How are we preventing car accidents

carOne of the most important features that new car buyers are looking for when it comes to purchases is a car’s safety. This matters more to some than speed, looks or any other usual aspects of a car. People with a family and children are especially interested in cars putting safety features above entertainment. It’s no wonder then that so many automakers have dedicated so much of their time and resources into creating incredible technology that can and does save lives.

We should remember that a lot of safety features in cars today were not only considered luxuries, but didn’t exist as part of any cars for some time.

In America, for example, sophisticated braking systems, with ABS, only became standard in 2012. As Ask.com noted in 2011:

“Federal law will require all [2012] cars and light trucks to come with standard electronic stability control. Stability control relies on an antilock braking system to apply the brakes at individual wheels to prevent skids, so all vehicles will need to have ABS as well.”

This means that ABS was not mandatory or expected before. Yet, today, the idea of using cars without this lifesaving device would be as alien as not using seatbelts (which were also not always part of car safety and considered, initially, an infringement on people’s freedom!)

But technology is consistently heading toward improvement and better safety. Writer Clark Howard, for example, discusses some new pieces of car technology that will probably change the landscape of vehicle safety.

The first is, adaptive headlights – this is where headlights turn as the driver turns the steering wheel. This lets the driver see around a curve and corners at night. “Having headlights rotate first before you get there has caused a 10% drop in overall accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,” he writes.

One of the most obvious focuses must be about head-on collisions. This is where Forward collision systems (FCS) come in. This often happens because, for a split second, drivers don’t realise the cars in front are slowing – whether an accident, stop sign or whatever.

“An FCS uses radar to know that the gap is closing on the vehicle in front of you and automatically takes control of the car to reduce the severity of impact. In cars that have FCS, accident rates are down about 15% across all kinds of accidents, not just rear end collisions.”

There are plenty of other areas automakers are focused on – completely self-driving cars for instance will have to have all of this tech built in to make it safe as possible. This will hopefully mean fewer and fewer incidents will occur that will require towing services. Safety is as essential to driving as any part of a car – if not more so, since it places our lives first.

Office security measures that won’t fail you

secuSecurity measures are an important factor to any business owner. Safety and security should be a main priority for senior management to ensure that employees do not feel a threat to their lives or property. No matter in which line of work, the priority for safety will always be on top of the list.  It is also not uncommon to find that agencies overlook safety as a priority due to their daily duties that keep the business on track. Safety and security is usually the last thing to look at, but as crime rises it is important to place it on top of your priority list.

Secure your premises

There is no need to break the bank with the latest security technology to keep the premises safe.  The best equipment does not come cheap, but there are alternatives to these. Take a look at standard security measures are also enough to ensure optimal security for your premises. Putting up proper fencing will deters burglars, as well as windows fitted with locks and security lights and strengthened doors. These are simple yet effective security measures to take. Install CCTV cameras where access points are susceptible as well as fitted alarms and be sure to warn others of its presence. Whenever suspicious activity took place, the video wall systems can go back to track what took place.

Theft in the office

To be sure of who is being hired and who enters into the company, follow through with proper protocol by verifying previous employment history and checking each reference provided by the candidate. In most cases it happens that only afterward an incident takes place, do employers find out that they could have crossed questioned and thoroughly examined an employee. Introduce clear policies about theft and make sure that staff is informed about it, so that employees are aware of consequences. Exercise caution when granting access to keys and revealing security codes to employees.

Secure company utilities

Do regular property and equipment audits to know where the company stands regarding inventory. A trusted employee can be given the task of doing those audits and ensure that it is being followed through every month.

Startup Observatory.com suggest, “Tagging computers and recording details of serial numbers does not make you a suspicious employer, it makes you a cautious one. You have nothing to hide and if someone else feels that way, they should take up the matter with you and discuss their grievances.”

6 Leadership styles you should be using

 

Tmeeting1here are scores of different types of leadership styles. Lists have been written which detail 10, 20, 30 different types of leadership. All of these in an attempt to understand what makes some leaders great and others ineffectual at best.

 

But a new grouping of leadership types has recently been revealed and is receiving much attention. A large study was conducted in 2000 for the Harvard Business Review. Daniel Goleman’s Leadership That Gets Results questioned more than 3 000 middle managers about leadership and behaviours.

 

“A leader’s singular job is to get results,” the study says. “But even with all the leadership training programs and ‘expert’ advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and organizations.”

 

Goleman and his team identified six distinctly different leadership styles. Each of these spring from different types of emotional intelligence.

 

“Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance. The styles, by name and brief description alone, will resonate with anyone who leads, is led, or, as is the case with most of us, does both.”

 

The six styles are:

 

A coercive leader demands immediate compliance. This type of leader wants workers to follow instruction. It is most effective during a crisis or to control a problem employee. It should be avoided in almost every other instance as it causes unhappiness and stifles creativity.

 

Authoritative leaders mobilise people toward a common vision. The focus is on the end goals and gives team members the freedom to find their own path. This style of leadership works best when instruction is not required. It inspires enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit.

 

An affiliative leader creates emotional bonds and harmony. This style works best in times of stress, trauma and broken trust. This style should not be used in isolation as it inspires a culture of mediocrity and lack of direction.

 

Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. This style is effective when the team needs to buy into a plan or idea. It is not the best style in an emergency situation when teammates do not have enough information to participate fully.

 

A pacesetting leader expects excellence and self-direction. This style works best when the team has the necessary skills and can follow the example of their hard-working leader. Used too much it can squash creativity and exhaust members.

 

Coaching leaders develop people for the future. This style works best when the leader wants to give members the skills necessary for a long and successful career. It isn’t effective when the team is unwilling to learn.

 

The research found that leaders could, with practice, switch among the various styles of leadership to produce the most effective results. By doing so, leaders can turn leadership into a science, one which can be studied and understood. It is up to the leader to choose their own leadership style. And if leaders don’t quite have what it takes right now, there are options available for them to learn by attending leadership skills training courses.

 

The study says: “The research indicates that leaders who get the best results don’t rely on just one leadership style; they use most of the styles in any given week.”

Best ways to pay in 2016

As we enter the new year, we have to begin looking at ways to pay others. It’s no longer the case that we rely solely on cash to pay others or receive. That means we need to consider how money makes its way around the world and into our own pockets, in 2016.

The most obvious way we pay is with cards. This allows you immediate access to your account, allows you to directly engage with the seller or with the person providing you with funds. This is particularly the case with credit cards.

With credit cards, we’re able to obtain items we can’t at that moment afford. Yet, credit cards are a dangerous path for many to walk:

“Not financing your purchases doesn’t mean you can’t pay with a credit card – you just have to pay your bill in full within a month. The convenience, protection and cash-back rewards offered by credit cards make them a handy tool if you use them wisely.

“The truth is if you can’t really afford it, you may be giving yourself a gift in the short term, but you’ll be giving yourself an expensive headache in the long run.”

However, credit cards have long been stigmatised due to the issues of credit and financial instability we’re currently dealing with. Of course managing finances should be our own responsibility – using proper tools like a bond repayment calculator to keep a budget for example is better than trying to acquire a credit card.

There is also the point that payment technology needs to evolve. For example, payment services company Adyen has seen significant growth due to its alliance with social media networks. As Bloomberg highlights:

“Since its debut in 2006, Adyen has evolved from enabling Web companies such as Facebook Inc. and Yelp Inc. to accept and process payments, to developing mobile-payment tools for clients such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. As those companies grew, so too did Adyen’s sales, with annual transaction volume reaching $50 billion last year.”

The problem is that we are not just dealing with individuals but businesses and customers. This means that businesses need to recognise that customers will engage using credit card payment.

Business News Daily lists the best systems to use for credit card payment in 2016 and it’s important that businesses recognise it.  

How to be a good second-hand shopper

Everyone wants to save when they shop. This is why so many invest in
second-hand shopping – as preferably sticking to a budget, while still acquiring items they feel are necessary. However, simply choosing to shop second-hand doesn’t eliminate dangers and errors. To that extent it’s important to work on ways to be better at second-hand shopping – since, obviously, the price you pay for second-hand items is that they’re more likely to have aspects wrong with them.

First, it’s important to know precisely where you’re shopping. If you’re going to a store, it might be wise to check customer review sites to see if there are complaints about how it has dealt with customers. The BBC, for example, offers numerous guides from consumer watchdogs, to aid you as a consumer. Being aware of everything from law to the latest scams better prepares you as a second-hand consumer.

Alternatively, you could be engaged in transactions that are more direct, like private car sales, which means that you will have less oversight: whether as the seller or the buyer.

Of course, even second-hand cars can be put on to showroom floors or sold to dealers – the bonus here being that the dealer handles all the paperwork, both for the consumer and the seller. With that, as a seller, you lose out a great deal in terms of payment for the car; as a consumer you might end up paying more since the dealership has done large amounts of work to get the car there (including the hassle of paperwork).

But there are other benefits to second-hand shopping, too.

Consider, for example, second-hand clothes shopping. As The Private Life of a Girl blog highlights, the benefits are important:

“Low cost | Entire outfits for under £10, enough said;

Local support | The local community and its charities benefit greatly from second hand shoppers.

Eco-friendly | Second hand shopping is pretty much the only environmentally friendly way to shop for clothing.

High quality | Vintage clothing is constructed to a higher standard and made from higher quality materials.

Unique options | Highstreet clothing all looks the same, which can’t be said for second hand shops.”

For many the realisation that you can get completely unique items and that you are being eco-friendly will be enormous. You are, by choosing to shop second-hand, already doing a great deal of good. But, that good also benefits you in enormous ways as a consumer.

Importantly, being aware of scams and how you can be cheated matter – as indicated, regularly consult consumer watchdogs sites to make sure you won’t be the next target.

Mistakes you make when you first start earning

Mistakes you make when you first start earningThere are few things more financially exciting than getting your first pay cheque. It’s probably smaller than you’d thought it would be, but it’s a real thrill nonetheless. You’ve probably dreamed about all the things you plan to do with the cash. But after a few days you may come to realise that your pay cheque doesn’t go as far as you’d like.

While every person is different, there are some general mistakes that most people make when they first start earning. Here are the most common of these errors:

Not having a proper budget

Sure, you may have set aside money for the basics (rent and food), but have you budgeted for absolutely everything you need? Learning how to create a thorough and accurate budget is important when you first start. The habits you form now will train you for the future. Putting together a budget is not simply about listing your basic expenses. Of course, you’ll need to stick to this budget as well.   

Not saving

You may think you’re earning too little to save right away, but you’re not. It doesn’t have to be a large amount every month. It can be as little as R100. Just like creating a budget, it’s important that you get into the habit of saving. Plus, that little amount will eventually add up and you’ll be glad you set it aside. You never know when an emergency is going to arise or you’re going to really need a car. If you save correctly, you could be browsing through pre-owned Volkswagens sooner than you think.   

Reckless spending

We’ve all been there. We’ve all done that. We’ve all been on the shopping spree that left us broke and full of regret. This is where budgeting comes in handy. If you need new clothes or really want a new gadget, you should work it into your budget. Carefully considering a purchase before you buy it should become second nature to you.

Borrowing money

Whether you’re taking out a loan from the bank or borrowing cash from a friend, it’s always a bad idea. If you can’t afford it this month, how are you going to pay it back next month without breaking your budget again? Taking a loan or using your credit card means you have to pay back everything with interest. Borrowing money is a slippery slope and you could easily end up in a cycle of debt.

Chances are that you’ll end up making these mistakes at some point, but the trick is to train yourself to be financially responsible from the very beginning.

 

The skills every entrepreneur needs

work3Are you on the path to running and owning your own business? The idea of being your own boss is thrilling to many. But it isn’t always the right fit. Some people just don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

If you think you may have a business in your future, check whether you have these skills. If you don’t, you’ll know what areas you should work on.

 

Business

It is often thought that you can’t learn to be a successful business person. It is true that some people do have an amazing idea which turns into a profitable business venture without formal training. But many successful business people do have training in business skills and many years working experience. You’ll need to decide on your path. Is your idea something you should pursue immediately or should you give it a few years while you hone your skills?

 

Leadership

Every business owner is going to be a team leader. At some point in your future a team of people will work under you and you will need the skills to lead them. This isn’t necessarily a skill everyone is born with. But the good news is it is something which can be learned. You just need to figure out your leadership style and practice these skills. People respect leaders who are knowledgeable, fair and confident. Develop these traits for yourself and your team will love you.

 

Organisation

You might feel like basic administrative skills are beneath you. The truth is they’re not. When you’re the owner of a business, you need to know what is going on in all facets of the business at all times. If your skills aren’t quite up to scratch, you may need to take a few short courses to refresh your skills. Project management, time management and computer courses are all valuable skills which will assist your career as an entrepreneur.

 

Persistence

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely career choice. You’re often working alone, for long hours and on projects which only you understand. Your friends and family don’t quite understand what takes up so much of your time. You’ll often wonder how you’re going to pay your rent and put food on the table. You need to be persistent in chasing your dream and continuing through the tough times. Only then can you fully appreciate your success.

Get smart with these tips to prevent data loss

Hacker

There was a time when people feared being robbed on the street, now that fear has reached the point where people fear being robbed in their most safest havens. Crime has been digitised and in a blink of an eye the bank balance of a business can drop or their most secured files hacked. The thought of being hacked has become all too real with many companies taking initiative to get digital insurance.

 

Save data the safe way

 

There is really no need to keep the details of customers such as their credit card numbers and other sensitive customer information on record. Make it a policy to purge customer records from your system once that data is no longer relevant or needed for the business at hand. Keep in mind that if you have nothing to steal, you won’t be robbed and that the risk of a breach outweighs the convenience for your customers.

 

Get up to date with the latest software technology

 

The most important set-up to get is a firewall that will protect you from possible data loss. The firewall is your insurance, it is your greatest protection and plays the same role as asset finance. The firewall protects your network from being infringed by scammers, and for this you will need to make use of strong passwords, even if it happens to be those that require two-factor authentication—to access sensitive information. Use cyber-protection software that hunts for viruses and malware on your web site and as you search the web. Be sure to regularly update the patches on your software regularly.

 

Train your employees

 

Many cyber crimes take place due to lack of information. It can happen that employees unintentionally and unknowingly hand over sensitive business information to a hacker presenting themselves as a reputable person in need of information, or because they click on malicious links sent to them via email. Hence the reasoning for imparting proper training to staff about cyber crimes and how to prevent them.  Training employees on how to look for and what to avoid – such breaches can protect a business from being the next victim.