Monthly Archive for June, 2019

Can You Run A Care Home?

If you want to turn your entrepreneurial skills to something that helps people, there are a lot of kinds of business you can think about running in order to do just that. One which is absolutely worth considering on this front is that of running a care home, which is  particularly good way of using your time and energy, and something which you will find is incredibly rewarding too. A care home is something that a local area always needs, and if you can provide such a service you should find that it really makes a huge difference to how you feel about what you are doing with your business. In this article, we are going to look at what you might need to consider to ensure that you are running a care home as well as possible.

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Staff Are Everything

It is hugely important, for a business such as this, that you manage to get hold of staff who are really top quality, as it is the quality of the staff that is going to determine the level of care that your clients receive, and that of course is going to be your main benchmark along the way of determining how well you are doing at providing a service. So you need to spend some time finding the best possible care staff you can, and making sure that they are likely to be the kind of people who will genuinely bring a lot of care and attention to what they are doing in the role. The thing with caregivers jobs is that they will generally attract this kind of person, but you still need to make sure that you are thoroughly vetting people and that you only go for the absolute best of all.

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Keeping On Track

It is important when you look after people in any kind of professional setting that you are kept accountable, otherwise you never know what kind of experiences people might have under your care which you didn’t really plan for. By ensuring that you are being kept accountable, you will be able to officially know that you are looking after people, and that they are getting the kind of care they really need and deserve. There is always going to be some legal guidelines which you need to work in here, so that is one part of this – but it’s also important to think about self-auditing by your own processes, to ensure that you are doing what you set out to do with regards to your level of care.

People Before Profit

You might well be making a profit from this venture, and there is nothing wrong with that in itself, but you need to make sure that you are going to always put people before profit. It is, after all, a care business, and the whole point is to make sure that you are caring for people. If you fail in this, then you might as well be doing something else with your time and energy. So make sure that you are always putting people before profit, and you should find it makes a huge difference.

Freelancers: Think Of Yourself As A Business

If you are just starting out in the world of freelancing, you will need to make sure that you are approaching it in the right way. No matter what it is that you are actually freelancing in – whether it’s writing, editing, design, photography, or whatever – you are going to have to think of yourself as a one-person business, for the simple fact that you are. There is an important shift that happens once you start to think of yourself as a business, and it means that you take yourself more seriously and start to engage with your work in a much more professional way. This is bound to lead to more success – so what do you need to think about to ensure that you are really thinking of yourself as a one-person business?

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Tax

One of the major ways in which you are absolutely a business on your own is when it comes to the tax you need to pay. You are going to have to keep records of everything that you make, and everything you spend for your work, and you will have to submit this information once a year to the government. You will then receive a bill for the tax you owe, which must be paid in full by the due date. This is such an important thing – if you fail to do it, you will of course struggle to keep within the law, and you’ll find that you can’t run away from the taxman for that long, so it is not worth trying. The more seriously you take tax, the better off you will be in the long run, so make sure that you are aware of that.

Marketing

Just as you need to pay tax like a business, you also need to market yourself like a business too. In many ways, this is one of the most important things that you will need to focus on at all, and you are going to need to make sure that you are happy to work out how to market yourself in the best possible way in order to achieve success. One of the first things you will need is a personal website in order to showcase your skills. That is going to require a wide set of skills, ranging from knowing how to build a site to hosting it well and finding a good alternative to WeTransfer Plus so that you can upload information securely and quickly. You’ll also need to market yourself through word of mouth, so get talking about yourself as soon as you can.

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Planning

You would not start a business without planning it out as much as possible, and you should make sure to apply this same approach to your own one-person business too. You need to spend some time planning out what you hope for the future and how you are going to be a success – and the more that you do that, the more likely it is that you will be able to succeed as a freelancer.

5 Improvements to Make To Your Business Office

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If you own your own business with office space, you will know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the renovations and redesigns. As your business grows, both your team and your office will grow with you and because of that, you’re going to constantly need to be renovating the space you own. Whilst it may seem tiring and pointless, constant renovations means that things are going well and are definitely something you should be proud of. With that in mind, here are 5 improvements to make to your office as your business grows:

  • Redecorate The Office To Encourage Creativity

One of the best things you can do for your office is to redecorate in a way that encourages creativity. Well-designed offices are important for a business that is focussed one inspiring its employees to create, so ensuring you have a space that people can feel comfortable and energised in is important. The best way to ensure you’re inspiring people is to ask them what they want from their office, giving them as much input as you possibly can.

For inspiration when it comes to inspiring and creative offices, you can visit this site here.

  • Create A Space For People To Relax And Have Downtime

As well as creating an office space that allows people to create, you also need to create a space where people can relax and have the downtime they need. Whilst you should already be encouraging regular breaks throughout the workday, having a space that is dedicated to relaxation will definitely help. Not only that, but it will give your employees a sense of importance and belonging.

  • Redo The Flooring, Walls Or Windows

If you’re struggling to keep up with all of the repairs that come with maintaining a business office, you may want to start with the basics – the flooring, walls or windows. Whilst these may be the most expensive to fix, ensuring they are always in a safe condition for your employees is vital. For more information when it comes to repairing your flooring, you can visit Epoxy Flooring here.

  • Ensure The Exterior Is Just As Well Kept As The Interior

Although not all businesses will own the exterior of their office, it’s important you’re doing everything you can to ensure it is as well-kept as the interior. If you’re renting from an office hire company and you notice an issue with your office’s exterior, you may want to contact your landlord or landlady directly. Not only will they be able to answer any concerns you have, but they’ll also be able to fix the issue.

  • Update All Of The Office Furniture

Finally, if you’re on a budget but you want to have your office feeling brand new again, you may want to consider updating all of the office furniture. Whilst this may take some time to order in, it will definitely be worth the wait.

Are you looking for ways to improve your business office? What can you do to give it a new and updated look? Let me know in the comments section below.

Reduce Your Business Costs Without Harming Safety or Quality

Any business person worth their salt will know that the lower they can get the financial outgoings of their business, the more they will reap in profit. Of course, reducing business costs isn’t always as straightforward as many people think, because you also have to ensure safe working practices, and quality too. Luckily, you can get some help with this task in the post below. Read on to find out more.

 

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Slash your utility bill

One viable way that you can reduce your business cost without suffering from issues with safety or quality is to get your utility bills as low as possible. The great thing about this option is that because the market is flooded with so many providers it doesn’t take a lot of work to find one that will offer you a better deal.

In fact, there are even websites devoted to comparing not only the cost but the services you can expect from such providers. Something that means there really is no excuse to be paying over the odds your business utilities.

Make money back by renting out your space

Another way that you can reduce business costs without hurting the quality of your product is to rent out unused space or equipment to other business, thus gaining some of the original cost of these things back.

Of course, if you are to have people that are not employed and trained by your business in your work area, it is vital that they are adequately inducted when it comes to safety protocol. Otherwise, you could end up causing a problem rather than gaining a benefit here.

Invest in essential equipment

Next, if you are looking to reduce your business costs over the long term, it is well worth investing in the essential equipment that your business needs rather than leasing it or using items at another site.

The reason being that while you may have to outlay in the short term, the cumulative effect of time and effort saved over the long term can really add up.

Of course, before you purchase a vital piece of equipment like a forklift, photocopier, or even a laser cutter, it is essential that you do some thorough research to decide which item and brand will be right for you. Luckily, there are things like these laser cutter reviews on Youtube that can help you. Especially as they are made by companies that are likely to be like your own.

Market your business for free (or at least very little)

Lastly, when it comes to saving money, it’s always worth taking a look at your marketing budget to see if any savings can be made there as they are unlikely to affect the quality of your product or the safety of your operation.

In fact, while it’s crucial to get your company name and message out there, there are a great many free and low costs way of doing this.

Just make sure you assign these tasks to a creative member of your team as you will want to make sure that your marketing is high quality too, even if it is low cost! Otherwise, you may not be able to move enough product, and so the saving you make may not be worth it overall.

How To Build A Good Reputation For Your Business

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In the business world, reputation is everything. Although we’re often told to never judge a book by its cover, this philosophy is very rarely applied when deciding who to buy from and who to work with. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service may be if customers can’t trust you, then they’re not going to buy from you. This is why it’s so important that you pay attention to the impression that you’re giving your target market. More often than not, there is an improvement to be made. With that in mind, here are ten ways to build a good reputation for your business.

1. Treat Your Employees Well

Highly-skilled and hardworking employees are the single most important resource for your company. Without them, you’d find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to keep your business up and running. Because of this, you must ensure that you treat your team well. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of them moving to another company, but it also eliminates the risk of them talking bad about you if they do. Instead, they’ll have only positive things to say to others.

2. Work On Product Quality

Even a good quality product will struggle to sell if the retailer has a bad reputation, but a poor quality product can be incredibly damaging. For this reason, you must ensure that the quality of your product is the very best that it can be. You can do so by testing and retesting it before you even think about putting it on the market. Make sure that you ask different people from your target market to try your product and offer their feedback. If there are any concerns, then work on them.

3. Ask For Customer Feedback

It’s not just the product itself that customers are going to have an opinion on. They will also have things to say about the marketing, customer service, branding, you, the team, and the business as a whole. Instead of ignoring these comments, you should ask for them. As difficult as it can be to hear negative feedback, it is also beneficial. After all, it informs you of areas that you need to work on. By acting on feedback, you show customers that you care about what they say.

4. Make Your Help Available

Although you should certainly try to, you aren’t going to provide exceptional service to every customer you encounter. Some customers will, therefore, leave your business feeling confused, frustrated, or even angry. It’s for these individuals that you need to make yourself available. Whether a customer has a question or a complaint for you, they should be able to get in touch with someone from your business right away. If they can’t, then they’ll feel pushed aside.

5. Build A Great Website

Whether a customer is on the hunt for a specific product or looking to get in touch with you, they will usually turn to the internet for help. If the website that they find is slow, boring, or broken, then it will look badly on you and your business. Because of this, you must create a site that looks professional, is easy to use, and works as it should. You should also boost your SEO using the tips at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274809. This will improve your ranking on search results.

6. Support A Worthy Cause

There will always be both local and national charities out there in need of a helping hand. By offering financial or practical help, you can show your staff and customers just how much you

care. This is sure to improve your reputation, helping your business to retain current customers and find new ones. That being said, you shouldn’t just help a charity for the recognition. This is the sort of shallow act that people will see right through, which will do a lot more harm than good.

7. Be More Environmentally-Friendly

With global warming and climate change on everyone’s minds these days, consumers are much more conscious about who they do business with. For this reason, you must ensure that you run your company in an eco-friendly way. There are many ways to go about this, such as using the mind mapping software at https://setapp.com/apps/xmind instead of a paper and pen. You can also switch to energy efficient equipment and turn the office lights off every night.

8. Keep Customers Informed

Communication is just as important in business as every other area of life. If you don’t keep your customers in the loop about certain things in your business, like price changes or the shipping of their goods, then they’ll have to come to you to ask. The more this happens, the more it seems as though you just don’t care. Although you shouldn’t spam your client base, a quick email or post on social media every now and then is necessary.

9. Do What You Promised

The very last thing that you should be doing is letting your customers down. While you probably wouldn’t do it on purpose, this shows your business to be unreliable, which is off-putting to both current customers and prospects. If you worry that you can’t fulfill certain promises you’re making to customers, then stop making them. It’s much better to underpromise but aim to deliver more. This way, customers always get what they were expecting or a pleasant surprise.

10. Become An Industry Leader

People want to do business with companies that have authority in their field. After all, if you’re going to buy from someone, it makes sense to buy from the very best. Keeping that in mind, you should try to establish yourself as an industry leader. To do this, you must get involved in the conversation. Make sure that you answer questions on forums, write informative blog posts, and speak at events. It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, people will always turn to you for help.

Reputation means everything in business, so improve yours with the advice above.

Could Studying Abroad Be the Experience That You Need?

Personal development comes down to experiences. Getting to know more of the world exposes you to more situations, more circumstances and more people. This ultimately gives you a much larger picture of the world and helps you understand things that most people couldn’t. You’ll get to experience more cultures and traditions, and you’ll have a better view of the world compared to someone that stays within their community and doesn’t look outside of it.

That’s why studying abroad could be one of the most eye-opening experiences that you’ll ever encounter.

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Countless choices for subjects to study

Whether it’s a medical school in the Caribbean that you want to visit or a cooking school in South-East Asia that you’ve heard a lot about, there is almost countless number of subjects to study and experiences to have when you decide to study abroad. It’s a learning experience that will take you far and wide, and at times directly to the source of the subject that you wish to study.

More opportunities to meet new people

One of the best things about studying abroad is being able to meet new people. Whether it’s other students in a similar position as you who want to gain a wider world view or locals that live a completely different life to you, it’s an eye-opening experience that offers you countless opportunities to network. While you’ll never meet many of these people ever again, there are some that could become life-long friends, business partners or even a significant other.

It’s nothing like a holiday

Holidays are designed for pleasure and enjoyment, not work. When you’re in a completely different environment, you’ll start to see things that you wouldn’t have noticed if you were just on a holiday. For example, you’ll start to interact with more of the locals, you’ll learn to fit in, you’ll see how things are done differently from your own country and you’ll be inclined to learn a bit more of another language. It’s a fantastic way to motivate yourself to try something new and get something out of it that can be beneficial to your life.

Gain life experience that can teach you about yourself

People often don’t fully realize their potential or goals in life until they’ve travelled. You might have an idea of where you want to go or what you want to do, but until you put yourself in uncomfortable territory, another country or difficult circumstances, there’s still a lot to learn about yourself and the only way to unlock that potential is to do something unique.

Utilize your global mindset

A mind that understands how the world works and not just their own country is a mind that is ready for international expansion. If you plan on starting an international business or growing your current startup to provide for the rest of the world, then it’s vital that you gain international experience through studying abroad and experiencing new things to help you gain a more diverse view of the world.

How to Put Your Business Skills to a Different Use

You can be in business for many years, and still enjoy it, but it might eventually begin to feel a little, well, done. You set up a company or worked high up in an organization because you had the skills and drive to put them to the test. But once you’ve proven to yourself that you can find success in that particular business, there’s a chance that you’ll be looking for a new challenge. And good news: your business skills are versatile, and your experience is valued in many other industries and areas of life. If you’re thinking about a change, then take a look at some of the ideas that we’ve outlined below.

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New Directions

If you’re no longer being challenged by whatever type of business you’re currently in, then why not look at starting from scratch, and setting up a new venture? There have been plenty of successful entrepreneurs who have walked away from success and set up something new, and find more success. The skills that you’ve put to good use in the past will serve you again in a different environment. It’s all about your talents — the industry they’ve been sunk into are secondary.

Working with Others

But let’s say it’s not that you’re no longer challenged, but that you’re challenged too much. There comes a time in our lives when we don’t want to work as many hours. We want to focus on our hobbies, or personal lives, or whatever else. If that’s the case, then why not become a consultant for other businesses? This can be a hugely enjoyable job for multiple reasons. First, you get to pick your clients, and your hours. If you only want to work a few hours a week, then that’s fine. Second, you’ll work with a number of different companies, across different industries. Things will always be interesting!

In the Middle

The skills and talents you’ve acquired during your business career will always be in demand. There aren’t too many people who know business as well as you do, and that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you own a business brokerage, you can bring together various aspects of running a business together, and also help people achieve their dream. You’ll be running the day to day operations, which will need your “on the ground” talents, and then also linking people with the right opportunities, which is a skill you can only acquire after many years in business.

Solving Problems

Most people go into business because they want to earn money. But it’s also true that the world needs people who aren’t motivated by money. There are some problems that can’t be fixed by profit-driven companies; it has to be charity work. Alas, many charities, especially the smaller ones, don’t have the know-how of how to succeed, and sometimes to get things done. If you want a new challenge, and also give something back to the world, then look at offering your talents to organizations. You’ll be making a positive difference in the world!

The Understated Dangers Of The Workplace For Your Employees

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business, and they’re always going to be. They keep the cogs turning in your operations, and there’s always someone manning the customer serviced desk, possibly dealing with impatient customer after impatient customer! They do their best work for you, and your business wouldn’t be the same without their hard work and dedication to your company.

But the working world is just as dangerous as any other, and there’s a lot of hazards out there that your employees are going to come into contact with on a daily basis. Slipping and falling on wet floors that aren’t signposted, bumping into each other in the corridor and getting scalding hot coffee all over the shirt, falling off their desk chair after using it as a step stool, etc. These are all obvious dangers we’re trained, and have the common sense, to avoid.

But what about the less common dangers? What about the dangers of the working world we don’t often think about, or don’t like thinking about? How do we prepare for them, and keep our employees safe from them? After all, whenever they’re on the company clock, the people who work for you are your responsibility.

So here’s just a few of the worst and most understated dangers an employee of yours might face one day whilst in work. Make sure you stay aware of them.

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Having a Sick Colleague

When you’re working in close quarters with a team of least 8 other people, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, an epidemic is going to flow through the office every now and then. People are crammed together in this little building block that is your company headquarters, always in contact with each other, and who knows who fast the sniffles are going to get around each and every occupied desk cubicle!

But more than that; if one of your employees is sick, they can compromise the rest of your team. So if someone comes in whilst ill, and has a hard time focusing on their work and feeling up to seeing the full shift out, they can very easily infect your other employees, and slow them all down as well. And that means, instead of just being one team member down, and being able to cover the work yourself, you now have your whole team calling in sick because they can’t even get out of bed with the flu.

Remember, bacteria spreads fast and easily, and there’s a good chance at least one member of your staff isn’t as up to date on their vaccinations as the rest of them. They can be a very weak link in the chain, weakening your company as a whole. It’s an expensive headache no business owner wants to deal with, and can even lead to health and safety investigations within your office.

Accidents Involving Company Vehicles

It’s scary for someone to be involved in an accident on the road when behind the wheel of their own vehicle, but this effect is doubled when they’re behind the wheel of a company car. It’s a car they don’t own, they don’t quite know how the insurance works, and the cost might even come out of the paycheck, should any repairs be needed. Even worse, if the vehicle is a write off, it can invoke some harsh new restrictions for the entire companies. For example, if employees are allowed to take company vehicles home with them, and someone on your team only has a company car to rely on to get to and from work, instituting a rule that no longer allows them to use this car outside of company hours is going to seriously affect their life.

But it makes the chance of being in an accident considerably less, and more often than not, company owners like to live in the knowledge that they won’t be covering crash costs any time soon. Having to fork out for something like semi truck accident lawyers who provide executive treatment can be a very costly time in a small business’ lifecycle, even when the lawyers in questions specialise in making the whole process a lot easier on you.

Having a Machine Malfunction

Even in a regular office, where the only machines in question are computers, printers, copy machines, and fax machines, a machine malfunction can be a danger. Machines can blow fuses in the power supply, taking the whole office down for a few hours before the power is fixed, and they can spit ink and spark and even explode from use from time to time.
Which is why it’s so important all employees know how to use machines like these, and that you have clear rules in place for the amount of paper being churned out of the printer or pricing on the different amounts of copies someone can make. You want to be sure you’re not wasting any materials and resources, and you want to be sure the machines you use on a daily basis are never being pushed beyond their means. Even technology can break down on us, and needing to buy upgrades and updates on a yearly basis can put a severe dent in everyone’s paycheck.

Having an Ineffective Team Leader

If your employees are working under a manager that is less than stellar in their position, the working environment can become toxic at best, and someone can lose their job at the worst. After all, you’re more likely to take your manager’s word over a junior employee, and often enough, rumours spread in an office faster than they do in a children’s playground.

As the owner, you’ll always need to keep an eye on the people you’ve put in a position of power. Conduct quarterly reviews on their performance, and train them in HR management. Make sure they deserve to have authority over the team they were once a part of.

Dangers in the workplace are numerous; are you aware of them all?

Starting & Succeeding With A Research Business

There are so many fields of study that you might choose to get into if you are thinking of starting a research business. In fact, the truth is that the general umbrella term ‘research’ might be a little vague for most purposes. In all likelihood, it is not the research element but the field of study itself which is the main driving factor of your business, and which ultimately got you to start your own business. Whatever it is that you are researching, however, there are a number of things which are going to be applicable across the board, and which are therefore absolutely worth looking into for that reason. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the things to consider if you hope to succeed with your research business, so that you can get to the bottom of whatever it is that you are due to be studying.

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Know The Scientific Method

Something that is likely to prove vital is that you are aware of what you need to focus on in terms of the best scientific method, so that you can make sure that you are following it to a tee and therefore getting the most reliable results possible. The scientific method has a number of tenets which you need to focus on and pay homage to, not least the idea that correlation and causation do not equate. You also need to make sure that you are attempting to replicate the results you have found again and again before you declare them in any real sense, and that is something that you should focus on from the start as it affects how you are likely to run your business. The best science is that which is objective, and almost obsessive to the point of trying to reproduce results again and again. Make sure you are being as scientific as possible if you want your research to be trustworthy.

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Find The Right Supplies

Depending on what you need to research, there will be many kinds of products and so on which you need to get hold of, to make sure that you can do it right. You might need particular equipment such as test tubes or microscopes. You might need some substances which can help you, such as C/D/N Isotopes. Or you might need a particular kind of machine to help you too. Whatever it is, you should be aware that being able to trust the supplies and the supplier means that you can also trust the research itself much more complicitly. For that reason, you are going to want to make sure that you source supplies you can trust, and that means going for trusted names or asking around for those which are likely to be worthwhile. In time, you will learn which you can trust and which you can’t, and you will find that sourcing the right supplies becomes much easier indeed.

Build Your Team

If it is necessary to be able to trust your supplies, it is much more necessary still to be able to trust your team, and that is something that can be considerably harder to do and take much longer too. You will find that building up your team early on is one of the bigger challenges, and also something which you are going to find particularly enthralling in terms of getting you excited for the business to grow. You’ll want to look out for certain qualities in those people, however, to make sure that they are going to actually be right for the job. Having a strict and strong recruitment process is hugely valuable here, as that is the only way that you will get to the bottom of who you should hire and who you should leave. The stronger you are able to build your initial team, the more that you can get done, and the higher the quality of the research will be too. Spend as much time as you need to on this, to ensure that you can end up with the best team you can possibly find.

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The Client Base

Ultimately, you are researching on behalf of someone, and you need to make sure that you are keeping them happy and giving them what they want. That doesn’t mean sacrificing your scientific rigour to deliver the results they hope for. It just means that you need to put your all into the research you are carrying out, and make sure that you are not going to skimp anywhere along the way. Understanding the needs and wants of your client base is essential, and the best way to discover them is to ask them about them. When you know this, you can work towards having a better relationship with your clients, which is one of the things that will determine a much more stable future for yourself in business. Treat the clients well, and you will find that they return again and again, despite what the research findings actually show.

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Advertising

You are going to need to think like any other business in a number of ways, one of the most important being that you need to make sure you are advertising your services if you want to gain clients in the first place. Knowing how to advertise your research business can be tough and take a long time to achieve, but as long as you stick it out you will find that you can get to the bottom of what it actually takes to ensure that your advertising really does work. This marketing requires that you have a strong brand, and that you are happy to make sure that that brand is right for the business. Do that, and advertise far and wide, and you will find that you are going to have much more luck with your research business than you might have even thought possible. If you like, you can hire a team to outsource this part of running your business, which might be a way of making it even easier still.