Your Home Was Broken Into…Now What?

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There’s a flood of emotions that takeover your mind when you come back to find that your home has been broken into. That’s an important note to make too. It’s very rare to experience a break-in when you’re inside the property. It’s far more likely that you’ve been away on holiday in town or somewhere else when a break-in occurred. As such, you could come back to a door ripped off its hinges, a window smashed or perhaps…nothing. That’s right, as scary as it sounds, a skilled robber can break into your home and make it look like no has been there at all. They might steal a few things or better yet a set of keys so they can come back later. This is why, after a break-in you should always change the locks.

It also brings that paranoia you experience when you can’t find something into question. Is it really paranoia, or could someone have broken into your house and taken it without you realizing?

Moving on from this question, we need to think about how to handle a break-in on your property.

Check What’s Missing

The first step is to check what valuables have gone and what ones are still there. Do check if there are any keys missing. If there are, make sure you get an appointment right away to change the locks. If no keys are missing, you still need to change the locks, but it’s probably not quite as urgent. Look for bank statements and important documents that might have been misplaced because thieves can use this information to commit fraud, going after you digitally rather than stealing from your home.

Ideally, you should have an inventory of the expensive items in your home. This should be updated on a regular basis to make sure you know exactly what could be missing or indeed, lost.

Notify The Right People

Your first call will probably be the police, though it’s worth pointing out that hardly any thieves are caught, and items are very rarely returned. As such, your insurance company is the second most important call. You may need to check whether your home is covered for the theft. Do bear in mind that 60% of homeowners are under-insured and you could be one of them. If that’s the case, then they may not help you with the theft as much as you’d hope. That’s why you shouldn’t skimp on your insurance estimate.

Add Extra Security

Lastly, you’re going to want to beef up the security for your home. Most break-ins can be prevented by deterring the criminal in the first place, ensuring that they don’t try to break in. You can do this, quite simply by making your home look like a difficult job. So add a CCTV camera, motion sensor lights and anything else that might make a robber think twice about breaking into your home.

We hope you this advice helps you if you ever do experience a break-in on your property. It can be frightening but taking the right steps, you will get through it.

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Essential Considerations For Your Teen’s First Vehicle

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So, it’s finally happened. The months and years have passed in the blink of an eye, and suddenly that tiny baby you were holding what feels like only five minutes ago is on the brink of gaining their driving licence. You now find yourself faced with one of the toughest purchases you will ever make: the vehicle that your child will drive.

This is a challenging time; so challenging that many parents resist and insist that a car is not necessary for a teenager. Then, slowly but surely, the resistance begins to be futile. There’s no doubt that your teen having their own vehicle is an important part of their independence, not to mention nigh-on essential if you live in an area with poor public transport. Even more importantly, if your teen is on the verge of going to college, then you’re going to want them to be able to drive home whenever they wish.

So you need to buy a vehicle; a vehicle that is strong enough and good enough to protect your precious child. It also needs to be a vehicle that fits into your budget– and then you have to learn to live with that vehicle. Living with the vehicle is often overlooked; it’s fair to presume you’ve thought through all the questions about safety, but have you considered these other factors?

#1 – Consider your vehicle options

Many of us assume that our teen’s first vehicle will be a car. Cars are the most popular method of transport in the world, but they’re also among the most expensive. The running costs for a car can be prohibitive to both your budget and your teen’s, to the point they can seem outright unaffordable to some families.

If this is the case for you, then you should consider a motorcycle instead. The same benefits of independence can be enjoyed, but with much lower insurance and running costs. You can save yourself even more money when if you choose to opt for a secondhand buy; you can see here for used motorcycles to give you an idea of how much you’d be able to save.

So while your teen may still prefer the idea of a car, it’s essential you consider the alternative options if you’re on a budget– you might be surprised by just how much you could save.

#2 – A thorough calculation of running costs

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Whether you choose a car or a motorcycle, you’re going to need to sit down and work out the full running costs of your teen’s vehicle.

Estimating running costs is tough for most of us, as our car-related expenses are just absorbed with the rest of our household budget. As a result, it may be awhile since you have sat down and gone through the exact costs you can expect for getting your teen onto the road.

It’s best to run through running costs when you have a specific vehicle in mind, so you can accurately compile a list of what it may require to keep it on the road. You will want to include:

  • Purchase price,
  • Estimated gas usage; you can usually find the MPG of a vehicle listed on the manufacturer’s website,
  • Insurance costs,
  • Potential repair bills; the older a car or bike is, the more you should budget in this area.

When you have a full idea of the ongoing running costs, you can then move on to your next consideration…

#3 – Who pays?

Buying your teenager a car is just the beginning; the vehicle itself is then going to need continually funding to keep on the road. You have to decide how you’re going to handle this.

Below are a few different options you may want to consider:

  • You buy the car, but your teen pays for the upkeep.
  • You buy the car, the insurance, and fund any repairs, but they pay for the gas.
  • You buy the car, but everything else is their responsibility.
  • They buy the car from their savings (such as birthday money or gifts from grandparents) and you provide them with a budget for the running costs.

There is no “right” or “wrong” decision here; it’s all about what best suits your family and your budget. If your teen is working, then they may be able to take on some of the car costs themselves. On the flip side, if you want them to focus on their studies, then you may have to consider providing a budget to ensure they can keep their car running.

It’s important that both you and your teen are 100% agreed on the strategy for managing the financial side. You don’t want to be getting into “but I thought you were paying for that!” arguments in the future. It’s beneficial to write down your agreement, so that you both have something to refer back to if there are problems in the future.

#4 – Whose car is it?

You will need to decide if you own the car or whether it is registered in your teen’s name, and they are insured on it as a second driver. If your teen is soon going to college, it is better to put the car in their name.

#5 – Where will the car be parked?

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If your teen is heading to college, this question answers itself. However, when they are at home (or if they still live with you full time), you will need to make arrangements to ensure the car can be correctly parked. If you’re going to use street parking, it’s worth checking the rules and regulations regarding this with your local authority.

In conclusion

If you’re willing to search, stick to a rigid set of rules, and compromise a little, then you can be sure of finding the perfect vehicle for their teen. The first time they ride alone is going to be tough for you, but in time, you’ll find yourself delighting in their independence and ability to handle themselves on the road.

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How To Prepare For A True “On The Road” Experience


Have you read On The Road by Jack Kerouac? It’s one of those literary rites of passage for so many people wanting to discover who they are by traversing the length and breadth of America, and is arguably where Route 66 became known as the pinnacle of American road travel. That book had some very unsafe methods of going around America, but if you plan on going around the world via road, it’s definitely easier nowadays, but there are some practicalities you need to bear in mind.

Pick The Right Car

Back in the era of On The Road, cars were built to last, but they weren’t very practical, and were very difficult to drive. At least now, if you’re planning on making an epic road trip, you can rent a car that is practical in terms of the journey, but also can store your luggage. Chryslers are a decent bench mark to aim for in terms of size, and there are many Chrysler dealerships around. But when it comes to picking a suitable car, you need to think of all the practicalities concerned, namely, how many people are travelling, how much luggage there will be, and, can you sleep in the car or not? There will be times when you might end up stuck somewhere in the middle of the night, and you will need to hunker down for some rest, so consider something comfortable, as well as practical.

Prepare Your Entertainment

For lots of budding travellers, the open road might be all that you need to keep you alert and awake. For others, 200 miles of the same view, no matter how inspiring it is, can pave the way for tiredness and sluggishness behind the wheel. So it’s always important to pick some entertainment, and preload some onto your phone or tablet. There are plenty of travelers podcasts, or you might even want to get an audio version of On The Road, in keeping with the theme! But plenty of music will never go a miss, and depending on what part of the world you’re driving through, it may be beneficial to get some music native to that country, so you can get a richer experience of the landscape you are travelling through.

Fuel Up Whenever You Can!

Granted, there are apps you can download now that will show you the nearest filling stations to your location, but if there are hundreds of miles between one station and the next, not only is it practical for you to fill up, but it’s beneficial to keep your tank topped off, because you never know if the next filling station is out of order! It could be very stressful journey if the warning light comes on and your next station is 40 miles away, it could be a photo finish!

And, in addition to these, making sure you are well rested is vital, because every time you get behind the wheel, you need to make sure you’re focused and ready for a long journey. To have an authentic On The Road-type experience, by its very definition, means flying by the seat of your pants and operating with very little, but this is impractical, and this isn’t safe!

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Is Your Startup Ready to Scale?

When you are looking online for valuable information about starting a business, there is plenty of it available. The guides, tips and tricks you might read will focus on everything you need to do to get going – which is all great for getting you up and running. But what happens when you aren’t a startup anymore?

The truth is that as your business gets bigger, it runs the risk of getting into trouble. Growing a company is a lot more difficult than you might think, and unless you have laid the proper foundations for a scalable business, it can be incredibly tough to pull off. With this in mind, here are a few ideas you need to consider to ensure your startup is ready to rocket, rather than implode.

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A scalable idea

First and foremost, have you done enough product or industry market research to establish whether your idea actually has legs? A surprising number of startups spend all their time getting their product to market, only to realize the market isn’t interested – and all that time and money goes to waste. Be honest, self-critical, and make sure your strategy includes as much focus on attracting your target market as much as possible.

Scalable automation

One of the biggest problems with starting a business is that there are only so many hours in a day. And unfortunately, that means that if your business is solely reliant on you and a few other individuals, there will be a limit to what you can produce. Unless that is, you focus on developing automation and streamlining every process you can. Not only will it save you time, but it will also free up your time to concentrate on building your business.

Scalable tech

Of course, a lot of the automated process will come from technology – and it’s essential that you look at scalable tech so that your business can grow from tiny company to large business. Look at cloud IT solutions to ensure your information technology systems are flexible enough to start small and grow when you need them to. Find outsourced partners to rely on, too, rather than doing everything in-house where it can often turn into an unmanageable mess.

Scalable people

Another problem that could come and bite you at a later date is the people you hire. The people who are good for your business when you’re just starting out aren’t necessarily the perfect fit for taking you a period of rapid growth. It is essential that you have the long-term future in mind when it comes to hiring, right from the very beginning – or the people you bring in might not be up to the task.

To conclude, you have to think about the future when you are starting up a  new business, or when the time comes to grow, you could end up in serious difficulties. Sure, it’s vital that you get your idea out there as soon as you can, but that doesn’t mean you can scrimp on the long-term planning. Good luck!

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Stay A Step Ahead Of These Common Runner Health Issues

Running can be fantastic for your health. It’s a great way to lose weight, build lean muscle, improve your stamina, your cardiovascular health, and much, much more. It’s also free, easy, and you can do it just about anywhere. But there are dangers to running and ignoring them is an easy way to put yourself at more risk of encountering them head-on. So, what are the common health risks running alongside you and how do you leave them in the dust?


Runner’s knee

Perhaps the most common issue of them all, patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, happens when you irritate the knee joint. It presents as pain and physical tenderness around the joint and if you don’t take care of it, it can end up doing lasting damage to your knees. Running is a high-impact exercise, so it’s important to take care of the joints that are feeling the impact. Look into improving your running form, but you can also make sure you’re looking after your knees with the right exercises. If you end up getting runner’s knee, it’s best to treat it with an ice pack. Apply it for twenty minutes every three hours and it should feel much better within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, you might need a trip to the doctor.


Blood pressure issues

On a more serious note, though they are uncommon, blood clots have been known to occur more regularly in runners that in people that do other exercises. If one of these blood clots breaks off, it can move to the lung where it becomes a pulmonary embolism, which is both incredibly painful and potentially fatal. Otherwise, there are a lot of issues with swelling when running due to blood pressure that can lead to further joint pain. There are socks to buy that compress the area, keeping your blood pressure at safe levels and helping to relieve swelling. They may look a little odd, but if you want to run as best you can, you better get used to wearing things that look a little odd.


Something painful is afoot

If you’re part of a running group, you might have already seen it. If not, you probably will at some point. Everyone’s doing fine, until someone suddenly collapses, howling and clutching their foot. The most likely explanation, unless they’ve somehow broken a toe, is plantar fasciitis. This is an incredibly painful injury that occurs when the plantar fascia is inflamed and will put you off your feet for around six to eight weeks. It may even require surgery to fix. The best prevention for plantar fasciitis, as well as a good ward against runner’s knee and other joint damage, is to get proper running shoes with good arch support.

As with all exercise, if you want to get the most out of it, you have to inform yourself and do it responsibly. Running can bring some health risks with it, but the tips above should help you nimbly navigate around them.

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Simple Ways To Increase Business Growth


You’ve gone from strength to strength. You’ve worked on your idea, shaped and moulded it into the business it is today. Unfortunately, things seem to be slowing down just a little lately. If there’s one thing business owners love, it’s business growth. There is a whole host of things you can do to help stimulate growth with your company, but few are as simple as the ideas outlined below.

Increase Your Social Media Activity

If there is one thing that keeps a business thriving, it is loyal customers. Due to the rise in popularity of social media, it may be worth looking at how your competitors are using certain sites to reach new customers. A tried and tested method will save you time and money, and it will ensure you are reaching out to your target audience rather than missing the mark slightly. As you start to gain traction and a loyal following, you will also be able to reach a large number of people overnight. All without doing any of the legwork yourself, just by getting your customers to share your page.

Website optimization

Your website is the hub of your online operations, and it’s where people will find out all about your company. You need it to set a good impression. First of all, you need to make sure that people can find it. This is where SEO companies come in. They help to fine tune your website so that anyone searching for your particular product or service finds your page first. After your potential customers have found your website, you need to make sure they stay there. Enlisting the help of a web page designer to streamline your site could prove an invaluable expense. Not only can they help you make sure that your website is easy to navigate and user-friendly, but they can advise you on the design so that it is also aesthetically pleasing to your target market. All of this together helps to make sure that your website is found and used by the right people, increasing your potential for business and growth.

Specialized software

Sometimes sticking with the tried and trusted just won’t cut it. You need to go out and search for the kind of product that will really boost your company to the next level. This is where specialized software comes in. For every niche and market out there, there is a product or piece of software that will help you to work quicker and more efficiently. For instance, if you worked in a marketing or telesales business, then a Call Tracking System would be invaluable to streamlining and honing your business model. Search around for software that will specifically aid you in your niche. If you can’t find any, speak to your competitors and ask them what software they are using, you might be surprised how willing they are to share information with you.

There you have it, three simple ways to elicit some further business growth. Hopefully, these tips will help you give your company a boost and push you on to the next plateau.

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