Sunday 29 August 2021

Don't Let Age Stick A Pin In These Much-Loved Hobbies


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Hobbies like cross stitch, knitting, and sewing all require a keen eye and the ability to spot and work with the tiniest details. This is all part of their joy for many of us but, as age takes its toll and our eyesight inevitably suffers, it’s also an aspect that can prevent us from sticking at these hobbies in the long-run.

This can be incredibly disheartening considering that, for many of us, retirement and our later years are the times when we finally dedicate ourselves to these things that we love the most. Luckily, even initial difficulties shouldn’t necessarily see you sticking a pin in the hobbies you enjoy. In fact, while it may take a little extra focus and effort, it’s possible to make your hobbies more accessible in the same way that you would your home. Here, we’re going to talk you through how exactly to make that happen. 

# 1 - Find ways to improve visibility

With eyesight issues being the main reason that most of us give up our more intricate hobbies, finding ways to improve visibility can be a huge help. Obviously, seeking professional assistance is the best possible step towards this, and is important at any stage when you notice your eyesight deteriorating. Outside of that, however, many keen crafters also find that additions such as lighted magnifying glasses can transform hobbies. Equally, making sure that your general visibility is as good as it can be by investing in bright light bulbs for your rooms, in general, can help you to gain a clear picture of entire projects rather than just magnified sections. Try these techniques, and you’ll surely soon be stitching like your younger self in no time. 

# 2 - Change your materials

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There’s also a lot to be said for simply changing your materials. As frustrating as it might be that you can no longer manage double knit projects, chunky alternatives have the benefit of being far easier to work with and of knitting up more quickly. Switching to a higher count fabric (try 12-count to begin with) can also make cross stitch far clearer to see and follow. Even with sewing, making sure to avoid ‘loud’ fabrics that can prevent stitch visibility could help you to get back into the swing of things. 

# 3 - Limit your sessions

As your eyes become more susceptible to strain, it’s also important to limit your sessions to short bursts rather than hours at a time. This is crucial for both protecting your eyes from future damage and ensuring that you’re better able to see when you are working. With a hobby like cross-stitch, limiting a session to half an hour is especially important, though even with knitting, it’s worth avoiding going too far past the hour mark.

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Who said you have to give up your much-loved hobbies when you reach a certain stage in life? Keep doing what you love for as long as you can with these simple tips to hand. 

This is a collaborative post

Monday 16 August 2021

6 Tips for Improving Customer Service

 When you run your own business, you will know the importance of good customer service regardless of your industry. The fact is, your customers will make or break your company, and if you are neglecting the customer experience, chances are you are setting yourself up for disaster.

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That being said, you cannot please everyone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, far from it. There are many direct and indirect ways you can boost your levels of customer service. One important thing to remember is that customer service starts well before they interact with you or that final transaction, and if they aren't impressed, chances are they won't give you their business long before the check-out process.

So what should you do to ensure good levels of customer service at all times?

Be Consistent

Everyone needs to get the same level of customer service at all times. If you want to build a good reputation, you need to look at how you treat customers and their experience.

Ways to provide a consistent service include;

  • Reliable delivery times

  • Consistent branding and messaging

  • Good quality products or high-quality service

  • Always strive for improvement

  • Cater to your client base

Good customer service needs to be at each stage of the funnel, right down from your marketing messages, responsive and easy-to-navigate website or digital solutions including mobile apps, managing stock levels efficiently, constantly updating communication channels, and more.


One of the best ways to build a good relationship with new and existing customers is to get as many people to leave reviews as possible. While negative reviews aren't something you really want, knowing how to deal with customers who leave negative reviews can be just as beneficial. With online complaints particularly prevalent, the best thing to do is not to give people the opportunity to complain at all in the first place.

Respond to all reviews left online, both via review sites or on your social media, and thank them for their review. If the review is negative or has negative parts, try not to become combative and react angrily, instead take on board the feedback and look at where you can make changes based on the response. Let them know you will be paying attention to the points raised and be professional at all times.

Own Up to Problems

Made a mistake? Own it? A very public mistake, then very publicly own it. Use major problems and feedback to improve your products or services and avoid compacting the situation and making it worse.

Be honest with yourself and your employees about areas you are performing poorly in and work together to overcome your issues and rectify the problem while making sure you never make the same mistake twice.

If your customers lose confidence in your company, then this will have a massive impact. When possible, avoid making mistakes in this place, but problems arise, whether from human error or issues out of your control. Don't bury your head in the sand; confront them head-on and be honest about what has happened and how you intend to make it right again.

Go The Extra Mile

Your interactions with folks both inside and outside of your company speak eloquently about your reputation. This indicates the type of personality that is associated with your company. Is your company trustworthy, dependable, and kind? Is it, on the other hand, chilly, unpredictable, and disrespectful? You don't want your company to be associated with something that should be avoided at all costs.

The experience your clients have with your company is just as vital, if not more significant, than pricing and product quality. If you want to go above and beyond for your clients, you may begin by tailoring their purchasing experience to their preferences. This helps to distinguish your brand from competitors that provide similar products and/or services as you. In fact, 44 percent of shoppers said that a personalised purchasing experience would make them loyal to that brand.

Be Honest

While no one likes to make mistakes, owning up and apologising if you mess up an order or you miss a delivery slot will go a long way in building bridges with customers. While a simple "sorry" won't work for continuous issues, the occasional slip up can be easily rectified by admitting your mistakes.

If you are planning on offering different services or products, then keep any promises you make. So, if you say you are guaranteeing next day delivery, then make sure you have the capabilities in place to deliver on this, not end up failing to deliver on promises. Never commit to anything until you are confident you can follow things through as people rely on honesty and knowing what to expect. Passing the book or failing to deliver can harm your reputation.

Partner with Trusted Suppliers

As your business grows, who you partner within the name of business matters just as much as the customer service you provide. You could be delivering the best service in the world; however, if you are partnering with a company that fails to deliver, you may as well not bother.

Make sure the companies you partner with have the same ethos as you and are trustworthy and reliable. You need to rely upon them either as a stock supplier, shipping partner, or service provider, such as managing social media and maintaining an efficient e-commerce store, for example.

When it comes to delivering excellent customer service, you need to make sure you get the fundamentals right. You pay attention to the smaller details to allow you to build a reputation people can rely on and feel confident with. From here, you need to keep supporting this quality of service by vetting trusted partners and suppliers and taking feedback on board and building on this, so you don't become complacent, and you can push forward to building a reputation that completely represents who you are and what you stand for.

This is a collaborative post.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Fitness Guidelines For Seniors

 All older adults should try to do some kind of physical activity every day. Any kind of activity that gets you moving is good for you and is a good idea to keep up your fitness. The more active you can be the better. 

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If you’re over the age of 65, you should:

  • Aim to be physically active every day. Any kind of activity is better than no activity at all. The more you can manage to do the better, even if it’s only some light activity. 

  • Do activities that improve your strength, balance and flexibility. Try to do this at least twice a week. 

  • Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity if you are already an active, fit person. A combination of the two works well too. 

  • Try to reduce the amount of time your spend lying or sitting down. Any long periods of not moving anywhere should be broken up some kind of activity. Light activity works for this just fine.

If you have previously had a fall or are scared of having a fall, doing some exercise to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility is a smart idea. Exercises like this will make you stronger, so you can be more confident and more stable on your feet. If you don’t currently exercise, it’s also a good idea to speak to your GP first to make sure that there is nothing you should avoid doing to avoid the risk of injury. Ask about supplements that you could take to support you. You can often get free samples to try to see what suits you. 

Exercise guides for seniors often refer to different levels of activity, but if you’re very active, it can be confusing to work out what counts. 

What Counts As Light Activity?

Light activity is any kind of activity that involves moving instead of sitting or lying down. You probably do a lot of it already without even realising. To get started, aim to do more light activity every day. 

Examples of light activity include:

  • Getting up to make a drink

  • Moving around your home

  • Walking at a slow pace

  • Cleaning your house

  • Vacuuming

  • Making the bed

  • Standing up

What Counts As Moderate Aerobic Activity?

Moderate is an activity that raises your heart rate. It will make you breathe faster and feel warmer. If you’re not sure if the activity you’re doing is moderate or not is see whether you are able to talk. You should be able to talk at the same time, such as maintaining conversation, but you shouldn’t be able to sing. 

Some examples of moderate-intensity activities include:

  • Walking at a brisk pace

  • Water aerobics

  • Riding a bike

  • Dancing

  • Doubles Tennis

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Hiking

To get more moderate activity, you could take up going for walks with a friend, or a seniors exercise class. 

What Counts As Vigorous Intensity Activity?

Vigorous-intensity activity is an activity that makes you breathe fast and hard. If you are working out at this level, you shouldn’t be able to say more than a few words in one go without having to pause for breath. You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation at the same time. 

If you can work out at this level, you can do it less often, as for most people, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity will have very similar results and health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. 

If you’re already doing moderate activities, you can increase your effort to make it vigorous. 

Examples of vigorous activities include:

  • Jogging

  • Running

  • Aerobics

  • Fast swimming

  • Riding a bike fast or uphill

  • Singles tennis

  • Football

  • Uphill hiking

  • Dancing

  • Martial arts

What Activities Strengthen Muscles?

Strength exercises are important for older people. To get the benefits, do them until you feel like you need a short rest before you can do the activity again. 

There are lots of ways to strengthen your muscles, both at home and at a gym, such as:

  • Carrying heavy shopping bags

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Tai chi

  • Weight lifting

  • Resistance bands

  • Bodyweight exercise

  • Heavy gardening

You can mix in a few of these, such as going to a yoga class aimed at seniors, as well as continuing to work on your garden at home. 

You can do these kinds of activities that will strengthen the muscles on the same or on different days as you do your aerobic activity, like playing tennis. Just choose whichever option works best for you.

Don’t assume that muscle strengthening exercises are aerobic activities. Many are, but plenty aren’t, so make you’re finding time for both. 

This is a collaborative post.