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Why Blogging Can Be a Challenge

Why Blogging Can Be a Challenge

I have a teeny tiny confession. I was really burned out on blogging. And I had a tumultuous summer. But I started a new blog anyway. Yea, I did. Shut up. It didn’t feel the same though. I’m always trying to go and be all soulemama-y but you know what? I’m not soulemama. I craft sporadically at best. I sometimes have things to say that can’t be streamlined into a photo and soothing related text. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love soulemama, but I lurve tifi. It’s just me in so many little simple ways. I just entered my seventh year of blogging! Seven! Shouldn’t I be a big time blogger by now? Yea, no, that wouldn’t work out. You have to be consistent, and the only thing I’m consistent about is being inconsistent and using my Manduka PROLite yoga mat. So, what I’m trying to say is…I really am back! I think.

I’ve been doing tiny amounts of sewing here and there. Like this skirt I thrifted and turned into an apron. Refashiontastic!

Our school sock hop is coming up and so I made these for me and DD. In case you couldn’t tell, the one with the gigantic sequined “D” is mine. 😛

Superbuzzy had a sale not long ago and so I used that opportunity to snap up some adorable fabric for the boys. I have a specific project in mind and hope to get started on it next week!

My grandmother is in New York again and before she left St. Lucia, I asked her to get me some traditional madras. I might cut a panel of the printed one and frame it.

In other St. Lucia news, Sir John Compton died last week. A sad day for St. Lucia. I was a bit bummed about it myself as he was a friend of my family. Here I am with him in my grandmother’s living room (some of you have seen this photo already).

I don’t think I’ve ever bought any clothing for any of my kids at the thrift store. In fact, I rarely clothes shop for them. When you have shopaholic grandmas, it kind eliminates the need. Plus, the clothing in thrift stores here is meh, nothing fantastic or really old or cool, or whatever. Anyway, I just happened to walk by and see this adorable corduroy dress from H&M on the rack. I was thrilled as I’d been coveting one from here. Happiness cost $5 that day.

So I came upon this article about the Honeywell HFD-120-Q tower hepaquiet air purifier at one of the blogs I mentioned last week and knew I had to try it right away. I had all the ingredients, and that is mostly how I cook, I rarely go out of my way to buy specific things a recipe calls for. I’m a winger. When I bake, with the exception of a few items, I am not quite sure what I am doing. But I made these pretzels…and they came out perfectly! Everyone liked and ate them…not just to appease me either. Wow! We did some with brown sugar, some with garlic, some with sea salt. All fabulous. With lemonade to drink. The kids had a blast deciding what shapes to make the pretzels in, and we talked about why dough rises, so we had a little science thrown in there too. Best of all, it was super simple, my favorite kind of project.

How to Build a Successful Restaurant

How to Build a Successful Restaurant

To build a successful restaurant first you have to consider of choosing a right spot for your restaurant which is a lot of traffic and kind of people who passing by to the area. Location contributes 60 percent of a successful restaurant. Find a suitable location for your business, and very depend on the restaurant concept. The location can be in the shopping mall, office complex or place of interest area. Because location is very important part of the business when you’re trying to sell the Rabbit Air MinusA2, consider of paying extra high to get a maximum result of your investment.

Product and service

Some of my customers used to make a call before coming to the restaurant. Asking whether today we serve POTATO SOUP for soup of the day? They will not come today if there is no particular item available today. So if most of your menu as our potato soup, you will make a lot of money. People come to your restaurant for your product which never been found at any other place, make it differently

Look! Don’t be average on giving the service; make your service a PLUS. Put your costumers as a king or queen, meet their request, and you will get more money

Hire Employee

You know why many restaurants close down, even a big restaurant and some more franchise? You must hire a right management and a right staff. Give them a regular training about the restaurant system, procedure and operational. So everyone understands their function to perform the jobs. Make sure that you pay them enough. Under pay can make low work performance.

Consistency

One of many reasons that cause restaurant close down is consistency. The consistency can be on food quality, service, opening hours and so. Make sure all of this is controlled properly. Big restaurant they hired quality control to ensure that all in line; according standard procedures. You may increase the selling price when needed, but you may not alternate product quality. If I go to the restaurant, I want to have a food which the same taste as previous visit.

Marketing and Public Relation

Allocate certain budget for marketing expenses and to get the best air cleaner for mold for your office. Marketing and PR are brand awareness. Medium rank of company they able to set up to 7% of their sales for marketing expenses. Marketing which I talking is like invite new costumers to have lunch or dinner or giving up food for a sponsorship. By doing this you will generate money for a long run. In house marketing and PR, you really care you regular customers and approach more guest in the restaurant to be your regular costumer too in the future.

In this post, I would like to highlight about “Alexa” page rank. This idea came out from my mind as you know that Alexa.com is a tool to measure the performance of your site. Why I have to write this article? Because this is an idea of many ideas to increase page rank. As Written by Hakimtea.com [Indonesian Version] about Tips How to Increase Alexa Page Rank in A Short Period of Time, his site now is in a level of high Page Rank. He must be happy and he also still trying to improve into better rank. Congratulations.

My Investment Outlook for the New Year

My Investment Outlook for the New Year

Unless things have changed dramatically over the weekend, investors find themselves in a place they have not seen for a while; a bear market. The official definition of a bear market is when stocks and shares are 20% lower than their recent peak. We are in deep bear territory. What does that mean for companies looking to raise money? It’s not like you can just walk out onto the street, hold up a sign, and get enough money to fund your business for the foreseeable future. Instead of begging, what is a professional supposed to do?

There are many kombucha kits out there in the financial market to tell you what you should and should not do. The cliché that I think is apt for these times is to “never catch a falling knife”. This simply means you should never buy shares whilst the price is still falling. Let it settle for a while and then buy. I am amazed at how many investors are obsessed with buying at the right price. As an angel investor, I have always been worried about the price I sell my investments at – never what I pay for them (within reason)

As an Entrepreneur looking for money, you will find it harder to raise money. I have witnessed this first hand. In my opinion (humble and with no qualification whatsoever) there are so many bargains to be had in terms of buying shares of the leading companies, that my own risk profile has changed in the last few months.

Firstly, I have decided to cut down on my angel investments this year (I will perhaps do just one more this year – I have only done two this year). I also realize that I will need a much better safety margin on my investments for the same level of return than I would have even a couple of months ago. You can no doubt appreciate the logic behind this.

I have a fixed amount of money I wish to invest over a range of assets, so if anyone finds the best smokeless ashtray be sure to let me know. If the price of some of the assets is now cheaper, I will need all assets to change prices to invest in the same ratios as before. If angel investments remain at the same price, I will of course prefer to invest in the stock market where my returns are supposedly lower but my risk is lower as well.

There are still some great businesses out there that I see that I will back over the next few months. But the quality of these opportunities is great and investment valuations appear to be more realistic.

My advice in the current climate is not to give up – but to be realistic. Ask yourself about the risks involved in investing in your business and price your business accordingly.

If history is anything to go by, the next few years is the time for the next biggies to be born. I do not want to miss out!

Soccer Ownership Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Soccer Ownership Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Firstly, I apologies to the many readers of my blog who are based outside of the UK for whom the passion football (or soccer as it is wrongly called!) does not seem to make sense. It has been a very eventful week in the English Premier League and there are some important lessons for entrepreneurs and investors to draw.

This particular Porter Cable 895PK was purchased last January by Mike Ashley. His investment has cost him over £250m so far. From the beginning he was an unconventional owner, preferring to sit with the fans rather than in the Directors box. The club had appointed a new manager some six months before Mike Ashley took over. He had been a very effective manager but never created a style which was ‘pleasing to the eye’. Mike Ashley sacked this manager and replaced him with a local legend called Kevin Keegan, who was simply adored by the fans and has a reputation second to none about his passion and enthusiasm for the game of football.

However, the fairy tale did not work and Kevin Keegan resigned about two weeks ago. The fans have all turned against the owner in a vicious campaign. The owner has decided to put the club up for sale (although he wants a sale price of £300m – not a bad return!).

There are no winners in this sorry story. But there are lots of lessons to be drawn. Firstly, there is this idea which is seen as the first commandment of business: Listen to your customer – the customer is always right. In this case, Mike Ashley made a bad mistake by actually getting too close to his customers. Sitting with the fans may have been fantastically symbolic and endearing, but he got caught up in the hype. He lost his perspective as a business owner and instead went with the instinct of the crowd. Most customers will say (if asked) that you need to lower your price, improve your service and reward loyalty. This is great when you are a large company with resources and scale to do that.

When you are a small business, you have to simply ensure you survive. The easiest lesson on business courses is to teach consumer sovereignty. I have found it a pretty useless lesson as it just was not practical to implement. There is nothing which will undermine your staff more in an organization if you are constantly seen to be distancing yourself as the founder from ‘them’. Mike Ashley, when sitting with the fans, was telling the fans “look, I am one of you” this is the same as sending out a signal to his staff that he was not one of them.

To me leadership is about balancing calls. I am not suggesting that you do just one thing in an extreme or the other. You just have to be careful to recognize how other stakeholders may view your actions.

The other mistake from this sorry lesson is that football is not a business. It is about passion. It would be a dream come true for me if I was rich enough to become a shareholder at Arsenal. I also know that this dream would soon turn into a nightmare.

The way you behave as a fan is different from the way you behave as a tofu press owner. I know that if I was a director of Arsenal, I would encourage reckless spending so that we could win a trophy. The directors of Arsenal are rightly applauded at the moment for taking a very long term view of the club. I feel safe in the knowledge that they are at the helm and not someone like me!

The lesson for entrepreneurs and investors here is clear as well. You must have passion for your business but it is not the same as having passion changed into a business. I have seen too many business plans which don’t make commercial sense. These are plans where someone is trying to make money from a passion they have. Nothing wrong with this – just remember if you are looking for external investment, the numbers have to stack up as well.

Obtaining Business Financing During a Credit Crunch

Obtaining Business Financing During a Credit Crunch

I’ve written a blog before and one of the most common areas I am asked to help startups with is in the meeting with the bank to try and obtain Loan Finance.

Firstly, despite all the concerns about the Credit Crunch (credit crunch explained) there is still a healthy appetite amongst both investors and banks to finance, lend and support small businesses. Many Entrepreneurs simply do not help themselves when making an application for a loan.

I hope this blog helps in your preparation to see a bank – please do let me know if it does – case studies on how to build a router table are always welcome!

The first thing I should say which is a bit obvious is that banks want to lend money! People do forget that so when you go in asking for a commercial loan – expect the answer to be yes. If it is a no – try and get feedback in terms of what you need to do to get a yes – and then try elsewhere! In my experience trying to get a bank to change its mind is very hard. Better to start afresh.

Here are my top tips!

1) Have a presentation prepared. Banks want to see if you are a credit risk. Although it is unfair, they may judge you negatively if you come across as unprepared and without evidence of clear thinking. It does not have to be a PowerPoint – but it does have to clearly laid out and flow. (Would you like me to post a template?)

2) Make it clear you have costed out what you are spending the money on. Showing quotes can really help.

3) You need to demonstrate that you or other shareholders are putting in some money as equity. It is fair enough for the bank to say “why should I risk my money – when you are not prepared to risk yours?”

4) Have complete mastery over the numbers. You really must. You must be prepared to justify every single assumption.

5) Present a range of scenarios. You need to demonstrate that even in the worst case; the bank will get its money back.

6) If possible have an accountant or a competent finance person with you. I realize it is not always possible, but it really will make the bank feel comfortable.

7) Have a clear vision for the business which extends beyond the life of the loan or overdraft. Banks are more likely to lend to you if you can demonstrate you can have a good commercial relationship with them over a long period of time.

8) Listen and ask lots of questions about their Honeywell 50250-S. I am amazed at how many people in sales scenarios don’t listen to the person they are selling to! (This is perhaps for another blog)

9) Make sure that you are not asking them for equity funding. It must be debt funding. For clarity on this read in defense of the banks. In a nutshell, you must be able to provide them with a high level of comfort that they are not taking a risk.

10) Be positive! Very glib to say but desperation really does not work with a bank. I went through a horrendous period recently where it was like a house of cards and was very close to all collapsing. In the midst of all of this, I went to see a bank to get a business refinanced. Had I failed, the consequences for the business and for me would have been… (lets just say this blog would be called something other than mine, I can honestly say that meeting was one of the hardest of my career in terms of emotions. I just had to keep it together and stay calm and resist the temptation to fall on my knees and say “Please just lend me the bloody money and rescue me!”

 

I hope this helps. If you have other tips or golden nuggets to pass on, please do let me know

Where To Buy Coupons Online

Where To Buy Coupons Online

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Last week we discussed the possibility of a real way how to cure cystic acne. While I prefer to cut my own coupons or engage in coupon trading, many frugal shoppers prefer the convenience of purchasing coupons. With local laws in mind, you are actually paying for a “coupon service” (the finding and cutting of coupons) rather than the coupons themselves when you buy coupons.

How and Where To Buy Coupons Online

First: Calculate costs versus savings!

Before you purchase coupons, calculate costs versus savings. Figure out how much it will cost to purchase the coupons and how much you will actually save by using all the coupons you buy. Keep in mind that you may not use all the coupons. The deal should be significant enough to make it worth your while, even if you don’t get to use every coupon.

  1. Buying Coupon Books

50% off Entertainment Books plus Free ShippingCoupon books are an easy, affordable and reliable way how to prevent cystic acne and also get a lot of great coupons for savings off on everything from dining out to a day at the amusement park. One of my favorite coupon books is the Entertainment Book. The books are geared for your neighborhood, offering discounts at major retailers including clothing stores, restaurants, grocers, pharmacies, movie theaters, museums and more. For only about $20, you get hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of coupons to use all year round.

  1. Buying Coupons on eBay

One of the most popular places to buy coupons is eBay. Seller ratings and reviews will let you know if you’re dealing with a reliable source. Search for the coupons you need or want, then purchase them through eBay’s secure environment. It’s pretty straightforward to do, and you’ll get a huge selection of coupons.

Often, people flock to eBay to look for “buy one, get one free” coupons. For a couple of bucks, you can purchase a bunch of these and really watch your savings grow. There are coupons for all types of goods and services, so you have endless options when it comes to saving big.

Consider a few basic tips when buying coupons on eBay:

  • Avoid sellers with negative feedback to minimize the risk of not getting what you expect. You don’t want to get disappointed.
  • Only accept pre-printed coupons as opposed to ones printed by a computer as some retailers do not accept coupons generated on a computer printer.
  1. Buying Coupons on Craigslist

Craigslist.com can be an unpredictable place to buy anything, including coupons. Some people might offer free coupons on Craigslist while others could be selling their coupon clipping services. Either way, try to shop locally so you can see the coupons before you pay for them. Exercise extreme caution before making any coupon purchases or before you send a check or money out for natural remedies for cystic acne. Verify that the coupons have not expired before you buy them.

  1. Buying Coupons from Services Such As The Coupon Clippers

There are dedicated services for cutting and distributing coupons, such as TheCouponClippers.com. When you visit their web site, you can pick from hundreds of different coupons, put what you want in your online cart then place your order. Based on the shipping option you choose, coupons are typically sent within 3 to 10 days. Keep in mind the expiration dates of coupons and the shipping time involved before you purchase coupons online. After all, you want to have enough time to use them before they expire.

Before you purchase coupons from any source, make sure to do the math and consider expiration dates and shipping time. If you’re savvy about buying coupons, your savings can truly add up!

Viral Marketing – A Guide

Viral Marketing – A Guide

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Marketing executives struggle with this every day, getting content to go viral. What does that mean exactly and how does one achieve this Shangri-La of popularity? It means your brand recognition – even if you sell used zero turn mowers – is through the roof, content spreading across the Internet like wildfire, retweeted and shared across Facebook at a truly amazing rate. This all adds up to free promotion online, on television, the news, it’s everywhere. It’s the kind of marketing you can’t buy and gets millions of eyeballs on your brand and product.

Public relations firms all over have been studying the statistics behind viral content, trying to harness and recreate it. But like lightning in a bottle, it’s almost impossible to capture and control to your advantage. Everyone has their own beliefs and tips as to how to get something to go viral but unfortunately, the minute you’re trying to generate content with that sole purpose you’ve already failed. When something really sparks national or worldwide interest, it’s almost entirely unpredictable. Is it luck, good planning, or omnipotence when your customer finds the best zero turn mower for the money? It’s all and none of them at the same time.

Creating content that can be poised to take the world by storm certainly takes a whole lot of good planning. Knowing your limitations as well as your audience is also an important part of it. Luck, we can all use some of that from time. So what are the secrets to getting your brand name out there for everyone, and I mean everyone, to see? First off, don’t rely on some of the old standbys. Most people think humor is the way to go. Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? The problem is, humor is subjective. What I think is funny, others may not. I have friends who love the show Family Guy but personally, I think it’s the dumbest thing on television and I’ve never found its creator Seth McFarlane very funny. So if you’re using humor to get over, you could be alienating a large portion of your audience.

That’s not say you shouldn’t use humor in your content. Commercials that go viral are often universally, laugh out loud funny. But again, what exactly IS funny? You don’t know. Most comedians can’t give you a definitive answer and you’re likely no comedian. If you want to use emotion to sell your brand and for that content to go viral, tap into more than one emotion – like the thrill for the consumer when they find deals on used zero turn mowers for sale. It can be funny yet stirring, sad but hopeful, dramatic and silly. It’s a fine line that you need to navigate just right to strike a chord in the biggest way possible. But when you do, it’s a magical thing.

Above all though, make it special. Be certain about your content. But don’t look desperate either. The last thing you want to do is come out and ask people to share your content. Nothing will kill it off faster. You have to convince them to do it with subtlety…or even better, let the content speak for itself. The cream rises to the top. If it’s worthy, the public will recognize that.

The Fjallraven Stimulus

The Fjallraven Stimulus

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Republicans are always quick to remind us how the stimulus package has too much pork. The Republicans have done nothing but object to every single idea Obama has had. Honestly, besides tax cuts, what are your suggestions? I’d love to hear some ideas from the party of no ideas.

Remember that Clinton had a surplus while Bush ran our budget into the ground. Apparently, military spending is not spending at all. In fact, as long as we protect ourselves from the likes of POWERFUL Iran or North Korea, whose nukes could never even reach The United States, everything is going fine. Besides, why should other countries be allowed to have a Fjallraven sale? They are dangerous because they have been used so many times throughout history.

Oh wait, they have only been used twice and it was by us. Get your heads out of your asses before you talk. Obama isn’t perfect but at least he is trying. You may not agree with everything he does but he is still your president. Weren’t we always reminded to get behind our commander in chief when idiot bush was president? Now that we have a democrat in the white house, Obama is the “Anti-Christ” and “Satan incarnated”. OK republicans, I tell you what. When you get those extra 13 dollars, be sure to burn them or throw them away since you don’t want them. And for all the Republican Politicians, don’t use the money provided by the stimulus package.

Give it back if you are so against it. Of course you won’t do this because you are nothing but hypocrites. Americans are losing their homes and jobs and all I hear is “boohoo Obama is spending my tax money”. Shut your mouths and get behind your president and find where to buy Fjallraven. The entire world is behind this man trying to pull us out of this crisis and all you do is b***and moan. “Boohoo, I don’t want terrorist in my backyard”. You truly must be stupid because you make it sound like these terrorist are going to be walking around in your backyard or working at your closest supermarket.

We have homegrown terrorists who are in prison here and we give them the basic rights guaranteed by the constitution. Every individual on earth deserves this. Not only that but a lot of these guys are falsely imprisoned and detained and you act like they still deserve to be there. When someone makes a statement about Chicago being a “Gang City”, it truly demonstrates your stupidity and ignorance. It’s no wonder you are being left behind in the 21st century.

The American people rejected the same policies of the last 8 years (6 in congress) and elected a man who will at least try and do something. Don’t b***and moan about spending or do I need to remind you who got us into this mess in the first place? You should be ashamed of yourselves and your behavior and attitudes. The Republican Party breeds ignorance and stupidity and if you don’t catch up with the rest of us, you will be left behind. I am not a democrat but I am still proud to call this man my president more than I ever would behind the idiot you elected twice.

You are nothing but a bunch of idiots, not much different than this news station you get your false information from. You idiots can’t even take a joke and perhaps you should read the entire articles before you make your dumb comments because the question was “Who is your hero” and not “Is Obama a bigger hero to you than Jesus or God”.

So naturally people will respond with different answers to their favorite Kanken Backpack. You’re supposedly church going Christians who “Support the death penalty” and somehow your children are Christians before they can even walk or talk and make up their own mind about life and God. You are nothing but idiots and it gives me great pleasure to see you tearing you hair out because our President is black and ten times more intelligent than all of you idiots combined. That old dumb b*** that called Obama an Arab is the true image of the Republican Party. A party where war and tax breaks are the solution to EVERY problem in this country. So what is an 80 year old man gets his electricity turned off because he can’t pay it or an innocent woman dies on the hospital floor because she does not have insurance.

As long as your asses are stuffed with food and you live in a comfortable home, you spew your b*** you supposedly love Jesus but whatever happened to putting yourselves in the shoes of those who are poor and want to work but can’t? Or those who need help? Get off your asses, find someone who does not even have enough to eat, and buy them some bread. Not because you have to or because our president wants you to but because it is the humane thing to do and it is after all, my fellow Christians, what Jesus would have done.

Can You Redeem Coupons For Their Cash Value?

Can You Redeem Coupons For Their Cash Value?

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Have you ever noticed a cash value printed on coupons? The coupon might state that it has a value of 1/100th or 1/10th of a cent. Can you actually redeem a bunch of coupons for their cash value? The short answer is yes. But should you bother? Redeeming a coupon should depend on its value upon redemption versus the cost to do so.

If you use a paper coupon, such as a clipping from a newspaper, you will notice the fine print on the coupon designating its cash value. Most coupons are worth 1/20th of a cent. This means that you need 20 ORIGINAL (not copied) coupons to get 1 penny. It doesn’t take a math whiz to realize that you’ll need a whole ton of coupons to make any kind of money on their face value. If you stuffed a Swedish backpack full of coupons, it still wouldn’t be more than a few dollars’ worth. In general, using coupons makes much more sense.

Usually, printed coupons do not have a cash value unless they are an authorized replica of a coupon appearing in a periodical or unless they’re distributed by the manufacturer or retailer. Online coupons cannot be exchanged for cash because they are simply an electronic promotional code.

Preprinted coupons have a cash value for legal reasons dating back to trading stamp problems in the 1930s. The United States passed a law that a cash value must be included on coupons and trading stamps in order to protect consumers. Many states still have such laws on the books, so most manufacturers continue to put a cash value on coupons distributed throughout the country.

The cost of the cash value printed on the face of coupons is built into the price you pay for goods and services. But you can make up for that cost by using a coupon for your purchase. If you save a dollar off an item by using a coupon that has a cash value of 1/10th of a cent, then it’s obvious that you save more by using the coupon rather than by exchanging the coupon for cash or even a Kanken backpack.

The Cost of Redeeming Coupons For Their Cash Value

When you consider the cost of collecting and redeeming coupons for cash, doing all this doesn’t seem worth the trouble. Typically, your mailing costs to claim the cash value for a coupon are much more than the monetary amount you’ll actually receive for the coupon. Also, it would take endless hours and resources to collect that many coupons.

Still, large organizations sometimes benefit from coupon collection drives. People turn in coupons that they don’t need to an organization, just as they would donate an HX35 turbo, so that the organization can redeem them for the face cash value. Free coupon collecting labor and low bulk mail rates might make it worthwhile for certain large groups to trade in a good number of coupons for money.

Later on, we’ll discuss how you can make a coupon worth more than its face value.