Friday, June 24, 2016

Beat The Summer Heat & Stay Hydrated

Summertime means fun, sun and no school! Summertime also means rising temperatures, and certain areas such as Texas and the south bring a whole new meaning to the term “HOT.” During these hot summer days it is very easy to become dehydrated. Probably easier than you even realize. Dehydration can lead to many unpleasant health conditions, not to mention leaves you lethargic and often unproductive. Below are a few tips of how to properly stay hydrated and beat the summer heat!

Many people don’t realize that nutrients not only come in the form of foods but also in the form of water. In fact, water might be the most important nutrient of all. You can live quite sometime without food; however, only a few days without water.

Tips to stay hydrated & beat the summer heat:

  • Drink enough water to prevent thirst. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Small, frequent sips of water throughout the day is the best way to prevent thirst. 
  • Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy. 
  • For short duration (less than 60 minutes) low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is the choice to drink before, during and after exercise. 
  • Any time you exercise or have activities in extreme heat or for more than 1 hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6% - 8% carbohydrates. This prevents “hypoatremia” (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and even death via heat stroke. 
  • Begin exercise and activities well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise or activity session. 
  • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise or activity bout in the heat. 
  • Eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables per day not only for optimum health, but they also contain various levels of water and the all-important component to avoid dehydration besides water - potassium. 
How much water should I drink on a daily basis? A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. you should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of water daily. Any exercise, activity, sun exposure. caffeine or alcohol intake will drastically increase this number to adequately stay hydrated.

While health is the #1 reason to stay hydrated, studies indicate well-hydrated individuals often have higher performance levels in exercise and everyday work and task environments. Can you think of a reason to NOT stay hydrated? urBook$ advocates for your best self promoting proper hydration! Contact urBook$ today to experience the urBook$ difference with your business bill-pay, bookkeeping and payroll.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

5 Business Tips For A Productive Summer

For some small businesses, the summer is the busiest time of year. For others, it’s the slow season. Regardless of what time of year it is for you, there are things all small business owners can do this summer to be proactive and productive.

And whether you’re taking advantage of the extra foot traffic in your store or a quiet space in time to reflect and think about your future goals, these tips can help you make the most out of the next few months. Tomorrow’s success really does start today, so it’s important that no matter what season you’re in, you are thinking ahead and getting ready.

Tip 1: Snap away

Take or collect fun pictures of your customers or members enjoying the summer weather. Then, share those pictures on your social networks during the cold days of winter to give them something to remember fondly of or look forward to. You’ll have fun doing it and create some great engagement with your loyal followers.

Tip 2: Discover something new

Take advantage of the potentially slower summer months and try out one of the ‘hot’ visual social media platforms like Instagram, Vine or Pinterest. Set a reasonable goal for yourself (i.e. upload 2 new photos a week) then, in September, decide if you want to continue to grow your presence on that channel.

You could also experiment with a new type of social media post. Consider trying a Facebook quiz/trivia question, a caption contest, an ‘if you could…’ question or feature a customer story.

Definitely change your Facebook cover photo to an image that reflects summer and your brand too!

Tip 3: Boost your website and deals

When adding an email sign-up to your website, be sure to have the “Join My Mailing List” feature at or near the top of each page of your website.

When offering a local deal, don’t discount too deeply and set a limit to the total number that could be bought.

Tip 4: Grow your list

Summer is a great time to grow your email list, especially if the summer months are the busiest of the year. Something as simple as a paper sign-up sheet can go a long way in helping you stay in touch with people after they visit your store, eat in your restaurant, or come into your office.

It’s also a great chance for you to personalize your sign-up experience a little more than you may have in the past. In addition to asking for their name and email address, you could also ask for their hometown to find out whether or not your new contacts are local or discovered your business while on vacation. You can use that information to better target your messages throughout the entire year.

Tip 5: Take advantage of Yelp

People rely on Yelp reviews and trust them just as they would a personal recommendation. This summer, take advantage of Yelp, especially if these next few months are busy.

Setup a Yelp page and then simply put a sign near your cash register that gives customers a discount if they write a Yelp review for your business on the spot. This is a great way to boost your visibility on Yelp in just a few short months.

Keep these 5 tips in mind this summer and you’ll reach new customers, continue to engage existing customers, and just have a little extra fun! Give yourself more time to focus on these tips by joining the urBook$ team, and allowing us to take on the task of electronic bill pay, payroll and bookkeeping.  These mundane tasks can take up an enormous amount of time giving you less time to make your business the best it can be!