Winter Driving – What do you need to know?

With winter just around the corner, the daily commute for drivers is about to get much more hazardous. Winter driving conditions command a lot more skill and caution – here are the most important things to be aware of when driving in the winter.

Wind – With winter comes winter storms, and as the recent storm Calum has shown us, strong winds can wreak havoc on the roads. Be aware that windy weather can lead to standing water on the roads, especially when accompanied by heavy rain as it often can be. Keep listening to the news as trees can be blown down blocking roads, so you may need to alter your route. In windy weather take care to drive more slowly than usual – cars can handle differently in high winds and strong gusts of wind can catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared for them. Be aware that more exposed stretches of the road will leave you more susceptible to these strong gusts of wind.

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Snow and Ice – Snow and ice can make driving dangerous and unpredictable so it is extremely important to be cautious in these conditions. If there is heavy snowfall, listen to travel advice in your area and take it! Often the police will advise only to travel if it is absolutely necessary. Ensure that your car is in good working order as these conditions can be deadly if you have problems with your car – get it checked over by a professional such as Gloucester car service company  to make sure that you don’t have any hidden problems with the car. When travelling in the snow, it is important to ensure that before you set off on your journey you are prepared for the worst – take blankets, plenty of water, snacks and a fully charged mobile phone with you so if you are stuck somewhere you can call for help and be comfortable whilst you are waiting.

Poor Visibility – The Winter driving conditions are also more dangerous because visibility is often much worse. The mornings and evenings when the sun is low in the sky can result in drivers being dazzled and not being able to see approaching hazards that they would normally. Take care in these conditions and if you feel that you cannot drive safely, pull over in a safe place until you can. Unfortunately, the low sun coincides with morning and evening rush hour, so more accidents do occur at these times because of it. Rain can also cause poor visibility especially when it becomes very heavy. If you are struggling to see, do find a safe place to wait until conditions have improved. The rain also adds more risk as the road becomes wet, which, when combined with poor visibility can be very dangerous.

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Why do we name storms?

Are we having more winter storms now or is the fact that they now have names means we are taking more notice of them than before?

The UK has always experienced fierce winter storms that have battered our shores, but they have only been named since 2015. The UK’s first named storm was Abigail in November of that year. Others followed in quick succession – Desmond, Barbara, Doris and Georgina to name just a few.

Why do they now have names?

It was decided in 2015 that the Met Office would name storms in the same way hurricanes are named in the United States. It is believed that important communications regarding preparing for severe weather are more effective when the storm has a name. It raises awareness of the potential for severe weather and is better at prompting people to take preventative action for themselves and their property.

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If the UK experiences a storm that has already been named and developed over the Atlantic, then the original name will stay in place to avoid confusion.

So, as we brace ourselves for another winter of storms, it’s sensible to take some preventative action around your property. For example, if you have any large trees or branches overhanging your property, it might good to consult a Tree Surgeon Dorset like for safety advice before the storms begin.

Who decides on the names?

The Met Office and its Irish equivalent Met Eireann decide on the names for the storms. The names come in alphabetical order and alternate between male and female. To be considered for a name, the storm must have winds forecast that reach amber or red warning status. Amber means ‘be prepared’ and red means ‘take action’.

Some names are avoided, such as if they have previously been associated with a severe weather event, like the Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina in the U.S for example.

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Other weather systems that receive names include cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes – these are all tropical storm types.

Meteorologists started naming tropical storms back in 1887 when a British-Australian meteorologist called Clement Lindley Wragge began using the Greek alphabet and historical figures to refer to specific weather events. Upon his death, the practice was discontinued.

During the Second World War, meteorologists in the U.S began calling tropical storms after their wives or girlfriends to help provide information to pilots. By 1953 the American National Weather Service began doing the same.

Whilst the UK doesn’t often experience storms on a par with the devastating tropical hurricanes, we have experienced some pretty extreme winter storms. In 1953, the North Sea Flood occurred from a huge storm tide on the east coast that killed over 300 people.

The big storm of 1987 has also gone down in history, partly due to the poor predictions of weatherman Michael Fish who said there was no cause for concern. Hurricane winds then hit the UK, 18 people dies and £1 billion of damage occurred.

Back-End Offers – Make Real Profits

Often the real profits lie in back-end sales.

Once you have a customer, you simply offer additional products, add-ons, upgrades, a super-deluxe version of the original product purchase with all the bells and whistles. The customer is already “sold” on the product or service, based on your sales material or presentation.

The back-end offer should supply the answer to “what’s next?” It should be related in some way to the original product, and the most successful back-end products are higher-priced accessories that makes it easier of better for the buyer than simply having the original.

A back end product should further enhance the product that the buyer intended to purchase. Whatever the original product does, a good back-end product will make it faster, better, more detailed, more complete or easier to use and benefit from – in essence it is far more helpful to the prospect in satisfying his wants, than is the original, more basic product.

Keys to Success

The success of back-end products can be attributed to having a captive, highly targeted audience who is definitely interested in achieving a specific result or solving a specific problem. The add-on product makes it easier to solve the prospect’s problem, quickly.

Another factor is to further sell the customer while he is still in the buying mode and while he is feeling good about solving a problem or moving closer towards a goal.


To come with examples of back-end products simply ask “What product or service could I also offer that would be a natural match for what my customer is buying now? A self-publisher could offer a booklet on a specific topic. As a back-end, he could offer the same topic covered in greater detail and presented in a multi-media format complete with audio cassettes, videos, manual and CD.

Opportunities for back-end or additional add-on products are easy to find. A shoe store can offer shoe buying customers, laces, polish, protectants or, other accessories, based on the type of shoe sold. Ever visit a theatre to watch a movie and not order popcorn, chips, soft drink, or some other refreshment? Those items are all back-end products. First you bought your tickets, then you went to the snack bar.

My local video store now offers “tape protection” as an extra option. It’s basically insurance against returning a damaged video. Since most videos rented out these days are new releases, tapes being returned in damaged condition are a rarity. Yet, many people gladly pay the extra twenty-five cents to “feel” secure. A clever new profit center for the video-rental industry.


Always be mindful of products, services or ideas that your customers will willingly pay for. Anything that can make it easier or hassle-free for the customer, could be a good candidate as an add-on product. Convenience is a wonderful thing and many will willingly pay you for it.

Effect of a Slow-Loading Page on SEO

Imagine you have a fantastic website. Imagine that this website has absolutely no visitors. Do you see a problem here? If nobody sees all your hard work, what’s the purpose of that website? Getting people to see your content can be a matter of knowledge and technique and the present article will try to share with you some of the information you need to know.

•      Audience connected to Social Media

Social networks are one of the best tools to gain some popularity. Everybody these days is on Twitter, Myspace and Facebook. These sites can generate a lot of visitors to your webpage. What you need to do is simply to create a community around you and once you are popular enough, your online content will be popular enough, too.

•      Visitors connected to Article Promoting

This can be a powerful tool to gain visitors. It consists of uploading your work on websites similar to Ezine or Squidoo and posting links leading to your own webpage. These links can have two effects – on first place your own website will be available to anyone who views the article. The second effect will be in the creation of the so-called “backlinks” – everybody who visits your website by clicking on a link from another webpage is creating a “backlink”. With the growing number of backlinks of your website, the popularity of your content will grow, too – simply because your webpage will be on the top of the list in the search engines and this will lead to a greater audience.

•      Visitors connected to Video Promoting

This is another way to gain visitors by using your own content to draw attention. Instead of articles, you can use other kinds of media and for example, video. The principle is the same – you upload some video content on sites similar to Youtube or Vimeo and attach links leading to your own webpage. You can use this tool in addition to Article Promoting in order to reach to a bigger and more various audiences.

•      Visitors connected to Press Release

You can use a press release for anything. Giving general information, marking some important event or just updating your daily posts.

•      Visitors connected to Forums

This tool is currently a hit for gaining visitors for your website. When people upload a comment in a forum, they are able to put a link in the end of their post which can of course lead to their webpage. If your forum posts have some quality, this could drive a lot of visitors to your page.

  • Visitors connected to SEO

SEO is the abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. The importance of SEO can be huge. It has two main types – onsite and offsite optimization. No matter which type you use, they increase the chances of your website to find it in the top listings of the search engines. All links leading to your website from blogs, forums or the other kinds of content promoting are called offsite optimization.

  • Visitors connected to Directories

When somebody wants to find a site on a specific topic, they go to the so-called Directories – these are websites organizing all kinds of different sites by topics and content. You can put a link to your website on these directories and that will generate more visitors for your business.

Solutions for your Nonprofit Social Networking Questions

Undoubtedly, among the greatest topics relates to social networking. Social networking is becoming an important facet of marketing for nonprofits and companies alike. And, using the rapid pace of change happening due to technology, almost always there are new things to understand.

What can you say would be the key social networking platforms nonprofits should concentrate on using?
That one is simple to reply to. Facebook is definitely the biggest social networking platform. Most nonprofits will have Facebook pages. However, many organizations don’t use Facebook regularly. My team is on Facebook every single day. We are posting articles to the pages. We are doing live streams. I encourage all marketing people at nonprofits to understand Facebook.

YouTube can also be quite interesting. And, YouTube helps you increase your Search engine optimization rankings. Are you aware that after Google, YouTube may be the largest internet search engine available? We reside in a period of videos and pictures. It is just natural that whenever people wish to search something visual they’re going to YouTube. There are done this, I’d produce a YouTube funnel for the nonprofit and make certain to publish there weekly.c

What’s the one factor nonprofits ought to be doing on social networking but aren’t?
I believe nonprofits are missing an amazing chance by live streaming. And, because most nonprofits aren’t live streaming, this can be a opportunity to set your business in addition to the rest. We live stream every single day for the social enterprise.

This doesn’t need to be difficult. Our live streams on Facebook may last nothing more than one minute, but we all do it each working day. This provides us an opportunity to talk straight to our supporters. The days are gone where videos needed to be scripted and excellent. Social networking has been doing away with this. Individuals are seeking authenticity. Quite simply, they would like to begin to see the real you.

Assign someone who’s comfortable being before a video camera to reside stream on Facebook every day. Take a look at Periscope too, that is associated with your Twitter account. Discuss that which you do. Inform your supporters how to locate you online. If you possess the chance, show people the job you need to do every single day. It does not take greater than your cell phone 1 minute of your energy.

Exactly how should we lift engagement on social networking?
Among the easiest things you can do is get pictures and video in your posts and tweets. This season visuals grew to become many of the effective social networking outreach. Video and live streaming are more and more gaining popularity than photographs.

Avoid posting anything with no associated video or visual image. There are many places to acquire license-free images. Remember that mobile phone cash better cameras than previously. You are able to snap a fast picture that provides your supporters a view to your organization’s everyday existence and upload it to social networking.

However, I love to state that remember to be like Nike from First Day. We choose to have our creative team develop great images that capture the job we all do. Color, simplicity, branding and message are areas of our images. This can help us increase engagement round the work we all do, also it separates us from others.

What’s the ratio that nonprofits should use within promoting on social networking?
I believe we ought to see this question in thirds. Another of times nonprofits ought to be educating and supplying details about the job they are doing. Incidentally, you need to not only market your own content. In case your mission is centered on the atmosphere, share content from leading reporters and possibly other organizations which are aligned.

The following third of times, nonprofits should spend connecting using their contributors. Our social enterprise speaks about our partners. The main reason we all do it is because we would not be where we’re without one. And, so your clients’ needs their successes enables them to and us by amplifying our voices. Exactly the same factor applies to your nonprofit. Show your appreciation. Highlight and have contributors so that they feel appreciated, but additionally so others see themselves for the reason that role.

The ultimate third of the posts and tweets ought to be spent requesting the sources that you’ll require. For those who have a particular campaign happening, inform your supporters the campaign goal, need and just how their support can produce a difference.

5 Great Reasons To Refinance

There are many great reasons to refinance. With lower cost, adjustable rate, and 0-down options, traditional loan programs like 30-year or 15-year fixed rate mortgages don’t always allow us to meet our financial goals. Today, even reducing your mortgage interest rate a little can save you big over the life of your home loan. Take a look below at 5 great reasons to refinance.

1. Lower Your Monthly Payment
If you plan to live in your home for a few years, it may make sense to pay a point or two to decrease your interest rate and overall payment. Over the long run, you will have paid for the cost of the mortgage refinance with the monthly savings. On the other hand, if you plan on moving in the near future, you may not be in your home long enough to recover the refinancing costs. Calculating the break-even point before you decide to refinance can help determine whether it makes sense.

2. Switch From an Adjustable Rate to a Fixed Rate Mortgage
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) can provide lower initial monthly payments for those who are willing to risk upward market adjustments. They’re also ideal if you don’t plan to own your property for more than a few years. However, if you have made your house a permanent home, you may want to swap your adjustable rate for a 15-, 20- or 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Your interest may be higher than with an ARM, but you have the confidence of knowing what your payment will be every month for the rest of your loan term.

3. Escape Balloon Payment Programs
Like adjustable rate mortgage programs, balloon programs are great when you want lower rates and lower initial monthly payments. However, if you still own the property at the end of the fixed rate term (usually 5 or 7 years), the entire balance of your mortgage is due to the lender. If you are in a balloon program, you can easily switch over into a new adjustable rate mortgage or fixed rate mortgage.

4. Remove Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Zero or Low down payment options allow homeowners to purchase homes with less than 20% down. Unfortunately, they also usually require private mortgage insurance, which is designed to protect the lender from loan default. As the value of your home increases and the balance on your home decreases, you may be eligible to remove your PMI with a mortgage refinance loan.

5. Cash In on Your Home’s Equity
Your home is a great resource for extra cash. Like most homes, yours has probably increased in value, and that gives you the ability to take some of that cash and put it to good use. Pay off credit cards, make home improvements, pay tuition, replace your current car, or even take a long-overdue vacation. With a cash-out mortgage refinance transaction, it’s easy. And it’s even tax deductible.

SEO Guidelines –Search Engine Marketing

SEO guidelines also known as Search Engine Optimization set the rules used by major search engines like GOOGLE, Yahoo, and MSN, etc. to judge whether or not to include a website in their search engine results. Believe it or not , having your website included in Google results is not part of the Bill of Rights under the constitution. There are Search Engine Marketing guidelines that govern which websites are included and those excluded from their results.

SEO Guidelines – Thou Shall…

Write your pages for people, not for search engines. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? We have all gone to web pages with garbage content written to deceive search engines for top rankings. When discovered (and they will be discovered), these websites are banned. Other SEO guidelines prohibit offering different content to search engines than your visitors. Called “”cloaking”, it’s unethical and another trick to avoid for high search engine rankings. Instead, focus on providing useful content your visitors are seeking and update your site frequently with fresh content.

SEO guidelines – Thou Shall Not…

Here are some important search engine optimization methods to avoid when using SEO methods on your website. These are unethical techniques that may lead to having your websites removed from the Google index. OUCH!!! That hurts! Once banned, your site will not appear in GOOGLE results or partner sites.

SEO guidelines clearly ban link farms that create multiple links to your site to raise your page rank by unethical means. Sooner or later your site will be caught and penalized for breaking SEO guidelines. In particular, avoid links to web spammers and software that auto submits your pages to search engines.

SEO guidelines – Search Engine Optimization

Create web pages free of hidden texts and links seen only by the search engines. Instead, use search engine marketing strategies without redirects to other sites. Instead of garbage content, search engine optimization promotes useful reader content. Do you like to read the same thing again… read the same thing again… read the same thing again… neither does the search engine. After all, search engines are people too!

Things to consider when buying a park home

Park homes can offer an amazing lifestyle – a modern home which is easy to manage, a ready-made community, and in most cases, a secure environment on a tranquil site. They are incredibly popular with older, or retired people, and a good buy for those who released equity from a more expensive brick property. However, park homes don’t suit everyone, and living in one is not always a problem free experience, so before buying it is worth seriously considering the following points:

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1. You own the park home, but not the land it is on

This is good if you sell as there’s no stamp duty to pay, but the negative is you have fewer legal rights over the space than you would otherwise.

2. Not all park home sites have a licence allowing year-round occupancy

The licence should be clearly displayed in the site office, and it is vital you check it and make sure it allows permanent full residency on the site. Breaking these rules could lead to you losing the park home completely.

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3. Location first, second and last!

Park homes are situated in both rural and small town areas, near the sea or deep in the countryside. Check out Gloucestershire park homes for sale by specialist companies such as for an idea of what is available in that location. If you plan to live in the park home for the rest of your life, it is worth thinking ahead. If the closest shops or doctors are a 20-mile drive that may not be a great idea as you age –

4. Who owns the park home site is important

Although the majority of park home owners are happy and content, there are some who sadly are not. Mostly, this is down to the site owner, who basically can control everything from how much ground rent you pay, to who does any repairs or additions you plan for your home. Take time to visit a potential site several times and chat to a variety of residents, and find out how happy they are with the way things run.

5. Selling on has an extra fee

The site owner is entitled to 10% of the sale price if you sell your home. This is a long established practice which would need to be budgeted for.

Motivating Your Staff Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Keeping your team motivated is important for any business, so here are ten ideas that could help.

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Take Them Out for Lunch

A brilliant way of raising morale and encouraging your staff to work as a team is to take them out to lunch – perhaps for a pizza. Make it something for them to look forward to by planning the lunch at least a week ahead.

Praise Them Publicly

Praising your staff for something they have done well in front of their colleagues can really give their self-esteem a boost.

After-Work Drinks

This is a common way of team-building, but it does not have to mean drinking to excess. Why not try a different activity such as paintballing where you can all have fun together?

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Training Together

External training courses provided by HR outsourcing services can show your staff that you believe in them and are happy to fund their professional development. When they return, they can be encouraged to share what they have learned with the rest of the team.

Fun on a Friday

A monthly joint activity, perhaps on a Friday afternoon, that is fun for all the team will build morale and keep staff motivated. Award team prizes and keep the mood light.

Additional Responsibility

Be prepared to give a team member additional responsibility when you recognise that they are ready. Giving them development opportunities will show that you are aware of their potential.

Job Titles

An improved job title can mean a lot to a staff member and does not need to cost you anything. It can also affect how they are perceived by their colleagues. HR advice and support is available from companies such as

Always Show Integrity

It is important to demonstrate integrity and always support your staff. Team morale can quickly be destroyed by a boss who plays one team member off against another and does not have the trust of their staff.

Show Flexibility

Your staff are only human, and they may need to take time off at short notice. Trying to accommodate their needs will pay dividends in terms of morale and motivation. For information about employees’ rights see the ACAS website.

Set Clear Goals

If your staff know exactly what you expect from them, they are more likely to work towards meeting the goals.

Top benefits of early years education

Teaching very young children is both a pleasure and privilege. It is also a very great responsibility. Young children lap up information and are very open to new ideas.

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Even the former President of the USA, Barak Obama drew attention to the importance of early years education in one of his State of the Union addresses. Several research studies have confirmed that education in early childhood can have a positive impact on well-being outcomes later in life.

According to the National Education Union, very young children learn best through play-type activities. A combination of physical, social and constructional play allows children to become more aware of their mental and physical capabilities and to learn how to make the most of them.

Here are some of the main benefits of early years education.

Social skills

Gloucestershire private schools such as provide an ideal environment within which to learn social skills from a very young age. When parents make arrangements for their children to meet other children, they are giving them a head start as they transition into forming their own friendship groups.

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The earlier this starts, the better. Children who mix a lot with other children at a young age can overcome their shyness and build their confidence and self-esteem. If they do not meet up with other children, it can hinder their social development and cause problems in later life.

Learning to cooperate with others

Learning how to share, how to take turns and how to respect others are basics for promoting positive interaction amongst young children. This is best done in a safe learning environment where there are child care professionals present.

The eldest child of the family and only children may have less experience of sharing than children with older siblings. It is not an easy lesson for children to learn and it does not come naturally to many!

Enthusiasm for learning

A lifelong enthusiasm for learning can be encouraged by a positive start in the early years. If the pre-school stage is packed with enjoyable educational experiences, the child is more likely to engage with education enthusiastically as they get older.

Conversely, if the child learns to associate education with pressure, boredom or fear, they are unlikely to want to take part in it in the future.

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