanding of their needs and behaviors.

 

CRM allows a learning institution to react to the changes in students’ behavior by adapting to them. Apart from enabling the learning institutions to interact better with students, employing CRM in the education sector also play other important roles.

 

Target customer CRM

Since CRM is about understanding the customers, getting to know students better helps to fine tune education services. It also allows institutions to adopt strategies and products that match the needs of their consumers.

 

Through a targeted approach, CRM reduces the chances of an organization failing to meet its customers’ needs. It allows institutions to consider approaches in marketing that provide greater returns. Using CRM in targeting a group of consumers helps to improve the quality of products and services being offered. As a result, it can lead to higher sales and growth while increasing customer loyalty at the same time.

 

CRM creates superior communication channels

Technology has evolved to provide a variety of communication channels. This gives businesses an opportunity to choose the most appropriate channel to communicate with its consumers. There are both online and offline means that can be used.

 

A communication channel enables business organizations to interact with its consumers and address their needs. Having an effective CRM strategy in an organization is crucial if its management is to improve their customer's’ experience.

 

CRM improves customer experience

CRM is about improving and building vibrant relationships with the customers. This enables them to enjoy a positive experience when interacting with a brand. Customer experience is making sure that the business is acquainted with the experiences that customers have with a brand and their reactions to changes.

 

Using CRM helps to manage both the positive and negative customer experiences with the brand. This means that nurturing customer experience is part of the CRM strategy, which can also transform customer loyalty and improve the relationship with an institution as a brand.

 

CRM helps to set a firm’s focus

 

A firm is able to know whether it is offering what customers are looking for through a CRM system. This is because CRM allows an organization to know its current and prospective customers. CRM helps to answer questions to do with consumer changing patterns, which gives an organization access to information that would allow them to understand their customers’ needs. This enables the management to steer the brand in a specific direction. CRM gives organizations the up-to-date information about demand and consumer demographic, which is important for business growth.

 

CRM is a cost-effective reputation management strategy
 

 

Through CRM, an organization is able to address consumer needs, solve their problems, and respond to changes in their experiences, thereby increasing satisfaction levels. For instance, building the relationship with consumers by providing information about the company allows  Course Hero to understand and respond to their customers’ desires. Investing in CRM system provides better returns to the organization because it enhances customer loyalty and boosts their reputation.

 

More organizations seeking high levels of customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty have adopted CRM strategy. Student relationship management is an emerging concept in the education sectors. It is usually oriented to both the student’s needs and their academic goals. This allows development of organization capability that enables educational institutions to understand their students and improve their retention levels. This implies that the role of CRM strategies in the education sectors is just as important as it is in the business world.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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When you’re dealing with secure customer information, it pays to be careful. If customer data is stolen from a company’s server, it can be disastrous for the business. Uber experienced a scare like this a few months ago. Fortunately for Uber, it turned out that there had never been a breach, but for a time, it seemed like someone had gotten into their servers and stolen come customers’ financial information.

The issue came to light when a number of users received higher-than-expected charges. One Philadelphia woman’s bank account was charged more than $28,000. Because of the size of the charge, her bank flagged and blocked the transaction. Shortly after this event, the woman received an email from Uber stating that her account had been hacked.Philly's Uber Hacking: What Businesses Can Learn About Customer Security

The email she received stated that “[her] sign-in information seemed to have been compromised/phished from another website and then tested on [Uber’s] platform. . . This kind of fraud is highly sophisticated.” Just under a week later, however, she received another email informing her that her account had not been compromised, and that the source of the issue was a glitch in Uber’s system that led to a higher-than-intended authorization hold.

Fortunately, this story had a happy ending, with the woman’s information remaining secure the entire time. It does illustrate the risks companies face, however, with experts predicting the costs of cybercrime to rise to $2 trillion by 2019. To protect themselves from an actual attack, there are several steps businesses can follow.

Install proper security tools and protocols

Although experts advise companies time and time again to put data loss prevention tools like firewalls and anti-malware software in place, many businesses still don’t seem to realize how important these tools are. According to a recent study from the Ponemon Institute, 75 percent of the respondents admitted that they had no formal cyber security incident response plan applied consistently across their organizations. Even those who had a plan in place paid far too little attention to it, with 52 percent either not reviewing or updating the plan since it was implemented, or not having any plans to do so.

Security software is the first line of defense a business has against cybercrime, and to keep their data and their customers’ data secure, companies should have these tools in place.

Update security tools regularly

Installing data loss prevention software is not the end of the road, either. Cybercriminals are constantly working to improve their hacking tools and find new vulnerabilities in the firewalls businesses have in place. In order to protect against those threats, digital security providers regularly update their security tools and patch holes that hackers could exploit. In order to benefit from these updates, businesses need to regularly patch and update their security software.

Train your employees to use security tools and follow security practices

Just like if a company had a new sales program it would have a sales training program, Once a business has put a security plan in place, they need to make sure their workforce is properly trained so they are aware of and follow those protocols. This includes instructions on how to use the security tools as well as other business practices to follow to avoid putting sensitive data at risk. Proper use of email, instructions on how to formulate a secure password, and regulations on which devices are permitted to access the company network are all topics businesses should cover with their workforce on a regular basis.

Scan all devices before connecting to the network

Many employees will bring their own laptops and mobile devices to the office and use them to access the company’s secure network. Each of these devices can be an access point for cyber criminals to attempt to break into the network, so companies need to place secure practices in place to make sure these devices remain secure. A robust BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) plan can help to protect your network from unauthorized access. Regulating exactly which devices are permitted to access the network and scanning these devices thoroughly for malware can help to keep your customers’ data secure.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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Philadelphia is a great place to consider attending medical school. As the home to several medical schools and numerous universities, it will provide you with plenty of community, support, and opportunities as a student. The city is also a cultural and historical hub. When you have downtime between classes, you can explore the city’s rich history, its numerous museums, and its vibrant art scene. Philadelphia is a city that will keep a medical student motivated socially and academically.What Sets Philadelphia Apart When Attending Medical School

Academic City

There are lots of schools in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Several medical schools are located here, including Perelman Medical School at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Temple University School of Medicine, in addition to many more universities and colleges. The Perelman School is one of the top medical schools in the nation, so you may want to get yourself one of the best MCAT tutors you can find.

As a medical student in Philly, you will be surrounded by other students engrossed in similar challenges and triumphs as you, and have access to expanded academic opportunities. You will interact with other medical students at your school and neighboring schools who can offer insight into the nuances of medical school. You will have access to resources at neighboring schools, such as classes, conferences, and connections. When you want a short break from your studies, you can easily roam around town, see several art and music institutes, and take advantage of the  unique campus attractions other schools offer have to offer.

History, Culture, and Recreation

Philadelphia is an important cultural and historical city. Founded in 1682, this old American city served as home to many of the founding fathers. Although you will be busy studying, when you do have a chance to take a break, you will have immediate access to an abundance of cultural activities including historical sites, museums, and art. You can refresh your knowledge of American history at sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. Museum options include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, and the Rodin Museum, just to name a few. Philly houses lots of outdoor sculptures and murals. If you are in need of nature, you can spend time outdoors in spacious Fairmount Park.

Access to the East Coast

Philadelphia’s location on the Eastern Seaboard offers easy access to lots of other east coast cities, like New York, Washington D.C., and Boston. If you like an occasional break from the city, rural countryside is not far either. As a busy student, it’s nice to be able to easily fit in a getaway to a nearby destination when you have free time. You will also be able to explore opportunities at medical schools in nearby regions. Train travel offers easy access to surrounding areas.

Dive Right In

Students studying in Philadelphia should spend some time here getting to know the city and seeing what it really has to offer beyond the normal tourist destinations. You will be surrounded by other pre-med and medical students in a similar position as you, as well as students in various other fields and stages of medical study. Now is the perfect time to enjoy a little more flexibility than you will have as a medical student to get out and see some sights, and take advantage of cultural events like concerts and performances. Set a strict study schedule that includes essential time off for fun. This will give you a good sense of what it’s like to be in Philly as a busy student with some free time to explore and get a feel for the city.

Philadelphia is a great place to spend this important time of your life. Though you will spend a lot of time inside the classroom and other favorite study spots, you will be doing so in one of America’s most historic and vibrant cities.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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 As the world becomes more technologically advanced, so does the typical, American classroom. Rather, at least this classroom should use some of those advancements. Statistics indicate that most public school systems can spend as much as $3 billion per year on digital content and technology.

Therefore, it seems that education is slowly starting to remove itself from only using pen and pencil as a means of learning. There still are many challenges to achieve the goal of transforming education through technology, but it can be done with ease. Here is some information to consider about how technology will be the ultimate transformer in how a public school education prepares children for the future.Photo: Lewis Robinson

 

Technology Leads to Personalized Learning

One of the ultimate goals of using technology in the classroom is to help students personalize their learning experience as much as possible to meet their individual needs. Many digital devices, various types of software, and types of learning platforms are needed to make this happen. Many districts make this happen by assigning a digital device to each student, and in some cases, students are also allowed to bring their own technology from home.

As of 2014, only one-third of all students have an individual device provided by schools to call their own, though. This number is on the rise. About 89 percent of all high school students in school districts have access to items like Smartphones from home that they can bring to school for educational purposes, though. While personalized learning is at the baby stages of starting, it is quickly gaining ground, though.

 

Platforms for Students to Use

As mentioned previously, there are platforms available to teachers and students to help with transforming education through technology to create an educational experience that is more personalized. Some of these platforms are free, but most of them come at a relatively low cost per student. One such platform that is helpful to students is Course Hero. This platform focuses on providing study materials to students to prepare for tests. This program is easy for teachers to use as many study resources have already been created for them to use. At the same time, students can benefit from using this platform for homework help from tutors at any time of day on any day of the week.

 

Improving Student Engagement

Research indicates that students are more engaged in their lessons and studies so long as the technology is employed in some way. The current generation of students going through public schools at this point is extremely in tune with technology from a very young age as technology becomes more available in the form of tablets for children at home. Assignments must remain compelling, though, which technology cannot simply be a vehicle through which information is conveyed.

In short, students have to be asked to actually do something with their lessons instead of being shoveled information that is to be recalled at a later time. Assignments that avoid this type of spoon-fed education creates students who are able to think for themselves. Therefore, students are less likely to simply go out to the internet to search for and copy answers. This new type of cheating is very alluring, so assignments need to be made in a way that discourages such tactics as much as possible.

Education paradigm is changing every day to take into consideration the technological advancements becoming more readily available to students. Personalizing their education as much as possible and keeping assignments aligned in ways that teach students to think for themselves are absolutely essential to achieving a proper education in today's world.

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He's had the opportunity to manage his own startup businesses and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.

 

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Photo: Lewis Robinson



Spring is a great time of year. The snow is mostly gone, the weather warms up, and all over Philadelphia, people are more willing to step outside of their homes.

Of course, it’s also an opportunity to take a fresh look at those homes and dust off your home improvement chops. Whether you are looking to build an addition to your home or simply trying to maintain it, there is a lot of work for homeowners to do once spring rolls around.

Landscaping

3 Spring Renovations for Philadelphia Homeowners

After months of being buried under snow and ice, odds are good that your lawn could use a little bit of work after the snow melts. If you want to change things up in your yard, though, spring is also a good time to update the landscaping around your home. Spring gives you a blank slate to work with. 

Whether you are looking to put in new flowers, add a hedge, or even install a water feature, spring is the time to do it. New greenery will have the opportunity to grow and develop its root system so that it can survive harsh weather once winter rolls around again. Meanwhile, if you’re installing new features and areas, it’s best to get them in while there’s very little to damage. Make sure to do your research to find out which plants will do best in Philadelphia’s climate.

Inground Pools

Spring is here, which means that summer is just around the corner. Unfortunately, summer also brings sweltering heat. In order to beat that heat, many homeowners will have a pool installed. Since it usually takes several weeks to finish installing a pool, springtime is the time to get the project started.

When you’re deciding on a construction company to build your pool, be sure to do your research beforehand. A simple web search for “pool builders near me” should bring up a wide array of local builders to start with. Sometimes cost is the most important thing, but in many cases, quality is worth investing a little bit more. Don’t just look at prices, though. Pay attention to the company’s  online reviews across several different sites before you decide on a contractor.

Roof Repairs

Unfortunately, some renovations are more about keeping the house from falling down around you than they are about a fun, new addition.Philadelphia winters are notoriously harsh, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the status of your roof before and after winter hits. Depending on the materials it’s made of, as well as the weather it’s endured, a roof can last anywhere from twenty years to more than fifty. Because of that, it’s important to be proactive and visually check your roof on a regular basis. If you don’t keep an eye on it you could end up needing a very premature roof replacement.

You should inspect your roof about twice a year—once in fall, before the cold weather hits, and once in spring, when it’s over. Keep an eye out for curling or buckling shingles, particularly in the areas that get the most direct sunlight. If shingles are missing, that’s an even stronger warning sign.

Pay special attention to the roof valleys, where roof segments come together, as well as the flashing around the chimney. Check for small pieces of shingle in the gutters, as well, as they can begin to lose granules as they reach the end of their lifespans. Speaking of lifespans, make sure you’re very careful when you’re up inspecting your roof. If you don’t have great balance or your roof’s pitch is really steep, you may want to hire a professional.

Spring is a time of change and opportunities to make things fresh and new. As you come out of the harsh winter, look around your home and pick a few projects that you can adopt to make it just a bit nicer. Whether it’s simple home maintenance or a big installation, simply take at it as an opportunity to improve your home

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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While Philadelphia’s not particularly known for having a temperate winter climate, spring is just around the corner. That being the case, our minds are starting to wander to the outdoors, figuring out how to capitalize on the warmer weather. Many homeowners are investing in turning the exteriors of their homes into welcoming places where they can relax and enjoy the outdoors. Current Outdoor Trends to Keep an Eye On

Meanwhile, those who are planning to sell their homes in the upcoming busy real estate season are looking for outdoor improvements they can make to boost their curb appeal and attract buyers. Here are just a few that we have seen growing in popularity recently:

Fire Pits

Sitting around a warm fire is an appealing thought even this early in the season, because it grants a chance to enjoy the outdoors while still staving off the extreme cold. Installing a permanent fire pit provides an excellent place for friends and family to gather and enjoy each other’s company, whether staving off the last chills of winter or breathing in the cool air of a summer night. Some may prefer to run a gas line out to fuel the fire, while others will prefer the old fashioned method and build a simple, walled-off area to build a wood fire.

Unique Front Doors

While curb appeal is always important, front doors are trending lately. When someone drives up to a home, a boldly colored door with a unique design can make a big impact. Strong jewel tones are particularly popular. Painting the door a different color than the shutters and siding can set it apart and give a burst of color to your entryway.

Using a Wide Range of Greenery

While a perfectly-cut lawn with every blade of grass cut to a uniform height may have been popular in the past, the current trend is to use a variety of greenery in your lawn. Different textures make your lawn and garden more interesting. Bounding shrubberies can divide your garden into distinct sections, and border plants like lilyturf make your growing areas feel more alive. Choosing the proper landscaping for your home can boost its value, too. According to lawn care experts at Lawn Doctor, a well-maintained landscape can give your home value a bonus of as much as 15 percent.

Landscape Lighting

Of course, once you’ve built that landscape, you want to be able to show it off as much as possible. By installing landscape lighting, you can highlight particular areas of your yard. Experts are calling this popular trend “nightscaping.” Look for specific areas you want to focus on, then put the lights at just the right angle to show off your yard’s best features.

That “Hygge” Feeling

The word “hygge” refers to a concept from Denmark. Hygge emphasizes a cozy and simple environment. Place seating close together to encourage intimate conversation. Plant sweet-smelling flowers nearby. The concept of mindfulness goes hand-in-hand with hygge, promoting meditation, deep thought, and relaxation. Create a cozy, distinct space for reflection or close-knit socialization. Water features are popular additions for these spaces, as they add to a more natural atmosphere. These outdoor havens are inviting places where people can set aside the cares of the world and take a few moments to breathe and recover.

Quality Over Flash

Back before the recession, the popular trend was over-the-top displays of excess. Flashy displays that showed you could afford to overspend were in vogue. These days, a bit more discretion is appreciated. Rather than focusing on quantity and bling, homeowners are leaning towards quality. Durable, natural materials show a more refined taste and an ability to look beyond just a shiny exterior. It is more desirable these days to appreciate the natural beauty that already exists in the materials used. Rough-cut cedar posts and natural stone are more appealing than over-processed, synthetic-looking versions of the same materials.

Greg Dastrup is a world traveler and professional writer with a passion for learning new languages. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.

 

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Many people are curious about how to make it rich. They do not know how, for it is clear that most of us are not billionaires. To learn how, we must turn to the wisdom of the wise few who made it to the top. There are many points to keep in mind on the road to success. They should not be hard for the careful financial practitioner to remember. Photo: capify.com


Buffett's Law

Warren Buffett summarized his investing career quite well with an interesting philosophy. Loving what others avoid, avoiding what others love. This practically means that most people are wrong. Why? They pursue what their friends pursue in every matter, including investing. When the flock runs to Apple stock, the goose follows with them. Buffett indicates that the billionaire is the ugly duckling that stays by the pond munching seaweed when the others run straight into the fox's mouth. Or the goose that runs from the pond when the fox decides to stay and munch ugly ducklings.

 

How can you discern when to buy out another company? Buy at the opposite times to when everyone else is buying. Small business bookkeeping should teach you that if you buy something that is universally popular, it will also have a higher expense than something unpopular will. You will mortgage yourself up to the hilt trying to pay for it.

 

Humility is Better Than Debt

If you really want to hit it big, you have to start small. Go sniffing for something that your peers are afraid to look at. The Harvard Business Review notes how many business students totally avoid looking to buy a small business because they do not like the risk and uncertainty. This is why most of the Harvard graduates never become billionaires. They become highly indebted millionaires who send our nation into more debt.

 

The best deals will be found in risky, bankrupt, auction, old, minority, foreign, strange, hard, stupid, long term, painful, dangerous, and smelly businesses. You can usually snatch these up for pennies on the dollar during a recession. Wise hedge fund managers do this kind of thing for their breakfast. It will be hardest to buy businesses that are safe, capitalized, trading, new, white, Western, normal, easy, smart, short-term, pleasurable, safe, and sweet.

 

Buffett's law can be memorized simpler. Think in terms of buy low and sell high. You should buy when others are selling crazily out of emotion. You should sell when others are buying crazily out of emotion. The market gurus have mastered this strange art.

 

Now, some might have objections. "This is all well and good for you, but I have found success doing my own thing." What their own thing usually is? It is buying high and selling high. This method, though often preached at home and school, is the high road to a life of slavery and debt. Your income will be high, for you are selling well. Your expenses, however, will also be high, for you are buying poorly. You are getting the luxury car when the import beater would do. You are demanding the cracker box mansion when the apartment would be fine.

 

The same thinking applies for buying another business. Ignore the so-called experts of the financial industry. Take the narrow road that the elite have taken for thousands of years. You will not be disappointed. You will suffer more, like the football team owner who still uses a flip phone. Your wallet will not.

 

Conclusion

If someone is trying to buy your business from you, you should decide what to think about it. If you do not want them to, make it look trashy. Most people are emotional. They will only buy something that looks beautiful, no matter what the cost. When the investors are done ignoring your business, it will still be yours. If you want to sell the business, make it beautiful. Sell high. Make the storefront shine. Sell the marketing universals to the masses until every big name in finance is slobbering to put cash in your corporation. Make sure you do not refuse to be brave.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

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