Category Archives: Business

Woman with teeth problem

A Few Unique Solutions to Everyday Complaints

It is becoming more and more common for a dentist in Sydney CBD to tackle complaints that were once thought to be taboo to speak of or simply unsolvable.

Sleeping complaints are common in Australia, with 33%-45% of adults suffering during the day due to inadequate sleep. This can be caused by many things, but in particular, sleep apnea is a big culprit.

However, many people wouldn’t consider talking to their dentist about these complaints. This however may be the perfect solution, provided a patient doesn’t suffer from the also common and sometimes unexplainable dental phobia.

These two common issues will be discussed in today’s article where it will be made clear to all that a modern-day dental clinic can provide answers and support for such a wide array of complaints; not just filling and drilling.

How can sleep apnea be an issue to discuss with a dentist and what can they do about it?

There are a variety of options in the form of dental mouthpieces and other oral devices that are specifically designed to provide people who snore or who have obstructive sleep apnea a solution to this problem.

The method behind these devices stems from the way the lower jaw sits when a person sleeps. If a person sleeps unhealthily, it is most likely that their lower jaw drops backwards and obstructs the breathing airways.

By repositioning the lower jaw so that it sits further forward and keeps the airways open, there is a less chance that the patient will snore.

The treatment essentially takes an impression of a patient’s teeth in order to make a custom-fitted mouth guard that is worn during sleep. It is a comfortable and durable plastic that holds the bottom jaw forward slightly.

By providing unobstructed breathing, the wearer will enjoy less disrupted sleep patterns, which will improve their health as well as the health of their partner’s.

But what if a person is too scared to go to the dentist?

Woman with teeth problem

It isn’t only the fear of the drill that keeps people delaying their visits to a dentist. Some people simply cannot bring themselves to climb into a dental chair or even set foot into a practice.

With so many issues that a dental practice can provide solutions for, it is inevitable that caring dentists will do all they can to encourage people to find a solution to their fears in order to bring about good oral health as well as improving their general health as a result.

By providing as much supportive information as possible, dentists are able to alleviate some fears that patients have. Knowledge is power and a friendly and warm environment that does not focus on the scary stuff such as dental decay and bad breath, will allow a patient to come to terms with their fears at their own pace.

In order to feel welcomed and able to ask any questions an individual might have without fear of judgement or ridicule, they must first understand that their dentist only wants to align their hopes to reality.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

employees using the computer

Blue-Light Blocking Glasses: Do They Actually Work?

employees using the computerAccording to a recent study, an average office worker spends approximately 1,700 hours a year in front of their computer screen. All of this time spent staring at a screen, plus the extensive use of smartphones, results in digital eyestrain.

This condition, while not serious, can be extremely uncomfortable. From sore and itching eyes to temporarily blurred vision and headaches, digital eyestrain makes it difficult for sufferers to concentrate. As such, blue-light glasses have emerged as a remedy to this condition. But do these glasses actually work?

What Is Blue-Light?

Blue-light is everywhere as it mainly comes from sunlight. It becomes harmful as it is used for digital devices. Some experts have asserted that this high-energy visible light is one of the causes of macular degeneration, otherwise known as blurred vision.

Fortunately, the amount of blue-light in digital devices is not enough to permanently damage eyesight; rather, it just affects your ability to rest well. Blue-light delays the body’s release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, which controls the body’s natural sleep cycle. This disruption puts a strain on your eyes as it keeps you awake and causes you to blink less. All these result in extremely uncomfortable eyestrain.

What Are Blue-Light Glasses?

Unlike safety glasses that serve a purpose based on scientific data and research, experts are still debating the effectiveness of blue-light glasses. Designed to look like regular glasses save for its filtered lenses, blue-light glasses are marketed as a device that blocks out or absorbs blue-light rays.

Nay-sayers argue that these glasses do little in terms of preventing digital eyestrain because the condition is not caused by exposure to blue light. Digital eyestrain is caused by not blinking for long periods, after all.

More optimistic views, however, see the blocking properties of blue-light glasses as a way to help you sleep  better even with extensive use of digital devices at night.

What Are Effective Remedies for Digital Eyestrain?

Since the effectiveness of blue-light glasses in the prevention of digital eyestrain is still debatable, how can office workers prevent this uncomfortable condition?

  • Follow the “20-20-20” Rule.

Digital eyestrain is mainly caused by fatigue. To limit eyestrain during work, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This entails looking away from your computer screen and other digital devices for at least 20 minutes. Focus your vision on an object that is 20 feet away (600cm) for 20 seconds.

  • Adjust the Lighting.

google search on a laptop

Use ambient lighting when working in front of a computer. Additionally, adjust the display setting of your monitor to optimise it for your eyes. Make sure the brightness is equal with your surroundings and tweak the text size and contrast for your comfort.

  • Take Regular Breaks.

Take “mini” breaks in between working. For at least five minutes, stand up, stretch, and take a walk. If you don’t feel like moving away from your desk, consider turning off your monitor and closing your eyes. This will help reduce the strain put on them throughout the workday.

While some users might argue that blue-light glasses are effective at preventing digital eyestrain, these claims have yet to be backed by science. To lessen the amount of strain your eyes experience during work, consider adopting the abovementioned practices. They are supported by ophthalmologists around the world and they have been proven to be effective.

Fighting Fire with Fire: Bushfire Prevention with Prescribed Burning

view of a burning residential area near a mountainAustralia is a popular tourist and migrant destination because of the diversity of its picturesque landscapes and seascapes. The country owes its cornucopia of plants and animals to its two distinct climate zones. All the wonder doesn’t come with its own issues, however. Australia’s climate makes it prone to natural disasters, particularly bushfires.

Over the years, the devastation caused by these fires has resulted in irreparable damage across the continent. With climate change causing wetter weather conditions in the country to decline, the risk for bushfires and grassfires in a country already prone it has only grown.

As such, government bodies and private organisations are constantly developing methods to prevent bushfires. These solutions range from the mundane, such as educating the public, to the extreme, like prescribed burning.

The Solution: Prescribed Burning

The Parks and Wildlife Service, as authorised by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, has adopted prescribed burning as a countermeasure to bushfires. Otherwise known as controlled or planned burns, this prevention method uses scientific research and historical data to determine which areas will benefit from it.

  • What is the purpose of prescribed burning?

The Parks and Wildlife Service facilitates prescribed burns to mitigate the severity of bushfires and grassfires. The planned burns decrease the amount of fallen bark and leaf litter in high-risk areas. As one of the main causes of natural bushfires and grassfires, the reduction of fuel loads effectively lowers the risk. Additionally, this prevention method works towards the maintenance of Australia’s biodiversity as it improves habitat niches for plants and animals.

  • How is prescribed burning carried out?

Once authorities determine which vegetation to burn at a prescribed intensity, representatives from the Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) administer the exercise. Dressed in the appropriate safety apparel, these representatives ignite controlled flames with drip torches.

  • Is prescribed burning safe?

Prior to this exercise, communities are informed to allow them to prepare in case the fires get out of hand. With the participation of the DFES, emergency measures, such as fire engines and emergency gear like PAPR respirators and flame retardant blankets, are made available. Although prescribed burns have a low risk of going out of control, safeguards are still put in place for unpredictable weather changes.

The Effectiveness of Prescribed Burning

burning mountainSeveral studies over the years have proven the effectiveness of prescribed burning. In one case study, it was observed that wild bushfires decreased in intensity and spread rate when it entered an area that was subjected to a prescribed burn. The lack of fuel load greatly contributed to the fires’ weakened state.

However, much like other preventive measures, prescribed burning has its caveat. Recent research and reviews have found that for the method to be more effective, implementation techniques must be improved. Currently, prescribed burns are not optimised to completely prevent bushfires.

As climate change continues to play a bigger role in the ignition of bushfires and grassfires, the need for better safeguards is necessary. For prescribed burnings to remain effective, the proper authorities must invest in the method’s improvement and optimisation. This, along with other preventive measures, can help protect Australia’s beautiful landscape.

interior of meeting room in modern office

Top Five Accessories for Your Boardroom

interior of meeting room in modern officeThe boardroom is an important part of any office. Whether your business is a start-up or a billion-dollar player in the industry, your top executives need a private, quiet and elegant place to meet and discuss business matters.

For companies aiming to impress investors, the quality of furniture you have inside your boardroom can make a big impression. Comfortable chairs, tasteful furnishings and top-of-the-line equipment are necessary to make meetings and presentations pleasant. If your boardroom furnishings need updating, here are five basic things you should consider.

Conference Table

This is the power table for corporate groups. The boardroom is where important meetings are held, negotiations and deals made, and agreements signed. At the centre of the room is the conference table, which is typically long, reflecting the wealth and power of the company.

Some tables are made of long planks of solid hardwood or have granite or marble tops. Contemporary conference tables have electric sockets in discreet receptacles in the middle or under the table. Even though WiFi is the norm, conference tables may also have gutters for LAN cables. More advanced tables also have controls for the room environment including drapes and shades, the projector screen, sound system and lights.

Executive Chairs

executive chairs in a rowAs a meeting place for long discussions, comfortable executive chairs surround the conference table. The latest models have mesh backs, neck rests, lumbar support and armrests. These seats are as comfortable as or may even be more comfortable than those used in executive suites.

Meetings can sometimes take all day, and during that time, the participants have to be alert and comfortable. The seats have to be relaxing without making the user feel drowsy.

Projector and Screen

The projector and screen are used for presentations with charts and slides. Meetings nowadays also have video presentations, as well as website access. A projector can show these presentations on a large screen, which can be seen by all the attendees.

Increasingly, HDTV monitors are replacing projectors and screens. For the truly high-tech offices, these are being replaced by video walls for a larger viewing space. At the same time, the attendees can view the same presentation on their own laptops.

Podiums and Lecterns

Every so often, a speaker may be invited for a presentation or a training session. Traditional lecterns are available where the speaker places the materials for the presentation. This is another piece of furniture that is falling in popularity and slowly disappearing from the boardroom.

However, the podium is a platform where the speaker stands a few inches above the boardroom floor. This provides the speaker with a seeming position of power and confidence needed to address the attendees.

Sideboard Cabinets

In some offices, a boardroom also serves as a study or a mini-library. Cabinets and sideboards are placed in the room for the convenience of those who need the space for research and study.

Law firms keep some of their books in the boardroom. The sideboard may also be used as a stand for refreshments and drinks during meetings. It is not uncommon to have some alcoholic drinks served after office hours to the executives gathered in the boardroom.

Comfort and convenience, as well as the latest technology, are common features of boardroom furniture. These are designed to project a company’s identity and vision to the attendees and guests. The room’s furnishings are meant to convey corporate identity and business direction.

Commercial retail space

Primary Types of Clauses in a Commercial Lease

Commercial retail spaceThe key element when starting or running a business is the type of office space you get for your venture. Most business owners will assume that this is as easy as identifying the ideal area for your business then signing a few forms to rent it. This is, however, a complex world filled with a language of its own. The landlord in your case will naturally have the upper hand in the negotiation of your commercial lease since he or she has already done it numerous times.

Without a tenant representation broker from Utah to guide you, it is extremely easy to make a mistake with your lease, which will result in your business’ downfall. This broker will not only help you negotiate favorable terms for your commercial contract but will also help you find an ideal spot for your business. One of the key elements that he or she will help you navigate are the clauses included in your lease. The following are the types of clauses contained in commercial leases:

Escalation and Rent Clauses

The base rent you will be required to pay within your initial year is included in the rent clause, but this is generally only a starting point. The escalation clause will set the guidelines for the periodical increment of your rent. The landlord will be exposed to rising rental and inflation rates in a highly volatile market. The escalation clause in a commercial lease is designed to keep the rent that you will be charged at the market level without having to renegotiate your contract annually.

Renewal Clauses

Landlord giving the keyThese clauses seem like they benefit your landlord but in essence favor you. A renewal clause gives you a right to extend your lease on pre-negotiated bases and an alternative of opting out after the lease’s initial term. Seven-, ten-, and five-year renewal terms are the common ones used in commercial leases. However, you might be at a disadvantage if the contract is signed. When the rental market has high rental rates but with a tenant representation broker, you will get optimal rates.

Subletting and Assignment Clauses

If your commercial space does not work for you, you have the option of subletting it if you have a subletting clause include in your lease. An assignment clause, on the other hand, allows you to walk away and give up on the contract wholly if the space does not work for your operation. However, this will work only if the landlord can find another tenant to take up the space you vacate.

The Right of First Refusal Clause

This clause requires a landlord to offer you any current vacant space on the premises first before he or she provides it to the general public. This will benefit you if you want additional space to expand your venture. This is because it prevents the landlord from getting new tenants who would sometimes set up a new business to compete with your business.

The clauses mentioned above might not be included in a lease in such clear wording. Therefore, it is easy to misunderstand them. The fee spent on hiring a tenant representative is minimal, but it makes the difference between you being a frustrated and happy commercial tenant.

Businessman in a tax paperwork pile

Don’t Let Your Tax Burden Break Your Business

Businessman in a tax paperwork pileNaturally, small businesses are interested in hanging on to most of the revenue they earn. Instead of evading taxes, there are legal ways to lower the tax burden and avoid running afoul of the law.

When you’re pinching pennies to get your business off the ground, the idea of paying taxes might seem unsettling. Instead of using all the revenue generated to grow your business, the government wants a cut. You should know that nothing good ever comes from trying to stiff the government.

Fortunately, taking tax-saving measures for business owners in Utah can help you lower the amount you owe. With proper planning, you can enjoy a considerable chunk of your business revenue without running into trouble.

Keep Excellent Records

You need to track and account for every penny that you shell out for business-related expenses. Favorably, most financial companies will send you a detailed history detailing your bank transactions. Accounting software also helps you track the daily running expenses, especially cash transactions.

An accounting system makes reconciling your business accounts quick. It means that when you won’t have to saddle your CPA with a cabinet full of old receipts. It also means that they get to handle your affairs efficiently without any error. Missing receipts can cause a considerable amount of headaches when accounts don’t balance out. Your accounting firms are likely to charge you extra for the additional work.

Pay Yourself First

Coins in a jar labeled as retirementAs a small business owner, you have many retirement options. You can combine the $5,500 Traditional IRA with other retirement plans such as SEP IRA or 401(k) and push your contributions up to $55,000 a year. You grow your retirement account by a factor of ten as a self-employed individual. If you’re over 50, you can increase that limit to $150,000 by adding a Cash Balance Pension Plan to your 401(k).

Any contribution that you make to your retirement accounts are tax-deductible. Consulting your financial planner can help you pick the best plan for your business. In addition to giving you a tax break, such moves let you secure your retirement.

Hire Family Members

Now, to be on the safe side, you should only hire someone, especially a family member, for a role that corresponds to their skills and abilities. You don’t want them undoing all your hard work and effort. You can even hire your kids to help with the paperwork or bookkeeping. Not only for the tax benefits but also for an opportunity to learn more about the business.

Hiring a spouse lets you double your contribution to your savings accounts. In the case of your teenage kids, they fall in a lower tax bracket, which reduces your family’s overall tax burden. Having your teen open a Roth IRA with the money they make can go a long way in securing their retirement as the account comes with excellent yearly returns.

It is only natural that you wish to lower the amount of money you pay in the form of taxes. There are many credible ways to reduce your tax burden without resorting to dubious means that can land you in legal trouble. Retaining the help of a reliable tax expert helps you pick the most effective methods to lower your tax obligations.

Great ID Ideas to Implement

Identification card

Identification cards are a critical component to any and every business. They afford your employees a means of identifying with your business and your organization.

It might seem a simple thing to get ID cards online in the UK, but you should give greater thought towards choosing an effective design for your identification card. Here are the most creative ID cards that you can implement to give your business and company a unique edge among all those out there.

Minimalist Identification

One of the things that people have surprising gripes about when it comes to IDs are the pictures on them. Not only are many people shy about getting their photographs taken, but they’re also hesitant to have it displayed. A great option, then, is to go for minimalist ID cards online in the UK.

These can contain just their names and a scannable barcode which does contain their image information for comparison and security measures — which should never be compromised.

Fun IDs

If your IDs are something that you expect your employees to use on a near constant basis, then you might want to make them fun to use all the same. Some people have taken to making ID cards that are highly colorful and even funny.

One great idea is a superhero-themed card that makes each one of your employees into a hero themselves. This will make it very easy for them to tote them around to brag about them. It also ensures that they use them constantly.

Access IDs

Another key function that needs to be considered with identification cards is the access they can provide to the more key area of your offices and building. Normally, you would have a separate access card to tap that will allow people to enter certain areas while restricting them to others.

access card

With advances in near field technology, you now have the option of integrating access chips into your company identification cards themselves. This is far more convenient and minimizes the risk for any lost access cards.

Incentive IDs

Incentives have long proven to be one of the most effective means by which to motivate an employee to work harder. One of the best ways to do this is to make their IDs into an effective discount card on the most popular establishments where they can dine, relax, and have fun.

When you integrate these into your ID cards, you make it easier for them to use and enjoy. You can partner up with these establishments to offer something truly desirable.

Information Cards

On the other end of the spectrum is ID cards that provide great utility. If you place the most important information on ID cards, it can be useful for individuals when they need to reference their tax numbers or their social security numbers.

Of course, you need to be careful when putting any personal information for display as it might be risky for identity thieves.

IDs can be more than just utilities; they can be fun and provide added value to your employees. When choosing to design your IDs, you can afford to be creative. These are just some of the ideas worth exploring.

Restaurant owners

Funding Your First Restaurant: Tips to Consider

Restaurant owners

Your road to becoming financially independent and being a successful person may lie in your desire to have your own restaurant. You may be an aspiring restaurateur who aims to come up with new recipes, fill people’s tummies, and make them happy. And that is a noble and profitable goal.

However, one thing is holding you back: your lack of funds. The lack of funds is a big hurdle you need to jump over. Sometimes, it is not an easy task. To get the funds that you need, there are still challenges that you will need to overcome, and one of them is self-doubt — what if the fund gets wasted?

Think not about it right now and be focused on your goals. Below are some of the things you need to keep in mind if you want to fund your restaurant business without causing your head to spin. Take things easy:

Funding Tip #1: Research on your costs first

To ensure that your business will materialize based on how you want things to operate, you need to have a blueprint — and this comes in the form of a business plan. The business plan should cover all the costs that will come with the plan, from branding to marketing, operations, and future expansions.

This plan will also help you identify if your plan is actually feasible or not. The same principles should also be considered if you are planning to franchise a business; there are also restaurant franchises costs to consider.

Funding Tip #2: Find an investor

Now that you have your plan, the first thing that you may want to do is to find an investor. Convincing an investor should not be difficult, especially if you have a business plan that they can look into.

Your business model should be sound and stable so that you will have more chances of getting your business funded. There are many angel investors and venture capitalists looking to diversify their portfolio, and they might be looking for a restaurant with massive growth potential.

Funding Tip #3: Why not do it yourself (or with a partner)?

Sometimes, it is better to work alone. But if you are funding your business without an investor, you will need to have a bigger cash reserve.

Bootstrapping may mean that you will be responsible for all the financial needs of your business. If you have estimated things wrongly, you will run the risk of losing money. You might even fund your business with a business loan.

If you are quite afraid of the risks, you may want to look for a business partner to create a bigger fund.

Funding Tip #4: Consider starting small

Restraurant owner using laptop

Step back and gauge if your business is actually feasible. If it’s too grand for your budget, you may want to scale down your business. So instead of a restaurant, why not come up with a small catering business that you can have at your own home. Expand when you have the means to do so.

Funding your business may feel difficult at the beginning. But if you have the right plan and the right support, this should not be hard work.

young business woman

Trendy Business Opportunities for Millennials

milennial Business

Grim reports about the financial fate of millennials abound. For one, college tuition in the U.S. has more than doubled since the 1980s, resulting in sky-high student loans with an average credit of $17,126 per graduate.

Moreover, the value of homes has increased by 73% since the 1960s, resulting in this scenario: millennials buying their first home today will pay 39% more of what baby boomers paid for their first home in the 1980s.

The economic challenges passed down to millennials by the boomers aren’t easy to tackle, but one of the best ways to rise above it is entrepreneurship. If you can come up with a business idea that will solve a specific problem for thousands of people, you can buy your ticket to financial freedom despite the odds. For the entrepreneurial millennials, here are four excellent business ideas:

1. Develop apps

Apps are the new websites. Businesses love apps because it’s much more personal for the users. It lives on their phone 24/7, making it easier for companies to interact with customers and build customer loyalty quickly.

You don’t even have to know how to code. If you have a great idea that can potentially help solve a specific problem of the digital world, you can hire someone or work with a friend to develop your app.

Apps earn by displaying ads for other companies. You can even sell it soon as it starts making enough and getting more users.

2. Vape shops

vape shop

Everywhere you go there are vape users. In malls, parks, even subway stations. Touted as the “healthier cigarettes,” vapes are attractive to people because they smell better and don’t have as many harmful chemicals as cigarettes do.

If you want an easier route, you can buy a vape franchise. You’ll get training on how to run a vape shop and how to market and sell. Most importantly, you’ll skip the hard part of building a brand that people will recognize, and you’ll start earning right away.

3. Blogging or vlogging

One of the millennial’s biggest assets is their digital know-how. Just a quick tutorial on YouTube and you’ll quickly know how to set up your own blog or vlog.

In setting up a blog or vlog, the first thing you have to do is to brainstorm your niche. It could be urban gardening, office work life, a hobby like painting, and even about your pet. There’s no limit to what you can share to people as long as it’s exciting and something that many will find useful.

As for vlogging, you may need a good camera to start, but most phones nowadays already have amazing cameras. Then you’ll need to study video editing. But you’re editing vlogs, not Oscar-nominated films, so with a few practices, you can definitely learn it.

Although millennials face severe economic challenges, they are also the most passionate generation this world has seen. If you have something you genuinely care about, turning it into a profitable business is only a matter of creativity and persistence.

Container ship

Choosing Marine Policy Providers: Why Being Deliberate Matters

Container ship

Ask anyone that has been in the marine industry for a long time, and they will tell you that you can never adequately prepare for most of the maritime disputes. On the other hand, you can learn from weather forecasts when and where typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are likely to hit. For that, you can reschedule plans to or reroute your ships.

Either way, your shipping business is always at risk of financial loss. Moreover, following up claims can be costlier even than the claims. So, what’s the solution here? Marine policies.

But, where and from whom do you get the right maritime policy to cover these risks, or better yet, an all-risks marine policy? You will require looking further than your local listings to find a marine policy provider that will best cover your shipping investment. More importantly, if you are hiring shipping vessels, it is best if your policy provider offers a charterers’ liability cover. So, where should you be looking? Here is a concise guide of three of the top qualities to check:

Reach of the company

Shipping is hardly a regional industry. Typically, that is because your ships and cargo might require crossing different territorial seas before they reach their destination. Also, world events such as natural catastrophes, political tussles, economic instability, and military coups, can affect your shipping services. So, considering the reach of your shipping business, it is best that you choose an international marine policy provider. With that, you are confident that each of their policies covers global as well as local and regional marine issues.

Reputable

How reputable is the company from which you plan to take your marine policies? How well do they rate in timeliness and professionalism? You want a marine policy provider that is always available to address any issue with your shipping business. Any wasted minute could mean a lost client or business opportunity or a forfeited claim. It is imperative that your policy provider handles every concern that you raise with the highest degree of professionalism. That should include, following industry requirements and understanding your needs.

Dedicated

Men standing on dock

You can tell whether or not you are dealing with a dedicated policy provider from how they commit to offering quality services. They avail detailed information about the different policies for both shipowners and charterers. That also includes the liability that each policy covers. Moreover, they invest in follow-ups to ensure that you follow the right procedures not to forfeit your policies. It is never about them but how best your shipping business can be a success.

Additionally, they are more than willing to have you engaging them so that they can tailor their services and packages to your needs. And, they have a well-trained team with vast experience to nib all sorts of unforeseeable maritime insurance issues before they arise.

It is not enough to get a maritime insurance cover. You want a surety that you will get full compensation from any risk that your marine business will face. Choosing the right marine policy provider can make a whole lot of difference in how much you get from these claims. So, be deliberate!