Economic Conditions Have Turned Off The Light

Due to current economic conditions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off…

I saw this posted at the end of an email I received today. I know it was meant to be funny, and I did laugh when I first read it. Then I couldn’t get the impact of the statement out of my head. It kept repeating like a song that gets stuck in your head.

I want to believe the glass is half full. As a person trying to live in the real world and on the internet, the very thought that there is no longer any light at the end of the tunnel is devastating.

Fortunately I surround myself with fantastic people who always believe in a better tomorrow. Small business entrepreneurs, they come from all walks of life and they all believe in the light.

One guy buys distressed homes in the nicer blue-collar parts in town, doing most of the contractor type work himself he fixes them up. A new coat of paint, kitchen floor and clean the carpet so he can make them available for rent at affordable rates. Investing his future in the housing market in these economic conditions is a very risky and long-term investment. But he believes the light at the end of the tunnel is on.

Another couple of business owners started their own niche bar and club, party style, tour business. They work to bring paying customers to not only the larger clubs in Las Vegas, but the smaller locals style mom and pop bars around town.

They lead by example. Not only do they have fun making money while having a rolling party, but they are actively bringing the stimulus through the doors the local businesses need.

And another guy, no longer working at a local Vegas club decided to build an online business he could pass to his son after his college graduation. I’m assuming that he’s going to need a good hearty income to pay off his college loans.

He chose the niche market of sports clothing. He’s not trying to run Nike out of business or take jobs away from Big-5 Sporting or even Wal-Mart. But he does believe that even in these economic times, if you have a dream your willing to combine it with hard work there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By surrounding myself with people who still believe in a brighter future. The people who will never except that economic conditions are so bad its time to turn the light off.

I can change that song in my head, change it to a song I learned as a child.

And with the current economic conditions, it’s needed more today than ever.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…

Simple Woodworking Business Marketing Tips

First off, you are a small business. Unlike big businesses that can afford to advertise for name recognition and future product sales, you need an advertising plan that will create sales now. A good approach to this would be to offer something special in your advertisements.

People buy things every day. However, not all people make their decision to buy any particular product or service for the same reason. Some consumers care only about the price while others are more concerned about the quality. You can easily appeal to either of these groups.

Offer Different Priced Versions

Some customers just do not want to pay the full price for anything, while others are concerned about only getting something for the lowest price regardless of the quality. You can appeal to these types of customers with a discounted or scaled down model that sells for less.

On the other hand, there are those who are not opposed to paying a little more to get a quality product and/or service. You can increase your average sale by offering your premium wood products or a combination of products at a higher but fair price.

Use Alternative Marketing Methods

Find the marketing methods that your competition may be overlooking. There are many low-cost ways to get the word out about your woodworking business.

Create a website or blog. Promote your woodworking business with mailings. A small ad printed on a simple postcard and mailed to perspective customers can generate sales leads and website traffic.

Run smaller ads. This will allow you to have more advertisements for less money. Shorter, smaller ads have a surprisingly better response rate than you might think. Smaller ads often produce better results than their larger counterparts.

Consider Joint Venture Advertising

Contact some of the non-competing businesses in your area that serve the same customer base as your woodworking business. Suggest starting a cooperative advertising campaign with them. You could promote their business by referring customers to them and they would in turn do the same for you. You could even offer discounts to the referred customers. This type of cross promotion results in more sales for both businesses and literally costs nothing…

Reward Your Customers

Take advantage of your woodworking business’s most valuable asset: your current customers. These people know you and have come to trust and believe in your work. It is a lot easier to entice more business from a prior customer than someone who hasn’t bought from you yet.

Alert these customers to any new woodworking products or services before you release them to the general public, and offer them a special deal.

Your satisfied customers are your best advertisement, so use this to your advantage and reward them whenever you can. Give your customers a reason to refer you to their friends. Develop incentives that will encourage them to spread the word about you and your woodworking business. A discount on their next product is well worth a new customer.

These simple marketing tips provide affordable ways for your woodworking business to create a customer base and produce sales quickly.

How Effective Is Drug Testing in Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse?

Every day, thousands of teens are getting addicted to illicit drugs. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 percent of youth (more than 1 in 5) aged between 18 and 25 years are under the influence of illicit drugs.

The percentage of teens getting addicted to drugs has increased in the last few years. Many of them are getting into this devastating habit due to lack of awareness of the serious consequences it poses.

Why teens get into drug abuse

There are many reasons why teens get into this habit. Most of the teens experiment with drugs, putting their health and safety at risk. Many teens take drugs just to fit in their friends group because of peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their parents’ behavior. If they find their parents taking drugs, they would follow it. While some of the teens taking drugs, want to feel good and some teens are prone to drugs due to financial or mental depression.

Teen drug testing helps in eradicating teen drug abuse. It can be conducted in high schools, colleges or at the privacy of the home. It is an effective way to keep teens away from drugs and studies show that it brings a positive effect.

Many high schools are conducting these tests randomly in their schools on students and schools that conduct these tests have higher attendance rates than compared to other schools where the drug testing is not conducted.

High school students are more likely to get influenced by drugs. Therefore, to prevent teens from taking drugs, drug-testing and awareness programs should be conducted in high schools to keep a check on drug abusing teens. These programs are not meant to punish or insult the teens, but to take measures before it is too late.

Use reliable test kits:

There are many drug test kits available in the market. But before you buy the test kit see that it is tested and proven. You need to buy kits from reputed dealer and check if the test kits are approved by the FDA. Reputed dealers will offer these test kits affordable price and the results will be accurate and consistent.

Therefore, before it is too late, teens should be educated about the negative impact that drug leaves on their body and mind in the early stage. Drug testing is an effective way in eradicating teen drug abuse.

Planning A Trip? Choosing The Best Puerto Vallarta Hotels Whether You Want To Pay A Little Or A Lot

If you’re looking for a one of a kind vacation, there’s nothing like relaxing on Puerto Vallarta beaches. However, if you’re planning Puerto Vallarta travel, it’s important to thoroughly research where you’re going to stay! Some people are looking for a luxury hotel that offers every type of amenity while others are simply looking for a clean, safe place to sleep in between Puerto Vallarta tours. Here are some of the different options for Puerto Vallarta hotels that will fit within nearly any budget.

Staying On The Cheap: Inexpensive Puerto Vallarta Hotels

The Sun Suites and Hotel is an extremely budget-friendly option. Rooms can be found as cheaply as $15 a night and can go up to about $45 USD. This is a combination hotel and hostel, so make sure to let the staff know which part you’d rather stay in, especially if you’re planning a vacation for two. The hotel does take both Mexican pesos and U.S. dollars, but does not accept credit cards. The extreme budget nature of this hotel means that there’s no complementary breakfast, but the hotel’s owners do have an agreement with a locally owned restaurant nearby to provide guests with an inexpensive breakfast each morning. The hotel and hostel do have a privately owned pool for guests to use and they’re located close to a taxi stand, restaurants, shops and the beach.

Looking For Luxury

If you’re planning a luxurious vacation, the Dreams Resort and Spa is the place for you. This is an all-inclusive resort that offers something for guests of all ages. Many guests report that they are asked to participate in the resort’s timeshare presentation, but that it’s easy to decline if they’re not interested. The resort has a private beach, a pool with a swim-up bar and multiple restaurants that are all included in the price of the room. However, expect to spend more to take advantage of this luxury — rooms here start around $200 a night. Consider booking a room in the Preferred Tower if you’re looking for an extra special vacation because these rooms offer more amenities.

Finding A Mid Range Hotel

If you can’t quite afford the luxury of the Dreams Resort and Spa, but you want something a little nicer than a hostel, consider staying at the Casa Magna. This is a Marriott property and rooms here start around $100 a night. Many of the rooms have a view of Puerto Vallarta beaches and the property offers amenities such as adult and children’s pools, a swim-up bar, a fitness center with both cardio and weight machines, four restaurants and even a small deli with sandwiches and desserts.

There are many, many other Puerto Vallarta hotels — these are just three that vacationers can choose from. Before you plan your vacations, spend some time on travel websites to make sure you’re finding the best places to stay, things to do and the best prices. Doing this can help ensure a great vacation, no matter where you go.

How Word of Mouth Promotion Can Help You Make Money Online

A lot of people have turned to blogging to make money online. These blogs range from providing up-to-date information about a specific type of product, topic or service like digital cameras, marathons, hemorrhoids, restaurants, etc. You name it and there’s bound to be a blog that talks about it on the internet.

But blogs are not just used for promoting products and services. Professionals from different industries have also discovered that they can make money from blogging by building a community of avid followers.

They start by building a personal brand and reputation online. Likewise, they put themselves out there and let people know that they genuinely want to help them. They then provide a mountain of tips and advices on their blog and sneak in some sales pitches in between to entice them to buy a product or two or even to avail of their services and in the process, make money online.

People, as well all know, are constantly looking for solutions to their problems online. So if they stumble upon your blog which is full of insights, suggestions and tips that are specific to their problems, they would not just visit your blog often, they would also want to share it with their personal network of family and friends! As your followers grow in number, so does your potential to make money online.

The question here now is, “how do you make sure that people find your blog?”

There are many ways to promote your blog online and I’m pretty sure that you’re well aware of some of them. However, there’s one channel that many professional marketers overlook and that is through word of mouth promotion. I know, it sounds pretty old school. But hey, it works and here’s how!

1. A Personal Encounter Has More Impact Than An Online Interaction

Let’s admit it! We can all remember our first date, our first kiss, our first car or even funny incidents with family and friends. It gives us a mental picture that we can easily pull out of our memory and share with others or just to reminisce about it.

This is also true with networking in person. Meeting people in the flesh and engaging them in a lively conversation has more impact than if you were just chatting online or exchanging comments on Facebook or Twitter. Not only that but you will leave a lasting impression which can be strengthened further when they visit your blog and read about your insightful thoughts and recommendations.

Although engaging people online in discussions has its merits, think of how you’re missing out on their expressions and reactions. A personal encounter on the other hand won’t give them a chance to conceal what they’re really thinking or feeling and you can immediately find ways to assure them or provide them with a solution. Of course, don’t forget to let them know about your blog so they could still find you online after your meet up.

2. A Personal Encounter Can Lead To A Community Of Prospects

You might be wondering how this is possible but I tell you, a number of marketers have found networking events are a goldmine of potential business to make money online.

Joining networking events and conferences such as one that is sponsored by your local chamber of commerce would give you ample opportunity to meet with industry leaders and influential people. These people would naturally have their own community of followers who they can influence and if you can get them to see the value of what you’re offering, you would have a huge chance to market to their followers as well!

Mike Eagar of Wildfire Marketing shared how word of mouth marketing had helped him sell thousands of books about social media from just one community at a time when eBook readers hardly existed.

What he did first was identify the trade shows and conferences that would attract influential leaders to join. He would then contact the organizers and provide free resources as well as conduct workshops based on the book that he was selling. However, he made it his top priority to build personal relationships with the leaders of the community.

One event alone led him to conduct more than 20 large speaking engagements that subsequently resulted to thousands of books sold!

Even though this example involved the physical selling of books, this is relevant to promoting your blog too and make money online. For instance, if you’re a social media marketer who offers coaching and social media marketing services, you can reach out to potential businesses that are looking to break in to the social media arena and use its power to boost their business from these networking events. These businesses would know of other businesses that would also want to take advantage of the internet’s reach and they can very well recommend you to them and so on.

So don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing in promoting your blog and selling your products and services on the internet. It is without a doubt a channel that every professional marketer should exploit to make money online.

Sage 100 Hosting – A Competitive Edge

If you are looking for a solution for your accounting and business operation needs, you’ll find that Sage has software packages that will suit your company’s requirements perfectly. From keeping control over payroll, customer data management, cash management, and real-time information, Sage products can help your business run smoothly and seamlessly. Take your business tools to the next level of success with Sage 100 hosting that will allow you operate your business in a virtual environment, in order to cut costs while helping to improve business efficiency.

Just how can operating Sage 100 in an off-site manner help you to gain the competitive edge that you need?

First and foremost, hosted applications can help you to lower you overall operational expenses. Sage accounting products already help you to streamline your business, but remote hosting will help you to save significant amount of money in several departments of your company. You’ll be able to drastically cut down on your IT costs for hardware, software, and manpower. Hosted computing means that businesses no longer need to invest in costly servers and the other types of hardware required for the processing power that large complex applications like Sage need.

Imagine having unlimited storage capacity so that you can better serve your customers. Running out of storage on your hard drive or primary server can be a nightmare, especially during the busiest times of the month or the end of the financial year. In a virtual server environment it is almost effortless to add more storage, and not have to worry about inadvertently deleting valuable data.

While on the topic of deleting valuable data, what would happen to your business if your primary server was damaged or your laptop was lost or stolen? Chances are that this would result in a huge set of headaches for your entire company, and for your customers. With off-site hosting your data is protected, backed up, and there when you need to access it.

Hosting your applications on-site can give you the control that you want, granted. But with the right hosting company, you’ll be able to make changes to your Sage application when needed, and you’ll have the luxury of not having to worry about the entire system going offline in the event of a power outage. With cloud-based technologies, you’ll no longer need to rely on one single machine to keep your company operational. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a strong support system keeping your business operational, around the clock.

Whether you are looking for virtual hosting for Sage 100 ERP or for Sage 100 Contractor, you’ll find that remote hosting is the best solution to help you better serve your end customers while helping to make your business as efficient as is possible.

An efficient business that doesn’t need to focus a large amount of attention and expensive resources on accounting and operational issues will be able to better focus on giving customers the individualized attention and service that they need.

Tips to Conduct an Effective Drug Testing Program

The main purpose of conducting a drug testing program is to ensure that the dangerous habit of drug abuse is completely eliminated among the people. But to achieve the desired positive results, the program should be effective. And for effective implementation of this program, there are certain aspects to be taken care of. Here are a few tips that enable effective implementation of the program.

Explain the importance:

Teachers, parents, employers or any other personnel conducting the drug testing program should make it clear to the suspects that the purpose of the program is to ensure better and healthy living of the individual. It is their duty to explain the benefits of detecting and preventing the drug abusing habit. By doing so, the individuals will be encouraged to take the test without any inhibitions.

Determine the best method:

Drug testing methods are classified into different types depending on the sample used – hair, saliva, urine and blood. Of these methods, choose a method that is convenient. The convenience of the test should be judged in terms of ease of conducting and effectiveness in giving reliable results.

Be aware of drug detection windows:

Knowing drug detection windows is important for effective implementation of the program because, the drug detection periods vary from sample to sample and from drug to drug. For example, in case of amphetamines the drug detection period is 1 to 3 days in urine, 24 hours in blood, 90 days in hair and 0-24 hours in saliva.

Implement preventive methods to avoid sample alteration:

There is a probability that the suspects adulterate or manipulate (alter) test samples. Hence, make sure that the testing area/room does not contain any kind of materials/solvents which can be used to adulterate the test sample. It is also important that while collecting test samples, the donors should be monitored.

Use reliable test kits:

The effectiveness of the program is also dependent on the effectiveness of the equipment. Since testing at schools or workplaces requires on-site testing tools, drug test kits are recommended. These kits can also be used for home drug testing as they ensure privacy of results. These kits are cost effective, fast, safe, accurate and reliable. They are of different types based on the specimen used (saliva, urine, hair, etc.) and the design of kits (cups or strips). FDA approved kits give accurate results as they abide by the SAMHSA cut-off levels.

An effectively implemented drug testing program not only fetches accurate results but also plays a vital role in eliminating the habit of drug abuse.

Being Smart About Car Security

Most cars today have the option of remote keyless entry, it’s just that many people don’t really know how to make the most of it. The common questions that arise are what happens when I press all the buttons on the key. Many are also sceptical about the safety associated with such a key if it can open a door from over 20ft away. Many also wonder about the possibility of someone else being able to open the door of the car with a similar key.

There are two basic remote keyless entry devices that are in the market. The first is a fob that is on your key ring which will lock and unlock your doors. Many keys also come with a means to arm and disarm an alarm on your car. The other kind is a small controller that is usually hung from your sun visor that will help you open a garage door. They can be part of home security systems that are remote control based.

For the first kind, that is a fob with a keychain, works with a small radio transmitter. When you press the relevant button on the fob, it sends out a coded signal to the receiver which either in the car or in the garage and this triggers the action to be completed.

Security of course is a big issue with remote keyless entry car keys. If it were that simple, then people would be opening each other’s cars and this could be a huge security threat. There are however ways and means in which each key is personalized and does not work when it comes to another car. It all is based on the programming of the chip that is inside the key and its transmitter and receiver.

There are several advantages to using a keyless entry system for your car. For one it is an efficient means of securing your car. It is simple enough to use and easy enough to reprogram to suit your needs. It works as a means of entry into the car, a means to lock it and to trigger a theft alarm whenever required. All of these advantages put together make it an excellent means of car security. It is also compact and is easily incorporated into your key or onto the key ring that you have. Such electronically created devices often have a fool-proof level of efficiency to them.

Three SEO Strategies That High Ranking Websites Always Follow

Great people do not do different things. They do the same things differently. Well, this phrase is equally applicable to create websites as well. The basics of search engine optimization and social media integration are the same for everybody. The attitude and approach adopted by the webmasters makes all the difference. Let us look at some important differences between popular websites and those websites that fail to make an impression on search engines.

Always Changing, Improving And Evolving

Search engine optimization is a frustrating task primarily because it is always changing. In the beginning, stuffing the webpage with keywords was enough to improve your rankings. Then, Google started penalizing keyword spam and created the distinction between White Hat and other SEO techniques. The latest update by Google penalizes poor quality content. Judging the quality of content of your site through an algorithm may sound impossible. However, Google is making use of algorithms to weed out those websites that offer rehashed content without offering anything new.

Great sites never relax as far as search engine opposition is concerned. They never conclude that they have identified the golden formula and that they need not bother about SEO ever again. They are eager to identify newer solutions and want to find out how such solutions can help them improve rankings. If you want a one-time ticket to online popularity, then you will have to face many disappointing failures. Remaining popular on the Internet requires constant adaptation.

Search Engines Are Secondary. People Come First

This may sound sacrilegious to some SEO experts. To cater to people without bothering about search engines can lead to disastrous consequences. What is the point of setting up a website with high quality content if surfers cannot find it? Well, great websites believe that it is impossible to suppress good content online. If your content is good, then you will automatically become popular even if you are not focusing on search engine optimization.

Of course, this does not mean you should completely ignore optimization. However, your readers and viewers should be preferred over stats about your traffic. Keep your readers happy and they will spread word about your website without being asked to do so. Getting 100,000 web surfers to talk about your website is a lot simpler if you simply provide high-quality content.

Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive SEO strategists, you can adopt this simple approach and extract more value out of your investment.

Never Be In A Hurry For Results

Despite the release of panda and penguin updates by Google, it is possible to manipulate search engines and improve your rankings. However, such a short-term approach is only going to lead to complications. For starters, you can never be certain that your popularity is sustainable. If you focus on the long-term, then you will automatically make use of White Hat SEO techniques that focus on adding value at all times.

Make sure you follow these strategies. The best option is to employ an SEO expert who understands the importance of such an approach. This will help you focus on offering better quality products and services to your customers without worrying about the popularity of your website.

Types of Drug Detox

There are 4 primary types of drug detox available for addicts and alcoholics to achieve the initial stages of sobriety. This includes the cold turkey method, specialized detox centers, medical detox facilities and rapid detox centers. Each type of drug detox has its own benefits and pitfalls that people seeking to recover from addiction should understand before they decide which treatment option is right for them.

Cold Turkey Drug Detox

This type of detox is also called “natural detox” and essentially consists of an addict or alcohol undergoing the stages of acute withdrawal in a private setting with little or no assistance or care. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully breaking the initial stages of acute withdrawal syndrome are small with this method, and most addicts will return to their drug of choice before they have reached a critical mass in their recovery efforts.

Despite its propensity for failure, quitting cold turkey isn’t dangerous if the substance in question is fairly benign such as marijuana or mild opiate addiction. However, some substance addictions can lead to life-threatening symptoms of AWS in the event of sudden cessation. The three most dangerous of these substances are alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines; all of which can lead to seizures, respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, coma and in rare cases, death.

Regardless of the substance of abuse, most experts do not recommend natural detox as the chances for success are significantly impaired.

Specialized Drug Detox Centers

Specialized detox centers provide inpatient style treatment for up to 2 weeks. Patients receive an initial evaluation which will be used to develop an individualized treatment plan for the duration of their stay. Because of the individual nature of these plans, some detox patients will undergo treatment in just a few days, while others will require a week or two. In many cases these types of detox facilities work in conjunction with longer-term treatment centers that patients can automatically transfer to once they are past the acute stages of withdrawal.

Specialized detox centers work because of the therapies employed – such as individual and group counseling – and because they effectively isolate the addict or alcohol from people, places and things that could be triggers for them to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is similar to a specialized detox center but with a distinctly medical component. This can consist of an on-site nurse or doctor, 24 hour monitoring and other types of medically-oriented benefits. A medical detox center can also help addicts to step-down their drug usage in an effort to maintain medical safety and reduce or eliminate symptoms of acute withdrawal.

Medical detox is often required by addicts that have relapsed repeatedly, as subsequent attempts to get clean result in more severe withdrawal symptoms that last for a longer period of time. This is referred to as the Kindling Effect and is a very real phenomenon that can make it extremely difficult for people to get clean and stay clean. A medical detox center can address these issues expertly in a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox refers to a type of medical-detox procedure whereby the patient undergoes most of the symptoms of withdrawal while unconscious. This is accomplished by placing the patient into a medically-induced coma, then administering a series of drugs that facilitates and hastens the process of acute withdrawal. This spares most patients the worst of the symptoms and allows them to begin their treatment without the pain and discomfort of a long period of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, rapid detox is a relatively new practice and it’s not well understood yet how successful it is from a long-term treatment standpoint. Addicts considering this method should consult with their primary physician prior to speaking with a detox specialist.

Going through detox in a specialized or medical facility is the best option for most addicts and alcoholics; not only from a safety standpoint, but also because sequestering an addict away from potential exposure to drugs or drug- abuse triggers provides the best chance for lasting recovery.

Find out for yourself by reaching out for help now if you or someone you love is fighting the disease of addiction.