How Can You Build a Creative Responsive Website?

As a business owner you’re always looking for ways to bring in new customers and improve your business. In today’s marketplace one of the best way to do this is with a creative responsive website. A fantastic website can help your company develop its brand image and online presence. When paired with a strong digital marketing strategy and website can truly be a force to be reckoned with. The goal of your website is to get your company and its products or services in front of as many people as possible. If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look a these tips:

  • Keep things simple while avoiding clutter. People will grow easily frustrated and your website will suffer from high bounce rates if your website is cluttered with unnecessary or annoying features. You should employ minimalistic and simple design schemes when creating your website. Keep only pertinent information on your website and don’t confuse users with features they don’t need.
  • Keep the website secure – You cannot afford to leave your website vulnerable to cyber attacks. It’s quite possible that you’ll be handling sensitive information for customers. If it gets into the wrong hands it will severely damage the business-customer relationship. Take the necessary security measures including data encryption, passwords, and security certificates. experienced responsive website developers
  • Use a professionally designed logo. Customers, both new and existing, should be able to recognize your business based on logo alone. You need something that is well-designed and memorable to capture people’s attention. A great logo assists in building brand identity and needs to reflect your business clearly. If you aren’t experienced with design, you may want to get help from a professional. A simple logo design shouldn’t even cost too much.
  • Make use of intuitive navigation. When someone is visiting your site they should never be lost looking for direction. Your navigation should be intuitive and guide people easily to their next destination. Confusing navigation can definitely lead to high bounce rates as users leave in frustration. Remember, there are a wide variety of users in your target audience, and you want all of them to feel at home on your website. A good web developer will always be sure to use simple and straightforward navigation, they know its importance.
  • Hire a professional photographer. High-quality professional images can really set your website apart from the competition. People will notice right away that you’ve invested in quality and a valuable user experience. Stock images just won’t cut it, they’re cheap, unoriginal, and give websites a generic feel. A skilled photographer can make a huge difference on the design of a website. It may cost a little bit more money, but it’s worth the investment.
  • Every page on your website should be a landing page. Don’t confuse landing page with home page, obviously you don’t want multiple copies of that. Instead, make every page on your website a place people want to visit or “land” on. Utilize valuable, high-quality content make deep site navigation worth it. Make sure each page prominently displays your logo, and that the logo links directly to your homepage. That goes back to intuitive navigation. Each and every page on your website is an integral part of the experience, and it needs to be designed that way.
  • Don’t annoy your visitors. Remember that user experience is extremely important. If you want traffic and repeat traffic then your website can’t be annoying. Flash animations are a thing of the past and cause nothing but headaches, don’t use them. The same goes for pop ups, which unlike Flash, were never useful. Another thing that is sure to annoy users are auto-play music and videos. Nobody wants to be bombarded with unexpected sound upon arriving at your site. Be keenly aware of the user experience and don’t be annoying.
  • Take advantage of the space “above the fold.” The term comes from newspapers, the space ‘above the fold’ is what you seen on the front page when a paper is folded in half. It’s important that you take advantage of this space on your website. Users are going to make a decision as to your website’s value very quickly. This space is where you can convince them to stick around. Make sure all the important information is here, and make sure your site message is clearly established.
  • Employ responsive design or face irrelevance. Consider for a moment the wide array of devices people are now using to get online. Responsive design ensures that your websites displays and function properly on each and every one of them. Creative responsive web designs are essential moving forward. If a user can’t access for website from a particular device, they’ll likely give up entirely on your company. Make sure your website is up to date and responsive.

Following these steps can help you design and develop the best website possible for your business. But it’s a lot of work and handling on your own may just not be possible. Don’t be afraid to consult with an experienced website design company to ensure success.

Dental Implants And Three Other Ways Your Dentist Can Help Your Smile

A lot of people don’t like going to see their local professional dentist.  It’s not hard to understand why; you’re going to a sterilized office and paying a man to basically grope around inside of your mouth and to tell you what’s wrong with your teeth.  While doing this, they’ll be poking and prodding you with a bunch of metal implements, a lot like what I would imagine an alien would use to ‘probe’ a human (although I realize that’s unlikely, the idea that aliens would fly so far just to dissect a human and all that), all the while they’ll be trying to make small talk (which is really awkward when you have someone wrist deep in your mouth).

However, just because it isn’t the most fun thing to do, that doesn’t mean that you can just go through life without going to see your local experienced cosmetic dentist.  You’re going to have a lot of issues if you don’t go to see your local dentist with some regularity.  Sure, you can do something to make sure that your teeth are going to last a bit longer, but without going to see your dentist, nothing is going to be able to stop the slow destruction of your teeth.

Your local cosmetic dentists with experience can do a lot of things to help you with your teeth. Below are just a few of them.

1.  Veneers

So, with all that damage that you’re doing to your teeth every day with the way you use them, an issue that you can run into is that you’re going to slowly grind down your teeth, or crack them, or in some cases, you’re even going to be damaging them through things like chipping them due to being clumsy (or due to just using your teeth in a dumb way).  What do you do, then, when your teeth are cracked, or they’re chipped, or they missing a piece, or you’ve ground them down just due to the way that you grind your teeth when you’re stressed out (or you grind them in your sleep, who knows).

The solution, then, is to turn to dental veneers.  Dental veneers, essentially, are something that you can put over a damaged tooth in order to make it look better.  They started seeing use in the late twenties, as a way to make the teeth of actors look a lot better for the camera.  Back then, they were often made of plaster, and they were held in place with the use of the same kind of dental adhesive that we use to make sure that dentures stay in place for six to fourteen hours at a time.

Of course, today we’ve greatly improved our technology when it comes to veneers.  Where once we used plaster (that would slough off over time), now we use a metal framework with porcelain over the top of said framework.  Instead of using a denture kind of adhesive, we now use a long term dental adhesive that will last in the mouth between ten and thirty years on their own, depending on the adhesive used, and in how well you take care of your new porcelain teeth.

cosmetic dentists with experienceOf course, if you lose your teeth, that’s a whole new story.  Then, you need dental implants.

2.  Dental Implants

So, if you damage a tooth, you can basically cover it up, and that’s not a hard thing to go through at all.  On the other hand, if you lose a whole tooth, the whole thing gets a lot more difficult.

Basically, if your tooth falls out, the process gets a lot more painful.  First, you’ll need dental surgery to scavenge what’s left of the tooth.  Then, once that has been gotten, you’re going to need to drill a hole into the jaw line, so that you can insert the implant.  Now, the implant consists of a giant titanium screw, and on top of the screw is a fake tooth.  Into the hole you’ve drilled goes the titanium screw, and then you take medication that will encourage your jaw bone to close up around the screw, treating it like it’s a tooth.  Once this is accomplished, it may as well be a tooth, for all intents and purpose.

So, if you’ve damaged your teeth through living your life and just not taking great care of them, you should consider talking to your local cosmetic dentist.  It’s the best way to make sure that you’re going to be able to have the smile that you want and deserve.

3 Ways A Web Developer Can Help You

If you run a business, especially if we’re talking about a business that has survived for a couple of years or even decades, you probably realize that you need to evolve with the times.  You can’t do business today the same way that business was done in the 1890s and expect it to be profitable.  You know who’s learning that?  Hipsters.  They’re getting mom and dad to spend a bunch of money on making them a business owner, maybe hiring a friend or two, and then they’re running their business the same way that someone would have back then, making things by hand, eschewing automation, the whole nine yards, and the net result is that their business last just as long as their parents (investors) are willing to waste their money on something that is never going to turn a profit.  Good general rule, folks; just because something is hand-made and you throw the phrase ‘artisanal’ into it somewhere, this does not mean that tit is worth more money.  People aren’t going to buy a desk for eight thousand dollars just because some nobody who decided that they wanted to play at being a working man put it together.  They’re going to spend sixty bucks at IKEA, and likely they’ll get a better product for their money, too.

So, when it comes to running your business, you need to change with the times, and part of that means that you have to do things like move onto the internet to offer your product to a wider variety of people and to a generation (or generations) of people who are used to doing their purchasing not in a store, but on their couches while wearing boxers and a shirt.  Thankfully, a web developer can help you to develop your website.  Here’s just three ways that they will do so.

1.  Grab the attention of the users

When someone clicks onto a website, they tend to only look at it for a short amount of time before making a decision about whether or not they’re going to stay on the site.  It’s not a hard thing to understand why.  We’re basically a race of people who are built around the idea of making sure that we make snap decisions.  If you look at evolution, you’ll see that such is still built into our bodies, and it manifests as ‘flight or fight’, also known as the reason that we survived as a species.  Likewise, we make snap decisions about information, and when we are presented with things like websites, we decide within five seconds whether or not we’re going to stay.  This means that your design agency is going to have to come up with a way, with you, that you can get their attention and make sure they don’t go back and look at whatever they were looking at before.

2.  Craft content

If you don’t have content on a website, its’ going to be pretty hard for you to convince anyone to stay on your website long enough for anything to be sold or for you to make money, no matter what it is you’re offering.  Without content, you’re left with little more than some contact information, a background, and maybe a cool-looking logo or two that don’t do anything to help you make money.

quality responsive web developersSo, if you’re running a website, you need to be adding content, and hopefully that content is going to be able to allow you to bring in more sales and show off to the people who are making purchasing decisions that your product has something to offer them.

3.  Maintain the site once it’s up and running

Reliable responsive website designers will be able to help you to do something to make sure that your website, once you’ve gotten it the way you like, continues to run the way you like.  You’re going to need to do something to make sure that your website continues to function, and unless you have someone on hand who knows how to program in whatever the modern internet language of the day is, you’re going t need a team of web designers who can continue t make your site work and to keep it from looking abandoned.

Get a website.  Seriously, I cannot stress it enough.  The fact that I have to say it in the first place is truly astonishing, because we live in a world where everything is done over the internet.  While I was writing this?  I ordered a pizza.  Over the internet.  Get a website, and get your word out onto the internet.

Three Reasons To Pick Invisalign Over The Competition

In the United States, we spend a lot of money on improving our bodies, physically speaking, to be as aesthetically pleasing as they possibly can be.  This means that we also spend a lot of time and money on our teeth, and on making sure that our smile is as perfect as it possibly can be.

Luckily, the United States also happens to be the place in the world that has the most advanced orthodontic technology available to them.  This means that we have access, and widely available access, to things that most people in the rest of the world just can’t use for treatment when they have misaligned teeth.

However, even with all this technology and all this medical advancement, you’ll still find that we use braces for the vast majority of teeth realignment needs.  This is so true, in fact, that recent research has shown that one out of every three people will have braces in their mouths at some point in their lives.  Yes, that number is correct; one out of every three people is going to need, and get, braces in order to straighten out their teeth and make them as perfect as they can possibly be.

However, just because standard metal braces are so very common all around the world, this doesn’t mean, in any way, that they’re the best choice, or the most advanced one, or even the best way to fix alignment issues with your teeth.  The newest game in town, and one of the most technologically advanced, is known as Invisalign.  Here’s just three reasons that you should consider it for your needs as far as tooth alignment goes.

1.  Discretion

So, it only makes sense that we start with discretion, because this is the area in which, above all others, your Invisalign braces will shine.

You see, standard metal braces, and even ceramic braces for professional smile correction, all suffer from one flaw that prevents them from being as discreet as Invisalign is.  They all contain metal, in some way or other.

For standard metal braces, the entire thing is made of metal, be it a stainless steel, a dental gold, or even some form of titanium or aluminum.  This means that, no matter what you do, so long as you ever open your mouth in public, people are going to notice that you have braces, and they’re going to be hard to hide when you want to for whatever the reason may be.  Even with ceramic brackets, there’s still a metal wire running through them in order to provide tension, and that wire is going to be visible to all if you open your mouth, although the brackets will be cleverly hidden.

Invisalign doesn’t suffer from this issue with discretion, and for one good reason: you see, Invisalign aligners, they don’t contain any metal.  They’re made of a hard, clear plastic, and that plastic allows the natural colors to shine through of your teeth, without making it look fake or like you’re trying to blend brackets into your teeth.

2.  Comfort

professional family orthodontistsLet’s be honest here, having something mounted on your teeth in the same way that standard metal braces are is just not anyone’s idea of comfort.  They’re not comfortable, by and large, either; they can poke into the soft flesh behind the lips, for example, and this flesh is easily agitated and cut into, which can create all sorts of sores.

Invisalign, luckily, doesn’t have such a problem; it’s form fitted, meaning that it’s designed to be the right size just for your and your mouth and your teeth, so you’re not going to be uncomfortable at all with them in there.

3.  Durability

As your local professional orthodontic specialist can tell you, the mouth is an inhospitable place.  It’s filled with acids, bases, and pretty much everything that you eat or drink is going to make it even less hospitable.

So, it’s no surprise that durability of things that are left in there for a long time can be an issue.  Guess what’s left in there for a long time?  Braces.  Left in there, in fact, for months to years.

Invisalign aligners, on the other hand, are only left in the mouth for two weeks each, and then you move on to the next set in the series for treatment.  That’s simply not long enough for durability to become an issue.

So, if you’re looking to improve your smile, and to make sure that it’s as perfect and beautiful as it can possibly be, consider asking your local professional orthodontist if Invisalign my be right for you.

Examining Mutual Funds

It’s never too early, and usually not too late, to start learning about and getting interested in investing. One of the best way to get introduced to the world of investing is through mutual funds. Defined simply, a mutual fund is an investment program that is funded by shareholders and deals in diversified holdings under professional management. Essentially a business or corporation collects funds from investors, and uses that money to invest in different stocks, bonds, securities, and money-market instruments. Mutual funds come in many different varieties, and each is suited to different investors. The kind of mutual fund you invest in will depend on a wide variety of factors and the decision should be approached with the help of a professional. Finding the perfect mutual fund for your needs and investment profile is imperative, so take your time, research, and find the best investment accountant available to help with the process.

The Securities Exchange Commission, SEC for short, has defined a wide list of rules and regulations to help make sure there is plenty of transparency when dealing with mutual funds. All operations and transactions must be tracked carefully. Many CPA firms will have specialized investment accountants that are more than willing to assist with mutual fund management. The accountant in charge of the fund will undertake a variety of roles regarding the mutual fund and other investment accounts. He or she will ensure that the fund is performing as intended, that transactions are being appropriately tracked, and that the fund is in compliance with various regulations.

Mutual funds come in many different varieties and you and your accountant will have decide what’s right for you. These types include bonds funds, index funds, money market funds, and stock funds. Each one has a unique investment strategy and a different long-term goal. The varying types of funds have different portfolios as well, and will require different types of accounting management and services. Mutual funds are not without risks. They often carry fees and other expenses, and are subject to the volatility of the market. When considering a mutual fund, these factors must be weighed against the expected to return to determine if the investment is truly worth it.

One thing that many find so attractive about mutual funds is the ability to invest widely across multiple avenues while only making one transaction. An individual might need one hundred thousand dollars or more to maintain a portfolio as diverse as a mutual fund. On the other hand, one investing in a mutual fund can send something relatively small, say one thousand dollars to a mutual fund company and own shares of an incredibly diverse portfolio. Since the mutual fund manager decides where and when to invest, mutual fund investors might own stock in any number of companies.

Finding the perfect match when it comes to mutual funds is something that will take time, effort, and research. This is why it’s wise to consult with experienced mutual fund accountants before taking the leap. Another thing one might do is review regularly published mutual fund audits to see how the various options are performing. The SEC requires these audits be performed on a yearly basis for a variety of reasons, including ensuring that they are in line with federal regulations. The careful regulations and easy of investment has made mutual funds grow in popularity in recent years. They go a long way in making stock investments more accessible to the general public.

Most mutual funds are based on stocks, as almost half of mutual fund assets are held in these types of investments. Still, that makes quite a variety for the other half of mutual fund investments. It gives people considering investment opportunities quite a lot to consider as they consider their decision. The options can often seem endless when it comes to the funds, as the largest ones often offer nearly 50 choices of where to invest. An investor might want to choose his or her fund based on whether it focuses on dividend-paying stocks, growth funds, or value funds. Again, this is something that will require careful input from a mutual fund manager or investment accountant.

mutual fund accountantsWhen it comes to mutual funds there are four primary companies, and many others that are much smaller and may even act as brokers for the larger companies. 401k plans often involve putting some money towards mutual funds, and they are often people’s first experience in dealing with them. If you have this option with your retirement plan, remember to consult with a professional before opting in. You want to find an accountant who can help develop the best invest strategy for you.

Mutual funds are a fantastic way for people to begin the development of their investment portfolios. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, consult with your accountant as soon as possible. Even if they don’t handle investments directly, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Investing in mutual funds can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor.

Three Ways A Product Developer Can Assist You

Running a business means you must always be moving forward; you can’t afford to sit and rest on the accolades and accomplishments that you’ve already earned.  If you spend all your time patting yourself on the back because you made one great product, I can tell you the future of your business; you begin to lose market share as the people you’re selling to change tastes, then you slowly lose more and more market share, until you’re not bringing in enough money to both operate and to pay off your debts.  If you decided to continue on this path, eventually you reach a point at which you can’t pay your operating costs either, and that’s when you end up filing for bankruptcy and losing both the business and ruining your credit score for, at the very least, the next decade, if not longer.

You need to create new products and introduce them to the market, and you need to do so with the same zest and zeal that you introduced your first products with.  However, for a small company, it’s hard to both run the company and pay repeatedly for all the costs associated with research and development, and because of this, it is advised that you hire in outside help from time to time.  In this case, the people you’ll be hiring are what’s called a product developer, and they’ll help you in many ways, but here are three big ones.

1.  Marketing strategy

Bringing your product to the market is only half of the battle when it comes to producing a new product or service.  Once it’s brought to market, you have to make sure that it’s been brought to the right market.  Let’s say that we’ve created a brand new, high-end BBQ sauce for use on bacon as well as ribs.  There are two places we can make this sauce available; one is a store for general use, a grocery store that sees the general public, and the other is a store geared toward the more vegetarian/vegan crowd.  Who is going to have greater need, and greater likelihood of purchasing, your particular product?  Probably not the people who aren’t eating meat (although let’s face it, BBQ sauce could help with their flavorless meals too).

So, a big part of marketing strategy is targeting the segments of the market that you want to serve, and that are most receptive to the idea of purchasing your product.  If you’re not targeting your marketing, you’re basically flushing money down the drain, or at best you’ll be seeing a poor return on your initial investment.  Hiring a product development firm ensures that you’ll have the help of someone experienced in targeted marketing.

2.  Advertising Campaign

choosing the right product development firmIn order to get the word out there about your new product, you’re going to need to spend some time and money to get advertising.  An advertising campaign, in conjunction with the aforementioned market strategy and targeting, can pay off in a huge way, especially for a small company.  It’s important that you invest at least a bit of money in an advertising campaign, because without doing so, you’re not going to find a lot of people purchasing whatever you have to offer.  Note how when you turn on the television, you’re seeing advertisements for a lot of companies, many of whom are multinational businesses that have thousands of locations?  They know how important it is that you get the word out there that you exist and you have this set of things that you can offer them, and then you offer them in this certain way that nobody else in the world is capable of doing.  For this, you need advertising.

3.  Customer interface (website and social media design)

Today’s customers are connected in a myriad of ways to the world around them, but none seems to be as important as the internet for the free exchange of ideas and information (including advertising information).  Maybe your customer lives in the middle of nowhere in Montana or something (or Alaska!), and they can’t just go down to their local store and buy whatever you’re selling; having a website where you can order something or find out where to find it near you is important in such a case.  It’s also great to give the customer a place to go and learn more about the product, and about you as a company.  Your professional product development company is going to be well equipped to help you set up your website.

So, if you’re looking to have some help when it comes to the more esoteric (but nonetheless important) parts of product development, don’t be afraid to hire some outside help; you’ll be glad you did when the profits are coming in and you’ve got money to pay for your next research and development project.

 

Social Media Management For Profit

When it comes to running your small business, it’s important that you quickly find a way to become profitable.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, either.  Opening a business requires a lot of money, and that’s just before you get to bring a single dollar in.  You need to spend the money and take the time to find a place to use as your storefront, or, if you’re going into manufacturing and fabrication, you need to find a warehouse (which is probably easier, with all of those being around and empty these days).  You need to get all the necessary permits so that you can legally operate the business you’re starting, and not only can this be expensive, but it can also take a lot of time.  Then you need to equip your business in the way that you’re going to need in order to do business, whatever that may mean for you and the particular business you’re going to be in.  Then you also need to spend money on purchasing the supplies you’ll need to have on hand, and this is just money you’re going to spend before you actually allow someone in the door in the first place.

social media marketing agenciesObviously, then, you need to quickly find a way to begin to cover the money that’s gone into the opening of your business, as well as the money that you’re going to need to spend to operate your business on a month-to-month basis.  If you fail to do so, you can find yourself quickly having to shut your doors before you’re able to turn a profit.  In general, it’s expected that you’ll lose money for the first five years that your business exists, to the point that even the Internal Revenue Service accepts that your tax filings will be much less than they ought to be as you write-off and deduct your losses for those first five fiscal years of operation.

However, all this time should be spent in growing your business into something that can, and eventually will be, profitable.  If you’re not quickly moving toward becoming a profitable business, you will end up losing everything that you’ve earned, and this will end up not just heralding the end of your business, but also the loss of any credit rating you may have had as well as the loss of assets in order to service the debt that you’ve already found yourself in.

How, then, can you find profitability as a small business?  Well, many small businesses have turned to social media management in order to find profit.  Social media management is becoming more and more popular as time goes on and social media becomes more and more common and more populated.

Part of the reason for the rise in popularity of social media management companies and social media management is due to the fact that it’s so easy for a small company to do.  You see, social media management is reliant up on using the social media networks that exist in order to reach your customers and to let them know about the products that you’re offering.

This works in two ways.  First, you can reach people thanks to the actions of their friends, the things that they post and share, for example, from other sites, like the site you’ll be running in order to get the word out and inform about your business and your products. This can be something that the customers and prospective customers seek out actively, or it can be the kind of thing that they just run across and the piques their interest when it shows up on their social network news feed.

The other way in which it can work is by taking advantage of social media marketing services in order to reach the people that you’re hoping to sell to as quickly and effectively as possible.  By doing this, you can pick out the people on the various social media networks who meet the profile of your desired end-user and consumers, and by doing that, you’re making sure that when you spend the money in advertising to them, you’re most likely to find yourself seeing a return on the money invested, rather than just spending money without getting any sales.

So, if you’re in need of help when it comes to growing your business, consider hiring some outside help to ensure that your message gets across to the people likely to be receptive to it.  It’ll be one of the best decision you ever make as a business..

Trade Show Displays Don’t Come Out of Thin Air

Setting up a good display booth at a trade show is not as easy as you may think. Anyone who has ever been to a trade show in a highly competitive industry knows that they can make their company look like a dwarf among giants if they do not take the necessary action to make their presence known. Doing a job is not worth doing unless it is done right and in trade show terms, hiring an experiential marketing design team is the only way to do the job right.

A lot goes into even what seem to be the simplest displays in most cases. Anyone who spends any amount of money on a good trade show display should at least have some company banners and 3-D cardboard pop-up displays that look professional. It is easy to pick those out from others that didn’t spend at all or spent really little because this business is like many others; you get what you pay for.

Experiential marketing aims to engage as many of the human senses as possible in order to create a memorable experience that the prospective buyer will take with them from the trade show. The idea is to penetrate the subconscious to a degree so that the memory of the experience causes synapses to fire almost automatically and connect to an experience that they remember fondly.

A good experiential marketing company is going to have a lot of experience with making custom trade show designs that not only attract attention from people at trade shows, but provide interactive experiences for people when they approach the booth and start to take a look around or talk with the representatives operating the booth. Experience in their own industry and with trade shows in general is not enough though, they also need to know the industry and the kind of people who will be attending.

Excellent trade show displays don’t come out of thin air, they are designed and constructed by people who do it for a living. All kinds of things go into a world-class trade show display and the possibilities are endless. Depending on the budget, the client, the amount of space available and the venue, anything from a modest three-dimensional cardboard cutout with professional graphics to a real life-size cross-section of an airline cabin are possible. The best trade show exhibit designers can do just about anything and only the limitations of budgets and space can really get into the way.

Even some of the simplest but professional trade show designs are much more complex than most people would ever guess. Most trade shows are held in convention centers with general overhead lighting but they do not provide lighting for individual displays so custom lighting has to be built-in. A lot of people think that there is not much more to a trade show display than a banner or two and an attractive two-dimensional cardboard backdrop, but there are a lot more things that need to be taken into consideration.

Proper lighting is a big part of the equation but so is the color scheme that it is designed with. A company’s logo should be clearly displayed and repeated in order to help fortify the experience so it can be more likely converted into memory but it should be done tastefully and with intent. Sometimes repeating the logo on a smaller scale in a wallpaper-like pattern with a softer colors is a decent idea, and using a vinyl wrap on the floor of the trade show to utilize more valuable square footage for your display can be effective.

A trade show booth should blow people away and make their eyes light up, perhaps even bring a smile to their face. The company paying for a trade show display will want to literally hear people say “Wow” out loud when they approach the exhibit. The best exhibits provide activities that will stimulate and engage visitors so they can even have a little fun. Trade shows are like science fairs for adults in specific industries that want to be able to enjoy themselves because they know that they would otherwise be stuck at the office.

Any company who understands the importance of having a presence at a trade show shouldn’t believe that it is too big of a stretch to believe that they should make it count by contacting a professional event design company. The trade show itself is going to cost some money to send one or two company representatives there, so why not make sure that the booth they are operating is top-notch?

How Social Media Management Can Help Your Business

When you are running a business, especially a small business, ensuring that you maintain profitability is paramount to your success.  For big businesses, ones that have been around for a long time, it’s less of a worry, although, obviously, still a worry.  You see, big businesses, businesses that have been around long enough to grow with the markets and become larger, multi-location businesses, they’ve got the assets on hand that can help them survive a few weeks (or even months or years) of losses.  In fact, most large businesses have, on hand, in reserve, about six months worth of operating capital that can cover the cost of operating their business as it currently exists for six months without them bringing in another dollar.  If you’re a smaller business, you’re not going to have that kind of money or those kind of assets on hand, and not being profitable, for you, can be the end of your business.  It’s already assumed that you’ll be unprofitable for five years; even the Internal Revenue Service assumes that, for the first five years that your business is running, you’ll lose money each year, meaning that they won’t be receiving any taxes, or very little taxes, from you, due to the fact that most of the losses are things that you can deduct on your taxes.

Having, then, established that profitability is important, the next question becomes ‘how does one achieve, and then maintain, said profitability?’.  The answer is with the use of marketing, getting your message out there to the people in order to get them to purchase whatever you’re offering.  Marketing can make the difference between someone knowing you exist and purchasing your product versus someone having no idea what you have to offer them and spending their money on your competitor’s products.  Look, for example, at the classic fight in home electronics, the battle between VHS cassettes and Betamax cassettes.  These two different technologies filled the same niche; they both were going to offer people the ability to watch pre-recorded video on their televisions at home.  The difference between them was massive, though.  On the one hand, you had VHS cassettes, which were capable of playing back the video recorded on them for the viewer at home, and that was pretty much it.  The recorders could rewind or fast forward, but that was about it.  On the other hand, you had Betamax cassettes.  They, too, could play, rewind, and fast forward.  Of course, they could also display subtitles, they could play different dub tracks, changing the spoken language played through the television speakers, and they could skip along chapters, the same way that DVDs would later do.  The difference in price was miniscule, so that isn’t the explanation.  The only difference was that, while the Betamax was resting on its laurels, confident in their technological superiority, VHS was out there, advertising, talking about how much better they were, and whipping up business?  Who won?  Well, As someone who left through that time frame, I can’t tell you of anyone I have ever known who had a Betamax player, but I can name a lot of people who had VHS.

How, then, do you get your message out there?  Old media is dying out and becoming less and less useful, even though the price is dropping.  The best way to reach people today is through the use of the internet.  However, buying a bunch of ads on a bunch of different websites can be expensive, as can buying ad space through various groups that control internet ad space.  A better way to reach out to the consumer, today, is with social media management.  If you’re not sure what that is, it may be time to consider hiring a social media management firm to assist you.

social media management servicesEssentially, social media management consists of using your social media accounts to reach more people.  An easy example, then, would be those things that you see going around the social media networks every so often, those sweepstakes you see that say something like ‘like or follow this page, and these affiliated pages, then share this post with a your friends, then give us your email, and you’re entered for a chance to win this product’.  Yes, this means you’ll be losing a little bit of money in the giveaway, but you’ll also be reaching a lot more people, and all for barely any cost.

So, if you’re looking to expand your market, consider hiring a local PR firm that understands social media management and can help you to grow into a profitable business that will remain profitable over the long-term.

Three Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Your Teeth

When it comes to realigning the teeth, especially in the United States, we turn, very often, to one particular method.  It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction; need teeth alignment?  Get this treatment.  You could almost code a computer program to just crank out this diagnosis if certain conditions for misalignment were met, and it would very rarely be wrong.

The treatment in question that I’ve repeatedly mentioned, albeit not by name, is standard metal braces, and it’s a very common way to fix the malocclusion (a fancy word for ‘misalignment’ of the teeth) that occur.  In fact, it’s so common that one out of every three people is likely to have to use it at some point in time.  Consider, this, then; if you’re on the subway in NYC, look at the person to your left, then to your right.  Statistically speaking, one out of the three of you has had, or will have, braces (and that leaves a 33.3% chance that it’s you, incidentally).  Obviously, it’s not without reason that we use braces as the standard treatment; they have a proven record of successes and of doing the job well and permanently, and they’re a big step up from the previous method, orthodontic headgear.

Just because braces have a huge chunk of the market, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for better, improved methods of realigning the teeth as well as making sure it’s done discreetly.  I’m talking about Invisalign, discreet braces for adults and teens.  Here are just three of the many ways in which it is better than those common standard metal braces.

1.  Discretion

A big selling point for braces, in the beginning, and for Invisalign now, is that it is so much more discreet than what came before it.  This follows a general trend in medical and dental technologies, moving from less discreet to more so, in order to ensure that the patient can fix whatever issue without having to highlight said issue to the world.

Braces were almost entirely discreet, provided that you were willing to keep your mouth closed in public for the year or two that they were likely to be in your mouth for.  If you open that mouth in public, you’re going to be showing the world the gleam of stainless steel, aircraft grade titanium, or dental gold, and that’s something hard to hide.  Even today, when we have access to things like ceramic braces to align teeth with a bit more discretion, they’re still not a hundred percent discreet.  There’s always that one metal wire making it visible to the naked eye.

On the other hand, as the name would imply, Invisalign is invisible, and doesn’t show up at all when it’s placed in the mouth.  It doesn’t just blend in with the teeth, it allows the natural colors to shine through its clear plastic, ensuring that it doesn’t look fake or like you’ve put something ‘too white’ on your teeth.

2.  Comfort

choosing the right orthodontistHaving standard metal braces means enduring a bit of discomfort.  This discomfort arises from the fact that you’re mounting brackets on the outward-facing side of your teeth, which means that they’re going to be rubbing against the fleshy part of the mouth, causing sores, abrasions, and other forms of general discomfort.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners don’t add a lot of bulk to the natural shape of your teeth, as they’re form-fitted.  This means that they won’t be protruding and rubbing against the inside of the mouth, as well as making them harder to spot for passerby.

3.  Ease of use

Having braces on means that you’ll be spending the next year or so working around them every time you need to brush your teeth, because those braces aren’t going to move, but man are they great at catching bits of food in there and not letting it go.  Your teeth can still get cavities, so it’s important that you keep them clean and safe during the process.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are removable, meaning that you can pop them out at mealtimes and when you want to brush (and floss) your teeth, making the whole thing a much easier and more streamlined process that involves a lot less hassle.  They’re quality adult orthodontics, custom-made specifically for your teeth, meaning they’re form-fitting as well.    There’s also no risk of food getting caught in the aligners, so long as you don’t wear them while eating and clean well after meals.

So, if you’re looking to realign your teeth, step outside the box and ask about Invisalign.  Ask your local orthodontist if the most discreet option on the market might be right for you.  You won’t regret it.

5 Steps Where Product Development Agencies Can Assist You

When it comes to running your small business, I’m sure you’ve already noticed how important it is that you keep up a fairly steady stream of new products going to market.  However, doing so means you have to be fairly constantly in the process of product development, and for a small business, that can be a problem.

You see, small businesses aren’t likely to have, on hand, the marketing staff that is almost required to properly develop a product and take it to market.  It’s expensive to have a single marketing guru on hand, but the entire team that you’d likely need is cost prohibitive for a small business.  Where, then, are you to turn for the marketing muscle you need in order to make sure that your product launch is a success?

Why, you turn to professional product development agencies, of course, and you hire them and their expertise and use it to help you bring your product successfully to the market. Here are just some of the ways that they’ll assist you through that process of product development.

1.  Inception

The first step is inception, the step during which the idea for your new product comes to you, and you begin to work to make it a reality.  This step begins, for your small business, with a lot of brainstorming and spit-balling, and will likely end with a rough (very rough) idea of what you want to do, and maybe a sketch or two of a prototype or something similar.

Meanwhile, your product development firm is going to be hard at work, getting to know you, your business, and how you guys operate.  This will be important as times go on, but right now, the only work they’re going to be doing is to ensure that you both have an idea of what the project deadlines are, and so they can match their deadlines with your own, ensuring a good workflow.

2.  Creation

choose the right product development agencyDuring this stage, you’ll be hard at work taking that rough idea from the first step and turning it into a workable prototype.  In fact, you’ll be making it into many workable prototypes, hopefully, trying to decide what does and doesn’t work the way you like it to, and then combining the things that do.  This is normal, and it’s something to be expected.  What’s important isn’t how many prototypes you go through, but that the end product is something you can be proud of.

Meanwhile, if you’ve done the work to find a product development agency, they, too, will be hard at work creating.  While you’re creating a product, they’ll be working on the imagery that your product will be associated with, logos and advertisements mostly.  This is an important step, as these logos will be associated with your product for years to come, and a misstep here can be catastrophic (as anyone who’s accidentally used Nazi imagery to advertise something has found, and it happens more often than you would believe).

3.  Construction

The next phase is construction.  By now, you know what your product is going to look like when you ship it, and you’re mass producing and assembling your product and moving it into position so that it can be released to your desired customer base on launch day. Everything should be running smoothly leading into the fourth step.

For your product development agency, this is the point at which they’re working hard at constructing as well.  However, in their case, they’re going to be constructing things like your website and your advertising campaigns, instead of constructing things in a physical sense.  All this is in preparation for the next step.

4.  Execution

Launch day!  Your product will be released, shipped off, purchased by the masses, the whole deal.  Hopefully, it goes well, and you’ll be able to recoup the costs that you pumped into this process.  Your website will also be launched, and your product will be present online in some form.

5.  Evolution

So, you’re done after four steps, right?  Nyet, comrade.  You need to keep up with the times.  You’re going to be upgrading your product as needs be and as technologies change, and similarly, your product development company is going to be updating your website and marketing strategy as methods change and as new technologies become available.

So, if you’re preparing to enter development of a new product, consider hiring some outside marketing muscle in order to make sure that it sells well to the public.  You’ll be glad you did when you have a profit that you can be proud of, and money on hand that’ll allow you to start the process all over again.

 

Teeth Veneers for Fixing Your Smile

Throughout your life, you’re going to, naturally, do damage to your body.  Even if you try your best to take great care of it, things are going to happen; people injure themselves, for example, when working out, and this is actually a common thing.  The reality is that everything you do, you’re going to be slowly wearing down your body, heading toward the end of your life.  There are, of course, things that you can do in order to prolong the usefulness of your body, but there’s nothing that can be done to stop it.

Your teeth are no different. Every time you put something in your mouth and chew it, you’re wearing down your teeth in a miniscule way.  Every time you have a drink of something acidic, like lemonade or orange juice, or of something carbonated or sugary, like soda, or even of an alcoholic beverage, you’re slowly wearing down your teeth.  Eventually, this leads to damage.

There are a couple of ways teeth get damaged.  The most common way that you damage your teeth is just by not taking the proper preventative steps.  I know it can be a hassle, but it’s really important that you regularly go to your local trustworthy family dentist to have your teeth cleaned and inspected, as well as doing your own part at home by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily and using some mouthwash to make sure that your breath doesn’t smell awful.  When you neglect to do this, you tend to wind up with things like cavities.  In general, food left on the teeth, or rather particles of food left on teeth, tend to lead to cavities, because the things left on the teeth slowly dissolve away at the enamel as the food rots.  Have this happen often enough, and your teeth end up being softened as the enamel is being acted on by the various foodstuffs they’ve been exposed to, and eventually, parts of it chip away.

dentistry for oral healthThen there’s the damage that we do to our teeth just by making bad choices or being generally clumsy in life.  Everyone knows that person who has lost a tooth doing something like skateboarding or just from tripping.  Then there are the people who damage their teeth by doing something like trying to open a glass bottle with their teeth instead of going out to grab a bottle opener.  Some people even lose a bit of their teeth in fights (although you’re much more likely to lose the entire thing rather than just a piece).

So, what do you do when you lose a portion of a tooth, but not the entire thing?  How do you fix a smile that is only partially broken?  Well, if there’s only a few teeth damaged, you cover them up with veneers.  Veneers are a good choice if you’ve ground down your teeth a bit (maybe you’re one of those people who habitually grinds their teeth or who does it in their sleep, for example), if you’ve chipped a tooth badly, or even if you’ve just massively cracked your tooth without actually losing any portion of it.  Veneers are probably the answer for you.

Their use, and usefulness, has gone up by leaps and bounds since first they were invented in the late 1920s.  Back then, they were designed and intended to be used only for five or six hours, covering up the imperfect teeth of the celebrities while they were on stage.  The early veneers were made of plasters or plastics.  On the other hand, we make them with porcelain today, and instead of them being affixed to your cracked tooth with the same kind of adhesive we use for dentures, your veneer will be affixed with a long-term dental adhesive that lasts for ten to thirty years!  The materials used in making our dental veneers has also changed, moving to the more modern (and longer lasting) porcelain, or porcelain with a metal frame inside of it.  Today, in other words, we use veneers for anyone who can afford them, instead of them being only for the very famous who live and work in Hollywood.

So, if you’ve got some cracked or otherwise damaged teeth that you would like to repair, or at least to cover up, go make an appointment with your local office of cosmetic dentistry for smile correction to see what they can offer you be way of veneers.  The money and time you spend on your teeth will be well worth it in the long run.

Seeking Orthodontic Treatment

It’s never too late to start looking for orthodontic specialists in your area. Not everyone was fortunate enough to get the treatment needed for their teeth when they were a kid. There are many adults out there today who felt self-conscious about their smiles, and would love to get them corrected. If you’re one of these people, it’s time to start thinking about a trip to the orthodontist. Even if you decide not to pursue treatment, you owe it to yourself to explore the options available.

You might be surprised to learn that you have more options than just the standard metal braces you are probably familiar with. Today orthodontists offers things like Invisalign, invisible braces (or clear braces), and hidden, or lingual, braces. You’ll find these treatment options offered in most orthodontist offices around the country. They are all frequently used and have track records of success. With so many options, it might to hard to decide which is best for you. The more you know about your options, the betters.

You may be pleasantly surprised when you make your initial visit to the orthodontist. A common practice in adult orthodontics is to seek treatments that avoid going as far as braces. Many people find braces intrusive and an annoyance, and orthodontist will try to correct your smile without them if possible. In some cases a simple retainer or spacer is all that’s needed to correct your crooked teeth. Only after these treatments prove to be futile will the subject of braces be considered.

We are all familiar with the look of standard braces. At some point they’ve probably been a subject that you joked about. It’s the most common form of treatment out there. It is also fair easy to understand how they work, as the concept isn’t that complicated. First a bracket is cemented to each tooth that is going to be involved in the correction process. A metal wire will run horizontally between all of these brackets. Then tension is used by adding wires in the perfect location to slowly pull the teeth into position over time. The problem with braces is that they are bulky and obvious, and some people find them unsightly or distracting. This can prevent a person who works in a field where appearance is important from getting braces. It’s a double-edged sword, because your teeth are crooked and you want them to perfect, but in order to do so you’ll have to fill your mouth with metal for an extended period of time. If this is the case for you, you’re in luck, there are some other options to choose from.

Most closely related to traditional braces are clear braces, sometimes referred to as invisible. Instead of using steel for the brackets and wires, a clear plastic is used. Their function remains the same, using tension to pull teeth into place. They aren’t as noticeable as their steel counterparts, and those looking for the function of traditional braces while being more discrete favor them. If you are going for total stealth however, clear braces won’t work for you. People will still be able to see them, especially if they are focusing or concentrating on your. Fortunately there are still more options.

Lingual braces are a great option for someone who is interested in smile correction but does not want it to be apparent. The braces are also referred to as hidden braces, since people can’t see them at all when they’re in use. You’ve probably already guessed how they work, but I’ll go into some detail just in case you’re unsure. The bracket and wire method is still in use, but they are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front. You’ll have lingual braces on and people will be none the wiser unless you’ve told them. If you think this sounds like a solution for you, there are other factors to think about. Lingual braces don’t work for everybody, some people have too much crowding to use them effectively. They are also more complex and difficult to install than traditional places, and some worry about how comfortable they are — or aren’t. There is one final option we haven’t yet discussed.

You’ve probably seen it advertised on TV, and perhaps you’re weary of them because of that, but the last treatment I want to discuss is Invisalign. It is actually a fantastic product that many successful orthodontists use frequently. A 3D printer is used to produce a completely clear, plastic alignment tool matched perfectly to your teeth and future needs. They are barely noticeable to passersby and area  great idea for people who are self-conscious or reliant on their image. Invisalign braces for adults and teens are removable, which can be quite convenient. Every so often they are switched out with next stage over the treatment process, but the maintenance and upkeep is minimal. I know if I were seeking treatment today, I’d be looking into this product.

You owe it to yourself to be happy, and a big part of that is having a positive self-image. If you’ve been suffering with a crooked smile, take a trip to the orthodontist today.

Successful Marijuana Grow Room Design in Six Steps

In 2012 people celebrated in the streets of Washington and Colorado as after years of struggle recreational cannabis had become legal in those states. After more than two years, the initiatives are proving to be successful. Even industries like glass blowing and grow shops are seeing a boom in business. In some cases, new types of businesses like those focusing on marijuana grow room design are showing up. The economies in states that have legalized are booming, people are flocking there as unemployment rates drop to extremely low levels. Thousands of people around the country are finding a completely new, and legitimate industry to be passionate about. Cities like Denver have stores seemingly on every block selling cannabis to customers 21 and up. People travel from other states and countries to just to get a little taste of the freedom. Though competition is stiff, you can still be successful if you’re thinking of opening your own store. The starting point is going to be a professional, organized grow room. Here are six steps to get off on the right foot:

grow room builder1. Make it Air-Tight

One of the most important things to your crop is the conditions of your grow room. You want to make sure that you have the correct size room for your grow, and you want to make it air-tight. This will make it easier to control the environment inside. Things like temperature and CO2 regulation shouldn’t be a chore. If you don’t have air leaking out or in at unexpected places, it won’t be a problem.

2. Light-Tight As Well

At times this can be even more important than having an air-tight room. You want to avoid having your light reach your plants when it’s supposed to be dark at all costs. Having light hit them, even a little bit, can cause an inferior product to be produced. There are many things that can go wrong when light hits your plants at the wrong time. You want to make sure that paneling of your room keeps light at, and that there aren’t any spots where it may leak in.

3. Be Ready For Change

Hopefully you’ll be putting out a fantastic product at your cannabis store or stores. If you are, you may find a need to increase the space in your grow fairly quickly. You’ll want to consistently meet the demand of your customers, and it’s not out of the question to open multiple locations. If your indoor grow room can easily be added to you’ll be in great shape. One way to make sure that’s possible is to build a modular growing room inside of the building where you’re housing your grow. Of course it’s a big construction job so you may need to outsource the work.

4. Choose a Good Location

First of all you don’t want your grow room to be too far away from your actual store. You don’t want to be worrying about transportation costs, and if something runs out of stock you want to be able to get to the store with new supply quickly. Additionally, you want to be in a safe and secure location. Marijuana is still a valuable product, even though it’s legal. There is definitely a criminal element out there that wouldn’t mind stealing your product and offloading it on the black market. Make sure you choose a location with low risk for burglaries.

5. Keep the Room Clean

Pests like spider mites, along with molds, are the bane of the marijuana grower’s existence. You can cut down on these minor disasters by keeping a very clean grow room. It’s also important to have a professional appearance when there are outsiders looking at your grow operation. Cleanliness is important to the overall quality of your product. Going hand in hand with cleanliness is organization. You don’t want to mix up and mislabel strains, as it could easily result in unsatisfied customers. Remember people are looking for particular effects from certain strains. If you mislabel they may not get what they’re seeking.

6. Make Sure It’s Up to Code and Meets Regulations

You don’t want to delay the opening of your store because you failed to build your room probably or you missed a certain step of set up. These things are very real possibilities though, and it happens to many store owners. You can help avoid this by hiring a professional grow room builder who know what they are doing when it comes to construction. Not only does your grow room need to meet certain building codes, but it will have to fall in line with state and local regulations as well. Have a professional make sure it does for you, so you can focus on other things.

I hope you take these six steps for a successful grow room into consideration as you continue on your journey to be a successful cannabis store owner.

The Usefulness of Accounting Firms

In life, there are few things that are more of a determinant of your overall life success than your ability to budget your money properly.  A well-balanced budget is something that can lead you success, a comfortable lifestyle lived well within your means, money in the bank for retirement, likely in the form of a 401k or other various investments, and even money left behind for your children after you pass on.  A poorly managed budget leads to debt, which can prohibit you from the jobs you want, the house you want, and pretty much make anything you’d like to try to buy that will require credit (like cars, for example) out of your reach, as well as leading to a lifetime of debt that only gets worse, to the point that you’re paying off one credit card or debt with another credit card or debt, until you wind up in bankruptcy after a few months of finding that every dollar you bring in goes towards the servicing of the interest payments.  Obviously, this isn’t how you want to live your life.

With how important budgeting your money is, you’d think that we’d do more to teach our children about it.  Alas, this is not the case; the majority of the impetus to teach children about balancing a budget is left in the hands of the parents, who may not, themselves, have a very well-balanced budget.  We teach, of course, basic mathematics in school, addition and subtraction and multiplication, which is really all that you need in order to figure out a budget from a math standpoint, but we don’t teach the application any longer.  In earlier years, like when I went through school, we were offered a class in home economics, which basically told you how to run your household, more or less, but even this class didn’t do much to talk about budgeting your money month after month, and there was almost no information at all about things like bank accounts and interest rates, or credit cards and the interest rates associated with them.  The classes offered basically mentioned how important basic money management was and suggested things like balancing your checkbook (something that no one that I can think of actually does today, what with the advent of cell phones and a bank account that can easily be checked over the internet without the hassle of going to an ATM or a local bank branch).

tax accounting servicesThis doesn’t even make mention of the difficulty and anguish that goes hand in hand with having to pay taxes, a seriously vexing experience.  The tax code has evolved, since the day of the founders, from a document that could easily be read in an hour, and understood just as simply, to a document that is hundreds upon hundreds of pages long and is, apparently, not even well understood by the Internal Revenue Service, those who are placed in charge of its care and application.

With all the odds stacked against the individual when it comes to accounting, what is one to do?  The answer is simple.  When you have a problem with your car which you know nothing about, you hire someone to fix it.  Why not do the same thing with your accounting?  Instead of a mechanic, though, you should probably hire a CPA, a Certified Public Accountant.

A CPA can act as anything you need, really, so long as they have the expertise.  They can be tax advisors for an individual or for a business.  They can offer CPA accounting services to individuals (or, again, to business) that may need them.  They can offer a wide variety of services in advising or suggesting budgetary limits for pretty much anyone.

For an individual, a CPA firm can help you set up your budget when first you step out into the world on your own, allowing you to begin putting money aside even early on so that you have something in a ‘rainy day’ fund, should things go poorly, or should you lose a job, or should there be an emergency, or anything similar.  This can be a great asset later on in life, especially around the time you start dating or have kids.

A CPA firm can also help with the filing of taxes, which is a real boon to anyone who needs to get a large tax return after a disappointing year, financially speaking, or just because they need to have that quick lump sum of money in order to make a big purchase.  In fact, most CPA firms interactions with clients (individual clients) tend to be concerning various tax services that they offer.

So, if you need help managing your money in general, give your local CPA firm a look, and see what they can do in order to save you a few dollars here and there.

Seven Principles of Great Web Designers

SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF GREAT WEB DESIGNERS:

  1. SIMPLICITY

When it comes to website design, you definitely don’t want to over complicate things, and that can be quite easy to do. The key to a pleasant user experience is having a straightforward design that is easy for people to understand and use. You want to have intuitive features, like logos that are all linked directly back to your homepage. People need to quickly come to an understanding of why they are on your site and what the functionality is. If there is too much going on, they are easily overwhelmed. Good web designers show restraint when it comes to the use of color as well, as bright and varied coloration can take away from the overall clean look of a site.

2.   SECURITY

Every time there is a cyber attack that leaves consumers vulnerable, it is all over the news. Just last year, Target suffered and attack that resulted in the theft of thousands of customers credit card information. After that, Sony and Microsoft’s video gaming network were attacked, again leaving users at risk. It is critical that you avoid these types of attacks at all costs. You want to take whatever measure are necessary to secure your website and customers. It’s imperative to building trusting relationships with customers if you want them to use your site on a regular basis.

3.   RESPONSIVE

One of the hallmarks of expert web developers is their ability to build a responsive and adaptive website. This means that they are building websites that are adaptable to the many varied forms of media out there. If someone shrinks their viewing window down to a quarter of their screen, your website should adapt, and still be readable in that format. If a customer is on his or her Xbox One and decides to navigate over to your site and order a product before the next round of their, they should be able to do that as well. Make sure you’ve got a responsive website, or you’ll definitely fall behind.

4.   FRESH CONTENT

All functional responsive websites have at least one thing in common, and that’s fresh content. As soon as you let your website go stale, you’ll see your traffic decline. It’s absolutely crucial that you have interesting, relevant, and engaging content flowing through your website continually. It can be a tough task, but it’s extremely important. An outdated website is about as valuable as a dead website.

5.   PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

You’ll find that it’s quite common in the web design industry to outsource images to professional photographers using high quality equipment. Websites that use stock images to stand in for professional pictures stick out like a sore thumb. Most internet users can tell the difference between stock and original photography in an instant. If you want to be an industry leader, you’ll have to go the extra mile. The cost of bringing someone who to take high quality photographs that will fit the theme and design of your website perfectly is well worth it. It’s something that can easily set you above your competition. I know it’s one of the first things I notice when landing on a company’s website.

experienced responsive web designers6.   NO MORE FLASH

No website designer worth their salt is going to be caught dead using Flash animations. I sincerely hope that over the next few years it disappears completely from the internet and I don’t even have to bring it up anymore. Until that happens however, I will continue to warn folks new to web design about the dangers of using Flash. It’s unnecessary, painfully slow loading, and frankly obnoxious. Most customers and clients will be instantly turned off by the use of Flash on your website, and it should be avoided at all costs. It’s important that your website appears modern and with the current times, otherwise you’ll like lose lots of potential clients. People will respect a business more when they put together a great website.

7.   YOUR WEBSITE IS A MARKETING TOOL

The whole point to having a great website that people want to visit is to increase your presence in the marketplace. You website is the single most valuable marketing tool you own. Not only should you be using it to communicate about specials, deals, and bonus programs with your customers, but as a device to bring in new folks as well. Create a blog that is updated at least once a week. Make it relevant to your industry and interesting for your customers to read, and it will lead to a vastly improved search engine ranking. Couple this with a viable plan for SEO and you’re off to a great start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Invisalign can do for your Smile

Your teeth and your smile are an important part of who you are.  It’s one of the first things that people you meet will judge you on, even before you begin speaking.  A crooked smile, or a face afraid to break into a smile for fear of being judged on less than perfect teeth, can give the impression of a shy individual.  With most braces, you run into these same issues; visible braces are tied, in our society, to the stereotypical image of an awkward, nerdy, individual.  Couple this with the teasing issues that people, especially younger students, will have to bear along with their corrective dental wear, and it’s easy to see why so many people with visible braces emerge from the experience, even after their teeth have been straightened, afraid to show those teeth, remembering the sting of their classmate’s words.  What can be done about all this?  Modern orthodontic advances in the technology of smile correction has provided us with a good answer.

Of course, there’s always the classic alternatives.  Most of us, during childhood, have encountered school fellows who had some sort of orthodontic gear.  Some children ended up with retainers; easily lost, easily damaged, fairly uncomfortable.  Those even less fortunate can end up with headgear; large, impossible to hide, bulky apparatuses that are even more of a source of taunts and teasing so common in school than any other form of orthodontic device.  Being forced to wear headgear is so fearful a prospect amongst children that it is the source of numerous stories in pop culture, even showing up in the Simpsons when Lisa Simpson is forced to get (admittedly exaggerated) headgear when Homer accidentally gives up the dental plan in exchange for a keg of beer at every union meeting.

The most common orthodontic device, by far, would have to be traditional braces.  These are available in metal (stainless steel, to be specific), gold, and ceramic.  All of these can be outfitted with colored rubber bands in order to customize the braces in a way more appealing to the individual, but this is an immense hassle, and the rubber bands are liable to snap due to both the physical stress and the normal wear and tear that they’re exposed to in the average mouth. These braces are also extremely easily visible, what with the metal involved and all.  The ceramic ones are much harder to see, but the tradeoff is that you’ve put a less durable material on your teeth, and so proper dental care and hygiene become much more important and much more of a worry than with gold or ‘metal’ braces.  Another possibility, a less common variation on what we consider ‘traditional braces’, lingual braces are an option.  These  are hidden behind the teeth instead of in front of them, so they don’t interfere with your smile or anything you would need an unencumbered mouth to do (like, say, playing a clarinet or saxophone).

There is, however, a final solution.  Something that combines the more discreet nature of the ceramic braces with the durability of any other orthodontic equipment, and is removable for eating and for the daily regimen of brushing and flossing and mouthwash.  This option is a clear orthodontic appliance, the most well-known of which is Invisalign.  Invisalign isn’t head-gear or braces that may need adjusting at your local orthodontist’s office.  It’s a series of clear, invisible ‘aligners’ that slowly change the angle of your teeth.  You use one set for a predetermined amount of time, then change to the next, which will alter your teeth slightly more, until you get to the end result of significantly straightened teeth.  You can remove these aligners at will, making cleaning both the aligner and your teeth a much simpler process than if other form of orthodontic gear was to be used.  Invisalign works as a series of custom-made invisible braces, slowly aligning your teeth based on a multiple-step plan that begins with your local professional orthodontist taking a few dental x-rays, a series of dental photographs, and then making an impression of your teeth.  These are used as the data from which your personalized Invisalign aligners will be derived, and customized for your use and your use alone.

You have plenty of choices for improving your smile.  You can use old technology, which is tried and true, but which has its various drawbacks.  Or, you can use a new method, something comfortable, invisible, and something that can be removed at your convenience.

The choice is yours.

 

Social Media Marketing, Making your Social Media Accounts Work For You

Social media networks are a powerful tool for networking in this modern world.  Most people have a social media account.  Nearly everyone, in fact, to the point that when you encounter someone who isn’t plugged into one of the major social media networks, you tend to regard them as something of an oddity.  Most children, before they’re old enough to attend kindergarten, already have some social media presence.  Obviously, social media is on the rise as a means of communication for the newer generations.

One of the best things about social media networks is that they’re so populated.  This isn’t done because people are being paid to join, or having to pay to join, but rather because people want to join in order to communicate with their friends and family. They also want to see what groups are up to, including businesses.

This may be why so many businesses have moved to include a social media marketing campaign in their advertising and public relations plans. From behemoth companies that span the globe to the small companies that have one location in a back alley, everyone is getting in on the social media marketing game.  Every company is making sure to take advantage, to give customers a new place to go and learn about the products they have and the services they offer.

Now, not everyone has the time (or staff) to manage their social media presence.  Those companies just starting out may be well served by hiring a public relations firm that has experience in social media market management.  These firms earn their money in a variety of ways, by managing not only your social media presence and accounts, but by working to lead your desired customer to those accounts, and making sure that once they’re there, they’re likely to stop into the store or purchase whatever services or goods you have for sale.

A successful social media marketing campaign consists of two parts.  First, you have to drive people to your particular corner of the social media networks.  In order to do this, your public relations agency will make strategic ad buys on the social media networks, buying you ad space in places that your desired consumers are likely to see it.  This is especially easy because of the nature of social media networks; people are literally telling the world how to best advertise to them, and what advertisements they’re most open to receiving.

The second step in this plan is to keep them engaged once they’ve come to your social media page.  This is accomplished in a variety of ways.  One popular method is something you’ve likely seen; a page offers up a ‘drawing’ for a prize that they sell normally.  In order to enter, you have to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ their page and perhaps a group of other pages, then you have to ‘comment’ on their post, then you have to ‘share’ their post, and then you’re entered.  Notice how many of those steps are designed entirely around the idea of making sure that more people are seeing what you make?  There are other methods, giveaways, promotions, and the like, but this is by far the most common, and one that has a great degree of success.

Of course, there are other ways to get your business’s message  across, if social media marketing doesn’t seem like the best way for your particular industry, you can hire a pr firm more equipped to your particular needs.  Old media does still exist, and are still commonly in use, but they are also slowly shrinking in market share.  The way of the future is going to be social media networking; of this you can be sure.

So, if you’re a company looking to compete with the behemoths, know that you have an avenue to do so.  With deft moves, made artfully, and well-timed promotions, you can increase your exposure at a rate that those larger companies cannot compare to.

If you’re not sure of yourself, and you’re not sure that you’re well equipped to play the social media game, you can always outsource.  There are public relations firms that specialize entirely in managing social media networks in order to help increase growth and profit.  They’re a cost-effective way to grow your business and your market share, and to make sure that you’re targeting those most likely to be interested in the products and services you provide.

Remember that without growth, your business will be in dire straits, and without a positive revenue flow, you will shut down.  A social media management strategy can be invaluable.

The Purpose of 401K Audits, and Their Value

In private business being run in the United States, the pension is all but deceased, having gone the way of the dinosaur and child labor.  In its place has arisen the 401k for businesses, a newer idea that allows people to choose the portion they pay in and the amount they’ll be getting back, among other advantages.

401k plans are very common, and are useful for both employees and employers. For employees, they allow for money to be invested in a retirement account that complies with IRS regulations 401(k), and allow that money to be invested before the application of taxes, saving the employee a few dollars each investment, as well as allowing their money to sit in a long-term investment account managed by their employers.  This money is invested in a variety of ways, mostly being spent in things like hedge funds, guaranteed insurance plans, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and the like, all things which will (hopefully) bear interest and will (again, hopefully) retain or grow in value.  This 401k money remains untouched by the taxman until it’s removed from the account, which should occur, under the best case scenario, at such time as an employee has stopped working and retired.  It’s a great thing for employees and employers.

When a 401k plan reaches a certain size, however, federal law says that it must be audited, and not by just anyone; it needs to be audited by a CPA who is experienced in corporate 401k audits.  A CPA is a certified public accountant, someone who has gone through a licensing process that bears quite a bit of resemblance to the process one has to undergo in order to gain admission to the bar to practice law, someone who has continued their education in order to keep up with changes in accounting laws and the like.  This person will be (hopefully) an expert in business accounting, and well equipped to tell you the state of your corporate 401k through an audit.

The audit looks at a wider variety of things, and is mostly performed to ensure that the money being invested is being well invested, and that everyone involved, both employee and employer, has access to an honest and frank outlook of the investment.  The audit becomes a legal necessity whenever one hundred people begin to use the 401k account in question, although a company can, if it so desires, spend their money on an audit at any time (and my find benefit in doing so, although that would be mostly as far as morale is concerned).  The audit will confirm, for example, that all employees have equal access to the 401k plan, ensuring that no one is arbitrarily left out the plan, and thus denied the chance to plan for their future.  It will ensure that all applicable tax issues have been (or are to be) identified and accounted for, making sure that the plan is in compliance with state and federal statutes.  It will make sure that money is invested in the plan in a timely fashion, ensuring that employee money isn’t sitting in a bank account that doesn’t provide any interest on the investment for them.  Most importantly, however, the audit will check to confirm the honest valuation of the investments being made, so that both the company and the individual employees can feel safe in the knowledge that their money is safe and will continue to be safe until they need it.

All of this information is important, both to the employee and to the employer, and so it is important that the CPA firm is well-versed and well-trusted in this particular field of endeavor.  These people will be in charge of checking your ‘large’ plan (according to the Internal Revenue Service, any plan with over one hundred members qualifies as ‘large’) for all of the facets and qualifiers mentioned above, and reporting back to you on them.  Essentially, you will be trusting that this firm you hire to check the financial solvency and representation of your plan, this CPA firm, will be telling you information that will impact not only the running of your business from a tax standpoint, but will also impact the ability of your employees to plan for, and depend on, the retirement plan you’ve offered them.

So, be careful to pick the best CPA firm that you can find for your 401k audit.  A lot of lives, a lot of plans, a lot of people, and a lot of moral are riding on those people.

 

Why Braces Are Good For You!

Maintaining a good physical appearance is certainly one of the easiest ways to make a good first impression – usually, people make judgments of you right away when they first look at you, so their thoughts and opinions about you have been formed in just the first few seconds upon meeting you! It is important to make sure that you have a good first impression, therefore, on any level, and usually one of the first things that a person is going to judge you on is the state of your teeth. All of our favorite models, singers and actors have beautiful straight teeth, and while it’s certainly important to keep your teeth healthy and white (because it gives people the idea that you are cleaner), having straight teeth also gives others that same impression of cleanliness, and you certainly don’t want to miss out on that sort of judgement! Even for adults, there are many orthodontic treatments available to get you back on the right path to better teeth.braces

Treatments are carried out by the orthodontist, who is a specialist in smile correction and tooth alignment. They also work with jaw alignment. Orthodontists, due to the advancement of orthodontistry, are able to help many, many people with mild and severe problems with their teeth. You can ask to see their portfolio from previous clients, and you should know that they can certainly help many people. Different types of braces will help with several different cases, so depending on what kind of case you have, you will have different options to choose from. You cannot diagnose yourself because of this, so you can only do yourself a favor by scheduling an appointment with one.

If you are someone on the more mild side of misalignment, the orthodontist can suggest the use of retainers instead of braces. Retainers are meant to hold your teeth together for a while, in order to prevent further misalignment. They are also made to be used after a period of wearing braces, too, so that your teeth are held together to make sure that they stay in their newly corrected state. Retainers can be taken off, too, at any given point. You can wear them only when you go to sleep, for example, and take them off during the day.

If you have to use braces, the most important for you to know is the traditional braces, which are made of steel. These braces are made of brackets that are glued to the front of your teeth. There are wires that are connected to the brackets, and the orthodontist will use these to tighten your teeth as you go further along in the treatment. You have seen these braces everywhere – on television and on other kids. We all know these braces. They are obvious and gaudy, and they attract attention from afar. For children, there are options to wear different colors on them, but these are not good for adults, because of their look. They are best for severe cases, because they can help anyone with their malleable means of treatment.

Around the same time metal braces were made, there were also clear braces being made. These braces work just like metal braces do except they are made of clear material (some of them are made of ceramic). While peers may be able to notice them when they are by, it is a bit harder to notice them from afar, since they do not attract as much attention. These are very effective too, helping almost any case, no matter how severe it is. But it isn’t the most discreet option there is.

Lingual braces also use the bracket and wire system to do their magic, but they are glued to the back of the teeth (which makes them pretty magical that way). This method makes them truly hidden, because no one else would be able to tell that you have them on in any way (unless you point them out). But these are pretty uncomfortable to wear you need an eligible case to wear them.

Invisible braces (also known as Invisalign), is basically made up of clear, plastic aligners that are designed by a computer program for you to wear like a mouth guard (very easy to put on and take off). The orthodontist will adjust the scan of your teeth to create the aligner that is appropriate for you treatment, and then it is printed from a 3-D printer. This is of course the most expensive option available for you, but if you can afford, it is the most popular because of their invisibility and their ease.