Some Words About Shopping During Christmastime

Christmastime is an exciting time when it comes to shopping. In fact, so much emphasis is placed on materialism and consumerism that some people argue that the holiday has lost its meaning and the season is in vain. However, that is a different story. When shopping around Christmastime, there are some things to remember.

First off, the Christmas season seems to officially begin on Thanksgiving and last into or perhaps even past, New Years. On Thanksgiving, the Christmas music starts in stores and everything is locked and loaded. Black Friday is the huge kick-off. It is when people mob stores for items that are sold at unnaturally low prices. There have been instances where people have been trampled to death in stores on Black Friday. Even though Black Friday is the biggest sale day of the year, there are still plenty of sales throughout the season. You just have to be really vigilant about looking for sales online and in person. Items may sell out very fast if they are at really low prices.

Secondly, something to take note of is the fact that many businesses may have holiday editions of their products. Such seasonal, limited edition products may be very interesting to try out and enjoy. This is especially true of restaurants, which sometimes have specialty menu items that are based on the season. Some businesses may even use specialty holiday package design for their many delivered packages. Business owners must plan months ahead for these packages and may even order double or triple their normal load of packaging supplies just for the month of December.

There are stores that have sections that are specifically dedicated to Christmas. The grandest of such stores are department stores that can be found in large cities such as New York City. These types of places also tend to have displays behind windows that people can look at from the outdoors. There are also many pop-up holiday places that sell Christmas-themed stuff. Christmas stores have a large variety of stuff for your Christmas needs, such as ornaments, trees, wreaths, stockings and a variety of other items.

Some stores are expensive when it comes to the Christmas items that are sold. You can get some pretty nice stuff for less expensive prices if you go to an inexpensive convenience store or supermarket. For example, in some stores an ornament might cos you $20.00. In a less expensive store, a pack of ornaments may cost you $5.00 or $10.00. If you do not have a particular ornament that you are really crazy about getting, there is nothing wrong with getting the cheaper ones; they look just as good. Christmastime is the season where a lot of things are sold for expensive prices that you can really get cheaper in other places.

If you are buying decorations, think about how lights may impact your electric bill, as well as whether or not here are any safety hazards when it comes to lining you home with electric lights. Also, think about how you will maintain these decorations once you buy them. Are there any specific things that you have to do to take care of the conditions when there are certain types of weather?

Tips for Building a Loyal Clientele

In any business, even in the provision of legal services, loyalty is important. With this, lawyers and law firms should be proactive in pursuing strategies that will allow them to establish a loyal client base, including through the ways that will be briefly mentioned in the rest of this post.

Use a Legal Software

This is one of the investments that legal professionals need. With the various legal software features, it will be easier for lawyers to manage their daily activities, such as scheduling meetings and even computing billables. The software will automate many tasks, making it great in the improvement of efficiency.

If you are on the lookout for the right law practice management software to choose, one of the popular options to take into consideration is Rocket Matter.

Speed Up the Legal Service

In one article published on the website of the American Bar Association, it has been reiterated that today’s clients anticipate speedy service from legal professionals. With this, it is important for lawyers to be as quick as they can without compromising the results. Clients have the assumption that regardless of how complex the case is, lawyers will be able to handle it and that results will be evident without the need to wait long.

Find the Right Price

Like with other businesses, pricing in law firms is critical for its success. If the price is too low, the profitability can suffer, and clients might think of the service as inferior. When the price is too high, on the other hand, clients can look for others who are offering legal services at a more affordable price. There should be an effective pricing strategy, which can be determined by studying the market, including the competitive landscape.

Provide an Onboarding Program

To make clients feel the love, which will make them loyal, it is important to develop a formal onboarding program. This will avoid improvisation in the future. An onboarding strategy will help to manage expectations and will make it possible to point out any dissatisfaction early on at the point of the relationship.

Be Personal

Lawyers often have a bad rap because of their intimidating personality. With this, it is also important to be personal and approachable. Clients must be able to see the lawyer as a friend, although a line needs to be drawn. Also, being personal entails the need to know the individual needs of each client and the fact that there is no generic way of addressing their needs.

Be Available

Lawyers handle several cases at a time. Nonetheless, it does not mean that reaching a legal professional should be a challenge. For the clients to be loyal, it is important that lawyers pay attention to accessibility. Even outside of the office, the clients must be able to reach them when they have a legal predicament that they cannot solve on their own.

In sum, the things that have been mentioned above will be highly effective in building a loyal client base, which, in turn, will be a critical element for the profitability of the lawyer or law firm.

The Amazing Advantages of Using a Print Management Service

Almost all businesses have to print various documents. Whether these are ads, fliers, work documents, contracts, or anything in between, all of that printing and managing it can be a lot of work. Fortunately, that’s where managed print services come into play. These services can help you to gain easy control over your printers, faxes and  managed print, scanners, and more. When you go with a print management service, not only will you experience more control, but you’ll enjoy many other excellent benefits as well.

Manage Your Time and Resources More Efficiently

One of the very nice benefits of a print management service is that it often generates reports for you that cue you into your printing usage. For example, these reports often make you aware of how often each printer is used, how much you’ve spent on printouts, and how much you’re spending per printed document. You can even get clear information on which employees and/or computers are printing what and their total cost expenditure.

All of this information is incredibly useful if you actually use it to take action. If, for example, you find that one printer is not getting used much at all, you could eliminate that to reduce costs. Or, if you discover that a particular employee is spending too much time printing or printing out more materials than necessary, you could speak with that employee about altering that behavior. Being on top of printer usage and costs in this way can enable you to save major time and money, thereby benefiting your business in major ways.

Add Print Security to Your Printers

Just as you can see what’s being printed, how much it’s costing, and how much time is being spent printing, many print services also offer the option of letting you enable print security. With print security, you can require a password be entered to print or that a badge be swiped. Other security measures are possible as well, depending on your company’s preferences.

The nice thing about having print security is that not just anyone can come into your business and take unfair advantage of your printing services, which cost time and money. Furthermore, you’ll be able to know exactly who printed what and when. Not only does this feature help with managing costs, but it also helps with ensuring that employees are only printing when allowed and are only printing documents necessary for work, not personal documents.

Ensure You Have the Right Equipment

One final way in which print management services can assist you is with doing a thorough assessment of your current equipment, including printers, scanners, faxes, and more. These services are well-versed at analyzing equipment and printing costs versus what you print, your print volume, and other factors.

Using the information they gather, they can let you know if you have the best and most efficient equipment to meet your needs or not. If you don’t, then these services can help you to find the equipment that will best suit your needs. Whether that means upgrading, selling unneeded equipment, or anything in between, a good print service will be able to guide you in the right way.

In all of these ways, print management services can be incredibly helpful. This holds true no matter the size of your business or how many printers or other devices you have. Thus, no matter what your business, get professional printing help for great results.

An Overview of Consulting

Consulting is the business of providing expert advice to a particular group of people and/or businesses. A consultant is an individual professional who provides their assistance to a number of businesses and individuals. This varies in a number of different fields such as finance, management or marketing. Consultants are experts in a particular field and are often requested to help businesses solve a variety or problems. They are also asked to help provide guidance to businesses who are in need of direction on how to complete certain tasks. Therefore, consultants are some of the most highly valued professionals in business.

There are many different types of consultants. They each specialize in a particular field so they are able to provide lots of valuable expertise to their clients. The most common types of consultants include engineering consultants, information technology consultants, marketing consultants and strategy or management consultants.

Engineering Consultants

One of the types of consultants that is quite common is engineering consultants. These are professionals who provide advisory to either engineering firms or government entities. They usually help provide their input on how to improve designs, build certain items and also develop infrastructure. Engineering consultants are found in all of the different types of engineering disciplines including chemical, electrical, computer and civil engineering.

Financial Consultants

Another type of consultant is a financial consultant. This is a professional who specializes in providing financial advice and guidance to either individuals or businesses. When working with businesses, they evaluate the financial aspects of a company and then make recommendations on how to manage cashflow, save money, reduce costs and manage debt. Financial consultants who work with individuals help provide advice on how to plan for retirement, compile college savings and also make better investment decisions.

Information Technology Consultants

Information technology consultants are professionals who help technology departments with their daily operations. These individuals will usually help businesses improve their network security, acquire more updated technology equipment and also install new software. Those who specialize in installing software are usually experts in a particular type of software such as Microsoft Office 365. Professionals such as any microsoft office 365 consultants can help companies successfully install this software either in person or over the phone.

Marketing Consultants

All businesses need to market and promote themselves in order to get customers and clients. As a result, they will often rely on the help of marketing consultants. A marketing consultant specializes in helping companies devise marketing strategies, run campaigns and also figure out who to market to. They are usually involved in providing market research to help companies reach out to more customers as well as offer advice on how a company can improve their customer service and relationships with customers and clients as well.

Management Consultants

While there are many types of consultants, one of the most valuable is the strategy or management consultant. A management consultant works with high ranking executives and helps provide guidance on how to better run a company. They provide advice to senior management on how to improve employee relations, improve operations and also devise strategies to more efficiently complete tasks and reach goals.

With a variety of consultants around, businesses and individuals will have access to the help they need in order to reach their unique goals. Consultants usually specialize in a particular field and are therefore able to provide a high level of expertise. Over time, consultants have proven themselves to help many companies become better enterprises.

Plans in Motion to Rework Debt Collection for Student Loan Borrowers

According to recent reports, plans have been set in motion to change the way debt collection agencies interact with borrowers. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Education may sever ties with private debt collection agencies.

Why? There have been mounting issues for consumers when it comes to the options these agencies offer them. These changes would be good news for federal student loan borrowers in default. Consumer advocates explain that some delinquent borrowers have shared that the collection agencies have not been forthcoming about the options available to them.

Even worse, there are accusations that some of these third-party collection agencies – like Performant Recovery Inc. and Windham Professionals Inc. – have used predatory practices. The Department of Education’s move to drop private collection agencies is part of a larger initiative to revamp the federal student loan system and better protect the interests of consumers.

In November 2017, the Department of Education put out a press release announcing its vision to overhaul and modernize the federal student financial aid repayment system. As of now, the system is very confusing for consumers; they face multiple brands and vendors during the life cycle of the student aid experience. In fact, borrowers could be assigned to more than one student loan servicer.

Private debt collection firms have also been accused of using aggressive practices. Unfortunately, this has stained the reputation for all firms, making it difficult to secure the services they need to operate smoothly. (Many turn to alternative lenders for a high-risk collection agency merchant account.)

Until the changes to remove private debt collectors from the system are put in motion, there are a few things consumers should know:

  • Borrowers in default have rights. While the student loan borrower may still have to deal with private collectors, the collectors are subject to the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (They cannot threaten arrest or harm, no calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., etc.)
  • Federal government outreach is increasing to at-risk borrowers. A new policy would start significant engagement with at-risk borrowers as early as 90 days after they become delinquent.

The court documents explain that “[The Education Department] expects these enhanced outreach efforts to reduce the volume of borrowers that default, improve customer service to delinquent borrowers and lower overall delinquency levels.”

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high risk payment processing and collection agency merchant account company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about his business as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.