Ready to Take Aim with the Perfect Hunt?

The Perfect Hunt always ends with the prize(s) in the bag

Photo by CC user 54193473@N00 on Flickr

Are you a hunter who is always meticulous when it comes to planning the perfect hunt?

If so, you’re one of those hunters who likely enjoy his or her experience each and every time.

For others, however, just some more planning would likely mean the difference between a great hunt and an average one.

With that being the case, are you ready to take aim with the perfect hunt?

Put Your Plan in Motion

The goal of any hunt is not only to have a great time (be it on your own or with fellow hunters), but to also bring home the game you set out in search of in the first place.

Part of that process involves going into the woods with the right weaponry.

Whether you are an experienced hunter and gun collector or will be venturing out for the first time, having the right weapon or weapons by your side is important.

For those more difficult to track and shoot animals, having items such as the Bresser Trueview and others like them can mean the difference between a successful hunt and having to tell others about the one or ones that got away.

When shopping for weapons and the parts and pieces to go with them, keep these tips in mind:

  • History – Always take note of how long a gun seller has been in business. Does their store come with high recommendations from other gun owners? Do they take the necessary time to work with hunters who do not have a ton of experience out in the woods? While there are certainly different ways to learn how to properly hunt, knowing how to operate the weapon of choice is first and foremost of importance. When you have a gun shop that is willing to take some time and show you the different intricacies of a weapon, it bodes well for you and the other hunters around you;
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  • Customer service – Where you shop for your gun/s should also be predicated on what kind of customer service they provide. Do they take the time to answer any and all questions you may have? Do they come highly recommend from other hunters, some of whom may be in your family or among your friends or co-workers? Lastly, have they had any issues with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or even law enforcement over time? Get to know them before you make a purchase;
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  • Internet – More and more gun shops are spending time putting together and keeping current their websites. While many gun sales are still done via word-of-mouth and through bonds that have been built over decades, others are more recent. This is due to the simple fact that a hunter will come across a gun owner’s website during an Internet search. In doing so, he or she can see a variety of guns and accessories that are available for purchase. Yes, going into the store is still oftentimes recommended, but knowing specifically what you are looking for is made easier with a simple online search. Speaking of online, also look at some of the chatter on social media. Hunters can find out what other hunters are saying about specific gun stores, guns, accessories for those weapons, and much more. Getting some feedback on one or all of these matters will make for a more informed hunter when all is said and done;
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  • Budget – Finally, about how much or you willing to spend to essentially be fully outfitted to hunt? Some hunters will go all out and spend like crazy. Others, meantime, will take a more cautious approach in buying gear etc. Determine within your budget how much you can spend on items, potential travel to go hunt etc. If you have the money available for lots of gear and traveling to various hunting destinations, by all means do it. Hunting can turn out to give you one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of your life, yet prove relaxing at the same time.

 

If the time and season have come for you to go hunting, make the time and effort to be prepared.

When you do that, the hunt will have you feeling quite game.

 

 

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Lost access to your lifeline? Dial-in to unlock a phone today

Knowing how to unlock a phone can save you much stress in the future...

Photo by http://photos.oliur.com/ and https://www.pexels.com

For many consumers, their phones are pretty much their entire lives.

Whether they run their own small businesses, work for others, or are just regular consumers going about their business on a daily basis, staying connected to the outside world is oftentimes done via the phone.

Stop for a moment yourself and think about what happens when you misplace your phone or get locked out of it. How soon until that sense of panic sets in?

Whether you lose your phone or have trouble getting into it, having the right help available when you need to unlock a phone is critical.

With that being the case, how much time and effort do you put into finding the right provider for your phone?

Connect with the Right Phone Provider

So that you can choose the best phone option from day one for your needs, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Best offers – You will undoubtedly be searching for the best provider at the best rates. So that you can locate such deals, make sure you do your research. Such research can be done both in-person (visiting stores, talking to others who may have recently purchased new phones etc.) and by going online. Look to see what types of contact (if any) are included and/or required. Depending on the time of year, providers may be running special deals, so keep your eyes open for those too;
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  • Customer service – As important as quality and price of any piece of merchandise is that you ever purchase, the provider’s level of customer service can never be taken for granted. You may have the best phone in the world, but how is that provider and/or service when you go to them with an issue or question? Do they respond immediately? Do they keep you waiting (literally on hold) for a long period of time? Do they provide you with successful responses more times than failures? Having a phone provider give you unparalleled customer service should never be taken for granted. If the situation calls where you need to use Unlock-Network to unlock your phone, having the right company by your side for this task is crucial. Being locked out of your phone can be one of the most frustrating things to happen to you, especially if you need your phone for an emergency matter such as a health issue, broken down vehicle etc. Always remember to gauge the level of customer service you receive in any phone matter, allowing you to dial-in to where you will best be served;
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  • Protecting your phone – Whether for business or pleasure, your cell phone should be secured at all times. What would happen if you accidentally misplaced your phone or it was stolen? What kind of personal or small business information do you have on there that could be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands? Just like your wallet or purse, you don’t want your personal phone getting away from you. If it does, trying to locate it typically comes down to dialing the number to see if you get a nearby ring, asking those you were around last if they have spotted and/or found your phone, or going to the painful choice of having to acquire a new phone. As a preventative measure, never store financial information or other such sensitive data on your phone. If the phone is lost, you could find your finances targeted and/or hacked into. As for physical protection of your phone, handle it with care at all times. Dropping a smartphone just once could lead to having to replace it, something that typically does not come cheaply.

 

If you use your phone minimally at best, even getting locked out of it once can be a frustrating time.

When you purchase whatever cell phone is best for your needs, be sure to learn as much about the item as possible. In doing so; lessen the chances of having issues with it down the road.

For those times when you are locked out or your phone simply is not living up to the standards you expected of it when purchased, make sure you seek remedies to all but eliminate the problem/s from ever happening again.

 

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Is Your Business Wasting Time?

What is the biggest challenge or challenges in your mind of running your business?

Some business owners will automatically point to having to manage workers, while others will note keeping within a budget can prove quite the challenge at times. Still others single out the issue of having to properly market and/or advertise their brands.

One item that can oftentimes go unnoticed is making sure you’re properly using technology.

With all that technology has to offer your business, you would almost be irresponsible not to use it to your advantage.

Not only can technology ultimately save you money over time, but it can also speed your daily tasks up, leaving customers happier with the services you provide.

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That said is your business wasting time?

Make the Most of Your Time

In today’s fast-paced business world, not meeting the demands of your customers is akin to throwing money out the window.

Your customers expect a level of service that is second to none, so make sure not to disappoint them.

So, what are some of the ways you can best service your customers?

Among these would be:

  1. Technology – For starters, never underestimate the power and precision of technology. As an example, if you run a small medical practice, it is safe to say that you have a fair amount of patients coming in on a daily basis during the week. With this in mind, what are you doing to make sure they get in and out in a fairly fast amount of time? If you are seeing a backlog being created on a fairly regular basis, you run the risk of not only upsetting some of them, but in fact losing a number of them. In order to minimize such risks, have you looked at different software programs that can speed up their visits, yet still deliver quality care at the same time? Whether you opt for Revenuexl.com or another such product, you can see a difference in no time. The benefits to your medical practice would include shorter waiting periods for patients to be seen by a medical professional, easier means with which to bill customers and the ability to record and analyze payment trends. In all, the customer comes out ahead due to the fact he or she is not saddled with long waiting times, while your business also wins as a result of less time dealing with mounds of paperwork;
  2. Interaction – While you never want to overdo it when it comes to interacting with customers, you can’t expect them to be very loyal if you simply view them as nothing more than a number. That said you should make it known that each and every one of them is a priority to you. By being active on the Internet with both a website and a social media presence, you show them you are pretty much accessible to them 24/7. While your physical office hours are limited, having an active presence online allows you to not only provide them with information such as blog posts, interactive guides, podcasts, videos and more, but also engagement via social media. When a customer contacts you with a question and/or issue through your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other such social networking venue, don’t waste time in responding. Customers like it when they see that a business they deal with takes them seriously, along with doing the best job to respond to their needs;
  3. Solutions – Finally, having a zest for technology in your business allows you to better solve problems. As an example, if you’re medical practice relies entirely on paperwork to add up bills etc. it is easy to make an error. Such an error can not only upset customers, but it can also lead to a delay in your ability to receive compensation for your services. With the right software program in place, the technology takes care of crunching the numbers for you. In doing so, you save time and frustration in getting your invoices out.

There are many ways by which your business may be wasting time and you are not even aware of it.

Take the time to see how technology can improve your business functions, allowing wasted time to go by the wayside.

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Get Engaged with the Right Ring Choice

Is an engagement to that special person in your life in your offing?

If so, finding the perfect engagement ring doesn’t have to leave you anxious and losing sleep night after night.

While many men may fret over whether or not that special woman in their life will like the ring, let alone say yes to a proposal, the worry (at least about liking the ring) can be removed by some smart shopping sense.

With that in mind, will you get engaged with the right ring choice?

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Do Your Homework Before Buying

So that you can locate the right ring the first time around, keep these pointers in mind:

  1. Know your budget – First and foremost, what kind of financial budget are you working with? While some guys can and will spend thousands and thousands of dollars on that perfect ring, others are more constricted and what they can allocate towards an engagement ring. Look to see where you fall in the financial arena, along with finding out which ring makers/sellers offer the best rings at the best prices. Also look to see what kind of payment plans are available, especially those that do not compromise your financial well-being;
  2. Turn to the worldwide web – There are myriad of collections out there, so do your research to see which one best fits your wishes. You could opt for the morganite engagement rings collection or another such brand. Finding the best brands available is made rather easy these days thanks to the Internet. Unlike in the past when men oftentimes had to rely on word-of-mouth or publications to find out which rings were the best made and best priced, the worldwide web has changed the game. By doing a simple Google search on engagement rings, guys can get a wealth of information, thereby allowing them to narrow down their choices;
  3. Her tastes – While many women love the surprise of being asked to marry the man of their dreams, a sizable number of ladies also want a say in what kind of ring will adorn their finger. Yes, ring shopping can be a tad challenging at times for the happy couple, though most couples get through it just fine. Plan some time together to go and view rings, seeing what she fancies and what doesn’t appeal to her. That way, there won’t be any unhappy moments when you present the ring to her (hopefully a moment that brings a surprised and happy look to her face). As all guys should know, healthy and happy relationships make for the best relationships;
  4. Get social – Turning to social media for some tips on finding the right ring for your lady is not a bad idea. With social networking, you can discover how other guys are going about locating the right rings for their girlfriends. Going to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. can provide you with some insight on pricing, the most popular rings in 2016, and some of the unique ways guys go about surprising their gals when the moment is right. You can also choose to visit some relationship forums (they’re not all that hard to track down on the web) in order to chat with other guys about rings and other engagement topics. In fact, getting other women’s feedback on what you might buy for your lady doesn’t hurt either. Engagement chats on the web can oftentimes turn to marriage discussions, so take-in as much information as possible to make things clearer in your head about having the best engagement surprise and the greatest relationship possible;
  5. Go with your heart – Finally, there are some guys (and couples for that matter) that are just too strapped for cash these days. As a result, you may have to delay finding that perfect engagement ring for the love of your life. If that is the case, be up front about why you’re delaying the ring purchase. As they say, honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to relationships. You should also talk to ring sellers and get their advice on finding the best ring at the most affordable price. While you may have wanted to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on that special piece of jewelry, something less expensive and a little simpler may just do the trick.
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The Top Choking Hazards for Children and Toddlers

Do you know what the Top Choking Hazards for Children are?

For parents, there are many safety concerns regarding their childrens well-being. One of the biggest safety concerns is choking, as children not only tend to put everything in their mouth, their airways are much smaller, which means that food that is too large can easily get stuck and block their airways.

For parents, it is extremely important to know how to handle a situation in which their child is choking, as being calm, cool, and collected could save their childs life. From taking a CPR course to knowing what objects are the biggest choking hazards, parents need to be prepared in order to accurately handle a situation and, hopefully, prevent it altogether.

Here are some of the top choking hazards that put children at risk:

Coins

Toddlers often put anything they find in their mouth, and spare change can pose a big threat to your childs well-being. Many people leave spare change in their purse, on the counter, or in other locations that are accessible to their children. In order to keep them from choking on change, do your best to make sure your change is placed in a childproof place.

Hot Dogs

Due to their size and shape, hot dogs are extremely dangerous for children. Many parents feed their children hot dogs, because their soft texture is easy for their children to eat, but their size and consistency pose quite a threat, as they can easily slide down their throats without being chewed, thus blocking their airways. By cutting them in small, irregular shapes, you can help to prevent them from choking.

Hard Candy

While many kids love hard candy, the small size and slippery texture is easy to choke on, especially if your kids are laughing or running while eating the candy. Many doctors recommend parents should avoid giving children under four hard candy, as they are typically not old enough to handle hard candy properly.

Safety Pins, Paper Clips, and other Household Objects

Small household objects are extremely hazardous, especially if they fall on the floor or are left sitting in a common area. Objects like safety pins, paper clips, nails, thumbtacks, batteries, buttons, and other household objects of similar sizes should be kept out of reach of children. Plus, if you throw away any of these items, make sure to put them in a trashcan that your child cannot get into, as many children often get into trashcans and pull out dangerous items.

Nuts and Raw Veggies

While many parents like to give their children small finger foods they can gnaw on, raw veggies like carrots or celery are easy to choke on because they are so hard to chew. Similarly, nuts and popcorn are so small that eating them whole can pose a big risk to their safety, especially if they have an allergy. Try to avoid giving your children whole nuts and popcorn.

Grapes

The size of grapes are particularly dangerous because of their circular shape. In order to keep them from choking on grapes, make sure to cut in them half or quarters, and if they have seeds inside, make sure to remove them.

Knowing the top choking hazards for children can help you take preventative measures to keep them as safe as possible.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/child-eating-kids-childhood-meal-881200/

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How to make the most of London if you are a Theatre lover

About the Author- I am Shalini blogger at thesqua.re, being traveller like to explore new places and share my experiences. Here I am sharing how to make the most of London if you are a Theatre lover. While my visit to romantic city-London, I had an amazing time staying in London serviced apartment to experience a bit of everything in the city like a local.

 Theatre lover

The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.. – Stella Adler

A famous place for theatre lovers, London is home to popular musicals, West End shows and excellent plays. The city offers a treat to theatre lovers. Let us look at some of the most popular theatre halls in London.  Here you go!

Victoria Palace Theatre

Address: Victoria St, London SW1E 5EA, United Kingdom

Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End Theatre in Victoria Street. it is located in the City of Westminster and has 1500 people of capacity.

The Chelsea Follies, Young England, Variety, The Crazy Gang, Cilla at the Palace, Me and My Girl, Windy City, The Little Foxes, High Society and Jolson and Billy Elliot the Musical are some of the famous productions here.

Victoria is the closest tube to Victoria Palace Theatre.

Almeida Theatre

Address: Almeida St, London N1 1TA, United Kingdom

Opened in the year 1980, Almeida Theatre is a 325-seat studio theatre with a global reputation. The theatre gets its name from the street on which it is located, off Upper Street, in the London Borough of Islington.

Royal Opera House

Address: Bow St, London WC2E 9DD, United Kingdom

The beautiful Royal Opera House is located on the northeastern flank of Covent Garden piazza. it has been classically designed. It hosts various plays, musicals and comedies.

It is also called as the Theatre Royal and has also served as a playhouse in the initial years.

The main auditorium is a Grade I listed building.

The Old Vic

Address: The Cut, London SE1 8NB, United Kingdom

The Old Vic is located south-east of Waterloo Station in London. It lies on the corner of Waterloo Road and The Cut. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880.

Kevin Spacey, the American actor took the charge in 2003 and revitalized it totally. He was succeeded by Matthew Warchus in the year 2015.

The capacity of the theatre is 1100 people.

Prince of Wales Theatre

Address: Coventry St, London W1D 6AS, United Kingdom

Nestled in West End theatre in Coventry Street close to Leicester Square, Prince of Wales Theatre was built many times. It was established in the year 1884, rebuilt in 1937 and then renovated in 2004. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the current owner  got the place renovated in 2004.

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Road Safety in 2016: Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents in the US

Within just a few days it will be the official first day of spring and within just a few weeks the weather will turn warm and sunny. During late spring and early summer, an increased number of motorists hit the road after being cooped up all winter due to snow and freezing temperatures.

This year, take the time to re-check your road safety tips to ensure that you, your passengers and occupants of another vehicle are safe from crashes that could have been avoided. As a preventative measure, read and understand the following top 10 causes of car crashes in the United States.

First Some Gruesome Statistics

According to ASIRT, The Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 37,000 individuals will lose their lives in car accidents in the United States each and every year. In addition to that, it is estimated that almost 2 million others will be injured or become disabled as a result of a car crash. Here is where it gets really sad, although loss of life is sad at any time:

  • More than 1600 of those that die every year will be children under the age of 15.
  • Of those that die in car crashes, almost 8,000 deaths involved drivers between 16 and 20 years of age.
  • Of those US citizens traveling abroad, car crashes are the leading cause of death in foreign countries.

And if those statistics aren’t gruesome enough, consider the cost. It is estimated that driving accidents cost US taxpayers almost $231 billion each and every year. Not only is there a cost in human life but a financial cost as well.

Leading Causes of Crashes in the US

Although these may be off by a place or two in the actual ranking, the only one that is for sure would be that in the number one position as the leading causes of crashes. The top ten causes of car crashes in the US according to the latest statistical data released by the Department of Transportation include:

  1. Distractions while Driving – Typically this is due to illegal use of cell phones but other causes include reaching over to tune the radio, talking to passengers and believe it or not, lighting a cigarette while trying to handle the wheel. Many driving teachers suggest using disposable e-cigs that can simply be puffed with no distractions as they aren’t ever lit up.
  2. Over the Speed Limit (Speeding) – Many times the driver is going anywhere from 10 to 30 miles (or more!) above the speed limit and it is a fact that driving fast does reduce reaction times. Want to avoid an accident? Obey the speed limits.
  3. DUI (Drunk Driving) – Each state has a legal blood alcohol limit but no matter what it is, the rule of thumb is that even if you’ve had a single drink you should let someone else do the driving.
  4. Reckless / Careless Driving – This can be the result of a number of careless behaviors when behind the wheel. From speeding to improper change of lanes to tailing too close, if you are not obeying the traffic laws, chances are you are being careless.
  5. Weather (Especially Rain) – Not only does heavy rain create poor visibility but rain on oil-slicked roads makes it difficult to stop on the drop of a dime. Snow and high winds are also weather-related causes of traffic accidents but not nearly as numerous as those related to rain.
  6. Failure to Stop at Traffic Lights – What needs to be said about running a red light? If you fail to yield the right of way while another car is traveling through the intersection, an accident will probably ensue with you being at fault.
  7. Failure to Obey Stop Signs – Next in line is failing to stop at stop signs. Just as in failure to yield the right way at red lights, failing to stop at stops signs is a leading cause of crashes.
  8. Teen Drivers – No one is singling out teen drivers to be mean. The reality is that they are simply inexperienced and typically more careless than older, more seasoned drivers. With age comes experience so if you are a teen, it is better to be slow than sorry. Slow down, learn the rules of the road and be patient. Good driving will come in time.
  9. Impaired Vision of Night Driving – Typically it is elder drivers who have trouble with night vision but there are younger adults who also suffer this impairment as well, so if you have trouble seeing at night either find an alternate driver, wait until daylight to travel or simply slow down and take it easy.
  10. Defects within the Design of the Vehicle – Every day you hear of a class action lawsuit involving recalls that were never made. Defects within the design of the car come in as number 10 in the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States.

So here you have the top ten causes of car crashes in the United States and some pretty gruesome statistics. Don’t leave yourself open to being on the wrong side of the coin so learn these causes and work to avoid them. Your life and the lives of those you love could depend on it.

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Picture a Better World of Marketing with Video

Marketing with Video gives your business a buzz unlike any other ... photo by CC user Pattymooney via wikimedia commons

Photo by CC user Pattymooney via wikimedia commons

Is your brand getting the best marketing possible?

For many companies, the answer to that question unfortunately is no.

Whether businesses opt for email marketing, digital marketing, mobile marketing, social media usage, the list goes on and on.

One thing too many companies drop the ball with is opting for video promotion.

When you stop to think about it, video promotions can open up doors you probably never even thought about.

With that being the case, picture a better world of marketing with video.

Let the Professionals Give Your Brand Positive Light

If you’re thinking video promotions can help your business, the next question is then do you shoot the videos yourself or call the professionals?

Yes, you may be a bit of a whiz behind the camera, but there is much more to shooting a sound brand promotion than just the camera itself.

Keep in mind that you need to decide who will be in front of the camera, what the brand’s message will be, what the setting should be, how long the shoot should be and much more. When all is said and done, that is a lot of planning and detail to think about.

So that your video promotion catches the eyes and ears of consumers, your effort to find a Tampa Video production company or one closer to home should include the following:
 

    • History – Your search should begin with how long each video production company has been in the business. Do they have the long-term knowledge of the community that your business resides in? If no, can they quickly learn about the demographics you are trying to reach out to with your video aspirations? While there is nothing wrong going with a younger company in terms of experience in the business, finding one that has the video and local history behind it certainly does help;
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    • Customer service – As great as their video productions may be, your company of choice also needs to provide unparalleled customer service. In today’s fast-paced world, customer service sometimes seems almost like a lost art. You want a video production company that has not forgotten the fact that the customer always comes first. While many companies earn stellar customer service marks through word-of-mouth, you can also turn to the Internet to get to know something about a company. Along with going to the company’s website, look on social media to see if there is a buzz about the business. Are customers (current or former) talking about the video production company you might be thinking of using? If so, are the comments positive or negative? Remember that some consumers use social media to lash out at bad experiences they’ve had with products and/or companies, so take that into consideration with any questionable comments. Then again, positive comments could definitely lead you to the right company sooner rather than later.

     
    Once you have narrowed down your choices, ultimately deciding on the one company that best suits your needs, the actual video promotion comes next.

    Here is another area where it is important to remember just how fast-paced today’s world truly is.

    Many of today’s consumers can barely take time to eat breakfast in the morning, let alone sit down and watch a 30-second or longer video. As a result, your video has to deliver a message that makes your brand stand out in their minds.

    Once again, this is why letting the professionals shoot your video is so key.

    With the knowledge not only behind the camera, but also with how best to present your brand in front of the camera, video professionals can mean the difference between a product or service that gets so-so attention and one people can’t stop talking about.

    Since you want your brand to be the latter of those two choices, having professionals on your side is typically the best way to go.

    Yes, you could try and muster up the equipment and know-how to shoot your own productions, but there are many question marks involved as to how well it will come out.

    By turning to professionals with experience and dedication to the video production industry, you can all but be assured of picturing more business.

     

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Are You Growing Your Small Business Too Quickly?

Photo by CC user Виталий Смолыгин on http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

Photo by CC user Виталий Смолыгин on http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

If your small business is taking in lots of new customers (along with retaining many of your older ones), you are likely feeling pretty good about things.

So, is there anything to truly worry about as you look out over the financial landscape?

Unfortunately, there can be storm clouds out there, specifically in growing your small business too quickly.

As great as growth is for a business, it must be managed properly. Otherwise, one can find themselves with too much work and not enough time and/or resources to complete that work. They can also discover that they do not have all of the financial resources they need to handle the demands.

Take Baby Steps Early on

So that you can grow your small business at the proper rate, remember these tips:

    1. Big picture – What is your brand’s big picture? Are you planning to stay local or would you like to take things nationally at some point and time? Can you manage your small business all on your own or will you have to seek help in the form of full-time or part-time workers? Lastly, do you have the means to get fast cash for your business if needed? There may very well come a time when you need a fast capital infusion to keep your business moving forward, perhaps even to save it from going under. Recognizing the signs of when one or both could be occurring is important;
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    3. Never forget your customers – One of the most (if not the most) important tips in successfully running a small business; never forgetting who got you to the business world in the first place. Yes, those people you call customers, they can never be forgotten and/or taken for granted. Just as people look to maintain healthy relationships in their personal lives, relationships in the business world are equally if not more critical. One of the dangers of growing too quickly is losing touch with what got you to where you are in the first place. Yes, growth is certainly good, but do it at a managed pace;
    4.  

    5. Where to turn for financial assistance – If more financial capital is required to let your small business truly take off, where are you going to get it from? Some business owners may have just enough extra capital on hand to do it all on their own. Others, meantime, may turn to family or friends, perhaps with the idea of encouraging one or more of them to invest in the small business. Still others will seek to do business with financial loan companies, banks etc. No matter who you turn to for the financial push you need to move your brand forward, make sure you understand each and every word of the contract drawn up between parties. It is especially important that if you so choose to seek financial assistance inward (family, friends etc.), a contract is put together. Some may think that dealing with people close to them doesn’t require an official contract, but not having one can be the death of a relationship should things go sour;
    6.  

    7. Need help or don’t need help? – Your last big decision in determining if it is time to grow your small business is seeking employees. Some small business owners are perfectly comfortable being in charge of all aspects of their companies, meaning no help apply. Others, however, know that moving the business forward will require additional hands on deck. One of the dangers in moving too quickly with your business is bringing on employees, which translates into paying them. Some business owners will look to cut down on expenses (salaries, health insurance etc.) by hiring people for less than 30 hours a week, including using independent contractors. Once again, this is where your business smarts come into play. If you grow too quickly, you may end up finding worker salaries and other benefits will eat into your profits. By the same token, not acquiring the assistance you might very well need could end up in too much work at once for you, potentially leading to burnout.

     

    Growing your small business at just the right pace can oftentimes be a tricky call.

    When you need some financial help along the way to grow as the business climate dictates, knowing where to go for it might be the biggest call you ever make.

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Does Your Business Truly Know Its Customers?

Does Your Business Truly Know Its Customers? ... photo by CC user geralt on pixabay

Photo by CC user geralt on pixabay

In order for your business to achieve customer satisfaction and solid revenue stream year after year, you truly have to know what your customers want.

While there are different ways to go about discovering such details, too many brands don’t make for the needed time and effort to learn the necessary data. As a result, they can end up missing out on growing their brands, leaving the competition to pick up the pieces.

That said your business can and should regularly review its data capturing methods, seeing what has been effective and what needs retooling.

With that being the case, does your business truly know its customers?

Gathering the Vital Data

So that your brand can truly decipher the mix of data vs. information vs. insight, remember these tips:

  • Demographics – First and foremost, knowing who you are trying to market to (and ultimately sell to) means having as much data as possible on people. When you understand factors such as gender, age, income, you have a much better feel as how best to undertake marketing campaigns, campaigns you hope lead to sales. You can use a number of tactics to better gather the demographics, notably through surveys, polls etc. If some customers are hesitant to respond and/or give you their time, provide them with an incentive or two to fill out an online survey or answer a few questions in-person or over the phone;
  • Priorities – In marketing to customers, you sometimes have to set priorities, especially if you’re a smaller business on a budget. While the larger brands typically have more money and manpower for marketing and advertising needs, the smaller guys are oftentimes limited. That said set priorities in which products/services you offer get the top marketing. Some companies pull out all the stops especially during the holiday season, others will look to ring-up big-time sales during the summer months;
  • Mobility – If you’ve been asleep at the wheel when it comes to mobile marketing, change that moving forward as soon as possible. With more and more consumers all but demanding mobile marketing, your brand can’t just pass on these opportunities to connect with consumers on their various mobile devices. If you’re a startup business, mobile marketing should be one of the first tasks you undertake. If you’ve been around for a number of years, you’ve hopefully been able to see in recent years how mobile marketing has blossomed;
  • Competition – Even though you should never duplicate your competitor’s efforts, watching (even analyzing) what they are doing is important. Seeing how they communicate with consumers, what they offer consumers, and their success or failure results, should all be of interest to you and your brand. One of the ways to monitor the competition is via social media (see more below). You can look at their actions on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. The feedback they receive from consumers can actually benefit you, especially as to how you do your marketing campaigns moving forward;
  • Socializing – When it comes to your social media efforts, they should be one of your company’s top priorities. As mentioned earlier, engaging with customers (the ones you have now and the ones you hope to have soon) is an important part of analyzing your success and failure ratios, especially as they pertain to your marketing and advertising campaigns. No matter which of the popular social networking sites you are active on, regularly monitor and analyze them, looking for the latest trends. You can truly learn a great amount of details about consumers by listening to what they say on social media. Remember, consumers in the past (before the Internet’s arrival) would typically comment to business owners via in-person visits, phone, regular mail etc. With millions of consumers on social media, they can post comments in seconds or minutes, giving business owners lots to think about. Lastly, any engagement you have with consumers on social networking venues always needs to be positive. Even if a consumer or more than one rips your brand, avoid firing back a nasty response. It makes both you and your brand look silly. Finally, as a great tool as social media can be, never let it replace the one-on-one contact you have with consumers in person.

 

So, can you say that your business truly knows its customers?

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