Back in Black and Expanding

The handling of my delinquent accounts by Professional Recovery Consultants has helped my business get back into black. I used this as a perfect opportunity to expand the business by creating another branch and expanding the company’s website. Before the expansion, the website was pretty bare bones, only having simple information to explain the purpose of the company and how to contact us. Now the website is fully fleshed out with testimonials, more detailed explanation of services that are offered, and even a place to see what job listing are available. As for the other branch, I couldn’t be more happy to see it up and running.

The other branch is run by my brother. Continue reading

How You Make Money In Real Estate

Whether you’re curious about the investment potential of real estate or simply sick of infomercials promising millions of dollars in returns from a new and obscure way of investing in real estate, it is worth learning how wealth is created through real estate.

Tutorial: Exploring Real Estate Investments

We’re not looking at strategies for how to profit from real estate. Instead, this article will focus on the basic ways that money is made through real estate. And, fortunately for us, these haven’t changed in centuries, no matter what kind of gloss the gurus of the moment try to put on it.

The most common source for real estate profit is the appreciation – the increase in the value – of the property in question. This is achieved in different ways for different types of real estate. And, most importantly, it is only realized through selling or refinancing. (For related information, be sure to check out Avoiding A Big Tax Bill On Real Estate Gains.)

Raw Land
The most obvious source of appreciation for undeveloped land is, of course, developing it. As cities expand, land outside the limits becomes more and more valuable because of the potential for

Get Used to Amazon Being a Profitable Company

STORY GettyImages-528338757-amazon

You may need to change the way you think about Amazon. It’s no longer just an e-commerce giant. It’s the world’s largest retailer. Period. And at the same time, it runs the world’s most successful cloud computing business.

On Thursday, Amazon posted its third quarter earnings report, and for the second quarter in a row, the Seattle company—know for shunning profits in favor of growth—is profitable. Both its Amazon Web Services cloud business and its North American retail sales were strong performers for the company.

But AWS was the real winner. The cloud business’s operating income in the third quarter ($521 million), was almost as much as Amazon’s whole North America e-commerce business ($528 million). Amazon says its operating margins were 3 percent and 25 percent for its North America e-commerce business and AWS, respectively. All of which just means: Its cloud business is still killing it. And it adds, in a big way, to Amazon’s new profitability.

The growth numbers are also impressive, to be sure: AWS third quarter revenue grew 78 percent year over year—specifically, generating $2.1 billion in

Profit and Cash Flow Explained

What’s the difference between profit and cash flow?

Often, it’s the difference between success and bankruptcy.

Before we begin, let’s use clear language. I won’t say “income” because different people mean different things by that word. I’ll say “revenue” to mean money that comes in from selling a product or service.

Imagine two kids who want to start a lemonade stand. They plan to charge 50 cents per cup. If they sell 100 cups, they will make 100 times 50 cents, or $50 of revenue. Of course, they know it takes money to make money. They figure each cup costs 13 cents to make: 10 cents for ingredients, and 3 cents to pay protection money to the neighborhood bully. Their expenses will be 13 cents times 100 cups, or $13. They will have revenue of $50, expenses of $13, and their profit–revenue minus expenses–is $37.

Profit is the money left once expenses are paid. Some people think business owners can take profit to the bank. If only! Profit is used to pay for any new equipment or materials needed for the business to grow. And unless you buy a politician or two, you pay taxes out of profits

A Debt Recovery Agency Not Afraid to Play Hardball

I started my company nearly 20 years ago. I knew that I was going to either make it big or end up working for someone else pretty fast. Well, I made it big, but I don’t take all of the credit for that myself. I was very lucky by being in the right place and time, and I landed some major contracts within my first year of business. By my third year, I knew that I was going to need some help, which is why I first looked at some Professional Recovery Consultants complaints as well as the complaints from a few other debt recovery agencies. Continue reading

Energy-efficient reaction drives biofuel conversion technology

A new study from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains the mechanism behind a technology that converts bio-based ethanol into hydrocarbon blend-stocks for use as fossil fuel alternatives.

Scientists have experimented for decades with a class of catalysts known as zeolites that transform alcohols such as ethanol into higher-grade hydrocarbons. As ORNL researchers were developing a new type of zeolite-based conversion technology, they found the underlying reaction unfolds in a different manner than previously thought.

“For 40 years, everyone thought that these reactions must go first from ethanol to ethylene, and then from there it forms longer chains. We were able to show that it’s not how this occurs,” said ORNL’s Brian Davison, coauthor on the study published in Scientific Reports.

The researchers’ analysis found that this energy-consuming intermediary step is not necessary for the conversion to happen. Instead, an energy-producing “hydrocarbon pool” mechanism allows the zeolite catalysts to directly produce longer hydrocarbon chains from the original alcohols.

“It challenges a long-held but incorrect assumption,” said ORNL coauthor Chaitanya Narula. “It has been assumed that you must go from ethanol to ethylene, which is endothermic and requires energy. We showed this step doesn’t occur, and that the overall reaction is slightly

A Help that Your Loved One May Require in the Times of Need

No matter what, health is the ultimate factor that determines the rate of happiness in somebody’s life. You cannot expect to lead a really satisfying life if your body is in a not in its prime. Not only will you be left unrest physically, an unhealthy body will severely exhaust you mentally, rendering you unable to do anything properly. Your works will be neglected and your house will soon turn into a wreck with no one tending to it. You will also become stressed from all the feelings you have that tell you you are a very unproductive individual, just because you are sick and thus cannot make anything of meaningful significance. Nonetheless, sickness or ailments are something that you cannot predict. You can do everything in your power to prevent your body from catching germs or getting trapped in harmful events but bad things do happen and when they do, there is nothing you can do to turn back the clock. All there is left for you is how to manage your life through the trying period and recuperate accordingly. Sometimes, you can do it all by yourself. Given time, sickness will subside and you will emerge out of

An Instant Help to Find a House in Peoria

homes for sale Peoria AZ Matters of property could be something delicate that it may cause you to plunge into confusions and perhaps utter desperation. It is not easy for some to find a place to stay that is decent enough and is proportional to what is there inside the wallet. Thus, one should never take a careless decision when it is down to choosing a home to buy because once one does, it is only a matter of time before one realizes how wrong such a decision is. Picking a place to live in relates very closely with subjects like comforts and peaceful downtime. One may be overly busy during the day with workloads and other stuff that one must look for some kind of sanctuary to shelter them from the tiring activities and have a rest. A good house may serve this function but only when said house is able to provide much needed relief from all the burdens. A bad house that one has previously wrongly chosen will never serve such a function. So it is of a very crucial requirement that one must be able to do anything in their power to find a

Want to Open a New Business? Find the best Accountants

Do you think that money is very important for your life? Why do you think that money is very important for your life? Everyone needs money for completing their daily life. Money is being used to complete any kinds of needs in our life. Take an example, if we have the money, we will be able to buy the foods that we need for daily consumption. If we do not have the money, we will not be able to complete our daily life and for the other needs also. That’s why in this case, money plays and takes important role for our life. We will have the better living if we can have so much money in our life. When we are rich, we will have the better and the good living. The money here really plays important role for our own life.

Since the money is very important for our own living, we need to make sure that we can prepare the best way for get the money in our life. There are many kinds of ways that we can do; one of them is by working. By getting the job based on our own need

Winter Is Coming 5 Businesses to Get You Through the Season

Winter’s just around the corner, but if you’re feeling ill-prepared for the season, don’t worry — there are plenty of businesses out there to suit your needs. Whether you want to create snow or make it disappear, store your summer clothes, decorate your home, or even enjoy a cozy night by the fireplace, these five businesses can help.

When winter’s on its way, many people try to save space by storing their summer clothes, decorations and other items they don’t need in the cold weather. But if you live in an apartment or home that doesn’t have a lot of storage space, organizing for the season can get a little tricky. You can use a storage facility if you don’t have the space in your home, but what if you don’t have a car to travel back and forth, or the time to go to a storage unit every time you need something? Clutter takes all of the complications out of cleaning up your stuff. Use the company’s website to set up a storage pickup, and Clutter’s employees will bring you boxes and help you pack. Clutter’s Move & Pack specialists will pick up your items and bring them to

Small Business Snapshot Prohibition Bakery

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Leslie Feinberg, co-owner of Prohibition Bakery, a business she founded in 2011 with Brooke Siem that creates mini cupcakes with a boozy twist, explains how this image represents their business.

Feinberg explains…

These cupcakes actually were a result of a recent partnership we did with Alacran Mezcal. Partnerships like Alacran provide us with an opportunity to experiment with flavors and ingredients that people might not expect from a cupcake. For instance, with Alacran, we combined their delicious mezcal, which has a wonderful smoky flavor, with a little sweet and sour from blood oranges and a little spice with ancho chili seasoned salt. It’s always fun to introduce flavors to a cupcake audience that they might not be as familiar with or be skeptical of, and watch them absolutely love them.

Brooke (my fellow co-owner) and I met on a birthright trip in 2011. We were generally bored and not satisfied with the jobs we had. What started as a fun idea to entertain ourselves and make a little extra cash very quickly proved to be extremely interesting to people — including

Teams Work Better When Employees Care About Each Other

When employees work in groups, they are best served by focusing more on how they can benefit others, and not just themselves, new research finds.

When team members are motivated more to help others, even at the expense of their own performance, their teams perform better, a study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal found.

This type behavior is defined as prosocial motivation, which highlights the social aspect of work by emphasizing individuals’ concerns about how their actions can affect others’ well-being. Prosocially motivated individuals are described as givers who are primarily concerned with contributing benefits to others, rather than calculating personal returns, the research said.

“Extending this idea to the work-team context, when team members have a strong belief that they can work together to make a positive influence on the well-being of relevant others, such as their colleagues, clients, customers and community, they are likely to work together effectively over the long term,” Jasmine Hu, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in Indiana, told Business News Daily

The research was based on a field study of 67 work teams from six companies in both the

Influence Marketing How to Get Referrals from the In Crowd

Remember back in school when one of the popular kids came in with a new backpack or pair of sneakers, and soon, everyone in the class had the same ones? Influence marketing works the same way. When consumers see someone they admire talking about and using a product, they’re more inclined to want to check it out.

“Influence marketing has emerged as an extremely cost-effective form that generates additional benefits, such as customer goodwill, increased memorability and willingness to spend,” said Guy Poreh, chief marketing officer of HyPR, a programmatic marketplace for social media influencer marketing. “If in the past, having a celebrity spokesman was an option reserved for huge and wealthy companies, it is becoming both affordable and a necessity to make sure niche influencers in your space support your brand.”

Although social media has certainly made influence marketing more prevalent, it is by no means a new concept. Marketers have been enlisting influential people to help sell their products and services for more than a century. As early as 1875, marketers gave out trading cards of celebrities and athletes that contained pictures and descriptions of the products they were marketing, said Paul Johnson, founder and

Beyond Passion The Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Beyond Passion: The Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

With half of all small businesses closing their doors within five years of opening, it takes more than just passion to succeed, new research finds.

While being passionate is important, other traits typically end up separating entrepreneurs who succeed from those who fail, according to a study from cloud accounting-software provider Xero. Specifically, prospering small business owners learn from past mistakes, invest in technology, make time for family and friends, and build positive relationships with mentors.

The study revealed that nearly 60 percent of the current and former small business owners surveyed said spending time with family in the evenings is crucial to their effectiveness as business owners, while 53 percent think it’s important to keep their weekends free for loved ones.

“Contrary to the stereotype of a harried entrepreneur burning the midnight oil, our research showed that successful small-business owners not only value their personal time, [but also] they view stepping away from work as essential,” the study’s authors wrote.

To build a business that’s sustainable in the long term, entrepreneurs need to ensure the other areas of their life don’t get neglected, said Xero U.S. President Russ Fujioka.

“Running a business isn’t easy. By

The Top Reasons Employees Quit

A desire for more money and the chance to advance their careers are important to employees when changing jobs, but those reasons aren’t what motivates them the most.

The chance to work in a job that allows them to do what they do best is the top reason employees list for considering, or taking a new job, a Gallup study found.

The problem, however, is that many employees aren’t getting what they’re looking for. Research revealed that employees who have worked at their companies for less than three years are more engaged and think they have more opportunities to learn then those who have worked for their employers for at least 10 years. However, it’s the long-tenured workers who feel like they are doing what they do best, the study showed.

The Gallup analysis discovered that the highest percentage of employees who strongly agree that they have opportunities to do what they do best are those who have worked with their employers for at least a decade. [Why Frequent Job Hoppers Might Make Good Hires ]

These results show a major disconnect, the study authors said.

“If workers are switching jobs and companies because they think a new role will allow them to do what

What’s Your Collaboration Style?

In every workplace, there are colleagues you naturally work well with, and others with whom you never seem to see eye-to-eye. That’s because everyone approaches teamwork differently — and your mindset isn’t always going to match up with others’.

Working well as a team means knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, and how they mesh or clash with those of your colleagues. To help workers discover their personal collaboration style, Web-conferencing software provider PGi created a list of five different “personalities” and what they bring to the table, along with tips on how to best work with other types on the team. Find your own style by reading the statements below and determining which ones you most closely identify with.
The Dictator

You feel you know what’s best for the good of the project and want to share that with your team members.
You like to monitor progress and constantly seek updates from the team.
You feel a project will fall apart without your vigilance.

Tip from PGi: Monitoring and managing are good things, but your team members need to be accountable for their own responsibilities to remain engaged. Give continuous, constructive feedback, and be as transparent as possible about processes and decision-making

Acer Aspire Switch 11 V 2015 Is It Good for Business

Acer’s Aspire Switch 11 V is a versatile, affordable laptop-tablet hybrid for work, but it’s held back by short battery life. The midrange 2-in-1 delivers a comfortable keyboard and a sharp 11.6-inch display in an extremely portable package, all for about $500. However, the Switch 11 V’s disappointing endurance makes it a better pick for commuters than business travelers.

The Switch 11 V’s display can be fully detached from its snap-on keyboard dock, so you can use it as a tablet when you want. Business users might get more usage out of the ability to reattach the display in the reverse orientation, providing easier access to the touch screen in cramped quarters — for example, on an airplane tray table during a long business flight. That capability could be particularly useful if you pick up Acer’s active stylus, which lets you take notes and annotate documents right on the Switch 11 V’s screen.

Workers will also appreciate the notebook’s keyboard, which is head and shoulders above what you’ll find on many competing machines. The keys offer snappy feedback and about 1.6 millimeters of travel, which is deep enough to provide a really comfortable typing experience.

Other hardware highlights include an

Cybersecurity for Freelancers Protecting Your Clients’ Data

Full-time freelancing affords professionals the opportunity to be self-employed, set their own schedules and regularly work on new projects. But there’s one aspect of this type of remote work that both freelancers and businesses sometimes fail to consider: cybersecurity.

“Freelancers are often tasked with developing projects and working on files on their own computers, without the same security tools and policies an employee working at a large enterprise [has],” said Mohamad Ali, president and CEO of Carbonite, a provider of data protection solutions. “This puts freelancers in a precarious situation, since they’re usually left … protecting [their own] personal and business files when working at home or from the road.”

“This is the same problem that BYOD presents to businesses,” added Mike Walls, managing director of security operations and analysis at security solutions provider EdgeWave. “IT staff have little visibility into the configuration or software load of the employee’s computer. That means that the remote worker is at risk of running software, or using hardware that is vulnerable to attack.”

Even without enterprise-level security and backup measures in place, there are still things you can do as a freelancer to keep your clients’ data secure. Here are a few best practices to ensure

5 Fast Fixes to Jump Start Your Customer Service Strategy

A business is nothing without great customer service, so how does your reputation with clients and customers stack up? If you want to improve your business and keep your customers happy, a few small changes could have a huge impact on your success. From avoiding automation tools to taking advantage of your email list, here are five simple ways to give your customer service a boost.
Keep automation to a minimum

Something that can be frustrating for customers is dealing with automated services, especially when they’re trying to make a phone call to your business. Today’s technology makes it easier for businesses, but if your setup is making things more difficult for your customers, you may need to make some changes. Just because the technology exists, doesn’t mean you should be using it, said Leon Rbibo, president of The Pearl Source, a Los Angeles-based jewelry business.

“We implement live chat features and have a very complex system for tracking and flagging customer service issues,” Rbibo said. “Yet we keep phone automation to a minimum when a customer dials The Pearl Source. We recognize that automation is a major pain point for consumers, so why put them through the ringer each time they

Tax Season Prep Year End Tips for Small Businesses

The end of the calendar year is an important time for businesses of all sizes. It’s not only prime sales season for retailers with holiday promotions but also when businesses need to start organizing the year’s financial information for tax season.

Though the April 15 filing deadline may be months away, your company should be thinking about ways to make that period as easy as possible. We spoke with business and financial experts about what small business owners should be doing right now to prepare for tax season.

In today’s world, there are countless programs, apps and services available to help make tax time less of a burden. Jonathan Barsade, CEO of sales tax solution company Exactor, advised looking into tools that allow you to automate any or all of the financial record-keeping process.

“Trying to stay on top of tax rules and rates and then … completing tax returns and filing them on time is a mind-boggling task, especially for small businesses that operate across multiple locations and do business across state lines,” Barsade told Business News Daily. “The way taxes should be dealt with in this modern age of technology is to automate the process. The

Best Tablets With Stylus

Tablets offer tons of high-tech ways to take notes and save them for later. But when you want to jot down something quickly, digital keyboards can’t match the speed or immediacy of good old-fashioned pen and paper. A great tablet, coupled with a digital stylus, gives you the best of both worlds.

You can buy a standard capacitive stylus that will work with almost any touch-screen device, but tablets with a built-in digitizer are better. They can detect how hard you’re pressing with the pen, giving you far more precision and a better overall writing experience. With that said, here are our picks for the best stylus-equipped business slates.

Apple’s iPad Pro was built for business, with productivity-boosting accessories such as a snap-on keyboard cover and a stylus, which is dubbed the Apple Pencil. The big 12.9-inch device offers excellent pen support, with full pressure sensitivity and reliable palm rejection. But the iPad Pro is a premium device that comes with a premium price. The tablet itself starts at $799, and the pen is sold separately for $100, making this one of the pricier pen-equipped slates on the market.

Key features:

Active stylus support (sold separately)
Keyboard (sold separately)
Large display
Split-screen multitasking

Toxic Co-Worker Test How to Identify and Avoid Them

Toxic Co-Worker Test: How to Identify and Avoid Them
Credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock

When you’re starting a new job, you hope that you’ll get along with your boss and co-workers. For the first few days or weeks, everything seems great. People are friendly and helpful, and some of them even offer a few suggestions for local lunch and coffee spots.

Suddenly, the dynamic changes. Your idea didn’t quite work out or a key point was missing from your team’s presentation, and one of your new colleagues lashes out at you. Or perhaps that person you introduced yourself to in the kitchen now refuses to stop pestering you at all hours of the workday.

If this sounds familiar, you might have a “toxic” co-worker. According to research from the Association for Psychological Type International, up to 80 percent of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained employee relationships. Van Moody, relationship expert and author of “The People Factor” (Thomas Nelson, 2014), said that poor co-worker relations can cause more than business issues. [Co-Workers Sabotaging Your Career? Here’s How to Deal]

“Difficult workplace relationships are far more than a nuisance,” Moody said. “They can cause anxiety, burnout, clinical depression and even physical illness.”

Moody defines a toxic colleague as

Considering Volunteering? How Giving Back Helps Your Career

Considering Volunteering? How Giving Back Helps Your Career
Credit: RawPixel/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a way to boost your career outlook, try volunteering this holiday season.

Volunteering doesn’t just provide a benefit to your community; it also helps you professionally, according to a study from the staffing firm Robert Half. Overall, 41 percent of U.S. employees volunteer outside of work. Of those, 61 percent said community service helps them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office, with 57 percent saying volunteering helps them expand their networks.

Additionally, nearly half said service aids them in developing new skills, while 35 percent said it enhances their company’s visibility.

“Volunteering can help employees at any level build their careers,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said in a statement. “Not only does it provide the gratification of giving back to the community, but it could [also] open doors to a new professional opportunity or business connection.”

The research found that younger workers are most likely to participate in philanthropic activities. Specifically, 49 percent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 donate their time, compared to just 35 percent of their colleagues between the ages of 35 and 54. [Need a Job?