What A PR Firm Can Do For You

For a lot of people, the phrase ‘pr firm’ or the words ‘public relations’, in general, bring up a very particular image.  That image isn’t all that positive, which is a real shame, but zeitgeist is what it is.  The image it brings to mind is that of a celebrity, someone who has done something shameful or beyond the pale or just something that society won’t turn a blind eye to, holding a press conference with an image consultant sitting backstage.  The celebrity is saying something to the tune of ‘I’m sorry for what I said/did.  It was wrong, and it wasn’t the kind of thing I would normally do, but I’ve been struggling lately with some problems due to my drug use/heroin use/alcohol abuse/other intoxicant’, followed by some declaration that they’ll be checking themselves into a rehab facility so they can avoid having to take responsibility for their actions (I mean, so they can get better).  It’s sad that this is what we think of when we hear ‘pr firm’, because they do a lot more than bail celebrities out when they do something idiotic.

A public relations agency isn’t just there to repair the image of a celebrity when they do something ridiculous.  A public relations agency, rather, exists to ensure that the image that your company, your product, even yourself, puts out into the world is a positive one, and one that attracts the right kind of attention and the right kind of people to said product, company, or person.  It’s true, a public relations firm is going to be there when you mess up to help you restore the image, but first you must have an image to tarnish.

Some companies will tarnish their image just because of what kind of work they do.  For example, think of oil companies.  They’re pumping oil out from under the Earth, a dangerous and complicated task that, as of the year 2015, is absolutely essential to almost every economy in the world.  If we didn’t have oil (and petrol for our cars and trucks), we’d see a lot of the market collapse and a lot of national and international trade would be a lot more difficult until someone comes up with a replacement.  However, the cost of doing this business is that sometimes things go wrong, and oil spills, or it burns, or it explodes, and when that happens, the oil company that is having the trouble has to spend time restoring their image in the public eye.

public relations firmOther companies can tarnish their image just by not being aware of things that they probably should put more thought into.  For example, consider the people who run clothing stores, and buy their clothing in from places in Thailand, India, and China.  Some of these places are run as sweatshops, and even worse, some are using child labor, a practice which, though it’s generally well thought of in those countries, is generally frowned up in the United States and most of the developed world as immoral.  If you get caught using child labor, whether you know it or not, you’re going to have some work to do in order to make up for what you did wrong, and a public relations company is going to be able to help you to do that work.

They can also help you with social media management, which is very important for any business, but is especially important for a small business.  You see, social media is the most accessed forum these days for the exchange of everything from ideas, videos and pictures, and personal information, to the exchange of work and goods.  I can log onto any of the three social media sites I’m part of and communicate with people who live three miles away from me, or people who live 15,000 miles away from me, and all through the power of the internet.  You need to be able to do the same, communicating about your business to people who are your neighbors (or at least people in the same city as you are) as well as to people who aren’t your neighbors, but still might be interested in ordering whatever it is that you have to offer to them.

So, if you’re looking, as a business, to each more people with the positive image that your company is trying to project, consider hiring a public relations firm.  Having help projecting a positive corporate image into the world can only yield good things and profits, and both of those things are desirable to you as a small business owner.  Take the plunge and hire a pr firm, and you’ll be glad you did.


Three Assurance Services That Can Inform You About An Investment Opportunity

Investing is a risky business, and nothing in our lifetime has proven this more than the market collapse of 2008 and the subsequent market instability that it caused.  There are a lot of great chances in the marketplace to take a few dollars and turn it into something more, and that’s a great thing to do if you have the spare money.  On the other hand, the market is fraught with opportunities for exactly the opposite.  Bad investments, investments where the value of the investment is hidden (remember Enron?  This is basically all that Enron did, lie about the value of their company as their stock prices rose, then the executives bailed on the company and sold off all their stock, making a cool couple of million dollars, while also alerting the world, and the federal government, to some sort of chicanery being afoot), investments in honest companies that want to grow and succeed but just won’t end up being able to in the long run, there are all sorts of reasons that money you invest into a company can go from earning interest and growing to suddenly being less than what you initially invested.

How to prevent this from happening to you, protecting yourself from the worst case scenario where you lose everything, or at least most of everything?  Well, you look at the assurance services, looking into the things that give you an honest view of the company and how it’s doing.  Here are just three assurance services that you can look at to see the stability of the investment.

1.  Accounts Receivable Review/Audit

When you look at the future of a company in order to decide if an investment that you make in said company is going to grow, one of the best things to look at is the way in which they bring in money.

CPA accounting servicesNow, I don’t meant this to say the business they do, but rather the things that they have, in the future, and the assets that they have on hand or will have on hand.

Accounts receivable are, basically, a series of contracts with various businesses saying that they owe certain amounts of money to the business in question.  One of the best, and most important things, about these contracts, though, is that they carry the weight of law; they can’t just fail to pay the money owed, meaning that these accounts receivable reviews will be very capable of giving you a good idea of how much money is guaranteed to come into the company in the next period of however many months or years.  This is very important for you to know in order to figure out the future profitability of an investment opportunity, and because of that, it’s an important thing for CPA firms to audit and review occasionally, and to release to prospective customers and investors

2.  Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Another one of my favorite ways of looking at how good or bad an investment is the use of customer satisfaction surveys.  Customer satisfaction surveys aren’t something that can be easily manipulated, especially if you’re able to take a look at the questions and the way in which they were worded.

A great thing about such surveys is that, when they’re put out by a CPA firm, they’re available to anyone who is involved in the investment to answer, or at least to a representative sample of the investor base.  Of course, on the other hand, it runs into the problem that you find any time you put out surveys without a way of making sure that everyone involved answers.  Basically, you’re mostly going to be getting answers from people who have feelings to the extreme, either positive or negative.  These people are going to be giving you the best and the worst of what they’ve seen concerning the investment, and this can be both a blessing and a curse.

3.  Business risk assessment

A business risk assessment, basically, is an audit done by a CPA firm that will help look at the risk involved in the investment at hand.  It’ll tell you how the business is working, and it’ll also help you to get an understanding of, from a numerical point of view, exactly how likely you are to lose the money that you’re putting in.

So, if you’re going to be investing your money any time soon, consider seeking the assurances that a CPA firm can offer.  You’ll be glad you did when you have a better idea of what you’re getting into.


How to Profit With Social Media Management

When you are the owner of a business, whether it be large or small, the one thing most important to the continuing prosperity of said business is that you ensure that it attains, and then maintains, profitability. This is important for every business, but it is even more important when your business is just in its fledgling state, just starting out, because you’re likely to already have debt just associated with opening your doors and all the initial start-up costs that go hand in hand with that.  A large business, on the other hand, has been around for a long time, has a lot more cash on hand (in most cases, large businesses will keep about six months’ worth of operating cost capital on hand, in reserve, in case they have a bad six months or year.  This money is enough for them to run their business without taking in another cent or dollar for six months, minimum, while still keeping the lights on, the doors open, and all the employees paid), and even if they’re strapped for cash, they’re going to be able to take out loans against the hard assets they have, the real property they have on hand, and even the storefronts that they’re operating, while a small business just won’t have these options.

Profitability, then, being so paramount to the continued existence of your business, how do you achieve this aspect?  You need to get your message out there, to tell people what you have to offer them, and why they should get it from you, if you’ve any competition.  You need marketing and advertising, you need to show the consumer that you offer whatever you’re offering in a model that is better, or cheaper, or that comes with more expertise and better customer service.  Marketing and advertising and pr management can make a real difference in a competitive market, and no story better makes this point than the history of the struggle between VHS cassettes and Betamax cassettes for the preferred spot in your home entertainment system.  They were competing to be the technology that brought, into the private home, pre-recorded video, allowing you to watch films in the privacy of your own home, at your discretion, without having to wait for them to be broadcast.  In every way, Betamax was superior to VHS, and both were very similar in their pricing.  However, VHS cassettes marketed themselves well to a public that, while they couldn’t understand technological specs, could very easily understand which would be more appealing to use.  Betamax lost the public relations battle, and VHS would be the home viewing system of choice until DVD came along (anyone remember laserdisc?  They were terribly marketed as well, and they were a much better product than VHS was.) many years later.  Marketing, and marketing alone, made an immense difference.

social media management servicesHow, then, do you market yourself to the masses in order to gain profitability and to expand your customer base?  You can go the older routes, making ad buys in various media, printed media, and on radio, but these forms are somewhat archaic, and many are going by the wayside.  Television is constantly threatened by the ability to stream video over the internet, printed media is just having a bad decade in general, with many larger publications either shrinking or going to the internet entirely, Radio, interestingly has weathered change quite well, taking to the internet to broadcast local radio stations worldwide.  But the best place to market, and the newest one, is social media.

Social media management refers to running your social media accounts, giving people on social media a place to connect with your business, even if only passively.  How, then, to make these same people actively spread the word about your business, what it has to offer, and how it offers it?  You offer them an incentive!  This is why you’ve seen, on social media, so many of these ‘giveaways’, where all you have to do to gain entry is ‘like’ a post and a couple of affiliated pages, ‘follow’ a page or two, and ‘share’ a post.  Suddenly, all your friends see the contest, they do the same, following and liking the pages in question, and you’ve grown your customer base, allowing you to reach more people to let them know what’s going on in your business.

So, if you’re looking for stable growth, turn to the internet, and if that’s a daunting prospect, turn to a PR firm that can offer you social media management services.  As your customer base grows, so to will your profits.

Three Advantages to Using Invisalign Braces

For most people who go to their local professional orthodontist, they’re going to wind up, unless they’ve got a rare alignment issue, with one particular method of treatment, the method that has become by far the most popular method for treating malocclusions (a fancier way of saying ‘misaligned ‘teeth).  I’m talking about standard metal braces.

The use of standard metal braces has become almost a knee-jerk reaction in the majority of orthodontist’s offices, and it isn’t hard to understand why that is.  They’re simple, they’re common, and they work well at the job that they’re made to do.

Standard metal braces are made of simple parts, but they’re effective.  They’re made of a series of brackets, originally constructed of metals like gold, stainless steel, or aircraft grade titanium, which are mounted onto the teeth with the use of a long-term dental adhesive designed to last for years on end of use (ensuring, therefore, that your braces don’t simply fall off of the teeth).  Over the top of these brackets is run a long metal wire, which is wrapped or hooked around each individual bracket in order to provide the tension and force needed in order to properly realign the teeth in the mouth.  This metal wire is held in place against the teeth with the use of one of the most humble things to ever be used in any kind of medicine; the rubber band, which is wrapped around each individual bracket and the appropriate length of metal wire, ensuring that it doesn’t slip out at the wrong moment.

finding the best orthodontic specialistHowever, there’s a newer, better, more discreet method of realigning your teeth that is available across the country now, and it’s known as Invisalign.  They’re discreet braces for adults and teens, and here are just three of the advantages to using them.

1.  Comfort

A big issue with standard metal braces is that they’re not comfortable.  They protrude noticeably from the teeth, which is part of their design flaw, really, and not something that can be easily done away with.  This protrusion means that they’re likely to rub against the inside of the mouth, rubbing against the soft flesh inside the lip, which can be uncomfortable as well as creating sores on the mouth.  This is the kind of sore that, when you drink OJ or certain more acidic drinks, will be amazingly painful, and not comfortable by any means.

On the other hand, Invisalign invisible braces are form fitted to your teeth, meaning they’re not going to be protruding far into your mouth, which not only makes them more comfortable (as things that are form-fitted tend to be), but that they’re also going to be more discreet.  And speaking of more discreet…

2.  Discretion

A big advantage that Invisalign has is in the discretion department.  There’s no doubt that when it comes to orthodontic appliances, there’s been a movement from conspicuous to discreet, and that Invisalign is, as it stands today, the end of the pattern; there’s not much that can be done, then, to improve on how discreet the aligners used in an Invisalign treatment plan are.  They’re clear plastic aligners, meaning that they aren’t simply trying to blend in with the natural color of the teeth, and attempt that’s bound to fail; rather, they’re letting that natural color through, and staying out of its way, which is the best thing for a natural color.  As mentioned before, they’re also not going to be protruding, which makes them all the easier to conceal.

3.  Ease of use

Ease of use is a big drawback to standard braces.  One of the problems is that, when you have big metal brackets mounted on your teeth, they get in the way of things like brushing and flossing, while also catching debris of food in a way that makes that brushing and flossing all the more important (unless you want cavities, in which case it’s not important at all, do what you want).

On the other hand, Invisalign doesn’t have to be permanently mounted on your teeth with some dental adhesives; quite the opposite, in fact.  They’re easily removed with the use of nothing more than your hands, and can be put back on just as easy, making meal times and maintenance of regular dental hygiene much simpler.  They’re discreet adult braces that are comfortable as well as easy to use.

So, if you’re looking for the best way to align your teeth, ask your local professional orthodontist about Invisalign invisible braces, and if they might be right for you.  You’ll be glad you did when your teeth are beautifully aligned without all the hassle of standard metal braces.


Three Reasons Why You Should Hire A Product Development Agency

When you run a business, whether it’s big or small, there is one thing that is important to your continued success.  That thing is forward movement. Expansion.  Growth.  New products, and new product lines.  You must always be doing something in order to move forward; the minute that you stop moving forward, just like what happens when a shark ceases movement, you die.

The process of product development, however, can take a lot of time and money, and for a small business, those are two things that are rarely in good supply.  There’s also the fact that, in order to develop a product that you’re bringing to market, you need to do a considerable amount of marketing, and a lot of small business don’t have a marketing guru on their payroll, much less the marketing team that their bigger competitors are likely to have.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that marketing is something you need when bringing a new product to the public, so you’re left with a hard choice to make.  What do you do?  Do you hire a team, or an individual, to take care of your marketing needs?  Or do you hire an outside organization to farm the process out to?

Realistically, you’re better off with that second option.  In fact, there are companies that exist entirely to have that kind of work farmed out to them.  It’s called a product development agency, and it can help you in a myriad of ways, of which just a few are listed below.

1.  Marketing Strategy

choose the right product development companyTo begin with, when you bring a product to market, you absolutely need to have a strategy for how you’re going to market it.  This means that not only do you have a plan for the kind of advertisements you want to run, but that you know who you want to target with those advertisements.

There are over three hundred million people in this country.  I guarantee that not every one of them will be interested in your product, no matter what it is that you have to offer them.  Some people won’t be interested because they already have something in their life that fills the same need that your product is made to fill.  Some people just won’t want what you have to sell for whatever reason.  These people aren’t worth advertising to; they’re not going to buy your product no matter what, and so spending money on the is just as good as lighting it on fire (that’s a lie; if you light the money on fire, it at least warms you).  You need to determine what groups of people are likely to buy what you have to sell.  Doing so will allow you to get the most ‘bang’ for your buck when it comes to advertising.

2.  Advertising Campaigns

So, now you know who you want to advertise to, and who is likely to buy your product and to actually care about what you have to say and sell. Now, then, you have to decide how to best to reach them with that message.  To do this, you have to consider the audience that you’re trying to reach with your product and your advertising.

For example, let’s say that you’re selling high-end, artisan dried meats or salted meats like prosciutto.  Obviously, the people who you’re going to be selling to are likely to Italians, at least in part, but there’s more than that.  A big part of the hipster movement has been a movement toward more expensive and small-batch products, and basically anything with the word ‘artisan’ or ‘small-batch’ in it is something they’re going to buy.  If you’ve done the work of selecting the right product development company, they’ll be well equipped to look at the people you’re hoping to sell to, and to tell you how best to advertise to them and only them, making sure that, once again, you’re getting the most bang for that advertising buck.

3.  Website

Today, having a website is almost a requirement for anyone doing anything.  We all have social media accounts, it seems, these days, and having a web presence is just as important for a product as for a person; having somewhere that you can tell people more information about your product, including, most importantly, where you can go to buy it.  This is extremely important today, and not something to be neglected.

So, if you’re looking to develop a new product as a small business, consider hiring a product development agency in order to tap into their expertise and to make sure your sales numbers are passable when you launch.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Various Ways To Straighten Teeth with Orthodontic Treament

When you or your children need to see a professional orthodontic specialist, you may be worried about what’s to follow. The fact is, millions of adults and children see an orthodontist for their teeth straightening needs. It’s not nearly as bad as you may think. There are ways to be discreet about your treatment. If you don’t want to be obvious about, there are different choices for you. There are even options available today that are much less invasive than regular braces. Don’t be alarmed when your dentist alerts you to the fact that you or someone in your family needs to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist, plenty of other people have been through it. Most are even happy with the results, after all, they come out with a perfectly straight smile in the usual cases.

Metal braces are the first thing everyone thinks of when they find out they need to go the orthodontist. They may be terrified of endless nights filled with headgear and retainers. It’s not something you should be worried about though, headgear is only used in the most extreme cases, and retainers aren’t bad to deal with. Traditional braces have been proven to work, and that’s why they’re still so common. Even so, you do have some options when it comes to treatment. Here are just a few:

  •  Clear Braces – Clear braces function just like regular braces. Brackets are affixed to the teeth, and wires are run between them. Tension is then applied to shift and pull the teeth into place. The big difference lies in the appearance. Clear braces are made to look the same color as your teeth, helping them blend in so they’re harder to notice. It’s a great option if you’re looking for discretion but need the reliability of traditional braces.
  • Lingual Braces  - If you’re orthodontist offers lingual braces, you know she’s good at her job. They can be difficult to get in place, and therefore they cost more money. But if you’re looking for true discretion, this is your answer. They still have brackets and wires, so you know they work well, but they’re placed in the back of the teeth. That way people can’t see them. They were actually developed in the 70s for models who wanted to continue working while undergoing smile correction treatment.
  • Titanium Braces - Some people can’t use steel braces because they are actually allergic to them. It may sound crazy, but nickel allergies are fairly common. Nickel is used to make steel, making steel braces unusable for these people. Titanium is perfect in these situations, but it does cost more.
  • Gold-plated braces - Another solution for nickel allergies is gold-plating. Steel places with gold-plating won’t bother these folks. They have the added benefit of a flashy look as well. Some people choose them even though they don’t suffer from an allergy.

discreet lingual braces for teeth straighteningThough all unique, all of these braces use the same basic methods that have been in use for years. Your mouth will be full of metal during the entire course of treatment. It makes cleaning your teeth and eating more difficult than you may want like. Remember that the process can take from a few months to a few years, so you’ll have to prepared to deal with the situation for a while. Food gets stuck in braces often, so you’ll have to keep a toothbrush with you all the time, and you’ll want to be checking often. You’ll also have to cut some things out of your diet completely. Another drawback is the pain experience as tension pulls your teeth into place. It’s nice to be able to avoid that if possible. Fortunately there are some other options out there, but they won’t work for everybody.  Take a look at a couple of the choices you might have if you’re lucky!

  • Spring Aligners  - Only the luckiest few will find spring aligners work for them. They’re a noninvasive method that you should definitely use if your alignment issues are not too severe. They won’t cost as much as braces either. The problem is, they’ll usually only address issues in the front of the mouth, like your first few teeth.
  • Invisalign braces for adults and teens - If you don’t want traditional braces, and you don’t want anyone to notice your treatment, you should look into Invisalign. This is the ultimate in smile correction treatment, and is one of the newer products on the market. The clear plastic aligners are even able to be removed at will. Eating, drinking, and cleaning your teeth is no problem at all when using Invisalign. It won’t work for everyone, but I’d definitely check with your orthodontist if it sounds like an interesting product to you.


Your Company’s Trade Show Booth Has Evolved

Getting up and going to work everyday at the office can be a real drag. Sometimes there is not much to look forward to when everything becomes so routine, but when that time of year comes around when you get to travel to the most popular trade show in the industry, things start to look up. The best trade shows are fun because all of all of the friendly competition that occurs between vendors and the displays that they come up with to attract visitors. It is easy to tell the companies who have not been to the show before from the ones who have because the disparity between the quality of their respective trade show displays is often painfully apparent.

You remember the first time that your company decided to attend a trade show when all you had for a display was a bunch of business cards, a couple of standing retractable banners and a table spread with your company logos on them. It didn’t keep you from doing your job but you sure felt like it would have been a lot easier to attract the attention of people passing by if you had a better display. When you had time to walk around the trade show and look at all of the other displays it was easy to understand why some company representatives were more successful at getting people to come to their booth than you were. There were of course other companies who were in the same boat and you imagined that they felt as inferior about the trade show booths they were sitting in front of as you did.

You took your cell phone out and took some pictures of some other displays at the trade show that clearly must have cost a lot more than the banners and table spread that you were provided. You knew that if management decided to send you back the next year that you would need to provide proof of how under-matched you were the previous year so you could convince them to hire a professional to design and construct a trade show booth that would do the company the proper justice. You were grateful by the end of the show that you were able to make some valuable contacts, but it was clear to you how much better you would have been able to perform on behalf of the company if you had  better tools at your disposal by having a professional display to be proud of.

My how things have changed in the years since. Now, you have one of the best displays at the trade show and it is obvious how much easier it is to attract visitors and have conversations with people as a result. You remember how you used to feel almost desperate to make eye contact with someone who was walking by so you could try to get their attention, like those sad people working for commission at mall kiosks. Those days are in the past now and you are so grateful that your boss was receptive to your suggestions and took your advice. The second year your company went with an affordable standing cardboard display with some great graphics and proper lighting and the next year you even took it further with an aluminum frame display and furniture.

Your boss now likes to come with you to the trade shows to participate in the festivities and see what the competition is up to. There will always be competition between your company and its competitors for business but the competition for the best trade show exhibit is one that he and you particularly enjoy. It is fun to go out to dinner and discuss business with prospective  clients and even the competition during the week. But, when it is all over it is back to the grind where all you can think about is next year’s trade show when you get to playfully talk trash to the other companies that you compete with while working hard to make as many business connections as possible.

Things are a lot busier than they used to be and you have to think that it has a lot to do with the relationships that you were able to forge over the years at the trade show. There are always friendly and familiar faces that you see when you go but there are new faces as well that you work hard to familiarize yourself with so you can help make your company more successful. You are grateful to have work for a company who sees the value in having a great trade show exhibit so for at least a few days out of the year you can have fun at work.

What Does a PR Firm Do?

PR firms are often mistaken for advertising companies. Though the fields are related, they are far from the same thing. You public relations company isn’t going to be putting up billboards, purchasing tv spots or radio and newspaper ads, and they definitely won’t be writing your latest jingle. Public relations isn’t always what you see on television either, firms don’t write articles and then pay reporters to publish them. This is nothing but a fairytale. Don’t let common misconceptions prevent you from making the right decision when it comes to our company’s PR. Keep reading to explore more about public relations firms and how they can help you.

We’ve talked about what PR firms DON’T do, so what is that they do?

Instead of paying for ads to appear in print, radio, or television, public relations companies concentrate on boosting your company image by using the media. Their goal is to garner coverage for your company on website, in print like magazine or newspapers, or on TV and radio programs. In the industry this is often referred to as “free media” or “earned media”. It’s painfully obviously when companies try to disguise an ad as free media, and there are even laws requiring notices are printed on ads designed to look like real articles. It isn’t always easy to get earned media, which is why it’s general wise to hire someone to help you with your public relations needs.

A Public relations agency and an advertising firm alike seek to promote their clients and thrust them into the limelight. The goal is to have their clients viewed by their target audience as honest, caring, experts in their industry, and worthy of patronizing. That is where the similarities end however. Advertisers pay for this exposure, and people know that when they see an ad it was paid for. This means that they might not put all that much stock in the ads, after all you did pay for them to see it. If a company is featured in a local new story for a positive reason however, there is a big difference. People see it and know right away that the community didn’t pay for this exposure, it was truly earned. It’s clear to see which one commands more respect.

There are many more ground level or “day-to-day” things that PR firms do for your company as well. It’s important to know all the ways a PR company will be working for you. Keep in mind that this is in no way a comprehensive list, but it should give you a good idea of some of the essential functions of a PR firm.

  • Write speeches
  • Handle press releases, from writing to scheduling
  • Hold events designed to build your standing in the community
  • Orchestrate new product releases
  • Coordinate moves to new markets
  • Developing methods for dealing with negative news stories
  • Content creation
  • Copywriting on websites and social media accounts
  • Maintain and nurturing a social media presence

As you can see, there are many benefits to hiring an experienced PR firm. The list of duties they perform and the benefits seen from these actions makes a top firm well worth the expense. In most case, you can’t afford not to hire them. There are some tricks to picking the firm best suited to your needs however.

First, find a PR company that is going to be willing to listen to your needs and concerns. You want them to listen to the message you are wanting to convey as well. Some firms will try to evaluate your company from the outside and run away with a PR plan without much of an input from you. You should try to avoid firms that operate this way.  At the same time, you aren’t looking for an agency that is going to capitulate to you on every single point. They will put up a fight for ideas and methods they know are tried and true. This is very important to a successful PR campaign, they are the experts after all.

social media agencyNext, seek out a PR agency that has fostered good relationships with members of the press and other important individuals, like power bloggers. Your success can hinge upon your firm’s relationships with these individuals. Find a PR agency that knows the ins and ads of working with the media. You want them to have strong connections so that they’re able to get stories about your company in front of as many editors and journalists as possible.

Make sure that you are an engaged client when it comes to your company’s PR plan. It’s very important and deserves as much of your attention as possible. A PR campaign run by a competent and creative company will translate to long-term success.

Four Reasons to Visit Your Local Family Dentist

Visiting the dentist office is rarely a pleasant experience, and there are many reasons for this.  To start with, nobody enjoys having their mouth dug around in by a relative stranger, especially not when they’re poking and scratching various things with a metal implement that could just as easily cut open your gums.  Then there’s the unpleasant and gritty substance that they put on your teeth to ‘polish’ them, which, no matter which flavor you choose, somehow always tastes like a terrible and gritty paste (yeah, don’t buy into their promises of ‘mint’ or ‘bubble gum’, there is one flavor and one flavor alone).

Quality Dental CareAll that being said, as someone who has neglected their dental healthcare over the years, I often find myself wishing I hadn’t, and had visited an experienced cosmetic dentist.  It can be costly to fix things that could’ve been fixed with much cheaper preventative care.  Then there’s the fact that the fixing of my teeth was far more painful than it would have been to simply take care of them properly in the first place.  Basically, all those things that people tell you were true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so on.

Having said that, as someone, as I said, who has ignored their dental health, here’s four reasons why you should actually go to your dentist and not skip out on regular appointments like I did.

1.  Cavities

So, if, like myself, you decide to neglect your teeth and take them for granted (I wouldn’t recommend it.  At all.), you will, one day, find yourself chewing on something and then feeling a sharp pain.  Some people cry out, I just quickly rubbed the sore spot and wondered what happened.  Didn’t even give it a second thought until it happened a second time, and then a third, and then became an almost constant occurrence when I was eating. I had a cavity.

The only treatment for a cavity is something that you have to get from experienced family dentists you can trust.  First, they’ll numb the affected area, which is good because otherwise what follows would be extremely painful.  Next, they’ll use a drill to remove the rotted portion of tooth, before finally replacing it with a filling, these days commonly some sort of porcelain material.

Of course, if you don’t go to your local dentist, your cavity becomes worse, until it becomes a…

2.  Dental abscess(es)

This is the worst-case end game for a cavity.  It can take a year or more for a cavity to develop into an abscess.  Basically, a dental abscess is an infected tooth.  By the time it’s gotten this bad, you tend to have also rotted away a lot of the tooth, to the point where, for me, parts of the tooth were actually falling out on their own, and parts of the tooth that stayed could be chipped away at will.  Not a good situation.

Oh, and a dental abscess can also be life threatening.  You see, there are nerves in your teeth, and these nerves run right to the brain.  So, when the tooth gets infected, and then the infection moves on to the nerves, that infection can travel right along the nerve endings and right into your brain, at which point you’re going to die.  Treatment early on is the key to surviving.

Treatment starts with removal of the tooth and whatever is left of it.  Following this, they drill out the roots of the tooth and the nerve endings along with it.  Then they treat you with antibiotics for a couple of weeks at most.  And all of this could have been prevented with…

3.  Regular upkeep of your teeth

So, one of the best things your dentist does for you is to polish and strengthen your teeth.  I know, I complained about the polish.  Just because it tastes awful doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  The fluoride they give you protects your teeth as well (just don’t swallow it).  Another great thing about a regular appointment is that the dentist can look at your teeth and see how they’re doing and check for any issues that may be forming, nipping them in the bud before they become a real worry.

4.  Cosmetic dentistry

This isn’t something I ever needed or received, but if you’re unhappy with your teeth, be they chipped, missing, or misaligned, cosmetic dentistry can be used to fix them with little hassle and even less pain.  There are numerous ways to fix your teeth, but some you’ve heard of; braces, veneers, dental implants, things like that.

So, I implore you, take care of your teeth, and if you haven’t seen your trustworthy family dentist in the last year or so, get on the phone, make a call, and go have them take a look at your teeth to make sure they’re still in good health.  You won’t regret it.

Modular Grow Rooms are Best

grow room designerIt’s an exciting time for the citizens of Colorado and Washington. In 2012 they voted to legalize cannabis for adult use and recreational store or “dispensaries” as they are called are open for business. So far it’s been a success, and recently other states even joined in on the movement. It seems that marijuana may become legal at a federal level anytime now. It truly is amazing after so many years of needless prohibition. Adults over 21 are finally free to consumer the herb of their preference in these states. If you live in one of the, you may even be considering getting into the industry.

If you are, one of the places you need to start is by establishing a well designed and professional grow. It’s the baseline of any good operation, and the success of your business will definitely depend on it. You need to make sure you’ve got an effective design, first of all. This will get you started in the right direction. A good way to do this is to consult with a company who specializes in modular marijuana grow rooms. They’ll have design and building experts to help you out every step of the process. The grow rooms that they offer have many advantages to using traditional methods. Why go through expensive renovations and construction when you can have a self-contained solution?

Here are a few advantages to modular grows:



1) Adjustable Tracks

This is one of the biggest conveniences to modular grow rooms. No longer will lights, fans, and trellises be cumbersome to move around your grow room. They’re easy to install on the tracks, and they can be then move around with ease. You have no idea how handy this is until you actually see it in action. Rearranging your grow will be no trouble at all.

2) Air and Light-Tight

This is one of the best and most important features of modular grow rooms. It’s why they are the best when it comes to indoor growing. As you probably know, you cannot have stray light hitting your plants when they are supposed to be in darkness. It’s very bad and can even ruin your entire crop if it happens too often. It’s unfortunate, but in a lot of grow rooms there are areas for light leaks. A modular room won’t have these issues. In addition, it will be air-tight. This means you won’t have any trouble keeping the temperature where you need it. Leaky and drafty room can be expensive electric bills while you try to keep the temperature consistent. A modular grow room solves these problems.

3) Mobility

You won’t have to worry about being stuck in one places with one of these modular indoor growing rooms. They are easy to disassemble and move to new locations. It’s so easy you may even decide to move the rooms to new locations on your existing property. Whatever the reason is, moves are sure to be simple. Don’t sweat moving anymore than you have to.

4) Easy Expansion

If things are going well for you, you might soon find it hard to keep up with demand. The last thing you want to do is disappoint customers by being out of product when they come to make a purchase. It’s an easy way to lose a lot of business quickly. When you’re product becomes too popular, you need to be able to expand right away. If you have a modular grow room, this will be quite easy. It won’t take more than a few hours, and the expense will be completely within reason. It’s sure to be a lot simpler than renovating an existing room, or setting up a brand new space for a grow. You should always have a plan for expansion, modular grow rooms just make it easy.

5) Keeping Up With Code

it can be hard for somebody who doesn’t have any construction experience to ensure that a structure meets building codes. Instead of relying on yourself, take the pressure off by going with a modular grow room. These rooms are designed to fall in line with building codes. You won’t have to worry about failing and inspection and being forced to pay for expensive repairs. Keep everything nice and easy.

Listed above are just a few ways that choosing a modular grow room will be an advantage for you. If you want less headache and easier designs it is definitely the way to go. You’ll go through a stress free design and build process. I’m sure you’ll be more than satisfied with the results.

What You May Need a CPA Firm For

Managing your finances is paramount to your future prosperity, and to ensuring that you’ll be well set as far as money goes, which is fairly important and conducive to establishing a prosperous future.  In the United States, managing your finances well and living within your means can lead to a lifetime of prosperity, good credit, having a bit of money to put into your savings at the end of every month, a growing retirement account (which, if you’re lucky, is being matched by your employer),  and even putting away some of that money into a rainy day fund.  If you’re lucky, at the end of your life you’ll have put enough away to have a comfortable retirement and to cover all of those end of life expenses like funerals, with enough left over to ensure that you children inherit something.  On the other hand, poorly managing your finances leads to a lifetime of debt, especially when combined with living a lifestyle that is outside of your means.  You start out with just having a long-running balance on your credit cards.  Eventually, that evolves into having to pay for more and more things with your credit card, then you end up having to get check advances in order to stay up to date on your credit card while still being able to continue to afford the things you need to live, this leads to paying off one credit card with another and just bouncing that debt around, and, eventually, in the end, it leads to a breakdown where you’re mortgaging your future in an attempt to stay above water, and, finally, it leads to bankruptcy court and the ruination of your credit rating for the next decade or so, if you ever manage to recover from the damage you’ve done.  So, obviously, taking care of your finances is a pretty important thing if you want to live a somewhat prosperous life.

With how important the management of money is in order to be happy and prosperous in this country, then, it is truly astonishing that we spend so little time in our compulsory education system teaching children how to manage their own money, and, in general, their own affairs.  We have a tendency in the US to basically throw the children out there into the world as eighteen year olds and just assume that they’ll figure it out, which isn’t likely, and is really stressful for those having the world land on them so abruptly.  When I went to school, for example, we had a class, only one class, mind you, that would teach people how to run their household.  It was called ‘Home Ec’, and the idea behind it was to teach you all the skills you would need in order to be able to live on your own, things like how to cook, how to shop for food and appliances, how to compare prices, and, an entire class period, a whole 45 minutes, was devoted to the topic of budgeting.  There was no talk of attempting to foresee the price of your gas and electric bill as the market price of it changed or anything similar, just a quick discussion of the importance of having one and the basics of budgeting.

tax accounting servicesSo, where can you turn for advice on money?  Your bank doesn’t care, at all, so much as you have money in the account and that you make the payments you owe them on time.  As long as they have their money, your bank is really indifferent as to what happens with the rest of it, how you spend it, or how much you have on hand, so long as they’re getting theirs.  No, you need to turn to professionals.

What you need are CPAs, Certified Public Accountants, people who are experts in all the facets of accounting and budgeting as they exist and apply to the lives of individuals as well as to corporations, complicated funds, and really any sort of accounting that exists in the world as we know it today.  These people and the CPA firms that they run are equipped to help you with any and all financial decisions.

If you need a budget, they’ll help look at the money in versus the money out, and they’ll make sure that you trim the fat from your budget, cutting out the unnecessary and preserving the necessary.  This will lead you to greater fiscal stability in the long run.

So, if you’re having money issues, contact your local CPA firm today; you’ll be glad you did.

Getting the Most from Your Indoor Grow Room

You’re probably aware that in states like Colorado and Washington cannabis is now completely legal for adults over 21 to purchase and consume. With it has come an entire new facet of the economy in those two states. In Colorado especially, marijuana stores, often called dispensaries, are thriving. If you’ve got a nose for business, you may already be thinking about getting in on the action. It’s not easy to find success though, especially if you don’t already know what you’re doing. With the amount of choices that customers have in place like the Denver Metro Area, you’ve got to have a product that stands out in order to be successful. It’s all starts and ends with your grow. Since they have to be out of sight and under lock and key, indoor grow rooms are the most common type around. There a multitude of important things to keep in mind when it comes to designing and operating your grow room. To help get you on the right track, I’ve listed a few helpful keys.

1. A Good Location is Essential

Nobody wants to come into work in the morning and find their livelihood trashed and stolen. Unfortunately, in the cannabis industry this isn’t all too uncommon. The product you are growing is quite valuable, and there are definitely criminals out there willing to rob you blind. Make sure you put your grow operation in an area that is safe and secure. You always may want to consider its proximity to your store location. Some businesses even operate both the grow and the store on the same property.

2. Cleanliness 

One of the best ways to produce healthy, quality buds is to keep the environment they are grown in as clean as possible. You want to prevent issues like mold and bug infestations from every happening, and cleanliness is a big part of that. Have a daily plan in place to keep things clean. It will be a lot easier to do everyday then have to go in and thoroughly clean the grow room once a problem presents itself.

3. Organization

Organization is absolutely essential to your success when it comes to your grow room. Having an organized room will make things easier to work with, and will cause fewer difficulties when it comes to harvest. Different strains may favor different nutrients, and keeping this kind of information in order can be the difference between an average and fantastic crop.

4. Light and Air-Tight Conditions

If you have any experience growing at all, then you know how particular cannabis can be, especially when grown indoors. Make sure the room you construct is light-tight as well as air-tight. Having light sneak in and hit your plants during dark cycles is extremely detrimental, and having an air-tight room will make the environment easier to control. Keep this in mind while your room is under construction.

5. Ready for Change

Recently modular marijuana grow rooms have been becoming very popular. There are even companies out there who will build and install these rooms for you, taking a lot of the headache out of the entire process. One huge advantage to these modular rooms is that they’re easily expandable. Instead of knocking out walls or moving the whole operation, and end wall is simply temporarily removed while additional panels are added to the wall. It’s simple, doesn’t take long, and won’t cost too much. That way when business takes off you’ll be ready to expand and start growing more plants.

6. A Master Grower

modular grow roomsAs we’ve already established, growing good cannabis isn’t easy, and the competition in areas like Denver and Seattle is rough. If you take some time to check out the market before opening your own store, you’ll see there’s a lot of top-quality cannabis being sold. If you have something below average, or even just plain average, you probably won’t last long. The solution is getting paired with a master grower who can run your grow and get the most out of it. Of course you’ll need to see examples of his or her work before you hire or partner with them. This is one area where you can’t skimp on costs.

The list above should just serve as some pointers to those getting ready to set up a cannabis grow room. It can be a great business to get into if you do things correctly, It’s also an easy business to fail in, since there is so much competition. Do what you need to do to ensure your success. Start with this guide and do as much research as you can. You can never be too prepared.

Tips For Finding a Talented Responsive Web Developer

full-service web development agencyIf you are familiar with responsive web development it is definitely something that you need to take an interest in. Responsiveness is the concept that your website should presently clearly in any format. Many people are accessing the web today from smartphones and tablets, but that’s just the beginning. You want your website to show up no matter what kind of device someone is using. As new products are introduced to the marketplace, you’re going to want a site that’s adaptable and easily shows up on them. Hiring reliable responsive website designers can be extremely advantageous to your business. It take an experienced development team to ensure your website transitions seamless between mobile and desktop and even different screen settings. When you search for designers and developers in your area, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of results you find. Here a few tips to follow when on the hunt, you may want to write these down and form a sort of checklist to take to your meetings.

Look For SEO Specialists

Going forward, one of the most important keys to your presence on the web will be how your search engine optimization, or SEO, plan is carried out. When I’m in the market for a new website, I search for a full-service web development agency. Not only do I want someone who offers SEO services, I want an expert. Be sure to ask for examples of the company’s results. You want to see their clients regularly appearing at the top of relevant search results. Another thing to remember is that any good SEO plan will likely include a blog. This blog shouldn’t just be a source of random information, it should be relevant to your company and customers, and updated on a regular basis. When you meet with development companies, flesh out their plan for SEO, and make sure it’s a good one.

Check Out Their Designs

Chances are, companies you meet with are going to start of meetings with a flashy presentation. During this time, you should get a clear picture of what their design philosophy is. If you don’t like what you see, don’t hesitate to speak up and let the presenters know. Not being compatible with the company is definitely a deal breaker. Remember that during these meetings, the company is trying to sell you on their brand, their image. They are going to put forward the work they are most proud of. Hopefully, their portfolio shows all of their work and you can get a good feeling for how they design pages. If you only see a few examples, don’t be afraid to ask to see some of the other sites they’ve designed. You want to be on the look out for modern, clean designs. Too much clutter will nothing but scare people away.

Find Security Experts

One of the most common fears among the general population today relate to cyber attacks. They have been occurring since the beginning of the internet, but as the web has become a major economic resource, security has become even more important. Make sure your website design incorporates current and top-notch security measures. You do not want to suffer an attack that results in the theft of your client’s or customer’s sensitive private information. Having a secure place for people to browse is a paramount to building a trusting and long-lasting relationship.

Find a User Focused Company

This means you’ll be avoiding companies that employ the use of obnoxious pop-ups and Flash banner ads. Not only are these things outdated, but the take away from the user experience. The whole point of having a professionally designed website is creating a space where users want to be. You should seek out a development team that is focused on creating the absolute best in user experience. The more people talk visit and talk about your site, the better for business. When you’re preparing to meet with a company, look at the websites in their portfolio and make note of how you feel when navigating around them. Highlight things that you like as well as things you don’t. This will help the company shape the user experience the way you want it.

When it’s time to create or revamp your businesses website, you want to make sure you’re in the hands of capable professionals. A website can be a full-time job, and you’ve got a business to run. With just a little bit of research you can find a company that will fit your needs perfectly.




















Teeth Whitening to Brighten Your Smile

For thousands of years, mankind has been working on improving the smile, attempting to get nearer and nearer the perfect ideal, moving away from the imperfect reality that we are almost all afflicted with naturally.  Since the time of Aristotle, mankind has talked about straightening and perfecting the teeth.  Back then, this mostly concerned attempting to move teeth with primitive orthodontic headgear and attempting to prevent the collapse of the mouth after death, because various cultures that believed in the afterlife thought that a collapsed mouth meant that you wouldn’t be able to talk, eat, or drink in the next world.

In this modern era, a lot of importance is placed upon the smile that we present to the world.  The smile is a very important tool in the way we interact with people around us, in ways both personal and professional.  A smile to a colleague belies that we’re confident in what we’re doing, or that we’re a team player, or that we’re outgoing or friendly.  A smile to a prospective partner in the world of personal relationships is meant to give off a plethora of signals, projecting confidence, satisfaction with the self, and even joy.  We use our smile to give off a lot of signals, and it’s important, therefore, that we can be proud of our smile and flash it gladly and without fear or without it sabotaging our self-confidence.

We do a lot of things that damage the smile and stain the teeth.  As far as actual, physical damage, nearly everything you put in your mouth and nearly everything that you chew is slowly grinding down and corroding your teeth over time.  Then there’s the stupid things we do that chip our teeth, like people who, for example, think that opening a glass soda bottle with their jaw is a good idea (who does that, that’s just crazy.)

quality dental careOf course, the things you consume also slowly stain your teeth.  Are you, like I am, addicted to coffee, pretty much dependent on it to get you through your day? Yeah, coffee is going to slowly stain your teeth brown (although, in the beginning, you end up with yellow teeth).  Do you have that most maligned of habits, an addiction to cigarettes and nicotine?  That stains your teeth.  Do you frequent fast food joints and rest stops, or otherwise just consume a lot of soda all the time?  Soda slowly stains the teeth as well.  And don’t worry; lest they feel left out, I’d like to point out that those who consume a lot of tea also stain their teeth, as do those who like to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (have you ever see your mouth after eating a blueberry?  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone).  And if you, like me, prefer a bit of beer or wine in your day, you better believe that is going to stain your teeth as well.

So, what can be done to fix the damage you’ve done to the coloring of your teeth?  To start off with, you’ll need to go and find a teeth whitening dentist in your local area, someone who can offer you the treatment you’re going to need to remove the staining that you’ve naturally caused throughout the course of your life.  You’ll need to, obviously, set up an appointment, and you’ll need to show up.

When you get there, they’ll sit you in one of those comfortable dentist chairs, and they’ll cover your gums with the use of one of various protective gels, which will keep them from being impacted by the bleaching agent that will be applied to your teeth.  Next, they’ll apply a bleaching agent to your teeth, which will be left there for an hour or so, depending on what your particular teeth need to whiten them more.  This agent is either made of up to sixteen percent hydrogen peroxide, or it’s something that, when applied to the teeth, will transform, chemically, into hydrogen peroxide.

Now, this can be accelerated using light-accelerated treatments, which basically consist of everything I just mentioned, but add in the use of various high-powered lights in order to quicken the pace of whitening.  This shortens the amount of time you need to be in the chair, as well as having some positive effect on the efficiency of the treatment.

So, if you think that your teeth could use some professional help so you can get that superstar smile, contact your local dentist’s office and see what they can offer you in professional teeth whitening.

Choosing the Right Local Orthodontist for You

For many individuals and families, a simple fact of life for growing up is that, at some point, you’re going to need to take a trip to your local professional orthodontist.  In fact, one in three Americans will, at some point, need some sort of orthodontic work, whether it be braces or surgery or whatever the case may be.  Orthodontic treatments are both commonplace and necessary for some, but there’s also stigma attached.

When I say that there’s stigma attached, I don’t mean to validate said stigma; the reality is that there’s nothing in the world wrong with getting treatment for problems that you have, no matter what they are.  I’m just pointing out that it seems there is almost an institutionalized right to tease people who dare to go get the braces that they need or want to perfect their smile, and no matter how unreasonable that teasing may be, it does exist.  Because of this, it’s important to pick an orthodontist who will be attentive to all the needs you may have for your orthodontic treatment, including the need that it be as discreet as it possibly can be.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the first archaic devices used to correct the malocclusion (improper bite, or crooked bite, depending on who you ask) of teeth.  In the beginning, the devices were massive, conspicuous, and, worst of all, some of them involved the use of catgut (it is exactly what it sounds like, an elastic-like substance made with the guts of cats).  Today, all of the devices involved use sterile metals, plastics, and in some cases, even ceramics.  They’re also much more compact and discreet (with the possible exception of headgear, which is the size it is because it needs to be in order to support the tension that it will be producing), allowing them to be better hidden in order to attract less unwanted negative attention.

For example, the most common form of dental appliance in use today is the braces. Braces are what everyone thinks of when they consider correcting crooked teeth, which is interesting because they’re a fairly new invention, having only been implemented in the 70s, less than 50 years ago.  Braces are, essentially, a very simple idea, and really the only thing that held up the implementation of the idea was the fact that there didn’t exist, until the 70s, a dental adhesive that would work in the long-term without also having issues like corrosion or mild toxicity.

Braces consist of a set of tiny brackets mounted to the teeth via a dental adhesive, over which is run a metal wire which is hooked onto the brackets at the end, providing tension to straighten the teeth out.  The wire is then held in place with the use of rubber bands which can easily be switched out when they break (which is something that rubber bands tend to do when exposed to the inside of a mouth for a long period of time).  In some of the newer versions of braces being implemented of late, the brackets have holes in the middle through which the wire can be run, which replaces the need for the rubber bands at all.  All these metal devices are made using standard metals like stainless steel (sterilized, of course).  In some cases, gold and titanium alloys are used in order to avoid allergy issues.

There’s an even more advanced form of the classic idea of ‘braces’ in use today, however, and it’s been around for nigh on twenty years.  They’re known as ‘invisible braces’, or, more commonly, they’re known by their brand name, ‘Invisalign’. Invisalign braces are made from clear plastic and are almost entirely invisible, even when viewed up close.  They don’t require readjustment, because they aren’t permanently affixed like normal standard braces, but rather they’re a series of aligners that you place on your teeth to slowly straighten them out; when one aligner is done, you replace it with the next, and so on.  They’re also affordable, which can be a worry for some; they tend to cost near the same price as standard metal braces, and they are covered by most dental insurances to an equal degree.

So, if you’re facing the prospect of having to wear something on your teeth to straighten them out, there’s really no need for despair.  It’s likely that you’ll be able to take advantage of new technologies and of the new tools available to your local professional orthodontist to utilize hidden braces for teens or adults, and your smile will be on its way to perfection!

Modern Trends in Orthodontics and the Rise of Invisalign

Modern orthodontists rely predominantly on braces of various forms for correcting their clients’ teeth.  Many believe braces to be a recent discovery, something from the Seventeen-hundreds or later. The reality is a bit more shocking; early forms of braces and other corrective orthodontic appliances have been discussed since the time of Hippocrates and Aristotle, nearly two and a half millenia ago!  In more than a few societies, they’ve discovered mummified corpses with what appears to be bands of various metal alloys wrapped around their teeth, much the way modern braces are wrapped around the teeth today.  They have also found crude braces made from catgut, which is exactly what it sounds like, but was once used in place of elastic.

In 1728, a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard published a work called ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ on his preferred orthodontic implement, the Bandeau.  The Bandeau was used to expand the dental arch, which is the arch made up by the curved row of teeth when viewed in a cross-section, as if from above.  Nearly a quarter of a century later, Louis Bourdet would perfect the use of the Bandeau, as well as being the first dentist to recommend the removal of premolar teeth (which, today, we call bicuspids) in order to prevent crowding of the jaw line and promote proper jaw growth.

It wasn’t until 1819 that the world would bear witness to something that you, reading this today, would recognize as an orthodontic implement.  Christophe Francois Delabarre created the ‘wire crib’, which was an early form of what we would come to know as the dental brace.  In 1843. Dr. Edward Maynard would be the first to use elastic to correct the positioning and angle of teeth in the mouth, which would be improved upon seven years later by E.J. Tucker who, in place of elastic strips would cut rubber tubing into small bands that were far more comfortable in the mouth.

It wouldn’t be until the early 1900s that there would exist a standardized measurement system for classifying how crooked an individual’s teeth were.  Edward Angle would introduce just such a system, as well as simplifying many orthodontic devices from the past and creating the first orthodontic colleges.

affordable braces for kidsIt would be another half a century before there was any noticeable breakthrough in orthodontic techniques.  The discovery of a safe dental adhesive would revolutionize the way that braces are applied, meaning no longer would orthodontists need to individually wrap every tooth in its own wire.  Now. they could simply use dental adhesive to attach a bracket to each tooth, and then run the wire through each bracket.  The other major update in orthodontics was the use of stainless steel in place of other (more expensive and less flexible) materials like gold and silver.  Patients loved it because it was cheaper than the precious metals previously used, and dentists grew to love it because it was so much more flexible and easily manipulated; a true win-win all around for those dealing with orthodontic dentistry.

The next leap forward was already being experimented with at the same time as stainless steel was gaining popularity, but would take another twenty years to come to be widely available.  Orthodontists in Japan and the United States of America would begin experimenting with ‘invisible braces’ in order to avoid the unsightly braces and headgear that still exist today.  The goal was to find something less conspicuous and less likely to make the client feel self-confident about having their teeth (and their smile) fixed, while also maintaining the affordability of the stainless steel braces.

in 1997, Zia Chishti and Kesley Wirth would combine advances in computer modeling and imaging technology with the concept of the plastic retainer to develop what would come to be the most successful form of invisible braces, known as ‘Invisalign‘.  Using dental x-rays, photography, and rubber or plastic models of an individual’s bite pattern, they would make a series of clear plastic aligners that would slowly manipulate the client’s teeth until they were straightened.  Unlike with traditional braces (or bilinguals, which are hidden behind the teeth instead of bracketed on the front), Invisalign aligners would be removable at meal times, doing away with worries about maintaining the teeth and the brackets and wires that come with more traditional forms of braces.  Even better, the price point for Invisalign invisible braces would be comparable to any set of regular ceramic or stainless steel braces, making them available to a wide audience.  Invisalign is the most modern method of properly aligning teeth that we have available today, as well as being discreet clear braces good for clients of all ages, and easier for trained orthodontists to work with than the standard metal braces.  But tomorrow, who knows what new technology will arise?

I vote for lasers.  A man can dream, though.

Social Media Management to Gain Market Share

Being competitive in the amount of market share you service is an important goal for any business, whether it’s a fledgling company that just opened last month or a corporation that spans the globe and has been around for centuries.  The more market share you control, the more money you’re making, the more business you’re doing, and the more power your company has in their industry.  Companies don’t just burst into existence with a portion of market share they can slowly grow, though, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

First, you must have a business plan and then open a business.  This will require getting together collateral, taking out small business loans, borrowing money from anyone who will lend it to you, gathering together investors who you will (if you’re lucky) eventually be able to buy out of their shares of your company, and then finding a premises for the actual brick and mortar location.  Once you’ve picked out that location whether for lease or purchase, you’ll have to garnish it with the accoutrements of your trade, equipping it so that it can function as a business. Once you’ve purchased all the equipment you’ll need, you will have to begin purchasing your initial stock, getting together whatever you’ll be putting on the shelves to offer to customers, and then, finally, you’ll have to pick and train your employees (assuming you need any).  Now you begin the fight for market share.Public Relations Firm

Your opening will be attended mostly by friends and family you’ve guilt-tripped into coming (or, rather, who came because they support you in your endeavors) as well as by anyone you’ve managed to reach via initial media coverage and word of mouth from people you know.  It’ll be important to show them that your shop offers them something they can’t get elsewhere, and does so courteously and with amazing service, because these people will be the ones talking about the initial impression they got from you business. A bad opening, a terrible soft and hard opening, this can damage your store irrevocably and cause you to lose money hand over fist until you end up closing within the first year of operation, and that is a situation that, obviously, you’re hoping to avoid at all costs. A good opening, and you’ll be able to go to the next phase of running your company; running your business while taking advantage of good pr.

Running your company will take precedence, of course, but it’ll also be important to you that you capitalize on the good PR that you (hopefully) received while opening your business and servicing the first few customers.  You can do this by buying some advertising in a variety of media.  For a small business, you’re not likely to have the money to go with television ads; not only do you have to pay for the actual ad time, but you’re also going to need to invest money in the creation of the ad content, otherwise it’ll just come off as cheesy and you’ll be a source of derision, not a seriously considered competitor in your field of business.  Are you going to go to a restaurant that had a terrible ad that didn’t showcase their food, but did showcase their inability to sing in harmony?  Probably not.  Radio commercials are more realistically priced, and you won’t have to spend a lot of money creating the content, because voice acting tends to be much less expensive (to put this into perspective, you can record a full album in a professional studio for under a thousand dollars if you know what you’re doing).  Newspapers and magazines are also an option, although I would avoid them, as they consistently under-perform when it comes to exposure.

A more affordable method of getting advertising is social media management, and it can also be the best for small businesses.  Instead of spending immense amounts of money on media buys, buying time and space on various platforms, you can run a social media site (or rather, a group of social media pages on a variety of social media sites) and use these as places to inform your customers and prospective customers of what’s going on with your business, as well as telling them why they should come in and offering them tantalizing specials, deals, promotions, and more.

Doing all this will help you to gain market share in your chosen field.  The more advertising you do, the more people you get to come in the door or look at your social media pages, the better shape you’ll be in to offer your goods to a larger segment of the population.

Looking to Put Money Into an Alternative Investment?

Traditional investments are your normal, run of the mill stock market kind of investments, which are counted as assets, such as cash, stocks and bonds. If you want a little bit more creative and risky with investments, then you should look into alternative investments, which will give you a lot of creative and unique perks that you won’t see available in traditional investments. Alternative investments have relative lessened liquidity, which is partial to the fact that they are far more complex in their nature, and that there are limited federal regulations that keep compliance on them. There are many kinds of alternative investments, such as hedge funds, commodities, managed futures, derivatives contracts and real estate. These kinds of investments are harder on investors because there is a much higher minimum payment required to secure an alternative investment, and there are many, many risks and gambling involved with starting an alternative investment.alternative investing

Alternative investments do not have to be in so much compliance with federal regulations set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This makes it highly attractive to some investors but highly repellant by others. If an alternative investment should publish data on their financial activity, it does not have to be verifiable either. Alternative investments are not allowed to advertise their funds or their activity to potential investors. The reason why they are popular among wealthy investors is because their returns are not correlated like they are in traditional investments, such as stocks. When an investor has pensions and endowments, which are large institutional investment assets, he or she can put a portion of their investment portfolios into alternative investment funds like hedge funds in order to take another opportunity in making profit.

Smaller investors are usually not able to make the minimum payments required to secure an alternative investment opportunity, but there are still other types of alternative investment  opportunities, like real estate investments and private investments in commodities such as precious metals and jewels, which can benefit small investors. It’s pretty difficult trying to define what makes an alternative investment because it’s hard to calculate their value. They are attractive to wealthy investors for their ability to make profits no matter what the economic environment is like and small commodities can give small investors that same opportunity. But because of the complexity and the risks involved, investors need accounting services to keep their money safe.

Hiring a good certified public accountant is imperative – you need to make sure he or she understands that alternative investments are highly variable. They need to be able to calculate an accurate value for the investment being in made in financial statements, which can be anything from a collective trust fund to real estate to hedge funds to private equity funds and others. In order to maintain proper security of your finances, it’s best to hire an accounting firm that is well versed in the world of alternative investments. Without strict federal regulations, there is a lot of flexibility for each investment, although a lot of risks.

If there is a possibility for tax issues, an accountant can report to the IRS, and this is done for the safety of all investors involved, since the costs are great.  Because of their complexity, it can be very difficult to keep track of all financial activity going on in an alternative investment. The accountant will have to be highly trained and well experienced in order to handle all the tasks related to an alternative investment.

Small investors are told to get involved in real estate and commodities, which are easier to understand and work with. It’s mainly composed of buying property or gold and diamonds, where you buy it with the expectation that value is going to increase and later it is sold for more money. A hedge fund or trying to determine the value of a piece of art and reporting that value to financial regulatory institutions, on the other hand, is a lot more complicated, and you will need the counsel of a proper accountant in order to make better judgment and decisions based on these complex transactions.

When there are so many risks involved, if you are ready for a financial adventure, having an alternative investment makes a great addition to your investment portfolio. It’s often well worth it to have the alternative investment, but you will certainly need the help and advice of a proper CPA in order to make the right decision. Make sure to take the step and hire one!


Hiring A Social Media Marketing Firm Is Good For Business

We cannot all be experts about everything in the business world and we live in such a highly specialized world that we could never understand the nuances of every business and what they do. Every company who provides a service or makes and sells a product has to employ people who understand a specific aspect of their business. There is logistics, human resources, management, accounting, customer service and a ton of other departments that may or may not be a part of the overall equation, but there are at least some of those elements involved no matter what. Advertising and public relations are important pieces of the puzzle because unless the business comes directly to you, you have to create exposure for it somehow.

There are ways to gain exposure for your company through avenues that provide advertising space that is not going to cost you any money. Any cause that people are passionate about and loyal to can create a very solid foundation for a business, individual or organization that they need in order to be seen in a favorable light by the general public. Think of it like a popular musical band that many people go around talking about, sharing their music with and even taking stickers with their logo on it and pasting it on the bumper of their car or a street lamp-post. Every relevant space that you can deliver your message in order to create exposure or even curiosity about what your company does so that people will take the time to look into it is most likely going to yield positive results.

The internet has changed the way that public relations companies do business because an entirely new exposure medium was created when the internet was made available to the general public. Audiences that were difficult to identify or never physically came together in a particular media place to share and exchange ideas have now formed their own online communities where everyone has aligned interests. Many PR firms have transformed into social media management companies because they can accomplish everything they need to on behalf of their clients by using social media and other internet news sources. Some businesses still need television and newspaper exposure but many new-age businesses do not require it at all until when and if they grow to a point when ultimate exposure is imperative.

There are have been internet companies that no one ever even heard about until they became so big that they went public and thus, Wall Street took interest in them and they became national newsworthy companies. There are so many online niches though for people in all kinds of industries that are just trying to make an honest and modest living that they may never get to the point where they need to be concerned about newspapers, radio or television. However, any amount of bad press depending on the story, the organization that it is about and the emotion that it creates within people can catapult a no-name company who does business on the internet onto the public national media stage.

No one ever necessarily knows when or why someone wants to make disparaging remarks about what an organization does to provide a living for their employees. But, being prepared for it by already having planted proactive seeds in the media that have rooted themselves in the form of positive public perception can create a solid foundation to withstand the quake if it were ever shake the ground beneath them. They say that the best defense is the best offense and when a social media marketing firm knows your audience and how to establish a loyal following by creating news stories that reflect your company in a positive light, you are getting valuable exposure that people also take a genuine interest in.

It is tough making money in this world and for those who are trying to make an honest living, it  can be very stressful. The only thing that makes sense is to put your time and money into business prospects that are most likely going to yield the most positive results so your company can become as successful as possible, as soon as it possibly can. Starting out is never easy but with the right help and being able to gain some momentum, things can develop a lot more quickly than you may have anticipated or hoped for. Today’s public relations game requires a serious understanding of the internet, social media and other online communities that can be used to get your message out, so looking into hiring a PR partner might be the best decision that you could ever make.

Hiring a Web Design Company May Improve Your Business

What is a responsive web design? They are basically web layouts that are responsive to the device a viewer is using when visiting your website, and since it seems that everyone is getting connected through their smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming essential for any businessperson to get connected in the mobile land as well. A website needs to be able to adapt to whatever device a consumer is using, and this is because a website that can look great on a desktop screen will not be able to look as great when you are looking at it through a tablet (for example). You can certainly make your desktop website look good enough on a tablet, but then you are compromising user ability for that, and it may not be worth it to have a website that looks nice but is frustrating to work with, right? The way to accomplish this is by adapting responsive web design, and you can read right along to see how to can manage to do that:website design

1.When it comes to redesigning your traditional website onto mobile, you need to think extra small. If your approach to a handheld website is to allow your traditionally designed website transfer straight onto a handheld device, it’s only going to strain the eyes of a viewer and force them to put more effort into trying to navigate it. This is because a traditional website will have to shrink in size to adapt to a mobile site, so everything becomes teeny tiny. In order to adapt to a mobile audience, you need larger text and a scrollable design. The viewer will be scrolling down through the menu or through your most important information on your main page. Tabs that feature a rollover menu is a great way to give your viewers access to other pages quickly, and it will clean up clutter that is clogging the small mobile screen.

2. Contrast is more important on the small screen than on the desktop. Normally, you would want good contrast in your color themes when designing your website anyway which ensures easy readership. However, since the smartphone and tablet screens are so small, it’s so much more important that you have strong contrast between your text and your background or images. Colors give all websites some character and a sense of familiarity, but when you are considering color schemes, keep the responsive website in mind because it becomes harder to look at on the small screen.  Black text on yellow background is a good design, black on white (or vice versa) are great examples, as well as navy blue on white. These are the better examples to take inspiration from, instead of using a color like periwinkle blue on a red background. It’s an extreme example, but a combination like that will only make you look completely unprofessional.

3. The layout has to be adaptable to mobile devices, especially smartphones. With such small screens, there is no room for a left-to-right design layout like the way it runs on a desktop screen. Mobile websites largely rely on a top-to-down format for website display. Typically, your logo will be the first thing viewers will see, and under it, your most important links and text. Keep your photos and text separate so that it isn’t too cluttered, and speaking of lack of clutter and cleanliness, make sure that your text is well spaced-out in general to make reading easier. When a website design is easy to read and easy to use, viewers will stay on them longer.

4. For more readership, you need social media pages. You need to be personable to viewers and users, and having a social media page will give you the opportunity to connect to them and hear their praises and complaints. When you have social media, you can easily link them to your website, which will improve your readership since they can just click on it. It’s something many people overlook, but it’s the easiest part of taking care of a website, since no design is necessary for Facebook or Twitter.

5. Ask for professional help. Designing websites is tricky and difficult, and it’s overwhelming to handle HTML and CSS codes. Particularly when it comes to designing mobile websites, or even apps, planning out your website can get very overwhelming and difficult to deal with. Avoid having your website look like a custom MySpace profile by seeking help from those who are experts in the creating great website design. In order to ensure this, you should think about hiring a website developer that is knowledgeable about design principles and responsive web designs, and he or she will be able to design something for you that you can trust will work well for you in the long run.