4 Tips for Outsourcing IT Support

Restaurants, supermarkets, assisted living facilities, saloons; what business doesn’t need IT support these days? From the very real threat of data breaches to the rise of spam and phishing emails, there are plenty of reasons to have a reliable IT support person in your corner. But what if you don’t have the in-house resources to handle all of your tech needs? That’s where outsourcing comes in.

Outsourcing IT support can be a great way to get the help you need without breaking the bank. But it’s not simply a matter of hiring the first person you find. Here are four tips to help you make the right choice for your business.

Define Your Needs

The first step in outsourcing IT support is to take a close look at your business’s current IT needs. Is your primary concern customer data protection? Do you need help managing a complex network? 

Once you have a clear understanding of what your organization needs, you can start to look for a support person that specializes in those areas. Information technology is a broad industry and one person can hardly be an expert in every single aspect.

Do Your Research

Once needs are clearly defined, it’s time to start your search for the right person. 

You can either ask for recommendations from other businesses in your industry or search online yourself on Linkedin and job boards. Once you have a few potential candidates, be sure to check out not just their CVs but also their websites and social media profiles to get a better sense of what they do.

For example, if you’re looking for help with data protection, a person that has client testimonials on their website from businesses who are happy with data protection work done for them would be a good choice.

Get a Trial Period

Before you commit to working with any IT support person, it’s important to make sure that they’re the right fit for your business. Besides expertise, things like having good communication and collaborative skills should not be underrated.

The best way to gauge this is to get a trial period, even if it’s just for a week or two. This way you can see firsthand how well they work with other employees and whether or not they’re a good fit for your business.

Get Everything in Writing

Last but not least, once you’ve found the right person, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes not just the scope of work and deliverables but also things like payment terms, turnaround times, and contact information. 

Business relationships can be tricky and misunderstandings can have consequences like extra charges, delayed projects, and even expensive lawsuits, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Outsourcing IT support can be a great way to get the help you need without breaking the bank. But it’s not a decision to be made lightly. With these four tips in mind, you can be sure to find the right help.

4 Ways to Be a More Eco-Conscious Consumer

As we find ourselves well into 2022, it’s more important than ever that we respect our planet. Consumers are buying more and more, and as a result, the earth often suffers from it. So how can we help? By being more responsible consumers. 

By making the most of the resources we have, and considering the effects you have on the planet, you can reduce your carbon footprint, be less wasteful, and consider the planet as a whole instead of only considering yourself. If you’re looking for ways to be a more eco-conscious consumer, then look no further than this list.

Consider Materials

When buying products, it’s important to consider what they’re made of. Some products are made with sustainable materials that won’t pollute the earth after their intended use. However, there are other things that will remain in the air or a landfill for decades to come. Always understand what’s behind the product you’re buying in order to consider what will become of it after you’re done with it. 

Consider Packaging

In addition to always considering what your products are made out of, you should also consider what they are packaged in. Packaging is a serious problem when it comes to sustainability. Buy products that don’t have overly exaggerated packaging that is contributing to more wasteful earth. Above all, consider buying products that are intentionally packaged in recyclable materials. Furthermore, you can take extra steps like bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery store rather than using plastic.

Buy Used

Many people automatically assume that the only option is buying something new. However, in more cases than not you can usually find something second-hand for a much more affordable price.  Not only does this do your part in creating less waste, but it will also save you a considerable amount of money.

While there are some things that should not be purchased used, like certain items of clothing, or baby gear, there are other things that you should seriously consider buying used.  From cars, to clothes, consider buying second-hand before purchasing brand new.

Take Care of Your Purchases

One of the most straightforward yet effective ways to create less waste is to take better care of your things. The better care you take of your purchases, the less likely you are to have to go out and buy another item. That means, putting things away out of the reach of children, and always following the instructions on how something should be used. Often the simple act of a little foresight can help significantly extend the life of a product.

These are just a few ideas for becoming a more eco-conscious consumer. Don’t be afraid to come up with more creative ways that you can do your part in contributing to a greener earth that our children can enjoy for years to come.

How to Raise Capital for Your Startup

Launching a start-up is not for the unambitious and unmotivated. It takes a lot of hard work to get partners who believe in you, customers who use your product, and a team that supports you. But most of all, it takes money.

Raising capital for anything can be tricky, especially for a start-up. Here are some tips on how to raise capital for a start-up. 

Research Potential Investors

Different investors have different reasons for investing their money. Some investors invest because they want to be a part of something they believe in, while others invest for the potential monetary return. 

By researching potential investors, you can better tailor your fundraising efforts. If most of your targets are social impact investors, for example, you can focus your pitch on how your company will make a difference in the world. 

You can also research whether or not an investor has ever invested in a start-up like yours before. This will give you an idea of whether or not they’re likely to be interested in your company so you can prioritize accordingly.

Develop a Compelling Pitch

Once you have an idea of who you’d like to pitch to, it’s time to start working on your actual pitch. A good pitch should be clear, concise, and persuasive. 

Your pitch should tell investors what your company does, why your product is necessary, how you plan on making money, and most importantly, why they should invest in you. 

To make sure your pitch is as strong as it can be, practice in front of friends and family, or even strangers, whether it’s an easy-to-understand concept like the business of freight unloading or a more complex pitch on the ethics of artificial intelligence in medicine. The more people you practice on, the easier it will be to work out the kinks and deliver a smooth pitch when it counts.

Attend Networking Events

There are tons of networking events for start-ups and entrepreneurs. 

Some events have panel discussions featuring successful entrepreneurs who have raised capital for their own businesses. These are a goldmine of information, so be sure to take advantage of them. Other events simply provide an opportunity to mingle with potential investors and get your company name out there. 

Either way, networking events can be a great way to raise capital for your start-up.

Think Outside the Box

There are a lot of options when it comes to raising capital for your start-up. If you’re having trouble getting traditional investors on board, think outside the box. 

One option is to launch a crowdfunding campaign. With crowdfunding, you can connect with potential customers and investors all over the world who may become interested in supporting your company with money. 

Another option is to apply for grants. There are many grant programs out there that are specifically designed to help start-ups get off the ground. 

Raising capital for a start-up can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With a little hard work and some creative thinking, you can get the funding you need to get your business up and running.

3 Things To Look For In A Caregiver For Your Elderly Loved One

For those with elderly loved ones that can no longer take care of themselves completely, finding someone to help can be a big challenge. When you have to balance things like costs, care, timing, personalities, and more, it can be very hard for people to find the right caregiver for their elderly loved one. But if you know what you should be on the lookout for, it can make things easier.

To help you with this, here are three things to look for in a caregiver for your elderly loved one.

They Help Your Loved One To Feel Better

It’s very likely that your elderly loved one isn’t that excited about needing to have an additional caregiver. But with the right caregiver, this should be less of a problem.

To know if you’ve found the right caregiver, try to look at how your elderly loved one reacts to this new potential caregiver. If it appears that the caregiver is compassionate toward your elderly loved one and that your loved one feels supported by them, this could be a very good sign. And if the caregiver leaves and your elderly loved one feels like they have been well taken care of and feels like they are in an overall better mood, this caregiver could be a great fit for them.

You Find Them Trustworthy and Dependable

It’s not only how your eldelry loved one feels about them that can help you determine who the right caregiver is for them. You also need to be able to trust them and depend on them.

Even if someone is giving great care to your elderly loved one, if you can’t count on them to show up on time or stay for the length of time that you need help for, they might not be worth the trouble. But if you can find someone who’s willing and able to work with your schedules and be there when you need, this is a great sign.

They Seek To Keep Your Loved One Independent

One thing that’s very hard for people to accept is when they can no longer do things on their own. It can feel like their dignity is being taken away when someone else has to do simple things for them, and a good caregiver will recognize this.

To work with these feelings, the best of caregivers will seek to give their elderly patients as much independence as they’re able to handle. So if you find someone who is willing to help your elderly loved one maintain as much independence as they can, this could be a great caregiver to work with.

If you’re needing to find a caregiver for your elderly loved one, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know when you’ve found a good candidate.

3 Tips For Picking The Right Materials For Your Kitchen Remodel

If you have plans to remodel your kitchen, a big part of figuring this process out is choosing the right materials. Ideally, you should try to have all of your materials chosen and in the process of being shipped to you before you start on construction. This way, you can know that you won’t have any big hold-ups while your kitchen is torn up. 

To help you through this process, here are three tips for picking the right materials for your kitchen remodel. 

Balance Form And Function

Your kitchen remodel is likely going to change the whole vibe of your home. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure that you love the way it looks and that it meshes with the rest of your house. However, you also need to make sure that it’s going to be a functional space for you.

As far as choosing materials goes, you should try to find a balance between form and function. Choosing materials that are beautiful but very high maintenance likely won’t be a good fit for a busy family. Additionally, if you choose to go with the cheapest option for all of your materials, you might find everything lacking in the aesthetic department. So in the balance of finding form and function, look for materials that look like what you’re wanting, like the homogeneous tile you’ve had your eye on, but that fits within your budget and works for your lifestyle

Opt For Modern Technology

If you’re going to go through the trouble of remodeling your kitchen, you should really think about how you can take your kitchen into the future through the use of technology.

While you don’t have to get all modern materials and technology, choosing a few pieces of modern technology to incorporate into your kitchen remodel can make your life a whole lot easier. So rather than keeping your old appliances, consider upgrading to a smart refrigerator or a smart oven. You can also source smart taps for your sink to make cleanup easier, too. 

Work With The Right Professionals

Part of picking the right materials comes down to working with the right professionals to help you in making all of these decisions. Since you likely aren’t a professional in the field of construction and sourcing materials, you should seek to get the advice and guidance of those who are. 

While a contractor may have great ideas about what materials to use and where to get them, interior designers can help with these kinds of things as well. Designers can also help with layout issues in your kitchen so that everything flows perfectly. 

If you’re needing help with picking the right materials for your kitchen remodel, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn what to focus on and how to find what you need.

3 Important Safety Rules To Follow When Swimming This Summer

When the weather starts warming up, more and more people tend to take to the water to cool off. And while most people know that it’s safest to swim with other people present and to watch children very intently when they are in and around water, there are other things about being in the water that could potentially cause harm or danger to you.

To help ensure that you’re able to stay safe and healthy all summer long, here are three important safety rules to follow when swimming this summer. 

Be Smart About Holding Your Breath

When people get tired of swimming in the water, it’s very common for them to start playing other games in the water. One game that people might be very familiar with is seeing how long you can hold your breath under water or who can hold their breath the longest. 

Sadly, this can be a very dangerous game for anyone to play. Not only could people wind up passing out from a lack of oxygen when trying to hold their breath under the water, but people could also hyperventilate when coming back up from the water after holding their breath for too long. So while you might be curious about how long you can hold your breath or who in your group can hold their breath for the longest, it’s safest not to play these kinds of games, as they can turn deadly. 

Protect Your Eyes

Swimming in the water can be a lot more fun when you can easily see where you’re going. But if you don’t have goggles to protect your eyes, it’s best not to open your eyes under the water.

If you’re swimming in a pool, the chlorine in the water can easily irritate your eyes and cause your eyes to become red, scratchy, or start tearing. And if you’re swimming in fresh water, there are likely all kinds of bacteria and other germs or organisms that can infect your eyes. While these types of infections will usually clear up with antibiotics, it’s best not to get infections or irritations in your eyes in the first place. 

Don’t Swim During Summer Storms

For some people, one of their favorite things about summer is watching summer storms. But if you’re going to be swimming or playing in water, summer storms shouldn’t mix with these kinds of activities. 

Because water is a very good conductor of electricity, being in or around water increases your chances of being hit by lightning during a summer storm. So as soon as you see lightning or hear thunder, it’s best to get out of the water until the storm has passed. 

If you’re planning to spend time swimming this summer, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay safe while keeping cool.

3 Things To Teach Your Kids About Being Safe Around Water This Summer

When the temperature gets hot, families all over the world flock to any kind of water they have available in their area. From pools or lakes and even splash pads and backyard ponds, having water to cool off in can make warm weather much easier to endure. However, being around water can also pose some potentially deadly hazards to you and your kids.

So to help ensure that everyone in your family safely makes it through the summer, here are three things to teach your kids about being safe around water this summer. 

Help Your Kids Learn To Respect Water

The first thing you need to instill in your children is to have a respect for any water that they’re going to be around.

Small children can drown in even just a few inches of water. In addition to this, natural water can have currents that may not look strong but can be very hard to maneuver in. If your kids don’t know or understand these things, they might take on unnecessary risks that could put them in a lot of danger. So in addition to teaching your kids about how to swim, also teach them just what you’re nervous about when they are near water. 

Teach Kids To Always Ask For Permission

While water can be incredibly enticing to kids when they’re hot and wanting to cool off, you should inform your kids that they are always to ask you for permission before they get into any kind of body of water. 

Not only does asking for permission help you to know where your kids will be and what kind of water they’re going to be playing in, but it can also give you a chance to ask additional questions about who will be there, what adult is going to be supervising, and if they’re prepared with things like sunscreen and flotation devices. 

Be Safe Around Water As Well

It’s not only when your kids are going to be submerged in water that you need to be concerned about their safety. There are ways your kids can get hurt around water when they aren’t even completely in it.

For example, if your kids are going to be at the beach, teach them about any animals they should avoid and how to keep themselves from getting sunburned. Additionally, if your kids will be around a pool, they should know not to try to reach anything that’s fallen into the pool and to always walk when they are on wet surfaces

To help you and your family stay safe whenever you’re near water this summer, consider implementing some of the tips mentioned above this summer season.

5 Career Ideas For Active People

If you’re someone who enjoys being active, then it’s only natural that a career that involves a lot of movement would be the best choice for you. Whether you’re looking to switch careers, or are simply looking for a part-time job, here are some of the best choices for jobs that will keep you on your toes.

Unloading Operator

A career as an unloading operator can be a great way to stay active. Finding a job is often fairly easy as long as you have warehouse experience. If you’re not looking for a set amount of hours, many unloading operator jobs are one-offs or short-term. Those not looking for a typical 9 to 5 will find this can be a fantastic option for your lifestyle.  The best part is, it’s a fantastic exercise in a great way to stay fit while also getting paid for it.

Farming

If you have a passion for being outside, and love managing farmlands, then a job as a farmer might be perfect for you. Farmers have extremely physical jobs and are required to lift heavy loads throughout the day, as well as harvest fields. If you love animals, then it can be a plus since you’re often working alongside farm animals of all sorts.

Paramedic

A career as a paramedic is not for the faint of heart. There are people with emergencies every day who are looking for someone to respond to their needs. It’s important to note that paramedics do require some training in order to assess the needs of patients. It’s an extremely physical job since you’re going from place to place at top speed. You’re also transferring patients from stretchers throughout the day, so it’s important to have strength. If you’re looking for something that will test the strength of your entire body, then look no further than a job as a paramedic.

Personal Trainer

Do you have a passion for working out? Do you love getting other people to feel as excited about exercise as you do? Then why don’t you make a career out of it? A career as a personal trainer is a fantastic choice for someone who loves to get moving and invite others to do the same. The best part is, you get to base your entire career off of movement. What could be better for someone who has a passion for exercise?

Police Officer

The cartoons and films often depict police officers as lazy overweight men eating donuts in their cop cars. In reality, this is far from the truth. Police officers respond to calls all day and are consistently on their feet. If you want an active job, then a job in law enforcement could be a great choice.

3 Tips For Bouncing Back After a Divorce

According to the latest polls in the United States, nearly 50% of all married couples will end up divorcing eventually. Yet even though divorce is so common, many people find themselves devastated and alone following a divorce. When you make the commitment to stay with someone forever, only to find yourself alone again, it can be jolting to the system. 

It can be especially difficult if you’re divorcing with kids. Not only do you have to navigate who will get custody, and determine child support agreements, but you also have to deal with this person as a co-parent. For this reason, many people find themselves struggling to handle a divorce gracefully. It can bring out all sorts of raw emotions, and affect every area of our life. So, if you’ve recently gotten divorced, take a look at some of the best tips for bouncing back and finding joy in life again.

Create a Support System

Whether it’s a divorce or the death of a loved one, human beings need support to get through difficult times. If you don’t already have a support system, then start creating one for yourself. Whether it’s a group of family members, or work colleagues, create a network of people that you can count on to support you at this time. 

Therapy can be a great tool as well, so consider talking to a professional in addition to your friend circle. The most important thing is that you have someone to talk to and share your emotions with.

Avoid Vengeful Behavior

It’s easy to find yourself wanting to get revenge on the other partner if you’re feeling angry. However, vengeful behavior only hurts you in the long run. Not only can it affect your divorce in court, by giving the other party incriminating evidence against you, but it can make you feel worse. If you start feeling yourself seeking out hurting someone else as a result of the way you’re feeling, then it’s time to reassess your tactics. Hateful and angry behavior is never constructive.

Look at the Bright Side
Even though it may seem difficult right now, there’s always a bright side and a silver lining. Rather than only wallowing in sadness, start looking at the positive aspects of the situation. If you look hard enough, you can certainly find them. Perhaps your partner took up the bed at night period now you have the entire bed to yourself! Maybe your partner didn’t support your creative pursuits and hobbies  Now you can watch whatever show you want without criticism. Instead of looking at all the things you’ve lost, start considering all the things you’ve gained. A fresh perspective can be incredibly transformative!

3 Things To Try To Help Improve Your Mood Each Day

In the last few years, more people than ever have had issues with their mental health. With all the changes and uncertainty that’s been happening, it’s only natural for people to feel more uneasy about things. But just because things around the world and in our lives might not be going the way we’d have wanted, we don’t have to let these things negatively impact our moods and our outlook on a daily basis.

To help you see how you can overcome issues such as this, here are three things you can try to help improve your mood each day.

Schedule In Time For Physical Activity

Even if you don’t feel like getting up and being physical when you get started, having some amount of physical activity each day can be incredibly helpful to your mood and mental health.

Luckily, you don’t have to do a lot of intense exercise to get a mood boost from physical activity. Just taking a walk around your neighborhood or dancing along to some music can be enough for your body to feel a little more at ease and to get your blood pumping a bit. So if you don’t currently get much physical activity in your daily routine, consider how you can make some simple changes to move your body a little bit more this week than you did last week.

Reduce The Clutter In Your Space

Being in a messy and cluttered space can have a negative affect on your mood, even if you don’t feel like you’re normally particularly bothered by a little mess. So if you notice that your space is a little cluttered and disorganized, you might want to reduce the amount of clutter in your space.

By having less clutter in your physical space, you can have less clutter in your mental and emotional space, which can help to improve your mood. Even just keeping things in drawers or behind doors can help in this area.

Reach Out To Those In Your Support System

If you feel like you’re going through your life on your own right now, it’s time to start reaching out to those who are in your support system and getting some help from them.

If you have close friends or family members that you can call, try getting in touch with them and talking out some of your problems to help get things off your chest and improve your mood. If you don’t have someone you can call, consider speaking with a therapist or even just scheduling a massage for yourself so you can relax and unwind in another way.

If you feel like you’ve been in a bad mood for an extended period of time, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you find ways to boost your mood.