Online Business: critical success factors [Part 2]

Where to publish them? The standard advice is for you to have a website of your own. This means designing one or picking one of the many overly available free templates online and having a hosting company hosting it for a fee or using the free hosting services with all that goes with it like your name being a sub domain to the name of the hosting organisation and ending up with a difficult to remember name or having adverts splashed all over the pages. However, you can join one of the many free article publishing sites for free. The only thing you lose is the revenues from adsense or better still open a blog account just the same way you open an email account.

Some online experts will tell you that the kind of name you use online affects your success. To me, that is nonsense, and an absolute one at that. Does Amazon or eBay represent market names for used items or books? No. What is of utmost importance is reputation and credibility.

What is the proof that Okey Ndibe of Sun newspaper is a good, better and best columnist in Nigeria? His well researched and meaningful articles with Sun newspapers and not his, name. Wouldn’t you hire him if he is available and you can afford his fee to write an article including sales copy for you if you were looking for somebody to do that for you? Of course, you would.

Let me expend some space on “traffic drives” to your sites which some persons organises seminars on. The truth is, there is really no hard and fast rule about prompting on-liners into visiting you site. That is if you have one. Whatever works for you is the best strategy. However, one sure way of doing it is by joining as many free articles sites—again! Start submitting content driven articles that leaves you readers wanting to visit your personal site for other works of yours. Be sure to avoid phrases such as set up is a breeze and hold you by the hand and all that online cliché made popular by mostly Americans, all of which goes to portray you as a copy cat and one with a herd mentality. Be formal. Be informative. Be entertaining. Be original. Be unique.

To get many on-liners to visit your site frequently, you need to have and make your site more helpful to them. This you do buy having as many free helpful links as you can grab and then doing exactly what I have done—publicizing it. For instance, I have made my blog a one stop centre for job seekers in Nigeria and beyond. If you are looking for job right now, you don’t need to memorialize any job site url. Just visit and click on any of the many job links available and pronto! You are there. It is also useful for those wanting inspirational quotes to motivate them. There are three to four different slides of quotes from personalities like Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and the rest.

A return to the matter of your software is most desirable now. You must discover your software if you want to make headway. And the faster you do that and start making as many mistake as you possibly can, the better for your talent. For instance, my software is thinking of writing an eBook on security; then another on persons of a particular age bracket. Research is currently on, on both. What is however not resolved, is how much to stamped on them. This leads to what is called pricing decision. Certain factors go into fixing a price for eBooks. You have to know them and not unthinkingly fix prices and end up not selling a copy. If you are interested in this info, you have to pay. I am not persuading you to buy anything—that is for another day— but informing you about issues you need to understand properly.

I go to seminars and see deprived fellows being hoodwinked by equally deprived brothers in the name of teaching strategies on how to do one thing or the other and the attendees still not making any meaning of their lives, online simply because their fundamentals are weak and nobody is telling them this or how to grow them but pushing products that they don’t need, their way.
Come to think of it. How many of the resources persons selling “how to” on forex and brandishing millions as their incomes from online business are actually practicing forex. And if they are, what percentage of their income comes from such practice and what percent comes from resourcing in different seminars and selling eBooks’ sometimes copied free online?

Those who organises seminars on how to be an author without touching a pen, ask them, how many such books have they written and how many have they sold?
Will yourself to commercialize your software but more importantly, will yourself to read and study materials related to your software. And if you are wondering how to determine what to prepare from your software, then follow this guide:
Anticipatory: you prepare what comes to mind and then, advertise it existence.
Just in time: you get idea about what to prepare from, may be, discussion board of social network sites. This requires more money since you would have to stay longer online to determine the “hot cakes” and then consulting for clients. That is, proving yourself as knowledgeable in a particular field and waiting for request to start coming your way.

Source by ilobi austin


Id like to start by saying that market is a set of condition where people (sellers and buyers) meet each other and exchange what they need – first have goods and services to offer, second money to pay for them. But in the context of this topic I would define a market as people or organizations that buy or may buy the products, or an area where they are sold.

If the companies respond quickly to the needs of a market they are usually called market-driven or market-oriented.

As we are talking about marketing, I would define this category as the process of developing, pricing distributing and promoting the goods and services that satisfy people’s needs. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.

So marketers have to identify or anticipate a consumer need; develop a product or service that meets that need better than any competing one; persuade target customer to try the product or service; and in the long term, modify it to satisfy changes in customer needs or market condition.

In my opinion marketing is not selling. The difference between them is quite clear.  The “selling concept” assumes that resisting consumers have to be persuaded to buy the existing goods. Thus products are sold rather then bought. The ”marketing concept” assumes that the producer’s task is to find wants and to fill them. In other words, you don’t sell what you make, but you make what will be bought. As satisfying existing needs, it also create new ones.

I would also say that the marketing concept rests on the importance of cus­tomers to a firm and states that:

  1. All company policies and activities should be aimed at satisfying customer needs
  2. Profitable sales volume is a better company goal then maximum sales volume.

To use the marketing concept a business should:

    • Determine the needs of their customers (Market Research)
    • Analyze their competitive advantages (Market Strategy);
    • Select specific markets to serve [Target Marketing), and;
    • Determine how to satisfy those needs [Market Mix).

Rather then making a decision on the basis of intuition and guesswork good information about the market is necessary and that is why most companies undertake market research. They collect and analyze all the info. they can get about the market: the size of a potential market, population, shifts, local development, local economic situation should also be monitored to enable early identification of problems and opportunities. They are usually based on a ques­tionnaire given to present customers and/or prospective customers, can disclose problems and areas of dissatisfac­tion that can be easily remedied, or new products or services that could be offered successfully. Moreover marketing information can be got by simply by observing things around them. They can visit competing stores to check on facilities and prices. They can evaluate their customer mix by recording how many and what kinds of customers shop in the store at different times. Competitor advertising can be monitored by collecting ads. from local media.

Telephone interviewing is one of the best methods for gathering information quickly, and it provides greater flexibility than mail questionnaires. Interviewers can explain questions that are not understood. Depending on the respondent’s answers, they can skip some questions or probe further on others.

But telephone interviewing also has drawbacks. The cost per respondent is higher than with mail questionnaires, and people may not want to discuss personal questions with an interviewer. The way a interviewer talks, small differences in how they ask questions, and other differences may affect respondents’ answers. Finally under time pressures some interviewers might even cheat by recording answers without asking questions.

After this we gonna realize what type of product or a service we wonna produce and who will be our customers. Concentrating their marketing efforts on one or a few key market segments is the basis of target marketing. Every market can be divided into segments, or in other words, into separate groups of con­sumers. The major ways to segment a market are:

  1. Geographical segmentation – specializing in serving the needs of a customer in a particular geographical area.
  2. Customer segmentation —identifying and promoting to those groups of people most likely to buy the product. In other words, selling to the heavy users before trying to develop new users.

As for the factors we think about they are usually – demographic, like age, income, educational background, occupation, size of a family, type of home and neighborhood and so on, and psychographic – consumer’s opinions and interests, hobbies and some others.

Then a product is compared with the goods already established in the market by quality and quantity standards. To be a access you must be ahead of your competitors.

Competition never stops. That is why market segmentation must never stop as well. It should be on a permanent basis.

Once a target market has been identified, a company has to think about so-called market opportunities – has to decide what goods or service to offer. This means that much of the work of marketing has been done before the final product or service comes into existence. It also means that the marketing concept has to be understood throughout the company, e.g. in the production department of a manufacturing company as much as in the marketing department itself.

Lets go further. Now we need to understand what type of a marketing strategy to use. If a firm wants to be a success it should tailor its product offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts and services towards their particular market segment. The best situation is when the strategy addresses customer need which currently are not being met in the marketplace and which represent proportional size and profitability.

  1. As for our plans for the future, company marketing strategies often address long-run activities. But the managers who implement these strategies are usually rewarded for short-run sales. And to avoid some misunderstanding many companies are taking steps to attain a better balance between short and long-run goals. They are making managers more aware of strategic goals, evaluating managers on both long-run and short-run performance, and rewarding managers for reaching long-run objectives. Some marketing plans are poorly implemented because the planners fail to make detailed   implementation plans. Thus, people at all levels of the marketing system must work together to implement marketing plans and strategies.

But let me tell you that before we start choosing a strategy we need to understand quite good what kind of SBU our firm or company is. SBU – strategic business unit – a product, a product line, a division, a department or an organization. And usually we can distinguish between:

Stars. An SBU that has a high share of a high-growth market. Obviously, stars need great deal of financial resources because of their rapid growth. When growth slows, they become cash cows and become important generators of cash for the organization.

Cash cows. An SBU that has a high share of a low-growth market. They produce a great amount of cash for the organization but, since the market is not growing, do not require a great amount of financial resources for growth and expansion. As result, the cash they generate can be used by the organisation to satisfy current dept and to support SBUs in need of cash.

Question marks. When an SBU has a low share of a high-growth marked the organisation must decide whether to spend more financial resources to build it into a star, or to phase it down or eliminate it al together.

Cash traps or dogs. When an SBU has a low-growth market, it may generate enough cash to maintain itself, or it may drain money from other SBUs. The only certainty is that, cash traps are not great sources of cash.

Thus, depending on whether the SBUs are products, product lines, entire divi­sions, or departments, an organisation may have one star, three cash cows, two ques­tion marks, and two cash tarps. After classifying each SBU according to the business portfolio matrix, management must then decide which of the four alternative strategies should be pursued for each:

  1. Build. If an organisation has an SBU that it believes has the potential to be a star (probably a question mark at present), this would be an appropriate objective. Thus, the organisation may even decide to give up short-term profits to provide the necessary financial resources to achieve this objective.
  2. Hold. If an SBU is a very successful cash cow, a key objective would certainly be to hold or preserve the market share so that the organisation can take advantage of the very positive cash flow.
  3. Harvest. This objective is appropriate for all SBUs except those classified as stars. The basic objective is to increase the short-term cash return without too much concern for the long-run impact. It is especially worthwhile when more cash is needed for a cash cow whose long-run prospects are not good because of a low market growth rate.
  4. Divest. Getting rid of SBUs with low shares of low-growth markets is often appropriate. Question marks and cash traps are particularly suited for this objective.

SBUs change position in the business portfolio matrix. As time passes, ques­tion marks may become stars, stars may become cash flows, and cash cows may be­come cash traps.

  1. Ok, lets keep on going. Once the basic offer e.g. a product concept, has been established, the company has to think about the marketing mix, i.e. all the various elements of a marketing programme, their integration, and the amount of effort that a company can expend on them in order to influence the target market. The best-known classification of these elements is the           ‘4 Ps’: product, place, promotion and price.

Aspects to be considered in marketing products include quality, features (standard and optional), style, brand name, size, packaging, services and guarantee.

Place in a marketing mix includes such factors as distribution channels, locations of points of sale, transport, inventory size, etc.

Promotion groups together advertising, publicity, sales promotion, and personal selling.

Price includes the basic list price, discounts, the length of the payment period, possible credit terms, and so on. In setting price, the goal should be to maximize profit. The ingredients of profit are, costs, selling price and the unit sales volume and they must be in a proper proportions if the desired profit is to be obtained.

The “best” price for a product is not necessarily the price that will sell the most units. The “best” selling price should be cost oriented and-market oriented. It should be high enough to cover your costs and help you to make a profit. In determining the best selling price, think of four elements:

  1. direct costs;
  2. manufacturing overhead;
  3. non- manufacturing overhead ;
  4. profit

To make a long story short, it is the job of a product manager or a brand manager to look for ways to increase sales by changing the marketing mix.

And at the end of my story I feel like saying a few words about producers and consumers markers. Few consumers realize that the producer market is actually lager then the consumer market, since it contains all the raw materials, manufactured parts and components that go into consumer goods, plus capital equipment such as buildings and machines, supplies such as energy and pens and paper, and services ranging from cleaning to management consulting, all of which have to be marketed. There is consequently more industrial than consumer marketing, even though ordinary consumers are seldom exposed to it.

Source by Michael Newman

Orange County (california) Plants & Flowers in Seven Days

Orange County was once a beautiful wilderness, with vast fields of grasslands, sage scrub, wildflowers, and native plants overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Today, only 1/10th of the sage scrub and1 percent of our grassland remains. One out of three of our native flowers or plants are classified as endangered. And yet, you can still visit the natural beauty of Orange County without driving for hours. The research team at Visser’s Florist and Greenhouses in Anaheim has come up with a seven day itinerary to visit the hotspots of nature’s glory that still exist in our midst. Get up early, put on some comfortable walking shoes and follow us for a whirlwind tour.

Day One – The Fullerton Arboretum. The arboretum was founded in 1979 on the grounds on Cal State University Fullerton. It is located at 1900 Associated Road in Fullerton (714) 278-3579. It is open every day from 8:00 to 4:45. Admission is free, but they do request a $2.00 donation.
The arboretum is 26 acres of beautiful gardens, with rare plants and flowers from around the world arranged in different collections. There are peaceful garden paths that meander through the major groups: Cultivated, Woodlands, Mediterranean and Desert. As you tour the facility, be sure to visit the Rare Fruit Grove, the Channel Islands Garden, the extensive Cycad Collection, and the Children’s Garden.

Day Two – Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. 28373 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 (949)923-2200. The park offers nature hikes lead by Rangers, as well as 30 miles of riding and hiking trails. It’s a great place to take your mountain bike or ride horses. It is officially designated as a wildlife sanctuary.
Home to Orange County’s Natural History Museum, this park represents a large natural buffer between Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Niguel. The trails follow the hills and canyons and feature some spectacular views of the ocean and mountains. There is an extensive variety of native plants, flowers, and wildlife. It really provides a good representation of what Orange County once looked like. It’s a wonderful place to spend the day, although it can be quite hot in the Summer- bring water and wear your hat!

Day Three – The Flower Fields in Carlsbad California. (760) 431-0352. Ok, technically The Flower Fields are south of Orange County, but from March to May every year it is simply one of the most spectacular displays of flowers in Southern California, and well worth the extra drive.

For eight weeks every spring, the giant renunculus are in bloom and the land is changed into a sea of vibrant colors. There are currently 50 acres of planted renunculus and also 10 acres of gladioli, watsonia, and many other flowers that make the area even more beautiful. The impact of so much color and beauty is difficult to describe. Once you go, you will never forget it. Also, be sure and visit the All-American Rose Selection test garden. The Flower Fields conducts group tours and wagon rides—especially popular with the kids. If you love flowers, this is truly a worthwhile drive—and fun for the entire family.

Day Four – Oak Canyon Nature Center. 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd., Anaheim (714) 998-8380. The Oak Canyon Nature Center is 60 acres of natural parkland located in the hills of Anaheim. The park is made up of three canyons, joined by four miles of hiking trails and a year-round creek. It is a beautiful example of Orange County’s past, featuring the oaks, sage scrub, flowers, and plants native to the area. There is lots of wildlife in the area which makes your hike more enjoyable. This park is a little less rugged than other wilderness areas, and is appropriate for less experienced hikers.

Day Five – Carbon Canyon Regional Park. 4442 Carbon Canyon Road
Brea, CA 92823 (714) 973 3160. Redwoods? In Orange County? That’s right folks. At the end of this 1.1 mile nature hike is a magnificent 10 acre coastal redwood grove. Although they are not native to southern California, they were planted in 1975 and do great in this protected environment. Along the way to the top is a great view of Carbon Canyon Dam and thousands of native flowers and plants. In addition you will see rare Monterey Pines, elderberry, California Walnut trees. Carbon Canyon creek runs across the trail, but rock hopping is easy. Take a lunch as the giant trees make a great picnic spot. A picnic table and water fountain awaits you at the top. Parking is only $2.00. The park also has a small lake and plenty of sporting facilities. In the summer it will be hot, and keep your eyes open for snakes. This park makes a great day trip.

Day Six – Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, California 92660 (949) 923-2290. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is one of Southern California’s last estuaries – a place where fresh and salt water meet. It contains about 1,000 acres of open space and has magnificent views of the coastal wetlands. This is regarded as one of the best bird watching sites in North America. It is home to over 200 species of birds, and during the winter migration months as many as 35,000 birds have been seen here on a single day. Two important plant communities are found here – grasslands and coastal sage scrub. The reserve also contains the Muth Interpretive Center, a 10,000 square foot educational facility offering a series of exhibits and interactive displays. They also offer guided walking and water tours. It’s a great place for young and old!

Day Seven – Sherman Library & Gardens 2647 East Pacific Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, (949) 673-2261. Sherman Gardens is a 2.2 acre oasis of tranquility in the middle of an urban area. The Gardens are comprised of thousands of plants, cactus and flowers set amid beautiful fountains, brick covered pathways, arbors and trees. The Tropical Conservatory contains many beautiful orchids, heliconias, and other flowers native to that region. Seasonal flowers are everywhere. The Library is a specialized research center devoted to the study of the Pacific Southwest and contains over 25,000 books, maps, pictures and other printed items. Sherman Gardens provides a wonderfully peaceful setting to enjoy nature’s bounty at its finest. This is truly an amazing place.

So there you have it. Seven days, seven unique opportunities to view Nature’s wonderland in Orange County.

Source by Ted Robinson

Online Business – What To Do When Information Overload Kicks In

The moment that you first decided to change your life, and start your search for an online business, you probably felt much as I did. At that moment I felt exhilarated, liberated, as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Unfortunately, that feeling of exhilaration and liberation commonly lasts for approximately just 10 minutes, at which point mental exhaustion from the seemingly sheer enormity of the task ahead hits. There is just so much information to sort through.

What you need to do is have a very systematic approach. Before you start, write down what it is you want to achieve from an online business, how much you are prepared to invest, and how long you are prepared to wait for the results to start appearing.

It is not necessary to know exactly what it is that you want to do, in fact, it is actually better to keep an open mind with regards to that. You should know though where it is that you want to go, and when you want to get there by. Once you have your destination in mind, you then just need to find the right vehicle (i.e. business opportunity) to take you there.

With your criteria firmly set, it makes it much easier to know if a particular online business opportunity that you come across is right for you or not. This is the approach that I used and it worked perfectly for me, as it has done for many others too.

It is fair to say that there is, as with all aspects of life, a lot of dross mixed in amongst the real opportunities, so it will take a little time and patience to work out what is really worth dedicating yourself too. A healthy amount of skepticism needs to be kept on hand at all times.

Source by Mark Walters

Marketing Ideas for your Car Dealership

Car dealerships are involved in one of the most cutthroat businesses there is. Competition is heavy, and there need to be a lot of sales in one year (from a limited pool of potential customers) in order to make projected profits. The most crucial factor in getting those sales is giving people a reason to come through the doors, and this will require a focused marketing campaign. Often these campaigns are multi-pronged; let’s take a look at some ways successful car dealerships have marketed their businesses.

Match the Message to the Target. A successful business person is going to have a different idea of the perfect car than the young mailroom employee just starting out; a senior citizen has different needs than a twenty-something. In any locale, there are going to be a wide range of people with an even wider range of desires when it comes to a dealership. Any advertising that is placed by a dealership should have the demographic of the medium in mind.

For example, if your dealership offers a discount or rebate on some models to post-secondary graduates, it is a good idea to mention the opportunity in an advertisement in a local university or college newspaper. Recent grads jump at the opportunity for a deal, and this type of program always generates interest.

Radio advertising is another area where a target demographic can be identified. Air play formats are designed to appeal to a certain group; listeners will often be very similar to each other in age, lifestyle, and even gender. There is no point in advertising a sale on used or new muscles cars on a station that caters to women with families; in the same vein, there is no better place to advertise truck prices than on a country station.

Create a Memory. Catchy jingles that get stuck in a person’s head may seem cheesy, but they tend to work. People don’t realize that they pay attention to advertising spots until they have a need, and the song they heard about what a great guy the owner of the local dealership is pops into their head. Guess where their first inquiry for a service or sale is going to be? Don’t underestimate the power of a hokey ad.

Try Local Sponsorship. Another method that is successful in promoting a dealership is in sponsorship. There are a lot of charitable causes and opportunities in every community, and it is in the best interests of the dealership to lend a hand through loaning vehicles or providing some aspect of service to these events. Name placement is the key here, and attaching your name to a good cause.

Probably most of these ideas will sound old to you, but the fact is that they are tried and true. All of the methods we list here are part of a successful, integrated marketing strategy that will see customers coming through the doors of a dealership, interested in the stock. Now, it is up to the sales staff to make the pitch and close the deal.

Source by Leaftech

California Delta is Water Recreation Paradise

If you’ve ever driven southbound through California’s Central Valley, you probably have been surprised to see an ocean-going freighter making its way into Stockton.

Yet ships do call on Stockton – and have for decades – as they make their way to the state’s interior through an intricate set of waterways sometimes called the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta or the Sacramento Delta, or just the California Delta. The point is it’s a delta not unlike what you see in the Deep South and, in fact, there are some surprising connections between Louisiana and the California Delta. Anyone who has visited Isleton for its famous Crawdad Festival can testify to that.

It’s also eerily similar to the rural roads and towns near New Orleans where levees keep the river from flooding the countryside. In this case it’s not the Mississippi that you worry about but the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers that creates a water system carrying 47 percent of California’s water runoff. Most of the land of the inner Delta is under sea level, generally between 21 and three feet below.

Lots of water means lots of water recreation for parched residents of the San Joauin Valley, who enjoy boating in this area and visiting the interesting small towns throughout the Delta.

The Delta region is comprised of 738,000 acres in six counties, so you could seemingly wander around in there for years without finding a way out. We recall one time navigating the Delta on houseboat where our navigation charts were the only way to ensure we would ever be heard from again.

But that, of course, is the appeal of the California Delta. Traveling to the Delta is a fast trip from the San Francisco Bay area. After all, one of the Delta’s largest cities, Antioch, is comprised largely of people who live in the Delta region and commute daily to San Francisco. From there you just cross a bridge and all of a sudden you’re driving on lonely two-lane roads skirting the canals and levees, turning every which way until, voila, there’s another little town to explore and check off your list.

On our most recent trip to the Delta we decided we’d spend the night in some rather unusual “waterfront” accommodations: a 40-foot Bluewater yacht with its own dock, located at the confluence of Georgiana Slough and the Mokelumne River. The Dockside Boatel has an Isleton address, but this is one of the places you’ll want to call for directions. The owner will be happy to give them to you and will be there to greet you because she lives in a house just a few yards onshore from the dock.

This was a great base of operations for forays into the Delta region and an excellent choice if you love being dockside and enjoy the sounds and slight wave action of the water. We had the dock to ourselves and there are two chairs on the dock perfect for fishing, reading the paper, watching the sunset or just overall taking in the sights and sounds of the Delta tributaries.

A 40-foot boat is a good-sized boat and a chance for non-boaters to sample what it would be like to have a large boat for regular getaways. You’re not going to drive this boat anywhere because it’s being rented as a floating bed-and-breakfast inn, but it’s no more costly than staying in a room at someone’s home. The boat has a parlor area, a galley (kitchen), a stateroom with two beds down below, a head (bathroom), and plenty of space out on the aft deck for sitting. (Special note to landlubbers: as boaters know, heads can be a little temperamental and this one is no exception).

Breakfast is delivered to your door at whatever time you prefer, and ours was a well-prepared hearty combination of French toast, sausage, eggs and two kinds of juices. We were impressed with the quantity of food for what we considered a nominal nightly rental rate. Lower priced B and B’s are more apt to give you a cinnamon roll and send you on your way.

While there are several small towns within easy driving distance, we especially enjoyed Isleton, where you do start to get the connection with Louisiana. We’re told that Louisiana residents actually do come here to live and they seem to bring some of that Cajun spice right along with them. Check out the crawdads served at Isleton Joe’s or Ernie’s or, better yet, plan your trip for the Crawdad Festival each June. While you can catch crawdads in the Delta, thousands of crawdads are shipped in from Louisiana — pre-spiced — for the festival.

We drove many backroads in the Delta where we found numerous marinas, each with a restaurant and some variation of waterfront dining. There were state parks where it was easy to pull off and find a canal-front location to have a picnic. There were draw bridges that were great for photos. And t was fun to see the many variations of boats plying the inland waterways during our visit, including a 19th Century sailing ship that was offering rides from the Antioch Marina.

If you drive along Highway 60, you’ll encounter several different towns – Isleton, Rio Vista, Locke, Walnut Grove and Ryde – which will each give you a taste of life in the Delta region and of the history that created this unusual destination. Check out the restored Ryde Hotel, just south of Walnut Grove where you can almost hear the voices of the party-goers who once traveled here by sternwheeler. Or stop by Rio Vista, considered the biggest town in these parts with 5,000 people. This is Bass-fishing Central where the annual Bass Festival attracts 35,000.

We couldn’t leave the Delta without getting on a boat – a boat that actually moves, that is – so we dropped by H2O to Go Boat Rentals, located between the cities of Rio Vista and Lodi and rented our own 17-foot runabout for a couple of hours. This was a late-model (almost new, in fact) bowrider that sped us to several locations along the Delta waterways giving us an entirely new perspective of the Delta. Sure enough, we came upon one of those ocean freighters that was headed into Stockton. It was time again to freak out a few more of those travelers headed down the interstate.


WHERE: The California Delta is generally located between Sacramento and Stockton and then southwest to Antioch or northwest to Suisun Bay. It’s easily accessed from all of those areas.

WHAT: The California Delta is where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers converge to take runoff waters from the Central Valley through a channel to San Francisco Bay and then out to the Pacific Ocean. There are actually a number of islands in this area, all created by natural and man-made channels. The earthen levees in the area have allowed extensive farming throughout the Delta and boating in the Delta area feels like you are driving your boat through farmlands.

WHEN: Boating is best in the summer months, but a temperate climate allows recreation and travel in this area any time of the year.

WHY: The Delta’s waterways are fun to explore and the variety of towns, marinas, parks, lodgings and unique down-home restaurants adds to the overall appeal.

HOW: For more information on the Delta, contact the California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau at or phone (916) 777-4041. For more information on the Delta’s Dockside Boatel, go to or phone 510-919-2197. To learn more about boat rentals on the Delta, go to or phone 209-810-6755.

Source by Cary Ordway

The Best Home Based Business for Single Moms

Let’s say I’ve had it with the day job. My debt is beyond belief. I have no time to spend with my kids or family. I’ve read the Rich Dad Poor Dad books and decided that I no longer want to trade time for money but I have no idea on how to get started in my own home based business or how to become an entrepreneur. What do I do?

Well there are successful home based business plans available to single moms who want to build wealth that are already set up, running and making huge profits. And the beauty is they are looking for other single moms to partner with and are willing to help them develop their business. These businesses help other achieve their goals, so if you’d be the type of person that would be willing to help others achieve their goals too, this could be right for you.

How easy would it be to start one of these? Most of these companies have a very low entry cost, from $30 – $200 and a low monthly participation cost, about $150 – $300 per month that could be earned back within a few weeks or months. Income potential is unlimited. You do have to work at it to get there and they are not get rich quick schemes. But the amount of work that you put in over time compared to the amount of reward possible is so different that this type of business would be considered truly leveraged. Plus, you develop a work plan suited to your own schedule. You get to see your kids during the day if you want.

These types of business take advantage of current trends like distribution, baby boomers, the health care and wellness industry, plus the shift from the industrial age to the information age driven by the internet. This is the perfect storm of entrepreneurship and suited to single moms. Millions of dollars are waiting to be made, now and in the next several years.

Read “The Next Millionaires” by Paul Zane Pilzer or “Rich Dad’s Business School for People Who Like Helping People”. These books are great resources for the kind of business I’m about to tell you about.

What is it? It is direct sales or network marketing. “Oh my gosh,” you say. “I can’t sell anything.” Neither can I but I can learn what it takes to become a millionaire real fast. One of the first things that come to mind when the words network marketing are mentioned is the old model of making a list with all your friends, family, acquaintances, people you see walking down the street, people you don’t even like and everyone that has an occupation that you can think of — then calling them. Yes. This could be though of as scary by most.

And besides scary, it’s not that productive. Where is it written that perfect strangers even care who you are let alone are interested in some whacky business or product you are trying to promote? This is not to say that you can avoid talking to people in network marketing, on the contrary. You want to talk to people and show them how easy it is, but you don’t want to talk it into people. You want people to come to you and ask to be shown.

And how is it that the internet which is connected to literally billions of people isn’t the most awesome tool for finding new people? Tell that to the list makers.

How do you get people to come to you? It’s called attraction marketing and basically you become a desired force or expert in a specific niche and people want to learn from you. At that time they are open minded enough to listen and consider network marketing as a viable business opportunity for them. It takes time, but consider the alternative of working until you are 65 and retiring on half your salary and having your kids live at home with you while they go to community college.

There are over 1,600 network marketing companies around. Some are much better than others. Be careful because some of the companies will hold you hostage for six months with a non-compete clause which means you can’t legally join any other program or they can sue you. Do your research. Talk to people who are active in plans. Pick the best payout and then have the person who signs you up help you to achieve success. They will be happy to help because your success improves their success. You can find the best home based business for single moms with some research and by talking to people. Lots of people are willing to help you.

Source by Lana Hawkins

The Four P’s of Marketing

Effective marketing of a small business service or product can be hard. Often the competition includes much larger companies with bigger budgets. So if you want to develop an effective marketing plan then you need to know about the 4 P’s. So what are the four P’s of the marketing mix anyway? Product, price, place, and promotion are your keywords in the marketing mix. So what exactly do they mean?

Well first let’s talk about Product. The product is of course what you are going to try and sell. If your business is service related then whatever the specific service is becomes your product in this instance. So your first step in developing your marketing mix is to define exactly what it is you want to sell to your potential customers. You’ll want to put together some sort of an effective description of your product. Preferably one that helps you to differentiate your product or service from others. So step one is define your product.

Your second step is to determine a Price for your product. How much do you need to charge to make a profit and how much do you think your customers will be willing to pay? Of course to determine how much you must charge to make a product will require you to determine exactly how much that product costs you to produce. To help you decide how much your customers will pay you need to at look at similar products and services in your market category. Once you have determined both numbers you can decide what is an acceptable price for you.

Ok now to move on to the third step in marketing your product. This one concerns the Place for you product. Specifically through what outlets or means do you intend to try to sell your product to your customers? This can be through direct sales, retail store sales, the internet, or any other channel you might think of. It’s important to decide exactly how you intend to sell your product as it will have a direct impact on your marketing efforts.

Finally we come to the fourth P of the marketing mix Promotion. The first three steps led you to this point. How exactly are you going to promote your product or service? Simply put how do you intend to advertise? Do you want in store promotions, radio ads, television ads, billboards, or something else? The promotion aspect is about deciding the methods that are best to advertise your product or service. It is something that will take you time to determine. You’ll want to see how your competition does it and consider if there might be a better way. But this is the most important of the four P’s to consider.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs should always have a basic grasp of every aspect of their business. Marketing is no different. As a small business owner knowing the basics of marketing is a must. So when determining how to market you product or service always keep in mind the four P’s. Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Source by Cash Miller

Walnut Creek Preschool

Are you looking for the right day care, child care, or preschool for your child in Walnut Creek, CA? You found the right article!

First let me introduce myself! My name is Sherilyn Fry. I taught a class of three-year-olds in a private preschool for five years, then started my own preschool program in a licensed family child care setting in 1986, a total of 22 years as an early childhood educator.

On a personal note, I have five children of my own ranging in ages from 11 to 24. I have a great love and admiration of children, and teaching preschool children in a small home setting has always been my dream.

I hope this article will help you choose the right preschool or day care for your child. This is exactly what I do in my home preschool, so you can compare with others, and hopefully, discover exactly what it is you’d like for your child!

I feel our children are the keys to the future. My philosophy is to encourage, engage, and extend children’s ideas and interests. My goal is for your children to continue to grow into happy individuals and responsible citizens. I achieve this in four ways: promote a positive self-image, stimulate curiosity, provide opportunities to express creativity and explore interests.

My childcare goals in order of importance are:

1. Develop self-confidence and positive self-esteem by providing opportunities for success and growth.

2. Encourage social skills: cooperating, taking turns, using polit words, expressing feelings appropriately, and asserting oneself.

3. Stimulate creativity and curiosity!

4. Exercise fine and gross motor skills.

5. Practice life skills: button, tie, zip, pour, and put away.

6. Encourage respect for others and respect for one’s own and other’s possessions.

7. Provide opportunities for problem solving.

Details of our family home childcare program:

* To emphasize independing learning and problem solving arising out of play with educational toys and games.

* To express their ideas through all forms of art, music, and dance.

* To incorporate child interest based themes with 5 senses, health and safety, math (number, numerals, patterns, classification, size, sequence, memory, spatial relationships) and reading (recognizing their name, love of books and reading).

* To encourage early literacty through the Raising a Reader Program.

* To develop fine and gross motor skills.

* To experience different art methods and mediums: finger paints (using paint, yogurt, pudding, shaving cream, etc.), easel paint, play dough, bread dough, collage and colloring for crayons, markers, chalk, colored pencils, etc.

* To bake, cook, or create food projects and enjoy eating them!

* To utilize flannel board stories and puppet play, including finger puppets.

* To provide opportunities to dress up & to act out stories & nursery rhymes.

* To enjoy music: instruments and singing.

* To incorporate dance and movement into activities and games.

* To go on fieldtrips when appropriate.

* Provide three conference times with parents per year.

Source by Sherilyn Fry

Profile of a Marketing Manager

In today’s competitive business environment, marketing department in any company is a very crucial department. The marketing strategies of a company have the potential to make the products or services of that company a success or a failure in the eyes of the target audience. Thus, the job of a marketing manager is very critical. It is a prestigious but there are huge responsibilities on the shoulders of a marketing manager. Marketing manager jobs are available in all big companies and some large companies even have multiple marketing managers if they have more than one type of product or services to offer. To understand more about a marketing management job, it is important to go through the job profile of a marketing manager. In this article, we will explore what are the different duties and responsibilities of a marketing manager.

As the job title suggests, the responsibility of a marketing manager is to formulate a firm’s marketing strategy and plan keeping in mind the policies of the company and revenue targets. In a marketing management job, the incumbent would be required to plan such marketing strategies that can win over new clients and retain the existing ones. With the support of the sales team and the marketing team , a marketing manager makes estimates of demand in the market for a company’s products and services and sets targets accordingly. It is also the duty of the marketing manager to promote these offerings to the customers in a positive manner and communicate with the target audience how the product or service is beneficial for them.

It is the job of a marketing manager to study and research the market and based on the practical results of such research, make a marketing plan that best addresses all the concerns of the market. A marketing manager can influence the enthusiasm and willingness of customers and thus help in increasing sales. As per the budget of the organization and the business environment of the industry, a marketing manager has to come up with the most effective and cost-efficient plan. Thus, the marketing manager becomes responsible for the profit and loss with respect to the product and its sales.

To get a marketing manager job, one must hold a master’s degree in business administration with the specialization in marketing. This educational qualification can be acquired even after a few years of working as a graduate. This is generally essential to land a marketing manager’s job in most firms. During the course period, the students are taught best practices of the industry and the ways to assess and read market demands and data and conduct research productively. Thus, it is good to acquire this qualification, if one is looking to get the job of a marketing manager.

Other than this, the soft skills required to be a successful marketing manager are very good communication skills, persuasion skills, a certain degree of shrewdness, quick thinking and appropriate decision making skills. These are some of the essential qualities that are required to be a good marketing manager. Most companies try to assess these skills and qualities before hiring a marketing manager. Strong verbal and oral communication skills are a must to possess to be successful at the job of a marketing manager.

Mostly all decisions of a marketing manager are based on the market research based on qualitative, quantitative, technical and observational techniques. It is after all these studies and researches that the marketing manager formulates policies and makes strategic decisions with an aim to increase the profits of the company. Some decisions are taken keeping in view profit over the long run, market share and revenue growth.

Thus, summing up the job of a marketing manager is to formulate, direct and coordinate marketing activities and policies for proper promotion of products and services. It is his job to work with advertising and promotion managers to implement the strategies. It also comes under the purview of a marketing manager to direct the hiring, training, and performance evaluations of marketing and sales staff and supervising their daily activities. A marketing manager is also required to evaluate the financial aspects of products and ensure that expenditures and investments are according to the profit-loss projections. Basis this, he develops pricing strategies.

Source by Geetika Jain