Site Moved


Please note that the URL for this site has changed slightly. Instead of the extension being a .com, it is now .biz. You should have been automatically redirected,  but if you went to, and only got the front page, that’s because the site is now at:

To see the full site, please go to the new URL, and update your links accordingly  :-)

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Get In Fast!

Money is getting tighter by the day, and prices of gasoline vary up and down, but the trend is ever upwards. While we in the US are not as bad as some other countries, high transportation costs are beginning to bite.

Gasoline prices are already in the $4.50+ region in many parts, and will soon force businesses to think more locally. The days are passing fast when a factory big or small could be set up in the middle of nowhere, then transport their goods all over the country.

Transportation costs will soon see to that!

The future in the mid-term will be much more locally based than it is now. People will not be able to fly constantly as they do presently, and cars will not be used to the same extent they are now either. There is an energy deficit until alternative fuels are more widespread, and frankly, the technology doesn’t yet exist to make say, electric vehicles a viable alternative.

The electric cars developing now will fail because their running costs are too high. Did you do a double-take then? Yes, that’s right! Go find out how much a replacement battery pack is for your shiny new electric car before you purchase it! In some cases, it costs the better part of buying a complete new car!

So, returning to local business, if you are clever and forward thinking, then set up your business now, or start changing it to take the new economic conditions into account. Build your business locally and make it stay local too.

Rely on local producers as much as you can to keep costs down in future. And make sure your local producers are also relying locally for their parts/products too!

If you need more than one location, then they have to keep in constant contact to be efficient, so use the internet for communications between them. Sounds obvious I know, but you’d be surprised how slow small businesses can be to wake up to the modern world. Skype and other VoIP services are the way to go.

Beat the big guys at their own game before they wake up and beat you!

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Great New Website for Los Angeles

Well, I normally wouldn’t comment on things like this, but what the hell, why not as I live there?

There is a new website called This is LA City that I just came across recently. Small businesses and other users are able to enroll easily and put a webpage on there free of charge. So, if you are a small business without an existing webpage, or just want to expand your options, give them a look-see.

CityLeaves Los Angeles also has “Community” pages where you can do the same. Add your own pages for Grassroots, Charities, and non-profits.

Or, if you are a hobbyist or have an interest that you want to let the world know about, then this is your chance to do that too.

Check them out! Yet another money-saving or money-making tip!

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Five Ways to Improve Your Website

You might think it’s enough to have a website, but the truth is you’ve got to make your site shine in comparison to the competition. This is a primer for making your website the best it can be.

Use lots of color. Your color choice is far more important than you may know. Do a little research on color association and decide what colors best represent your brand and atmosphere. Go out of your way to wow site visitors so they’ll want to come back.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate and has clearly marked links. Make sure you have a home and order button on every page so visitors can easily travel from page to page without having to retrace steps. Make your contact and location available on each page.

Make use of animation, photographs, and graphic design visual effects. Include photographs of your business, your products, your services, and any other enticing visuals you can come up with. Choose visually pleasing models, products, and symbols, using a professional photographer and stylist if needed. Use visual cues on every page, including order pages.

Give website visitors a reason to explore your site. Provide some interesting and useful information on your site – whether it’s the history of the business, or how-to guides, or practical advice on your products or services – make sure there is a reason to check out your site besides just finding your business.

Use SEO best practices and use articles–both on your site and on other sites, pointing to your site – to maximize traffic. Use keywords and meta tags in blog posts, articles, and website pages to increase your search engine rankings. Get invoved in forum marketing, writing articles with back-links, and using affiliate marketers to get more traffic to your website.

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Ideas on Creating Strong Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is the back bone of any business and this is something that any business owner can attest to. There are many other benefits that are essential to a thriving business that can emerge from high customer loyalty. Many people then ask how they can increase this loyalty. There isn’t one answer, but rather a combination of different methods that can help build customer loyalty. A book that includes details on many of the facets of customer loyalty and how to employ them has been released by the Harvard Business Review.

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One of the main ideas behind customer loyalty is to make sure your customers are coming back and bringing new customers with them. Executing this ideas is not simple even though the idea itself is. Make sure that your employees are really happy in their position so you can start on the path towards customer loyalty. Spreading their happiness to your customer will be much easier if your employees are happy at work. This will result in all of your customers feeling that your business is a great place to buy from.

Turning negative situations that arise into positive ones is another step to take. Your happy employees will need to be trained in this skill, but should be willing to learn. When a customer has a problem there is tremendous opportunity to deepen the relationship. Start with the idea of never saying no to a customer, make sure that they know you are making an exception just for them, and then exceed their expectations for a solution. This can easily turn them into not only a loyal customer, but a referring one.

Extensive research has been done by the Harvard Business Review and they have discovered certain steps that business owners can use to improve loyalty of their customers. The book goes into much more detail on the subject, much further than the ideas briefly listed above. Customer service is the focus of many aspects of customer loyalty, but the book points out others located in different arenas. You are able to come up with a comprehensive customer loyalty plan by reviewing all these topics.

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Branding Strategies

Have you decided to work on clarifying your business brand, but aren’t sure where to start? The following suggestions will help you establish your business concept visually.

Choose colors carefully. Color is the most important part of establishing your brand. You might not have considered color to be all that important, but it is. Marketing experts say approximately half of a person;s response to your ads will be triggered by use of color.

Colors are associated with specific emotional reactions. Restaurants make liberal use of reds, oranges, and yellows because those colors make us hungry. However, greens trigger thoughts of fresh produce and environmentally sound practices, and blues evoke images of the sea and calming vacations by the water. You’ll have to determine what emotional reaction you want to evoke in people.

Some industries have already dominated particular colors. Pink is linked to all things feminine and to breast cancer awareness. Blues are dominated by the banking industry. The second you see golden arches, you think “McDonalds”. Make sure you choose colors that will represent your business without linking you to an established business that is not desirable or compatible.

Use images and a logo. Do you want a modern, sleek look, or would you rather promote a vintage, funky, one-of-a-kind image? Get exposure to a variety of images and logos so you can get a good feel for what will best brand your business.

Make sure the logo or mascot you choose will portray your company tone. Do you want to make customers laugh, like the cheetach on Cheetohs ads? Or are you out to convey a serious, reliable tone?

Consider hiring an artist to design your logo and mascot/images for you. For bargain deals, seek out art students and fledgling marketing firms. Take your time to ensure you choose a logo that really promotes your brand.

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Tips For Creating A Good Work Space

One of the most important things for getting good work done is making sure that you are working in an environment that is conducive to productivity and thought – and while this is the case no matter where you work, this is especially the case if you are working at home, where it can be so easy for you to get pulled away from work by other things. It is not all that difficult to set up a work environment that will prevent you from having problems with focus and productivity, but before you start trying to take steps to set up such a work environment, make sure you pay attention to these particular aspects.


Comfort: You want your work space to be comfortable, but it is also important that your work space has just the right amount of comfort; while an uncomfortable work space can make your work time unpleasant (and can therefore sap you of your energy and motivation), a work space that is too comfortable can put you right to sleep!




Lighting: As is the case with comfort, there is a fine line between good lighting and lighting that is “too good”; soft lighting will help your eyes to stay focused without getting worn out, but you do not want the lighting to be too soft, as soft lighting can also cause the brain to think that it is time for relaxation!


Quiet: Some people prefer to work with a bit of noise – either with music, or with the radio, or with something similar – but hardly anyone wants to work with external noise coming from someone else; make sure you set up a work environment where you control the noise, which will enable you to enjoy external quiet.


By keeping these tips in mind as you create your work space, you will be able to be productive in a great work environment regardless of where you are working – be it at home, in an office, or anywhere else!



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Getting A Small Business Loan

Lots of people are thinking about starting up a small business of their own these days – either because of layoffs, because of the difficulty in getting a job in the current job market, or simply because of a dream someone has to work for their own self – but before you can start a small business of your own, you will need a small business loan! If you make sure you know what you are doing first, it is not difficult to procure a small business loan – but of course, you must first know what you are doing!


Writing a complete and detailed business plan will be the first big step in getting a loan for your small business. With this business plan, you should project at least the first three years of your proposed business, and it should be as detailed as possible – including your startup expenses and your projected month-by-month profits over that span of time.

Most people automatically assume they should visit a national bank in order to get their small business loan, but it can actually be more difficult these days to get a loan from a national bank because of the recession. You might be better off calling the bank manager of a local bank and setting up a meeting – in this way, you can make a connection with someone who is high up in the local business hierarchy and can have a better chance of procuring a loan, all at the same time.

Finally, for the bank, you will have to do your monthly debt-to-income ratio and will have to also give them a record of your last three income tax returns. After this, the bank will do a credit check on you, and then – if all goes well – they will be able to give you that small business loan you need so badly! Once you have this loan, you will be able to start your business, and then it will be time – at last – to enjoy all the good stuff that comes with running a business of your own!


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Top Investment Books For All Investors

Every year, hundreds of investments books are published. Some of these books tell you that you can use them to get rich quick by investing a certain way. Other books claim to be full of “tried and true” principles. Some books are all about playing the market right now, and others are all about playing the market for the long term. Some of these books are written by those who have had great success in the stock market, and other books have been written by those whose portfolio you would not like to have yourself. With so many options out there each year, it begs the question: Which books are the right books? The answer to that question is simple: forget about the books published recently, and go back to the ones that have stood the test of time. While there are certainly books published recently that could help you a great deal, it is important to first lay a foundation with books that have been proven to be invaluable. It does not matter if you are a new investor or someone who has been doing this for years; all three of these books are loaded with advice and wisdom that will help you.

1) The Intelligent Investor: This book is considered a must-read, even though Ben Graham originally published it way back in 1934. This book has even been called “the best investment book ever written” by none other than Warren Buffett.

2) The Essays Of Warren Buffett: And of course, every investor must read Warren Buffett himself; this book arranges Buffett’s essays by topic and relevance. While every Buffett book is a good book, this option is a wonderful starting point, as it will aid you in every area of investing.

3) Common Stocks And Uncommon Profits & Other Writings: In this book, Philip Fisher examines the fifteen qualities of an excellent business. These thoughts from one of the greatest financial minds in history will certainly aid you in expanding your own portfolio.

While many people think of the stock market as something scary – akin to gambling – you can follow the tips of the men who knew how to make money in the stock market, and by so doing, you can begin to do the same yourself.

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Making Money Off Of Antiques And Garage Sales

It always feels good when you are able to pick up an extra stream of income, and while many people tend to look for “conventional” ways to make money (which often leaves them wishing there were more available options as far as “conventional” ways go), you will probably have much better success looking for ways to make money through unconventional means. If you are starting to look for some unconventional means by which you can pull in some extra cash (or by which you can eventually even make a living!), one thing to consider is trying to make money through antiques and garage sales – but not through your own antiques and garage sales, either!


When you browse through an antique store, it can often seem like everything is priced way too high – but the amazing thing is that a handful of the items in each of these stores (not all, but a handful!) are actually great deals compared to what the same items are fetching on such sites as eBay. The way to make money selling others’ antiques is by going antique shopping and seeing what catches your eye; once you have priced a number of items you think might be worth reselling online, you can check on such sites as eBay to see what these items are selling for, and if they are selling for far more than the price at the antique store, you can purchase the item and resell it yourself!

If selling items from the antique store can be likened to winning a small jackpot, buying and selling items from garage sales is like the meat and potatoes of income – where you can make a steady income, even if you are not getting any major windfalls of cash. People who throw a garage sale are usually just moving or remodeling their house, and this means that they are less interested in making money than they are in getting rid of everything; because of this, you can often buy great items for anywhere from a quarter to a couple dollars, after you have stockpiled from garage sales, you can start listing these items online for whatever they will fetch – making several dollars of profit from every item!


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