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What Can You Afford For Business Premises?

Looking for premises is similar to buying a house: you never have enough money for your dream house so reluctant to settle for second best you end up either borrowing more than you can afford or going downmarket with the hope of making a killing in a few year’s time. Similarly, too many businesses sign up to lease offices they can’t and will never afford, while others plump for the cheapest premises going and spend the next few years trying to get out of them. You don’t have to live in your premises, but you might find you spend longer there than at home so finding a happy medium is essential. Tenure Buying can take a huge slice out of the available resources of a small firm. In most cases, it is better to rent. But be aware of the obligations this imposes. Leases are hefty and complex contracts and can tie a business to payments far into the future – sometimes as long as 25 years. Tenants become legally bound to insure, maintain and repair premises, all at their own expense. Leases usually prevent disposal or sub-letting without written consent by the landlord, which may be difficult to obtain. They often contain covenants that restrict any change of use to some other business. And at the end of the lease, a tenant is expected to hand back the premises exactly as they got them – or pay the costs of restoration. In the meantime, rents will be reviewed regularly – usually every five years. Most leases demand they will always rise, no matter how the tenant’s business is performing at that time. This seemingly draconian situation has some loopholes, however. Most landlords are aware that small businesses, particularly startups, cannot commit to long leases and offer much shorter terms of a little as five years. Break clauses can be included, allowing the tenant to leave before then without penalty. Licenses, which are much simpler than leases, are also available. Condition

What is Linux?

What if there was a way you could slash thousands of pounds from your IT budget this year. Interested? Then read on and find out what Linux could do for your company It’s as much certainty as death and taxation. As your business grows, so will your requirement for information technology and the sad truth is taking on new staff or moving critical business functions online can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds in software license costs alone. And while you can shop around for virtually every other bit of kit to meet your business needs and find the best price, that just doesn’t happen with your essential software. As you grow, so to will the amount you pay to the people who deliver shrink-wrapped products labelled “Microsoft XP” and “Office Suite” which get you through the business day. Linux There’s a new type of software on the block, it’s called Linux and it’s free. And before you dismiss it as a cranky solution for cheapskates and techies you should note the fact that it has quietly snaffled a 30% share of part the business market in its short life. Linux is software based on an open-source concept. That means anyone can access and use the code to make software but no-one owns the concept and no-one can charge for it. So whereas each new user of your current software such as Windows XP will costs you an extra user license, Linux does not. You are free to load it onto 10, 100 or even 1,000 computers. Hardly surprising then that businesses are opting to cut their IT bills by choosing open-source. Where did it come from? Linux has its roots in the GNU project – a slightly warped acronym for GNU Not Unix – started by US professor Richard Stallman. He started writing applications for the Unix network operating system and making them available – along with their code – to any interested party. Stallman also devised terms and conditions that prevented anyone from altering the code to patent and market any of the changes. Thus GNU software would always remain free to use and develop. In the early 1990s, Finnish programmer Linus Torvald developed the basis of his operating system, which he made available under GNU terms and conditions. It has since been worked on by thousands of programmers and countless Linux compatible applications have been released. Under the terms and conditions imposed by Torvald, anyone can build on the basic source code, provided they make their own code freely available. So what’s the catch? Over the last four or five years, Linux ‘s 30% market share has come from in the area of business server operating systems market, The servers are the bits of kit which do the invisible handling of core functions like file and print management, e-mail exchange and keeping your website online. They are now emerging as a serious alternative to the ubiquitous Windows products for the PCs desktop. You can download free versions of Linux from the web or buy a CD for a nominal sum from business-oriented distributors such as Red Hat or Mandrake. Given that there are also a huge number of open source applications such as word processors and spreadsheets and server applications also available for next to no outlay, you can, in theory, you refresh your pool of software at minimal cost, cutting your IT costs at a stroke. If that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You still have to add the support costs which are a significant part of any business’s IT budget, and this can lead to a hefty price tag. But Linux’s growing legion of champions claims that it has real operational advantages over proprietary rivals such as Windows in terms of cost, reliability and security. So is it right for you? Read more: How to Become a Software Reseller

What Is Research?

All sorts of things can come under the heading ‘research’. A project doesn’t have to involve asking people for their opinions. Sometimes, it may be a question of checking facts or figures, such as making sure a list of names and telephone numbers is correct. Richard Halkett is chief executive of e-learning company Boxmind, which offers universities and other educational establishments an online archive of lectures and other learning materials. “We needed to get in touch with all of the right e-learning people at UK universities and colleges. We commissioned research agency Fresh Minds to put together a list of names, titles, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers which we could then use for a direct marketing campaign,” Halkett says. “They did the research on the telephone and the internet and delivered all the right people. It just wouldn’t have been cost-effective for us to do it in-house, and it was fundamental to our launch. It would have been a disaster if they’d got it wrong.” Katy Chan is a UK marketing and product development manager for electronic toy company VTech, which markets simple computers, calculators and similar products for younger children. Chan recently commissioned research on a new product called Me Mo Mo. This is described as an ‘educational, interactive learning friend’ and represents a departure from VTech’s normal product range. “We usually make desktop-style PCs for the younger kids market, and this was very different for us. It was developed in Hong Kong, and it was vital that we understood how it was perceived in the UK market.” VTech brought in Outlook Research, which organised a series of focus groups, two in the North of England and two in the South. One group in each area involved mothers and children aged five and six, the other involved mums and kids aged seven and eight. Each group lasted an hour and was conducted in a real front room in someone’s house, to make participants feel more comfortable. In addition to the research agency staff, two people from VTech attended each session. Outlook then conducted a full debriefing and made a formal presentation of the results to VTech. In all, the project cost around 5,000, and Chan says it was very useful in putting together the marketing campaign for Me Mo Mo’s launch for this Christmas.

Insurance & The Law

For some people, auto insurance is an optional thing however this is not the case in the eyes of the law. Far from being optional, it is actually compulsory right across the country although certain levels of auto insurance do exist. So why is it actually compulsory? If you are involved in an accident and you are held liable then you will be legally required to pay the costs of repairs to other peoples’ cars etc… however, if you do not have insurance and you cannot afford to pay the repairs then the person whose car was damaged will not be able to get any compensation other than trying to claim on their own insurance and there is no guarantee that it would payout. So you can see why having insurance is necessary to protect other people as much as yourself while you are driving on the road. The repercussions of not having insurance can be quite severe if you are caught. For first time offenders then it is likely that you will face a fine in the thousands and if you are continually caught without insurance then you will most definitely have your license revoked but you may also face jail time as well. If you go onto the internet then you will quickly see how cheap auto insurance actually is especially if you use a comparison site and then shop around a bit. Rather than having to pay thousands for insurance that your local insurer has quoted you a simple internet search should be able to save you hundreds off your original quote and, with this in mind, then there isn’t a reason that you should not have insurance both from a financial and from a legal standpoint. Read More:

What Are Prepaid Legal Services?

A prepaid legal service offers a number of benefits but understanding these benefits and how they apply to you is essential. You should note that legal insurance and prepaid legal plans are two very different things. Prepaid legal plans include features such as discounts on certain legal fees if you use attorneys within a certain network. You may also enjoy certain legal services for free and access to a large database of legal documents and forms. If you are considering a prepaid legal plan, there are a few things that you will want to take note of. You need to be certain that you know exactly what is covered in the plan. If you are not sure that you will have a large need for legal services that are covered under the plan, it may be best to wait before purchasing. If however, you feel that you may need the services that are covered by the plan in the very near future, now may be a good time to choose a prepaid legal plan. You have to note that you are required by the plan to use specific attorneys. It may be very difficult or even impossible to change lawyers in the plan. If there are no other lawyers in your area that participate then you may have to stick with one attorney and if you find that you do not care for this attorney, you may have to pay for another one out of your pocket. It may be a good idea to find out which attorneys in your local area do participate in a prepaid legal plan prior to purchasing one. If you are planning to purchase a prepaid plan from an independent representative, make sure that you pay attention to the plan specifications. You can also purchase directly from the corporation that offers the plan but again, you should ensure that you fully understand what is covered and what is expected of you in order to enjoy the plan’s full benefit. There are a number of prepaid legal plans that are sold through various multilevel marketing companies and many of these often make false promises or statements that they do not intend to follow through with. Never purchase a plan without fully researching it to ensure that you are actually going to get what you are paying to get. You can always check with the Better Business Bureau to inquire about prepaid plans and find out if this is something that sounds feasible for you. If you are unsure of whether or not this is a good idea for you, speak with a local attorney about the pros and cons of prepaid legal plans and find out who participates in your area. You can also consider your personal situation and your need or lack of need for legal assistance in the near future. If the chances of you needing legal help are close to zero, it makes no sense to begin paying for a plan. If however, you feel that you may very well need legal assistance quickly, you can begin researching plans to find the one that best serves your needs. Read More:

What Are Safe Haven Laws?

Safe Haven laws are designed to protect parents when they abandon their newborn babies at designated locations. These laws were enacted when the number of infanticides and abandonments of infants increased substantially. The laws vary by state and are known as Safe Place laws, Baby Moses laws or other names depending on the location. Nearly every state in the United States has some sort of safe haven law in place that allows parents of newborns to safely abandon that newborn in a designated area. The laws offer protection to those relinquishing their unharmed newborn babies but this abandonment has to follow guidelines set forth by the government of each state. The laws allow the parent or the person abandoning the child to remain anonymous. The law also protects the parent or an agent of that parent from prosecution for neglect of abandonment of a newborn. The law states that relinquishing the newborn is only legal if that newborn is still within the age limit guidelines. This age limit also varies by state. For some states, relinquishment is legal only if the newborn is less than three days old. Other states allow for safe abandonment for children up to one year of age. All statutes provide a specific location or locations where the child can be abandoned. Many require the abandonment to take place at a church or hospital where the child must be delivered to a doctor or clergy. Other states allow the child to be taken to an emergency room and handed over to a nurse while others specify police stations, adoption agencies and other locations for safe abandonment. Abandoning a newborn child is only legal and considered to be protected under safe haven laws if all of the guidelines are met for that state. If a child is past the age limit for the state in which it has been abandoned, criminal laws take effect and the parent or person abandoning the child could face legal consequences. The laws are in place to protect children from parents who do not want them or those who cannot care for a newborn. These laws protect the identity of the parents and will keep their identities protected even from the courts, again if the guidelines for abandonment are met. In situations where the age limit is exceeded, certain factors could help to eliminate or reduce the threat of criminal punishment if a child is delivered to a safe haven location. For instance, if a state requires that newborns be no more than 3 days old for safe haven laws to be effective and a parent abandons a child that is 3 months old, the prosecution could be lessened because that parent relinquished the healthy and unharmed child to a safe haven location. These laws were designed to help decrease the number of infant deaths by parents as well as the general abandonment of children. Again, all states are different and what may qualify as a safe haven protection in one state may not qualify in another.

Do You Really Want a Relationship?

With a divorce rate in this country that approaches 50% and a fairly sizable percentage of marriages that aren’t particularly blissful, it’s difficult to avoid searching for the answer to the battle of the sexes. Would you like to stop searching? We’ve moved through the old paradigm of getting your needs met in relationships and it has proven itself to be a miserable failure. Why? Attempting to get your needs met in your relationship causes some troublesome things to happen. First, it causes you to focus mainly on your needs and not on the desires of your partner. Secondly, it sets you up for disaster because it has you believing that you deserve something that may well not be delivered. All across this great country of ours, battles are raging between men and women: she needs to talk and connect, and he needs his space and independence. Who wins here? The answer, of course, is that both lose because of a flawed view of what a successful relationship is all about. What also happens is that both people start to blame the other for not meeting their needs. For men who are really serious about success in their relationships, it’s important to understand how blaming your partner is an enormous problem itself. It creates a bigger problem and has you convinced that you are not part of the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. Blaming has never worked and never will. It may have you feeling justified in your position, but it will always hurt your relationship.