Guide

Business

Workers’ Compensation Meaning: A Guide With Everything to Know

Workers' Compensation Meaning: A Guide With Everything to Know


Workers’ Compensation Meaning: A Guide With Everything to Know

Over 140,000,000 employees are covered by their employer’s worker’s compensation plans. These plans are available for almost 94% of all people currently employed in the United States. Unless you have been injured on the job, you may not understand worker’s compensation meaning or how it works to protect millions of people in the workplace.

If you’re uncertain about worker’s comp laws, read on. This guide to worker’s compensation will help you understand what it means, what it covers, and how it can benefit you whether you are hurt on the job or the owner of the company.

Worker’s Compensation Meaning

Worker’s compensation insurance is purchased by employers to cover employees who become injured on the job. The insurance bears the liability for the employee’s medical costs similar to the way an automobile insurance policy covers the owner of a car after an accident. 

Worker’s compensation protects the employee by paying medical bills that arise from a workplace injury. Worker’s compensation will pay surviving family members if the injury results in a fatality. This is important because an employee’s private insurance will not pay for any bills it considers work-related.

Worker’s compensation also protects the employer from being personally sued for the costs of the injury. An employer is protected from work-related injury lawsuits unless:

  • the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance isn’t enough to pay for the injury
  • The employer can be proven to have deliberately caused the injury through willful negligence
  • The employer’s actions directly caused the injury

Employers can purchase the policy from a third-party agency or fund the insurance themselves, becoming “self-insured.” 

Worker’s Compensation Laws

Worker’s comp benefits will vary from state to state. Typically, three benefits are required by these worker’s compensation laws: 

Lost Wages

Worker’s compensation will ensure the employee continues to draw a paycheck while off injured. This benefit may cover wages lost from a secondary job as well. The employee will be considered for short-term disability, meaning they will return to work within a reasonable amount of time, or long-term disability, meaning that they will be off of work for a longer time.

Medical Bills

Worker’s compensation will cover all medical bills incurred because of the workplace injury. This includes doctor and emergency room visits, prescriptions, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and specialized equipment.

Disability

The employee may qualify for a lump sum of money if the injury is expected to be debilitating. The amount of money received will be directly related to how much the injury is expected to affect the employee in the future.

OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a set of standards set in place to protect workers. Employers are obligated to report the injury on an OSHA form. If the accident is found to be caused by an OSHA violation, the employer could be held accountable and fined.

Federal Laws

Each state has guidelines for worker’s compensation, meaning that the laws will be different depending on where the business is located. There are some laws, however, that are federally governed. These are very specific for the occupation of the workers.

Some of these federally mandated worker’s compensation occupations include those employees working in the nuclear weapons industry, railroad workers, and civilian federal employees.

Who Needs Worker’s Compensation Insurance?

Employers will be required to have worker’s compensation insurance based on the number of people employed. In some states, it is needed for three or more employees. Other states may require it for only one employee.

Some industries are considered high risk. These industries will most likely require worker’s compensation insurance no matter how many people are employed at the company. Some of these high-risk professions include:

  • Construction
  • Hospital employees
  • Police work
  • Truck drivers

The costs of worker’s compensation insurance will depend on the size of the company and how much the company spends on its annual payroll. Business owners consider worker’s compensation a business expense, and the price paid for the premiums can be tax write-offs.

For most employers, the benefits and protections of buying worker’s compensation insurance far outweigh the costs.

Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim

If an employee is injured on the job, a worker’s compensation claim must be filed. The supervisor on duty at the time of the incident is responsible for gathering all of the information to file a new claim for the injury. 

It’s important to notify the supervisor immediately, as any delays in reporting the incident may cause the claim to be denied. If possible, take pictures or find a witness to the incident to support the claim.

An employee should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after the injury. Putting off a doctor’s visit may end up in a denial of the claim. Because some injuries take a while to show up, it’s advisable to go to the doctor whether the employee complains of pain or not.

Both the employer and the employee should keep written documentation of all communications between the supervisor, the worker’s comp representative, and the employee. This ensures sure all parties are getting the information needed to move forward on the claim.

Worker’s compensation insurance can be tough to navigate as an injured worker. These companies will try to find ways to keep from paying the claims. Many people choose to hire an attorney to handle their worker’s compensation claims. 

Worker’s Compensation Fraud

Both employers and employees can be guilty of worker’s compensation fraud. 

Employers can commit fraud by downgrading the hazards faced by employees to pay less in insurance premiums, not purchasing insurance, or filling out fake safety inspections.

Employees commit fraud by reporting off-duty injuries they experienced, reporting a fake injury, claiming an injury is worse than it is and working a second job while injured.

Fraud is taken very seriously for cases involving worker’s compensation, meaning that if someone is caught they may be fined and can even serve jail time. Some companies will hire a private investigator to follow an employee suspected of fraud.

Now that you understand how worker’s compensation works, check out some of our other posts for more helpful information and guides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health

How to Choose the Best Pharmacy: Your Complete Guide

How to Choose the Best Pharmacy: Your Complete Guide


How to Choose the Best Pharmacy: Your Complete Guide

Over 50% of the United States population takes one or more prescription medications. Since you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that you’re among that group. We’re also going to assume that you know how difficult getting your hands on prescriptions can be.

Not only do drugs cost Americans a collective $325 billion per year but the convenience of accessing prescriptions can be a serious challenge depending on where you live.

The most effective way to improve your prescription getting process is to do business with the best pharmacy that’s available to you. Determining which pharmacy that is, is the purpose of this post.

Below, we walk you through tips that will help you weigh your pharmacy options which will hopefully lead you to choose the best provider.

Keep it Simple

In life, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. The same principle applies to pharmacy selection.

If you have a healthcare provider, there’s a chance that they have an in-house pharmacy. In most cases, that pharmacy will be the easiest place to get your prescription filled and will offer you the best prices.

People that go to smaller doctor’s offices may not have the benefit of an in-house pharmacy. If your healthcare provider is a large organization like Kaiser though, we recommend simplifying things by getting everything done in one place.

Consider Local Options

Location is a huge factor when it comes to picking the best pharmacy. If you pick a pharmacy that’s far away, you may find it difficult to pick up your medication which could lead to you putting off your healthcare needs.

To avoid that, start your pharmacy search by creating a short-list of pharmacies that are within a 15-minute drive of your house. Almost all communities have a CVS, Walgreens, or another chain pharmacy within that radius.

Ask About Mail Services

One of the biggest revolutions in prescription fulfillment has been mail order services. With mail order, you can place orders online and your medication will get delivered to your door in roughly 3 to 5 days (if your pharmacy is based domestically).

This can be a massive convenience boost for people that have difficulty finding the time to pick up their prescriptions.

Some pharmacies that are partnered with healthcare providers offer patients mail order services for free. Others, like this pharmacy, will offer complimentary shipping if you buy prescriptions in bulk.

Weigh Price Differences

If you’ve never shopped between pharmacies before, it might come as a surprise that different pharmacies charge different prices. That’s why it’s imperative to consider what medications you need and how much different businesses charge for that medication.

What can cause more confusion here is that at many pharmacies, drug prices fluctuate. That can make it hard to budget for medical expenses.

Talk to a prospective pharmacy about the drugs that are important to you. Ask if they’ve seen fluctuation in those drug’s prices over the years.

By taking the time to understand a pharmacy’s price and fluctuation trends, you can set yourself up to pick a business that will offer you the best prices not just today but over time.

Confirm Insurance Acceptance

Not every pharmacy works with every insurance provider. If you rely on insurance to subsidize some or all of your prescription drug costs, you’re going to want to make sure that the pharmacy you’re considering accepts your insurance before placing an order.

A quick visit to a pharmacy’s website or a phone call can clear up any insurance questions that you may have. You’ll also want to double-check compatibility with your insurer.

Look Into Privacy Accommodations

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines state that all pharmacies must provide reasonable privacy accommodations to discuss a customer’s health needs. While compliance with HIPAA is mandated, some pharmacies do a better job of complying than others.

When considering your best pharmacy choices, inspect a pharmacy’s space to see if there are areas where you can have a private conversation. Also, read about a pharmacy’s reputation online to make sure that they have a track record of persevering their customer’s private medical data.

Consider Promotional Offers

In an effort to drum up business, many of the best pharmacies offer deals to their customers. These deals usually come in the way of coupons or bulk-buy specials that offer discounts if patients buy 3-months or more of their prescriptions.

Chain pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are very aggressive when it comes to coupon circulation. There are also third-party coupon websites, GoodRx for example, that might offer regular discounts at a pharmacy that you’re considering.

Inventory/Service

Once you’ve considered the factors that we’ve discussed thus far, the last thing to look at when selecting a pharmacy is how good its inventory is and what kind of customer service they provide.

A pharmacy that offers great prices but never has/can’t prepare the medications that you need won’t be of much use to you. Similarly, a pharmacy that doesn’t value you as a customer is best avoided.

Wrapping Up How to Choose the Best Pharmacy

There are a variety of cost and service factors that go into determining what the best pharmacy is. Use our tips to weigh your options and we have confidence that you’ll end up picking a drug provider that makes managing your health simple!

For more information on all of the lifestyle topics that mean the most to you, keep reading the content on our blog!

Business

A Simple Guide on How to Choose the Right Industrial Flooring

A Simple Guide on How to Choose the Right Industrial


A Simple Guide on How to Choose the Right Industrial Flooring

Spills, heavy equipment, and harsh cleaning chemicals are just several of the factors that your industrial flooring needs to be able to withstand. 

Your flooring system should look great, be resilient and make your workplace safer and more efficient. We’re going to walk you through the deciding factors of your flooring as well as 4 options for you to choose from.

How to Choose the Right Industrial Flooring

We spoke to Custom Coatings Inc to find out what things you need to consider when choosing your industrial floor coating. They pointed out the three key factors you need to factor into your decision.

Safety First

Each industrial workplace has its own specific requirements but you should consider whether your flooring will have to withstand things like spillages. If so, you need to consider which floorings will be slip-resistant.

Another safety consideration is keeping your floor sanitary. Certain workplaces require seamless flooring solutions as they don’t allow bacteria and germs to gather in the seams. They can be easily washed away and are a great option for keeping things sanitary and also looking fresh.

Colour Coded Efficiency

Another consideration that makes sense for a lot of industrial workplaces is whether you should install different colored zones to facilitate health and safety practices. 

Reasons you might want to consider color-coding your flooring could be things like highlighting dangerous hazard zones, separating walkways or reducing cross-contamination by splitting your workplace into zones. This is particularly important for food and beverage manufacturing. 

Or maybe you just want to boost morale by having a bright color or even brand colors.

Timing Constraints

For some of you, closing the floor for long periods of time just isn’t an option and you need to select a flooring system that is quick to install. Production businesses, in particular, tend to opt for flooring that can rapidly be implemented. 

It’s best to do your research and find out which flooring system meets your needs and can be installed in a time-frame that makes sense for your operation. 

Industrial Flooring Types

So now you’ve thought about what your flooring needs to achieve, what are your options to choose from? 

Epoxy

Epoxy is strong, durable and slip-resistant as well as resistant to bacteria. Unlike the epoxy coating, epoxy flooring is several layers of epoxy compiled to create heavy-duty flooring. It can also be installed in just 2 to 3 days.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is solid and resilient and is a great option for workplaces requiring the use of hazardous materials.

Rubber

Rubber flooring is a great option due to its resistance to slips, water, and fire and its suitability to heavy foot traffic. However, you may need to clean rubber more frequently than other options. 

Vinyl

Vinyl is a low-cost option for industrial workspaces that do not require heavy traffic and extreme durability. 

Ready to Upgrade Your Workplace?

Hopefully, our simple guide to industrial flooring has helped you figure out what you need to bear in mind before choosing your ideal flooring. As long as you put safety and function first, you can’t go wrong.

Thanks for reading our guide to industrial flooring, if you enjoyed this article don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.

Business

What Lowers Your Credit Score: A Guide on Everything to Know

What Lowers Your Credit Score: A Guide on Everything to


What Lowers Your Credit Score: A Guide on Everything to Know

There’s no worse feeling than going to the bank to talk about getting a loan only to find out you don’t qualify. 

It’s embarrassing and can make you feel incredibly low. Worse yet, it can be frustrating and confusing for those who don’t fully understand why it happened. Many people who are turned down for loans are taken completely off-guard.

We’re going to clear a few things up, namely, what lowers your credit score. 

If you’ve had a bad difficulty getting approved for loans or lines of credit in the past, our goal is to help you understand why. Keep reading for our quick guide on what lowers your credit score and how to turn things around!

What Lowers Your Credit Score

As you read through our list, it may come as a shock to you just how many things are taken into account to determine your credit score. While it would be easy to throw your hands in their air and give up, we highly recommend you take a different route.

You see, your credit score is vital for getting approved for car loans, home loans, apartments, and credit cards. It also affects your interest rating on these loans, which over the years can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Your credit score also affects how much you can get approved for on said applications.

If you want to improve your credit score, take a look at our list of the top nine things that lower it.

A High Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio is a relatively easy concept to grasp. It is the basic formula of money coming in versus money going out. However, this only looks at debts, leaving out things such as groceries, gas, utilities, etc. 

To find your debt-to-income ratio, take all of your debts and divide them by your income (after taxes). If your answer is lower than .43 (43%) than you’re doing good. If not, you may have difficulty getting approved for loans or loans with low-interest rates.

To improve this rating, start paying down debts. Generally, start with the smallest debt first. Once that’s paid off, use the money previously designated for that payment and throw it at your next smallest debt.

Maxed Out Lines of Credit

Another answer to what lowers your credit scored is maxed out credit lines. This includes any revolving lines of credit, typically credit cards.

Having a few credit cards isn’t a bad thing. In fact, credit cards can actually have a positive effect on your credit score. However, having any of your credit cards at their maximum limit is bad.

It shows creditors that you can spend easily, but not pay back easily. This is not the characteristic of someone they want to loan to.

Little or No Credit History

No credit history can be just as bad as negative credit history. You don’t start fresh out of the gate with a sterling credit score, you have to build it up.

The best way to do this is with simple credit cards or very small loans. Remember not to max out your credit lines, but you must use them. A credit card sitting with a $0 balance won’t do anything for you.

We recommend using your credit card for groceries, gas, etc., then paying it off every month down to zero. However, don’t get in over your head or your credit builder will become your credit destroyer.

Making Late Payments

Your payment history is a large factor in determining your credit score. Creditors want to see how you have treated other debts and bills.

If you have a history of making late payments, they won’t be chomping at the bit to loan you money. A few late payments over the course of a couple of years is no big deal, but a repeated offense is what lowers your credit score.

Missing Payments or Making Partial Payments

Even worse than late payments are non-payments or even partial payments. Again, remember that your credit score is a tool creditors use to determine if they want to trust you with their money. 

If you have a habit of missing payments altogether or only making partial payments, it won’t bode well for your application.

Having Too Many Credit Cards

Earlier, we told you that owning a couple of credit cards is a good thing, assuming you keep them paid down. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. Even drinking too much water can kill you.

Likewise, too many credit cards in your name can quickly become what lowers your credit score. It shows potential creditors that you may have trouble paying all of those lines of credit each month. 

Think twice about applying for in-store credit cards, even if the deal seems too good to be true.

Having Bills Sent to Collections

If you are negligent on any payments long enough for them to be sent to collections, it can very negatively affect your credit score. 

This shows creditors that you not only miss payments but do so to the extent that third parties need to get involved. For this reason, it’s important to always update your address if you move. Otherwise, you could have bills sitting in the mailbox of an empty home.

Applying for Multiple Lines of Credit/Loans

In an attempt to beat the system, applying for multiple loans can also be what lowers your credit score. However, in the case of “rate shopping” for home and auto loans, it usually isn’t affected poorly. 

On the other hand, applying for multiple lines of credit within a short period of time will lower your credit score.

Errors

Finally, errors can be another contributing factor to what lowers your credit score. No person or company is perfect. It’s not uncommon for mistakes to be made by others which negatively affects your credit score.

That’s why it’s important to frequently check your score and take an in-depth look if something seems off. In this scenario, you can dispute the error to get things lined up.

Start Making Changes Today

Now that you know a little more about what lowers your credit score, hopefully, you have a good idea of how to turn it around!

We hope this article was helpful to you. If it was, be sure to check out the rest of our financial articles and posts. Good luck with your credit score!

Business

How to Start a Real Estate Business: Your Complete Guide

How to Start a Real Estate Business: Your Complete Guide


How to Start a Real Estate Business: Your Complete Guide

Have you been thinking about entering the real estate profession? The real estate business is lucrative.

Agents can rake in high commissions in a matter of weeks. Did you know the average earnings for a real estate agent in New York is $102K a year? 

But these high commissions come with wisdom and expertise. Navigating the real estate industry can be complex and overwhelming. Especially for buyers and sellers. 

That’s why both parties need knowledgable real estate professionals to guide them.

In this post, you’ll learn the steps to gaining this knowledge and how to begin building a profitable real estate business.

Keep reading!

1. Know Your Neighborhoods

It’s no secret that real estate is a competitive industry. It’s unlikely you’ll be the only real estate agent in your area when you start your company.

To be successful, you need to assess your knowledge, experience, strengths, and weaknesses.

After doing a thorough examination, you can learn more about the area to position yourself better in the marketplace.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How fast are homes selling in each neighborhood?
  • What is the mean of selling prices from block to block?
  • Are sale prices close to asking prices?
  • Are there any conditions in the neighborhood that is affecting the real estate market?
  • Are some streets safer than others?

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the market where you intend to set up your real estate business. Having a handle on the market will put you ahead of the competition.

Stand Out Among the Competition

Your expertise will present you as an established professional. Knowing the cities, towns and surrounding neighborhoods where you’ll match buyers to sellers is key.

You must know a market analysis, accurate data for schools, crime rates and the reputation and characteristics of each neighborhood.

Mastering this knowledge will give you a leg up on the competition. And help buyers and sellers refer you to their friends and family.

Another important point for success is knowing your competition. Perform some research about how other real estate businesses approach selling in this market.

You can join online forums, join professional real estate groups, attend industry seminars and workshops or research real estate industry publications and news online.

2. Specialize in a Market Niche

Another way to make your real estate business stand out is to specialize in a niche market. A niche is an area of specialization. For example, would you prefer selling to investors, developers or target the residential market? 

Or do you want to focus on a certain geographical area like the upper east side of Manhattan? Maybe you want to specialize in selling coops or condominiums?

Does becoming the expert in short sales and foreclosures pique your interest? If not, maybe you want to narrow your interests to rental properties or retirement communities.

When you narrow your interests to a specific niche, you’ll have a better chance of success.

3. Get a Real Estate License

If you’ve never worked in real estate, you’ll need to obtain a real estate license to begin selling or renting properties as a licensed realtor.

Every state requires agents to be licensed. But before you take the real estate exam required in your state, you’ll need to enroll in a prelicensing real estate program.

The program will teach you the subject areas and the topics you’ll need to know for the exam and for operating a real estate business.

Here are some of the instructional content taught in real estate programs:

  • Types of  property ownership
  • Titles, deeds, and contracts
  • Fair housing laws
  • Fiduciary responsibilities
  • How to work with financial lenders
  • Real estate laws
  • Federal laws

Keep in mind, rules, and regulation may vary from state to state, depending on the state where you will practice real estate.

After you pass your licensing exam, you’ll need to submit a licensing application. The state where you reside may also require you to submit fingerprints and a background check.

Once your application is approved, you will pay the licensing fees to become a licensed real estate agent. Then you may be hired by a real estate company or broker.

4. Write a Business Plan

Once you’re ready to open up a real estate business, you’ll need a business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your goals for your entire business and how you will achieve them.

This document will detail how you plan to operate your business and accomplish each objective. In your business plan, be as specific as possible.

While your business plan doesn’t need to be 50 pages long, it does need to present an action plan with dates and milestones on how you’ll reach your goals.

5. Get a Business Insurance Policy

Many new business owners overlook the importance of protecting their real estate business with an insurance policy.

The insurance may cover your business for theft, fire, intellectual property litigation, property damage, and other coverages.

It’s essential to obtain insurance before you incur claims. This will protect your business in the event of a claim or accident.

When you’re advising a real estate client, they can sue you for professional malpractice. When you’re covered, it can be the difference in keeping your business running or having to close your doors.

6. Set Up an Attractive and Functional Website

A website can be a key moneymaker for your real estate business. It can attract people to your website and convert leads into paid customers.

To drive leads to your business and keep them, you’ll need a website that’s attractive, functional, easy to navigate with links that go to the right pages.

Your website should also be created with responsive design so it looks great on any device. You’d be surprised at how many real estate companies drive potential clients ways because of basic real estate website mistakes.

Time to Start a Real Estate Business!

Now you know the steps to building a successful real estate business. Put them to use and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to high commissions!

Need more business tips? Keep reading our blog.

Technology

The Vape Connoisseur’s Guide To The Best Vape Pen Brands

The Vape Connoisseur's Guide To The Best Vape Pen Brands


The Vape Connoisseur’s Guide To The Best Vape Pen Brands

Vaping is a phenomenon taking the world by storm. More than 10 million Americans vape and that number grows every day.

It’s not so surprising. Vaping has countless ways to customize your experience. These options come from gear, e-liquid consistencies, flavors, and even the vape brands themselves.

Finding trusted brands is important to ensure that you’ll always get a relaxing and stress-free vape. After all, no one wants to fight the equipment every step of the way.

But how to know which vape pen brands are in a tier above the rest? That’s where this guide comes into play. Down below, we’ve collected all of the best brands that’ll never disappoint!

SMOK

If you’ve spent even a small amount of time in the vaping world, chances are good that you’ve heard of this brand. SMOK always makes a splash with every new item they produce.

This is the brand responsible for the ingenious idea of adding variable voltages to mods. You never know what innovation they’re cooking up next, but it’s always made with the highest quality possible.

If you’re looking for a lot of customization options from a well-established brand, SMOK is the way to go.

Vaporesso

Looking for something that looks good and doesn’t break the bank? Vaporesso is the brand for you.

Despite their lower prices, they don’t skimp out on quality. Their products last for a long time if given the proper care. They come in funky designs, delivering a unique vape with every pen or mod.

That’s not all. You’ll also find LED displays, chipsets, and other customization options through this brand.

And with the extra appeal of a lower price point, Vaporesso is a brand that will continue to be a favorite for years to come.

Eleaf

Another brand that is good for your budget is Eleaf. They focus on giving their customers vaping gear that is of good quality at a good price.

The best part about their products is the fact that everything is always easy to use and easy to maintain. Instead of weighing down their vaping gear with all the bells and whistles, they offer products that opt for simplicity.

With this simpler approach, they’re able to put more energy towards the longevity of their products. These products last for years due to the quality of their materials.

While Eleaf offers many different products through their shop, they’re most well known for their iStick series. This series has many great functions that work well for both the newest beginners or the most advanced users.

Mig Vapor

Once known as Mig Cigs, Mig Vapor is a well-balanced vape pen brand. Instead of specializing in a particular aspect of vaping, Mig is a jack of all trades. And they’ve mastered all of it.

When you visit their online shop, Mig Vapor has anything you’d ever want from a vape store. Whether it’s pens, mods, e-liquids, or even gear capable of vaping CBD oil. Their Morpheus Mod Kit, in particular, is versatile enough to work with all kinds of oils and juices.

Don’t forget to check out how to choose the best CBD oils beforehand! Otherwise, you might end up damaging your favorite vaping gear.

Innokin

When a company comes up with a product that still sells well years after its release, you know it’s a high-quality item. Although the vaping world is always changing and evolving, Innokin stays in the limelight without fail.

The products they offer have a lot of staying power, still remaining desirable despite being older in design and function. This speaks volumes for Innokin, seeing as many people in the vaping community want the newest mods and greatest tech.

But on top of that, Innokin keeps up with the new innovations as well. Their newer products are always top notch. They implement a lot of customization settings in a way that isn’t confusing or difficult to learn.

VaporFi

A long-standing giant amongst vaping brands, VaporFi has everything anyone could ever need. From beginners to advanced users and everyone in between, VaporFi has what you need.

The best part about VaporFi is their openness with the functionality and requirements for their products. You’ll have all the information you need available in an easy-to-read format.

This makes VaporFi a great choice if you’re starting out in the vaping world, or if your an experienced vaper wanting to try something new. In addition to this, their high-quality products never fail to deliver.

VooPoo Tech

With such a memorable name and memorable products to match, VooPoo Tech is impossible to forget.

Their products are always high end, focusing on sleek and stylish appearances that always deliver the best vape possible. They focus on giving their vaping gear a lot of power to give their users a whole lot of flavor with every puff.

Right when you set eyes on the vibrant colors and smooth designs, you know this vape pen brand means business. Added to the superb functionality of their gear, you get something that delivers on all the important vaping aspects.

As an added bonus, you’ll get some chuckles whenever you tell someone the name of the brand you’re using.

Wismec

Although Wismec is one of the newer brands on the market, they’re already making a strong statement in the vaping world.

Wismec puts its focus on vaping gear that is high in technological advances and perfect for anyone who wants a powerful vape. Their products often come with a high wattage, allowing for a lot of extra power for advanced users. 

One of their most popular products is the Reuleaux mod. This mod comes with built-in batteries and has a performance of up to 300 watts of power.

You’ll get all the bang for your buck with any Wismec product. 

Enhance Your Vaping Experience With These Excellent Vape Pen Brands

By choosing one of these vape pen brands, you’re bound to have the best experience possible. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced vaper, each brand has something unique to offer.

If you’ve never tried any of these brands before, don’t hesitate. Try out their products and see what all the hype is about for yourself!

Do you have a favorite vaping brand? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Business

Your Guide to Voice Over IP for Businesses: Why You Need It and How to Get It

Your Guide to Voice Over IP for Businesses: Why You


Your Guide to Voice Over IP for Businesses: Why You Need It and How to Get It

Do your employees receive a deluge of phone calls every day? Do they ricochet between the phone, their desktop, and the fax machine for hours on end?

This flood of activity can leave employees feeling drained and scattered as they run from one task to the next, attempting to keep customers happy and communication with other employees clear and productive. 

But there’s a better way. One with the potential to streamline communications across all sectors of your business.  

This “way” can significantly cut your operational costs, too, without diminishing your brand’s customer experience. In fact, when harnessed to its full potential, it’ll actually enhance your company’s ability to keep customers satisfied. 

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

Welcome to the brave new world of voice over IP for businesses. Read on to find out more about how today’s tech is revolutionizing business communications.  

VoIP 101

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) replaces your existing analog phone line. How? By tapping into the power of the internet for all of your communication needs. 

With a simple digital connection, you can nix the need for phone lines altogether. That’s because VoIP uses a digital signal to handle all of your communications, from phone calls to faxes. 

No more expensive, clunky business phone systems. Or, middlemen peddling exorbitant service contracts to accompany them.

What’s more, employees will no longer have to bounce back and forth between their phone, desktop, and fax machine. 

Let’s explore which business types benefit from the transition to VoIP.

Which Businesses Need VoIP?

Does your business have a substantial customer service role? Do you receive many inbound calls, faxes, and other communications from customers every day?

If the answer’s yes, you need VoIP. 

But what if your current call volumes aren’t manageable? Would a VoIP system do you any good?

Consider it if you have any mid-to-large sized online store that sells products or services. 

After all, sales and services require communication with customers. Installing a VoIP system ensures those communications are professional. 

Other Businesses that Should Consider VoIP

For restaurants who rely on a reservation system, VoIP proves crucial to your success. It keeps you organized and able to professionally accommodate customers. 

Even when Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Valentine’s Day puts a serious strain on your reservations system.

But what if you have an online reservation system? Does that negate your need for VoIP?

Nope. Here’s why.

Seventy-two percent of diners make reservations over the phone as opposed to online. If you don’t have a solid phone reservation system in place, you’re losing customers. Bottom line.

VoIP makes sense for hosting providers, too. It offers the optimal solution for staying in close contact with customers. It also allows you to offer assistance when emergencies happen, no matter how far you are from the office. 

What Can VoIP Do for Your Business?

VoIP not only streamlines how you receive calls but it offers other powerful capabilities.

These include the capacity to:

  • Save contact information
  • Keep detailed logs of phone calls
  • Create and store recordings

While these represent basic functions from a telecom perspective, they’ll save your business time and money over the long haul. 

When it comes to businesses that stand to profit from VoIP, they don’t stop with customer service-heavy workplaces, restaurants, and hosting providers. But these industries provide diverse examples of how VoIP can contribute to solid solutions. 

In today’s business world, it’s safe to say most mid-range businesses would benefit from VoIP. Especially since Verizon and other telecoms are aggressively phasing our ISDN and analog lines.   

But what’s the best way to convert your old system? Wholesale SIP trunking provides a new way for businesses to quickly get on board with the latest technology.

It represents a flexible, solid phone service. Check out this option for wholesale to learn more. 

A Basic Functional VoIP System

When it comes to finding the best VoIP for your enterprise, here are some important things to look for.

Find a system that can handle a variety of communication types, from video conferences to phone calls and faxes. 

A good system should allow you to communicate with your team through private messaging functionality, too.

It should permit you and your employees to use both your desktop and your smartphone to manage calls. Finally, it should let you use your own phone number. 

Features to Look for in a Great VoIP System

If you’re looking for more than bare-bones functionality, check out phone service providers that offer a full suite of cloud applications. 

By moving up to a mid-range system, you can better control every aspect of your company’s customer experience. This includes everything from setting up greeting messages to controlling how calls get redirected.

Remember, a great customer service experience, whether over the phone or in person, remains crucial to forging loyal relationships with customers.

Depending on the type of business you’re in and your location, you may never have the luxury of in-person communication with customers. This makes your phone and video communications even more crucial to sustaining a successful brand.

For enhanced customer service, look for VoIP systems that can configure what your customers hear the moment they dial your number. Such systems should also include streamlined features such as automatic voicemail forwarding to your email.

Why Voice Over IP for Businesses Makes Sense

If you’re serious about making your first impression your best impression, then invest in voice over IP for businesses. It’ll give you a clear advantage when it comes to communications with customers and the members of your team.

It remains the best solution for small business communications. Upgrade your legacy phone system now and start enjoying the many features of VoIP. It’s a win-win-win for you, your employees, and your customers. 

At Article City, we use data-driven analysis to provide you with the best in content strategy and digital marketing.

Let us put our knowledge to work for you. Browse our blog now for useful tips and news sure to give your business the competitive edge.

Technology

Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners


Learning WordPress: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

If you’re making a website, WordPress is the way to go.

WordPress is one of the best free website builders in the world. There’s a pretty good chance that about half of the websites that you visit were built using WordPress. Why is that, you might ask?

Well, because learning WordPress is really easy. You don’t need to have any coding background whatsoever to set up a professional looking and functional website. When you log on, it might look a little daunting, but after a short trial and error period, you’ll be dragging and dropping fun elements into your new site.

In this post, we’re going to give you a sort of beginner’s guide to using WordPress. When you’re done reading this, you’ll have all of the tools to get started with making your site. As with anything, you’ll become more proficient with WordPress as you practice, but let’s start out with the basics.

The Beginner’s Guide to Learning WordPress

Why do so many people and businesses use WordPress? Yes, it’s easy to learn, but WordPress users are offered incredible flexibility and state of the art functionality for their web pages. There are now side industries based around WordPress care and upkeep, as roughly 1.1 million WordPress domains go up every six months.

The customizability is staggering, but for now, we’re going to assume that you know nothing about page building and start from the very beginning. Fear not, however, it won’t take long to get you off the ground.

Web Hosting

In a sense, web hosting is like a storage container for your website. It provides a server for all of the contents and data of your website to live in, leaving you to focus on putting your great content out into the world.

Choosing a web host can be a little daunting on the surface, but it’s actually pretty easy. When you’re choosing your host, there are a few things you should keep in mind, however.

Since you’re operating a content management website on WordPress, you’re going to need a lot of storage to keep your images and archives. It’s also important that your page is fast. SEO is partly dependent on page speed, so if you want to appear higher on search rankings, you should make sure that your host is fast.

Installation

Once you’ve got your web host chosen, you’re ready to install WordPress. Some web hosting sites will take care of this for you, but in the event that they don’t, we’ve got you covered.

All that you need to do is go to your cPanel and search for the WordPress installer. It’s a one-click installer, so all you have to do is find it, click it, and you’ll be good to go. It’s extremely unlikely that you’d ever have to manually install WordPress, but there are plenty of guides online showing you how to do that, as well.

Themes

One of the beautiful things about WordPress is its simplicity. When you start it up for the first time, a default theme will be loaded on to your site. Assuming that you want to use something a little more “you”, then you can change it up. 

There are hundreds of free themes available directly on WordPress, but if you don’t see anything you like, you can purchase something from a third party. We have a hard time believing that you won’t find something that you’ll love on WordPress, though. 

Our advice would be to keep it fairly simple, especially with your first WordPress site. It’s easy to get wrapped up in complicated themes and putting tons of add-ons on your site, but it’s going to slow you down and make the website building aspect of it harder on you in the long run. 

Again, SEO is affected by what you put on your site. You’re going to slow the page speed down when you fill it with huge image files, regardless of the web hosting package that you paid for. Choose a simple theme and move on to your plugins.

Plugins

WordPress is one of the leaders in site building because you can add pretty well anything that you want on to your page. The plugins are probably the most fun and interesting part of building a WordPress site.

You can build forms, add forums, and add quick landing pages with plugins. There’ll be some plugins automatically added to your page when you first hop on WordPress, but you can get rid of them and add your own.

It’s super simple. Go to “plugins” on the sidebar, then select “add new” From there, you’ll be shown all of the available plugins, with the most popular sitting at the top. Find what you want, click “install,” wait for it to load and then click “activate.” From there, you can configure each plugin to do what you want.

Pages & Posting

Once you’ve got your themes, plugins, and menus set up, you can begin creating pages and posts. The difference between the two is at the heart of understanding WordPress and will keep your site concise and nice to use/look at.

Pages are usually set up at the beginning of your WordPress experience and kind of left alone. You use them to add to your menus and build on certain areas of your website, ie. your homepage, contact page, about us page, etc. Many people create new pages every time they want to post something, but that would be incorrect.

Go to “pages” in the sidebar, then “add new” to start on a new page. Your theme will most likely provide you with page building tools, but you can customize it however you like.

With posts, you’re posting your ongoing content, giving it a tag to categorize it, and putting it out into the world. To create a post, you simply click “posts” in the sidebar and “add new.” The post screen will come up and you start typing, add whatever media you want when you’re done, then give it a category.

You’re Ready to Make Your Site

Learning WordPress comes with practice. Your first site probably won’t be amazing, but as you get more comfortable with the WordPress platform, you’ll be able to make more streamlined and nice looking pages.

We’ve given you enough here to get a good start on your first website, so come up with a great domain name and get creating. We can’t wait to see what informative and creative content you’ve got up your sleeve.

Health

Exercise Your Rights: A Complete Guide on How to Obtain Your Medical Records

Exercise Your Rights: A Complete Guide on How to Obtain


Exercise Your Rights: A Complete Guide on How to Obtain Your Medical Records

Do you need to access copies of your medical records? Are you having a hard time getting them from the hospital or doctor’s office? 

If so, you’re not alone.

Research shows that a number of American hospitals make it difficult for patients to get copies of their records. 

If you’re having trouble gaining access to your medical records, keep reading.

Explained below is everything you need to know about how to obtain your medical records. 

Why Obtain Copies of Your Medical Records?

There are many reasons why someone might need to obtain a copy of their medical records. Some common reasons include:

  • Get a complete understanding of your health history (this includes the results of specific blood tests and other examinations)
  • Identify errors that could lead to a misdiagnosis
  • Create a more comprehensive care plan for yourself
  • Learn more about the medications you’ve been prescribed
  • Provide proof of injuries or illnesses associated with an accident in which you were involved

Whether your intentions are health-focused or legal-focused, there a number of situations for which you might need copies of your medical records.

Are You Allowed to See Your Medical Records?

Some people are hesitant to ask for their medical records because they’re not sure if they’re allowed to see them.

Some hospitals may also be hesitant to release medical records because they’re worried about data breaches or leaking confidential information to the wrong person.

At the end of the day, though, it’s important to note that you, as a patient, absolutely have a right to look at your medical records. Caregivers and advocates are also allowed to see medical records.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA), you have a right to see and obtain copies of your medical records at any time.

You also have a right to dispute anything shown on those records that seems incorrect or seems that it’s been omitted.

How to Obtain Your Medical Records

Okay, you know that you have a right to obtain copies of your medical records. How do you go about doing this, though? How do you ensure you get what you need when you need it?

Follow these guidelines to make sure you get the copies you need from your doctor’s office or hospital: 

Use the Right Communication Channels

The first step you need to take is to make sure you’re attempting to access your records through the proper channels.

Your healthcare provider likely has an online patient portal that allows you to gain access to some of your information.

If the information you need isn’t available, call your healthcare provider’s office and ask the receptionist how to access your records.

They will likely transfer you to a medical records analyst (check this article to learn what they do) or someone who else handles records.

Be Clear with Your Request

Remember to be clear about which medical records you need. Records can be hundreds of pages in length, so specify whether you need copies of all your records or just from a specific time period or appointment. The clearer you are, the easier it will be to get what you need.

Specify the Format You Want

When you’re asking for copies of your records, be sure to specify the format in which you’d like them delivered. By law, your healthcare provider has to give you a choice between paper and electronic copies.

Sometimes, though, your records might not be available in an electronic format. In this case, someone from the hospital or doctor’s office will need to scan them. If this is the case, it may take longer for you to get the copies you need.

If you need information right away, you may need to just want to go ahead and accept the paper copies, even if they’re less convenient than electronic copies.

Challenge Excessive Costs

Keep in mind that copies of your medical records might not be free.

Providers can charge you for the labor involved in pulling them up, the cost of the paper to print them, and the postage involved to mail them to you.

If they charge you anything more than $6.50, which is the federal recommendation, you can challenge that cost and try to negotiate it down.

Ask for a Timeline

Legally, your healthcare provider can take up to 30 days to provide you with your records. If it is going to take longer than this, they need to give you a new delivery date and explain to you why they can’t deliver them within thirty days. Be sure to ask for a timeline and make sure it aligns with these rules.

Follow Up

Once you’ve requested copies of your records, follow up every few days to make sure they’ve received your request.

If you don’t receive your records within the date specified, reach out and ask why they are delayed. 

Be polite when you do this, of course, but be firm and make it clear that you expect copies of your records and need to know when you’ll receive them.

Escalate if Necessary

If you’re having a hard time getting copies of your medical records, call your healthcare provider and ask to speak to their HIPAA privacy officer.

If you’re still experiencing delays with no explanation — or if you’re receiving an unsatisfactory explanation — you can file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, too.

After You’ve Obtained Your Medical Records

The idea of asking for copies of your medical records might seem intimidating or difficult at first. While some hospitals do, in fact, make it challenging for patients to gain access to their records, it’s not impossible.

Now that you know how to obtain your medical records, it’s time to follow these steps and get your hands on them once and for all. 

Are you seeking medical records because you were involved in a car accident? Do you need help handling other aspects of your case? If so, check out some of our other articles today.

This one on what to do after being involved in a fatal car accident contains some very helpful information.

Business

How to Get Your Business Out There? Content Marketing 101 Guide

How to Get Your Business Out There? Content Marketing 101


How to Get Your Business Out There? Content Marketing 101 Guide

Launching a new business online? Good luck – the competition is tight.

You’ll need to learn how to get your business out there. You need to fight tooth and nail to grab higher ranks on Google’s search results.

The good news is there is a legit solution. Whatever business you have, we’re sure that content marketing can get your name out.

70% of businesses that perform content marketing are more successful now than last year. Brands know that online content marketing is a powerful strategy.

Even then, what is content marketing? Why use content marketing and is content marketing effective?

Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers you seek.

Want that extra visibility and a business that people come back to? Keep reading below to discover more:

1. What Is Content Marketing?

There are many definitions of content marketing that look like they’d work on books. If you’re a business, you don’t need that. Here’s a more precise explanation that you can use in your business.

What is content marketing? Content marketing is a long-term strategic technique that emphasizes customer relationship. It lets you focus on your target audience with high-value content that they can use day to day.

Your content should have a few crucial elements for it to work. These are:

  • Relevant customer content
  • Consistent value over time
  • Care to your audience

At the end of the day, your goal is to choose you over the competition. By using your content for long-term value, you remind people that they need you. This content is a way for you to foster loyalty, which then gives you better lifetime customer value.

2. Understanding Pain Points

The primary strategy for online content marketing revolves around three specific points. These are not the end-all. Rather, these core concepts will help you make a custom style for your content marketing business.

The first point is to understand the customer’s pain points. Customer pains are the problems that they experience every day. These pain points keep them up at night, looking for a way to solve them.

As an example, if you’re doing Veterinary Marketing, you would focus your content in reminding people of their daily pet pains. It sounds weird, but knowing people’s pains and reminding them is a way to tug their interests.

Why use content marketing like this? That points out to the next step.

3. Resolving Customer Pains

Why is content marketing effective? It’s because of this second point.

Once you know people’s pains, the next step is to resolve their problem with your content. This may be in the form of a guide, a step-by-step overview or a recipe.

Online content marketing revolves around being helpful. You want people to keep coming back. If you’re a vet, this can be how to treat dog mange or potty-training cats.

What is content marketing good for is making content that resolves problems. If people deem your content helpful, you build trust and loyalty in them.

Once you create a good reputation and expertise with customers, that’s where you go to the next step.

4. Leading To The Buying Cycle

Why use content marketing? Here’s the thing.

The end-point that you want in content is to convert or sell your product. Your goal is for people to see you as a premier authority within your niche. Your content accomplishes that for you.

Once your target audiences are in their prime, you want your content to lead to your buying cycles. You would want to present your product offers as a solution to their problem. By doing so, you’re creating a desirable product.

5. Is Content Marketing Effective?

Is content marketing effective? That depends on how you treat the entire process. You would want to make sure your first steps are useful.

To understand your customer’s problems, you need to create a buyer’s persona. In online content marketing, a buyer’s persona is your avatar for your ideal customer. This includes:

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Geolocation
  • Income bracket
  • Family Size
  • Wants
  • Needs
  • Problems

The idea is to create the ideal customer that you think would buy your product, whose problem you can resolve with your content.

6. Creating Valuable Content

Once you know the people that will be your target audience, the next step for your content marketing business is to generate appropriate content. You would want to list as many topic points as possible.

You would want to make them long and informative. You aim to guide people on how to resolve their problems. You want content in varying lengths, depending on what you want to provide.

1000 words should be your bare minimum for listicles. You also want 1500 words or more for comprehensive guides. These blogs, videos, and images tend to get more traffic due to their comprehensiveness.

7. Other Forms Of Online Content Marketing

There are many more types of content that work. Why use content marketing like these? That’s because not all people like reading.

In this case, use different vehicles to convince your customers that you can help them. Use social media to reach out to them.

Use instructional videos and video marketing content to engage your customers. Use paid advertising to create an active outreach to your target customers.

Attract people to your website, using your helpful content as the motivator. Track how your content is performing with analytics from both Google and social media. This is a way for you to know what works.

Create different versions of your ads and pitches and test which one works the best. A/B testing is a good method of testing your campaigns.

This Is How To Get Your Business Out There

What is content marketing? It’s how you use your content to build ties with your target audience. If you want to know how to get your business out there, you need online content marketing in your repertoire.

Are you looking for more helpful articles on how to grow your business? Feel free to check out our other guides! From optimizing your PPC tactics to the best wealth building strategies of the super-rich, everything is here.