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How many times a week do you wake up and just hate the way your hair looks? Is your hair too frizzy, too dry? Is it too thick, too thin? Do you have a unappealing hair cut? Do you ever get compliments on the way your hair looks?

Don’t despair, because there is hope for your hair style. The options for changing or fixing your hair are many and whether you are willing to spend thousands of dollars or just a few dollars, there is something that you can do.

Some of the major hair problems are Damaged Hair, Frizzy Hair, Thinning Hair and Unflattering Hair Styles. There are quick, inexpensive fixes. See below for complete details:

Damaged Hair:

The easy fix for damaged hair is deep conditioning treatments. Ask your hair stylist for the best product for your hair, or take a trip down the hair products aisle at your local drugstore. If your hair is extremely damaged, you may want to start with a once weekly deep conditioning treatment. Wash your hair normal in the shower and towel dry. Apply the deep conditioner all over the hair and wrap the hair with plastic. The plastic helps to keep heat in and make your conditioner go to work. Leave the conditioner on for about 30 minutes.

Also, try to give your hair a rest from heat appliances such as curling irons and blow dryers, as well as chemical processing.

Frizzy Hair:

It seems that as you get older, your hair tends to get frizzier. The weather and humidity never help. The easy fix for frizzy hair is to use lots of conditioner every time you shampoo, and follow with a serum or balm that contains silicone. Some products work better than others and it may take some experimenting to find just the right product for your hair. Although flat ironing your hair can zap away the frizzies in just a few minutes, you should limit using the flat iron since you might be adding to the frizzy problem in the long run with repeated use of the iron.

Thinning Hair:

As more and more women are experiencing thinning hair, the hair products industry is developing more and more products to help with this issue. If you have serious thinning, you may want to visit a dermatologist for more treatment options. Find a good daily vitamin to take that is designed for hair and skin issues. Many of the hair loss products companies, like Nioxin sell a daily vitamin that is supposed to support hair growth.

Hair extensions offer a temporary solution to camouflage the thinning hair, but you must be very cautious about the type and method used as hair extensions have been known to cause even more thinning issues if not done properly.

Unflattering Hair Styles

If you are not happy with your hair style, then you may want to start over by evaluation your face shape. The shape of the face can really make or break a hair style. Knowing what you should have or shouldn’t have in a style can be crucial to the outcome. With the invention of hair style imaging software, you can do a little research before you get your hair cut. Some programs even allow for you to try on a hair style by uploading a picture of yourself. This software even works for checking out a color change.

In short, if you want to do something about your current hair style and feel lost, then you should know that there is hope out there and you could make just a small change to update your hair and grow to love it.

Wildlife viewing tour with Kenya's leading safari tour operator African Sermon Safaris is an opportunity to get an unforgettable experience for a reasonable price! More details are available on this web page: http://africansermonsafaris.com/category/maasai-mara-safaris/ .

Furniture, especially wooden furniture, plays a very important role in emanating a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere in your home. However, while everybody wants to have wooden furniture to deck up their homes, not many are aware about what furniture to buy. It is very important to know several aspects involved in the buying of furniture. These include the type of wood you’re looking for, the place where you want to place your furniture, the color of the furniture that would be ideal for you etc. These are some of the basic questions that one has to answer ahead of buying wooden furniture.

If you’re a person who is intending to buy some quality wooden furniture and also appreciate quality then you have to spend some time on determining the type of furniture you want to buy. Your budget, of course, would be the most important factor while buying wooden furniture. There’s no denying of the fact that quality wooden furniture is expensive. Wood has become dearer these days because of the strict tree felling norms imposed by governments worldwide and the move to conserve forests and balance the ecology. This has led to the emergence of alternative materials like metal and plastic for furniture manufacture.

Wood, however, has managed to retain its position among furniture enthusiasts. The expensiveness of fresh wood has led to the use of recycled wood in furniture. Here, wood is sourced from old buildings that are being torn down. Sometimes, old furniture is spruce up, painted and given a new updated look. This has also resulted in refurbished wooden furniture finding dedicated connoisseurs in the market.

As regards the wood, be careful in selecting it properly. Certain conditions would determine the type of wood you’ll want i.e. hardwood or softwood. For instance, if you plan to use the furniture outdoors, you have to select hardwood that can withstand the elements of nature better. They warp less and also absorb lesser amounts of water. Oak and teak are the two best woods that can be used outdoors. If you plan to use your furniture indoors, you can go for some variety of softwood like mango wood or rosewood. Indian sheesham is also used extensively for the manufacture of indoor furniture.

As already said, the placement issue plays another big role in determining the furniture that you want to buy. You must always have an idea of the space available to place your furniture. This is because you may have trouble if you find that you have bought a furniture item and there’s insufficient space to keep it. It would be nothing short of a disaster. Also, too small a furniture piece at a relatively larger space would be an eyesore.

Of late plywood and particle-board furniture have become very popular because of solid wooden furniture becoming dearer. They, however, lack the longevity of the latter and have no resale value. They simply have to be disposed off when their lifespan is over. Sometimes disposed-off wood is mixed with ply for making new furniture.

Introduction
Computer forensics is the practice of collecting, analysing and reporting on digital information in a way that is legally admissible. It can be used in the detection and prevention of crime and in any dispute where evidence is stored digitally. Computer forensics has comparable examination stages to other forensic disciplines and faces similar issues.

About this guide
This guide discusses computer forensics from a neutral perspective. It is not linked to particular legislation or intended to promote a particular company or product and is not written in bias of either law enforcement or commercial computer forensics. It is aimed at a non-technical audience and provides a high-level view of computer forensics. This guide uses the term “computer”, but the concepts apply to any device capable of storing digital information. Where methodologies have been mentioned they are provided as examples only and do not constitute recommendations or advice. Copying and publishing the whole or part of this article is licensed solely under the terms of the Creative Commons – Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 license

Uses of computer forensics
There are few areas of crime or dispute where computer forensics cannot be applied. Law enforcement agencies have been among the earliest and heaviest users of computer forensics and consequently have often been at the forefront of developments in the field. Computers may constitute a ‘scene of a crime’, for example with hacking [ 1] or denial of service attacks [2] or they may hold evidence in the form of emails, internet history, documents or other files relevant to crimes such as murder, kidnap, fraud and drug trafficking. It is not just the content of emails, documents and other files which may be of interest to investigators but also the ‘meta-data’ [3] associated with those files. A computer forensic examination may reveal when a document first appeared on a computer, when it was last edited, when it was last saved or printed and which user carried out these actions.

More recently, commercial organisations have used computer forensics to their benefit in a variety of cases such as;

Intellectual Property theft
Industrial espionage
Employment disputes
Fraud investigations
Forgeries
Matrimonial issues
Bankruptcy investigations
Inappropriate email and internet use in the work place
Regulatory compliance

Guidelines
For evidence to be admissible it must be reliable and not prejudicial, meaning that at all stages of this process admissibility should be at the forefront of a computer forensic examiner’s mind. One set of guidelines which has been widely accepted to assist in this is the Association of Chief Police Officers Good Practice Guide for Computer Based Electronic Evidence or ACPO Guide for short. Although the ACPO Guide is aimed at United Kingdom law enforcement its main principles are applicable to all computer forensics in whatever legislature. The four main principles from this guide have been reproduced below (with references to law enforcement removed):

No action should change data held on a computer or storage media which may be subsequently relied upon in court.

In circumstances where a person finds it necessary to access original data held on a computer or storage media, that person must be competent to do so and be able to give evidence explaining the relevance and the implications of their actions.

An audit trail or other record of all processes applied to computer-based electronic evidence should be created and preserved. An independent third-party should be able to examine those processes and achieve the same result.

The person in charge of the investigation has overall responsibility for ensuring that the law and these principles are adhered to.

In summary, no changes should be made to the original, however if access/changes are necessary the examiner must know what they are doing and to record their actions.

Live acquisition
Principle 2 above may raise the question: In what situation would changes to a suspect’s computer by a computer forensic examiner be necessary? Traditionally, the computer forensic examiner would make a copy (or acquire) information from a device which is turned off. A write-blocker[4] would be used to make an exact bit for bit copy [5] of the original storage medium. The examiner would work then from this copy, leaving the original demonstrably unchanged.

However, sometimes it is not possible or desirable to switch a computer off. It may not be possible to switch a computer off if doing so would result in considerable financial or other loss for the owner. It may not be desirable to switch a computer off if doing so would mean that potentially valuable evidence may be lost. In both these circumstances the computer forensic examiner would need to carry out a ‘live acquisition’ which would involve running a small program on the suspect computer in order to copy (or acquire) the data to the examiner’s hard drive.

By running such a program and attaching a destination drive to the suspect computer, the examiner will make changes and/or additions to the state of the computer which were not present before his actions. Such actions would remain admissible as long as the examiner recorded their actions, was aware of their impact and was able to explain their actions.

Stages of an examination
For the purposes of this article the computer forensic examination process has been divided into six stages. Although they are presented in their usual chronological order, it is necessary during an examination to be flexible. For example, during the analysis stage the examiner may find a new lead which would warrant further computers being examined and would mean a return to the evaluation stage.

Readiness
Forensic readiness is an important and occasionally overlooked stage in the examination process. In commercial computer forensics it can include educating clients about system preparedness; for example, forensic examinations will provide stronger evidence if a server or computer’s built-in auditing and logging systems are all switched on. For examiners there are many areas where prior organisation can help, including training, regular testing and verification of software and equipment, familiarity with legislation, dealing with unexpected issues (e.g., what to do if child pornography is present during a commercial job) and ensuring that your on-site acquisition kit is complete and in working order.

Evaluation
The evaluation stage includes the receiving of clear instructions, risk analysis and allocation of roles and resources. Risk analysis for law enforcement may include an assessment on the likelihood of physical threat on entering a suspect’s property and how best to deal with it. Commercial organisations also need to be aware of health and safety issues, while their evaluation would also cover reputational and financial risks on accepting a particular project.

Collection
The main part of the collection stage, acquisition, has been introduced above. If acquisition is to be carried out on-site rather than in a computer forensic laboratory then this stage would include identifying, securing and documenting the scene. Interviews or meetings with personnel who may hold information which could be relevant to the examination (which could include the end users of the computer, and the manager and person responsible for providing computer services) would usually be carried out at this stage. The ‘bagging and tagging’ audit trail would start here by sealing any materials in unique tamper-evident bags. Consideration also needs to be given to securely and safely transporting the material to the examiner’s laboratory.

Analysis
Analysis depends on the specifics of each job. The examiner usually provides feedback to the client during analysis and from this dialogue the analysis may take a different path or be narrowed to specific areas. Analysis must be accurate, thorough, impartial, recorded, repeatable and completed within the time-scales available and resources allocated. There are myriad tools available for computer forensics analysis. It is our opinion that the examiner should use any tool they feel comfortable with as long as they can justify their choice. The main requirements of a computer forensic tool is that it does what it is meant to do and the only way for examiners to be sure of this is for them to regularly test and calibrate the tools they use before analysis takes place. Dual-tool verification can confirm result integrity during analysis (if with tool ‘A’ the examiner finds artefact ‘X’ at location ‘Y’, then tool ‘B’ should replicate these results.)

Presentation
This stage usually involves the examiner producing a structured report on their findings, addressing the points in the initial instructions along with any subsequent instructions. It would also cover any other information which the examiner deems relevant to the investigation. The report must be written with the end reader in mind; in many cases the reader of the report will be non-technical, so the terminology should acknowledge this. The examiner should also be prepared to participate in meetings or telephone conferences to discuss and elaborate on the report.

Review
Along with the readiness stage, the review stage is often overlooked or disregarded. This may be due to the perceived costs of doing work that is not billable, or the need ‘to get on with the next job’. However, a review stage incorporated into each examination can help save money and raise the level of quality by making future examinations more efficient and time effective. A review of an examination can be simple, quick and can begin during any of the above stages. It may include a basic ‘what went wrong and how can this be improved’ and a ‘what went well and how can it be incorporated into future examinations’. Feedback from the instructing party should also be sought. Any lessons learnt from this stage should be applied to the next examination and fed into the readiness stage.

Issues facing computer forensics
The issues facing computer forensics examiners can be broken down into three broad categories: technical, legal and administrative.

Encryption – Encrypted files or hard drives can be impossible for investigators to view without the correct key or password. Examiners should consider that the key or password may be stored elsewhere on the computer or on another computer which the suspect has had access to. It could also reside in the volatile memory of a computer (known as RAM [6] which is usually lost on computer shut-down; another reason to consider using live acquisition techniques as outlined above.

Increasing storage space – Storage media holds ever greater amounts of data which for the examiner means that their analysis computers need to have sufficient processing power and available storage to efficiently deal with searching and analysing enormous amounts of data.

New technologies – Computing is an ever-changing area, with new hardware, software and operating systems being constantly produced. No single computer forensic examiner can be an expert on all areas, though they may frequently be expected to analyse something which they haven’t dealt with before. In order to deal with this situation, the examiner should be prepared and able to test and experiment with the behaviour of new technologies. Networking and sharing knowledge with other computer forensic examiners is also very useful in this respect as it’s likely someone else may have already encountered the same issue.

Anti-forensics – Anti-forensics is the practice of attempting to thwart computer forensic analysis. This may include encryption, the over-writing of data to make it unrecoverable, the modification of files’ meta-data and file obfuscation (disguising files). As with encryption above, the evidence that such methods have been used may be stored elsewhere on the computer or on another computer which the suspect has had access to. In our experience, it is very rare to see anti-forensics tools used correctly and frequently enough to totally obscure either their presence or the presence of the evidence they were used to hide.

Legal issues
Legal arguments may confuse or distract from a computer examiner’s findings. An example here would be the ‘Trojan Defence’. A Trojan is a piece of computer code disguised as something benign but which has a hidden and malicious purpose. Trojans have many uses, and include key-logging [7], uploading and downloading of files and installation of viruses. A lawyer may be able to argue that actions on a computer were not carried out by a user but were automated by a Trojan without the user’s knowledge; such a Trojan Defence has been successfully used even when no trace of a Trojan or other malicious code was found on the suspect’s computer. In such cases, a competent opposing lawyer, supplied with evidence from a competent computer forensic analyst, should be able to dismiss such an argument.

Accepted standards – There are a plethora of standards and guidelines in computer forensics, few of which appear to be universally accepted. This is due to a number of reasons including standard-setting bodies being tied to particular legislations, standards being aimed either at law enforcement or commercial forensics but not at both, the authors of such standards not being accepted by their peers, or high joining fees dissuading practitioners from participating.

Fitness to practice – In many jurisdictions there is no qualifying body to check the competence and integrity of computer forensics professionals. In such cases anyone may present themselves as a computer forensic expert, which may result in computer forensic examinations of questionable quality and a negative view of the profession as a whole.

Resources and further reading
There does not appear to be a great amount of material covering computer forensics which is aimed at a non-technical readership. However the following links at links at the bottom of this page may prove to be of interest prove to be of interest:

Glossary
1. Hacking: modifying a computer in way which was not originally intended in order to benefit the hacker’s goals.
2. Denial of Service attack: an attempt to prevent legitimate users of a computer system from having access to that system’s information or services.
3. Meta-data: at a basic level meta-data is data about data. It can be embedded within files or stored externally in a separate file and may contain information about the file’s author, format, creation date and so on.
4. Write blocker: a hardware device or software application which prevents any data from being modified or added to the storage medium being examined.
5. Bit copy: bit is a contraction of the term ‘binary digit’ and is the fundamental unit of computing. A bit copy refers to a sequential copy of every bit on a storage medium, which includes areas of the medium ‘invisible’ to the user.
6. RAM: Random Access Memory. RAM is a computer’s temporary workspace and is volatile, which means its contents are lost when the computer is powered off.
7. Key-logging: the recording of keyboard input giving the ability to read a user’s typed passwords, emails and other confidential information.

Do you suffer from heavy metal toxicity?

Chances are you do. If you are suffering from symptoms such as; chronic fatigue, chronic infections from decreased immunity, autoimmune diseases, chronic candida overgrowth, and even cancer, heavy metal toxicity may be the root cause of it all.

Your Dr. may not be testing for heavy metal toxicity and prescribing medication instead without getting to the root of the problem. You need to know better.

Although mercury toxicity from amalgam dental fillings has recently gained some exposure, mercury is not the only dangerous heavy metal you need to be aware of.

Cadmium, aluminum, lead, and arsenic are some of the heavy metals we are exposed to just by breathing in the air around us. Industrial discharges, pesticide run offs, incinerator emissions, manufacturer smokestacks, and aviation, and auto vehicle exhaust all spew heavy metals into the air we breathe and the ground we get our water and food from.

Aluminum toxicity is also easily leached into processed, packaged food during manufacturing and packaging. Aluminum can leak from giant vats used in commercial kitchens, aluminum lined juice boxes, cans, and other packaging materials.

Cadmium is another heavy metal leaking into the environment on a continuous basis from a variety of sources. Commercial fertilizers, fish from polluted waters, burning fossil fuels, auto and industrial exhaust, the incineration of plastics and batteries, all affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, contributing to nationwide heavy metal toxicity.

There is actually an average daily intake of cadmium exposure of 30 micrograms. People who smoke or work with metals may be exposed more heavily. Smoking one cigarette provides 2 micro grams of cadmium, and people who smoke don’t smoke just one cigarette.

As cadmium stockpiles in the kidneys, symptoms of heavy metal toxicity begin to show as hypertension, or arterial disease with ringing in the ears. Cadmium toxicity can interfere with intestinal absorption of calcium and other minerals leading to osteoporosis, or anemia.

Without any detoxification protocols it takes the body 10-30 yrs to naturally rid itself of half of its cadmium. But we are still getting a dose of it every day! And since cadmium exposure is not decreasing any time soon, you make the calculation of where that leaves you!

It may take 20-50 yrs. to accumulate enough heavy metals to actually cause heavy metal toxicity symptoms, and damage such as hypertension, osteoporosis, arthritis or cancer. Since our children today are already born with higher levels of toxicity, it may not be long before we see younger and younger people suffering from heavy metal toxicity symptoms which look like diseases we normally associate with old age.

Cancer can be caused by cadmium toxicity, and if there is a heavy cadmium burden which is not eliminated, it may not allow healing to occur.

If research scientists need rats with cancer of the prostate all they need to do is give them a dose of cadmium. The cadmium has a remarkable ability to zero in on the prostate and testicles as target organs.

Although it has been known for over 35 years that cadmium toxicity is one of the factors leading to prostate cancer, we are still not being advised by family doctors, or oncologists, on how to take precautions to prevent cadmium toxicity and cancer.

Cadmium heavy metal toxicity is like a thief in the night that doesn’t leave footprints.

Cadmium affects the thyroid function by lowering the T3 active thyroid hormone, although it does not raise the TSH which is the brains message to produce more thyroid hormone. When doctors test for thyroid function they test the TSH levels which most often appear normal despite lowered T3 levels.

With a normal lab test result, physicians will often blame their patients for complaining and overreacting, instead of taking the complaints serious.

It is important to have adequate levels of zinc, as fortunately zinc is able to displace the cadmium and kick it out of prostate storage. Selenium is also effective in protecting the body against cadmium toxicity.

High levels of nutrients that assist detoxification are of utmost importance to keep from developing symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.

Software applications have been explored in a wide range of activity domains significantly simplifying the workflow, however this advancement has taken a particular sphere of interest to the uttermost, more precisely, financial service companies. This division has experienced a tremendous expansion simply because online solutions perfectly match the basic functional principles governing all financial transactions. All three main segments: capital management, banking, and insurance, have taking advantage of large-scale implementation. In essence, the major change relies on the fact that traditional transaction methods have been successfully replaced by truly advanced computer-based and web-based applications.

The classic approach has undergone major transformations due to the fact that initial means have been optimized to enable transactions in real time. Besides this facet, IT solutions in the financial services field, have opened the path for new services. For instance, financial services technology has set higher standards in the financial world, as experts confirm the fact that instant access and secure financial procedures can be adjusted to the global evolution of the financial market. Without going into detail, financial service technology has literally set in motion the overall activity of the financial market, and every single branch has taken advantage of easy-to-use financial software applications. Firstly, these advanced tools have set the basis for full control over financial instruments enabling faster transactions. We all know that online approach has refashioned the entire financial service industry because this service has broken physical and temporal barriers. Therefore, we can access services from anywhere in the world as long as we have an Internet connection.

For many years now, financial operations and, implicitly financial services, have been considered a sophisticated process, as, these days, a click may synthesize all complicated procedures on the condition that we make decisions. All financial services departments have experienced this ascending trend based on ultimate technology. At first, we may assume that such platforms help professionals streamline their entire activity, however, by taking over demanding operations, experts have the opportunity to focus on the strategies they should develop to reach higher performance standards.

To sum up, financial solutions rely today on advanced software applications and the emphasis still falls on the integrated services, as the financial sector is extremely volatile and permissive regarding financial operations. Moreover, customers prefer a provider who can take care of all their needs when IT comes to financing. Thus, we are very likely to witness for the years to come innovative solutions that might take the financial market to a higher level.

If you really want to become more profitable and improve operations in your company, you have to shift your focus from the following limiting thoughts about technology.

 

  1. If I buy the latest production software we will be in good shape
  2. We don’t do that here
  3. We are unique, we don’t have competition that use technology to help them generate profits
  4. The plan is in my head, people will steal it off the computer
  5. All I need is more sales to make more profits

 

You’ve got to get the right mindset by eliminating restricting thoughts, and then you’ll be ready to improve people, processes and profitability.

Do you ever wonder how a company can start out with just one idea, a passion and a vision, then 10 to 20 years later have thousands of employees and millions in sales?

 

  1. What did these companies do to become so successful
  2. Are the owners smarter than you?
  3. Do they work harder than you?
  4. Did they have better equipment or people than you?

 

No. But they do use better technology tools to drive operation (the people and the process). Operations represent about 60% or 80% of all your overhead costs but they’re the least understood by US businesses.

For decades, the Japanese have focused on operations that have driven innovation and a culture of continuous improvement. In the right small business owner hands, operations and technology can be a competitive weapon.

Now, ask yourself how can your small company— with just a handful of employees and limited resources — turn operations and technology applications into a powerful weapon to beat competition and learn to grow and thrive!

Why invest in technology / What are the benefits

The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from tight cash flow, exhausted lines of credit and top-line growth, then you have weak operations and have underutilized the technology applications onsite or off-the-shelf that can help you.

First step to rapid profit improvement is to start by questioning your employees. They usually know where costly blocks and bottlenecks are hidden.

Technology can store employee survey results that help you to plan profitability.

Employee Questionnaire(sample)

 

  1. Are your interests and ambitions being challenged
  2. Does each department in this company have measurable standard designed to increase profitability? Does each area have documentation of process flows and procedures of how it should work?
  3. Does everyone in this company share the goal of improving the company profits? Does the CEO hold town hall meetings about ‘planned profits’?
  4. Are you regularly told when you do good work?
  5. Do you get the help you need to do a good job?
  6. As an employee, do you feel you can trust your direct supervisor/manager?
  7. Are owner/managers open and honest with employees?
  8. Does the company provide you with continual training in areas that will make you a better employee? Has it trained you on how to cut operating expenses or increase revenue to improve profits in your area?
  9. Are your responsibilities generally explained, well planned and organized?
  10. Is poor performance tolerated by management? i.e., worker performance, operations bottlenecks and customer relations.

The following are other ways business productivity software drives business processes more efficiently to gain optimal results:

Create an open and communicative environment.

By storing appraisal information within a formal database, managers can more easily communicate business strategy and create measurable goals for their employees that will support overall company objectives. In allowing employees to see the whole picture and understand better how individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives. This can create a energized and engaged employees, thereby raising the business productivity of the company.

Motivate your employees using technology.

Based upon the information gathered in an online performance evaluation, managers can compare current skills with those required for advancement or other recognition or reward opportunities that present themselves as the manager tracks progress on employee goals throughout the year. You may also find you need to redirect employees to different departments if you feel their business productivity could increase elsewhere. If there are impediments to better performance, the company should review why it is happening and try to eliminate these through better allocation of resources or additional training.

Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals.

Business productivity software solutions enable managers to more easily track progress during every phase of goal completion and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track in daily operations, and utilize performance measurements for strategic planning.

Electronic Commerce

There are many business applications related to e-commerce, from setting up your online storefront to managing your supply chain to marketing your products and services. These technologies fall into three main categories:

Business to Business(B2B)

 

  • Purchasing indirect supplies
  • Look for catalogue-based websites offered by suppliers for corporate purchases, similar to business-to-customer websites, for purchasing indirect supplies such as office furniture, pens, paper, and general office equipment.
  • Leveraging your existing Web presence
  • Improve your existing business-to-customer e-commerce website. Greater sophistication can be added into your online store to target your business clientele.

 

Business to Customer(B2C)

The global reach of the Internet has allowed many businesses to sell their products and services online, both at home and abroad. An electronic storefront is a website with many pre-built e-commerce components like electronic shopping carts and secure payment gateways that you can use to set up an online store.

Internet Marketing

Everything you do to promote your business online is Internet marketing. For example, Internet marketing strategies include (but are not limited to) website design and content, search engine optimization, directory submissions, reciprocal linking strategies, online advertising, and email marketing.

How to Implement Technology to increase profits

IT implementation can be a valuable tool for increasing workplace productivity, but without a careful selection of the right technologies for your specific industry and comprehensive employee training, it can also serve to reduce productivity, profitability and employee satisfaction. The return on investment will depend on whether the technologies implemented are right for a given business’ needs and how prepared employees are to use them.

Step 1

Brainstorm a list of business process improvements you may be able to realize from a technological implementation. Your list should include three categories: improvements that you know to be possible, and which are core requirements for your expense; a wish list of things you would like to have, but which may be future development efforts; and a list of things which would transform the way you do business, but which may not be possible. These three targets provide you with a present-day implementation goal, as well as a future development target–and it may be that your transformational goals could be far easier to reach than you expect.

Step 2

Determine whether you intend to develop these technologies using in-house resources, or through outside consultancies. Nearly every major workflow technology requires extensive customization, implementation procedures and training. Small businesses can sometimes get by cheaply using staff members technologically proficient–but mistakes made at the beginning of the process can ramp up costs later on when you turn to professional outside support.

Step 3

Avoid specifying particular technologies if you do not have the technical expertise to evaluate them properly. The purpose of the managerial process at this stage is to define goals and budgetary constraints; non-technical managers who wed themselves to specific technologies too early can miss out on substantial cost savings, and choose a technology not the best suited for the work.

Step 4

Circulate your request for proposals among outside consultants and implementors, or establish an internal process for doing the same among your staff if you are keeping the work in-house. Major technological implementations will not succeed if they are added to the existing workload of an employee. Proper technological implementations can be more than a full-time job in and of themselves. Staff members shifted to technology implementation should have their existing duties moved to other staff resources.

Step 5

Negotiate a time frame, budget and implementation benchmarks with your external or internal staff resources. If you are working with an outside consultant, your contract should include protections against running over budget and over schedule. Likewise, the consultant will protect his own firm by setting specific terms of the work to be completed, and charging you extra if you change them over the course of the contract.

Step 6

Develop an implementation timetable, including the following steps: test deployment to review the work; training, if necessary; a transition phase from the current workflow to the new technology; and production deployment of the completed technology. This last phase is typically followed by an iterative process, in which improvements to the technology are collected from the staff who have direct experience working with it. When budget and time allow for it, apply a new cycle of upgrades to your technology to ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

Owning and running your own small business is a great thing to do, but it is not always easy. If you want to have success with your small business, there are some ways to do it, though. Here are some small business tips to maximize your profits and minimize your headache, even early on with the business.

The first of the small business tips that you need to remember is that in the early time of the business, you want to keep your profits as high as possible. This is not always an easy thing to do because often, especially when your business has first opened, your customers are pretty low, and therefore your money is pretty low. In order to make this happen, keep your spending as low as you can. Avoid buying anything that is unnecessary in order to keep all the money that you can.

Another of the great small business tips that you can use is about advertising. If you want to get customers, which are necessary for the success of many businesses, you will have to advertise in order to get them. Advertising is something that you should always make room for in your budget. Of course, finding the most affordable methods of advertising early on will make quite a bit of difference. It may take more work, though.

If you want to start your own small business, the market for a business is something you should consider. If there is no market for your business, you will not have any success with it. So, make sure that the people in your area will want to purchase the products or services that you will offer them. This is a very important part of having any sort of success with a business – possibly the most important in some cases, because it can often determine the success or failure of a business.

Another of the great business tips that you can use is to always take advantage of the Internet. Even if your business is not one that would benefit in any way from a website, it is a great idea to advertise on the Internet. This can greatly expand your ability to get customers. And what’s even better – Internet advertising is far more affordable than many local newspapers. This is advantageous for additional advertising at a great price, which is especially great for young businesses that don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising.

If you have a successful small business, then you will experience all of the great advantages of it. But, you have to have a successful small business in order for that to happen. These small business tips will help you make your business more successful so that you will actually make money. Keep all of these in mind when you buy a business or when you start one of your own. They will be helpful in both cases to get your business established and help you actually make money.

Have you heard of the waterless cooking method? It is a relatively new method of cooking that has many advantages. In the past, a lot of household cooking has involved cooking food with water. When cooked in water, however, a lot of the food’s nutritional value, not to mention the flavor, is taken away. Waterless cooking allows you to cook food in it own juices, retaining all the vitamins and minerals as well as most of the original flavor. There is no need to add water to foods (especially vegetables) because the natural moisture in the food is released and the steam created helps the cooking process. The steam is circulated throughout the pot and falls back into the food allowing it to stay moist and juicy.

So what are the advantages to waterless cooking? First of all, it is an easy way to cook. Many times you can use a one-pan cooking method so that all the food (meat, veggies and potatoes) is cooked together. This also allows for easier clean up with only one pan to wash up. And the new waterless cookware, with its superior heat distribution, tends to have less chance of food burning or sticking.

Waterless cooking also tends to cook food a lot faster. With the new waterless cookware available now the heat is evenly distributed along the bottom of the pot or pan. Because of this, there are no ‘hot-spots’ that may tend to burn your food. The lid of the pot forms a seal, which locks in the heat (as well as the moisture) so the cooking time is decreased.

As mentioned, waterless cooking is a healthy way to cook. None of the nutrients are lost during cooking, and you don’t need to add oil to stop the food from sticking to the pan, which also makes it healthier. The natural color and texture of the food is also retained which makes the food more appealing. Foods that are supposed to be crisp tend to keep their crunchy texture as well.

The features of waterless cookware that allow this cooking method to work include a flat bottom on the pots and pans which allow the most efficient means of heat transfer. The flat bottom connects with your stove element better, whether it be the coils of an electric stove or a gas unit, so that the heat transfer is more efficient. The cookware also has an iron core and an aluminum or copper base plate built into it that helps to retain a continuous, constant cooking temperature even after the heating element has been turned off.

Waterless cookware is typically made of high-grade stainless steel, which is better than other traditional pans in a couple of different ways. The stainless steel does not allow the taste of the metal to transfer to your food, as may be the case with aluminum or Teflon-coated cookware. Some companies use surgical stainless steel, which is the highest grade you can get for a real quality product. The stainless steel is easy to clean, durable (enabling it to last an extremely long time) and it allows you to keep your cookware sterilized.

One of the main features of waterless cookware is the special lid that keeps the natural moisture in the food from escaping. The lid forms a seal with the pot and lets the natural juices form into steam so the food cooks in its own natural juices, retaining all the nutrients and original flavors. There is a steam valve that whistles and tells you when you should turn off the heat (once the juices have created sufficient steam). In this way you save energy when cooking and the food is always cooked at a constant temperature.

Although it is referred to as waterless cooking, one thing you should do before cooking with this method is to rinse your food in water and then drain it before cooking. This ensures there will be enough water clinging to the food to create enough steam, mixed with foods natural juices, to cook it properly.

Cooking times with the waterless cooking method is generally a little less than traditional cooking times, depending on personal tastes for doneness. You should always cook your food at medium to low temperatures because the special waterless cookware construction allows the unit to conduct heat in the most efficient manner. You must also resist the urge to lift the lid during the cooking process as this will lengthen the cooking time and may even allow the food to dry out when the steam escapes.

The steam valve will tell you when you should turn off your stove element-when the correct temperature has been reached to allow the food to cook itself. When the steam valve whistles, turn off your stove, but do not lift the lid until the specified cooking time has elapsed-then you can open the lid and serve out your hot food. As a tip, put warm water into the unit after the food has been removed and let it sit while you eat so clean-up will be a snap afterwards.

Most recipes can be adapted (with a few alterations) to using the waterless cooking method as well. You will discover that old favorites will taste better and new recipes will be simple to master. The waterless cooking method is a new and healthier way to cook. It is more energy efficient, allows the food to retain its own juices, texture and color, and is an easy way to cook.

Are you surprised? Next to the real estate and housing industry, the travel industry is said to be the second largest industry in the world.

Did you know that in the USA more money is spent on travel annually than on healthcare, more than on telecommunications, far more than on computers and surprisingly, even more than on food?

Travel is a 7 trillion dollar plus industry worldwide and is expected to continue to grow dramatically over the next two decades as members of the baby boom generation fulfill their number one goal: to travel more. Younger generations are becoming more adventurous as well. People worldwide, in developing nations and developed nations, desire to travel more as they are exposed to new worlds on the Internet and as their incomes continue to grow. We live in an increasingly smaller world.

And, as people earn more and more money in their home travel businesses, they receive many wonderful travel bonuses and get to travel a lot more.

There are currently a couple of home-based businesses in the field of travel and leisure that have become extremely popular within the past year. After carefully studying their business models, their compensation plans, their benefits and their reputations, you might want to select the best one and get started.

In fact, travel businesses have become very popular virtually worldwide. Besides in the USA, two reputable US-based home travel business have begun to explode in places like Canada, Australia, the UK, the EU, India, Malaysia, the Philippians, South Korea, Japan and of course China.

Now, the Top 10 Reasons to Get Into a Good Travel Business Right Now:

It is a huge industry with an eager worldwide market of over 2 billion people.
It is projected to grow dramatically worldwide in the next few years and in the decades ahead.
Good travel businesses are hot right now, in the USA and around the world – demand is very high.
With the right company, it can be a high-integrity business with quality products like cruises, trips and vacations that nearly everyone desires.
It offers exciting travel products and travel bonuses to exciting locations that can inspire, educate, broaden horizons, entertain and benefit people of all ages.
It is a business that allows you to help others worldwide who want help and to truly change their lives.
It is a simple, easy business that anyone can do with the proper training and support.
It is a home business that’s not time consuming and is really, really fun!
It can be extremely lucrative so you have more time and money to travel!
You can get started in a legitimate home travel business with realistic six-figure potential for under $350! That includes membership and a huge discount on a choice vacation or cruise package.

In short, a home business in the field of travel can be very exciting and profitable right now and in the years ahead.

One of the keys to success in any business is passion for the business and passion for the products and services that you market and consume. Some people market soaps or vitamins, and others market highly discounted luxury cruises, trips and 3 to 5 star vacations to exotic locations around the world. Travel is about exploration and fulfilling your dreams.

What excites you?

There is a simple but undeniable truth in the financial consulting and wealth planning industry that Wall Street has kept as a “dirty little secret” for years. That dirty little, and nearly always overlooked secret is THE WAY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR IS PAID DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEIR FINANCIAL ADVICE TO YOU!

You want, and deserve (and consequently SHOULD EXPECT) unbiased financial advice in your best interests. But the fact is 99% of the general investing public has no idea how their financial advisor is compensated for the advice they provide. This is a tragic oversight, yet an all too common one. There are three basic compensation models for financial advisors – commissions based, fee-based, and fee-only.

Commission Based Financial Advisor – These advisors sell “loaded” or commission paying products like insurance, annuities, and loaded mutual funds. The commission your financial advisor is earning on your transaction may or may not be disclosed to you. I say “transaction” because that’s what commission based financial advisors do – they facilitate TRANSACTIONS. Once the transaction is over, you may be lucky to hear from them again because they’ve already earned the bulk of whatever commission they were going to earn.

Since these advisors are paid commissions which may or may not be disclosed, and the amounts may vary based on the insurance and investment products they sell, there is an inherent conflict of interest in the financial advice given to you and the commission these financial advisors earn. If their income is dependent on transactions and selling insurance and investment products, THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE TO SELL YOU WHATEVER PAYS THEM THE HIGHEST COMMISSION! That’s not to say there aren’t some honest and ethical commission based advisors, but clearly this identifies a conflict of interest.

Fee Based Financial Advisor – Here’s the real “dirty little secret” Wall Street doesn’t want you to know about. Wall Street (meaning the firms and organizations involved in buying, selling, or managing assets, insurance and investments) has sufficiently blurred the lines between the three ways your financial advisor may be compensated that 99% of the investing public believes that hiring a Fee-Based Financial Advisor is directly correlated with “honest, ethical and unbiased” financial advice.

The truth is FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! Think about it (you’ll understand more when you learn the third type of compensation), all fee-BASED means is that your financial advisor can take fees AND commissions from selling insurance and investment products! So a “base” of their compensation may be tied to a percentage of the assets they manage on your behalf, then the “icing on the cake” is the commission income they can potentially earn by selling you commission driven investment and insurance products.

Neat little marketing trick right? Lead off with the word “Fee” so the general public thinks the compensation model is akin to the likes of attorney’s or accountants, then add the word “based” after it to cover their tails when these advisors sell you products for commissions!

FEE ONLY Financial Advisor – By far, the most appropriate and unbiased way to get financial advice is through a FEE-ONLY financial advisor. I stress the word “ONLY”, because a truly fee ONLY financial advisor CAN NOT, and WILL NOT accept commissions in any form. A Fee-ONLY financial advisor earns FEES in the form of hourly compensation, project financial planning, or a percentage of assets managed on your behalf.

All fees are in black and white, there are no hidden forms of compensation! Fee-Only financial advisors believe in FULL DISCLOSURE of any potential conflicts of interest in their compensation and the financial advice and guidance provided to you.

Understanding the conflict of interest in the financial advice given by commission based brokers enables you to clearly identify the conflict of interest for fee-based financial advisors also – they earn fees AND commissions! Hence – FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! There is only one true way to get the most unbiased, honest and ethical advice possible and that is through a financial advisor who believes in, and practices, full disclosure.

Commission and Fee-Based financial advisors typically don’t believe in or practice full-disclosure, because the sheer magnitude of the the fees the average investor/consumer pays would surely make them think twice.

Consider for a moment you need to buy a truck specifically for towing and hauling heavy loads. You go to the local Ford dealership and talk to a salesperson – that salesperson asks what type of vehicle you’re interested in and shows you their line of trucks. Of course, to that salesperson who earns a commission when you buy a truck – ONLY FORD has the right truck for you. It’s the best, it’s the only way to go, and if you don’t buy that truck from that salesperson you’re crazy!

The fact is Toyota makes great trucks, GM makes great trucks, Dodge makes great trucks. The Ford may or may not be the best truck for your needs, but the salesperson ONLY shows you the Ford, because that’s ALL the salesperson can sell you and make a commission from.

This is similar to a commission based financial advisor. If they sell annuities, they’ll show you annuities. If they sell mutual funds, all they’ll show you is commission paying mutual funds. If they sell life insurance, they’ll tell you life insurance is the solution to all of your financial problems. The fact is, when all you have is a hammer… everything looks like a nail!

Now consider for a moment you hired a car buying advisor and paid them a flat fee. That advisor is an expert and stays current on all of the new vehicles. That advisor’s only incentive is to find you the most appropriate truck for you, the one that hauls the most, tows the best, and is clearly the best option available. They earn a fee for their service, so they want you to be happy and refer your friends and family to them. They even have special arrangements worked out with all of the local car dealerships to get you the best price on the truck that’s right for you because they want to add value to your relationship with them.

The analogy of a “car buying advisor” is similar to a Fee-Only financial planner. Fee-Only financial advisor’s use the best available investments with the lowest possible cost. A Fee-Only financial advisor’s only incentive is to keep you happy, to earn your trust, to provide the best possible financial advice and guidance using the most appropriate investment tools and planning practices.

So on one hand you have a car salesperson who’s going to earn a commission (coincidentally the more you pay for the truck the more they earn!) to sell you one of the trucks off their lot. On the other hand, you have a trusted car buying advisor who shops all of the vehicles to find the most appropriate one for your specific needs, and then because of his relationships with all of the car dealers can also get you the best possible price on that vehicle. Which would you prefer?

Truly unbiased financial advice and guidance comes in the form of Fee-Only financial planning. You know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re getting in return for the compensation your Fee-Only financial advisor earns. Everything is in black and white, and there are no hidden agenda’s or conflicts of interest in the advice given to you by a true Fee-Only financial advisor!

The fact is unfortunately less than 1% of all financial advisor professionals are truly FEE-ONLY. The reason for this? There’s a clear and substantial disparity in a financial advisor’s income generated through commissions (or commissions and fees), and the income a financial advisor earns through the Fee-Only model:

Example #1 – You just changed employment and you’re rolling over a $250,000 401k into an IRA. The commission based advisor may sell you a variable annuity in your IRA (which is a very poor planning tactic in most cases and for many reasons) and earn a 5% (or many times more) commission ($12,500) and get an ongoing, or “trailer” commission of 1% (plus or minus) equal to $2,500 per year. The Fee-Only financial advisor may charge you a fee for retirement plan, an hourly fee, or a percentage of your portfolio to manage it. Let’s say in this case you pay a $500 retirement plan fee and 1.25% of assets managed (very common for a Fee-Only financial advisor in this situation). That advisor earns $500 plus $3,125 ($250,000 * 1.25%) or TOTAL COMPENSATION of $3,625 – FAR LESS THAN THE $15,000 THE COMMISSION (or Fee-Based) financial advisor earned! In fact it takes the Fee-Only financial advisor over four years to earn what the commission (or fee-based) advisor earned in one year!

Example #2 – You’re retired and managing a $750,000 nest egg which needs to provide you income for the rest of your life. A fee-based financial advisor may recommend putting $400,000 into an single premium immediate annuity to get you income and the other $350,000 into a fee-based managed mutual fund platform. The annuity may pay a commission of 4% or $16,000 and the fee-based managed mutual fund portfolio may cost 1.25% for total compensation of $20,375 first year (not including the “trailer” commissions). The Fee-Only advisor would possibly shop low load annuities for you, possibly put the entire portfolio into a managed account, possibly look at municipal bonds, or any other variety of options available. It’s hard to say how much the Fee-Only advisor would earn as their largest incentive is to keep you the client happy, and provide the best planning advice and guidance possible for your situation. BUT, in this case let’s just assume that a managed mutual fund portfolio was implemented with an averaged cost of 1% (very common for that level of assets), so the Fee-Only financial advisor earns roughly $7,500 per year and it takes that financial advisor THREE YEARS to earn what the fee-based financial advisor earned in ONE YEAR!

The prior examples are very common in today’s financial advisory industry. It’s unfortunate that such a disparity in income exists between the compensation models, or there would likely be many more truly independent and unbiased Fee-Only financial advisors today!

Now consider for a moment which financial advisor will work harder for you AFTER the initial consultations an planning? Which financial advisor must consistently earn your trust and add value to your financial and investment planning? It’s obvious the financial advisor with the most to lose is the Fee-Only advisor. A Fee-Only financial advisor has a direct loss of income on a regular basis from losing a client.

The commission or fee-based financial advisor however has little to lose. You can fire them after they’ve put you in their high commission products, and as you can see from the examples they’ve already made the majority of the commissions they’re going to make on you as a client. They have little to gain by continuing to add value to your financial and investment planning, and little to lose by losing you as a client.

Wouldn’t you prefer a financial advisory model where your financial advisor must continually earn your trust and add consistent value to your planning?

It’s clearly more difficult to earn a living and run a profitable financial advisory firm through the Fee-Only financial planning and guidance model. For this reason, most financial advisors take the easy way and sell products for commissions and charge fees on assets managed – that way they can make a nice living on your investment portfolio and still have an ongoing stream of revenue every year. For this reason also, less than 1% of financial advisors are truly Fee-Only, yet it’s that 1% that is truly objective and unbiased, and that 1% whose only incentive is to manage your financial plan, investments, and overall wealth to accomplish the goals you wish to achieve!

The real “dirty little secret” Wall St. has is the undeniable truth that the commission and fee-based financial advisory model has inherent conflicts of interest, and your advisor may be “selling you investment products” rather than “solving your financial problems”!