Managing Your Personal Finances the Smart Way

 

As a working adult in today’s economy, you will realize that managing personal finances is essential for survival. The cost of living is at an all-time high, there is more to spend on and less ways to make it. If you are not careful, you may end up living from pay check to pay check or worse, in debt! Saving is an essential part of managing personal finances that most people often fail at leading to financial strain in case of emergencies. The following are some of the ways you can improve your personal finances and save more:

Where are you financially

Start by knowing your financial status today. Financial status consists of a couple of factors:

  • How much you owe
  • How much you spend
  • How much you earn
  • How much you have in savings

You may need about a month to capture all the above information. Make sure you get all the credit card payments, bills, purchases and loans in order to determine where you are financially. Once you have a clear picture of your money, you can start making the decisions that will improve your financial status.

Determine your financial goals

It is quite difficult to have a plan if you do not have an end result in mind. You need to determine your monetary goals and develop a plan to meet these goals. Do you want to buy a new house? A new car? Start a business? You need to save up for short term or long term goals. Therefore, list down your needs in terms of urgency in order to avoid financially stressing yourself, buying expensive things that you do not presently need. Add up the costs of everything you need and this becomes your target savings for both long term and short-term needs. This is capital expenditures projection.

Cut back

Once you already know what you need, you should go back to your recorded spending and cut back on all unnecessary things. Unnecessary expenditures include things like magazine subscriptions that you never even read and cable TV that you never watch. Every dollar you cut back on is a dollar towards your goals. Websites like leasequit.com help you terminate your car lease early hence saving you money.

Once you are through cutting back, create a new monthly budget with only necessary expenditures and savings.

Jump start your savings

By now you are itching to start saving. Relax; you have already covered about 50% of the savings. Saving involves a lot of discipline and you might need to start avoiding hanging out with those friends that you often spend a lot of money with just to get your savings going. Here are some tips to jumpstart saving:

  • Open a saving account and set up an automatic savings transfer on a monthly basis.
  • You can also use direct deposit to move money from your salary straight to your savings.
  • Use your workplace’s 401(k) plan. 401(k) is a profit sharing plan offered by employers for employees.
  • Join a retirement benefits scheme.

Young woman covering her face with a 50 Euro note

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Want to Sell More Products Then Make Them Easier to Find!

 

 

Have you ever wondered why some online shops seem to have incredible success with their sales, while others just can’t seem to convert? Is your e-commerce store one of the latter? If so, it’s highly likely that the reason has very little to do with how much traffic you have. In many cases, the problem is simply the fact that potential customers aren’t finding what they’re searching for.

 

What Does that Mean?

To be fair, that statement actually covers a lot of territory. I don’t want to be vague about this, so let’s look at a few of the reasons that visitors to your site don’t find what they want.

  1. You don’t offer what’s trending.

    One of the keys to success with a web store is knowing what’s popular and when. Buying trends on the Internet change regularly, based on several factors, including other people’s marketing. Knowing what’s popular with your visitors means you can capitalize on those trends by optimizing your product visibility. Not knowing means those visitors that do find you won’t stay long.

  2. Your inventory isn’t optimized for the visitors you’re getting.

    Traffic generation shouldn’t be a haphazard process, nor should selecting the products you plan to sell. How you decide to target your traffic campaigns and adjust your merchandising depends on many criteria. Without data and a way to analyze it, there’s not really a good place to start.

  3. You stock the right products, but people don’t find them.

    Notice that I didn’t say “can’t find them.” That’s an important distinction, because your visitors won’t waste time using a site search engine that doesn’t locate what they want quick. They also don’t want to bother with looking through all the items in your collections to locate the right one.

    Today’s internet shopper expects instant gratification. If he or she doesn’t get it from your store, getting back to the search results that brought them to you is only a matter of a few clicks at most. You don’t have a lot of time to show them the right items.

How do You Solve This?

So, you see, the bad news is that no matter how little competition is out there for your shop, if a shopper finds it faster somewhere else, you’ll probably lose a buyer. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do about it. The GREAT news is that there’s a fantastic, simple, add-on solution that can help with every aspect of the process.

 

Let’s start with the good news.

If you want to get the right products in front of the right people, there are some important steps you can take to accomplish that:
  1. Target the right audience.
  2. Monitor buying trends.
  3. Give your visitors an effective, intuitive on site search engine.
  4. Gather data about your customers’ search behavior.
  5. Analyze the data.
  6. Stock popular products.
  7. Place the most search-for products prominently.
  8. Suggest related products.
  9. Make purchasing simple.

That probably sounds like a lot of work, and the fact is, if you have to do all of the above on an individual basis, it is. That’s where the great news comes into play and it’s all about one incredibly simple addition to your store:: Site Search

 

About the Solution

You’re skeptical about that last statement, aren’t you? I get it and I don’t blame you. There are a lot of so-called “all-in-one solutions” out there. I’m about to tell you why this one is truly different and let you decide for yourself. Ready?

 

It’s platform-independent.

First of all, Site Search isn’t going to make you switch e-commerce solutions or even worry about making changes to the way your current one works. It’s a custom application that runs as a CSS and Javascript overlay for your existing CMS. If you don’t understand all those terms, don’t worry; you don’t need to. The important point is that this app integrates seamlessly with whatever platform you’re using, because it’s created specifically for it. It can even be custom-configured to work with a non-standard e-commerce program.

 

It works like a website search.

Well, technically, that’s exactly what the front end is. It’s not like the others, though. This application brings a fresh new shopping experience to your visitors. It learns as people search and builds a comprehensive suggestion database.  As users type, it delivers related searches that can be clicked on at any time to save time. Because it’s cloud-based, it does all this with incredible speed. It’s optimized for mobile clients, too.

 

 It works in the background for you.

While you’re delivering an optimal shopping experience for your visitors, Site Search will be collecting valuable data from all of their interaction with the search engine and your site. You can access that information at any time, in your private dashboard, where you can run one-click analyses. You then use the analytical info to tailor your promotions, product placement, inventory and even fine-tune the application to increase your conversion rate.For all its outward simplicity, this app is one of the most sophisticated tools you can add to your e-commerce site and it will make a difference from the first day you put it into operation. There’s not a better site search tool or merchandising aid available.

 It won’t overtax your server.

Perhaps the best feature of this innovative tool is the cloud-based operation of all the functions. It won’t place any additional load on your web server, so your site stays fast and you don’t get into hot water with your hosting service.

 It’ll be up and running in no time.

 On average, integration time with your site is about 2 hours. Remember, there’s no need to make core programming changes to the platform, so there isn’t any need to worry about site crashes or major service delays.

 

See for Yourself

As I mentioned, I understand the skepticism behind all of these claims, so I’m going to leave most of the convincing to the app website. The developers at Fast Simon have created a great resource to tell you all about it. If you’re interested in increasing your bottom line with an incredibly easy-to-use, powerful tool, take a look at Site Search

 

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5 Most Disastrous Professional Translation Works Ever

 

The desire to go global with your brand is overwhelming. It means increased exposure and more revenue. One of the most essential steps in enhancing global brand awareness is engaging the services of translation agencies to recapture your messages in foreign languages. For these agencies, bringing the best out of such services at times becomes tricky. This explains existence of some of the world’s worst translation marketing errors in history. Have a look.

1. Pepsi’s Unbelievable Promise

Pepsi’s original slogan, ‘Pepsi brings you back to Life’, is a common one that nearly every person identifies with. When Pepsi wanted to translate this text into Mandarin, they hired out a translation agency which interfered with the original text. Instead of the intended meaning, the final Mandarin translation implied ‘Pepsi brings back your ancestors from the grave!’ Was Pepsi promising Life after death? Only the translators can tell.

2. Electrolux Mishap

In a bid to promote their newly designed vacuum cleaner, Scandinavia electrical giants hired out translators to rephrase their marketing slogan in English. The outcome was something like this: ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’. The Ad for this vacuum cleaner ran in a couple of English speaking nations including Queen’s Land and United States. Although some people tried to convince the general audience that it was a deliberate error deigned to create comic relief, the advertisement did not achieve its intended goals.

3. Coca Cola’s Wax Madness

 

When the renowned drink ambassadors, Coca Cola first entered the Chinese market, there was lots of excitement among the local dealers. Efforts of translating the Coca Cola word into Chinese not only hit nags but also resulted to humorous translational errors. One of the translational messages implied ‘Female horse stuffed with wax. Yet another funny version of the same text was translated to mean ‘Bite the Wax Tadpole’.

Rumours later had it that the translations were only part of local shopkeeper’s advertisement materials. In their eagerness to communicate the arrival of Coca in China, they ended up with wax biting the tadpole and female horse being stuffed with wax. Whichever way it was, it became apparent the need for professional translation agencies when marketing a brand in a foreign language.

4. Schweppes Toilet Water?

While trying to market the famous Schweppes drink in Italy, one of the local translation agencies translated Schweppes Tonic Water to Schweppes Toilet Water. It was not only hilarious but also incredible taking into consideration the massive brand awareness strategies they have used

 

 5. Braniff’s Naked Airline

 

 

When Braniff Airlines tried to promote the comfy feeling of its First Class airline seats among the Latin American audience, something awkward happened. The translation of Fly In Leather was reported by a local radio as Fly Naked! It turned out to be one of the funniest translation errors ever.

Nearly all the errors were results of local translators trying to express their prowess in the translation industry. The results obtained were nothing to be proud of, bringing us to one realization; involving professional translation services is the only sure way of getting it done right!

Bio

Andrew Wilberforce is an experienced blogger with special interests in languages, professional translations services, and media relations. For more information on related topics, click here.

 

 

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The Easiest Way to Connect to New Business Partners

Growing a business requires proper strategy and working smart. Connecting with the right business partners is one of the key pillars for any business. Referrals may end up being the perfect partners for our business, but there is a part that you would have to play so that you can achieve this. Here are some tips, which you can apply so as to be able to connect to new business partners, easily.

Develop Solid Relationships

While the ultimate objective is to find partners, who you can work with to grow the business, take time to cultivate a good and strong relationship. This makes it easier for people to trust you and eventually want to invest their money in your business. Focus on adding value to the relationship with anyone that you get connected to. As long as you can have a solid foundation, this should play out to your advantage.

Seek Clarity and Answers

One of the best ways to tell if a person would be a great fit for your business is through conversation. Strike conversation with thought-provoking questions and pay keen attention to their responses. Have a strategy that allows the potential partner to talk most of the time and if there are any gray areas, seek clarification.

 

Keeping Scores Does Not Work

You should have an open mind and come alive to the fact that there are connections that will work, and others will fail. Do not keep a score of how much you have been giving out, without receiving. Set your mind to give at all times, without expecting anything in return. Once you have conditioned your mind this way, it becomes easier to connect with business partners, and there will be fewer disappointments.

Work on Your Reputation

Everyone loves to be associated with something good. One of the best strategies to win over business partners is by building a great reputation for the business. Pay attention to the strengths and weakness of the business and use them to make the necessary adjustment. Weaknesses should be used to come up with a learning agenda. If your business has a great reputation, anyone you approach to partner with you will actually feel honored.

Be Flexible

Being rigid is a good thing, only to a certain extent. If you are truly committed to the course of getting new people to connect with as business partners, you should be easy going. Always be at your best and try to impress the prospects within the shortest period of time. There are some people who lose connections right from the introduction. Have a strategy, an even if it means rehearsing, do not hesitate to do so.
For any business to thrive and experience exponential growth, it would ideal to find business partners to work with. This does not need to be a complex thing, and as you can see, above, you can use very basic strategies to easily connect with business partners. Be open-minded, and you will be amazed at how much potential has been untapped out there.

 

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The Impact of Cyber Attacks on the Banking Industry

 

There have been increasing numbers of cyber attacks reported in recent years across all industries and it is costing the United States an absolute fortune in cyber security. Obama announced that $19 billion  was to be dedicated to the ongoing fight against cyber criminals, highlighting the gravity of the threat it now poses to businesses and even households.

In 2016 there were widely reported attacks on PayPal, Twitter and Spotify to name a just a few of the big companies that have been targeted. The number of cyber attacks across the world is increasing and businesses are spending more and more money in deterring the crime.

Banking Sector Most at Risk

Of course, the banking sector is one of the industries that are most at risk, given the nature of the data that they hold. This means that banks have had to dedicate significant funds on developing their digital infrastructure to strengthen their cyber security. The banking world has long been seen as a very profitable industry and for many banks that still remains to be true. Investment banking experts like Fahad Al Rajaan demonstrate that the banking sector can still be a very effective way of making money. It is therefore vital that banks are protected from cyber-attacks.

Preventing Cyber Attacks

As well as spending more on software to reduce the chances of an attack, companies now spend more on resources dedicated to preventing cyber-attacks. This means that extra IT personnel are required, extra training for all staff and more resources allocated to analyzing their cyber security and performing risk assessments.It also means that more robust policies and processes must be introduced. This can vary from developing and delivering online training for staff to raise awareness about the risks of cyber security, to employing a whole team of experts to audit the processes. It is certainly becoming a very costly affair.

Cyber attacks not only cost businesses from the initial financial sting, they are also impacted by the reputational damage that the attacks can cause for years to come. If somebody feels that their money isn’t safe with a bank, then they are likely to close their account and go to another one that they feel will protect their money better. The more publicity that a cyber attack attracts, the higher the reputational damage will be.As mentioned before, the government is committed to driving down and eventually eradicating the threat of cyber attacks. Greater cyber security laws are being ratified and harder punishments will be a deterrent for many would-be cyber criminals.

 

Finding a Solution

It is unfortunate that such huge amounts of money are being spent on cyber crime, both by the government and by businesses. Until a solution is found, it looks like this trend will continue and the threat of cyber attacks will dominate how businesses setup their IT structures and policies.

 

 

 

 

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4 Areas of Your Company That Are Worth Your Investment

 

 

 

 

To have a profitable and successful company you need to have your money invested in the right places. Whatever industry or sector you are trying to conquer, you have to put your money where your mouth is and show that you support all areas of your company to make it to the top.

Investing wisely in the right areas will not only help your company to grow, but it will also increase your business’ profit and help you stay ahead of your competition. However, you have to be willing to back what you believe in if you want it to work and perform. A financially healthy company is one that knows where to spend the money and why it’s important to ensure you deliver the best results for both yourself,  your employees and your customers.

Below are a number of areas within your business which you can invest in further to reap the rewards. Use these tips to understand what’s going to help you find success.

People

Your employees are the backbone of your company, and they know a good employer when they see one. They work hard each day to make sure your business is not only surviving but thriving. Invest in good people and see how quickly your company starts to take a turn for the better. Talented, smart and hardworking employees are what will take your business to another level. Be choosy about the hiring process and select candidates who have a strong character, the right skills and are onboard with your vision.

Technology

These days you’d be silly not to invest in using technology to propel your business and make it more efficient. For example, many brands are adopting Digital Banking solutions to give them more control over the financial process. It helps deepen user engagement and makes processing payments more secure. You won’t regret spending the money when daily work is completed more efficiently and quickly, and your customers are more satisfied.

Innovation

You can’t stay where you are forever. That’s why you have to invest in innovation and give people the opportunity to be creative and come up with groundbreaking solutions to some of the most complicated problems you’re facing. This is one of the only ways you’re going to beat out your competition and make a name for yourself in the marketplace. You don’t want to be chasing your rivals and wishing you were doing a better job.

Marketing

You’re not going to get very far if no one knows who you are or what you sell. You need a clear and concise marketing strategy, the right people to manage it and execute it, and strong partnerships that help you succeed. There’s not much of a future for your business without any marketing. Provide a solid budget for your team and let them show you how much of an impact it has on the success of your company. There are now many marketing channels available that require careful management and a strategic approach.

 

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Bitcoin The Pros and Cons of the Upcoming Currency

So a Miami judge has ruled that the digital currency bitcoin is not money in a money laundering case. The accused launderer was charged for selling $1,500 worth of bitcoins to undercover agents for use in buying stolen credit cards. There is mixed reactions to the ruling. The defendant, of course, is glad of the court victory but prosecutors are worried the judge set a precedent that would embolden criminals to wash dirty money with bitcoins.

Some 3,000 miles away in Suisun City, California, executives of WPCS International Inc. (Nasdaq: WPCS) received the news with keen interest. It may be odd since the company does not charge customers bitcoins for designing and building communications infrastructure and doing specialty construction, its main business. But the case and the ruling matter because WPCS owns BTX Trader LLC, which runs an online platform where bitcoins can be traded in multiple digital currency exchanges worldwide. The judge left bitcoin trading untouched making it business as usual for BTX Trader. WPCS is rated as a Strong Buy

BTX Trader’s Platform

The BTX Trader’s platform of the same name connects users to 14 bitcoin exchanges worldwide to retrieve market data and other users’ trade activity as well as to place trades. It has a built-in wallet called Celery that allows U.S. residents to buy bitcoin or dogecoin, another cryptocurrency, via direct bank transfers. BTX Traders earns from transaction fees from users. It also sells the wallet for the bitcoin equivalent of $99, $49.99 or $99.99.

Profitable contractor

WPCS’ traditional revenue sources are from low voltage communication and security contracting services. The company designs wireless networks and provides technology integration to create wireless communication systems, including WiFi networks, post-to-point systems, mesh networks, microwave systems, cellular networks, in-building systems and two-way communications systems. WPCS provides services mainly to the public services, health care and energy sectors.

The latest quarterly earnings report in March showed that operations in Suisun generated $286,000 in income for the fiscal 2016 third quarter and $886,000 for the nine months ended Jan. 31, 2016. The company’s only debt is a $150,000 vehicle loan and more than 96 percent of its $7 million assets are current assets.

Share Rally

With the recognition and use of bitcoin for paying goods and services growing, WPCS saw the opportunity of propping up revenues and attracting more investors by acquiring BTX Trader LLC in 2013. WPCS shares rose by a dollar from $1.51 to $2.53 before settling at $2 when the acquisition was announced in December that year. A share of WPCS is worth $1.52 as of July 26.

Shareholders were made aware of the many risks of the foray in the digital currency industry. One is the slowdown in the development of the Bitcoin network and reduction in the use of the digital money. There is also risk from the regulatory environment. The European Union is pushing for government access to bitcoin databases, identities of users of the virtual currency and users’ wallet addresses by next year to prevent terrorists from using bitcoins to fund their attacks. Such regulation could discourage bitcoin investment, though it is a recognition of the digital currency. There are also competing bitcoin trading platforms. But BTX Trader and WPCS welcome anything that heightens trading volumes of bitcoins.

Bitcoin pathway

The retail industry is slow in adopting virtual currency as a payment mode. Speculation is said to be the main driver of bitcoin trading. Risk-conscious investors can test the virtual currency as a go-to asset without being a trader or miner (those who record bitcoin transactions to earn bitcoins) themselves. WPCS is one such avenue.

Although the contractor belongs to a different industry, running a bitcoin service is not unusual for a company that is unrelated to financial services and retail. A mining company had ventured into bitcoin mining while a game developer is allowing players to pay in bitcoin to play. WPCS, through BTX Trader, plans to develop more bitcoin services as it serves its traditional customers.

For current Stock information on

https://www.wpcs.com/

References:

https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=WPCS.OQ

https://seekingalpha.com/pr/16419026-wpcs-announces-financial-results-3rd-quarter-nine-months-ended-january-31-2016

https://www.cheatsheet.com/business/all-signs-point-at-something-big-coming-from-wpcs-international.html/?a=viewall

https://www.coindesk.com/celery-launches-consumer-friendly-bitcoin-dogecoin-buying-service/

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wpcs-announces-34-user-growth-133000509.html

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/exchange/btx-trader-launches-celery-marketplace-to-increase-bitcoin-and-dogecoin-adoption/

https://www.marketwired.com/press-release/wpcs-announces-public-beta-release-of-btx-bitcoin-trading-platform-nasdaq-wpcs-1865323.htm

https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/btx-trader-snapped-nasdaq-listed-company-wpcs-international-arent-cheering/

https://www.reddit.com/r/BitcoinMarkets/comments/1uerjt/thoughts_on_btx_trader_is_it_any_good/

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=253099008

https://btxtrader.com/#/info/faq

https://www.cheatsheet.com/business/all-signs-point-at-something-big-coming-from-wpcs-international.html/?a=viewall

https://milli.io/how-to-make-money-with-bitcoin/

https://www.coindesk.com/5-ways-play-bitcoin-public-markets/

 

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iApps Website Content Management System Gives You the Power of a Whole Web Team

 

A website is not simply the digital face of any business. It is a complex technology with an integrated software and design to make it function according to marketing objectives. Making it work to that end does not only entail a creative design, catchy content, eCommerce capability and clever analytics. The website requires technical upkeep and even overhaul to accommodate new or upgraded software that enhances online presence and improves workflow. Providing a whole package that gives the best web experience for both business owners and their customers is the specialty of Bridgeline Digital Inc. (Nasdaq: BLIN).

Bridgeline Digital has masterfully woven its reputation in web management solution through its proprietary iAPPS platform. The technology provides a unified Content Management, eCommerce, eMarketing, and Website Analytics service that enables clients to swiftly enhance and optimize the value of their websites cost-effectively. The powerful tool set up by Bridgeline Digital’s team of Microsoft Gold Certified interactive developers can give a business the competitive edge in the increasingly challenging marketplace.

iAPPS is a corporate marketer’s essential. It empowers them to easily create, edit, and optimize persuasive web content and campaigns without relying on technical resources and complex coding. It enables automatic display of content and products based on visitor behavior attributes like browsing history, location, search terms or device type. It captures and indexes customer profiles for highly targeted, cross-channel campaigns. It even finds, manages and track social media conversations to make real-time decisions to engage and coordinate activity across teams and different business objectives.  

 

An improved service called Bridgeline Pro series is also favorable to enterprise customers because of its lower implementation cost. Ari Kahn, Bridgeline Digital president and CEO, sees the Pro series increasing margins for the company, while driving greater value to customers.

Further, the company offers co-location, application monitoring, emergency response, version control, load balancing, managed firewall security, and virus protection services; and shared, dedicated, and software as a service hosting services.

Thousands of websites and web stores are powered by iAPPS affirming the service’s acceptance by small- and medium-sized organizations as well as Fortune 1000 companies.  Among Bridgeline Digital’s clients are financial services, franchises/multi-unit organizations, retail brand names, health services and life sciences, technology, credit unions and regional banks, and associations and foundations. The patronage has strongly positioned Bridgeline Digital in the $3 billion web content management market and $1.3 billion marketing automation market.

Second quarter revenue was $4.2 million compared to $4.8 million in the second quarter of last year, but Bridgeline Digital generated over $1 million more of gross profit. Gross profit improved from $1.7 million in the second quarter of last year to $2.2 million in the second quarter of this year. Gross margin for the second quarter was 53 percent compared to 36 percent in the second quarter of last year.

Subscription and license revenue increased 12 percent  to $1.5 million over Q2 2015. License and hosting revenue were 44 percent of total revenue compared to 36 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2015. Licensing and hosting revenue combined now make up about 44 percent of total revenue compared to about 36 percent of the total revenue in the second quarter of last year.

Recurring revenue from SaaS licenses, annual maintenance on perpetual license and hosting increased 13 percent to $1.8 million in the second quarter compared to $1.6 million in the second quarter of last year. Service revenue decreased by approximately $670,000 from the second quarter of last year, but the cost of providing that service revenue decreased by almost $1.1 million. Operating expenses were $2.7 million for the second quarter of 2016, down 24 percent from $3.6 million in the second quarter of last year.

Bridgeline Digital will issue common stocks to convert up to $6 million of outstanding debt to equity and raise up to $2 million in working capital to further invest in business development that should drive stronger revenues and grow market share, according to Kahn.

Kahn has observed that competition in the web solution market is scattered and there is no market leader. He sees that as an opportunity for Bridgeline Digital to expand its presence and take the leadership role.

 

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Apple Campus The Space Ship Headquarters

Apple Campus 2, Lord of the ‘Rings’ Building

The Parliament House of India in New Delhi, the Vulcano Buono shopping mall in Nola, Italy and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham are some of the massive ring-shaped buildings in the world. Come next year, they will be dwarfed by the colossal Apple Campus 2, the second corporate headquarters of the iPhone maker in Cupertino, California. Any one of the Parliament House, Vulcano Buono and GCHQ would fit inside the 176-acre Apple Campus 2 making the latter the rightful lord of the “ring” buildings.

The Building of Apple Campus

When contractor Rudolph and Sletten & Holder Construction completes Apple Campus 2 next year, the circular building will have a floor area of 2.8 million square feet. In contrast, Vulcano Buono’s floor area is 1.6 million sq. ft., GCHQ’s is 1.5 million sq. ft., and the Parliament House’s is 261,358 sq. ft. Apple Campus 2 is also more than a mile around while the Italian mall and GCHQ are just one-third of a mile around. Apple Campus 2 will house some 13,000 employees. In contrast, around 5,500 people work at the GCHQ. In terms of cost, the Apple project is projected to cost $5 billion. The British government spent £337 to complete the GCHQ in 2003 while the Vulcano Buono cost €180 million to complete in 2007.

Apple Goes Green

Apple Campus 2 will also be as green as Vulcano Buono and greener than GCHQ and the Parliament House. British firm Foster+Partners, the architects, put glass walls in the four-storey structure so occupants can look out on both sides. Within the ring is a large outdoor park with a fountain and stage in the center. Some 7,000 trees will surround the structure. Electricity will not come from the city’s power grid. The roof will be covered with solar panels to produce electricity that will power the building. The main building will have natural ventilation so air conditioning or heating will not be used for 75 percent of the year. Recycled water will be used in the campus and even be shared with Cupertino residents.

Healthy Work Environment of the Future

Adding to the healthy working environment of Apple Campus 2 are some 1,000 bikes for use by employees in getting around the place, miles of jogging and cycling trails, and a fitness center open to all of Apple’s 20,000 workers in Silicon Valley. The other amenities are a 500-table cafeteria eight times larger than the one in the Infinite Loop campus, underground parking facilities for up to 14,200 cars, and a 1,000-seat underground auditorium for product launching.

London Square not the Design that Steve Jobs Wanted

Oddly, Apple Campus 2 was originally planned as a square building with the design inspired by a London square with houses that surround a park, Forster+Partners founder and chairman Norman Foster told Architectural Record. But the design eventually evolved into a circular building with inputs from Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs.

“Jobs wanted the new campus to reflect the Californian landscapes from his childhood,” according to Foster.

The environment and workforce are not the only winners in the Apple project. Cupertino folks get to benefit from the $30.6 million in revenue the project is bringing to the City Council. With that, the city can now fund its retirees’ medical needs.

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The truth about advanced commission in real estate that every professional need to know

Adults desire financial security more than any other thing in this world. People, especially real estate agents, sometimes have to wait for months for their rightful commissions. That can be demotivational for the professional and detrimental to his business. Business with money usually results in downtime that costs money and opportunities. Realtors might want an advance for advertising and marketing of their next open house, or they might simply want to upgrade their office space. In such instances, nothing helps more than commission advances.

Bigger advances for the bigger sellers

Did you know? The big sellers often get bigger advances. If you are a real estate agent or a realtor, who closes about 10-12 deals a year, you will be eligible for a bigger cash advance. Smaller agents who close about 3-5 deals only are usually eligible for smaller real estate cash advance amounts averaging $2,000. Although, the company will not check your credit records or your loan histories, they will check your ability to close these deals and maintain your commitments.

Quick solution to long-term money woes

Thankfully, the advance is quite instant, and the approval takes only a day maximum. You do not have to pay interest. You sell your pending commission at a flat fee to the advance commission company. You can apply for a listing advance; then when a seller shows interest in the open house and when you manage to close the deal, you can switch it to a pending sale advance. This will get you a larger amount for a smaller fee since it offers more security.

Pocket-friendly solution for pending commissions

A cash advance should not cost you an exorbitant amount. It should be a fixed percentage of your commission. In case the sale falls through, you can always look for new buyers. In the meantime, the company will charge you a nominal extension fee until you close the sale again.

Get advances for multiple listings and multiple pending commissions

There are cases when realtors come with 2 or more than 2 listings. Companies can try to limit the number of listings per realtor, but ideally, one realtor should be able to claim advance against multiple listings. There should be no minimum amount or maximum threshold of advance that the company can impose. A good company has transparent fees and candid policies about their lending limits per person. As we have mentioned before, the limits depend upon the professional performance and not on the credit scores or on the number listings up for advance.

No matter how many times you have already taken out advances for your pending commissions or how often you think about doing it, you should always check the details of the advanced commissions company. Read the fine print of their policies and check for hidden costs. The best are the companies that only cater to real estate professionals only. They can understand the individual needs of every realtor and real estate agent, and design their policies as per their convenience.

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