7 sinful signing mistakes small business owners make

When we think of marketing programs our minds are quickly drawn to social, print and broadcast media. Although these programs can be quite glitzy and create media and consumer buzz they overshadow an extremely impactful marketing program not often considered by managers and owners. It is the signage used at the brick and mortar store itself.

Signs in windows, on doors, over display racks or by the register are interpreted by the shopper to determine the quality of the merchandise or the management of the store. Sometimes only subliminally but always effective in relaying a message.

Whether your store is in a mall, strip center or stand alone, the same psychology of engaging a customer applies. Yet many stores fail to consider the image their signage conveys to the consumer.

Here are the seven worst messages commonly conveyed:

“We sell crap”.
“I don’t do enough business to hire a second employee”.
“This is not a serious business”.
“We keep most our doors locked because we do not trust you ”.
“Go to the bath room elsewhere”.
“Details don’t matter to us”.
“You are not welcome here”.

This is excerpted from “Send customers a positive message”, part of the “How to” series at getmaximpact.com, a website based in Rochester Hills, Mich., dedicated to business and individual growth.

Federal Reserve officials comments raises more questions than answers

Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago made headlines on Tuesday when he spoke at an Economic luncheon in Detroit. Covering all the broad array of subjects from the housing recovery to the labor market, Evens first came out firing with information about short term interest rates.

“We started to taper our asset purchases, but we indicated that the fed funds rate would be near zero for quite some time — quite likely well into 2015. Barring any changes to our outlook, this would translate into seven years in which short-term interest rates would be at their zero lower bound. But policy likely will need to remain highly accommodative for such a time to ensure we make adequate progress toward maximum employment and price stability — the two congressionally mandated goals for U.S. monetary policy”

The asset purchases he is specifically referring to is QE3, the latest in a round of bond purchases by the Fed to stimulate growth in the economy. Whether it has helped or not remains to be seen, however last summer, Ben Bernanke who was the heading the Fed hinted at stopping the program. This immediately had had an adverse effect on the markets, as the Dow went from 15,000 mark down to the low 14,000’s. In an effort to do damage control, a couple of days later Bernanke made a statement using the now famous term ‘tapering’. This word seemed to have a pacifying effect on the stock market as it began to continue its climb up to over the 16,000 point mark.

However, as the forth quarter of 2013 came around, Bernanke felt that there was enough positive data in the economy to justify the early tapering phase. Ten billion a month would be taken off the initial per month policy of 85 Billion dollar bond purchases.

Unfortunately a consequence of this action is to see interest rates rise as a logical next step. This has caused fear in the markets, because since the 08’ crash, equities and foreign direct investment have been low risk/high reward avenues to make some money off the top. As a result of the tapering and implications of rising interest rates, investors have been pulling out of equities and emerging markets.

According to a Businessweek Report. Global investors pulled $6.3 billion from developing-nation stocks in the week through Jan. 29, the biggest outflow since August 2011, according to Barclays Plc, citing data from EPFR Global. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.8 percent to 919.48 and has fallen 8.3 percent this year.

As a result, January has been anything but good, the Dow has seen around a 1,200 point drop, with fears of contagion rippling through the markets. So it stands to reason that based on past behavior the Fed would try to make a publicized statement in order to put investors at ease. Which is perfectly understandable, however it just raises some questions of the actual credibility of the statement itself. Some questions being.

What credibility does Mr. Evans have to his word now? Did anyone see a pinky swear? No, well then if the assumption is he is saying that just so the markets can hear it, then what are the negative repercussions if the Fed does in fact have to raise interest rates before 2016?

If this trying to deflect the eventual rise of interest rates, what is the importance of rising rates in relation to the stability in the markets? Would keeping them so low have an equally detrimental effect? And finally, Why wouldn’t the newly appointed Fed chairman Janet Yellen not use this opportunity to come out and make this statement? Wouldn’t such a statement in the face of crisis assert her new position as the head of the Federal Reserve.

35 years of experience offered to you free of charge

Part 1

Why I Wrote Win-Win

Having spent more than 35 years deep in the trenches of developing cross-sector partnerships and cause marketing campaigns with the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. I have developed partnerships – from a local two-person art program, a three-county children’s magazine, regional and national campaigns for Fortune 500 corporations, to cause marketing for an international sports organization, and all sizes and variations in between. I have experienced people in all types of organizations working together. And through it, all I have developed a step-by-step, proven process to planning and implementing successful cross-sector partnerships.

Beginning with my first job at Cedar Point, the world’s largest pure amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, where I developed a relationship with the state-sponsored Ohio Travel Council, I discovered the many benefits of bringing different sectors together in a mutually rewarding relationship. A few years later, I was hired by Marriott Corporation as Public Affairs Manager and given the task (at age 25) to design the opening promotion of its largest project in history: the family entertainment center Marriott’s Great America in Santa Clara, California. It was here where I conceived and directed my first comprehensive cross-sector partnership campaign, which I define as a partnership between two or more partners from the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors, with the March of Dimes. This campaign raised $2.5 million (and in 1976 that was a lot of money!), 40% more than ever been raised by the March of Dimes Chapters West.

Through the challenges, opportunities and understanding gained through this relationship, the main theme of my career was set: cross-sector partnerships provide more benefit to all the partners than each could have ever accomplished alone.

From those early experiences and beyond, in my work as Public Relations Director of the United States Olympic Committee, to the founding of The William Bentley Agency, an integrated public relations/marketing agency, to the honor of serving as director of marketing & communications for the American Red Cross (San Francisco) Bay Area chapter, to my current role as Founder/CEO of Bruce W. Burtch, Inc., a cross-sector partnership consulting and training firm, each role and relationship along this path have created a foundation of knowledge that I wanted to share.

I wrote this guidebook because I have seen thousands of organizations from all sectors struggling through the recent economic times. I have seen and still see a lot of pain and a need for help and real answers. Yet I know from experience that there is an extraordinary amount of opportunity lying in wait for the right combination of partners, on any issue, in any sector, in any small town or metropolitan city, in any corner of the world. Cross-sector partnerships can be extraordinarily successful when these partners join together for their individual and mutual success, while focusing on creating benefit for the greater good.

Win-Win for the Greater Good is a guidebook, not an overview, not a nice collection of stories. My goal is to take years of experience in developing partnerships between all sectors and provide you with the blueprint, the materials and the tools that will guide you in developing highly successful, highly profitable cross-sector partnerships. Here you will find information from the very basic to more challenging concepts. Each reader comes to this guidebook with different experiences and different levels of expertise.

In 1978, I was asked by the president of a large foundation what I wanted to do with my life, and almost without thinking I said, “I want to do well by doing good”. He leaned back in his chair, laughed heartedly and replied, “I’ve never seen anybody do that before.” That very phrase to “do well by doing good” has been my personal mantra and foundation of my work from that minute forward. From the bottom of my heart I believe that doing good is the necessary prerequisite for doing well. Doing good benefits everything you do and everything you are. Doing good and doing well can best be accomplished through win-win partnerships.

The 7 benefits of video blogging

A Video Blog, also known as a “vlog” is a clever way to increase brand awareness, gain a greater following and most importantly, generate additional business. If vlogging is not yet a part of your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to jump on the video blogging wagon.

The 7 benefits of Video Blogging:

1. Good for your SEO strategy.

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. That means potential customers are more likely to search for a service, product or information on YouTube, than they are on Yahoo or Bing. See more from this awesome infographic. When you post a video, and somebody is searching for that subject, it will likely show up in a search engine if you have optimized it correctly. SEO quick tip: You can embed your video on your website and transcribe it increasing your chances to include the important keywords mentioned in the video.

2. Develops trust.

When a follower watches you in a video, he begins to feel like he knows you, delivering a sense of trust. People by nature are more inclined to use a company for business when they are able to put a face to a name. Even more so, if they already know how you talk and have seen you “in action”.

3. 2 minutes provides concise, quick information.

As a general rule, savvy marketers know to keep videos under the 2 minute mark, as to not lose the attention of the viewer. People are more likely to click on a video blog over a written one because it requires less effort to watch than it does to read, while still delivering the same results.

4. People are visual.

People prefer to see something visually over reading content (which forces them to use their imagination). By providing the visual stimulation, you require viewers to do one less thing.

5. Videos generate more shares than any other type of posts.

If you want something to go viral, a video blog is the key. Currently, the most shared and “liked” content on Facebook is videos followed by pictures followed by articles.

6. Excellent for How-Tos or tutorials.

Again, since people learn best visually, videos are a great platform to teach your customers something new. Video how-to’s give your viewers the chance to see exactly how something is done and to pause or rewind when needed.

7. Generate income from your videos on YouTube.

YouTube allows you to monetize your videos by permitting YouTube to place ads in the video. Ads are always content appropriate and if you generate high viewership, you can make anywhere from $0.01 to $2.00 per 1000 hits from YouTube!

Bill Gates Quotes – The Best Quotes for Life and Business

Bill Gates is one of the most well known and sought after entrepreneurs in the world. He’s been at the top of the Forbes’ Richest People in the World list for many decades now. As such a high profile individual, entrepreneurs and now philanthropist, it’s no wonder why so many people are searching for “Bill Gates Quotes” on the internet.

Seeking out quotes from your favorite celebrities, athletes and individuals around the world is a great way to get inspired and put you back on the right path in whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

I’ve written a 1,200 word post on my favorite Bill Gates quotes and what they’ve meant personally for myself and my business. Now it’s time for you to look through some of Bill’s greatest quotes below and see which of them are your favorites and apply to your currently lifestyle and business.


“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
– Bill Gates

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
– Bill Gates

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
– Bill Gates

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
– Bill Gates

“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”
– Bill Gates

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
– Bill Gates

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.”
– Bill Gates

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
– Bill Gates

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
– Bill Gates

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”
– Bill Gates

“Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”
– Bill Gates

“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.”
– Bill Gates

“At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.”
– Bill Gates

“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”
– Bill Gates

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
– Bill Gates

'Selfie' short film the talk of Sundance, but is it more ad than art?

Since its premiere on Monday, the eight-minute short film “Selfie” has become one of the most talked-about stories of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Dealing with the appearance-driven insecurities of teenage girls and their mothers, “Selfie” is commendable for the honesty and vulnerability with which its subjects address a very delicate issue. It also ends with a heartwarming message, as the selfies taken by the girls and their mothers are displayed in an art gallery, with attendees then posting sticky notes to each of them, complimenting the girls and women on what they like best about the portraits.

Then a title card pops up with the logo for Dove beauty products, along with the words “Redefine Beauty.” There’s also a call to action to “Join the conversation” by using the hashtag #beautyis.

This begs the question: Is “Selfie” art or advertising? And if you believe it’s the latter, does this mean that Dove is exploiting the very insecurities their now 10-year-old Campaign for Real Beauty has been applauded for trying to stamp out?

Like so many shrewd and postmodern marketing campaigns, there’s no objective right answer. On the one hand, beauty-based insecurities have been a bane on the female psyche since well before Dove was invented. A recent Huffington Post article about Dove’s Real Beauty campaign cited a PsychCentral story claiming that “80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance.” A marketing campaign that candidly addresses an issue this widespread should be given credit as a conversation-starter.

“There are so few commercials that in any way are different, that challenge the stereotypical images,” Jean Kilbourne, an expert on how women are portrayed in advertising, told HuffPost.

The team behind the Campaign for Real Beauty also deserves credit for the artfulness of their campaign. “Selfie” was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade and their other videos, including “Evolution” and last year’s “Real Beauty Sketches,” were powerful and affecting explorations on the issue of self-perception.

“A product-based affair was never going to [affect change],” Janet Kestin, the former creative director of the agency behind “Evolution,” told HuffPost. “The goal is to alleviate pressure on the next generation.”

Yet that’s not the entire goal. Sociologists aren’t the ones behind these films; they’re very clearly branded by Dove, a company owned by Unilever. An Anglo-Dutch multinational conglomerate, Unilever’s holdings also include Lipton, Vaseline, and Axe, whose advertisements have been frequently and accurately accused of sexism. Dove may be building its brand on a uniquely progressive marketing campaign, but Axe sells its products the old-fashioned way: Through blunt attempts at equating its body sprays and deodorants as the secret to scoring with the types of impossibly beautiful women whose thin yet busty figures are fueling the insecurities that necessitate corrective ad campaigns like Dove’s.

Jennifer Pozner, executive director of Women in Media & News, put it well in her comments to the Huffington Post:

“If the stated goal of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign is for girls and women to understand that their power and their beauty does not come from a tube or an airbrush or a cream, but rather from their own personalities and power, then the company would not sell certain products that they sell, and their parent company would not run some of the most misogynistic ad campaigns in the past ten years.”

Others take issue with the message tacitly embedded in the Dove ads. In a response to the “Real Beauty Sketches” video, New York Magazine’s Ann Friedman wrote:

“These ads still uphold the notion that, when it comes to evaluating ourselves and other women, beauty is paramount. The goal shouldn’t be to get women to focus on how we are all gorgeous in our own way. It should be to get women to do for ourselves what we wish the broader culture would do: judge each other based on intelligence and wit and ethical sensibility, not just our faces and bodies.”

This speaks to the problems created when a discussion this important is waged on the battlefield of commerce. Look at the quiet cynicism in the following quote, attributed to Jennifer Bremner, brand director of skin cleansing at Unilever:

“We believe that conversation leads to brand love, and brand love leads to brand loyalty. That’s obviously a positive for us not just in the power of the brand, but also ultimately in sales.”

While it’s no doubt healthy for us to engage in a cultural dialogue around this topic, it’s crucial to remember that discussions like those created by the film “Selfie” ultimately take place in service of Dove’s bottom line.

“The conversation is as relevant and fresh today as it was 10 years ago,” Sharon MacLeod, vice president of Unilever North America Personal Care, told the Huffington Post. “I believe we’ll be doing [this campaign] 10 years from now.”

There’s little doubt about that, for more reasons than one.

The Best Recommendations Accessible For Surgical Treatment

For many, cosmetic surgery is regarded as an advanced healthcare magic. If you have enough funds, you have the capability to have your skin and entire body look however you want. This would seem incredible, doesn’t it? If you’re one of them, you will find this article valuable.

Ensure you do some research on cosmetic plastic surgery before going underneath the knife. You are going to desire to fully grasp all of that is involved with cosmetic plastic surgery like costs, risks, and the way you must get ready for the actual surgical procedure. After some on-line research it is possible to determine if cosmetic surgery is designed for you or perhaps not.

Be sure you fully grasp specifically which kind of recovery period you may be following your process. A lot of people believe that they may leap back into operate. Although this contains real for minor surgical treatments, it is not probable to experience a huge process without the need of recovery time. Chat things by helping cover their your medical professional in advance.

Cosmetic plastic surgery is normally very costly, plus it means some overlooked doing work days and nights. Because of this, it is a good idea to create apart some savings well before your treatment. Doing this, you are able to concentrate on recovering instead of on ancillary troubles.

When meeting with a physician relating to your surgery, require credentials particular for the surgical procedure you would like done. Discover what university he went to, how long they have been exercising, and just how often he functions your form of process. You must also ask to find out photos of former individuals who may have experienced the identical processes accomplished.

Utilize the term reconstructive surgical treatment when you are considering a surgical treatment method for well being reasons. Referring to reconstructive surgery will help everyone understand what this treatment is about and you will probably not really stereotyped for the utilization of cosmetic surgery.

Have you been frightened to acquire plastic surgery due to what other individuals will say? If you are, then it is vital to take a seat on your own. (and maybe a reliable loved one) Take note of all of the good reasons that you will be considering accomplishing this. You don’ xtrasize t need to reply to other people, but you will truly feel more confident with your choice.

Ask your operating specialist how many times he, or she has carried out the functioning you are interested in. Training tends to make best you must search for a doctor that is skilled, and may demonstrate definite results. A newcomer may have better price ranges, but you should not take any threats. Check out a skilled operating specialist.

It is essential to recall any medical operation has possible dangers. Become knowledgeable about the achievable dangers to your treatment and know how each and every could possibly be dealt with once they take place. If you think about the benefits against the threats, it will be possible to help make a well informed selection.

Remember that a microdermabrasion process needs to be carried out several times before beginning to discover any effects. A lot of people have the oversight of only conserving sufficient cash for just one method, then they are distressed whenever they see no outcomes. You will need to strategy for around 5 various or six sessions at a minimum.

Lipo surgery is really a well-liked aesthetic process. A pipe is placed in through a tiny lower and then suction power excess fat out. The tube goes into body fat covering, plus it actively works to dislodge the fat tissues and vacuums them out. A surgeon could use a large syringe or a vacuum pump.

Do not go overseas to acquire surgical treatment as a result of more affordable prices. Heading overseas is a great alternative, in case you have a way to ensure your operating specialist is properly trained and accredited. And definitely will perform the functioning in an approved facility. Avoid countries where specialists are not lawfully needed to have a certification.

When you are asking with regards to a feasible cosmetic surgery method, don’t overlook to ask about the agreements made for anesthesia. In surgical treatment, anesthetization is amongst the most important (and most likely risky) aspects of the operations. Discover who can be dealing with your sedation, and have the specifics about what they’ll do.

Via plastic surgery, men and women may change their appearance to match their needs. From it, men and women could be the person they always wanted to be. Continue to keep the following tips in your mind in the event you make a decision you would like to get the surgery.

What You Need to Learn About Taekwondo Classes Mississauga

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Really, people that pass through the taekwondo classes Mississauga are always known in the city or town where they live as they always live another life style from other people around them. Using the services offered by taekwondo etobicoke does not pose any difficulty as one can easily do this with ease. More so, you can easily control kids martialarts Toronto for your children and never have to pass through the strain involved in leveraging services traditional. All these are because of the inception of the web as with the aid of the internet one can easily leverage any kind of professional services at his or her comfort and ease without any kind of stress. You don’t need to to be in the town of etobicoke so that you can leverage martialarts etobicoke. It is because, with the help of your web device, you can easily contact martial_arts etobicoke correct at the comfort of your home.
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Colours for Living As Well As Learning in Younger Youngsters Lives.

Colours for boys and girls living in addition to learning growth.
There is a cycle of changing tones which will has effects on much of our body and mind.
The Universe is really a magnetic field with positive and negative charges, continually vibrating and producing electro-magnetic waves.

Each of these possesses a distinctive wavelength plus speed of vibration, Generating a electro magnetic sphere.
White light passing through the prism creates a visual spectrum of colours.
Significance of colour during child advancement.

There is actually a cycle of changing colours that affects much of our body and spirit through the different phases of existence.
These are generally reflected in our switching colour personal preferences.

Children have colour preferences based on personal character as well as level of advancement.

All through history it has been thought that different people surrounded themselves with colours on a unconscious level for spiritual influence on there lives.

At age 2 to 8 years spherical forms and mild soft colours are generally said to be suitable for nursery and bedroom’s,
young children between 7 and 11 years more bright colours and shapes were introduced,
and delicate greens and more mathematical shapes from 10 years till teenage years,
was discovered to be much less distracting to the
psychological focus of each and every level connected with development.
Early development in small kids and colour.
Child nurseries are best suited to creams and softer colour tones for instance pinks along with creams, that will radiate relax and snugness and therefore are psychologically calming and tranquilizing.
Filling up bare regions in a Kid’s rooms with the right colours and designs can tremendously boost the Infant’s growth during the various stages of growth.
Wall stickers and decals have been shown to significantly increase a Baby’s creative imagination.- Catina Malina – UCL (University College London)

It has been proved that our environment drastically constitute our behavior as well as mood, and Wall stickers increase the mood to a great level.
Colours and Shapes help kids develop their imagination and creativity when seen regularly in there surroundings, wall stickers can help stimulate their mental growth,
giving your kid the biggest benefit prior to their formal education.
The initial years of a Kid’s life is spent in their bed room and their home surrounding equals a high percent of their visual experience, therefore it is very vital that you make a colourful and interesting bedroom or baby room they’re going to associate as a fun as well as safe home.
Youngsters rest as well as learn better when they are in a relaxed and soothing atmosphere.
Small children have been found to relax in a location longer if it’s filled with more inspiring visual tones.

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Why no Superbowl fast food ads?

Someone broached the question to me during the game, in almost a disappointed tone. Fast food is supposed to be as integral as puppies, talking babies, celebrity endorsements, etc. to Superbowl marketing. So why didn’t we see any? A legitimate question, though not quite fair to Subway. Subway bought in last minute to promote their chicken enchilada sub, as a number of other companies were pulling out their bids. It wasn’t a spectacular commercial, but it was there, and personally made me want to check out the new sandwich.

Yet compare that lackluster effort to how many car and beer commercials appeared? That’s not quite a fair comparison. Cars and beer have a healthy, historic marriage with football commercial time. Possible suggestions arise: that the fast food chains are already well known staples, so have no need to raise awareness, or that their profit margins run too slim to throw money into advertising. Both of these won’t satisfy, however, because then companies like Coca Cola and Budweiser would have no reason to appear.

No easy answers here. No matter how you look at it, Superbowl advertising is a gamble, like high risk stocks. The upside could be tremendous, alternatively, you could just be out a lot of money. In the worst imaginable scenario, the company’s commercial is received neither positively or negatively, and thus generates no response, no buzz, no controversy, and like Subway’s pitch this year, is virtually forgotten. At around $4 million for 30 seconds, that’s a tough financial pill to swallow.