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 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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Oct 17 2014

Targeting the Mobile Shopper with Precision

Published by under Advertising

Mobile is becoming a significant channel for retailers and affiliates online, but the signals generated by this traffic can be difficult to draw inferences from. It takes an experienced marketer to know what location says about buying habits, or which channels are likely to produce the most motivated buyers. There are also variables you can’t see, like time of day or actual surroundings. All of these are clues to a user’s buying habits, so you need to learn how to pinpoint trends using this data. These tips will help to point you in the right direction, and discover your target market through mobile advertising.

Key Signals

One of the first things you should establish is the list of key signals that identify your market’s interests and buying mode. This means knowing the difference between when a user is comparison shopping, and when they intend on buying. Bounce rate and popular pages are strong signals that content may be interesting, but you need to identify what customers are doing with that content. That’s where goal funnels and events come into play. Once you’ve established a goal funnel, beginning with your landing page, you can see exactly when your visitors leave the site. This helps you pinpoint where you need to make changes to smooth out the buying process.

Anticipating Consumer Intent

How consumers find you is another important aspect of whether your advertising works. You have a degree of control over your targeting when you purchase ad space from a buy-side platform. You can choose your audience based on location, demographics and interests. You should experiment with various targeting settings, both to trim your budget and to reach motivated buyers. In addition, you can utilize re-targeting methods to reach customers who have already seen your ads on other channel.

Mobile Banners and Content

Content marketing and mobile display advertising go hand-in-hand. Banner ads are still one of the primary methods of generating paid traffic, and they have widened the scope of their targeting. As more websites adopt to mobile use rates, banners that have a consistent look and feel to desktop counterparts can help drive sales from mobile devices.

Conclusions

Mobile traffic is not something you can afford to ignore for very much longer, and indeed, testing now while costs are low is a good idea. Mobile isn’t something you should build your business off of yet, but it would be a great time to begin porting your successful desktop campaigns over to the mobile platform and making some adjustments. The benefits are simply too great to ignore.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik helps advertisers engage with their audience through display advertising. Read tips on how to generate leads online or on mobile from Ted Dhanik and engage:BDR.

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Oct 15 2014

Custom protective packaging

Written by Canada Foam by Mail

Whether you are travelling, moving out or shipping your belongings, you would require a safe way to protect them from damages and shock. Custom protective packaging provides the right cushioning for your belonging, whether that is a musical instrument, glassware, camera or weapon.

You can usually order foam box inserts made of flexible polyurethane foam to create a protective packaging for your goods. Foam protection is ideal when packaging and shipping particularly fragile, breakable and perishable items. The advantage of using custom foam packaging is that they easily adapt to your packaging needs as they come in different shapes and sizes.

If you have to protect electronic goods such as sensitive circuit boards, computer chips or resistors you can opt for anti-static foam inserts made of polyurethane (open-cell foam). You can also choose convoluted foam inserts that look like egg crates for better stability and protection against movement. Convoluted inserts provide a good cushioning and resistance to impact, thus protecting from breakage.

When choosing the foam for your packaging, look for lightweight foam packaging to minimise freight or shipping costs. You should also ensure that the foam pad would provide good protection against vibration, shock and compaction when the goods will be in transit or stored.

Carlo Badalamenti is the VP of the Foam Factory, a company that has existed since 1980. The company provides a good selection of packaging foam in Canada at competitive prices, including custom protective packaging.

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Oct 15 2014

International Shipping Regulations

Published by under Business Services

Submitted by USA2Me.com

If you have plans to leave the country any time soon, perhaps on an extended vacation or to go somewhere for work, there’s a lot to think about before your trip begins. Obviously, you need to pack the right clothes and all your essential hardware. But don’t forget about staying in contact with the world you’re leaving behind. Aside from email and your cell phone, chances are you’ll also be receiving mail while you’re away. Like most of us, it could contain all kinds of important communications you don’t want to miss.

The answer is simple: just use a USA mail forwarding service. Over the years, as more and more people have gone abroad, more and more have turned to a expat mail service to ensure they don’t miss out on important packages or pieces of mail.

These services are so streamlined that essentially anyone who mails you package or letter will have it forwarded with the address overseas that you provided your service. You can even have it set up so that the service will know where you are as you move around. This way, once you’re traveling, there’s no need to keep updating your address manually.

When you consider the alternatives, using a specialized forwarding service makes too much sense to pass up.

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USA2ME is a package forwarding company that can help you receive your mail, without changing your address no matter where your travels take you. They’re the perfect for service for those with recreational vehicles, jobs that take them abroad or those on an extended trip.

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Oct 10 2014

Designing Your Home Office

As more companies embrace employees working out of the home, the necessity to maintain a home office grows. A home office can be your sanctuary of productivity, but it should be designed to fit your interests and your needs. You’ll want plenty of shelf space, which you can build into the wall as shelves or as book cases. You may also want a small lounge area to rest throughout your day. Futons work best for this arrangement, as they easily transform from couch to bed. Read on for design tips that will help modernize and beautify your home office.

Doorway

Redoing your office door way isn’t just an aesthetic consideration. You can buy a wood door that’s a little bit heavier, so that you can cut heat loss to the room or improve the sound proofing. The thick door is also heavier, so your pets can’t just push it open to bother you throughout the day, if that’s a concern. In addition, there are also different mounts, like the sliding barn door, that give your room a different feel.

Desk Space

Adjustable desks are very popular right now, and for good reason. You can raise or lower the desk to give your back some relief from sitting all day. You can also attach extras like keyboard trays, to give yourself a more ergonomic experience. In addition to your desk itself, extra shelving and trays will help give everything on your desk a place.

Ventilation and Lighting

Ventilation is another important concept that gets overlooked when you’re planning. Central air vents are where they are, but you can add fans or position your windows and doors to allow for a cross breeze. This would have the effect of cooling the room without using AC.

 

-ETO Doors manages one of the largest door showrooms in Los Angeles. You can browse the entire ETO Doors catalogue online, or read ETO Doors reviews of your favorite brands.

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Oct 02 2014

Business Applications of Portable Power Supplies

Written by: Start Pac

Portable power is in demand, especially as construction takes civilization farther into uncharted territory. Some of these applications are strictly military or industrial, but portable power comes in handy with leisure flights as well. Often, these applications aren’t permanent so portable power fulfills an important role in keeping projects within budget. To support these new needs, other businesses develop to supply that power.

Remote Construction Projects

Construction in remote areas is only made more difficult by power constraints. It’s difficult to maneuver equipment into the jungle, or into a canyon, but there are all sorts of projects that need doing in these remote locations. Running power cables to these locations would be a full-time contract in and of themselves, and these types of projects are typically temporary. A portable battery pack can help jumpstart a tractor in the middle of the desert, so that oil surveys can be conducted. When drilling is ready to commence, more permanent infrastructure can be put into place. Portable power saves money because it keeps contractors agile.

Emergency Jumpstarts

Just like consumers need Triple A to jumpstart a car, turbine starting aircraft sometimes need a boost too. There are plenty of these craft still in operation all across the US, in applications like farming or leisure flights. Jumpstarts also extend to heavy machinery, like heavy trucks or even tanks. Some of this equipment can lay dormant for weeks or even months before it is used, and then only for very specific applications. That stress on the battery necessitates jumpstarts a lot more frequently.

Military Contracting

There is a huge market for portable and heavy-duty power in bases across the country. Businesses who contract these parts essentially rent a ground power unit to the military for the purpose of jumping and maintaining craft. Their maintenance needs a bit different from most commercial operations, who tend to respond to supply and demand. The military is constantly engaged in training and maintenance. Portable power is essential in operations too, where the military must expand into new territory without the infrastructure in place to support a large base.

Conclusions

Airbases across America utilize portable power units because it would be logistically implausible to wire the entire airport for this operation. Ground crews can stay mobile, and airports can handle more flights daily because power is portable. These units are different from the standard generator consumers may find familiar, but the applications are almost exactly the same.

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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 16 2014

Tips on How to Market Your Bridal Makeup Business

Published by under Marketing

Written by Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry

Do you own a bridal makeup business? Whether you’ve recently taken makeup artistry classes in bridal makeup or you’ve been working in the industry for years, there are many creative ways you can market your business and boost your career. Cosmix Inc., a leading makeup artistry school in South Florida, offers the following tips on how to market your bridal makeup business.

Bridal Shows

One of the best ways to reach your target audience is to get a booth at a bridal show. Each year, the bridal industry produces thousands of shows and expos designed to bring businesses in the wedding industry face-to-face with consumers and wedding planners. Make sure to plan at least a year ahead and purchase your booth on time. Early birds usually get discounts on registration.

Wedding Planners

Another great way to gain more business is to network with wedding planners. Get to know the top wedding organizers in your area and if possible, join their network. If a wedding planner likes your work over other makeup artists, they might recommend you to their clients or even add your name to a list of approved vendors for their clients.

Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry is one of the leading schools for makeup artistry in the nation. The school offers makeup training in fashion, beauty, and special FX makeup artistry.

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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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