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

Bacchus rolls the streets while the Orpheus Captains celebrate at the Sheraton

Last night the Bacchus Krewe rolled down the streets of New Orleans with Hugh Laurie riding as 2014’s King Bacchus. Had things gone according to plan, this article would have photos of Hugh Laurie and others from the Bacchus parade. There would also be another article and photos from the Mardi Gras Joe Cain Day in Mobile, Alabama. Sometimes, however, plans have to be scuttled in favor of aiding a stranger in distress. In this case it requires the postponing of photos from Bacchus but allows entry behind the scenes of the Orpheus Krewe.

Tonight I encountered a somewhat familiar face in an unexpected place. The fellow was trying to get across the parade route. In chatting with him it became apparent that his familiarity was due to his working with the Wizard World conventions. He was the celebrity appearances manager of John Schneider and others. After a few aborted attempts to work our way through the crowd we jogged a few blocks down the street where, after showing my press credentials to a police officer, I introduced him as Mr. Schneider’s Manager and indicated his need to get across the parade route.

The officer soon had us across the parade route and I was invited to stay for the Orpheus Captain’s Party. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Mardi Gras Ball, Captain’s Party or other Mardi Gras gala event, don’t pass it up. While forgoing the opportunity to shoot the Bacchus Parade was sad, I managed to soften the blow with the delicious foods at the Captain’s Party at the Sheraton. There were several stations with delicacies at each one. The first had meats that were tasty and the second, the seafood gumbo, a New Orleans standard, was delicious of course! At another there were succulent, sauteed shrimp over over grits, but the real surprise treat was the Jambalaya with alligator and duck.

For entertainment, the captains had the band, New Orleans Karma. They performed while the captains and krewe ate but it wasn’t long before the dance floor was filled with the Orpheus celebrants working off the delicious dinner. After Orpheus, the band was heading over to the Bacchus Bash to close the evening there. Again, if you get the chance to attend a performance of New Orleans Karma, you will want to do so. They are good enough for the Captains of Orpheus and the Bacchus Bash and you will love them too.

Oh, and the icing on the evenings cake was that Mr. Schneider did take a moment to allow me to catch a photo. Happy Lundi Gras everyone and Laissez les bons temps rouler tonight at the Orpheus parade!

Dock & Dine America – Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri – Part 2 of 5

With over 25,000 docks located along the lake’s 1,000+ miles of shoreline, there is little wonder why so many residents on Lake of the Ozarks rely on their boat to get from place to place. Along the lake’s expansive shoreline are dozens of dock accessible eateries, each offering unique venues. During the summer months, the lake is a hotbed of activity and the best of these watering holes and restaurants are frequented by watercraft ranging from pontoon boats to motor yachts. The following waterfront dining establishments are just a few well worth pulling up to.

Dock & Dine Ops:

The Duck is a hillside, upscale restaurant known for its fine cuisine and extensive wine list. Their multi-slip, protected floating docks located directly in front of the restaurant provide easy access to this exclusive restaurant. Be sure to try the smoked trout followed by the Dijon coated rack of lamb.

H. Toads Bar & Grill offers a casual and fun atmosphere, all with a spectacular westward view of the lake that is perfect for sunset dining. The classic American bistro style menu offers some great house specialties. A must try dish is the crab & shrimp stuffed Chicken finished with a buerre blanc sauce.

When you arrive at Shorty Pants Restaurant, it’s immediately obvious that they appreciate their dock & dine patrons. The restaurant’s in and outdoor dinning venue makes it a popular comfort food style restaurant for boaters here. It’s all about bodacious burgers and po boys at Shorty Pants, so loosen your belt and enjoy.

Dock It:

Docking at all of the above restaurants will be on floating docks designated for dining patrons. Due to the high boating traffic and resulting wakes, it would be wise to use multiple fenders when securing your boat. Plus an extra wrap around those cleats would be wise. Boaters arriving at the Duck’s marina should note that docking is not allowed on the outer breakwater structure, and never attempt to enter this dockage from the gap access along the shoreline. Also, when entering the lake’s numerous coves where most of the restaurants are located, stay to the center and always be prepared to avoid any marked obstructions.

Stuff To Do:

For fun on and off the water, Lake of the Ozarks offers activities and attractions for all ages. Whether you are interested in exploring underground caverns at Bridal Cave, or tasting some great local wines at 7 Spring Winery, it’s all here. Other points of interest include the Wilmore Lodge, a historic log structure constructed during the building of Bagnell Dam back in the ‘30s. Besides the great fishing available on the lake, Bennett Springs, a popular destination for trout fishermen, is located less than an hour south.

What Are Pokemon Tv Show?

Within Japan, Pokemon continues to be broadcasted together with original name and also along with four subtitles, these kinds of versions represent a change in it’s setting, which fits video games’ many versions, than just split up into individual seasons, (the change in its season is generally shown by changing the theme tunes, however, the title remains same). The existing Pokemon series, that, are broadcast internationally, is called Pokemon: XY. The Pokemon is split into diverse seasons for its international shows, runs a specific number of episodes, called Pokemon episodes, which are opened with a by a particular opening series, along with a brand new subtitle. So do watch pokemon series.
During its all Pokemon episodes from the primary series, an element Film regarding Pokemon with the cast of the main characters that are from the TV series is released. The story of each movie is dependent on a meeting having its legendary persona Pokemon, though some might not adapt to a rigid definition of the term. These films are especially used to endorse brand new Pokemon series which come in fresh versions regarding series and also games. To adhere to up the sequel Pokemon episode 1 is a must watch. Nevertheless, whichever episode or movie the viewers desire to want, their particular team say we will discover for you.
Pokemon Saturday
The Weekly Pokemon Broadcasting Station was a greatly related follow up that launched with the starting part of the Pokemon: Superior Generation. This show was aired being a dynamic selection show, in which clip exhibits were proven, Pokemon episodes were rerun, and Pokemon movies had been aired in the media, cast selection interviews, live footage of their actions, along with the previously mentioned side testimonies of Pokemon episodes. Much like other shows, Pokemon Sunday has been a sort of an excellent show, which usually featured reruns regarding previous episodes and various Research episodes involved live-action. Regular guests were Golgo Matsumoto, Reddish Yoshida of Bernard, Ryuji Akiyama, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Baba of Robert, Becky.
Pokemon Smash!
Pokemon Smash is the follow up to the Pokemon Sunday series. It had been aired through 2010-2013. Like it’s predecessors, Pokemon Beat, is also a variety show like its forerunner that involves live-action parts and reruns that old animated episodes. The theme track was Limitless Fighters. Typical guests have been Golgo Matsumoto, Red Yoshida of TIM, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Shoko Nakagawa, Hiroyuki Baba of Robert and Ryuji Akiyama. These shows are exciting, therefore watch Pokemon shows, reported by users we will discover for you.
The actual Pokemon episode 1 is a vintage one. In which, Ash Ketchum has become ten years outdated, and old enough to turn to be a Pokemon Trainer. He receives up little late, as a result, arrives overdue to Professor Oak’s laboratory, after that all the Pokemon have remaining! Ash has only one option to take Pikachu. Pikachu won’t go inside Poké Ball or even won’t listen, hence Ash ought to pull that along. Ash after several failed tries to capture some Pokemon, throws the stone that hits the Spearow. This particular Spearow gets mad and the entire flocks begin to pursue Pikachu and Ashes!

Phone Sex Numbers – A Supreme Tool to Fulfill Your Sex Desire

If you’re feeling low and are looking towards add some piquancy to your sex existence, phone sex can be an ultimate option for you. No matter you’re missing your spouse hard or else you are in mood, you can surely pick up your phone and call your loved one and express how you feel. If you wish to make the phone sex chat an exciting one, you’ll have to let yourself loose and get over your self-conscious. Expressing yourself over the phone is the best way to have an outstanding experience. Nevertheless, there are several phone sex numbers also that can be asked if you do not possess a girlfriend and are in a mood to talk about sex and also have some exciting experience.

Here are some key tips that will help you for making your chat an everlasting experience.
• Make make contact with – first thing you need to do would be to contact your enthusiast and start using a low tone of voice. Try to discuss in a gentle tone yet let your lover feel the exhilaration you are having. Do not move fast but try to speak in a easy manner since regular however do keep in mind you’ll want to direct the particular conversation in direction of sex chat.
• Discuss in regards to the clothing – while talking ask the significant just what he or she is sporting and how the lady looks within it. The enthusiasts can inquire their women about their internal wears and in addition talk about their body structure and also chests. Girls can explain their ensemble in flirtatious tone.
• Proceed through discussing your love for each other – add spice to your discuss by adding how much you like her curves and obtain into information regarding the different parts of the body that you like the most and how you’re feeling about them. You are able to say that what you should be doing should you be with her right now. You can explain the way you may get close to the woman’s initiating along with stroking the woman’s hair slowly and gradually with your fingertips and so on.
• You are now able to tell your significant about routines that you are performing and ask the girl about her experiences or even what she is doing. You can also ask her to follow what you say and enjoy phone sex.
• In to have some actual pleasure associated with phone sex, you can take off your clothes and allow your lover understand how you are feeling or you are having fun with your body elements and much more.

If you are lonely and do not have a lover or collaborate, you can choose availing the services of phone sex numbers. There are various service providers that have experienced girls who are able to talk to the boys causing them to be comfortable during the talk.

Pick your favorite flavor

Who can resist an ice cream, even in winter? Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is an American ice cream company with the principal factory in Waterbury Vermont. Receive a free sample of their best after seeing how it’s made.

Its factory tour is one of Vermont’s most popular tourist attractions. The tour begins with a short video about its history and company’s founders. A bird’s eye view of the production room demonstrates their manufacturing process of ice cream. The tour ends with an ice cream sample of a new flavor with more ice cream to purchase in their gift shop.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded this premium ice cream brand in 1978. Ben & Jerry’s produce ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream novelty products. The company history is one of the great American dream. It begins by two childhood friends who upon college graduation decided on a unique career direction.

In 1977 they completed an ice cream making correspondence course offered by Pennsylvania State University’s Creamery. In May 1978 their $12,000 investment opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington VT. In 1980 operations were expanded in larger quarters with ice cream packed in pints.

The factory is open year round. Manufacturing is scheduled five days a week from Monday through Friday, closed on major holidays. Guided tours are conducted every 30 minutes the last daily tour 1 hour before closing.

Tour hours
November through June
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
June though August
9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
August through October
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Tour fee
Adults – $4
Seniors – $3
Kids 12 and younger – free
1281 Waterbury Stowe Road
Waterbury, VT

Ben & Jerry’s winter festival is Saturday March 1, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM offering free tours all day. They give free ice cream cones for moms on May 11, 2014, and free cones for dads on June 15.

Waterbury is a town of 5,064 population 24 miles northwest of Montpelier. It is 28 miles east of Burlington and 11 miles south of Stowe. Nearby Waterbury is Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in the state. Montpelier is the state capital, a center for insurance and granite quarrying industries with a population of 8,035. Stowe is a town of 4,314 population with New England’s finest downhill ski runs.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a 338 mile drive of 6:15 hours from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 east to Albany then north on US 87 past Glen Falls exit to route 4 east. Continue route 4 east across Vermont to US 89 before the Vermont border. Drive north on US 89 past Montpelier to Waterbury. Exit from US 89 on exit 10, 1-mile north on route 100 follow signs to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Here’s what one visitor thought of the tour.
“The facility is bright and bubbly and the kids loved it!”