Are You the Right Fit for Self-Employment?

How many times have you thought about self-employment? The ability to work on your own terms and be your own boss could be enticing, but there are plenty of reality checks along the way and it’s important that you realize it’s not as simple or straightforward as it sounds. Self-employment comes with plenty of challenges, and we’re going to explain some of the biggest ones to help you prepare for a life of self-employment.

Self-employment is a fantastic choice for those that want to work in the comfort of their own home, but is it really that easy? (Source)

Are you capable of managing your time effectively?

Self-employment is fantastic because it allows you to work at home or at your own pace. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to work just 2 hours a day and it doesn’t mean you should be working 50-hour work weeks either. As much as you want to be successful, not everyone is cut out for working long. Sure, entrepreneurs like Elon Musk can up to 100 hours per week, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Instead of burning yourself out, make sure you set regular working hours much like you would if you worked for an employer. Stick to your times and try to stay away from your computer and your responsibilities outside of office hours unless you absolutely have to take care of something like an emergency. Having a schedule is a great way to keep yourself on-track, but if you can’t stick to it, then it’s pointless to have and you might not be ready for a life of self-employment.

Do you have what it takes to manage your responsibilities?

The last thing you want is for your business to be under a tax investigation because you neglected to record all of your income. As a self-employed individual, you have more responsibilities than the average employee and you need to take this seriously. You need to manage your own accounts and finances (unless you have an advisor or accountant), you need to realize that the livelihood of all of your employees rests within your hands, and you need to remember that your success and growth are in your own hands. If you’re not able to manage these responsibilities, then your business is simply going to fail and you’ll just be wasting your time and effort.

Do you possess the capacity to learn new skills at every possibility?

From learning to protect your business with security software or researching new market trends and how to take advantage of them, you need to be like a sponge that soaks up information at every opportunity. This is because you want to learn as much as possible and apply that knowledge to your business, and this means you need to be constantly reading, constantly listening and constantly learning. Utilize things such as online learning to help you study new subjects and skills without having to attend a college or university, and listen to audiobooks as much as possible. Multitasking is often seen as a waste of time, but if you’re doing something mundane such as running and exercising, you’d be surprised at just how useful it can be to learn new skills through an audiobook.

It’s incredibly easy to get distracted if you work self-employed and it’s the main reason for a lack of productivity and progress. (Source)

Can you take criticism and turn it into something positive?

You’re going to get a lot of criticism as a self-employed individual. Customers will hate you for making small changes that you thought would be beneficial, you’re going to get know-it-all employees that suggest changes about things they know nothing about, and you’re going to be ridiculed on the internet for making poor decisions. It’s crucial that you learn how to minimize the negative effects that come with bad criticism and instead turn it into something positive. Your audience and your employees can be fantastic sources of information, but only if you’re willing to see what they say in a positive and understanding way.

Do you have what it takes to expose yourself and network with the industry?

Entrepreneurs need to be social. They need to attend events for networking purposes and they need to get on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so that they can increase their chances of capitalizing on an opportunity. This means meeting with investors, it means speaking to customers face-to-face at events and it also means making friends with industry figureheads and influencers to help your business grow and expand. Social media is often the most straightforward form of networking, but you should remember that everything you say is on record. Don’t speak out of line, don’t get into arguments, and watch what you say. While it might be tempting to get frustrated and angry at someone who is criticising your business unfairly, you have to be as professional as possible.

Do you have support from friends and family members?

Every entrepreneur needs a source of inspiration. In most cases, this is going to come from friends and family members that support you in your endeavours. It’s incredibly important to have people to speak to when things are going bad, and to also have people that can give you advice. This could be in the form of a business mentor or just a close friend that is also working in the industry or has run a business in the past. Getting the right support is arguably one of the most crucial steps in living a life of self-employment, so don’t neglect it!

Self-employment isn’t for everyone, but almost anyone can fit the mold of a successful entrepreneur if they’re willing to learn, if they know how to communicate effectively and if they have the right motivation to keep them going. It’s a tough life full of responsibilities, but it can be the best choice you’ve made in your life if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

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Why Move When You Can Expand?

Over time, your home can begin to feel small, especially if you keep bringing more stuff into it. While your instinct might be telling you to move to a bigger place, why not give some thought to expanding instead? Your home has a lot of potential for growth, which will add value to your home and give you extra space.

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Major home renovations, like extensions and loft conversions, are not to be taken lightly. There are some things you should consider before you commit to this significant cost and time commitment and only proceed if you’re truly ready to take the plunge.

Here are some things you think about when it comes to expanding your home.

Work out the costs

Cost can be the biggest factor in deciding whether or not you should move house, or expand. In some areas, particularly big cities, the difference between 1/2 bedrooms or 3/4 can be quite significant. Meanwhile, a loft conversion or extension could be much more affordable while also raising the value of your home. Do a thorough comparison of moving versus expanding to help make sure that you’ve considered all of the options.

Consider the logistics

Make no mistake, a home expansion project isn’t a small job. It could disrupt your home for quite some time before the work is complete. You might be faced with some restrictions as to what you can achieve with your home conversion, and with a loft conversion, in particular, you might face height restrictions, problems with your neighbours (if you share walls) as well as structural issues. Keep your aspirations realistic, and if a loft conversion isn’t right for you, you could always consider adding an extension or expanding your kitchen instead.

Call in the professionals

A large-scale home renovation isn’t an easy job any means, so it’s important that you get professional help and advice to make sure the job is done properly. There are planning permissions to secure and surveys to carry out, and you’ll need to hire architects and builders to get everything done. You can speak to friends and family to get recommendations, as well as to give you a clearer idea of the work involved.

Budget

Once you’ve committed to expanding your home, you’re going to need to start budgeting to make it happen. Having a good savings pot behind you is a good place to start, but home extensions can soon start to cost more money than you initially accounted for. Creating a budget for your home improvement work is important, and you should aim to cut costs along the way. Keep an eye out for bargains on decor items you can get in a hurry like loft hatch next day delivery services to help you save money on those essentials. Budgeting isn’t always straightforward, but if you keep your eye on the prize, it’ll make it all worth it in the end.

While there are many things to consider when planning your home expansion, the benefits are worth it to give you the home of your dreams. If you’ve been thinking about moving to a bigger place, why not take a look at your existing home first and see if transforming it could be the better option for you.

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Are There Too Many Distractions In Your Workplace?

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Are you having trouble concentrating in your workplace due to distractions? Few jobs offer the freedom to focus on one task at a time, however there could well be unnecessary distractions that are making work harder for you and your employees. Here are just a few ways that you can tackle distractions in the workplace and improve workflow and productivity.

Take steps to reduce noise

Some work environments are naturally noisy such as kitchens and construction sites and nightclubs. Offices have no reason to be loud, but some can be due to the whir of machinery and the buzz of people talking to one another. Open-plan offices have become popular as a way of encouraging team communication and cutting costs, but these environments are often very distracting. Introducing a quiet zone to help people concentrate could be worthwhile. As for loud machinery, it could be worth buying machines with a Quiet Mark rating. Sites like Handy Dryers have quiet dryers for bathrooms, whilst you can often get quiet PCs and printers nowadays. You could even introduce headsets for each PC, which can be used for making phonecalls and listening to music quieter.

Contain clutter

Too much clutter has also been proven to be distracting. If your workplace is a mess of files and machinery, it could be worth taking the time to declutter. Start with the stock cupboard and then tackle areas. You might be able to cut down on clutter by going paperless and making all your records digital. This might also allow you to get rid of printer and filing cabinets that are taking up space.

Reduce interruptions from clients

Being interrupted by phonecalls and impromptu meetings can be incredibly frustrating. It’s best to get into a habit of scheduling these events in where possible. Get new customers to communicate by email first and then schedule in phonecalls at non-busy times. You could even outsource a phone answering service such as Moneypenny to take care of incoming calls and filter the important ones to you. As for meetings, schedule these in rather than letting clients wonder freely into your office. You could even find a local coffee bar to host these meetings in so that they don’t have to come to the office at all.

Lay down rules on smartphone use

Many of us can distracted by our phones, reading personal text and opening social media notifications. Some work environments have put a ban on phones. This may not be possible work has to be done on these phones and could anger employees. A more reasonable rule could be to schedule times when smartphones aren’t allowed to be in use, or tell people to mute notifications.

Let employees work from home

Many of us think of home as an incredibly distracting environment, but studies have actually found that people work more productively from home than they do in the office. This could be because there isn’t the distraction of colleagues as well as the pressures of being watched. You can still communicate with employees via instant messaging and video-communication and all files can be shared on the cloud allowing anyone with a password to access them.

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Better Business Starts With Superb Salespeople!

there? Perhaps they give presentations to clients in order to generate leads, or maybe they pitch to customers directly? Either way, if your company uses sales people then there are things you need to do to ensure they can do their job to its best potential. Here’s how you can help them to help you!

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A Smart Phone

Sales people are usually out and about, on the road a lot travelling to places to conduct their presentations and meet with clients and customers. So giving them access to a high quality business smartphone is a good move. Of course, most people have their own these days, but having a separate work phone can avoid distractions and also mean you’re able to check how the phone is being used to ensure the role is being done correctly. For example, you could check the bill to make sure clients and customers are actually being called and contacted. There are different phone plans and options for businesses, so this is something you would need to look into to get the best deals.

A Laptop and Software

One of the most important things that your sales people will need is a laptop (or a device like a tablet, depending on the sales pitch and type of work) and good software. You can get all kinds of presentation software. For larger meetings, you can buy projectors that can be hooked up to devices meaning they can share their presentation easily with a bigger audience. Spending a little more on a powerful laptop that will last is a good investment, be sure to factor in maintenance costs too. Thankfully you can find mobile computer repair companies online, these are able to come to you so wherever your salesperson is at the time they could come out and get things working again. The pitch is an extremely important part of a sales rep’s job, so they need a good laptop and software to be able to present this to customers and clients.

A Company Car

A company car is one of the most popular benefits that you can offer to your employees, particularly those that need to be out and about as part of their role. Investing in company cars for your sales reps is advantageous on a number of levels. First, it makes you look more professional- you could have your business information on the side using car magnets and decals. Not only does this make you look more professional but it’s a good way to advertise too. Secondly, it gives your worker access to a reliable vehicle that they might not otherwise have been able to afford themselves. If their personal car is old and unreliable then this can cause a problem with missing appointments and general lateness due to things like breakdowns. Finally, it allows you to employ the best sales people. You don’t have to rule out those with fantastic potential just because they don’t own their own vehicle. As long as they have a license you’re good to go.

When your sales people have good quality equipment, it allows them to do their job well and means more sales and profit for your company. There’s upfront costs to consider, but the service they will be able to provide and the money gained back in sales is well worth it.

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What Is Form SHO1 And When Should You File It?

The SHO1 form is the return of allotment of shares form and this is a document that must be filed with Companies House as part of the process of allotting shares of your company. The director files this form, and it must be done within one month of the shares being allotted. Once the form is filed and accepted by Companies House, the details from the form will be shown on the public register for your company.

The SHO1 form can be filed by the director electronically or send through post. However, you choose to file it, you must include the same information on the form. Many people find that filing the form electronically is the fastest and easiest way to get it to Companies House. Many formation company agents also offer assistance with this filing and can submit it to Companies House for you if you choose.

The SHO1 form became current in 2009 and since this date, details of new shareholders are not required. This information is however, required when your next confirmation statement is submitted or when your next annual return is due. If you have a series of allotments, you can record all of them on just one form. Be certain that the statement of capital reflects your company’s position following your last allotment.

It is worth noting that your SH01 form does not need to be filed for shares that you issue in your company at the time of your incorporation. This information was provided in your IN01 form. The SH01 form is only for new shareholder information.

You must include correct figures, which could mean understanding certain financial terms such as nominal value, unpaid shares and share premium. Remember that if you are notifying Companies House of a new series of allotments on the same form, you will need to file within a month of the earliest of these allotments. You are permitted to file individual SH01 forms as well, and if you do so then you need to try to submit the forms in the order in which your allotments are processed. This helps you to keep the information up to date as it is shown on public record. It may be easier to wait before submitting a new form until the former form is processed.

After you have submitted your SH01 form, you should ensure that you update your register of members. A company formation agent can help you with this if you need assistance. Most will calculate the updated statement of capital for you and configure the nominal value and share premiums for you, as well. If you have trouble with the paperwork, you can opt for this assistance and most companies only charge a nominal fee for doing so. It is a good way however to ensure that these forms are filed properly and on time and that all of the information that is included on them is correct. The form will be populated and then sent to Companies House electronically on your behalf.

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Finding Female Role Models In Everyday Life

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A good role model doesn’t have to be someone with more experience than you. They don’t have to be better at their work, or even have a greater knowledge than those around them. Instead, this sort of title is given to those with the ability to teach through their actions, living each part of their life in a positive way. This is often a very personal thing, with the achievements of the role model reflecting what an individual wants for themselves. Of course, though, finding people like this can be hard, especially when you’re after a specific gender.

Social Media: Despite the recent backlash social media has faced over issues like fake news and other societal scandals, it remains an excellent place to get in touch with people around the world. There are accounts used for motivational speaking, career advice, and pretty much everything in between. This gives you access to a huge array of different voices and opinions, while also helping you to keep your searching simple. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are perfect for this, as they encourage written posts over images or video. Of course, there is a negative side to this sort of website, and you will have to work hard to avoid being sucked into it.

Education/School: Teachers, past students, and even those in your current classes could be a great inspirational resource when you’re studying. Roles models from an area like this are often a great way to set standards for your own work. Establishments like Leicester High School have made names for themselves for being girls-only. This sort of place will surround you with prime candidates for the job of being your role model. Giving you the chance to compare methods, sharing study time with those you look up to on your course can be a great way to boost your education, while also helping you to make friends in the process.

Working: Like during school, a lot of people will often find their role models in the workplace. Whether they have the job you want or a particular knack for what they do, the people you spend your career around will be one of the best places to draw motivation and a drive from. A lot of companies recognise this, and will use techniques which force people to see each others results. Of course, simply following someone’s lead is much more effective, and you can work on this for yourself. It’s becoming a lot easier to progress and get high-level jobs as a modern woman. Not only does this make your path smoother, but it also gives you the chance to encounter girls already in good positions.

With all of this in mind, finding some strong female role models should be an easy task. A lot of people struggle to know where to start with this, and may not find it easy to drive themselves using others as their guide. With the right effort, though, anyone should have a chance to make a difference like this in their own life.

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Common Mistakes When Searching for a New Job

Searching for a new job can be a challenging enough process without throwing any obstacles in the way yourself. Unfortunately, that is what a lot of people are doing with their job-seeking approach. So, to give you a helping hand, we are going to be discussing a few of the most common mistakes out there when people are searching for a new job. This way, you will be in a much better position to avoid making them yourself.

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Applying with No Plan

Rather than simply applying for any position that you see available, you need to have a clear plan of action before you go any further. Rather than just going for any job that you can possibly get, you need to have a very targeted approach that maximises your odds of getting the positions that you actually want. You could then approach a recruitment agency like http://www.eagleheadhunters.co.uk/ to get the job you are after. Your best approach is to target the job that you really want and the steps that you need to take in order to get it.

Not Paying Attention to Online Presence

When you are looking for a job, you can benefit hugely from having a clearly defined online presence. Remember, employers are increasingly using the internet to do a background search on you, so the last thing that you need is to give them any negative impressions. Your brand is yourself, and you need to do everything you can to maintain and promote a positive image.

Using a Template Resume

Rather than a dry list of what you have done during your working years, your resume needs to say more about yourself. So, you should be talking in detail about the skills you have gained, the problems you solved, and any recognition you received for your achievements. Rather than just describing what you have done, you need to clearly highlight how it has helped you to grow and develop as a person.

Not Researching the Company

You would be surprised how many people still don’t see the questions coming regarding the company that they have applied for. Research the core mission of the organisation, as well as its strengths and the challenges that it faces. As well as the company website, check out what other people are saying about the organisation. The more homework that you have done, the more impressive this makes you look as a candidate.

Underestimating Your Value

The last piece of advice that we are going to give you is not to settle for anything less than you deserve. Make sure that you take the time to find out what similar positions pay, and go into your interview armed with this information. Settling for less actually devalues the entire profession, so don’t all yourself to be undervalued.

If you have been making any of these mistakes when searching and applying for new jobs, now is the time to change all this. After all, you don’t want to end up in a position that you don’t want being paid less than you deserve.

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A Brighter Financial Future

A financially bright future is something we can all but dream of. Well, most of us anyway. It isn’t always easy to be on the straight and narrow with money. When you have a family, a mortgage, and everything else under the sun to pay for, things can just get a little tight. It is something everyone goes through, but doesn’t have to. There are plenty of ways to give yourself a better financial future. It doesn’t involve working extra hours at work, or extreme couponing. All it involves is a bit of patience, cutbacks, and some frugal living. Juggling what you have to is never going to be easy. But we hope the tips below will give you a better and brighter financial future.

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The Basics

Let’s start with the basics. To have a brighter financial future, you first need to secure the present. A money plan is the first place to start. Put together yours and your partners wages. Then take away absolutely everything you have to pay out. From bills, to food shopping, to random family trips out, to fuel. Literally everything that goes out, write it down. What you’re left with is a total of spare money that you’ll have left at the end of each month. If the figure is a lot lower than expected, then we recommend some cut backs. If you know you’re going out each weekend, or ordering food each weekend etc. then change it to a once or twice a month treat. It actually does take up so much more money than you realise. We also highly recommend that you look for ways to cut on household costs. When you have a family, you’ll get through food and toiletries faster than you ever knew possible. So the next time you’re doing your big weekly shop, if you see something on offer, purchase a few of them to save you money in the long run. It might not be much, but every little truly does help. Household bills are something we know will be stressing you out. What we advise is using a comparison website to make sure you’re on the best contract as it is. If you’re struggling to find anything cheaper, then it’s time to make your home cheaper. Smart meters are excellent for showing you how much energy your home is using each day. They could help you monitor and save money each month providing the company you’re with uses them. Try and take shorter showers, and always turn lights and plugs off when they’re not needed.

The Help

There are glorious people out there willing to give you all the help and advice you need for a better future. All you need to do is go out there and find them. If you really are struggling, this is something you’re going to benefit from. Financial planning services are excellent for helping you to understand your money, where you could be saving it, and where you could improve your spendings in the future. Sometimes it is just hard to see where you’re going wrong on your own. There are also online chat services you can try if you prefer to not do it face to face. But visiting someone in person will help to give you a clearer picture.

So now you should have a brighter financial future in your sights. It just takes a bit of patience and self control, something a lot of us can admit we lack when it comes to money!

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Are Your Craving Some Business Growth? It’s Time To Invest In Your Company

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The first twelve months of your business are some of the most exciting and stressful months of your life. You work day and night trying to make sure that your company stays afloat, and when that growth starts coming, it feels like everything is finally slotting into place. However, sometimes things can fizzle out after that initial surge, leaving you feeling dejected and infuriated. What if you could get back some of that fire and energy that helped you make that progress in the first place. Below are three easy ways you can keep your business booming by investing in your company.

Equipment

If there’s one thing that can change the game for your business, it is equipment. The chances are that when you first started out, your equipment financing probably wasn’t at the top of your list of priorities. However, now that you’re a little more established, it might be worth rethinking its importance to your business. You are only as good as the tools you use, and being able to say that you use only the best equipment or tools available will give your company instant kudos. Not only that, but your staff will be more productive with better quality equipment. Comfortable chairs and sturdy desks mean that they can work comfortably and effectively at their computers, top quality manufacturing equipment will allow them to do their jobs quickly and efficiently, boosting your workplace productivity and increasing your profits. The added bonus on top of all of this is that you will likely save money in the long-term, due to the fact that high-quality equipment will not break as easily, meaning that you don’t have to pay for repairs or lose efficiency because your machinery is out of service.

Marketing

Marketing is big business, and it is constantly evolving and changing. If you want to increase your growth, you need to make sure that you are investing wisely in your marketing campaign. You will have seen companies that seem to appear out of nowhere and be instant hits with the public. That is the power of effective marketing. Utilise everything at your disposal: Radio, print, TV, word of mouth, email, and social media. The most effective of all these is quite likely social media. Instant global connections mean that your business or company could well become an internationally known name within a matter of weeks.

Staff

Your staff are the lifeblood of your business; they allow your company to function and thrive in the competitive markets of today. Not only do you want to be certain that you are hiring the most qualified, hardest working staff that you can find, but you also need to make sure that you are helping them to grow. A generous paycheck is not enough to keep staff loyal anymore; they need growth, development, and progression. Invest in training to help make your workforce one of the most effective and efficient teams in the industry.

Hopefully, these tips have helped to spur your business on to greater heights. Any investment will cost money, but the returns you will see on these investments will be well worth the initial outlay.

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3 Ways To Turn Your Hobby Into Your Next Career

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Making that daily commute to work is a bind you don’t feel like making today. The weather outside is grim, your boss is getting you down, and you are tired of being part of the rat race. Still, another day, another dollar, or so the saying goes. You need to eat so going to work is a must! If only you had extra time to do the things you enjoy in life, whatever that may be for you.

Did the above sound familiar? Is your job getting you down? Well, wouldn’t it be great if you could spend more time with your favourite hobby? Guess what? You possibly can, and in this article, we are going to tell you how. Here are the ways you can turn your hobby into a possible career; getting you out of bed in the morning with some level of excitement instead of the dread you have possibly been feeling recently.

1. Use the internet

The internet is a great tool for anybody wanting to make money, and many people have made a steady income from the comfort of their homes. Ideas? If you’re into any kind of craft, you can sell your wares online. Want to broadcast your hobby to others? Start a YouTube channel or begin a blog, and make use of Google Ads to boost your income. Want to teach but don’t want to go back to school? Offer lessons to others, either face to face through webcam or with a subscription to your tutorial website. Check out this website if that interests you. The possibilities are near endless, so do a little research and find an avenue that suits you.

2. Find employment connected to your hobby

Unless you have a niche hobby that nobody else has heard of, you can probably find work that connects to your favourite past time. Enjoy cooking? Then have a look for chef jobs. Good in the garden? Look for work in a garden centre or a flower shop. Have a flair for writing? Perhaps a career as a freelance writer awaits, or a journalism role with your local newspaper. Despite your skills, you may still need to take extra qualifications to get the job you desire, but surely that’s better than being stuck in a job that holds little interest for you.

3. Teach others

We have already mentioned teaching online, but if you’re willing to study and earn a teaching qualification, you could share your hobby with others. We aren’t necessarily talking about teaching kids, either, especially if you don’t want to become a high school teacher. Your local college or community centres will have evening classes centered around a variety of hobbies. Writing, sewing, computing, sports, photography, jewellery making… the list goes on, and you can find out more with a quick Google search of the educational establishments near you. Can’t see your hobby on the college’s current list of courses? Don’t worry, you clearly have a gap to fill. So, if standing in front of others doesn’t phase you, this is a valid option, giving you the platform to talk about what you love, and make money to boot!

Finally

So, there we have it. 3 ways to turn your hobby into a career! If you have managed to do this in your own life already, and have tips for our readers, be sure to let us know.

 

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