Tag Archives: Small

Are We There Yet? Traveling With Small Children

Don’t you just dread the kids shouting out “Are we there yet”? Traveling on long car journeys need not be such a stressful experience.

Keeping kids occupied with games to play in the car on long journeys and in traffic jams is a big challenge. The secret to this is to be organised. When I know I am going traveling with children on long journeys by car I keep an eye out for special offers on snack size items and drinks, colouring books, crayons and activity packs just for this purpose.

Have plenty of small snacks and small drinks to hand – but not left in the boot! Pack each child their own in-car picnic for when they get the munchies. Make sure you have plenty wet wipes or kitchen paper handy. When you are travelling with children you could have a special bag for each child that is ready just to pick up and place in the car so there is no running around at the last minute. When you return from your trip you could get it ready for the next time you will be travelling with children so you are well prepared.

No matter how old your children are make sure you have an adequate supply of picture and reading books, colouring books and their favourite small toys. Even a personal DVD player if your budget will stretch that far. You can also buy activity packs for children in a particular age range. The more choice you have the less likelihood of them getting bored and you losing your concentration and soon you will reach your destination in relative peace. If the kids are happy then you are happy and everyone will be more relaxed instead of getting stressed out. The only problem might be getting them out of the car if their DVD has not finished! In between DVD’s or even if you don’t have the luxury of that technology intersperse their reading by playing other games in the car. There is always the traditional I-Spy game which is always popular when travelling with children but I have listed some more ideas below:-

What Am I?: One person states they are either a person, place or object and the others then ask questions (are you red, can you speak, do you bark, can you be eaten, etc) until they guess what that person is, then they are next.

Colours: Choose a colour and have everyone help name as many different items as possible in that colour.

Nursery Rhyme Changes: Recite nursery rhymes for children and encourage your child to join in. If they are comfortable with the rhyme, change one word and see if they can tell you what’s different. (Example: “Baa, Baa black sheep have you any wool, yes sir yes sir ten socks full”) carry on the rhyme until they notice the changes.

Finish the Story: You start telling a story then everyone takes it in turns adding to the story line. If you have a children’s tape recorder you could even tape it for them to listen to on the return journey and have a laugh.

Opposites: Call out a word and have your child respond with the opposite. (Examples: tall-short, hot-cold, quickly-slowly)

Categories: Choose something your child is familiar with like fruits, colours or shapes, and see how many they can name.

20 Questions: How much do you really know about your children’s likes and dislikes? About what they are thinking? Use this time to get to know them better by asking questions like: – Do you remember your dreams? What are they about? – What is your favourite food? What food would you rather not eat again? – What is your favourite colour? – What makes them happy, what makes them unhappy and what makes them get angry?

Telephone Time: If your child owns a toy telephone, have them call you, dad, grandma, the dog or cat. Encourage them to talk about what they have seen on their trip.

The Quiet Game: If all else fails, try this old standby for a few minutes of peace and quiet. The one who stays quiet the longest should receive a small surprise or their first choice of a snack. A great game for when things are getting stressed when travelling with children – if you are lucky they might even drop off to sleep!!

Hopefully some of the above will help take the stress and boredom out of car journeys for you and your family, travelling with children may not be the headache you thought it would be after all.

Have a safe trip!

David is the Father of one son and has enjoyed many long car journeys with him and his friends without getting too stressed. He has written various articles on parenting and has a website aimed at under 5’s where you can read more articles, recipes, and humour.

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Small Business Internet Marketing in a Recession

With the economy still in recovery effectively managing your marking budget is more important then ever. In fact, many companies are hunkering down and selectively limiting or eliminating their marking expenditures entirely. The intent is to save money and limit risk, but in fact they are arguably missing out on a prime opportunity to grow business as a discount cost. Take in to consideration search engine marking using bid for placement search mediums such as Google Adwords. With business across many verticals dropping their budgets to conserve cash the barriers to entry and cost for each new visitor have declined. The alternative strategy to cutting marketing budgets to conserve is to maintain or even increase to dominate the competition. Understandably, not every business is in the position to take such aggressive action, but even a modest investment during a low competition market condition could return dividends medium to long term.

Take into consideration organic search optimization an online marketing service that is designed to make your website more appealing to search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. The result when implemented correctly is increased visitors to your web site via a more diversified array of keyword phrases that are relevant to your business. More visitors to your company website will result in contact form submissions, phone calls and even sales. Search engine optimization is a long term ongoing process that takes time, often up to one year to see significant results depending on the condition of your website, industry competition and the goals you wish to accomplish. Starting the process during a difficult economy means fewer companies are competing in your vertical so effort required to attain results is lessened. Also, because business is slow across many industries including in some instances web design and marking, many companies are offering services at an incentive based price.

To learn more about small business marketing visit http://www.atlanticoptimize.com a West Palm Beach internet marketing company.

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Factoring is a Recession-Proof Tactic for Small Businesses

According to a September 20 announcement from The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) the U.S. economy hit rock bottom in June 2009 – but it has been on the rebound ever since, officially ending the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion.

NBER said the recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Economic conditions since that month have not been very favorable. The organization did concede the economy has not yet returned to normal.

Small business owners along with consumers who have been without jobs for months don’t agree the recession is over. In fact most small businesses continue to struggle, and many are barely making it. The ones that are are using every financial tactic they can, including invoice factoring – since many of their invoices are outstanding, and clients are paying more than 60 to 90 days out.

Could your small businesses be receiving tax breaks if you invest in new equipment or plants? Yes, this is a true fact, and in fact the Small Businesses Job Act will also double your current expense limit. And according to the latest proposal from Washington, business owners can also write off 100 percent of the investment in a year as opposed to a series of deductions over the years.

However analysts are seeing one thing wrong with this picture — most small businesses aren’t making expenditures that exceed the current $ 250,000 expensing limit! So it only stands to prove that only a few businesses will benefit.

The Small Business Association (SBA) sees a business as one that is organized for profit; has a place of business in the U.S.; operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor; is independently owned and operated; and is not dominant in its field on a national basis. A company may be a sole proprietarship, partnership or a corporation.

Size standards for all for-profit industries were established, representing the largest size that a business, including its subsidiaries and affiliates, may be to remain classified as a small business entity.

The majority of smaller businesses will not benefit from the proposed tax break. What’s more they also agree that few single solutions work for every business. But there is one solution that does work for almost any business, and that is accounts receivable factoring. Factoring companies have been successfully helping small to medium-sized businesses stay afloat.

A new monthly survey by Discover Financial Services, says 62 percent believe the economy is getting worse. The company’s August survey of 750 small business owners nationwide revealed that 55 percent economic conditions for their business to be unfavorable in the next six months. The largest month-on-month decline since November 2009, the company said that these factors caused its Small Business Watch index to drop 10 points between July and August.

Small businesses are struggling nationwide, and yet some have survived, thanks to tactics including prudent strategic thinking, working harder and leaner, and good financial tactics like factoring. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers:

Q: So how quickly can I receive funding from an invoice factoring company? A: Most factors pay in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Q: Can I be selective in the invoices I sell? A: Yes and in fact most factoring companies do not expect to buy 100 percent of your receivables.

Q: How much can you advance against invoice? A: Some factoring companies will advance up to 90 percent against invoices you are selling.

Q: How much will factoring cost? A: Professional fees are competitive. Each client’s circumstances will vary and may have an impact on the fees.

Kristin Gabriel is a writer who works with The Interface Financial Group (www.IFGnetwork.com.) The company provides short-term financial resources including invoice factoring, serving clients in more than 30 industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. IFG offers expertise in factoring, accounting, finance, law, marketing and banking.