Friday, 24 February 2017

Where to Start Learning Android App Development?

When it comes to mobile development, there are a lot of options out there. React Native? Sencha? SDKs? APKs? Xamarin? It can all seem a bit much. Hopefully this guide gives you a good idea of what you are facing when you develop your first Android Application, and it basic steps it takes to get from an idea, to a Playstore listing.
The Idea
The first step to any mobile application is the idea. Think of something that you, or someone you know, would find useful to have on their phone. This could be something simple, like a new way to browse your favourite website, or something more complex, that might even involve a bluetooth device. You don't always have to innovate, you just have to do something better than what is out there.
The User Experience
Don't make the mistake of underestimating the value of your user's experience within your application. If a user gets frustrated with your app, they are likely to stop using it. Have a look at your favourite applications. What makes them pleasant to use? Ask your friends to try the app out, look for feedback and utilise it.
It may help you to visualise the interface and use of your mobile application using "frameworking" and "timeline" software, but you can also just do it by hand on paper.
The Design
The design of your application is also very important. This includes the development of a "Brand", a consistent design throughout your application and store listing using Logos, colours and fonts.
The Money
No one likes adverts. It's the painful truth. Ideally, you should avoid trying to monetise your application too early as you may scare away potential long term users. It's what Amazon did, they took (and are still taking) hits with their business in order to secure long term customers.
The Language
Despite what some people may try and tell you, the ability to write your own software is critical to a well designed application. It may seem scary to start with, but there are a large number of guides out there, such as Codecademy, or, that will help you. Don't try to run before you can walk.
As for which language you should learn, it comes down to what you want from your application, how much you are willing to spend, and what you are most comfortable with, which will be discussed below.
Your application will have to be well developed in order to succeed. After you feel comfortable developing in your chosen language, it is time to move to mobile development.
You have a number of options here, some easier than others.
One option is React Native, which is written using Web technologies, such as JavaScript, JSX and HTML. This is a version of Facebook's React framework that can run "Natively" (in the operating systems own language) which generally increases performance. It can be very difficult for beginners.
Another option is Xamarin, a framework recently purchased by Microsoft, which uses C# and Visual Studio.
Yet another option is ExtJS developed by Sencha, which is again, JavaScript.
The most popular IDE for Android App Development, and the one I recommend for this guide, is Android Studio, which is multiplatform (Windows, OSX and Linux), and is developed by Google.
The Backend
Depending on which type of application you are looking to build, you may need a "backend", basically a computer which deals with all the data your application requires, and generates. Applications that require a backend include a social network application, or a chat application, whereas applications such as a calculator or similar generally do not require any backend code.
Generally, this is written using PHP, NodeJS or some other code that sits on a server somewhere, usually with some sort of database such as MySQL or MongoDB. If you aren't willing to purchase and run such a machine yourself, there are options out there such as Amazon Web Services or DigitalOcean, which only charge you for the resources you use!
The Testing
Ideally, it helps to have a test device, which could be your own device. To enable development on an Android device, simply click the "Build Version" within the phone's settings, in "About this phone".
If you don't have a device at hand to use, that's okay as well. Most Integrated Development Environments (IDE), including Android Studio and Visual Studio, include a device simulator for their respective operating systems. This can be useful to try different phones with slower hardware and different screen sizes, to make sure your application is widely accessible.
The Packaging
For the Google store, you have to create a "Signed APK". The APK is created by the IDE, and then "signed" using a keyfile that is generated using your information. This key is unique to you, and makes sure that no one else can upload a copy of your application with embedded malicious code.
Google Playstore has it's own guidelines and procedures that you must follow for it to be accepted, and it is not uncommon for applications to be rejected, so be careful.

How to Boost Your Business With Promotional Tents

If you want to level up your business, boost the morale of your employees and enjoy outdoor sales events, think about using promotional tents. They may be able to help your business get noticed by customers, and let your employees continue to be productive even when they are away from the office.
What are Promotional Tents?
Tents, which are also called canopies, are portable canvas that can be used to make a temporary room for the outdoors. They can have a roof, walls and floor made of canvas or another type of material for the ground. They can also have an open space with only a cover on top. These all depend on your preference and needs. They can allow you to create a space for your business outdoors.
They can come in different dimensions, and many companies let you make your own design. So, in general, you can have it made in whatever size you want, even if it is too small or too big. They are usually made with materials that resist fire, and they help block the sun. Their frames are typically made out of steel to provide stronger support.
The term promotional in the name refer to the printed designs chosen. These could be your business logo, pictures of products, special sales announcements or anything you want. Therefore, the structure itself advertises or markets your company.
Promotional Tents Uses
Promotional tents can be used in a variety of ways and by various types of businesses. They can serve as an extension of your business, like for example a restaurant that creates a provisional seating space, where guests can dine. In addition, they are ideal for exhibits, corporate events and trade shows. You can also use them to put up a shop at farmer's markets and local fairs, since they are easy to set-up and collapse.
If you regularly hold special sales events to persuade customers to visit your business, it may help to buy one. When you want to attract a big crowd, this can work to your advantage, since the presence of a tent often catches the attention of people.
Promotional Tents Benefits
Besides providing help in setting up a sales area at events outdoors, and allowing employees to be productive even if they are out of the office, there are more benefits that these structures could give. You can use them to market your brand and advertise special promos. You can maximize their use because they are sturdy and last long without fading.
These tents can serve as a private place where staff can converse with customers during outdoor events. They can protect you and your display from all kinds of weather conditions as well.
They can bring your business to the next level, in which your business is not only limited to your store or office. You can take these tents along to different outdoor events to let you connect to more customers. Every time you set up one, you give your business a marketing boost.

Wedding Plan

Immediately Upon Engagement Decide on a Wedding Date
There are people you really want at your wedding. Give them as much notice as possible that they should set aside the date for you. If the wedding will involve travel and an over-night stay for guests, it's important to let them know that as soon as possible. It will be helpful for you to get early feedback on who may not be able to attend the wedding.
Set your budget
Your budget is the single biggest wedding decision to make after the decision to get married itself. Consider the range of projects you need or want to take on during your first year of marriage: honeymoon, buy a house, start a family, start or continue post-secondary education, buy a car, travel. Calculate the cost of these projects. The wedding costs will compete with these other projects. Calculate the money you will have from all sources for the wedding and your other projects. This will help establish the maximum amount of money you can spend on the wedding. From this calculation, all other spending decisions about the wedding will follow. It's a terrible idea to borrow any money from any source for your wedding.
Select your bridal party.
There are hundreds of details involved in planning the wedding and in getting through the wedding day.Your bridal party can be a huge help in handling these. Everything from RSVP tracking to picking up the flowers can and should be delegated. Can every member of the bridal party afford a bridesmaid's dress or a tuxedo? Is every member of the bridal party physically fit and mature enough to shoulder the responsibilities involved? Be objective.
Choose your theme. [modern, vintage, classic, rural, contemporary, etc.]
It's your wedding. Within reason and the bounds of good taste you should have what you want regardless of who will pay some of the expenses. Have faith in your own judgment and taste.
First Review & Planning  Session
All the above should happen almost immediately. Once you square away these 4 foundations of your wedding, what follows are estimated time frames for everything to follow. Buy a binder, a hole punch and index tabs to collect & organize these details. Start a spread sheet to track all expenses. This is your wedding plan. Check it & update it often.
12-18 Months Out - Ceremony Location
Your caterer may have suggestions about where to hold your ceremony. You may have seen a pretty location yourself. Since many couples no longer get married in a church many reception locations have a "chapel" or an additional area for a wedding ceremony, . A wedding arch decorated with flowers can make a ceremony setting take shape almost anywhere you want. Will a botanical garden or public park permit wedding photographs? At what charge? What is Plan B in the event of rain?
Reception Location/Caterer
This choice will be a function of a number of things: how many guests you are having, how far they have to travel, what kind of wedding (cocktail, plated service, etc.), your budget and what you both like.
The number of weddings in almost any part of the country is greater than the number of available beautiful reception venues. That means competition for venues and rising prices in a seller's market. (It's called supply and demand). Will a venue permit an outside caterer? Is the outside caterer charged for permission to serve food there? Is there a kitchen that the caterer may use or will food be brought to the venue already prepared hours before dinner? Will a kitchen have to be set up on site? Is the venue air conditioned? Does it have sufficient washrooms, coat check & racks with hangers, parking?
For outdoor weddings, caterers should have a list of beautiful and functional venues. Consider having your wedding on the property of a friend or relative. As farm weddings & country weddings become ever more popular consider rural venues that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture or a local 4H club can suggest.
Cottage weddings on a distant lake are more remote. Consider the expertise of your caterer in providing service well off the beaten path. How well equipped are they for off-site catering? How will the location impact the need for overnight accommodation? Will you need late night transport between the cottage and hotels? Are there Bed & Breakfast Inns in the area where guests can stay close to the wedding? Could the wedding be held at such an Inn instead of at the cottage? Parking and washrooms are critical for a cottage wedding, as is the potential for tense neighbour relations due to traffic congestion, trespass and late night noise.
DJ &/or Band
Your music choice will be a big part of how your celebration turns out. If the music is  too loud older guests will leave early. If you choose the wrong genre of music for your demographic it's no fun. Before you pick a DJ ask if you can drop in on an event he is spinning the tunes for. You'll get a pretty good idea if that D.J. is  for you. The same selection process applies to a band. Attend an event where they will play.. Ask for references and establish firm ground rules about arrival/set-up time, alcohol or drug use before and during the event, dress code, flirting, electrical & space needs, frequency & length of breaks. Plan your play list. You will need to feed the D.J. or band members, (& any other support staff you hire for the wedding). Make sure the caterer provides for this at an agreed upon price.
Most photographers have a portfolio you can see to get an idea of their style. Packages with a set price are a good idea even if you are not budget conscious. Give your photographer a copy of the wedding day schedule and make sure he/she can stick with it. Most delays at weddings are the result of a photographer who falls behind & can't stop taking one more shot. You will delay the rest of the wedding if you let the photographer take charge of the schedule. Your guests will be waiting.
A nice addition to your wedding memories.
9-12 Months Out
Wedding Dress
Sometimes, brides pick a wedding dress FIRST. But, more often, other  factors such as theme, location, time of year and entertainment sway the dress decision. It may not be your dream to buy a wedding dress that someone else wore before but the potential savings are considerable. After all, you will wear this dress but once. On the other hand you will see it in pictures of the wedding for the rest of your life. You have a right be beautiful on your wedding day.
8-10 Months Out
Bridesmaids Dresses
If you can, get all the girls together for a full day of dress scouting. Keep budgets in mind and go for a style that will flatter a variety of body types. There is no excuse for any member of the wedding party to dress like a tart.
6-9 Months Out
Groomsmen Attire
Quite often the groom will get his rented tuxedo for FREE, since you ordered so many outfits.
Wedding Flowers
Make sure you have a budget in mind before you see your florist. Packages are always available and there is a big range in price, depending on the type of flowers you select and the complexity of the arrangement. Make a list of everyone who will need flowers that day so that you don't forget anyone. Are flowers to go on each guest table, the head table, buffet or other tables? If the wedding will be on a property that your family owns, can the garden be planned a year before the wedding to coincide plant flowers that bloom in time for the wedding?
You will need a rough idea of how many guests are attending. This tells you how many tables will need centerpieces. Although tall centerpieces are striking, they might make it difficult for guests to see each other over the arrangement. Try for a low, simple arrangement that adds colour but doesn't take up too much space on the table. This is critical for platter or family style service.
For rural or cottage weddings, centre pieces made from birch bark, wood, or natural fibers can be charming. Remember to consider the colours of linens, flowers, dresses. The centre pieces should complement these items. Can you make the centre pieces yourself with help from your friends?
If you plan an elaborate themed wedding, you may want the help of a professional wedding decorator. These professionals have access to props and materials that you may have trouble finding. For simple decorations, like tulle and ribbon, you probably have at least one artistic friend that would love to help. Consider lighting as part of the decorations.
Order Invitations and Send invitations.
You need to spend real time considering who to invite without offending any friend or relative. Before inviting anyone you haven't seen or spoken to in years remember that your wedding should be spent with people you care about and who care about you. Be diplomatic when Mom wants to invite her 200 year old great aunt that you've never met. But, be realistic as well.
Proofread the invitations several times. It's hard to correct a printing error on something already in the mail. If the wedding will take place at a cottage or other hard to find location, include a map. Make sure that GPS or Google maps actually help find the location. If they don't, your map & directions should tell people not to use them or else they will get lost. The map should include a "Help" phone number to call on the wedding day. If you create a web site or Facebook page for the wedding, refer to it in the invitation.
Dress Fitting Check
Make sure to weigh yourself before each fitting, so you can keep track close to the wedding day.
Your Wedding Plan
Schedule an evening with your fiancee to track how closely you have kept to your original budget and schedule. If you are way off course, now is the time to correct it.
4-6 Months Out
Book Bridal Shower
Although it's usually a friend or family member who holds this event for you, you should be consulted on the date and location to make sure you will be available that day. You need to balance your role as a guest with your role as the bride at your own shower.
Book Bachelorette Party
This event is also hosted and arranged by a close friend or relative. Don't schedule it too close to the wedding day. Hangovers are not the best way to start your wedding day!
Book Bachelor Party
This party has a reputation for getting out of control. Plan such entertainment as poker, for example, that will keep guests cool and calm.
Master or Mistress of Ceremonies
The seamless flow of the wedding day, both ceremony and reception, will depend on your M.C. He or she has real responsibilities. These include making sure: that the schedule is followed, that guests and suppliers arrive in the right place at the right time, that photos don't run over time, that dinner service is explained, that guests are invited to the buffet table by table, that guest speakers, (including whoever will say Grace before dinner), are introduced and don't run over time and that toasts are presented according to a planned sequence. This is a critical job and cannot be assigned to anyone immature or inarticulate.
3 Months Out
Taste Tests with your Caterer/Venue and your Baker.
A great chance to get a peek at your wedding dinner. Chances are you won't notice food at your own wedding.
Hold Bridal Shower
You need to balance your role as a guest with your role as the bride at your own shower. Be diplomatic in giving an opinion on shower food and décor. Showers are generally held with little or no alcohol. It's unforgivable for anyone to be drunk at a shower.
Hold Bachelorette Party
This will be your last wild ride for the foreseeable future. Have fun and remember the good times.
Hold Bachelor Party
More fun with the guys - enjoy this blast from the past.
Dress Fitting Check
Oops! Time to get back on the stationary bike and eat more salads.
4 Weeks Out
Begin to Finalize Details with Your Vendors.
All your guest responses should be in by now. Finalize guest numbers with your caterer or venue.
Final Dress Fitting Check
Yahoo! It fits!
Make sure you fill out your data sheets with all formalities for your DJ/Band: Music choices, bridal party names, dos and don'ts, etc.
Make salon appointments for manny, peddy, makeup, tanning, hair, etc.
1 Week Out
If you haven't done so already finalize your timeline with your DJ, venue, caterer, photographer, florist and planner (if you hired one). The final timeline should be e-mailed to all of these suppliers. There are no excuses for being late or falling behind schedule.
3-5 Days Out
Pick Up Tuxes
Make sure you pay all your vendors, or prepare the cash/cheques for all your wedding day vendors.
Give the list and chequess to your Best Man or Maid of Honor, so that you don't have to worry about these on your wedding day.
Wedding Day
YOU MADE IT! Be thrilled by the centuries of tradition & the love that you have just shared. Enjoy the day of your dreams.
Next Day
Leave for your honeymoon.
Take some time off from all the rush and just enjoy each other!
Two Weeks after the Wedding
Thank you cards for wedding presents
Check your gift cards to make sure you don't leave anyone out. Get a friend to help double check.

Choosing Toys That Are Safe for Your Cat

To get the food sufficient for sustaining herself and her litter, a feral cat goes through the ritual of stalking, pouncing and killing, in a half-day's time. On the other hand, domestic cats feed on a diet that is commercially made and prepared by their owner, which is as effortless as using an electric can opener with their paw. It is no wonder why your cat weighs a little more than normal. If we confine our feline pets to the indoors, we take away their opportunity to work for a living. Though they may be safer inside, their body and mind tend to be inactive. So, you should decide on how to enhance their lives and environment.
Luckily, it is easier to entertain cats. Most of the things in their surroundings could serve as cat toys. As a matter of fact, in most houses, cats ignore commercial cat toys and they would rather play with items meant to be recycled. These include paper bags, shoe boxes, bottle caps and pens that have dried out. What you consider as garbage may be good to rip to your cat. Some people place appliance boxes at the center of the living room so that their cats can use them when playing hide-and-seek.
As you evaluate household items that are safe for your cat, take notice of the pieces that can be bitten and swallowed, get trapped on the claw and keep retraction, or get stuck in your cat's throat or mouth. Though a lot of cats love to hide inside paper bags, they hate it when their heads get caught in the handles and the paper bag seems to have a life of its own, chasing them no matter how fast they run. To prevent this kind of problem, you just need to cut the handles before letting your cat have access to them.
The most important law on safety is to know your cat. Find out the things that catch his attention. He may have an oral craving for aluminum foil, plastic milk cap rims or paper curling ribbon. If this is the case, it is crucial to properly dispose these items to prevent your cat from having gastrointestinal problems. However, these same things can serve as well-supervised toys that may be played with occasionally by other cats. Before you consider commercial toys as safe to play in your home, they should be carefully inspected. Cats that bat at toys using their paws can play with wands that have fluttering mylar strips. However, if your cat likes to put anything she catches in her mouth, this is not safe for playing.
When you know the habits, as well as play styles of your feline pet by heart, you can carefully select toys for your cat. This will, in turn, offer a mentally challenging surrounding, invigorating exercise and plain, good fun, creating a happier and healthier home companion

How to Properly Use Your USB Flash Drive

USB data storage devices are tiny, yet powerful and sturdy enough for everyday use, they are capable of storing information ranging from a few megabytes to several gigabytes. Accordingly, depending on specs and features, these devices can cost anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. However, there are some dos and don'ts when it comes to using these handy devices. Respectively, this article will guide you on how to use your USB device appropriately:
Scan your External Storage Device for Viruses:
In life, safety always comes first. The same principle applies to USB flash drives. Therefore, it's always a safe bet to scan your portable drive for viruses before you proceed forward with transferring files. To scan your USB Stick in a Windows computer. Go to: My computer/This PC, then locate the external drive icon, single click on the icon, and then right click to view the menu options available for your USB drive. From here, you should get an option to scan the drive with your Antivirus software.
Don't work directly on documents saved on your Flash storage device:
USB drives are an important tool that help you carry around important documents. No matter where you are, or where you go, you can work on these files as long as you have access to a PC. However, it is not recommended that you work directly on files that are saved in your flash drive, as this can corrupt your saved data. Keep in mind that all USB flash drives have a specific write and rewrite cycles, on average it has 10,000 cycles. If you continue to modify files saved on it, it can considerably reduce your device's lifecycle. A better option is to make a copy of the file onto the guest PC - using the copy/paste method. To ensure the security and privacy of your file, make sure to delete the copied file from the guest PC after you are done working on your file.
Remove USB devices safely to prevent corruption of data:
There's more to removing external devices than simply yanking it out of your computer, there's a procedure that involves digitally ejecting it from your USB port. To eject it properly, wait for the file transfer to conclude, once that is done, close the drive's window. Now, open your desktop tray and locate the USB flash drive icon. From here, right click on the USB icon and select the 'Eject' option. Once it safe to eject the flash drive, you'll receive a notification stating that its safe remove your drive.

5 Signs You've Found A Great Corporate Travel Agent

The term 'travel agent' is regarded by some as a part of the past, as though the idea is somewhat passé. This, of course, is the furthest thing from the truth, and nothing brings home this point more than the role of the corporate travel agent. This person/entity is pivotal in working with a very different client that needs to top-notch amenities and facilities. For businesses looking to have the upper hand in their industry, having the right corporate travel agent can make all the difference.
Here are five ways to tell that you've got not only a good, but a great corporate travel agent:
1. The agent is connected in, and to, your industry. Your agent should have a deep understanding of your business. By knowing how your industry works, your agent has a better way finding venues that work best, what services are essential, and above all else, what makes your company be unique.
2. Your bottom dollar is also their bottom dollar. A great travel agent not only understands your budgetary demands, but he/she tries to find all value available when booking for your company. Their flexibility extends to everything from last-minute travel to relaxing getaways and finding the right price.
3. Your agent reminds calm, composed, and rational regardless of the situation. No matter the chaos, he/she handles the smallest details with ease. Even in the midst of any number of travel scenarios, a great corporate travel agent keeps his/her cool and has a solution at the ready.
4. The right agent operates under your company's travel policy. Much in the same way that travel experts advise would-be travelers to set a budget and make a plan, great travel agents at the corporate level are able to navigate all necessary travel request while maintaining the integrity of your company's budget and policies.
5. The agent is able to readily handle every size of client. This day and age requires companies of all sizes to travel so as to make the right connections. Unfortunately, small companies tend to be ignored because they don't have the larger budgets other companies do. No company wants to feel ignored. At the same time, bigger companies need to know that even though the travel agent accommodates small accounts, their larger needs won't send the agent into a tailspin. Great agents and agencies do both without dropping the ball.
Bonus Point: A great agent/agency understands your company's need to maintain privacy. When seeking the right travel agent for your company, always be sure to inquire about their policy and procedure regarding private data. It's important to keep in mind that not only are you depending on your agent to work with sensitive information with the utmost respect, but your employees are trusting you to do the same in all facets of the business.
Finding the right corporate travel agent takes work and an exhaustive desire to find the best agency for your company's needs. Ultimately, your hard work will be rewarded with stress-free travel planning.

How To Choose The Best Memory Foam Pillow

You invest so much time, energy, and money into buying a mattress. So why not the same interest in buying your pillows? After all, it's on these pillows that you rest your head while you're lying in bed. Your comfort is paramount when you're sleeping on a bed, resting your head on a pillow.
You had pain in your back, neck, and shoulders, so you researched and bought a mattress that suited your needs. However, pain doesn't seem to subside at all. That's probably because it has nothing to do with your mattress, but everything to do with your pillow.
Here's a handy guide to buying the best comfortable pillows to say bye-bye to those aches and pains in your neck, back, and shoulders.
The height of the pillow is determined by how you sleep - on your side, on your back, a mixture of the two, or on your stomach. Whatever way you sleep, your neck, spine, and back require a fair amount of support from your pillow. It is when you don't get the required support that your pains and aches aggravate.
Types of pillows
Based on the filling used in the pillow, these are the types of pillows available:
Synthetic pillows: Although these are relatively lightweight, cheap, and easy to bend and care for, they have the shortest durability span of all types of pillows. Plus, they flatten fairly quickly, needing replacement. Also, the filling tends to clump together, making it lumpy and extremely uncomfortable.
Feather/down pillows: These are usually inexpensive, soft, and durable too, but they tend to poke through the pillow covering, plus, they're spiky. Additionally, they don't offer a whole lot of support to your neck or spine.
Latex pillows: These pillows are one of the most durable, shapes itself to the contours of the head and neck. They hold their shape well, which might be a drawback as its height cannot be adjusted. Plus, it smells funny.
Water pillows: They offer firmness and height, shapes itself to the contours of the head, plus, especially good for back and neck pain. However, they are sometimes noisy, and are not all that durable.
Buckwheat pillows: They offer fairly good support, and fit according to the contours of the head and neck. And, although the height is adjustable and the pillow itself is durable, it will take some getting used to, as it can seem too firm for some people.
Memory foam pillows: These are by far one of the best pillows to buy right now. Not only do they offer support and relief from neck and back pain, they are soft yet firm, smooth sans lumps, and easily contour to the shape of head and neck. Plus, they are amazingly durable, and easy to clean and wash as well. Initially though, they can be a bit heavy, smelly, and get hot since they're not airy. Plus, they are relatively expensive too.
Among these best comfortable pillows available on the market, you need to choose the one that suits you and your needs best. After all, you spend one-third of your life sleeping; so it's only fair that you find the best comfortable pillows to rest your head on, rather than picking the first one you come across. Due diligence, time, effort, and money that you invest in the best buy pillows is worth it.

How Dental Hygiene Makes You Healthier

Many people think of the mouth as a completely separate area of the body. However, the teeth and health of the mouth influence so many different aspects of health, that it is impossible to separate it from the rest of your body. Making the mouth an important focus of overall health practices will have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. Dental hygiene comes in three different categories and each is just as important as the others.
1. Daily Cleaning
If you don't know that brushing and flossing your teeth every day is essential to the health of your teeth, you might live under a rock. It is recommended that you brush and floss every morning and night, if not after every meal. This helps remove bacteria in your mouth and around your teeth. The floss helps target areas between your teeth where the brush doesn't reach. If you want to go the extra mile, add a great mouth rinse to your routine to make sure more bacteria is removed from your mouth. Less bacteria means less cavities and dental work in the future.
2. Professional Cleanings
Professional teeth cleanings are recommended every six months. During these visits, the hygienist will clean your teeth with special tools. The most important step of the cleaning is scraping off plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky yellow substance that gathers along the gum line and edges of teeth. It attracts bacteria and holds it close to the tooth, leading to cavities and sensitivity. If plaque is left for too long, it hardens and turns into tartar, which negatively impacts the gums even more.
Once gums are irritated, it leads to different types and stages of periodontal disease. The most common type of disease in the gums is gingivitis. The gums swell, bleed easily, and become very sensitive. Periodontal disease and inflamed gums have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions.
3. Get Work Done
The most common reason people avoid the dental chair is because they don't want to get dental work done when problems are found. Instead of ignoring cavities and root canals, get them fixed. The sooner you get a cavity fixed, the better. These are problems that the body does not fix by itself and get worse when ignored. This affects your overall wellbeing because the risk for infection increases. Abscess teeth, gum disease, and bone infections are just some of the problems that you will face if you don't get work done. If those aren't enough, realize that sore teeth make eating harder. This essential task helps bring nourishment to every bit of your body and correlates to the health of your teeth.
A Beautiful Mouth
The three reasons listed above are all great motivators to keeping your mouth healthier. A bonus to keeping your mouth healthy and cared for is that your smile is more beautiful. Instead of greeting someone with a mouth of rotten, decaying teeth, you can feel confident showing your smile. Take good care of your mouth and your mouth will take good care of you.

This One Tip Will Make You an Exceptional Employer of Choice

Not so long ago I found my dream job advertised. I was SO excited. I polished my resume and included my most up to date skills; I wrote a fabulous job application and even included something a little out of left field with my application so I might be remembered. I sat back and waited for the phone call asking me to come in for an interview because I was their dream candidate.
And I waited, and I waited...
How many times have you applied for a job thinking you had a real chance at it and then heard nothing? Sometimes not even an acknowledgement that your application has been received.
You might wait two weeks and give the company a call or send them an email and sometimes still get no reply. You feel frustrated because you don't know if the job is still open or if you should still be hopeful.
When four weeks pass and you haven't heard anything the light starts to fade from your eyes and all hope of getting the dream job withers away. You must now consider the next job to apply for.
This, unfortunately, seems to be 'situation normal' now. There are even disclaimers on job advertisements with lines such as
"If you haven't heard from us in 4 weeks consider the job to be taken"
"We will only contact shortlisted candidates"
I'm sad and I'm angry about the way recruiters and companies treat job applicants. It feels like companies consider candidates to be numbers and not people striving for their next big break. They have lost sight of the fact that they should be selling the company as a great place to work, regardless of the economy and how many people may apply.
So, if you're a recruitment company or a business advertising for new roles, you can easily become an employer of choice by doing just this one thing -
Acknowledging applicants
Yes, it is that easy!
As a candidate, I've gone to a huge effort to write a great job application and I only want three things from you -
  1. an acknowledgement that you have received it
  2. if the process has been delayed, I want to know I'm still in the race; and
  3. even if I don't get an interview I want a notification to tell me the process has been completed so I can move on and start applying for other jobs.
Many companies now have automated recruitment solutions so there no excuses for not keeping applicants informed but even if you don't have these systems it only requires a couple of templates to keep people informed.If you can do that you will stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack and win the admiration of applicants. Even those who don't win the job will still be impressed that you contacted them because NOBODY else is doing it.
It doesn't matter if the job is in the mailroom or a senior executive position everyone deserves to be acknowledged for the time and effort they have taken to bother applying for a job at YOUR company.
I was lucky enough to get my dream job, even after a lengthy delay in the recruitment process, and I implemented this one change for my organisation because what was once said about nerds can ring equally true for candidates -
"Be nice to nerds, they'll probably be your boss one day"
Bill Gates
So, take some time to build the templates to acknowledge all applicants for all positions and watch your employer reputation soar.
If you need advice or more information on how to achieve this, I would love to have a chat.
Cindy O'Dea
I own the Perth, WA based Practical HR Strategies. I have over 25 years HR and Learning and Development experience and have worked in organisations in all three tiers of government, mining and higher education. I'm passionate about providing no-nonsense solutions to help with the toughest part of any business - managing people!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

4 Top Tips: How to Effectively Negotiate a New Car Price

Purchasing a new car can become a fairly complicated process. It means spending hours on researching a suitable car, testing long forgotten math skills to calculate the finance terms and prepping to get the best price out of a car deal. However, the benefits to negotiate a car price are plenty. With a negotiated price, not only do you pay less money but you can also use the money and invest it elsewhere. Learning how to effectively negotiate a new car price is a skill that you can master. Keep the following tips in mind while you set out to negotiate the price of your next car.
1) Do Your Homework
Before turning up at the dealership, make sure you have done enough research regarding the car you wish to purchase. Conducting a good research will assist you in getting a clear picture of the type of car you want, the required features and the approximate budget you can allocate to the car. Many car manufacturers have special prices on their website. You could use the research to your advantage during negotiating the price of the car. If you go into the dealership with an idea of a fixed car and an approximate price, you will be able to dismiss any attempted sales tactics to make you buy an unnecessarily expensive car.
2) Visit Several Dealerships
After conducting a thorough research, try to visit more than one dealership. Amongst all the prices, compare the price of the lowest deal with another dealer and ask if he can beat the previous price. Another reason to visit various dealerships is to get the car with all the features you require. Expanding your reach will enable you to obtain the best price while still retaining all the features of the car you wish to purchase.
3) Negotiate on the Total Amount
Many a times, an illusion of a lower monthly payment clouds your judgment. A low monthly payment is usually spanned out over a long time frame with a heavy interest rate. In order to negotiate the lowest price, make sure you negotiate the final price based on the total amount of the car. Additionally, if you provide a down payment and repay the remaining amount within a short time frame, you will be able to make a better offer to the dealer.
4) Lay a Floor Price and a Ceiling Price
During the process, have a mental range between which you would like to negotiate your car. The floor price is the lowest price at which you should start negotiating. Usually, the floor price is 5 to 10 percent lower than the car manufacturer's price. Alternatively, a ceiling price is the final price up to which you are willing to pay. If any dealer quotes a price that is higher than your ceiling price, you should shop around and look for other options. Therefore, a floor price and a ceiling price will assist you in cracking your deal and help you purchase the car within your range.
While purchasing a new car may be a long process, negotiating the deal doesn't have to be. Consider the above pointers before you set out to negotiate the price of your next new car.