July 2012

Monthly Archive

The Importance of Diversifying Your Marketing Channels

20 Jul 2012 | : Business

I started a business just about three years ago. When I started the business, I started it from my home. The business was a law firm. I’m a DUI attorney. When I started, I had a couple of ideas in mind for marketing the business, but I didn’t necessarily pursue all of them. That decision has led to where I am today. And I wanted to tell you a little bit about it so you wouldn’t make the same mistake.

The title of this article could have easily been “Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket.”It’s my story about relying on one marketing avenue – internet marketing – too heavily. I became complacent with my other marketing strategies, and now I’m forced to scramble. Here are just a couple of the lessons I learned.

Marketing Diversity Prevents Slow Downs

If you know anything about marketing, you know that Google, from time to time, updates the way in which they decide which website are ranked in which places. For a long time, when you searched Seattle DUI attorney or some variation thereon, I was at the top of the list, and it brought me a lot of business.

Because that was easy, I didn’t focus as much as I should have on diversifying my marketing channels. That poor decision cost me dearly when Google updated their algorithm and my business tanked. If I’d focused more on diversifying my marketing efforts, losing ground on a Google search for DUI attorneys wouldn’t have affected my business nearly as much.

Marketing Diversity Makes You More Money

It’s no secret that people own businesses to make money. Many people also start businesses to help people. Those are the two reasons I opened my law firm. The great thing about marketing is that it allows you to meet both of your goals. More people want to use your services, so you get to help more people and make more money. It’s a win win for everyone.

And that’s exactly what marketing diversity does. For example, for some people, when they want a DUI lawyer, they turn to the internet. Others ask friends and family. Others use other methods to find what they are looking for. And still others utilize the information given to them because of their circumstances (we’re talking direct mail here). The more channels you can be a part of, the more people you can reach.

Think about it like this. Let’s say one day Google decides you are number four for your keyword instead of number 1. That’s going to result in a significant loss of business from Google. But, if you’ve got business coming in from direct mail, you’ve got business coming in from referrals, and you’ve got business coming in from a radio campaign you’re doing that loss from Google doesn’t sting as much – and you have the time to do the work to get back on top where you belong.

Whether you are starting a business that you’ll run out of your home forever or a DUI defense law firm like I did, the way you market your business is going to determine your success or failure. Don’t be a failure. Diversify.

About Me – Like I’ve already said, I’m a Seattle DUI attorney that likes to talk about starting a business just as much as I like to talk about the law. If you’d like to know more about me, please check out my website and my DUI blog.

The Future of Eco-friendly Cars

20 Jul 2012 | : Technology, Uncategorized

The world famous car manufacturer Renault has recently released an electric car that has a battery range of 185 kilometers and a top speed of 135 km/hr. This is more than the distance and speed most people drive every day.

The fact is, eco-friendly cars have come a long way from the initial days when they were just viewed as novelties. Despite not being able to attract as much investment as conventional cars, these cars are making improvements in speed, power and functionalities.

At the rate the world has been using fossil fuels – the primary sources of energy for automobiles – there is hardly any doubt that cars run by renewable energy will one day completely replace conventional cars. The question is not if but when. That is still for the future to tell, but the way the world is moving, they are definitely the cars of the future.

Manufacturers of eco-friendly cars have been experimenting with different types of renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, bio-fuels and hydrogen fuel cells. These are yet to become fully viable as they are still in their developmental stage and have not reached maturity.

Among the rising breed of green cars, the ones that are gaining popularity are electric cars and hybrid cars.

Electric Cars:

Electric cars have electric motors that run on the electricity provided by batteries, which can be charged either at home or at charging stations. The fact that the batteries of the majority of electric cars are still charged by grid electricity, of course, makes them less than emission free. In most areas, electricity is produced using fossil fuels.

But there may come a time in the future when all electric cars will be charged by solar panels or wind turbines attached to them or installed in charging stations.

Fortunately for electric car lovers, work is being done around the world in that direction. For example, an Australian group called Better Place is installing charging points powered by renewable sources of energy around Australia. This is a great stride for emissions free driving. The group aims to build the largest network of charging points of electric cars by the end of 2013.

Hybrid Cars:

While hybrid cars are not as environment friendly as electric cars, they are currently more practical for most people.

A mixture of electric and conventional cars, hybrid cars have an electric motor that powers the car at low speed and a diesel/petrol engine that powers it at high speed. The majority of hybrids also have the facility to charge the batteries when the braking system is applied.

Hybrid cars are, of course, not zero emission cars and very probably they will ultimately give way to fully electric cars. But for the present, they are the best that one can get in terms of speed, power, functionally and a much reduced carbon emission.

Source: www.sustainablesuburbia.net

What Makes A Good Workplace?

19 Jul 2012 | : Business

We all want to work in an office where the people all get along, the vibe is generally good, everybody is productive, and conflicts are few and far between. Well, it never hurts to dream, and unfortunately, many people don’t see this particular dream coming true. So many people work in very stressful environments with a lack of teamwork in the workplace and have to deal with toxic coworkers at the same time. This definitely hampers productivity and, in many cases, even causes high employee turnover.

If you are a boss who is in charge of an office right now or you are thinking about starting a company that has the potential to expand in the future, then you should seriously consider how you can make a workplace a better one for your people. It is not a good idea to disregard how a workplace influences people’s moods and their ability to do their jobs. Working in a toxic workplace keeps people on edge and makes them too worried, making them unable to focus on their work 100%. That is why you have to take steps to ensure that you are building a workplace that is good for productivity and for everyone’s mental health.

What makes a good workplace to begin with? It starts with having happy employees, and you can achieve this in many ways. One is by listening to them and taking action when they have some serious concerns about the job or one another. Another is to trust your people and value their feedback and input. Coaching employees is also one way for you to ensure their loyalty and their love for the job, because this improves their skills and facilitates their growth as professionals. Moreover, a good workplace is one that provides support and encouragement to people.

A good workplace also has some very clear-cut processes and structures. Things have to operate seamlessly, without a hitch, or else people’s work will be affected. For instance, computer breakdowns can be expected every now and then, but what can be even more aggravating is the process of getting it fixed if you still have to go through a long process of requesting for technical assistance and then waiting for your computer to be fixed. Problems have to be anticipated and an action plan should be in place to deal with such problems to ensure that everything is going according to schedule. A workplace that doesn’t anticipate problems and isn’t prepared to deal with them is inconvenient and can frustrate employees.

By making sure that your employees are happy at work, you are making sure that your workplace is good for everyone. Low morale and job dissatisfaction are the seeds that can take root and promote discontent and conflict in the workplace. Making sure that you are fair and that you pay attention to employees’ needs can prevent such problems.

Being Ready for an Emergency

19 Jul 2012 | : Indoors

One of the best things you can do to get through an emergency situation is to be properly prepared for it. Disasters can strike any place at any time, so being ready well ahead of that time gives you a vital edge.There is a lot which potentially goes into being prepared for a disaster.

While covering every last thing would be quite the lengthy undertaking, here are some of the essential basics.To begin with, every person in your home should have a seventy two hour kit. Having these kits should be the absolute minimum of preparation which is undertaken.These kits are going to have a few days’ worth of food and water in them, as well as spare clothing, emergency blankets, flashlights, and other important items. These are used as a baseline for ensuring that people will be taken care of for a few days.

Of course, more expansive food storage is always recommended. By having a couple of weeks’ worth of food and water put away in a secure and accessible place, you will be able to deal with all but the most severe of disasters.The basic premise of these preparations is that while there will be help coming if there is an emergency, it is best to not fully rely on that help. As has been seen countless times in the past, even limited preparations go a long way toward ensuring that everyone has a safer experience overall.

A good plan is also going to be incredibly helpful in an emergency situation. Families should take the time to come up with a plan of action which addresses what everyone is to do if a disaster strikes. Should you have to deal with storm damage, you’ll want to know what to do.Delegating responsibility and giving everyone something to do is a good way to improve on awareness and to be ready. For example, families can go over where the food and water is, how to prepare meals, taking a head count, turning off the gas and water lines, and possibly evacuating.

By going over this information ahead of time, it should make it so that everyone will be able to respond to a threat in a much more effective way. When a disaster hits, the time you have to respond evaporates, and much of what happens will rely on the direction of others and instinct.By drilling ahead of time and knowing what to do, families will be able to respond to the situation in the best and safest way possible. As a part of the contingency plan, everyone should know where the nearest emergency shelter is.

In most communities, schools, churches, and community centers all function as emergency shelters. They are able to take more punishment because they are bigger and stronger buildings, and the fact that most of them will be centered within a community makes them a good meeting spot.By having supplies and being informed and ready about the area and where to go and what to do, you gain an advantage over the situation. When it all comes down to it, being ready is all about ensuring that the ones that you love and care about are taken care of and that they are going to be as safe as

Benefits Of LED Grow Lights

18 Jul 2012 | : Indoors

Whether you have a hydroponic, aeroponic or regular soil indoor garden, LED grow lights can provide your indoor lighting needs to allow your plants to be grown indoors and thrive. Hydroponic gardens are gardens which are grown without soil, using a medium other than soil. Vermiculite or sand are often used for the rooting and growth of the plants. Hydroponic gardening requires special fertilizers to replace the nutrients that the plant would be getting from the soil as well as grow lights to allow the plant to photosynthesize. Aeroponic gardening is a similar process, in which plants are grown without soil. The roots grow in an environment enhanced with oxygen. These plants also need to be grown with a grow light to simulate sunlight. There are traditional grow lights that work very well. The drawback with traditional grow lights can include the cost, as they do not last as long as LED grow lights.

Some estimates of the life of led growlights are up to one hundred thousand hours. To put this into perspective, if the lights were used twenty four hours per day, they would last for over four thousand days, or about eleven years. LED grow lights use less energy per hour than traditional growlights as well. The average energy usage of the traditional grow light is between one hundred and one thousand watts. LED grow lights, on the contrary, use about ten watts to operate. The energy savings is substantial in LED growlights. When using LED grow lights, according to NASA research, the best ratio for color is to use 80 percent red LED and roughly 20 percent blue LED lights for optimum growth. After switching from traditional lights to LED lights, if the temperature of the room falls below about seventy degrees, it may be necessary to use a heating mat to keep your plants warmed. In order to determine proper placement of your LED grow lights, first it is important to determine the intensity of light that your plants needs to thrive. It is important to keep the plants in an environment which closely simulates the growing conditions that the plant needs outdoors to thrive. If your plants need more intense light, place the grow lights closer to them.

The recommended distance between the canopy of the plants and the lights ranges from five to thirty six inches. Once your plants are well established, you will notice that they do not transpire as much, and their water needs will be less than if they had been grown in soil or with traditional grow lights. Transpiration is the process in which plants lose water through their leaves and stems. Of course, if there is no heat from the light source, as will be the case using LED lights, since LED lights do not produce heat, the evaporation from the soil or other growing medium, in the case of hydroponics, will be less. This makes plants grown with LED lights prone to overwatering until the indoor gardener adjusts to using the LEDs. If you are looking to save energy and money in your indoor gardening, clearly LED grow lights are a viable option for the home indoor gardener. They are safer due to their lack of heat produced. LED lights produce less waste since they do not need to be replaced as frequently as traditional lights. They provide the spectrum of indoor lights that your plants need and have been scientifically engineered from years of research, much of it happening in space, as NASA looked for the best lighting options to produce food in outer space. The benefits of LED lights have come from the highest technology into our homes, and are worth considering for your indoor garden lighting sources.

What To Know About Vitamin K Deficiency Treatment

18 Jul 2012 | : Health

Not everyone is familiar with vitamin K and what it does for the body, so it’s only reasonable that still fewer people know all about vitamin K deficiency, what its symptoms are and how to treat it. This article will help you understand how vitamin K works, what happens when you become deficient in it, and what you need to do to treat vitamin K deficiency.

 

There are actually five types of vitamin K, although the first two types, K1 and K2, are considered the most nutritious and important. They are also the ones that can be obtained from natural food sources. K1 is found in leafy green vegetables and is accepted as the best form of vitamin K, while the sources of K2 are meat, dairy products, and eggs. Some vitamin K-enriched products make use of the other three types, K3, K4, and K5, but these are not considered as healthy or essential as the first two types.

 

All the five types of vitamin K perform the same functions, which is why they are all designated as one vitamin. Vitamin K is the nutrient considered most indispensable for proper blood clotting. Healthy blood cells and platelets clot fast on cuts and wounds on the skin, and the vitamin is important for regulating this action. Vitamin K is also as important as calcium and vitamin D in keeping the bones strong and perfectly formed, and it also prevents calcium from depositing in the arteries, a problem that can lead to atherosclerosis or hardened arteries.

 

The symptoms of vitamin K deficiency are the body’s way of showing that it needs the vitamin to stay healthy. Since vitamin K is important for the blood and bones, you can get problems like blood disorders and weak bones if you get too little of the vitamin. Blood coagulation will be very low, which can result in easy bruising, anemia, hemorrhaging, and massive bleeding even with small cuts on the skin. And the importance of the vitamin on the bones is best seen on newborn babies and children, for lack of the vitamin can bring about malformed fingers and underdeveloped facial bones and skulls.

 

Treatment for vitamin K deficiency is more than just taking supplements, for you need to get a doctor and have a proper evaluation on the damage that has been done and just how much you need to get of the vitamin right away. Some people only need to increase their intake of vitamin K sources in food, such as leafy greens and dairy, while others are prescribed oral supplements. Severe deficiency will require vitamin K injections so that the body can absorb the vitamin right away and start repairing the damage left by deficiency.

Styling Your Garden With Sea Green Juniper

13 Jul 2012 | : Outdoors

A plant that looks fantastic in virtually any garden is the sea green juniper. This plant is also very easy to take care of. This plant is known primarily for its amazing color, and it was first cultivated in China. During the summer and spring, the leaves on this plant will change to a pale green color. During the winter and fall, the leaves will change to an evergreen hue. As beautiful as it is, this plant is only three feet tall, and it is also used commonly to line garden paths. Some people use these plants to give their garden structure, and others use a single plant to add some unique style. These trees have been commonly used to create tree mazes because they are very sturdy. Juniper trees also keep their foliage throughout the entire year. The sea green juniper is normally too short to create a tree maze.

Sea green juniper is much easier to plant than most people might think. All that is needed is a hole to place the shrub into. Sea green juniper actually grows best when placed in full sunlight, but the juniper tree will grow in shade as well. It is important to place your juniper tree in an area that has at least a little bit of sunshine because the plant will not thrive without at least a little bit of sunlight. The juniper plant is known for spreading to as much as six feet wide, and this is why the plant will not grow very tall. The width of this plant is why it is used to line gardens and for hedge building. Juniper trees are also pruned fairly easily. A lot of people like to plant juniper trees very close, and later they will cut all of the trees into special shapes.

Most juniper trees will be sold in a nursery pot. It is important to measure the pot that the tree is planted in before you start transplanting the plant. You need to dig a hole that is almost exactly the same size as the pot. The hole should be about three times the total circumference of the pot. After the hole has been dug, you need to take the plant out and place it in the center of the hole. Fill the hole in with the dirt that was dug out to create it. Give the juniper tree food and water after it has been planted. It should be watered until the ground stops absorbing the water. Spread some mulch around the plant about six inches away from the trunk of the plant.

There are some easy ways that you can make the most out of your new juniper plant. This plant is very versatile and can be used in many different ways inside of a garden. It is important to remember that this plant can grow quite wildly, and it will grow out of control quickly. Pruning can be used to keep your juniper under control. Allow twigs to grow through June before you begin to prune them. Once you have owned it for some time, you will understand just how beautiful the sea green juniper really is.

Matt blogs on behalf of Find Your Way Home and other sites across the web. Find Your Way Home provides info for Oklahoma residents on various Oklahoma and Tulsa real estate topics among others.

A Beginner’s Guide to Watch Winders

13 Jul 2012 | : Technology

Most fine watches collected by enthusiasts are self-winding, or automatic. Instead of running on battery power, automatic watches are powered by the motion of the person’s arm throughout the day. A weight inside the watch, which always tries to get back to its lowest point when displaced by arm motion, drives the mainspring to apply constant pressure on the gears and other mechanisms that keep the watch ticking. So when the watch isn’t being worn, it’s still getting the external motion it would need from a human.

For someone who only owns one watch, there’s no need for a winder. But serious watch enthusiasts often own thousands of dollars’ worth of watches, wearing one for a day or two while leaving the others to wind down. Since a watch winder keeps watches from winding down, the owner can swap watches without having to manually wind them and set the time each time.

Watch winders are designed to keep automation watches ticking when they aren’t being worn. Automatic watches, powered by arm motion rather than batteries, are the type most frequently collected by watch enthusiasts. As a category, watch winders are more expensive than their counterparts in other markets for consumer gadgets, simply because far fewer are manufactured than items like MP3 players or food processors. After all, not many consumers can afford to own a half-dozen watch costing hundreds or thousands of dollars each.

Common Watch Winder Features

You tend to get what you pay for with automatic watch winders. A bare bones winder simply rotates a watch in one direction, and typically features unremarkable design or build quality. Watch collectors usually watch something more distinguished and robust.

Most of the watch winders purchased are in the $200-$2000 range. More expensive versions naturally offer more features. The first is the number of watches the winder supports. Single-unit models are fine for those who only own one additional watch, but more avid collectors can choose anything from double watch winders all the way to 12-piece versions and beyond.

One of the key features to look for in a winder is a healthy array of rotation options that prevent over-winding the mainspring. While a low-end version might only rotate clockwise, a more expensive version might rotate counterclockwise as well, or swing side-to-side, or let the user adjust the number of turns per day as recommended by the watch’s manufacturer. Many winders feature programmable timers that limit the total amount of winding per day, since most automatic watches only need about 30 minutes of cumulative motion to keep it winding for a whole day.

Visual Appeal

Perhaps the more conspicuous features that manufacturers compete on are aesthetics, with fancy woodgrain faceplates, chrome dials, LCD clocks, and leather exteriors. Some of the most expensive winders even have heaters to keep watches warm to keep the oil inside them from coagulating, and to make strapping on metal more pleasant. Some features of high-end winder seem to offer marginal utility, but most collectors would agree that buying a stylish watch winder is a good investment. It not only keeps a watch ready to wear, showcases their collection on a shelf or tabletop with class. Unlike watch boxes, which are essentially non-mechanical jewelry display cases, watch winders keep you watches running in a more visually engaging fashion.

Lightweight Backpacking Tips

13 Jul 2012 | : Advice, Outdoors

Are you an avid outdoorsman? Do you love spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you are probably well aware of the beauty of backpacking. Backpacking allows you to get away from crowded camping spots and allows you to get back to nature. When it comes to planning a backpacking trip, there are a few important considerations to remember. Below, we will discuss tips on how to pack light on your next backpacking trip.

Plan your hike

The key to having a good backcountry experience starts with a good plan. Figure out where you will be hiking. Plan your route carefully. Once you know the length and duration of your hike, you will be able to assemble the proper gear. Is your hike a short weekend trip? You won’t need to bring extensive survival gear. Is your hike a week long expedition? If so, you will need to plan on bringing a lot more food and other gear items. Planning ahead is essential to a positive backpacking experience.

Trim the excess

Once you have determined the route, length, and duration of your backpacking trip, it is time to pack your bag. Lay everything out before stuffing your backpack, and bring along a scale. Weigh everything you plan on taking with you. Add it all up. This is where you can make some gains towards having a lighter weight backpack. Ask yourself a simple question as you weigh each item: do I absolutely need this? If the answer isn’t an obvious yes, leave it at home. Another thing to think about when deciding if you should bring along a certain item or not is whether the gear item serves more than one purpose. Multi-purpose gear items are more easily justified when packing for a lightweight backpacking trip. Trimming the excess can also mean finding a lighter weight alternative. Look for smaller, more compact substitues for gear you normally bring camping.

Distribute the weight

Another great way to cut down on excess weight is to distribute the weight of larger gear items amongst the group. This obviously only works if you plan on hiking with friends or family. If you are flying solo, you will need to carry everything you need yourself. In a group, however, you can split up heavy group items, like cooking gear and tents. More physically able hikers might be able to carry more weight than others, and this is a great way to distribute the weight throughout the group.

Pack light, hike light

Remember that if you pack light, you will be hiking light. Your back and legs will thank you once you reach camp. Good luck planning your next backpacking trip, and keep these lightweight backpacking tips in mind.

Attract More Readers with Magazine Holders

12 Jul 2012 | : Shopping

If your business includes making magazines available to customers and clients, you should make sure that you take advantage of the power of presentation. People are more attracted to information when it is presented in a neat and organized fashion. They will feel invited to pick up some reading material when it is organized in a neat and stylish display.

You owe it to yourself and your customers to showcase your printed materials using sturdy and affordable display products. Some offices have magazines and other information pile haphazardly at the receptionist desk or randomly placed on tables next to chairs in the waiting room. It can be hard to tell how many customers are accessing the magazines when they aren’t organized properly or do not appear cared for. If your organization wants people to take the information seriously, it’s a good idea to encourage them to browse by getting some magazine holders.

When you are choosing marketing display products, you’ll want to compare features such as color, style and capacity. Will a cardboard magazine display be sufficient for your needs? Or perhaps you are more interested in a plastic or a wire rack display.

Cardboard is lighter and can be easy to set up, and it is easy to print a customized message on the surface. Plastic displays may be more fitting with the decor of your business, and have an advantage in that they can be transparent, enabling potential readers to see more of the covers. Another option is a wire literature rack, which can be a fixed display or a rotating rack that customers can turn as they browse each magazine title. The interactive nature of a rotating wire magazine rack may be interesting to you because it can stimulate reader interest more than an immobile display.

As you look for magazine holders, you need to bear in mind how much room you have in your business, and what kind of an impression you are trying to make. A small magazine rack may be just what you need in a modestly sized office. On the other hand, a rack that takes up the entire wall of a waiting room may be more appropriate if you have a great deal of literature to display.

In some cases, a single large display may not be appropriate to meet your organization’s needs. For example, you might want to group your magazines by age groups or interests. Magazines appealing to young children could go in one section of a building, while magazines for women, men and teenagers will go in their separate racks.

Once you’ve determined that you need to purchase some affordable display products for your business, you’ll simply need to settle on their appearance and capacity before you make the final purchasing decision.

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