Friday, September 30, 2011

Why You Should Be Eating Organic

If you have not been filling up your reusable bags with organic produce, you should stop and ask yourself why. There is no question as to whether there is a link between what you put in your mouth and your overall health. By now you should understand that fruits and vegetables are an integral part of your well-being, and should be at least half of what you eat on a daily basis. By consuming the proper amount of fruits and veggies, you ensure that you are receiving many of the vitamins and minerals vital to good living and body function. If you are not filling your store bags with fresh goods, then you may not be treating your body with the respect it deserves.

Fruits and veggies are low in fat and high in vitamins and minerals that help prevent some of the world's most serious diseases such as cancer, Crohn's disease, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. But not all produce items are created equal. In today's food market, there are many produce items that have been tainted with chemical sprays and genetically engineered to look a certain way. Artificial fertilizers may also pose health risks for consumers. Buying organic may be a bit more expensive, but this is money well spent. After all, nothing is more valuable than your health without it, you do not have much.

One of the best reasons to go organic is that chemical pesticides have never been introduced to these produce items. Pesticides may cause long term health problems, including dermatological issues, cancer, respiratory troubles, neurological deficiencies and birth defects. By eating organic, you can rest a little easier at night. There are higher amounts of minerals and vitamins in organic produce items. Your body requires a good crop of vitamins A, C, D and the various B vitamins to maintain good working order. Organic produce is an excellent source of zinc and calcium as well. Because your body is a natural thing in itself, it more readily absorbs these vitamins from natural sources. In addition to being healthier, organic fruits and vegetables usually taste better than those which are not produced using environmentally friendly means. Flavor is not compromised when organic produce is harvested, unlike many other un-organic produce items that are taken from the plant before they are ripe and further ripened with gas.

By eating organic, you will be able to eat with the seasons. This means that your diet will change according to what is in season, and this means that your body will experience different flavors, nutrients and be able to better adjust and create a stronger immune system. If you are eating organic, you are ensuring that your body gets the best possible produce out there, and by taking care of your body you are also ensuring that it will take care of you.

Buying locally is a good way to consume organic produce without going broke. Farmer's markets often offer organic goods at much better prices than one will find in the grocery store.

Stewart Wrighter recently purchased several cases of custom reusable bags for a fundraiser at his restaurant. For more information about reusable bags go to .

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Building Fences For Newbies

If you are in the market for a new fence, you may be thinking about doing it yourself. Depending upon the details of the project, this is something that you may be able to do. However, keep in mind that it will probably take longer that you think it will and it will be harder too. If you do end up installing the fencing on your own, here are some tips that may not occur to newbies.

The first thing that you have to know is that digging the hole is the most important aspect of your fence if you want it to be sturdy. When you start digging holes for the posts, you will discover that this is very hard work. It will be very tempting for you to not make the hole as big or as deep as is typically recommended because of how hard it is. This would be a tremendous mistake and you will regret it at some point in the future. When you get tired, take a break if you have to, but do not stop until you reach the recommended specifications.

Another factor that most new fence builders do not know about is sometimes called the "linger factor". This is when the top or the bottom of the post is not properly coated. This means that moisture will be able to seep into the post. Eventually, this will cause the entire post to rot and it will have to be replaced. Make sure you avoid this problem by properly coating both ends of the post.

Most people know that putting concrete around the post is a great way to make it stable. However, most people do not know that this would not work if you have a wood pole. Concrete cannot stick to wood. If you are planning to do this, it is important for you to coat the post with tar. This will act as a sealer for the post and it will allow the concrete and the wood (through the tar) to glue together to form a very stable base for your fence posts. Once you get the posts set up, you should not nail the slats and rails together right away. The best case is to let it sit and dry out for a day before you do this. Most experts agree that if you want a sturdy fence, it should have three rails to it, not just two.

The top of the fence needs to be put on horizontally. The top rail of the fence is where your eye will go when you look at the fence so this is the most important one. This is the one that needs to be level because the other rails will be put on based upon this one. If the top rail is crooked, the rest of the rails are going to be crooked too. Next, you should install the bottom rail. This should be done based upon the position of the top rail. The middle rail should then be installed between the top and the bottom.

Stewart Wrighter has recently worked with a Connecticut fence company. For more information about Connecticut fence go to .

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Strategic Planning Tool - The Strategy Map

Strategy mapping offers an approach to identifying a vision and strategy that is well-suited to agencies undergoing-or planning on-real change as the result of either internal or external influence (e.g. market change, manufacturing change, competitive change). This process strengthens business resilience by helping organizations dynamically chart the appropriate course by means of unstable and potentially dangerous waters.

Strategy mapping employs a 2-dimensional virtual "strategy map" where the horizontal axis symbolizes time as well as the vertical axis signifies the degree of change intended to impact the enterprise and also its enterprise environment over a period of time (delta of change).

The strategy map is commonly designed via the following steps, all of which are generally individualized to suit a given client's requirements:

1. First, introduce co-workers to the method of strategy mapping by asking them to plot a variety of trajectories of corporations they know. Help them to have an understanding of the various rates of change and distinct trajectories which have occurred inside the past to move specific organizations and industries from one state to another. Help men and women begin to appreciate the range of trajectories that are relevant to their organization.

2. Brainstorm important events inside the future of your business. These are the tipping points that might be transformative to the market and organization. Examples may well be when a essential mass of clients adopts a brand new technology or combination of technologies, when new competitors capture a specific market share, or when new laws and regulations re-shape the enterprise landscape.

3. Make a set of potential finish points, i.e. alternative visions of the organization's future. This exercise, which ordinarily entails small group brainstorming, results in alternative descriptions of the future company environment and also the organization's location within that environment. Using simulated hindsight, groups describe diverse trajectories for the small business, using a story line that captures important points along the way. These stories and headlines describe potentially pivotal moments where key trends impact the organization landscape plus the organization (e.g. new technology, competition, regulation, new enterprise models).

4. Conduct exercises to test people's assumptions about the influence of these key trends. Teams create secondary and non-obvious trajectories and optional end states. People today take into consideration what techniques would best enable the organization to withstand and succeed in many different environments.

5. Create a set of operating assumptions and potential trajectories for the company. Refine the headlines and stories. Create two to 3 strategy curves that represent the "probable futures."

6. According to those assumptions and likely futures, make selections about the company's vision and tips on how to carry out that vision. Develop a set of action specifics to accomplish it. Choose what else must be done to assure the organization's resiliency in the face of the forthcoming change.

By using the technique of simulated hindsight, strategy mapping gives participants a meaningful strategy to engage in conversations about the future. It enables them to take into consideration the future just as if it was an exercise in writing history. By projecting themselves into the future and working backward, employees can have the chance to believe by means of the consequences of distinct trends and factors, single out those which are most significant, and make decisions to strengthen the company.

As of now, there are a few which have made use of strategy mapping with Boards of Directors, in the executive level, with individual organization units, and to achieve cross-functional alignment. This approach enables people in the organization to attempt distinct futures, talk about and observe the positive aspects and drawbacks for each, and then create strategies to manage unanticipated changes. Consequently, these organizations come away using a deeper understanding of its future and an achievable, relevant vision and also a set of action steps to attain that vision.

LRI's strategic planning consultants can help your organization create a strategy map. You can send your inquiry via e-mail to or visit directly or dial (916) 325-1190. You'll obtain a prompt, private reply from one of our consultants.

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Food And Wine: Know Your Pairings

Many of us take to go bags and our wine gift bags home after a night on the town without really being sure if we properly paired our meals with our choice of wine. In fact, many of us experience a shock when the wine we ordered tastes awful alongside a particular meal. But if we know a little bit more about the basics of wine and food pairings, we can begin to understand how to make the most of our nights at fancy restaurants.

There is more than one thing to consider when selecting a bottle of wine. Wine is a complicated subject, as there are many types and one is not often like another. Though a red wine may taste great with pork, you may also find that the same bottle equally compliments your filet mignon. If you are eating fish, you should definitely switch to drinking white wine, as red will easily overpower the entire dish. Although there are standard wine-food pairings, everyone will have a different opinion about each one. This is because we all have different tastes -- it cannot be helped. Do not feel bad if a classic pairing is not to your tastes; everyone must find their own sense of balance in the culinary world. Once you know the basics of pairings, however, you will never again find yourself choking on a wine that would taste delicious if you had only paired it with the correct meal. Wine is meant to be drunk alongside food but not every bottle of wine was destined for marriage with a particular kind of food.

With wine, the simplest way to pair bottles with dishes is to remember that opposites were not meant to attract. Foods that contrast with the flavors contained in a bottle; be it bitter, sweet or acidic -- may not treat your palate very well. Wines with strong flavors are best matched with hearty foods. A delicate bottle of wine should be drunk with a meal that features the same kind of delicacy. The full bodies of a good zinfandel, cabernet or pinot noir are best served with ribs, steak or other rich meats.

On the other hand, a light serving of protein such as that which is found in fish, chicken or pasta should be dished up beside a bottle of white wine. If you love cream-heavy pastas, you should drink a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with them. Oysters call for a chardonnay, while Chenin Blanc will compliment a poultry dish.

Although many people feel overwhelmed by the vast options they have before them on a wine list, correctly pairing food and wine is not very difficult. In fact, if you find yourself at a loss while at a restaurant, you can simply ask for assistance from your server. The same goes for those who are aimlessly wandering the local wine shop simply ask someone who works there. Often specialty stores employ men and women with vast knowledge on the subject matter. By asking, you may even learn something new about the subject.

Stewart Wrighter recently purchased several cases of custom to go bags for a fundraiser at his restaurant. For more information about to go bags go to .

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Deciding Whether To Display The Baseball Cards In Your Collection

Collecting sports cards is a popular hobby. A lot of people collect for fun, but others have turned it into a career. They sell their items at hobby shops and shows, but they never lose their love of actually collecting for their own enjoyment. One of their biggest challenges is determining if they want to display any of their collection or if they would prefer to keep it safe and on storage when they are not doing something with it. Whether you collect baseball, basketball, or football cards, you might want to put some of your favorites on display. This helps you enjoy the collection more and allows other to enjoy the collection, as well. You are able to have your collection be a part of your life, even when you are not engaged in looking at it.

Displaying your collection enables you to provide extra protection for certain pieces. If you have something matted, in a frame, or behind glass, it is likely to be better protected. It will hang on a wall or sit on a shelf, which means it will not be handled as frequently as other pieces in your collection. Displaying your collection is not only a great way to get more enjoyment out of it; the practice could very well extend the life of your collection.

Most collectors have favorite items. They take pride in their entire collection, but as any collector knows, there are always a few favorite pieces. Displaying certain pieces give you a chance to give certain players a place of prominence. Most people pick players from their favorite teams to display. It might be part of a memorabilia collection that includes balls, jerseys, and autographed items. You might also have a few players you like more than others. Creating a display that includes items from your favorite players is a great way to honor them above all of the other players in your collection.

There are some disadvantages to displaying certain items in your collection. Some collectors transport their collections to different locations. If you sell certain items in your collection, you will want to keep it as mobile as possible. Other people belong to groups or clubs that share their collections on occasion. If this is the case, you will be unable to travel with your displayed items. Of course, if you are able to remove the display, you can still bring it along. When determining how and whether or not to put items on display, take your travel plans into occasion.

Finally, you need to make sure your method of display does not cause damage to the item. Protecting the items is just as important when they are on display as when you store them in books or files. Do not assume that just because something is hanging on a wall that it is safe. You need to use acid free paper and the appropriate type of frame to protect the item. You are likely to choose your favorite pieces to display, so you will want to make extra effort to ensure it is completely safe and will not be damaged during display.

Stewart Wrighter recently sold his old football cards to a collector for a nice profit. For more information about football cards go to .

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Can Facebook Succeed Where Ed Milliband Can't?

At this years Labour Party conference Ed Miliband launched a bitter attack on asset stripping companies citing Southern Cross Homes as one culprit. Saying that "We must learn the lesson that growth is built on sand if it comes from our predators and not our producers." He then went on to tell delegates: "We need the most competitive tax and regulatory environment we can for British business. But when I am Prime Minister, how we tax, what government buys, how we regulate, what we celebrate will be in the service of Britain's producers."

The next Labour government would favour charities and companies which could demonstrate a track record in health and "a social ethos underpinning how they are run and organised" said John Healey shadow health secretary. However the Labour Party is less forthcoming with details as to how this variable tax regime will be implemented and regulated.

It is possible to value producer companies more highly than predatory ones and one way to stop it is just a question of changing the way company accounts are drawn up. The way company's accounts are currently structured means there is a tremendous emphasis on current year earnings. This results in the short termist nature of our accounts, it also means that decisions are being made on the basis of those that purely enhance the current years earnings.

In order to stop this we need to bring in softer measures of companies success. Soft measures are often derided because they can't be reconciled, but they can be revealing if used as a comparative measure year-on-year.

One of the problems is that companies are neglecting customer satisfaction to gain quick short-term results. One scenario has been put forward that could solve this issue. Imagine a world where companies are accountable to customers through Facebook customer satisfaction surveys. Imagine a company such as BT having to survey just a tiny percentage of its customers every quarter where customers are given the chance to rate their experience with BT. Given the current state of technology and the percentage of the population signed into Facebook its only a relatively small step and an inexpensive one to survey several thousand customers. One of the best ways to influence a Company's behaviour is to change the items they have to report on in the statutory company reports. If Ed Miliband wishes to succeed then he must change the information companies have to gather when they prepare their reports. It would now be a simple matter to make companies survey customers each quarter when they prepare their earnings results. Independent surveys could be conducted anonymously on Facebook and just the final survey results passed on to the company.

This would mean that the stock exchange would be aware every quarter of these customer satisfaction surveys and so share prices would react immediately depending on the results. Companies would then be a lot more careful how they treated their customers and the market would get an early warning that customers were being treated badly.

For details of more ideas of how predator companies can be penalised and producer companies can be rewarded contact the author.

Mark G Brassington
Author Business Valuation Writer
Tel: 01772 313673

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What Is Direct Response Web Design?

Do you need a website? Or do you have an existing website, and it is not creating leads or converting sales? If answered "yes" to one of these questions, then this article is perfect resource for you. In this article, we will discuss why most websites fail and what you can do to have a website that is a profit center for your business.

Web Design: Why most websites fail?

Most websites are inward facing; they talk about the products/services that the business sells and the business itself. Instead, they should be talking about their customers, their customer's pain, and how they solve that pain.

In addition, most websites are brochure sites and do not focus on conversion. Again the websites are internally focused, instead of focusing on how to generate a lead or make a sale.

Web Design: Direct response websites - What are they?

Direct response marketing is a form of marketing where the marketer intends to create a specific, measurable action. A direct response website is a website that is focused on generating a lead or making a sale…and that's it!

A direct response website will be written and designed for the customers. The copy and design, including words, images, colors, and fonts, will be selected to reflect the psychological profile of the customer. Matching the website to the target market is critical for building a relationship and getting the desired conversion, whether it be an opt-in or purchase, from the target market.

Web Design: Direct response website - Why should you care?

In short, a direct response websites convert better than brochure websites. The top online marketers use the direct response methodology, and so should you…at least if you want to make money.

A Word of Caution

Please note that most web developers do not understand direct response web design. If they do not ask you about your conversion goal in the opening meeting, then run for the hills. You can spend ten-thousand dollars quickly on a brochure website with zero return on investment.


Before you build a website or redesign an existing website, consider what you want to do with the site. Are you looking to generate a lead or make a sale or make a nice brochure? In addition, you should define your target market and understand their psychology. With this information, you can create a site that will match your marketing goals.

Looking to redo your website? Need a website for a new business? KCC's Denver web design builds sites that sell.

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Some Of The Options You Have To Light Your Pictures

Have you ever wondered why the Academy Awards has awards that specifically dedicated to people who provide great lighting for the movies? It is because lighting is important. It can set the mood of the scene, highlight certain people or just make it easier for your eyes to watch. The same thing applies to lighting in your home and it is even truer when you are talking about picture frame lighting. The LED picture light or art light that you use for some of your favorite pieces will make a huge difference in how they are seen by your visitors.

The way that you chose to light your favorite art pieces will show people what you think of them. If you do not have any special lighting set up, it says that the picture on your wall is just like every other picture on every other wall in your home. However, if you have special lighting set up for certain pictures, it shows pretty clearly that you think it is a special piece that you want them to look at. Having the right kind of lighting can actually make the difference whether your visitors even see your art work or not. If you put a spot light or a light on the frame, when people walk into the room, the very first thing they see will be the beautiful picture that you have on your wall. If you do not have any lighting set up to highlight the picture, people will walk into the room and see the room.

You can accomplish this type of a presence in several different ways. Some people prefer to use a spotlight method. This entails adding a spotlight in your room and having it pointed at the picture or piece that you want to highlight. This type of light is usually put on the ceiling, but they can also go on the floor or even on a bookcase or a table of some kind. Another great option that has become very popular is to install a small light on the frame of the picture. This really gives your art work a professional polish and makes it look fantastic. Some of these have a cord that runs down the wall to be plugged in. If you do have a cord, you can sometimes paint it the same color of the wall to hide it a little bit.

However, others are run on batteries so that you do not have to deal with things like the cord hanging down. These usually end up looking great, but the lights usually do not last for very long since they are running on batteries.

If you really want to make your picture and the room to look its best, you should hire an electrician to put in a special plug in the wall behind the picture. This will allow you to not have any cords at all, but it will be electric light so that it will be on as much as you want it to be on.

Stewart Wrighter is an entrepreneur who runs a large group of websites that specialize in high end items such as picture frame lighting. For more information about picture frame lighting go to .

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Outsource SEO Services

Companies today are taking advantage of Search Engines for Web marketing success. You can Outsource SEO services for your company or business to make the most of e-commerce opportunities. These services have experts who are specialized in Search Engine Optimization to put your company in the right category and rank higher online. The services will ensure that your website has the right content, the best keywords to improve your ranking and well written PR articles or press releases coupled with product descriptions that sell. This is what your business depends on to get more sales when it comes to online marketing.

Both products and services companies will benefit from Outsource SEO services since each will get the best description to help their particular company increase business via the web. Internet marketing and advertising uses SEO to get more customers and hence make more sales. The use of least competitive keywords will give you an edge over your competitors and when you outsource SEO services, you will be equipped with the right tools and skills to give you this. Using the latest Wordpress software, this service is able to get you contents and product descriptions that will make people online notice you faster. This requires the use of the most appropriate catchy keywords to describe your services and products.

Keywords play a significant role in deciding your search engine rankings. If you need to choose the best keywords, go for online keyword finder tools. You need to choose keywords that will face the least competition, yet are popular at the same time. Your SEO services will help you choose the best keywords, as they are well experienced in this field. Their experienced staff will provide you with content based on the chosen keywords. Long tail keywords are preferred type of keywords.

Besides capturing customers to your web posts and pages, the service will also ensure that they get the right information through captivating phrases and content material. When you outsource SEO services, you stand a chance of getting skilled personnel who are trained in web marketing skills to give you strategies that you need to get the most of e-marketing. Whether you need simple web or blog posts, product descriptions or press releases, the services ensures that people click on your posts at the highest rate. The services are easy to access from any part of the world. This saves you time and resources, which you can invest elsewhere as your business grows from the web advertising.

This company also takes advantage of the social networking sites to get more traffic to your online posts through the proper links. Through maximum use of the right keywords, the services direct people to the right links associated with your products and services. More people liking your offers will most likely refer their friends to your link and this means more money for you. To get the most of e-marketing services, outsource SEO services from the best yet affordable provider. This will help you cope in today's competitive and technologically advanced business world.

Trying to find a local SEO expert? Then make sure you trust a real expert with years of experience and don't be fooled by other SEO companies who guarantee you SEO results that are too good to be true. Find out more today and get the SEO results you deserve.

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An Interviewers Guide To Interviewing

It tends to be looked at from the candidate's prospective, but interviews are just as important to the interviewer as the interviewee. Possibly the most important piece of the selection decision, it is tough from every angle but we will look how an interviewer should brace himself for the meeting.

The first thing to do is decide how best to approach the situation, and there tends to be four main ways of interviewing:

- Relaxed - Some interviewers like to put the interviewees in a relaxed mood during an interview. To do this you need to make the room inviting, and start with an informal conversation or a drink. Round tables are recommended because this makes for an informal and comforting setting. Remove florescent lighting from the room and try to remain calm from start to finish. Younger candidates tend to find this approach used on them.

- Intimidating - If you don't want to relax your candidates, then don't be afraid to intimidate the interviewee. This is what people do to find out how a potential employee handles stress and hostility in a confined area. By sitting across a large desk, make sure that you look far more powerful than the candidate. Don't forget to take charge from the beginning, and be sure to ask unnerving questions.

- Friendly - Not a very popular approach among the recruitment agency circles, friendly interviews are used to put a potential employee at ease and see how they work when not stressed. By using a different employee first, you remove the idea that interviews are full of stress and help to make a natural conversation.

- Panel - Becoming increasingly popular today, using more people than just yourself in an interview. This is good for making sure that all bases are covered. By talking to different personalities at separate times during an interview, you can witness many sides. The main plus is that there will be alternative opinions on people and this helps to give a more rounded view on who to use.

These are four of the best ways for separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of candidates for the job that your agency is recruiting for. A couple of things to remember are: make notes of questions during an interview and always ask open-ended questions that lend themselves to descriptive discussions between.

Finding a Denver retained search firm isn't always easy. Get an advantage in the recruitment game with -

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Earn Extra Income Online - Some Ideas and Tips

More and more people would like to earn extra income, especially during these times of uncertainty. None of us are immune to the economic difficulties and it is but natural to think of creative ideas to generate some extra cash.

Earning extra income, especially via online means, is actually possible. Proof of this can be seen by the countless affiliate bloggers and marketers who have successfully established online businesses that have become their main source of income.

Knowing how and where to start is the important thing. If you are an aspiring internet marketer, you have to be aware of the risks involved in going on business over the internet. Scammers and bandits abound in the online wilderness. Some of us may have fallen for the promises of so-called "internet marketing gurus" who promised immense wealth as long as we sign up for their $1,997 training/coaching program. You have to be aware that more often than not, these coaching programs are not applicable to everyone.

To earn extra income online, rather start off slowly and steadily. It is a good idea to start with online business opportunities that don't involve spending a lot of money. Once you learn the tricks of the trade you can then start to invest in your own domain name and hosting service, premium blog themes and paid auto-responders.

So how does one start to earn money online? There are many options and you can start with those that need as little investment as possible, such as starting a free blog, marketing your services online and taking online paid surveys.

Firstly let's take a look at the free blog. It is easy to start a blog on,, and focusing on your hobby or your special skills. You can write about your passion as this will make you an authority on the subject. Post product reviews that you can embed with affiliate links so that you can earn commission from sales resulting from clicking your links.

Get involved in blog commenting and post comments in other blogs, ensuring that your blog's URL is in your signature so that you can attract some clicks. Make use of your free blog as a learning platform where you can experiment with layouts that can attract readers.

Also you can use the same blog as a way of polishing your writing skills. When you have developed the skills of writing traffic-friendly blog posts you can consider going for more sophisticated options like your own domain name.

Secondly, you can market your professional services online. It's a fact that there are thousands of online entrepreneurs who need writers, researchers and virtual assistants. You can have the option of accepting work only during your spare time and earn extra income.

Thirdly, you can take online surveys. It is a good idea to sign up with multiple survey companies and if you fit the target demographic for a particular survey, you can then earn points that can be exchanged for cash upon reaching a certain total.

You can get a lot of extra income ideas by researching online. The good thing about this is you don't need to invest a lot of money at the start.

Cynthia Minnaar, the owner of invites you to visit her online business ideas website where she will share a variety of extra income ideas. Click here:

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4 Easy Ways To Developing Disk Storage Sleeves

It's best to set up disk storage by preparing your plastic-type sleeves, placing discs inside the sleeves, ensuring to only incorporate one disc for each sleeve, and finally by checking each sleeve before reinserting a disk inside it.

Creating disk storage is done in a few ways. This is important to safeguard your special disks so they would be able to perform well for an extended time.

Put together plastic-type sleeves

The very first thing you have to do in order to setup disk storage sleeves is to get a brand new set of CD vinyl envelopes to place your discs in, if you could; nevertheless, old ones would also do.

Place Cd to the plastic-type sleeve

Slide your compact disk to the sleeve, while making sure that the side containing the data, which is the sparkly area, faces to the part of the sleeve having the cloth. This information side is the most vital area of the compact disc because it is the location where the information on the compact disk is secured. This area is so delicate that even a little scrape on it would affect the disks performance or possibly cause it to become unplayable.

Include just one disk for every sleeve

For each sleeve, set just one disc inside. Never place two or more disks in the sleeve simply because that makes having a sleeve at all pointless. When 2 bare disks are put against one another, they'll possibly scratch each other's surfaces, possibly destroying them and leading them to skip when played or not able to be played in any way.

Examine each sleeve just before reinserting disc inside it

Prior to putting a disc inside of a sleeve, check the interior of your sleeve carefully for any kind of dust particles. For brand new sleeves, there may only be a really little possibility of the presence of any dirt, but for the sleeves that are already utilized, the chance will be higher. Either way, you would like to ensure that there are no dust particles found. The explanation for this is because small particles in the plastic sleeve could rub against the surface of the disc and result in scrapes. You should pay particular attention to the cloth area of the sleeve for the appearance of particles or dust because that's the part which the information surface of the disc will be facing. If dust or debris trigger scratches on the disk then a disk player may have a hard time reading the data on the disc, which could cause skipping or the incapacity to read the disc at all.

Our belongings are really precious to us, and disks in particular. Not just because we spent cash to possess them or simply because they were offered to us as gifts, but mostly because they are one of our sources for entertainment. Thus, it is imperative that we take good care of them, so they can continue to serve us at their best for a long time to come.

Written by Patricia Strasser. If you wish to learn more about vinyl envelopes, go to

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Blast Your Way To More Creative Decorations

Domestic and commercial decorations come in many styles and materials. One way to really spruce up your home with a personalized touch is to etch a pattern into some kind of hard material such as glass, concrete, or stone. To do this, a special material is used to protect the area around the etching. This material is called the sandblast resist. The design is cut or carved into the material, and this is called the sandblast stencil. There really is not limit to the designs that can be created with this material using this method.

Most hard surface materials can be treated or "cut" with this technique. The only substance that cannot be used is diamond, simply because diamond is harder than the abrasive material that is used to cut the pattern. Not only is the technique used for decorating areas of the home, such as the glass in the front door or the house number carved into the concrete walkway up to that door, but it is used for such applications as gravestones and cleaning old metal and painted wood surfaces.

The application is accomplished by using a pattern cut into the protective sheet in the design that will end up as the decoration. The pattern can usually be cut with simple cutting tools like x-acto knives or razor cutters. Once the pattern is complete, the protective sheet is placed over the surface that will be etched. By using air pressure, the particles of abrasive media are blasted into the decorative pattern, etching into the hard surface. The closer the air blasting nozzle gets to the surface, the deeper the etching becomes. Moving closer also narrows the area being etched, allowing more intricate work. Etching away more of the surface in small areas gives more depth and texture to the finished work. The part of the surface that is covered is not etched at all. The end result is a pleasing decoration that will last a lifetime.

While hard surfaces can be treated with this technique, you can also etch surfaces of materials that are not as hard and get decorations that are smaller. Basically, the harder materials include the above-mentioned glass, stone and concrete, but steel, aluminum, silver, and other metals can be decorated. The most common softer materials that are etched include wood and plastic. Oddly enough, the abrasive materials used for the soft substrates can even include glass beads, plastic pellets, and walnut shells. Common use of softer surfaces that are treated like wood and plastic are commonly seen as wall decorations or even as art. House numbers etched in wood and painted make a nice decoration displayed next to the front door. Many restaurants have used this type of decoration to display a theme for their establishment such as numerous hangings throughout the restaurant with seafood and ocean scenes.

Using this blasting technique can be a cost saver for commercial enterprises like restaurants. The patterns are easy to cut, and can even be designed by a graphic designer on a computer and cut into the desired patterns by a computer aided design application. Of course, this is all done by a commercial operation that specializes in such designs, but the cost-savings really can be significant while producing decorations that are specifically created with that restaurant in mind.

Stewart Wrighter recently worked with a sandblast resist firm as he sought quotes for an abatement project. For more information about sandblast resist go to .

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Your Deadly Inbox

This sounds like it's going to be a lecture on phishing scams or spam email, but that's not the case at all. This is a warning on the hidden dangers of what YOU do with your inbox, not what others put in it!

We're all told of the importance of multi-tasking but, sometimes, its career limiting and even potentially fatal - to you and others around you. Recently, I was chatting over coffee with a senior executive, who proudly demonstrated his 'technique' for using his thumbs and forefingers so he can read and reply to email while driving. I told him how dangerous this was, but he didn't seem overtly concerned. Think of it this way, even if you survived, could you live with yourself if your actions caused the death of another, particularly a child?

According to Federal data, an estimated 16,000 people in the US have died in accidents caused by drivers sending text messages while driving between 2001 and 2007. The fact that 39 states have now banned texting/emailing at the wheel doesn't appear to have deterred the majority. E-mail is convenient, immediate and can almost be classed as addictive.

However, it could also be the last thing you do.

Recent research by AOL reported that over 50 percent of respondents admitted to checking their email when driving, despite the fact that a new study done by the Transport Research Laboratory for the British Royal Automobile Club Foundation appears to confirm that texting behind the wheel can be more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol. You wouldn't drive after drinking, so why would you answer your email? People used to be extra cautious after midnight on the roads, in case some of their fellow road-users were under the influence of alcohol. But this new trend isn't just a worry for the small hours - texting and emailing while driving is a risk at any time. Researchers as part of a British study observing drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 found their reaction was slowed by 35 percent when they were writing or reading text messages. That's more than twice the slowed reaction time after drinking alcohol. They also found that drivers who were texting were also less able to maintain safe distances from other cars and tended to drift out of their lanes. Does this worry you as much as it worries me?

We are regularly putting ourselves and everyone around us on the roads at a very serious and real risk of hard by the simple task of checking our email in unsafe situations.

Because of our 24/7, 'always on' communication networks, many workers feel compelled to be continually 'wired in to the network', regardless of what else they might be doing at the time. We all can, and should, do more to prevent senseless accidents and needless deaths on our roads. Employers need to reinforce to their staff the need to put the PDA down while behind the wheel but, most importantly, we all really need to STOP, THINK, and take control of own behavior, and that of our loved ones and our colleagues. We need to readdress our priorities and put our basic need for safety ahead of our desire to stay connected and our obsession with new technology.

What is the cost of doing this? An hour's delay responding to a message? 5 minutes to pull over and take an urgent call or respond to a message?

What is the cost of not doing this? You'll never know until the unthinkable happens, but it can be catastrophic.

Make a promise to yourself today to stop texting while driving, and to be adamant with others around you to do the same, the same as we all did with alcohol all those years ago. No exceptions. No tolerance. The life you save could be your own.

To find out more about the National findings, visit To read the complete AOL Study, visit

Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC is CEO of The Egan Group, Inc., a Reading, PA based professional coaching firm. She is a certified workplace productivity coach and professional speaker, specializing in leadership development and can be reached at or visit

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Searching For New Office Space - Check Out These 5 Points

If it's the case that you are interested in investing in office space rental and would like some helpful information, there are many useful facts worth knowing about this that will put you in a splendid position with regards to weighing up a possible company, or perhaps merely expanding your knowledge base.

Listed below are 5 of the most essential and useful facts to be clear on when searching around for a excellent, trusty office space agent. There are naturally some additional points worth careful consideration but those discussed below in my view are the most crucial.

1. One of the main reasons office space rental has become so popular is partly on account of the great choice of organisations who offer first-class quality, superb value space. The more reliable firms will additionally offer top quality technical backup and superb pre-purchase advice.

2. On account of the more advanced websites currently online that are offering a wealth of information to the prospective customer, the rental experience is definitely made less complicated. Detailed explanations, images and film clips all help us to have an improved understanding of the rental sector prior to any future rental.

3. Some of the companies include testimonials and recommendations on their websites and printed material relating to satisfied clients. Don't underestimate their importance, especially if copies of original testimonial letters could be made available should you wish to see them.

4. If you have ever had the need to communicate with an office providers or agents prior to a possible purchase, what was the person like you seeked help from? A friendly helpful company individual who made every effort to answer your questions and help you is a good sign for the post-purchase communication that you may need. A business who appear to not care a jot could be worth giving a wide birth.

5. Perhaps it will be worth checking out a few relevant commercial property magazines for editorials or any kind of company reviews or recommendations. With this being an independent review, these can be of excellent value to you before making a decision to purchase and are definitely worth keeping a look out for. A number of businesses will list any magazine reviews on their websites.

An extra point worth mentioning is that it's not always the right move to hand over your order to an old established company. Of course there are many advantages in going this route but by limiting your choice to only these companies you are going to be missing a few superb newer, very professionally run agents. Quite often the the new kids on the block have better, current methods as they tend to be far less stuck in their dated ways.

The author works in the digital design industry and is currently based in Surrey in the UK. For some excellent examples of competitive office space he recommends visiting The Waterfront, Elstree at:

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Non-Traditional Professionals Take to Online CPE Courses

Everyone has heard of online CPE courses that help the medical and legal personnel remain in good standing with his or her accreditation agencies, but how many ever imagined such requirements of fitness professionals? No joke: even health club workers are now expected to maintain a certain level of knowledge about developments in the field!

That's right; those guys and gals whose job it is to get their clients in shape. That's right; "those people!" At least if organizations like the venerable American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE) will have their way. The "CPE" in the term "online CPE courses" denotes "continuing professional education." Now most folks don't think of personal trainers as professionals at all - performing heart surgery is a profession; encouraging people to exercise their hearts and lungs is a job. Right?

Not according to the likes of the ACSM or ACE. Due to the fast pace of new discoveries in the field of human health and fitness, the industry wants to make things a lot more professional, more academically rigorous, more upscale and high-value. But such efforts may have hit a plateau. ACSM pioneered the idea of certifying fitness workers back in the 1950s, but even today not much of an industry standard exists - such that most online CPE courses for trainers, coaches, and other industry job titles remain the monopoly of the organization certifying them in the first place.

In fact, certification is only meaningful for insurance purposes. Everyone else, really, don't quite have the perception of trainers as "professional" in the sense of the traditional professions, no matter how hard the certifying authorities try to change that view. Turnover is high while the quality of trainers, despite certification, is often low; many franchise gyms hire teenagers - kids - to advise clients paying eighty dollars and up an hour (of which only twenty to forty go to the trainer).For one thing, many chain gyms have college kids working as personal trainers: hard to see a doctor, lawyer, or accountant regarding such workers as fellow "professionals!"

Okay, having said all that, it's still a nice thing to have, the certification. After all, it shows that the person who holds it has done some homework, so to speak! It's better than nothing, certainly. The most reputable certification-granting organizations in the fitness industry require candidates to successfully complete multiple-choice exams of a hundred questions or so. Though such exams are not too difficult, they do demonstrate that certain standards are in place and must be met for many trainers! But again,all this isn't to be taken too seriously, either.

Article by Paul Wise, who recommends for quality Online CPE Courses at discount prices!

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How To Perform Competitively In Sales

Producing an error free product by combining error free component parts can only happen if all of the organisations people participating in the manufacturing process are willing to ensure total co-operation between themselves. These vitally important qualities of willingness and co-operation cannot be recorded in actual percentage figures or given monetry value. They can not be ordered from your local supplier and they do not appear on any organisations annual report. In selling similar un-quantifiable factors are also increasingly important in determining actual sales results. It has been argued that they are just as important as the more traditional statistics such as product price, delivery times, etc. This sales training guide provides some suggestions on this question how can you ensure you perform competitively in these un-quantifiable areas?

Make patience a virtue again. Sales goals are often short-term results and increase turnover today rather than tomorrow. The consequences of this approach are:

Reports reflect the figures and statistics relevant to the reporting period, but ignore client development and the positive results of "support expenditure".

Seeking to extend turnover is often misinterpreted as seeking to acquire new clients: but this costs five times more than it does to nurture your existing client base.

Seeking to attain short-term turnover goals impairs the ability, both on the part of the sales department and the client, to think and act on a long-term basis.

There is no room for innovation if salespeople try and attain their targets in as streamlined a fashion as possible, due to bureaucracy and official channels.

Those who spend their time dealing with clients need to have good ideas and new ways open to them. Try not to put too many obstacles in their path or bombard them with an overabundance of ineffective forms.

Everyone needs to pull together and in the same direction. At the end of the day this is an information problem and a question of awareness. A common sales training session can help. If everyone is aware of the central issues affecting the company, its corporate goals, and the competitive climate, motivation will no longer be a large obstacle to overcome.

In-house communication is the cornerstone of establishing trust and being successful. Studies show that: More than 40% of company employees complain that they get too little information and the little they do get arrives too late. The form and arrangement of information must satisfy the needs of those receiving it. If the requisite information has to be wrested from a large volume of other information, the person receiving the information is often happier to go without.

Here are a few tips on creating an efficient information culture:

Eliminate the obstacles that prevent the distribution of important information.

When distributing important information, do not wait until it is in a nicely printed, presentable package.

Give every salesperson the requisite information so they can act on it immediately.

When distributing important information outside your company - irrespective of who issues it, make sure that your company appears to be speaking in one voice.

In many branches of trade and industry, technical quality and product form are offering fewer opportunities of distinguishing yourself from your main competitors. The way round this is to define and develop your client relations in the long term.

Set up ad hoc project teams for larger or more complex sales cases, which are disbanded on completion.

Eliminate unnecessary admin tasks, which waste time and energy without actually helping salespeople. Strive to create a climate of trust and reliability based on the "I'm okay - you're okay" school of thought. Open exchanges of information contribute a great deal to the establishment of trust.

Too many sales managers have the fatal tendency of ignoring facts that are not contained in the annual report with corresponding figures attached to them. Sales success depends not only on how much sales training you provide to the sales force, but also to the amount of effort you put in to addressing the above key points.

Richard Stone a Director for Spearhead Training Ltd that runs management and sales training programmes aimed at improving business performance. You can see more information at =>

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How to Make Address Labels

Copyright (c) 2011 Joe Maldonado

Have you ever been so close to finishing a mailing and then had to spend hours trying to make the labels, only to finally have someone to help you, or do it for you? You don't like other people to choose what's best for you? Now you can make your own address labels in the comfort of your home. Using address labels looks much more professional than writing addresses by hand. There are lots of computer applications or programs which can help you creating the address labels you like and you can also customize the envelope any way you want to suit your needs.

You will need to choose what kind of label you want to print. Usually, this corresponds to a number found on the packaging of the labels. Then, you will be prompted to select the data file. Choose an existing file and click on the address file you previously saved. It is important that you preview your work to make sure the spelling is correct, as well as the spacing between the address labels. Of course, you can go back and make corrections. The next step is to print your labels on a plain piece of paper, to review your work and to prevent wasting a sheet of labels. Proof the addresses, making sure the print size is right, the spelling is correct and the layout is ready for mail. Print the labels on the label sheets you have chosen. You will be asked to save the file; you can choose to save the address-label file or to delete if you don't want to use it again. Your original spreadsheet will remain intact, and can be accessed again later for another mail merge. To add a bit of sparkle and polish to your labels, you can format the text and add graphics, or a background color.

It is easier to have a label printer. It is ideal for your home, home office or business setting. It allows you to print cost-effective paper labels quickly and easily. They are available in a variety of models, include label creation software, and can print labels with bar codes, graphics, logos and even pictures. The label creation software and printer drivers come with the printer in the box. Software versions may vary by machine. This software guides you through every step of the installation process. The next step once you have installed, connected and turned on the printer to your computer is to drop in one label or tape roll into the machine. All the machines have starter rolls of labels. Starter roll types available in the box may vary by model you purchased. Additional rolls are available with separate purchase. Creating more than one sheet of labels makes you use a mail-merge process. After you get the process done, it isn't all that difficult.

You can make address labels for everyone on your mailing list, with the holydays occasion, as well as make your own personalized return address labels for your business. Either way, creating your own personalized address labels is a good solution if you want to spare money and also be creative.

Next, get the best foil labels from the best source at:

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How To Minimise Fraud

Many millions of pounds, most of which is uninsured, is lost by companies through fraud. Fraud can occur at all levels within a company - from senior management to office juniors. Some departments in a company such as sales, purchasing and computer operations are likely to be more susceptible to it than others. Whilst not usually seen as a topic on management training courses, fraud detection and prevention is the responsibility of the management team. This article discuses this subject and provides some tips on fraud prevention.

As the place of the fraud changes so too does the type, ranging from fictitious overtime by employees to fiddling expenses and theft of company assets by senior management. Not even "the Big Boys" can resist the temptation to succumb to fraudulent behaviour.

The solution to the problem is quite clear, although it is often difficult to achieve. The old maxim which says, "Prevention is better than cure" is particularly applicable in this instance. A lax attitude by the management can lead to the occurrence of fraud. If staff see that there is little or no chance of being detected or even prosecuted, then they will be more inclined to deceive the company.

It is clearly the management's responsibility to ensure good practices are in action. This can be done via a company policy which categorically states what the company will or will not tolerate and what procedures will be initiated if fraud is detected. Internal management training should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure everyone in a supervisory position understands and can apply these policies.

Each company should have an internal control system which is the responsibility of the management and which covers all areas of operation within the company.

All new staff who are recruited to the company should be checked out thoroughly, prior to and at the interview; references and qualifications should be examined and relevant points discussed during the candidate's interview. Similarly, employees leaving the company should be checked. By ensuring that all company property (ID cards, door keys, security passes) has been retrieved and access to company information is restricted, you will be lowering the chances of fraud taking place.

In addition, internal control systems should be regularly updated. Some form of control over cash and other valuable assets should be introduced. Develop a hierarchy of authorisation for everything that is requested (materials, cash etc). Try to organise and segregate each person's duties. Strike a balance so that fraud becomes impossible. In doing so, however, do not let overheads rise - an interesting challenge for all members of the management team.

Company policy must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is still effective and applicable given changes which may or may not occur within the company.

A company survey of potential risks is usually made up of three parts:

A review of the present internal control system and assessment of its effectiveness.

Investigation of specific areas where problems or potential dangers are discovered.

Decisions on how best to minimise/ reduce these risks and what action to take when fraud is discovered.

Carrying out such a survey has been shown to considerably lower the risk of a company being subjected to fraud. No amount of management training will substitute for a healthy dose of commonsense when tackling potential fraud risk. Well thought out practices can minimise the risk of fraud happening but cannot eliminate it, so it is sensible to be well prepared legally.

Richard Stone ( is a Director for Spearhead Training Limited that specialises in running management training courses to improve business performance. Richard provides consultancy advice for numerous world leading companies. View more details at =>

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Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

The manner in which you market your business will definitely influence just how prosperous it is in the long run. In the case of most small companies, marketing is the determining factor between good results and failure. A good number of small business proprietors simply don't consider marketing to be important, and certainly don't consider them selves to be marketers.

In a lot of instances, because new business owners have almost nothing in the way of marketing knowledge, they simply disregard the requirement for marketing in their company and instead rely on their specialised skills to deliver and hopefully grow the business. Lack of marketing understanding is not an excuse for not marketing your company!

Why are many small business owners so unwilling to pay money for business related training to be able to enhance their skills and chances of success? It tends to make no sense whatsoever! After all, when they need to learn to play the guitar or to play tennis, they have no problem having to pay for classes?

Marketing training or consultancy ought to be regarded as a key investment in any business. When you grow to be better than your competitors at marketing, you are practically certain to succeed.

I suspect many proprietors make the error of thinking that marketing is merely another word for advertising, and that marketing has got to be expensive. These beliefs are both a long way from the truth. Marketing entails a lot more than merely advertising and definitely doesn't have to be expensive, actually a lot of small business marketing approaches are extremely cheap to implement.

Therefore just what does marketing involve?

Marketing essentially addresses each and every aspect of your company that touches your client. Your customer communications, your customer service, your charges, your product and naturally your advertising all fall under the marketing umbrella. To be successful, you have to be outstanding in all of those areas, not only in advertising as many assume.

When you communicate much better than your competition, when you offer an improved client experience than your rivals and when you provide a better product, you'll not only develop your business much more rapidly, you will also have the ability to charge a lot more too! Pair these areas of excellence with efficient advertising and your success will probably be greatly accelerated.

Marketing is a process of ongoing improvement that will drive your company to the head of your niche and keep you there. The more marketing ideas and improvements you are able to put into action inside your company the more cash you will make. You need to be continually searching for new suggestions and also to improve your own marketing abilities and know how if you would like your business to become a long term winner.

Download our freeMarketing Ideas report instantly and uncover how you can start making much more money with your company immediately! These methods will change the way you do business permanently! Grab it at

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What Your SEO Expert and SEO Methods Can Do To Help Your Website To Flourish

SEO services can do something for your business to grow; you should read this article for you to fully understand everything. Every business today can certainly grow with the help of these SEO companies. Some of the most popular search engine optimizers are, MSN, Yahoo and of course, Google. Today, the big advantages of internet marketing are the reason why more and more businesses are turning to the use of the internet when it comes to marketing their business. These search engines are the ones who are helping these businesses to achieve the success that they want. But, for you businesses to succeed on the internet, you should fully understand everything first about the search engine optimizers. You can undergo training where you can learn the things that are needed for internet marketing, or you can also get your own search engine consultant. Undergoing some training will also help businesses to have goals that are long term, and for them to be guided in this kind of marketing.

For people who are planning to attend training, I suggest that you research first about what a search engine optimization company and look into a free SEO report. The people who are visiting the internet are the ones who are helping your website to be optimized, and the ones responsible in optimizing it is the SEO. Your website will be on top of the list, because the search engine optimizer will help your business' site to gain a lot of traffic. The keywords and the terms that people are searching will help your website to be on top of the search engine optimizers.

You will surely have the audience that you need for your business, as the search engine optimizer will let put your site where your target audiences are.

SEO techniques are helping businesses to be more visible to a lot of people today and that is why more and more businesses are trying internet marketing. The increased in the sales and in the visibility have helped businesses to grow, and the search engine optimizer is the one responsible for this. This is the main reason why business owners are all trying the goodness of search engine optimization services.

Search engine optimization will not only help them grow as a company, but will also help them to get their profits. This is certainly true, because in every part of the world, the internet can be accessed. All of the people who are visiting the internet, and each of them who are using the search engines can possibly see your business' website.

You can now decide whether your business will work on the internet, now that you are done reading the advantages of SEO or the search engine optimizer. If you are worrying about the money that this search engine optimizer will cost you, then stop worrying because this is cheaper than advertising on the television or the billboards. Now, start achieving the success that you want for you and your company by using the search engine optimizer for your business.

As your SEO services, SEO Shrink can help your website to flourish . Find out more about how your search engine optimisation company will kickstart your business

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Some Advisable Marketing Ideas for Florists

Because of current problems that the economy is facing, some florists are wondering how to run a flower shop the way they used to and if there are any ways to improve their sales. If you're a florist, ask yourself who is buying flowers in your community and what for. An advice for those who want to make their company known the affordable way is to find the target market. Giving out flyers to people in the downtown area is a good idea for them to know about your company. Make sure you have some sort of promo when doing this to tickle people's interest.

Providing extra service to your customers is one way of letting people know that your business exists. Always remember that your competition matters and if they're providing something you're not, people will flock their way instead. If possible, try to find out how much they're charging for their designs and try to offer more than they do, like faster service, unique products and weekend and evening hours to name a few. Another thing you can try to do is offer free delivery service for a minimum purchase.

What's great about having a florist business is the economy's condition won't greatly affect it. Events and holidays are happening several times a day so this means that the opportunity to make money is available all the time. Birthdays, graduations and weddings are great events to work on and you can work on long-term contracts with hotels, restaurants, churches and other establishments who need to have flowers arranged and delivered regularly. Clients with long-term contracts can provide you with a consistent and stable income flow. The best part about it is showcasing your designs to people for free.

If you're new to the florist business and just barely starting, begin with people you know and those who trust you. Spread the word to friends and family members about your small business. Let them tell their friends and let word-of-mouth do its job. Giving out special discounts or free flowers in exchange for referrals can make you surprised at how that prospect list will grow. Creating mini-arrangements and delivering them to local businesses such as wedding planners, funeral homes and party supply stores as a way of publicity is a good idea, too. Never forget to attach your business card along with a simple flyer containing your services and rates. These are just a few marketing ideas for florists.

Discover how you can market your florist business in the 21st century and become the No1 florist in your region by visiting my Marketing For Florists website at:

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Buying Art Supplies Online

Anyone who uses art supplies on the regular basis knows how expensive it can be to make several trips to the store to buy what they need. It is possible to buy everything you need online. Sites specializing in crafts and artistic materials sell everything from golden acrylics to drafting tables. You can shop online and have everything delivered right to your front door. In many case, prices are cheaper than you would pay in a traditional store. There are plenty of places you can buy the materials you need, but buying online is one of the easiest and most convenient options.

Shopping online to fulfill your artistic needs is easy and convenient. You have access to a lot of materials that might not be available in stores. You can enter a search term into your computer and will have the choice of several different places from which to buy whatever it is you need. You can even find hard to find items online. Instead of having to go from store to store, looking all over town for a rare find, you can look online and have access to plenty of different stores all at once. If the stores still do not have what you need, there are auction sites and private sellers who might be able to help you out.

Another advantage to shopping online is the ability to search through catalogs with just the click of a mouse. You can search several catalogs without having to wait for the books to be delivered. You will also have no wasted paper to throw away or have to deal with a giant stack of catalogs in the corner of any of your rooms. You can simply look online and when you find what you need, you close out the search and there is nothing leftover. No muss, no fuss searching is available right from the comfort of your own home.

A lot of times materials are cheaper when shopping online. You might be able to purchase items in bulk right from the manufacturer. You might also have access to online deals and coupons not offered in stores. You will have to pay shipping costs in most cases, but if you are able to make up the difference and then some with an online deal, it is well worth the effort. You might also find that some online outlets offer free shipping if you order more than a certain amount. Once you spend so many dollars, you get free shipping. If you find yourself looking for something rare and the cost is not enough to trigger free shipping, stock up on some other items you frequently use to save the shipping cost.

If you think shopping online for artistic materials is right for you, do some research? Look for items you use on the regular basis or that you have not been able to find in a store. Once you have a collection of stores to choose from, you can begin building portfolio of dealers who can supply what you need quick and affordably.

Stewart Wrighter usually buys his children's golden acrylics online.
For more information about golden acrylics go to .

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Tough Times Never Last: Tough People Do

I have always thought Robert Schuller's book titled Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do was a great title, and I think the book may be more relevant than ever. These are tough times, and we all need to be tougher than the times.

So how do we do that? We need to think and act with courage. We need to boldly step out and speak out. It doesn't matter if we're concerned about the economy, our work-life balance, or our national destiny. This is not the time for fear, negativity, and comfort-zone living. This is the time for courage.

Of course, courage is a rather vague concept. So let me be specific. I believe that we all need to be practicing three types of courage. The first is the COURAGE TO DREAM.

I strongly believe in the need for positive thinking. Originally, I thought everybody would agree with such a noble concept. That's not the case. Cynics call positive thinkers crazy. But who really is crazy? The play, "The Man of La Mancha," raises that very question. Is Don Quixote, The Man of La Mancha, crazy for only seeing the positive possibilities in the world, or is the world crazy because it only sees the negative realities?

I would suggest that the crazy people are the negative people. All they see and talk about are the negatives of society, By so doing, they reinforce negativity. By contrast, the positive people give the world a dream. They point out the good in the world and in the people around them. By reminding people of their goodness, their potential, and their possibilities, people begin to believe it and behave it.

How about you? Do you still have the COURAGE TO DREAM? I hope so.

Second, we all need the COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT. One of the biggest problems in our society is the fact that the negative people are speaking out while the positive people are silent.

To make matters worse, unusual amounts of attention are given to the negative people. I've noticed, for example, that there can be conventions in various cities across the country, where hundreds or thousands of people have gathered for some good cause, but the news media will spend more time focusing on the eight protestors standing outside the meeting rather than the hundreds inside the meeting.

Thankfully there has been a shift in media attention to the heroes and heroines of events. More attention is being given to the positive people. That's so refreshing and healthy. You and I need the COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT, which implies the wisdom to sort out. We need to sort out the winners and the losers, and we need to be careful about who we are listening to.

Some people, for example, say the world is a bad place, that it gave them a raw deal. They think no one cares. Others will say God is dead; prayer doesn't work, and religion is a bunch of baloney. Take a close look at who's saying those things. Are they winners or losers?

Some people say marriage is outdated, that such commitments are ridiculous. But look who's saying it. Winners or losers? All too many people get hurt in a relationship, even divorced, and they become anti-marriage, anti-male, or anti-female, and they continually speak out their negativity.

One broadcaster had this courage instinctively. In her 30-year career, she was fired 18 times, but every time it happened, she set her sights on something better. When no mainline U.S. radio station would hire her, mostly because she was a woman, she moved to Puerto Rico and polished her Spanish. When the wire service refused to send her to the Dominican Republic to cover an uprising, she scraped some money together, flew there on her own, and started to gather and sell her own news stories.

Finally in 1982 she was asked to host a political radio talk show. She told her husband she didn't know much about politics. She would have to speak out of her heart. She went on the radio, and drawing on her familiarity with a microphone and her easy confessional style, she talked about what the 4th of July meant to her. She invited callers to do the same, and she connected immediately with her listeners.

She became known as the "Dear Abby" of the air waves. Sally Jessy Raphael holds several Emmy's and was the award-winning host of a TV show that reached millions every day. Quite simply, Sally had the COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT.

I hope you're a positive person, and I hope you have the COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT. It may not be easy, and it may not be popular, but in the long run you will win.

Third, we all need the COURAGE TO RISK. In other words, we need to feel as though we'd rather die trying to do something great than live doing nothing.

That's what Eula Weaver did. At age 77 she was paralyzed with a stroke. It would have been easy for her to think, "This is it. I'm at the age most people die, so I must be on my way out." Not Eula. She could hardly walk, but the doctors gave her two choices: 1) spend the rest of her life as an invalid, allow herself to be hand fed, and get ready to die, or 2) get out of bed and start walking no matter how much it hurt. Some time later, the newspaper featured Eula in her jogging suit running a mile a day at age 88. She had the COURAGE TO RISK.

Practice these three things, the courage to dream, speak out, and risk, and you'll find that tough times never last, but tough people do.

Alan is a renowned keynote speaker and seminar leader for more than 25 years and has delivered more than 2000 programs for small groups to Fortune 500 audiences of thousands. Contact Dr. Alan Zimmerman for a free consult about working with your team. Call 800-621-7881 or email Receive Alans Tuesday tip with over 100,000 subscribers:

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Do You Make These Site Design Blunders?

Your target market is ultimately what makes or breaks your site, and that plus excellent site design will serve you properly in your business. Sometimes people can be forgiving, and if your site content is just incredible, then an ugly site can get by. Much about your site design education is simply knowing what mistakes you do not want to make.

No site will ever be complete until you cross the t's and dot the i's, and we are talking about including things like the contact page, for example. You need to think in terms of trust and trust rank, and the latter is reference to Google for SEO and other purposes. This is not only bad for all those visitors but also for you since you'll be missing out on important feedback from your visitors.

You will find that your visitors will contact you for any number of reasons including valuable feedback. A contact page will take you all of ten minutes to publish, so it is easy to do. We urge you to think twice about causing any links to appear in another tab/window after they are clicked on. When online surfers encounter this, they tend to feel that something has been taken from them such as their ability to control the experience. This is something you should not waste your time stressing over because if your site is good, then people will return to it. When it comes to browser window control such as sizing, once again leave that option alone. As we have often stated, you need to just do your end right and let the reader make his or her own decisions on their end.

For some reason, there are some sites who seem to think that making their visitors and traffic register for something is necessary. If you really feel that registration is required on your website, only then should you go for it, or else things may work against you and you may lose a visitor who could have become loyal to your site. We have not seen automatic subscriptions in a long time, but just in case - do not do it. There are some things you cannot take away from people on the net, and their free will and right to choose regarding subscriptions is one of them. These practices are a bit shady, at best, and you just need to do things right at all times.

This entire subject of website design and the mistakes that can easily occur is very large in scope, so always continue learning.

For more information on getting your website designed perfectly, check out this article . Another resource you'll be interested in about doing business online is this blog post . There are lots of tips and information there!

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Lessons Learned From High Profile Joint Venture Examples

Business news headlines feature successful joint venture examples throughout the marketplace, and across industries. Their success showcase reasons why joint ventures make sound business sense for companies. One reason includes the ability to share the expenses of launching a new product line related to research and development. Pooling their technological resources is another significant advantage. Additionally, joint ventures don't usually face the same stringent government regulation that normally haunts mergers.

Driving to joint venture success

In the automobile industry recent joint venture examples include the successful teaming of Ford and Mazda. Dubbed 'The Auto Alliance International', which began with Ford's idle body-casting center located in Michigan. When Mazda embarked on an expansion program, they paid for the plant and used it to build their vehicles. Later, Ford wanted a piece of the action and reached an agreement with Mazda to buy back a 50 percent stake in the property. Today this site produces both Ford Mustangs and the Mazda RXs. This is a picture perfect model for those looking for an example of how even competitors can work harmoniously toward their own goals.

A prescription for joint venture success

The pharmaceutical sector in recent years has seen several successful joint venture examples as the industry continually seeks ways to reduce the costs of research and marketing. Novartis and Procter & Gamble joined up and brought the drug Enablex to the marketplace together. At one point, Novartis was marketing the drug as Emselex, a prescription offered to patients for the treatment of incontinence. Eventually, Novartis sold the U.S. rights exclusively to Warner Chilcott. By saving money on the front end with their first joint venture agreement, Novartis was able to make their business attractive to other bidders. Currently, Enablex has an estimated 25 percent market share globally.

When considering a joint venture partnership, it's necessary to keep your eye on moving the ball down the field toward success. If the long-term goal is to sell off the separate entity, remaining lean but sound is critical to attract future offers.

Mobile industry joint ventures

Successful joint venture examples in the fast growing mobile industry include Sony Ericsson. Sony, the popular company from Japan, is well known for its excellence in marketing electronics globally. The hallmark of the Swedish company Ericsson is the technology they have produced aimed at telecoms. The two formed a hard to beat alliance producing high quality mobile phones. The two companies tapped into their extensive marketing network, and stellar reputations to create a strong alliance.

Look around your community or industry to identify market leaders, which offer products, or services that can compliment your business efforts. A bookkeeping provider does not have the same expertise as a tax professional. They perhaps would consider forming a partnership with a tax firm because their clients need this service. On the other hand, a tax attorney or firm does not want the daily or monthly management responsibilities related to bookkeeping. Together, a joint venture will allow the two partners to expand their knowledge, personnel and customer base.

Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability. Join his Joint Venture Marketing Wealth Report at

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8 Best Places For Building Authoritative One-Way Links

Copyright (c) 2011 Titus Hoskins

For any online webmaster or marketer, two things will consume most of your time: rankings and traffic. Usually, these two objectives will go hand-in-hand, the higher your rankings the more traffic you will receive. However, as you probably already know, getting higher rankings and traffic can be somewhat difficult.

One of the best ways to achieve both, is to build one-way links from existing authoritative sites on the web.

Now, let's be honest, building quality one-way links will take some effort and time on your part. However, this can be done much quicker if you know exactly where to look for those authoritative sites or places which will let you create links back to your site.

Here are some good places or sources for Authoritative One-Way link building:

1. Press Releases

Press releases have become what article marketing was just a few years ago... excellent way to get quality one-way links back to your site. You can use both free and paid press releases to get your message out. Many marketers have had success with PRweb, but it can be somewhat costly but highly worth it. A well written press release will usually get picked up and displayed on numerous niche-related sites, boosting both your traffic and rankings.

2. Wikipedia Type Sites

Such places as Wikipedia and Google Knol are also excellent sources of quality one-way links. These can also give you those all important in-content links, as well as links in the resource section of the article. Everything will be theme focused, so your links will carry more PageRank juice in the eyes of Google.

3. Powerful .edu and .gov Link

Mainly because they are seen as non-commercial and coming from prestige sites or institutions, .edu and .gov links are some of the most effective and powerful one-way backlinks you can receive. Try to go out of your way to build these types of links for your site. For example, if you went to a college or university, try getting links from any Alumni pages. If your college has a newsletter section, try to get links there.

4. How To Sites

Yes, we know, Google with its Panda Update and countless follow-up changes to its algorithm, have hit these kinds of sites hard. But the quality ones are still great places to build one-way links. Often if you write a great how-to guide in your niche and place it on these sites, you will get an instant page one Google listing. For starters, try sites like eHow and Squidoo.

5. DoFollow Social Sites and Profiles

If you haven't noticed, the web has gone social. Some of the best places for authoritative one-way links are in these social networking/bookmarking sites and profiles, especially if you build up your followers and subscribers. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+... will all give you opportunities to build your one-way links.

6. Memberships and Testimonials

You must always be pro-active when it comes to link building, so go out of your way to get links from any memberships you may belong to. Also, giving testimonials for your favorite site or product can be another excellent way to get authoritative links as these links are usually displayed on the main/index page of a site.

7. Embedded Videos/Slideshows/Software

Many webmasters have had great success by using embedded software, videos, awards, slideshows... to create one-way links back to their sites. For example, just look at how builds its backlinks. You can try something similar or use that program to share your content and build your own links.

8. Site And Blog Commenting

While many sites are cracking down or making all their links NoFollow... commenting on blog and sites is still an effective way to get those backlinks. Many online marketers create Google Alerts for their targeted keywords and when any related links are indexed in Google, they get an email. They then thoroughly check out those links to see if it is worth their while to make a comment.

There you have it, some of the best places to help you build your all important authoritative one-way links. Many marketers simply take a few minutes of each day to build these types of links back to their sites. Over time these links will increase and you will receive more traffic and higher rankings as a direct result of these powerful one-way links.

The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites. For the latest web marketing tools try: If you liked the article above, why not try this Free 7 Day Marketing Course here: Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

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