Braces And Teeth Whitening: Two Great Ways To Make Your Teeth Perfect And Keep Them That Way

Not everyone is lucky enough to be born with perfect teeth.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that, given the amount of work that cosmetic dentists and orthodontists do in any given year, and the fact that the demand for the work that they do is growing constantly, that more people are being porn with teeth that are less than ‘perfect’ more and more often as time goes on, although the reality could just be that it’s becoming more and more affordable to fix your teeth as time goes on.  Either way, cosmetic dentists with experience are seeing plenty of work, as are orthodontists.

Even if you’re lucky enough to be born with the perfect teeth, that isn’t necessarily a guarantee that they’re going to remain perfect forever, either.  Everything that we do in a day is slowly putting wear and tear on a tooth, from those days that we forget to go out and brush our teeth after a meal, to the sweets that we love to consume (and if there’s one thing that we love in the United States, it’s our sweets).

That doesn’t even begin to take into account all the things we consume that slowly discolor the teeth; that list is both long and terrifying for anyone who is extremely concerned about the way that their teeth look.  For example, are you, like I am, one of those people who needs a cup of coffee before you can really function in a day?  Maybe you just really need a smoke every few hours (or more often than that, whatever the case may be, I’m not here to judge you, nor am I a walking and talking anti-smoking commercial, I find those astonishingly annoying).  Oh, and for the people who like to think they’re making a healthy choice and talk about how great they are for drinking tea (yes, you know a person like this.  I know far too many, but I live near an urban center with a growing population of hipsters), you’re damaging your teeth too.

You see, pretty much everything that you eat and drink that isn’t a clear liquid color (so what, vodka, gin, water, and sprite?) is slowly discoloring your teeth.  Beer drinkers?  You’re doing it.  Wine drinkers?  You are too, don’t worry.  Do you like a nice pipe to calm down after a hard day of work and a stressful bit of life?  You’re doing it too.  Discoloring the teeth is very common, really.

So, what do you do with these imperfect teeth?  The answer is simple.

For those who have teeth that just aren’t properly aligned, braces are going to do the trick for you.  Most offices of professional family dentistry are going to be able to offer you exactly what you need in order to realign your teeth, standard braces at a decent price.  Standard braces, basically, are a simple method of realigning the teeth; you take a series of metal brackets, and over the top of them you run a long metal wire, which is looped and hooked around the brackets in order to provide the necessary tension in order to realign the teeth over the long term.  This may sounds like something simple, but it is also astonishingly popular.

trustworthy family dentistNow, if you’ve discolored your teeth, you’re going to need someone who can offer you teeth whitening services.  These people are going to be able to whiten your teeth for you with the use of a chemical solution.  Before they do so, thankfully, they’ll put a gel over your gum line, so that you don’t get any of the material on your flesh, and experience any negative outcome because of this.  Then they’ll apply some sort of material to your teeth; normally, the bleaching agent is some sort of hydrogen peroxide, or it can be a peroxide that will naturally mix with the hydrogen in the saliva on your teeth and form hydrogen peroxide.  This mixture is left on your teeth for twenty minutes to an hour, and then it’s rinsed off, as is the gel protecting your gum line, and this leaves your teeth either whitened or at least a lot better off than they were when you started.  Some people may need a repeat service to get the whiteness they need.

So, if you’re looking to improve the way that your teeth look, consider going to see your local cosmetic dentist and seeing what they can offer you to improve your smile.  You’ll be glad that you did, that’s for sure, when you have a smile good as new.

A Multitalented Option – A Social Media Agency

social media management companiesIt’s never wise to rest on laurels. The business world is one of cutthroat competition and constant changes. Companies that aren’t willing or don’t have the means to adapt are going to be left behind. If they can’t change and grow with the changing face of business people will abandon them for those who do. The internet has had a large impact on the way we operate today, and those who use it best will find the most success. It’s likely that your company has various social media accounts already. Facebook and Twitter are a given, and things like Instagram are quite common as well. The problem is, even if you have these accounts, you probably aren’t using them to their fullest capabilities. Take a quick survey of your accounts. How many followers do you have? Better yet, when was the last time you posted and how many ‘likes’ did it solicit? Stale, stagnant, and boring accounts aren’t doing anybody any good. Your company absolutely must harness the power of this exceptional marketing tool. If you do, you’ll see a quick improvement in your website traffic, growth, and revenue.

Getting results from social media isn’t always easy. It’s takes a lot of hard work and a great deal of skill. For this reason, it’s usually a wise idea to consult with a social media management agency. Some companies are hesitant to meet with and consider hiring these firms, they are often under the impression that all they do is post status updates to Facebook and Twitter. However this couldn’t further from the truth. The best social media companies wear many hats, functioning as public relations firms, community image builders, and often as advertisers. Whether your company is lagging behind or just needs to get even further ahead, bringing on a social media company can be a huge benefit.

The first thing any successful social media marketing firm does is get to work identifying and building your target audience. This step has to occur before they can get to work on developing your public image or communicating with your potential clients and customers. It begins with the creation of an average customer or potential customer profile. Using various tools and analysis methods the firm you’ve hired paint a clear picture of what your target audience looks like. With this information they are able to identify members of the general public who are a match for the profile they’ve created. They can then begin working to identify the easiest way to reach these individuals. Once this step is complete, the real work can begin.

The next thing your social media marketing company will be focused on is content. There’s an old saying, “content is king,” and it remains true today. The driving force behind traffic and follows on your various social media accounts is without a doubt the content. Good social media firms specialize in both creating content and adding it to the social media accounts. Managing content can typically be a full-time job, and trying to handle it yourself is usually a mistake. First of all, as a busy business owner you simply don’t have the time needed to generate successful content. Secondly, you probably don’t have the content creation experience these firms do. If you want lots of follower and ‘likes’ you’ll turn the content of your accounts over to experienced professionals.

Another area that social media firms tend to excel is in public relations. In fact, social media marketing is simply the evolution of PR. Think about, what is public relations? In a nutshell, it’s the effective management of communications in an effort to build relationships between companies and their target audiences. Social media is just another tool for this, only instead of one-way communications that traditional PR offers, it is two-way communication. That is, the audience has a chance for feedback. Still, traditional PR is quite relevant today. People are still reading newspapers and magazines, and consuming media on television and radio. Having ‘earned media’ in any of these mediums is quite valuable.

A final thing we’d like to discuss today is advertising and media purchasing. While not always as effective as social media marketing or public relations, advertising still has its place in the business world. Your goal when hiring a social media firm should be to have to outsource to as few other companies as possible. That’s why it’s smart to find a firm that offers advertising services in addition to their others. Knowing where to place an ad, whether it’s in print, on TV, or part of an outdoor campaign, is definitely a skill that comes with experience. Ensure that your social media firm can handle this and you’ll be quite happy with the results.

Hiring a social media marketing company is a good idea for any business looking to get an edge on the competition and build a positive image among the public.

Build a Site Like a Dynamic Website Design Company

If you want to stay on top of the competition, then you must invest in your company’s website and online presence. Creative responsive website design isn’t the easiest task, but with hard work and dedication it can be done. A functional and well designed website will help your company earn new customers and keep existing ones. Gone are the days when a simple homepage with your company’s name, number, and address was sufficient. If you want to be competitive today you’ll have to put more into it. If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at these tips used by dynamic design agencies:

  1. Always remember SEO – Your website is definitely going to rely on search engine optimization. You can have the best design and the best content but it won’t matter if people can’t find you via search. The vast majority of the new customers you get with your website will start on a search engine. If you’re not showing up there, they won’t come to the website. You may need to seek out help from an experienced SEO agency, but it’s well-worth the cost. talented website designers
  2. Don’t forget about security – Cyber crimes are far too common these days. It seems like at least several times a year we hear about a major breach where customer credit cards, passwords, and other sensitive information was stolen. If you let that happen on your site, it can be very damaging to your company’s relationship with its customers. Have an expert website developer look at your website and help you with all the necessary security features.
  3. Avoid clutter on your website – Don’t use needless features that serve no real purpose. If your website is cluttered or crowded it will be confusing to visitors. Keep things clear, simple, and straightforward. You want your design to be minimalistic and elegant. Never leave people wondering where to go or what to do next. Make use of intuitive navigation and your users will thank you for it.
  4. Content is king – It’s imperative that you have a solid plan in place for taking care of content. It needs to be fresh, updated often, and of great quality. People are going to be returning to your website because of the content you offer. Having quality blog articles and informative, engaging videos will help establish you as an expert in your industry. Digital media is a powerful tool, as people generally prefer visual content to text. Focus on creating a great plan for creating and adding high quality content.
  5. Avoid pop ups and flash animation – When was the last time you were happy about seeing a pop up on your monitor or screen? The answer is probably never. Pop ups will make your website seem tacky and unprofessional, and will definitely contribute to a high bounce rate. Additionally, flash animations have gone the way of the buffalo. Once an extremely powerful tool for digital media, flash is now outdated and its use should be avoided. It will cause your website to load slowly and has a high crash rate as well. Stay away from both of these things.
  6. Be careful with color – Believe it or not, the colors you choose can say a lot about your company. You want to avoid obnoxious or off-putting color schemes. Make sure you choose colors that fit in nicely with simple design, and that represent your company and its message well. Don’t over do it and keep things basic, using only a few colors.
  7. Typography is important too – First and foremost people must be able to read the font you choose. It’s almost comical when you visit a website and can’t read everything because they’ve chosen a font color that blends into the background. You want your text to stand out, but you don’t want the font to be ridiculous. Pick something that fits in nicely with the rest of your site’s design.
  8. Responsive design is key – It’s no longer necessary to design separate websites for PCs and mobile devices. Instead, the best developers and designers build fully responsive websites. A functional responsive website is one that automatically shrinks or scales to fit any screen on any device. There will never be a compromise with functionality either. If your website isn’t responsive your results will definitely suffer.

Remember, your website is your company’s most valuable marketing tool. You should make sure that you are investing accordingly. Many firms are shifting budgets away from traditional marketing and advertising methods in favor of their digital counterparts. Stay on top of this trend.


4 Ways An Ad Agency Can Help You

Every business is, at some point, going to need to expand into new markets, and the only way to do that is to inform greater and greater portions of the market of your business and the things that you have to offer.  When you get to that point, the point where it’s time for you to be concerned with growing and expanding your market share, you should consider hiring an ad agency to help you, especially if the expansion being discussed is an expansion into the internet, a realm that some businesses are just now tapping into.  How it is that such a thing is happening, that some businesses are still beginning to get into the internet, completely boggles my mind, but it is a thing, and people are still just now expanding into the internet.

Businesses need to evolve with the customers that they want to be able to reach.  For example, if this was the 1920s and you were a department store, you’d be sending door to door salesmen in order to get the money from people who lived out in the middle of nowhere and didn’t really have regular access to a store.  If it was the 50’s, we’d be talking about a catalog in order to showcase what you have to offer and allow people to order form home.  But, this being the year 2015, in the midst of the information age, you need to be working on the internet, reaching people in their homes where they can easily purchase whatever they like.

communicative responsive website design agencyAn ad agency can help you to not only develop your website, but to run it as well, and to gear it to your customers.  Here’s just four ways they’ll be able to help you do so.

1.  Drive traffic to your page

One of the most important things that any advertising agency can do for a client is to direct people to their business and its very representations.  This includes the web page.  Web traffic can be manipulated, and most easily so, with ad buys on websites, showcasing a product that is very popular along with a link t the business page in question.  Your design agency will be able to best help you to choose what is most likely to work for you, but in general, this is how they’ll be going , and the only question is where to position the advertisements.

2.  Help grab the customer’s attention

When a customer, or, rather, a prospective customer, clicks on to your website, it’s important that you gain their attention and do so quickly.  You see, the average person only takes about five seconds in order to figure out if they’re going to stay on your site or not.  This means that you’re going to need to , right from the get go, get their attention, and give them a reason to stay.  If you don’t do so, you’re going to wind up with a lot of issues when no one sticks around long enough to make a purchase.

3.  Craft content for your page

Your page needs to have something on it, something for your customers to look at.  This can be pictures, it can be videos, but it needs to be something that is going to motivate them to purchase what you have to offer, and to purchase what you have to offer instead of going elsewhere for a competing product.  Whatever content you craft, it needs to be sure to show off the product that you have and to make it look as good as it possibly can, maybe by showcasing its abilities.

4.  Perform upkeep on your page

Not only do you need a digital agency to help you design your page in the first place, but you’re going to need someone to help you keep it up to speed as well.  This means upgrading things as need be, but it also means doing things like updating links and whatnot as they migrate from server to server as time passes.  If you fail to do this, your link is going to look like the internet equivalent of a ghost town, and that’s going to discourage people from doing business with you.

So, if you don’t have one already, get a website.  If you have one and it’s underperforming, look at what you’re doing with it and see where you can improve on it in some way or another.  You’ll be glad that you did when you have a website that allows you to reach the people who make their purchasing decisions on the interweb.

Three Reasons To Pick Invisible Braces

In the United States, we spend a lot of time and money in perfecting our smiles, more time and money, in fact, than most other developing countries, when you look at their expenditures per capita.  It’s no surprise that we do so, either; according to the most recent research and polls and surveys, you’ll find that one out of every three people in the United States have had, or will have over the course of their lives, some sort of treatment to realign their teeth to a more perfect pattern of alignment.  This means that of everyone you know, if you put three of them in a room, odds are that at least one of them have had braces or something similar.

Because of this, it’s not hard to understand that we would also be on the high-end of the technology curve when it comes to methods and treatments for realigning  the teeth.  For example, it was the United States of America that invented, and made popular and available to everyone in the world, standard metal braces.

Standard metal braces were, and still are, the go-to method of realigning the teeth in order to make sure that they’re as perfect and beautiful as can possibly be.  They’re used not just in the developed world, but pretty much anywhere in the world, from the most bustling and populated metropolitan area in Southeast Asia to the most open regions of Africa, where the nearest person may be miles away.  They’re very popular, and this is mostly because, when first they came out, they were a big step up in treatment, and in discretion, over the orthodontic headgear that they replaced.

However, this doesn’t automatically mean that standard braces are the best thing on the market.  In fact, that honor belongs to invisible braces, known by their brand name of Invisalign.  Here are three reasons that you should consider choosing those invisible braces over the competition.

1.  Discretion

No discussion on Invisalign would be complete if we didn’t talk about how much more discreet they are, so let us begin there.

Standard braces for kids, adults, and teens aren’t very discreet at all.  You see, they’re a series of brackets, which are mounted on the teeth with the use of a long term dental adhesive, and over which is run a wire that will provide the tension that will help to realign the teeth properly and to a more perfect pattern.  If you didn’t notice, that’s a lot of metal, and it’s all being put into the mouth.  What that means is that, when you open your mouth, you will find that you’ve got a lot of metal gleaming out for the whole world to see, and this isn’t something that people will fail to notice.

hidden braces for teensOn the other hand, Invisalign, as the name would lead one to suspect, and as the name would lead one to believe, is invisible, completely, when you put them into your mouth.  They’re made of a hard and clear plastic that will allow them to let the color of your teeth through, making them seem like they aren’t even there.

2.  Durability

People don’t often think of this, but your mouth is a very inhospitable place for any matter, be it biological or mineral.  The bile and acids in your saliva are designed to break down pretty much anything.  That includes metal brackets, especially when they’re left in the mouth for months or years on end.  It’s especially hard on ceramic braces for professional smile correction, which aren’t as durable.

However, Invisalign aligners are designed to be removed and replaced with the next aligner in the set every two weeks, and this means that they’ll be in your mouth too shortly for durability to be a major worry.

3. Cost

Yes, it’s true, newer things are going to, in general, cost more, and this is no different.  Invisalign aligners are going to cost, in general, somewhere between five hundred and a thousand dollars more, and this is mostly dependent on where you live and what the cost of living is there.  However, you needn’t pay this slight upgrade in price all at once; like any medical procedure, you can pay it off over time.

So, if you’re looking to realign your teeth in a way that you can be more happy with, more willing to show off, and most of all, a way that you can feel better about, you should ask your local orthodontist if invisible braces might be right for you.  They’ll be a great way to both fix your teeth, and to do so discreetly.

Three Advantages To Modern Orthodontics

There is nothing that we use as often in order to communicate without saying anything than our smile.  I know, this probably isn’t something that you’ve put a lot of thought into (I must confess, I rarely do so myself, so I can’t expect others have done such themselves), but we use our smile to wordlessly communicate literally dozens of times a day (unless you live in a home that you refuse to leave, and if that’s a case, you owe it to yourself to seek treatment for your agoraphobia, because it’s really awesome out here, let me tell you).  You flash a smile to your barista when she makes your coffee just right.  You flash a smile to your friends when you don’t have time to stop and chat, but want to let them know that you see them.  You flash a smile to the midget that is still busking on the street corner in front of your office building, who has been there for the last few days in a row, and will probably be there tomorrow too.

So, with all the use that we get out of our smile, it only makes sense, then, that we would also be concerned with taking care of it, so it presents us warmly and as someone who is approachable.  Doing this means a few things.  It means that you need to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day (maybe more, as need dictates).  It means that you need to visit your dentist at least once a year, in order to get them looked at, treated, and protected. And, in some cases, it can mean that you need to visit one of the many professional orthodontists local to you in order to have your teeth realigned to perfection.

There are a  lot of modern orthodontics that we have available to us in this country, and they’re great.  An improvement, in fact, over the ones that came before them.  Here’s just three advantages to making use of them.

1.  Discretion

The first major benefit to using more modern technologies in order to realign the teeth is that you’re going to be able to do with a lot more discretion than you would have if you had to use, say, the orthodontic headgear that was so common between World War One and the conclusion of the Vietnam War.  Braces so handily replaced them, you see, because braces were so much more discreet, while the orthodontic headgear it replaced was not, in any way.

Well, now there’s a way to realign the teeth that is far more useful, and far more discreet, than standard braces.  I’m talking about Invisalign, a product so sure of its discretion and its ability to be, well, invisible, that it even included the word in their name.  Invisalign aligners are made of a clear plastic that allows the natural color of the teeth through, making sure that no one will be able to notice that they’re in your mouth, on your teeth, unless you decide to tell them.

2.  Ease of Use

braces for teensIn general, using standard metal braces does not make your life any easier while they’re on your teeth.  You see, they are very likely to make brushing and flossing a lot harder, as well as being magnets for catching debris from any meal you eat while they’re on.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are easy to use, far easier than anything else currently available, in fact.  They are just put on and taken off by hand, no dental adhesive involved; if you want to brush or floss your teeth, you take the aligners off, do so, and then replace them.  No hassle at all.

3.  Cost

When it comes to cost, I know that many people are concerned.  Well, there isn’t much cause for that here.  Yes, Invisalign aligners are going to be more expensive than standard braces, it’s only natural (what with them being new technology and all), but it isn’t by much.  You’ll pay about five hundred dollars more for using Invisalign aligners, and this isn’t something that you have to pay all at once, but rather something that you will pay on an installment plan, which takes a lot of the sting out of that difference in price.

So, if you don’t feel satisfied with your smile, consider asking your local Invisalign orthodontist if they might be able to suggest Invisalign to you.   You could be well on your way to realigning your teeth with little to no hassle, getting the smile you deserve and want.

Consider Alternative Investments

When it comes to investing, most people think about some of the more common types of traditional investments. These include, cash, stocks, and bonds. However, there is another angle to investing, considered alternative investing. These are typically held by high-level investors or accredited, wealthy investors. This is because of the fact that these alternative investments have limited regulations, lessened liquidity, and are extremely complex. Hedge funds, commodities, derivatives contracts, managed futures, and real estate and are considered alternative investments. These are the most accessible types of investment accounts however, as there is often a high minimum investment and prohibitive fee structuring. alternative investments

Though they require a big investment, these different options do have a couple of advantages over traditional methods. Alternative investments are not subject to the same stringent regulations that other investment accounts are. Less oversight can be a good thing for investors, but it has its drawbacks as well. Account managers are not required to publish performance data as often as they are on other accounts, and this can cause hesitation as investors aren’t whether to increase or minimize their investment. Still, alternative investments remain popular, especially because returns aren’t dependant upon traditional assets. Some large funds, like pensions, even choose to invest a portion of their funds into alternative investment opportunities, though it’s usually less than 10% of the entire fund.

Some alternative investments may be out of reach to smaller investors without a big bankroll. However, others, like real estate, are within the reach of everyday people. Definitions to explain exactly what alternative investments encompass can vary widely, which makes values difficult to ascertain. Many people are attracted to these different types of investments because they’ll often provide a return even in a down market. But it is important to remember that all investments are a risk, and accounting services are going to be necessary if you’re planning on investing.

Accountants will have to go to great lengths to fully investigate and report on various alternative investments in a portfolio. As we said earlier, these types of investments can be difficult to sift through and put a value on. The best CPA firms are aware of the varying types of alternative investments and know they may range from a hedge fund to real estate holdings to private equity funds. The accountant or firm overseeing the investments will have the responsibility of continually checking the status of the investments, reporting financial records and transactions, and auditing individual investments on an as-needed basis. Typical alternative investments don’t have any state or federal regulations guiding them, so they have increased flexibility over other investment types.

Avoiding tax issues should be the goal of any investor, and being open, honest, and transparent with reporting of accounts, including alternative investments, to the IRS is definitely a good idea. Fortunately many accounting firms offer tax services that include all investment types. These professionals should be able to check on your investment accounts and make sure they are being managed and reported properly. Though alternative investments aren’t heavily regulated, there will be a need to file rather complicated disclosures regarding these investments at tax time. For this reason, it’s important to find an accountant experienced in dealing with alternative investing.

Some of the most common types of alternative investments are real estate opportunities. When you have the proper funds, buying and selling property is a great way to bring in additional income. Of course selecting the right properties and land to investment is not simple. If it were, everyone would be making money buying and selling real estate instead of working a nine to five. At the same time, investing in real estate is one of the easier alternative investments to value assets such as houses as opposed to hedge funds and other complex accounts. If you’re just getting your start with alternative investments, it may be a good idea to start with something more common like real estate.

If you’re familiar with the world of investing at all, you’re likely aware that many financial experts suggest diversifying investment portfolios as much as possible. This is yet another advantage that alternative investments provide. Still, you must use caution when considering any type of investment. You must consult with your financial planner or accountants, and do a great deal of research and investigation to make sure the particular investment is right for you. Having all of the information presents a clearer picture and allows you and your financial team to plan the best course of action.

Perhaps you are exploring purchasing a house that you expect an increase in value from over time. Or you may decide to invest in a quantity of gold that will show a significant gain as the value increases. Another option you might be considering is joining with a privately owned and managed hedge fund, hoping to see a steep ROI. This may all be great options for you, but the bottom line is you just don’t know until you investigate. Talk to your accountant as they will have a good idea of your overall financial situation.

Alternative investing should be approached just like all other investments, with cautiousness and a willingness to research before making the leap. An expert accountant with experience in alternative investments should be consulted through every step of the process. Investing isn’t necessarily an easy thing to get into, so it’s good to have guidance along the way.


How Product Developers Can Help You

When it comes to business, they can be likened to a shark in one very peculiar way; they must always be moving forward, or else they are sure to die.  For the shark that ceases to move forward, this is a literal death, the ending of its physical existence, but for a company, it’s a metaphor for bankruptcy and worse.

New products are how a company not only survives, but grows.  Without new products, you will slowly die, as a company.  It’ll begin innocently; one day, you’ll just find that your market share has slowly begun dwindling; there won’t be as many orders, and you’ll have stock sitting around that no one has any desire for.  Maybe you’ll cut a less-essential crew member or two to keep afloat.  Slowly, the problem will worsen, until you stop production on whatever it is you’re making because there’s nothing being sent out, or too little to justify running your business full-time.  At this point, you’ve only got two options; close your doors, or go down the long path to bankruptcy, (or the third option, unrealistically, is a miracle, like bell-bottoms becoming popular again and someone ordering your entire stock of bell-bottom jeans at ridiculous prices) and neither of these are things you want to face.

hire a product development agencyProduct developers don’t help you with the actual, physical development of your new product, though, that’s on you (unless you hire someone specifically for that purpose, anyway).  You should be well equipped to develop your own product anyway, so that’s not a big deal at all.  No, they’ll help you with the more market-oriented aspects of your new product development.

You can build a great product in your business, something that anyone in a certain segment of society would be happy to own, but if you don’t have some sort of marketing plan involved, you’re just going to be launching your product to lackluster sales.  Some people are tempted to believe that, after the launch date, people will spread the word, person to person, about how amazing your product is.  This does, occasionally, happen.  However, the fact that it does, rarely, occur, is not something that you should hang your entire product line on, unless you’re comfortable with that whole ‘bankruptcy’ thing that I mentioned earlier (and if you are okay with that, you should probably sell your company to someone else at this point).  So, how is hiring a product development company going to help you sell your new product?

Through the magic of marketing, of course.  I say magic in jest, for really it’s more of a science than anything, combining aspects from a lot of behavioral sciences in order to target the people most likely to be convinced to buy whatever product it is that you’re offering to the world.

In particular, a product development company is going to help you to find the best way to reach your particular desired customer.  Knowing who that customer is can be a hard task, but it’s also an important one to undertake; there are three hundred and thirty million people in the United States, give or take, and there are over seven billion in the world, and you don’t have the money to reach them all with your product and your advertising.  Even if you did, why would you want to?  Not every one of them is going to want what you’re offering, and you’d be wasting a lot more money than you’re likely to bring in on this endeavor.  No, what you need is targeted marketing.

Targeted marketing, simply put, is marketing that is directed to the segments of society who are most likely to actually purchase whatever you’re offering.  When you target your marketing, you’re going to (hopefully) see a much better rate of return, per dollar spent, on the money that you’re putting into your advertising budget.  If you’ve done the work to choose the right product development agency for your company, they’re going to be well equipped to tell you how to target your desired section of the populace, whether it’s the elderly, the religious, the carnivore, or maybe just the bored.  This sort of targeting will make an immense difference when it comes to your launch date, and will help you to make sure that your product won’t spend its lifetime sitting on the shelves being unused.

So, if you’re looking to release a new product, consider getting some outside help to manage the public relations facets of your product before you release it.  The increase in sales will make it all worthwhile, believe me.

Turning to an Experienced Cosmetic Dentist

Nobody should have to look in the mirror constantly, self-conscious about the way their smile looks. Still, many adults hold their smiles back simply because they don’t want people to see their teeth. You may not realize just how many people in the United States has smile correction issues that they need to have addressed. Issues with a smile are nothing to be ashamed of however, most people have dealt with one issue or another at some time in their lives. Fortunately, professional family dentistry offers a wide variety of solutions for these issues. Nobody need to walk around unsure of themselves due to a their smile. Cosmetic dentistry not only makes you look better, it improves your whole picture of oral health. quality Dental Care

There are many things that may have you considering smile correction options. Yellowing or discoloration of teeth is one of the most common reasons people seek help. Of course teeth may turn yellow or dark for a variety of reasons. People who smoked cigarettes for many years will often have extremely yellow or dark teeth. Habitual coffee, tea, or soda drinkers may experience issues as well. Then again, whitening may only be a small part of the issues. Some people suffer from crooked and misaligned teeth that they do not feel comfortable with. You may not realize this, but often a cosmetic dentist can help without sending you to the orthodontist. Another thing the cosmetic dentist can help with is replacing missing or rotten teeth. As you can see, they offer a wide variety of services that can help get your smile looking great.

Understandably, quite a few people are hesitant to see their dentist more than once or twice a year for cleaning. The mouth is a sensitive area, and people are afraid that procedures will hurt. The truth is however, a great deal of the procedures handled by cosmetic dentists will not hurt much at all. Even those which require surgery are minimally invasive and typically don’t cause extreme pain or discomfort. Our goal today is to alleviate these fears, so we’ve prepared a quick guide. This will simply list some common cases that require smile correction and the steps that are taken by cosmetic dentists.

Check it Out:

  • Yellowing and/or darkening teeth
    • You see it on TV all the time. People flash their smiles and there you see a bright, white, pristine row of teeth. As you age, your teeth naturally darken. Add that to the fact that many people eat or drink things that add to the process. If someone is a smoker, it’s even worse. Smokers’ teeth can be some of the hardest to get white, even years after they’ve quit. If you’re having this issue, find a teeth whitening dentist equipped to handle the problem. The process doesn’t hurt, though it is typically ongoing. It may take many visits to get your teeth where you want them. Just know that this procedure has a track record of results. If you stay committed and avoid things like smoking you’ll be extremely happy with the results.
  • Damaged teeth, including cracking and chipping
    • Many people have teeth that need more than just whitening. For a variety of reasons someone may have teeth that are cracked, chipped, or discolored beyond the capabilities of teeth whitening. Many cosmetic dentists turn to veneers when this is the case. They are a simple solution to a wide variety of issues. They can used for one tooth, or many at the same time. Essentially a veneer is an extremely thin, porcelain cover that can even protect the tooth from further damage. The installation process is fairly easy, requiring two visits to the office and no surgery.
  • Rotten, dying, or missing teeth
    • Someone may need a tooth replaced for a variety of reasons. They may have had one or more knocked out in an injury, or perhaps had an injury that didn’t knock them out but did kill the teeth. Others have diseases that lead them to tooth decay and lost teeth. Whatever the reason, all of these people deserve a chance to correct the problem. In the past the solution was often dentures or bridges. Now however, there is a better option. Now many cosmetic dentists will use a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. They have the look and feel of a real tooth and have many advantages over other solutions. First of all, they require no special maintenance. Next, they’re typically permanent and quite durable, as the implant base actually fuses with the bone. They always do not have an adverse effect on eating or speech. All in all, implants are a fantastic treatment option for smile correction.
  • Overcrowded, crooked, misaligned teeth
    • Lots of people get braces as children, but not everyone has the opportunity. As an adult, it’s a much more difficult option. Braces are probably more noticeable than your crooked teeth, and they get in the way of day-to-day life as well. There’s a better way than braces to straighten your teeth though. Invisalign is a fantastic solution that’s barely noticeable. The clear, plastic aligners snap over your top and bottom teeth and gently push them into position. The process is less painful than braces and usually only takes about a year. They could be the perfect solution for straightening your smile.



What Your Orthodontist Can Offer You

For a lot of people, the only thing they know about their orthodontist is what they do, although, I’ve found of late that a lot of people aren’t even aware of the role their orthodontist plays in ensuring their continuing dental health.  A professional orthodontic specialist is a specialized dentist, who, instead of dealing with cavities, nerve endings, anything of that sort, deals entirely in alignment of the teeth, making sure that the alignment is as close to the standard alignment as possible in order to help your teeth be the best they can be, both from a cosmetic standpoint and from a health standpoint, because, whether you believe it or not, having misaligned teeth can, in fact, be bad for them.

hidden braces for teensSo, it stands to reason that the first thing your orthodontist can offer you is the ability to diagnose the various misalignment issues your teeth may have (or malocclusion, if you prefer the scientific term or just want to sound interesting and smart at parties).  This is pretty essential, because if you don’t have an issue, there’s obviously not any reason for you to go to their office and pay them for any sort of treatment plan.  To diagnose issues you may have, they’ll examine your teeth, likely taking an impression of your bite pattern and also taking a few x-rays to see how your teeth already have, or are, coming in.  In the most extreme cases, if they diagnose an issue caused by overcrowding, the solution may be the removal of a tooth in order to make room for all the other teeth in your mouth.  However, for the most part, nothing will require any dental surgery, but rather a dental appliance and a treatment plan built around said dental appliance.

The most common solution used these days in the correction of misaligned teeth is standard metal braces, more commonly known simply as ‘braces’.  These braces are a fairly recent development in orthodontic technology, although the idea has been around for some time.

Standard metal braces, in essence, are a very simple idea, but one that has been proven effective over the last few decades.  Standard metal braces consist of a series of brackets affixed to the teeth with the use of a dental adhesive that is specially designed for long-term use inside the mouth.  These brackets are made of various metals, although most commonly today, they’re made of stainless steel or aircraft grade titanium (the same thing that they make jet turbines out of for passenger aircraft, so that’s kind of cool, right?  Having something they use to make plane parts in your mouth?).  Over the tops of these brackets is run a metal wire, which is either wrapped around the various brackets or hooked around them, in order to provide the tensions and pressures required to realign the teeth.  That metal wire is then held in place on the bracket with the use of a rubber band, which, though it is doomed to snap (I mean, it’s going to be sitting in your mouth for a long time, and your mouth is an extremely inhospitable place for anything to be put in for a long period of time), is then to be replaced with another, until the treatment plan is complete.  Throughout the course of treatment, you’ll have to go back to see your local professional family orthodontists in order to have that metal wire adjusted to make sure that it’s providing the proper pressure and tension as your teeth begin to shift.

Of course, there’s a more modern treatment method that is available, and is greatly improved over the standard metal braces.  I’m talking about Invisalign braces for adults and teens, invisible braces for your teeth.  These braces are just as effective as the standard metal ones, but have a number of benefits over their more venerated competition.  For example, they’re invisible, unlike standard metal braces which are extremely conspicuous to passerby.  Then there’s the fact that with Invisalign, you don’t have to mount anything on your teeth; rather, you slip it on and off like a glove, making eating and brushing and flossing your teeth much simpler.  The bottom line is this; Invisalign is obviously the best choice available, if it will treat your malocclusion.

So, if you’re looking to treat a malocclusion in order to have a healthier and more beautiful smile, contact your local orthodontist and see what they can offer you.  If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you that Invisalign is a treatment option that just might be right for you,making the whole thing much simpler for you.

Three Reasons To Choose An Indoor Grow Room

Marijuana is becoming more and more popular in the United States as time goes on.  Recent statistics, in fact, have suggested that ninety-three percent of people will partake of it at some point in their lives, and over seventy-three percent of people have taken it for a recreational experience within the last month.  Of course, these numbers are entirely based on the people who responded to the survey, but they are fairly representative of the general consensus on marijuana use.

Legalization, the open allowance of the government for people to openly and legally smoke marijuana as they wish to (so long as those people are over the age of eighteen, and so long as the people who are selling the marijuana are licensed and have the property government permits and are properly paying taxes on the proceeds), is quickly gaining steam in the United States.  Sure, right now, there are a handful of cities that allow for the open smoking of everyone’s favorite herb, along with one fantastically lucky state (Colorado, which is now the mile high city in yet another way) that are able to claim they’ve completely legalized it, but within the next few months, during the election for the next president of the United States of America, we’re going to be seeing a lot of voting on resolutions and propositions that are saying that we should legalize marijuana for everyone, and they seem poised to pass with flying colors.

Of course, there’s always going to be a bit of trouble with the federal government up until they pass national legalization, and there’s going to be an issue with it for one other reason as well.  Nobody seems to be aware of this, but a few decades back, our representative to the United Resolutions made the mistake of signing on to a treaty, along with a hundred plus other nations, that said that we would be willing to criminalize the use, possession, growth, and distribution of marijuana on an international basis.  Thanks to the United Nations, a lot of countries are having issues with legalization of the herb in question, even though there’s few legitimate reasons not to legalize it.

indoor growing roomHowever, as we move toward more and more districts and states and cities allowing the free and open purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes, we’re going to be continually running into one issue.  We have a very limited ability to grow, as it stands, at the moment.  We need to have more growth of weed, and that means there’s going to be a growing market for the creation of an indoor grow room and grow room design improvements.

Here’s just three great reasons to go with a modular design for your new grow room.

1.  Easy to buy exactly what you need, even if it requires scaling down

A modular marijuana grow room is designed so that you can get it as big or as small as you need it to be to meet your initial demand.  Modular designs make it easy to set up a small operation, or to fill an entire room with the set up, depending on what you need and what you have the money to pay for.

2.  Easy to grow as you need

Once you’ve been open for a while, though, what happens then?  You’re not going to always need the same size grow operation.  Eventually, you’ll want to grow your operation so you can produce more, as the demand for your product will increase, and a modular design makes it very easy to do so.  Modular grow rooms are also easy to use in one other way….

3.  Easy to install and remove

Last, but not least, when you open a business, there’s always the chance that, at some point, you’re going to have to leave said business.  Maybe that means you’re going to be moving on up, or maybe you’re going to be going under, but when either happens, you’re going to be leaving behind the place that you’ve bought or rented, and you’re going to want to take your gear with you.  Thankfully, grow rooms that are modular are not only easy to set up, but also easy to take down and bring with you to your next location.

So, if you’re looking for a great way to grow your ability to grow as demand for your grow grows, consider a modular grow room.  It’ll be a great choice, and one you’ll be glad you made for years to come, as your business grows.


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.