Practical Information Products for the Internet, 1

I have been in the training business for over twelve years. As I began writing how-to manuals, I naturally began offering seminars on how to write how-to manuals. And I still do. But I’ve found that by putting what I’ve learned about this subject into print and marketing this manual, I’ve been able to reach out and help many more people than I ever could through seminars alone. Practical. Above all else, writing, publishing, marketing and promoting your how-to manuals is practical. Information products are some of the easiest things to create and market (especially over the Internet!) How-to manuals are a consistently profitable market. Never mind if there are already twenty- eleven things in print on your topic. If you have something new to say on the subject, or some new way to say it, you have a unique product that may fulfill the needs of others. Portable. One of the things I love most about this business is that it’s portable. You can write, publish, market and promote your how-to manuals from virtually anywhere. I’ve written how-to manuals while traveling almost full-time delivering my seminars and training courses. When my wife takes early retirement in a few years, she wants to move from the large city we now live in on the West Coast to a small town in northern New Mexico. No matter, I can still do my business from wherever we settle next. Your Spin. This business really has no limits! As I said above, even if there are many other publications on a topic you want to write your how-to manual about, don’t fret! Put your unique stamp on the topic and/or market it in a new way, and you’ll find plenty of buyers. Do you think Dr. Wayne Dyer was the first person to write a self-help book? Absolutely not! But the way he wrote “Your Erroneous Zones” reached people, many of whom had never read a self-help book in their lives, in a way that made him a best-selling author! Easy & Cheap. It’s getting easier and cheaper than ever to produce your how-to manuals for distribution, from traditional print media to electronic formats that can be distributed over the Internet immediately! Profitable. Finally, this is an incredibly profitable business! People who need what you know will pay more for your 30- 90 page how-to manual than they pay for a hardback book at the bookstore! And the mark-up on your product can result in substantial profits on even just a few hundred or a few thousand sales. Pricing. And that’s the point I want to end this article with: one of the biggest mistakes self-publishers make is that we tend to underprice our manuals! Manuals that contain specialized knowledge are virtually always priced higher than books in stores. This is because you are making available specific information that a specialized segment of the marketplace is seeking. Your customers desperately want your information — and they are ready, able and willing to pay for it!

Computers, Introverts and the Information Age

Awhile ago I was researching a topic on the Internet, and found several psychologists saying that extended time spent on the Internet led to depression. Something didn’t resonate with me when I read that. I spend a lot of time on the Internet and it energizes me. But then I’m more of an introvert.

But I’m only more of an introvert than an extravert, as I spent years in the effervescent fields of marketing and P.R. How so?

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (M-B), extraverts prefer to interact with people and the outside world. They tend to enjoy the high-energy, outgoing professions like sales and marketing. Introverts, on the other hand, pefer an inner world of concepts and ideas. Their energy comes from quiet thought and introspection. Typical professions for them are writers, lawyers or researchers. But these are only preferences, says Janet Thuesen, co-author of “Type Talk,” a book about the M-B.

Most introverts manage to act like extraverts when the occasion calls for it, just as left-handed people manage to use the numeric keypad on the computer.

Jeb Livingood is a left-handed INFJ who’s a full time computer programmer. He did a study of M-B types and their use of computer-mediated communication and came to the important conclusion that introverts are “connected, communicating, and comfortable in cyberspace.”

In fact, the computer seems almost to have been created for the peace- loving introverts who make up only 25-30% of the population. “It allows them to communicate in their preferred manner,” says Livingood, “a written dialogue with time to pause for thought and analysis.” It gives them a way to express themselves without what Livingood calls “the growing verbal inferno (cell phones, pagers, teleconferencing) [that] threatens to engulf the world’s quieter individuals.”

On the Internet there are mailing lists for many of the M-B types. There are more than 5 times as many introverts on them as extraverts, Livingood found. “Computers are the friend of the introvert,” says Thuesen. “Extraverts often seem too impatient for computers; they get frustrated. They would rather be out talking to someone or performing some action.”

E-mail allows the deliberative and quieter introvert to respond at their own pace, as they wish, and without interruption. Perhaps more importantly, the Internet allows them to find like-minded individuals across the planet, when 3 out of 4 people they meet aren’t like them. Introverts may even have the advantage in today’s information society.

It might well be depressing to an extrovert to have to crawl inside a computer when they could be outside playing with the guys, but to most introverts, it’s a close thing to heaven. Email can be edited too! Be still my beating heart.

Gaming Laptops – The Five Essential Features To Consider When

Gone are the days when you would have been laughed at if you walked into an all-night LAN party carrying your trusty laptop and expecting to hang with the giant computer towers standing at everyone’s feet. The gaming laptop computers of today sport huge, crisp LCD screens, cutting-edge video cards and full-size keyboards. Not only can these gaming laptop computers hang with the standard clunky computer tower, but they can also be ordered fully custom to meet the exact specifications of any gamer.

Since there are so many customizable components in these laptops, a standard practice has been to create what some call a “system builder.” This is the page where you get to add and subtract components through drop-down menus in order to create the best gaming laptop computer for your needs and your budget. This type of page can be overwhelming to someone just starting the gaming laptop shopping process, but it is very manageable if you take it just one component at a time.

The Gaming Laptop GPU

This is the heart of a gaming laptop computer. The GPU – graphics processing unit – is a component that will make or break your gaming experience. If your GPU isn’t up to snuff, your games won’t play.

Without getting into specific models since they change all the time, the key is that the graphics card not share resources with the computer. A gaming laptop video card must have its own memory on board. Generally speaking, standard off-the-shelf laptops will not have this feature. The two current makers of laptop video cards are nVIDIA and ATI.

Without the Screen, You Don’t Have Much

What good is a gaming laptop without a screen that can actually render your games? Now certainly, you can connect an external monitor, but if you can’t actually play on your gaming laptop without that external monitor, then your laptop isn’t all that mobile.

While the technology and terminology for LCDs (liquid crystal displays) could take up an entire article in itself, there are a few key points to keep in mind when choosing from available LCD options for your new gaming laptop computer: native resolution, aspect ratio, rise and fall time, contrast, viewing angle, and size.

Native Resolution. The native resolution is simply the setting at which your screen will render the clearest images. Since games are constantly in motion, slightly soft edges may not bother most gamers, but keep in mind that while this is your gaming laptop, you will likely also use it for other things like surfing the Internet. If the resolution isn’t comfortable, you aren’t going to enjoy using it.

Aspect Ratio. As you probably know, a movie theater screen and a TV screen have different proportions. Likewise, there are widescreen format gaming laptops and there are laptops that have a standard aspect ratio – like that of a TV. A widescreen format gaming laptop has advantages and disadvantages. Many games today do not have a widescreen mode. This means that the game may stretch across the screen and become distorted or you may run it with black bars that fill in the sides. There are ways to get around this, but if you want an out of the box perfect experience, the widescreen format may not be for you.

That said, a widescreen LCD does offer plenty of screen real estate for web surfing and other type of computer activities, and a game played in a wide format setting offers an expansive field of view. For this reason, there are some very loyal widescreen-loving gamers out there.

Do your best to find a balance between current and future technology and what your computer habits are beyond gaming. Even with its limitations, the widescreen format is found on most of the best gaming laptop computers.

Rise and Fall. The phrase ‘rise and fall time’ is used to describe how fast the LCD can respond to changes. In the past, LCDs have been plagued with the inability to render images as fast as computer games can spit them out. This presents a major problem for laptop gamers because if they can’t see the images properly, they can’t play the game properly. This lag can mean the difference between playing to win and barely playing.

Fortunately, gaming laptop LCDs have come a long way and they are only getting better. While once it was impossible to game on a laptop screen, the gaming laptop LCDs of today offer 25 milliseconds or less rise and fall time while generally off-the-shelf laptops have 40 milliseconds or less rise and fall time.

Contrast. If a gaming laptop LCD has poor contrast, that means that the black areas aren’t quite as black as they should be and the white areas aren’t quite as white. This is important to a laptop gamer because you have to see the game properly – as it was intended to be seen – in order to compete effectively. Look for a contrast ratio of 400:1 or higher in a custom gaming laptop computer.

Viewing Angle. This is an often-overlooked LCD feature, but it must be considered if you are building a gaming laptop computer. Many high quality LCDs on the market are difficult to see clearly at any angle other than straight on and at the right height. This can be a big drawback to gaming on a LCD screen because a screen with poor viewing angles won’t allow others to watch the screen as you play and also hurts your view when doing something as simple as adjusting your seating, which can require you to then adjust to position of your laptop screen to see it properly again.

But gaming on a laptop does not mean that you are doomed to have poor viewing angles. There are LCDs on the market that have amazing viewing angles – up to 120 degrees. These screens not only allow gaming onlookers, but they also allow you to use that giant, crisp screen to do things like play movies and even make presentations.

Size. In a gaming laptop computer, size is everything. Most gaming laptops are large, robust pieces of electronics. Having a machine of this stature means you also get to have a large screen. The best gaming laptop computer LCD screens out there are at least 15 inches. A crowd favorite is a 17 inch widescreen (even with the challenges that widescreens present). Largr 19 inch laptop screens are just starting to be talked about with consumers expecting to see 19 inch or even large models on the market in the near future.

The best way to really get a feel for what laptop LCDs are all about is to take a trip to a local box store and play with the LCDs on the display laptops while keeping in mind what you have read here. While these laptops are not custom gaming laptops, you can see what the sizes really look like, what different resolutions look like, and what the viewing angles truly are so you can start to develop your own preferences.

The RAM – What Type and How Much?

The RAM (random access memory) found in laptops is called SODIMM (small outline dual inline memory module). The RAM is responsible for your processing power. If you are shopping for a custom gaming laptop, you will generally be offered DDR2 RAM with the choice of how much you want in your computer. Most high-end games being released today need 1GB of RAM for optimum, lag-free game play. Some people are going with 2GB to ensure that they can run multiple applications along with the game and not experience any slow down in response time. This is a large investment and you want to be able to use this gaming laptop for some time in the future. Most custom laptops are user upgradeable, but this should be left up to professionals.

The CPU – Not Just Mobile Technology

The CPUs (central processing units) found in many custom gaming laptops are identical to those found in desktops. These chips require a great deal of cooling power, which in turn can make your laptop louder than light weight, lower power ultra portables when the fans kick on and it can become somewhat warm to the touch. Don’t be alarmed by this – it is normal. And with these desktop processors comes screaming power! Don’t waste your money on the latest CPU release that likely has an inflated price tag (and that price will likely come down before long). Stick with a current CPU speed that is offered by a reputable custom gaming laptop reseller, and you really can’t go wrong.

The Gaming Laptop Hard Drive

This is the final component to consider when building a gaming laptop. Laptop hard drives come in a variety of speeds and capacities ranging from 4200 to 7200 RPMs and 40 to over 100 GBs. For the most part, this is user preference. Whenever possible, go for a 7200 RPM hard drive, but if you need a capacity not offered in this speed, it’s okay to go for the 5400 RPM drive. Take a look at your current computer, and buy your capacity based on this. Also keep in mind that with many custom gaming laptop manufacturers, you have the ability to upgrade or add another hard drive at a later date.

At the end of the day, gaming laptop computers are all about power. Don’t expect a twelve-pound notebook with a desktop processor, numerous fans, a giant heatsink, and independent video card to last on battery power all that long. But do make sure to enjoy the jawdrops that you’ll get as you walk into your regular LAN party location with your new, screaming-fast gaming laptop computer. Crack that puppy open, fire it up, and stand clear of the drool as you take on your favorite game with fellow gamers gathered around to take in the action. Gaming is not just for desktops anymore!

What Are Network Patch Panels

Patch panels are used as the central point in a network where all the network cables terminate. It is the grand central station of the network. Networks that use patch panels (and almost all modern networks use this technology) are consider ��•star-networks” or they use the term ��•star-topology.” This is because if you look at a drawing of your network, all the network nodes (nodes are end-points on the network and include things like computers and printer) all connect back to the central ��•hub” and it looks like a big starburst. Another term is ��•spoke-and-wheel” where the ��•wheel” is your hub and patch panel and the individual cables going out to your nodes (computers and printers) become the spokes.

Patch panels come in various types and configurations from the simple wall-mounted 12-port patch panel block, to elaborate 96-port (and more!) rack-mounted patch panel. As was mentioned above, patch panels are rated for speed. So if you are running Cat 6 cable, you will need a Cat 6 patch panel.

Patch panels come in various designs and styles. There are patch where the cables plug-in straight (90°), or angled at a 45° angle downwards; there are panels with 110 style punch downs on the back and ones with tool-less punch downs; there are various number of ports on the patch panels. Check the internet for the vast array of patch panel styles available. There are also two different standards for patch panels: T568A and T568B mentioned above. Be sure to buy the correct patch panels for the installation!

It is best to buy patch panels that are rated for both standards. Since the only difference between the two standards is the order of the colored pairs, most manufacturers rate their patch panels for both standards. They simply have both wiring diagrams affixed to their patch panels.

Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address Book

Organizing and Cleaning-up Your Electronic Address Book By: Janet L. Hall

(Editors Note: This article includes instructions for Outlook Express, Netscape Communicator, AOL, and ACT! users).

Has your online address book become unmanageable?

Do you ever look at all the email addresses and wonder, “Who are all these people?”

Do you have difficulty locating someone in your address book that you need to send mail to NOW?

Do you know you can sort your addresses by first and last name, name, email address and more?

Set a date and time with yourself that you will do the following exercises to organize and clean-up your electronic address book.

First you want to go and view your address book, see what kind of shape it’s in.

Mine, for example, had 755 email addresses. Some had first name, some last, but most of them just had email addresses. One reason for that is that I have selected the option to automatically add the email address of anyone that sends me email (I’ve since turned this option off). I also found numerous duplicates and people that I didn’t even know, let alone communicate with.

First let me demonstrate all the different ways you can view or sort your address book:

OUTLOOK EXPRESS Users:

>>Open Outlook Express >>CLICK Tools at the top of screen >>CLICK Address Book

A new window opens and you are presented with your Address Book.

Notice the columns have headings of NAME, E-MAIL Address, Business Phone, and Home Phone. Note: Don’t worry if yours are a little different.

>>Place your mouse pointer at the top of the E-Mail Address column and CLICK. Now all your E-Mail addresses will be sorted in either ascending or descending order. CLICK again, and the reverse happens.

Each column can be sorted in ascending or descending order by placing your pointer on the top of the column you want to sort by and CLICKING. You can also do this by CLICKING on VIEW (while in your address book) and CLICK Sort By.

Now, you can simply arrow down through each E-Mail address, deleting or editing as you go.

To DELETE an E-Mail Address:

>>CLICK on the “person” to highlight and CLICK Delete at the top of screen or the DELete key on your keyboard.

To EDIT an E-Mail Address:

>>Double CLICK on the “person” and CLICK on the NAME Tab to edit any information.

Now you might be like me, and not want to sit in front of the computer screen to edit and delete, although you will have to do this eventually. When I was cleaning up mine, I was getting ready to go to the doctors where I knew I would have to sit and wait. So I Exported my address book, printed it out, and did my editing on paper while sitting at the doctors. When I came back to my office I simply went through my edited list, deleting and editing my address book on the screen.

To EXPORT your address book:

>>While in your E-Mail Program, CLICK File and CLICK Export >>CLICK Address Book >>CLICK on Text File (Comma Separated Values) >>CLICK Export >>CLICK Browse (This is to locate what folder you are going to store it in; I use TEST, and to assign it a name; I use address book) >>CLICK SAVE

Now go and open the new file, it will be in EXCEL, adjust the columns and print out.

NETSCAPE Users:

Basically you use the same steps to sort as an Outlook Express user; however, the wording is slightly different:

>>CLICK on Communicator >>CLICK on Address Book You will have more columns and you can even add more columns to sort on by clicking the side arrows at the bottom of your address book. You can also use VIEW. I did not see an Export Function in Netscape.

AOL Users:

I used a friend’s AOL account to check out AOL’s email functions and found the email addresses were already sorted in ascending order. I did not find a way to sort or export. However you can edit and delete.

ACT! Users:

More then an E-Mail program, yet you can sort by CLICKING on EDIT and then CLICK SORT. You can sort your people up to three different ways, either in ascending or descending order. To EXPORT, go to FILE, CLICK Data Exchange, CLICK Export and follow the wizard instructions.

Organizing Mass E-Mails:

If you find that you need to send the same mail message to several people all the time, such as a team at work, or a committee you’re on, you can put them in a Group (Outlook Express, AOL, and ACT!) or List (Netscape) so you don’t have to look for or type their E-Mail address all the time.

Create a group in Outlook Express:

>>Open your E-Mail program >>CLICK on TOOLS >>CLICK on Address Book >>CLICK on NEW and CLICK NEW GROUP Name your Group (this is what you will type into the TO: when you want to send them all the same E-Mail). Now just follow the instructions on your screen and start adding the people you want to be in this group.

AOL, ACT!, and Netscape programs have similar steps for creating groups. If you are using one of these programs, check out their HELP feature if you need help creating groups.

I have found that most E-Mail programs contain the above basic functions for organizing your E-Mail addresses; however, it would be next to impossible to try and include them all here. You can discover what your E-Mail program can do by checking out their HELP Section and you just might stumble across some neat “stuff.” ~~~~~ Janet L. Hall is a Professional Organizer, Speaker, and Author. She is the owner of OverHall Consulting, and Organizing By Phone. Subscribe to her FREE organizing newsletter at http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm or visit her web site at http://www.overhall.com

Copyright 2001 by OverHall Consulting P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676 All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy, or distribute so long as article is kept intact, this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached.

Pay Per Click advertising for home business owners

Pay Per Click advertising to home business owners The biggest stumbling block for most home business owners is marketing their business. Most will start at free classified sites and free to post FFA pages. Most free advertising will never be seen by anyone and as a result business owners get discouraged and quit.

Pay Per Click search engines remain one of the most effective tools you can use to bring quick, cheap, targeted traffic to your site. True to their name, with pay-per-click search engines, you pay every time a visitor clicks on your link, anything from a few cents to a few dollars. For example, let’s say you have a site that sells camping gear. And you want to rank No. 1 in the search engines for the term “camping gear.” To get a top-ten position in the free search engines, you’d probably be looking at three to four month’s minimum. But in the pay-per-clicks, you can grab the No. 1 spot in just minutes! That’s because all you have to do is see how much the person who has the No. 1 position is paying per click, and simply outbid them by paying one penny more. Then when your potential customer searches for the term “camping gear,” your link will show up as the first listing on the search results page. And each time someone clicks on your link, you’ll pay however much you have bid for that No. 1 position.

There are three advantages to bidding on keywords in the pay-per-clicks:

1. You get effective advertising, because you only pay when someone actually clicks through to your site.

2. Your listing will get posted quickly, anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days at the most. You can start profiting from increased traffic and sales almost immediately.

3. In order to rank in the No. 1 position, all you have to do is outbid your competitors, which is usually only a matter of a few pennies per click.

Done right, pay-per-click advertising can be very profitable and to help you ensure your campaigns are profitable avoid keywords that are too general. More general keywords will attract a lot of traffic, driving up the cost of your PPC campaign and converting few visitors to sales because general search terms aren’t specific enough to attract the right audience.

Buzzseek.com is the worlds largest business opportunity search engine and directory focused solely on the home based business market. Buzzseek.com offers a complete range of marketing products from pay per click advertising to flash movie development for the home based business owner to start or expand their current business.

First Class Ford Escape Hybrid Carpets and Floor Liners from the

Carpets, floor liners or floor mats are among the most useful car accessories. Spending for these products is never a waste of money for they do not only provide a more comfortable ride but a fresh new look to your Ford car, truck or SUV’s interior.

Especially for those who drive toward and back from their work or school everyday, a vehicle is more than just an ordinary means of transportation, it is their temporary home on the road and their regular companion. Thus, one would want to keep the car’s interior comfortable, neat and good to look at. Ford carpets, floor liners or floor mats are means for you to achieve an amiable and inviting interior. They are easy and affordable means for you to get more driving satisfaction from your dependable Ford vehicle.

Ford Parts Online, your most experienced and trusted dealer of top quality Ford parts for various old and new Ford models, features this time first class Ford Escape Hybrid Carpetsand floor liners among thousands of other first-rate Ford Escape Hybrid parts.

Knowing that you want to get the best return for your Ford Escape Hybrid investment, Ford Parts Online affords you the finest auto parts including tough and durable Ford Escape Hybrid carpets and other Ford Escape Hybrid performance, interior and exterior auto parts, only fit for US’ best-selling compact Sport Utility Vehicle.

Offered at this number one Ford Parts Discount store are top quality and discount priced Ford floor liners in gray, black and tan colors. They are made of the finest material to ensure maximum and long-lasting protection of your Ford car, truck or SUV’s floor panels and carpets from water, snow or mud and to ensure your maximum comfort as well. They are perfect-fit to your 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and are easy to clean.

Designed to match and fit the original Ford floor mats, they are perfect replacement to your old and boring floor mats. Add flair to your everyday driving with Ford Parts Online’s superior quality Ford Escape hybrid carpets, floor mats and floor liners. Give your tough and dependable Ford SUV the best it deserves.

Three Proven Steps to Improve Your Home Business Advertising

Three Proven Steps to Improve Your Home Business Advertising Response in Just 10 Days.

Newspaper advertising is a tremendous source of new business that for so many businesses doesn’t ever reach its true potential. These 3 steps will help you change that forever!

You’re about to find out the mistakes that your competitors keep on making, and to start using techniques proven to grab your prospect’s attention and draw out responses that turn your ad into the ‘customer producer’ you always knew it should be.

Small Business Realities

All business owners want to increase sales, generate more customers, and make more money. Yet few take the necessary actions to do so. Providing a quality product or service is simply not enough.

Many business owners think they need to set an advertising budget, send out a few sales letters, put a few coupons in the local circular, run a newspaper ad, hand out flyers, and do a bunch of other things ‘trying to get their name out there’.

The problem is… a small business that uses that approach wastes a lot of potential. Spending money on this type of exposure is known as advertising. The goal of advertising is to establish a brand name, build an image, and achieve top of the mind awareness. These are some fancy terms taught in business school, but unfortunately they steer everyone in the wrong direction.

You see, small businesses aren’t supposed to advertise. Advertising is all about repeating exposures and building an image. Think about all of the many McDonalds commercials you see on television in a week. That’s ‘high frequency’. Don’t they all seem to show a feeling of friendship, eating happily with family (“we love to see you smile”)? That’s image.

Do you think they intend to get you up out of your seat and go to your local McDonalds right as you’re watching the commercial? Not really. OK, they hope you might, but that’s not what they intend. They are paying to have you see their message so many times that when you are ready to buy their product you will remember them and go there. Now,let’s get to work on your steps to advertising success.

Proven Step #1

So what method will work for your business? It’s called direct response marketing. Here’s an example. Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Even if you haven’t, infomercials work, they make a lot of people a lot of money. It might surprise you, infomercials are not advertising – they don’t try to build an image or get you to remember a brand, the products aren’t even sold in stores!!

What do they do?

** They take a receptive audience.

** They get them excitedly to pick up the phone and buy. They create action!

This is why most newspaper ads don’t deliver big results. Most newspaper advertisers choose the commercial, but you want the infomercial. Your one and only goal in newspaper advertising is to create action.

In the usual types of Newspaper Directory ads you’re dealing with very targeted prospects. These are people looking up your company type and ready to call you. That’s the beauty and the curse of Newspaper Directory ads. The beauty is prospects can find you easily, the curse is that your competitors are right there with you!!

So how do we get them to pick up the phone and dial your number?

Use direct marketing…which is:

** Directly target a group of people who are in the market for your product or service.

** Offer them what it is they want.

** Generate a response by forcing them to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #2

Your competitors probably waste a lot of money because they’re charged for people who will never even consider their offer. There is a definite and specific market for your service and these are the only people that you should aim your offer to.

For example, if you repair dental equipment you want to market your service to dentists, oral surgeons, etc.. But it’s not generally that easy.

Consider a Home Cleaning Service in a suburb of Cleveland that advertises in the Cleveland Plain Dealer due to the tremendous readership. If 75% of the cleaning company’s clients and target prospects are 3 person families and larger, with incomes of $100,000 per year, living in suburbs A, B and C., they’ve wasted a big chunk of money. Here’s why.

They just spent a lot of money for an ad that will be seen by college students, low-income families, and others that would never consider using their services anyway. Their high percentage prospects make up only a small readership of that paper. Who knows what percentage of those people will see the ad?

Maybe there’s a magazine or community mailer that caters to middle/upper class families in a county neighboring Cleveland or in one of the many suburbs. Sure, maybe the readership is nowhere near as large but the lower cost and targeted readership will generate a much greater return on the company’s investment.

A mailing list of 3-person households and larger with incomes above $100,000, who moved to such-n-such city or county within the last year can be purchased. Direct marketing targets the people most likely to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #3

Most advertising has no offer. And so the prospect has no incentive to respond right now. Direct response always tries to get a response by offering something of value to your prospect right now.

Using the home cleaning service in the example above, you could offer a free hour of cleaning, 20% off the first job, a free pack of sponges and a bottle of Simply Green or anything of value that will cause a person to act.

Since the offer is subject to your terms, you set a date when the offer expires, a number they have to call, a letter that they must bring in, a form that they must fill out.

So, at the end of your promotion you know exactly how much was spent reaching how many people. Also, you will know how many people responded and how much business was generated.

Most of your competitors don’t do this little analysis! They repeat campaigns that cost more than they bring in. So they are forced to set advertising budgets that limit the amount of advertising they can run each year.

But, if every one of your promotions cost you $55 and brought in $225 in business, why would you need a budget? Wouldn’t you just keep repeating the promotion over and over?

Your goal should be to repeat and improve what works for you. If you do, you will not need a budget and you will be able to predict what kinds of repeat and new business each promotion will generate.

3 Effective Ways of Avoiding Food Poising this Summer

Are you looking forward to a wonderful summer? Beaches, warm weather and of course – BBQ’s.

Along with the relaxing atmosphere and ease of preparing a BBQ dinner or picnic for friends and family come some well known risks. You are likely aware that e.coli and salmonella can cause symptoms that range from mild discomfort to life threatening emergencies. But why is this more common during summertime meals and how can you protect your loved ones without ruining your summer?

During the summer when we are picnicking or having a BBQ we are not preparing a meal with the usual amenities we have in the house – sink, oven, fridge. Because of this we are more likely to forget to wash hands, store food properly or even grab a clean plate to serve food.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself from summertime dining outdoors:

SEPARATE

From the grocery store, to the cart, to the fridge, to the table – keep meats and other food separated.

Always wrap meats even when thawing to prevent the juices from dripping onto other foods, especially produce. Produce has been identified as a culprit in some food poisoning cases.

WASH

Wash hands, cutting boards, dishes and food.

Always wash your hands before and after preparing foods. Never serve cooked meat on the same plate or tray that you had it on when raw – make sure the resident BBQ expert is given a clean plate to place the finished product on. Also thoroughly clean knives and cutting boards. Ideally you should use a separate cutting board for bread and produce and another for meat products.

Wash produce in cold water and scrub thick skinned foods like cantaloupe as the bacteria can come in contact with the flesh of the fruit when being cut.

COLD and HOT

Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.

Food can normally last for two hours at room temperature, but that is decreased to one hour in warm weather. Cold food (potato salad, sandwiches etc.) should stay in the fridge until ready to serve. If the food must travel, be certain to use ice or commercial freezing gel packets. Hot food should also stay insulated.

When eating outdoors try to keep cold food in the shade and be sure warm food is wrapped and insulated.

When the food is no longer being eaten it should be returned to the ice box or insulated carrier. Food should remain hot or cold for as long as it is being served and then refrigerated in clean, covered containers. If you are not able to refrigerate it within a couple hours it is best to throw it out.

If you suspect a mild case of food poisoning than try to limit the foods you eat to the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. In more severe cases you should seek emergency treatment when there are signs of pain, vomiting for several hours or bloody diarrhea. Pregnant women, elderly, those with immune disorders and children are more at risk.

Food safety is an important part of a fun summer. Taking precautions will help you enjoy your meals and avoid serious consequences. The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

Back to Basics Floor Care

b>Stand out among all the cleaning companies in your area by ensuring the floors in your buildings shine! Floors that receive good service regularly will have a sparkling shine. This shine will be a positive reflection on your company and employees.

On the other hand, poor quality floor care stands out in many ways.Floors not properly cared for can become discolored in corners, along the edges, and under furniture. On VCT flooring, this is often a sign of wax build-up or improper stripping procedures. Scuffed or dirty floors are a strong signal that floor maintenance occurs infrequently or is not thorough, and overall gives the impression that your employees do not care about their work. Also, keep in mind that dirty floors can quickly become slippery, which can lead to serious falls and accidents.

Basic floor care includes sweeping, dust mopping and wet mopping. Dust mop and sweep before performing any other floor care procedures. When sweeping, it is important to sweep edges, corners and hard to reach areas. Make sure to get under shelving and move light objects to sweep under them. Dust mopping will remove roughly 90% of the soil and debris found on most hard and resilient floor surfaces.

After sweeping and before you begin mopping make sure to put out wet floor signs.When you get ready to wet mop, prepare your cleaning solution by using four gallons of cool water and a neutral cleaner. Begin your mopping by cleaning the corners and edges being careful not get cleaning solution on baseboards or nearby furniture. After mopping the corners and edges, fill in the open area using a figure eight pattern. Change the mop water whenever it becomes dirty. After mopping, clean and store the equipment properly so it will be ready for the next use.

If you are using a microfiber mop instead of a traditional loop mop head, mix your solution in your pail and then immerse the microfiber pads into your solution. Wring out and roll up your mop pads. Then store the mop pads in a bucket or container until you are ready to use them. Once the pads become soiled, remove them and put them into a container for laundering.

Pay careful attention to small details when cleaning floors:


*Look for black heel marks and clean those by putting a scrub pad on your mop. Do not be too aggressive when removing black heel marks or you could cause damage to the floor.

*Check for stains behind urinals and build up around toilets. These are areas often missed.

*Remove any gum or stickers before mopping.

*Make sure the floor is dry before removing the safety signs.

Employees should tell their supervisor of any problems such as loose tiles. Also report when the floor needs scrubbed or recoated.

Keeping floors clean and shiny will have positive impact on your company and your employees. Help your company stand out among others by giving the floors in the buildings you clean proper care.