Digital photography has become so easy and cheap that if you’re like me I have hundreds if not thousands of photos on my computer. While Windows offers some basic photo viewing and editing options it doesn’t really allow you to touch up your photos to make them even better. One option is Google’s free photo editing program – Picasa 2 (
). When first installed it scans either your documents folder or hard drive for pictures. This can be annoying if you have graphics in your documents folder as you then have to remove them from Picasa. Unfortunately as many pictures and photos share the same file types it is very hard to distinguish them. Picasa allows you to do all the basic photo editing fixes such as removing red eye, straightening the photo, cropping and altering the colour/contrast.
As well as these there are more advanced options for tuning the light, highlights, shadows and temperatures as well as a range of effects including sepia, black & white and tint. Editing photos is simple in Picasa, I usually use Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Fireworks but these can be complicated especially with the range of options available for advanced users. While Photoshop gives you more control over the photo Picasa is easier for the average user.
Apart from the editing functions in Picasa, it makes a good photo viewer allowing you to zoom in and out of photos as well as setting up slideshows and timelines. Picasa is similar to iPhoto on OS X while I prefer the interface in iPhoto, Picasa is more responsive when moving through a large library. Picasa provides easy ways to share your photos as well as print them. There are also options for setting pictures as desktop and screensaver.
I found the batch operations to be very useful. With my cheap Kodak camera being able to correct the colour and contrast makes such a difference to the quality of my photos. If you don’t like any of the changes made by Picasa you can revert back to the original. Picasa will work with the majority of digital cameras and is available for Windows 2000/XP and now Linux. Overall Picasa is a feature rich program that is free and will cover all the basic needs for managing photos.
Mortgages are simply home loans, and these loans are offered by lenders across a multitude of mortgage companies, from high street lenders to the more obscure that you’ll never have heard of. It is a common practice to pay interest on loans, and mortgages are no different.
Considering that in this case, the borrower often has to pay his debts over a very long period of time, sometimes as long as twenty, thirty years or more; so it becomes pertinent to apply shrewdness in shopping for a mortgage.
1.Make sure that your credit history and credit score read accurately
A good credit history puts the lending institution more at ease about your ability to pay your debt and makes them more willing to stake their money on you. Losing an appealing mortgage deal because of little mistakes in your credit scores will be a huge misfortune.
2.Reach out to several lenders
Admittedly, shopping for a Limited Company Director Mortgage is not the most enjoyable task, and the long-winded details of each of the lender's terms can wear one out quickly. That’s where using a skilled mortgage broker comes in handy, as they’d be able to take away all the pain and do all the hard work for you.
A good mortgage broker acts in the best interest of the borrower to dedicate ample time to comb through the many available options in order to get the best deal, especially in terms of interest rates. An interest rate of 0.5% can amount to a huge sum for a person whose loan will span up to two or three decades.
3.Keep your negotiation skills handy
When you approach a lending institution and ask for loan estimates for your mortgage, bear it in mind that what you will be handed is simply just that—a loan estimate. It is not an offer, so feel free to negotiate for a better offer or look at this.
Do you have a good sum in hand for your down payment or a good credit score? Right here is an edge for you.
Information can mean the only difference between a good offer and costly debts. Be sure to ask relevant questions. Subtle interest adverts often have charges hidden out of plain sight. Ask about them: the application cost, appraisal cost, broker fees, cost for underwriting and the likes.
These fees, when accumulated, can shoot up the entire mortgage cost. And please, take your time to read every detail of the document. You don't want to be in for a shock later.
4.Wrap up your mortgage shopping on time
No, do not be in too much haste, but be aware that that are consequences for multiple mortgage-related queries on your credit score.
However, credit agencies usually can figure out when a prospective homeowner is simply scouting for mortgage options, and if these queries by prospective lenders happen within a 45-day period, they know to disregard the consequences. This is not guaranteed after the aforementioned time window, though, hence the need to not drag too long on the shopping.
5.Don't forget to lock in your rate
When you finally find a mortgage offer that you are comfortable with, remember to ask that the lender furnish you with a written document clearly stating the rate you both agreed on, in order words, how much you locked in.
While this might seem like a gamble considering that rates often fluctuate and can drop by as much as 0.5% between the time of the lock-in and the time of the actual purchase of the property, it is, in fact, the smarter decision, as the chances of the rate increasing far exceeds its chances of coming down.
Running a consulting business is both very rewarding and very lucrative. However, when you're starting out, finding regular clients can appear difficult. The consulting business is fiercely competitive, and that spirit of competition is only expected to grow in the near future.
That means that you'll need to stand out to get regular clients. But it isn't just your consulting skills that you need to utilize to stand out in the consulting business, but also your marketing skills.
Below are a few tips and insights to help you get more clients for your consulting business.
1. Website and Portfolio
Your clients will inevitably search for your consulting business online, so having a good website is necessary. You want to create a good impression in front of prospective clients, and a well-polished, easily navigable website can help you achieve this.
Through your website, you'll be aiming to promote your consulting business in two ways - through your portfolio, as well as by making it easy for your clients to contact you. Consider setting up a newsletter or mailing list that prospective clients can sign up to through your website.
In exchange for basic information like their name, email idea, and the name of their business, they'll receive helpful generalized consulting tips on a monthly basis through your newsletter. If the prospective client likes your advice, they're more likely to hire you for your services.
Your portfolio also has a role to play in getting your consulting business more clients. Gather samples of previous projects that you've worked with, and showcase your advice helped your client succeed. Ask for your clients permission first, and show proof of your prior success as a consultant.
2. Write a Blog
To make your consulting business stand out within your niche, you'll need to establish authority as well as your reputation. One of the best ways you can do this is by writing a regular blog that provides useful information to your clients.
You can blog about ideas that are relevant to your industry, and provide solutions to real-world problems. Take, for example, a case study where you feel your solutions could provide better results. You can create a blog post about that to show your readers that you can provide unique strategies and solutions.
Ensure that you keep your valuable information for your paid clients. But engaging with your readers through your blog will help expand awareness about your consulting business.
Participating and answering questions in online communities such as Quora and Reddit is another way you can grow your reputation as a consultant.
3. Paid Advertising and Social Media
One of the fastest ways you can increase your clients is through paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google. Both these platforms allow you to market to your target audience. You can decide who you're marketing to based on their interests, geographical area, and more.
At the same time, you should also develop your social media accounts. Instead of having an account on multiple social media platforms, select only those that'll actually help you grow your business.
For a consulting business, you can think about LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as your business social media profiles. Here, post quality content related to your niche in consulting on a regular basis. Provide backlinks to both your website and your blog, and answer any and every question users bring your way.
4. Cold Calls and Perfect Pitches
Cold calls are generally avoided by businesses, but they can be very useful when they're done right. Isolate potential clients that you think could benefit from your services. Then look for a problem that you can solve.
Once you've determined these, you'll need to provide actionable solutions that the prospective client can implement to grow and expand their business. Formulate your ideas into a winning pitch, and then cold call the client. You shouldn't be cold calling every person who can be your client, but those who you genuinely think you can provide your consulting services to.
5. Negotiating, Referrals and Testimonials
Negotiations go hand in hand with securing new clients. A good negotiator knows how to read the client. They know what the client is looking for, as well as how to show the client that only they can help the client find the success they need.
Ask for referrals from your previous clients, as well as the people in your life. Also ask for testimonials as these are proof of your success in working with clients previously. Adding testimonials to your blog and website can help future clients gain more confidence when it comes to hiring you and your consulting business.
Aim to develop trust in all your client relationships, and you can find regular work from your older clients and their referrals. Work with those clients you think you can establish a good rapport with and provide value to, and avoid work that isn't a good match to your expertise.
As a consulting business owner, you can also consider getting a business insurance. A business insurance for consulting business will be able to provide cover for you if you face potential risks while running the business. Professional liability insurance is a popular insurance to consider.
Consulting business owners can make use of strategies like developing an online reputation, handling better negotiations with clients, and even cold calling certain clients to get more clients for their consulting business. Use these tips to ensure that your consulting business never runs out of work. With these tips, your main focus will remain on growing and building a sustainable consulting business.
None of us wishes to fail in the businesses we launch. Our ultimate goal of starting a business is success and prosperity. It does not matter how long we have been in the industry, whether we are beginning a new venture or have been a business owner for decades. We are all brought together by a strong desire to succeed in our businesses and the opportunities available.
For the last decade, I have worked closely with several small business owners. I learned that there are particular principles that they abide by which make great contribution to their success. These principles are the driving forces in business that can make or break our ventures. Various details vary from one industry to the other, or from one business owner to another. The following seven principle elements will be very significant to all industries.
To attain success, we need to have the right team working with us in our businesses. Everything in the business will always run smoothly and comfortably when everything is right at the leadership level. As business owners, we should strive to have the best leadership skills and styles. This will make us become good leaders in our businesses. If we don't have the leadership skills, the adverse effects will trickle down and be experienced throughout our businesses. This will definitely have a notable impact on the company and our profits as well.
In a business, marketing is considered one of the most critical aspects. It is why people look to so many methods, through companies like First Page Digital Hong Kong or through their own marketing departments. Currently, the internet is one of the most incredible resources we have. We should strive to always have well-designed websites that will help us to reach out to our target clients and generate more sales for our business worldwide with ease and inexpensively. We should ensure we have a top search engine rank, which will vastly improve our local deals.
We all know that time is money. For our ventures to be successful, we must maximize our time and focus on the right things. I have seen several small business owners striving to embrace new technology, which has often been very rewarding. I would advise any business owners looking to adopt any technology, such as incorporating software that reduces administrative work and starts using better equipment. This will significantly help your business to stay ahead of the game and enable things to run smoothly.
In any business, the customer is an essential factor. The key to a successful business is the ability to have loyal existing customers. To turn repeat customers into loyal customers, we need to look after their needs and wants. We can resolve this by setting up a 24/7 customer care line to ensure all their queries and complaints are solved promptly. Online, several guides will help us learn how to retain and attract new customers.
Even if we have the best products in the market, our business may experience a downward spiral if we fail to acknowledge our competitors. This is in terms of pricing and improving our product to avoid customers going for substitute products. We also need to understand the industry and the key players in the market to plan our business strategies effectively. This will make our business stand out from the rest, and we can be assured of success.
We need to understand how successful businesses operate and run their businesses. This could be from the departments' primary structure within the business, to the personnel and how to manage various projects. Through interactions with several business owners, I have learned to effectively and efficiently run a business. We need to know everything about the organizational structures and design of the specific industries we are in.
When starting a business, we need to have an excellent financial base. It is also vital to ensure that our businesses have a positive cash flow as it grows and develops. The business will always need adequate finances to pay the employees, vendors, and bills to ensure its sustainability. When our businesses can sustain themselves, it will be effortless for us to manage the cash flow wisely and, in return, get profits.
This month sees the Xbox taking over the GameCube in sales, Xboxes sales jumped by 42% to 10,371 in the past week according to sales analysts Chart Track. It means Microsoft's gaming system has taken a small lead over the Nintendo?s, with 233,503 XBoxes sold in the Britain compared to 230,876 GameCubes.
However Sony?s Playstation 2 still remains the market leader with almost 3million sales in the UK. The Playstation 2 is now the oldest console out of the 3 best sellers but is still continuing to sell more then its rivals. While the Xbox and GameCube only have a few best selling games such as Halo and Mario the Playstation 2 has had lots of best selling games including the best game of last year, Grand Theft Auto 3 and its follow up GTA ? Vice City that was launched last week.
The game GTA ? Vice City has already sold out in many shops for the PS2 but has caused a lot of controversy because of its gangster like content and excessive killing sprees ? a must have game basically. Vice City builds on the features of its predecessor with such items as motorbikes and helicopters. The game also features the sound tracks from over 10 well-known artists and is set to take best game of the year again. Australia has already told take 2, the producers of Vice City to remove scenes with prostitutes from the game in order to comply with their rules.