Category: Uncategorized

  • What Is An Online Business Manager, and Is It Time for You to Hire One?

    Are you a successful woman entrepreneur whose multiple 6-figure business feels out of control?

    Are you stuck? Overwhelmed? Frustrated?

    Ever thought seriously about walking away because you’re so bogged down with business operations that you can’t follow your passion?

    If this sounds like you, it’s time to find an online business manager.

    What’s an Online Business Manager?

    According to Tina Forsyth, the author of Becoming an Online Business Manager, the official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:

    A virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses, including the day-to-day management of projects, operations, team members, and metrics.

    An OBM isn’t a virtual assistant who performs tasks. He or she is a professional business manager who runs the company’s daily operations to give the owner energy and time to focus on strategic growth. The OBM gives the owner permission to be the Visionary and serve her clients, plan the company’s growth and future, and use her gifts to their fullest potential.

    The OBM keeps all the balls in the air as the Integrator of the business. Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters first defined the Integrator role in their book, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination that Will business Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. The Integrator harmoniously combines the major functions of the business (sales, marketing, operations, and finance), runs the organization, and manages day-to-day issues. This role is literally the glue that holds the people, processes, systems, and strategy of the company together.

    The Integrator creates space so the business owner, the Visionary, can fully step into the CEO role and do what she’s called to do-change the world.

    Finding an Integrator for your business would take a big load off your mind and off your plate, wouldn’t it?

    I help women business owners who need that time and space. For the past eight years, as an Integrator in my clients’ businesses, I’ve had the great honor of making someone else’s vision happen.

    You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to.

    When you started your business, you had to wear all the hats. You had to be the visionary and the manager. You knew it wasn’t your best fit, but you could do it until the business grew a little and you could hire help.

    Soon you hired someone to take care of the tedious work, but you couldn’t let go of much more. You still needed to lead and manage alone. You told your family (and yourself) that wearing both hats wouldn’t last much longer and you could handle it.

    Now, your business keeps growing and you spend way too much time managing and not enough time leading and serving. You don’t have enough time to decide where the business is going because you’re trying to keep up with managerial tasks you never wanted.

    You started your business to change the world and to have the freedom to enjoy life. At this point, you can’t do either because you can’t get out of that manager role long enough to catch your breath!

    Hitting the ceiling is inevitable. Every successful woman entrepreneur I’ve seen comes to the point where she’s exhausted and can go no farther – she can’t continue to manage and grow the business by herself. She needs online business management services so she can move into the CEO position and Visionary role to grow her company.

    Transform your business with an OBM

    Your business needs a Visionary and an Integrator to be successful, and you can’t be both for long and sustainable growth. As the Visionary, you need an Integrator to implement and drive your vision, and your Integrator needs you to lead the company’s direction and strategize its future.

    My specialty is working with multiple 6-figure clients who have hit that growth ceiling. They know they can’t continue being in charge of everything. I’m an Online Business Consultant, Certified Online Business Manager, and most importantly, a diehard Integrator in every sense of the term.

    My clients are high-achieving women entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and their visions are huge. They have proven business models that generate multiple 6-figure+ revenues. Their desire to build an empire is inspirational, and they’re ready to turn over the reins of management to a trusted professional who will move the business forward.

  • Hiring a Business Coach That Facilitates Substantial Growth

    Running any business alone can be self-fulfilling for every entrepreneur but equally as tough and impossible to successfully manage. With this in mind, hiring a business coach is always a smart move because the opinion of an expert enables and facilitates businesses to reach their full potential. The business coaching industry in the US has grown in recent decades to a worth of over $12 billion highlighting its impact and the need to find the best business coach for your business so as to unlock maximum potential.

    Even the best business coaches require the services of other business coaches to effectively understand, explore and take advantage of the many specifics in their individual business set ups.

    Hiring a qualified coach can improve leadership and facilitate expansion in domains of fundraising and project management. However, there exist many important considerations in finding the best or ideal coach for your business. These considerations include;

    Cost

    Cost is a very important consideration in the selection of an ideal business coach and it most often depends on factors like specialty, of expertise and location. Although experts are usually very expensive, it’s possible to find affordable cost effective coaches. For and other social businesses, investing time and effort could easily find low pay experts who could offer coaching services as support of causes. Before even setting out in search of a coach, it’s necessary to study your budget and clearly allocate what can be used for coaching services so as to prevent over-extension into debt.

    Best Business Fit

    When sampling potential coaches for any business, key to make sure those business with the best fit for your business are the target. For example, hiring an ideal non-profit coach would entail narrowing to affordable coaches in the social business domain with proven track records of success. This can be assisted by personal and social feedback recommendations in combination with actual discussions with these potential coaches.

    Possible Time Engagement with Coach

    This is a slightly complicated consideration when looking at getting a business coach because the dedicated time engagements are usually very much dependent on expertise, and location. However, ensuring the arrangement of quality and long enough time with your coach increases the effectiveness of the relationship. Furthermore, time for meetings and follow up work must be set aside to make the best out of the coaching.

    Preparedness for Change

    In order to set up for maximum benefits from engagement with a business coach, it is essential to be prepared for significant changes. This is the productivity of the relationship doesn’t only depend on the quality of advice from the coach but also on the preparedness of the management to listen and make changes with respect to this.

    Hiring a social business coach can give and other social entrepreneurs the extra edge required for substantial growth, but their services would have to be cost effective, best fitting, and available.Their advice will also need to be and implemented for results to be eminent.

    The many benefits associated with hiring the ideal business coach can be summarized under the following points;

    Extra, Required Motivation

    The one great quality almost every business coach will offer is relentless motivation and getting business owners unstuck when stepping into their own way. No matter the self-motivation possessed by the owner of any business, moments arrive when it’s almost impossible to apply this self-motivation. In times like this, an all-important push to recovery from a professional is required even if it’s simply in the form of confirming something already in your mind and plans.

    Unafraid with Unbiased Opinion

    A very important asset carried by business coaches is the ability to always provide unbiased opinions that are often absent in the management setting of many businesses. Furthermore, not being afraid to offer correction and confrontation to founders is very beneficial to every business as it often leads to solutions that others close to the business would have missed.

    Stepping Outside Comfort Zones

    In the absence of a business coach, it is very easy for business introvert managements to become overly comfortable and engulfed in their own ideas and goals limiting for expansion. Seasoned business coaches will encourage adventure and the trying out of new things that could be of help for your business and also curb over eagerness for extrovert entrepreneurs that could end up with being caught ruts. Moving out of your comfort zones with encouragement from your business coach breeds confidence which is usually translated to the achievement of very big goals.

    Support in the Identification of Strengths and Weaknesses

    An experienced business coach offers the capability of identifying patterns that assist in the discovery and exploitation of your strengths while taking note and addressing weaknesses. The outside perspective of a business coach goes far beyond sorting likes and dislikes but to the extent of uncovering useful hidden talents, and potential.

    Increased Focus on Ideas and Business Needs

    Hiring enhance creativity as they present increased opportunities to brainstorm ideas together fine tuning them with almost never leaving the business. Also, they ensure focus isn’t lost from the business goals employees, clients or family. Business coaches ensure priority remains on the business without sacrifice of other parts of life such as health which are important to successfully integrate for guaranteed success.

    Goals Management and Accountability

    Audacious goals are always well understood by coaches and they collaborate to enable realization. Managing business goals though isn’t a quality possessed by many entrepreneurs. With the help of coaches, there is understanding of how classification and follow up can be set up to monitor progress with respect to goals.

  • How A Business Loan Helps Business People

    Overview:
    Becoming a self-employed businessman is a great reputation in the society but the problems faced by the entrepreneurs from the day one of their business is enormous. It is a great challenge for a person to overcome all obstacles to become a successful businessman. The numerous problem faced by all is finance. Even great entrepreneurs of various industries have struggled a lot of financial crisis for setting up their business and to run their daily business operations. Thus finance plays a major role in the life of business people. Great ideas require the necessary financial support to bloom into a successful business.

    Introduction:
    There are various sources for business people to raise capital for their business. The most trusted source is from banks. There are various reasons why people choose banks as the best source for raising capital for their business. Banks provide a lower cost of funds in the form of Business Loans. There are various types of business loans at differential business interest rates to facilitate business people to solve their financial crises.

    Types of Business Loans:
    Businesses are of different types and need finance at different stages of their business operations. The need also being different, banks help them in providing different types of business loans helping various small and medium enterprises to raise capital.

    New Project Loan – Banks are interested in funding for new businesses and also for new projects of existing business. There are various criteria for getting new project loan and differs from bank to bank. Project loans are approved against the collateral of the person like residential property, commercial property or empty land.

    Top-up on Existing Loans – These loans are issued for expansion, replacement, diversification of an existing business. These loans are approved for short term or long term basis to buy goods, machinery or any fixed assets for the company.

    Working Capital Loans -These loans are provided for the business to solve sudden financial crises and repaid within short durations. Banks are more interested in providing working capital loans against their inventories, stocks or receivable bills of the company.

    Secured Business Loan – Business loans in which companies raise their capital against any security for the bank. It may include plot, residential or commercial places, gold, shares, bills, insurance as collateral to get funds for their business. The interest rate is preferably less.

    Unsecured Business Loan – Every businessman cannot afford to pledge a security in getting the business loan, so bankers help them with loans without any security based on bank transactions and income tax returns. These loans are charged with more interest rates when compared to secured business loans.

    Requirements of the Banks:
    There are various steps and procedures followed by banks to provide funds. The procedure and documents to be submitted to the banks as follows

    Identity and address proof of the company – Address proof and identity proof of partnership or proprietor business.

    Statutory legal registration of the company – Whether the company is legally registered under government norms and have followed all procedures legally in setting business.

    Financial statement of the company – Every bank is interested in seeing the recent 1-year business transaction of the company.

    Income tax returns – ITR helps the bankers to check the business performance, efficiency level, assets and liabilities of the company and also tax that company pays from their current earnings. This also plays a major role in deciding the loan amount for the business people.

    Financial Security – It includes the fixed and movable assets of the company which helps the banker to consider providing business loans based on the asset value along with the business transactions. This also safeguards banks from the failure of businessmen that fail to repay the loan amount.

    Previous Loan track – This is a very important factor considered by banks which will help them evaluate the financial condition of the business and also to check on past repayments on loans.

  • All the Ws of a Business Plan

    A business plan is a written description of the future of your business and more importantly, how you are going to get there. It is a document that explains what you are going to do to make your company profitable and how you are going to achieve this. It defines both your business model and your strategies to make this business model work and more importantly profitable.

    Normally when a business idea arises, you know what resources Business and capabilities you have at the start of your business and where you want to go in a certain period, usually in 3 or 5 years. But what is the way to reach that goal? Where to start? How to arouse investor interest? Even, how to get your business off the ground? Everything seems so easy when you have the great money winning idea and concept. It is how you are going to achieve these dreams and get enough money to keep the business going for many years to come.

    Writing a business plan is to build a map that will guide you to where you start making money with your initial business idea. At is very basic structure, your business plan is a mixture of strategies and plans. It involves financials, marketing, staffing and products. Think of it as the foundation to your new business.

    WHAT are the reasons that I might need one?
    • To look for investors.
    • To apply for a loan.
    • To establish the viability of your business idea.
    • To make improvements to your current business.
    • To expand your current business.

    All of these types have different emphasises and a different structure.

    WHAT is a business plan?
    It is a tool or document that describes a business opportunity or idea, the work team, the operational and marketing execution strategies, the business risks and the economic viability of your business. A well written document guides you to turn an idea into a viable business.

    It can also be defined in another context in that the business plan becomes a fundamental tool within the analysis of a new business opportunity, a diversification plan, an internationalisation project, the acquisition of a company or an external business unit, or even the launch of a new product or service within the current business.

    To summarise, both for the development or launch of a startup and for the analysis of new business investments, the business plan becomes an indispensable tool. So even though you have an established business, you will still need a business plan as you expand and improve that business.

    A business plan is never finished and should be reviewed from time to time at least annually but certainly when large changes to an existing company are anticipated. This implies that every plan must adapt effectively and efficiently to the changes, helping the project to continue.

    WHAT is the point of a business plan?
    Many entrepreneurs think they only need a business plan when they are seeking investment or when the bank asks for one. However the act of business planning, when completed correctly, enables the entrepreneur to carry out an extensive market study that will provide the information required to design the best possible business model that will be both profitable and efficient.

    Additionally, the business plan will develop the strategic measures for all functional areas that will enable them achieve the objectives for the new business.
    Once written, the business plan will serve as an internal tool to assess the management of the company and its deviations from the planned scenario. Proposing, if necessary, adaptations to the agreed business model in order to obtain updated information for the daily management of the company. This will include preparation of the required changes and processes to bring the business back on track.

  • Business Travel Agents Tips: A Corporate Travellers’ New York Airports Guide

    New York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travellers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centres (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveller you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travellers flying to or from JFK Airport.

    New York JFK Facts & Figures

    Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travellers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures travel are in place to minimise them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travellers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travellers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

    In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travellers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

    Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travellers

    In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travellers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

    Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

    The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travellers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travellers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

    Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind

  • Spend Thanksgiving On An Air Tour Of The Grand Canyon That Departs From Las Vegas Or Tusayan

    Wish you could take a fun getaway this Thanksgiving? Not looking forward to wasting your days off laying around the house and eating turkey? An ideal experience you’ll never forget is to go to Arizona or Vegas for an air tour of the Grand Canyon. Air tours of the Canyon are very popular, especially over the holidays, so you want to get your tour booked as soon as you can.

    Air Tours From Tusayan In Arizona

    The West Rim is probably what most people think of when touring tour the Canyon comes to mind. While the majority of visitors choose West Rim tours, there are tours to the South Rim too, and these are definitely worth considering.

    South Rim flights take off from the airport in Tusayan, Arizona, and there are two main tours available. The first option is a half-hour tour that covers the ground between the North and South Rims, and the second is a longer, 50-minute tour that covers the same ground but adds on a leg to the eastern boundary of the national park. The long tour doesn’t cost a whole lot more yet it flies over 75 percent of the entire park grounds. The longer tour is the recommended choice since you get to see so much more land, including pristine wilderness areas.

    The South Rim air tour can also be upgraded to include a Jeep ride through the Canyon. Adding a ground tour to your flight gives you the chance to see the Canyon from two different perspectives.

    Vegas Air Tours To The Canyon

    Vegas is a busy tourist hub, so there are a lot of Canyon tours you can choose from that depart from there.

    You can book an air tour that leaves from Vegas or one that leaves from Boulder City, which is just outside of Vegas. While all the tours follow the same route to the Canyon, the deluxe ones that take off from The Strip in Vegas include a flyover of the resorts and attractions on The Strip as well. Another advantage of taking a deluxe tour from Vegas is that you’ll get to fly on the state-of-the-art EcoStar helicopter. The helicopter is made for touring so the cabin has more room and the flight is quieter, plus, the helicopter has a massive viewing window for fantastic panoramic sightseeing. The deluxe tour costs more, but it is worth it if it fits your budget, and it even includes complimentary limousine transportation to and from the helipad on The Strip.

    The great thing about flying to the West Rim is that landing tours are permitted there. You can choose an air-only tour that flies from Vegas, past the Hoover Dam, and then over the main points of interest at the West Rim before heading back to Vegas. If you book a landing tour, you’ll fly along the same flight path and see the same sights from the air, but you also get to land at the Canyon for some fun ground adventures.

    One of the more popular landing tours flies down to the Canyon floor. When you depart from your chopper, you’ll be treated to a Champagne picnic, and if you want, you can take a boat ride on the Colorado River which is nearby. There is another tour that lands on top of the rim, and it comes with Skywalk tickets, so you can experience this thrilling attraction. The Skywalk is a huge glass and steel platform that lets you stand 4000 feet above the bottom of the Canyon. Standing over the Canyon on a glass floor is nearly as exhilarating as going on the helicopter flight. If you’re up for a day filled with adventure, you can book a helicopter tour that lands on the Canyon floor and on top of the rim too so you can do all the West Rim has to offer.

    Canyon Airplane Tours

    Airplane tours are also available, and these follow the same route as the helicopters that depart from Arizona or Nevada. The planes are ideal for groups because they can carry 19 passengers per tour. The airplanes fly higher than helicopters, but the tours cost less too. Airplanes provide good views through their oversized windows, plus they are roomy and comfy, so airplane tours are a good choice if you need to fly on a budget.

    Buy Your Tour Online In Time For Thanksgiving

    Air tours of the Canyon are always very popular and they often sell out in advance. For that reason, you need to book your tour ahead of time. Try to book at least two weeks ahead of time. Just use your credit card and buy your tour online as this instantly locks in the lowest rate and reserves your seats.

    Prepare For An Adventure

    The Canyon is a beautiful scenic wonder and flying over it on an air tour is the best way to soak up nature’s beauty. Plus, remember, you can enhance your tour by adding on a Jeep ride or a landing adventure for even more fun.

  • Outdoor Movies: Finding The Right Equipment Provider So You Can Have a Successful Movie Event

    Outdoor movie events on inflatable movie screens re-create the experience of the old drive-in movie. With today’s new technology of inflatable movie screens and portable high-powered projectors, an open air cinema event can be hosted at any outdoor venue. Movie night events are becoming popular for organizations such as schools, churches, businesses and cities. Finding the right equipment provider to produce your movie night event is essential so that your organization produces an event that it is well received by your audience and is stress free to organize.

    Before you hire an audio/visual company for your movie night event, you need to know that there are two kinds of companies that produce outdoor movie events:

    1.) The first kind of company that produces events are: DJ, Bounce House rental companies, and people who think it showing flicks outdoors is fun as a side businesses to their actual full-time employment.

     

    • Typically these kind of outdoor movie providers carry no insurance, or say they have insurance, but it does not cover outdoor movie event productions.
    • These kind of companies typically hire people with NO particular skill set to work their outdoor movie events.
    • Equipment from these kind of providers are inexpensive, usually is not commercial grade (but rather equipment meant for personal use) or that is under-powered for an outdoor movie setting. Their equipment is really ment for indoor movie events.

     

    2.) The second type of company that produces outdoor movie events are full-time businesses that specialize only in outdoor cinema productions.

     

    • Professional companies that produce movie events outdoors will use theatrical grade screen surfaces, professional grade video and audio sound systems. Cinema production companies equipment include HD digital projectors and high-definition sound systems.
    • Employees of professional cinema companies typically have background in working with stage and audio-visual equipment and often work in the film industry.
    • Full time outdoor cinema productions companies will carry General Liability Insurance for exactly what they do which is outdoor movie events.

     

    HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR HIRING A COMPANY TO PRODUCE YOUR MOVIE EVENT OUTDOORS.

    Ask the following questions to the company you are looking to hire:

    Do you carry insurance and how much insurance do you carry?

    Request a copy of the provider’s insurance and call the insurance movie agency listed on the paper. Find out if the business is covered for outdoor movie events or is the provider list as something else.

    How do I obtain a movie license?

    Beware of a companies that tell you do NOT need a movie license for outdoor movie events in public. These providers are asking you to break copyright laws. Via copyright laws all outdoor movie showings require a public performance license to be purchased, except for events shown in your backyard for personal use.

    What brand of screen do you use?

    Currently there are only three professional manufacturers of inflatable movie screens: AIRSCREEN, Open Air Cinema and EPIC. If a provider can not name their equipment then they do not know a lot about what they are doing. The brand of screen that is being used will both effect the presentation of your movie and safety of your event.

    What type of screen surface are you using?

    Professional grade screen surfaces will use theatrical grade surfaces, just like in the movie theater. Quality of the screen is measured in gain. Screen surfaces should be highly reflective so to produce a bright and colorful picture image. Big-box store and inexpensive screens will have a cloth or plastic surface that is see-through and not very reflective which will produce a dull or poor image quality.

    What type of sound and projection are you using?

    Most companies will claim they are using state-of-the-art audio or video, but when was it state-of-the-art? Equipment that was top quality 5 years ago, is not top quality today.

    Do you maintaining your projectors? Are you changing the projector bulbs regularly?

    Bulbs that are not changed in projectors will get dull over time and effect the image quality at your show.

    How do you measure your screen size?

    Is one companies 50′ inflatable screen the same as another companies 35′ inflatable screen? Do they measure the screen surface or frame? Are they measuring their inflatable movie screen on the diagonal, width or height? These are important questions to ask when comparing screen systems.

    Can you provide references for the last 3 events you produced?

    Professional outdoor movie providers should be able to provide references of the last three shows that they produce, not just a select list of references that may be old. Also ask to see pictures of actual events that company has produced.

  • What Are Pet Horoscopes?

    You’ve heard of horoscopes, but have you ever heard of pet horoscopes? Many people believe that the position of planets and stars have a tremendous impact on the actions and events within our daily lives. Those who ascribe to this belief also understand that those impacts have an effect on all life, not just human life. This means that the position of planets and stars can impact the lives of our pets as well!

    To determine the sign of your pet, just compare the month that your pet was born to the dates on the pet horoscope guide. Each range of dates has its own unique sign, identical to human astrological signs.

    Where to Find Pet Horoscopes
    Pet horoscopes are very unique because a pet’s life is obviously Horoscope quite different than a human’s, with different concerns, desires, fears, and hopes. Reading your pet’s weekly horoscope can be great fun – just as much fun as reading your own. However, since pet horoscopes are not quite as common as human horoscopes, they can be a little more difficult to find. Below are several websites that list horoscopes for pets every week.

    Petroscopes for Pet Horoscopes
    Petroscopes for Pet Horoscopes is a great website focused solely on providing both weekly and yearly pet horoscopes. The main page features the yearly horoscope for each zodiac sign.

    Here’s an example of a yearly pet horoscope from petroscopes.com:

    “Taurus: Taurus is entering a difficult and tiring period. In spite of his natural cautiousness, your Taurus pet may seem so exhausted at times that you feel it necessary to take him to see the local vet. You may also notice your pet exhibiting signs of loneliness – try to give him as much affection as you can.”

    This website features some great yearly pet horoscopes, but make note of the fact that the weekly horoscopes are not always updated in a very timely manner.

    VPI Pet Insurance
    The VPI Pet Insurance Company (yes, there really is such a thing as pet insurance!) provides timely and updated pet horoscopes. The page for 2008 summarizes the year for all pets as follows:

    “This year, pets will discover their role as a constant companion is an important one. In 2008, Mother Nature will play a part in pets’ lives throughout the four seasons.”

    The horoscope section of this website also offers a “Pet Education Center” that includes sections on “First Aid For Your Pet”, “First Time Pet Owners”, and “Pet Toxins & Poisons”. The website offers a brief horoscope blurb on the main page, and a link for each zodiac sign to a more comprehensive prediction page.

    Clicking on the link for the prediction page for any of the signs brings you to a page that describes the personality of that sign (a very fun read, to compare it to your pet’s personality), as well as the effects of astrological events on the life of your pet during each season of the year. The website is laid out very well, organized cleanly and with very fun graphics.

    Cat’s Central
    Cat’s & Kittens Central provides a fun web page called Winky’s Pet Horoscopes, which is focused primarily on cats. The page touts Winky’s Pet Horoscopes as “The Internet’s #1 Feline Astrologer!” This web page allows you to view your cat’s monthly horoscope. If you don’t know your cat’s exact birthday, Winy says you can simply use the day your pet came into your life.

    Each page for the monthly horoscope of each sign features an adorable photo of a cat given the title the zodiac sign “of the Month.” The horoscopes themselves are tailored specifically for cats and very fun to read. For example, Aries for this month reads:

    “The moon is set to eclipse Pluto this month, but you needn’t worry yourself about that – after all, Pluto was a badly drawn cartoon dog and you, being of the feline persuasion, are far removed from such things.”

    The humor and wit is great. The website, overall, is somewhat amateurish in design, but it isn’t overrun by ads and it’s very easy to navigate. The well-written horoscopes are definitely the star of the show at this site.

    Nikky’s Pet Profiles Another unique way to commemorate your pet and his or her zodiac sign is through a painted pet portrait utilizing an astrology theme and integrating the pet’s zodiac sign. Pet portraits are very popular and sweeping the country. Nikky Hughes [http://www.nikkyhughes.com], of Los Angeles, offers amazing pet portraits that utilize unique backgrounds and themes. She is always happy to do portraits on request, and a pet’s zodiac sign would easily fit into the creative and witty existing portfolio of pet portraits that are displayed at her website.

  • Build a Community Driven Local Online News Website

    With the introduction of the blog, creation of a community driven, local, online, news website is made so much easier than it was using a conventional website.

    Blog Platform

    Install WordPress in your new domain or a subdomain of your existing domain. A new domain for your community driven, local, online, news website is preferable for indexing, ranking and ease of search purposes.

    Choose and install a WordPress theme, suitable for your community driven, local, online, news website, from the thousands freely available on the internet.

    Design your header and customize the appearance of your community driven, local, online, news website.

    At the most basic level, your new community driven, local, online, news website is now ready to roll.

    Getting Indexed

    Of course, there’s much search engine optimization (SEO) work that can be done to improve your indexing and ranking. At the very least, you’ll need to get a link from a page somewhere on the net that gets regularly spidered, so that the search engines can find your new community driven, local, online, news website.

    A link from your own home page will do the trick.

    Alternatively you can join one or several of the blogging, social networks news and submit your online, news website. Submitting your community driven, local, online, news website URL to several directories would also be helpful. These submissions of your community driven, news website will not only get you indexed but the backlinks will increase your SEO score and thus help with your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    So, with this much development work done, your local, online, news website is ready to be spidered, indexed and ranked in the the SEs when you you begin publishing community driven, news items from your local area.

    Getting Started

    WordPress comes with one post titled Hello World and one comment on this post. Delete both of these and start afresh.

    News Sources

    Apart from writing your own news stories, there are two main sources of community news:

    * Press releases.
    * Community group submissions.

    Press Releases

    In Australia there are three levels of government: local, state and federal. Each will issue frequent press releases. State and federal government press releases will come, not only from the respective government websites, but also from the different party’s websites and the particular politician’s websites.

    Pay attention to the press releases of your local member, both state and federal, whether in the government, opposition, a minor party or an independent. Also regularly check out the press releases of government ministers with responsibility for portfolios of interest to your readers or fitting in with your editorial slant.

    There will probably be various business and industrial concerns in your local area as well as special interest groups such as environmental lobby groups, that issue press releases.

    Community Group Submissions

    Obtaining community group submissions for your local, online, news website is much more work. But these will have the most interest for your readers and the contact established with local people will build your readership. And, of course, community group news submissions are at the heart of your stated objective of providing a community driven, on line news service.

    Locate a directory of local sport and community groups. E-mail the groups if e-mail addresses are provided. They probably won’t be.

    Write to them by snail mail if need be. Your e-mail address for news submissions will be in front of them, cutting down the chances of errors.

    Speak personally to community group secretaries, giving them a business card or flyer with your e-mail address.

    Phoning community groups is the least valuable option because of the difficulties for them in finding your community driven, local, online, news website on the net or getting your e-mail address right.

    Edition Frequency

    Decide whether you’ll publish at set time intervals, say once or twice a week, or if you’ll publish news stories as they come to hand. One advantage of an online news service over a print newspaper is the ability to update the current news as it comes to hand. The older news stories will slip off the bottom of the home page, and the news at the top of your community driven, local, online, news website will always be the latest available.

    Publishing your Opening Edition

    At first it may be necessary to publish only press releases, in order to build up some level of credibility as an online news source. When your community driven, local, online, news website has sufficient content to be seen by the community as viable, it’s time to start your community group submission campaign.

    It will be disappointing at first to be publishing an online news service that nobody reads. So get some posters up around town and don’t procrastinate too long before you get going with your community group submission campaign.