Archives for January 2015

The Ultimate Mid-Atlantic Tree Care Guide

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The Ultimate Mid-Atlantic Tree Care Guide – An infographic by the team at Growingearth.com

 

Gadgets and Home Entertainment

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If you have a home entertainment center or want to install one, you have plenty of options to consider. The last several years have yielded many exciting technologies in home entertainment, from big-screen TVs suspended from the ceiling to single touch screens that integrate all of your home entertainment control settings. The most difficult part of the process could be choosing which gadgets and other technologies to use. Exploring some of the most recent trends in home entertainment may help you to decide which ones may be perfect for your household.

Television Trends

The television is one of the top features of any home entertainment room. One of the top trends in TVs is the ultrathin television. Some TVs are even thinner than smartphones. The appeal behind this trend may be the fact that such devices take up less space than the bulky television sets of the past. Additionally, the newer, thinner TVs look sleek and modern, and they can complement the interior of your home beautifully.

Another trend in televisions is choice of placement. Maximizing space is one of the primary design issues in many homes, so positioning a television wisely can help to maximize the room that is available. Some TVs are suspended from the ceiling, while others can be mounted on a wall.

Remote Controls

Universal remote control devices are as popular as ever. Such gadgets save space, and they also save you time that you might otherwise be forced to spend hunting for several remote control devices in your home. Some of the latest gadgets of this type enable you to perform several functions at one time, such as turning on the television, turning on the cable, and tuning the TV to the optimal input simultaneously.

One recent trend that seems likely to continue to evolve is the universal remote with an organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen. Such a device typically provides you with a setup wizard function; so getting started with the gadget can be simpler than you might think. You still have access to the control buttons that you’d use on any universal remote control device, but you may have more programming options with a device that has an OLED screen.

Going Retro While Staying Current

Overall sales of both vinyl records and digital music continue to thrive. At least one company has now combined old and new technology. One device enables users to stream music and play vinyl records. This could be the perfect gadget for a family that consists of several individuals in various age groups.

Audio and Video

One of the main reasons to have a home entertainment center is to create a memorable audio and video experience in the comfort of your own abode. The latest technologies seem designed to deliver that experience to you and your guests. A surround sound system is still one of the best ways to achieve high-quality sound. When you install speakers behind people as well as in front of them, the result is optimal sound quality.

Trends in video continue to offer a variety of benefits to consumers. Ultra high definition resolution provides viewers with an exceptional visual experience, and having as much as 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution can make you and your guests feel as though you are watching a TV show or movie in a commercial movie theater.

Regardless of your particular needs, paying attention to the latest trends can help you to create the home entertainment room of your dreams. Whether you want to install an entire sound system or are simply looking for a remote control device, you can probably benefit from using the most advanced technology available. Once your room is complete, you and your guests can sit in comfortable seats and indulge yourselves in hours of entertainment at home.

Managing a Family Business

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Starting a business can be a lucrative opportunity, but it also can be a risky endeavor. When you start your own business, you rely on yourself and your qualities, skill set and knowledge. However, when you go in to business with your family, you can bring in unique perspectives—but there are some drawbacks to working closely with family members.

Managing a family business can be tricky, and according to the Small Business Administration, a family run business still has the same basic regulatory responsibilities as other businesses.

Being in business with family members has challenges such as which family member has seniority and makes important decisions, as well as identifies and manages risks. In addition to managing normal business-related issues such as performance capabilities, dealing with finances, learning and management styles, managing a family business has its own set of circumstances, such as dealing with unresolved personal issues that could potentially spill into the business. You have to watch out for jealousy, lack of respect for other family members, ethical issues and other concerns.

Working Within the Law

According to New Century Financial, one of the nation’s leading factoring providers, it is important that family businesses are properly structured and in compliance with the government laws, including setting up the proper business structure, filing and paying taxes and other regulatory issues.

Whos the Boss?

Managing other family members can be tricky, as is determining which members will be the managers and who the key players are going to be. How do you decide who will operate in a management-level capacity? It’s typically decided based on how much each family member contributes to the business, which has a value associated with it, such as cash, assets or sweat equity, all of which typically determines the equity share.

Determining the shareholders equity share is important to do early during the initial stages of the business. Then it’s easier to build management and equity distribution policies around that structure.

Performance Abilities, Competition, Jealousy and Family Rivalries

Some family members may have more skills than others, which may create competition and rivalry—typically among siblings or between father and son. Obviously those with more education and experience would likely have management-level roles as opposed to those with no prior experience, who would likely function in entry-level positions.

It’s important to recognize when one family member brings more skills to the table than another, which justifies assigning management level roles versus entry-level roles. Having healthy, productive communication about these aspects of the business can help ease possible tensions.

To that end, all aspects of the business must be performed, either by members of the family or by bringing in an outside consultant. Nonetheless the family business must be managed and operated to include administrative and management functions, accounting, marketing and sales functions and operational and productions functions. If these areas can’t be performed among the combined family members, then an outside independent contractor should be considered.

Finances, Taxes, Loans and Related Issues

Managing a family business also involves getting the business financed. Will it be funded with debt or equity financing or a mixture of them both? Who will be the personal guarantor and take the risk for the business?

Additionally, if the business experiences liability issues, who will be responsible for such debt? Most family-run businesses will find that those who have been financially responsible in their private lives will also be financially responsible in the family business.

Managing a family business can be both lucrative and fun. Learn the ropes according to New Century Financial (www.newcenturyfinancial.com).

Great Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying Electric Heaters

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Image taken from http://westcountryheating.uk/german-electric-radiators

If you are looking for a cost effective way to heat your home or individual rooms in your household, you could do worse than purchasing German electric heaters.  If you are sitting on the fence and need convincing that they are a good idea, the following article outlines 5 very good reasons why switching to electric heaters is a good idea.

They Are More Effective

With the new electric heaters you can purchase nowadays, noisy and ineffective heating your home is a thing of the past.  Fan assisted models offer an insulated approach to heating with the added bonus of using extra features such as MHR (Magnetic Heat Retention and TDI (Digital Time and Temperature Thermostats)

The MHR feature for instance enables the heater to warm up from even the coldest and lowest temperature within half an hour and even once it has been turned off, it will retain enough heat to continue heating a room for around 40 minutes extra.

They Can Be Financially Beneficial

As they do not use the same amount of electricity as older kinds of heaters, modern German design heaters can actually help reduce your monthly/yearly electricity and energy bills.  This means that by installing these instead of old storage heaters, you can actually warm your house for less money.

They Are More Convenient

Modern electric heaters also feature multi-temperature control, which means that different heaters can be set to different temperatures in different rooms.  This makes heating one room to a desired temperature that is different from another room, very convenient.  You are also able to adjust and set the temperature of these heaters to suit specific times of the day.

They Are Environmentally Friendly

Unlike old fashioned storage heaters, modern electric heaters are very environmentally friendly as the heat they produce and provide is not the dry burning heat that expels particles of carbon into the atmosphere.  As well as being harmful to the environment, the carbon release in older heaters can be dangerous for humans, particularly to asthma sufferers.

They Are Stronger and More Stylish

Along with the very practical benefits and positive reasons for buying electric heaters there are also the less practical, but nonetheless important reasons.  Whereas the old storage heaters would often look garishly dull and cumbersome, the new German design gives them a stylish, trendy and cutting edge look and feel.  They will look good in any room with a modern décor.  They are built from materials such as steel consisting of a mixture of chrome and nickel that not only looks good, but improves the longevity of the heater by reducing the effects of corrosion and reducing operational noise.

If you would like to buy electric heaters but still want to hide them or camouflage them, you can find some great DIY and decorating tips here.

Hopefully the above information has given you some food for thought when it comes to deciding how to heat your home and why you might choose electric heaters.  Although electric heaters are undoubtedly going to keep your home warm, it doesn’t help to employ some low key and inexpensive ideas to decrease the amount of heat loss in your home during the winter months that can be found here.

Best Gadgets for Mums

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While many Dads enjoy a gadget-filled life, we shouldn´t forget about those tech loving Mums out there.

Many ladies now love using their phone but what other classy gadgets could they use as well? The following are some of the best gadgets for fun-loving Mums who want more tech in their lives.

A Fitness Tracker

If Mum likes to stay fit then there are some brilliant fitness trackers around just now she might want. They offer a number of different functions and come in a range of slick, colourful designs.  The likes of the Garmin Forerunner 220, the Jawbone Up and the Nike+ Fuel Band SE all work extremely well for a different range of activities and all of them look fantastic as well. They certainly look good enough to be used as fashion accessories while also helping the wearer to track their progress towards their fitness goals. New models are due out soon as well, so there will soon be an even bigger selection to choose from.

Great Headphones

After a busy day at work or at home what could be better than putting on your favourite music and relaxing? There are plenty of cool speakers around now, from dancing monkeys to ones which stunning light and water displays. However, if what Mum really wants to do is lose herself in a private world of music then some headphones could do the trick. Neon Beats are comfortable to wear and look great, while the Bose QuietComfort 25 is incredibly effective at cutting out the sounds around the wearer, even when it comes from kids who don´t stop talking all day long. For sports loving Mums the Monster iSport Victory model is a fine choice for using while out keeping fit.

An E-Reader

If you know a lady who loves to read then an e-book reader could be the ideal gift. These gadgets offer a comfortable and flexible way of reading at any time and in any place. Anyone who struggles to read small print could find that the various adjustment options let them enjoy the pleasure of reading like they haven´t done in years.  The Amazon Kindle is a popular model, while there are a number of other e-readers worth considering too. For instance, the Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight is another e-reader that book loving Mums could get a lot of fun out of.

Smart Lighting

Not every Mum likes to receive items for the home as a gift. However, when it is something that could greatly benefit her life it is definitely something worth thinking about. This is certainly the case with the sort of smart lighting systems now available to make the family happier and more relaxed at home. The Philip Hue set-up is probably the best known but there are other options for altering the mood of your property. The likes of the new Smart Lamp and Sleep Companion from Holi is another good choice. It is specifically designed to help users get to sleep, although it does also have a romance setting for those special nights in that every Mum needs now and then.

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