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18 Singapore Cement Industry Statistics and Trends

Cement is arguably one of the most important construction materials that has been available to multiple variations of human civilization. In Singapore, the cement industry has been around longer than the nation-state has had independence. Companies such has Singapore Cement Manufacturing have a history which dates to 1958, the year after Malaysia was officially recognized as an independent nation. There are no integrated cement plants in Singapore, just a 300,000t/yr capacity grinding plant in Tuas Crescent.

Interesting Singapore Cement Industry Statistics

#1. The total value of construction projects awarded in Singapore was S$26.5 billion in 2016. This represents a decline in value of 3.6% from the year before. (Frost and Sullivan)

#2. Residential building accounted for 42% of building work payments that were received in 2016. (Frost and Sullivan)

#3. There were about 1,800 registered general building contractors active in the Singapore cement industry as of December 2017. (Frost and Sullivan)

#4. The estimated market penetration rate of dry-mix mortar within the Singapore cement industry was 90% at EoY 2016. (Frost and Sullivan)

#5. In total sales value, the market size for dry-mix mortar in Singapore reached S$303.6 million in 2016. In 2012, the total sales value of the product was S$239.2 million. This represents a growth of 6.1% within the market. (Frost and Sullivan)

#6. Over 28% of the dry-mix mortar that is used by building general contractors is for adhesive and sealant installations. Another 20% is used for concrete repair or group. This is followed by façade work (19.3%), flooring (17.2%), and waterproofing (15%). (Frost and Sullivan)

#7. In 2016, there were fewer than 50 suppliers of dry-mix mortar in Singapore. These suppliers represent a market value of S$171.6 million. The top 5 suppliers in this segment of the cement industry in Singapore represent more than 56% of the market. (Frost and Sullivan)

#8. The largest supplier of cement products in Singapore, Pan Units, is capable of a total storage capacity of 115,000 tons of cement. They also have an annual throughput capacity of 3 million tons. (Pan United)

#9. When combined with clay, concrete, and stone products, the total value of the Singapore cement industry is S$834.1 million. (Singapore Department of Statistics)

#10. Over S$565 million in clay, cement, concrete, and stone products is imported by the industry every year. (Singapore Department of Statistics)

#11. Total compensation within the Singapore cement industry totals S$198 million annually. (Singapore Department of Statistics)

#12. From 2012-2016, total construction demand within Singapore experienced a loss of 4.1%. Total construction demands in 2016 dropped to S$26.4 billion, mostly due to a decline in the property market and fewer needs for private-sector buildings. (Frost and Sullivan)

#13. Civil engineering is the largest contributor to the demands for new construction work, accounting for 36% of the contracts which were awarded in 2016. (Frost and Sullivan)

#14. Residential building contracts represent about 25% of the total value of construction contracts that were awarded to businesses within the cement and construction industries in Singapore in 2016. (Frost and Sullivan)

#15. The total demand for cement in bulk from the construction industry reached more than 450,000 tons in March 2018. By May 2018, demand levels had fallen to 317,000 tons. (Building and Construction Authority)

#16. The market pricing for cement in bulk was S$77.60 per ton when delivered to site. For ready-mixed concrete the pricing was S$84.50 per cubic meter, according to rates published in June 2018. (Building and Construction Authority)

#17. The monthly material price indices for the implementation of fluctuation clause in May 2018 was 106.1, with the base period for the measurement originating from June 2006. (Building and Construction Authority)

#18. Public projects in 2017 rose by more than 20% from 2016 figures, with several major projects, including healthcare facilities and energy plants, requiring products from the cement industry in Singapore. (DBS Bank)

Singapore Cement Industry Trends and Analysis

The Singapore cement industry is very dependent upon the state of the construction industry for success. Although specific segments or products may see gains when the construction industry experiences a loss, the rise and fall of both industries is intricately tied together.

Another reason for the gains experienced by the cement industry is that the construction industry in Singapore saw a 2.6% increase in the number of total certified payments that were received.

Demand for ready-mix concrete is still somewhat soft in the market, around 14m cubic meters for the year. With lower selling prices afflicting the industry as a whole, revenue growth is possible, though it will not be robust.

Although certain segments may continue to struggle within the cement industry, especially if contract offerings continue to be in decline, the overall health of the industry is quite good. In the next 5-year period, we anticipate the industry being able to recover the recent losses it experienced in the past 5-year period, setting the stage for a stronger future.

29 Merchant Service Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Did you know that in the average point-of-sale transaction which involves a credit or debit card, as many as 7 different entities are involved? Even though many of these transactions happen in 1 second or less, there is a lot that is happening.

Independent sales organizations, merchant processors, settlement banks, issuing banks, and a card network are all part of the transaction. You also have the business selling something, as well as the person who is purchasing something. This process creates “interchange,” which is the universal cost of doing business when one accepts card payments at the point of sale. It is that interchange which is the foundation of the merchant service industry.

Interesting Merchant Service Industry Statistics

#1. Almost every merchant pays the same fees for interchange. The only way to get a discount is for a business to process over 82 million transactions every year. That translates to a volume of about $5 billion. (Forbes)

#2. There are currently about 160 million consumers in the United States who hold at least one card that can be processed for transactions. (CFPB)

#3. In 2017, there were 14.4 billion credit cards held by consumers. In 2012, there were only 8.6 billion credit cards issued. (Nilson Report)

#4. Visa is the top card network in the United States, providing $1.54 trillion in transaction processing. MasterCard and American Express each process about $700 billion in transactions each year. Discover processes about $120 billion in transactions. (Nilson Report)

#5. The leading issuer of credit cards in the United States is Citi, responsible for 17% of the cards held. Chase is responsible for 15% of the credit cards issued, while American Express is responsible for 11.2%. (Forbes)

#6. Low credit scores do not dictate the number of credit cards held. As long as a consumer has a credit score of 620, then they have at least 4 active credit cards that they are using. (CFPB)

#7. More than 500,000 applications for credit cards are processed by elements of the merchant service industry every day in the United States. (CFPB)

#8. The average U.S. consumer has an average credit balance of $4,800 in 2017. This average balance is at its highest rate since 2005. (CFPB)

#9. Online payments in the United States have grown 4 times more than retail payments within the merchant service industry. (U.S. Census Bureau)

#10. 90% of consumers have made at least one online purchase which created an interaction with the merchant service industry within the past 12 moths. 70% of consumers said that they have made at least 3 purchases. (American Express)

#11. 50% of U.S. consumers say that they have increased the frequency in which they make online purchases over the past 12 months. (American Express)

#12. The average number of online transactions that are initiated per person is 19. (KPMG)

#13. Consumers in the United States spend up to 18% more than they intend when they are shopping with credit cards instead of cash. (Dun and Bradstreet)

#14. 25% of the global card transaction volume is initiated within the United States. The U.S. is also responsible for almost 50% of the global credit card fraud cases that are reported each year. (Quartz)

#15. From 2013-2017, the costs of credit card fraud have increased by 26%. In 2016, 58% of all total credit card fraud cases were online transactions, the first time in history that was the case. (Federal Reserve)

#16. Up to 90% of the credit card fraud cases for a business involve what is called “friendly fraud.” This occurs when a service or product is provided, only to have false information or invalid credit card information provided when asked for payment. (Ethoca Research Report)

#17. Only 10% of U.S. consumers say that they are “very confident” in the ability of a website to keep their credit card data secure. (Pew Research Center)

#18. 70% of consumers decide on a payment, with or without the merchant service industry, based on what they think will be the most secure payment method they can use. (Cardtronics)

#19. 1 in 3 consumers have abandoned an online purchase because they felt like their payment wouldn’t be secure. These are consumers who made at least 3 online purchases each year. (American Express)

#20. Just 53% of merchants are requiring their customers to enter the CVV information as part of the transaction. (American Express)

#21. 61% of merchants still accept a transaction, even if a verified billing address has not been provided by the consumer. (American Express)

#22. Only 31% of businesses outsource their compliance with regulations to a third-party resource within the merchant service industry. (Reuters)

#23. Cash is on the decline for merchants globally. 67% of merchants say that they will likely be completely cashless in the near future. (American Express)

#24. 90% of consumers say that they like the ability to have a choice of payment methods when they are initiating a transaction at a point of sale. 73% of consumers say that the types of payment which are accepted by a business will impact (J.P. Morgan Chase)

#25. Although Visa, MasterCard, and American Express dominate the U.S. portion of the merchant service industry, UnionPay has over 5.3 billion cards in circulation. They’ve grown by over 50% from 2012-2017. (Nilson Report)

#26. 90% of consumers in Europe say that they prefer direct debit as their primary form of payment. (BACS)

#27. Assessment fees are owed to the merchant service network for every transaction, along with interchange revenues. The combined fees can be as high as 4% of the total transaction. (Nilson Report)

#28. Credit card processing fees that were paid by U.S.-based merchants in 2017 totaled $7 billion. (Nilson Report)

#29. 40% of small businesses say that the annual cost of bookkeeping for merchant service transactions, which can be as high as $20,000 per year, is the worst part about business ownership. (NSBA)

Merchant Service Industry Trends and Analysis

There is a definite push in the retail world to move away from cash-based transactions. We have seen a slow, but steady, increase in the number of businesses which issue debit cards for payroll when employees do not hold a bank account instead of paying in cash. That means the merchant service industry will continue to flourish, especially as more of the developing world transitions into developed economies.

The only foreseeable competition for the industry comes from the realm of cryptocurrency. Payment processing with Bitcoin and similar currencies occurs internally, completely eliminating the merchant service industry from the equation. From 2015-2017, however, credit card payments registered a 10.2% growth rate among core payment types, which means e-wallets and alternative currencies are only going to be minor competition.

70% of merchants, in fact, believe that they will be accepting credit card payments in 2023 and beyond.

19 HTML5 Advantages and Disadvantages

HTML5 is the fifth new revision of the hypertext markup language, which is the code which is used to describe webpages. It contains three elements: the HTML code, which offers structure; Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which provides the presentation elements; and JavaScript, which allows the website to operate.

The goal of HTML5 is to deliver just about everything you’d ever want to do with a website without the requirement of additional plugins for the browser. It allows for the inclusion of apps, animation, movies, and music. Most browsers include support for HTML5 already, though different browsers may support different things.

If you’re thinking about website creation, then HTML5 is a language that you’re probably going to use anyway. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you will be facing if you follow through with that decision.

List of the Advantages of HTML5

1. HTML5 isn’t a proprietary code.

You are not required to pay royalties if you decide to use HTML5 for your website. It’s cross-platform, which means you can use it on virtually any device. It works the same whether you access a website through a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone, or even your television. As long as the browser you are using supports HTML5, then there is a good chance that it will work as it should.

2. It provides audio and video support.

Through the use of the CANVAAS element, you are able to run a lot of different components through your website that used to require an embedded application or installed software on the user side. That means HTML5 allows you to generate dynamic graphics, incorporate online games, and use interactive video. There are even offline games and video that are now possible thanks to what HTML5 provides.

3. The coding with HTML5 is clear and consistent.

If you grew up in the 1990s and learned coding then, you will appreciate the cleanliness of HTML5’s coding profile. It is simple, straight-forward, and very easy to read. You can quickly separate the content from the style, making it easier to compose code that is descriptive and clear. It doesn’t take long for new coders to learn the language either with this structure, which means anyone with a passion in this area can follow it.

4. There is more consistency with websites because of HTML5.

You’ll still find various iterations of the different HTML versions sprinkled throughout the internet. As more websites come over to HTML5, however, you’ll see from a user standpoint that there is much more consistency with the internet experience from the user perspective. Many websites are even using similar code to accomplish very different goals, which quickens the loading experience without duplicating it for users. This also makes it much easier for developers to understand one another from a structural standpoint.

5. There are more page layout elements available for your content.

If you’ve grown familiar with the older versions of HTML, then you know what your options are already: Div, Heading, Paragraph, and Span. With HTML5, you’ve got a lot of elements to play around with when designing your page layouts. Headers, footers, areas, and sections are all available to you. That makes it possible to develop a page with representative mark-ups that guide users through the purpose of the content they are encountering.

6. It offers search engine optimization benefits.

As late as 2010, it was possible to generate some solid organic results from search engines by stuffing a ton of keywords into your content. If you assigned the right design elements to distinguish yourself from the competition, you could almost guarantee a top ranking for clicks. Today’s SEO is more about value than anything else, which HTML5 complements nicely. Because you can construct semantically with this version, you’re able to maintain your coding with higher levels of reliability. That means real content, not repetitive content, pushes you higher in the rankings, creating the potential for higher conversions.

7. HTML5 requires less maintenance than other options.

HTML5 utilizes an open-source programming language that is almost universally known. That means you can find the support you need for troubleshooting online on your own. It also means that you’ll be going through fewer maintenance issues over time because updates to the coding can be updated in real-time. If you have an app that is live on the app store, you don’t need to resubmit your product. Just update the code and it will populate itself to those who are using your product.

8. The storage options with HTML5 are more reliable.

With HTML5, you have the ability to store user-side data temporarily within a SQL database. That moves you away from the need to incorporate cookies, which is a definite advantage thanks to changes in privacy laws in Europe. You’ll also find that many users prefer being able to use a website that offers an offline application cache, since they can reload previous websites they have visited – even if they happen to be offline at that time.

9. It eliminates the need for multiple developments.

From a business perspective, HTML5 is all about saving you time and money. Because it is able to be deployed across multiple platforms, you are no longer forced into a world where multiple code variations are required to make your business available to customers. You can develop once, using the same code, while being able to approach multiple markets. That means your lifetime costs for development can be much less compared to how previous structures were implemented.

10. All compatible browsers collect and use data.

When you’re using HTML5 from a mobile perspective, you still have the ability to collect useful data, collate it, and then use it to reach your metrics and goals. That means you can have multiple people using multiple devices and different browsers while knowing that your results are going to be the same. The user experience may be slightly different with each browser, though the HTML5 experience is virtually the same for anyone on any compatible device and browser.

11. It performs well with excellent consistency.

With HTML5, you’re eliminating the need to have plugins downloaded to play games or interact with your website. Remember when you’d need to click on that “update Flash” link on a website? That issue goes away. Although not every browser will support every possible feature available within the language of HTML5, you’ll find that users are willing to avoid small hiccups in functionality because of the ease of access that is provided with this efficient coding language.

12. It offers a modern user experience.

If you were to directly compare HTML5 with WebGL or platform native development, you might find that the performance is not as strong when compared to other available options. The frame rates for graphics are where they need to be. The animation is crisp and pure, eliminating the latency sometimes seen in previous versions. Video and sound are good as well. It may not be a complete replacement of all platforms. It is an excellent all-around alternative to considered.

List of the Disadvantages of HTML5

1. There are different video supports for HTML5.

No one could really agree on what the standard video support should be within HTML5. That means there is a hodge-podge of different video supports out there today that are based on the browser you prefer to use. There are three primary video formats currently used: Ogg Theory, H.264, and VP8/WebM. The first is supported by everything except Internet Explorer. The second is supported by everything except Firefox. As for the third, it is fully supported by everything, though it may require a manual installation.

2. It requires modern browsers to access it.

If you have users trying to access your website through an older browser, then you’re not going to be able to reach them. There is a definite lack of compatibility with Internet Explorer which must be addressed. From a business perspective, if your website visitors are not able to access a fully functional website, that creates a problem. They’re not going to blame their older browser or IE. They’re going to blame you.

3. There are media licensing issues which must be considered.

Your rich media is offered in compressed, multiple formats because of the wide range of browser compatibility you might encounter. That means there are media licensing issues which you must take into consideration. If you’re using multiple formats for your media and paying for your licenses, you’ll need to pay for multiple audio and video licenses to ensure all your needs are covered. That also means you’ve got more coding work to do.

4. Multiple device responsiveness can be a headache.

The goal of creating a modern website is to have it look the same, no matter what device is being used or what browser is preferred by the user. Many templates allow for automatic responsiveness, which reduces the need for HTML5 coding knowledge, though it does cause many websites to look the same. If you’re developing a website, you must view your content on all device types and browsers to ensure it looks the same because there is always a chance that it won’t render as it should.

5. The language of HTML5 is always a work in progress.

Although some may see this as an advantage, the constant development of the actual language contained in HTML5 requires you to be on your toes. The language itself is quite stable, which means you may find yourself with unexpected changes in your coding that render your website useless until you get them fixed. In theory, anything could change at any time. In reality, this is more of a threat than a true disadvantage at the moment, though it must be taken into consideration.

6. Gaming struggles with JavaScript under HTML5.

JavaScript is the only scripting language of HTMl5. It is a very capable language, ideal for numerous applications. From a gaming perspective, however, there is a lack of features which are necessary for a strong gaming experience. Custom name spaces, member access, interfaces, and inheritance all struggle under JavaScript. There are plenty of work-arounds available which are suitable to get your work done. It is not, however, a first-choice language option from a purely gaming standpoint.

7. There are zero good IDEs available in HTML5.

Although this disadvantage may change in the future, the integrated development environments available with HTML5 are average at best. If you know what you’re doing, then just do your thing and development testing will be fine. For beginners or coders who haven’t been in the game for a while, you’ll find that there aren’t many good processes available to you for asset integration. It’s a bit of a seat-of-your-pants experience, even though it was initially released in 2014.

If you’re getting into website development or looking for ways to update your older site, then HTML5 is going to be the most efficient option available to you. Although it may not be perfect for every possible solution, you’ll find that the advantages and disadvantages of HTML5 limit the negatives, accentuate the positives, and give you a simple platform that highlights all of your strengths.

43 Terrific Chef Blog Names

Embarking on a new flavor adventure can mean being forced to expand your palette and consume a wide variety of international cuisine. These great chef blog names will help to walk you through some of the best dishes and tastes out there for you to explore. These blogs from existing bloggers will also encourage you to one day start your own blog and share your experience with others.

A Chow Life
Beyond the Plate
Big Girls Small Kitchen
Chocolate and Zucchini
Cook and Eat
Culinate
Delicious Days
Eater
Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Food in Jars
Food on the Food
Good Things Grow
Happy Yolkes
Home Sick Texan
Honest Cooking
Honest Fare
Honey and Jam
Licking the Plate
Life’s a Feast
Lobster Squad
Lottie and Doof
Lucid Food
My New Roots
Oh She Glows
Punk Domestics
Sassy Radish
Seaweed Snacks
Serious Eats
Seven Spoons
She Simmers
Simply Recipes
Smitten Kitchen
Spoon, Fork, Bacon
Sprouted Kitchen
Stone Soup
Tastespotting
The Bitten Word
The Delicious Life
The Food Section
The Nourishing Gourmet
The Salt
Three to One
Yummy Supper

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.



22 Great Lakes Shipping Industry Statistics and Trends

One of the longest deep-draft navigation systems in the world is located along the border of the United States and Canada. For more than 200 years, the Great Lakes seaway navigation system, which incorporates the St. Lawrence River is responsible for 20% of all surface freshwater that is available on our planet today.

There are 5 Great Lakes in total: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Lake Michigan. Only Lake Michigan is fully in the United States. The U.S. and Canada share borders on all the other lakes.

The Great Lakes seaway flows from west to east, with waters from Lake Superior eventually making their way to Lake Ontario, which outlets to the Atlantic Ocean. From its origination point in Duluth, Minnesota, the entire seaway system only drops 600 feet in elevation.

Important Great Lakes Shipping Industry Statistics

#1. Commercial shipping serves over 100 individual ports within the 8 Great Lakes States and 2 Great Lakes provinces in the United States and Canada. (American Great Lakes Ports Association)

#2. The largest freighter ships serving the Great Lakes shipping industry are able to carry over 70,000 tons of cargo on a single voyage. (American Great Lakes Ports Association)

#3. If one were to stand the ships within the industry on end, they would be as tall as a 100-story building. The largest vessels are able to transport the same amount of cargo as 2,800 trucks or 700 rail cars. (American Great Lakes Ports Association)

#4. On the Great Lakes seaway, there is a system of 16 locks which make it possible to lift or lower ships as they navigate through the various lakes and rivers to deliver cargo. (American Great Lakes Ports Association)

#5. Each year, over 160 million tons of cargo are transported by the Great Lakes shipping industry within the region and to overseas destinations. (American Great Lakes Ports Association)

#6. Between the United States and Canada, the Great Lakes shipping industry generates 329,000 jobs. This creates about $60 billion in economic activity, with $12 billion in local taxes generated. (Chamber of Marine Commerce)

#7. More than 100 million people are supported economically in North America because of the activities of the industry each year. (Chamber of Marine Commerce)

#8. The Great Lakes seaway creates $3.6 billion in annual transportation cost savings compared to the least expensive all-land transportation alternatives which are available. (Chamber of Marine Commerce)

#9. More than $7 billion is currently being spend on infrastructure improvements, additions, or repairs to make the Great Lakes seaway even more efficient than it already is. (Chamber of Marine Commerce)

#10. In 1980, there were just 5 self-unloading cement vessels as part of the Great Lakes shipping fleet. Their total capacity per-trip was 38,360 short tons. In 2012, despite still only having 5 vessels in the fleet, the total per-trip capacity was increased to 74,473 short tons. (Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping)

#11. Since 1980, the number of self-unloading dry-bulk vessels has decreased by 10. At the same time, the total per-trip capacity has increased from 1.65 million short tons to 1.89 million short tons. (Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping)

#12. Straight-deck dry-bulk vessels have seen a dramatic reduction in fleet numbers since 1980, when there were 77 operational. Today, there are only 2 that are still operational. (Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping)

#13. The total number of laker vessels has also decreased over the past 30 years by more than 50%. In 1980, there were 140 vessels in operation. In 2012, there were just 55. (Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping)

#14. There are 85 ports with facilities able to handle passengers or freight along the Great Lakes seaway. Just 37 of the ports are able to handle more than 1 million tons of cargo. These ports are responsible for 97% of domestic cargo in the U.S. moved through Great Lakes ports. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

#15. In 2015, the contribution of the ocean economy to the GDP grew by 5.7%, which was twice as fast as the whole of the U.S. economy. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#16. More than 152,000 business establishments are part of the Great Lakes and ocean economy in the U.S., providing employment opportunities for 3.2 million workers. More than $128 billion in wages is paid out by this economy. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#17. In 2015, the Great Lakes and ocean economy increased employment by 3.2%, which was faster than the 2.1% national average. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#18. The strongest growth within the economy occurred in the marine transportation segment, achieving a 6.1% rate of employment growth. Offshore mineral extraction saw the steepest declines, losing 7.9% of employment positions. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#19. Inflation-adjusted GDP numbers in 2015 indicate that the Great Lakes and ocean economy was 26.1% higher than the last year of pre-recession levels in 2007, in contrast to a 9.1% increase in the U.S. economy over the same period. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#20. 14% of the employment opportunities available throughout the Great Lakes and ocean economy involve marine transportation. 21% of the GDP contribution comes from this sector as well. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#21. The average wage per employee within the marine transportation sector was $72,000 per year. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

#22. More than $1.5 trillion in cargo was imported or exported through the ports of the Great Lakes shipping industry in 2015, accounting for 40% of U.S. trade by value and 69% of U.S. trade when measured by weight. (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Great Lakes Shipping Industry Trends and Analysis

One of the primary import and export points for the United States and Canada is the Great Lakes seaway. Although the recession years saw severe drops in cargo which created doubt that the industry could continue, recent years have shown that the shipping industry in this region tends to be more cyclical than previously realized.

In general terms, the industry is healthy. It provides safe and efficient transportation services for a wide variety of cargo types. New technologies on vessels allow for large cargo hauls, including those over 70,000 tons, to be automatically discharged in 12 hours or less without a need for human unloading.

The number of vessels active in the industry has declined over the past 30 years. At the same time, bigger vessels have made their way into the fleet, making it easier to do more with much less. There will still be doubts about this industry the next time a recession comes around, just as there were in 2007 and 1981. Until then, the Great Lakes shipping industry is going to keep chugging along.

7 Tips for Jumpstarting Your Monday Mornings

Jumpstarting-Your-Monday

Do you feel like you get bogged down with a “case of the Mondays” each week? Would you like to make Monday feel as special as Friday? Then here are some ways you can make that happen.

1) Get Up Early.
Mondays feel more productive when you get into the routine of getting up early. When you’re first getting started with this project, try to wake up at 6am. You’ll find that even more productivity happens if you can get up at 5am. Make sure you’re still getting enough sleep to feel energized when the alarm sounds.

2) Walk the Dog.
Walking the dog early on Monday is time spent with a best friend. The exercise you receive will help to lower your stress levels at the same time. Some fresh air and good company is a good way to be ready for whatever might come your way.

3) Eat Breakfast.
About 1 in 10 people skip breakfast as a way to save time. Use some of the extra time you have from getting up early to make yourself a healthy breakfast. You’ll have more energy during the day, while being able to avoid unhealthy snacks to curb those inevitable hunger pangs before lunch.

4) Avoid Email.
If you have an urgent email, then absolutely take care of the situation. Otherwise, let the emails that came in over the weekend sit until the afternoon. Spend your Monday morning working on your most important items for the week. You’ll find your creativity and energy levels are at their peak, making you super productive.

5) Know Your Current Events.
Spend a few minutes to catch up with the news during your morning routine. Listen to the radio as you go to work. Spend a couple minutes during a break to see what is relevant in the current headlines. By knowing what is going on in the world, you’ll be less tempted to keep checking your phone for updates throughout the day.

6) Stay Organized.
Try to keep your home organized each day. Wash the dishes in the morning if you didn’t get it done the night before. One of the main causes of stress on a Monday is a messy home from the weekend. Rectify this situation and you’ll feel better.

Mondays can offer the hope of a productive week. That may not be the same feeling as the hope for a fun weekend, but it can stop a Monday from feeling like a disaster from the moment you wake up.

33 Catchy Automotive Blog Names

Being a blogger provides you with new opportunities to share your knowledge and best advice with others. These great automotive blog names from existing bloggers serve as the perfect example to the type of car blogs you may want to follow to ensure you are up to date with the newest technologies and designs.

Autoblog
Autofluence
Automotive Spaces
Autophare
Autoweek
BangShift
Bimmerpost
Car Advice
Car and Driver
Car Body Design
Car Complaints
Car Talk
Carscoops
Cartoq
Classic Car News
Driveo
Edmunds
Green Car Reports
Hemmings Daily
It’s My Car
Jalopnik
LeftLane News
Motor Authority
Motor Trend
Old Cars Weekly
Piston Heads
Speedhunters
Sub5Zero
The Car Gurus Blog
The Daily Drive
The Truth About Cars
Top Speed
We Buy Cars Today

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.



19 Reinsurance Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Despite catastrophic losses in 2017, more than 34 insurance companies saw an increase of 7.8% to USD $371 billion by year end. This is more than a ten percent increase from the previous year. Unexpected investment gains are credited with this growth. Profitability is also heavily reliant on expected and realized investmemt gains.

While 2017 proved to rise above expectations, it was also a third costliest year behind 2011 and 2005 due to three devastating Atlantic hurricanes in the third quarter. These hurricanes are estimated to have causes more than $200 billion in losses with insurance losses reaching $80 billion.

Important Reinsurance Industry Statistics

#1. 74% of the assets which are held by reinsurers are in the form of bonds. (Statista)

#2. Swiss Re is the largest reinsurer in the world, with more than $34.2 billion in total equity. Munich Re is another top reinsurer, writing more than $33.1 billion in premiums. (Statista)

United States Reinsurance Industry Statistics and Market Forecast

#3. There are about 25,000 employees who work directly for the reinsurance industry in the United States. The leading reinsurer in the U.S., by gross premiums written, is National Indemnity Company. Their policy surplus is currently more than $127 billion. (Statista)

#4. The net premiums written by the P&C reinsurance sector totaled more than $48 billion in the last year. (Statista)

#5. Severe thunderstorms in the United States create an average covered loss of $19 billion each year. At Munich Re, natural disasters generate EUR 4.3 billion in losses annually. (Statista)

#6. Insured losses, covered in both the private market and government-sponsored programs, totaled $128 billion in 2017. Only 2005 and 2011 had more insured losses which had to be covered. (Aon Benfield)

#7. The insurance recovery ratio, no matter how large the number of covered losses, is historically pegged at 40%. Even in the most developed markets, this recovery ratio is present. (Aon Benfield)

#8. The main driver for losses in 2017 involved the three Atlantic hurricanes which occurred during the third quarter. These hurricanes caused total economic losses of $200 billion, with insured losses reaching $80 billion. (Aon Benfield)

#9. The losses experienced in 2017 by the reinsurance industry were 129% higher than the losses experienced in 2016. They were also 151% higher than the average yearly insured losses experienced by the industry from 2000-2016. (Aon Benfield)

#10. About 90% of the severe weather insured losses which occurred in 2017 happened in the United States, with hailstorms being the primary issue driving losses upward. (Aon Benfield)

#11. Global reinsurance capital stood at $600 billion in September 2017. That reflects a 1% increase over available capital in 2016. In 2008, the available capital for the global reinsurance industry was just $340 billion. (Aon Benfield)

#12. From 2011-2015, reinsurance has been the strongest generator of economic profit for the overall insurance industry. During that period, $244 million in profits were generated. Only property and casualty ($27 million) and Brokers ($17 million) were able to achieve profits as well. (McKinsey)

#13. From 2012-2017, reinsurance has provided an average total annual return for shareholders of 20%. The primary insurance industry has only provided a total annual return of 13% over the same period. (McKinsey)

#14. In the United States, there are about 15,000 people employed by reinsurance carriers. These 381 businesses are able to generate about $57 billion in revenues each year. (IBIS World)

#15. From 2013-2018, the annual growth rate of the U.S. reinsurance industry has been 6.6%. (IBIS World)

#16. Reinsurance carriers in the United States spend about $0.16 on capital equipment for every $1 that is spent on wages. (IBIS World)

#17. From 2008-2014, the reinsurance industry experienced an average annual increase of 5% for premiums. In 2015, the industry experienced a premium reduction of 2%, followed by a premium reduction of 4% in 2016. These decreases are fueled by the non-life class of business. (Standard and Poor’s)

#18. The combined market share of the world’s top 5 reinsurers more than doubled from 1990-2016, rising from a 23% market share to a 50% market share. (SCOR)

#19. The top 2 providers of reinsurance in the world today, with nearly $70 billion in total revenues, account for about 30% of the global non-life and life premiums. When the top 10 providers are accounted for, they are responsible for 67% of total premium volumes. (SCOR)

Reinsurance Industry Trends and Analysis

The only issue which may set the reinsurance industry back from its historical progress toward profit is an oversupply of capital. Almost every single global reinsurance company has worked toward expanding their footprint. Target regions for the industry are Latin America and Asia, along with new local or regional reinsurance companies providing services on a smaller scale.

This has caused three different segments to develop within the reinsurance industry. There are globalists, multi-local companies, and specialists. Many primary insurance companies have also begun to offer reinsurance opportunities, which has led to even more capital being available in the marketplace.

Pricing within the industry has been declining for most lines of business. In the past 5 years, some rate-on-line declines have been up to 20%. Pricing for property catastrophe lines is down by more than 50%.

Pressure is mounting within this industry. If a softer market continues, combined with more disruptors attempting to enter the field, then the profits and growth experienced could decline sharply in coming years. The long-term demand for reinsurance, however, continues to be strong, especially in the P&C category.

12 Hot Desking Advantages and Disadvantages

Hot desking is the process of taking workers away from the traditional office. Instead of putting up walls that force workers to move about the office and become unproductive, hot desks allow for collaboration by creating breakout spaces. When combined with modern technological components, there can be dramatic improvements in overall staff productivity.

It is quite beneficial for teams that are very mobile and rarely need to be in the office. It is also a good solution for teams that bring in telecommuters every so often to get everyone on the same page.

Hot desking has certain advantages and disadvantages which should be considered before going all-in on this type of workspace design.

List of the Advantages of Hot Desking

1. It is an affordable way to design an office.

When the open spacing of a hot desking design is appropriately implemented, it will use less overall space than the typical office-style design. Large teams may find that they can cut the costs of running their office by 30% with hot desking while saving 15% to 25% on the amount o of space they require.

2. It creates an open design.

Hot desking creates an open design which facilitates more collaboration within the team environment. The design can be completely open, permitting full contact between co-workers at all times. It can also include light separation, giving workers some privacy and personal space while still encouraging people to work together without needing to completely move to a new location.

3. It keeps remote workers in contact with the team.

Remote workers should still have access to an office space whenever they are in the office. If those workers aren’t in the office, however, it becomes the perfect opportunity for hot desking. These areas can become another meeting room, a place for an informal creativity session, or even temporary storage. You’ll find that when these spaces are available, the environment for the entire team becomes more relaxed.

4. It encourages a social culture.

Many workers grew up in an environment where work responsibilities stayed at work and personal responsibilities stay away from work. Having a social culture at the workplace may sometimes create productivity inefficiencies. It may also reduce the amount of interpersonal tension which can occur on some teams. Individual seating assignments will also cause most workers to adopt a silo-based approach, which can reduce performance. Hot desking makes the office feel more like a communication tool than real estate.

5. It organizes the office.

When a work space remains organized, people become more productive. In the traditional office setup, you might find some offices completely organized and others completely trashed. That visual aesthetic can affect team productivity. With hot desking, it becomes easier to implement cleanliness policies because the space is so open. That reduces the amount of clutter that is present, which ultimately lets your teams and your future customers get the right first impression.

6. It disperses the hierarchy of the office.

In the traditional office, there is a certain hierarchy which causes workers to avoid those with seniority or important titles. Even when an “open door policy” is available, it is rarely utilized because the doors are not always truly open. With hot desking, the traditional structure is disrupted. Flexibility is built into the workspace because it encourages teams to come together, regardless of their title, status, or talent.

7. It is flexible enough to meet your needs.

You can decide to have hot desking for your entire team. You can also decide to have hot desking for specific job functions. You don’t have to be 100% all-in to take advantage of the benefits present with this design option.

List of the Disadvantages of Hot Desking

1. It may require new IT strategies.

Many teams are location-based from an IT perspective. That means a worker must log onto a specific computer to access their work. With hot desking, a better strategy is to allow workers to login at any available desk. To avoid the chaos of workers crashing in on favorite locations, it is helpful to have a system which allows workers to book their preferred desk before they arrive at work for the day.

2. It may cause some staff to miss their personal space.

Although working together encourages better productivity out of most people, some team members may become less productive. Some people need to have some privacy or personal space to stay focused on what they need to do. Being able to identify these workers during the transition process to hot desking allows you to seek out alternatives for these quality employees, such as remote working, telecommuting, or giving them their own space somewhere out of the flow of the milieu.

3. It may cause leadership disruptions.

For more than a generation, the career goal of many workers was to make their way into the corner office with a window. Disrupting the hierarchy of the office can cause resentment in the employees who felt like they were close to reaching their goal. Hot desking does put someone with 20 years’ experience next to someone who may have just started and treat them as equals. Not everyone will enjoy that type of experience – on both sides of the equation.

4. It may require an increase in IT resources.

Hot desking requires modern technologies to work properly. If you’re running on a shoestring IT budget, there’s a good chance that implementing a hot desking approach will take some time. You need to have all workers connected with the best possible IT resources to encourage better overall collaboration. If you’re not at a place where you can do this, then this might be a design option you’ll want to hold off on implementing until you can afford it.

5. It may restrict employee access when accommodations are necessary.

Before implementing any type of hot desking option, it is important for your HR team to review any requested accommodations which have already been made. Some employees may have specific needs which must be met as part of their conditions of employment. Hot desking may not meet those accommodations. That would create some potential trouble for your business, as health and safety issues must be addressed for all workers – not just those who do not have any accommodations requested.

The advantages and disadvantages of hot desking involve bringing people together to become more productive. There will always be outliers that do not benefit from this structure. You have two options: look for ways to include them or find ways to let those people go. At the end of the day, hot desking tends to provide more benefits than negatives, which is why it is becoming a popular design option for companies all over the world.

23 Party Rental Industry Statistics and Trends

Modern party rentals encompass a wide range of events. Personal events, such as weddings or birthdays, combine with corporate events, such as an after-hours networking affair or product release, come together to provide billions of dollars in economic output. The party and event rental segment in the United States is expected to grow revenue by 4.2% in 2016 to reach USD $2.8 billion, according to the latest forecast from the American Rental Association (ARA).

Experiencing a small decline during the recession, there are more than 50,000 people employed in this industry. The party supply rental industry has a modern to high level of capital intensity with $0.30 spent on capital investment for every dollar earned.

Interesting Party Rental Industry Statistics

#1. The party rental industry in the United States has a market value of $5 billion. Since 2012, the industry has been growing at an annual rate of 3.7% per year. (IBIS World)

#2. About 12,000 businesses are currently involved with the party rental industry in the U.S. right now. The average number of employees hired by one of these firms is 5. (IBIS World)

Party Rental Industry Statistics

#3. The party rental industry is one of the most affordable industries with regards to startup costs. A small operation, specializing in household parties, can be started in the U.S. for less than $5,000. Even if gazebos, tends, and carnival games are included, the startup costs are still around $15,000. (IBIS World)

#4. In Canada, the party and event rental segment reached more than $200 million in 2016, with a growth rate of 2.1%. (Rental Management Magazine)

#5. More than 24.1 million square yards of material for party rental tents were sold in 2016, a figure that was up by 4% over the year before. (In Tents Magazine)

#6. 80% of marketers believe that hosting live events are a critical component of the overall success for their company. (Bizzabo)

#7. About 18 million parties, events, and meetings are organized in the United States each year. When consumer spending is accounted for with these events, about $280 billion in economic activity, including $66.8 billion in labor income, is produced. (Meeting Professionals International)

#8. The spending associated with people traveling to different parties and events topped $100 billion in 2012. (Meeting Professionals International)

#9. The party rental industry currently employs about 100,000 people in all aspects of the trade, with opportunities within the professional growing at 1% per year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#10. Lead generation is the primary reason for businesses to host a party or event. 83% of companies list it as a top priority. This is followed by customer engagement (72%), brand awareness (72%), and product education and training (57%). (Marketo)

#11. 53% of industry professionals expected to see budget growth of up to 6% within the coming year. (MPI)

#12. Venue costs tend to be the primary expense within the party rental industry, with 36% of party planners listing it as their top expense. Catering is listed as the top expense by 34% of party planners. (MPI)

#13. Over 40% of the revenues generated for B2B party rentals originates from customers in the United States. Just 16% comes from the United Kingdom. (Statista)

#14. Total global revenues for B2B party rentals and events totaled $30.3 billion in 2016. That is $1 billion more in total revenues compared to what the industry segment achieved in the year before. (Statista)

#15. Over 250 million people attended at least one party, event, or meeting which featured products from the party rental industry in the United States in 2016. (Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council [OEEIC])

#16. Events hosted in the United States generate over $325 billion in direct community-based spending, while creating an additional $825 billion in total business spending. (OEEIC)

#17. The party rental and events industry in the United Kingdom offers a total value of GBP 39.1 billion each year, with 35% of spending as part of the overall U.K. visitor economy. (Business Visits and Events Partnership)

#18. About 1.3 million meetings, events, and parties are held in the U.K. each year. (Business Visits and Events Partnership)

#19. B2B parties generate almost $1,300 in spending for each participant. (OEEIC)

#20. Over 6 million international participants were part of U.S. parties, events, or meetings in 2016. These participants brought in $38 billion in direct spending, representing over 11% of the total for the industry. (OEEIC)

#21. 81% of marketers say that they use in-person events as an integral part of their B2B marketing strategy each year. (Content Marketing Institute)

#22. The most common type of event that is hosted by the party rental industry in the United States is a tradeshow or conference. These events represent 23% of the overall market. (Global Meetings and Events)

#23. 53% of event attendees participate in corporate or business parties or meetings. Just 18% say that they participate in a convention or conference that does not contain an exhibition floor. 16% say they attend trade shows which do provide an exhibition. (OEEIC)

Party Rental Industry Trends and Analysis

The party rental industry is at a bit of a crossroads. Consumers are looking for parties that provide the “wow factor” in different ways. The look of linens is gone. Rustic, industrial, and even loft tables are become key visual points instead. Then decorative tabletop items, such as ornate dishware or gold-plated flatware, adds some elegance and personality to the party.

Not every party rental business is able to meet the demands for affordable elegance. There will always be a market for budget-friendly parties, though the margins on these events is growing smaller and smaller.

Certain economic challenges affect the industry as well. Because parties tend to be hosted with more frequency, and with more extravagance, during times of economic growth, the industry tends to be cyclical. The last period of party rental downturns ended in 2011. If history repeats itself, the next downturn for the industry would occur between 2020 and 2022.

21 Packaged Food Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Although many households would prefer to eat fresh, organic foods, the primary staples found in homes in the developed world come from the packaged food industry. Numerous food products are part of this industry, from bread to spices to salads. Among the top packaged food companies there are General Mills Inc, Kellogg Co, Unilever Group, Nestle SA, and PepsiCo Inc.

Dairy, baked goods, and processed meat and seafood are among some of the fastest growing segments. Many consumers are searching for products that align with their standards for healthy living and want personalization and convenience. Here are some staggering packaged food industry statistics that will shock you.

Important Packaged Food Industry Statistics

#1. In 2017, the total market value of the packaged food industry in the United States was $377.5 billion. In 2013, the total value of the industry was $354.5 billion. (Statista)

#2. The global packaged food industry has a total market value of $2.47 trillion, according to figures released in 2016. By 2019, the global industry is expected to top $2.6 trillion for the first time. (Statista)

Global Packaged Food Industry Statistics

#3. Walmart is the global leader in terms of packaged food sales for the industry, with a sales forecast of $572.5 billion in place for 2019. (Statista)

#4. Portfolio is the largest driver of growth within the packaged food industry, responsible for 71% of the total growth achieved from 2008-2012. (Euromonitor)

#5. Companies which generate 80% of their sales from emerging-market countries were able to growth 3 times faster in the packaged food industry compared to companies with a geographically-dispersed base of customers. (McKinsey)

#6. For companies with high-growth categories that accounted for 75% or more of their sales, their portfolio momentum growth rates were 3 times higher than companies with diversification from 2008-2012. (McKinsey)

#7. In 2017, Kraft Heinz Company saw the highest levels of growth when compared to the other Top 10 world packaged food companies in actual sales. Their growth rate was 8.4%. They were followed by Danone at 7.6%, Lactalis at 7%, and PepsiCo at 5.4%. (Euromonitor)

#8. Only one company in the Top 10, General Mills Inc, did not see sales growth in 2017. Their sales fell by 1.6%. Kellogg Company also struggled, only posting a 0.1% sales increase for the year. (Euromonitor)

#9. 60% of the top global brands for packaged foods are based in China. 3 of the 5 top five food brands, Yili, Mengniu, and Arawana, are based there. (Euromonitor)

#10. From 2012-2017, the market size for dairy products within the packaged food industry grew by more than 4.5% globally. Baked goods came in second, with a 3.5% increase in market size. They were followed by processed meats and seafood (2.3%), confectionary (1.8%), and savory snacks (1.5%). (Euromonitor)

United States Packaged Food Industry Statistics

#11. 30% of consumers shop locally for their food items, with over 50% of them only purchasing products from brands or companies that they fully trust. (Euromonitor)

#12. In 2015, the grocery channel share of packaged food sales was 45%. By 2025, the share of sales is expected to drop to 37% of industry sales. (PwC)

#13. Kraft Heinz led in total operating margin in 2016, achieving a 21.9% margin. Others have struggled to raise their operating margins, relying on cost-cutting measures instead. Nestle, for example, had an operating margin of just 14.7% over the same time period. (PwC)

#14. Small brands, defined as having annual sales of $1 billion or less, are outperforming large brands in 18 of the top 25 categories within the packaged food industry, according to 2016 figures. (Euromonitor)

#15. Smaller players gained a 1.7% market share from 2008-2011, while large players saw their market share decline by 0.7%. (Euromonitor)

#16. Since 2016, 17 CEOs of large food companies have stepped down from their positions, with some being removed from office by force. (Forbes)

#17. 70% of consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom say that their top priority for packaged foods is to understand the items which are printed on the ingredient list. (Forbes)

#18. The number of farmers is increasing in the United States, with the number of farmers under 35 rising in population for the first time since 1900. 69% of new, young farmers have college degrees. (Forbes)

#19. About 10% of the world’s population is on some type of an exclusion diet because of sensitivities or allergies to a specific food. When preferences for excluding foods are included in those figures about 1 in 2 people are eliminating at least one specific food item from their diet. (Forbes)

#20. The United States currently ranks 21st out of 34 countries with regards to food sustainability. (Forbes)

Organic Packaged Food Industry Statistics

#21. From a marketing standpoint, only 27% of brands involved with the packaged food industry incorporated some form of storytelling as part of their campaigns. People trust word-of-mouth advertising three times more than they trust an advertisement. (Forbes)

Packaged Food Industry Trends and Analysis

There are a few emerging trends which are shaping the packaged food industry. Chocolate is being viewed more as a food product instead of a candy product. Cereal is being reimagined, reducing the number of highly sugared cereals in favor of items that will enhance nutrition. Different cereal products, including bars, candies, and other creative items, are looking to take cereal away from only breakfast as well.

The industry is also experiencing a push toward e-commerce platforms. Meals and snack bars are still relatively small as a sales segment when online purchases are considered, though it is a growing segment. With subscription boxes and grocery pickups available from online shopping, increased access may result in better revenues for consumers.

From a U.S. perspective, the biggest trend for packaged foods involves cheese. There is a push for healthier cheese products that are low-fat, low-sodium, and organic. Look for more on-the-go eating options, with new cuts, packs, and sizes being offered.

Growth for the packaged food industry will continue at a rate of about 3% overall, with the biggest gains seen in the growing Asia-Pacific region. In mature markets, the companies which promote new, innovative products will see the biggest successes.

41 Creative American Food Blog Names

Embracing the taste and flavor of America requires adding a variety of American food to your palette. From All American beef hot dogs to the Philly Cheesesteak, there are many unique culinary offerings made available across the states of the United States. These great American food blog names from existing bloggers will encourage you to cook with more American flavor.

100 Days of Real Food
A Classic Twist
A Half Baked Idea
A Pastry Affair
Add a Pinch
Baking Bar
Baking Mischief
Brunch Addict
Butcher Baker Baby
Cafe Delites
Chef in Training
Chewsy Lovers
Clean Food Crush
Cookies and Cups
Culinary Nutrition
Culture Trip
Eat The Love
Food Babe
Foodie Crush
Forever Baking
Hatcha Food Blog
Industry Eats
Just a Taste
Live Well Bake Often
Lonely Planet
Love, Cake
My Baking Addiction
Nourished Kitchen
Psychology of Eating
Rak’s Kitchen
She Who Bakes
She Who Eats
Simply Recipes
Skinnytaste
The Last Appetite
The Loopy Whisk
The Perfect Loaf
The Petite Cook
The Recipe Critic
Two Peas & Their Pod
Wholly Goodness

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.



18 Holding Company Advantages and Disadvantages

Holding companies are those that own the outstanding stock of another company. A holding company will not usually produce any goods or services on its own. The purpose of the company is to form corporate groups instead through their stock ownership. This reduces the risk for the owners, while still allowing for the control or ownership of several different companies at once.

The structure of the modern holding company was first implemented in 1889, when it replaced other forms of corporate control, such as trust forms, that were falling out of favor after the U.S. Civil War. Early lawsuits against holding company structures were successful, most notably when the government sued Northern Securities Company in 1902, which set back the structure for several decades.

Since these initial setbacks, holding companies have formed to become an essential element of corporate structure throughout the world. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages which are present when evaluating holding companies and the services they provide.

List of the Advantages of a Holding Company

1. It offers potential tax consolidation benefits.

In the United States, holding companies are required to own 80% of outstanding stock, either in voting or total value, before any tax consolidation benefits are permitted. Once that threshold is reached, then tax-free dividends can be claimed, since that process is treated as one company transferring cash assets to the other company. To be eligible for other benefits, more than 50% of the value of its outstanding stock must be owned directly or indirectly by five or fewer individuals during the last portion of the tax year.

2. It reduces the legal risks of those involved.

Holding companies are basically just a major shareholder for the companies where they own outstanding stock. That means there is a reduced risk of legal action taken against them for the goods and services being produced by the company they own. The primary risk that most holding companies face is a loss of stock value because of performance issues that are directly related to the companies they own.

3. It permits companies to perform traditional functions if they choose.

If 60% of the adjusted gross income of an organization comes from dividends, interest, royalties, or rent, then it qualifies as a holding company in the United States. Even with this qualification, it is still permissible for the company to create its own products or services. The only stipulation is that the adjusted gross income from these other activities must stay below the 40% threshold.

4. It offers diversity within the business world.

Holding companies make it possible for a diverse array of businesses to exist, providing products and services for their customers. They invest into companies that provide a strong possibility of profitability, which then creates profits for the holding company. Many of today’s top performing companies are owned by holding companies. Berkshire Hathaway, for example, owns $49.6 billion in Apple, holding over 239 million shares. They own 679 million shares of Bank of America, worth $21.2 billion. They even own 400 million shares of Coca-Cola, valued at $18.4 billion.

5. It creates more opportunities for low-cost loans.

Shares are usually classified as a tangible asset. That means they can be used as collateral when lending products are required for some reason. These secured loans are often made available at a very low interest rate because there is virtually no risk for the lender in the transaction. If a default occurs, then the shares are used to pay off the debt. That makes it easier and cheaper to finance new expansion opportunities, support businesses, and even keep prices lower for consumers.

6. It is very easy to form a holding company.

To form a holding company, you must first incorporate your business. Then you purchase shares of the companies you wish to hold from the open market. You don’t require the consent of the shareholders within the targeted companies under this structure because you’re not completing a full takeover.

7. It becomes possible to gain a competitive edge.

Holding companies present an opportunity that is similar to a strategic partnership. The resources of the holding company can be combined with the resources of the acquired organization to create unique market opportunities. When both companies are involved within the same industry, this benefit is magnified even further. It becomes possible to work on large-scale operations instead of trying to funnel strong market shares from small demographics.

8. It can be implemented on a personal scale.

Holding companies aren’t just for Warren Buffet. They are for individuals too. If you set up a personal holding company, then you gain an opportunity to avoid potential estate taxes. It gives your heirs the ability to avoid probate while still investing and growing your wealth. Investors who hold the possession of a person’s assets at death are able to transfer those assets to heirs. Although these companies can be very complex, and sometimes cost more than the benefits they provide, it is a way to protect personal wealth that you may wish to pass along one day.

List of the Disadvantages of a Holding Company

1. It creates disadvantages for individual investors.

Holding companies hold an influential number of shares in most of the companies they own. If the holding company decides to liquidate their holdings, then the effects on the individual investor can be very traumatic. Imagine what would happen if Berkshire Hathaway sold their 4.9% stake in Apple tomorrow? People with only 100 shares might see a strong, unanticipated dip in their holdings because of those actions. Holding companies can dramatically change the landscape of a trading day by initiating a handful of transactions.

2. It reduces the level of transparency available to the consumer.

Most holding companies are not required to report on how their company is being internally managed. Their responsibility is to their own shareholders, which means reporting on the status of the dividends they receive. Consumers are often doing business with companies that are owned, in part or in whole, by holding companies without realizing it. Without transparency, it makes things more difficult for the average consumer to make informed investment or purchasing decisions.

3. It is not always easy for holding companies to sell their shares.

Holding companies can sometimes find themselves unable to sell their shares in a company, even if they wanted to do so. Dumping a large number of shares on the open market does not guarantee that they will all be sold. Forcing a holding company to hold onto some of their shares is the one option individual investors have to limit their own potential losses. Although strong holding companies should have a diversified portfolio of companies that provide them with stable income, one big loss could destabilize the company and make life difficult.

4. It forces a heavy reliance on a single income resource.

Because 60% of income must come from dividends, interest, or other revenues that are not related to products or services, it forces a holding company to be reliant on the performance of the market. They are only as strong as the strategies they use to procure shares in consistent companies. If there is a bad run on dividends for the company, it could be enough to put it out of business. Even with products or services available to supplement income, there just isn’t enough time to develop new revenue streams during a strategy collapse.

5. It may create competing interests.

One of the biggest criticisms of Warren Buffet is that he invests into dividend shares with his holding company, then fails to provide a dividend to his own investors. Although Berkshire Hathaway does use an aggressive buy-back policy, Buffet feels like funneling resources into expanding the reach of his holding company or improving existing products or services is a better investment for his shareholders. There are times when a holding company may find itself competing with itself for market share within its holdings.

6. It creates management challenges for the parent company.

Many holding companies prefer to hold shares of a subsidiary rather than a true parent company if a controlling interest is preferred. That is because there are management challenges in play when diversity in holdings is present. Imagine requiring a manager to be knowledgeable about the banking industry, real estate, sugary beverages, and smartphone manufacturing simultaneously. When there is decisional control, the structure makes the process ineffective because there may not be enough experience present to make the correct decision.

7. It can create issues of control.

Holding companies are sometimes forced to implement a change of control when they turn a newly acquired business into one of their own subsidiaries. The former managers in the new subsidiary still represent a large percentage of shareholders. These competing interests in management are similar to the competing interests of shareholders. The end result in this type of situation is an increase in turnover, poor decision-making processes, and quite possibly a reduction in share valuation.

8. It may require a large amount of capital to get started.

You must have financing resources in place to have a holding company be able to remain operational. Without sufficient personal capital, equity partners are required to provide enough funding to make the initial investments. This capital must be in place before making acquisitions. At the same time, the owners of any companies you intend to acquire, even if it is only a minority stake, will want assurances that you are able to complete the financial transactions as promised.

9. It can centralize an industry.

Although a holding company does not technically form a monopoly, the process of acquiring company shares does begin to consolidate certain industries if enough capital is used. When that occurs, consumers are presented with fewer choices instead of more. There is less competition in the market instead of more. That means the prices for items tends to be higher, not lower, unless specific safeguards are implemented to prevent this from happening. That is why the first holding companies were ordered to be disbanded in the early 20th century.

10. It can result in decisions for personal, not professional, gains.

The information that is received from subsidiaries or minority stakes in businesses allows the management of a holding company to create the potential for personal financial gains. It might be used to create speculative activities in the market, which could negatively impact individual investors. It may even lead to the exploitation of certain companies, forcing them to purchase goods at high prices from companies under the control of holding company management.

These advantages and disadvantages of a holding company do create some investing challenges that everyone must face. There may be issues in volatile markets for such a structure, which could reduce, if not eliminate, the chances at profitability. At the same time, however, holding companies are able to provide supplementary resources to numerous industries, allowing for more variety and competition in the marketplace.

20 Canadian Fast Food Industry Statistics and Trends

Fast food is more than a U.S. tradition. It has been a staple of the Canadian diet for more than 100 years as well. The first fast food burger was served by A&W in Canada, with operators opening a location in Winnipeg in 1956. Over the next 10 years, the fast food franchise would expand to more than 200 locations.

In the 1980s, A&W would also become the first burger chain in Canada to open restaurants in shopping centers for consumers.

What really drives Canadian fast food, however, isn’t burgers, fries, or even poutine. It is doughnuts. Canada has more doughnut shops per capita than any other country in the world. Part of the reason for that is the fact that after water, coffee is the most popular beverage purchased in the country.

That is why Tim Horton’s is such a popular franchise. Horton opened his first shop in 1964. He sold just two items: doughnuts and coffee. Each was just 10 cents.

Interesting Canadian Fast Food Industry Statistics

#1. There are currently more than 19,000 fast food restaurant locations throughout Canada. Combined, they generate $26 billion in revenues each year. (IBIS World)

#2. Despite changing consumer tastes, increased internal competition, and legislation governing food quality, from 2013-2018, the fast food industry in Canada saw an average annualized compound growth rate of 4.1%. (IBIS World)

Canadian Fast Food Industry Statistics

#3. More than 425,000 people have direct employment opportunities because of the Canadian fast food industry. (IBIS World)

#4. More than 2.5 billion cups of coffee are served at fast food locations throughout Canada each year. (Franchise Direct)

#5. Tim Horton’s is the largest franchise with fast food options available in Canada, with over 4,600 active locations throughout the country. Subway is the global fast food franchise leader, yet only comes in second in total Canadian locations, with over 3,200. (Franchise Direct)

#6. Tim Horton’s also leads the Canadian fast food industry in total gross sales. In 2016, the company pulled in C$8.4 billion. McDonald’s came in second, with C$4.5 billion in sales. Subway came in third, with C$1.72 billion in gross sales. (Franchise Direct)

#7. 14% of consumers who regularly visit Canadian fast food locations report that they are influenced by digital messages before making a trip. This includes online flyers, coupons, apps, or emails. (Franchise Direct)

#8. 9% of Canadian consumers say that the information on a fast food location’s social media platform helps to influence their choice of restaurant. (Franchise Direct)

#9. 78% of restauranteurs in Canada report that they use social media as a way to build awareness for their location. Top channels are Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (Restaurants Canada)

#10. 1 out of every 5 quick-service restaurants in Canada report using delivery services to reach customers that do not wish to travel to their location. Full-service restaurants are even more likely than fast food locations (24% vs 20%) to use delivery services. (Restaurants Canada)

#11. 40% of fast food restaurants are expected to add payment with mobile phone apps as part of the point-of-sale options that are available for consumers. 26% say that they will accept payment from stored wallets. (Restaurants Canada)

#12. Sales at quick-service restaurants in Canada rose by 5.3% in 2017, which was just 0.2% lower than the sales gains experienced by full-service restaurants in the country. (Restaurants Canada)

#13. Menu prices rose by 2.6% within the food service industry in 2016, pushed upward, in part, by $15 minimum wage legislation, a 6% meal tax in Saskatchewan, and other legislative actions. A 3.3% increase is expected in Ontario in 2018 alone. (Restaurants Canada)

#14. Through 2022, existing household debt is expected to increase the preferences of fast food when dining out for consumers by as much as 4%. (Restaurants Canada)

#15. About 4 out of 5 meals that Canadians consume throughout the year are prepared at home. (NPD Group)

#16. Operating margins within the fast food industry, despite coffee being the top item ordered, has consistently been above 3% since 2008. In some years, the QSR segment has seen operating profit margins as high as 5%. (Statistics Canada)

#17. Compared to 2016 figures, all locations which serve food and beverage products in Canada saw an industry-wide revenue increase of 6.3% when compared to figures from the year before. That was the largest single-year increase in revenues in 15 years. (Statistics Canada)

#18. The average location in the restaurant industry generates over $620,000 in revenues each year. Only 1.3% of these locations employs 100 or more people. (Statistics Canada)

#19. Thanks to the influence of Tim Horton’s, beverage-only locations have higher revenues per location than combined establishments, reaching nearly $650,00 per location in 2015. About 2 out of every 3 of these locations was profitable, according to tax filings from the year. (Statistics Canada)

#20. Locations which offer catering services are the most profitable within the QSR segment in Canada. About 80% of locations which offer mobile food services, catering, or employ food service contractors were profitable. (Statistics Canada)

Canadian Fast Food Industry Trends and Analysis

Through 2023, the GDP of Canada is forecast to rise at an annualized rate of about 2%. Over the same period, the Canadian fast food industry is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 3.4%.

Like other countries with a high prevalence of fast food locations, there is a desire to have healthier eating options available for consumers. People are willing to spend more on food products they feel are healthier for them. That is one reason for the rise of fast casual dining. The average cost of a fast food meal in Canada is C$8.50. For fast casual dining, the average price is C$12.

The restaurants which have adapted to the healthy eating changes consumers want to see have experienced the best sales opportunities. A&W, for example, was an early adopter of fruits, salads, and similar healthy menu choices. Despite having fewer than 1,000 locations, the chain achieves over C$1 billion in sales each year.

From 2012-2013, Canada saw 52 new chain outlets while losing 905 independent restaurants. This is why the growth of the fast food industry in Canada is expected to be almost double what the expected overall economic rate of growth in the country will be.

14 Australian Tobacco Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Tobacco was one of the first cash crops that was brought to Australia during the settlement period. Currently the Australian tobacco industry has suffered from stringent regulations and increasing taxation in 2017 leading to a strong decline in retail sales. However, growth remains positive fro tobacco with increases in unit prices.

Three multinational companies dominate the industry in Australia with supermarkets remaining the leading distribution channel for tobacco where more than half of overall value sales take place. The rising prices in cigarettes is expected to slow growth and negatively impact overall volume sales in the future.

Important Australian Tobacco Industry Statistics

#1. In the 1970s, when tobacco growing was at its peak in Australia, over 16,000 tons of leaf were sold each year. In 2006, the total tobacco crop yield was less than 4,000 tons. (Tobacco in Australia)

#2. In 2015, 14% of Australians 15 years of age or older reported that the smoked every day. Another 2% reported that they smoked on an irregular basis. That means about 2.7 million Australians use tobacco products of some type. (The Heart Foundation)

#3. 30% of Australians report that they have stopped their smoking habit. Another 55% say that they have never smoked tobacco products in their lifetime. (The Heart Foundation)

#4. Men are more likely to smoke tobacco in Australia compared to women. Over 1.6 million Australian men, above the age of 15, consider themselves smokers. 90% smoke every day. (The Heart Foundation)

#5. Since 2001, the number of Australians aged 15 or older who report smoking has fallen by 36%. This has resulting in a reduction of 1 million people who count themselves as tobacco smokers. (The Heart Foundation)

#6. People who are unemployed in Australia are more likely to smoke tobacco products (26.7%) when compared to people who are employed (16.1%). (The Heart Foundation)

#7. Households in remote areas of Australia are more likely to have someone who is a smoker (20.7%) compared to households located in a major city (14.2%)

#8. Residents of the Northern Territory are the most likely to be tobacco consumers, with 21.6% of the population reporting a smoking habit. Tasmania comes in second, at 18.5%. They are followed by Queensland (16.2%), Western Australia (15.8%), and Victoria (14.8%). (The Heart Foundation)

#9. In 2003, tobacco consumption was responsible for 7.8% of the disease and injury burden within the general population of Australia. That meant tobacco, at the time, was responsible for about 15,000 deaths each year. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

#10. The estimated cost of tobacco consumption in Australia is around A$31.5 billion, including social, health, and economic impacts. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

#11. Among 12- to 15-year-olds in Australia, 3% of the population are current smokers. The smoking rate for girls (3.2%) was slightly higher than it was for boys (2.8%). (Australia Tobacco Control Taskforce)

#12. For 16- to 17-year-olds, 10.3% reported being current smokers. In this age demographic, boys (11.6%) were more likely to be smokers than girls (8.9%). (Australia Tobacco Control Taskforce)

#13. Between 2013-2016, the decline in annual smoking rates was just 0.2%. In comparison, Iceland saw a 12% drop in smoking rates over the same time period. Even the United States saw a 7% decline in smoking rates. (News Pty Limited)

#14. With strict smoking laws in place, the average price for a packet of cigarettes in Australia is expected to reach A$40 in 2020. This pricing is expected to raise about A$4.7 billion in taxation revenues on the tobacco products. (The Independent)

Australian Tobacco Industry Trends and Analysis

The commercial tobacco farming industry in Australia does not exist. It began winding down in the 1990s as tariff protections were reduced. Government-financed grants shifted from protecting farmers who grew tobacco to encouraging them to leave the industry altogether.

In 1995, the Australian Tobacco Marketing Advisory Committee began to cease operations, finally closing in 1997 after the repeal of the Tobacco Marketing Act. Assets were transferred to the Tobacco Research and Development Corporation, which ceased operations in 2003.

The last sales contracts for tobacco were filed in 2004. In 2006, a majority of growers voted for a government buyout that had industry funding. As of 2017, there are no valid licenses issues for growing tobacco in Australia, either for personal or commercial use.

Since 2008, cigarettes made in Australia have used tobacco products that were grown in Brazil, India, Zimbabwe, or the United States.

29 Clever Alaska Blog Names

Alaska offers a unique environment, surrounded by breathtaking views and amazing wildlife. These great Alaska blog names from existing bloggers will show you the best and worst Alaska has to offer so you can make your trip a memorable one.

Adventurous Kate
Alaska Airlines Blog
Alaska Blog Network
Alaska Huts
Alaska Regional
Alaska Satellite Facility
Alaska Sleep
Alaska Zoo
Alaskan Nooks
Alyeska Resort
Building Alaska
Defenders of Wildlife Blog
Gray Line Alaska
Hillside Natural Wellness
Idle Wild Alaska
Inspiration Cruises
Island Lodge
Jon the Road Again
Kiss Alaska
Museums Alaska
My Life in Alaska
One Man’s Alaska
Princess Lodges
Red Cross Chat
Sealaska Heritage
Talking Alaska Blog
The Compass News
Visit Anchorage
Wilderness

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18 Steel Fabrication Industry Statistics and Trends

The global metal fabrication market was valued at USD $16.35 billion in 2015. It is expected to grow at a rate of 3% annually, reaching USD $21.38 billion by 2024. Steel fabrication is a segment of the overall metal fabrication industry. In the United States, fabricated metals are the third-largest manufacturing industry when measured by total employment.

Please note: industry statistics for steel fabrication are often included in the generalized metal fabrication industry data. This information is not regularly updated by reporting sources, with 2013 being the last reporting year for some data.

Important Steel Fabrication Industry Statistics

#1. In the fabricated structural metal manufacturing industry, total revenues average $33 billion per year. For the 5-year period ending in 2017, the industry grew at an annualized compound rate of 2.8%. (IBIS World)

#2. About 3,000 firms are currently engaged in fabricated structural metal manufacturing in the United States. This provides employment opportunities for about 95,000 people. (IBIS World)

#3. Fabricated metal product manufacturing is an industry sector with a total value of $6.17 trillion. More than 12 million people are employed in this area within the United States. (IBIS World)

#4. More than $2.1 trillion in metal product manufacturing imports occurs every year in the United States. About $1.2 trillion in exports occurs as well. Imports from 2013-2018 were up 0.8%, while exports during the same period were down 0.9%. (IBIS World)

#5. 12% of the manufacturing employment opportunities found in the United States involve steel fabrication or generalized metal fabrication. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#6. 65% of the value added to the metal fabrication industry in 2013 came from compensation offered to employees. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#7. Machine shops in the United States are responsible for $40 billion in shipments for fabricated metal products. Fabricated structural metals are responsible for $27.5 billion in shipments. They are followed by sheet metal works ($20.3 billion), precision turned products ($18.3 billion), and all other miscellaneous fabricated metal products ($14.8 billion). (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#8. The top 4 industries account for 31% of the fabricated metal product manufacturing which occurs in the United States each year. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#9. Consumers purchase 51% of the products which are available through the steel fabrication industry. Businesses purchase 43% of the fabricated products which are available. The U.S. government is responsible for the remaining sales. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#10. Electroplating holds the largest share of value added as a percentage of shipments at 66%. It is followed by machine shops at 65%, turned products at 63%, and industrial valves at 58%. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#11. The lowest share of value added as a percentage of shipments is found in the metal cans segment, with a 31% share. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#12. The most common type of employment found within the industry is production work, responsible for 61% of the active positions. Metal and plastic workers make up 38% of the industry, which is included in the production work category. Fabricators make up just 9% of positions in the steel fabrication industry. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#13. Just 8 states in the U.S. are responsible for 52% of the total output of fabricated metal products. These same states are also responsible for 47% of total U.S. manufacturing each year. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#14. Texas is the U.S. leader in metal fabrication, responsible for 9% of total industry shipments, valued at $33 billion. Ohio came in second, providing $28.8 billion in shipments. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#15. In total employment, California is the national leader in the U.S., responsible for 9% of the total jobs found in the fabricated metals industry. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#16. Only two segments of the fabricated metals industry experienced a trade surplus in 2014: boilers tanks, and shipping containers; and crowns, closures, and seals. Both surpluses were less than $1 billion. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#17. Cutlery and hand tools saw the largest deficits in trade in 2014, at more than $5 billion. Metal valves, hardware, and miscellaneous fabricated products experienced a deficit of more than $4 billion each. (U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration)

#18. The global metal fabrication market is valued at $16.35 billion, with a 10-year annual growth rate of 3% expected. By 2024, the value of the market could top $21 billion for the first time. (EVS Metal)

Steel Fabrication Industry Trends and Analysis

Steel fabrication is an important component of most modern economies. When included with overall metal manufacturing, it is one of the largest industries in the world. The success or failure of this industry often directs the success or failure of individual economies.

That is why the threat of steel tariffs creates uncertainty in multiple markets. It creates blockbuster profits for manufacturers, while encouraging higher costs at the purchasing point. In 2018, Reliance Steel and Aluminum experienced record sales because there was an 18% spike in product pricing.

At the same time, companies like General Electric, 3M, and Harley-Davidson all saw reduced profits in 2018 because of the higher price of steel, thanks to a Trump Administration 25% steel tariff. Between January 1 and July 30, 2018, U.S.-made steel prices climbed 41%, reaching $917 per short ton.

Trade imbalances do need to be corrected for the health of the steel fabrication industry. Running large deficits is not a recipe for economic growth. Forcing consumers to pay higher prices for domestic steel may not be the correct answer either. Fixed pricing contracts and other industry standards do place limits on the effect of tariffs and climbing prices, but only temporarily.

For now, the steel industry plans to thrive, expand, and create new opportunities. It is the small business owner who is going to be hurt from this process.

14 Hire Purchase Advantages and Disadvantages

Hire purchase is an arrangement. It allows for the purchase of an expensive consumer good on credit. The buyer is then required to make a down payment on their purchase, with the balance of the amount due paid off with installment payments, plus interest. It is similar to an installment plan with one exception: the ownership of the item purchased does not fully transfer to the buyer until all payments are made.

Hire purchase agreements are available for B2B and B2C transactions.

List of the Advantages of Hire Purchase

1. Items can be repossessed if payments are not made.

A hire purchase arrangement is beneficial because it reduces the risk of the provider for the consumer goods involved. Because the ownership of the item does not officially transfer until all payments are made, this plan offers protection to the vendor for an unsecured item because it can be repossessed. If the buyer is unable to make payments, losses can be recouped by acquiring the item purchased and selling it again.

2. It allows for ownership of newer, better equipment.

When using a hire purchase agreement, it becomes possible to afford better equipment or consumer goods than if the transaction was to buy the item outright. Although it requires payments from the buyer, which often can last for years, it gives them the ability to use the item right away. This is despite the lack of technical ownership. Buyers are still responsible for taxes and other costs associated with ownership as well, further reducing the risk to the vendor.

3. It spreads out the costs over time.

When purchasing large consumer goods, it is difficult for some businesses or households to come up with the necessary cash to purchase items outright. Hire purchase allows for the payments to be spread out over time to make the purchase affordable. Buyers can take confidence in the fact that they have fixed monthly payments which are guaranteed not to increase. Interest rates are locked in with a hire purchase at the time of the transaction.

4. There are usually no taxes charged on a hire purchase agreement.

If your country has a value-added tax or something similar that is assigned to transactions, then leasing an item will result in a tax charge being added onto the buyer’s monthly payments. This issue goes away when a hire purchase agreement is in force. There will still be a sales tax charge or other upfront taxes as part of the transaction. The advantage here is that vendors usually permit buyers to roll the cost of taxation into the overall agreement, reducing long-term add-on costs.

5. Buyers can shop around for better deals.

Buyers can choose which vendor they want to work with when there is a specific purchase that needs to be made. That allows them to find the best possible price on the items they require. Financing for the hire purchase may be offered by the vendor. Buyers can also secure their own financing arrangement with the hire purchase process, giving them even more flexibility in where they shop. That makes it easier to avoid borrowing or using corporate or personal savings to secure items that are required.

6. There are ways to reduce the mandatory monthly payment.

If a monthly payment seems too high, even with a down payment being provided, there are still options available to further lower the cost of the transaction. A balloon payment is the most popular method to reduce monthly payments. It will require the buyer to make a large one-time payment at the end of the hire purchase agreement to finalize ownership transfer. If that payment is not made, then ownership does not transfer and the right to repossess still exists.

7. Down payments are sometimes optional with this type of transaction.

For corporations or households with an excellent credit profile, a down payment may not be necessary as part of the hire purchase agreement. That means it is possible to take home the items needed without paying anything to secure the right to do so. The buyer would still be required to make the structured monthly payments to avoid repossession. Monthly payments with a zero-down option tend to be much higher as well, so it is usually better to put down some type of down payment if possible.

8. It can be paid off early in most cases.

Most hire purchase agreements allow the buyer to pay off the contract early if they have the money to do so. Some agreements may require monthly payments to continue for 12-24 months to ensure the transaction is profitable for the vendor. This option is a good way to reduce the long-term cost of the hire purchase transaction when it can be accomplished.

9. There are few restrictions in place for hire purchase agreements.

Using the example of purchasing a car here, vendors will often put mileage stipulations or conditions on the agreement that must be met. If these conditions are not met, then additional charges become the responsibility of the buyer at the end of the lease. A hire purchase contract removes these restrictions, allowing buyers to use the vehicle as their own until it becomes their own when they make the last payment on it.

List of the Disadvantages of Hire Purchase

1. Items can be repossessed if payments are not made.

There are several laws in place which prevent vendors from being able to repossess certain items, even if the buyer falls behind on payments or refuses to make them. In Washington State, for example, it is not permitted for creditors to move another car to reach your car if you qualify for repossession. Creditors are not permitted to have a vehicle towed from your garage. They are even forbidden from repossession if you resist them taking the vehicle.

2. Monthly payments are often reflective of credit ratings.

To get the best hire purchase arrangement, buyers must have a strong credit profile. If they do not have a strong profile, vendors may decide not to work with the business or household attempting to make a purchase. Those with subpar credit scores will find that if they are approved, the interest rates will be higher than if they had good credit. Over the lifetime of a hire purchase agreement, a higher interest rate can result in thousands of extra dollars being spent on the item.

3. It forces the transaction to cost more than it would otherwise.

Even with a solid down payment on the transaction, the interest rates on a hire purchase agreement will cause the final cost of the item to be higher than if it were purchased outright. Over the life of a 5-year agreement, for example, the final cost of a $21,000 vehicle might exceed $30,000 when all the payments are added together. Some buyers may qualify for low- or no-cost financing to reduce this issue, though for the average agreement, this disadvantage stands true.

4. Not paying the required payments reduces a credit score.

A hire purchase agreement is usually reported to the major credit reporting bureaus, even if it is a B2B transaction. If the buyer fails to make a single payment, this fact will be reported. The impact of the missed payment can then affect the buyer’s ability to make another hire purchase in the future. If a repossession occurs, this issue could stay on the credit report for the business or individual for up to 7-10 years in some jurisdictions. For that reason, it is imperative for buyers to be proactive about their hire purchase agreements if they are unable to make a payment on time.

5. There are fewer discounts usually available.

Compared to a leasing agreement or an outright purchase, there are fewer discounts usually offered to buyers who pursue a hire purchase agreement. That is because there are more risks associated with that type of transaction. With a lease, consumers are paying for the depreciation of the item. With an outright purchase, there is zero risk to the vendor, allowing for the possibility of more discounts.

The advantages and disadvantages of hire purchase contracts create a win/win for all parties involved. Buyers get the chance to use, and eventually own, equipment they might not be able to purchase outright immediately. Vendors benefit by being able to sell more items while retaining technical ownership over them to reduce their risk. All elements of a transaction should be closely examined before signing anything to ensure the best possible results can be achieved.

29 Powersports Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

As of 2017, the Power Sports Market size has been valued at over USD 10.5 billion with an estimated 4% CAGR from 2018 to 2024 due to a growing demand for recreational activities across the globe. From a growing tourism industry to an increasing amount of ATV clubs and outdoor parks, product penetration is happening in many additional segments. Here is a look at some of the most surprising powersports industry statistics to be familiar with.

Important Powersports Industry Statistics

#1. ATV manufacturing in the United States is an industry which is valued at $5 billion. From 2012-2017, the industry saw annualized compound growth at 3.4%. (IBIS World)

#2. There are just 39 businesses currently active in the ATV manufacturing segment of the powersports industry. They are responsible for about 7,700 direct employment opportunities. (IBIS World)

#3. The top 4 manufacturers in the ATV segment of the industry are responsible for over 80% of the revenues that are generated each year. (IBIS World)

#4. Sales of personal watercraft in Florida account for over 14% of the segment revenues which are generated for the powersports industry each year. (Boating Industry)

#5. In 2016, the PWC segment of the industry posted an average growth rate of 7.4%. Annual sales of personal watercraft reached almost 60,000 new units and over 130,000 pre-owned units. (Boating Industry)

#6. Sales growth for the PWC segment in 2016 was highest in the San Francisco area, including Oakland and San Jose. YoY growth was 43.2%. Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York City were the next top areas for PWC sales growth, being the only other markets above 20%. (Boating Industry)

#7. The average price for a new PWC in the United States is $11,000. The average price for a pre-owned unit is just $2,600. (Boating Industry)

#8. Total revenues generated by the PWC manufacturing segment in the United States average $617 million each year. Since 2013, this industry segment has been growing at an annual average rate of 3.5%. (IBIS World)

#9. The recreational boating industry supports over 650,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, with 35,000 small businesses actively engaged in the industry. (National Marine Manufacturers Association)

#10. 95% of the PWC in the water, owned by Americans, are classified as “small,” with a length of less than 26 feet. (National Marine Manufacturers Association)

#11. Sales of new snowmobiles grew by 8% in the United States in 2015, while sales in Canada grew at 4% over the same period. (International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association)

#12. The total number of new snowmobiles sold in 2015 reached over 58,000 units. In 2014, there were just 54,000 units sold, while 2013 saw 48,500 units sold. (International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association)

#13. The number of miles ridden on a snowmobile increased by over 10% since 2013. That activity generates more than $34 billion in economic support throughout North America each year. (International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association)

#14. More than 472,000 motorcycles are sold in the United States every year. (Statista)

#15. California has the most motorcycle registrations in the United States, with more than 842,000 units currently on the records. (Statista)

#16. More than $4.4 billion is generated for the powersports industry through the motorcycle manufacturing segment each year. (Statista)

#17. About 75% of the motorcycles which are sold in the United States are for on-highway motorcycles. (Statista)

#18. About 810,000 new motorcycle registrations occur in the European Union every year. (Statista)

#19. In 2014, the total number of motorcycle registrations in the United States reached 8.4 million. That’s almost double the number of total registrations that occurred in the year 2000. (USA Today)

#20. In 1998, only 8% of registered motorcycle owners were women. In 2014, that percentage increased to 14%. (USA Today)

#21. Harley-Davidson is the leading brand in the motorcycle segment of the powersports industry. In 2015, they accounted for over 29% of new motorcycle sales. Honda Motors followed at 14%, with Yamaha taking 13% of the overall market. (The Motley Fool)

#22. Eight manufacturers in the motorcycle segment represent 81% of all sales that are produced for the powersports industry each year. (The Motley Fool)

#23. Even though Sturgis, South Dakota is the home of an annual gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts each year, only 2,620 new motorcycles were sold in the state in 2015. (The Motley Fool)

#24. Wyoming has the highest levels of motorcycle ownership in the United States, with 7 motorcycles owned for every 100 people. (The Motley Fool)

#25. The median age of the average motorcycle user continues to rise. In 1990, the average age of a motorcycle owner was 32. In 2009, the average age climbed to 40. Within this age demographic, Harley-Davidson controls a 55% share of the market. (The Motley Fool)

#26. In 1990, 8% of motorcycle purchases were by riders under 18. Recent figures show that this age demographic is currently 2% of all motorcycle riders. Those in the 18-24 age demographic have fallen from 16% of riders to just 6% of all riders. (The Motley Fool)

#27. Married riders are 61% of all current motorcycle owners. (The Motley Fool)

#28. 65% of the households who decide to purchase a motorcycle have an HHI of $50,000 or more. The median HHI of a household which owned at least one motorcycle was $62,200 in 2014. (The Motley Fool)

#29. 72% of motorcycle owners report that they have received some college or post-graduation education. The same percentage is currently employed, while 15% of motorcycle owners report that they are retired. (The Motley Fool)

Powersports Industry Trends and Analysis

Despite some commentaries which suggest otherwise, the powersports industry is not dying. It is simply in a state of transformation. The motorcycle segment of the industry is the first to go through this transformation, as more population demographics begin to embrace the joys of using these vehicles recreationally or professionally.

There will continue to be some industry downturns in specific segments as the traditional consumer steps away from this industry as majority owners and other demographics replace them.

That is good news from a 10-year forecast perspective, as increased demographics translate to a larger base of future customers. Expect some segments of this industry to be growing at an annual rate of 5% to 7% by 2028 as they complete their transition process.

Two factors can slow down this growth. Changing economic conditions, such as the implementation of tariffs or a reduction in employment opportunities, will reduce the number of new units sold by the industry. Changes in weather conditions may hamper specific segments.

Snowmobiles, for example, typically experience stronger sales when there is a larger snowpack available for consumers to enjoy.

Powersports are continuing to grow in popularity. As more people embrace these vehicles, it will create new investment opportunities.

How to Wake Up Earlier in the Morning

Wake-Up-Earlier

With the right morning routine, you can improve your productivity. You can be more conscious of your surroundings. It might even turn you into a friendlier person. Here is what you’ll want to do to take back your mornings each day.

1) Plan Ahead.
Get everything ready the night before. Program the coffee maker. Get your clothes set out. Pack your lunch, if needed. With a little preparation, you’ll save yourself some critical minutes during your morning routine.

2) Wake Up Earlier.
Give yourself 30 extra minutes in the morning by waking up earlier. Try to get up at 6am, if not before. The extra time will relieve the stress you experience while getting ready in a rush. You’ll have time to read the news, sip some coffee, or even go for a morning walk before work.

3) Turn Off the Electronics.
Give yourself at least 60 minutes of freedom from your electronic devices. Some people may want a 90-minute break to maximize the time they have to wind things down each night. This will help you get better sleep each night.

4) Get Moving.
Don’t hit the snooze button, even if you’re tempted to do so. Make the decision to get moving instead. It will help you feel more alert.

5) Follow the Same Schedule.
Try to do the same thing each day when you get started in the morning. A morning routine cues the brain to keep moving forward to each task that needs to be done. Avoid checking in on work-related tasks until it is time to be at work.

6) Check Your Email Last.
Use the first 15 minutes of your work day very carefully. That first time period at work tends to be when you are the most productive. Work toward checking off items on your to-do list right away when there are fewer distractions around. Only when you’ve finished those important items is it a good time to check your email.

7) Have Breakfast Together.
Having a meal with your family before heading to work can set the stage for a good day. It’s a chance to check-in with each other, plan for the day, and discuss potential issues. Try to play some music in the background instead of having the television on.

With a great morning routine, you can make any day become a good one. Use these ideas to see how productive your time can be.

43 Memorable Advice Blog Names

Getting the right kind of advice for every problem you face will require finding a specialized source for solutions. These great advice blog names from existing bloggers offer a variety of advise and solutions that will help you find resolutions to your most perplexing problems.

A Fashion Fix
A Girl, A Style
A House in the Hills
A Pair & A Spare
Blog Clarity
Blue Perk
Candy Pop
Coco and Mingo
Coco Chic Blog
Corals + Cognacs
Corporette
Crashing Red
Create and Go
Daily Blog Tips
Design Mom
Elements of Style
Exile Lifestyle
Feather Flint
First Site Guide
Gala Darling
He Spoke Style
How to Make My Blog
I Can Build a Blog
Life With Me
Lost in Cheeseland
Mantelligence
Marissa Says
Ms Critique
My Belonging
My Yellow Bells
Natty Style
Note to Self
Oh She Blogs
Poppy Loves
Pro Blogger
Solo Sophie
Successful Blogging
The Blonde Salad
The Classy Simple Life
The Lifestyle Marketer
The Littlest
Wit and Delight
Young Adventuress

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.



15 Hierarchical Organizational Structure Advantages and Disadvantages

A hierarchical organizational structure is a common way to organize a business. It creates a vertical structure where every person within the organization, except one, is a subordinate to another single individual or entity. The person with the top rank appears at the top of the structure, which is often visualized as a pyramid, with direct reports then coming in descending order as the various company teams are included.

Some hierarchical structures are shaped into tree-like diagrams, which creates more of an organization chart for the company. Those with the most power would be placed at the top of this chart, while those with the least power would appear on the bottom.

For an entry-level position, it is entirely possible to be excluded from the organizational chart unless there are direct reports associated with the job responsibilities.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to consider when evaluating a hierarchical organizational structure. Here are the key points to consider.

List of the Advantages of a Hierarchical Organizational Structure

1. It creates a defined structure for communication.

Within a hierarchical organizational structure, clear lines of communication are established for everyone. Employees in entry-level positions would receive their daily assignments from their direct supervisor. The direct supervisor is responsible for interpreting orders coming from their supervisors. That process continues moving upward until it reaches the top individual in the structure. This makes it easier to plan and implement business strategies quickly, assuming employees stick to the structure.

2. It offers multiple layers of authority within the company.

A hierarchical organizational structure communicates to internal and external parties about who holds what authority within the business. As more authority is granted, more responsibilities are typically assigned. This creates a clear structure for reporting, allowing for consistent movement of information up and down the chain of command. For those who are looking to advance their career, this chart creates a path that they can follow.

3. It establishes a clear picture of authority.

Within the hierarchical organizational structure, there is a clear picture of who has authority and who does not in the organization. This makes it easier to identify which managers have the power to allocate resources, reward successes, or initiate disciplinary action proceedings. There is no confusion about who is in charge and who is not in charge, which can be very useful during crisis situations.

4. It identifies places where duplication may exist.

The hierarchical organizational structure makes it possible to identify which teams share resources. It finds places where there may be job responsibilities which overlap, costing the organization money. Although this may cause employment losses over time, it creates more efficiencies within the financial profile of the company, setting the stage for growth within an economy of scale over time.

5. It allows for specialization.

When there isn’t an outlined structure in place for an organization, it tends to cause managers to be responsible for a variety of different tasks. That is especially true for small businesses, where one manager might be responsible for marketing, human resources, and purchasing. When there is a hierarchical organizational structure in place, it allows managers to divide responsibilities to the people in a logical way, creating an additional layer of efficiencies.

6. It eliminates issues of indecisiveness.

Within the hierarchical organizational structure, there is always someone who is held responsible for the actions or decisions that are made. There is no hiding from this accountability, even if one manager attempts to assign blame to someone else. There is clear communication about who is in charge of what projects. This design also makes it easier to keep track of ongoing activities, the status of projects, and the quality of work that is being completed.

7. It takes the pressure off the entry-level worker.

In this type of structure, the power of decision-making is consolidated at the top of the company. That means owners, founders, CEOs, and similar positions are responsible for making the organizational decisions which affect everyone. In theory, these decisions should be made in consultation with a senior leadership team. For the entry-level worker, that means the only stress placed on them are the deadlines they are required to meet.

List of the Disadvantages of a Hierarchical Organizational Structure

1. It may cause a lack of collaboration.

When there is a hierarchical organizational structure in place, teams tend to stay within their defined structures. Collaboration within a team still happens. Collaborating outside of a team silo can be difficult to accomplish. People tend to stick together, competing for power, instead of working together as a whole to advance the mission of the company.

2. It can cause managers to become territorial.

Within the hierarchical organizational structure, managers often become territorial about their power within the company. They become defensive if other managers start trying to work with their employees. Instead of looking at an organization-level issue with a clear mind, they might approach the situation from the perspective of their department only. This creates a competition for power which can be destructive for everyone involved.

3. It may reduce internal innovation.

Clear reporting structures within a hierarchical organizational structure help a company be able to keep information moving. It also creates a rigid structure which may limit innovation. If an employee approaches their direct manager with an idea, which is rejected out-of-hand, then it discourages the employee from sharing further. If that idea would have been accepted at a higher level in the organization, it could impact future revenues. That is why a bypass of the structure for sharing ideas is essential to the success of this traditional structure.

4. It centralizes the power structure.

The hierarchical organizational structure works extremely well for large companies. It can be a challenge to implement it on the small business level. That is because the structure can cause some owners to begin being involved in the decisions of daily operations. It may encourage a lack of delegation, which reduces the overall productivity that is available. Instead of putting leaders in charge of big-picture decisions, it can encourage some to be involved in the real-time implementation of needs.

5. It creates a lot of bureaucracy that must be managed.

When a business begins to grow, the hierarchical organizational structure must also grow. When there is more bureaucracy, the pattern of growth tends to slow down. In time, that can cause a company to become too top-heavy with their organizational chart, which makes the organization less responsive when fast decisions must be made. Requests are forced to travel up the chain of command, then back down again, which can be destructive when dynamic movement is required.

6. It may create communication barriers.

Although the hierarchical organizational structure is intended to improve communication, it may hinder it instead. Some companies do not permit workers to skip layers within the chain of command. That may cause some workers to avoid communicating at all because they distrust their direct supervisor. It can also cause teams to create their own jargon, which makes it difficult to communicate internally. It is not unheard of to have teams purposely withhold information because it would benefit someone other than themselves.

7. It can create confusion.

When a manager is not available within the hierarchical organizational structure, there is a void that must be filled for the benefits of this structure to be maintained. If a manager does not fill this void, a team member will often try to step into the role. Even if the manager has left on vacation for a day or two, this change in leadership can create confusion when the wrong people step into the chain of command. There must be a clear policy in place which dictates who replaces a missing manager to avoid this confusion.

8. It creates a structure of unequal treatment.

The hierarchical organizational structure should have the base of the pyramid at the top and the point of it at the bottom. That is because the work of the entry-level workers is what allows the organization to operate properly. Far too often, the top of the pyramid is given far too much respect, while those at the bottom of the pyramid are given far too little. When there isn’t equality in the respect being provided, workers become less motivated, they can become less respectful. They may even decide to quit, which is problematic if that person is a high-skill worker or key employee. These issues become even more problematic if the leadership team is awarded perks that may not have been earned.

The advantages and disadvantages of a hierarchical organizational structure involve communication, innovation, and collaboration. There must be strategies in place to deal with the potential negatives which like to occur under this structure. If no effort is made to deal with the negativity, then a company becomes more likely to fail because its people are siloed into their specific roles, afraid of what may happen if they try to move forward.

39 Egg Industry Statistics and Trends

Birds proceed humans along the evolutionary chain. Even if one believes in creationism over evolution, birds still proceeded humans. That means eggs are a potential food resource that has been around as long as humans have been around.

The first historical documentation of egg consumption comes from Egypt and China. As early as the 32nd century BC, wild fowl were being domesticated to produce eggs that could be used as food. Societies in Europe have been domesticating fowl since the 14th century BC for the same purpose. Fully domesticated hens have been part of human societies for almost 3,000 years.

The first chickens to reach North America, however, are believed to have arrived in the 15th century with Christopher Columbus. Although there are more than 200 different breeds and varieties of chickens that are domesticated today for egg-laying purposes, most people eat the eggs of just one breed: Gallus domesticas.

Until the 1930s, egg farms were usually backyard affairs. Farmers would keep chickens to supply eggs to their families. When selling eggs became a profitable venture, some local farms would raise 400 chickens or more at a time.

Now it is not unusual to see commercial laying flocks of 100,000 birds or more.

Interesting Egg Industry Statistics

#1. There are currently about 375 million hens laying eggs in the United States. They produce about 105 billion eggs for consumption each year. (Statista)

#2. The total value of the U.S. segment of the egg industry is about $6.5 billion. Iowa is the leading state for egg production, based on the number of laying hens that are present. (Statista)

United States Egg Industry Statistics by Total Production

#3. Retail sales of eggs in the United States totaled $5.79 billion in 2017. Most shelled eggs make their way to the retail market, while dried and powdered eggs provide important sales segments to the industry as well. (Statista)

#4. The average person in the United States will consume the equivalent in shell eggs, egg whites, dried eggs, and powdered eggs of 279 eggs this year. (Statista)

#5. 94% of the households in the U.S. uses eggs on a regular basis. (Experian Simmons)

#6. The average retail price for a dozen eggs in the United States was $1.82 in 2017. Households will spend about $70 per person on egg purchases over the course of a year. (Statista)

#7. 70% of American consumers say that they eat egg products when consuming protein shakes as part of their nutritional plan. (Statista)

#8. 63% of consumers say that the most important information about their egg purchase is the printed “use by” date on the carton. (Statista)

#9. As of April 2018, the average flock production in the United States was 75.9 eggs per 100 available layers. That figure is down about 2% from the year before. (American Egg Board)

#10. The 5 largest egg-producing states in the U.S. represent more than 74% of the available eggs that reach the retail market each year. (American Egg Board)

United States Egg Industry Statistics by Per Capita Consumption

#11. More than 55,000 laying hens are in Iowa, followed by 31,400 in Ohio, 31,100 in Indiana, and 26,000 in Pennsylvania. (American Egg Board)

#12. Despite warnings of high cholesterol and other potential health issues, Americans have been consuming more eggs now than ever before. In 1998, the average person consumed 239.7 eggs. In 2017, per capita consumption topped 275 eggs for the first time. (American Egg Board)

#13. As of April 2018, 15.5 million hens were classified as “certified organic.” 38.9 million hens were classified as “cage-free” hens. (American Egg Board)

#14. About 7.5 million 30-dozen cases of eggs were made available for export from the U.S. market, representing about 2.9% of the total egg industry availability. (American Egg Board)

#15. Each laying hen in the United States, of which there are roughly 280 million, produces up to 300 eggs per year. (American Egg Board)

#16. In total, the United States is able to produce about 75 billion eggs each year. That represents about 10% of the total global supply. (American Egg Board)

#17. The number of heavy egg purchasers, defined as a consumer who purchases 3 dozen eggs or more per month, has increased from 38% to 45% since 2013. (American Egg Board)

#18. Medium users, defined as purchasing 2 dozen eggs per month, has increased by 10% in the United States since 2009. (American Egg Board)

#19. Light users, or consumers who purchase 1 dozen eggs or fewer each month, has declined by 28% since 2013. (American Egg Board)

#20. The average egg contains 70 calories, is naturally gluten-free, and is a good source of protein and Vitamin D. (American Egg Board)

United States Egg Industry Statistics by Brand Market Share

#21. China is currently responsible for 27.9 million metric tons of eggs each year. That represents 45% of the global total for egg production. (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization)

#22. Behind China and the United States, India is the third-largest producer of eggs for the global industry. About 2.86 million metric tons of eggs are produced there each year. (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization)

#23. Although egg production is consistent in China and the U.S., it has been declining in other markets due to changes in how fowl can be treated and stored (without cages). Brazil is one exception to this rule, seeing consecutive quarterly increases of 1% or greater. (U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization)

#24. Duck eggs are an important segment of the overall egg industry as well. The Philippines is a top producer of duck eggs, with the Bicol region producing 1,361 metric tons in 2016. (Philippine Statistics Authority)

#25. 61% of the duck production occurs in Camarines Sure, followed by 20% coming from Sorsogon. (Philippine Statistics Authority)

#26. The average farmgate price for a duck egg coming out of Camarines Sur in 2016 was around 6 pesos per unit. (Philippine Statistics Authority)

#27. The average flock size for egg producing hens in Canada was 23,225, with farms ranging from a few hundred to over 400,000 hens. (Statistics Canada)

#28. The average laying hen in Canada produces more eggs than the global average, creating about 340 eggs per year. White Leghorns are the most popular chicken breed in Canada. (Statistics Canada)

#29. In 2017, there were 195 federally-registered egg grading stations located in Canada. There are also 13 registered processing establishments. (Statistics Canada)

#30. There are over 1,000 registered egg farms operating in Canada, which generate about $108 million in total farm cash receipts each year. (Statistics Canada)

#31. Egg farming represents about 2% of the total cash receipts from farming operations in Canada each year. Ontario represents the largest quotient of the egg industry, with 36% of the market. (Statistics Canada)

#32. In 2017, Canada exported 5.7 million kilograms of processed eggs at a total value of $14.6 million. Another 1.1 million dozen shell egg containers were exported, at a total value of $1.8 million. (Statistics Canada)

#33. Table eggs represent about 73% of the total Canadian market for the egg industry. (Statistics Canada)

#34. In total, poultry and egg products together are worth C$4.4 billion in Canada, representing 7.1% of total farming operation cash receipts. (Statistics Canada)

#35. In June 2018, the U.S. saw 53.9 million egg-type chicks hatched, a figure that is 8% higher compared to numbers from the year before. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#36. There were 47.9 million eggs listed as being in incubators according to July 1, 2018 reporting, which is up 16% in YoY figures. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#37. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks in June 2018 was down 54% from the year before, with just 155,000 placed by leading breeders. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#38. Broiler-type chicks hatched in June 2018 totaled 821 million in the United States, up 2% from the year before. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

#39. In 2017, the peak number of available layers reached 380 million in the U.S. in December, an increase of more than 2.7 million layers from the beginning of the year. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Egg Industry Trends and Analysis

Consumers are eating more eggs today than ever before. That bodes well for an industry that is always looking for ways to reach new consumers. By 2023, forecasts suggest that the average consumer in the United States may consume 300 eggs or more each year.

At the same time, growing flocks in China pose pricing risks for the global egg market. China has already become the global leader in egg production. With cheaper eggs from China hitting the export market, farmers are struggling to see prices rise at the retail level, even though their own expenses continue to rise.

Potential tariffs create unique challenges for the egg industry as well. Because eggs are such a dietary staple, restrictions on exports could create price increases for consumers at the domestic level, especially in the United States. That could purchase the price of a dozen at retail from under $2 to over $4 in the next 5 years.

The industry continues to grow, both domestically and internationally, because of the overall affordability of eggs. If that trend continues, the strength of this market will only continue to grow in the coming years.

17 Singapore Food Manufacturing Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Food manufacturing in Singapore is a unique challenge that most other nations do not have. Since 1961, the city-state has ranked last in the world for overall agricultural land per square kilometer. They have ranked last in arable land per hectares since 1981. They have ranked last in per capita agricultural lands per square kilometer since 1961 as well.

Just 0.11% of the labor force in Singapore works within the agricultural sector, according to 2017 figures released by the World Bank. That means a majority of the food industry in Singapore is dedicated to manufacturing and transportation, rather than growing and other forms of production.

This is a challenge which the food industry continues to face. As the population remains centered within its primary urban centers, fewer people are moving out to the arable lands which are available. Vertical urban farming is in its entry-level stages as a segment of the industry. That means the agricultural production within the food industry is not enough to meet the needs of its people.

Important Singapore Food Manufacturing Industry Statistics

#1. The current value of the food and beverages segment in Singapore is $128 million in 2018. That represents a 17.8% increase over figures released for 2017. (Statista)

#2. There are currently 1.5 million users registered by the Singapore food manufacturing industry in 2018. That figure is a 6.5% increase from the year before. (Statista)

#3. The CAGR through 2022 for the industry is expected to be 14.1%. If achieved, this would create a market volume of $216 million for the industry by 2022. (Statista)

#4. User penetration rates for the Singapore food manufacturing industry in 2018 were 25.3%. By 2022, the user penetration rate is expected to reach 30% for the first time. (Statista)

#5. The average per capita revenue generated by the industry was $87.43 in 2018. (Statista)

#6. In 2014, the food manufacturing industry in Singapore contributed S$14.4 billion to the economy. This supported over 296,000 jobs. (Oxford Economics)

#7. Food distribution is the largest segment of the industry, with more than 6,700 retail locations accounting for more than 67% of the contribution to the GDP each year. Food distribution also accounts for 80% of the employment opportunities found in the industry. (Oxford Economics)

#8. Manufacturing, when separated from the overall food industry, creates a S$3.2 billion contribution to the GDP each year, with 38,800 jobs created. (Oxford Economics)

#9. 89% of the taxes paid or collected by the industry are corporation taxes, with the remainder being income tax. In total, employees either paid or collected over S$70 million in tax revenues for the government in 2014. (Oxford Economics)

#10. CPF contributions by employers and employees within the food manufacturing industry totaled S$105 billion in 2014, with 56% of the contributions coming from employees. (Oxford Economics)

#11. The food industry spent S$6.6 billion in goods and services inputs globally in 2014, with 51% of the inputs being imported. That is 4 times the rate of food imports of neighboring countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand. (Oxford Economics)

#12. 20% of the food manufacturers’ supply chain in Singapore is dedicated to the wholesale sector. This is followed by business services (15%), transportation and storage (15%), petroleum (11%), and information/communication (8%). (Oxford Economics)

#13. 36% of the induced employment created by the food manufacturing industry in Singapore is within the recreation and community services segment of the economy. Food service activities (21%) come in second, followed by business services (17%), and retail services (6%). (Oxford Economics)

#14. Singapore is the leading importer of food products in the world today. Over 90% of the food that is available in the country for consumption comes from imports. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)

#15. Each year, the Singapore food industry is able to produce about 22,000 tons of vegetables from domestic growth efforts. The population consumed over 524,000 tons of vegetables in total, according to figures released in 2016. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)

#16. Agricultural production in Singapore is responsible for just 0.5% of the GDP each year. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)

#17. Singapore is a high-income economy, with the per capita GDP at more than $55,150. Growth of GDP averages 2%, while inflation was at -0.5% in 2016. (Development Solutions)

Singapore Food Manufacturing Industry Trends and Analysis

Food safety and transportation will continue to be the leading points of emphasis for the overall food-related industries in Singapore. Manufacturing will continue to be a leading segment of this industry, especially as efforts to improve vertical farming and urban gardening continue.

There will always be an emphasis on food safety because of the imported nature of most food products that are available. Look for manufacturers to incorporate a safety emphasis with their products to compete with imports, bringing domestic agricultural products to the market sooner.

Price will always be a challenge for the industry in Singapore. Imported foods are often cheaper and the quality is often better than what can be domestically manufactured. Consumers in Singapore often opt for higher-priced imported goods from the United States, China, and Malaysia because the foods support their lifestyle habits.

Growth opportunities will be found in future years. It all depends on the success of the agricultural industries to determine the full success that the food manufacturing industry in Singapre will be able to achieve.

22 Security Guard Industry Statistics and Trends

Private security is an industry which has been around for several hundred years. Even in Ancient Egypt, ruling pharaohs would hire personal security guards to guarantee their protection. Romans had security guards protecting their emperors, as did the rulers of the Byzantine Empire.

Warlords in China may have had security guards present in their homes as early as the 10th century BC. Even in times of piece, trained military soldiers were often able to find employment in these historical eras by providing security services to wealthy individuals and businesses.

In the United States, the rise of the security guard industry coincided with the events of the Great Depression. Guards were hired to protect factories and private businesses, a need which increased during World War II. By the era of the Cold War and its threats of foreign espionage, the security industry in the U.S. continued to add employment opportunities.

Security guards help to make people feel safe. With a constant threat of terrorism, both foreign and domestic, opportunities within this industry continued to increase.

Important Security Guard Industry Statistics

#1. In 2017, the global security services industry, which includes security guards, had an approximate value of $116 billion. (Statista)

#2. The largest share of the global security services industry is located in Europe, which held a 26% market share in 2017. North America’s share of this industry was 24%. (Statista)

United States Security Guard Industry Statistics

#3. California is the leading state for the employment of security guards in the U.S., with over 151,000 currently employed according to 2017 figures. (Statista)

#4. Employment of security guards in the United States is expected to grow by 5% through 2024, with up to 1.15 million security guards employed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#5. U.S. spending on security guard services is expected to reach $68 billion by 2019, which would be a 5% increase over 2018 figures released by the industry. (Freedonia Group)

#6. The mean annual wage for security guards in the United States is $30,730, which translates to $14.78 per hour. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#7. 73% of the security guards employed by the industry in the U.S. are involved in investigation and security services. More than 667,000 security guards are employed in the segment, at an average annual wage of $28,960. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#8. There are currently 30,000 security guards employed at elementary or secondary schools in the United States. These guards have an average annual salary of $34,920. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#9. The top paying industry which employs security guards is natural gas distribution agencies, paying an annual mean wage of $59,290. These jobs make up just 0.12% of industry employment opportunities. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#10. California may employ more security guards than any other state, but New York pays their security guards better. The 119,000 security guards employed in New York earn an average salary of $34,390. In California, security guards earn an average of $31,560. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#11. Alaska pays the highest state-based annual wage for security guards in the U.S. with an annual mean wage of $46,770. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#12. It typically costs between $12-$20 per hour to hire an unarmed security guard in the United States. If an armed guard is required, the average cost is between $18-$25 per hour. (Valuation Resources)

#13. Private security guards outnumber police officers in most of the countries around the world today. An estimated 20 million private security workers are employed globally. (Forbes)

#14. In India, there are an estimated 7 million private security workers employed, compared to just 1.4 million police officers. In China, there are 5 million security guards and 2.7 million police officers. Even in the United States, security guards outnumber police officers at a 2:1 ratio. (Forbes)

#15. There are between 10,000 to 14,000 individual contract security companies currently operating in the United States. Out of these companies, about 6,000 of them employ more than 100 people. (Robert H. Perry Associates Inc.)

#16. The 5 largest companies within the security guard industry based in the U.S. control over 50% of the current market. These companies together generate annual revenues for the industry of more than $11 billion. (Robert H. Perry Associates Inc.)

#17. Two of the largest companies providing security guards in the United States are foreign-based and responsible for $6.6 billion in revenues. (Robert H. Perry Associates Inc.)

#18. In Canada, the security services industry provides revenues of $4 billion annually. From 2012-2017, the industry experienced an annual growth rate of 0.7%. (IBIS World)

#19. About 1,800 businesses currently provide security resources, included guards, in Canada, providing employment opportunities for almost 100,000 people. (IBIS World)

#20. One of the reasons for high employment rates of security guards in India is high lefts of burglary and theft. In 2013, there were over 354,000 reports of theft and 101,00 reports of burglaries in the country. Another 31,000 reports of robbery were also made. (Ministry of Home Affairs)

#21. In the past 6 years, the security industry in India has doubled, rising from Rs 400 billion to Rs 800 billion, providing a lucrative employment options for unskilled workers who would normally struggle to find meaningful employment. (Money Control)

#22. 65% of the manned guarding industry in India was unstructured in 2014. The goal of the security guard industry in India is to have half of the manned guarding structure be organized by 2020. (Money Control)

Security Guard Industry Trends and Analysis

The primary challenge to the security guard industry today is automation and remote monitoring. As technology is able to proactively monitor property and people in more places and with additional reliability, the role of a security guard continues to be reduced. That has created a need within the industry to hire highly-qualified guards and administrative staff who know how to implement these technologies effectively.

Although there are growth opportunities available in this industry, the increased demand is for guards who know how to implement modern high-tech dashboards, use CCTV resources to their benefit, and are highly trained in high-stress, potentially dangerous, encounters with individuals who may intend to do harm.

39 Good ADHD Blog Names

Living with the effects of ADHD can be difficult. For some, the recommended medical treatments do not always work. These great ADHD blog names from existing bloggers serve as just one great example to the type of resources and strategies you can learn to follow in order to cope with existing symptoms.

18 Channels
A Splintered Mind
Actually ADHD
ADD Moms
ADDer World
ADDtitude
ADDvance
ADHD Rollercoaster
Adult ADD Strengths
All Natural Mom
Brain Gangster
Coaching for ADHD
Dyskinesia
Edge Foundation
Empowering Parents
Faster Than Normal
From A to Zoe
How to ADHD
Impact ADHD
Life with Fast Boy
Look, We’re Learning!
Man of DistrAction
Miss ADD
Mumbling Mommy
Out of Focus
Raised on Ritalin
Scattermom
Smart Girls with ADHD
SOAR
SPARK
The ADHD Nerd
The Experts
The Splintered Mind
Thrive With ADD
Totally ADD
Unpacking ADHD
Untapped Brilliance
Vague and Scatterbrained
Verywell Mind

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.



23 Performance Apparel Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Performance apparel is an industry category which includes general athletic apparel, workout clothing, and a growing category of athletic-leisure items. It is a recent addition to the overall apparel industry, with leading brands like Under Armour entering the market with products in 1996 with Kevin Plank’s first microfiber t-shirt.

In 1997, just one year after the company was founded, 12 NCAA football teams and 10 NFL teams were already wearing performance apparel manufactured by Under Armour.

The clothing items developed by the performance apparel industry were originally developed for athletes, by athletes. Through the creation of undershirts, shorts, shoes, and other garments that move and adapt to changing conditions, people are able to perform better because they are more comfortable.

Technologies within this industry include moisture transportation systems which keep athletes cooler, drier, and lighter throughout their chosen activity.

Important Performance Apparel Industry Statistics

#1. In global sales, the performance apparel industry generated $79 billion in total revenues for FY 2016. (Euormonitor)

#2. Footwear and sports-inspired performance apparel are the two fasted growing segments of the industry today, with annual growth levels of 10% and 6% respectively. (Euromonitor)

#3. For 3 straight years, performance apparel intended as active wear, such as Yoga pants, has seen sales increases of 7%. That makes it the leading segment in terms of revenue generation for 2016. (Quartz Media)

#4. 53% of consumers say that they purchased performance apparel at a specialty running store in the past year, which is the same percentage that said they purchased a product online. 46% say they went to a sporting goods store, while just 17% said they went to a department store. (Running USA)

#5. Certain segments within the performance apparel industry have struggled to achieve the same levels of growth as the overall industry. Golf apparel dropped more than 2% in 2016, as did football-specific footwear. (Forbes)

#6. People are more likely to purchase performance apparel for their feet or legs compared to other segments of the body. In 2016, the revenues generated from apparel intended for “bottoms” was $242 million in the U.S., while revenues generated from “tops” totaled around $200 million. (Forbes)

#7. When compared to the overall athletic apparel industry, the performance apparel industry grew at 0.9% more in 2016. (Forbes)

#8. Since 2009, the total market for performance apparel, including footwear, has risen by more than 42%. It’s total value, including inventory and miscellaneous revenues and profits, tops $270 billion. (Morgan Stanley)

#9. Name brands within the performance apparel industry are seeing the strongest levels of growth. From 2010-2013, for example, Nike saw a 12.3% increase in segment sales, compared to the 2-3% levels of growth achieved by the industry as a whole. (Marketing Zeus)

#10. Online shopping is becoming a force within the performance apparel industry. 1 in 3 people who self-identify as being a Millennial used a video to research products within the industry in the past year. That’s double the rate of any other generation or age demographic. (Marketing Zeus)

#11. Older shoppers are still more likely to shop for performance apparel at a retail location, even if they’ve done online research on the products they prefer. 32% of Baby Boomers say that they went to a store to purchase a product after seeing a video about it online. (Marketing Zeus)

#12. 25% of video research attempts result in 6 purchases within the industry over a 6-month period. (Marketing Zeus)

#13. 30% of shoppers who are seeking out performance apparel options will spend $500 or more because of the availability of online product research. (Marketing Zeus)

#14. Although it is the weakest geographical segment in terms of revenue generation, the Middle East is also showing the strongest levels of growth. In recent years, YoY sales have been around 15%. (Sports Chump)

#15. In comparison, mature markets for the performance apparel industry have seen YoY growth rates of 1% or less. (Sports Chump)

#16. Despite about 50% of performance apparel shopping and research occurring from a mobile device, almost all research and shopping occurs at home. (Sports Chump)

#17. There are currently 1.8 million people directly employed in fashion-related industries in the United States. About 15% of these employment opportunities are directly related to the performance apparel industry. (Fashion United)

#18. For employees working within the performance apparel industry, their average annual salary is around $26,000. Sales and marketing positions within the industry pay about 4 times this amount. (Fashion United)

#19. For employees based in the United States, about 4 out of every 5 are working in some way for an apparel retailer. (Fashion United)

#20. 52% of the market share within the current performance apparel industry is dedicated toward products for men. (Allied Market Reseach)

#21. Demand for sports leisure styles increased by 17% in 2017, generating $9.6 billion in sales in the United States. At the same time, the demand for specific performance apparel dropped by 10%, creating $7.4 billion in sales. (Forbes)

#22. Sales of training sneakers dropped 15% within the performance apparel industry in 2017, while running-inspired sneakers saw sales rise by 39%. In total, sneaker sales in the United States rose to $19.6 billion in 2017, a rise of 2%. (Forbes)

#23. Adidas saw the strongest growth in sneaker sales as a brand in the United States in 2017, with YoY sales rising by more than 50%. Two of their shoes made the Top 10 list of best-selling shoes in the U.S. in the last year. (Forbes)

Performance Apparel Industry Trends and Analysis

When all athletic apparel is considered, the performance apparel industry is forecast to reach total sales of over $230 billion by 2024. This would create a CAGR of 7%, with some segments seeing growth rates in double digits.

Shifts in consumer preferences have not held the performance apparel industry back from growth, as other apparel categories have experienced. There are three key differences which have allowed this industry to continue its overall growth pattern: adaptation, innovation, and pricing.

By shifting manufacturing processes to the Asia-Pacific region, many performance apparel manufacturers have been able to keep prices static for consumers while encouraging stronger profits. New innovations, such as ClimaCool apparel, have created strong levels of industry from the current customer base, while encouraging new consumers to try their products for the first time.

Because women in the U.S. control up to $15 trillion in total purchasing power, expect a larger push in the next 5 years by the industry toward this segment. With its strong foundation, as long as the major manufacturers continue to seek out innovative solutions, there is nothing present that would slow down this industry from its recent patterns of growth.

12 Gotomeeting Advantages and Disadvantages

Developed by Cintrix, GoToMeeting is a web-conferencing software as a service option which allows you to host business meetings online. If you have people, contractors, or clients outside of your time zone, GoToMeeting makes it easier to communicate needs around the world in an instant.

If you’re looking at different online meeting and web conferencing SaaS options, here ar the GoToMeeting advantages and disadvantages to take under consideration.

List of the Advantages of GoToMeeting

1. It allows users to have full control over the equipment of a participant.

If you have someone in a meeting who is struggling to keep up with the presentation or information, you have the ability with GoToMeeting to take over their machine. You can show them the exact information they have questions about, which makes the transfer of information much easier to complete.

2. You can share documents in real-time.

Sharing is very easy with GoToMeeting. If you have documents which you need to share with your team, you can make that happen instantly with this software. At the same time, you have most of the features that you’ll find with a product like Skype, including the option for add-ons that customize your service. That includes having face-to-face video contact during the meeting if you wish.

3. All you need is a data connection to have a meeting.

Users of GoToMeeting can host a meeting anywhere. The only requirement is that there is an internet or data connection of sufficient quality. In return, you’ll be able to have everyone with data access be able to join the meeting wherever they happen to be as well. That makes it easy for anyone to join because the only thing that is required is a simple link and access to the GoToMeeting meeting software.

4. It permits large meetings.

With GoToMeeting, you can host very large meetings if you want. Options for up to 250 attendees are possible with this SaaS option. That makes it possible to turn your meeting into a webinar, an all-company event, or a large-scale meeting with your customers. Because of this flexibility, your meeting options are almost unlimited.

5. You don’t need to attend to experience the meeting.

GoToMeeting allows users to record their meetings as it happens. Then you can share the meeting with others, allowing the information to make an impact now and later on. This is a good option for people who may not be able to attend the meeting in real-time as well, especially if they need to be kept in the loop.

6. There are numerous integrations available.

GoToMeeting has worked hard over the years to offer numerous integrations that are useful to meeting participants. You can integrate Zapier, Google Calendar, and even Chrome into the software to maximize your productivity. At the same time, you gain the benefit of holding a meeting with someone, even if they are in a remote location. Churches are even using this software to offer classes and services to people who are homebound. That is how versatile this software happens to be.

List of the Disadvantages of GoToMeeting

1. It requires a stable internet connection.

If your ISP likes to ping your modem frequently, then you may find GoToMeeting won’t work for you as well as you might think. It requires an error-free data connection for the platform to work as intended. When gaps in service are present, even if they are momentary, there is no way for the platform to recover. That forces you to restart your meeting, which can be a real pain in the neck if you have a large number of attendees.

2. The quality of the equipment matters.

GoToMeeting also requires users and attendees to have current IT equipment or mobile devices to be part of the meeting process. If you’re using an older machine or device, there’s a good chance that it won’t work as intended – assuming it works at all. As a general rule of thumb, if your equipment is more than 5 years old, then you’ll need an upgrade before you can take advantage of the benefits offered by GoToMeeting.

3. It can be difficult to get the call-in process right.

For the most part, joining a meeting with GoToMeeting is a painless process. If you have the app already, then just click on a shared link and you’re good to go. There are times when the connection doesn’t happen, however, and the reasons may be unknown. A simple glitch in the routing process to connect to the meeting can be enough to disrupt the entire process.

4. There is a cost to access the premium features you may require.

GoToMeeting does not offer an “always free” plan. The entry level plan, called “Starter,” is priced at $19 per month, which includes a 20% discount from purchasing an annual subscription. With the Starter plan, you’re permitted just 10 participants within your meeting. To take advantages of drawing tools, unlimited recording, and mobile apps, you’re forced to use the Pro plan, which is $29 per month and 150 participants.

If you choose monthly billing, the Starter plan is $24 per month and the Pro plan is $36 per month.

5. The chat option is somewhat limited.

Unlike other meeting SaaS options, GoToMeeting limits the chat function to chatting within the meeting. You’re not permitted to create chat rooms within your company to help your teams collaborate before coming into the meeting. Think of GoToMeeting as more of a meeting tool than a real-time collaboration tool, even though you do have the option to share documents with others in real-time.

6. It can take up a lot of bandwidth.

GoToMeeting requires a minimum bandwidth of 1 Mbps if you plan to utilize all the features which are available through SaaS platform. Although that requirement is minimal for those with broadband connections, people or businesses who may be connected to a remote DSL or mobile hotspot may not have enough bandwidth available to use the service. Using screen sharing or computer audio via VoIP requires 0.04 Mbps per service, which is useful for very remote participants, though it limits the amount of information that can be shared.

These GoToMeeting advantages and disadvantages offer a solid option for businesses or individuals who are looking for remote meeting support. You’re given access to video, audio, and screen sharing options. It is easy to use and integrate into your current business practices. Although there are some limitations for certain users, for the most part, it is a simple, straight-forward service that will make your meetings become more productive.

30 Greeting Card Industry Statistics and Trends

With the growth of online communication, one might think that the greeting card industry is all but dead. The truth is that the industry is alive and well, thriving in an age of immediate communication.

The custom of sending a greeting card to someone can be traced to the societies of Ancient China, who used to exchange messages of goodwill to celebrate special holidays. The Egyptians used to send greetings to one another using papyrus scrolls. It wouldn’t be until the 15th century, however, that paper greeting cards began to be exchanged in Europe.

By the 19th century, the greeting card industry moved from a mass-produced product to one that was handmade, hand-delivered, and considered more as a gift than a means of communication. It wouldn’t be until the 1930s, when printing advances made mass-production possible again, that greeting cards return to a means of communication.

They have also managed to retain their idea of a gift, often being given during special events, holidays, or occasions.

Important Greeting Card Industry Statistics

#1. In the United States, Americans purchase an average of 6.5 billion greeting cards every year. The annual retail sales of these purchases fall between $7 billion and $8 billion at the retail level. (Greeting Card Association)

#2. Birthday cards are the most popular greeting cards that are purchased each year in the United States. This is followed by other occasion-based cards, such as thank you cards, wedding cards, or sympathy cards. (Greeting Card Association)

United States Greeting Card Industry Statistics

#3. More than 1.6 billion cards that are purchased each year are Christmas cards, making it the most popular seasonal greeting card. About 145 million Valentine’s day cards are purchased each year – though that figure excludes classroom tear-apart valentines. Mother’s Day comes in third, with 133 million cards sold. (Greeting Card Association)

#4. About 7 million greeting cards are purchased each year to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. (Greeting Card Association)

#5. Women are responsible for about 80% of the overall sales that occur at the retail level for the greeting card industry. Women are also more likely to purchase more than one card at a time and they spend more time looking for the “right” card to purchase. (Greeting Card Association)

#6. The average price of a greeting card is highly variable, ranging from $0.50 to $10. Most greeting cards are priced between $2 to $4 at the counter. Items that increase the price of a card include LED lights, sound chips, and handmade features. (Greeting Card Association)

#7. 70% of people who purchase greeting cards say they are essential to their lifestyle. 80% of greeting card buyers say that they expect their purchasing habits to remain the same in the coming year. (Greeting Card Association)

#8. Greeting card buyers say that they will increase their purchases for cards in the next year at a 2:1 ratio compared to buyers who expect to spend less. (Greeting Card Association)

#9. 90% of households in the United States purchase greeting cards at least once per year. The average household will purchase 30 individual cards over the course of 12 months. (The Spruce Crafts)

#10. Online greeting cards are a growing segment of the overall industry. In 2016, online greeting cards generated $393 million in revenues. (IBIS World)

#11. From 2012-2017, online greeting cards saw an annual growth rate of 4%. (IBIS World)

#12. Just 1,000 businesses are involved in the creation of online greeting cards, with most businesses having a single employee associated with the company (IBIS World)

#13. About GBP 1 billion is spent on greeting cards in the United Kingdom each year. The average person in the U.K. will send about 55 cards out each year. (BBC News)

#14. Hallmark is the most dominant force in the greeting card industry right now. In 2014, they had retail sales of $3.8 billion. American Greetings averages about $2 billion each year in sales. (Inc.)

#15. From 2010 to 2014, Hallmark reduced their workforce from 22,000 FTEs to about 10,500 FTEs to cope with the changing industry. Some of its divisions are still profitable, though revenue has been declining at a 2% rate each year. (National Public Radio)

#16. 45 million people send birthday wishes to someone they know on Facebook every day. (Slate)

#17. The “Everyday” greeting card category is the largest in the U.K., with a value of GBP 1.008 billion. Birthday cards are the largest segment of this category, responsible for 75% of total sales. (Greeting Card Association)

#18. There are currently 800 card publishers operating in the U.K right now, offering more types of outlet than any other product sold within the country. (Greeting Card Association)

#19. 1 out of every 6 retailers in the United Kingdom offers a selection of greeting cards for sale. (Greeting Card Association)

#20. In the United States, there are an estimated 3,000 greeting card publishers which are offering units for sale each year. (Greeting Card Association)

#21. Although the average household purchases around 30 greeting cards each year, the average person only receives 20 cards per year, with most of them arriving around Christmas. (Greeting Card Association)

#22. 1 out of every 3 cards that people receive each year is a birthday card. (Greeting Card Association)

#23. Birthday cards in the United Kingdom account for 58% of total industry sales each year. More cards are purchased in the U.K. than any other country in the world today. (Greeting Card Association)

#24. Hallmark had a 51.2% share of the greeting card market in 2016. America Greetings had a 23.4% share of the market. (CNBC)

#25. There are still 2,000 Hallmark Crown Gold stores operating in the United States, with a mix of individually-operated and company-owned locations available. (CNBC)

#26. Online greeting cards in the U.K. generated GBP 122 million in revenues annually. Since 2013, the online segment of the industry has been growing at an average rate of 6.2% each year. (IBIS World)

#27. About 244 businesses are currently creating online greeting cards in the U.K., providing direct employment opportunities for about 1,000 people. (IBIS World)

#28. American Greetings is worth 65% less today as a company than its peak value, which was achieved in 1998. (The Wall Street Journal)

#29. Since 2008, digital card website someecards.com has had 3.2 million registered visitors and became profitable as a private company in 2010. (Huffington Post)

#30. Papyrus, a greeting card producer which owns Carlton Cards, Recycled Paper Greetings, and Gibson, was purchased by American Greetings in 2009. In 2012, the Papyrus segment of the company generated $1.6 billion in revenue. (Huffington Post)

Greeting Card Industry Trends and Analysis

Although greeting cards have long been part of the way we communicate with one another, the industry is seeing fewer repetitive customers stop by to purchase a card. It is an industry that is within its declining life-cycle stage because there are more digital options for communication today than ever before.

That doesn’t mean the industry is dead. Far from it. There are still many dedicated consumers who will purchase between 30-60 greeting cards each year for distribution.

Over the next 5-year period, expect the industry to see an average decline of around 5%. By 2023, industry revenues will likely drop to around the $5 billion mark in the United States. At the same time, GDP is expected to grow at 2% each year, which shows the trouble the industry is currently in right now.

The one variable which is difficult to predict for the industry is the Millennial shopper. Young Millennials especially, coming from homes that have incorporated high levels of technology, are sometimes placing more emphasis on handwritten messages than previous generations. In some geographic regions, such as the U.S. East Coast, Millennials spend an average of $6 per card instead of the $2 to $4 of the average consumer.

If more Millennials embrace this trend, the greeting card industry may do more than survive. It will begin to thrive once again.

31 Memorable Acting Blog Names

Many creative types dream of one day making it big in Hollywood. There are many skills to master that go into the world of acting. These great acting blog names from existing bloggers serve as one great example to the type of tips and information you will need to know in order to be successful.

Acting Coach
Acting Studio
Acting without the Drama
Actor Hub
Actor Prepares
Actors Connection
Actos and Performers
An Actor’s Life
Answers for Actors
B.A.B.E.
Backstage
Broadway Stars
Broadway World
Cranky Actress Blog
Crash Acting
Daily Actor
Done Deal Pro
Edge Studio
Film/Comm Talent
From Stage to Screen
Green Shirt Studio
Inside The Actors Studio Apartment
Milk’s Film Talk
Peer Hustle
Risky Business Blog
Sol Acting Academy
Stage Milk
The Acting Corps
The Great Acting Blog
Thinking and Acting
Websites For Actors

Here are the three things the most successful bloggers in the world do..

#1 They Listen to Podcasts - The most downloaded and highest rated blogging podcast is The Blog Millionaire. I highly recommend that you take five seconds to go here now and subscribe to get access to all 80+ episodes. It will give you a roadmap to blogging success.

#2 They Know How the Richest Bloggers in the World Make Their Money - The most extensive research study into blogging income was recently published, and it is something every blogger needs to read. It shows you the most profitable blogging niches, how to triple your income from ads, and the affiliate programs that make the most money. You can go here to get instant access to the entire report.

#3 They Watch Webinars from Bloggers with a Proven Track Record - The best free webinar for bloggers is run by a blogger that built his blog's traffic from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months after his first blog post. You can go here to watch his webinar, "From Zero to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.

Go here to see more blog name ideas and find out the formula for choosing the perfect blog name.

If you want to avoid the 10 most costly blogging mistakes, you should watch one or both of the videos below. Two of the most successful bloggers in the world tell you what they wish they would have known when they started their blog.