Deep Fried Macaroni & Cheese with a Chipotle Bacon & Garlic Aioli. Yes, this is good for you, at least your attitude. Not the best for your diet.
It has been over a decade since the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was in existence. Despite it’s popularity amongst hot rod lovers, the consolidation to the Camaro brought the 35-year reign of “dirty birds” to an end.
Let’s say you’re looking to start your own company after graduation (or even while you’re still in school). You don’t have to wait until you reach a certain level of sales, or hire a full complement of support staff, before you start talking to the types of customers or clients you hope to work with.
Here are five strategies that will show a prospect that you’re ready to compete with larger organizations and come out on top.
1. Make sure your website is polished and professional looking
If you don’t have a business website, there’s no better time to set one up. Register an appropriate domain name and get online.
Some hosting companies have easy-to-follow templates that will guide you through building your own website. Or you can enlist the help of a web designer if you have the budget to get one custom-made.
You may be able to get a good rate from a fellow student looking for a project to put in his or her portfolio, so ask around and see what you can work out.
2. Use a company e-mail address
Once you’ve established your web presence, it’s time to move away from free e-mail accounts for business purposes. Get rid of your Gmail, Yahoo, Edu, or other e-mail addresses and start using your company one.
You should be able to register multiple business addresses through your company, even if you’re personally answering all of them for the time being, so don’t hesitate to use firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, sales@business, com, etc., if that makes sense to you.
3. Invest in a virtual office arrangement to deal with incoming calls
Even if you’re working from home, there will be times when you’re unavailable to take calls. Having a virtual office means that a live operator will answer your business line to take messages when you are unavailable or on the road.
This Australian-serviced office network offers a virtual office service along with fully furnished offices to its clients.
4. Create some quality marketing materials
You need to be prepared to promote your business at any time. Make sure you have business cards with you, and invest in brochures you can distribute to potential clients. These items will help your company stand out from the pack.
5. Make some noise in the media
Do you have a new product or service to announce? Issue a press release! Tell the world about something noteworthy that you or your company have accomplished. This is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
While there’s an ancient tradition attached to the art of making rugs, there’s also some nuance, and yes, artistry involved in securing the best antique rugs in the world, without spending a king’s ransom. The more you know about the rugs on the market, the more you’ll appreciate the workmanship and be able to seek out the the best value for your money.
Here are several tips that can guide you through the art of buying antique rugs that will accent, decorate, or become a focal point of your interior decor — at home or at the office.
Learn the lingo
Before you commence your search, learning the lingo will give you an advantage. So educate yourself on the specific terms that identify different parts of a rug, so the salesmen can appreciate you’ve done your homework.
For instance, the main background of the carpet is called the field. When you shop, it’s important to have an idea about your preferred field and border colors. It’s also helpful if you bring fabric samples or pillows you’d like to coordinate with the rugs you purchase.
Many rugs have a diamond-shaped or round motif in the middle called the central medallion, but if your furniture will be placed asymmetrically on the rug, you may prefer a rug that has an all-over design.
Shop ’til you drop!
While the phrase is usually associated with holiday binge shopping, you should “shop ’til you drop” when looking for rugs as well. Only after you’ve reviewed an array of rugs will your favorite types and patterns become apparent. See as many as you can and get to know their price range.
In most instances, new rugs are sold by the square foot; antique rugs are sold by the piece. Rugs of the same type will vary in price due to their differences in color balance and quality of design, but the pricing for the same type of rug should not vary more than 20%.
If it’s not obvious why one rug is more expensive than another, ask your vendor why; and only purchase once you’re satisfied with the logic of his response.
Evaluate fineness and density of knots
Knot density (for strength) and fineness (for clear design definition) are important indicators of quality. Each country uses different terms, so ask about the differences from locale to locale. To test knot density, push your fingers down to the base of the pile; if the knots feel tightly packed, this rug will usually be the more durable.
To determine fineness, compare the backs of different carpets. Each “bump” is a knot. Small knots allow for well-defined curves and fine lines in the pattern, but you’ll also pay a premium for them, so weigh the aesthetics versus the functionality.
Try the rug at home first
The lighting and decor of the rooms will affect the look of the rug once it’s laid down in your home. Reputable dealers will allow you to take the rug home for a day or so to make your decision. Make sure you like the way the rug looks like in daylight as well as at night, before you make a final decision.
Woven Accents is a great resource for potential buyers when they begin their comparison shopping online before venturing out to the stores or markets. Founder Abraham Moradzadeh has made the artistry and craftsmanship of the finest rugs in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia the focus of his life’s work.
His passion for buying far outweighs his desire to sell: He finds it difficult to part with some of the works of art he discovers during his adventures abroad. From a collection of thousands, Abraham is able to identify each rug with an emotional connection and story to go with it.
The business model may have modernized, but the intent of his company has not. Woven Accents still holds Abraham’s old-world charm and appreciation for true quality … all with a very genuine, personal touch.
Artists, musicians, designers and directors have come together with ABSOLUT to challenge the norm. Through their unique styles and visions, these visionaries push forward ABSOLUT’s idea of believing in your own story. Their new campaign, Transform Today, is all about bringing about change and creativity. Follow amazing icons as they prove they are an ABSOLUT influence on the world around them. For example, check out the story of Rafael Grampá, a Brazilian graphic novel artist and writer whose runs on Batman and Wolverine were an unprecedented first.
Has it been a dream of yours to lay on a beach, surrounded by beauty on all sides? Have you been dreaming of brighter, sunnier days than what winter’s providing? Dream no more. Take a minute to see how Hawaii feels. Have a mini vacation at your desk right now by watching scenes from Hawaii’s four islands.
Like what you see? Of course you do. Visit Go Hawaii and learn how you can spend more than a minute in paradise.
Becoming successful in a small-business venture is not easy. When the owner reaches the point of success, the celebrations can start and the person’s whole attitude may change.
Here are seven magnificent stories of people who found success with a small business venture. Their stories are an inspiration to us all.
1. Chris Zane of Zane’s Cycles
Zane started fixing bikes in his home garage at the age of 12. By the time he was 16, he was leasing his own bike shop with a loan of $23,000 provided by his grandfather. Zane remained in school and his mother operated the business until he returned from his studies. By that time, Zane was bringing in around $50,000 a year and now his business tops off annually at $21 million.
2. Limor Fried of Adafruit
Limor earned her masters in computer technology and electrical engineering. She launched a business simply to help her pay for her tuition. Her main product was electronic do-it-yourself kits for which she would immediately post codes and other schematics for the circuit boards. Her company was launched in 2005 and now sells up to 200 kits per day.
3. Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods
In 1994, Baker began to make “breakfast cookies” she sold at a local shop. Many customers learned that Weight Watchers considered Erin’s cookies to be a very healthy addition to diets, so her business began to grow rapidly. Even after a slight decline when Weight Watchers changed their point system, Erin continued to do extremely well with her small business.
4. Lian Weintraub and Shannon Swanson of Tasty Brand
While making organic purees for their newborns, these two young women discovered there were very few organic baby foods on the market. With this information, the two mothers decided to create their own line of organic foods for infants. In just four years, annual sales for Tasty Brand rocketed to $2.4 million.
5. Joanna Mieseles of Snip Its
Joanna was getting her son’s hair cut and noticed there was absolutely nothing fun about the salon. She thought that children should have a salon that provided an enjoyable atmosphere while they get their hair trimmed. Joanna created Snip Its as a prototype store that has since multiplied to 64 locations around the nation. She is now in talks to extend the franchise to the UK.
6. Oren Bloostein of Oren’s Daily Roast Coffee and Tea
At the age of 23, Oren realized he was miserable in his job at Saks Fifth Avenue. He hated reporting to 15 different people every day and simply wanted to run his own business. With substantial financial backing from his parents, his life savings and a small business loan, Oren opened his own business and has grossed more than $10 million this year.
7. George Vlagos of Oakstreet Bootmakers
From an early age, George shined shoes and helped his father make them in their family-owned shop. His father tried to get him to adopt a different career, but George ended up doing the same thing as his father, except that he designed a new style of boot. There’s a huge waiting list for this product, and he still can’t believe people around the world are wearing something he created.
Small business success is everywhere. All it takes is a little bit of business intelligence to get the ball rolling. If you’d like to read more (BI news, click here](http://businessintelligence.com/category/bi-news/ “”).
Employers have long understood the connection between productivity and proper employee care, but old habits can be hard to break. The following five trends spotlight some of the ways that companies are breaking out of traditional employee management methods, and starting to adopt innovative ways of achieving higher retention and employee empowerment.
1. Better, broader benefits
Benefits continue to grow more complex and useful for employees as companies try to improve retention through creative methods of compensation. The result has been an increase in at-work amenities that make workplaces more fun, as well as a number of work-life benefits that help enrich employees.
From paying for further education to providing flexible health accounts, the new trends are inventing fresh approaches to employee empowerment.
2. Time to yourself
More and more companies are adopting the idea of giving employees some free time during the day to work on their own projects. Google is probably one of the most famous examples, but similar notions have grown popular among many large companies.
Employees are given time slots, weekly events, or entire days when they are allowed to pursue their own interests and personal projects. This encourages creativity and can often lead to unique solutions.
3. Stay interviews
Exit interviews are a traditional method of analyzing why companies are losing employees. These interviews helped companies note any particular problems that may caused poor retention rates.
However, these traditional interviews are now being augmented with “stay interviews”; that is, sit-down chats with employees who have chosen to stick with the company for many years. These help companies track what they’re doing right; they can focus on positive improvements and form a more complete picture of the company work environment.
4. Better data tracking for safety
Data tracking has allowed firms to grow ever more accurate in analyzing workplace safety and find ways to improve the work environment. Studies of workplace accidents are being replaced with more complete research on potential problems and “near misses” that indicate issues that are serious but have not yet caused injury.
Issues can be dealt with before they cause serious incidents.
5. More mentoring and better training
Mentoring used to be a way for higher-level employees to prepare for management positions. These relationships are now appearing at all levels of the company structure.
Businesses are more willing than ever to create mentoring or training relationships for entry-level employees, to teach them about the company culture and allow them to ask questions freely and clear up any gray areas. These personal approaches lead to greater retention as employees take advantage of them.
A big part of running an efficient workplace is keeping your office neat and organized. Not only will this prevent you from having to make exhaustive searches to find what you’re looking for, but the aesthetic effect can help to calm your mind.
Below are four helpful office organization tips to optimize your workspace.
1. Become as paperless as possible
In the past, there really weren’t any alternatives to filing papers and documents. It ate up tremendous amounts of time and space.
But today, it’s easy to reduce the amount of paper in your office; plus, you can enjoy far quicker access to whatever you need. One option is to use cloud-based software to store and organize your documents on. Since information is saved virtually onto an array of servers, you always have access with a solid Internet connection and data can’t be lost.
You can even access it from home or on the road via a mobile device. This one step can dramatically reduce your clutter and simplify your life.
2. Prioritize items
On any given day, your work will typically call for a few essential items that are frequently used, and less essential items that are necessary much less often. Placing essentials on your desk or at the front of desk drawers will allow you to grab what you need in a hurry.
Lesser-used items should be placed at the back of desk drawers or in a supply center where you can still get them, but they’re not in the way.
3. Use storage bins
If you have a problem with misplacing items, it’s smart to invest in some plastic, metal, or wooden storage bins. These are perfect for storing everything from pens and pencils to folders and paperwork.
By keeping everything in one central location, it’s less likely to end up lost. You can take this one step further by attaching labels to the outside of each storage bin for easy identification.
4. Get secretarial and administrative support
Sometimes, you can get overwhelmed when things get very busy in your office. That’s why it’s nice to have some professional support to assist you with daily tasks. For example, companies that provide office services for Australian businesses can streamline your workplace and ensure a nice atmosphere that’s conducive of high productivity.
Between the persistent generation of dirty power, the widespread use of non-biodegradables, unsustainable farming practices and waste of all sorts, it’s no wonder that Mother Nature is suffering. However, as more people become increasingly aware of the harmful effects that human disregard for the environment is having, many are choosing to make their lifestyles a little bit greener. Taking even the smallest steps now can help ensure a better, cleaner world for future generations, and can also make the world a better place for those who are here now. Here are five tips that can help you live green.
Don’t Buy Something
Human beings are biologically programmed to acquire more. While it was once helpful for getting food and shelter, today, these needs are typically always being met. Because of this, our acqusition-geared brains compel us to spend money on things that we don’t need, but want anyway. Nobody seems to know exactly how much Americans spend yearly on frivolous purchases, but it’s likely to be a lot. All of these needless items just encourage further production of more items, and many end up in landfills eventually. Tossed clothing alone makes up over 13 million tons of America’s solid waste. The next time you’re feeling the urge to splurge, put away your credit card and say, “not today.”
Purchase Food Wisely
When pondering what to have for dinner, try choosing something that’s already in your refrigerator. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans dispose of almost half of the nation’s food supply every year, accounting for $165 billion in equally wasted money. This isn’t just a waste of the natural resources that go into growing and shipping food. It’s also akin to a slap in the face to the millions of starving people around the world. Always shop wisely and use what you have before buying more.
Keep Your Old Car
Many people believe that by selling their jalopy and buying a hybrid, they’re saving the environment. Unfortunately, this idea is oversimplified. When your current car works just fine, buying a new one is hardly green. Doing this encourages companies to make more cars, which uses up more resources and creates more pollution. It also puts the car you have now into the scrap heap. Instead, consider tuning up your current vehicle to make it run more efficiently and last longer.
Recycling has become synonymous with green, and for good reason. Americans produce roughly 30 percent of the world’s garbage each year, and half of it is recyclable. Yet the nation only recycles a paltry two percent of it. Most recyclables, such as glass and aluminum, are cheaper an more energy-efficient to recycle than to create anew. If you’re not already, start recycling by contacting your local trash collection company.
Clean With Green
Most commercial household cleaners contain toxic ingredients that are harmful to both you and the environment. Furthermore, many of them are petroleum by-products that only encourage the nation’s continued over-reliance on fossil fuels. Instead of using poison to clean your house, turn toward natural sources like vinegar, baking soda, calcium carbonate and citrus.