Archive for the 'General Interest' Category


Everyone’s doing their vital bit to #FlattenTheCurve… Local media company Ultimate Edge Communications has altered its logo in respect of      s o c i a l   d i s t a n c i n g       rules as per iconic brands VW and Audi have done.

Is Hiring a Pro Matchmaker Worth Your Time and Money?

There are services worth every penny, while others? Not so much. When it comes to matchmaking services, people have varying opinions about whether hiring someone to “professionally” match your profile with someone else’s is a good idea. You may not find this as a traditional way to meet your significant other, but some claim that they have already found their partners through such services.

Many have varying reasons they are not fond of hiring a dating service. For one, they don’t like the idea of paying just to find a date. That’s what free dating apps are for. Others don’t like the idea of not having control over who they will date. As for others, they hate to think that they will look so desperate and cannot find a date on their own. But there are tons of reasons hiring a professional matchmaker in NYC is worth it.

You can’t afford to lose more time

So you’re a successful professional who can’t be bothered to waste more time going on senseless dates. So why bother if you can have the pros find you the best possible match based on your personality and criteria? You can focus on improving yourself while you wait for them to match you up with a prospect. You get to optimize your time by only going on dates that line up with your expectations.

You get a personalized kind of service

Matchmakers know for a fact that each of their clients comes with different needs. They may have many current customers, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t offer individualized service to each of their clients. Your matchmaker will make sure to take their precious time getting to know you and what your ideal partner is like. This is why many customers can find the best dates and even end up meeting the love of their life, thanks to the expert and personalized services matchmakers have to offer.

You want to get out of the online dating game

The problem with online dating is that it can be deceiving enough to lure you into meeting someone who is completely the exact opposite of whom they portray themselves to be. This is the very reason people are getting tired of online dating. Photos can be deceiving and scam artists are everywhere online. It can be a bit time-consuming, and it is so easy to reject and judge someone just because of their profiles. When you’re sick and tired of online dating but still want to take the chance at finding your next partner, then you can try your luck with a professional matchmaking service.

You can enjoy safety and privacy

With matchmaking, you don’t need to worry about your information being leaked or shared with people who have no business with you. All the people your matchmaker will set you up with will undergo vigorous screening, so you don’t need to worry about your safety. Consequently, matchmaking companies screen their matchmakers as they won’t gamble their reputation by hiring people they can’t trust.

These are the best reasons professional matchmaking services make sense. Money is not wasted as you get that personalized service to help you reach your goal. Your safety and best interest are their priorities. So if you are a successful professional who is not willing to settle for anything less, you can consider a matchmaking service an excellent investment.

3 Real Estate Strategies to Quickly Sell a Property

Many realtors make the mistake of following the same tried and tested patterns each day, such as hosting an open house, adding properties to listings and putting a sign at the front of the property. Once they have done so, they will sit back and wait for an offer or two to roll in.

However, if you want to sell a property as soon as possible, you will need to develop a more proactive attitude. To ensure your success, read the following three real estate strategies to sell a property quickly.

1.   Target the Right Audience on Social Media

Many social media users are more than happy to share their milestones across various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For example, a user might announce:

  • A move to a big city
  • An engagement
  • Upcoming marriage
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth of their child

As a result, they are more likely to need a new property to accommodate this new phase of their life. For this reason, you should start advertising real estate on Facebook, targeting the many life events announced across your geographical area.

For instance, you could launch a paid advertisement for affordable apartments, targeting young professionals who have recently moved into the city.

2. Create a Floor Plan

An accurate floor plan can help a buyer to make an informed decision before viewing a property. Not only will it indicate how many rooms are featured across the home, but it will also allow them to gain a greater understanding of how they could move from room to room.

It can, therefore, be just as important as a high-quality photograph or a room description, yet many real estate agents fail to invest in the selling tool, which could help them to generate greater interest.

If you want to set your real estate business apart from your industry rivals and quickly sell properties throughout the year, visit Metropix ( to create a professional floor plan in a matter of minutes.

3.   Promote a Property Using Emotive, Persuasive Copy

If a property appears unattractive, worn or outdated, it is likely people will not queue up the block to make a seller an offer.

Selling a rundown property can be difficult, as photographs and a competitive price might not be enough to secure a buyer. For this reason, you must aim to promote the property using emotive, persuasive copy, which could spike a buyer’s interest, as they might want to unlock the building’s hidden potential.

For example, you could write “The large family home offers three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a rustic, light living room and a charming porch. While the property itself is less than a five-minute drive from the city’s finest restaurants, family-friendly attractions, and chic stores.”

If you want to ensure every property on your database quickly sells, hire an experienced copywriter to create attention-grabbing content, which will make buyers want to arrange a viewing and potentially make an offer.


Four Tips for Companies Aspiring to Expand their Reach

The ultimate objective of any ambitious company is to expand their reach indefinitely until they conquer the global market. These aspirations should guide and influence how you choose to scale and reinvest in your business. As your company grows beyond its regional or domestic market, you’re offered the opportunity to capitalise on growing sales and greater exposure by opening up your company to a more international audience. It’s this that the below article explores, helping you plan for a more expansive and ambitious future in the international marketplace.

A Matter of Timing

Choosing when, how and where you scale your business should be a decision taken with due diligence. If you happen to scale a little bit too early, you might find yourself overstretched to the point that you enter debt. On the other hand, if you scale too late, you’ll have missed an opportunity to gain more business and experience in the international marketplace. Make a balanced decision based on your financial capacity, and the capacity of your team to handle a heavier workload. Never take big risks when scaling – it’s always best to be a little conservative in your decision-making in this respect.

Market Internationally

When you do make the jump in scale, it’s time to make a concurrent jump in your marketing efforts. You want to land in the international market and hit the ground running, with exposure and visibility levels high from the start. Therefore, you should shift your marketing strategy to be more international. This can mean everything from advertising in different languages to outsourcing to marketing companies based on your new target markets. If you choose the outsourcing route – which usually guarantees an ROI – ensure you’ve budgeted for it in your planned expansion phase.

Change Commerce Platforms

If you’re feeling direct from your website, then you’re going to need a sales platform that can accommodate an international audience as you scale to conquer new and exciting markets. Find a company to help you expand to offer international ecommerce through software and solutions that’ll help sales fly through your site, whether conducted in Sydney or San Francisco. With a well-made and frictionless server, you’ll find that more customers click-through to the point of sale, allowing you to capitalise on your burgeoning new audience.

Offices Abroad

The final step in your successful expansion is to establish further offices in centres of commerce around the world. For instance, if you’re generating many sales in the East Asian region, then it’s advisable for you to have a small team working on customer service and objective deliveries in a well-linked Asian city like Hong Kong, Singapore or Shanghai. With offices abroad, you’ll be far better-placed to serve your regional customers and you’ll have a foot in the door when it comes to local marketing and partnership fostering. When the time comes, send a team to establish new offices abroad – the final stage in your world-conquering charge to market dominance.

These four tips should help those companies looking to expand internationally with their sales – whether that be through smart international marketing, or the use of a better-equipped sales platform to offer your products to an international audience.

Exceeding customer expectations to provide a better service

Meeting customer expectations is a difficult element of customer service, and one that will require work to get right. Part of the reason why this can be such a complex area is down to the fact that it is a multi-step process, and one that has to be factored in at every stage of the customer journey. The challenge of not just meeting, but exceeding, customer expectation is one where the majority of business believe that they are competent, only to find that their customers don’t agree. When 80% of companies are under the impression that they provide quality service, but only 8% of consumers agree that they get the best level of that same service, then you know that there are discrepancies between assumption and reality. If you want to commit to exceeding customer expectation, then consider these three essential starting points.

Building that customer connection

It used to be that in order to establish a long-lasting relationship with customers, all you had to do was be based near them geographically. Nowadays, the friendliest and most efficient customer service is going to be ineffective if you are not connected to your audience. There are many effective ways to strengthen your connection with your customers, but your priority should be on building relationships. You can do this very effectively by using content marketing strategies. The concept of content marketing has become the most important element of any modern marketing strategy, and if you can ensure that your content is going to be high value and demographically targeted, then your business is going to be better able to establish those all-important connections and build a loyal base of repeat customers.

Provide choices that they want

This isn’t about expanding your clothing line or increasing the number of products that you sell. It’s about letting customers interact with you and buy from you in the ways that they prefer. This could mean that you simply have to have that Facebook page, as your market research has indicated that your target demographic are most likely to be on that platform. Choice is most important when it comes to the buying process, and one of the major causes of shopping cart abandonment is down to a lack of payment options. Consumers want to be able to pay quickly, easily, and in the manner of their choosing, and if you can’t provide those methods then they will simply look elsewhere. Make sure that you are set up for cash, credit card, and maybe even cryptocurrency payments, no matter which shopping avenue your customer happens to be using. You can even connect your brick and mortar outlet to your website by clicking here and investing in a linked point of sale app that will update your stock inventory and streamline your ordering process.

Building the best team

It’s an established fact that your employees are your most valuable resource. Always commit to giving them the right training, and ensure that everyone in your business is fully aware of not only the products that you sell but the mission statement, branding, and values of the company as well. One additional area to consider is the removal of customer service scripts. Allowing your customer-facing employees to interact naturally will have surprising effects on your potential to exceed customer expectation, and your workforce will be happier as well.

In a highly competitive business landscape, the challenge is on to provide the products and services that consumers want, while ensuring that you go above and beyond their expectations. Aim for the WOW factor, and your business will show positive gains as a result.


All the bowling ladies – music video

This is hilarious. You go girls!

Click here to view all the bowling ladies video.


5 Places You Must Visit in Sydney at Night

Sydney is considered by many to be one of the top five cities to live and party and considering its amazing nightlife, it’s hard to argue with those claims. If you’re visiting Sydney and would like to have some fun at night, these are the top five things that you must consider trying.

The Sydney Opera House: Sydney’s Opera House is considered to be one of the most distinguished buildings of the 20th century and is generally featured in most Australian tourism ads. It is located on the harbour front and looks spectacular at night. It is considered to be one of the most famous performing art centres across the world and has multiple venues that have a list of performances.

STAR Casino: Not too far away from the Opera House is the famous Star Casino which offers both casual and professional gamblers a wide variety of table games and entertainment.  The casino offers hotel accommodation and a luxury spa for those looking to unwind and relax after a night at the gaming tables. There are also a number of VIP restaurants and bars that allow both locals and tourists to spend the night drinking and having fun. There are also many other online casinos in Australia, mainly online pokies.

Pub Crawl: Sydney has some of the best pubs in the world and the best way to get to see them is to sign up for the pub crawl. Those interested will have to visit the website and sign up for a package that suits their needs best. There are individual and group packages and its one of the best ways to meet friends and get an experience of Sydney’s best watering holes.

Clubbing: Those looking to spend the night dancing away will be spoiled for choice as there are a number of clubs that play a variety of music. Some of the most famous clubs include Home- known to be a ‘super club’ that usually plays disco, techno and funk music and Soho which is not too far away from Kings Cross and has a fantastic sound system and occasional attracts a celebrity or two.

Sleepover At The Zoo: If you have kids and prefer to do something adventurous and out of the ordinary, then you might consider taking them to the famous Taronga Zoo and opt to spend the night at the zoo. This special ‘roar and snore’ package has become one of the most popular attractions at the zoo as it creates an unforgettable family experience.





There is no finer race-day than the Melbourne Cup Carnival

We are only a matter of days away from the race which stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup.

If you have never been to the Melbourne Cup Carnival before, it is certainly something you should add to your bucket list. There is no better way to spend the public holiday in Melbourne than a day at the races at Flemington Racecourse.

The highlight race is the richest two-mile handicap in the world and attracts not only the best horses in Australia, but anywhere in the world. It was won last year by German-trained horse Protectionist.

Whether you are into  racing or not, the Melbourne Cup Carnival has something for everybody. A huge crowd flocks to the racecourse in Melbourne to have a fabulous afternoon. If you are lucky enough to be going this year, here is what to look out for at the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

Fashion is a huge part of Melbourne Cup day. There is a competition on the day known as Myer Fashions on the Field. Prizes are given to the smartest dressed women at the racecourse. In order to make it fair, the categories include clothing which cost $30 and under and $50 and over. It is a given that women will wear hats in the grandstand at the racecourse. However, you can attend in casual clothing, if you prefer the laidback look.

Have a punt
It is very easy to place a bet on the big race, or any of the lead-up races on Melbourne Cup day, even if you have never done it before. There are form guides to help you make your selection. If you are lucky enough to have a winner or two, you can extend the day by going to one of the many casinos near the racetrack in Victoria. If you need to get some practice at blackjack, roulette or any other casino-related games, you can do that too! Or why not chance your arm at Pokies’ online casino site before Melbourne Cup day.

Home & Away star Johnny Ruffo is playing at this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival and there is even the opportunity to meet and greet the former X Factor Australia finalist.

Family friendly
One of the unique appeals of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is that it is very kid-friendly. The racecourse does a fantastic job of making sure there is plenty to do for children during the day.

Nick JR’s Dora the Explorer is performing before racing this year, while there is a whole host of family entertainment including Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, inflatables, pony riding and mini golf.

5 Things Your Business Should Outsource to Professionals


Photo Under Creative Commons License: The Salford University Press

Business owners often feel like they have to do everything. Eventually, it will become harder to take on all the responsibilities as the business grows. You need to remember that in order for your business to thrive and develop, you’ll need help! You don’t have to do everything yourself – it’s perfectly alright to outsource certain tasks. There are a few areas in which you can do this.

1. Printing/Visual Material

Most businesses can use printed material to help sell a product or service, or to give to employees to help them accomplish their jobs. Be it newsletters, brochures, proposals, forms or training materials, it won’t hurt to hire professionals like those at The Print Group. With new-age tools, they can take your ideas and transform them into fantastic content on paper. Consider the costs an investment – it will really make a difference! click here to find out more.

2. Marketing

For your business to grow, you’ll need marketing skills. Yet not everyone is excellent at powerful writing or the art of selling. Consider outsourcing so your slate can be clear of marketing-related tasks. Capable professionals know how to utilise email, blogs and social media to their full potential in order to impress and appeal to new customers, and maintain current ones too.

3. Legal Work

You may have been very capable of setting up your own business but that would surely have taken a lot of energy and time – and you’ve simply run yourself ragged. The last thing you want to do is file your taxes and take care of other legalities, especially if this is not your area of expertise. It would likely take you much longer than it would a professional, plus you’d run the chance of making a mistake. Mistakes can turn your business upside down, so this is something you really want to pass on to professionals.

4. IT Needs

When your business was just starting out, you probably bought your own laptop from a major retailer. Now that you’re expanding your business, you’ll need specialised technology that requires know-how, as well as someone competent to take care of it all. It’s worth spending the money to hire an IT professional because most likely, you’re going to need a comprehensive system, plus backup.

5. Cleaning

Have you been in that situation where you have a potentially major client coming to the office, and it’s a mess? Yet no one has time to clean it? A client will notice how unkempt the space is, and feel like nobody made the effort to clean up before his arrival. What a bad first impression. You’ll avoid these sticky situations if you hire cleaning services to spruce the place up, leaving you and your employees’ time free to do what you do best!

There are just some things you don’t have to burden yourself with. Think of the costs of outsourcing as a necessity, not a nuisance, for your business to thrive. In order for you and your team to be more productive and focus on your areas of expertise, you can really benefit from leaving certain tasks to people who specialise.

5 Tips To Support Personal Success

Personal Success

Creative Commons Image by Melody Campbell

We all have aspirations, dreams and goals, but it can be a challenge arriving at that point where we can truly feel like we’ve succeeded. It is those who have strong motivation that will be more likely to succeed than those who don’t have as much passion, determination and desire to see their dreams through. There are certain things one can do to support personal success – here are five of them.

1. Have A Mentor/Advisor

No matter how confident you are, you can benefit from some sort of ‘coach’ or advisor. Someone who knows what you’re going through, or has an in-depth understanding of the area in which you’re trying to succeed, a person who will assist you in planning and troubleshoot any problems that might pop up. It may be a smart idea to seek guidance from experts like those at Predictable Success, who offer tailored programs focusing on areas such as performance leadership – click here to learn more about this.

2. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Achieving your goals can largely depend on the type of people you have around you. There are two types – those who are positive and will encourage and support you, and those who either don’t want to hear of your success or simply don’t care. Those with a positive attitude will help you stay motivated in your quest for success. Stay clear of the toxic kinds that would rather see you fall – you cannot let them bring you down!

3. Focus, Focus, Focus

Did they say you’ve got stars in your eyes? Well, these stars will be what drives you! They may be dreams, but the dreams will help you stay focused. Sometimes, when we hear negative comments, we begin to doubt ourselves. But persisting in the pursuit of your goals demonstrates your strength in character – people will sit up and notice. If you show your belief in yourself and your goals, it will convince others to believe in you too.

4. Work Hard

A little hard work never killed anyone. Be prepared to go the whole nine yards. Work hard, work smart. Some say you have to work like you don’t need the money. There may be some truth in this – many people make a decent living and yet hate what they do to make that living. If you truly love your work, it won’t feel like work at all. If you find yourself absolutely dreading the steps you have to take to achieve your goals, then you may be going in the wrong direction.

5. Have Scruples

In your pursuit of personal success, you may have certain unethical carrots dangled in front of you. No matter how tempting it may be to snatch up these carrots, a person with a healthy moral standing will go further in life than a person who’s willing to cheat, lie or steal his/her way to the top. If you take shortcuts, it may lead to missed opportunities to learn and broaden your horizons.

Set yourself apart from the rest – show your confidence, your motivation, and your willingness to do what’s right in order to get to the top. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in; these tips apply to just about anything. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer, and people around you will believe and invest in you too.

The Downsides of a DIY Will Kit

The Downside of a DIY Will Kit

Photo Under Creative Commons License – Tim Pierce

Promising you the chance to save hundreds of dollars on legal fees and simplify your life, a DIY will kit can seem like the perfect option.

It also places the control in your hands, and allows you to swiftly put something legal in place, in the event of your untimely death. With all these benefits, however, come pitfalls, several of which will be explained below.

Choosing an Inappropriate Executor

Oftentimes, the problem isn’t the will kit itself. It’s the fact that someone without legal experience is the one in the driving seat. A common mistake made is choosing the wrong person to be your executor. Do not select someone such as a spouse, child or even a friend, where a conflict of interest can arise.

A non-biased individual who does not stand to gain anything upon your passing will be able to objectively follow your instructions. If you do pick an inappropriate executor, there can be disputes and squabbles over the will; legal firms such as The Will Dispute Lawyers may then be required to intervene on a particular party’s request. Remember: you won’t be around to ensure your true wishes are followed.

DIY Will Kits Can Be Confusing

One of the major drawbacks of a DIY will kit is that they can be confusing for someone not familiar with legalese or legal concepts. This is dangerous, since you could misinterpret something, with dire effects. Similarly, you could overlook something, such as part of your assets, and not bequeath them to a loved one even though you intended to.

They Cannot Provide Professional Advice

When you feel unsure, a will kit cannot answer your questions, explain a complicated concept or provide advice, based on your wants and needs. This is where a trained legal professional with years of experience in similar matters comes in handy and this is where your money is well spent.

Circumstances May Be Complicated

Life is rarely simple and so it follows that it would be difficult to wrap everything up neatly when it comes to making a will. In fact, you may unknowingly pass on debts or mistakenly allocate assets you don’t have. For example, a couple may decide to leave one property each to their two children. However, if one property has a mortgage, this needs be taken into consideration; otherwise, the debt may be passed on and the inheritance won’t be equal.

At the end of the day, while there are many benefits of opting for a DIY will kit, if you want to have peace of mind, there is absolutely no substitute for a will that has been crafted by a trained legal professional who has taken your wishes into consideration.

Right of Way: Do You Really Know How it Works?

Photo Under Creative Commons License Brad K.

Photo Under Creative Commons License Brad K.

One of the most common causes of accidents on the roads involves errors and confusion regarding who has right of way. Despite right of way rules being tested before gaining a drivers license, collisions between licensed motorists regularly occur when two cars unwittingly intersect on the same course of travel. This makes it important for motorists to understand their responsibilities in the numerous situations where right of way rules apply. These are explained in a quick refresher course below.

When do I have to give right of way?

As a general rule, to avoid a collision you should give way to all drivers on your right when turning onto a shared road. Most of these instances are marked with road signs indicating that you need to give right of way to let other drivers pass before you proceed. Examples of these situations include:

  • At a give way or stop sign
  • If there are marked give way or stop lines on the road
  • When parked and turning or merging back onto the roadway
  • When turning across the path of oncoming traffic
  • At unsigned intersections where traffic is already travelling through the intersection
  • At T-intersections when you are turning across the path of an oncoming traffic
  • When turning left on a green light and pedestrians crossing the road.

4 Different Places Right of Way Rules Apply

1. Roundabouts

On a roundabout, vehicles must give way to any other cars already in the round about, giving way to their right. Whoever is already in the roundabout has right of way to pass before those wanting to enter the roundabout.

2. Four Way Intersections

At four-way intersections where there are two stop or give way signs where two different roads meet, drivers must give way to traffic already on the roadway. After giving way to traffic already travelling on the road, they then must give way to each other. If one car is turning across the path of another, i.e. turning right, they must give way to that vehicle.

If there is a car approaching the opposite intersection at the same time, those wanting to travel straight ahead or turn left get precedence to the motorist turning right.

3. T-Intersections

Drivers on a road that ends at a T intersection must give way to their left and right – i.e. let all vehicles pass and wait for the road to be clear, before turning into the new road.

4. Unmarked (Unsigned) Intersections

At an intersection where two road cross each other, drivers must give way to their right. Similar to a four-way intersection, when a motorist wishes to turn right at an unmarked crossroads, any vehicle travelling in an oncoming direction has right of way.

It’s important to remember that the concept of having the ‘right of way’ is one which is not granted under the law. There is however an expectation that people yield to others in accordance with the rules of the road, including indicating and slowing down, especially at intersections. Police often fine drivers who they observe making dangerous manoeuvres at intersections. If you believe you have been unfairly fined or penalised, a legal service such as GC Traffic Lawyers may be able to help fight the charges against you.

Failing to give right of way at intersections is one of the most common causes of road collision. This makes it important motorists approach all intersections with caution and take the time to consider who has right of way before proceeding.

4 Tips For Contacting Customers By SMS

Photo: Sascha Kohlmann Under Creative Commons License

Sascha Kohlmann Under Creative Commons License

With a high engagement rate, low cost and the ability to contact your customers anywhere and anytime, SMS messaging between businesses and consumers has grown exponentially in recent years. But with only 160 characters to use to get your message across, it’s important to make sure you are doing it right.

1. Make Sure You Have Their Permission to Message them Via SMS

Opt in matters, especially when it comes to something as personal as contacting somebody on their mobile. Buying lists is a bad idea and usually ineffective for email marketing, let alone mobile. Best practice is to give consumers a choice to either receive mobile or email messages or both from you when you capture their details and never assume that just because they have given you their number as part of completing a transaction that they have also given permission to add it to your messaging database.

2. Use A Good Mobile Client

Whether you’re looking to increase your market share, remind someone of their upcoming appointment or use mobile as an interactive, two way platform to have conversations with your customers, you need the right tools and applications for it to really work for you. Look at signing up to a dedicated SMS client like SMSGlobal so you can access affordable, easy-to-use and professional applications to make your text communications a success.

3. Make It Time Sensitive

Text messages are delivered instantly, so why not use that to your advantage, particularly for your marketing? Don’t just send out an SMS saying that you have a sale on at the moment – make sure you include a real call to action like “Come In to Store For 25% off all stock for two days only”. Unless you’re sending to a really segmented section of your database, about two days lead time is a good way to measure the campaign while still giving your customers enough time to consider and act on the offer before it expires.

4. Stay Professional And On Brand

You may only have 160 characters to work with, but remember you are representing your business. Even though it may seem like a more casual medium, your customers are still identifying with you when they read your text messages. Spell all words out properly and avoid ‘text’ abbreviations like’gr8′. Fact and spell checking is still just as important in text as it is in any other written business correspondence.

When done well, SMS messaging can be a powerful and effective way to communicate and connect with your clients and customers to enhance your brand and build loyalty with them. Just make sure you have permission to contact them via mobile and you are sending strategic, well worded texts with a clear call to action.


5 Ways to Stay in Shape This Winter

Photo: 'Flying Cloud' Under Creative Commons License

Photo: ‘Flying Cloud’ Under Creative Commons License

The mornings are cold and dark, the nights are cold and dark – and if you’re not tucked away inside an office, you’re probably lamenting how cold and dark the daytime is as well. It’s easy to lose track of your health and fitness goals at this time of year, so here are five ways to stay in shape this winter!

Stretch out

Yoga is a great form of exercise designed to stretch the body and clear the mind – add heat to the mix for the ideal winter warmer that will keep you in shape all year-round!

As the name suggests, hot yoga is a style of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions. It’s tough going, but definitely worth the effort! All you need is a specially designed mat, which can be purchased from a specialist sporting retailer such as HART Sport. A word of advice: we recommend seeking the advice of a doctor or physician before proceeding with any changes to your regular routine, particularly when increased temperatures are involved.

Grab a Buddy and Get Moving

It’s much easier to stay motivated when you’ve got a ‘workout buddy.’ Choosing the right partner can be a challenge in itself – pick someone on the lazy side and you might inherit some of their bad habits; work out with someone whose fitness levels far exceed your own and YOU might be the one dragging THEM down. The way to go is to select someone with similar fitness and lifestyle goals and get exercising!

Hire some Help

If your friends aren’t the exercising type, then employing the services of a fully qualified Personal Trainer could be just what you need to stay in shape this winter. Do your research and don’t be afraid to trial a few PTs before you select one that suits you best. A decent personal trainer won’t come cheap, but it’s an investment that’s guaranteed to reap rewards.

Join a Sporting Team

Aussie Rules, football, rugby league, indoor soccer, netball, hockey – the list goes on and one … Australia is a nation that is madly in love with sport, so you won’t have to look too far to find a team that’s in need of a player or two. Regardless of your age, skill level and experience, winter sporting competitions provide a level of physical routine that will keep you fighting fit over the colder months.

Tackle the elements

Sometimes, the best way to deal with the winter blues is to tackle the elements head-on. We’re not suggesting you run head-first into a snowstorm or run along a dirt track in your speedos, but recreational activities such as mountain climbing, hiking, kayaking and bike riding are often more enjoyable in the winter months. Be bold, be imaginative and be daring – it’s a beautiful world out there, no matter what the season!

Winter might be cold and dreary, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in shape. Follow the list above and you’ll never experience an “off” season ever again!

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Smart Phones

Photo: Gonzalo Baeza Under Creative Commons License

Photo: Gonzalo Baeza Under Creative Commons License

The technological age is now firmly upon us, and with that comes new ways of doing business, as well as many new industries that have been formed through the use of new technology.

Businesses are coming up with new and innovative ways to incorporate various forms of technology into the day-to-day workings of the company. Available through many retailers, such as Com2, smart phones are just one of the many innovations that have been utilised by business owners all over the world.

Here are five reasons why your business needs smart phones.

1. Social Media

There is no escaping social media in the digital age. It is ever-present, and if your business has not established a presence yet, it might be an idea to start. Social media is a fantastic way to interact with current consumers, and attract new ones.

A smart phone is the easiest (and in some cases only) way to utilise social media to its full potential. With a smart phone an employee can be constantly on the pulse of what is happening and is able to respond in an appropriate manner. It gives your business a valuable interface to open direct dialogue with loyal and potential customers, making a phone a useful tool for both B2B and B2C businesses.

2. Mobile Support

With so many people having smart phones these days, having a mobile-supported website is key. This will enable even more people to look at your products and services whilst on the go. Having a website that can be read on a smart phone is a huge benefit to any company, as well as being important for website optimisation!

3. Communication

The primary use for a smart phone is of course communication. Being able to pull out a phone to coordinate with a colleague on the go or while out of the office is a huge benefit. A smart phone enables you and your employees or workmates to be in contact at all times.

4. Organisation

Smart phones have a multitude of accompanying abilities that can make organising and planning a lot easier. From an inbuilt calendar and notepad, to downloadable apps that can assist you in your work, a smart phone is an absolute essential for anyone who loves working on the go.

5. App Integration

Many businesses are creating downloadable apps to go alongside their other services in order to allow their customers to make orders or keep updated on transactions while out and about. Apps are a great way in order to keep consumers interacting with your company no matter where they are. Smart phones are often necessary to monitor app activity as well as for early stage testing of it.

In this digital day and age, your business needs to be equipped with the latest technology possible. Smart phones are a ubiquitous piece of technology and it is necessary that businesses have them. Social media is now a huge part of an organisation’s customer service and needs to be constantly monitored. Having a mobile-enabled website is another necessity. Using the smart phone for communication and organisation are other benefits, as well as using it for app integration. Why do you think a business needs smart phones?

Leave your reasons down in the comments below!

Australia’s Top 3 Selling Cars This Year

There has never been a better time to purchase a new car, and with car sales above the 1.1 million mark in 2014 for only the third time ever, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ 2014 report, now is the perfect time to start searching for that perfect new car. Websites such as provide a great range of cars available for sale in whichever region you are located. Many cars are brought out into the market every year, but often it’s the tried and true models that prove to be the biggest sellers.

Overall, Toyota has remained the biggest seller so far, with 16,243 sales as of February. Mazda (9057) and Hyundai (8003) filled out the top 3. The highest selling individual models have followed the trends set in 2014 and 2013, with mid-sized cars proving the most popular. This is probably due to the versatility they offer, along with great fuel efficiency and the ability to seat 5 people relatively comfortably. The following are the top 3 selling cars of this year so far.

1. Toyota Corolla

The mid-sized sedan is the quintessential car, suitable for everyone from singles to small families. As of February it was the leader with 3939 sold. This is coming off the back of a strong 2014 and 2013 where it was the market leader for both those years. The Corolla has a lot going for it. It has good safety features and extras, a solid safety rating and is a well-priced car. It also has a reputation for reliability, and it is fairly easy and cheap to obtain replacement parts throughout its lifetime.

2. Mazda 3

Photo: Abdullah AlBargan Under Creative Commons License

Photo: Abdullah AlBargan Under Creative Commons License

The main competitor of the Toyota Corolla is the Mazda 3. Positioned in the same market, the Mazda 3 only slightly underperforms the Corolla with 3598 sold as of February. The Mazda 3 was the second best selling car in 2014 as well; perhaps this is the year where the Mazda 3 overtakes the Corolla?

3. Toyota HiLux

Coming in third is the Toyota HiLux, showing that the Ute segment is still performing strongly in the market. The 4 door ute sold 2861 units as of February – slighty less than the two smaller cars, but still a solid performer.

These results show that people are still going for the mid-sized car that has high safety features and good fuel consumption. They want an all-rounder that is going to be able to perform most tasks effectively, as well as looking the part.

The HiLux is the car of choice for those who want to purchase a ute or a larger vehicle and have the need to do so, like tradesmen. Overall the car market is performing incredibly well at the moment, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Do you own a Corolla, Mazda 3, or HiLux? Let us know why you purchased it in the comments below. What vehicles do you think should be among the top selling cars?

Four Ways Your Company Can Be More Sustainable

Photo: Alyssa Smith Under Creative Commons License

Photo: Alyssa Smith Under Creative Commons License

Do you ever fell like your business isn’t doing what it could (or should) be doing to help maintain the environment? It’s pretty easy to forget about the rainforests while your printer is ploughing through reams of paper in the office. Becoming sustainable might seem hard when you are just starting to consider it, but in the long run, it becomes just the same as doing anything else in your company. Here are four ways to start becoming more sustainable.

Get an Environment Audit

You can’t know what to change until you know what is wrong. That’s why getting an environment audit is at the top of the list. Using a professional company, like Air Noise Environment, is the best way to find out what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong and what you can do better. The audit can help you identify potential problems early, allowing you to find solutions before any serious issues arise. Some of the things they will look into are chemical and fuel storage, waste regulations and stormwater discharge.


Most companies have a recycling plan in place, but if you don’t then it is time to get one. Recycling doesn’t just mean throwing your waste away properly, it also means using recycled products. In an office situation, paper is becoming less and less needed as technology further develops. You don’t need to print off a memo when you can email it twice as fast and faxes are becoming far more infrequent. But for when you do need paper, use recycled paper. It’s no different from normal paper and it is produced with less than half the energy. Make sure your office recycling plan is on top.

Use Green Appliances

When you spend more, you get more. It might not seem financially viable to spend more money on light bulbs or printers or anything else in the office, but in the long run, putting in the money and buying something good might just mean you don’t have to go out and repeat the entire process next year. LED lights, though they are more expensive, last far longer and use a much smaller amount of energy than standard light globes. Look at the ratings on appliances before you purchase. The lower the kilowatt rating the better. Remember that less energy used means cheap electricity bills too.

Track Your Progress

Pushing though a whole heap of new energy efficient, environment saving strategies is fantastic. But only if it lasts. Saving the environment for a day doesn’t keep it safe for the rest of the year. Keep a watch on the new strategies that have been put in place, and remind people when they fail to fulfil them. Check to ensure items are being recycled, and that they are recycled correctly. At the end of the working day, make sure all appliances are powered down and lights are turned off.

Thinking of ways to make your company more sustainable is easy. Keeping it that way is the truly hard part. How have you kept your company sustainable?

10 Things To Consider Before Purchasing a House

Photo: Under creative commons license: Flickr

Photo: Under creative commons license: Flickr

Purchasing a home is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. To help you get started, below is a list of things to consider before taking the plunge.

1. What Can You Afford?

Before you even start to consider purchasing a house, you have to make sure it’s something you can afford to do. Have your finances assessed by an accountant or financial consultant to find out what your price range will be.

2. Home Loans

Every bank or financial institution has different loans to suit different needs and incomes. Many banks, such as Heritage Bank, also provide prospective customers with convenient and practical home loan calculators. These calculators will take into account factors such as the loan amount, loan term, loan type, frequency of repayment, stamp duty, and insurance, giving you a clear indication of what your repayments will look like. Click here to discover more.

3. The Return

It is not a smart move to dive in without considering what the real estate market is like. This is only the first part of it though, as you also need to consider what the return on investment will be like 10, 20, or 30 years down the track.

4. Work with Professionals

As much as your parents’ advice is worth considering, the best advice you will receive is from someone who deals with house purchases every day. This includes an established real estate agency, and a financial consultant or accountant.

5. The Reason for Purchasing

Why are you buying this house in the first place? Knowing the answer to this question will help in narrowing down your search in regards to location, size and price. Consider whether you actually want to live in this house or if you simply want to buy the house as an investment.

6. What Your Needs Are

This refers to what your needs are now, as well as what your needs will be in the future. You need to consider space if you plan on having a family, as well as what the location is like. Is it safe? Is it close to schools?

7. The Neighbourhood

The neighbourhood is a vital component to consider before purchasing a house. It is worth researching neighbourhood information online for any future council developments or issues with the location.

8. Negotiating

If you’re like most people, the thought of negotiating on the costs of something as substantial as a house can be quite intimidating. You should feel in control of this decision at all times. Agents may negotiate for you, but they probably aren’t going to push as hard for it as you will.

9. Find Problems Early

Just because a house looks good on the surface doesn’t mean this is the case all the way to its foundations. Take the time to assess any possible issues the house may have, including mould, termite damage and water pressure. Everything counts when it comes to the final dollar amount exchanged.

10. Test It

Everyone has their own needs when it comes to what they expect from a home, and it’s important to tick these boxes. Visit the home at different times to understand what its surroundings are like; test the commute to work; and see what community activities or amenities are close by.

Research is of course the most important thing to do before purchasing a home, and doing this extensively in regards to the tips above will put you on the right track.

4 Things You Must Have For A Day On The Water

Photo Jet Ski Bribie Island - Creative Commons JAM Project

Photo Jet Ski Bribie Island – Creative Commons JAM Project

Everyone loves a day out on the water! The sun, the surf, food, drinks and friends… It all combines to create some fantastic memories. The water is so ingrained in many cultures that it’s quite common for people to spend days on the water – or even live on it (e.g. in a houseboat). If you’re new to the scene or just need a refresher, here’s a checklist of the things you’ll want to have on hand next time you hit the beach, ocean or lake.

1. Entertainment

What’s the point of going on the water if you can’t enjoy it? There are plenty of ways to have fun. Paragliding, jet skiing, surfing, and fishing all provide great thrills. If skimming through the water on a motored vehicle sounds like a dream come true, for example, be sure to pick up a top-notch jet ski from a store such as JSW Powersports before you head out. There’s a myriad of ways to have fun while out on the water; do your research and see which activities you’d like to pursue for your next voyage.

2. Water

This is probably the most important necessity that you’ll need to bring with you when going out on the water. While it may be all around you, ensure you bring enough of the drinking variety with you to prevent dehydration. When out on the water, the sun is beating down on you and water is lost more rapidly through sweating and other general physical activity. Drinking alcohol on board can also exacerbate dehydration, so stock up on plenty of extra water if you’re planning to have a few beers or champagnes.

3. Sun Screen

Another necessity in the hot sun, sunscreen is an absolute must-have. Not only will it prevent you getting burnt, but it can also prevent health problems like skin cancer. There are many different varieties out there on the market, for all types of skin and in many different strengths. Make sure you get the correct one for your skin type and at the strongest SPF rating possible. Overexposure to sun can result in many health issues, so combine your layer of sun screen with protective clothing and seek shade whenever possible.

4. Emergency Materials

It’s an unfortunate reality, but sometimes not all goes well once out on the water. Bad weather, rowdy passengers, marauding wildlife and sporting accidents can all occur without warning. It’s therefore imperative that emergency materials are stored on board at all times. This can include emergency flares, a radio, torches and other lights, life jackets and perhaps an inflatable raft. All of these items are relatively compact and can be stored in various places on board. If you haven’t been on that specific vessel before, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the location of these items before departing.

Spending a day on the water can be a lot of fun! Before you depart, make sure you have compiled a checklist of all the items you will need when you are on board. Entertainment items, emergency provisions, water and sunscreen are four things you must have on that list.

The Top 5 Fishing Locations in Australia

Photo: Fraser Mummery Creative Commons License

Photo: Fraser Mummery Creative Commons License

Australia’s gorgeous coastline has made fishing one of the most popular activities in the country. There are so many fishing locations throughout Australia offering freshwater or saltwater fishing. Pack your fishing gear and head out to explore the best locations to reel in a giant catch.

1. Port Lincoln, South Australia

Whether you choose to jump on a charter boat or fish from one of the jetties, Port Lincoln is a haven for fishing action. Giant yellowtail kingfish, blue gropers, snappers and tuna are all found in these waters. Before you venture out to enjoy some fantastic fishing, stock up on the highest-quality tackle and equipment if you are hoping to reel in these bad boys. A store like MOTackle can assist you in matching the right equipment with the type of fishing you are planning to do; click here to see the range of saltwater and freshwater tackle available.

2. Weipa, North Queensland

Marlin, giant trevally, mangrove jack and barramundi are just some of the fish you can be lucky enough to catch on a fishing trip to Weipa. At some 2,400km from Brisbane, a trip to Weipa is not usually done on a whim. But planning a fishing trip to the northern-most regions of Queensland is worth it to experience inshore coasts, offshore reefs and five river systems. July and August are popular times to visit, perfectly timed to get away from the cold conditions of the southern states.

3. Exmouth, Western Australia

Located in the northern region of Western Australia, Exmouth is home to hundreds of fish species. This beautiful area is perfect for both land and sea fishing, with charter companies running daily trips out to sea. Many anglers choose to take their own boat and see some of the stunning coastline while they enjoy the local fishing scene. Exmouth has a range of accommodation options, including hotels and caravan parks, for those planning on staying a while.

4. Port Phillip Bay, Victoria

A tidal lagoon stretching more than 2,000m2 and no more than 30 metres deep, Port Phillip Bay is home to a range of fish species. It is renowned as the best snapper fishing spot in Australia, thanks to the annual migration known as Crimson Tide. The best area for game fishers to focus on is ‘The Rip’ at the entrance of the bay. Port Phillip Bay is perfect for weekend fishing trips, but pack warmly for early morning ventures.

5. South West Rocks, New South Wales

Most visitors to South West Rocks regard the town as ‘quaint’. Fishermen regard it as a hidden gem in a sleepy village. This beautiful coastal town is located on the mouth of the Macleay River in the northern region of New South Wales and offers both deep-sea and river fishing. Fishing charters run regularly and accommodation is affordable, so you can even bring the family. Looking for game fish? Mahi mahi, striped marlin and blue marlin can all be found in the area.

Get ready to hit the water and experience some of the best fishing Australia has to offer. There are so many fantastic places to visit if you are a keen fisherman. What are some of your favourite spots?