Times When Your Old House Becomes a Cost-Nightmare

At some point in life, every homeowner will require home remodeling to go with the latest trends. Sometimes they need repair works to fix broken kitchen tops, loose ceilings, or bumpy floors. The remodeling costs could be high or less, depending on the remodeling works.

For the old house owner, home remodeling might call for an overhaul. Depending on the amount of work to be carried out, the cost can be too high such that the project becomes a nightmare to the homeowner. 

When the repair works are too many

Old houses will go through decomposition as years pass by. If periodical remodel works are not carried out from time to time, the owners of the old house might be required to have hefty budgets for remodeling works. 

The roof could need an overhaul, total replacement of pipes works, electrical works, foundation works, and so on. All these works could raise the cost of remodeling into a nightmare. 

It is advisable to work closely with expert companies like Olson, the leading Kansas City foundation repair experts, who are experienced in old home repair works starting from the foundation to the walls, drainage, and waterproofing. 

Olson foundation repair will first carry out an expert assessment of your old house to establish exactly what is needed. 

Extended repair time

During the remodeling time for your old house, there are always the agreed timeframes with your remodeling company. If the initial assessments were not done well, the agreed timeframes could exceed to double or even more. That would mean double the original cost which becomes a nightmare.

Every extra day spent on the project means more pay to the remodeling company so that they can pay their workers, maintain machinery, and buy more material as the need arises. It could lead to a stalled project or heavy borrowing to sustain the already skyrocketed repair works. It is important to consult wisely before attempting any repair works on an old home. 

When the part under repair affects another part

An old home can sometimes be unpredictable when it comes to repairing works. Because of age, the whole structural design could be weak without your knowledge. There are times when you might decide you want to repair a crack in the wall but because of the weakness of the house resulting from age, a little pressure on the wall could bring the roof collapsing.

Such accidents could give you repair nightmares because it was an unplanned cost. When planning to remodel work for your old house, building materials suppliers like Lumber One, the leading lumber supply company in Kansas City, can help you assess and quote the best material options that can help you save on cost if one part under repair affected another part that was not meant to be repaired. 

When mold and mildew grows out of proportion

Mold and mildew are toxins dangerous to health when continually breathed in. The commonest roofing material for old homes is asbestos which could also turn toxic if not replaced after several years. 

On the other hand, mold is also a catalyst to decomposition as it eats away materials such as wood and stones. Rust on the old home roof is another catalyst that quickly causes holes in the roof. 

When mold overspreads into many parts of the old house, the cost of removing it can be very high and it might call total remodeling. 

When the whole foundation is weak

Many factors can affect the strength of your old home foundation. The primary factor can be age, while the secondary factors can be the weather, rainwater, weak soil base, and leaking pipes. 

When the foundation of your house is too weak to hold the structure of your house, it could require you to move house to another place or repair the full foundation. The related costs can be a nightmare because foundation works include works like excavation, lifting, filling, and so on. 

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How to Draft a Business Plan for Your IT Startup

Planning the operations of a tech startup is a great headache that some people would not wish on their worst enemy. Although that is true, at the end of the day, it has to be done to secure finance and simplify the operations of the businesses. 

To help you get through the tougher times, a business plan has to be drafted that will be shared with key senior management positions. The business plan can also be used to create a roadmap for each project or ongoing operations. Here are tips on drafting a great business model for an IT startup:

Establish a clear objective

One of the main guiding principles that should be clear on the business plan includes the objective, mission statement, and vision of the company. Tech companies might not think this step is important to them since they think their product is universal. For example, a software company might think that they can develop any solution regardless of the niche. This is a common misconception that has failed many good startups. 

Niche is important in all aspects of your tech business. Even if it is about link building for Google ranking, you should use the same principles used when doing a tech guest post. You choose good sites with high DA and contact them to accept your posts. To make it easier, you can take help from GetPixie.com, a leading name in providing technology guest post service.

Clearly state the target audience

On the business plan, document the targeted audience. Do not just do the bare minimum but instead go deeper and find out more about the targeted audience. You can even go to the extent of documenting each buyer persona you’re targeting. 

This should also be done to negative buyer personas, which stands for customers you do not prefer having. These negative buyer personas can help increase RoI when acquiring customers by reducing CAC. Doing this when planning the business is very important for future operations.

Drafting accurate financials

One of the things entrepreneurs try by all means to avoid is making financial statements. There is a wide variety of financial statements to draft when drafting a business plan. Since you are a startup, the financial statements will not be focused mostly on historic financial health. 

Instead, it should be future dated, projecting the value your business is aimed at adding. The only financials that should be current as a tech startup is the amount of funds needed to get the project operational. Afterward, provide realistic forecasts based on targets and KPI benchmarks to create accurate financials.

Conducting market research

Market research is one of the most important aspects of a business plan because it helps guide business operations. Without proper market research, you might end up making decisions that are not best for the business. 

Another thing that might happen will be trying to solve problems that can’t be monetized. To come up with a winning business model for whatever tech solution you’d like to develop, conduct thorough market research. Understand every aspect of the market you are hedging into and the piece of the economy you’ll get once you’ve started operating.

Basic structure of a tech startup business plan

A business plan should have a proper structure that is most relevant to its niche. When you are drafting a tech business plan, some elements are critical. To help you get a sense of what is expected from a tech business plan, here are the top items that investors or other stakeholders look out for:

  1. An awesome cover page
  2. Table of contents for easy reference
  3. Executive summary briefing up the business plan
  4. Business description
  5. Market research findings
  6. Competitive analysis
  7. Marketing plan
  8. Management and ownership structure
  9. Operational plan
  10. Financial plan
  11. Supporting documents

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How to Find the Right Casket in 4 Steps

Unless you’ve organized a funeral before, nothing prepares you for the sheer amount of work involved in the process. 

There’s often so much to do that it’s difficult to clear your head long enough to make focused observations and decisions. 

You have to figure out many things, from taking out an obituary in the paper to sending out invitations and deciding where you want the funeral service to be. 

However, choosing a casket has to be up there with the most important decisions that you’ll make at this time because it’ll be your loved one’s final resting place. Literally. 

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to choose the right casket: 

  1. Decide on a Budget

Surely your loved one has left behind some sort of funeral policy to help pay for the funeral arrangements. Once you know what your budget is, you can start shopping for a casket in earnest. 

Make sure that it’s something that you can afford while being decent enough to give your loved one a solid send-off. 

Plus, determining your budget will help to narrow down your options and you’ll avoid looking at caskets that are out of your price range. 

  1. Go Through Caskets Within Your Budget

As soon as you’ve established a budget, you can then start looking at different options within that price range. 

Take your time to consider each option, keeping in mind that caskets come in different colors, shades, and decorations. 

Perhaps your loved one liked a certain material and you know that they would’ve appreciated having their casket lined with it. 

Some places such as Memorials.com are even willing to customize the casket for you at short notice if you ask nicely. This may add a bit to the price but it will be well worth it so you should definitely consider this option.

  1. Check the Size of the Casket

The majority of caskets typically measure in the dimensions of 23 inches tall, 28 inches wide, and 84 inches long. This is the standard size of a casket and it’s usually large enough to fit an average adult. 

However, there are also custom caskets that are either larger or smaller depending on the situation. 

That’s why you should also take your loved one’s height and weight into consideration when picking a casket to make sure that it’s the right size for them. 

  1. Pick One That Your Loved One Would Have Liked 

You should also consider the preferences of the deceased when deciding on a casket. What did they like? 

If they were reserved in life then they wouldn’t want to go out with a bang and would probably prefer something simple and to the point. 

On the other hand, if they were bubbly and socially inclined then you’ll want a casket that reflects their personality with all the frills on offer. 

Basically, make sure that it’s something that your loved one would appreciate if they were looking down at you from ‘up there’. 

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What Are Dedicated Datacenter Proxies

When people talk about proxies, they’re usually referring to datacenter proxies. They’re artificially-created IP addresses linked to data centers. An IP address or internet protocol address is a numerical label assigned to any device connected to the internet. It gives that device a unique identity and allows it to send and receive information online. Whenever you enter a contract with an ISP (Internet Service Provider), your connection will be given an IP address, as will every device you use, including your router.

The IP addresses generated by data centers are not linked to physical devices or internet service providers. One sub-network can contain thousands of datacenter IP addresses.

In this article, we will focus on dedicated datacenter proxies to explain what they are and how they work.

Types of Datacenter Proxies

There are three main types of datacenter proxies:

  • Public
  • Shared
  • Private

Public Proxies

Public proxies are the free ones you find online. They can be useful for accessing geo-restricted websites, and the price is unbeatable, but even so, it’s best to avoid them. It’s easy to find free proxies, but the problem is that you can’t tell which ones are trustworthy.

First of all, in terms of quality, you get what you pay for. They’re slow, unreliable, and offer no protection against hacking. What’s worse is that many of them are run by hackers so they can get access to your information. Since anyone can use them, they tend to get blocked or blacklisted from websites quite quickly. Moreover, they’re often infected with malware, so you risk getting your own device infected unless you use a good antivirus.

If you must, only use them to bypass geo-restrictions on something that you want to read, but do not use them when you need to enter sensitive data such as login credentials.

Shared Proxies

As the name implies, shared proxies are data center proxies used by more than one person at a time. The advantage is that since several people can pool together and split the cost, they’re cheaper. More expensive than the free ones, obviously, but they’re run by legitimate companies for a reasonable price. For that price, you get better quality, and you don’t have to worry about security issues.

The disadvantage is that they’re not as fast as dedicated proxies. It all depends on the provider, of course, but you can expect some lag.

Dedicated Proxies

Dedicated datacenter proxies, also referred to as private proxies, give you a set of IP addresses that only you can use. That’s the main difference. With shared proxies, a handful of users get access to the same IP addresses, while with public proxies, thousands of users might share the same IP address.

This has some advantages that we will describe in the following section.

Benefits of Using Dedicated Datacenter Proxies

Dedicated datacenter proxies work like any other proxy. They’re essentially a middleman between you and whatever online content you’re trying to access. Your request to access that content doesn’t go directly to the platform hosting it. Instead, it passes through the data center servers that forward it using a different IP address. When you receive information in response to your request, once again, it first goes to the data center servers and then to you.

The main advantage is that your online activity remains anonymous both from the platforms you’re accessing as well as your ISP. This protects your online privacy.

Another advantage is that dedicated datacenter proxies deliver high speed and reliability at a lower price than other options such as residential proxies. Residential proxies pass your request through an actual device with an IP address so it can better mimic internet traffic generated by a real user. This has some benefits, but it tends to slow down the connection.

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How to Find the Right Casket in 4 Steps

Unless you’ve organized a funeral before, nothing prepares you for the sheer amount of work involved in the process. 

There’s often so much to do that it’s difficult to clear your head long enough to make focused observations and decisions. 

You have to figure out many things, from taking out an obituary in the paper to sending out invitations and deciding where you want the funeral service to be. 

However, choosing a casket has to be up there with the most important decisions that you’ll make at this time because it’ll be your loved one’s final resting place. Literally. 

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to choose the right casket: 

  1. Decide on a Budget

Surely your loved one has left behind some sort of funeral policy to help pay for the funeral arrangements. Once you know what your budget is, you can start shopping for a casket in earnest. 

Make sure that it’s something that you can afford while being decent enough to give your loved one a solid send-off. 

Plus, determining your budget will help to narrow down your options and you’ll avoid looking at caskets that are out of your price range. 

  1. Go Through Caskets Within Your Budget

As soon as you’ve established a budget, you can then start looking at different options within that price range. 

Take your time to consider each option, keeping in mind that caskets come in different colors, shades, and decorations. 

Perhaps your loved one liked a certain material and you know that they would’ve appreciated having their casket lined with it. 

Some places such as Memorials.com are even willing to customize the casket for you at short notice if you ask nicely. This may add a bit to the price but it will be well worth it so you should definitely consider this option.

  1. Check the Size of the Casket

The majority of caskets typically measure in the dimensions of 23 inches tall, 28 inches wide, and 84 inches long. This is the standard size of a casket and it’s usually large enough to fit an average adult. 

However, there are also custom caskets that are either larger or smaller depending on the situation. 

That’s why you should also take your loved one’s height and weight into consideration when picking a casket to make sure that it’s the right size for them. 

  1. Pick One That Your Loved One Would Have Liked 

You should also consider the preferences of the deceased when deciding on a casket. What did they like? 

If they were reserved in life then they wouldn’t want to go out with a bang and would probably prefer something simple and to the point. 

On the other hand, if they were bubbly and socially inclined then you’ll want a casket that reflects their personality with all the frills on offer. 

Basically, make sure that it’s something that your loved one would appreciate if they were looking down at you from ‘up there’. 

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Tips for Dealing with the Ongoing Stress Caused by Working from Home

In the business world, routine and structure are major keys to success. Many people think working from home will offer them more freedom and less stress. However, when working from home, regular routines are harder to maintain and there is less structure. 

It can be stressful to be free of the routine and structure you once found to be confining. Here are five tips to help you cope with the stress of working from home. 

1. Establish a daily routine

Feeling a lack of boundaries, such as when you need to start and stop working or when you need to get up and go to sleep, can feel liberating at first but it can easily morph into a feeling of being out of control. 

Setting up a daily routine can reduce stress. Include time to take care of family needs and time to focus exclusively on work. Your family will get to know when they need to leave you completely alone and when you are free to spend time with them. 

Using a product like Green Maeng da Kratom may help to boost energy and uplift your mood when you’re suffering from stress. According to kingdomkratom.com, this blend between white and red that comes from grinding Mitragnyna Specioso leaves is a great way to start the day. 

2. Improve your focus

It can be difficult to stick to your personal goals and keep your focus when you’re working from home. If you’re trying to finish a report, for example, the ability to concentrate can mean the difference between success and failure.

While multitasking may seem like a good way to get plenty of work done quickly, it turns out that juggling multiple tasks can actually hinder productivity. You need to fully engage with a task to do it properly. If you find your mind wandering, practice taking a few deep breaths and focus on each one before going back to what you were doing. 

3. Include regular healthy meals and exercise in your routine

Part of your routine should include regular mealtimes that you spend away from your desk. It is tempting to grab a snack and eat it while working. However, spending all day hunched over your computer isn’t good for your health or your state of mind. 

Try starting the day with a healthy breakfast in the morning. Take breaks for tea and a longer break for lunch. Try to fit in some exercise before you sit down at your desk or at any other time that suits you during the day. 

4. Get family to work together as a team

Another challenge of working from home that causes stress is dealing with more distractions and trying to juggle work life with family responsibilities. When working from home, it is important to get the support of your family so you can all work together as a team to create the right environment. 

Family members need to be more mindful of what they are doing that could be a distraction, such as listening to music with the volume turned up or playing noisy video games. When everyone in the family co-operates, this can help to relieve stress. 

5. Talk to your colleagues and get their support

One of the stressors of working from home is adapting to new technologies, like teleconferencing. Communicating virtually reduces in-person contact and can contribute to anxiety and depression. 

It may be difficult to express your vulnerability with coworkers. However, you are likely to find that they are also facing similar challenges while working at home and it may be an opportunity to give one another support and encouragement. 

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How to Hire the Right CPA for Your Small Business

One of the best ways to ensure the financial health and longevity of your business is to invest in the services of a professional accountant or CPA. 

CPA stands for certified public accountant and this is a professional who’s trained and experienced in the art of balancing finances and they are experts in taxation too. 

If you’re currently looking for a CPA for your business and are wondering what you should consider or look for in one, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Read on to find out what to take into account when hiring a CPA: 

  1. Find a CPA That’s Easy to Deal With

First things first, find you a CPA that’s easy to communicate with. This means that they must have a deep understanding of your business and what you have to offer. This is crucial if you want to get the most out of your CPA. 

Likewise, you want to find out as much as possible about the CPA including their processes so that you know what to expect. 

Let them know what your needs and expectations are too, and make sure that you start the relationship on a balanced footing. 

If it doesn’t feel right because the CPA takes long to respond or there are other warning signs, then keep looking. 

  1. Check Their Qualifications

Accounting is a vast and complicated profession. That’s why CPAs have to study and train for many years before they can practice. 

You want a CPA who’s experienced and understands the tax code and other complicated financial concepts. 

But, they should also be able to simplify the jargon that’s inherent to their industry and communicate in a way that’s transparent. 

Cooperation and communication are two very important skills that you should look out for in your CPA, especially when it comes to dealing with matters of tax relief and the like. 

  1. Understand What You Need

It’s also important to understand your business’ needs when it comes to accounting before you look for a suitable CPA. 

That’s because this will help you to narrow down your options more effectively. For instance, you might need someone to handle your financial statements, create your budget or someone to handle payroll and do taxes, while some accountants specialize in sales invoices and accounts payable. 

It all depends on your needs and how well you communicate them from the beginning of the relationship. 

For best results, create a list of services that you need in writing and then use that as a checklist to find the ultimate CPA for your business. 

  1. Try to Hire a CPA That Can Do Financial Analysis

In addition to ticking all of the boxes that you created from the list above, make sure your CPA has the ability to perform financial analysis. 

This includes the ability to comprehensively examine indicators like net profit, aging accounts receivable, and gross profit margins. 

They should be able to interpret the data for you so that you can make informed financial decisions in the future based on sound data and advice from your CPA. 

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How to Avoid Car Accidents

Driving a car is dangerous. Yes, modern cars these days come with an array of safety features. But there’s still a certain level of common sense needed to make sure you stay safe on the road. 

Besides, when you get into a car, you’re not just responsible for your own safety. You’re also responsible for the safety of your passengers and other road users as well. 

The great news is that there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of automobile accidents massively.

  1. Be Aware of Blind Spots

Always scan the road you’re driving in for possible blind spots and other dangers. Additionally, make sure your mirrors are positioned correctly. This will help you maintain visibility especially when you’re changing lanes. 

Additionally, you may also want to avoid the blind spots of other drivers, especially large trucks. Every time you’re in someone else’s blind spot, they absolutely have no responsibility for your safety because they can’t see you. 

This can cause all types of car accident injuries.

  1. Inspect Your Car Regularly

A defective car can also increase the risk of accidents massively. 

For example, make sure your tires are balanced for tread wear and that your brakes and transmission are in good condition.

  1. Avoid Distractions 

It’s very important to be fully concentrated on the road when you’re behind the wheel. Remember you’re cruising on a road full of cars at probably very high speeds. 

Losing your attention even for a second could have massive consequences. So, keep your cell phone away. 

That text or social media notification can wait until you’re parked somewhere. Give the road your full attention and you’ll be safe.

  1. Don’t Ride in the Fast Lane

Speed thrills, but it also kills. This isn’t to say that you can’t go fast. But the faster you go, the harder it becomes to control your car. Any mishap could lead to a catastrophic accident. 

Besides, it’s easier to maneuver out of a potentially dangerous situation when you’re in the center or far right lane. To put this into perspective, the biggest percentage of road accidents actually occur in the fast lane.

You may also want to sharpen your skills when it comes to defensive driving. This simply helps you to maneuver through the road like a race car driver and avoid potential accidents.

  1. Minimize Driving at Night

It doesn’t matter whether you have good eyesight or not. The risk of accidents is higher at night than daytime. 

So, if you can help it, avoid driving at night. This is because your visibility massively reduces in the dark despite the fact that you have headlights. 

Additionally, there’s always a risk that you’ll encounter drunk drivers at night than during the day. All these factors put you in unnecessary danger. 

But if you have no choice but to drive in the dark, at least make sure your headlights are working fine and that you’re 100% alert at all times.

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How to Make Your Website Faster in China

There’s no denying the role of CDN and local hosting in website optimization, especially if you want to speed it up. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to factors that affect website performance. 

In fact, slow loading websites have been shown to negatively impact a business’ ability to attract leads and most importantly, to convert those leads. 

That’s why we’re sharing the following tips on how to boost website performance, particularly speed, in order to thrive on the Chinese market. Read on to find out more!

  1. Check Website Performance

The first and most important part of website optimization is its performance. That’s why you must monitor it regularly to ensure that it’s working effectively. 

It will play a huge role in boosting your website speed. 

Basically, keeping track of website speed and performance will enable you to determine what aspects of your website are affecting its speed. 

Thereafter, you can determine what the best resolutions are to those problems, but it all starts with first monitoring your website. 

  1. Try to Lower Your Page Size

Page size also plays a role in your website speed, and that ultimately affects your ability to start marketing in China. According to the “Computer Hope” website, page size incorporates everything within the web page, including media, scripts, style sheets, images, and HTML. 

Also, HTTP Archive statistics also show that the average web page is 3.45MB. This is one megabyte over the web page size in 2016 and this growth is due to the addition of larger content, such as fonts, JavaScripts, images, and videos. 

Although these elements are helpful at improving the customer experience, it slows the website’s loading time. 

  1. Fix Response Time

Once you figure out what’s lacking and working with your website’s performance, the next step is to measure server response times. This is the direct way of eliminating bottlenecks that are negatively affecting website speed. 

There are many different factors that might affect server performance, from memory starvation, libraries, slow database queries, and slow application logic.

This means that you must consider all of these different aspects as possible causes of your website’s speed issues. 

  1. Take Advantage of Browser Caching

Next, you need to consider browser caching. That’s because, with every webpage that’s loaded, a process of automatic downloading happens for all of your images, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files. 

It might take a while to load all of these different files which then affects the speed of the web page, thus leading to a slugging website. 

Browser caching enables you to fix this problem by downloading and storing all of these web files in the user’s local browser so that they don’t have to reload every time they visit the website. 

  1. Minify Resources

You can optimize your website’s pages by reducing the size of media such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. 

The minification process requires that you get rid of all unnecessary characters as well, and this includes unused code, code comments, and spaces without affecting the resource’s browser processing. 

The result is that your web pages will load faster and perform more efficiently. 

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Essential Packaging Supplies that Your Company Might Need

Many businesses involve shipping products to customers – if your business involves the same process, then you might already know how much effort you need to make to run these processes fast and correctly. Your goal is to offer the best services and make your customers satisfied. We all know how hard it is to make customers happy these days; yes, you need a great product, and you need great prices. It all comes down to how your products make a person feel. In essence, the fulfilment with your business, your services, and your products, will help you grow or break you. 

So, are you ready for that? The first response might be “no.” All businesses should focus on pleasing their customers, as clients are actively searching for those brands that provide the best services. Therefore, if you want to make your customers happy with your service and grow your business, you must pay attention to the shipping supplies you use when delivering your products. Check out these essential packaging supplies that any company must have.  

Find the right supplier

First of all, if you want to deliver your products in excellent condition, then you must find the right supplier. There are hundreds of shipping companies on the market specialized in manufacturing, so how do you find the right one? What are the most important characteristics a good supplier must possess? A lot, apparently. But an organized and experienced shipping supplier must take responsibility for quality issues, have excellent communication skills, have the desire to constant development, and follow your lead. Shipping supply Los Angeles offers specialized packing and packaging solutions, including wood crates, bubble wrap, foam rolls, custom packaging, and other suppliers, such as strapping, tape, and stretch boxes. 

Choose the right materials

If you want to deliver excellent customer service, you must be aware of the materials you are using when shipping boxes. Securing the package before it’s sent to the destination is extremely important. Do you know that 83% of customers are most attracted to the package of a product, rather than the product itself? Choosing the right materials for your shipping boxes might not only help deliver the products safely but make most of your customers a lot more satisfied. Using package tape is also important to make sure the box is sealed correctly. Also, prevent the products from breaking and use bubble wrap – it’ll keep them safe until they reach their destination. 

Custom packaging

Paying attention to every single detail that includes packaging is essential, and can help you be one step ahead of your competitors. A good way to stand out from the competition is by using branded shipping materials. As mentioned before, customers are truly impressed by packages; in fact, no one wants to receive a boring and bad-quality box that cannot show off your brand or the product it contains. Carefully designed packages are outstanding and induce the message of your brand. It’s just as important as the product itself, so don’t neglect the importance of a beautiful and qualitative package! 

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