Benefits of Graphic Design for Small Businesses

As Steve Jobs said and I quote, “Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works”.

Be it a small business or a large one, the organization’s logo, their web design, or mobile application; makes them stand out from those of their competitors’ is the ‘design’. For this reason, graphic design for small businesses plays an important role in today’s competitive word, particularly for small businesses. There are numerous reasons why graphic designing tends to be more effective for small businesses;

Indeed, offering products with superior performance is no longer the sole factor in determining an organization’s success. Yet, many businesses wonder why graphic design is important for any business. In this article we tackle some benefits of graphic designing for small businesses that will make them invest in professional graphic designers right away.

Read Graphic Design for Small Businesses

How Modern Financial Analytics is Changing Industry Trends

Financial Analytics

Analytics have become a go-to tool for most organisations today. We have discovered just how powerful it is for businesses to get information in a timely manner. It helps them make better decisions and to respond much better to current trends that are always in a state of flux. There is perhaps no better use of analytics than finances. If marketing analytics is the heart of every business then financial analytics is the blood that allows them to thrive. We are discovering new ways to increase the value of our business every day.

In short, financial analytics have become game changers for businesses. They are constantly changing industry trends around the world.

What Exactly Is Financial Analytics?

To put this as simply as possible, it’s a tool that provides different looks at a company’s financial information. This analysis is used to gain a deeper understanding of business performance so that improvements can be made. Finances play a key role in all aspects of a business so financial analytics are an essential ingredient of success.

The simple truth is that financial analytics provide forecasting that can be used to shape the goals of a business. This powerful form of reporting is changing industry trends.

Sheds a New Light on Revenue Projections

The data provided by financial analytics reveals some important points about how a customer makes a purchase. For example, you can use predictive analytics to determine where your website is losing customers. For example, Amazon uses analytics to determine the behaviour of a customer in relation to product reviews. They know that products with several reviews get more purchases, so they are able to build this fact into their revenue model. They famously provide an information-driven pathway for customers on their website, using a complex ranking system to drive buyers to better products.

My point is that revenue projections make this possible because Amazon can see that buyers are spending more money on these types of products, so they rank them accordingly. The result is fewer lost sales.

Answers Important Questions About Business Processes

Technology is forcing businesses to create more complex systems so there are several questions that tend to always come up. Financial analytics will help you answer some of these important questions.

  • What are the biggest financial risks?
  • How can we adapt our process to avoid these risks?
  • Are we making the right investments in technology?
  • How are different channels bringing us profit?
  • Which market segments are generating the most profits?

Understanding these key points strengthens a business and everyone within it because we can create processes that are geared towards higher profits.

Businesses are Rethinking Labour Costs

Financial analytics are changing the way businesses look at labour costs. Let’s use the utility industry as an example. Customers are more likely to call in when their bills are high. By using predictive analytics, power companies can determine which customers will have the highest bills in a given month. This information can then be used to alert these customers before their high bills arrive. That will lower the number of customers that call about high bills, therefore allowing these companies to lower labour costs at their call centres.

That is just one example of how financial analytics can directly affect labour costs. Businesses should make sure that employees are working on core business processes.

CFOs Have Faster Access to Data than Ever Before

Traditional financial analytical systems do not analyse data in real time. They rely on daily/weekly reports being filed. Then those reports are analysed to create charts and other important analytical tools. CFOs can only see things happening in past tense – when it’s already too late to make meaningful changes. That’s why businesses had to rely on intuition so much in the past. They did not have access to real time data.

Fast-forward to the modern business world where CFOs are able to access real-time data. Having access to financial data provides CFOs with the ability to make important financial decisions that can help navigate a business in the right direction. They no longer have to deal with those delayed reports.

Pinpointing errors immediately allows a business to react quickly and mitigate issues before they become too much of a drain on the business.

Businesses Have Become Proactive Rather than Reactive

Businesses have always been infamous for being reactive in nature. Changes occur in the market and a business reacts to those changes. However, the ability to access real-time financial data has led to a shift in businesses. They have the ability to become proactive. In other words, they can predict changes in the market and take action before the change actually occurs.

In business, we’re always under pressure to acquire new customers and optimise their experience. Financial analytics help us learn the spending habits of those customers so that we can create the best possible buying experience. In the past, we were forced to wait until we saw drops in customers to even know there was a problem. Today, we see businesses acting well in advance of consumer trends.

Financial analytics should not be reserved solely for large businesses. In truth, small businesses have just as much to gain from this powerful tool. It ensures that you are able to adapt to trends that could potentially affect your operations. Plus, financial reports are the measuring stick for success used by banks and investors.  

That Million Dollar Curb Appeal for the DIY-er

exterior rendering

This article is originally posted at If you want to read full article, visit

April showers bring May flowers…or so they once said! Hopefully that English proverb holds true for us here in the Pacific North West this spring. While it has been dreary outside, long days and warmer weather await!

But what to do with your front yard once the weather turns?

Right now it is useless. It looks tired. It looks old. The neighbours think the house is abandoned (not actually but you get the point). This spring you are going to make your yard scream modernity – and on a DIY budget no less! Now roll up your sleeves and prepare to transform your tired yard into a magnificently modern masterpiece.

Lawn TLC

The key to a beautiful house is a beautiful lawn. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for lawn repair and a bag of turf builder, combined with a regiment of moss killer and weed remover, are quick and cheap options to restore that deep green hue.
Consider borrowing your neighbour’s push-mower to get that short uniform look and do not forget to edge the lawn. With proper edging and a close shave, you will have a fantastic looking lawn all summer – don’t forget to water!

Plant A Tree

A regularly pruned tree of moderate height, say…no larger than 7 feet, can be a focal point in your garden. It draws eyes from the house itself and provides depth to a well manicured lawn that is cut both short and uniform. You can grab a juvenile tree for around $20.

Be Bold: Stain Your Cement

The world of stained cement is a marvelous one. You are only limited by your imagination…and maybe your budget. But I know you are a DIY master with a small pocketbook. Fear not! The people over at doityourself have a wonderful breakdown of staining that cement, and for as little as 50 cents per square foot. Not bad at all!

Accentuate with Native Shrubs

Small, upright shrubs placed in strategic areas in your front yard provide multiple benefits. Shrubbery helps to define features by framing or highlighting them and provides privacy when used as a hedge.

Using native vegetation is better because you know it can survive in your yard and requires less maintenance over time. It can also be cheaper as you can transplant vegetation from a local forest significantly reducing the costs associated with preparing your yard (don’t snag any plants from your neighbourhood park).

Also, using native vegetation will attract wildlife such as butterflies and birds. Local vegetation can be used to create waterwise gardens too; meaning you can have a garden that looks like a million bucks, and is environmentally friendly!

Modern Lighting for Any Budget

At this point your front yard is most likely the envy of the block. But you can really make this thing pop. Small, stainless steel bollards are a perfect accent to a well manicured yard that can give that million-dollar curb appeal for under 100 hundred dollars.

There is a HUGE selection of bollards to choose from, but we are going for an ultra modern aesthetic and short, stainless steel bollards are all the rage. If you buy solar, you don’t have to pay for electricity or bury any wire! Double Bonus.

I should warn you though. Making these simple, easy changes to your front yard may cause realtors to approach you with an offer of selling your house. That is the price a successful DIY-er must pay for their ingenuity.

Credit to Realspace 3D for this post.

The Best At Home Espresso Machine

best at home espresso machine

This is article is originally post at

So you’re finally ready to upgrade to a professional-grade espresso machine? Congratulations! We know it’s a big step, so we’re here to help you along the way.

Buying a high-end espresso machine is one of the best investments (if not the best investment) a coffee lover can make. Not only will it allow you to be able to enjoy real authentic espresso, cappuccinos, and ‘velvety’ lattes in your own home or office, but it will also allow you to save money in the process (win-win!).

We feel it’s important to emphasis this point again: With a good machine, you will be able to make your own drinks at a fraction of the cost you would have to pay at coffee shops. With that being said, not all espresso machine are created equal. When you are buying your espresso machine, you want to be sure to choose the right one.

Below, we will be going over some of the different options you can choose from that are currently on the market. (Also, please note that when we say ‘best’, this is simply our personal opinion. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to features and qualities they prefer in an espresso machine, so we just wanted to share some of our favorites with you!).

Best Manual Espresso Machines

La Pavoni Europiccola Manual Espresso Machine. This particular espresso machine by La Pavoni is arguably the ‘top of the line’ in the entire market for manual espresso machines. Not only does it feature a classic design with its inclusion of the retro press (which essentially gives you complete control over every aspect of your shot), but it also has a beautiful chrome finish to it.

The machine is completely manual, so it will take some time to get used to. You will need to practicing using it to get comfortable with the amount of pressure you need to use, as well as figuring out the right pulling technique to really get the best possible shot each and every time. Because of the manual nature of this machine, it is more recommended for those that are willing to learn, have patience, and really want full control over the entire process.

This is not the machine to purchase if you are simply looking to find one that does all of the work with the click of a button.

Best Semi-automatic Espresso Machine

The Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine is by far one of the best options if you are looking at semi-automatic espresso machines. Manufactured by Rocket Espresso, the R58 has a level of craftsmanship that absolutely shines. Because it features dual boilers for both steaming and brewing, it is going to provide you with the ultimate level of control.

Along with this, it comes with a plugin PID with a large display that can provide you with the details you need to be able to change the temperature of both boilers at once. You can either utilize the included water reservoir or simply pump a constant supply of fresh water into the machine. While Rocket’s R60V espresso machine is also fantastic, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the R58. That’s why we give Rocket’s R58 machine the edge.

Best Automatic Espresso Machine

La Spaziale S1 Dream T Espresso Machine. This was a harder category to choose for, because there are many fantastic options. But the majority of us feel that the La Spaziale S1 Dream T is the number one automatic espresso machine on the entire market. It comes with a fully featured programmable touchpad and features two different boilers which will allow you to both brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.