The Elevator Speech That You Whisper

There are people who believe that a great elevator speech needs to be delivered with enthusiasm. They would like everybody on the elevator to hear it and be moved. That is why many rehearse their elevator speech to deliver with passion an exciting answer to the question, “What do you do?”

In truth, the stirring performance that you rehearse for a traditional elevator speech might impress your spouse, and it might earn a ribbon at a Toastmasters meeting; yet, a compelling elevator speech – one that compels strangers to ask for your business card – is best whispered.

The traditional elevator speech

Here are good examples of the traditional elevator speech:

o Jeff says, “I work with people who want to accumulate wealth by investing in undervalued stocks.”

o Brenda says, “I help couples to furnish and decorate their new homes in a style that’s all their own.”

o 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 elevator speech examples calls for impassioned delivery – with a smile, with zest. Because of that, Brenda could go on with examples of the exciting work she does as an interior designer and decorator.

The enthusiasm that makes a traditional elevator speech effective also requires self control to keep it brief. This is not the only challenge with a traditional elevator speech.

The question-answer trap

There are several basic problems with the traditional elevator speech. The first is to answer the question “What do you do?” succinctly. Like Brenda, many would like much longer than 30 seconds to describe themselves and their work.

The main problem, though, is that most people just don’t want to hear others talk about themselves – especially if it sounds rehearsed. That is why most people seldom ask, “What do you do?” That’s also why many who develop a stimulating elevator speech seldom get to use it. There is a simple solution to these problems.

Don’t talk about yourself.

A Compelling Elevator Speech differs from a traditional elevator speech in one critical way: It’s not about you at all.

Formula for a compelling elevator speech

A compelling elevator speech communicates:

o Who you are (name with or without title or organization).

o Three problems you solve described emotionally (e.g. fear, frustration, aggravation, worry).

o That you solve such problems (positioning you as a rescuer).

o A hook question (e.g. “Is that important to you?”)

Example of a compelling elevator speech

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?” For greater impact, she should lower her voice as if she’s sharing something confidential.

Why whisper

A compelling elevator speech is best delivered in hushed tones for two reasons:

1. You should whisper because a truly compelling elevator speech focuses on the problems you solve for people – described empathetically in emotional terns. It’s not polite to talk out loud about your clients’ head scratching or nail biting. Emotional empathy positions you as respectful and credible. Whispering shows that.

2. People pay more attention when you whisper – especially in contrast, when they expect you to announce grandly what you do and talk about yourself.

Sample elevator speech

There are thousands of people toiling away on their elevator speech right now. They’re trying hard to describe their work briefly so that people will understand what sets them apart. They’re earnestly rehearsing in front of mirrors. They’re anxiously waiting for somebody to ask that trigger question, “What do you do?” As an elevator speech coach, I take away that pressure. Would that be meaningful to you?

If you want strangers to ask for your business card after 30 seconds, and you can accept that a compelling elevator speech is not about you, then use this formula – and say it with a whisper.

– Glenn Harrington, Articulate Consultants Inc.

Thinking of Selling Your Number Plate?

While having a personalised number plate can be fun, at times, owners of registration plates have a need to sell them. There are many reasons why a person who owns a plate would like to sell it.

  • It no longer applies to you
  • If you’ve sold or closed a business and the registration plate that’s on your personal car promotes that business, well then, it’s time to sell it on.

  • The personal attachment is gone
  • If you’ve broken up with your girlfriend/boyfriend and your registration plate contains reference to both your names, well then, it’s time to sell.

  • The plate rises in value
  • Personalised number plates are investments – they go up in value. It’s time to sell when you want to cash in your investment.

This article gives you three pieces of advice to consider when selling your personalised plate.

3 things to know when selling your number plate

1. Make sure the basics are in order

Sometimes, I see owners get very excited about the value of their registration plate and they decide to sell it on only to find out that they can’t.

In order to sell your personalised plate, there are a few basics that need to be in order before you can sell it. These include:

a. Are you the registered owner?

For Personalised registration numbers that are held on vehicles, you must either be the registered keeper or have written permission from the registered keeper to be able to sell the registration. Most number plates are registered to the car and when sold on, the plate is sold on also. If you have a personalised number plate, then you must be the legal owner to sell it.

b. Do you have a retention certificate?

A retention certificate is valid for 12 months. Thereafter, it has to be renewed on an annual basis. You need to be named as the Grantee who owns the certificate, or have written permission from the Grantee to sell the registration.

c. Is it transferable?

You should check your registration documentation to make sure that it is transferable. Some registrations can be marked as ‘non-transferable’, which means that you can’t sell the registration plate.

Lastly, your vehicle that currently has your number plate should have tax, insurance and be fit for road purpose or have a tax expiry within the last 12 months and currently SORN, however there must not be a break in the Road Tax Expiry and the date SORN was declared.

2. Get it Valued

You should use a reputable registration company to value your personalised plate. What you should look for is the current value – what the experts believe that you could get upon the sale of your registration.

It’s best to know the current value rather than future value.

There are many factors that are taken into account when valuing a plate:

a. Will it appeal to a wide audience?

b. Are there substitutions in its spelling?

c. Does it have a very popular and therefore desired name or number?

These factors among others will determine the value of your registration plate.

3. Where to sell

You have a number of options available to you when selling your number plate. These include:

a. You can sell it yourself by taking out your own adverts in local or national papers.

b. You can use the the services of a number plate registration company.

There are pros and cons for both but you will get the right advice when you use a reputable and established number plate registration company.

In summary,

This article discusses tips if you are thinking of selling your number plate. The three pieces of advice will equip you to know what to do and make the right decision about selling your investment.

Stockton Stoves

The Stockton  stove  range is one of the more recognisable and more popular woodburning and multifuel  stoves  manufactured by Stovax. There are a number of different variations, different models and different styles in the Stockton range which we will cover below.

Stockton 3  stove 

The Stockton three  stove , available as a woodburning  stove  or a multifuel  stove , is the smaller  stove  in the range but this has not impacted upon the popularity of this particular model. It is designed to fit into a standard 22 inch high by 16 inch wide British fireplace gap which ensures a particularly smooth installation. While it is generally used in homes around the UK it is also suitable for houseboats, summerhouses and garden workshops. This particular model is available in matt black, metallic blue, metallic brown and metallic green.

Key features

Dimension: 389mm x 510mm x 338

Efficiency Rating: Wood 77%, Smokeless Fuel 86%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 3.75kW

Maximum log length: 200mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: No

Stockton 4  stove 

As with many of the Stockton range, the Stockton four  stove  comes in both wood-burning and multifuel versions which is perhaps another reason why this is one of the more popular in the range. This is the type of  stove  which will fit ideally into a smaller traditional room or even a contemporary style interior design. Many people may not be aware that despite the fact you can buy a multifuel version of this  stove  it will still burn wood although the woodburning version will burn wood to a higher efficiency. Interestingly, both versions of the Stockton 4  stove  have been approved for use in smoke control areas when fitted with the smoke control kit. This particular model is available in matt black, metallic blue, metallic brown and metallic green.

Key features

Dimension: 389mm x 572mm x 338mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 77%, Smokeless Fuel 85%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 4kW

Maximum log length: 200mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: No

Stockton 5  stove 

The Stockton five  stove  is also available in wood-burning and multifuel versions and is slightly squarer than the smaller Stockton three and Stockton four  stoves . As a consequence it is able to hold a larger log type up to 330 mm which will obviously assist with refuelling. The  stove  itself is available with a low canopy and a flattop with the flattop variation approved for use in smoke control areas with the relevant smoke control kit. The Stockton five  stove  represents a significant shift in size and shape from the earlier models. As with so many of the Stockton  stoves , this particular model is available in matt black, metallic blue, metallic brown and metallic green.

Key features

Dimension – flat top: 481mm x 554mm x 335mm

Dimension – high top: 503mm x 685mm x 335mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 80%, Smokeless Fuel 85%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 4.9kW

Maximum log length: 330mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: No

Stockton 5 midline  stove 

The Stockton five midline  stove  is a variation on the standard Stockton five model bringing in a more integrated and contemporary style. This particular  stove  is more accustomed to contemporary/modern interiors where perhaps the occupants are looking for a mixture of traditional and contemporary styles. Under the surface it is still the basic Stockton five and is also available in wood-burning and multifuel options. Approved for use in smoke control areas this particular model is a very interesting and very popular variation on the traditional Stockton style. This particular model is available in metallic green, metallic brown, matt black and metallic blue.

Key features

Dimension: 481mm x 600mm x 294mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 80%, Smokeless Fuel 85%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 4.9kW

Maximum log length: 330mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: No

Stockton 6  stove 

The Stockton six  stove  also comes in wood-burning and multifuel options although this particular model has a very useful capacity to add an optional “clip in” steel boiler. It is the addition boiler option which has certainly seen the profile of the Stockton six  stove  increase over the years. Many people do not realise that even if you were to buy a woodburning version it can still be adapted to multifuel at a later date. Consequently, a multifuel version of the Stockton 6 is also able to burn wood although the efficiency when burning wood is not as great as the specific woodburning version. This particular  stove  is slightly larger than the earlier models and perfect for larger rooms. It is available in a variety of colours including matt black, metallic green, metallic blue and metallic brown.

Key features

Dimension: 456mm x 609mm x 380mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 79%, Smokeless Fuel 80%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 6kW

Maximum log length: 250mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Stockton 6 Highline  stove 

The Stockton six Highline  stove  is an interesting development on the basic Stockton six  stove  and comes with a warming shelf, wood store and a larger base plate. It is amazing to see that these relatively small additions to this particular model make such a difference to the look and feel of the Stockton six Highline  stove . It comes across as a much bigger machine, which it is physically, and it is difficult to see the comparison to the standard version. Also available in wood-burning and multifuel versions there is also a boiler option with this particular model. This particular type and style of  stove  would be at home in a traditional or a contemporary surrounding.

Key features

Dimension: 456mm x 1020mm x 380mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 79%, Smokeless Fuel 80%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 6kW

Maximum log length: 250mm

Flue size: 128mm (5 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Stockton 7  stove 

The Stockton seven  stove  is available as a multifuel and a woodburning  stove  and is perfect for larger rooms. It is a well proportioned  stove  which gives a traditional look and feel while also taking in the latest woodburning, multifuel and cleaning technology. While the woodburning version can be adapted at a later date to take various fuels, there is no doubt that the woodburning option is more efficient with wood and the multifuel more efficient with smokeless fuel. As well as a very easy on the eye  stove  the Stockton seven  stove  could actually be considered as “room furniture” because of the way it looks so at home!

Key features

Dimension: 536mm x 580mm x 385mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 77%, Smokeless Fuel 80%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 7kW

Maximum log length: 325mm

Flue size: 152mm (6 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Stockton 8  stove 

The Stockton eight  stove  is the first of the Stockton range of stores to offer a single or double door variety. It also comes as a slimline version for those looking to install a  stove  where perhaps the depth of the fireplace could be a problem. As with vast majority of very popular  stoves  today this comes in wood-burning and multifuel versions and is seen by many people as the up and coming  stove  in the Stockton range. The traditional and the slimline versions of this particular model are both able to take logs up to a length of 400 mm which will be a godsend for many people. Available in matt black, metallic blue, metallic green and metallic brown there is also the option to add a boiler system to this model.

Key features – Standard

Dimension – flat top: 624mm x 620mm x 411mm

Dimension – low canopy: 624mm x 758mm x 411mm

Dimension – high canopy: 624mm x 911mm x 411mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 76%, Smokeless Fuel 81%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 8kW

Maximum log length: 400mm

Flue size: 152mm (6 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Key features – Slimline

Dimension: 603mm x 598mm x 338mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 78%, Smokeless Fuel 81%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 7kW

Maximum log length: 400mm

Flue size: 152mm (6 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Stockton 11  stove 

The Stockton eleven  stove  is by far and away the most versatile and the more powerful in the Stockton  stove  range. It comes with a number of variations which include flattop, low canopy, high canopy, single door, two door and four colours including matt black, metallic blue, metallic brown and metallic green. It is also the largest in the Stockton  stove  range capable of creating heat output up to 7 kW and perfect for larger rooms, open plan interiors and barn conversions. As well as the various options listed above it is also available in a woodburning are multifuel style. Overall it has to be said that the Stockton range of  stoves  offers a variety which few others can match.

Key features

Dimension – flat top: 759mm x 678mm x 467mm

Dimension – low canopy: 759mm x 870mm x 467mm

Dimension – high canopy: 759mm x 1100mm x 467mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 76%, Multifuel 80%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 11kW

Maximum log length: 500mm

Flue size: 178mm (7 inches)

Boiler option: Yes

Stockton double  stove 

We have seen an increase in demand for double sided  stoves  which have the option to open the  stove  doors on either side across adjacent rooms. The very fact that this particular style of wood-burning and multifuel  stove  is for larger room means that the Stockton double  stove  is only available based upon the Stockton eight and the Stockton 11 versions. While the clean burn technology cannot be physically incorporated into these two particular models, with their double sided doors, they do still contain the latest air wash technology to ensure the glass is clean. It was interesting that Stovax was one of the earlier entrants into the double sided  stove  market and perhaps no surprise that this particular style is selling well.

Key features – 8 double sided

Dimension – flat top: 603mm x 620mm x 507mm

Dimension – high canopy: 628mm x 905mm x 507mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 69%, Multifuel 73%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 9kW

Maximum log length: 400mm

Flue size: 152mm (6 inches)

Boiler option: No

Key features – 11 double sided

Dimension – flat top: 726mm x 677mm x 575mm

Dimension – high canopy: 758mm x 1100mm x 575mm

Efficiency Rating: Wood 61%, Multifuel 77%

Fuel type: Woodburning and Multifuel versions

Maximum heat output: 11kW

Maximum log length: 500mm

Flue size: 152mm (6 inches)

Boiler option: No

Choosing an Energy Saving Cooker

There are so many ways to cook food. Gas or electric hob, gas or electric oven and grill are all different ways to cook food. There is another useful way to cook food where all these ways usually combines in one form, i.e. stove. Stove then again can be electric or gas and the best are gas stoves with electric ignition and other energy saving controls. Besides this, there is still another way to cook food. This appliance is the combination of space heating, water heating and cooking all intact in the form of Aga  cooker . Aga  cooker  is invented in 1929 by Swedish physicist Dr. Gustaf Dalén. Aga  cooker  is not much in demand as it usually lacks the energy controls system.

If we examine closely, we will see that the initial cost of electric  cookers  are relatively less than gas  cookers . But the studies show that the electric  cookers  cost three times as much to use in its whole lifespan as gas  cookers . Similarly, the emission of CO2 produced by electric  cookers  is also four times as much. However, there are some electric appliances which are energy efficient like microwave oven and induction loop cooking. These appliances are good at transferring heat to the food or pot efficiently.

– Microwaves Ovens: These are commonly used in our kitchens today. If we compare them with standard electric  cooker , they save up to third of the total energy. But the efficiency largely depends on the amount of food cooked or the container used for the food. The amount of food and the container used largely influence the energy use of the appliance.

– Induction Loop Cooking: Unlike traditional electric  cookers , induction loop cooking saves up to 10-20 percent of the energy, but yet are not commonly used cooking method.

If consider the energy prospective, these savings are not up to the mark, more efforts are needed to reduce the energy consumption.

Energy Saving

– If you are planning to purchase a  cooker , the best option is to go for gas appliance. Definitely you will have a supply of gas, if you don’t -you can use propane or butane.

– Gas stoves with electric ignition device and other energy controls can save you energy costs on pilot lights.

– It is said that  cookers  are not a good option for cooking small quantities of food. You have to keep all these factors in mind while purchasing stove or a pan. Microwave in this case can be useful for heating small quantities of food. Always choose the pans according to your stove. These can in some way save energy.

Eating habits and other such factors can also be taken in consideration with these energy saving tips. So you can be able to save energy as much as possible. Good food is always healthier so, always go for the best available choices and also don’t eat more than it needed. This will keep you healthy and also reduces the energy conservation.

Jeep Wrangler 20-Gallon Gas Tank Conversion

From 1991-1995, Chrysler offered two different sized gas tanks for the Jeep Wrangler: 15-gallon and 20-gallon. In reality, these two tanks were not different in size at all. The difference in some was a small plastic vent hose that extended down into the tank which prevented more than 15 gallons of fuel being filled into them. By shortening this hose, the tank can hold the 20 gallons of fuel it was originally made to carry. The entire conversion process is about a 60-90 minute job.

  1. Raise the vehicle on jack stands.
  2. Remove the   plastic   panel  in the rear right corner near the gas filler.
    This is held in place by four plastic rivets. Remove the rivets by securing the outer portion in place while prying the center outward 0.25″-0.5″ with a small screwdriver. The rivets will remove as whole pieces. Don’t damage them because you’ll need them for reassembly.
  3. Disconnect the fill vent hose from the tank.
    This is done by removing the hose clamp and pulling the hose off the fill vent neck. You may need to pry it, but it’s only held on with a hose clamp.
  4. Remove the inner plastic fuel vent neck liner.
    Inside the neck of the fuel vent hose, you can see a tube which lines the inside. This liner tube is made of hard plastic. Itýs about 9.75″ long and reaches about 7″ into the tank. Gas can not be filled beyond the bottom of this tube. Shortening it will increase the volume of gas that will fit into the tank. To remove it, you will need to pry it away from the sides with a small screwdriver and grab it with any small tool that offers a STRONG grip. I recommend a needle-nose vise grip because this tube is crammed in there TIGHT. In fact, removing this tube was the hardest task on this project. Some people removed this tube in sections by pulling out 3″, then cutting it off, and pulling another 3″ until the tube was completely removed.
  5. Cut a 2.5″ section from the liner tube.
    The fuel vent neck on the tank must have a section of the liner tube pressed back inside to maintain pressure applied when tightening the hose clamp (during re-assembly). I have no idea why this is, but since someone advised to do so, I didn’t argue. Cut a 2.25″-2.5″ section and fit it back into the fill vent neck. You’ll need a hammer or something heavy to pound it in. Make sure not to use a metal hammer should you be unlucky enough to strike something that causes sparks this close to the gas tank.
  6. Reassemble everything in the reverse order.
    Use the hose clamp to attach the fill vent hose to the fill vent neck, four rivets to reattach the  plastic  cover on the rear  panel , and five lug nuts to mount the removed wheel.

Unless you’ve installed a sending unit for a 20-gallon tank, the fuel gauge in the dashboard will be inaccurate. Others who have done this conversion claimed the gauge won’t begin to show movement until there is 15 gallons in the tank. This was not the case for me. My gauge doesn’t show movement until 10-12 gallons remain in the tank and when the gauge reads 1/2, the tank is near empty. It used to be empty when the gauge read 1/4, but I ran the tank near dry just to make certain and it is empty at the 1/2 mark. I don’t know if the sending arm got bent by this or what went wrong, but it’s now empty at 1/2.

The Max Plank Diet

The “Max Plank” diet was created by researchers from the Max Plank Nutrition Institute in Germany and, if followed for two weeks, it may enhance the metabolism and prevent the body from gaining weight for the next three years, according to its authors.

For the Max Plank diet, alcohol or sweets are strictly prohibited. Dieters should drink at least 0.5 gallons of liquid per day and use only diet salt. They shouldn’t consume sweetened beverages or mineral water.


For breakfast, dieters should have a coffee without sugar or milk. Lunch includes two boiled eggs and boiled spinach. Dinner consists of one large beef barbecue with plenty of green salad and celery. Dieters should not consume bread.


For breakfast, dieters should have a coffee without sugar or milk. Lunch includes a large beef barbecue with plenty of green salad and fruits, but no bread. For dinner, you may have as much ham as you want, but no bread.


For breakfast, have a coffee without sugar or milk with two ounces of bread. Lunch may consist of two boiled eggs with plenty of green salad and tomatoes. Ham and green salad are allowed for dinner. Dieters shouldn’t eat bread for lunch and dinner.


For breakfast, have a coffee without sugar or milk with two ounces of bread. For lunch, try one egg with plenty of raw or boiled carrots and cheese. For dinner, have as many fruits with yogurt as you want.


Breakfast consists of a coffee without sugar or milk and raw carrots with lemon juice. For lunch, try boiled fish with tomatoes. For dinner, you should have a beef barbecue with salad. No bread is allowed for lunch and dinner.


For breakfast, dieters may have a cup of coffee without sugar or milk and two ounces of bread, as much grilled chicken as you want for lunch, and two boiled eggs with carrots for dinner.


(c) Project Weight Loss 2007. All rights reserved.

Business Plan Software: Do You Need It?

Business  plan  software is something that often gets overlooked

and isn’t considered to be a necessity for some reason. In my

opinion, business  plan  software is essential, it is not a luxury.

I am a huge advocate of business  planning . When people ask me if

they need a business  plan , my response is, “Absolutely!” You see,

starting a business without a business  plan  is akin to starting

college without a degree  plan . If you don’t know where you are

going, you won’t know how to get there. You will waste your time

and your money if you are not following a  plan . It’s really that


So, you know you need a business  plan , but what about business

 plan  software? For business  planning , there are really three

alternatives: 1) crafting your own business  plan  from scratch; 2)

hiring a business  plan  writer or business  planning  consultant; or

3) using business  plan  software to write your own business  plan .

Each of these alternatives has its own advantages and


Writing your own business  plan  from scratch is certainly a

possibility. Doing so gives you the freedom to format and arrange

the  plan  in any way that you see fit. On the other hand, doing

financial projections, which are necessary for the purpose of

budgeting and financial  planning , can be difficult to do without

a business  plan  program, or at least financial projection

software or spreadsheets.

Hiring a business  plan  writer makes sense for some people. A

business  plan  writer is generally well-versed in business

 planning  and will have insight that will assist you in preparing

a comprehensive business  plan  that takes everything into account.

The disadvantages to having your business  plan  professionally

written are the expense associated with the initial  plan , and the

limitations that exist in regard to changing it as your business

evolves, which is something that business  plan  software empowers

you to do.

Business  plan  software is relatively inexpensive when compared to

hiring a professional business  plan  writer or consultant.

However, when compared to doing your own  plan  from scratch, it

may seem like an unnecessary expense. Business  plan  software does

have many advantages. A good business  plan  software package, like

Business  Plan  Pro by Palo Alto, has the headings and categories

for a business  plan  already set up for you. It also has guidance

throughout the business  planning  process that explains what to

include in each part of your business  plan .

What I really love about Business  Plan  Pro is that it is so easy

to do financial projections using the business  plan  software,

whether or not you understand accounting. The main financial

sections include a section for start-up costs, one for income

projections, one for a proforma balance sheet, and one for a

projected cash flow statement. Information that input into one of

the financial forms automatically transfers calculations to the

other financial statement forms making the process of projecting

your financial  plan  a breeze.

Another huge advantage I see in regard to business  plan  software

is that when you use business  plan  software to create your own

business  plan , you can make changes to it anytime you need to. It

doesn’t become a stale document that sits on the shelf and

collects dust. A business  plan  should be always evolving. You

should update your business  plan  frequently including new goals,

objectives and milestones. You should also adjust your financial

projections regularly for the purpose of budgeting. Business  plan 

software makes it easy to do.

If you choose not to use business software, and to create your

own business  plan  from scratch, you will need some guidance

unless you are a professional business planner yourself. The

Small Business Administration has some excellent

resources and guides about business  planning . If you choose to

hire a professional business  plan  writer, do review their

qualifications and references and make certain that you

understand exactly what is included in the business  planning 

services they are offering.

Choosing Handrails For Your Building Project

Handrails are not only an important part of the staircase of a building, but they are also an important part of the overall look and the architecture of the building. Handrails are a paramount part of the staircase, which in turn is a main attention point in any building.

The use of the handrail can be required for use in balconies, stairs, or other applications. When choosing a handrail, there are certain factors which need to be considered apart from just the place where they are to be fixed. Some of these factors include the fitting costs and also the maintenance and its costs in the future. The cost of the handrail and the suitability of the design are other important considerations, combined with the consideration of the regulations and rules regarding the fitting of the handrails.

Handrails are available in different kinds of materials so that they can be chosen in accordance with the look that you are trying to create in accordance with the architecture of the building. The people who want long lasting handrails usually choose the metal handrails, as they are less likely to suffer from damages and breakages. Also, if there are children in the house, the metal handrail prove out to be useful because of the fact that these are less breakable and are more capable of bearing pressure.

Wrought iron is used mainly in buildings where an attempt is being made to create a purely contemporary and modern kind of look. However, wrought iron is relatively expensive, and that makes its practicality lesser among the masses. Therefore, lesser number of people is able to spend the amount of money that a wrought iron handrail requires.

If you want to create a spacious impression, then using a glass handrail is a good choice for you. Glass handrails also give the impression of the entire area being elaborately designed. The glass also gives an impression of elegance and modernity. However, when choosing glass rails safety factor needs to be kept in mind as glass is subjected to being broken easily.

So, from the safety point of view, glass handrail may not be a preference especially in buildings where there may be busy activities or too many people. Also, glass rails in busy buildings may also perhaps become the cause of someone being getting hurt due to his/her own fault or even due to someone else’s negligence. Likewise, the handrails made of wood are also more subject to being broken as compared to the handrails that are made of metal.

Other than wooden and glass handrails, there are many other options available for handrails such as steel and brass handrails. Just like the metal handrails, the steel and brass handrails are also less likely to suffer from damages and thus require less maintenance.

You can achieve the maximum possible value and satisfaction from the choice of the handrail in the building only when the handrail goes with the kind of look you want to create. Other than that, the handrail has to be affordable as well as durable enough.

Aluminum Balusters Over Other Railing Options

Does the choice of one’s railing material really influence their outdoor experience and the appearance of their relaxation and entertaining space? The answer is yes. The smaller and more elegant the material, the more possibilities there are for dressing up the space for an event or dressing it down for a simple day in the sun. And aluminum balusters come in a variety of shapes and styles to provide the ideal complement to one’s home architecture while elevating the presentation of one’s decking, whether it is a simple walkout or a grand multi-level attached space.

Although aluminum balusters are just one of many deck and patio railing options, along with wooden, plastic, and wood-composite materials, they are able to provide the most versatility. Because it can be molded and curved, the aluminum choice offers visual interest to a deck. It doesn’t weigh down a space, making it darker, harder to see through or harder to decorate with potted plants, ivy, or outdoor entertaining accessories. Aluminum balusters can have designs along the rods; they can be painted; they can blend with and compliment the posts, or the aluminum can be used in a mixed medium with wood or wood-composite posts. The aluminum balusters cover necessity of railing and decorative appeal of the outdoor dining, seating, and entertaining area around a home.

They can come in any colors and designs and can be placed in any indoor or outdoor staircase, landing, balcony, or patio. The color is of course applied in order to blend with the aesthetics tastes of the homeowner. But the architectural improvement they can make to a space comes in the form or shape of the actual bars that can be smoothly curved or sharply angled to enhance the shape of the deck or shapes of the home’s exterior architecture. There can also be ornamentation shaped into the individual rods that act as an accessory to the overall hardscaping design.

The thinner metal rails also allow for better sight line from within the house. More of the yard and tree greenery, garden color or pool and spa water are visible from any area of the deck or any window or patio door on the house. Homeowners get the safety of the aluminum balusters without the obstruction that is quite common with wooden or similar materials. Thinner railing options that tend to blend more with the tree lines that are beyond it. It lends a slightly more elegant presentation to any deck of any material particularly wood and composite construction. They are especially useful around or near pools so that their children or pets are always more visible.

Stainless Steel Balustrades and What They Provide to Homes and Commercial Areas

When we think of balustrades, more often than not, we think of stainless steel balustrades. This equipment is very useful and is probably an integral part of a carefully structured staircase. Usage for the balustrade and its handrail is not limited to stairs alone as it is also useful in other aspects.

As decorative pieces that enhance a home’s design

Stainless steel balustrades especially in modern homes are sometimes considered decorative artworks in itself. These provide a homeowner needed support for his or her staircase while giving the home a stylish appearance. Stainless steel balustrades matched with modern day glass is very attractive to look at. Since many of the steel-based balustrades have a clean finish, this complements glass windows’ clear lines. Together, these two add appeal to a home and may function as conversation pieces when guests come over and visit.

Some steel balustrades may not even need to match anything as some can hold its own as a functional décor. With technology available today, these may now be styled according to an owner’s wishes. Getting designs or carving designs on its surface is possible so those who are thinking of placing their initials or having an elaborate picture might just get this placed on the balustrades itself or on the handrails. Doing so may be pricey but it can also add more elegance and style in the structure. It may also help you personalize your home according to your needs.

Those who wish to have slender-looking or stocky-looking balustrades are also in for a treat since both are now possible. With the right supplier, you can have almost ultra-thin balusters or get a possibly wider-designed baluster too. Machines for crafting handrails and balustrades are now more versatile and can now create thin and thicker designs according to client wishes.

As equipment for support and safety

With more vehicle crash injuries reported nationwide, there are more rehabilitative clinics that will need equipment to help their patients. Stainless steel balustrades and its durable handrails will be helpful for such institutions given that these will assist those who may have to undergo therapy. Patients who had used a wheelchair or crutch for some time will need support provided by the handrail and its accompanying balustrade to learn how to walk again.

The balustrade and handrail may also come in handy in other areas such as parking spaces and access ramps leading to restaurants and shops to help disabled people. The rails usually double as safety devices to ensure that an injured or disabled person will have something to hold on to in case he or she falls or slips. Delivery personnel also find it useful since the posts prevent more items from falling over from these ramped walkways.

While stainless steel balustrades are practical, certain building requirements may apply if you want to have it in your home or apartment. Having one for commercial purposes will also have its own construction rules. If you are renting in an apartment complex or condominium, ask the building administrator about exact requirements they may need. For those living in a gated community, inquire about construction and zoning requirements before buying the balustrades.

Why is Customer Service So Important?

Why is customer service important?

Well we all know instinctively that customer service has got to be good for a business, but why?

What are the tangibles that good customer service delivers a business?

Here are some ideas to help your business case for developing your customer service or customer experience.

1) Good customer service retains customers

If your customers are happy with the service you deliver they will spend more with you and more often. Get it really right and they will tell their friends, get it badly wrong and they will tell everyone.

2) It separates you from your competitors

Raise the bar on your competitors and they have to worry about you not the other way round. Give exceptional customer service and you will attract and retain more customers, word soon spreads, especially in today’s world of social networking. The buzz helps increase your market share.

3) It gets you closer to your customers

They feel valued, that you can see things from their point of view, and so they buy more. The closer you can get to your customers the more difficult it is for your competitors to win their business. So stay close, and keep them happy.

4) Expenditure is under the spotlight

Whether you sell to consumers, or other businesses, there is a focus on costs and getting value for money. This isn’t just about the sales experience any more, when people are spending their hard earned cash, they expect the after sales service that goes with that. Customers need to feel that they are spending their money wisely and that they are appreciated for making that choice to spend with you.

In business to business sales, purchasing decisions are being taken by more senior managers, and their experience focuses not only on the sale but the after sales service they will receive.

5) Fewer unhappy customers

The less unhappy customers you have the more repeat business you are likely to achieve. That means that you can start to look at the lifetime value of a customer rather than a one-off sale. If you are losing less customers you can focus your energies on winning and retaining business rather than fighting fires.

6) And if things go wrong?

We don’t live in a perfect world and things may from time to time go wrong for your customers. Good companies are committed to improving the fabric of their service so that the people who buy from them have a good customer experience.

When things go wrong, those companies that put it right for their customers are the ones that retain rather than lose customers.

Increase Sales Belief-Increase Sales Revenue!

Did you see the UPSETS in college football a few years ago? It all started with Appalachian State UPSETTING Michigan 34 – 32. Then… look what followed: Stanford UPSETS USC 24 – 23 Oregon State UPSETS California 31 – 28 Kentucky UPSETS LSU 43 – 37

Personally, I am amused by the hoopla created by the media and pollsters as to the changing status of the #1 College Teams and all the "analysis" of why these NUMBER 1 teams are being upset at an unprecedented rate. How many times this season are we going to hear "Quite possibly the biggest UPSET of the year?

"How did this all happen? I am NOT a sports expert by any means, but the simple truth is that this topsy-turvy college football season has been caused by BELIEF! Appalachian State is the modern day "Roger Banister" story. Roger Banister BELIEVED he could beat the 4-minute mile. He did! Appalachian State had the BELIEF they could beat Michigan. They did!

Look what happened when people started to BELIEVE. Three major–and I mean MAJOR–college football UPSETS after Appalachian State beats Michigan. Over the next twelve months after Bannister broke the 4-minute mile, more than thirty people also broke that record. In fact, by now over 20,000 people have done it, including many high school athletes.

Let’s examine the Banister story a little closer. In the early 1950s, he announced to the world that he would run the mile in under four minutes. (Hello, Salespeople!–Banister was setting and declaring his goal!) Everyone thought that he had lost his mind. The sports "experts," the medical establishment–everyone! On May 6th, 1954, he did what he said he would do. Within only one year, over 30 people ran faster than Banister himself. When asked how it was possible for so many people to run that fast so soon, Banister said "It was never a physical boundary, only a mental one."

Salespeople, this is not rocket science. This is not sports medicine. You CAN achieve the highest levels of sales revenue. You CAN become the best salesperson. You CAN beat the competition. You CAN do all these things if you get your head in the game and mentally BELIEVE you can do it. Yes, certainly there are other things you have to do to be successful, just like Banister did–practice, learn, be persistent, etc. Yet, the basic foundation for success in ANYTHING you do starts with BELIEF!

7 Tips To Achieve Sales Belief and Increase Sales Revenue:

1, Set and Declare Your Sales Goals!

2. Possess a WHITE-HOT Burning Desire to Reach Your Goals

3. Reprogram Yourself With Powerful Positive Daily Self-Talk: "I know I can… "

4. Hang Out With Winners, Not Whiners

5. Maintain a Confident Attitude (starts with a strong personal foundation – see below)

6. Implement Good Habits and Exercise Great Sales Self-Discipline

7. Become Passionate About You, Your Product, and Your Company

Often I will receive communication from a high-level Sales Executive in regard to a salesperson who is struggling. In every case or situation, I can easily find the roadblocks that these salespeople face, many which are self-imposed–created by a lack of belief in themselves. BELIEF is a strong motivator that affects us daily, both personally and professionally, and can easily be corrected by changing one’s attitude.

Create your own "Banister" or "Appalachian State" success story. Both held a strong BELIEF in themselves and their abilities, and so can you! BELIEF, along with a steadfast commitment to being the best, will enable any salesperson to close more sales, close bigger sales, increase market share, and–most of all–give you the fortitude to do what it takes to achieve the highest levels of sales success!

Believe in yourself so your clients will believe in you!

Switching From PC to Mac

You needn’t worry, however. Apple has listened to its customers and addressed their concerns.  Switching  from a PC to a Mac is not a leap in the dark; it’s a smooth transition to a responsive and powerful computer.

The basics

A Mac is simple to use because Apple has designed its applications to work in a similar way. Once you become familiar with the Mac OS X operating system, everything falls into place.

Moving your files

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of changing to any new computer is the migration of your files from one to the other. These files might include documents, music, and photos, but it doesn’t really matter what they are: your Mac will automatically recognise almost all of them.

You have a number of ways to transfer your files. You can

  • copy everything on your PC to a USB or FireWire hard drive, connect the hard drive to the Mac, and download
  • use your local network to transfer the files
  • burn the files to a CD or DVD on the PC, place this in your Mac and download
  • send the files to your Mac via your email account

When you’ve organised everything on the Mac’s hard drive, you can install Windows (see below) and use your files as you would on your PC. If you don’t want to load Windows, you’ll need Mac versions of the appropriate software such as Microsoft Office (see below).


Having decided to make the move from PC to Mac, you may feel more comfortable if you still have Windows to hand. Fortunately, you’re able to load Windows XP Home Edition or Professional (with at least Service Pack 2), or any version of Windows Vista, using Boot Camp. This is a piece of software that comes as standard with every new Mac. (Please note that you cannot load any Windows software other than those given here.)

Once Windows is on your Mac, use it as though you’re operating a PC. If you want the flexibility of having Windows and Mac OS X available at the same time without restarting the computer, install either Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion.

Windows networks

If you’re part of a Windows network in an office or at home and everyone else is using a PC, you can still  switch  to a Mac without upsetting anything. With a Mac, there’s nothing to prevent you sharing files across the network, surfing the Internet, or sending and receiving email.

Microsoft Office

If you want to continue using Microsoft Office 2008, simply install the Mac version. It has all the features of the Windows equivalent including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can also work on Office documents that originated on a PC, and transfer your Mac-created Office work to a PC.

PC devices

You don’t have to buy new peripherals when you change from a PC to a Mac. Your Mac has pre-loaded drivers for hundreds of devices, which means that it recognises the vast majority of peripherals such as printers, hard drives, joysticks and cameras. Just install your device using the USB, FireWire, Bluetooth or audio connections and you’re up and running. If you’d rather, you can also continue to use your PC keyboard and mouse with your Mac.


You can use your existing email service and email address on your Mac without any problem at all. Put your email account details into the Mac’s Mail application and that’s it: you’ve successfully  switched  over. You can also access any web-based email with your Mac’s Safari web browser.

You may, of course, have a stock of email folders that go back for some time.  Switching  from a PC to a Mac is a good opportunity to do some email housekeeping, but this doesn’t mean you have to lose any of your archived messages. Instead, if you’ve a fairly small amount of email, you can forward it to your Mac. If you’ve a larger quantity of mail on your PC and have a number of accounts, you can transfer everything by using your ISP (Internet service provider) and IMAP (Internet message access protocol).

Instant messaging

If you’re used to instant messaging on your PC, you’ll be delighted with your Mac. It has a built-in feature called iChat for text messaging and video calls.


Macs are wireless and compatible with most routers. The available wireless networks in your area automatically register on your screen. You needn’t lose any of the wireless features of your PC, and by choosing a Mac you may in fact discover you’ve upgraded your Wi-Fi capability.

Web browsers

Your Mac has the fastest web browser around: Safari. If you prefer, you can use Mac versions of other browsers, but the speed and easy-to-use features of Safari will soon have you hooked.

Software and games

You won’t lose out on a choice of software and games when you  switch  to a Mac. Virtually everything has a Mac version, plus you’ll benefit from specific Mac items such as iWorks.


When you  switch  to a Mac, you’ll want to know your data is secure. The good news is that Macs have built-in security with regular free updates. Apple also constructs each Mac with its own hardware and software. The result is a computer that resists viruses and spyware far better than the average PC.


Macs are consistently reliable. They run extremely well and don’t suffer from the problems so often associated with PCs – frozen screens and system crashes. As a result, you’ll have fewer problems caused by delays and lost data.

Any other questions

If you have further questions, you’ll receive answers from Mac professionals if you

o speak to them at 0800 048 0408

o talk to them online

o call at an Apple Retail shop

Parapsychology: Harnessing Your Etheric Energy

It is an unfortunate reality that society has inadvertently categorized the natural abilities associated with bio-etheric energy as a form of entertainment.

Classifying skills such as precognitive event recognition alongside amusement attractions such as stage illusion have undermined the acknowledgement of etheric energy itself, impeding the acceptance of a wide spectrum of very natural, very real capabilities.

Why, then, are etheric-related abilities seemingly so rare? The answer is multidimensional.

Identifying Your Etheric Energy

All human beings have the ability to recognize, embrace, and utilize their bio-etheric energy, or the energy produced and emitted by all living organisms. Once harnessed, bio-etheric energy can allow a being to:

* Gain a broader, deeper perception of physical and/or emotional surroundings

* Achieve greater use of the brain’s traditional and extra-sensory functions

* Increase knowledge absorption by participating in conscious bio-etheric energy exchange

* Attain a working knowledge of etheric-related capabilities such as precognitive event recognition

The easiest analogy to recognizing etheric energy is that of electricity. Had mankind never harnessed the natural phenomena of electrical current, entire civilizations would have evolved in the absence of telephones, computers, televisions, and an array of other technologies that now seem second nature in our daily lives.

Though a closely integrated element of both individual and collective existence, bio-etheric energy and its uses have only begun to be identified and embraced by society. As we seek to become fully acquainted with this energy type, a new, yet common understanding of etheric energy and its properties has presented itself: the energy exists, and the ultimate question is how to make complete use of it.

Harnessing the Intangible

In seeking to gain a working comprehension of bio-etheric energy, one must be willing to adapt a new dimension of faith, both in self and in the Universe. Faith is a plain transition between the physical, and the etheric; the tangible, and intangible. In bridging the gap between science and the unexplained, faith allows for confident progression into new endeavors to gain additional understanding of the mind and body.

Because mastering the properties of bio-etheric energy includes the development of abilities or metaphysical advantages often regarded by society as paranormal, spontaneous occurrences of precognitive event recognition, remote viewing, telepathy, or other etheric-related abilities are commonly dismissed as subconscious “noise.” This misnomer can be attributed to the school of psychology, whereas the science of bio-etheric energy and its related properties are based in the field of physics.

From a physics perspective, bio-etheric energy can participate in the transfer or exchange of particle energy with other bio-etheric bearing life forms through an exchange of nanophotons, or energy particles smaller than that of ordinary photons.

In theory, nanophotons have the capacity to pass through solid matter and travel at speeds significantly greater than the speed of light, and are capable of transportation between predefined destinations through the fabric of space-time. The smallest building blocks of existence, nanophotons allow for the exchange of “information” between beings capable of utilizing the neural receptors responsible for decoding bio-etheric energy.

Brain Training

Harnessing bio-etheric energy and related abilities requires a focused effort to flex and exercise the frontal lobes, or the region of the brain associated with bio-etheric activity and interpretation. This “training” is similar to the efforts necessary to acquire control over equilibrium and motor functions when learning to walk. Later in life, frontal lobe development is analogous to learning to write with the opposite hand. Although a challenging task requiring determined effort, exercising the frontal lobes is necessary to stimulate the neural receptors responsible for interpreting bio-etheric energy.

There are a number of exercises designed for frontal lobe development, both basic and advanced, many of which are available on the Internet or in related texts. While most of these activities can be performed anywhere with little preparation, a quiet, comfortable atmosphere will provide the maximum result from each training session.

Frontal lobe exercises, such as meditation and memory retention activities, and even simplistic biochemical enhancements such as brainwave stimulators or incense will effectively stimulate the synaptic pathways and neural regions associated with etheric energy interpretation.

What to Expect

Increased stimulation of the frontal lobes will promote spontaneous etheric response. Contrary to preconceived opinion held by some individuals who have yet to achieve a strong working knowledge of the energy, increased etheric control will compliment, rather than complicate, traditional thought processes and mental activities, both voluntarily and involuntarily.

A few results of increased etheric control include:

* Knowledge is retrieved with greater accuracy and speed, with less effort

* Increased empathic ability, allowing for more precise interpretation of others’ emotions, intentions and honesty

* Advanced sense of self (right and wrong, patience, will power)

* Expanded problem-solving abilities, creativity, and cognitive comprehension skills

Recognizing the emotional and physical responses associated with controlled etheric activity will allow for increased control of bio-etheric abilities, long-term. Interpretation of etheric information has a distinct, unique flavor as compared to internal dialogue or imagination. Differentiation between these independent streams of neurological feedback will improve as focus on etheric activity improves.

It is important to note that abilities and skills associated of increased etheric control are not limited to more commonly discussed processes such as precognitive event recognition, remote viewing, or even telepathy. Just as advances in modern technology resulted from an increased understanding of the application of electricity, advanced etheric control will present new applications of the control to existing functions.

As you begin a program for increasing bio-etheric control, write down your etheric-related experiences as they become evident to you. Your abilities and their accuracy will notably increase over time. Recording your progress will provide tangible benchmarks for charting progressive development.

Advanced Techniques

Those with an existing or advanced comprehension of etheric energy will benefit most from direct employment of related abilities to maximize and increase identified potential. Recommended exercises for individuals with developed or expanded bio-etheric control include:

* Target- or beacon-based Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) sessions

* Precognitive forecasting activities, such as previewing playing card colors, suits, and numbers

* Precognitive event recognition

* Telepathy between parties with equal or greater skill

Both independently and as a collective, as we begin to explore and cultivate a complete understanding of bio-etheric energy, the potential for application of this energy to civilization is virtually limitless. Like any skill, development of etheric energy control requires a disciplined, focused effort to achieve notable results. Accomplishment of a thorough familiarity with bio-etheric energy and its purposes may enrich mankind in ways yet to be considered.

Sports Betting – Using Odds Comparison Sites

There are many of us who are old enough to remember the time when sports betting effectively meant betting on the outcome of either a horse race or a greyhound race. By “outcome” in this context one means simply which runner would be the winner, or which would come in placed.

It was not unheard of for a person to place a bet on a football match or an important boxing bout. Nonetheless the grim, smoky street corner bookmaker’s shop was essentially synonymous with horse racing more or less to the exclusion of any other sport.

Today the situation is a great deal different. Walk past the now more inviting frontage of any bookmaker’s and you will be brazenly invited to predict the score of the next major soccer game and the name of the first or the last player to score a goal. Prices are offered on many sports and “long list” coupons are every bit as freely available for soccer punters as the small slips are for the more traditional horse racing enthusiasts.

Of course by far the biggest transformation in the culture of betting accompanied the arrival of the Internet as the means through which we now spend most of our time communicating with the outside world. Not only do all the traditional high street bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and Paddy Power all have a major online presence, but they are in company of the large US-facing offshore sportsbooks such as Pinnacle, and also of some much smaller and more obscure outfits whose budgets had never stretched to a chain of shops but who all the same are able to manage a website.

Online sports betting has drastically altered the culture of gambling for all time. Hobbyists and professionals alike can now place wagers at the click of a mouse, and can even where necessary lay their selections at one of the betting exchanges to lock in a guaranteed profit.

Not only are there quite literally hundreds of times more sportsbooks available to the everyday punter today than was the case before the Internet intervened, but the range of sports that are covered has mushroomed similarly. Whereas at the old betting shop the focus was largely on horse and greyhound racing with a smaller emphasis on football and maybe a couple of other big sports when the occasion arose, customers of the online sportsbooks can select from between a very substantial array of lines on sports as diverse as soccerrugby union, rugby league, cricket, boxing, volleyball, motor racing, darts, snooker and US sports (football, hockey, baseball and basketball), as well as current affairs, politics, stage and film awards and reality TV. Some of the continental books also offer prices on such enormously well-known sports as trotting, bandy and innebandy.

And not only is there such a selection of sports to choose from, but there are also all sorts of options available within each selection. So with a soccer match, for example, one can bet not just on the winner of the fixture but also on the number of goals scored, the name of the first scorer, the total number of goals, the time of the first goal, the total number of corners taken and the number of bookings to name but a few.

With there being literally tens of thousands of different markets on such an immense range of sports the proliferation of odds comparison sites at which customers can compare betting odds was always going to become an inevitability. Through interrogating each particular sport, event and line the customer can very rapidly establish which particular book is offering the most generous betting odds in every instance.