Advantages of Photo Mounting

Are your photographs aging rapidly? Safeguard your photos for a lifetime with the right kind of photo mounts. They not only protect your priceless pictures, but also offer an elegant way to display your photographs.

What is Photo Mounting?

In simple words, photo mounting is nothing but placing your pictures on a hard surface. You can protect your photographs from moisture, wind, and other elements by mounting them. The multitude of options you have in selecting a picture mounting board makes it all the more versatile. Traditional mounts, standout mounts, foam core boards, and single-weight mats are different types of mounts, which are all unique in their own way. Gator board mounting and styrene mounting board are also popularly used mounting boards.

How Do They Help You?

Your photographs will stay clean and last for several years. Apart from protecting your photos from bending and marking, photo mounts offer new vistas for displaying your pictures. You can professionally enlarge your photos and display them using mounts. If you want to give a contemporary touch to your home, go for standout mounts. The sleek edges of these mounts would contrast your walls beautifully, enhancing the room decor.

Add a bright and colorful touch to your office by displaying beautiful landscape or building pictures. Lightweight and strong foam core boards are a great choice for mounting your photographs. Some foam boards are coated with solid styrene or plastic sheet to offer a textured finish.

If you want to augment your outdoor decor with pictures, go for gator board mounting. As these boards have a wooden base, they are strong and durable, making them an ideal choice for outdoor use.

Are worried about moisture affecting your print? Then go for styrene mounting board that does not have any natural fibers. Traditional mounting is very common and helps the print stay flat, unaffected by temperature and humidity changes.

Picture mounting is a beautiful craft which can serve two purposes, preserving your photographs and adding style to your pictures. Personalize your photo mounts by picking different designs and borders.

Where Can You Get Them From?

There are several online service providers that offer unique picture mounting boards. You can check out the various options they offer and choose the right mounting board to mount your pictures. Are you wondering about the price? Don’t worry. With so many online stores to choose from, you can select your picture mounting boards according to your taste and budget. These are lighter on your pocket than you expect them to be.

Basic Gardening Tools You Should Have

Gardening is one of the most relaxing and rewarding hobbies that you can have. This is primarily because it allows you to plant the foliage and greenery that you want right outside your home. It is also rewarding and fulfilling since seeing your garden grow right before your eyes as the days go by can very well be the best reward for all of your hard work. To make sure that you have an easy and pleasurable time tending to your garden, it is important that you have the right types of garden tools. Here are some of the basic garden tools that every homeowner should have.

1. Cultivator

A cultivator is generally used for mixing the soil with fertilizer to prepare it for planting. They also help in removing soil lumps, cleaning moss and in thatching and aerating. They can also be used with different attachments to cut vegetation or plough the soil.

2. Spade

A spade is used for digging or removing soil. In the past, spades have actually been made with riven wood. Today, however, they are with sharp tips of metal, allowing an easier and more efficient method or breaking up and moving soil.

3. Garden Hoe

This garden tool offers plenty of uses including agitating the surface of the soil which surround plants and removing weeds.

4. Pitchfork

Pitchforks have a long handle and long and thin pointed tines pr prongs which are widely spaced apart. They are used in lifting and throwing loose materials such as leaves and other agricultural materials.

5. Secateurs

Secateurs are pruning shears which are used for pruning hard and thick branches of shrubs and trees. There are three types of blade designs of secateurs: bypass, anvil and parrot-beak. The first type, the anvil secateur, has a single blade that closes onto a flat surface and are useful for cutting up to two-centimetre thick branches. Bypass secateurs work just like a pair of scissors. They have two blades that pass each other, with at least one of them curved. Parrot-beak secateurs have two curved passing blades, trapping the stem or branch between them, making it easier to cut. Parrot-beak secateurs are often used for narrower stems.

6. Grass Shears

A grass shear is different from a secateur or a pair of pruning shears as it has longer handles which are at right angles to its blades. It can be used in cutting grass and lawn edges from a standing position. It is commonly used by gardeners to cut grass which were not been cut by the lawnmower.

7. Trowel

A trowel is a tool which has a handle and a pointed and scoop-shaped metal blade. Similar to a cultivator, it can be used for digging small holes and breaking up lumps of soil. It can also be used for removing weeds and in planting and mixing fertilizer.

8. Rake

A rake is a horticultural implement which has a toothed bar that is attached to a long handle. It is generally used for loosening the soil, leveling the earth and in weeding.

9. Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is small and hand-operated vehicle that has only one wheel. It can be maneuvered by the user through pushing and guiding the two handles on its rear. It is useful in transporting or moving soil, plants, pots, gardening equipment and other things which are too heavy or bulky to move by hand.

10. Lawnmower

The lawnmower is another common garden tool which is used for cutting grass. It has a blade which rotates around a vertical axis or a horizontal axis. Those which rotate around a vertical axis are referred to as rotary mowers while those that rotate around a horizontal axis are referred to as reel or cylinder mowers. Lawnmowers come in different sizes. There are smaller ones which can be pushed manually and are best for smaller lawns or gardens; and there are the bigger ride-on mowers which are more suited for larger lawns.

Working With a Contracted Painter

Help with home improvement work should always be welcome with open arms by homeowners with no real experience in the matter. Going at it alone is usually not a wise decision for homeowners when it comes to the more complicated tasks such as painting the house or other complex projects. With a professional approach and help from contractors, homeowners can rest assured that their projects will turn out looking magnificent and the process will go much more smoothly than if the homeowner had hired an amateur or done the work themselves.

A contracted painter is a valuable addition to any remodeling project. With a very important aspect of the project taken care of, homeowners should rest easy knowing that they can now focus their attention on other areas of the remodel. Knowing exactly what they are doing, a contracted painter will take on a project efficiently and with little problems. Knowing how to deal with problems when they arise and hopefully avoid them before they even come up, these professionals prove their worth each time they are hired by homeowners looking for a good paint job. With a well-painted house, homeowners are usually happy they went with a professional.

The value a contracted painter holds often goes beyond physically painting the house. Helping with the planning aspect of the project is widely accepted as a big plus if the contractor is able to do so. With their experience and training, contractors are usually able to offer advice and lend a hand when planning these expansive remodeling projects. This often proves to be one of the most valuable resources a homeowner can hope for when taking on large remodeling projects.

Chandelier Lamp Shades

There are robust-looking chandeliers in wrought iron, crystal chandeliers that are simply drop-dead gorgeous, and candle chandeliers that ooze romance. And lampshade chandeliers are dainty, pretty things. The chandelier frame is a pretty massive, with lampshades that are attached to the top. So it is obvious that this type of chandelier is meant for a large room.

The advantage of a lampshade chandelier is that a dazzling array of moods and designs may be created just by changing the shades. There is no need to dismantle the entire chandelier frame and revamp it. Also, a lampshade chandelier can be readily assembled at home.

In case of such chandeliers, the frame is usually a simple one, mostly made of wood or iron, since it is of no use to have an ornate frame that is going to be hidden by the overhanging shades. It is the type of lampshade being used that determines the look of the chandelier. The shade can be in the shape of the regular cone, a bell or circular like the Chinese-styled lampshades; it can be made of virtually anything ranging from handmade paper, silk, beads or a simple printed fabric. The lampshade may be in some sort of color, so that instead of a clear light you can have a light that diffuses a tinted glow. This can be your choice if you want mood lighting rather than incandescence.

The lampshade can be made to match the furnishings of the room so that in addition to a chandelier that is attuned to the mood of the room, you also have one that is color coordinated with the rest of the room. In fact, this is the only type of chandelier where you can coordinate so easily. When it comes to versatility, the lampshade chandelier is much more successful than other types of chandeliers.

A More Organized Room – Shelves and Vanities

Once you’ve conquered your closet, it’s time to move onto the more visible places in the room. If you have shelf and/or vanity space (be it on top of your dresser, etc…), it’s easy to let things accumulate on these shelves that don’t belong there. By taking some simple organizational steps and introducing some items that will help keep products grouped together – you can still easily access all of your daily needs without completely changing up your routine.

When you’ve decided to go through with making changes to your “morning routine area”, clearing everything off of the shelves or vanity tops will give you the opportunity to properly clean the space before you start redoing things. Just as you wouldn’t redo your entire kitchen with a sink of dirty dishes, the same goes for the changes you’ll be making in your bedroom. By cleaning the shelves of any makeup debris or stuck on hairspray, you’ll have a clean slate to work with. Going through this process every few months will help the debris from building up and will also help you go through your hair and makeup supply and weed out the empty or expired items. By keeping your collections up to date, you’ll be able to prevent clutter before it even starts.

For many women, the space in front of the mirror is where much of the clutter can form. From makeup to hair products to various other odds and ends – getting all of this in order will help you to speed up your routine in the morning. Even though you might not think of it – a trip to the office supply section of your local store can help you get your vanity in order. By purchasing a simple desktop organizer with various sized compartments makes a great organizer for your makeup. Using the taller bins meant for pens and pencils to store mascara and eyeliner will get those in one easy to reach space, and using the smaller, shallower bins for eye shadows and lipsticks will keep them within easy access. If you have a lot of makeup “tools” lying around (cotton balls, brushes, Q-Tips, etc…), you can purchase a separate organizer for those, as well. By getting all of these supplies off of the countertop, you’ll have more room to safely allow straightening and curling irons to heat without having to worry about them melting a tube of lipstick.

If you have a variety of hair products, it’s easy to set them in various locations throughout the room if they don’t have a designated area. A simple fix to this is install a small shelf at eye level directly next to your mirror dedicated to the storage of your sprays and gels. By having everything right there next to the mirror, all totally visible, you’ll know exactly where all of your products are. If a shelf isn’t an option, getting a basket (preferably a plastic one that will be easy to clean if there’s a leak) to put your products in on the countertop will keep you from setting them down in various locations. If you have a designated spot for things, you’re much more likely to return them to where they came from. Simple organizational steps like these can help you speed up your morning routine allowing you to get out the door earlier than ever.

Although these may seem like small changes, your room will not only feel more organized, but it will certainly look it, too. Instead of a cramped, cluttered workspace – you’ll now have more room than ever. Your vanity and shelf spaces will look bigger than they ever have and you’ll definitely be able to notice the difference right away. By taking the organization process one step at a time – you’ll be well on your way to a cleaner and neater space in no time.

Review of the Toro 38361 Power Shovel Snow Thrower

The Toro Power  Shovel  Snow Thrower is one of the best buys currently on the market. It works much better than other similar snow throwers, it is lightweight, and it is extremely easy to start, use, and maintain.

Toro 38361 Power  Shovel  features

With a 7.5 Amp electric series wound motor, the motor is powerful enough to shoot snow distances of 20 feet. The clearing path ability is 1 foot across, and the depth of the snow it can throw on a single pass is 6 inches. The rotors are specifically curved using advanced technology, which allows for an even cleaning capability all the way down to the surface of the concrete or pavement. The Toro 38361 has the overall capacity to clear up to 300 pounds of snow per minute. The handle was designed with comfort in mind to prevent soreness while using the machine for extended periods. The handle is also fully adjustable up and down the machine, and the handle angle is adjustable as well.

The best uses for the Toro 38361

The Toro Snow Thrower is ideal for clearing small areas such as decks, sidewalks, or driveways. The snow is thrown in front of the machine, not to the sides. Being an electric machine, no gas or oil changes are necessary, however it does need a power cord to operate. The area you will be able to clear therefore is directly linked to how long the power cord is. A low temperature outdoor extension cord is recommended for use with the machine. The Snow Thrower features a cord lock system, in case the cord was to get tangled in the rotors. Also, the Snow Thrower rotor casing is made of a high quality durable plastic, which is one of the reasons the machine weighs only 13 pounds.

Specialty Car Lift and Automotive Lift Options

Most auto technicians and shop owners are already familiar with the ever popular two post lift and the common four post lift. We’ve also addressed these types of car lifts in previous articles, so we will not be discussing them here. Instead, we will concentrate on the other less familiar car lift choices.

Front and center and probably the next most popular choice for auto lifts would be the scissor lift. There are numerous different types of scissor hoist. There are mid rise and full rise scissor lifts. There is also a scissor alignment rack. Most scissor lifts do move the vehicle forward or backward slightly when you raise it, so leave a little extra room to provide for that movement.

The mid rise scissor lift raises the car to a height in the range of 48 inches to 53 inches. The reason the height can vary is because many mid rise lifts come with a 12 piece set of adapters that allow you to reach various car jacking frame points that might not be reachable for short adapters, or the flat lifting pads of a low rise pad lift, (we’ll talk about low rise pad lifts a bit later). The arms on the mid rise car lift are adjustable to meet almost any car on the market. An added benefit of the mid rise lift is that it is portable so you can roll it around the shop and store it out of the way if necessary. This hoist is one of the more popular of the alternative types on the market.

The full rise scissor lift is another popular car hoist that caters to the customer who wants all the benefits of a full rise two post, but who don’t have enough floor space for one. That’s the main benefit of going with the full rise scissor lift in a nut shell. You will still be able to access all of the automobile, just as you would on the two post lift, and you will also be able to stand up under it, however it can fit into some pretty tight spaces. Unlike the mid rise lift, this car lift must be mounted to the floor.

The next type of car lift is the low rise pad lift. These lifts are great for body work, brake jobs and tire rotations. They raise the car by the frame, so you’ll have complete access to the wheels. The lifts come with rubber lift blocks that can go on the surface of the lift pad which come in handy when the car’s frame points are difficult to get at with just the flat pad surface. These lifts only raise to a height of about 28 inches, so you won’t be standing up under this one. There are two different models. One is portable and one is not. So if you need to move it, get the portable option.

Another variation of the low rise pad lift is the pit lift. This lift is designed to straddle pits that are typically found in lube shops. So there is no structure in between the two pads as you would find on the low rise lifts. The benefit of these lifts would allow access to the underside of the auto, via the lube pit. The technician gets down in the pit, and can get at every part of the vehicle.

These lift choices are viable options for auto shop owners and home hobbyists alike. Other automotive lift options are available. We will address those options in future articles.

What Makes A Compelling Elevator Speech: Escaping or Avoiding Pain

Imagine riding an  elevator  with strangers. One asks you, “What do you do?” You have until the  elevator  reaches the next floor to answer the question. If you answer compellingly, then you could get sales leads or referrals. The goal is to answer so that you are asked for your business card before the  elevator  stops.

To be asked for your card by a stranger after a self-introduction that lasts no longer than thirty seconds: that is the mark of a compelling  elevator  speech. That is also where most fail.

Good, but…

Consider Jeff’s  elevator  speech: “I work with people who want to accumulate wealth by investing in undervalued stocks.”

This is what Brenda says: “I help couples to furnish and decorate their new homes in a style that’s all their own.”

Jeanette says, “I work with growing companies that need to find talented people so that they can continue growing and become more successful.”

Each of these is good enough that Jeff and Brenda and Jeanette can give out their business cards. They concisely describe their customers and the benefits they provide. Yet, these  elevator  speeches lack the power to compel most people to ask for a business card before the  elevator  stops.

For example, unless you are already somebody who wants to accumulate wealth by investing in undervalued stocks, Jeff might only be remembered for his sharp suit and irrelevant career.

Empathy gives it power

That compelling power comes from describing with empathy the emotional discomfort or pain that you relieve. That is the core of a compelling  elevator  speech: pain relief.

Here is Brenda’s  elevator  speech again, with pain relief added: “I help couples to furnish and decorate their new homes in a style that’s all their own – and they don’t have to do all of the shopping.” Many people would like relief from the chore of shopping for furnishings and decorations. With only ten more words, Brenda honors that and offers relief.

Fluff is forgotten

At parties, mixers, wedding receptions, conferences, and a variety of other situations where people meet for the first time, people often forget others they meet. That’s how  elevator  speeches get condensed into simple impressions.

For example, Ed uses this  elevator  speech: “I help people just like you to get the car of their dreams. I’ve been with Paul’s Auto Brokers for eight years, now, and I still find it amazing how we make car ownership dreams come true. We find deals on new and used wheels that you wouldn’t believe.”

To most people he meets, Ed’s  elevator  speech sounds too good to be true. He has considered adding more about his background, or the award-winning service department at Paul’s Auto Brokers, or that he had a record year last year. The trouble is, unless you can empathetically describe the pain you relieve, most people do not care about such things.

The simple impression that Ed creates centers around his enthusiasm and possible overstatement. (Still amazing after eight years?) Ed needs to demonstrate relevance.

When it’s all fluff

Until you credibly mention emotional discomfort, and at least imply that you can help, most people do not care about:

    o the awards you’ve won.
    o how many staff you have.
    o how much experience you have.
    o how long you’ve been in business.
    o your education.
    o your business location.
    o your business hours.
    o your basic business values.
    o the important people you deal with.
    o amusing rhymes about your company.

Pain relief = relevance

Relevance makes a compelling  elevator  speech and pain makes it relevant. That’s why Jeannette would be wiser to say something like this: “You know, a lot of companies in this area are having quite a tough time finding good people to hire. Then, it can be frustrating to keep a good team together. Of course, letting people go can cause lost sleep, too. As a certified Human Resources Consultant, I help to make life easier for senior managers. Can you relate to that?”

If your babysitter’s parents had just divulged their hiring woes, would you ask Jeannette for her card? If your neighbour had recently lamented having to lay off workers, would you ask Jeannette for her card? If you were frustrated about office politics affecting performance among your own employees, would you ask Jeannette for her card?

It’s not about you

An  elevator  speech should communicate:

    o Who you are (name with or without title or organization).
    o Three problems you solve (succinctly described in emotional terms).
    o That you can solve such problems (concisely stated in emotional terms).
    o A hook question (e.g. Is this important to you?)

When people ask what you do, do not talk about yourself. Rather, describe concisely the emotional discomforts that you relieve – perhaps affecting your listener or people they care about. Then, state that you help to stop or to avoid such pains. Now your business card is worth asking for.

After 30 seconds or fewer (before the  elevator  reaches the next floor) you should be asked for your card by a stranger. Until that happens, you do not have a compelling  elevator  speech.

License Plate Frames For Car Enthusiasts

A lot of individuals are getting fond of cars that they even spend a lot of money for upgrades and the like. However, not all can afford this kind of luxury and to those who are able to get what they want, that would be an edge and they are somehow considered lucky in life because they don’t really need to sweat a lot just to achieve something they aim for. Talking about luxurious cars, there are always issues that can be linked with, such as upgrades, styles, wheels, tires, license  plate  frames, and a lot more. These are what makes car great looking and interesting and if you want to know more about the frames, this article will show to you some important points to consider.

What can you think of upon hearing, license  plate  frames? Can you think of very stylish frames or all you can think of are frames made to last? Actually, your ideas are all accepted for most frames can be stylish enough and most of which are made to last in order to prevent replacement or repair each time. Take note, replacement of car parts can be very costly, so if you want to get rid if replacement, know how to maintain your car and be a good user.

The license  plate  frames, as the name suggest, are placed on the front rear portion of the license  plate  of the car card and these are necessary car accessories responsible in holding the  plate  just in place. Without the frames, the license  plate  can be detached from its original position and that would mean another cost, for all the processing and replacement. Aside from holding the  plate  in place, license  plate  frames can also add an accent to the  plate , every time you look it at. These items can be prefect as gifts for those who love cars or to a friend during his birthday.

These license  plate  frames are available at various design, color and style. If you are looking for something that would best complement your personality, you can actually find one and all you need to do is to determine your specifications, know your style, know your favorites and make he right deal with a reputable dealer. You can also inquire if you can make it more personalized. There are different frames intended for the SUVs, vans, motorcycles, and any other form of vehicles.

Choosing the right license  plate  frames is just like choosing your own car, you actually evaluate everything and you are trying to assess if it really fits your liking or not. You don’t need to look for one that is very expensive, just pick one that would complement your car, your personality and to the kind of driving you usually do.

WoodBurning And Multi Fuel Stove Maintenance

As with most things around the house,  stoves  need a little bit of tender loving care in order to serve you well throughout its life. Below are the main parts of your  stove  that you would need to check in order for your  stove  to work efficiently:

Fire Grate: This is the part on the bed of your  stove  that the fuel sits on. If it is a Multi Fuel  Stove  ensure that the grate can be riddled easily enough. If the grate does not move or is restricted in its movement remove the grate when cool and check for distortion and cracks. Please note that these do occasionally wear out and the normal reason behind this is often due to the ashpan not being cleaned regularly enough. Remove the ash daily as the ash can catch fire and will put direct heat onto the bar which will reduce the life of the grate.

Fire Bricks: are the concrete looking bricks that you normally find in side the  stove  on the inside walls and at the back of the  stove . The job of the fire bricks are to protect the cast or steel shell from damage by the direct heat produced. From time to time the bricks can crack or start to crumble in places. If the crack is very small you can normally cover the crack in fire cement just to seal the crack but this should only be a short term fix and you should look to replace the fire bricks as soon as possible to avoid damaging your  stove .

 Stove  Throat plate: This is the steel plate at the top of the  stove  that normally rests on top of the Fire Bricks. This is designed to stop all the heat going directly up the chimney and reflects the heat back into the  stove . Over time these can sometimes warp slightly if the  stove  is run frequently at a high heat. If this gets too warped it could cause problems when sweeping the chimney or trying to remove fire bricks.

Ashpan: This is what catches the ash in a Multi Fuel  Stove . Ensure that there are no holes in the ash pan to avoid having hot ash falling out. this should be emptied regularly as to protect the Fire Grate and the Ashpan itself as continued heat could cause damage.

 Stove  Rope Seal: This is the heat resistant roap that goes around the door or the  stove  and the inside of the glass. the road will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. you will normally know when the rope needs replacing as there may be air getting into the  stove  making it burn less efficiently or there may be smoke seeping out of the door or glass. The rope will also go very flat and hard and crispy over time and this is another sign of wear and tear.

Heat Resistant Glass: The glass can get brittle over time and can crack if knocked. Occasionally the glass will become too brittle because of the heat it will crack with the slightest touch. This is normal and can happen after a period of time. Try not to over tighten the glass screws on the in side of the door as these could make the glass crack once heated.

The above mentioned are the main things that can have an effect on the way the  stove  works. It is recommended that you check the above items regularly. This will ensure that your  stove  looks after you through out the cold winter months, year after year.

Rice Cooker Features

If you are the kind of person who loves rice but just cannot cook it on top of the stove without making a horrendous mess, then the rice  cooker  is for you. Rice  cookers  can make light fluffy delicious rice every time without the mess created while cooking on the stove top.

If you are looking to buy a  cooker , you will need to know what kind of  cooker  you need. To begin with: how much rice does you family eat, or how much do you cook each week for yourself and your family. You need to know this so that you do not inadvertently buy a ten cup rice  cooker  when you family can only consume three to six cups. Also, you should be aware that three cups of dry rice will make six cups of cooked rice. If this is the amount that is good for your family, then you need to buy a three cup  cooker . Now that you know how much rice you want to cook and that the  cooker  can cook, what else do you need to know about the  cooker ?

Some  cookers  can cook soup, porridge (your morning oatmeal), eggs, steam vegetables and cook other foods as well. Will this be a help to you when you are making a meal for your family? If so, then you will want to have these features on your rice  cooker . Make a note of what features you would like.

Some rice  cookers  can cook your rice and keep it warm until you are ready to serve it. On the other hand, there are  cookers  that will keep your cooked rice perfectly fresh for up to three days.

There is a rice  cooker  called the Fuzzy Logic that claims to use human logic in cooking your rice. This means that the Fuzzy Logic  cooker  can adjust itself to the temperature and humidity of your house indoors and outdoors in order to cook a perfect pot of rice. Needless this type of technology also comes with a higher price tag. However, if you and your family eat a lot of rice and like it perfectly cooked, then the price tag may be well worth it.

Today’s modern  cookers  have many features to accommodate the tastes of the rice lovers. These features also come with functions that are needed to accommodate the most discriminating rice connoisseur. The  cooker  that is lower priced will have less of the bells and whistles than the more expensive  cooker . But, if you know what you want your  cooker  to do, then the higher price rice  cooker  may be your choice.

Plastic Discount Card

Nowadays many organizations like religious places, schools and charity organizations use plastic discount cards to provide Fund-raising Opportunities. Well how does this program work? These cards are given a face value at which they are sold to sponsors – $5, $10, $20 or any sum that is suitable. These charity organizations then go out into the society and have companies consent to offer special discounts to their organizations’ sponsors. The plastic cards are then printed with the company profile and the discount offers are than accessible to the cardholder.

These plastic discount cards offer advantages to everybody involved. The businesses make capital for their programs by selling the card as this card provides increased exposure and is a great method for advertising. Offering discounts is a lot more preferable by the organizations than giving away gift cards as that drives the consumers to their location and encourages repeat business because most eating places and retail establishments are visited by many wishing to give away donations as they become reluctant to continue giving items away. The purchaser or supporter also benefits from these plastic cards as they are also getting unique discounts at different locations in their area.

Scratch Off and Peel off panels are commonly placed onto the plastic discount cards. Scratch off panels are commonly found on plastic cards lottery tickets or game pieces used for promotions and to bring the excitement of winning and combine it with the lasting durability of the plastic card. Schools, groups or other organizations looking for fund-raising avenues can utilize this feature to customize their cards. On the other hand Peel off panels offer a method to provide two separate discounts – first the instant coupons that can be peeled off the plastic card and used at the merchants’ location, and second a separate discount that stays on the card and can be used repeatedly.

Some of the advantages of using plastic discount cards are as follows:

-An exceptional way to ensure that the customers return. The cards are kept in their purse/wallet and they use it time after time.

-If a customer has your discount card, he is most likely to return to you rather than to that of which he/she has no card.

-They are highly durable, and encourage repeat business.

-Provides a professional image at an affordable cost.

-Quality discount card printing increases your businesses revenue

-Helps reward your customers and generate a great deal of money for organizations by creating customer loyalty

Apart from the fund-raising opportunities, these cards are used to increase sales, customers, and get your company more visible. They are obtainable in different, creative patterns and designs. By use of this, businesses give incentives to their customers for regular visits. The cards are waterproof, tear proof, scratch resistant, and available in other card protections. A business which creates excellent discount cards would have repute in the fierce competitive market. Always make your cards something to be proud of and for that reputed printing company must be selected.

When Loyalty Walks the Plank

Recently, one of my buddies uttered the following statement: “Never push a loyal person to the point where they don’t give a darn.” Hmmm. He had my attention which was now hooked like an eagle’s beak. My initial reaction was to try and decipher why he said that. He’s in a decent job making decent money and he’s looking at retiring soon. I knew however, there was a crack in the crust.

For the last 18 years he’s been a dormant volcano but circumstances, and people, within the company were eroding his loyalty. His fabric of devotion was being torn thread by thread. Why? How?

What could cause this person, who, at one time, possessed the loyalty of a Golden Retriever, to now have the loyalty of a phone book. The longer our conversation progressed, the more he had my attention as my cavern spelunking instincts kicked in. That’s right, there are no exploratory limitations within the caves of leadership. The leadership caves remain open despite periods of government shutdown.

Loyalty: To keep or not to keep, that is the question? Lets get to the meat of the discussion shall we?

As leaders we must continually seek out the loyal employees and do everything within our humanly powers to keep them around but first, we need to recognize who they are. Sounds simple enough but you’d be surprised. Maybe you are not. It should be simple but too often the loyal employees are glossed over, disregarded, or stomped out like a campfire. As leaders we must take time to pause and reflect upon those within our organization that routinely go above and beyond the call of duty. Who are the ones that bleed company colors when cut? Who always volunteers to take on responsibility and always come through? Mr. and Mrs. Reliability I call them. You MUST know your players before you implement a game plan.

I’ve seen more than my share of loyal employees, in various businesses and organizations, ground into powder. This usually occurs through various conscience and unconscious managerial behaviors. Lets try the 10% analogy for starters. You know, 10% of your workforce does 90% of the work? Heard that one? As leaders, avoid fostering an environment where the go-getters get all the work piled on top of them. This leads to burnout and it happens quickly if you are not careful, not paying attention, or not there to stop it. Challenge everyone in your organization and challenge them often. Nearly everyone is capable if provided an opportunity.

There are other managerial tactics that suck the lifeblood from loyal employees. Any combination of avoiding their ideas, claiming their ideas as your own, or fostering an environment where they’re afraid to share their ideas, will zombify any loyal employee. Their creative juices will turn to sand and all you’ll be left with is a workplace resembling the Salt Flats of Utah. Did you know the World’s First KFC was in Salt Lake City? Neither did I. Moving on.Bottom line: Leadership is hard work. An organization’s success pivots around those that make things happen. The loyal movers and shakers are the Beez Neez of the workforce. Go seek these people out. Tell them you appreciate their efforts and move mountains to keep them happy. Hopefully your efforts will keep them from abandoning ship.

As for my buddy, well, he’s now the empty crab shell you find on the beach. Physically visible at work but there’s nothing inside. Another casualty of managerial dysfunction.

Create Your Personal Plan For Progressive Success

If a new business is to have any chance of succeeding, the proprietor must create a Business  Plan  and follow it. Without this long range  plan , is like a ship on the ocean without a rudder. It would be moving but in no particular direction.

Similarly, every person should develop a personal [business] life  plan  – short and long term- to map out the direction for their goals. While most people nowadays know the value of a personal business  plan  and have knowledge of what a business  plan  should accomplish, but very few translate it to a personal business  plan . So, what should be in your personal business  plan ?

Like a Business  Plan  for a business, you must identify and target your personal internal goals in broad terms. This will provide general guidance only and not identify how the goals established will be accomplished. These long range  plan  that show how the goals will be met are called STRATEGIC  plans .

The broader view-personal business  plan — identifies space and time for accomplishments for certain tasks you have identified for your life span. For the long term goals, you could look at every five years periodic time. In the shorter term, you could be looking at every year within the five years time blocks. You may write it up to show that by the first five years you would accomplish whatever you have established as a worthy goal-the next five years-ABC etc., until you have accounted for your entire life span.-say 100 years. I hope you live longer than that. You should use a spreadsheet to do this and review it every year or whenever you want to see how you are progressing. By looking at it at regular intervals keeps you focused and provide you the motivation to stay on course and on track.

The strategic  plan , however, will have a time element to it. It will show how long it will take, reasonably, to get the tasks you have identified, completed. You should also write what the consequences for not completing them will be. So, considering this long range  plan , if by the end of the first year of the five year block, you did not accomplish what you set out in the business  plan  and the strategic  plan , you will have to take a very hard look at what you did and change it a bit to get focused back on track.

This practice creates good discipline within yourself and if you stick to it will pay handsome dividends in your life. You will make remarkable improvement and develop a sound personality.

While there is no –hard and fast– rule for writing a personal business  plan , the content you put in it is what really matters. This long range  plan , must contain substantial activities that are worthy of accomplishment which would lead you to make valuable progress in your life when accomplished.

Having said all of this, you must NOW take your business  plan  seriously. It is your map to the future-your future. If you do not give it the respect it deserves you can fail in the long run. And, you do not want to fail!

Here is what you can achieve when you FOLLOW your personal Business  Plan 

– You will see more opportunities come into your life and will be ready to act upon them

— Your motivation level will be heightened.

— You will become a more enlightened person

— You will become a more authoritative and confident person

— Your leadership skills will improve.

–You will be less stressful and happier since you can see a direction for your life and how you will get there.

So, what do you do NOW?

Get to your desk or table with pencil and paper in hand and start writing your personal business  plan . It may take a big push on your part to get started but keep at it-piece by piece-and until you get it all done. But, don’t forget, your  plan  can be changed as conditions change. But, do not go carelessly and change it at a whim. You will be defeating the purpose of the  plan  if you do.

Make your personal business  plan , your long range  plan , and your road map to chart the course of your life in a successful way. You will achieve the success you want if you follow these guidelines. Get going NOW!

Health and Safety Regulations Relating to Balustrading and Handrails

When it comes to choosing handrails and balustrades for a building, the design is one of the most important considerations along with the fact that how well the design and colour go with the rest of the interior, or the exterior in case of external balustrades. Other than the design, the other important thing that you should consider carefully and thoroughly is the safety and health regulations associated with balustrades and handrails.

The first thing associated with the safety of balustrades is that there should be proper checking as to see that the structure in which the balustrade is being fitted is firm and strong and there is no deformation in any part of the structure. The connection points at the beams should also be checked so that it can be made sure that there is no deterioration.

Another factor associated with checking the safety of balustrades and handrails is to make sure that there is no rusting anywhere in the rails and the metal is not rusted. Rusted metal might result in loosening and thus may cause instability of the balustrades and handrails which poses a serious threat.

If the balustrade and handrail of wood, then it is important to check that the timber is not rotted as it does sometimes at the joints. The bolts and brackets should also be examined, and you also need to make sure that the timber is not soft and spongy. Probing something sharp in the wood can help in achieving this.

Other than these careful measures, there are also regulations regarding the height of the balustrade. There is also a fixed difference which has to be maintained, and if the difference is more than that, a handrail is required for supporting the load and for interlinking. The kind of glass that can be used in such a handrail has to be toughened.

The location of the glass and its height in linking a handrail is also regulated while keeping the best safety measures in view, and to make sure that the interlinking handrail functions well for the purpose it is meant to serve.

There are also regulations associated with the glazing of the balustrades and handrails. There are different kinds of balustrades, and hence, different regulations apply to them in terms of handrails and other safety measures.

There is a building code associated with balustrades and handrails, and the buildings have to be constructed while complying with this code as it is illegal to do otherwise. There are also inspections made to see the level of compliance to the code and to look at the safety conditions of houses in relation to balustrades and handrails for children as well as the adults residing in a place. The height of the balustrade and the infill in between is specified in the code and thus has to be followed. It is important that the regulations should be complied in order to remain safe from any financial loss as well as loss of lives.