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

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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Jan 22 2015

San Francisco General Strike

Published by under Business

By Phin Upham

The Great Depression was a time where work was scarce, but working conditions were less than favorable. A far cry from the clean factory floors of today, the factories of Depression era manufacturing were filthy and dangerous. The San Francisco General Strike that took place in July of 1934 occurred for just four days, but the tensions that fueled that outburst were brewing for months.

A labor dispute with the dockworkers kicked the strike off. The dock workers demanded higher pay, more and better hours, and control over the hiring process. They set a deadline for their demands, and by May 10th were picketing the docks.

Protestors clashed with police on July 5th as the harbor opened its docks and began to unload ships with ringers. 1,000 armed cops showed up to the conflict, and photos from the day show heavy smoke from what appears to be either gunfire or tear gas. 64 people were injured, two were killed, and the event would come to be called “Bloody Thursday.”

It was a tragedy, and there was a massive public funeral for the two men who were killed. Massive support for the workers eventually grinded all operations to a halt for four days. In the end, the dock workers did get most of what they wanted, and the strike directly influenced the creation of the National Labor Relations Board that exists to protect the rights of workers. Some argue that unions aren’t what they used to be, and perhaps that’s true, but the General Strike showed what unions could do and that lent them credence that lasts into the modern era.

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

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Jan 20 2015

How Buy-Side Platforms Leverage Data, and How Your Campaigns Benefit

Published by under Advertising

Data is the greatest asset that a marketer can have over competitors. Your advantage is your ability to learn and to process what you learn for your gain. When you purchase traffic from a buy-side platform, the data you have powers much of your ability to reach the proper market segments and convert them to your offer.

Big Data

Ad exchanges purchase traffic from many sell-side platforms, and they work hard to match marketers up to demographic segments as appropriate. As a result, you benefit directly from the ability to target beyond interest. Begin with an analysis of your campaign and goals before working to find segments of traffic that will help you meet them. Find the qualities that describe your ideal user, down to education level and a host of other personal qualities. A self-service solution leverages that same data at a budget you set, with options you alter.

Audience Matters

The greater effort you put into understanding your buyer, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to reach them. The traffic available on a standard DSP is too much to approach without targeting. You’ll spend your entire budget without learning anything actionable.

Begin by developing a profile of your audience based on what you know about the market. Read news stories about your product and market segment, review comments posted on these stories, study trends from search engines, and follow keywords to see which are the most competitive terms.

Narrowing Focus to Expand Performance

The concept seems counter-intuitive at first glance. Think of this process like trimming the fat away from your campaigns to get to the meat inside. By narrowing your focus to a specific age group, income level, or marital status, you can gain data to assist you in future testing. For example, you may notice that your conversions tend to happen Monday afternoons, which would help you focus your budget towards reaching your market on that day while you test for opportunities elsewhere.

The amount of traffic to purchase is nearly limitless, but narrowing your focus will help your budget go toward something actionable.


Arming yourself with competitive knowledge about the market segments you want to reach is your best weapon. A lack of knowledge is the equivalent to money on the table, and with so much of it available freely there is no reason to leave that money alone.

Bio: Ted Dhanik started his display advertising career in the early 2000s, building brands like and through targeted banner advertising. Ted Dhanik is currently the CEO and co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik offers tips for mobile advertising through Ad Age and Venture Beat.

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Jan 13 2015

How Web EDI Has Changed Business Transactions

Published by under Business Services

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

Web EDI pertains to the electronic exchange of documents by using internet-enabled EDI platforms. This system allows companies to include their business partners within their EDI. Through internet-based HTML forms, messages can be accessed by any user within the system. This allows users to fill in forms and to have them transmitted in XML format to a translation application. The role of this EDI software is to convert the message into relevant EDI standard to have it transferred to partner companies.

Prior to the global use of the internet, companies had to use value added networks (VAN) to be able to transmit data from company to company. The internet has enabled companies to move data more quickly and cost-effectively as compared to having to the charges found in typical VAN contracts. As a response to the shift in technology, service providers are now providing various web-based services such as EDI translation, encryption, secured email services and reports that would be beneficial to the company and relevant to its management.

EDI services constitute of several benefits to the company, the most notable ones being the decrease of costs associated with paperworks, the increase in speed in business transactions and efficiency in the performance of employees. At a more strategic level, the use of EDI allows real-time visibility of transactions. This aids in strategic decision-making and responsiveness to business demands.

ACT Data Services is an EDI services bureau. The company has operated since 1985 and has been approved to manage walmart edi by top executives of the company.

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Jan 07 2015

The Future of Power in Aviation

Written by: Start Pac

One of the biggest changes coming to aviation in the next few years is how efficiently craft are able to handle power. Airplanes have an extremely heavy work load, and must run for long periods of time when they do function. There is often little down time between flights, so commercial aircraft are surprisingly resilient considering the stress they are put under.

That’s what makes power management so interesting, and so crucial to the development of sustainable air travel.  The portable power pack that gives planes the jumpstart they need to get off the ground is becoming more efficient, requiring less to jumpstart the plane. As efficiency becomes a prime concern for everyone, the way a plane consumes power will ultimately set it apart from its ilk.

Jumpstarting Planes

Not much has changed in the way of jumpstarting planes. Even the connectors that bridge the turbine starting unit to the plane have remained the same year over year. Planes still require that jolt to get the engine turning over once they’ve powered down, but ground crews are completing the task faster. Lithium-ion technology is not standard, yet it is affecting the small number of craft that use batteries made of lithium-ion dramatically.

When a battery receives a charge, some of that electricity is transferred in the form of heat loss. Any transfer of energy tends to generate heat, but newer batters are using more of that electricity and losing less of it. This means that planes can travel farther on a lighter charge.

Other Changes

Lithium ground support equipment also helps improve efficiency out on the tarmac. Lithium packs that hold a charge more efficiently end up helping crews stay mobile. One unit can be split into two smaller lithium packs, helping crews efficiently prep lighter craft before moving onto the larger airliners. Plus, with a recharge time of just four hours, crews can keep their systems working throughout the day without too much down time. Lithium also doesn’t carry the risk of sulfation, which is an affect that you’ve probably seen on your car battery. When the acids in a lead-acid battery mix, they tend to have a reaction that produces corrosive materials. Lithium-ion doesn’t suffer from this issue, so its long term use is more reliable.

Final Thoughts

Lithium-ion, the same technology that powers our laptops and cell phones, is fast becoming the technology that helps us get to where we need to go.

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Dec 13 2014

Swarovski Supplies online

Published by under Business Services

Written by Too Cute Beads

Swarovski is a world-renowned Austrian brand that has operated in the crystal manufacturing industry since as long as far back as 1895. The company’s precision cut crystals are mostly suited for designer jewelry making purposes. The crystals have come to represent a great level of expertise as they are crafted with care and they have become a symbol of quality in the industry.

These particular crystals are now cut in numerous shapes and they come in different colors. They would make great additions to your jewelry kits as these are used for the confection of pendants as well as other forms of jewelry. Swarovski does not only make crystals, the company also produces crystals pearls and beads. One of the places where you might be able to find a variety of Swarovski crystals would be online.

If you are intending to craft your own jewelry, then you might consider ordering loose swarovski crystals. These can then be transformed into earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces. These crystals are usually very durable so they would be thoughtful presents for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays.

In the case that you are looking for a good alternative to pearl, you could also purchase Swarovski crystal pearls. These are specifically made to look like real pearls and they come in different colors and sizes. These types of pearls can be perfect as gifts on occasions such as your mom’s birthday.

Too Cute Beads is an online company that sells Swarovski pendants and other jewelry supplies such as earring kits since 1998.

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Dec 11 2014

Four Tips to a More Engaging Ad

Published by under Advertising

Engagement is becoming an important part of display advertising and digital marketing, but it’s difficult to quantify, even with desktop users. Much of that work involves engaging with your customer base in a meaningful way, generating data you can use to improve your ads based on what customers do once they see your page. How you define and measure that data will determine how precise your efforts at targeting will be.

Willingness to Engage

You have to view your advertising in the context of where it may be published. This is why buy-side platforms allow you to target by interest. Targeting customers by their interest is a good way to apply your competitive research too. Customers interested in the categories that match your products are typically interested in seeing ads like yours. This will increase your click thru rate, and improve your chances of getting a conversion.

Utilize Best Practices

Many of the same practices that you utilize for banner advertising also apply to the mobile sector, but ad sizes are very different on mobile. Check with your buy-side platform to see which ad sizes perform best. Also be sure that your ads do not contain loud colors, or text that is hard to see. Test your ad units thoroughly. Run your own testing to confirm that your page loads efficiently and that mobile users can see everything.

Personalize, but Don’t Over Personalize

Generally, some of the biggest names in advertising agree that we are headed toward predictive marketing. That’s what makes targeting so useful. It allows advertisers to deliver a precise message to an intended audience. However, there is a dark side to this targeting that you need to be aware of. Ads tend to follow users around if they repeat searches within the categories you target. Wherever possible, fine tune the frequency of your advertising and try to target new users by expanding your target market.

Practical Tips

Rich media content is still popular in mobile advertising, especially content that encourages users to do something interactive. It’s also important to remain part of a seamless experience, so how your ads are shown is extremely important.

Bio: Ted Dhanik leads the team at engage:BDR, home to a buy-side platform for desktop and mobile advertising. Ted Dhanik previously helped develop brands and Ted Dhanik is available at engage:BDR.

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Nov 20 2014

Cut Costs on HR Management Without Cutting People

Published by under Business Services

Written by: Allied Time

Human resources are a company’s greatest asset, but they are also one of the costliest parts of doing business. The good news is there are ways to trim the costs of managing your employees without cutting your staff, like investing in new time clocks that keep time accurately. Layoffs are regrettable in almost every situation, so if you’re weighing layoffs for your company then this information is especially timely for you. Before you consider cutting staff, consider cutting costs first.

Save on Insurance

With the new healthcare laws, mid-sized businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with the requirements to supply health care to workers. You also face steep penalties for not fulfilling this requirement. One option you have is to share costs of healthcare with workers. You can raise the deductibles and lower some of the premiums to try and cut services your employees aren’t utilizing and save everyone some money. Another alternative is creating a wellness program in your business, that rewards employees with lower premiums based on their health. It’s also a good way to incentivize healthy lifestyles.

Save on Time Management

Utilizing fingerprint time clocks will help employees log into their terminals faster, as they won’t need to waste time recalling a password. These clocks are also hooked into time systems online, enabling management to balance schedules quickly. Employees can check time and make their own edits as well, so HR only needs to approve the time.

Save on Time Fraud

It’s not something we like to think about, but time fraud is real. Employers that utilize biometric time clocks tend to have fewer incidences of fraud, as the biometrics confirm a user’s identity. The clocks won’t keep a worker on site all day, but will make it much harder for that worker to deceive management by trying to clock in and out at strategic times.

Save on Payroll

When you utilize time clocks and online systems, your human resource team needs to do a lot less processing for payroll. The hours will be noted properly, barring some malfunction in the system, and approval is a matter of getting confirmation and cutting a check to the employee. Everyone benefits from a simpler system, especially the business owner. Payroll deadlines are like crunch time every other week, so relieving HR of the stresses involved in payroll processing will make their work manageable and allow them to concentrate on services for employees.

Related Story: How One Piece of Equipment can Improve Employee Performance

Related Story: Time Theft: Is It Really a Crime?

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Nov 17 2014

The Future of Engagement

Published by under Advertising

The concept of engagement has evolved quite a bit throughout history. Early advertisers used the idea of engagement to literally engage people, often employing someone to stand on a street corner and howl out deals to passersby. Engagement evolved further to encompass market reach, and referred to publications that were widely read.

Today, the definition is very different thanks to the wealth of metrics available to advertisers. Advertisers who utilize Analytics with display advertising can track a user’s behavior on the page. This helps develop campaigns that are targeted to a specific type of person, leading to higher conversion rates and better click-thrus.

Dialogue with Consumers

Businesses can have a dialogue of sorts with consumers, based on data acquired in real-time. Testing an ad for even a few hours can tell you so much about how users react to changes in your copy or form. This level of interaction essentially means that consumers and businesses shape the brand moment-by-moment.

You can tell, based on bounce rates and clicks, what your consumers respond to. Applying this logic to your banner advertising will tell you which changes have the greatest impact. That is far more effective than simply waiting around for users on Facebook to tell you what they think about your products.

Consumer Behavior

What these trends have revealed is that consumer behavior is erratic, and not simple to define. We can categorize consumers by types, but individuals prove very difficult to target as we are each driven by our own desires. The future of engagement will be somewhat predictive, and we can already see this at work with ads around the Web.

Based on our search terms, or our interests, ad exchanges are able to serve us ads that increasingly target specific interests. Engagement won’t just be a measure of a brand’s reach. It will encompass a consumer’s interaction with that brand, and the image will shape in real-time before the public eye.

The Power of Data

Data will only become more prevalent in this emerging world of marketing, especially as more users adopt mobile for shopping. Mobile marketers are already targeting consumers on the hyper local level. As the level of data grows, so will the complexity of dealing with it. Companies will need to learn how to identify important data sets and take actions accordingly. The major players in the future will be those who are able to process data into actionable items.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the CEO of engage:BDR, a direct marketing company based out of Los Angeles. Ted Dhanik is a banner advertising guru who sold ad space for and Ted Dhanik co-founded engage:BDR with the goal of increasing leads for business through direct advertising.

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Nov 10 2014

Huge benefits of e-commerce for small businesses

Published by under Business Services

Written by Act Data Services, Inc. 1-800-ACT-DATA

It is a given fact that small businesses have trouble competing with larger businesses that are established and have larger business networks that would be very difficult to try and topple. However, thanks to EDI or electronic data interchange, smaller businesses now have a better chance at competing now thanks to e-commerce. Communicating with different businesses from around the world has now been a whole lot easier and affordable as well all thanks to this wonderful innovation. This means that if you are a small business owner, you will be able to compete with larger businesses if you have a product that can really sell. You can establish a larger network through e-commerce and you will also be able to establish a larger network for you to be able to transact more business. In other words, e-commerce is how you can put your business on the fast track to growth and progress. This is because through edi service, you will be able to reach clients from different corners of the world with virtually low to no cost at all. You no longer have to put up with high and expensive international call rates. Communication and information is key in business, and through EDI, these two will be at the palm of your hands. You will be connected to the people who can make your business successful. That means more investors, more clients, and a larger market share for you as well. Now is that something you would like to be interested in?

EDI provider is the best when it comes to e-commerce. It’s where you can get the most reliable and affordable service.

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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.


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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