RESPs: Individual versus Family Plans

Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) are created to help Canadian families support their children’s post-secondary education. In general, there are two kinds of heritage education funds RESP accounts, namely the Individual Plan and the Family Plan.

Individual RESPs
As the name suggests, individual plans only have one beneficiary, which can be the subscriber himself/herself or another person named by that subscriber. Age restrictions are not a problem since this type of account doesn’t have any rules on that, but some Canadian Education Savings Grants (CESGs) only pay to beneficiaries under 18 years old.

For instance, let’s say you have an individual heritage RESP for each of your two kids. If one of them goes to grad school and the other doesn’t, you can change the beneficiary even if they are already 28 years old when they start with the grad school. As mentioned, this doesn’t include any government grant money.

Also, you can combine multiple individual plans into one family plan any time as long as the beneficiaries are related to the subscriber either by blood or adoption.

The downside appears when you have multiple individual plans in your family: more plans, more paperwork, and more relationship requirement.

Family RESPs

On the other hand, family plans can have one or more beneficiaries who must be related to the subscriber whether by blood, adoption, or marriage. That means you can sign your children, grandchildren, siblings, or other relatives (by blood, adoption, or marriage).

The beneficiaries under the family RESP must be under 21 years old at the time of registration, and they can be changed or removed throughout the plan’s course.

For individual RESPs, there’s basically no need for strict allocation of contributions. However, when it comes to family heritage RESPs, more than one beneficiary means dividing the contributions for each beneficiary.

For instance, if you’re signing up two kids with different ages, you have to divide the contributions between them, with the older child (ideally) getting a larger slice to catch up with the contributions. In case you have twins, the allocation would easily be 50% for each child.

Both the individual and family heritage RESPs follow a maximum grant amount of $7200 per child. If your children have reached the maximum grant and you opt to transfer some of the contributions to another beneficiary, you’ll lose the grant.

Choosing the Right One

If you only have one child, you may naturally choose individual RESPs. If you plan to have another child, signing up for a family account may be the better choice.

For families with two kids or more, family accounts are normally the first choice. Or you can sign up for multiple individual accounts. On the other hand, remember that these accounts may pretty much be the same thing since you can transfer contributions between accounts. For example, if one of your kids doesn’t go to school while the other does, you may transfer the contributions of the former to the latter—regardless of the type of account you have.

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How GPS And Wi-Fi Help In Indoor Navigation

When mapping the indoor environment, Wi-Fi performs better than GPS. While the GPS is critical while navigating the outdoors, it cannot penetrate the concrete walls and floors. In the high-rise buildings, mapping without the gps for indoors can be a daunting task. Wi-Fi plays a huge role in pinpointing the exact locations of objects in various floors of a multistory building. Considering that the Wi-Fi access points exist in many buildings, a technician can help you to install an indoor positioning system that works. This system comes in handy whenever you are shopping in a large mall or visiting an exhibition center. If you download the map of the building, you can find the location of every item with ease. In addition, you will also get the directions to the exact location.

 

Indoor positioning in shopping malls

If you want to go shopping, investing in a system that combines the indoor and outdoor navigation systems will help you to find the directions to the store as well. Such a system is vital whenever you are shopping online. When you find the items that you need to buy, the system will also provide the directions to the cash registers as well as the exits. Since wayfinding is critical in a mall or exhibition center, having such a system can work to your advantage. In the wake of the mobile phones and other products that can use Wi-Fi for indoor navigation, you can use the modern technology at an affordable cost.

 

Avoid the pitfalls of navigation positioning system

The sure way to circumvent the pitfalls of indoor navigation is to download the current map of the building. If you use an old map, you might struggle to find your way around the building. The layout of buildings can change after the owners undertake some renovations, meaning that you need the current map to navigate the indoor world. While a smartphone can give you some accurate images and directions, the modern versions of the indoor navigation software are compatible with the conventional mobile phones. If you can read the indoor maps from your phone, you do not have to invest in a smartphone to navigate a shopping mall, hospital, or airport.

 

How Wi-Fi Overcomes the Limitations of GPS

Wi-Fi comes in a broad range of networks that can navigate through the corridors, walls, ceilings, and floors. The accuracy of this signal depends on several factors, and the best way to address the limitations of Wi-Fi is to consult your service provider. If you invest in the modern technology, you will improve your indoor navigation system significantly. While you need a strong signal to access the indoor navigation for the military, most of the commercial buildings do not require to upgrade the system.

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6 Tips To Get The Best Of Your Real Estate CRM

The best way to ensure you have a successful career as a real estate agent is to know how to manage your real estate contacts. Having a real estate CRM means you got a good handle on your database and it also saves you effort and time. That way you can dedicate more resources to grow your clients while having a solid business foundation.

When you use a real estate CRM, it simplifies complicated processes, keeps you organized and ultimately makes your day more productive. If you haven’t used a real estate CRM software before the following tips will get you up to speed and show you how to the software can benefit both your business as well as your clients.

1. Keep your list tidy
As an agent you probably have a problem keeping all your contact information in one place. Just finding the one client you’re looking for takes a lot of time. You have to search your emails, your spreadsheets, and your notes not to mention your phone to try to contact them. By the time you find them you’d have wasted a lot of time. Real estate contact management systems keep everything tidy and right where you can easily access them. A real estate CRM software keeps phone numbers, names, birthdays, and important details that you’ll need in a hurry about your clients. Everything is safe and you won’t risk losing any of your documents.

2. Add a new contact on a daily basis
As your business grows, so would your contact list. Try to add a new business contact every day and watch your list evolve into a profitable business. Those new contacts might not be clients for now, but someday they will need to move or find a new place. They are the people you meet every day, connect with or make friends. As you add them to your phone, also add them to your contact list. One day they’ll need your services and then you’ll have all their information right there at your fingertips.

3. Always stay in touch
It’s important to remember every one of your clients’ birthdays and even anniversaries. That’s how they remember you’re their favorite agent. In order to do that you’ll need to automate reminders that can be generated by the real estate CRM software. The software will remind you that you need to send them a birthday card or call them to wish them a happy anniversary.

4. Keep track of your results
When you send a newsletter or start a marketing campaign through emails you want to know who’s opening those emails and who’s clicking on the links you send. This interaction with your emails provides you with valuable feedback on how your campaign is doing and how your clients perceive your work. A real estate CRM will generate reports that show how engaging your emails are and whether they’re creating leads for your business.

5. Get those leads immediately
As an agent you know that without leads your business won’t grow and flourish. Capturing those leads can be challenging especially when you’re busy doing a million other things at the same time. That’s where automatic lead capture comes to the rescue. It can capture those leads online and store them in the database. They’ll be there when you look for them waiting to be turned into new business opportunities.

6. Both easy and powerful at the same time
Most real estate contact management systems have the best features you need without overwhelming you with loads of other settings and features that would waste your time. Choose the one that works well out of the box and doesn’t need a ton of configurations. A complicated CRM can waste your time and lead to errors when using it.

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7 Simple Printer Maintenance Tips

The difference between a home printer designed for personal use and a business printer is like the difference between a drone and a fighter jet. They both can fly, but the drone is limited and capabilities and scope. Business printers are networked printers that cater to the needs of everyone working in the same office. They save on resources, are more durable, and won’t break down as much as the other variety. Business printers have many functionalities and can scan, copy, print, and fax all in one machine. Which is why you need to maintain them.

Just like most modern gadgets, office printers come in different sizes and shapes. Each colour laser printer has its own set of features and capabilities which can be a challenge if you’re in the market looking for a printer for small business. However the following tips should help you maintain your printer and make it last longer.

1. Clean your print head
The printer head is the one part of the machine responsible for dispensing of ink or toner depending on which type of colour laser printer you’re using. You need to clean the print head at least once a month to prevent ink/toner clogging. To do that use warm water and a piece of clean cloth. Remember to remove the cartridge first. Don’t use tissues or alcohol to do the cleaning. Let it dry before reinstalling the cartridge.

2. Clean the insides
Business printers and office photocopiers alike need to be maintained regularly. Dust and grime pile up inside the machines and eventually will stop it from functioning properly. Open up the machine and use a piece of dry cloth to wipe away the dust. Remember to be gentle and not use too much force or pressure while cleaning it since most of the inner parts are fragile. If you encounter stubborn grime in the corners use compressed air or Q-tips to gently remove it.

3. Check under the hood
Just like a car, a printer for small business needs to be checked under the hood. What you’re looking for are any broken or jammed parts. Usually you’ll get a warning from the machine if something isn’t working well, that’s why you need to pay attention to the maintenance lights. If you get an alert from the printer take immediate action to prevent any serious damage. Replacing a small part can be cost effective comparing to replacing the whole printer.

4. Choose the right refill
Most inkjet printers cost a lot when it comes to refilling cartridges. If you think you’d save money by using cheap cartridges you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Cheap and generic cartridges do more damage to your machine and cost you more money in the long run. They also produce low-quality printing and waste more ink than they use. Always buy the branded cartridges recommended by the manufacturer.

5. Be careful when you replace cartridges
You’d better follow the instructions in the manual when replacing cartridges. This process is usually tricky and you’ll be doing it a lot. Don’t touch the bottom of the cartridge when replacing it since it affects the quality of the print. Also as mentioned high-quality cartridges are not as sensitive to the touch as the knock-offs you get cheap.

6. Replace cartridges before they dry up
If you wait until last minute before you replace the cartridge thinking you’d get every last print out of it, you risk damaging your machine. The colour laser printer alerts you when they run low on ink so that’s the best time to replace the cartridge.

7. Turn it off
When not using your office printers or office photocopiers for some time better switch them off. Even when on standby printers still generate a lot of heat which can dry the printer header and the ink cartridges. This can lead to a clogged header and damage the machine itself.

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7 Benefits Of Integrated Cloud Services

Cloud services refer to the technology that allows different devices like phones, computers, and tablets to access shared resources, information and applications over the internet. Using a service like Azure management, the user doesn’t have to install the app in order to use it. Instead they can store and get access to all their files on the cloud from anywhere that has an internet connection.

On the cloud resides the operating system as well as all the databases, configurations, and software applications that are necessary to run the system. The user doesn’t have to deal with any of those; only the app which saves on resources and ensures a high level of security.

Microsoft Azure works well with different devices running different operating systems. That way interoperability and agility are guaranteed which makes it a better choice for businesses looking for integrated cloud services. To get the most out of the managed public cloud the organization needs to implement different IT solutions and open source technologies.

1. Synced Information

Syncing apps, getting security updated installed and applied automatically, and getting the most recent information are all benefits of using managed public cloud. If one user makes a change to a file or a document on the cloud the other users get it in real time. This allows different teams collaborating remotely to work together without delays or unintended errors.

2. Better functionality

With Microsoft Azure you get different modules all working together at high efficiency. All functions are automated which yields high degrees of accuracy of the operations across the platform. In a seamless system like data centre management all system to system operations don’t need human input which speeds up the information sharing in flawless symmetry.

3. Streamline business goals

Moving all businesses to the managed public cloud and thanks to Azure management you get to streamline all aspects of your business from logistics and marketing to procurement and management. This puts the focus on the overall business goals which can be shared by various entities where everyone gets to work on those goals with instantaneous reporting and feedback.

4. Security

Access to all parts of the cloud is secured with confidential credentials only the specific user can use them. Verification of the user takes place on the cloud through a set of security protocols which protects not only the files and information on the cloud but ensures the security of the integrated cloud services themselves.

5. Flexibility and Scalability

As the organization grows and more business resources are needed, the managed public cloud and open source technologies can accommodate this growth by offering simple solutions to either upgrade or downgrade their packages. This cost-effective way of operating the business makes the cloud the best option for organizations focused on the bottom line.

6. Higher availability

Because all the services are stored on the cloud, any user with the right access can get to use these services. This high availability creates greater opportunities for sharing and collaborating on the cloud. It also makes the organization’s infrastructure more efficient. People can work on different time zones, and geographic boundaries are overcome because all a user needs is an internet connection to access these services.

7. Reduced costs

Because the services on the cloud are fully automated this cuts down on the human element which reduces overhead and costs of running operations. Add to that the integration of open source technologies and IT solutions eliminates the need for middleware and costly experts to run the infrastructure.

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Four Reasons To Use Stretch Films For Pallet Preparation

1. Stretch Films Can Save People Time

When people use transparent stretch film for packaging, this can save time at several different points in the distribution chain. At any point in transit, people can visually scan pallets and see what is in them without the need to unwrap anything.

Fortunately, most modern Canadian companies have access to stretch films that are designed for strength and reliability. In many cases, stretch film manufacturers employ outstanding technicians who rank among the most skilled professionals working in North America today. Thanks to ongoing improvements in manufacturing and industrial processes, max film strength for stretch film has increased significantly in the course of the past decade.

2. Stretch Films Keep Shipped Materials Safely Secured

Even with the well-developed shipping protocols we use in North America, it is far too common for shipped goods to get damaged in transit. If more people used stretch films to seal palletized loads before transit, it is likely that damage rates would plummet.

When you are planning to purchase a stretch wrapper unit, you’ll need to choose between investing in a vertical or a horizontal unit. Your choice will depend on the average size and weight of your pallets. Whatever type of machine you choose, you should always buy your packaging machines new or in certified, refurbished condition. Depending on the nature of your budget, an extended warranty may not or not be advisable. You may want to consult with the online resources from the Malpack Corp website.

3. Fine Stretch Films Provide Protection For Your Personal Reputation

As many experts have argued, reputation is incredibly important in the Canadian business world. Besides benefiting your company, using the right packaging materials is the right move for protecting your personal reputation within your industry. Supposing you are responsible for shipping loads safely, you must do everything in your power to fulfill your job properly. If goods are damaged under your watch, you may find that this will limit advancement opportunities within your industry. When putting together your next pallet load for shipment, consider using puncture resistant film for extra safety.

4. Stretch Wrapping Can Aid Packing Efficiency

Quite a few professionals have used this type of wrapping to make the packing process more efficient. Indeed, stretch wrap use is one of the factors that sets leading shippers apart from less noteworthy competitors. You can boost your pallet output significantly if you utilize a double turntable palletizing system. In this system, one pallet is rapidly wrapped while a second pallet is being delivered into the machine.

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Top 4 Advantages of Using a Call Center

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, engaging the services of an inbound call centre is one of the best and most effective ways to improve your company’s efficiency, productivity, and profits. Many organizations can attribute their business growth and success to the shift from in-house customer services to outsourced call answering services. By engaging a professional call answering service provider, operations will run more smoothly for the customers as well as the business irrespective of the company’s size. Here’s how outsourcing to a call center improves business.

1. Creates a positive impression

As recognized by entrepreneurs worldwide, excellent customer service plays a major role in the success of any business. Brand awareness and loyalty increase when clients are impressed by the quality of services offered. On the other hand, dissatisfied customers are likely to discourage potential clients.

You can ensure your clients receive the best level of service possible by engaging the services of a reputable call center. Call answering service companies are staffed with well-trained, skilled, and knowledgeable customer service agents whose professionalism when representing your business can create a positive impression and guarantees customer satisfaction.

2. Makes it easy to manage higher call volumes

Many companies are not prepared to handle a sudden increment in workload. For many businesses, higher call volumes can be the cause of major losses because people don’t like being put on hold for extended periods. On the other hand, call answering service providers are well-equipped and always ready to handle fluctuations in the volume of incoming calls, making them more likely to manage higher call volumes and provide shorter call waiting periods. By outsourcing call answering services, your company will benefit from higher customer satisfaction and retention rates, both of which can help drive business growth. For those of you interested in learning more, there are more resources to be found on the Extend Communications website.

3. Eliminates the need for additional employee training

For large and small businesses alike, employee training is usually a major expense. Fortunately, you can save the funds and time needed to train your employees by engaging a reputable answering service provider. Your call center bears the responsibility of training their agents to provide excellent customer service to the different types of clients you have. Aside from eliminating the need for additional employee training, outsourcing to a call center increases the amount of time each of your employees dedicated to pertinent tasks.

4. Frees up your workforce

Although training your employees might improve the level of customer service provided, you probably won’t have any of them devote their time to handling inbound calls. In most cases, the task of answering phone calls will hinder their ability to complete other more important tasks. Having your in-house staff deal with incoming calls could lead to inefficiency and impair productivity. On the other hand, utilizing inbound call centre services allows you to reserve your workforce for other more important areas of operation, leading to increased efficiency, productivity, and profits.

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Four Advantages Of Business Management Consulting Services

Recently, business management consulting (BMC) has achieved a very positive reputation in the Canadian business world. In the past, securing this type of service was typically thought of as a last-ditch strategy favored by failing businesses. Today, people have wisely adopted a far more nuanced attitude regarding companies that utilize external consulting services. Clearly, many successful businesses bring in external consultants not to stave off disaster but to improve already successful processes.

1. BMC Can Break Institutional Deadlock

In any but the smallest businesses, institutional inertia and office politics can make it difficult to enact much-needed changes. After all, people are naturally creatures of habit. Routine is comforting and consciously or not, we often look for reasons to maintain the status quo. In addition, many important changes require coordination between multiple departments and stakeholders. Too often, people jealously guard their prerogatives and insist upon total autonomy. As a disinterested third party, a business management consultant can bring people together and facilitate real compromise for the good of the company.

2. BMC Can Ease Complex Expansions

It is fairly common to bring in an implementation consultant to help with a business expansion. Trained consultants can help companies pick the best times for expansion. Expanding too fast, too soon can stretch company resources to the breaking point. On the other hand, expanding too slowly can allow more agile competitors to gain the upper hand. With broad and deep knowledge of the client’s industry, a good consultant can help you ensure that your expansion is realistic, timely and cost-effective.

3. BMC Can Speed Up Sales Growth

Publicly held companies have unique pressures to create business performance improvement. After all, public shareholders expect to see marked improvement in quarterly reports. At the same time, companies of all types can face major pressure when confronted with slowing growth. A BMC specialist can use workload analysis to see what company processes are ripe for improvement. Depending on the situation, lagging sales might stem from technological inefficiency, market forces or substandard management of human resources.

By using utilization analysis and quality management procedures, management consultants can help you make tough choices. Sometimes, long-standing traditions in the sales department might stand in the way of sales growth. For example, it might not be a part of your company culture to link seasonal bonuses with sales performance. An outside management consultant can help you convince staff members that changes are necessary.

4. BMC Can Improve Company Logistics

Especially for fast-growing companies, managing logistics is one of the most complex aspects of business management. Inefficiencies in logistics can lead to redundancy, poor quality control and other systemic problems. If you secure BMC for your company, you might be surprised by the dramatic improvement in your company’s logistics. More information can be found by visiting Carpedia International Ltd..

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4 Ways Accounts Receivable Financing Can Benefit Your Small Business

Getting a small business off the ground isn’t an easy task. Besides investing a lot of time into it, you also need adequate financing for capital and expenses. During regular operations, more cash may move into your business than out, but there are times when cash flow may stall or even go negative. Having resources to bridge these gaps or smooth out cash-flow issues can be essential for the enterprise.

Accounts receivable financing enables you to obtain working capital and keep things running when you are experiencing cash-flow hiccups. Here are other ways in which this form of funding can benefit your small business.

1. Eliminates Gaps in Cash Flow

The concept behind accounts receivable financing is that the companies allow you to receive early payment on outstanding invoices. For you to use this invoice factoring Canada, you are required to sell the business’ outstanding invoices to an invoice factoring company. You receive funds in the form of an advance payment which is usually around 90 percent of the value of the bills. This eliminates cash flow problems during instances when payments are delayed and allows smooth continuation of business operations.

2. Saves Valuable Time

Time is a valuable asset for entrepreneurs, but most companies spend the majority of their time on accounting and financing. By freeing the time you spend dealing with financial tasks such as paying bills and collecting unpaid invoices, you can focus on other vital areas of the business. Factoring finance saves you valuable time by providing an advance on outstanding invoices. It allows you to pay attention to lucrative aspects of the business such as marketing, business management, and customer service. There are plenty of resources available at the FundThrough website for more information.

3. Access to Unlimited Capital

Accounts receivables factoring is the only source of financing that grows with your sales. As your business grows and your sales increase, you are bound to deal with more invoices. Similarly, more funds will be available for business use. This allows you to continually meet your demand by smoothing out lumpy cash-flow due to increased expenses and long payment cycles. Small firms that utilize this form of financing have the potential of experiencing tremendous growth as they never fall short of working capital.

4. Facilitates Employee Security

When a business is undergoing financial problems, missing payroll is possible, and this can reduce employee efficiency and morale. Using invoice factoring to manage cash-flow allows you to sort out payment issues even when the business is short of cash. On-time payment enhances employee security, boosts morale and efficiency, and reduces the turnover rate. You are also able to focus on the business without worrying about employees’ salaries and benefits.

Accounts receivable financing is a viable solution for small businesses that often deal with cash-flow problems and are unable to secure traditional financing. Consider factoring receivables for your enterprise, and you can pay attention to core areas of the business without worrying about the availability of working capital.

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4 Tips for Saving Money on Printing Within Your Business

Even though using your business printers for various printing needs might be a necessity in your office, you might have found that it’s a costly one. Buying a nice printer for small business can be more costly than a lot of people realize, and there is a cost that goes along with using your office printers each day. If you fear that your company’s colour laser printer is costing your business more money than it should, however, you should know that there are ways to cut costs. These are four tips that can help you save money when using your printers and office photocopiers on a daily basis.

1. Choose the Right Printer

You can actually start saving money on office printing on the day that you buy your office printer. Shopping at the right time of year, such as around the holidays or during the back-to-school season, is a good way to find great prices on a printer. However, you shouldn’t go with a too-cheap printer; instead, you’ll want to find one that can hold up to the hard work that your company will be putting it through. This can help you ensure that the printer will hold up in the long term.

2. Outsource Work When Needed

Every now and then, there could be situations in which it will be more cost-effective for your office to outsource work. For example, if you are doing a large-scale printing job but do not have a printer that is truly capable of efficiently handling the workload, you just might find that outsourcing work is a good way of actually saving money on printing supplies while getting the project done more quickly.

3. Keep Printers in Good Shape

Just as with just about anything, taking good care of your office printers will help you ensure that they stay in good condition and that they have minimal repair issues. Additionally, this can help you make sure that your printers last for a long time without having to be replaced, which can save your company hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

4. Look for Ways to Save on Printing Supplies

The cost of printing supplies can really add up, but there are ways to say. Minimizing unnecessary printing and printing on both sides of each sheet of paper can help. Additionally, looking for sale prices and buying paper, ink and other necessary supplies in bulk can be helpful. Then, you’ll be spending as little as possible on necessary printing supplies.

A lot of people don’t realize that there are actually many ways that you can cut costs on printing for your business. If you follow these tips, however, you can actually save your business a significant amount of cash. If you would like to learn more, the XMA Business Solutions website is a helpful source for information.

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