5 Ways To Protect Your Business

When you’re a business owner, there are constant threats on the horizon. Whether it’s from clients not paying you on time, claims that are made against your business due to the fact that you haven’t followed safety regulations, or external threats such as burglary and fraud, there are always things that you need to be aware of, and steps that you need to take to ensure that your business is not at risk.

However, it can seem impossible to stay on top of them all, and you may not know how you can cover all bases when it comes to protecting your business. Here are 5 things worth keeping in mind.

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#1: Stay on top of cyber security

One of the biggest threats to modern business is through data hacking and cyber attacks, so you need to ensure that you’re always making every effort to keep your data safe. Speak to an IT professional about how safe your network really is, and make efforts to increase your security every so often. Hackers are always finding new ways of working, so you should be finding new ways of staying safe.

#2: Check the security of your office

In the modern day, no business owner should have an office that isn’t kitted out with CCTV, and other security measures. Look into the best ways to keep your office secure, and make sure that you invest in the necessary precautions. Your employees should feel safe, and you should feel at ease knowing that the building is secure at night, and that you’ve covered all of the necessary risks properly.

#3: Utilize the Cloud

The Cloud is something that every business should be utilizing, and it could save you a lot of headaches should there be a threat to your network. Keeping all of your data and documentation in a virtual space means that if your network does ever go down, you won’t lose a lot of sensitive data. This could protect you from legal ramifications, so ensure that everything is safely stored on the Cloud!

#4: Deal with claims properly

Every business owner will, at some point, need to deal with a claim made against them. Perhaps one of your employees has sustained an injury at work, and you haven’t followed the right procedures to cover yourself in this regard. It’s important to deal with claims quickly and efficiently, and speaking to a claims management company could save you a lot of time and money here.

#5: Keep up-to-date with safety regulations

One way to avoid claims altogether is to stay on top of the necessary safety regulations in your business. Ensure that you have fire exits that are easily accessible, that you’ve trained your employees on what to do in case of a fire, and that you’re constantly keeping an eye on any threats to safety that could arise in the office. These are small things to check, but they will make a big difference.

Make sure that your business is protected, and that you don’t lose out as a result!

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Hemp How-to: Guide to Storing CBD Products and Other Hemp Supplements

how to store cbd products

Properly storing CBD products and other hemp oil supplements is key to preserving their freshness and making sure the cannabinoids don’t degrade or break down prematurely. You want to be able to get the maximum benefits from these products, and by observing the best practice when it comes to storing them, you don’t only extend their shelf life, you also preserve their potency.

There are three things hemp oil supplements don’t get along well with heat, light, and oxygen. So to make sure your CBD products are not compromised, always keep them in a place where these elements are well controlled. Here are a few things you need to remember when it comes to storing CBD products:

  1. Store CBD products in a cool place

Prolonged exposure to heat will definitely ruin your stash of hemp oil supplements and other CBD products. If you’re looking for a place to store them, make sure it’s never near appliances that produce heat like an oven, dryer, heater, or even the refrigerator. CBD oil does not have to be refrigerated, however, if you live in a hot, humid place it is a good idea to store it inside the fridge. The low temperature inside the fridge might thicken your CBD oil, so if this happens, just place the bottle under warm water and it should be ready for consumption in a few minutes.

Another thing to avoid is leaving your CBD products in the car. It could get really hot in there, and this condition could cause the cannabinoids to degrade and lose some of its therapeutic properties.

where to store cbd oil
  1. Keep CBD products out of direct sunlight

Like other similar neutraceuticals, CBD products and other hemp oil supplements could lose their efficacy when exposed to direct sunlight. Always keep them in their original bottles, which are usually opaque, as they’re designed to protect contents from light damage. Store in a dark cool place, away from open windows.

Along these same lines, be sure when buying CBD oil to look out for products which are sold in clear bottles or containers. The packaging may look beautiful, but being in a clear bottle means its cannabinoid content will degrade more quickly due to the extra light exposure.

Who remembers this old Sam Adams commercial? What they talk about here is exactly what happens to cannabidiol products…

  1. Keep CBD products sealed in air-tight containers

Oxygen can also contribute to the breakdown of natural cannabinoids, and could leave your precious CBD products less effective. This is why they usually come in air-tight containers that are specifically designed to keep the contents protected from air exposure. When storing CBD oil, make it a habit to double check if the lid or cap is properly and tightly closed after each use, to make sure air doesn’t seep in. Also, be sure to only buy CBD oil which comes in a completely sealed container. If the seal is broken, ask for a new one. 

How Long Does CBD Last Once Open?

After you’ve opened your CBD oil, you may be wondering what just happened to the shelf life. We analyzed CBD products from several major brands and found that most have an expiration date of one or two years, if refrigerated. Outside of the refrigerator, you can still expect a year shelf life if stored away from light, heat, and humidity.

How to tell if CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

Typically, a CBD supplement gets used far before it nears the end of its shelf life. However, it’s always good to know the signs of an expired hemp product.

If you’re new to CBD oil, take a moment to smell your product the first time you open it. In general, hemp oil has an aromatic and herbal smell. However, there are endless formulations out there that can affect the scent. Depending on the product, it could smell like olive oil, mint leaves, or any number of essential oils that may be used.

But once hemp oil goes bad, it’s bad. The once pleasant aroma turns unmistakeably rancid.

[RELATED ARTICLE: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, Isolate, and PCR: Decoding the Difference]

Final Thoughts

CBD products and other hemp oil supplements usually last a year, if properly stored. Proper storage can definitely prevent degradation of cannabinoids and make sure you get the most out of them. However, you also have to consider other factors, like the method of preparation, ingredients used, and the actual finished product. CBD and hemp extracts typically have carrier oils, for example, and the shelf life of the product can be influenced by these base oils. In these cases, it’s best that you store them the way you would store their base oils, the most common being olive oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil.

If you choose to cook or bake with your hemp oil supplements, these can also contain perishable ingredients. These would expire more quickly, than say, capsules and oils, and would have the same storage requirements as their non-CBD versions.

Contributed Post. Article originally posted on https://madebyhemp.com/

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How to read a credit report

Once you know how to read a credit report, you’ll have a better sense of what to look for.

You have a different credit report at each of the 3 national credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Each bureau’s report may have information from different sources reported at different times. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Once you know how to read a credit report, you’ll get a good idea of the categories of information all credit reports show. You’ll also have a better sense of what to look for. So let’s jump right in.

Personal Information
Each of your 3 credit bureau reports shows basic identifying information like: name, current and past addresses, date of birth and employer. There’s also a space for a consumer statement, a place where you can explain certain parts of your credit report.

Look for:

  • Inaccurate information. Sometimes you’ll see your name or address spelled in different ways because whoever reported your information had it that way in their records.
  • Unfamiliar addresses. This could be a sign someone is using (or is trying to use) your information fraudulently. 

Inquiries
This section lists creditors who’ve asked to see your credit report. When you apply for credit—a mortgage, credit cards, car loans and all sorts of other kinds of financing—the company considering giving you that credit will almost always pull your credit report to evaluate whether giving you the credit is worth the risk. This request is called a credit inquiry.

The reports you see show “hard” and “soft” inquiries. Hard inquiries are those that happen when you apply for credit cards or other types of loans and they stay on your report for 2 years. “Soft” inquiries, which aren’t listed on the reports creditors see, come from companies making you credit offers.

Look for:

  • How many inquiries are listed. This is a good way to pay attention to how often you’re applying for credit. Too many hard inquiries may be viewed by creditors as a negative.
  • Unfamiliar inquiries. If you see any of these, investigate them immediately. You may have just forgotten about a credit application you made last year, but it also may be a sign a criminal has applied for credit in your name. Better to double check now than be sorry later. 

Accounts
This area of the credit report lists all your accounts, open and closed, active and paid, individual and joint. For each account, you’ll see information on: 

  • The loan/credit itself
  • The creditor (including contact info)
  • Balance
  • Account status
  • Monthly payment history
  • Whether or not you paid on time 

Look for:

  • Unfamiliar accounts. If you see an account you don’t recognize, follow up with the creditor to verify it. It may be a sign someone has fraudulently opened an account in your name.
  • Negative information. Look for any late payments or accounts in collections. By law, the credit bureaus must remove most kinds of negative information from your report 7 years after the information first appeared on the report. 

Public records
If you have court judgments against you, they will be listed along with the settlement amount and the date the record will be expunged. This section also may show information about tax liens and bankruptcies.

Look for any listings, whatsoever. Public records showing up on any of your 3 credit bureau reports can seriously impact your credit. If there is anything listed in this section, make sure it’s accurate. If it isn’t, dispute it with the credit bureau as soon as possible. 

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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5 Crimes You Need To Safeguard Yourself Against

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Is crime really on the increase in the United States? Some people, especially those who work in the media, would certainly have you think that it is. Some people also believe that now there are many new crimes that take place online, these are also pushing the number up too.

The jury is still out as to whether the crime rate is actually on the rise, but one thing that might be interesting to note is that the five most common crimes over the past few years are still those that have been quite common for the past decade or more. Here are five common crimes that we all need to safeguard ourselves against. 

Burglary

Lots of homeowners go to many different lengths to secure their home. Thankfully, there is no shortage of security methods right now. You might want to install a burglar alarm so that you are always notified whenever an intruder tries to get in. Some homeowners also equip their home with CCTV as well. It’s worth taking a look on some home blogs to see the various ways other people have secured their home. 

Car Theft

There are a lot of car-related crimes carried out these days and many people end up hiring a defense attorney to help them get out of DUI and car theft charges. You might be surprised to learn that there are more car theft crimes carried out than DUIs, generally speaking. Just like securing your home, there are also different ways to keep your car safe. If you don’t have a garage to store it in, then it is really worth investing in a car alarm.

Cybercrimes

As mentioned above, cybercrimes are quite widespread these days, so much so that they are one of the five most reported crimes these days. As long as you use very strong passwords for each of your online accounts, then you should be fairly safe. It’s also a good idea to use the latest anti-virus software and firewalls to ensure that no viruses try to infiltrate your network.

Fraud

Fraud is still a very common crime as well, and a lot of it is being fueled by online scams. As long as you are always aware and use common sense, you should find that it is simple enough to stay away from fraudsters. If you are ever in any doubt about a strange email that you receive from your bank, it is best to phone them and query it before you do respond to it or click on any links. 

Assault

Sadly, assault is still a very common crime. The best way to not be targeted is to stay discreet and keep your purse and phone away in pockets or a bag at all times. Also, use your common sense and don’t walk alone at night through a dangerous area or neighborhood.

Crime is always going to be a problem unfortunately but, as you can see from the points above, there are various ways you can protect yourself from it.

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Steps to Surviving an Office Renovation

When you need to move your business from being based at home to having an office then there are plenty of things to be thinking about. Likewise, when your current office lease starts to expire, then choosing to stay where you are, and perhaps think about upgrading your existing space instead, could be the thing to actually yield some pretty significant savings. However, being able to successfully do just that and make some big savings, then it will be something that will need a lot of planning, and a lot of time taken to ensure that the whole thing is done well. So with that in mind, here are some important considerations, so that if this sounds like you, and an office upgrade or renovation is on the cards, then you can help it all run much more smoothly.

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Stay or Go?

Before you think about renovating your space, then it is a good idea to make certain that relocating isn’t something that is a better option. Have a think about your ideal space requirements, and then with a designer or even an architect, you could see what would actually be possible where you are, or if a move would be better. You could even see what the issues are with where you are currently, as a landlord could consider reducing the price if they have some fixes to make, and if it would keep you as a tenant.

Establishing a Budget

In truth, the complete cost of a project or renovation will not be fully known until the work has been done. If there are any new projects, then a good thing to think about is having about 10% contingency in your budget, but that could reduce as time goes on and you see how well things are going. If you are making structural changes to the office site, then another 10% of contingency is a good idea to think about. You should also think about incorporating costs for things like temporary protection, site office hire, and partitions, as well as things you normally might not consider like having to cover the costs of overtime and additional workloads for you and your team. So carefully plan out a budget, but do remember to have a bit of a contingency plan.

Communication

In a lot of ways, there is a perception that a renovation done by the current occupants is just as important as the implementation of the work itself. But any change that comes to an office space or to a workplace, brings with it some possible anxieties, which can be very true if the reason for going so, or the impact, is not well understood. So make sure that communication over the project is rather clear and informative, so that all people that are involved, are aware of the expectations. Likewise, creating some actual mock-ups of what things could look like, can be a good way for the team to test things out and keep everyone in the loop.

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5 Smart Steps to Manage Debt

Dealing with debt can be difficult. Here are 5 steps you can take to make things easier.

For many, debt is a four-letter word and is accompanied by feelings of dread, denial, even despair. Especially if you have a lot of debt, gaining the upper hand on it can seem hopeless. Fortunately, there are proven strategies you can start using, whether you want to avoid debt or really need to get a handle on it. Here are 5 steps to start putting into place now.

1. Set up a budget.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or detailed to start out. Think of a budget as a plan and just get something down on paper. By thinking through all the different categories of spending you have, you’ll get a sense of what your total spending looks like and gain perspective on how dire your debt situation is.

2. See where you can cut expenses.

With even a simple budget in hand, you’ll be able to start seeing easy ways you can save money. Maybe it’s eating out a little less often. The important thing to keep in mind is this: every little bit helps and can go a much longer way toward debt freedom than you might think.

3. Create and contribute to an emergency fund.

What does saving have to do with debt? A lot, and in a way, they’re two sides of same coin. Whether you’re managing debt or trying to stay away from it, saving cash for emergencies means you may not have to borrow for them.

4. Follow a debt payoff plan.

There are at least 2 schools of thought when it comes to paying down debt. One is to tackle debt with the highest interest rates first. Since debt carrying higher interest rates grows more quickly, you can gain some breathing room by tackling that first.

Another school of thought is to pay off accounts with the smallest balances first. This can work well with your psychology: by paying off small accounts completely, you’re creating some quick wins that may give you the confidence and momentum to put a dent in accounts with bigger balances.

5. Negotiate, consolidate.

One way to make a serious dent in your debt burden is to try to negotiate a settlement. There’s no harm in calling your lender to see if you can’t make a compelling offer to pay more sooner in exchange for some debt forgiveness down the road. Just make sure if you agree on something, you get it in writing. Another way to make a big gain on debt loss is to explore consolidation. If you can get a consolidation deal that combines higher-interest debt into lower-interest monthly payments, this can be a lifesaver that can help you reduce the amount of money you’re using to service debt. It can also give you breathing room when it comes to the growth of your payments.

Digging out of debt can be discouraging. But by following smart steps, sticking to a plan and staying positive, you can be back on your feet sooner than you may think. Just remember, too, that the best way to deal with a lot of debt is to be careful about how much of it you take on in the first place! 

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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What’s Your Vitality Plan?

Originally posted by Kay Van Norman on silvernest.com on Sep 2, 2017 10:07:08 AM

Building financial security and maintaining health are consistently listed as top aging concerns for adults over 55. Most of us know creating a financial portfolio (make a plan, balance assets, make regular deposits) is important to ensure lifelong financial security. But what about your vitality?  Do you have a plan? Have you considered what “assets” you need to support lifelong vitality?

Using the familiar structure of a financial portfolio, the Vitality Portfolio® strategy encourages you to create a practical roadmap for lifelong health:

  1. Make a Vitality Plan
  2. Balance Vitality Assets (function, core and wellness)
  3. Make Regular Deposits

Making a Plan

How long do you expect to live?  I ask this question during keynote speeches and people always seem to have a number in their head. In future blog posts (Aging – It’s a Family Affair) we’ll explore how people come up with it, but for now consider your number — and more important, consider what you want to be able to do through your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s! Making a vitality plan helps you set, track, and reach your goals.

Functional Assets

Strength, mobility and endurance are “mission critical” assets for maintaining independence; yet optimizing function through physical activity is the most underused healthy aging strategy available today! It’s easy to disregard functional changes that happen gradually, so here’s some food for thought.

Statistics don’t motivate action unless they’re personally relevant. For example: Strength declines approximately 1-1 ½% per year after about age 30. That doesn’t sound like a lot until you do the math.  If you’re not regularly challenging your strength – you’re losing it – on average about 60% by age 70 and 75% by age 80. Imagine going about your daily life carrying a backpack filled with your body weight (i.e. ½ the strength requires double the effort). Consider how difficult daily tasks would become and how many activities you would have to give up.  

Physical frailty IS common and predictable with age, but it’s NOT due to age or inevitable! Studies show even 90+ year olds can prevent and reverse loss of muscle mass and strength with resistance training.

Take charge! If you get fatigued while walking – walk more! If you’re having trouble rising from a chair, do it more; every time you sit down, stand up and sit down 3 more times. See how many knee lifts you can do during TV commercial breaks or commit to standing up and sitting down 5-10 times during each commercial break.  

To maintain the gift of mobility gently stretch and move your muscles and joints through every range of motion. Embrace cardiovascular exercise to help your heart, lungs, and blood vessels deliver oxygenated blood throughout the body. Endurance activities bathe your brain in oxygenated blood so are also closely linked to brain health! Get out and move briskly every day; walk, swim, dance, or even do seated exercises that elevate your heart rate – toe touches, heel presses, knee lifts, low kicks, marching in place all with arm swings. 

Age is not a diagnosis so confront functional challenges with physical therapy intervention.  Consciously invest in lifelong functional independence.

Core Assets: Ageless Thinking and Resilience

Attitudes and expectations directly impact aging. Engage Ageless Thinkingby consciously rejecting negative expectations of aging. Activate Resilience by embracing adaptive strategies to overcome challenges – regardless of age.

Thirty years ago people with disabilities were often institutionalized with no expectations or opportunities; and outcomes were bleak. The disability movement changed attitudes and expectations and literally transformed lives. Now young people with profound disabilities are given resources, tools, and encouragement to overcome and live fully in spite of challenges, and they accomplish astonishing things!  

Unfortunately, attitudes haven’t changed much for adults who face physical or cognitive disabilities later in life. They most often receive resources, tools, and support to cope with disabilities.  There’s a profound difference in mindset between coping and overcoming – resulting in profoundly different outcomes. If you’re facing a challenge take age out of the equation, embrace adaptive strategies, and insist on pursuing the fullest recovery possible.    

Wellness Assets

Visualize the six dimensions of health: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and vocational as spokes on a wagon wheel. Consider how many deposits you regularly make into each dimension (spoke) and then draw your Wellness Wheel. Are some “spokes” large (carrying most of the load) while others barely exist? Are you missing an entire “spoke”?  It takes conscious effort to balance wellness assets across the body, mind, and spirit.   

Don’t leave your vitality to chance!  Make a plan, balance your assets, and make regular deposits into lifelong vitality.  Visit www.kayvannorman.comfor a free downloadable Vitality Portfolio® tool-kit to get you started.

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