A Few Ways a PR Firm Can Dramatically Enhance Your Business

social media marketing agenciesThe changing landscape of the business world has drastically changed the way a PR firm has to approach their job. At it’s core, PR is essentially the effective management of communication strategies designed to foster positive relationships between business and consumers. In the past, this has typically been approached by presenting a client in unique ways to various media connection with the goal of getting ‘earned media.’ This is not the same thing as advertising. A PR campaign isn’t usually going to involve paid TV ads, billboards, or jingles and slogans. While techniques have been expanding beyond traditional methods, PR still hasn’t crossed the boundary with advertising.

The thing that has changed the field of public relations so greatly is the same that has affected every other industry, the internet. PR companies are finding tools like social media invaluable to their campaigns. Getting features in various media sources is wonderful, but it really only provides one-way communication. Social media allows members of a target audience to actively participate, giving comments and feedback easily and efficiently. The best PR firms will use this feedback to adjust their campaigns as necessary.

Before we take a closer look at valuable services provided by public relations and social media marketing agencies, we feel it’s important to know that PR isn’t necessarily what you see on TV. Often times PR professionals will only be depicted managing various crises. It’s true that this is part of public relations, but it’s a very small part. Firms work diligently to ensure these disasters are avoided in the first place. It’s a 24/7 job that requires significant attention. Certain situations are unavoidable, so firms must be prepared, but if they’re doing their properly the risk is minimal.

Advertising agencies and public relations companies do share some commonalities. They are both working to establish your company as a reliable and trusted force in your industry. Good campaigns are going to present your company in a positive light, demonstrating the value of a customer choosing you over the competition. The difference is the way these two different types of firms go about this task. Advertising companies will purchase spots on radio and TV, print ads in magazines and newspapers, and perhaps even outdoor campaigns like billboards. Direct advertising like this works, to an extent. As we mentioned earlier, public relations companies use ‘earned media,’ that is exposure based on merit. This is especially true for things like newspaper articles and TV spots, but also applies to social media, as shares between peers are certainly ‘earned.’ Since this type of exposure isn’t paid for, it commands more respect. It my opinion this makes PR even more valuable than advertising.

Choosing a PR firm doesn’t have to be difficult. In order to make the process easier, we’ve created a list of a few things the best firms should provide for your company. During your proposal meetings, take notes and make sure they’re addressing all of these areas.

  1. Identifying and Targeting Your Audience – Fantastic content is meaningless if it’s not reaching the correct audience. PR firms have the necessary tools and experience to research and analyze markets, identifying your company’s primary target audience. Additionally, they’ll be able to tailor a campaign to engage and interest that audience. This can be a difficult task, and is essential to any public relations campaign. That’s why it’s often a wise choice to bring in the pros.
  2. Heavy Emphasis on Content – Your company’s public relations and social media accounts will nowhere fast without content that your audience actually wants to see. Your social media accounts can’t be a boring, repetitive stream. You’ll need to find a company that excels in providing exciting, often updated content. Adding content to your various accounts can be a full-time job, and knowing what to post isn’t always easy.
  3. Managing Product Releases – When it comes time to launch a new product or service, your PR or social media marketing company will be there to support you along the way. They’ll focus on drumming up attention and creating a buzz about the new offering in the weeks leading up to its release. The product will often be introduced through some type of press conference or gathering. Product launches are one area in which top PR firms excel.
  4. Writing Speeches, Providing Copy, and Training Company Representatives on Communication – As we stated earlier, PR companies want to ensure all company-client/customer communications are effective and positive. They’ll provide written speeches for company executives to cover whatever issues may arise. Other copywriting will also usually be included. Perhaps most important, PR firms will train company employs about how their actions and words affect the company image and relationships.
  5. Social Media – Last but certainly not least, PR firms must be skilled in providing social media marketing strategies. It’s a great tool for communication, and by this point most Americans are on some type of social media platform. If your company isn’t there reaching out you’re certainly missing out.

If you’re considering hiring a PR firm to represent your company, you aren’t alone. Many businesses are taking step to manage and improve their image with their publics. The time we live in provides a unique opportunity for specific and narrow audience targeting. Reaching them effectively can have dramatic results for your business.

Have You Found a Skilled Website Design Agency?

talented website developerIt’s isn’t always easy to find the best website design agency to work with, especially when you’re on a budget. There are just so many options that things can get quite confusing. You don’t want to make the mistake of hiring a fly-by-night design and development agency just because you’re trying to save a few bucks. Building and launching your website is just the beginning of a continuous process.

When considering the expense of your website, it’s important to remember that digital marketing generally has a better ROI than traditional methods. If you’re short on funds it may be wise to cut your traditional marketing and advertising budget in favor of your digital needs. Extending your budget will give you more options when it comes to development and marketing.

A full-service web development agency can have a great impact on your company’s sales, image, and revenue. While the investment seems high initially, it quickly proves its worth. Even when you have a short list of agencies to choose from the decision can be difficult. Below are a few tips and things to look for when considering different firms.

Take a look:

Positive Traits to Look for In Digital Marketers and Developers

  • Digital Media Creation – Content is one of the most important aspects of your website. Shared content is fine, but should be used sparingly. Original, high-quality content gives people a reason to keep coming back to your website. Digital media is one of the best ways to achieve this. if you want people to take your website, and your company, seriously, you need to provide them with value they can readily see. Adding product description or how-to videos are great ways to increase traffic and conversions. The firm you choose should be well-versed in digital media.
  • Blog masters  – A blog is a very important piece of any SEO strategy. Search engine optimization is the practice that ensures your site is listed highly on search results lists. The best firms will write and maintain a fantastic blog on your site. The entries add more pages to your site index, increasing the chance your search ranking improve. Having relevant information on your site also helps to make you an authority in your industry, and that’s definitely a good thing.
  • They make use of professional photography – Stock images and clip art give your website a cheap feel that you should try to avoid at all costs. Websites that have these features feel generic and aren’t typically respected as an authority in their industry. On the other hand, professional quality pictures can get your website noticed and set it apart from competitors. Not everyone will invest in high-quality images, so it’s definitely an area where you can capitalize.
  • Keep it secure - Quality responsive web developers understand the ramifications of a website that isn’t fully secured. A breach of security can be quite trying on the relationship between company and it’s clients or customers. People will be trusting you with sensitive information, so you’ve got to hire developers that can plan accordingly. Data encryption and virus protection are a must, and you should consider additional options as they are presented to you.
  • Focus on SEO – Search engine optimization is absolutely essential to having a thriving website. Fancy design and great content mean nothing if people can’t find you. Relevant keyword searches in your area need to lead people to your company website. Be sure your designers and developers create your website while focusing on SEO best practices. Contest must be relevant and of the highest quality as well. If you can find a firm that excels in both development and SEO you’re in luck. Having separate companies work on each is an option, but things tend to be more cohesive when one agency controls both.
  • Conveying your company message – This one is a little more difficult, but it’s best to find a company that is onboard with your philosophy and is ready and able to deliver your message on your website. You want potential customers and clients to know what your company stands for, but sometimes that can get lost in the shuffle. The best designers will be able to create a website that accurately reflects your company and its message.
  • Creating a fantastic user experience – This is what your website is all about. User experience is important and if it’s good people will spread the word about your website readily. The best firms are constantly designing and developing with the end-user in mind. They seek to create an immersive and memorable experience.

With this list selecting an agency will be much easier!

Three Reasons To Go See An Invisalign Orthodontist

We spend a lot of time, as a country, as a culture, as a society, concerned with the way that we look, and the way that other people perceive us when they come across us in their lives.  We’re very conscious, in a variety of ways, about the way we look, and the way that we present ourselves, and it shows in our society.

For example, think about the amount of time and money that you spend (or, if you’re a guy with a girlfriend or a wife, that she spends) every day, making sure that you look as good as possible, that everything fits, all that.  Think about how much people obsess over not just having a comfortable shirt and a comfortable pair of jeans, but about having a fashionable pair, with the right logos on it.  I mean, look at all the people wearing skinny jeans today; they aren’t, in any way, shape, or form, comfortable, not something that any person could possibly enjoy wearing, but they’re so common today, because it’s the fashionable thing, and many people are, apparently, willing to be uncomfortable in order to be fashionable.

Now, the way that your clothes look, or that your body looks, these aren’t the only things that people take into account.  In fact, depending on the kind of interaction that you’re going to be having, they might not even be noticed at all.  Many people will be more likely to take a look at the way in which your smile presents you.

Obviously, the teeth are a big part of your smile, and if your smile is crooked, people are likely to know it.  This being the case, and the ability to realign the smile being so common in the United States, and spreading quite quickly throughout the world, why not go that extra mile and make sure your teeth are as straight as possible?  This can be accomplished with the use of braces, or, as we’ve advanced our technology, you can accomplish it, instead, with the use of Invisalign.

quatliy adult orthodonticsNow, Invisalign isn’t all that common yet, so you may need to find an Invisalign orthodontist in your area, because not just any orthodontist will have access to it (yet), but once you do, here are just three ways in which you will benefit from doing so.

1.  Discretion

When it comes to a discreet way to fix your teeth, braces for adults and teens are a big step up over the technology that existed before, from the orthodontic headgear that was in use from the twenties until the seventies (and is still used in certain cases today).  Having said that, the standard metal braces of today are not all that discreet, and are, in fact, something that you can very easily see when they’re on the pearly white teeth.

On the other hand, when you use Invisalign aligners, they are, as the name suggests, invisible.  They can’t be seen on the teeth, because they don’t have any metal in them, and are, instead, made of a clear plastic that allows for them to be impossible to spot when placed on the teeth.

2.  Comfort

Braces are made up of a series of brackets mounted on the teeth, and these brackets are not comfortable.  They’re not comfortable because they protrude into the soft flesh inside of the lip, rubbing against it and cutting into it and, in fact, this can cause sores.

Invisalign aligners, conversely, are designed entirely to fit into your mouth, and your mouth alone, custom-fitted invisible braces that are made to be as comfortable as possibly and to add as little bulk as possible to the teeth.  This means less discomfort for you.

3.  Ease of Use

When it comes to standard braces, they’re not easy to live with, because they make a lot of things more of a hassle.  Nothing is made more difficult, though, than eating, brushing and flossing your teeth, adding a lot of work to any of those things.

Invisalign aligners, instead, allow you to put them on or take them off at will, so if you want to, say, go and eat something, you just pop them out, and then eat, then you brush and floss and replace the aligners.  Easy as can be.

So, if you’re looking to improve the look of your teeth, you’re going to want to find your local Invisalign orthodontist and ask them if Invisalign might be right for you and your particular issues with alignment.  Ask your orthodontist today; you’re sure to be glad you did.

How to Profit With a Social Media Marketing Agency

In running an independent business, there is one thing that will be the greatest determinant of success or failure, and will tell you, essentially, whether you’re going to end up expanding and growing or opening your doors after a few years.  I’m talking about profitability.  Now, profitability doesn’t just happen over night; there’s not some set of magic elves that come out of the woodwork when you close shop and fix up the look of your store while crafting an amazing ad campaign that speaks to the people you’re trying to bring into your business.  It takes a lot of work, and a lot of work can cost a lot of money.  Keep in mind, while you’re trying to find profitability, your larger competitors aren’t worried about it nearly as much.  They’ve already shown that they can be profitable, that’s why they’re bigger, and sometimes immensely so, than you are.  They also probably have at least six months’ worth of money in reserve in case they happen to find themselves having a terrible run of luck, meaning that, if, tomorrow, by some terrible stroke of misfortune or Earth-shattering scandal, people simply just stopped coming into their store and purchasing anything, they’d be able to continue running as they exist right now for six months without having to worry about not being able to pay the bills.  Then there’s all the assets that they have, which can be used for guaranteeing a loan, things that you won’t be able to do.

How, then, does one achieve this all important profitability, and then, more importantly, maintain it?  You have to get the word out there that your business exists and let people know what you’re offering.  More importantly, you need to tell them, or, to be more precise, convince them that what you’ve got to offer is a better product that is a better fit for them than what your competitors offer.  It’s also good if you can convince them that you’re offering a better version of the same product, at a better price for the value, with more expertise behind it.  Does marketing make a real difference, some may be asking at this point.  Well, it does, and has in the past.  Look at the VHS cassettes that you may have seen as a child; they were in competition with Betamax cassettes to be the chosen format for in-home video viewing.  Betamax was, in every single way imaginable, a superior product.  It was smaller, had more features like subtitles and the ability to skip by chapters, and even allowed for multiple language tracks.  What Betamax didn’t have, however, was a marketing plan for the big markets, and because of this, they lost to the technologically inferior VHS cassette, and we all had to suffer through years of VHS mastery until the dawning of the age of DVD.

Now, we’ve established the importance of marketing as it relates to profitability, but how do you get the word out there about what you’re doing, speaking from a practical standpoint?  You have to market yourself via various media.  The popular choices are also the older ones, things like printed media, newspapers and magazines, that is, or things like television and radio advertising.  There is, however, a much better, and much newer, way to get your message out there; with social media management services (provided by your local pr firm, because you’re not likely to have the time for this) and with social media marketing.

Social media is a great way to get your message out there, because the people on it are actually telling you what they’re likely to want to see, without even knowing it.  Or, to be more specific, they’re telling an algorithm what the people  are likely to purchase.  Everything you write on social media, every post you make, every page you like or follow, and everything you share is being recorded and will be viewed later by algorithms to determine the likelihood that you’ll make a purchase and to better compartmentalize you for future marketing need.  Because of this, with an expert pr firm, you’ll be able to craft an ad campaign, and you’ll also be able to make sure that the people who are seeing it are the people who are going to buy your product, meaning you’re getting more proverbial ‘bang’ for you marketing budget buck.

So, if you’re looking to find and attain that hard to find profitability, look into hiring a PR firm to help you with social media marketing.  You won’t regret it.

Modern Orthodontics for Alignment of The Teeth

In the many cultures, the way we present ourselves, especially upon a first meeting, is extremely important, and few things about the way we present ourselves are found to be more important that the smile we give when first we meet someone for the first time.  A big part of our smile, though, is the way the teeth align, and the confidence with which we display that smile can also be a big part of a first impression, especially in the business world.

Because of this, mankind in general, and Americans in particular, spend a lot of time and money working on ways to improve the smile and make it more glorious than it naturally was.  For example, in the United States, one in three people will end up going to visit their local professional orthodontist in order to get some sort of treatment to realign their teeth to a more aesthetically pleasing alignment.  This number may seem high, but you have to remember that we have the ability and the availability of this kind of technology in mass.

Usually, when you go to see your local professional orthodontist with a report that something in your teeth just doesn’t look as good as it could, they’ll run a few tests, poke around in your mouth, take a few dental x-rays, and even make an impression of your bite marks.  Some, even more advanced offices, may even use computer imaging, but you can get a good idea of what’s happening with your teeth without it.  If they diagnose you with a malocclusion (the fancy term for misaligned teeth), there are three common orthodontic appliances that they use for treatment.  They are as follows.

1.  Orthodontic headgear

the benefits of cosmetic bracesIt’s very rare that they use orthodontic headgear.  In fact, the majority of cases where an orthodontist will suggest it involve teeth that are not only misaligned with each other, but that also need to be pulled forward a bit, as they have begun to cave inward on the mouth.

In some cases, you might just end up with headgear if you have to go to a dental clinic or another low-cost option.  This isn’t an insult to headgear, it’s just that orthodontic headgear, in many cases, is the cheapest option, and a clinic is trying to serve as many people as it can with the little money that they’re given.

2.  Braces

Standard metal braces are, well, the standard for treatment when it comes to misaligned teeth.  They’re the most commonly used method of teeth realignment, and, in general, are the most well-known, so much so that to many people, a trip to the local professional orthodontist is, essentially, a trip to get teeth braces for corrective orthodontics.

Standard metal braces are a simple affair, really, and far more discreet than headgear is.  Braces consist of a series of metal brackets affixed to the teeth with the application of a long-term dental adhesive, something that can last for years at a time.  Over the top of these brackets is run a long metal wire made of stainless steel, which is then wrapped around the brackets in order to provide the tension required for the realignment.  Then, that wire is held in place with a rubber band.

I know, it’s shockingly simple and low-tech, but it has been effective, and it can be installed anywhere that you can find a pair of pliers for wrapping the metal, so it’s a great thing for people in the third world as well.

3.  Invisalign

Invisalign is basically the newest thing in teeth-realignment technology.  It’s technically a set of braces, but realistically, it’s closer to being a retainer.  It’s a series of plastic aligners that slip on over your teeth and slowly, incrementally, they move the teeth into a more aesthetically pleasing pattern.  They’re made of a clear, hard plastic, and that means that they’re as discreet as can be, allowing the natural color of the teeth to show through rather than trying to blend in with them.  They’re also custom-made invisible braces and form-fitted to your teeth, rather than being of the ‘one size fits all’ school of orthodontistry.  They’re a real step forward, although, to be fair, they also cost about five hundred dollars American more than their more venerated competitors, the standard metal brace.

So, if you’re looking to realign your teeth so you can have a more perfect smile, call your local professional orthodontist and see which of these treatment plans might be right for you.  You won’t regret it.

Let’s Explore Dental Whitening for Cosmetic Smile Restoration

If you’re smart, you’re make regular visits to the dentist’s office. You don’t want your teeth to suffer any maladies. Usually people see the dentist a couple of times for a checkup, cleaning, and to get any cavities they might have filled. One thing people should realize though, is that the same dentist that repairs and cleans their teeth can also help them improve their smile. If you’ve been self-conscious about your smile for any reason, what do you have to lose by asking your dentist about cosmetic procedures? Many of the smile correction treatments available are simple, fast, and painless. Today we’re going to take a closer look at one treatment in particular.

Dental whitening for cosmetic smile restoration is one of the most commonly used methods for improving the quality of smiles. It’s actually an ancient practice; thousands of years ago Romans were attempting to whiten their teeth using goat’s milk and even urine! It’s obvious that humans have been placing a high value on flawless smiles for an incredibly long time. Remember that there is a difference between whitening and bleaching. The latter can usually only be performed at a dentist’s office and involves whitening teeth beyond natural levels.

When it’s comes to having one’s teeth whitened, there are a wide variety of options. Many people take a chance on over-the-counter options, as the methods are incredibly diverse. Others prefer to seek the assistance of a professional. A cosmetic dentist is always a great choice for teeth whitening services. They tend to get the best results, as they have access to certain processes that others do not. A dentist will use a special gel containing hydrogen peroxide at very high levels. The peroxide acts as the cleaning agent, breaking down stain deposits and wiping them away from teeth. It’s time to explore teeth whitening in a little bit closer detail. First, let’s look at what causes teeth to stain in the first place.

The Causes of Staining on Teeth

You may be surprised by some of the products that can lead to discoloration of teeth, while others should be fairly obvious. It may be hard to completely avoid some of the things listed, but often times moderation will suffice to curb the issue.

Have a look at some of the more common causes of teeth discoloration and yellowing or darkening:

  • Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco is one of the most severe causes of browning and yellowing
  • Getting Older – after about age 50 teeth begin to significantly darken
  • Conditions like enamel hypoplasia – a deficiency leading to thin layers of enamel on teeth
  • Beverages including wine, coffee, tea, colas, and sports drinks
  • Fluorosis – a condition where teeth are stained due to overconsumption of fluoride
  • Chlorhexidine – chemical that can yellow teeth found in mouthwashes used to fight gum diseases and bad breath.

That’s quite a long list of items that can possibly darken, yellow, or otherwise discolor your teeth. Brush your teeth often, especially if you’ve recently consumed or had contact with any of the substances. Smokers should take particular caution, brushing as often as possible. Overall it’s up to you how much you let substances affect your teeth, but other things, like age, are unavoidable. If you’re concerned with the color of your teeth find a teeth whitening dentist right away.

Methods

  1. The Natural Approach – Many people like to avoid using man-made chemicals and processes on their teeth. There are some natural substances, such as malic acid, that have been found to aid in whitening. Apples, which contain malic acid, are believed to contribute to teeth whiteness. Celery and carrots are also used as natural whitening agents.
  2. In-home (OTC) – Over-the-counter whitening devices have become incredibly popular over the last several years. The American Dental Association (ADA) has actually approved a wide list of these products as safe. Options includes, gels, chewing gum, strips, rinses and washes, and toothpastes. They are not guaranteed to work and the ADA does not maintain that they do, only that they are safe for use by humans. They often cheaper, but not as powerful as alternative methods.
  3. In-office – You will find that many dentists offer a wide variety of cosmetic services, especially teeth whitening. A dentist has access to gels that are quite powerful and have a long history of getting results. They have a hydrogen peroxide gel that has a much higher peroxide concentration than over-the-counter treatments available. Because of this the patient’s gums and mouth are often painted with a light-cured protective layer to prevent chemical burns. Seeing a dental professional is probably the safest and most effective ways to whiten your teeth.
  4. Non-Dental In-office – Many different spas, therapy centers, salons, or even mall kiosks offer teeth whitening services. Be cautious, as these options require letting someone who is not a dentist to work with chemicals on your teeth. I wouldn’t recommend using these services.

When it comes to teeth whitening, safety is the best policy. Consult with your dentist before undergoing any procedures.

Three Advancements That Made Braces or Improved Them

When you go to your local orthodontist in order to get teeth braces for cosmetic smile correction, you’re getting one of the most modernized and constantly changed dental treatments of our day.  It’s something that has been slowly worked toward for almost two and a half centuries, and then it has been improved on since the day that they were invented.  Truly, it’s an amazing thing that we can do these days.

I mean, really, think about it; today, we have the ability to treat the alignment of teeth.  Teeth, which are essentially bone, can be slowly bent into a better position for the health of the person to whom these teeth are attached.  When the idea was first written down, they were lucky if they could think of a way to keep the teeth that were already misaligned from becoming more so.  It was almost two thousand and four hundred years between the first recorded discussion of the idea of orthodontic treatment and the implementation of a system that could effectively, and on a regular basis, actually manipulate the alignment of the teeth in order to help alleviate pain and misalignment.  In all reality, before the advent of modern orthodontic headgear, if you needed to have your teeth realigned, your best bet was ‘surgical’ removal of your teeth in order to give the remaining teeth the space to stretch out, and hoping that would alleviate the problem.

So, on to the list of the day, three advancements that made or improved on braces.

1.  The advent of improved dental adhesives.

braces for kidsOne of the biggest things that held back braces from being used until the 70s was that there was no appropriate dental adhesive in existence at the time.  Basically, all of the dental adhesives in use at the time were designed entirely around the idea of dentures, allowing people to keep them in place in their mouths for somewhere between four and fourteen hours, and not around keeping something in the mouth for the long-term, years on end kind of scenarios.  There were adhesives that could do that in existence, at the time, but they weren’t the kind of things that you want to keep in your mouth over the long-term, because they might be poisonous or otherwise hazardous to your health.  With the advent of an appropriate dental adhesives, they could affix brackets to the teeth semi-permanently, and, in fact, we now have dental adhesives designed to keep things like veneers in place for up to thirty years, meaning that if you get veneers installed when you’re forty years old, you’re likely to die before the dental adhesive wears off.

2.  The rise of ceramic and porcelain in dentistry as a whole

Another advancement that was important to advancing braces and making them a better product for all those who are using them is the advent of ceramics and porcelain in dentistry as a whole.  There’s been a big movement toward porcelain for years.  We use it today in a lot of fillings in place of dental gold, which was common in the early half of the past century.  It’s also used in veneers today, in place of the plaster that was once used in veneers in order to make sure they were the right color (the plaster, as one would expect, didn’t hold it’s shape very long).

As far as braces are concerned, porcelain has been used in the design of brackets in order to replace the metal used before with a more discreet material that will be harder to spot.  It’s a great selling point, really, to how great porcelain for dental uses is.

3.  The ability to ‘print’ plastic braces instead of having to work with an imprint

A big update is the ability to make braces that we don’t have to mount on the teeth at all, but are capable of, instead, being put on and taken off of the teeth with barely any effort.  A big part of this has been the updates in computer imaging technology, but the end result is that we’ve got a way of making braces quickly, efficiently, and more precisely, using computer technology and low-grade robotics.

So, if you’re looking into getting braces, understanding the things that have happened to make braces a viable technology and to improve the usefulness, effectiveness, and discretion of those braces is an important step in understanding what braces are and how they can benefit you.  So, be sure to ask your local orthodontist if they can recommend the newest in teeth realignment technologies to you.  So go see your local professional family orthodontists today!

Three Reasons To Choose Invisalign Orthodontists

Let’s be very honest here; nobody, and I mean nobody, likes going to see orthodontists.  It’s not a fun time for anybody, just like there’s no one who enjoys going to the dentist’s office (and honestly, judging by their rate of job satisfaction, it can be assumed that many dentists don’t like going to their office either.

It’s not hard to understand why a trip to the local orthodontists’ office can be something that isn’t pleasant for a lot of people.  To begin with, there aren’t a lot of people who enjoy going somewhere in order to pay someone to grope around in their mouth while they attempt to make small talk (which you have absolutely no way to respond to, because their hand is deep in your mouth and all, so why even talk?  Just put on some rock and let it go).  Then there’s the fact that a lot of people associate professional orthodontists with braces and other things which are, in general, associated with teasing and being mocked in American society, and because of this, they aren’t someone that anyone is really excited to see.

But if you’re regularly going to see your local professional orthodontists, you’re going to be finding yourself trying to get some sort of treatment, more likely than not.  Worst case scenario, you’re going to be trying to get someone to give you a referral so that you can have dental surgery in order to remove a tooth that is causing overcrowding issues in your mouth and moving your teeth out of proper alignment.  However, for the rest of the people seeking treatment, you’re probably looking at getting some braces put on your teeth.

However, standard metal braces aren’t the only game in town when it comes to fixing your teeth and their alignment.  You can, in many cases, opt to go with the more modern treatment, and get Invisalign discreet adult braces.  Here’s just three reasons that you should go through the work of getting Invisalign instead of standard metal braces.

1.  Discretion

the benefit of cosmetic bracesA common complaint that a lot of people have with the way standard metal braces fit into the mouth is that they’re not able to be easily concealed.  When you have braces in the mouth, there’s a lot of metal involved, and this means that you’re going to be having to worry that any time you open your mouth people are going to be able to notice that you have braces in.  This isn’t really all that big a deal, except people tend to not want to pull attention to their imperfections.

On the other hand, Invisalign braces are designed to be, as the name would suggest, invisible to the naked eye while they’re on the teeth.  They do this quite effectively due to the clear plastic material that is used in their construction, which easily lets through the natural colors and shading of the teeth.

2.  Comfort

Another of the common complaints that one can hear about the use of standard metal braces is the discomfort associated with said braces.  They’re designed to be effective, and they’re as small as they can be, but due to their design, they do need to be a certain size to work, and this means that they’re going to be, for the foreseeable future, large enough to rub regularly against the inside of the lip, which leads to soreness and abrasions, among other things, causing discomfort.

Invisalign braces, on the other hand, are designed to be form-fitted to your mouth and to your teeth, so that they won’t be adding a lot of extra bulk to your mouth.  This means they won’t be rubbing against the soft flesh inside your lips.

3.  Affordability

Last, but not least, they’re affordable, when compared to the cost of standard metal braces.  Their price will change depending on where you’re going to be getting them, but in general, they’re going to be between five hundred and a thousand dollars more expensive than the standard metal braces.  This may sound like a lot of money, but you need to consider the fact that you’re not paying it all at once, but are, rather, paying for it over the long-term, over months on end.

So, if you’re looking to fix your teeth and their alignment, you should ask your local professional orthodontist about Invisalign.  It’s a great way to improve your teeth and their alignment without having to worry about everyone noticing and gawking at your braces, as well as allowing you to fix your teeth with ease and comfort.

Three Reasons To Use Modern Grow Room Design

When it comes to marijuana, the United States has, for a long time, been pretty behind the times as far as decriminalization and eventual legalization goes.  For many places in the rest of the world, especially the developed world, places like Europe, for example, they’re already at the point where they’ve gone to legalization at a federal (national) level.  On the other hand, we only have true legalization on the state level for one state, as well as a few cities that have made the leap to not arresting people for daring to smoke marijuana.

Decriminalization is basically legalization lite, if you understand what I’m saying.  It means that, although it isn’t necessary legal, having marijuana isn’t going to be something that gets you sent to jail in most cases.  This obviously doesn’t apply, even in places where it’s been decriminalized, in situations where you’ve been, for an easy example, pulled over for some sort of reckless operation or for swerving while on the road, and you have marijuana on hand, that’s basically something that could have caused the crime, and you are, if you have taken any recently, probably going to be charged with driving under the influence.  It also doesn’t cover you if you’ve got enough marijuana on hand when arrested that you can be considered a dealer, for example.

Legalization, on the other hand, is far preferable.  Legalization means that not only are you legally allowed to have large quantities on hand (although you are going to be limited in how much you can actually own, there’s always the fact that you can just get a license or permit and have a much larger amount on hand, and be able to do so completely legally.  Legalization also means that, instead of having to go to a drug dealer to get your marijuana, you can simply go to your local dispensary, a state licensed business with a fair amount of oversight, and purchase the marijuana you want, providing that you’re over the age of eighteen, have a valid state ID from Colorado or from the state that you’re living in and purchasing the marijuana in, and have the money on hand you need to make the transaction.

cannabis grow roomAs legalization is sweeping across this great land, the ability to purchase marijuana has never been greater, and to go along with it, there is a rising need for new grow rooms and modern grow room design. Modular grow rooms are now all the rage, and you can use them to your advantage.  Here’s just three reasons to pick one up.

1.  They’re easy to install

A big hassle for any business is installation of essential equipment needed in order to run said business.  For some businesses, you’re going to need to also have help with that installation, but for others, you can do the work of installation on your own, which will save you time, money, and most importantly, hassle.

2.  They’re something that can be made as small as you need initially

When you start a business, you’re not going to have a lot of need for growing pot, and that’s just fine.  You shouldn’t be growing a lot of excess that you’re not going to be able to sell, because as with many other things, when you leave organic materials around without using them, they will eventually decompose, and when that happens, you’re going to be losing what could have been profit.  Modular marijuana grow rooms, thankfully, are something that you can make as small as you need, or as big as you need, at the original purchasing point.

3.  They’re something that can grow with your business

When you open and run a business, you’re going to be slowly gaining more and more regular customers, up until the point that you’re going to need to be increasing production in order to keep up with that increase in demand.  Because of this, it’s important that you’re going to be able to grow with that demand, and thankfully, a modular marijuana grow room is going to make it very easy to scale up your production, your growth, in order to meet the increasing demand of your growing consumer base, and to make sure that your customers are satisfied.

So, if you’re in the business of growing both weed and your money, consider using a modular grow room to help you do so.  You’ll be glad you did when your business is booming and you have a great amount of profit to show for it.

Better Finances With The Help Of An Accounting Firm

For the most part, people in the United States aren’t all that good at managing their own finances.  This isn’t a big secret or a big surprise for anyone or anything, though; we’ve got a lot of evidence for why the vast majority of people in this country are terrible when it comes to saving and managing their money.  One of the biggest problems is that we’re a society that, in general, doesn’t believe in the value of waiting to purchase things and then buying them outright.  We’re a ‘buy it now’ kind of country and culture, and because of that, we make a lot of bad purchasing choices.

accounting servicesFor example, think of all the things that you can go out and buy on credit right now, right this very minute, without any hassle, and with only a fraction of the full price being put down. There is an entire industry built around the idea of me being able to ‘buy’ things that I can’t actually afford right now, rather than dare me to wait a few weeks in order to be able to buy them outright.  I can go to a store and buy everything from a new microwave to a new television or a new couch, and do so with about ten to twenty percent of the full price down.  This may seem like a great deal, but there are a variety of reasons why this isn’t true.  To begin with, buying something on credit means that you’re going to be paying more for it.  When you factor in the payment plan they have, no matter how quickly you pay it off, you’re still going to be paying more for it than you would be if you had just waited and bought it outright.  Then there’s the fact that when you have to pay something off in installments, you’re slowly robbing yourself of a little bit of money every paycheck, which can make your week to week finances much harder to manage, as you’re effectively shorting your own paycheck before you even get a paycheck.

Where, then, can you turn for help and advice?  To an accounting firm, of course, a firm of accountants who will be able to help you with the management of your money in a variety of ways.

To begin with, they can help you to trim the fat in your budget.  Most people have, in some way or another, things in their budget which they don’t need, whether they want to admit it or not.  For example, if you live alone, do you really need to be spending 90 dollars a month to get yourself 30 megabytes per second download speeds on your home internet connection?  Probably not, unless you’re using the internet to do a lot of downloading of films and things like that.  You’ll probably be alright downgrading to 15 megabytes, saving yourself twenty dollars (or more), and you likely won’t notice a discernible difference in your internet performance.  With the help of a CPA accounting firm, you’ll be able to find other places in your budget that you’re spending money unwisely, and trim it down to a wiser level of expenses in order to save more and get yourself on track for a better financial future.

Another thing that accounting firms can help you do is to set realistic goals and then meet them.  When I say goals, I mean financial goals.  What that actual goal is can vary widely, depending on who you are and what your income is.  For many Americans, a good goal would be to reach ten thousand dollars in their savings accounts, including things like their retirement funds and investment portfolios.  A recent survey says that less than half of the people in the United States of America have ten thousand dollars or more in their savings accounts combined, meaning that we have, as a country with a median income of somewhere in the sixteen dollar an hour range, less than half of the people working have a real savings account or any planning toward their future.  This is something we all need to be working towards, and working with an accounting firm in order to set financial goals is one way that you, personally, can work toward a better financial future for yourself.

So, if you’re having trouble managing your money, consider what an accounting firm might be able to do to help you better your financial state.  With just a little bit of time and money, they’ll be able to help you improve your fiscal solvency, and put you on a path to a more prosperous future.

Four Ways to Realign Your Teeth and Improve Your Smile With the Use of New Technologies Like Braces or Invisalign

These days, we place a lot of importance on our smiles, not just in the United States, but in many cultures.  A good smile can be important for your life, be it at private or professional functions, and can help you to improve everything from your business life to your relationships with your children.  A great smile can give off a sense of warmth and trustworthiness to prospective business partners or a sense of affection for the people you love.  Obviously, making sure that you have a good smile is something that we are, therefore, willing to spend a lot of time and money on.

dentistry for oral healthThere have been a plethora of technologies throughout the decade that tried to improve the smile, and the ability of dentists to provide quality dental care.  Some of these, alas, were earnest, albeit dismal, failures.  Others, as was (and still is, in some places) common, were just fraudulent ways of separating people from their hard-earned currency.  Thankfully, in this modern era of information sharing and being able to carry around a small piece of technology with all the information of humanity at our fingertips, we can tell what is and isn’t a valid dental or orthodontic treatment.  Because of this, there have emerged four common ways to help realign the smile, things still in use today.  In order of chronological discovery and first use, they are as follows:

1.  Orthodontic headgear

Orthodontic headgear came into use in the early 1900s, and is, today, still used in certain instances when it is the best way to fix the teeth (normally when the teeth need to be pulled forward as well as straightened).  For the most part, however, it has fallen by the wayside.  It was well-known (and much feared by people who might need to use it) for being extremely bulky and, basically, impossible to hide, but it still gets the job done satisfactorily.

2.  Standard metal braces

By far, the most common solution that we use in today’s dental and orthodontic practices to straighten teeth.  First used in the early 1970s, it would quickly surpass the classic headgear in popularity, and for obvious reasons.  You don’t have to broadcast to the world that you’re wearing standard metal braces, unlike with headgear.  If you have a trustworthy family dentist nearby, it’s an especially attractive option, because the periodical work that needs to be done, adjusting the braces and making sure that they’re setting the teeth the way that they’re supposed to be, are much easier to do without a lot of hassle associated with driving a long way to see said dentist.

3.  Lingual braces

Lingual braces are the exact same as standard metal braces, but, instead of being mounted on the outward facing side of your teeth, they’re mounted on the inward facing.  This may not seem like a big deal, and in many ways, it may actually not be, unless you’re a musician or singer.  You see, mounting them on the reverse side like that allows for people who play various woodwind instruments, such as clarinet or saxophone, to still play without getting their tongue caught in their braces while playing their instruments.  It can also make sure that the voice of a singer doesn’t change as much, because it isn’t changing the way you form words.

4.  Invisalign

This, however, this is the latest and greatest.  Invisalign braces are made from a hard, clear plastic, and they do the same job as standard braces but without the conspicuous metal in your mouth.  They’re see-through and invisible, even from close up; in fact, most people can’t spot them in the mouths of their friends from even a few feet away.  On top of all this, when you’ve been wearing your Invisalign braces, you’ll notice that you can remove them; this is by design, allowing you to remove them for a few hours a day for eating and so that you can maintain your daily dental health regimen without any undue interruption, like what would normally be caused by, say, having metal mounted onto your teeth with dental adhesive.  They’re also comparably priced to their main competitor, the standard metal braces.

So, if you’re worried that your smile isn’t sending the message that you want it to, or, if you’re afraid to even show people you’re smile, don’t hesitate.  We live in an age where, with the help of your local practitioner of professional family dentistry, you can fix your smile with little hassle and no pain, so call them today and see what they can offer you to help improve your smile and your confidence.

The Many Services Offered By Orthodontists

Braces for kids aren’t the only thing that orthodontists specialize in. There are plenty of people who didn’t have the opportunity to have their crooked smiles corrected as kids. Fortunately, there are many different options for treatment outside of the traditional metal braces that are the most popular. There is no reason to be ashamed of wanting to fix your crooked teeth, but some adults are still hesitant to get braces for fear of what others think. Some people even rely on their physical appearance and just cannot get braces they need. If you fall into one of these categories, it’s time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist.

When you go in, the orthodontist will likely present many options to you. They may suggest Invisalign, a more recently establish tool for smile correction, traditional braces, clear braces, or lingual braces. All of these are solid treatment options, and you and your orthodontist will have to figure out the best option for you. Let’s go over some of the basics about the different options to give you an idea of what you’re looking at.

First of all, it should be known that a good orthodontist is going to explore options less intrusive than braces first. Those goal is to straighten teeth with orthodontic treatment, not to attach a bracket to as many teeth as possible. If your case is mild, the straightening of the teeth may be possible using less drastic measures. A spacer or retainer might be used first to try to correct the problem. Only after it becomes clear that braces are needed will they be used.

If you spent anytime in school as a child, I’m sure you know exactly what braces look like. They may have even been a source of humor for you as a kid. Many people picture the ridiculous headgear that used to be much more common than today (though it is still used!). Traditional braces work through tension. A bracket is attached to each relevant tooth, and they are slowly pulled into position using wires. The process is very effective, and takes a relatively short amount of time to complete. Many adults find that they need braces for a year or less. Still, they can still be too much for some. They are bulky and noticeable, and if public appearance is important to you, you may not want them on your teeth. This is fine, you have a few other options.

One thing you could do is opt for clear braces. They are going to take the same length of time, and we know they are effective since they’re the same thing as metal braces, only clear. People won’t be able to notice them in your mouth as easily, but they certainly aren’t completely invisible. If you want something that nobody will notice at all, you’ll have to choose a different option.

ceramic braces for professional smile correctionThe next thing you might consider are lingual braces. They are sometimes called hidden braces, and there is a good reason for this. When you are wearing lingual braces, nobody can see them at all. The only people who will even know about them are those you choose to tell. As you might have guessed, these braces are attached to the back of your teeth. They still use brackets and wires to move the teeth in mouth as needed, they just aren’t seen easily. Not everyone can use lingual braces however, as their can be some complications. If your mouth is too small or your teeth too crowded, you may find them incredibly uncomfortable. If you think they won’t work for you, there is one more option to consider, and it’s a great one.

Invisalign is the last solution for your treatment needs that I want to discuss. It is a more recent advancement made in the field of orthodontics, and it’s becoming more and more popular everyday. You may have even see this product advertised before. To me, Invisalign is the perfect solutions for adults who need braces. You don’t have worry about what people think of you, because Invisalign is a clear plastic tool that is almost invisible at first glance. They are also removable and can be taken out when eating so food doesn’t get stuck in them. I think it’s one of the best options out there when it comes to orthodontic treatments.

Don’t let your crooked smile hold you back any longer. If you’ve been wanting to take corrective action, now is the perfect time. Schedule a visit with a local orthodontist and see what they can do about fixing your crooked teeth.

Selecting the Right Orthodontist

orthodontistMaybe on your most recent visit to the dentist, orthodontic treatment was suggested to you. Dentists are in charge of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy and clean, but they cannot help when it comes to malocclusion (misalignment) issues. On the other hand, maybe you just aren’t happy with the way your smile looks. The reason for visiting an orthodontist doesn’t have to be medical. Plenty of orthodontists are more than willing to help with cosmetic braces to suit your needs. Whether you’re acting on a recommendation, or you’ve taken the initiative yourself, the first step in the process is going to be finding the perfect orthodontist for your needs.

It is fairly typical for a dentist to refer you to particular orthodontist. It’s always a good idea to follow-up on this lead and see if you mesh well with recommended doctor. Head to the internet and compare his or her reviews with other orthodontic specialists in your area. Pay careful attention to all reviews, both positive and negative. It may help to create a list of some of your top choices.

You’ll also want to look into the orthodontist’s (or their practice’s) standing in the community. You want to go with someone who has a solid reputation for caring for her patients. You really need them to be in tune with your treatment needs. Having someone who is willing to explore all the options is a great thing to have when it comes to your smile correction treatment. Make sure the orthodontist you choose is in tune with your needs and concerns. It makes the process a lot smoother.

Another important factor when it comes to choice of orthodontist is the variety of services they offer. Of course you know that all of them will have the standard treatment methods. Braces, retainers, and spacers are all still commonly used by all. There is a good reason for this, they are extremely effective and hard to replace when it comes to results. It’s good to know a few of your options before you begin your search, that way you know what you’re looking for.

Here are a few services you should be on the look out for, other than traditional stainless steel braces:

  1. Gold-Plated Braces

These are a great option for those who suffer from allergies or a desire to be flashy. Nickel is a commonly used metal in stainless steel, and it’s the substance that gives some people trouble. For just a little extra expense, the situation can be completed avoided. The braces are actually still made of steel, but the plating of gold keeps it from coming in contact with the patients skin. These can be a great solution in a lot of cases.

2.   Spring Aligners

Not every patient is going to need braces. In some simpler cases, results can be achieved using a much simpler, and cheaper option. Spring aligners generally on have an effect on the front few teeth, making them only useful in certain situations. It’s certainly worth looking into whether or not your smile can be corrected with a simple solution like this.

3.   Lingual Braces

Also known as hidden braces, lingual braces have a lot of similarities with their traditional counterparts. However, they are “hidden” for a reason. Instead of having brackets affixed to the front of their teeth, the patient will have them put on the back. It’s a bit more complicated, and therefore more expensive. It is however worth it to people who are seeking to keep their smile correction discreet. Whether they are teenagers worried about social implication, or a business professional who needs to maintain a certain dress code, many people find them useful.

4.   Clear Braces

Clear braces function the exact same way as traditional braces, but instead of being made of steel, they are made with a clear ceramic or plastic polymer. They are designed to blend in well with the teeth, making them more difficult to notice. Of course they aren’t perfect, and people looking closely will see them. If you’re looking for something even more discreet, there is another alternative.

5.   Invisalign

Invisalign is one of the newest products in the field of orthodontics. They are the perfect hidden braces for teens and adults alike. They are hardly even noticeable to the wearer. Best of all, the are removable, so brushing your teeth is a breeze, and you don’t have to avoid particular foods. They won’t work for everybody, but if you’re looking for the ultimate in discretion when it comes to smile correction, they are worth looking into. Make sure any orthodontist you select is familiar and works with Invisalign.

 

What Can PR Do for You?

As a business owner you’re always looking at what a service or product can do for you. How will it help you improve business? This is an important question to be consistently asking yourself. The best and brightest in the business world are always seeking ways to improve or bring their company to the next level. Public relations, or PR for short, is one of those services that truly elevates your company. You’ll want to consider investing in a PR service if your company relies on a relationship with the public, and most do. Effectively communicating and developing positive relationships with your target audience is just the beginning of what the best firms do for you. There are many ways that they’ll improve business, so let’s have a look a at a few:

The best PR firms out there are multifaceted and will likely be able to develop a great advertising plan for your company. This is an important part of marketing and needs to be done, but PR gets more involved than just plain old advertising. The firm will strategize and come up with a method to cultivate a positive public image for your business. They’ll do this by using the press and other forms of media. Remember it’s 2015, so you’ll likely want a firm with experience in social media management as well as traditional PR. Having this type of media is important to developing a positive public image. Regular ads may help business, but they definitely won’t earn the respect of the traditional public. Building this image will be paramount to your success in the future. It also helps carry you through missteps that become public knowledge. People are more likely to support you and give you the benefit of the doubt when they respect and appreciate you.

A similarity between PR and advertising is that both share the common goal of promoting your business as a credible and reliable member of the community. Again, public relations comes out with the edge however. You don’t have to rely on cheesy slogans or ad campaigns that people grow tired of quickly. Instead, a successful PR firm is going to get your company noticed for other reasons. They’ll organize events that will garner attention from media, and they should be orchestrating gatherings that will improve your standing in the community. One of the best ways to improve a company’s standing in the community is to host charity events. It cannot be a ploy where the true main goal is advertising. People will see right through this. A good public relations firms is going to be able to coordinate and event that is meaningful and genuine. It take careful research and calculation to formulate the best plan for this, but it’s well worth the effort.

Being in the public spotlight means that there will likely be times when you or your company’s representatives will have to address the public. This may be in formal press releases, interviews, or even social media announcements. You public relations company should be educating those who will be addressing the public or the media about what to say and how their actions can affect the organization. In addition, the best companies will check and recheck their methods and plans, and will change them as often as necessary to fit your current needs.

social media marketing firmSome business owners think they can easily manage the content on their websites and social media accounts, but it really is a full-time job. One thing your PR firm is going to do for you is create the kind of content your audiences will want to see, and then distribute in the most efficient way possible. They won’t stop there however, when it comes times to give a presentation to the media, the public, or both, your firm will be there to help write speeches and prepare the presentation. Another part of their routine plan will be keeping your company in the forefront of people’s minds. This may be through scheduled press conferences, meet and greets, or another type of event. Whatever it is, it will keep you in people’s minds. Your PR company will be responsible for always presenting your company’s message in a clear and efficient way.

One last thing to think about is damage control. There are bound to be events that bring negative press to your company. It could be something as simple as an accident, or it could be an incident where a representative of your company said or did something stupid. If you already have a strong PR plan in place, chances out the outcome won’t hurt you too badly. But there will still be a need to address the public and make amends, and that’s just another reason you have a good PR firm in your employ.

How Assurance Services Help You

In the financial world, nearly anything you do with your money where you leave it in the hands of someone else for a long period of time grows it.  However, you need to decide what you’re looking for.  Either you want your money to be kept somewhere where it’s going to be completely safe no matter what happens, or you want your money to grow.

tax accounting servicesIf you want your money safe, put it in a bank, one insured by the FDIC.  Your money won’t grow at a quick rate, but your accounts will be safe.  In fact, accounts that are insured by the FDIC are basically covered up to a certain dollar amount (normally somewhere between a hundred thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars American) no matter what happens, even if the bank itself goes under and can’t recover (as nearly happened just a few years ago, as those of you more inclined to pay attention to the news will hopefully recall).  There is, of course, a downside.  As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained; the trade-off to your money being completely safe (again, up to a certain point) is that you’re going to have a very slow rate of growth; the best interest rate available on a widely available bank account, be it checking or savings, is about three percent, compounded annually or semi-annually.  This means that, if you put a thousand dollars into your bank account, you’re going to see a return of about thirty dollars in the first year, assuming you have said thousand bucks in your account at whatever time they decide to calculate your interest and add it to your account.  In other words, for leaving them a thousand dollars, they give you about enough money to have a decent dinner for one at a mid-grade, two to three star restaurant.  Not much to celebrate about, but at least you know that your money is going to be safe.

Investing, on the other hand, allows your money to grow substantially, but the trade-off here is that there is always the possibility that your investment will go sour and you’ll lose everything.  This is rare, but it does happen.  Investing is the way that those who make a lot of money grow their money.  These are the kind of people who put in five thousand dollars on a whim, buying a thousand shares of a stock that goes for five dollars a stock, and finding themselves with thirty thousand dollars a few days later when that stock goes up in value thanks to getting a lucrative government contract.  There are investments that make money hand over fist, offering returns that might end up in the hundreds, or they might end up taking your money and doing nothing with it as the company collapses all because of a few bad decisions (a fate that has nearly been suffered by some very large companies, like Apple, in the past).  A lot of money is invested, and that means there’s lots of money to be made.

So, with all this money exchanging hands in thousands of transfers, being exchanged for shares of something that, in all reality, don’t exist on the physical plane, but as numbers on a computer system sitting somewhere.  There’s a lot of questions that people are asking, and with validity.

The way to get answers to these questions is either with research or with the information provided by Certified Public Accountants and various CPA firms who provide various assurance services.  These services consist of things like auditing and/or customer satisfaction surveys, and both have their uses.  Auditing an account makes sure that everything is on the level, making sure that money is being spent on the stocks and in the way that the investment group in question says it is, ensuring that if a group, for example, says it’s buying only blue chip stocks, then they are actually buying blue chip stocks, not purchasing pink sheet stocks or something else that isn’t stable or worth investing in, or risky.  The customer satisfaction surveys, on the other hand, just make sure that the customer is satisfied with the way that their money is being handled and with the level of the communication that they’re receiving from the investment manager(s).

So, if you’re looking to invest, be sure to invest in a group that has been vetted by your local CPA firm that offers assurance services, in order to better make sure that you’re not being ripped off.  You’ll be glad you did when your money is being invested just the way you like.

 

7 Traits of Successful Cannabis Growing Rooms

If you’re thinking about getting into the cannabis industry, you’ve definitely got your work cut out for you. Not just anybody can open up a pot shop and be a success. It takes a great commitment and work ethic. Competition is fierce, you’re going up against some of the best cannabis producers in the world, If you open a store and sell average marijuana product, you may last for a bit, but eventually you’ll fizzle out. And if your product is bad, forget about it. You need to get the most out of your indoor grow room possible. This is going to go well beyond the grow you had in your closet during college, or the one you and your buddies tried to set up in your basement. It’s wise to bring in a professional grow room builder when it comes to getting things set up. Remember that there is a lot of electrical and construction work to do to get your room built. If you’re not properly equipped to handle these things it’ll be impossible to do alone. To get yourself on the right track, do some research into what it will require. Start by reading these seven traits of successful grow rooms.

1. They Pick Great Locations

You can’t put your marijuana growing rooms just anywhere. First you have to worry about having it too close to schools or in properly zoned areas. Next you need to think about safety and security. Try to find a low crime area to put your grow in, and make it easy for a security detail to check on frequently. A final thing to consider is its proximity to your store. You don’t want to spend too much on transport. Some businesses even choose to keep the grow room and stores in the same location.

2. They are Clean

You’ll never look in a successful grow room and see lairs of filth and dirt. Essentially there should never be any evidence you were working in the room at all. A dirty room can easily lead to a bug infestation or issues with mildew and mold. These are definitely things you want to avoid at all costs. Either of these issues can single-handedly wipe out an entire crop. If you keep up on it on a daily basis, it really is easy to keep things clean.

modular grow room3. They Focus on Organization

A disorganized grow room can easily lead to disaster. Everything in the room needs to be labeled and have a specific place. You don’t to mix up strains or nutrients. It’s just too easy to keep a label on everything, including plants. Giving your customer the wrong strong because of a lack of labeling can really upset them. They may be looking for the particular effects of one strain and trying to avoid those of another. Focus on organization everyday and it too will be easy.

4. They Adapt with Ease

Always have a plan for quick expansion. Meeting the demands of your customers comes second only to ensuring they’re receiving a quality product. If you run out of room for the amount of plants you need, you need to be able to rapidly adapt. You may want to invest in modular grow rooms so that you can easily convert them into larger spaces when the time comes. If not, just have a solid action plan in place for when the time comes.

5. They Keep Light Out When They Should

The importance of having a light-proof grow room cannot go unsaid. Your plants need light to grow, but they also depend on the appropriate cycles of darkness as well. Having flashes or leakages of light during these periods of darkness can have incredibly adverse results. You don’t want to risk your entire option over something that’s easily taken care of.

6. They are Also Air-Tight

The plants you’re growing rely on specific settings when it comes to their climate. You want to be able to precisely control these factors. Having an air-tight space makes this a much simpler process. It’s not the easiest thing to build, which is why it might be beneficial to hire a professional to help you out.

7. They are Run by a Master Grower

You’re not going to get very far in this industry with a substandard product. In fact you want your cannabis buds to be among the top quality available. There is too much competition to have an inferior product. If you’re not already a master grower, make sure you’re partnered with one. It can be the difference between success and failure.

 

A Few Ways To Improve Your Website Development

The current business climate demands an update, serviceable website that suits your clients’ or customers’ wants and needs. Since the internet is becoming the prevalent way of doing business, your website now functions as a first impression. When you consider how fast paced things are today, it makes you realize you probably won’t have a second chance. Therefore it is imperative that you have a website that is current, user-friendly, and responsive. I have compiled a very small list of a few way you might be able to improve you website design and development. I hope this information provides you a starting point for improving your presence on the web.

1      Site Layout and Theme

The crucial first step to having a website that customers and clients want to use is to have a good layout and overall theme. Too much clutter and people feel overwhelmed, and are likely to leave the site shortly after arriving. Not enough direction and no intuitive feel to the layout does the same thing, nobody wants to be on a site they cannot easily figure out how to use. These are a couple of the basic principles of website design, and following them is definitely a wise choice. Another thing to think about is other successful sites, and how they look and operate. Don’t hesitate to apply some of the better ideas on your site. One more aspect of design I’d like to discuss is the use of the color palette. You do not want to get too crazy, though it can be quite tempting to use lots of vibrant colors, it is a turnoff to most visitors. Remember to keep your site easy on the eyes. Also, you always want to remember the overall theme and message of your site during the design phase, make the color scheme and layout match the theme and message you are trying to convey.

2     Responsiveness

Responsiveness in this instance is referring to the adaptability of your website to fit many different formats and layouts. There seems to be no shortage of new devices coming out every year, and you want users of any type to be able to surf your website with ease. Whether they are browsing on a tablet, desktop, laptop, smart phone, or even some sort of wearable tech, your customers and clients should be able to reach you with ease, with access to the same information no matter what. This can be a daunting task, and you may need the assistance of experienced responsive website developers to help you accomplish your goals, but it’s truly worth it.

3     Website Navigation

At the core of a fantastic user experience is a simple and straightforward way to navigate the website. You may opt for something that creates a unique user experience, and that’s quite alright, so long as it’s use is intuitive and second nature. We all know how frustrating it can be when you are unsure of where to look or go to complete a certain task on a site. Always keep this in mind and be sure to test your website’s navigation often, you want to ensure that it’s always working properly. Whether you choose a typical or thematic navigation system, just make sure it’s easy to use!

4     Blogging and SEO

No matter what type of business you are in, you should be blogging on a regular basis, or have a communicative responsive website design agency with competent copywriters doing it for you. Blogs have developed a sort of reputation for being just random, spews of content and information, but this isn’t really the case. In fact they are an effective communication tool between you and your clients. Having a blog on your website with constantly updated, fresh information, can easily help increase your site’s viability and popularity. There’s an added benefit to blogging that you may not even consider however, and it is directly related to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Having a pointed and consistent blog with relevant information to your business and customers will increase your search ranking on major engines. In turn, this improves your web presence and in the long run, your success.

Intelligent business owners are aware of the importance of having a professional, well maintained website. As the web becomes a more complicated place, it becomes more important to know what you are doing, or hire someone who does. Compare the expense to hiring a company with that of not having a competitive website. If you are capable of handling this rather large in-house, it can be great for your business. If not however, I suggest looking at outsourcing the work to a competent team with real know-how.

Making a Trade Show Booth Exciting

People attend trade shows for a lot of different reasons depending on the industry. The companies who buy space on the trade show floor do so for one reason: exposure. Businesses cannot survive without exposure and when there are so many places where it can be blurred and obscured because messages can be places in ineffective and shady places, its nice to know that there are places that are located on the sunny side of the street. Trade shows are where people and companies with common interests go to see what is going on in their industry and who is doing what. Many different  companies can show off their products line and service while also checking out what their competition is up to. Having an effective trade show booth is the best way for a company who attends one of these events to attract the attention and get the exposure they need to be successful.

For well established companies and start-ups alike, trade shows can be a very important and effective place to create a buzz. Experiential marketing companies design trade show exhibits that attract the attention of the trade show attendees in an effort to create a memorable experience. Advertising is all about creating a positive and memorable impression that will influence people’s decisions at the point of purchase or at a time when it is time to make a decision between one company or another. Experiential marketing attempts to do much more than create an advertisement, they try to create an experience that pulls the prospective buyer into the message they are trying to convey. This can be done in a variety of ways but at trade shows it is done with how they design a company’s exhibit.

An exhibit can be as boring as a representative with a company logo on their breast pocket sitting behind a folding table handing out pens and business cards or it can be quite exciting. Depending on the industry and the trade show venue there can be all kinds of possibilities including a display with multiple levels built to support the weight of trade show attendees. Some of these events should be like big playgrounds for adults designed to create excitement and fun in order to generate the amount of exposure needed for a company trying to maintain or establish a place in the market. Interaction and engaging the audience is the name of the game in the trade show world and however a display can be designed to do that is encouraged.

Anyone who is operating booth for at a trade show should want people to voluntarily enter the space so they can begin a conversation with them about what they do and what they need. Some interest has to be generated from the outside though in order to do that so the booth has to have some exterior appeal. If a company is not well-known then the representatives at the trade show need to work hard to make connections in order to get the word out about who they are and what they do. A great display can take care of creating the initial attraction that makes people want to come to the booth and then the company representatives can take over from there. Having some interactive activities to hold the attendee’s attention while at the booth is a good idea too, and an experienced experiential marketing agency can come up with creative ways to do that.

Comfortable seating, a hot pot of coffee and a choice of other beverages can convince people to stay at the booth and make themselves at home once they arrive at the booth. These days it seems that everyone needs to charge their phones all of the time and they need access to an electrical outlet and a phone charger in order to do it. So, providing the power and a multi-charger for different kinds of phones at the booth is a good idea for anyone who is trying to create an excuse for a prospective buyer to stay and talk. Anything that can be used as a creative way to start a conversation is beneficial and the more boring the industry is generally considered, the more important it is to find a way to do this. Sometimes it isn’t that difficult to generate some excitement for a product or brand, but other times some expert help is going to be needed in order to do that. Experts exist only because there is such thing as nuance, and understanding the nuances of experiential marketing can make a huge difference.

 

Eight Grow Room Design and Management Tips

Colorado and Washington have developed new industries due to the recent legalization of marijuana. So far, the experiments seem to be going well, as many people are becoming pot shop owners, and tax dollars are flowing in. Business is good as citizens of the states and visitors from other states and countries enjoy people able to purchase legal cannabis in the United States for the first time in their lives. We are finally seeing the outdated and ill-advised policy of prohibition come to an end. People waited about 78 years to long. Though there are already a lot of stores in the market, if you’re a smart business person and cannabis enthusiast you may be able to get involved.

Once you get the necessary licenses, the next thing you’ll want to think about it your grow room. The marijuana industry is not like other retail situations. For the most part you’re growing to be producing your own product, rather than getting it wholesale. In same cases, such as edibles, you may be purchasing from a vendor, but the bulk of your product will be produced by you. For this reason, your grow room can be seen as possibly the most important part of your operation.

Check out these Eight Tips for Grow Room Design and Management:

 

1. An Expert Grower

As you know, competition in the cannabis industry is going to be fierce. You can’t expect to put out an average quality product and be a success. People may check out your store initially, but you’ll quickly be forgotten. If you’re not a master grower, you should make sure that you’re working with one. Someone who has years of experience growing top quality pot is key to your success. Before you even start designing your grow room work on finding a grower to partner with.

2. Keep Your Growing Medium in Mind

The design of your grow room is going to depend heavily on which type of growing medium you’re using. If you have a hydroponic system, you’ll want to plan accordingly, building your system into your room design. You want to make the room easy to get around, and it’s never a bad idea to consult with a grow room designer for advice.

3. Cleanliness is Imperative

Establish a solid plan for thoroughly cleaning your grow room on a daily basis. You never want to let things get out of hand. Things like bug infestations, mold, and mildew happen much more often in dirty, sloppy grows. You’re running a professional business, and you want every aspect of it to reflect that. If cleaning is a daily focus it will never be too difficult to do.

custom marijuana grow rooms4. Organization is Important too

There should definitely be a solid organizational system in place for your grow room. This means everything will have a label and a place. When you’re designing and building your room keep this in mind, make sure you include plenty of storage space. Keep your plants organized by strain as well You don’t want to get them mixed up and sell a customer the wrong product. Create whatever system works for you and your team so that you can stay organized.

5. Find a Good Location

The first thing I think about when it comes to location is safety. People are definitely willing to break into your grow room and steal your product, so try to locate your operation in a decent area. Don’t skimp on security either. Another thing to think about with regards to location is how far it is from your actual store. You may want to consider having the two on the same property, but of course that can be expensive. There’s more to think about than just costs when it comes to location.

6. Importance of Light-Proofing

The custom grow room you have built absolutely needs to be 100% light-tight. If you have light creeping into your grow when the plants are supposed to be in a dark cycle, you’re asking for trouble. When your grow room is built, it needs to be with this in mind. There should be no areas in your room where stray light can leak in.

7. Efficient Temperature Control

Your grow room needs to stay between 75 and 86 degrees fahrenheit. Venturing outside of this range can actually decrease the potency of your plants. In the cannabis industry this is obviously something to be avoided. Make sure the room you build or have built is air-tight, as this makes temperature control much easier.

8. Be Ready to Expand

If you’re doing things correctly you may find that your demand quickly outpaces your supply. The logical step is to increase the size of your grow. You want this to be as easy and inexpensive as possible. Develop a plan with your builders and growers should you need to expand rapidly.

Why You Need a Public Relations Firm in Your Corner

Being a small business, new in your field of service or production, can be an intimidating experience.  Everyone else is more established.  Everyone else is more well-known.  Every other business alright has marketing, ads, social media buzz, promotions, and an entire host of other methods for bringing in more customers and a larger part of the market share into their business in place.  Luckily, there’s a way that you may be able to even the field.

A PR firm can help to craft a plan, tailored specifically to your business, to help you expand, to take over market share, and to begin competing with the rest of the market for the customers interested in what you have to offer. They’ll do this with a three-pronged approach to increasing the visibility of your business.  Firstly, they’ll begin generating buzz in the media with interviews, positive stories, and mentions in various outlets.  Next, they’ll purchase ad space in various forms of media, helping to drive new customers into your doors in order to begin a process that will end with stable growth and long-term profitability.  Finally, a PR firm with experience in social media marketing services will assist your business in expanding its presence on the various social media networks most used by the general populace, maintaining a social media page as well as using targeted ad buys to reach new groups of customers.

So, let us assume you’ve hired a PR firm.  The first thing they’ll do is put your name out into the local cultural zeitgeist, getting your company positive press with a series of interviews and segments about your business and the story behind the business and the process of opening it, as well as segments about what you’ll be providing the customers, and why they should come to your business for this good or service rather than going to your more established competitors. This will help to paint your company in a positive light, while also giving you space to let people know about soft and hard openings as well.  Next, it’s time to increase your exposure with ad buys.

Ad buys will help your company to get even more exposure in the various venues available for advertising.  These venues are all time-tested and true, and a well experienced PR firm will know exactly which advertising venue will be best for your company and for you.

Some of the venues your ads are likely to show up in have been around for generations.  For example, the oldest sources of advertising are magazines and newspapers and various other periodicals.  These have been used to advertise goods and services to people almost since their inception, and, in America, are still a common source of advertising, even having an entire section dedicated to the buying, selling, loaning, and renting of property to the general populace.

Other venues for advertising are much more recent.  Radio is a common source for advertising, as well as being a form of media ripe for sponsorship.  Sponsorship is when, in exchange for being mentioned throughout a broadcast, a business will pay for part of the cost of operation for the radio (or television) programming.

Television is the final common source of advertising.  Your PR firm will purchase 30 second (or a minute) long portions of advertising time that will advertise your goods during the broadcast of shows that are aimed at the same segments of the market you desire to reach.  If you’re opening a sports bar, they’ll help you get your ads on air during sporting events.

After all this advertising has been purchased and placed, it’s time to work on social media presence.  Social media presence means making sure that you have a page on the major social media sites for people to visit, follow or like, and to help bring in repeat customers.  This will be coupled with social media ad buys, purchases made and directed to the segment of the population you’re looking to sell your goods and services to.

After your PR firm has done all this for your business, you can look forward to an increase in business.  It isn’t always an explosive burst of business, but a long and sustained growth is more valuable to a business than a lot of short-term gains.  With the help of your local PR firm, you’ll be able to make gains in market share, and slowly move into the realm of being able to compete with larger and longer-established companies, and, with luck, eventually you’ll be one of those long-established companies.