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Month: July 2018

Agricultural Gardening: Is It The Next Big Thing?

70 years ago, vegetable growing was all the rage – almost every family home contained a vegetable patch and orchard within it. Back in the late 1940s through to the 1980s, homegrown food was a big thing, with as many families as possible choosing to grow their own fruits and vegetables and lead more affordable and sustainable lives.

Studies have recently shown that once again food growing in the US has hit a high with more families choosing to grow their own produce which has lead to food growing in the US being at the highest levels seen in over a decade according to a report from the National Gardening Association.

Of course, in order to be able to grow produce from your garden, you need to invest in all of the right tools, from water tanks and fertiliser to gardening tools like spades and forks, in addition to ensuring that you have adequate irrigation in place. To get a better idea of what is needed to grow produce click here and have a browse of this useful website.

The statistics show that out of all households in America, five per cent (equating to 42 million households) are choosing to grow their own food at home or in a community garden. This statistic is set to rise by nearly 20% in the next five years.

Since 2008, there has been the largest increase in agricultural gardening seen in younger households with an increase of 63% (equating to 13 million households) since 2008. There have also been two million more households community gardening since 2008 which is an increase of 200% for community gardening.

Studies have shown that more young people are getting involved in home growing food, particularly the millennial population (people aged 18 to 34). Back in 2008, there were just eight million home growers, but in 2013 that figure rose to 13 million, which was an increase of 63%. Millenials also nearly doubled the amount spent on food gardening, increasing the amount from $632 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2013 – that’s a significant increase.

It was also found that an increasing number of households with children chose to participate in food gardening, with an increase of 25% since 2008, going from 12 million families with children growing their own food, increasing to 15 million households.

There was also an increase in food gardening by households living in urban areas with an almost 30% increase, taking the number of urban food gardeners from seven million to nine million. With an additional two million households getting involved in community gardening in the same period, which equates to a 300% increase of community gardening.

What these statistics show is that there is a food revolution taking over in the US. There is an increasing number of people – particularly younger, more health-conscious people – choosing to get involved in growing their own foods. The growth already seen has been incredible and experts predict that this will continue to rise over the next five years significantly.

Tips on calculating just how much a loan will cost to repay

When you’re looking at taking out a loan, there are always extra charges involved. It is never recommended to take out a loan, unless you have the means to pay it back. Depending on the type of loan you take out, the charges and interest alone can actually cause you to be in a worse situation than before you took out the loan. It’s always important when you are applying for a learn or comparing what’s available to work out just how much it will actually cost you to repay. 

The Annual APR 

The annual APR is the interest rate charged on the balance of a loan. For example, if you have an 20% APR on a loan, you’ll be asked to pay back 20% of the loan amount, on top of the loan itself.  So, if you were to take out a loan of £1000, your total for the year to pay back would be £1200. However, if you had still been unable to pay anything back, the following year you would be charged 20% out of the remaining balance (£1200) on top of the balance (£1200 + £240 = £1440). Therefore, you are able to calculate how much you will be paying back by working out how much you can afford to pay back over time, and what the interest will be on top of that for each given year.

Repayment charges 

If you wish to pay back your loan earlier, you may have early repayment charges to contend with. Some providers charge for early repayment if they offer good deals for the first year. It’s always best to check the small print of your terms before opting for what seems like a good deal. Then you can calculate how much you may be paying in extra charges, if you wanted to pay off your loan earlier and get out of debt.  

Is your loan secured? 

Secured loans, also known as logbook loans, they are a type of loan whereby you use an asset such as your car or property as a type of guarantee against the loan. It, therefore, means that if you are unable to pay the loan back your asset will be owed to the lender instead of the money for the loan. When calculating the cost of a loan, you may also want to incorporate the asset used as part of the cost. It may be that you will need to give this up, in order to repay the loan which could cost you more than the actual loan itself. However, it can provide peace of mind that the loan will be paid off even if you were unable to meet the payments.

Origination fees 

Some lenders charge an origination fee when applying for a loan. This is a fee set by the lender and charged on entering the agreement to take out the loan. They are normally quoted in the process of applying for the loan, but it’s always best to compare prices and hunt around to make sure you’re not overcharged.  

Calculating how much a loan will cost isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Make sure you read the small print and understand the charges as well as the terms of the policy first before you take out a loan. It’s always worth to have a look to see it if it worth switching to keep yourself with a good credit score.

How To Make Your Entrepreneurial Journey As Productive As Possible

Being an entrepreneur can be absolutely incredible. But don’t ever think that choosing this lifestyle is going to be an easy ride. Even when you get to work from home, set your own hours, and be in control of your earnings, it’s tough. You often spend years working long hours, and for little pay! But it will all pay off in the end. But the journey is one that is always worth it. So if you’re thinking about getting started, definitely make sure that you get off on the right foot. And that’s always a productive one. If you want your entrepreneurial journey to be a great one, you have to focus on hard work and productivity. Not sure how? These five points should steer you in the right direction.

Love What You Do

First of all, you have to really love what you do. If you have a passion for the business idea that you’re working on, you won’t’ really find it work. You’ll be excited to give it your all. It’s the passion that keeps you going during the late nights, or when times to get tough. It’s the passion that keeps you dedicated and committed, even when you’re waiting months (or years) for things to take off. So if you really want this thing to take you somewhere, you need to love what it is that you’re doing.

Stay Organized

Something that will really help you here, is to make sure that you’re incredibly organized at all times. If you’re messy and you have no idea where you’ve written notes, or where your documents are, it will hold you back. So get your files organized with the cloud and hard drive storage like a USB 3.0. Wondering what is USB 3.0? It’s the latest release of your favorite storage solution and will help you to keep everything you need in one small place.


But alongside keeping your stuff together, you’re going to want to put yourself out there. Being organized can help you to be productive, but don’t just limit yourself to doing things alone. Instead, connect with other entrepreneurs and get talking. Share ideas, reach for opportunities, and make sure that you explore every avenue that comes your way.

Be Willing To Learn

It’s also a really great idea to try and learn a lot during your journey. If you want to grow as an entrepreneur, then you need to be willing to learn. Try new things, pick up new ideas, and try different systems. By being innovative and flexible and absorbing everything, you should find that your journey is more productive than ever.

Practice Patience

Finally, one of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur is knowing that it’s going to be a long journey. Yes, you’re going to want to be productive and make sure that you’re getting to where you want to be, but it won’t happen overnight. You have to see this as a journey that you’re enjoying, and not a race that you’re trying to win. The more patient you can be, the better the rewards will become.

So You’ve Got a Product Idea: Now What?

You’ve been staring out of the window, daydreaming, and then it comes to you: an ingenious product idea that gets your heart racing. Your eyes turn to dollar signs. You can picture on the shelf in the store, and boy, it’s beautiful! In your daydream, you race far ahead. You see the end game. When you come back to reality, you see that there’s a big gap between where you stand now and that future that was so clear in your mind. But rest easy: there are ways to make your dreams a reality! But you’re going to need to know a thing or two first. Below, we take a look at things you need to consider and do to get your idea out of your mind and into existence.

Is it a Good Idea?

First thing’s first: is this a good idea? Not all original ideas are worth pursuing! Things can look pretty magical when it’s fresh, but after some investigation, can show themselves to be less than stellar. It’s your idea, so you’re probably going to be slightly – no, very – biased, but your friends? They’re going to tell you the brutal truth – they’re not your friends if they’re not willing to tell you how dumb an idea is. So float it around. It all the signals you receive are positive, then you’re likely onto something. If everyone’s shaking their head and calling you names, then, well, don’t abandon the idea exactly, but maybe give it some further thought.

And Is there a Market?

But here’s something that you probably already knew: your friends and family don’t know everything! Even if they’re bowled away by your product idea, that doesn’t mean that there’s a market for it. For starters, your friends and family are likely to be from a similar background/economic status as you. Everything can sound good when it’s in an echo chamber! To see if you’ve actually got something viable on your hands, conduct your market research. It won’t just tell you whether the product is good, but whether it can be a business. A product that can teleport people from one place to another is a good idea, but wouldn’t be a business is no-one could afford it!

Checking Who’s Already Done What

We’re not going to rain on your “original idea” story, but you might want to check that it really is original. There are a lot of people in the world, and two people are bound to think the same thing from time to time. So before you go any further, check that the product you’re thinking of creating doesn’t already exist. A few internet searches and trips to the mall should be able to tell you. You’ll only get yourself in a lot of legal bother if you don’t check and it later turns out that you’ve copied someone else – even unknowingly.

Your Unique Selling Point

It’s important to note, however, that someone having a similar product doesn’t necessarily mean that yours has to go into the trash. If it’s more or less the same product, then sure, it’s going nowhere. However, if it’s simply solving a similar problem, then the game may be on. You’ll have to determine how your product is different. You’ll need to find your unique selling point. You’ve already addressed the issue of why people would need a product like this; why do they want YOUR product, rather than someone else’s?

Breaking Down the Numbers

As you’ll quickly come to appreciate, the process of having a product idea and bringing it into being can be lengthy, not to mention expensive. So if this is going to be your full-time work, then you’ll need to crunch some numbers first. First of all, who’s going to be funding this product? Are you able to leave your current work and still afford to meet your expenses? If you can’t do it right then, then you may need to make this a part-time venture until you’re in a better financial position.

Bringing People On Board

Whenever you do get serious about it, make sure you’re not doing everything by yourself. You’ll be the driving force behind the product, but you won’t have anywhere near the expertise you need to do everything. This is true of all new companies, but more so with products, simply because there are so many small, technical matters to address, and it’s simply more complicated than say, a tech start-up. And when it comes to hiring people, hire the best. We can’t stress this enough – make sure they’re smarter than you and know the industry better than you do.

Getting A Prototype

You don’t run straight from idea to company to raking in the profits. You’ll need to develop and work on your product. For this, you’ll need a prototype built. If you choose Laser Light, you’ll be able to see and feel the first incarnation of your product, an important part of the process. By seeing your idea up close, you can see any flaws that were not immediately apparent when the idea was just down on paper. From there, it’ll be about tweaking your design and then taking it to the next level.


You have a deep understanding of how the product is supposed to work. When you hold it in your hands, you’ll know what to do with it. The question is: does the public?Before you begin mass producing your product, you’ll need to make sure that it’s going to go well with the consumer. Ask for feedback from people you trust, and then make adjustments based on their recommendations. They are the people you want to sell to – they know better than you do!

Marketing Your Product

It’s all good and well having an excellent product, but you need people to know about it. Think long and hard about how you’re going to get your product into the minds of the general public. Here, your company branding will be essential, so make sure you get it right!

What Different Types of Business Software Are Available?

These days, many business owners are focusing on investing in software rather than physical equipment. This certainly appears to be the way that the future is heading. But if you are not hugely clued-up in this area, you may be asking what type of business software is going to work best for your company. First of all, you need to have a better understanding of your options, and that is what we will be aiming to provide right here in this article.

Business Invoicing and Billing Software

In days gone by, you would have to go through the huge effort of creating every single invoice from scratch to send out to your clients and get paid. Often, this type of software uses templates which can be customised to match the needs of your company. Ultimately, this is designed to save you a lot of the admin work which would cost you a great deal of time. Not only this, it takes away the risk of human error which is always possible when something is being done by hand.

Payroll Software

Another type of software in the financial sector is payroll software, which is designed to help you to manage your payroll taxes and payments in a more efficient manner. These often allow you to print out the paychecks and forms which are needed for all sorts of different tax purposes. Whether you only have a single employee or several thousand, there is no doubt that this type of software can prove to be useful.

Database Software

Database software comes in a number of different forms and can be designed and shaped depending on what sort of company you are running. So, Versum – salon software has been specifically designed to help people out who are running this kind of business. Some of the features contained in database software tends to be business names and contact addresses, to-do lists and other important documents directly relating to the successful running of the business. Larger companies will often require server databases, while smaller and medium-sizes ones often rely on web or desktop based systems.

Asset Management Software

If your business is directly involved in sales and distribution, asset management software can help you to keep track of what physical assets you have available. These type of programs can often offer suggestions based on what sort of information you are inputting regarding things like depreciation rates and dates for replacement.

One of the central selling points of business software is that it is there to automate processes which would have previously taken up a great deal of time and would have been subject to human error. Ultimately, it is worth checking out what sort of software is available before taking the decision to invest in it. You should also check out the different brands and programs, as well as the reviews which are available to see if they are right for you.

Finding Your Way Through The Modern Software Jungle

Over the last couple of decades, the software industry has gone from being something reserved for businesses and enthusiasts, to one of the biggest and widest spread throughout the world. In this time, most fields get the chance to mature, developing into something easy for layfolk to navigate. When it comes to software, though, this simply isn’t the case. Instead, this part of tech is one of the most confusing for those who aren’t in the know, leaving loads of people to struggle when it comes to choosing the right options for them. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the common factors which make this field so chaotic.


From the biggest video games to the smallest specific applications, problems with naming are a consistent theme within the software world. To start, when a company makes a program, they will often name it based on the task which it has to perform, while also using existing companies to inspire them. This results in examples like Freshbooks, Quickbooks, and Clearbooks. They are all piece of accounting software, and all have very similar names, making it impossible for those new to the market to decipher the differences between them without some hard research.

Along with applications sharing similar names, you may also find that some application’s names simply don’t make any sense. In the case of Adobe, all of their offerings used to be labeled with a CS identifier, like CS6. Since launching their Creative Cloud service, though, they’ve changed all of their names to simply have CC attached to them, making options like Photoshop go through versions CS5, CS6, and onto CC. This can be found throughout the market, making it worth considering whenever you’re choosing an application.

Versions/Service Tiers

With the way that updates are advertised, it’s no wonder that a lot of people don’t realise that it isn’t actually a new product, and will often stick with their older version thinking that it will save them money. Along with this, when it comes to downloading the software, it can be hard to figure out which has come last when you have loads of links to choose from. Help in this area can come from an unusual source; YouTube. Companies will often have content creators working for them to cover their latest updates and changes. By subscribing to users like this, you can get direct access to download links and all of the latest information.

Along with different versions, a lot of modern software companies like to have more than one tier available when you buy your applications. Giving you the chance to save money by cutting features, this can be great, but will also often be confusing. When something is named as the Pro option, this doesn’t mean that it is restricted for those working for money, instead referring to what is included. For example, with a high-tier service, you will often get extended support, and this can be very useful when you’re having issues.


While a lot of the trouble in this industry comes in the form of the money being taken from you, there are a couple of things which apps can come with. Trials are the most common freebie you’ll find, often giving you the chance to try software completely free for a limited amount of time. It’s worth reading the small print before you disregard something like this, though. Some will give you a trial which lasts forever, with other limitations in place to steer you towards buying them from you. This sort of example can often have all of the features you’re looking for.


In the past, people would buy their applications for a set fee, and would have a license key to go with it. Things have changed, nowadays, though, and most software comes with subscription systems, instead. Charging you monthly for the tools you’ll be using, this can make it cheaper when you’re only going to be using something for a short time. But, you have to be careful; some of them will want you to make a year-long commitment which will be expensive to get out of. Each company will have its own rules when it comes to the way you pay, and this is well worth figuring out before you put any money down.


A lot of the software options which you have available to you won’t have all of the features which you need. To make up for this, while also making some extra money, a lot of software companies will often addons and plugins for their applications. You will have to install something like this yourself, and this can make it into a trial to get started. Along with this, though, you may have to pay a small fortune to unlock features which you desperately need, when an alternative might already come with it in the base version.

Free Alternatives

Thanks to small groups of dedicated developers still working on software which they want people to use for free, you can often find free alternatives to the expensive software you need to use. For example, Microsoft Office is ubiquitous around the world, and costs a small fortune for people to buy. Google’s version, though, is completely free, and it can be used without having to install anything on the machine your working on. To help you to find free software, there are loads of tools out there which can be used to compare premium offerings with their alternatives.

Finding The Option For You

When it comes to choosing the software which you’re going to use, there are a couple of steps which you will need to take. Below, you can find a short list of these, to give you an idea of where you’ll need to get started, Along with this, though, you will have to be willing to do some learning of your own, using the skills you develop while hunting to improve the decisions you make going into the future.


  • Research: Research is very important when you’re choosing any product, even software. Finding the best word schedule maker, for example, will involve a lot of blog reading, along with looking up what other users thing of the tools on offer. A big part of this will be figuring out exactly which features each option includes.



  • Comparison: With a handful of options under your belt, you will be ready to start comparing them, building an understanding of which of your options offers the best value for money. At this stage, you can also look at things like ease of use. There isn’t much point in buying software which you can’t use, and this is well worth considering before diving in.



  • Testing: Finally, as the last part of this, it will be time to test the best out of the bunch. Using the trials on offer, it should be very easy to figure out which one you like the most. A lot of this will always be down to user preference, and you could find that an option which everyone hates becomes your go-to.


Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you will start to find the world of software a little easier to navigate. When you start to include things like games into this mix, things only get more complicated. For now, though, you have to tools to help you to choose the perfect tools, and it’s time to start finding ways to use them.