How To Make A Small Business Grow

Despite the many ways to build your online business through advertising, you can also alter your pricing and offer more to existing customers. This is something many small business owner neglect. They only go after finding new customers, rather than leveraging what they already have, loyal customers who can grow your business if you offer them more.

People don’t buy only based on price either. Testing a new pricing structure can add profit to your bottom line in the long run. Yes you could lose customers, true. But if your profit goes up and most of them stay, you’ve already grown your business with a simple change.

You can also use your existing customers to grow your customer base by offering referral rewards. Give your existing customers motivation to bring in new customers for you by offering a discount or some kind of reward.

People will buy the same products for vastly different prices too. They might purchase the same jar of coffee from Harrods, for example, as they can get from ASDA for less than half the price. By aligning your branding and business with a premium image, you can charge more and customers will happily pay if you offer a good service.

This comes down to brand perception. If you are perceived as a market authority, people are more likely to buy from you anyway, because they perceive you as ‘the best’.

You can build you reputation in a number of ways. Branding, celebrity endorsement and marketing are just some simple strategies. First though, you need to build a loyal following. Once your customers like you, they are much more likely to continue to use you. If they trust you and know you offer a good service, they are likely to keep using you, despite small price increases.

If you look at the top brands of mobile phones, for example, you’ll see them rolling out price changes on a near constant basis. that’s because they know you’ll probably stick with them anyway, and for the few people they lose, they’ll make a huge profit for the ones who stay. Their future customers will accept their pricing immediately anyway, as they build their business.

So, if you test your prices, offer add-on products for existing customers and offer a referral scheme to reward customers for referrals, you can make a substantial shit in your business right away. That’s before spending any money!

Then you can also use Google Places for business. This is a free service which you should be using if you’re a small business. It allows you to list your local business on Google’s directory and it will usually show in the results of the search results for your major keywords.

Bing and Yahoo also offer a similar service. It’s well worth the few minutes it takes to set up your listing. You then just need to verify your listing after you get a code in the post. Once you’ve done this, you’re all up and running. You’ll potentially have a free business listing which brings you consistent new customers for years to come. Worth its weight in gold.

Facebook also offer the option of building a free business listing too. This is well worth doing. Your business listing on Facebook can easily rank on Google’s first page too, depending on your relative competition. Again, this doesn’t take long to set up and you can build a stream of new customers through it.

Blogging is another free strategy for lead generation in your business. Of course you need a website, but you should have one of these already if you’re serious about your business. Once you set up a website, you’ll also want to start building a list of subscribers from it. Email marketing is an absolute necessity if you want to grow your business. By offering a free giveaway product on your website, you can get your visitors to opt in to your email list. The giveaway can be anything which your customers are likely to benefit from and which are relevant to your business. You can offer discount codes if you don’t have anything else.

Then there’s paid marketing. Direct response marketing is the fastest way to grow your business. Each of the methods listed above, will work, depending on your competition. However, pay per click advertising is faster and can be scaled up very quickly.

If you don’t know about pay per click marketing, and you want to grow your business, you should definitely take the time to learn. It can dramatically grow your business in a very short amount of time.

AdWords and Bing are good platforms to start with. Then there’s Facebook and even YouTube which offer a very targeted platform for businesses.

Once you’ve mastered all of those strategies, you’ll have a business which is booming! Start with one strategy though and learn how it works. AdWords does take time to learn and you need to be careful. You can burn through a budget very quickly and get nothing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Many business owners try this strategy and quit. That’s because they haven’t stuck at it for long enough.

Initially your adverts might not work, but that’s not the fault of the platform. It’s down to your understanding of how to test and measure adverts, and to either cut back an advert or scale it up according to its performance.

Start with a small daily budget and target keywords which are relevant for your business. Your advert will show only for those keywords, if you do an exact match search. You can also broaden your search if your advert isn’t showing up enough in the searches. Just be careful not to do a broad match at first because you don’t want your advert showing for any keyword. This is how to burn through you budget very quickly and get the wrong kind of traffic.

Over time, and with practice, you adverts will bring you new customers. Make sure you track where your customers have come from. Then you’ll know if your advertising campaigns are working. When you have multiple campaigns running along side each other, you’ll be able to determine which to scale up and which to cut back on.

You can apply this same methodology to other advertising methods too. You don’t have to stick entirely to online advertising, but it’s a good starting point. Once you have learned one strategy, you can move on to another. Use newspaper adverts, magazine adverts, radio advertising and banner advertising too. Make sure you track all your sales by using discount codes or tracking in your online adverts.

Difference Between PDF and Word Document

Word documents as well as Portable Document Format are the two most widely used document tools. Word application is a word processing program released in 1983 as ‘Multi-Tool Word’. A Word is an editable format that allows the users to edit and customize information as per the requirement. It underwent many revisions with the latest version of 2007 and 2008. On the other hand, Portable Document Format is a non-editable application. Introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993 Portable Document Format allows readers to share the information on the Internet easily.

Word application offers a slew of features that a user can deploy effectively to meet his needs. It offers various font types and font colors to select. These font types and font colors can customize the document. You can change styles of writing, colors and fonts by using the feature ‘Change Styles’. With ‘Page Layout’ attribute you can add margins to the text, divide the text into two to three columns. One can also add ‘Page Color’ to the document that has the potential to make the text appear attractive. Various features of ‘Page Layout’ feature make the document appear professional. You can also add artistic effects to the pictures used in the document. The latest version also equips a user with security features to protect the contents of the text from any kind of alteration.

PDF application is a compatible format. In other words, one can share the document on any kind of computer system with different kind of configuration. This enables a user to share and receive information and coordinate with the co-workers efficiently. One can use graphics, images or pictures as this format compresses their sizes. This makes the file size of the document smaller. You can easily transfer the files to the recipient expediently. This format is also secure as it has password-protected feature to protect the document from any kind of modification by unauthorized user. It also renders a professional appearance to the document. If one requires the information in a non-editable format one can convert Word to PDF easily. You can easily coordinate and share information with the people across the globe by using this format.

Yoga Old And Modern

Generally speaking the perception of Yoga has changed significantly. When we compare the traditional yoga of the ancients to today’s modern version we can see if there are indeed changes.

In most classes, articles, books, blogs and other media sources on yoga we can observe how they differ from traditions of the ancients.

These modern-day practices on closer inspection are very different from those of antiquity.

Some purists of the day who see modern yoga as being so different from the traditional they refer to modern yoga as “Not Yoga”.

To be a miner of diamonds,

take care of your picks and shovels.

To be a miner of your spiritual Self,

take care of your body, breath, and mind.

But don’t confuse the tools and the goals.

Author unknown

Historically speaking, yoga was taut orally and there are subtle differences between those teachers of old.

Principles of this practice were usually communicated through religious teaching where brief instructions were expanded on verbally.

For example, in ancient times the outline of yoga was be found in 196 sutras of yoga which was then discussed with and elaborated upon by a teacher to pupil.

Furthermore, the deeper meaning of Om mantra for example, is detailed Upanishad and is elaborated upon orally.

This article is not claiming that there exists a single universal contemporary yoga… there are also many different approaches.

However, the overall perceptions of yoga have made an overall shift which has proved worthy of scrutiny.

So yoga like many of the ancient traditional practices seems to have been compromised over the centuries.

We may argue though that these inevitable changes are only a reflection of yogas ability to adapt to the changes of time.

Ancient or otherwise traditional yoga combines deep religious roots with physical and highly meditational practices.

The aim of traditional yoga was to attain moksha-liberation, freedom from reincarnation and recognitions of one’s own divinity.

As we have seen traditional yoga is practiced in a different way than most popular modern styles.

An example of this can be seen when take a look at jnana yoga that doesn’t have any physical postures. Instead the emphasis is on a path of rational self-enquiry and seeks true enlightenment of one’s true nature.

When the term yoga is used many of us think of bending into different postures.

In fact, these postures, otherwise known as “asanas” traditionally were not a part of yoga until someone called Pontanjali wrote the Yoga Sutra around 2200 years ago.

Pontanjali created postures to discipline the body and conscious connection.

Ancient yoga practitioners viewed asanas as a small but useable part of the practice as a whole.

Traditional yoga styles are not a popular practice as modern yoga in Western culture, but many aspects are incorporated into today’s yoga styles.

Having said that, most yoga studios today now base their practice on a variety of physical postures/asanas.

Because of its many benefits including increased flexibility, and stress relief yoga has become a popular activity in Western culture

In addition, depending on the style of yoga a typical class may be focused on physical fitness or may focus on meditation utilising some of the ancient background.

Modern day yoga does not expect the practitioner to aim for any kind of spiritual enlightenment. However, it can be a catalyst which enables one to reach enlightenment.

Cleaning Tips – How to Repair Water Damage and Handle Water Emergencies

As a homeowner, you should always be concerned about how to clean up water damage, even if it has not yet happened to you. In truth, this is every homeowner's worst nightmare scenario, and it makes no difference whether the damage is caused by a faucet that was not turned off, a burst pipe, a bad rainstorm, or a flash flood. The fact is that water can cause massive amounts of damage in a very short time, and you should know what to do if you should ever have to go through a cleanup.

It is quite evident that the first thing you need to do is to find the source of the water and begin from there. If your bathtub or toilet overflowed, or if rain got into your basement or crawlspaces, that is very easy to see. On the other hand, if water is seeing through cracks in the ceiling, or if it is staining your walls, it may be very difficult to get to the source.

If you have a leaky roof, then you need to fix your roof immediately so that you can stop any further damage. If you have a leaky pipe or a burst pipe, you need to shut off your water supply until you find the damaged pipe.

Before getting started on your cleanup, you need to determine just how badly things are damaged in your home. You may have a limited amount of damage to your drywall, floors, ceilings, and so on, or you might even have damage to the home's structural integrity, including the foundation. It depends on how long you have had the leak, and on how long the water has had to cause damage to your home.

This article will proceed on the assumption that you have the time and equipment to handle the cleanup on your own, so the very first thing that you need to do is to get fresh air moving through the area that is water damaged. You need to open your windows, your doors, turn on your fans, bring in box fans, etc. What you are trying to accomplish is to completely dry out the area, and this will help to reduce bad smells later on.

The next thing you are going to need is a dehumidifier, and you need to get it going as quickly as you can. The dehumidifier will take that moisture out of the air, which will indeed help in your water damage cleanup and even even ameliorate the effects of the water damage.

When you have plenty of air going and the dehumidifiers running, you need to pick up books, magazines, photographs, cardboard, and any other paper products. You need to throw them away if they are not valuable and if they are heavily damaged.

You should be able to make copies of most of your paperwork, but then make sure you throw the damaged paper away. If you have valuables that have been damaged considerably, put them in a frost-free freezer, and find a water damage restoration professional as quickly as possible to see whether they can be restored and saved.

The next step in the process would be to get hold of a wet and dry vacuum and clean up all the water that you can. You will find that the vacuum will be especially helpful with carpeting, upholstered furniture, wooden and tiled floors. You have to continue using the vacuum until you have cleaned up the bulk of the water and to prevent any further water damage to your home.

You need to be especially careful with wooden surfaces that were water damaged, so get the fans and dehumidifiers going around your wooden surfaces as quickly as possible so they can dry out. While you have the machinery going, you may want to try using fresh, clean water and mild detergent to clean treated wood. However, you should know that if the wood was not effectively treated, you will end up with permanent damage without you work very quickly and effectively.

You can also clean other surfaces with mild detergent and fresh, clean water, and you may even want to scrub them with a small brush if needed. You may want to repeat the process if there are areas that were poorly water damaged or if they were greatly affected by your water emergency.

Drywall and ceiling damage will probably occur as a result of your water emergency, so you are going to have to carefully inspect your walls and ceilings to try to spot the damage. In general, drywalls and ceilings can probably be discharged out as long as they have not swelled or buckled and the seams are still intact. Swelling, buckling and seam separation are signs of greater damage, and that means that you will have to replace the injured damaged area. Even if you manage to dry things out thoroughly, you will probably have to prime and paint the places that water affected the most.

You need to continue ventilating and dehumidifying, and this may take some time until everything is completely discharged out. If you want to avoid giving mold and mildew a chance to get a foothold in your home, make sure everything is completely dry.

In the end, you have to consider the time that it is going to take for you to go through the entire water damage cleanup process, as well as the cost of buying or renting the necessary machinery. You will also have to decide what needs to be thrown out, and what needs to be saved, and you may end up throwing things out that could have been saved, and that will add to your cost.

When you have taken all of these things into consideration, it may be more cost effective for you to call the professionals at Orange Restoration to handle the water damage cleanup. It may just be that will end up saving money by calling the best water damage restoration professionals in the San Diego area.

Choosing the Right Leather Work Gloves

Comfort, dexterity, durability, flexibility, protection, and cost are the key considerations when choosing leather gloves for a specific job environment or as a general purpose work glove. A comparison of leather work glove material options, pattern variations, styles and applications will help you choose the most suitable glove.

Glove Leather Types and Quality

The type and quality of leather used are significant considerations in choosing leather work gloves. Gloves are manufactured primarily in cowhide, pigskin, goatskin, and deerskin, each offering unique characteristics specific to the animal.

Cowhide leather is one of the most rugged and economic leathers used to manufacture gloves due to its availability, comfort, and durability. Specifically, cowhide is good for dexterity, durability, pliability, abrasion resistance, and puncture resistance. Cowhide is also very good in keeping hands warm, but is limited in the leather's breathability. Cowhide dries stiff when it gets wet, becoming hard and losing its flexibility.

Pigskin leather is a soft and supple leather that is more porous, which makes a glove that is comfortable and resistant to moisture, but not quite as warm as cowhide. High lanolin content keeps this leather soft which does not dry out and crack after repeatedly getting wet. Pigskin is an economic alternative to cowhide, offering more dexterity and breathability with superior pliability. Pigskin leather is the most durable and provides the greatest abrasion resistance of cowhide, goatskin, and deerskin.

Goatskin leather has the highest natural lanolin content, which makes a very soft and flexible glove that keeps its pliability after getting wet. Goatskin offers the improved dexterity, pliability, and breathability of pigskin over cowhide, but does not offer the durability. Abrasion and punctuation resistance are about the same as cowhide, while goatskin does not provide as much protection from the cold as cowhide.

Deerskin leather is extremely soft and supple offering very good dexterity and excellent pliability. Deerskin gloves do not stiffen after getting wet repeatedly and form to the hand over time. Their flexibility also causes them to easily lose their shape with rough wear. Deerskin gloves are the best for comfort, but sacrifice durability, abrasion and puncture resistance. Deerskin glove breathability is limited, like cowhide, and they provide less protection from the cold, similar to goatskin and pigskin gloves.

Leather types are further branded by cuts or splits which offer different levels of quality.

Full-Grain leather , also called top-grain leather, reflect to the finest raw material including the outer waterproof skin which provides a thicker, more durable glove with greater abrasion and puncture resistance.

Split leather is obtained by splitting the rougher interior side of the skin (drop split) from the supportive outer part (grain) yielding a softer and more pliable glove with greater dexterity. Split leather can be divided into 3 types, depending upon which part of the animal the hide is cut:

  • Side split leather is made by splitting the hide in half along the backbone and is the most durable and uniform split because of its high fiber density.
  • Shoulder split leather is taken from the neck and shoulder area of ​​the animal and provides abrasion resistance in a more economic grade of leather.
  • Belly split leather is cut from the underside or belly of the animal and is less consistent in texture and appearance, but the most economic split leather.

Leather Work Glove Linings

Obviously, the lining of the glove is a big factor in hand comfort with a variety of options from no lining to synthetic and natural materials. The most popular leather work glove lining options are listed below:

  • 3M Thinsulate utilizes extremely small fibers of polyester to provide one of the most effective insulating linings without the bulk of natural materials. Manufactured by 3M, it is breathable and retains its exceptional insulating ability in damp conditions.
  • Pile is synthetic wool that is very popular due to its low cost and similarity to wool.
  • Thermal linings are manufactured by creating a first layer overlapped by a second layer of material creating a heat insulation pocket between the layers.
  • Fleece is soft bulky napped cotton with a deep pile and is one of the most common glove liners.
  • Foam lining features a layer of foam insulation between cotton fleeced jersey and a layer of interlocked cotton.
  • Thermo lined gloves are thermal gloves with waterproof linings.
  • Wool linings are odor resistant and provide excellent warmth, even when wet.

Leather Work Glove Patterns

The most common construction for leather work glove styles is the Gunn pattern, but the Clute pattern offers an economic alternative:

Gunn pattern is manufactured with fully wrapped fingers and thumbs, while the palm side is a separate glove pattern which is sewn at the base of the middle two fingers. This cut allows flexibility with the seam at the natural crease of the fingers and the seamless back affords greater comfort. The finger seams being away from the work area help the glove to last longer.

Clute pattern reiters to gloves with a roomy comfortable fit and seams along every finger and the thumb, down the back of the glove. The palm and bottom of the fingers is covered with one piece of material and no seams on the palm side of the glove.

Leather Work Glove Cuffs

Leather work gloves are available in a wide range of cuffs. Hemmed cuffs offer medium wrist protection; shirred and knit wrists prevent debris from getting into the glove, and safety and gauntlet cuffs offer maximum wrist and forearm protection:

  • Rolled hem or turned cuffs feature a narrowly rolled hem and create a very finished and clean look.
  • Hemmed cuffs may use color-coded fabric to hem the cuff of the glove.
  • Knit Wrist cuffs provide a snug fit to prevent debris or liquids from getting inside the glove.
  • Shirred cuffs use elastic to gather the glove around the wrist when worn, but not as tightly as the knit wrist.
  • Safety cuffs provide a higher degree of wrist and arm protection with large 2 1/2 "cuffs. Safety cuffs are manufactured from a variety of materials and include: rubberized, plasticized, starched, denim, leather, and canvas cuffs.
  • Gauntlet cuffs are a larger form of the safety cuff and provide the highest level of wrist and arm protection with large 4 1/2 "cuffs.

Leather Work Glove Thumb Types

Work gloves are manufactured using one of the following thumb types:

  • Keystone thumb is a type of thumb stitched separately to conform to the natural position of the thumb. The keystone thumb offers the greatest flexibility and comfort.
  • Wing thumb is manufactured with the thumb angled diagonally across the palm to improve comfort and natural movement without a seam between the thumb and palm area.
  • Straight thumb is manufactured with the thumb lying vertically straight from the wrist and is good for gripping.

Leather Work Glove Styles

Leather work gloves can be divided into three basic style groups:

Leather driving gloves or drivers are one of the most rugged and comfortable work gloves made, featuring flexibility and abrasion, puncture, moisture, and heat resistance. Leather drivers are excellent in a variety of applications, including equipment operation, such as farm, construction, tractor-trailers, and forklifts. Leather drivers are also ideal for general purpose work environments requiring largeer dexterity and flexibility, such as material handling, general industrial work, stamping, packaging, fabricating, lumber industry, chainsaw operation, automotive, mining, furniture industry, pipe fitting, assembly and other medium to heavy duty industrial applications.

Leather palm gloves are one of the most popular and widely used work gloves because of their lower cost, abundance, and ability to handle a wide variety of general industry work applications, such as agricultural, automotive, gardening, construction, landscaping, parks and recreation , large material handling, oil rigging, refinery work, and other heavy industrial environments.

Welding gloves or welders are a very heavy duty superior heat resistant leather work glove providing hand protection from metal splashes, flames, sparks and ultraviolet radiation for applications in welding, molten metal, and foundries.

Choosing the right leather work glove for you or your workers is simply a matter of understanding your options and their benefits. Leather work gloves offer durability, dexterity, flexibility, comfort and protection in a wide range of quality and costs to accommodate automatically every industrial job setting.

Luxury Vinyl: Inherently Stylish, Waterproof Flooring

For certain rooms in the home, finding a flooring option that is both stylish and waterproof can be a daunting task. But not when it comes to luxury vinyl! Generally waterproof; vinyl flooring comes in a wide variety of designs and colors and is easy to maintain! It is also a quieter and warmer than other hard surfaces, making it perfect for even the most heavily trafficked areas of the home.

Waterproof Flooring Styles

Technology continues to improve the visual design and feel of vinyl, while remaining as easy to maintain as ever. The latest looks in luxury vinyl like classic stone and slate have an incredibly natural look and feel and have come a long way over the years. It is the perfect option for waterproof flooring that does not sacrifice on style.

And, vinyl plank offers homeowners a realistic wood look while also providing the many benefits of water resistance. Luxury vinyl's moisture resistance is perfect for homes with kids and pets alike and its elastic material also protects against dents and scratches. Floating vinyl and plank styles lock together to create a waterproof seal without the need for adhesives!

Tile is another great water resistant option that could fit into the design of any kitchen, dining and lower level rooms. Tile has a stunning natural beauty and is one of the most durable floors to own.

All of these options provide homeowners with an incredible array of stylish choices that have certainly come a long way from mom's kitchen linoleum.

Waterproof Luxury Vinyl for the Home

Waterproof luxury vinyl offers style that will impress guests while its waterproof attributes deal with the messes of daily life. Rooms in the home that could benefit most from waterproof flooring include that, of course, include water! Bathrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms are some of the best candidates for this style of flooring. And, new stylish options mean homeowners will not have to sacrifice style for function in these places. Even the kitchen, one of the busiest rooms in the home, can now enjoy the beauty of wood as well as water resistance with new luxury vinyl options.

Finished basements are another great area that could benefit from waterproof vinyl. Stylish man cave complete with a wet bar? With waterproof luxury vinyl, it is now possible to find a stylish and durable flooring option to match.

Gone are the days of drab water resistant flooring. For any room requiring waterproof durability and incredible style, consider the natural look and comfortable feel of luxury vinyl!

History of Baking

Baking has been many cultures’ favorite technique for creating snacks, desserts, and accompaniments to meals for many years. Now, it is very well-known as the method for creating sweets and all sorts of wondrous mouthwatering pastries. In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked it in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste. Then, the paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made anytime fire was created. Around 2500 B.C., records show that the Egyptians already had bread, and may have actually learned the process from the Babylonians. The Greek Aristophanes, around 400 B.C., also recorded information that showed that tortes with patterns and honey flans existed in Greek cuisine. Dispyrus was also created by the Greeks around that time and widely popular; was a donut-like bread made from flour and honey and shaped in a ring; soaked in wine, it was eaten when hot.

In the Roman Empire, baking flourished widely. In about 300 B.C., the pastry cook became an occupation for Romans (known as the pastillarium). This became a very highly respected profession because pastries were considered decadent, and Romans loved festivity and celebration. Thus, pastries were often cooked especially for large banquets, and any pastry cook who could invent new types of tasty treats, unseen at any other banquet, was highly prized. Around 1 A.D., there were more than three hundred pastry chefs in Rome alone, and Cato wrote about how they created all sorts of diverse foods, and flourished because of those foods. Cato speaks of an enormous amount of breads; included amongst these are the libum (sacrificial cakes made with flour), placenta (groats and cress), spira (our modern day flour pretzels), scibilata (tortes), savaillum (sweet cake), and globus apherica (fritters). A great selection of these, with many different variations, different ingredients, and varied patterns, were often found at banquets and dining halls. To bake bread, the Romans used an oven with its own chimney and had grain mills to grind grain into flour.

Eventually, because of Rome, the art of baking became widely known throughout Europe, and eventually spread to the eastern parts of Asia. Bakers often baked goods at home and then sold them in the streets-children loved their goods. In fact, this scene was so common that Rembrandt illustrated a work that depicted a pastry chef selling pancakes in the streets of Germany, and young children surrounding him, clamoring to get a sample. In London, pastry chef sold their goods in handcarts, which were very convenient shops on wheels. This way, they developed a system of “delivery” baked goods to people’s households, and the demand for baked goods increased greatly as a result. Finally, in Paris, the first open-air café of baked goods was developed, and baking became an established art throughout the entire world.

Promotional Pens As Convenient Items For Completing Questionnaires

Promotional pens are forever! It's true – take a gander in your junk drawer at home and count how many promotional pens you have from other companies. You probably have a bunch from your rivals as well! Pens advertising our company or service are not too dear and will market you for literally years and years to come. Any promotional item can be useful to your clients but nothing is as handy and easy to store than a customized pen.

Think of all the uses for such an inexpensive promotional product. A fancy pen can be given at Christmas as a business or promotional gift to your employees, retirees or best clients. A special pen – shiny and hefty – is always appreciated and viewed as a meaningfulful gift. With your personalized pens that might include an even more personal phrase to that employee or client, it becomes a unique and thoughtful gift to be cherished forever.

The everyday printed pens can be left out for your walk in clients to fill out a questionnaire and hopefully take away for more use and reminders of your services. You can use your word processing program to make a simple questionnaire with as few as 5 questions targeted to improving your business. Every day you are out and about, these promotional items can be left with the servers at your local pub or your local off-license. There are no end to the everyday locations you frequent that can actually use your pens all the while quietly and effectively promoting your business.

Quality is important. It is critical to decide how these pens will be used. If it is a convenient item for completing a questionnaire, the pen will not need to meet a high standard of durability. Although, it would be good to aim for an ink life of at least 3 weeks of daily use. Promotional pens are available for as little as 5p each with a minimum purchase of 100 to as high as one pound per fancy promotional pen with a minimum purchase of 10. There are many styles and weights available and there are many different ways to embellish promotional items . Some are engraved and others are embossed. The least expensive is an adhesive paper with your business message and artwork already printed on it. This sticker is then rolled around a very plain pen for distribution. This would be the least expensive option and the most colorful as the paper can be any number of colors and textures.

Other options with these great promotional pens are attractive sheaths to protect the chrome trim. It is also worth considering a clipboard mirror to accompany the promotional pen items, especially if the questionnaire path is the tack you're going to take. The backside of the clipboard is another location for branding your business name and service points. Multiple copies of the questionnaires can then be placed on the clipboard with the giveaway customized pens located in a holder nearby.

Realistic Pencil Drawings

Pencil art drawings have been circuiting the scene since art's conceptual birth.

From cartoons to architecture, it's as flexible as a rubber band and we never stop to be amazed at pencil art drawings. The trending art topic at the moment is realistic pencil drawings. Hyper-realistic pencil drawings have emerged as a label that realistic pencil drawings encompass.

There are artists who are currently producing phenomenal pencil sketch creations that look even more real than a photograph. This may seem like a lofty ideal for many, this article explores the concept of how to create exceptional drawing sketches by embracing the creative penchants unique to each artist (and aspiring artist).

Top tips for cultivating an inner wealth of drawing inspiration:

· Keep a journal, they are your inspiration base station! It does not matter where you are or what you are with, your journal will always afford you with inspiration for your drawing sketches at your fingertips. Whatever your muse, you can whip out your diary of creative stimuli and enjoy some sketching. Having a book of open pages with you is an exceptional way to encourage practice. They can be your private pages or for everyone to see. In this way, you will easily cultivate your own artist's style and begin drawing sketches and pencil art drawings with confidence.

· "You are your greatest masterpiece"

Create a vision board. This can be a virtual or physical vision board. A vision board can be a collection of your most inspirational finds. You can create a collage or flow chart, glue or 'cut and paste'. Whether you are drawing from photographs or life, you can even create a vision board of all your favorite drawings you have done. Use these as encouragement for how you are choosing your drawings to look like. Keep this vision board in an easily visible place.

·. "Every child is an artist and every artist, a child."

Discover what makes you feel your heartbeat drumming through your body. What is it like to feel your heart's rhythmic reverberation through your body? Rediscover what makes you excited. By remembering what ignited you as a child and exploring it with your adult self, simple artwork can obtain a whole new shade of brilliance.

Photographs can be a great resource. Some of the hyper-realistic drawings mentioned earlier surpass even photographs in their realism. There are some artists who understand how to encapsulate life in a pencil sketch, producing astounding artwork. Dirk Dzimirksy is one such man, drawing from photographs or simply sketching, he composes beautiful realistic pencil drawings.

To summarize the magic of creating these kind of pencil art drawings:

· In the German artist's words, the key to these life-like renditions is in the harmonious interplay of light and shadow.

· Nothing is overlooked, small details like a liquid in the eye reflecting a speck of shaped light.

· The use of multiple layers is employed to get the desired effect. Dzimirksy reveals his way is to unearth what drawing is already present. By adding many layers with connecting dots, lines and marks he scratches at the surface uncovering that revealing the pencil sketch.

· Shift your perspective, instead of drawing from photographs, how about looking at it in the sense that you are creating your own photographs. Your eyes are the lens and your hands and the pencils are joining in a collaboration to print.

· Dzimirsky understands a collective approach, holistically engaging all of the senses when you look at his work. He draws not just to make a picture; they are to make visible the multi dimensional spheres of the human spirit.

Go out (or inside) and see your inspiration. Open a fresh page, breathe, and begin drawing. Smile, sing, or frown and purse your lips.

Just do it with your heart, and do it fully.

SEO Strategies – The Truth About Search Engine Optimization

The Importance of Being Online

Did You Know? Right now, over 81% of people first search online before making a purchase vs using yellow pages, newspapers, traditional "offline" methods.

Did You Also Know? – 60% of traffic that comes to the websites is from searches-From people typing in what they are looking for in Google, Yahoo & MSN / Bing. Now, if your website is not on the first page of the search engine results, then unfortunately you are now. So knowing that, I am sure you would like to know how to achieve first page search results … and it begins with proper SEO strategies.

Let's get started!

First things first!

"A little bit of information is a dangerous thing"

Well the same holds true for too much information when it comes to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. When you are taught how to drive, was it necessary for you to have an understanding of the combustion engine, correct valve timing or be able to rebuild a transmission?

Of course not!

You simply needed the facts of getting your car going safely and smoothly down the road to your destination. Otherwise you will never get out of the driveway or be too overwhelmed and never learn to drive … never achieving your desired results.

Marketing Lesson # 1 "You can not steer a parked car!"

Unfortunately there is a lot of miss information that seems to be right in line with what people are trying to sell you online today. Imagine that?
The three reasons for this are simple:

1. SEO Companies, Gurus and Consultants want you to believe that only their big brains, experience and magic wands can make your site optimized and that little old you has NO chance, so do not bother and pay us lots of money.

2. Pretend Gurus and Consultants learn a few tricks and sell their wares unscrupulously all over the web for cheap leaving you with a crappy e-book and no results.

3. Lastly, there are the true webmasters out there who take On-Page optimization well beyond where it needs to go. (in my humble & profitable opinion) If you do not believe me, go ahead and buy one of those 200 page e-books that expect you to have degree from MIT and a full working knowledge of website coding. I would rather eat glass … I know this because I have read one of these, but dozens before seeing the light.

In other words, they tend to try and paint the Mona Lisa within every site but forget to invite anyone to the museum. IE All tech and no marketing. Remember, we did talk about the importance of getting the car moving did not we?

Dispelling the Myths of Search Engine Optimization

  • PPC or paid advertising is much cheaper and faster. WRONG. Paid advertising is only as good as long as you are paying for it, where On-Page optimization is a onetime set up. Natural Search Traffic is still 60% of all traffic & you will pay more per click in advertising if your site is NOT optimized.
  • SEO results take months, if not years, to achieve. WRONG. In fact, you can expect immediate results within a few days. Nobody has the time or patience to wait these days …
  • Optimal SEO results can only be achieved by an SEO expert. WRONG. No technical knowledge or SEO expertise is needed to achieve major success when you use the right SEO Strategies.
  • Hundreds of links are needed before I can start to see significant results. WRONG. Have you ever heard the saying, "Work smarter, not harder"? You can maximize your results with very little linking.
  • The Google algorithm is complicated and takes over 100 factors into consideration. It's impossible to achieve maximum SEO results without targeting them all. WRONG. There are key areas that have the greatest bearing and weighting over search engine results. In fact, these key areas make up the majority of the search algorithm.
  • SEO software yields the best results. WRONG. Simply put, if you know the key areas to target, you'll outperform any SEO program EVERY time. It's not a complicated process if you know what you're doing. (famous last words)

What is SEO All About Then?

All right, you've been patient. Here are the essentials of what you need to know about WHAT Search Engine Optimization is all about and then I'll get to the "HOW TO's" in just a minute. Let's walk before sprinting into uncharted territory.

OK so here's you first curve ball … there are two kinds of Search Engine Optimization! What? Who knew? Well I did and now so do you.

There is "ON PAGE" SEO and "OFF PAGE" SEO.

On-Page SEO is the method of configuring your website's size, layout, text, photos and videos so that they are easy to find by the search engines when someone is searching for them online.

Off-Page SEO happens outside of the website. It is the method of distributing valuable and relevant content about your products and services onto the internet in the form of blog posts, videos, articles, forums, podcasts, etc. that all point back to your website to help raise its rank in the search engines as well as drive traffic.

Now there is a middle man (more like a Judge) in the process and that is the search engines themselves like Google, Yahoo & Bing / MSN. They go around creeping and crawling around the internet and index or rank your website based on their own formulas known as algorithms.

No one knows the exact formulas (except those web geeks at Google, but they're not talking) but we have established some definite Do's & Don'ts when it comes to optimizing your website. The other thing to understand is that the Google's & Yahoo's use both On-Page & Off-Page optimization when ranking your website. For now, we'll concentrate on the On-site SEO which is the foundation for all other web marketing anyway.

Even paid web traffic from ads will cost you less with an optimized website because the search engines will reward you for playing by their rules … And simply the one theme that governs the rules of the search engines is to protect the consumer.

The Search Engines primary job is to bring the most RELEVANT results (websites, videos, articles, etc.) to the consumer or person doing the search based on the search term they type in. For example: If you were to search for "Snake Poison Antidote" on Google, you would be less than pleased and understandably angry if it pulled up websites on snakeskin handbags and boots. You get the idea.

Getting Started with SEO Strategies

1. KEYWORDS : Prior to the SEO (or the process of correctly placing the right search engine friendly elements on your site) Optimization really begins with understanding the search terms people are using to look for products and services in the first place. These search terms are commonly known as "Keywords". Proper Keyword research is where most people (even seasoned marketers) fail before they even get started. Fortunately there are plenty of free and paid tools you can be using in no time to pick out the best terms to optimize your site with.

2. PLACEMENT : After you have thoroughly done your keyword research, it is time to strategically place them in all the elements * of your site (Header, Title, Description, Meta Tags, Navigation Links, Images, H1, H2, H3 tags, Alt Tags, Body etc.) to effectively have Google and the others to index or take account of all of them to be able to rank your site's relevancy for those keywords.

* Note: All of these "elements" are simply fields easily accessible to fill in on most commonly used website platforms.

Ok, that's it!

It can not be.

Yes it can! Sort of …

Like I said there are many geekier aspects of on-page optimization which includes things like which type of site structures to use, frames, types of scripts, etc. However, with the advancement of template driven and WYSIWYG * sites, many of these aspects are already pre-coded for optimization or ease of readability for those Search Engines out there doing their creeping and crawling thing … also known as indexing.

* WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) – An interface that provides the user with the ability to point and click to insert objects, images & text into most sites today.

So with Keyword Research and proper Placement in your site are the broad strokes of On-Page Search Engine Optimization. However, "How" to do the right and profitable Keyword Research for your niche and "How" to place them properly in all the elements of your sites is where you earn your stripes.

Your SEO Strategies Next Step

Fortunately I have put together a step by step guide that will not only walk you through on-page optimization but also how to drive FREE traffic through off page optimization as well.

Remember that Search Engine Optimization is an Investment, not an Expense. Unlike paid ads, the efforts you put in to really optimize your site today will continue to pay off well into the future.

With a proper search engine optimization guide, you can easily dominate search-engines like Yahoo, Google and MSN. Ranking high on search-engines is easy and can be very profitable for your website.

LEGO and ISO 9001

The 80-year old LEGO Group believes “only the best is good enough”, according to its founder Kirk Christiansen. Accordingly, it is registered to several key ISO standards including ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 8124 (safety of toys).

When was the last time you opened a new LEGO kit and discovered missing pieces or instructions or anything less than satisfactory about the product and the total experience? The LEGO brand is vital to the LEGO Group and everyone knows how difficult it is to console children when their expectations haven’t been met. LEGO Group cannot afford this. ISO 9001 provides the necessary framework and guidelines to hold itself in check while meeting internationally-accepted best practices for running an effective Quality Management System.

LEGO is using ISO 9001 to hold its suppliers and global factories accountable to meet its quality standards and customer expectations. This is one of the benefits of the standard. The ISO certified company can call the shots when dealing with suppliers and have its pick of the litter. Ultimately, the customer wins. The standard is also being used to help fast-track global expansion.

LEGO is closely adhering to Section 7.2.3 of the standard called ‘Customer communication’. That is, LEGO is determining and implementing effective arrangements for communicating with customer in relation to:

1) product information

2) enquiries, contracts or order handling, including amendments, and

3) customer feedback, including customer complaints

The excerpt below is from ISO Focus+ magazines’ March 2010 issue, Volume 1, No. 3

Since 1991, the LEGO Group has implemented ISO 9001, which it regards as the ideal framework for structuring its global quality management system (QMS) – with LEGO factories operating in countries well aware of its requirements. Using ISO 9001 is an efficient way of implementing the quality management system at new production sites. All ISO 9001 requirements will usually be familiar to quality management staff at new sites, which enables the company to focus fully on the specific internal requirements. For the consumer, the quality management system ensures that each LEGO box contains the right number and type of building elements, which are crucial to delivering the promised LEGO building experience.

Austin Apartments for Rent – An Overview for Prospective Renters

Apartments in Austin, Texas have seen increasing demand over the last year as the central Texas economy has begun to recover and employers have continued to expand their businesses and hire new employees. Along with the employment opportunities offered by companies such as Dell, Motorola and AMD, Austin has long been a popular destination due to it's climate, beautiful neighborhoods, highly-ranked public schools and institutions of higher learning such as the University of Texas.

Austin Apartments are available in a number of sizes and floor plans from 400 square foot studios to 3,000 square foot downtown Austin penthouses. There are hundreds of communities located within and close to Austin that range in size from one hundred to over six hundred units. These properties often have amenities such as courtyards, clubhouses, large balconies, lagoon-style swimming pools, stunning lanscapes, direct-access garages and much more. Many of the newer Austin apartment communities also provide luxuries such as free WiFi, state of the art fitness facilities, limited access gates and pre-wired alarm panels in every unit. Depending on the age of the property, location, and amenities, rents can range from $ 650 per month for one bedroom floor plans to over $ 2,000 per month for premium Downtown units. Fee associated with renting Austin apartments typically include an application fee, administrative fee and a security deposit. Although the fees can vary broadly from one community to another, renters should expect to pay around $ 40 to $ 50 for an application fee and anywhere from $ 100 to $ 300 for the combined administrative fee and deposit. Lease terms offered usually range from six to fifteen months with twelve months being most common. For those who need a shorter lease term, many communities offer three month leases for an additional monthly fee or "upcharge" of $ 150 to $ 400 per month. Not surprisingly, management companies often offer a lower monthly rent for a longer term so choosing a twelve month lease over a six month lease may save the prospective renter anywhere from $ 15 to $ 35 per month or more.

Although many factors must be considered when choosing an apartment in Austin, Texas, most renters give priority to the neighborhood, proximate to employers and academic institutions, and the current rents of properties in those areas. Other considerations may include community pet policies for those renters who have large pets, parking options such as covered or garage parking, units features such as washer and dryer connections or an included washer and dryer, safety features, lease terms and rent concessions.

There are a number of professional and non-profit associations in the Austin Metro area that offer information about apartment and condominium rental availability. In addition to these associations, there are also real estate agents who work as apartment locators, assisting prospective renters in finding a great new place to live. The internet can also be an excellent source of information on Austin apartments for rent with the most current and accurate data typically being offered by local apartment locating services who specialize in the Austin apartment market.

Trampolines and the Benefits of Trampolining

As well as great fun for children, adults too will get hours of enjoyment and a good general full body workout from trampolines. We are sure that you will get endless hours of use year after year.

Studies by NASA scientists show that rebounding on a trampoline is 68% more effective than jogging and yet requires less effort! You can also develop both upper and lower body strength just as effectively as weight lifting without the strain or threat of pulled or torn muscles. Rebounding on a trampoline has been shown to outperform swimming as an all round exercise.

The benefits of trampolining are:

o Exercise through Play – its great fun and your body is benefitting!

o Balance – trying to bounce in one place on a trampoline means you have to develop a keen sense of balance and awareness of how your body’s balance can be adjusted (or compromised) by small movements at the body’s extremities.

o Co-ordination – closely related to balance is the need to coordinate arm and leg actions, as well as many fast-twitch muscle groups, necessary to form the different shapes and perform the various somersaults and twists.

o Muscular strength and endurance – not only the lower body muscles but also the upper body muscles and your core muscles are worked when trampolining

o Improved lung and cardiovascular efficiency – bouncing on a trampoline increases the pulse rate and strengthens muscle groups essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.

o Moderate Intensity Physical Activity

o Bilateral motor skills – the action of bouncing whilst trying to maintain balance and coordinate bodily extremities calls on both sides of the body and, indeed, the brain to become engaged which is quite different to many ground based sports where one side can often be favoured (most notably in football for example).

o Rhythm – again closely related but distinct is the need to bounce in tune with the trampoline to achieve optimum height for least effort.

o Self-confidence – even those least confident with sports will find it possible to make some progress on the relatively forgiving surface of a trampoline and this progress will help boost confidence.

o Improved lymphatic circulation – probably not quite as good as detoxing entirely but the short periods of weightlessness between periods of higher than average G forces that occur whilst bouncing actually helps the body get rid of toxins; physical activity and gravity effects are essential to the lymphatic system achieving this and both are more actively engaged when trampolining than with almost any other sport.

o Low impact – although bouncing is an impact sport the period of acceleration and deceleration is much longer than with activities such as jogging where the surface used has no give at all.

Trampolining is extremely easy and fun. Besides the obvious fitness benefits of trampolines, it works many major muscles, increases your heart rate and flexibility, and improves your reflexes. It develops your body balance and physical fitness, strengthens the body muscles, ligaments, tendons and improves body movement. Most importantly trampolining can eradicate obesity and promotes good health, which can also reduce the risk of arthritis. Visit to view an extensive range of trampolines to suit all ages and START TRAMPOLINING.

Professional Line Painting and Pavement Marking

Making sure your parking lot lines are repainted when they fade is not only important for the safety of the drivers that use your parking lot, but it also says a lot about your business. When your parking lot lines, speed bumps, arrows and handicaps are freshly painted it shows that you take pride in your business and makes your place of business look great.

Not all line painting service providers are equal. You will find that some line painting companies are conscientious and take time to make sure the job is done well while some companies only want to get in and out as fast as possible.

When you choose your provider there are a couple things you can do to make sure you are getting a quality job. First, visit the providers website. Is there website professionally done or does it look like they just screw it up in a day? Look for pictures of their work. Do their lines look straight? Is there any overspray? Do they use nice stencils, or do they used outdated or ugly fonts and arrows? Line painting should always offer free quotes, so when they come in to estimate your parking lot it is a good opportunity to get a sense of what kind of people are working for the company.

If you really want to be sure, the best thing you can do is ask for the address of a job they recently painted which is in the area. Then you can go and observe how much care they used in their painting.

Here are some other things to consider. Line painting should only be done in warmer weather and the road needs to be completely dry. It can not be done when the pavement is damp from rainfall. Also, the cleaner the paving the better. In order to ensure the maximum durability of your paint job you may want to consider pressure washing the pavement if it is particularly dirty or grimi. Line painting should be done every 1-2 years for high traffic areas and every 2-4 years for low traffic areas.

The next time you need to get your parking lot repainted remembering to use these tips to evaluate the different line painting providers that work in your area. Once you find a good line painting company make sure you keep their business card and use them the next time you need your lines done. It will be easy for them to repaint your lines and pavement marks because they are sure to have matching stencils. Good luck!

Scariest Amusement Rides EVER!

Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved roller coasters and other scary type rides. The scariest I have ever been on are not even in an amusement park. The scariest rides are in Las Vegas at the top of the Stratosphere! There are currently four rides in the top of this 1,149 foot tall tower, although the rides are mostly between the 900 and 1,000 foot levels. I have not been there since they competed the fourth ride. I will describe the rides in the proposed order of riding.

The first ride is a little roller coaster named High Roller. On the ground this would be a little kiddie roller coaster. But when you are rolling around the tracks over 900 feet up in the air, it is a little different. While not really really scary it is a bit unnerving.

The next ride is called The Big Shot. I have been of rides similar to this one, but none have nearly the impact of this one. This ride is on the needle at the top of the tower. The needle has three sides, and there are a row of seats on each side. You are strapped into the seat securely with your back to the needle. There is a wait period, then you will be slowly lift off the ground to about 10 feet in the air. Still no big deal. Then without warning, you are ROCKETED upward. As you go up, you do not see the tower anymore. You only see out, and that you are around a 1,000 feet in the air. There is a weightless feeling as through you have come disconnected from the tower. I screamed the first time I felt this. Unlike other rides like this I have been on, you do not feel when you hit the top, and start falling. For example the similar type ride in California Adventureland, you actually feel a bit of braking toward the top. You do not feel this braking on the Big Shot. You will start free falling down again. Then the seat will bungee up and down until you are finally lowered at the end of the ride.

The third ride is the scariest of the three. It is called X-Scream. This ride is like a open side bobsled mounted on a see-saw. The first time I rode this, I was in the second row. You are strapped securely into the bobsled part. The teeter-totter will start to tip up, and the bobsled will slide to the other end of the track. Ummm … did I mention other end of the track is over 30 feet out over the edge of the tower? So then you are sliding forward down the track toward the over 900 foot drop straight down to sin city! Then the track will tilt back, and you will slide backwards. Then it will tilt forward again, and you will get to the end of the track. The car might creep a little forward, and then drop some more. The track may lift, and then drop again. The ride has some different programs so that the slides and falls are not predictable to the rider. At the end of the ride, the guys in the front row said that for the full effect, you need to be in the front row. This is true. IF YOU WANT THE SCARIEST EXPERIENCE, RIDE IN THE FRONT ROW, EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO WAIT! I rode the ride again, this time in the front row. They were absolutely right! In the front row, you have nothing between you and ground 900 feet below except a bar, and a harness. You start thinking what if some bolt or cable breaks!

I had bought a ticket to ride all of the rides as many times as I wanted. I ended up riding the High Roller coaster once, the Big Shot once, and the X-Scream twice. That was enough. My legs were shaking! I had had enough for the day.
I did ride these rides again on my next visit to Las Vegas when my brother was there. I kept thinking to myself why am I on these rides again?

The newest ride is called Insanity The Ride. Looking at the Stratosphere's website, I do not see the High Roller listed anymore. They may have removed it for this ride. From reading, and looking at the photos, it appears that the Insanity ride has 5 arms that hang down form a wheel attached to a big arm, with each small arm having two seats at the bottom. You are strapped into the seats, and then the big arm swings you out over the edge. Then the wheel starts to turn and the hanging arms swing out with you strapped to them. It would probably be very scary, but I have not ridden it yet.

If you get to Las Vegas, and like scary rides, you gotta try these!