7 sinful signing mistakes small business owners make

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

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

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

Here are the seven worst messages commonly conveyed:

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

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

Federal Reserve officials comments raises more questions than answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

35 years of experience offered to you free of charge

Part 1

Why I Wrote Win-Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 7 benefits of video blogging

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

The 7 benefits of Video Blogging:

1. Good for your SEO strategy.

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

2. Develops trust.

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

3. 2 minutes provides concise, quick information.

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

4. People are visual.

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

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

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

6. Excellent for How-Tos or tutorials.

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

7. Generate income from your videos on YouTube.

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

Bill Gates Quotes – The Best Quotes for Life and Business

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Respect Our Planet and Alcatraz Cruises are celebrating Earth Day with a full day of free, family-friendly activities on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Partnering with local environmental companies, Alcatraz Cruises’ Earth Day festivities are free and open to the public and will take place at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing in San Francisco. Activities and featured interactive stations will include:

Green Home Choices — advice on making the home more sustainable with an exclusive Lego station that demonstrates how to make small changes that make a big difference.
Discover the Bay — learn about how living things play a role in local marine environment with a presentation by Aquarium of the Bay that brings the San Francisco Bay’s microorganisms into focus.
Arts & Crafts — a learning and creative station for children to express their views of the Earth.
Other Activities — Music, face painters, prizes and other entertainment.

On Earth Day and every day, Alcatraz Cruises actively promotes sustainability efforts in San Francisco and throughout the maritime industry. Alcatraz Cruises’ runs the first hybrid ferry service in the country. Alcatraz Cruises consistently recycles 90 percent of its waste and is certified by several national agencies because the company performs at the highest levels for quality, environment, health and safety.

Mt. Rinjani

Mount Rinjani or gunung rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok.
Administratively the mountain is in regency of east Lombok, west nusa tenggara ( Indonesian: nusa tenggara barat, NTB). It rises to 3,726 meters (12,224 ft), making in the second higest volcano in lndonesia.

On the top of the volcano is a 6-by-8.5- kilometer (3.7 by 5.3 mil) caldera, which is filled partially by the crater lake known as segara anak or anak laut (child of the sea) due to blue colour of water lake as laut (sea).

Segara anak lake is crater lake contained within mount rinjani on the island of Lombok in indonesia. The name segara anak means child of the sea given to the blue colour of the lake reminiscent of the sea. The lake is heated, so its temperature is 20-22 OC, about 5-7oC above the expected temperature for a lake in that altitude. At the west end of the lake is the volcanic cone gunung baru (new mount), giving to the lake recent shape. Gas bubbles escape from the lake floor. The lake ph is 7-8.
This lake approximately 2,00 metres (6,600ft) above sea level and estimated to the about 200 metres (660 ft) deep;the caldera also contain hot spring sasak hindu people assume the lake and the mount are sacred and some religion activities are occasionally done in the two areas.
A massive eruption of rinjani in 1257 CE may have triggreted an episode of global cooling and failed harvests.

The dubious debut of illuminated signs

Call them sign-hunters, or myth-busters, but either way the tale that two researchers uncovered in the process of attempting to verify the origins of the neon sign, makes for one hell of a tale and sets up an even juicier mystery. It all began quite innocently, academic Dydia DeLyser, like many before her, assumed the tale of how neon first appeared in the United States when a brightly illuminated billboard (with the letters P-A-C-K-A-R-D glowing blue and four feet high) was erected at the corner of Flower and Seventh streets in Los Angeles in 1923 to be 100% factual.

Tales of the novelty of the first neon illuminated billboard, which rested atop a hotel in downtown Los Angeles, became a central thread in the cultural fabric of the city, which for decades boasted being the first city to have one in the nation. Articles from the 30’s told of people driving for miles to see the signs which they dubbed “liquid fire” and of congestion so bad that the police had to be called in.

This popular recounting of the debut of neon was taken as fact and the businessman responsible for it, Earle C. Anthony, was a celebrated figure. But, without intending to, Dydia DeLyser, and her partner and fellow researcher Paul Greenstein, have called that “common knowledge” into question. DeLyser simply wanted to document the history of neon.

A year into the research, DeLyser (a professor of Geography) was still unable to turn up hard evidence to support the Los Angeles-was-first claim that had been taken as gospel for the better part of a hundred years. Though she found plenty of newspaper articles and neon-industry publications on the story, she could find no original source materials.

DeLyser poured over countless 8-by-10 glossy aerial photos of Los Angeles, scoured newspaper articles, permits and building records, and ultimately ended up locating the missing link in a vault-like room at UCLA. But, before that discovery, there was a mystery building: Los Angeles history (or legend) had it that the Packard sign went up in 1923 (roughly one year before New York’s first neon sign appeared), but the Los Angeles Building Department billboard permit obtained by Anthony, the Packard dealer, was dated December 1924.

Seeking physical evidence – the first photograph of the billboard – DeLyser and Greenstein hunted the archives of a pair of photography companies that shot the city from 1918 to 1971. With a magnifying glass and an eagle eye, the pair found that photos taken of the location of the billboard didn’t show it until 1925 in a photo dated Feb. 10 of that year, two months after the permit was issued.
Cross-checking the photo with another shot from a different angle confirmed that it was the illuminated Packard sign. Needless to say, neon and illuminated sign enthusiasts and historians were not exactly elated by the discovery. “It pretty much proves that the supposed Earle C. Anthony sign at 7th and Flower could not have been the first neon sign,” DeLyser said, adding, “By 1925, there were neon signs in New York, for sure. It has to be that the whole story was wrong.”

But, one possible consolation for those Angelinos who wish to retain the bragging rights of having erected the first illuminated sign exists in another discovery made by the two which, if verified, would allow Californians to boast having been the first to erect a illuminated sign, but in San Francisco instead of Los Angeles. And, there are those who dispute the veracity of the DeLyser findings, and perhaps their passion will fuel additional research in the attempt to upturn this latest twist in the tale of neon.

Promoting Brands in the Markets With Ad Film Production Houses in Mumbai

Business companies today realized the importance of advertising process as they are willing to spend more money on it. Anyone who wants to promote their brands on digital platforms can reach out to ad film production houses in Mumbai for achieving process to a wider extent. A digital service involves marketing products through websites, mobile phones, television, and other channels to grab the attention of viewers.
Digital services also involve multimedia applications which provide methods for creating videos and advertisement films with high quality images. They are suitable one for all types of business organizations including corporate firms to deliver powerful messages. In addition, it is possible to produce best impressions on visitors with animation technologies to gain better prospects. Nowadays, digital companies offer latest techniques for marketing products with unique ideas for establishing business in the markets. Moreover, they are an ideal one for standing out from the crowd to generate high revenues and profits. An infographic design makes feasible ways for marketing a brand with valuable information.
It helps for representing a product with messages to reach viewers quickly. Infographics is largely used by business companies to communicate with the customers in an easy manner. In fact, it allows a person to know the details in faster methods while marketing a brand. Most infographics design includes diagrams which show ways for establishing business in the markets with unique concepts.
There are several digital agencies which offer infographics design services for business firms to make impacts on the customers. Complete details about them can be gathered from online and other sources for choosing services according to needs. Different types of packages are available for those who want to catch the attention of viewers with attractive designs. They are also ideal one for online and social media marketing purposes to identify potential customers. An ad film makes feasible ways for influencing the minds of audience when marketing a brand or service. However, it needs proper guidelines for achieving goals to a larger extent.
We then come to the production part of it which involves film shooting and per the above process of conceptualizing. In the final part of it, we do editing of films which is the must we do VFX and animations, we also do voice overs. These are some of the basic things that we do when it comes to adfilmmaking and corporatefilms.
We follow a very simple method or a process in the market. ItâEUR(TM)s all about keeping it very plain and simple yet deliver high standards of quality. ThatâEUR(TM)s our main focus quality product to be delivered. So our process involves Conceptualizing Corporate world: Here we understand your objective and we do a research of our own, we do film script writing and build a story around it.

Marketing legal services: are your interests really at heart?

We are likely to need legal help at least once a year, yet most of us do not actively seek legal help.

This is borne out of data from a survey conducted by Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, on behalf of the American Bar
Association’s Section of Litigation, which shows that close to three quarters of American adults experience some event during a twelve-month period that may require the services of a lawyer. Over half of those who needed an attorney chose not to hire one, and close to 80% of those yet to experience legal problems gave strong indications they might go down the same route.

Why all the doom and gloom? Price is the most sticking point for most consumers. When it comes to hiring a lawyer, hourly fees of $100 up to $1000 are out of reach of most people’s budget. And then comes the trepidation of searching for a good attorney and the right service: there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion as what a lawyer will do, and how to tell the good from the bad.

For example, dealing with a severe injury or the sudden onset of a life-changing illness can invite devastation into your family’s life. Because the pain and discomfort from your disability may prevent you from returning to work, you suddenly now must find a new way to support your family and yourself. Or, let’s assume that you’ve been mishandled during the birthing process, and need a skilled birth injury attorney to sue the pants off the hospital. These cases signify why attorney practices are more expensive, at times, than the injuries you are seeking compensatory reprieve from.

A legal plan may solve these problems and change the way you think of legal services. Thanks to this arrangement, you can now talk to a lawyer whenever you have a problem, without fear this will leave you out of pocket. In fact, you don’t even need to be embroiled in a legal problem to get legal advice: just pick up the phone, call your attorney and get the necessary legal advice susceptible of resolving any potential problems –with professional legal advice and follow-up, you can prevent ninety percent of your legal questions becoming legal problems.

Basic services such as the drafting of your will, review of sample health contracts and writing letters on your behalf are handled at no cost to you. If you want further coverage to include family problems, such as a divorce or custody of children, and any legal representation in court, then you simply pay a premium and get more inclusive coverage.

Even if your plan doesn’t cover complex legal matters, it can still save you money on those sky-high attorney fees. Discounts of up to 20% are offered on hourly and flat rates. Ultimately, it’s not all down to how much you can save. Having an attorney readily available at all times gives you peace of mind, in the knowledge that there is someone you can use on retainer for advice and help on anything of legal nature.