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4 New Ways to Combat Cancer

Posted By: on January 26, 2015
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According to Dr. Alok Vinod Kulkarni, cancer is the one disease that overshadows all other maladies. Its forms and progression are debilitating to an enormous degree and, in some cases, impossible to remove. However, doctors and researchers around the globe are continuously working on ways to improve medicine and finding solutions for those dealing with the disease. For those worried or have questions about cancer, going online and searching for cancer educational resources is a beginning step.

Cancer Immunotherapy

Treatment of cancer through immunotherapy harnesses an individual’s own immune system to battle cancer and doctors use many varieties in helping treat cancer patients. The immunotherapy looks to create additional T-cells, the white blood cells responsible for fighting infection, that are specifically targeted toward cancer which can create a lifelong immunity, according to a post by Shawn Lee on CityofHope.org. One of the greatest benefits is the avoidance of using the highly toxic therapies currently available in chemotherapy. Tests have showed favorable early results, with patient immune systems successfully producing anti-cancer T-cells. Advances have been made in areas including the fight against brain, blood and breast cancers.

Programmed Cell Death

Researchers are also working on hard on a way to implode cancer cells, something called programmed cell death, which plays of already existing bodily mechanism. Every cell in the human body has a genetic code for when it will break itself down, being then absorbed, recycled, and reused by the body in other places. In an article on Healthline, Rachel Barclay explains that a new drug developed in Australia, TR100, seems to trigger the mechanism in cancer cells, causing them to self destruct by blocking two tropomyosins that cancer uses. So far the drug has been tested and killed to different types of cancerous cells while leaving non-cancer cells healthy and untouched. The research is ongoing and while there are some concerns about the effect TR100 could have on developing stem cells, but with human trials starting this year, it’s a treatment that shows promise.

Targeted Cancer Therapies

Treatment for cancer is not a “one size fits all” approach. Since cancer is not simply one disease, but a multitude of different ones based on individual genetics and biology, treatment must be approached from and equal diverse standpoint. There are many researchers and doctors taking a hard look at current techniques and making improvements. In creating targeted therapies, doctors hope to hit specific genes and use already existing drugs to make cancer treatments more efficient and improve the quality of life for ongoing cancer patients. Karen Reckamp, for instance, has lead the field in discovering new ways targeted therapies can be used to counteract the adenocarcinoma seen in cells affected by lung cancer.

Treatment Delivery Service

Getting treatment for cancer used to involve patients having to travel to a specific location. For those dealing with a destructive disease like cancer, however, this may not be as simple as it sounds. That’s why many experts in the medical field are hard at work taking treatment options to their patients. The advances in care practices have allowed doctors to have mobile workstations that can bring the latest and most advanced cancer protocols to individuals who are unable to travel. Making treatment more accessible by forming partnerships between larger and more well-financed institutions is also helping in this sector.

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4 Worst Things to Eat in a Car

Posted By: on January 26, 2015
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carfood

First thing’s first: Eating at the wheel is distracted driving and might get you pulled over. It can be just as dangerous as texting at the wheel, drinking behind the wheel, and you’re guaranteed not to best enjoy your food anyway. It’s pretty tough to resist, especially coffee stands and fast food galore, but there are still some worse offenders than others. Just ask any parent, and you’ll have endless horror stories of cars turned dumpsters.

Plus, everyone thinks they have special skills when it comes to eating in the car. This is one arena where people really overestimate their driving skills and need a reality check. Driving a car requires all your attention and senses. However, if you really must, at the very least avoid these messy foods:

  1. Anything requiring utensils

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using utensils at the moment, but you probably would be if you were at home. If a food is messy enough that you can’t eat it with your hands (or hand), wait. Police have seen it all from people getting drunk on vanilla extract according to a New York news source, nachos behind the wheel, and even five-course meals. If you can’t make it home, at least pull over.

  1. Ice cream

“Bonus” points if the ice cream is in a cup and needs a spoon. It’s sticky, it melts quickly, and this is a food you kind of have to look at to see where there may be any drips forming. Unfortunately, there’s also a smorgasbord of great ice cream shops complete with drive throughs that are more than happy to give you a cone to go. Resist the urge or go inside for a treat.

  1. Powdered sugar doughnuts

Actually, anything with powdered sugar is going to be a bad idea. It’s messy, sticky, gets everywhere and you’ll be inclined to clean as you eat. This all leads to disaster. If you really need your fried bread treat on the go, choose doughnut holes with Michigan Live giving you a teaser of the best in that region. As an added bonus, you can help keep your calories in check with smaller portions.

  1. Super hot beverages

If you spill going at 65 mph, there’s no way you’re not going to get burned (literally and perhaps with a ticket). It’s perfectly fine to get a coffee to go, but wait until it cools first.

Distracted driving is serious business, and food can be your worst accessory.

 

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TopCultured Legends

A Nascar and Indycar Comparison

Posted By: on September 5, 2012

Do you know if it is a Nascar or Indycar that doesn’t have a roof? Do you know which one has a turbocharged engine? Nascar and Indycar racing are cool to watch, but do you Read On »

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Employee Training

Posted By: on May 30, 2014

When we join a new company, most of us expect to go through a training process in which we learn the ropes and become acquainted with an organization’s internal structure, culture, and systems. We’ll also Read On »

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Brand Reputation on LinkedIn

Posted By: on October 31, 2013

One of the premier social networks for B2B opportunities and forming valuable contacts is LinkedIn. With more than 150 million users, this site is the go-to resource if you’re a professional looking to expand your Read On »

5 Things You Need to Start a Small Business

Posted By: on January 25, 2015
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Owning a business someday is the quintessential American dream for many people.  Making one’s own schedule, being on no one else’s clock, and being the boss are some of the great perks that everyone fantasizes about. However, before making the plunge into the business world, it’s important to be prepared for the time consuming and costly aspects of opening a successful business.

Time

Whatever being the boss and following self-set hours means at a later date, starting a business will require more time and energy than was ever spent at a regular day job. Many who set out to start a company find themselves working some 60-80 hours a week during the first two years, according to the Young Entrepreneur Council, a contributor to Forbes. This is a huge time commitment and it leaves little time for other things like keeping a day job, having a personal life, or leisure. It’s a step that many are completely unprepared for and in the process of learning to prioritize they end up alienating customers and vendors.

Research

Before jumping into any project, especially starting a business, completing thorough research is essential. A business idea doesn’t need to be unique; it just needs enough demand to move the product off the shelves. Beyond that, however, there are many factors that need to be considered like if the business requires any specific types of licenses, insurance, or permits. Establishing whether or not a physical retail location will be necessary, if the product will be sold in a store, or if it will be web based are all areas to be thought out. This type of research will also help form a better picture of exactly how much the business venture will take to get off the ground until it starts sustaining itself and making a profit.

Know the Product, Service and Customer

Knowing the product or service and the target customer is probably the most important part of any of the research undertaken. Having a complete understanding of how the product is going to be marketed to clients or how these potential customers will discover it is the only way that a business can survive. Great products do not determine success; it is rather the ability to get consumers to recognize it as such. This will likely be a slow, uphill climb and it’s important to be patient while brand recognition is building.

A Business Plan

Building a business plan should be based on the research conducted and critical questions about how to develop and craft a business, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. It may seem like a tedious task, but a business plan is essential for anyone looking to attract any kind of outside financial backing from investors or banks. A business plan is also the roadmap for whatever venture is being undertaken and will help guide the business as it grows and see what kind of interest there is in it.

Good Money Management

Getting the funding to start a business is only relevant if it is managed properly. This means investing in quality supplies and finding alternatives that can save money. It requires looking at exactly what a business needs to run at its most efficient, like time and money saving apps or IT solutions. Handling finances is a huge part of a small business and having the ability to do things like print secure business checks and incorporating services that provide this fast, simple, and secure type of accounting, according to industry innovators like Cheap Computer Checks. There are many such services that businesses can embrace.

 

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5 Reasons to Stop Renting Today

Posted By: on January 24, 2015
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For those who are on the fence or who are weighing the pros and cons of renting versus buying, the benefits of renting a home are many. Whether buying for the first time or returning to home ownership after renting for a period of time, owning a home provides great freedom and flexibility. The five examples below are just a few of the many reasons to consider buying now as opposed to renting for another year.

Freedom to Personalize

As a renter, there are likely multiple restrictions as to how the rental unit can be personalized. This includes factors such as the type of flooring, wall coverings and landscaping. It even includes the types of appliance upgrades that can be made—and as a renter, remodeling is out of the question. Even renters who have a bit more freedom in their lease to personalize a rental may not want to invest the time or money into improving a rental unit that they do not plan on being in long-term. However, as a homeowner, decisions regarding personalizing a home are entirely up to the homeowner—as long as upgrades and work are in compliance with all local codes and ordinances.

Interest Rates Are Still Low

The housing industry is one that fluctuates from one year to the next, and even from one market to the next. What homeowners must understand is that most long-term loans have lower interest rates than short-term loans, such as for a car or credit card. What must be calculated and fully understood, is how even a 1 percent lower interest rate or even a .05 percent lower interest rate for a home loan can drastically impact the accumulative interest paid, according to a calculator from experts at GuaranteedRate.com. Right now, fixed interest rates are still low, making now an ideal time to buy.

Housing Prices Are Still Low

Aside from interest rates being low, housing prices in most real estate markets are still low—or highly competitive in a manner that is advantageous to the buyer. This means that those who buy now may be able to obtain larger homes for their budget, or homes with more amenities for their budget. This also means that buyers can opt to purchase a home well under their budget, without sacrificing what they are looking for.

A Long-Term Investment

An important thing to remember when buying a home is not just the freedom and flexibility that comes with being able to personalize a home, but that a home is a significant long-term investment. While there is no foolproof formula, if a home is well managed and maintained—by the time a 20 or 30 year loan is paid off, the home’s value is likely to have drastically increased, unless the individual in question is consistently upgrading and improving the home, as demonstrated by the New York Times buy or rent calculator. This means the sooner a home is purchased, the sooner it will be paid in full. At some point monthly mortgage payments will cease, and that the monthly cost of living will be drastically reduced. The equity built in a home also serves as an excellent cushion.

Rent Prices On the Rise

One trend that continues to grow around the nation are the price of luxury and even basic rental properties. While many rental properties provide the upscale elegance which is typically reserved for homeowners—the prices of these luxury rentals is quite steep. In fact, prices for all rental properties are steadily on the rise, especially in major metropolitan areas such as Chicago and San Francisco. In San Francisco specifically, renters are spending about 42 percent of their earnings on rent, according to an article on Realtor.com.

For those on the fence, now is an ideal time to buy a home and stop to paying rent to someone else. It’s an investment in a market that is on the rise, but research is still needed for making this big decision.

 

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4 Legal Careers That Don’t Require Law School

Posted By: on January 23, 2015
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Four Different Law Careers to Pursue Without a Law Degree

While becoming a lawyer without attending law school is only legal in five states, there are a variety of professions for those interested in being a participant in the legal process without a J.D. Some of the most fulfilling jobs in the legal field don’t require a law degree at all, though some do require at least some form of specialized education. This article will discuss the four most common legal jobs that don’t require a law degree.

Paralegal

The paralegal is someone who acts outside the basic tasks of a lawyer: in short, they don’t go to court. However, paralegals prepare briefings for filing, assist lawyers during trials, search out and research laws and judicial filings, and take part in investigating the basic facts of cases. Whereas lawyers present their cases in trial, a seasoned paralegal provides the information needed to make the outcome of the case successful. Unlike lawyers, however, paralegals usually only require a degree in paralegal studies, which can be of varying length. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has helpful information on the requirements for paralegals. Paralegals are prohibited from giving legal advice, acting in trial or accepting legal fees.

Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation

Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation careers are incredibly important in the legal field, but are usually more related to police work and the criminal justice system. Their role is indisputably important for the success of cases at hand. Most forensic scientists have a four-year degree in biology or another scientific field, along with other requirements for forensic scientists, according to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Ultimately, the role of the forensic scientist or the crime scene investigator is related more to determining what happened in a particular circumstance as opposed to prosecuting or defending. In this, they are usually impartial participants in the legal process, but play an important role in the outcome of a case.

Legal Assistance Groups

For those interested in more technical aspects of law but not committed to a legal degree, legal assistance groups offer an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who are not capable of defending themselves in the legal system. There are special interest groups that always need help in making sure that those who come to them for adequate representation receive it. This is extremely common in civil court. Oftentimes, people needing help with things such as repairing their financial history and credit need the help of debt and credit law specialists like the experts at Park View Legal. While some education is required to join a legal assistance group, it is uncommon for such groups to require a law degree.

Legal Secretary

Legal secretaries are primarily administrative assistants or secretaries, but handle a lot of the paperwork related to cases. Whether preparing summonses, responses, complaints, subpoenas or much more, the primary task of the legal secretary is to ensure that everything drafted for the court is properly prepared. In general, the legal secretary operates under the aegis of a paralegal. Often, legal secretaries will assist with legal research. Unlike the other professions above, training to become a legal secretary does not require even a two-year degree. Vocational programs are often available, even at the high school level.

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4 Tips to Planning a Same-Sex Wedding

Posted By: on January 22, 2015
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With more states legalizing same-sex weddings, providing equal rights and recognition of all other married couples to LGBT couples, many are heading down the aisle. Whether planning a more traditional ceremony, or a unique wedding that is a customized expression of love, there are many factors that same-sex couples must consider when planning their wedding, as outlined by Huffington Post blogger and event designer Susan Holland. The four tips below are designed to help same-sex couples start planning their dream wedding.

Bachelor or Bachelorette Events

While a same-sex marriage will have two bachelors or two bachelorettes, the engaged couple must consider if they want all of their pre-wedding events to be hosted together or separately. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If the couple have mostly mutual friends, or those participating in the ceremony are mostly mutual friends, then a joint event may make the most sense. For couples who choose to have separate bachelor/bachelorette parties, they may want to consider having them on different days, so that friends of both engaged can attend. When it comes to day-of and hair, makeup, or grooming, the members of the wedding party are likely to divide in two so that the engaged couple can maintain the element of surprise when walking down the aisle.

Consider Who Pays For The Wedding

There once was a time where the bride’s family traditionally paid for the wedding, but this is becoming less common even with couples of the opposite sex. Many find this belief to be a bit dated, and the families or the couple tend to split the costs. This does not always mean the costs are split evenly, but often divided between the two getting married, and their family members who are able to chip in. Even more traditional same-sex couples may find it challenging to divide costs, with fewer long-standing traditions upon which to base the decisions, says Mickey Rapkin for New York Magazine. More often than not, it all comes down to who can afford to foot the bill.

Consider How Traditional A Ceremony

Even if both engaged envision a fairly traditional ceremony, there are a few things that must be taken into consideration, will the betrothed wear two wedding dress, two tuxedoes, or one of each? How many will be in the wedding party? These questions aren’t much different from “traditional” wedding planning, and many decisions will still be based on the unique personalities of the couple. Some may want to go over the top, while others want to stick to the script and have spiritual or religious-based ceremonies. The venue can also determine how “traditional” the ceremony will be, depending on whether it takes place at a church or at a special event space for both the ceremony and reception. These factors are determined by how all-inclusive they would like their space to be, or if it is small and intimate or large and elaborate, according to the Grand View Restaurant.

Consider What Last Name To Take

Another thing engaged same-sex couples must take into consideration, is whether both take on a hyphenated name, if both keep their current last names—or do both take a shared last name? If taking a shared last name, whose last name? Think long-term and consider how legal documents can be more challenging for any married couples with differing last names. Also, consider what last name prior or future children will take, and also the challenges parents and children having different last names arise—which sometimes requires parents the hassle of providing proof of guardianship.

Couples, no matter what combination of gender or sexual orientation, should begin planning their wedding by considering the factors above, along with all the other factors that must be taken into consideration when planning a wedding—such as guest list, venue, invitations, flowers, and catering.

 

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3 Ways to Engage Customers on Their Mobile Devices

Posted By: on January 16, 2015
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Advances in business and marketing have hugely shifted the way owners run their businesses, most notably with the advent of the internet, and that shift is only continuing today. As of 2014, 90 percent of American adults had cell phones, and of those 58 percent were smartphones, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. With the release of the first iPhone and the following proliferation of the smartphone and mobile devices, a whole new field of digital marketing arose. The rapid acceptance, adoption and growth of this technology, as is often the case, has left many businesses struggling to keep up and adapt to the consumer’s needs. There is, however, no denying that smartphones are here to stay, and companies that can adapt to this new consumer preference give themselves an edge on the competition.

Design for Devices and Environments

The first step toward satisfactorily engaging customers via their smartphone or mobile device is choosing the environment and devices to support and creating a dedicated mobile website. Understanding the various devices from which users can access a site or application, and the limitations of each of those devices, is absolutely essential in this process given that apps will function and display differently depending on the device in use. For this reason designers must either build multiple versions of the company’s web page specifically optimized for different devices or employ responsive web design, through which the page will automatically adjust to the size of the screen on which it is being displayed.

Another important aspect of mobile design is understanding how and when users are accessing information on their smartphone. Unlike a traditional desktop space, the limited screen size and ability to browse from any location mean users are looking for the easiest and quickest web navigation possible. The fewer steps needed for a visitor to complete their goal, the better. Simple sites that put the user on the desired path statistically have the highest likelihood of making a sale, as cumbersome desktop or poorly designed mobile sites quickly frustrate and drive users away.

Incorporate SMS Text Messaging

Expert product managers are finding that SMS is a useful gateway to mobile engagement, according to Andy Shirey of OpenMarket. It is one of the most popular entry points for mobile engagement, among users because it’s already so familiar and ubiquitous and among smartphone and mobile users in general for very similar reasons. Thus, it offers a point of engagement that doesn’t require users to learn a new skill or become loyal to a new platform. Another great benefit of text messaging as a mobile engagement launching point is that it requires very little commitment. Customers can opt in and opt out of SMS campaigns very easily and quickly without having to download or uninstall a mobile application.

Finally, SMS is a simple way for companies to up-sell products by slowly building trust and compelling users to take advantage of further functionality or get a richer experience. Text messages can include links to mobile websites or download links for apps, thus taking the smartphone engagement to a new level with stickier services.

Let Users Be Social

Social networks and users of smartphones contribute twice as much social content as desktop users, as was recently reported in a white paper by Oracle. Integrating social content is an excellent way to allow visitors to add content and promote products. Customers are much more likely to trust the advice of their friends and family rather than a company and social content is the easiest way for them to share. Adding plug-ins for such large networks as Facebook and Twitter is a relatively simple process that can pay off in a big way. Additionally, making social content searchable and navigable throughout a businesses mobile site is a big boost to traffic and engagement.

 

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Travel Destinations You Wouldn’t Think You’d Love

Posted By: on January 16, 2015
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London, Paris, Rome, Hawaii—those are all wonderful travel destinations, but aren’t they also a little bit played out? For the adventurous traveler, it’s time to set your sights on more exotic places (before they’re discovered by everyone else and become yet another tourist trap). As more people are flexing their travel muscles, there are fewer and fewer locales with paradises that haven’t been paved over by parking lots. Consider a trip to one of these underdog destinations before it’s too late.

  1. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Almost every single traveler to this top destination either lands in San Jose (in the middle of the country) or the Pacific coast and spends their time in or near Guanacaste, which for safe travelers has just the right amount of “culture” but also plenty of resorts. Instead, head to the Caribbean coast, such as Puerto Viejo or Limon. It’s one of the few places in Costa Rica largely untouched by the tourist industry, where there are no resorts in the traditional sense and no McDonald’s. You can even rent a hammock on the beach for about $5 for a truly budget-friendly trip. It’s just a few hours away from San Jose, and you’ll truly feel like a local in one of these small, charming towns that’s half Caribbean and half Tico.
  2. Antarctica. Granted, the options of actually staying in Antarctica are slim (and you probably wouldn’t want to), but a cruise to this truly “down under” location is magical. Many ships leave from Argentina, so you can double up your itinerary for a stopover in this Latin country. However, to make the most of any Antarctica trip, plan for December which is mating season for the penguins. There’s no comparison to this destination, and if you’re wary of cheesy “cruise ship vacations,” this will quickly change your mind.
  3. The right Chinese destination. China is an expansive country and there’s a lot more to see than Beijing or Shanghai. For a real treat, head to the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces which were created 1,300 years ago compliments of the Hani. It’s an intricate farming system that encompasses everything from fish to buffalo and even red rice, the literal “cream of the crop” in this region (and much more appealing than some of China’s other things being farmed at the moment). Most impressive, the terraces make the list of 19 exclusive entries in UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2013. It’s a quiet, serene getaway and an avenue for getting a genuine peek at a specific slice of Chinese culture.
  4. Oh, rats! India is on many people’s bucket lists, but look beyond Mumbai, Goa and Agra where the Taj Mahal is found. The state of Rajastan is home to the small town of Deshnoke where the Karni Mata Temple is located. It welcomes thousands of guests every year, although most of them are local, and many with the goal of honoring a 14th century mystic who was allegedly the goddess Durga reincarnate. However, the temple also boasts about 20,000 rats but don’t worry—these rats are sacred and hurting them is illegal. Watch the rodents be treated as royalty, drinking milk and snacking on sugar which is lovingly provided by the visitors.
  5. Suit up! Why go on vacation where it’s required that you at least carry a gas mask (if not wear it) at all times? When the end result is a trip to the Izu Island of Japan, it’s worth it and the gas masks come in quite handy in case of some side effects from a series of active volcano chains. They’ve erupted countless times in the past decade, but to not horrible end. The reason for the masks are the dangerous gas that are constantly leaking through the ground (and plus, they don’t smell that great). However, the volcanoes are complemented with stunning green vistas, providing for a truly eclectic trip (not to mention some very interesting photos to share on Facebook).
  6. The African Safari. Have you ever thought of visiting Zambia to see the lions and all that wonderful wildlife? If not, then RohoYaChui.com gives you the top 5 reasons to go there. If you’re a nature lover and animal rights advocate, this is the perfect travel destination for you. You can also get your hands on huge deals and awesome packages that will make your stay truly one of a kind.
  7. The Caribbean you haven’t heard about. Yes, the Caribbean is known for white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and maybe the opportunity to indulge in some local “greenery.” However, don’t discount the appeal of the unfortunately named Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s just what it sounds like, an “island” of floating trash roughly the size of Texas and boasting incredible amounts of plastic waste, debris and chemical slush. For the low price of just $10,000, visitors can take a closer look and help remove pieces that are particularly dangerous to wildlife; it’s a costly trip, but something the do-gooder traveler can’t resist.
  8. Never think of gardens the same way again. Most people think of the beauty of gardens and the incredible healing powers of plants; but they can actually be quite deadly, too. At the Alnwick Poison Garden in Northumberland, it’s all about killer plants with plenty of warnings (“These plants can kill you” generally keeps people from touching). The appeal of the deadly can’t be resisted, and since this was also featured in the Harry Potter movies, that just upped the desire to visit even more in recent years.

The next time you plan a vacation, consider going off the grid a bit and discover wonders, both strange and fantastic, that you can hardly imagine. It surely beats another chain motel on a tourist-stuffed beach and the memories made will be impossible to beat.

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4 Services You Didn’t Know Were Available at Your Fitness Center

Posted By: on January 15, 2015
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When individuals join a fitness center, the primary goal is often to have a regular place they can train and work out, whether it’s every day or on a weekly basis. While many gyms aim to remain competitive by offering amenities such as a steam room, juice bar, and group fitness classes, lots of fitness centers are beginning to think a bit further outside the box by offering somewhat unconventional services. Here are four services many fitness centers are now offering that gym members might not even know about.

Full Spa Services

Many fitness centers offer massages, but some are taking things a few steps further by offering full spa services. This includes other forms of massage, such as deep tissue massage, reiki massage and even acupressure. This could also include spa services designed to eliminate toxins from the body, such as cupping, steam rooms and body wraps. These additional amenities allow members the ability to choose the specific restorative services that best meet their needs and takes the fitness center from a purely utilitarian destination to one associated with relaxation, invigoration and recovery.

Sports Medicine Services

Sports medicine is no longer just for athletes, but for anyone who is recovering from an athletic or sports related injury. Recent studies have shown that exercise has benefits in promoting health and fighting disease, so fitness centers have a clear incentive to make sure that gym members stay active and healthy. To ensure fitness center members have easy access to the training that they require to improve performance or recover from injury, sports medicine services are available within many gyms. Sports medicine services might include chiropractic services, acupuncture, orthopedic services, podiatry, physical therapy, and access to a professional sports medicine physician.

Lifestyle Coaching

Many fail to achieve their health and fitness goals, not because they lack commitment, but because they are not aware of all of the areas of opportunity in their life. This is why many fitness centers are now offering lifestyle coaching, to complement their members’ efforts to build other healthy habits. Lifestyle coaching also provides healthy tools for all aspects of their personal and professional life. By developing an improved skill set designed to manage daily stressors and other areas of opportunity, a more holistic approach that nourishes both mind and body can be applied to health and wellness, says Rachael Moeller Gorman writing for Fitness. Lifestyle coaching can be effective because it holds individuals accountable for achieving their goals, as well as giving members access to an impartial support system that will help motivate them to move forward.

Makeup Application and Beauty Services

While many fitness centers offer spa services, they are most often related to some aspect of physical health. Since many enjoy receiving multiple spa treatments at once, the addition of makeup application, and other external beauty services are being added to the mix at many fitness centers, according to Pro Sports Club. Beauty services available in fitness centers might include professional makeup application to update and refresh one’s personal appearance, as well as makeup application for special events—such as holiday parties and wedding parties. A few other unconventional beauty services many fitness centers offer include manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and even hair care.

By offering some or all of the unconventional services above, fitness centers can provide their members with one convenient location they can turn to for all of their health and wellness goals. Many fitness centers find that the convenience of providing multiple health and wellness services improves their members’ odds of achieving their goals. Those who are on the lookout for a new gym should inquire about the amenities and additional services made available to members. In fact, some services may be available to all members of the community.

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3 Better Ways to Manage Your Revenue

Posted By: on January 14, 2015
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Corporate revenue management today runs at a different speed and level of personalization than ever before. The key for success in revenue management today is strong integration of engagement both between departments and with clients directly. Making sure that the company has the tools in hand to ensure a unified whole from the customer level all the way to accounting is a daunting task, but in today’s business climate, it is essential to survival and success.

Fully Integrate Revenue Management At the Sales and Service Level
Successful revenue management means that at the point of interaction, having control of offerings, income, pricing, and reactive service can help predetermine a successful outcome later. While revenue management was originally a focus of airlines and hotels using pricing leverage to mitigate loss, today revenue management is used across industries so companies can have a deeper connection with their customer base.

With social media, clients have more direct access to the companies they do business with than ever, and smart companies leverage that customer data to ensure that they give an offering that exceeds their clients’ expectations. That increased level of customer data, for its part, can give analysts better predictors of client behavior, allowing them to adjust offerings accordingly, say Yuri Levin and Jeff McGill in Analytics Magazine. More importantly, clients connecting with the brands they trust on platforms they often see as personal can make better assessments of how a company can better serve their needs in the future.

Integrating Revenue Management At the Back-End
Revenue management is by nature front-facing (in dealing directly with clients), but its data collection aspects need to be successfully integrated at the back-end for it to work, says CSG International. Making sure that the sales force or service group have access to the wealth of data and flexibility needed to satisfy their clients is something that has to be dealt with in real-time. The difference in time could be fatal to a client interaction.

For this reason, using an integrated back-end revenue management system connected to policy management allows a company’s front-facing groups to impart information to their clients while ensuring that they also collect data which can then be analyzed and reviewed for potential negative or positive effects. In short, making sure that the front end has access to information that clients need to make an initial purchase or additional purchases is essential, and customer reactions to that data are vital in figuring out how successful individual processes are in relation to the whole.

Automate Billing Processes And Integrate Into Revenue Management
The single most important part of the revenue management process (next to offerings and data collection) is revenue collection itself, according to CRM Magazine. Automating this process actually further personalizes the customer experience, as a majority of clients prefer electronic billing. Whereas billing is often the least pleasant part of the customer experience, automating the process while expending human capital to directly enhance the customer experience makes the overall experience one where clients feel more engaged with their companies. Automated billing will not only improve brand image, but make billing, and ultimately accounting, far easier.

Integrating automated billing into the overall revenue management system not only improves the bottom line, it leaves the customer feeling that their personal experience was more engaged, making them more likely to stay loyal.

 

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