Sep 18 2013

Workers’ Comp Agency Recommends 4.4% Rate Increase

Published by under Business

workers comp
The agency that helps set workers’ comp rates is recommending they increase 4.4% at the start of next year. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in early August recommended that the average benchmark pure premium rates for all of the state’s class codes in-crease to $2.62 per $100 of payroll for policies incepting on or after Jan. 1, 2014.

A good portion of the rate increase is due to increased claims filings, as well as rises in medical costs and permanent disability benefits that partly took effect this year and take full effect in 2014.

This year, benefit increases added an-other $620 million in system costs, the Rating Bureau has estimated. In 2014, the increases will add another $590 million in costs for all workers’ comp payers in the state.

That said, cost increases are expected to be offset by savings from reforms contained in SB 863, which was signed into law in 2012 and took effect at the start of this year. Continue Reading »

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Jul 30 2012

How to become a sucessful business analyst

Published by under Business

Become a successful business analyst, ho to Become a successful business analyst http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/?p=11

The position of Business Analyst seems to have attained swift prominence with modern day companies that are re-engineering their own operations and embedding IT systems at the center of these business.

Professional organizations like the BCS and the IIBA have tailored internationally accepted business analysis training and certification schemes.

The role has now been refined from that of the old-school Systems Analyst from the Nineteen eighties – and as a result continues to progress. Pretty much when Business Analysis appeared to have now evolved into a suitably outlined and more mainstream management style, the use of Agile development and project management software processes is definitely forming fresh opportunities. Continue Reading »

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Jul 20 2012

10 Things You Should Do When Opening A New Business

Published by under Business

Article by Chris Davodi of 1 Stop Service Business Resources.

Grand Opening, Opening a new business tips http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/10-things-you-should-do-when-opening-a-new-business/

Amongst the million businesses that open up every year, some make it past their first year and churn profits while others fail in not being able to generate a profit. Perhaps it might be things that are out of your control like the state of the market or even the economy, in general.

While there is a possibility that you might not succeed due to these factors, you can probably increase your chances by making a checklist of tasks that you should complete when you open a new business.

Here are some vital tasks that can help you succeed, or help you survive when things get rough:

#1: In determining whether the business will suit your life’s goals or not, you can proceed to create a business and marketing plan while also using the break-even analysis to determine whether or not the business will succeed before jumping headlong.

#2: Finding a legal structure for your business is paramount, and this means understanding which ownership structure will suit your business, and perhaps, a lawyer will be able to help you streamline your efforts.

#3: Get a good name for your business and make sure you have the paperwork in place.

#4: It is important to find an appropriate business location so that it will stand more chances for success in its first year.

#5: Obtaining Insurance, filing for permits and licenses while also setting tax reporting and accounting are also important tasks.

 

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Jul 05 2012

Content Writing Tips For Your Website

Published by under Marketing

Article by Pierre Zarokian of iClimber.

Content Writing Tips, Content writing tips --> http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/?p=32

One of the best things that business owners can do these days is to promote their business over the internet through social media and in particular, a website. To say the least, it opens up your products or services to a global audience, and that can mean more profitability and potential customers for your business.

However, it’s not just about making any website but one that will catch the fancy of your potential customers, and there are certain aspects of content (and writing it) that you must keep in mind in order to drive traffic to your website.

So here is a list of content writing tips that will help you enjoy a successful business that you can generate through your website:

#1: Keywords, keywords, keywords

With people looking for information regarding certain products or services by the means of search engines and entering certain keywords, you’d be smart if you incorporated those particular keywords (pertaining to your business) in the content on your website. Focus on using one keyword per web page.

#2: Striking a chord with your readers

Remember that you aren’t writing for search engine but humans so you should ensure that you use emotional language when talking about your product or service so that you are able to strike a chord with your readers, and which will cause them to show interest in buying what you have on offer.

#3: Write like you are talking

As most people would have learnt in college or school to write as if you are preparing a dissertation for your Ph.D, using this approach for the internet is not a WISE. Write as if you are talking to a friend – someone who is a curious acquaintance and wants to know more about your product.

If you are interested in professional content writing services, visit www.iClimber.com website. In addition, you may want to read more tips at the iClimber Social Media Marketing Blog.

If you are interested in professional content writing services, visit www.iClimber.com website. In addition, you may want to read more tips at the iClimber Social Media Marketing Blog

 

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Jun 03 2012

How To Avoid And Fight Charge Backs

Published by under Business

Article by Kristin Gabrieli of Total Merchants.
Credit Cards, read more about credit cards at http://www.thegreatamericansmallbusinesschallenge.com/

Charge backs are a reality that every online merchant has to deal with, and there are several reasons why this happens, one being potential fraud, but the person who has to deal with loss is the merchant as soon as the customer asks for a refund from their bank.

This is why it is so important for merchants to be careful of getting into situations where charge backs are imminent, and so here is a list of tips that will help you avoid charge backs right from the outset: Continue Reading »

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Sep 25 2014

How does Mail Forwarding Work?

Published by under Business Services

This blog was written by USA2Me

Have you always wanted to go somewhere but worried that you’ll miss the mail or package you’ve been waiting for? Availing an RV mail forwarding service can be the answer to the problem. This type of mail forwarding service involves a virtual mailing address where all packages can be redirected to for storage.

This service is also particularly useful for people who are moving to new addresses, or in a temporary relocation. While everything is transferred to your new home, postal mail forwarding can receive and forward previous bills, and other mail packages to your new address.

While you are in vacation or in a road trip, you can manage your mail and have them forwarded to your current address by mail forwarders. Some companies like USA2Me have virtual mailbox managers where you can choose which items you want to send out, and you can do it anywhere in the world as long as you have online access.

When the shipping office receives your mail, they inspect and repackage it based on your instructions. Bear in mind that this still has to go through shipping regulations. Most items can be sent out to international addresses, however, it should follow the international rules and regulations of the originating country as well as the destination. There are different shipping restrictions per country, and to avoid items from being sent back, one should research first if the item is allowed, how much can you ship, and what’s the recommended packaging.

USA2Me offers virtual office packages, along with personal shopper assistants and mail forwarding services. To know more about their services and take advantage of member services and add-ons, please visit their website.

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Sep 17 2014

Automation: What it Can and Cannot Do

Published by under Advertising

It seems that everyone is talking about automation these days, especially about the dangers of losing human employment to the machines. On the surface, advertisers have good cause to worry about this. Software is simple to automate, and many smaller companies set and forget their campaigns. The truth is that automation isn’t going to kill marketing, especially not at the entry and middle levels.

Good marketing requires people who can think on their feet. It’s not a simple set of instructions to follow, nor is it an easy operation to follow. It’s something that can be taught, but requires a lifetime to master. Automation isn’t something to fear, but it can be a valuable tool for those who choose to embrace it.

Day Parting

Day parting is the action of controlling which times and days your campaigns will show. It’s a technique used both to reduce costs and to improve conversion chances. When you part your campaign by day or time, you remove it from listings during a specified period. It’s a process that automates itself, but it’s not one that can be automated.

In other words, a robot can’t recognize the history of a campaign and make this decision for you. It can’t look at other campaigns you’ve run in the past, and has no previous instinct to rely on. That’s what makes mentors so important for younger professionals. Day parting is also not “set and forget.” You would need to continually monitor data as it comes in, and make decisions on when to further restrict your banner advertising based on the results of your tests.

Reporting

Reporting is another aspect of marketing that can be automated, but the intricacies are lost in translation. Automated reports are actually a benefit to marketers. They free your mind to explore other opportunities, receiving reports at scheduled times so that you can review them. You can schedule your entire day around these reports if you like, but you can’t rely on a machine to read and interpret them. You can get graphs and visualizations when a program crunches data for you, but actual analysis is still left up to humans. That means capable minds who are willing to challenge themselves and find new methods of making campaigns work or work better.

Final Thoughts

Automation can sound scary if you listen to all the hype. The reality is that automation is a benefit to marketers, especially up and coming professionals who stand to gain more time to research and work with campaigns.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, a buy-side platform for advertising professionals. Ted Dhanik manages business development for the company, and is an avid fan of dogs in his personal time. Find out how to leverage display advertising to increase your business with advice and articles from Ted Dhanik.

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Sep 08 2014

The Beginning of Lego Bricks

Published by under Business

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Lego began in 1916, when carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen purchased a shop for woodworking in Denmark. It was used mostly for materials for houses and furniture, and the shop burned down in 1924 after an accidental fire started from wood shavings.

Ole Kirk rebuilt, but the Great Depression hit right after the completion of his restoration. He was forced to scale his operations back, and decided to use miniature models as design aids for customers to decide what they wanted. Then it hit him: he could make children’s toys.

By 1932, Ole Kirk was making piggy banks, pull trucks and toy houses. He traded with farmers in the local area for his goods, and continued making furniture to stay afloat. He briefly made yo-yos, which brought him some revenue, but the trend never lasted.

Ole Kirk was considering two different names for his company: Legio, like a legion of toys, or Lego. Lego was long thought to be related to the Danish phrase leg godt, which meant “to play well.” It was later revealed that Lego is actually a Latin word meaning “I put together.”

Plastics became readily available in Denmark after World War II, and Lego quickly made use of molding machines designed to work with them. He created a truck that could be taken apart and reassembled. Ole Kirk later built upon an idea first patented by Hilary Page of Kiddicraft bricks. Though the designs are similar, Lego bricks tend to be longer and interlock more like a brick wall. In 1953, the world got its first glimpse of the Lego Mursten, or Lego Bricks.


Samuel Phineas Upham

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his LinkedIn page.

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Sep 08 2014

Update Your Employee Tracking Systems

Published by under Technology

By Allied Time

Do you track the amount of time your employees spend at work? How about how they spend those hours? If the answer to either of these questions was “no”, you’re really doing yourself—and them, for that matter—a disservice. The amount of productivity you could be hitting would be significantly more if you started to invest in very real solutions that would come with equally great results.

Something like an electronic time clock can definitely go a long way toward tracking your employees in the most objective way possible. However, you could also add software to the operation for more analytics that would help with tracking them and reporting back on their operations.

Software will definitely go a long way toward leveraging your workforce, but even still, there’s more you can do. Fingerprint time clock options are another great way to make sure that every time tracking option you use is doing everything it can to help you succeed.

By only registering punches that come with a fingerprint, this type of clock defeats any attempts to cheat the system in any way. The result is more honest time punches and thus better information for you to track.

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While there are countless ways to better your business, if you rely on employees for your success, you definitely need to invest in time clock products (like a Biometric time clock) and matching software. Otherwise, one of your most crucial and expensive resources could easily be under producing without you knowing it.

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Aug 28 2014

The Wine History of Napa Valley

Published by under Business

Written by Phin Upham

Napa was always able to grow wild grapes, but George Calvert Yount was able to see the region’s potential for wine grape growing. Yount built a homestead there and became one of the first settlers to harvest graped in the Napa Valley in 1839.

By the year of 1889, more than 140 wineries had begun operations in the Napa Valley. The growth was explosive, hampered only by a few road blocks in the early 20th century. The price of grapes declined as a flood of grapes hit the market. This was coupled with a devastating form of root louse that killed off almost 80% of the crops of these early wine makers.

Then came prohibition in 1920, which forced the entire wine making industry into a period of obsolescence. Most vineyards were abandoned when prohibition hit, but the few wineries that remained open managed to do so because they switched grape production.

In 1933, after Prohibition was repealed, the industry began a steady but slow recovery to its pre-Prohibition levels and beyond. Beaulieu Vineyards was established during this time, and continues to be one of Napa’s most highly trafficked wineries. Soon, vintners were signing partnerships and working together. This brought higher profits to the region, and was the foundation of the Napa Valley Vintners trade association.

The Paris tasting of 1976 was the event most credited with “putting Napa on the map.” This was a blind tasting, where California wines were pitted against wines from France. Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon were both awarded top honors in the competition, cementing California’s place in wine culture.


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website

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Aug 22 2014

Get More From Your Small Business

Published by under Business Services

By Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

In today’s day and age, there have never been so many ways to succeed as a small business owner. While that’s good news, it also means there have never been so many ways for your competition to succeed. Keep in mind this also means large businesses and even corporations in some situations. You know they have all the best resources available to them, so it can be tempting to quit. But what if I told you that one of their most important advantages could now be yours?

That’s right, one of the best parts of the digital age is that your business can now benefit from things like web EDI. Once reserved for only the biggest and richest of companies, this type of advantage is now at your behest. You can use it to meet all your vendor compliance needs and so much more.

So the next time you’re wallowing in our small business depression because other companies are burying you, remember that there is affordable and effective hope waiting for you. Web based EDI has turned things around for much bigger companies than yours and now you can benefit as well.

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When you need more from your small business, consider all the advantages you could receive from implementing web based edi .Chances are your competition already has. So when you’re ready to take things to the next level, call Act Data Services.

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Aug 20 2014

Security Tips that Don’t Involve Window Bars

Published by under Business Services

Bars on a window can be a fire hazard if you’re not careful. Some buyers won’t even come near a store that has bars on the windows; it’s like a red flag that the neighborhood is no good. If you own a retail store, review some of these tips to help secure your establishment.

Strike Plates

Strike plates help to reinforce a door against blunt-force trauma. Strike plates are designed to keep the latch in place in case someone is kicking down your door. The door can still cave in, which is helpful if you’re trapped in a fire, but it’s useful if someone is attempting to breach at night. This way, you will hear them coming well before they have gained entry.

Timers for Lights

The best thing you can do for store security is to maintain presence, but most of us can’t man the store 24/7. In the cases where you need to be away, it is helpful to set your store’s lights on a timer. This way, would-be thieves are deterred by a light on in the stockroom or in the front. No one might be in the store, but they can’t be sure. That small bit of doubt is all you need to protect yourself.

Cameras

It’s fairly easy to rig your own security camera and have the footage sent to an application. Some even send the footage directly to your mobile unit. Try to position the camera near your POS station, or at the front of the store with a broad view of all the aisles.

 

ETO Doors is a custom door manufacturer based out of a 300,000 square foot showroom in Los Angeles. ETO Doors was one of the first companies to put its entire catalog online, and you can read ETO Doors reviews too.

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Aug 14 2014

Increase Sales With Better Registers

Published by under Business Services

By Cash Registers Online

When you’re in business, it’s impossible to not constantly look for more and better ways to increase your sales and, therefore, boost profits. That’s especially true these days, thanks to our downed economy. Any opportunity you can find to bring in more money is an opportunity you need to take or suffer the consequences.

Fortunately, there are many ways to do this that don’t need to cost you a lot of money. For example, have you ever thought about investing in better cash registers? It may seem like a simple thing to do, but that small investment could wind up paying out dividends.

Machines like SAM4s cash registers and Sharp cash registers are rather affordable when you consider what they can do. That’s one of the best things about this kind of investment: it’ll start working for you immediately and bring you all kinds of great features.

However, over time, the returns will really kick in when you start seeing more business by using registers that allow you to process customers quicker.

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No matter what kind of retail business you run, you won’t get very far with it if you don’t have the best possible cash registers doing some of the heavy lifting on their own. Every business has their own needs where these are concerned and Cash Registers Online can meet them all. From Cash Register Keyboard Covers to Cash Register Manuals to the actual things (of course) and anything in between, this website has it all.

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Aug 13 2014

Reasons Behind Construction Delays

Published by under Legal

By Lyle Charles

If you’re in the construction business, then I don’t need to tell you how difficult and challenging it can be at times. For some, it actually feels like this all the time. However, the good news is that if you can see some of those challenges coming, you can potentially head them off before they become giant problems that delay your build.

A big one that you never want to deal with is a dispute between parties involved on the build. This often happens with suppliers. It becomes a difficult problem because you need them to continue with their deliveries on time, but you may simultaneously be looking for a construction expert witness to testify on your behalf.

Unions can sometimes become an issue too. Everyone knows that the threat of a strike is a huge bargaining chip for good reason. But there are other ways unions can potentially put a build on ice.

Then there are completely unforeseen circumstances like equipment problems and the weather.

All of these issues should be something you constantly keep your eye on so you stand a better chance of brining your build in under budget and on time.

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When you need a bit of extra help with your current build, look no further than Lyle Charles for support and insights where it matters. Through his firm, you can get everything from his skills as a construction claim preparation advisor to help with turnaround services, consultations on matters that may be holding you back and much more. Don’t try facing down big challenges on your own, get help from the best.

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Aug 08 2014

The Formation of the CIA – By Samuel Phineas Upham

Published by under Business

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

The passage of the National Security Act of 1947 was a restructuring of the United States military to better support the security of Americans. President Truman signed the act into law, inspired by the success of the Office of Strategic Services throughout World War II. OSS was dissolved after the war ended, but its operations continued in the Departments of State and War.

Truman had heard a proposal from William Donovan, the OSS creator, to create an organization in charge of procuring intelligence and conduct covert operations. Donovan proposed the creation of a civilian agency that is centralized, with the authority to conduct operations abroad. At the time, Donovan was careful to state that the fledgling CIA should not have powers of police at home or abroad, it would be a vessel for reporting and accumulating intelligence.

The first director of the CIA was Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter. He oversaw operations in support of Christian democrats in Italy. The CIA quickly began a program of plausible deniability, or setting operations up such that other nations could not truly uncover who was behind the plot.

The program descended further into secrecy in 1949, when it was given authorization to hide its employee’s names, salary information, official titles and job functions from public scrutiny.

Today, under increased pressure for transparency, the organization uses something called Open Source Intelligence to provide maps and documentation for the public and the intelligence community.


About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Facebook page.

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