When travelling with a baby or even visiting friends or family for the day, a significant number of people still don’t use a travel cot.Whether they sleep with their babies in their beds or use other people’s cots – both of which are widely discouraged by the Foundation of the Study of Infant Deaths – there are still a massive amount of people not using an essential item for your baby’s happiness and safety.And it doesn’t have to be expensive. A basic travel cot can cost as little as £25 and will support you and your baby for years and years.A Safe Place For Your Baby To SleepThe key benefit of a travel cot is that it gives your baby somewhere safe and familiar to sleep when you are away from home.As parents, we all understand the importance of our babies getting regular and good quality sleep, yet the time that sleep is interrupted the most is when you are away from home – a time when you want your baby to have a sound sleep more than ever.A key reason babies do not sleep when they are put to bed outside the home is because they are unfamiliar with their surroundings.Especially when they are very young, a babies’ sense of smell is far more developed than their sense of sight. Therefore, by placing your baby in an environment which smells familiar and then looks familiar with use, you are more likely to ensure that your baby gets a good solid sleep even when they are away from home.By using a cot that has been kept in your home and has sheets that have been washed in the same way as their own cot sheets, the travel cot will quickly become familiar to your baby and will become a home away from home, making them more relaxed and happier to sleep.When you use a travel cot regularly, the baby will understand that when you they are placed in the travel cot it is a time for winding down and going to sleep. Giving your baby this ‘breakout’ from new experiences and bonding them back to something familiar will give them the opportunity to relax their senses, reduce their excitement levels and go sleep far quicker.In fact, some mothers will use their travel cots as a chill out space for their babies and when they become over excited in a new environment, place them in their cot for a while, just so that the baby can regroup, recharge and relax away from all the new stimulants which can become exhausting.Easy To UseThese days travel cots are so compact and light that it is easy to take them with you wherever you go. It can easily fit in the back seat or boot of the car and is far less cumbersome than the average travel system. And when you arrive, compact travel cots take only a couple of minutes to set up and take up little space, which means you can usually fit them in a friend’s bedroom or in the corner of a hotel room and you will always have an environment for your baby that you know is safe, comfortable and familiar for them to be in, making the chances of them being happy with their environment even greater.And if you find that even a standard lightweight travel cot is still too heavy or if space is at a premium, you can always opt for a pop-up travel cot. Usually contained in a bag about the size of a large shopping bag, a pop-up travel cot takes seconds to put up and weighs less than an average large shopping bag making it an ideal cot to take to more remote places or when you will be moving around more often.Helpful in the HomeEven when you are not travelling and are at home, a travel cot can still be incredibly useful.When you first bring your baby home, your baby will sleep for a significant amount of the day at a time when you may not feel ready to be going up and down the stairs to tend to your baby. By placing your baby in the travel cot downstairs for daytime sleeps your baby is able to have their own safe sleeping environment within easy sight and reach of you whatever you are doing.It is also thought that by differentiating a baby’s daytime sleep from their night-time sleep by using a different environment, such as their travel cot in a lighter room than their nursery, babies become used to the long night-time sleep a lot quicker and will sleep through the night at an earlier age.And when your baby is not sleeping, your travel cot can also be used for a safe place for the baby to play. Whether you are keen to protect your baby from pets or boisterous siblings, or just want to keep them and their toys from straying, a travel cot provides a safe and solid surrounding for your baby, to ensure they can relax and play with ease.
The baby boomers comprise a large portion of the market. According to Entrepreneur Media, by the year 2020, twenty five percent of people in the USA will be over the age of 65. As they age, the business opportunities in elderly care are expanding and are expected to increase. Although the number of in-home care and assisted living businesses are increasing, these are not the only areas of growth.Many baby boomers are still active, and they want to keep it that way. Insightful entrepreneurs are looking at what this mature crowd wants, and they are creating anti-aging and health products to meet the needs of the market. There are also companies sprouting up that provide services like organized senior travel and tour groups, active health clubs for seniors and more.Concierge services, bookkeepers and financial planners are also providing much-needed amenities to those who want assistance in making life easier as they grow older. Here are some of the business trends that we are seeing now.In Home CareMany seniors would prefer to remain in their homes than move to an assisted living facility. To meet this growing need, there are lots of in home care businesses and franchises starting up. Some home care services provide medical aid, but many other businesses offer a wide variety of non-medical care assistance instead. Some examples of non-medical care include bathing, grooming, meal preparation, transportation, companionship, chore services, housekeeping and more.Seniors can continue to live in an environment that makes them happy, while family members can rest assured that they are receiving the care and attention they need. If this isn’t enough of a selling point, companies that offer multiple services are additionally attractive simply for the added convenience that they provide.Money and Tax Services for SeniorsBookkeepers, tax consultants and estate planners are also finding opportunities in the senior market. By offering their services to this specific niche market, these professionals can free retirees from having to manage complicated financial tasks themselves. At the same time, they can be helping them save money and spend their savings wisely.Travel and Recreation for SeniorsTravel businesses that offer tours and vacations specifically for seniors are becoming more popular for aging travelers. Not only is the trip planning taken care of for customers, but the specialized travel service caters to the needs of seniors.Although recreation for seniors is nothing new, a growing number of services are being offered, especially for those who want to live an active lifestyle. For example, a fairly new senior health club franchise called Club 50 is designed for people age 50 and over. In addition, more spas are offering services that seniors want, such as hydrotherapy services and cooking classes.Whether you want to start a senior service business or you want to expand your current product or service offering to the senior market, there are opportunities to be had. Publications like Senior Citizens Magazine and Modern Senior Living Magazine can provide clues as to what the market wants. All you need to do is provide the solution.
Let’s start with a quote from Suw Charman-Anderson in a Forbes article published on June 19, 2012.”All this seems to say that success is a matter of luck and is outside of the author’s control. That’s an attractive hypothesis because it takes the onus completely off the author, but it’s not completely true. What does make a difference to sales, especially for first-timers, is getting good reviews in online bookstores, such as Amazon. Your book won’t appear high in search or top 100 lists, and nor will it be picked up by recommendations algorithms without them. Instead, you’ll be stuck in a vicious circle wherein no one sees your book so no one takes a chance on it, which means it gets no reviews and doesn’t rise up in the search results or appear in the recommendations.”The only way to break this cycle is to get reviews, and that means promoting your book. You have to get it in front of friends and family, book bloggers and reviewers, and even random strangers on the internet. Whether you do that via social networks like Twitter or Facebook, or emails to your friends, or giveaways on Goodreads and LibraryThing, you have to do something. There’s just no way round it. Even publishing a second or third book won’t break the cycle, it will just mean you have two or three unknown books that aren’t selling.”Ms. Charman-Anderson makes a very succinct and accurate observation. Four years after this article was published, I think it’s fair to say that most authors are aware of the importance of book marketing, exposure, reviews and rankings. One need only visit a book promotion Facebook group or Twitter page to recognize how many authors are competing to gain visibility through social media, book bloggers and reviewers.Does Book Marketing Pay off?But is any of this actually working? Perhaps, but I imagine the actual number of books that are reaching mainstream readers is very small. To demonstrate this point, I recently visited one of the most prominent book promotion groups on Facebook. At a random date and time, I looked at the first five book listings when I opened the discussion page. Five days later, I checked the rankings for each book on Amazon. I purposely did not include the actual names of the books or authors to avoid embarrassing anyone.This is what I found:Book #1: #3,212,608 in booksBook #2: #238,283 paid in Kindle StoreBook #3: #560,430 in BooksBook #4: #205,932 paid in Kindle StoreBook#5: 1,098,578 Paid in Kindle StoreBook number one and number five are clearly struggling to gain visibility. While the rankings of book number two and number four have some traction, it’s important to keep this in context. In fact, while insight into Amazon’s ranking system is difficult to ascertain, some sources estimate that an Amazon Bestseller ranking above 100,000 indicates that a book is selling less than one copy per day. I imagine these authors are exerting a lot of effort to sell very few books.Book Marketing Without the Sweat EquitySo what does it all mean?Social media, email lists, book signings, book club meetings, writer’s conferences, social gatherings, review solicitations… the path to success for a self-published author can be exhausting. The puzzle of successful book promotion must revolve around the massive potential of a unified self-publishing community. At the Hidden Author, we believe that harnessing the purchasing power of the self-published author’s community, and promoting great books to readers who are unaware of the quality product that is available, is the key to creating the momentum great books need to reach critical mass.After all, wouldn’t you rather write instead of sell?