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January, 2019

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4 Precious Metal Alloys

Precious metals are rare, valuable elements, such as silver, gold, platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium. These types of naturally-occurring metals have certain unique characteristics which separate them from other metals. Due to these unique characteristics and the rarity of the metals, many people use them as an investment. Here are four of the most well-known types of precious metal alloys.

Gold

A dense, soft, and shiny yellow metal, Gold is the most malleable and ductile of any known metals, allowing it to be altered in shape without breaking or cracking. This metal is commonly used due to its high resistance to corrosion, but tends to be of a higher cost and offers lower resistance to erosion. This type of metal is most commonly seen in jewelry or currency but is also often used in certain specialty applications and electronics.

Silver

A soft, white, and shiny transition metal, silver is often used for electrical purposes because it features the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. While silver is a soft metal, it can be strengthened by combining it with copper. However, this combination will negatively affect the conductivity so it is rarely done when being used for electrical purposes. Silver can’t be the main component for most commercial applications because of its softness but can be used as a starting component before being joined by other metals to create a silver-based alloy.

Palladium

Palladium is a shiny, silvery-white metal that is a member of the platinum group metals (PGM). This metal is the least dense and features the lowest melting point among all of the platinum group metals available. When heated, palladium becomes soft, allowing it to be able to become drawn out into a thin wire. When exposed to cold, it hardens and becomes stronger. This metal is commonly used in catalytic converters, electronics, hydrogen storage and purification, and jewelry.

Platinum

Similar to gold, platinum is a shiny metal that can be pressed out of shape or drawn into a thin wire. This silvery-white element usually has a strong natural resistance to corrosion and won’t mix with oxygen at any temperature. However, it can corrode when being exposed to halogens, cyanides, sulfur, and caustic alkalis. Platinum is usually mixed with iridium, ruthenium, or tungsten to create a useful alloy and is commonly used in catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, and jewelry.

Precious metal alloys are rare metals that feature unique characteristics and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as electrical contacts and jewelry. There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right metal to use for a specific purpose but these are the basics of some of the most popular precious metals.

Benefits of Payday Loans

Quick payday loans are a great way to make ends meet when something unexpected comes up before you get paid. If you need some cash quickly but aren’t sure if fast payday loans are what you’re looking for, here’s what you need to know about payday loans and how they can be beneficial.

No Credit Check

When you apply for this type of loan you have the advantage of not having your credit score affected. Payday loans don’t use your credit score to determine eligibility for the loan. This is beneficial because a low credit score won’t prevent you from getting the loan and your credit won’t be dinged from inquiries either. What really matters when obtaining this type of loan is that you can prove your employment and how much you make in order to determine the amount of loan you’re eligible for to make sure it’s an amount you can repay.

Fast

Another benefit of this type of loan is its speed. Unlike many other types of credit you won’t have to wait days or weeks to find out if you qualify for the loan. You’ll have the money in your bank account in at least 24 hours if not within an hour of applying for the loan. That makes it easy for you to obtain necessary funds for the emergency you’re facing.

No Use Limits

One problem with using a credit card when you’re short on funds is that it’s difficult to get actual cash or you pay a higher interest rate for cash. With a payday loan you can get it all in cash and there are no stipulations on what the money can be used for.

Convenient

Lending institutions that offer payday loans typically have more flexible business hours than banks or credit unions. This allows you time outside of your workday to obtain the cash, and in fact, you can often apply for and be approved for the loan online. 

Customer Protections

Some people worry about getting quick payday loans because they fear they’ll be taken advantage of in their time of need. However, there is legislation in most states designed to protect you from fees and interest rates that would make it impossible for you to pay back the loan. In fact, many states cap the interest rate and fee amounts to help customers stay out of a cycle of debt with payday loans. 

3 Types of Special Needs Trusts

If you have a disabled family member or otherwise care for someone that has special needs, it’s natural to worry about how they will be cared for after you depart. A special needs trust will allow you to allocate your left-behind assets to that person without them losing their government-issued benefits. This will ensure that they are able to be properly cared for with help like personal attendants or therapy and can provide them with services like phone and internet. The type of trust you create for your dependent depends on who is creating it and how you wish the assets to be distributed long-term. Here are three types you can choose from when setting up your special needs trust management.

Trust with Dependent’s Assets

A trust that has been created using assets that belong to the dependent is often called a first-party special needs trust. This type of trust is commonly set up when the individual has acquired assets through inheritance, a settlement, or some other means and are under the age of 65. This type of trust is set up so that the caregiver can leave their assets to the special needs dependent without the fear that the dependent will lose their government-issued benefits. Upon the death of the dependent, the remaining money will be acquired by Medicaid, which will use it to reimburse itself for the support the state provided for that dependent.

Trust with Third-Party Assets

The second type of special needs trust is one that deals with the assets of a third party, such as parents or grandparents. Often called a third-party special needs trust, this is usually created when the person leaving the assets to the dependent doesn’t want their inheritance to negatively affect the dependent’s ability to obtain their government-issued benefits. This type of trust is created by someone during their lifetime through a document such as a will. A trustee is appointed to handle the money to ensure that it ends up with the dependent as intended. While the trustee is unable to give the money directly to the dependent, they can pay for certain items or services that their monthly SSI benefits don’t already cover. When the dependent dies, the remaining money will be distributed as directed by the creator.

Trust with Pooled Assets

A trust set up with pooled assets is managed by a non-profit organization using first-party or third-party pooled trusts for those with special needs. This type of trust is easy and cheap to set up as there is no cost and no required tax return. Any time money is transferred out of the trust or distributed to anyone other than the individual, penalties will be assessed. When the dependent dies, the money will usually stay in the trust to assist others with special needs.

Special needs trust management ensures that your loved one with special needs is cared for after you depart. These are three of the types of special needs trusts that you may choose from to support your loved one after you’re gone.

5 Characteristics of a Successful Business

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Every business wants and needs a plan for both short-term and long-term growth. That’s a big reason why the demand for business growth strategy consultants remains high! Having a dedicated resource by your side as you try to thrive your business and take things to the next level can make a huge difference. Let’s take a look at five characteristics of a successful business, as preached and celebrated by experts in business growth consultation!

1. Clear Vision

Let’s start with the basics of business, and having inspiring goals in mind. If you want your business to keep on growing and setting new standards in the years ahead, then you must have clear goals to get you there. If you don’t know what you want for your business, how can you make big things happen? Business owners, directors and entrepreneurs should think openly and honestly about the kind of business they want to build, and what they want to see in the next five years, whether it’s a particular number of clients, customers, employees or annual earnings. This clear vision will guide business toward the right path, which will benefit everyone involved. 

2. Business Plans

Not only are clear visions necessary, but so are detailed business plans. Any successful business needs to have plans in place for the present and the future. If you take the time to thoroughly plan and detail any and all aspects of your business that are needed to achieve success, then chances are your business will reach new heights. Writing a business plan allows you to review all the moving parts of your organization at the same time, from operations to market, staff to finances and so much more. This makes it easier to achieve business goals.  

3. Short-Term Goals

Business plans will help you identify your short-term goals in addition to your long-term ambitions. Businesses that remain focused on what they want in the upcoming days, weeks and months as well as years far into the future will be more likely to actually reach these measurable goals. What does your organization need to do to reach your annual goals? By setting up these smaller, yet still significant goals, the possibilities for success are truly endless. 

4. Development

Everyone can continue to learn, grow and achieve new things. If your company invests in staff skill development, it’s likely that you’ll reap the benefits. Strong, driven and dedicated staff are more likely to remain committed to their company if they are given the room and resources to further develop. Investing in employees and providing opportunities for education and investment is something that all successful companies do, as anyone in business growth consultation will promote! Business growth strategy consultants always recommend ongoing training and other opportunities for staff.

5. Marketing

Especially in the digital age, marketing and advertising has never been busier. There are so many avenues for promoting businesses nowadays, and those organizations that take advantage of all these opportunities are often the ones that get ahead. Clear marketing plans are always a good idea, as organized and inventive business marketers can really make the most of both traditional advertising avenues and more modern methods of marketing as well. Business growth strategy consultants are happy to explain the importance of all these characteristics and more. 

How to determine your debt collection process?

Debt collection is something that you need to handle carefully. Debts can lead to business failure if it persists for long. On the contrary, improper debt collection procedures can have adverse effects on your brand. The debt collection process ranges from a friendly reminder to repossessing the customer’s assets. You can move from one step to another depending on the reaction of your customer. This article will give you some tips on how to determine your debt collection process. However, you should be aware of the debt collection practices that are banned by the government. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law as you try to get your debt back.

•    Using a Friendly Reminder to Pay

When the payment is overdue for the first time, give the client a courtesy reminder by sending him a letter, emailing, or phoning. In some instances, the clients will pay once you contact them. The customer may have made a payment in the wrong account, forgotten about the bill, or there could be another minor issue that you can resolve quickly and easily. Include your contact information, banking details, and payment options in the reminder so that it will help the customer to pay easily and quickly. You can get a friendly email reminder template to use in making your request.

•    Use an Overdue Payment Reminder to Contact the Customer

If the payment remains to be outstanding and the client misses to pay on the next agreement date, or he fails to contact you, then give them another call. This step also entails sending another reminder letter or email of the outstanding payment reminding him to meet his obligation. You can get an overdue email template to use for your reference at this stage.

•    Use a Final Notice to Contact Your Customer

If the customer fails to pay as per the terms of payment and misses the extended payment dates, email or call them to discuss the outstanding debts and request them to clear the arrears. Send them a final notice to pay, and you can use an online template for reference or resource if you don’t have one.

•    Try Making Direct Contact with the Customer

If still there is no response or payment, try to visit the customer in person. You can also give him a phone if you were previously using the email to contact them and ask for payment. This action may help in facilitating a personal relationship with the client and may help you with future payments. You can get an online contact script to use for your reference or resource.

•    Sending a Formal Demand Letter

If all your attempts to contact the customer and get payments don’t bear fruits, you can now send them a formal demand letter. Remember you only need to undertake this procedure as a last resort. The reason is that it can damage the reputation of your brand. It can hurt the relationship you have established with your customers including the loyal ones.

•    Use Debt Collection Services as the Last Resort

If the payments are still pending, you can use the debt collection agencies as a last resort. This procedure can also have adverse effects on your brand in the market. Don’t resort to such actions unless you are dealing with difficult clients and more friendly approaches have failed to bear fruits.

4 Careers in Radiology

Continuing your medical education into the field of radiology creates a variety of career opportunities. Radiologists are in need of assistance from specialists that know how to deal with specific machines and analyze images. Receiving certification from the American Board of Radiology will provide these opportunities. The result is that you’ll be able to enter an exciting field that features a higher salary and more advancement opportunities. Here are four careers you can enter after taking online radiology CME courses.

Radiology Technologists

A radiology technologist is commonly called a radiologic technologist or rad tech. The main purpose of this position is to create images of the body using x-rays, MRIs, and mammography for the radiologists to examine. While a radiology technician has a similar name to a radiology technologist, they differ in that a radiology technician has limited use of x-ray equipment and typically works in an urgent care center or doctor’s office while a radiology technologist can use all x-ray equipment and usually works in hospitals.

Ultrasound Technician

An ultrasound technician operates diagnostic imagery equipment that uses sound waves to provide images of soft tissue. Some of the images that will be developed include obstetric and gynecologic sonography, abdominal and cardiac sonography, and neurosonography. This is a growing profession as more and more patients prefer to have ultrasounds to avoid radiation. Most hospitals that hire these positions require the passing of an exam offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) for which continuing medical education will prepare you.

MRI Technician

The role of an MRI technician is to operate a magnetic resonance scanner, which is done to create two or three-dimensional maps of tissues within the body. These images are then transferred from a disk to magnetic media and the film is developed for the doctor or radiologist to examine to make a diagnosis. For most MRI technician positions, you’ll need to register with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

CT Scan Technologist

The role of a CT scan technologist is to produce scans of specific sections of the body using computerized tomography. Common scans that might be performed include abdominal scans, gynecological and obstetric scans, and ultrasound exams. Continuing your education into radiology provides an opportunity to advance your career into several positions. Choosing one of these specialties will prepare you to enter a path that will allow for advancement and a higher salary. Online radiology CME courses will provide the education necessary to reach these goals.

4 Reasons Why You Need Brand Security

One of the most important parts of any business is its branding. This is how consumers recognize you and how you build a reputation. For this reason, it’s important that you protect your brand so that others are unable to copy your brand for their own benefit, potentially damaging the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. The following are four reasons why you need brand security.

Increases Company Value

Your brand is the public representation of your company. Customers or clients want to be associated with a strong, well-respected brand and investors want to be associated with those types of companies. While there are other aspects that can impact the value of your company, such as assets and financial projections, strong brands allow the company to be worth more.

Representation

Nothing represents your company more than your brand. A good branding strategy will display your vision, beliefs, values, and habits to consumers and potential clients. Protecting your brand is essential as failing to do so could allow someone else to step in and damage the reputation you’ve worked hard to develop. Recovering from such an attack can be more difficult than it was to build that reputation in the first place.

Employment Desirability

The best way to build a strong company is to hire the right people, but attracting those applicants can be difficult. In a strong job market, recent graduates will consider multiple job offers prior to making the decision on the company they will join. Many of these applicants allow the branding of a company to tell them what they want to know about the company. Ensuring that branding is solid and protected will allow you to draw the best of the best from the pool of potential employees.

Stronger Advertising

The stronger your brand, the more free advertising you will receive. Consumers will react positively to a strong brand and will pass that information along to friends and family. This allows that company to spend less money on advertising or get more out of their advertising budget as those that have connected with the brand are spreading the word for them. Protecting your brand will allow that word-of-mouth advertising to continue working for your business.

The brand of a company is the first thing that consumers or potential clients see and what they connect with the most. With advancements in technology, brands are more vulnerable to damage than ever. Brand security will ensure that the hard work you’ve put into securing a strong brand is not wasted.

Tips to Make Purchasing Office Furniture and Equipment Affordable

Owning and operating a business can come with a hefty price tag. If you own your business are in charge of purchasing at your organization, you know that better than anybody. You may be looking for some good ways to save money and make equipping and furnishings more affordable. Here are great ideas to help take the sting out of buying the essential equipment and office furniture in Fairbanks, AK.

Conduct an Audit

The first thing you’ll want to do (and continue doing each year or more often) is to conduct an audit on your office equipment and furniture. Note what supplies and equipment your business currently has, where they’re located, and who has access to them. This will give you some good ideas as to where you can cut back as well as ideas to find deals on products you use most often.

Sign a Contract

Purchasing your office supplies and furnishings through a contract with a vendor may save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your purchases each year. Most vendors will offer discounts to business owners who purchase equipment through their contract. If you choose to enter a contract with an office equipment and supplies vendor, be sure you’re not buying more than what your business will actually use every month.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

You can certainly save money by purchasing cheap low-priced furniture, but at what cost? By choosing high quality furniture, you minimize the risk of having furniture that falls apart. If you’re purchasing cheap furniture but replacing it more frequently, then your cheap office furniture is going to be a lot more expensive than just what you initially paid for it. By buying quality pieces that you can use for a significantly longer time, you’ll ultimately save money.

Do Your Shopping Online

There are probably great office supply stores in your area, and they might have some great deals. However, by doing your shopping online, you can compare products across websites to find the best price for the products you want. Shopping online is also convenient so you can shop on your own time from wherever you are.

As a business owner, you know how easily monthly office expenses can cost. Office furniture and equipment may account for one of the largest expenses you likely have. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make these purchases less expensive while still getting the great quality office furniture in Fairbanks, AK.

Affordable Repair on Your Luxury Car

Many people devote most of their income to necessities like food, housing, clothing, etc. Those people may splurge on occasion for a fancy dinner, or nice piece of jewelry. Some people though, will devote some of their earnings to owning a luxury vehicle. Luxury vehicles can be a status symbol for many, but are not cheap, and once purchased continue to accrue costs for normal upkeep and repair. It is important for owners of luxury vehicles to maintain their investments at mechanic shops that know how to properly care for the vehicle they purchased. Jaguars are one type of luxury vehicle that require the appropriate upkeep of the vehicle to ensure its longevity. For those customers looking for Jaguar repair in Houston, TX, this article explores tips on finding a shop that can properly maintain a luxury vehicle of this type.

Certified Technicians

It is important when looking for a Jaguar repair shop in Houston, TX, to make sure you find one that has highly trained and certified technicians. If you have spent the money on owning a luxury vehicle, you want to ensure that anyone working on it is trained in the appropriate maintenance of the vehicle. It is also worthwhile to find a repair shop that has mechanics who have been working on your vehicle type for many years. Longevity in vehicle repair means someone with an extensive skillset is assessing and repairing the vehicle.

Meeting Your Car Repair Needs

Once you have located a shop that is qualified in jaguar repair in Houston, TX, you want to evaluate the shop to see what other services that they can provide that set them above other shops. Some shops go above and beyond for the customer, and make them feel as if they are a valued customer and not just a number. Look for shops that offer discounts for returning customers, or discounts for bundling repair needs. Car repairs can be expensive, and while the luxury of the car demands quality care, that many are willing to pay for, it doesn’t hurt to find a shop that is willing to work with customers in other ways to save costs. Some shops may be willing to offer free labor for minor services, like oil changes, knowing that perks like those will entice the car owner to use the shop for other services as well.

Benefits of a Live Call Answering Service

In today’s business climate, customers expect a lot more from companies than ever before. Specifically, when they have a question or concern and place a call, they want someone to answer. A live call answering service can be a major asset to your business, especially if you experience large call volumes. Consider these two advantages of adding a service like this to your company.

Extension of Business Hours

An answering service allows your customer to have more extensive business hours than it currently offers. If your company is open 8 AM to 5 PM, a live answering service can fill the time between 5 PM and 8 AM. Unfortunately, not all customer problems happen during typical business hours. After hours, with a live calling answering service, they can have their problems heard and resolved.

Adding this service to your business can also help you accommodate customers throughout the nation and world. Customers in different time zones are still able to reach a representative of your company. They can speak to an actual person and get real-time answers instead of leaving a voicemail or sending an email.

Better Response for Customers

When customers call your company, they want someone to answer their calls. They are likely not interested in an automatic system like a voice response unit or simply being sent to voicemail. A live answering service means that a real person is on the other end of a phone call from a customer. These representatives can answer questions, guide customers, and notify management of an important call if necessary.

The customer experience can be elevated with live answering. Customers will feel that they are important and being listened to when they interact with a live call representative. When customers can have the questions and conferences addressed upon calling your company, they are sure to have a better overall experience. Happier customers are more loyal, spend more money with your company, and refer you products and services to others.

If customer service is important to your company, a live call answering service may be a good investment. With this answering service, you are able to extend your hours for customers as well as enhance their overall experience. Companies that have phones ringing off the hook may be able to utilize this service during the day as well to field calls and protect the time of its employees.