The 12 Days of Fitness – Holiday Fitness Tips

It’s difficult enough to get into shape during the year but tougher during the holidays. Parties, martinis, and Christmas cookies are plentiful often causing you to lose your map to the treadmill. To ease the stress and inject a little fitness into your holiday season the following twelve days of fitness should guide you right into a fit new year.

On the first day of Christmas stick with the pear tree theme and try more fruit like the seasonal clementines as opposed to cookies.

On the second day of Christmas park a little further from the mall in the daytime to be safe and get some more walking done in addition to your shopping.

On the third day of Christmas try drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced meal before heading out for your holiday party so you won’t eat as much at the party.

On the fourth day of Christmas try inviting friends over to string lights outside and decorate as climbing up and down ladders and stairs should help burn some calories.

On the fifth day of Christmas start to stand further and further away from the food table at the holiday party so you’ll be less likely to make multiple journeys to the food table.

On the sixth day of Christmas get together with family and friends and walk a mile or two to sing carols at a hospital or nursing home.

On the seventh day of Christmas get out the ice skates and take a twirl on the ice to burn calories, go skiing or take the kids sledding.

On the eighth day of Christmas try small portion sizes of seasoned nuts that have a kick for a healthy treat and give some as gifts as well.

On the ninth day of Christmas take the stairs to go to different floors in the mall instead of taking the escalator or elevator.

On the tenth day of Christmas if you live in a snowy region give the gift of snow shoveling to an elderly neighbor and you’ll get the gift of a vigorous workout and the blessing of giving in return.

On the eleventh day of Christmas host a holiday party using a gym or recreational facility and do activities putting a seasonal twist on them (ex try racquetball with red balls, play S-A-N-T-A instead of H-O-R-S-E in basketball).

On the twelfth day of Christmas allow yourself to eat, drink, give gifts and get plenty of rest to start the new year with a revitalized spirit and plenty of energy!

Have a wonderful holiday filled with peace, joy and health for all of your friends and family.

Quick Marketing Tips to Improve Your Business

Marketing is a very important aspect of every business. In fact, no business will succeed if its marketing strategy is not properly defined and executed. But before we go on, let us first define marketing. A good definition is that marketing is the process by which companies determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. That is as clear as any definition can be and inherently already has some good marketing tips in it. We will focus more on the process of determining the interests of the consumer and more particularly, how you can find out what people are thinking with regards to your product or the industry you are in.

For many years top marketers, just like Frank Kern, believe in the power of understanding how the consumer thinks and also feel since much of the buying decisions can also be emotional in nature. But whether it is the practicality of the product or the emotional attachment that the buyer feels about that product, it all boils down to just one thing: what do the buyer think about the product? We will discuss this further by enumerating some marketing tips on how you can get into the minds of your consumers and think just like they do.

First of all one of the most effective and tried and tested approach is by using surveys. You do this by printing out some survey questions or setting up a website where the participants can just click or type their answers. However, unless the essay is essay type, your questions as well as the answers that you will be getting from it can be quite limited. And do not think about creating an all essay type of survey because people hate that kind of stuff. Make it easy for them to answer your questions and as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, a survey will give you a good hint as to what your product means to your consumers or at least to your target market and what areas you need to improve.

Another great free marketing tip is a focus group discussion. In the Frank Kern core influence cd it was discussed that in the decision making process as well as the actual act of buying, what the consumer values most is the experience that he goes through. Therefore it is more than just knowing if a consumer likes a product or not and on which price range does he thinks is fair that are important to discover. Since a focus group discussion is a face to face activity, you can intimately interview the participants and read the emotions that they share, not only verbally but also through their gestures and intonation.

Finally, one of the best marketing tips that you can get is to think like how your consumer would think or behave in a given situation. If that means you have to stereotype your target market, by all means do it. Think of all the qualities and traits that your ideal customer will possess and put all of it in the personality of an imagine person. Then do what that person would normally do like what kind of website he would visit, what restaurants or bars he would frequent, what are his tastes in clothes and food, and so on and so forth. By putting yourself in the shoes of your customer you will have a better understanding of how they think and act.

Build Your Business With Video Marketing

This article is going to provide you with tips to help you use video marketing for your business grow.

YouTube offers editing features for users. You can even add comments and text in your video.

The way to have your video plays an essential role in its success. It is not necessary to own an expensive video that garners the most views. People watch videos that are alright if it contains relevant information that is important to them.

Ensure that you optimize your videos for the search engines. You also need to include any targeted keywords too.It is easy and important to include contact information to make life easier for customers.

Do not fret about your video production for marketing content. You won’t get a fortune to produce a high quality video.Some of the most basic video marketing have been made by large corporations like Dell or Apple.

An effective method in producing your content is by working collaboratively with others. You can use friends, as you may decide that friends, family members or other acquaintances are well-suited to the task.

Make sure your videos remain focused and focused. It is easy to veer off topic if you don’t come prepared. Try making a simple outline of what you want your video. Keep your eye on the prize and stick with what the topic is teaching if you will have success at video marketing.

This is known as the “call to action”. For example, to get viewers to register for a mailing list, request that they click your link in the video’s description.

When you’ve got a lot of great feedback, get to it.

If you will be uploading a video on YouTube, you need to be moderating the comments.If you cannot answer your comments, you should disable them.

You don’t have to have a professional camera just to make a great video. Most computers are capable of the time all you have to do is put some good software on your computer. You can also use your smartphone!

Offer a free incentive, such as an eBook or report, and tell them what they’ll get in return. They will believe your face.

Make “how-to” videos that demonstrate how to do something related to your business. Be sure your video provides all the information it needs to teach the viewer needs. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a video only to find out it teaches you just directs them to buy complete “how-to” guides or products. When providing services and products, people will enjoy working with you.

Voice overs can be great if you’re too timid to appear in person.You may not have been putting it off because you don’t feel like being seen onscreen. You might just show your products and then talk over it. Just record what you have to say and then play it over the video.

Those who do well with video marketing realize that comments left on the videos. There are times that questions need quick responses.

What are the questions you have about your company or product? Your customers have the same things. Give them to everyone in a video that informs and easy to understand. If your video is fun to watch, people will be more likely to share them widely, and will thus grow your client base as greater numbers of people view it.

Watch videos from other companies before you make your next video. Find out your own video preferences from the perspective of a consumer yourself. Ask those you to try to do this as well. Use whatever information you gather to make your videos a success.

Once you get used to creating videos on a regular basis, try making a podcast that runs monthly or weekly. Podcasts have become an incredibly popular in the past few years. You should use of this excellent niche market. Many viewers will enjoy downloading podcasts and watching it at their leisure.

Do not have your videos. Allow your site to decide whether or not they want to play your videos. They may be visiting your site in a place where a sudden, or they may just not want to. Let them make the video.

How can you measure the success of your progress if you don’t read comments or check statistics?

Be sure that you are aware of comments and feedback left regarding your videos.You want to respond to them and to be respectful to your customers. People want to get more information, and the things they have to say about your videos might be helpful to you in a number of different ways.Use these situations to your videos better.

Your marketing department is not the only group who should brainstorm.

Put a part of yourself into your video. Talk about your expertise and what you specialize in. Let the viewers get a picture of who you are one video at a time. Don’t overdo it, but share more of yourself each video.

You should instead focus on affordable videos you can use to your advantage online or at events. You could also look into contracting a production company make it.

This gives you a good opportunity to re-connect with your customers to see what your product or services. Don’t forget to include your store’s link as well.

Keep in mind that only early birds get the day.You want to be the first person talking about a trending news item. This will get you more views and that can boost your number of customers. If you see something that is popular for news, immediately post a video.

Video marketing can improve your business in numerous ways. The amount of online exposure, making yourself appear trustworthy and professional, and more. Sit down and develop a strong video marketing strategy. Your company will quickly reap benefits.

How to Choose a Auto Body Shop When You Have Been Involved in an Accident – Valuable Information

When you have had the unfortunate event of being in a automotive collision, the last thing you need is to have a bad experience with an auto body shop not doing their job. A good auto body shop will fix your car back to pre-loss condition, both in appearance and in structural and mechanical integrity. A great auto body shop will almost make you feel like the accident never happened. They should start with customer service better then you get at a good restaurant. They should ask if everyone was OK after the accident, generally, they should be more interested in your needs and concerns then their own profit margins. The sad thing is there are many body shops that are just in it for a quick buck and do not have the customer skills or even the repair skills to do the job you, or your insurance company, is paying for. So how do you weed those shops out?

I have been in this industry for over 25 years in the same area, I have worked in high quality auto body shops large and small, and have owned my own collision and custom shop in Portland Oregon for the last 8 years. In my area there are hundreds of auto body repair shops in a very small area, yet I only know a few I would trust with my vehicles. So for the most part you have to be as informed as you can, and ask a lot of questions.

I am going to give you some information about the industry that will hopefully help to make that informed decision a little easier. First, do not let your insurance company tell you where to have your vehicle repaired, in most cases they have contracts with the shop to save them money in exchange for sending them your vehicle. in this case the insurance company saves money, the shop gets the work but has to cut corners to keep the cost down for the insurance company. And you, the one that pays the insurance company all those inflated premiums, and pays the body shop your deductible gets a substandard repair. The insurance company may say “if you don’t take the job to our repair shop we can’t guaranty the work”, the fact is any and all good auto body shops guaranty their work for as long as you own your car, if they don’t, go somewhere else.

Next thing to do is be sure to question the person who is estimating your damage, smaller shop owners will usually take care of you personally, and in most cases, actually be involved in the repair process. In most of the larger or chain shops the person writing the estimate on how to fix your vehicle is a salesperson, usually having absolutely no experience repairing cars, not to say that the techs working at that shop wont fix your car correctly, but they may just not feel like rewriting the estimate the way it should of been written to begin with. Just be aware and ask the questions. Also small shops may not have all the fancy lasers and computer operated equipment of a large shop, Then again lasers and computers don’t fix cars in most cases they are sales tools and rarely used. Even a frame rack although necessary is nothing more then a few well placed trees, they don’t fix cars, the tech is the most important part of the repair.

Ask if the body shop is on any insurance programs or DRP,(direct repair programs) if they are ask why? the only reason I know why a auto body shop would agree to be on a DRP would be to get work that they couldn’t get on their own. Again this does not mean just because they have a DRP they are not a great shop, but if they have 20 DRP’s then I would be a little concerned? Ask them to explain.

And by far the best resource for finding a good body shop is word of mouth, a friend that’s had work done and is happy to let you know about the auto body shop he had good luck with is a good sign they were treated well. If you have no friends or coworkers that have had resent repairs, you can try the local automotive paint supply stores in the area, they visit shops large and small every day and may be able to help you out.

I hope this gives you a starting point, there is so much more to information on this subject and I will try to keep writing more articles in the near future.

Commercial Dishwashers – The Best Method to Optimize Your Employers’ Time

In a restaurant business or any business related to food processing, time and quality are very essential. As they say, do not let your customers wait for a very long time or else it will hurt your business. Commercial dishwashers were conceptualized to speed up employers’ work so that they could offer quality services. These mechanical devices help clean dishes, utensils and may even clean large volume containers. Today, there are many types of industrial/commercial cleansers aside from the commercial dishwashers. Here are some of them.Pot, Pan & Utensil WashersGenerally, these cleaners come in variety of styles and capacities. You can choose from split door, lift door or drop-down design depending on your preference. You can also choose washers with or without optional tabling. For better convenience, select machine washers with push button feature as they are typically easy to operate and loaded. In addition, go for bathers with flexible racking systems and automatic washing and sanitizing features.Rack, Pan & Utensil CleanersThese washers are designed for heavy duty works. They clean carts, racks and cabinets quickly and efficiently. Some of these cleaners can also accommodate different kinds of containers through their special roll-in wash racks. The racks were designed to also accommodate specific items. Some of these cleansers have custom designed to fit customer’s needs and preferences. You may add second door for pass-through operation.Vat, Bin & IBC Tote CleansersWhen large volume containers are an issue when cleaning, these washers are highly recommended as they are developed for cleaning and sanitizing vats, bins, tanks, troughs, trucks, buggies, combos and so on. Among dishwasher comparison, high end machineries can lift and invert containers for washing or rinsing and once the rinsing is done, the containers are immediately placed on the floor. This type of industrial cleaners is commonly found in industries related to food processing.

How To Make Money With Photography

There are many ways to make money online with photography, but a popular and fairly new way is through Micro Stock Photography websites.Micro stock is simply photography that’s sold at deep discounts. Clients are able to license stock photos for just $1 or $2, and photographers earn money each time a client chooses one of their photos.Micro stock is considered to be still in it’s infancy, and some people feel it’s wrong to sell photography at such low prices. Particularly since many professional photographers invest a lot of time and money on equipment, learning, and photo shoots.For the beginning photographer though, micro stock photo agencies can be ideal places to start. Since entry requirements are not overly restrictive, many hobby photographers with inexpensive cameras have already started making a nice second income from their pictures.How Does It Work?The process of making money from your photography through micro stock agencies is fairly simple.1. Research popular micro stock photography agencies online. There are quite a few of them, but you’ll want to start with just one or two until you get the hang of things.2. Choose your absolute best pictures to submit. Some agencies require you to submit 10 pictures for review when you apply for an account with them, while others only require three the first time. Most don’t have minimum requirements though, and you can start by submitting just one.3. Your pictures will be reviewed by humans, and accepted or rejected into the micro stock photography site. If they’re accepted, they’ll be available for clients to “buy”.Technically they’re not fully buying your pictures though. They’re simply licensing the pictures for specific use. Usually micro stock photography is used in websites, though sometimes it’s used in advertisements, brochures and other marketing materials. The photographer always retains full copyrights to their photos though, and is normally able to sell the same photos over and over again to additional clients.And this is the beauty of stock photography. Once you’ve taken a great picture and had it accepted into a stock photography portfolio, that one picture can continue earning you money month after month… sometimes year after year.Most micro stock photography agencies pay $0.20 – $0.50 per picture license, or download. This may not seem like much, however a good photographer with several hundred pictures for sale could make a nice second income over time, because it all adds up!There’s a lot more to the stock photography business, which we don’t have room to cover in just one article. You’ll find expanded details about making money with stock photos in the books noted below.

Where to Get Homeowners Insurance Company Rankings

Homeowners insurance company rankings can tell you a lot about insurance companies. Here’s where to find insurance company rankings that will help you determine which company is best for your homeowners insurance needs.Consumer RankingsThe best place I’ve found to get homeowners insurance consumer rankings is at J.D. Power & Associates. They are an independent information company that conducts customer surveys and provides unbiased customer reviews and ratings on a variety of products and services.J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on their policy prices, policy options, claims handling, and customer service. Their ratings go from five circles (the best companies) to two circles (the worst). I recommend purchasing your homeowners insurance with a company that has a rating of three circles or higher.Insurance Department RankingsEvery state has a department of insurance that oversees insurance companies, and most states have a website that provides insurance statistics. One of the most useful statistics they provide is a list of complaints made against insurance companies by their customers. These complaints are a good way to find out how reliable a company is, and how it treats its customers.If your state insurance department doesn’t list insurance company complaints, you can get this information at the California Department of Insurance website ( major companies have had complaints filed against them, so I recommend going with a company that has a lower than average number of complaints.Financial Rankings Financial rankings are a good way to determine an insurance company’s ability to pay its claims. A.M. Best ( rates insurance companies based on their financial strength. A high rating means a company has enough financial assets to pay it’s claims.A.M. Best rates companies from A++ (their highest rating) to D (their lowest). I recommend purchasing insurance through a company with a B+ rating or higher.Getting Low Cost Insurance With A-Rated CompaniesThe best place to get low cost homeowners insurance is at an insurance comparison website. Some of these sites provide an online chat service so you can get answers to your homeowners insurance questions from an insurance expert, and get help in lowering your insurance cost. (see link below).


  • Automotive Franchises May Be Your Perfect Financial Vehicle

    Why, you may ask? The automotive repair industry is huge business and is growing. Consumers spend an average of nearly $1000 on vehicle maintenance annually. Recession equals opportunity, and it’s especially true in the automotive repair industry. Consumers continue to keep their cars and trucks on the road longer, so it stands to reason that as they age, they need more maintenance. In 2003, the average age of vehicles on the road reached 8.5 years old. By 2008, it was 9.5 years and in 2012, it’s increased to 10.5 years. Choosing to partner with an automotive franchise that seeks to address the needs of thrifty car owners, especially in a recession-type atmosphere, can be an investment well worth your time, investment, and effort.As a franchise seeker, you also have the luxury of choosing among several specialized types of automotive franchise businesses, such as transmission, oil change and maintenance, glass repair, collision, paint, and car washes, to name a few.You may say “I’m not at all mechanically inclined and know zero about the automotive business.” Well, that concern is completely addressed by the superb ongoing support and repetitive training that is provided by the better automotive franchises. You’re shown exactly how to operate a successful, profitable franchise business beginning from your first day as an automotive franchisee.Consider this. Auto franchise owners come from quite the wide array of backgrounds, such as insurance agents, pastors, business brokers, welders, engineers, teachers, etc. Most knew practically nothing about how to run a profitable automotive franchise.Which type of auto franchise is best for you? There are several considerations here, such as the number and types of similar franchises that are nearby, your ability to expand your business if you choose to do so, the overall reputation of the franchisor and how long they have been in business, and the amount and quality of training and support that you will receive.In addition, brand recognition is absolutely vital to the success of an automotive franchise. Savvy consumers look for businesses that have a top-notch reputation that they can trust with their vehicles. Names that are unique and memorable, with a history of innovative advertising and marketing.Be sure to do your due diligence as you take the first crucial steps in acquiring an automotive franchise business. As every successful entrepreneur knows, your initial research is vital to owning a thriving business. Identifying the right type of franchise business can be very challenging and time-consuming. I’m happy to do the heavy lifting for you by sorting through the hundreds of franchise businesses and helping you identify and attain the best one for you.

    Hiring Employees: Checking References To Insure Quality People

    When you must take on employees for your business, you will have to go through the hiring process. After preliminary interviews, you should be able to narrow the field to three or four top candidates. And that is the time to do a little detective work to insure you have the right (and honest) employees coming in.It’s estimated that up to one-third of job applicants lie about their experience and educational achievements on their resumes or job applications. No matter how sterling the person seems in the interview process, a few phone calls upfront to check out their claims could save you a lot of hassle – and even legal battles – later on. Today, courts are increasingly holding employers liable for crimes employees commit on the job, such as drunk driving, when it is determined that the employer could have been expected to know about prior convictions for similar offenses.Unfortunately, getting that information has become harder and harder to do. Fearful of reprisals from former employees, many firms have adopted policies that forbid releasing detailed information. Generally, the investigating party is referred to a personnel department, which supplies dates of employment, title and salary – nothing more.There are ways to dig deeper, however. Try to avoid the human resources department if at all possible. Instead, try calling the person’s former supervisor directly. While the supervisor may be required to send you to personnel, sometimes you’ll get lucky and get the person on a day he or she feels like talking. Sometimes, too, a supervisor can tip you off without saying anything that will get him or her in trouble. Consider the supervisor who, when contacted by one potential employer, said, “I only give good references.” When the employer asked, “What can you tell me about X?” the supervisor repeated, “I only give good references.” Without saying anything, he said it all.Depending on the position, you may also want to do education checks. You can call any college or university’s admissions department to verify degrees and dates of attendance. Some universities will require a written request or a signed waiver from the applicant before releasing any kind of information to you.If the person is going to be driving a company vehicle, you may want to do a motor vehicle check with the motor vehicle department. In fact, you may want to do this even if he or she will not be driving for you. Vehicle checks can uncover patterns of negligence or drug and alcohol problems that he or she might have.If your company deals with property management, such as maintenance or cleaning, you may want to consider a criminal background check as well. Unfortunately, national criminal records and even state records are not coordinated. The only way to obtain criminal records is to go to individual courthouses in each county. Although you can’t run all over the state to check into a person’s record, it’s generally sufficient to investigate records in three counties birthplace, current residence and residence preceding the current residence.For certain positions, such as those that will give an employee access to your company’s cash (a cashier or accounting clerk, for instance), a credit check may be a good idea as well. You can find credit reporting bureaus in any Yellow Pages. They will be able to provide you with a limited credit and payment history. While you should not rely on this as the sole reason not to hire someone (credit reports are notorious for containing errors), a credit report can contribute to a total picture of irresponsible behavior. And if the person will have access to large sums of money at your company, hiring someone who is in serious debt is probably not a very good idea. Be aware, however, that if a credit check plays any role in your decision not to hire someone, you must inform them that they were turned down in part because of their credit report.

    How To Get A Good Plumbing Company

    Finding a plumbing company is a task that falls to all home owners at one point or another. Though the process can be stressful, it can be accomplished by considering the situation carefully. Some individuals will have called upon a plumber before and will already have one in mind. Others will have to start from scratch, but with a little help should be able to find what they are looking for and fix their problem.Licensing is key for any business and plumbing is no different. Most areas will regulate plumbers by ordering that those who are practicing also obtain a license. If a professional is both licensed and experienced, there is a very good chance that he/she does good work and will be able to solve any number of problems. When choosing someone, people should ask how long they’ve been working in the field.Anyone who has a problem with their pipes should go in for a formal consultation with a business that he/she might hire. The company can provide a basic run down of the kinds of services that are offered, and also provide a basic quote as to how much the problem might cost to fix. The owner of the house with the problem can also ask questions and discuss any possible concerns that might have arisen.Friends and family members should not be ignored for key sources of information. Often, they will have been through the same kind of problem in the past and will be able to provide some much needed advice. Sometimes, an individual might even have a plumber in the family. In this case, the issue might be fixed for free. In the worst case, a deep discount will be secured.One of the main things that plumbers take care of is leaky pipes or pipes that may soon develop a leak. Faucets that continuously drip water can wrack up huge water bills and cost families a lot of money over the long haul. It is always a better idea to deal with these kinds of problems early on so that they can be taken care of. Some plumbing problems worsen over time and can cause flooding.Blueprints are usually thought of as belong in the realm of the architect but this is not necessarily the case. A plumber can also make ready use of these types of things as they always show exactly where the pipes are in a house or building. This is especially important for anyone who is doing a renovation. When a remodeling is being done a professional should be consulted to make sure no pipes or other fixtures are damaged.Plumbing companies play major roles not just in the development of houses but also in the layout of whole sections of towns and cities. Like any other area where people live big cities need pipes through which to get water to houses and businesses. When problems occur, plumbers are often looked to for advice on how to proceed. The last thing a city wants is a water problem near the middle of the downtown area.A plumbing company can provide significant help to individuals that need it. As long as the individual does the homework and performs a bit of basic research, he/she should be able to find a quality business for whatever is needed.