Two Things Accounting Firms Can Do For You

In the United States, we are a country awash in poor management of our money.  We have, as a nation, some of the highest amounts of debt per person, and I’m not just talking about our government debt, which is nearing seventeen trillion dollars even as I write these words.  However, it’s of our personal finances that I’d like to talk today.

Our personal finances being as terrible as they are is the result of a series of things coming together to create the perfect storm of bad budgetary and fiscal policy for the individual.  To begin with, there’s the fact that we spend a lot of money on things we don’t need, or on more expensive but less time consuming things like fast food rather than actually cooking at home.  This can be explained away in some cases, but in others, it’s just bad policy, but that isn’t the worst of it.  We also don’t like to wait to get the things that we want; rather, we want them right now, this very minute.  We’re not big on delayed gratification. That’s why there are entire stores built around the idea of selling you something on an installment plan, where you pay me so much up front, and then pay the rest over time, and the amount you’re paying, in total, is a lot more than you would pay if you were, for example, to buy something up front with cash in hand.

CPA accountingSo, what can we do to get our budgets under control, and to begin to make better fiscal decisions?  We can seek out the help and advice of local accounting firms which can help us to better manage our money and the way that we spend it.  Here’s just two reasons to do so.

1.  Pay off debts

One of the most important things to do in order to get yourself on the road to good financial standing is to pay off your debts.  I truly cannot stress this enough, and I don’t believe that there’s any personal finance accounting advisors in this country who would disagree with that statement.

It has been said before that  having a little bit of debt is a good thing. This can be true, if you’re talking about making a small purchase or two a month on a credit card and then paying it off in full at the end of the month.  These purchases need to remain well under a third of the value of your credit card, though, and to be paid off, in full, at the end of the month for that to be true.  In any other case, it’s an outright lie.

The longer you have a debt, the more interest it accrues, and the more money you’re going to end up paying in order to service not just the debt, but the interest it’s been gathering.  The best thing that you can do is to pay it off as quickly as possible, and your local CPA accounting advisors are well equipped to help you find the quickest way to pay it off so that you can spend your money on more important things.  Things like, say, a retirement account.

2.  Save for retirement or other things

Did you know that less than half of the people in the United States have any savings to speak of?  What I mean by this is that they have, combined, in all their savings accounts, in all their retirement accounts, and in their stock portfolios, less than ten thousand dollars.  That isn’t enough for you to do pretty much anything with, if you were to be forced to live off it.  For a lot of people, that’s something like four months to six months worth of living expenses, and then you’re pretty much done.

Which is really rough, because you’re going to end up wanting to live for about twenty to thirty years at least, after you quit working in your fifties or sixties.  This means you’re going to need about thirty thousand dollars a year for that whole time, and you can’t just rely on the government to hand over that kind of money to you year after year.  You’re going to need to save, to invest, and most importantly, to budget your money, and an accounting firm is going to be able to help you do this as best as possible.

So, if you’re having trouble with your money, if you’re having trouble with making sure that you can put some money into your bank every month, hire an accountant to help.  You won’t regret it.

Experiential Marketing For Profit

Renting and running trade show booths is important for almost any industry that has trade shows to speak of.  Without showing up there, you’re going to find yourself on the weak end of sales, because this is where a lot of business ends up getting done, and if you’re there looking to purchase, you’re absolutely going to be able to get the best deals available by ordering early and, in some cases, by helping them to pay for the production prices with that earlier purchase.

For those who are attending a trade show, rather than working one, it’s a great place to look at the newest technology in a particular industry, and no mistake.  These shows basically exist as a place for the entire industry to show off what they have to the rest of the industry.  Of course, depending on the industry, this may be more or less open to the public as well, so there can be a big difference in the way that they’re run and that they are designed.  Attending a trade show is all about seeing as much as you can, having as much fun as you can at the show, getting as much free expo swag as you possibly can (if you’ve ever been to an expo, you know that there are an immense amount of things that you can put a corporate logo on and give to people.  Shirts, bags, pens, pencils, cups, beer mugs, the sky is the limit and it is an amazing list of things, and they’re all pretty awesome, plus, you know, free stuff.  There’s nothing better than free stuff, and that’s about half of the reason that people go to expos.  The rest of the reason that people go is because sometimes they’re held in pretty awesome locations, and going to an expo at that location is something that is half vacation, half sales meeting, and all fun.

trade show exhibit designNow, running trade show booths is a lot different.  You’re going to be trying to get people to come to yours, and, hopefully, you’ll be able to get someone to part with their money in exchange for whatever it is that you have to offer.  Of course, that isn’t really the long-term goal of the whole thing.  Your goal is to make sure that they come and see whatever it is that you have to show them, and that they walk away remembering it, and there are a few ways to do this.

If you’re a big name company in your industry, this is a relatively easy thing to accomplish.  For example, think of all the people who go to E3.  How many of them do you think are going there to see the titans of the industry and to see the games that said titans have brought?  The answer is a lot.  If you ever get to go and see the expo, check out how many people line up to see the newest Legend of Zelda game, or the newest Mario whatever it’s going to be, or even the newest Final Fantasy (we’re on Final Fantasy XV at this point, and that’s kind of weird when you consider the name is ‘Final Fantasy’, not ‘never-ending saga’.  I’m just saying.  Not complaining.  Also, remake VII.  We need it.  America needs it). A big name can attract attention all on its own, with nothing else.  If you have a booth where you promise me that I’m going  be able to watch a video of the upcoming Legend of Zelda and do nothing else, truth is that I’m going to wait in line for three to eight hours just for that.

However, if you’re not a big name company, but are more of an indie crew or someone that’s pushing a new game line, a new intellectual property, you’re going to, then, need to turn to experiential marketing.  In the setting of E3, this means that you’re going to need to offer people a playable demo, even if it’s an early build, of your game, so that you can give them the experience that’ll stick with them.  Really, that’s what experiential marketing is all about, using an experience tied to your product that will stick with the consumer and, hopefully, encourage their purchasing in the future.

Long story short, making sure that you get the most of your booth and the money that you’ve had to spend on getting it and staffing it, then you need to do something to leave the prospective purchaser with a good memory.

Three Reasons To Visit Your Dentist

It’s something that a lot of people dread all year (or all six months, depending on how often you have to go), but it’s also an important appointment that you need to keep.  I’m talking about meeting with your dentist, and it can save your life.

I know, that sounds melodramatic, but stay tuned to when I explain exactly what I mean can happen if you don’t take enough care of your teeth.  I promise, you will be surprised at the important role that your dentist plays in your life.

A lot of people may say to themselves, ‘well, why can’t I just take care of my teeth on my own?  I spend all this money each year on toothbrushes and toothpaste and mouthwash and other things that are supposed to keep my teeth healthy and make sure that they last as long as possible, so I should be fine, right?’.  Well, yeah, you’ll be fine, but your teeth won’t be getting certain treatment that you can only get when you go to see your professional dentist.

So, here’s three reasons to visit your dentist, things that they can offer you that you need and that will do you a great service in helping you to stay healthy.

1.  Basic Examination and Treatment

This is what you’re most often going to be getting when you go to see your family dentists you can trust.  A basic dental exam is something that it is recommended you get at least once a year, and in some cases, for kids especially, and especially for the ones that have terrible teeth, you should consider getting them twice a year or more.  This makes sure that you don’t have a lot of cavities that are developing with you noticing them, meaning that you can minimize the damage that they do.

Your average trip to the dentist, with nothing wrong, no pain to report, nothing like that, it all goes like this.  They poke and prod your mouth and teeth, examine for rotting, flaking, or something softening, and then they will polish your teeth for you with something that is like an advanced version of tooth paste.  After that, you get a fluoridation treatment in order to strengthen your enamel, and then you’re golden.  Of course, if you have a cavity, things are very different.

2.  Treating Cavities

So, if you let too much plaque sit on a tooth for too long, it softens the enamel, eats away at it, until eventually, you get a cavity.  You’ll probably notice that you have one, too, well before a dentist confirms it.  You’ll feel it any time you eat or drink anything cold and it goes over the cavity, and it will be extremely painful.

finding the right dentistsThe treatment for this is very easy.  Basically, anesthetize the tooth and gum line, and then you drill away at the rotted portion of the tooth.  Then you fill it with ceramic or porcelain filling, let it harden, and you’re good as new, with no hassle but a face that may feel a little numb for some time.

Or, you can ignore that pain, and then it becomes an abscess…

3.  Dental Abscess

I said I would tell you how dental care could save your life, and here it is.  The moment you probably read the rest of this post for (whatever, as long as you read, I don’t mind).

A dental abscess is basically a very terrible variant of a cavity.  In a cavity, there’s a small amount of tooth rotted.  In an abscess, the entirety of the tooth is rotted, thoroughly so, to the point that the tooth will literally begin to fall apart in the mouth, with large parts falling out any time you hit that tooth wrong.  Once this tooth, or most of this tooth, is gone, it exposes the nerve endings, and when that happens, you’re in real danger.  With nerve endings exposed, the bacteria in your mouth is able to reach your brain in the form of an infection.  Dentistry for oral health is one of the things that keeps your nerve endings covered and protected.  Without it, you can have an infection reach the brain, which causes fever, pain, and eventually, a coma that you won’t recover from.  So yes, your dentist can save your life.

So, even if you don’t enjoy going to see the dentist, you should go and see them and see what they can do to help keep you healthy.   You’ll be glad you did when you have good dental health.

4 Things A Web Developer Does For You And Your Business

We live in the internet age, the age where pretty much every communication you make is over the internet, where most of your big purchases are made over the internet, and an age where I can spend five minutes on Amazon’s website and purchase all the clothes I need for work, all the books I need for the next year, and my grocery list for the week, which will all be delivered to my house in short order.  Literally, the internet has made it possible for me to do none of my errands myself, so long as I’m willing to wait a little bit.

This being the case, it absolutely astounds me when I hear that businesses exist in this country that don’t have websites.  Now, not every business needs one.  Do you think that every individual BP gas station in this country needs to have a site to tell you about it?  Probably not.  However, if you’re running a business that offers people products, you need to have a website, especially if your business is centered around things like niche marketing or you’re basically running a warehouse and shipping things out to people around the nation and around the world.

So, if you don’t have a website, you need to hire a web developer, who will show you that your money is well spent by doing the following things.

1.  Grab attention when accessed

communicative responsive website design agencyWe are a species that is literally hardwired to make snap decisions.  When you’re walking down the streets and someone intimidating is coming toward you, your brain is already firing insanely fast trying to figure out if they’re a threat, and if you should fight or flee, what your options are, the whole thing is being considered and you’re barely aware of it.

Same thing happens when you click on a website.  You’re already looking at it and considering if it’s useful.  If it doesn’t grab your attention in the first five or ten seconds, guess what?  You’re done, on to the next site.  A digital agency will be able to help you make sure that your site is something that can grab attention, and do so in a good way, appropriate for the business.

2.  Build trust with the customer

You want your customer to trust you, no matter what it is your business does in order to earn that sweet sweet cash that they have.  This can mean doing things like offering them discounts or rewarding their loyalty, but whatever it is you do, you have to be showing them that you value them and you are thankful that they’re coming to your business to spend money there.  Quality responsive web developers will help you to figure out a way to bring the customers in and to make sure that they feel like you value and trust them, things like free shipping or maybe discounts for a return customer.  This is basic business kind of stuff, you need to show people that you value them in all facets of running a business.

3.  Craft content (appropriate content)

If you don’t have new content on your webpage from time to time, it’s going to look like it’s stagnant, like you’re not updating it, and that can lead to people not coming back and doing business with you, which is the last thing that you want, as a business.  Your web developers will be able to help you craft content, whether that’s written, video, or whatever the case may be.  New things will keep the customer coming back, and every new product or service you offer needs a product description, an image, and maybe even a video of the product being used ,if you have the time and desire to put such a thing up.

4.  Upkeep of the website

Ever gone on a website and clicked a link, to find it leads to a 404 page?  Then you click another link and the same problem, and you keep clicking and quickly realize that the whole thing is dead?  That’s what happens when you neglect upkeep.  The internet can (and does) change, and you need to be able to keep up with it, and to make sure your site continues to work. If it doesn’t, your website ends up looking like those houses where the windows are all smashed out, and no one wants to be that guy.

So, if you’re looking to improve your business, and your ability to get things out to the customer, consider hiring a web developer to help you with your web presence.  It can pay great dividends, believe me.

Three Reasons To Visit Orthodontists

In the United States, there are few things that are as important to your ability to develop yourself, socially speaking, as your smile.  Your smile means everything in a lot of social situations, and because of that, it’s only reasonable that we would spend so much time so very concerned about it.

There are two groups of people in the world who are able to help you with that smile, and are able to do so with ways, methods, and treatments that are scientifically designed and tested to make sure that you’re able to have the best smile that you can to present tot he world.  These methods are tested and proven to work, and they’re the best available in the world right now.

Another part of the scientific pursuit for amazing and perfected smiles is that, once it has been achieved, people want to hold on to it, to keep that amazing smile for years on end, as long as is humanly possible, as long as the enamel of the teeth can survive the harsh environment of your mouth and all the things that you put into it.

Yet another part of the whole question of how to preserve the teeth is the question of how to preserve them in a good alignment, and that, then, is the realm of the orthodontists.

When visiting such an individual, a practitioner of board-certified orthodontistry, you’ll find yourself facing a plethora of options for bettering your teeth, but here are three that you should be aware of.

1.  Examination and diagnosis

professional orthodontic specialistThe most important thing that anyone can do for you, for whatever the medical issue that you’re having may be, is to tell you what, exactly, is the cause of it.  This is pretty much the basis of modern medicine, identifying the cause, and then treating it (and the symptoms, as may be).

When it comes to teeth, the process of treatment is very little different from that of any other medical issue, and make no mistake, the health of your teeth is very similar to the health of the rest of your body.  The first thing you must do is identify the cause of, say, misaligned teeth, and in order to do that, you need to, first, examine the affected area.  Maybe the issue is that something is causing overcrowding, or causing the teeth to become misaligned.  If this is the case, all the time and money and treatment in the world won’t fix them, if there’s something that’s causing them to move out of alignment.

Once you’ve figured out the issue you can figure out what professional orthodontic treatment is best for treating the specific issue that you’re having. Generally, that means some sort of braces, although in rare cases, it can require something like oral surgery in order to make the extra room needed in the mouth.

2.  Standard metal braces

When it comes to braces, standard metal braces are by far the most common method used to fix the alignment of the teeth, and one of the big reasons for this is their simplicity.  You see, they are very simple, indeed, when you look at them; they consist of a series of metal brackets that are affixed to the teeth with the use of a long term dental adhesive that is non-toxic and safe for use in the mouth.  Over the top of these many small brackets is run a long metal wire, which is used to provide the necessary tension in order to realign the teeth in a more optimal way which will allow for the teeth to be aligned to greater perfection.  However, in this modern age, there is another option

3.  Invisible braces

I’m talking about invisible braces, commonly known by their brand name, Invisalign.  These braces are, in a lot of ways, a big step up over the braces in common use, over things like the standard metal braces.  They’re much more useful, from practical sense, to the user, who doesn’t have to have them semi-permanently affixed to the teeth.  Also, as the name would suggest, they’re much more discreet than standard metal braces, because they’re made of a hard clear plastic that allows for them to be invisible when placed on the teeth.

So, if you’re looking to perfect your smile, whether you want to do so to make interactions with the world easier, or just because you think your smile, as it exists right now, isn’t all that it could be, consider making a trip to see your local professional orthodontist, and see which of these treatments might be right for you.   You’ll be glad that you did.

How Much Grow Room Do You Really Need?

grow room designsCongratulations, you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana! It is by far the most sensible choice, for the medical and recreational user, alike. Although it takes a lot of time and dedication, growing your own can be highly rewarding, as there’s nothing more satisfying than smoking or consuming a beautiful plant that you cared for with your own two hands, and that you watched grow from a tiny little seed or cutting to a lush, strong, blossoming green lady.

Hopefully if you’ve made this excellent decision, you’ve also made the equally wise choice to grow with a modular, prefabricated indoor custom grow room. This will make your growing experience much easier and more fool-proof, or perhaps we should say, beginner-proof. It is by far the easiest and most automatic way to grow cannabis, as all relevant factors to the growth and health of your plant are closely monitored, and regulated to maintain an optimal growing environment. Even with this critical point in your process out of the way, there’s still some critical planning that needs to be done, before you can have your grow room built, and have your green enterprise underway!

One such important factor to figure out is exactly what size of a grow room you really need. This is critical to know, since it will determine how much space is taken up in your house, as well as the initial cost of the room, and the cost of utilities that will be required to keep your ladies thriving. Obviously, this will to some degree be determined by the size of space you have available to you, but beyond that, it will mostly be determined by exactly how much marijuana you need your marijuana grow room design to facilitate. Just how much green do you need, or want? The answer to that question will determine the size of room, and number and strength of lights, which you will need.

Now, to some degree this will be determined by experience. Even with a complete, enclosed indoor grow room design, a novice grower probably won’t get the kinds of yields that an experienced grower will. Usually we think of marijuana yields in terms of how many grams per light, and per square footage. A good average unit of light and space to look at is 11 sq ft, with a 600 watt high pressure sodium bulb, as this is a relatively typical wattage and square footage for the average grower. We’ll call this our typical growing unit.

An experienced grower, who knows how to keep pests, fungus, and molds at bay, and how to supply optimal amounts of CO2 to the air, can usually yield up to 30 ounces per typical growing unit. However, a beginning grower shouldn’t expect to get much more than 10 ounces for the same wattage and space. Of course, this also depends on many factors, such as the strain of marijuana being grown, the type of system being used, the nutrients, etc, but these numbers are a decent indicator for an average that can be expected per harvest.

On the lower end, if you grow with 250 watt bulb, in a 1.5 x 3.5 x 6.5 area, a beginning grower will usually yield up to 2 ounces, while a more experienced grower may yield up to 3.5.

On the higher end, a 5 x 5 x 8 ft space with a 1000 watt bulb, for a novice grower, will yield about 9-18 ounces, but for an experienced grower can produce as much as 35 ounces.

Perhaps an easier way to look at this might be that a novice grower can usually produce a half gram of bud for every watt of light, and a more experienced grower should be able to produce at least twice that much.

So, let’s say you are new to growing, and you want to produce 6 ounces per harvest, using a 600 watt bulb.

If you are likely to produce about a half gram for every watt of bulb, then a 400 watt bulb is probably going to yield you about 200 grams, which is 7.14 ounces. That’s a little over your target amount, which could provide you with some valuable cushion for a margin of error. For a grow of this size, you can expect to require about 3.5 x 3.5 x 7 feet of space.

Of course, some factors may change this measurement, such as which type of plant you are growing. If you are growing indica, you may not need as much height, whereas if you plan to grow any sativas, you should probably go tall. The best way to figure out exactly what your needs are is to speak with your custom marijuana grow room builder, who should be able to help you figure it out. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, and already have a ballpark idea of what you’re going to need. Hopefully, this article will help you to achieve that. Thanks for reading!

Choose the Right Hedge Fund Accountant

If you’ve got a significant chunk of money it’s a waste to have it in a standard saving account. Instead, it needs to be working for you. One of the most popular types high-dollar investments are hedge funds. Managing a hedge fund however, is not easy. They are complex investments that require a great amount of care and attention to detail. Individuals considering investing in a hedge fund should absolutely seek the guidance of expert accountants or investors. CPA firms often have experts on accounting and investing on their staff.  You’ll want someone with a great deal of experience dealing with financial markets, accounting, and investing to be in charge of managing your fund. “Hedging” is a complex form of investing that seeks to bring a profit to the investor regardless of the current shape of the market. Obviously these are lofty goals.

Hedge funds are a dynamic type of investment that require quite a bit of management and interaction. The investments provide an opportunity for a great return when given the chance to grow and flourish. They aren’t without concerns however. Hedge funds are risky, and they don’t require the manage to report with detailed financial information on a regular basis. Unlike mutual funds which require a great deal of financial reporting, the only thing required with these investments is an annual hedge fund audit. It’s a trade-off, as hedge funds are designed to provide and quick and impressive return.

The complexity of hedge funds can be extremely overwhelming. It’s not something that your average individual can manage on their own. If you’re thinking about investing in a hedge fund you’ll want to spend some time talking with financial experts and choose an expert hedge fund manager. Before that however, you should make an effort to learn at least the basics of hedge funds. We’ll try to get you started here by going over some of the basics. First, to understand these funds, you must understand ‘long’ and ‘short’ positions and how they relate to the market.

A long position is the easiest to understand, so we’ll start there. Simply put, an investor takes a long position when investing in a stock with the hopes that it will increase in value. Stocks and securities are being purchased with traditional hopes that they’ll go up and make the investor a profit. Short positions however, prove to be a bit more complex and difficult to understand. The use of the short position is what separates hedge funds from other investments. When taking a short position, the investor is actually purchasing stocks he or she believes will drop in value. The reasons for this are quite involved, and we’ll try to explain the short position a bit later with an example. Because of the complexity, you’ll need hedge fund accountants who are experienced in buying, selling, and re-buying, in addition to borrowing and repaying stocks and securities loans.

Hedge funds are after “absolute returns.” They seek to bring a return on investment whether the current shape of the market is good or bad. As you probably know, it’s hard enough to turn a profit on investments when times are good, so attempting to take advantage of a weak market may seem crazy at first. The complexity of the situation means that hedge funds shouldn’t, and really can’t, be managed by an inexperienced or lay person. If you try to take on the management of a hedge fund on your own, chances are you will not like the results. Remember, these invests requires significant sums of money, so minimizing risk is imperative. Hedge funds are not a method that should be taken lightly or approached without caution. You may think that you’ve got a handle on them after just a little bit of research, but you’d be wise to consult with a professional.

As we said earlier, we’re going to take a closer look a hedge fund strategies. One of the more common strategies in use is known as 130-30. Let’s take a look at how it works, but remember, this is an oversimplified version for the sake of explanation.

Have a look:

  1. An initial investment of $100 is placed across a grouping of stocks that are believed to be worth more than their present value.
  2. A loan of $30 of stock will be taken on stock that is believed to be worth LESS than its present value. $30 of the worst-performing stocks will be used as collateral for this loan.
  3. The stock was purchased on loan is immediately sold for the $30 it’s worth.
  4. When the drop occurs, the stock is then re-purchased at its new price. In this case let’s say the same amount of stock is now only worth $10, so only $10 is spent to acquire it .
  5. At this point, the stock, purchased for $10, is returned and the collateral is given back to the investor. There is a profit of $20, which can then be re-invested in the best performing stock. The process is repeated.

Keep in mind that this is simplification of the process. Additionally, it requires an impressive knowledge of the market and market patterns. Even though you’ll likely be using an experienced hedge fund accountant to manage your fund, you’ll want to learn as much about them as possible. This will help you understand all of the implications. Speak with various professionals about hedge funds and learn whatever you can.Business Accounting

In the past, only wealthy investors had the chance to invest in hedge funds. It was simply to risky and costly for a “normal” person to get involved with. But the economic landscape has changed drastically recently, and this is no longer the case. Accessibility to hedge funds is at an all time high, but this doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone. When considering hedge funds remember to keep in mind that they only require one yearly audit since they are private investments. Get all the facts possible before taking the leap.

Experiential Marketing Experience is Quite Valuable

Many worthwhile companies offer great products and services. The problem is though, many of these companies fail to get off the ground and become as successful as they could be because they have not found the proper advertising and marketing avenues that can get them the exposure they need. Today’s world can be a confusing one when it comes to this matter because so much has changed in the advertising world. Newspaper, magazines, radio and television used to be king in the advertising and marketing world but many companies have gone from zero to publicly traded companies without once having advertised using any of these traditional mediums. The internet has changed everything and trade shows have become more popular over the years. The internet is used to create exposure for the trade shows like billboards and newspaper adds used to and now, the stakes are higher than they ever have been before to make an impression with an impressive trade show booth.

Trade shows are a very important advertising medium that can be very effective for companies who understand that they can reach their core audience in a short amount of time. Trade shows are usually industry-specific and are sometimes held at elaborate venues in fun parts of the country that create a draw based on location. Trade show events in Las Vegas are common, for example, so those who attend may have a few ulterior motives for volunteering to travel for one, but depending on the industry there is plenty of fun to be had inside of the trade show itself. Some of the biggest industry trade shows charge admission to consumers who want to come in and check out the buzz, like the consumer electronics trade show held every year. Trade shows are money-makers for the event holders, the venues and the companies who spend the money and take the time to set up trade show displays that catch people’s eyes when they pass by.

Purchasing space and attending a trade show can be an expensive prospect as it is but when you factor in the plane flights, hotel rooms and other travel expenses it can certainly add up, so it better be worth it. The best way for any company to ensure that they are going to be making the best use of their time and money at a trade show is to hire a professional with experiential marketing experience to design a trade show display for them. The reason for this is that experiential marketing is a highly nuanced field that requires a combination of advertising, psychology and design skills in order to be truly effective. Sure, any company could go with a trade show display designer who knows how to create cardboard pop-up displays that will do the trick, but it may be a better idea to go for the gusto and create a display that will be the envy of every company in attendance.

Creating an interactive, fun and professional display is not easy. There is a fine line between having fun and being professional and walking the delicate tightrope between the two could be the difference between someone taking a company seriously or not. Coming up with creative ways to get adults to let go and have fun with some interactive exhibits can be difficult because so many people at trade shows are self-conscious and concerned about maintaining a professional image. So, any trade show booth designer needs to know the audience that will be attending the trade show and the kind of attitudes that they will likely have. They will also need to know the company they are representing and the industry that they are creating a display for in order to attract the right people. Creative input is always valued from a company standpoint but in most cases, it makes sense just to let the professional do what they do best.

An intelligent color scheme is important and so is lighting. Many trade show venues are located within spaces with extremely tall ceilings so in order to properly showcase a trade show display, independent lighting schemes have to be incorporated into the design of the display. Also, too often trade show booths are not designed with the floor of the venue in mind. This is an underutilized surface that can be used as valuable advertising square footage that can enhance a trade show display and help set it apart from others. Sometimes being creative at these things is what separates a company from the rest of the pack by making their booth more memorable than others.

 

5 Steps Where Product Development Companies Can Help You

When it comes to product development, there’s a lot involved.  Sure, it’s pretty widely accepted that it’s a five-step process (or more, depending on whose advice and process design you want to follow), but there’s a lot more that goes on then simply developing the product alone.

Consider all the work that goes into taking something that was drawn on a white board or on a napkin at a restaurant when inspiration struck into a product that can be purchased by the general public (or the desired end-user, who or whatever that may be).  Sure, there’s fabrication work and the like that has to go into it, but there’s also other things that many people don’t consider.  What about getting the word out about the product?  How about advertising it to the desired consumer? All these things are important, but for a small business, many of these things are basically impossible to do if they don’t have help from an outside group.  This is how product development companies can help you, the small business owner, with the production process that you’ll need to go through. What follows are the steps, and how a product development company will help you out.

1.  Inception

hire a product development agencyThe first step is to hash out the idea a bit more, and that’s what you need to be focusing on.  However, you also need to have someone who can help you to get that product or service off the ground once it’s been brought to completion.  When you hire a product development company, they’ll spend the first step getting to better know your company and your needs, as well as getting ready for the work to come.  They’ll also begin setting up realistic deadlines for the completion of the project, which you can put faith in, and which are important, in general, for being able to do things in a timely manner.

2.  Creation

The next step is to create your product, and to begin the process of testing out the product itself as you create it.  Getting a design that you like may take a few tries, but that isn’t something to be worried about in the slightest.  If you’ve gone through the work of selecting a product development firm, however, they’ll also be creating as you create (and then discard a few models of) your new product.  To be specific, they’ll be creating artwork for branding and they’ll be working on creating advertising and marketing strategies that are just right for you and your particular product.

3. Construction

Construction means that you’ll be beginning to produce the product line for the upcoming launch day.  This is a lot of work, and one of the more expensive and most time-consuming (and crucial) parts of the process of new product development.  On the other hand, your product development team will be spending their time doing all they can to ensure that your website will be up, as well as making sure that when launch day comes, they’re able to put your marketing and advertising strategies into play.

4.  Execution

Execution is more commonly known as launching (or launch day), and it’s the day that you’ve been waiting for.  You send out your initial run of the product, you watch the money roll in, and you wait and see if everything goes as planned.

On the other hand, your product development company will be spending their time making sure that your website is up and ready to go (and ready to handle the influx of traffic that you’re going to be experiencing), as well as making sure that you’re able to reach the public with the message you’ve carefully crafted together about how amazing your product is.  This is also the point at which you’ll both sit down together and discuss what went well and what didn’t, in order to ensure that the next product development goes smoother.

5.  Evolution

This is the most oft-neglected part of the process, which is a shame, because it’s important.  Just like you’ll be constantly updating your product and service as technology demands, your product development company will be updating your website and marketing and advertising strategies, as well as making sure that they continue to use new technologies to reach the consumer.  This is how you not only retain market share, but also grow it.

So, if you’re looking to get some help with your product development process, consider hiring an outside firm to do so.  Don’t think of it as an expense; consider it an investment, one that can pay off immensely in the future.

 

Tips of Expert Web Developers and Designers

ad agencyYour company’s website is its most valuable marketing tool. If your organization fails to invest properly in design, development, and digital marketing, you’ll quickly find yourselves lagging behind the competition. A hasty and haphazard approach to your company website won’t get the job done. Fortunately you should have no trouble finding a dynamic website design company in your area. It’s important to be involved in the process however, as that helps the firm you’ve hired tailor the website to your company’s needs.

Chances are you’re not an expert on website design, and the whole process may seem a bit overwhelming. With just a little bit of research and studying however, you can gain a firm grasp on the basics of design and development. The best designers and developers adhere to a few guidelines that ensure they deliver a fantastic website. If you understand these concepts things become much simpler.

Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks from expert designers and developers:

Tips for Design

  • Content is King, never forget that. Marketing online is a competitive game, if you want to stand out from your competitors you will need top-notch content. A well-written and frequently updated blog is essential, as is freshly rotating content on your front page. Remember, everything doesn’t have to be original, but don’t get carried away with linking and borrowing content from other sources. Make users feel like a visit to your company’s website is worth their time.
  • Always remember SEO. Search engine optimization can be the lifeblood of your company site. There is a vast difference in traffic from the top few search results to even the 9th and 10th results. SEO takes careful planning and dedication, without it your website may not see much traffic at all. Be sure to work with an experienced digital marketing agency who can design and develop your website with SEO in mind.
  • A responsive website is a must. People are surfing the web on all different devices with many different screen sizes. Even desktop PCs and notebooks have a wide variety of screen options available. Your website needs to display and function properly on every device and screen. Shoppers and potential customers or clients will often abandon your website if it’s not optimized for mobile. With a responsive website you won’t run into this issue, and there will be no need to have separate sites for mobile and traditional.
  • Bring in a professional photographer. Stock imagery looks and feels generic, and it is obvious when a company is using it on their website. There is a dramatic difference when high quality, professional images are used on a website. Great photography can set your website apart from the competition. In addition, customers will notice and appreciate your attention to detail. Furthermore, stock images have a high chances of being used by other websites, therefore showing as duplicate content. This may hurt your search engine ranking as web crawlers prefer original content.
  • Design with branding in mind. You want your brand image to be clear and readily identifiable throughout your website. If you’re operating a new company, make sure the logo you (or your design team) create is memorable and reflective of your company. Place your logo on each web page and make sure it links back to the homepage. If your brand can become synonymous with quality your website will benefit greatly.
  • Test and re-test. This is one of the most important phases of any website build process. It’s imperative that you discover any broken links or features before your website launches. When certain things on your website don’t work it can lead directly to a high bounce rate, something you definitely need to avoid. Rigorous testing throughout the build is a must.

What to Avoid

  • A set it and forget it mentality. Your website needs constant attention and maintenance. This includes adding the fresh content and routinely checking for issues that may develop. If you simply get your website online and forget about it, you’ll be wasting your money. Most competent web developers will provide this service on a retainer basis, hopefully saving your company money!
  • Clutter. Your website doesn’t need annoying flash banners and pop ups. It will do nothing but drive users away and increase your bounce rate. Go for a minimalistic design that features intuitive navigation. Never leave users wondering where to go next. Keep things simple and never overcrowd your homepage.

If you’re starting a new business or you just haven’t taken a close look at your website and online marketing presence in a while, the time to act is now. It’s quite likely your competition is already investing in their online image, so you can’t afford to miss out. Look around your area for a design and development team that can meet your company’s needs.

How You Can Benefit From Public Relations

social media firmWhen people mention ‘public relations’, a lot people have a very specific image in their mind, and that image isn’t all that positive.  ‘Public Relations’ makes people think of celebrities who’ve been caught doing something that goes beyond the pale of behavior our society will accept in public; someone who got drunk and started making racial comments, someone who got caught getting out of their car while essentially naked or flashing various things, maybe someone who got caught doing drugs.  Public relations, to me, personally, used to mean that person who, instead of doing jail time, held a press conference and said ‘oh, yes, I have problems, so I’m going to rehab!’  For some people, that’s a real declaration that they’re going to get better and make sure they don’t live out these mistakes in the future, but for many, it seems like rehab is just a place to go and hang out for a few weeks while the heat dies down for whatever they did, plus it allows them to blame their bad behavior on drugs or alcohol.

And to be sure, this is a part of public relations, the repairing of an image tarnished by something.  But that isn’t the entirety of public relations.  Public relations is focused on the image, to be sure, but repairing it is just a part of what they do, and really, it’s the most terrifying part, because if you’ve reached that point, things have gone really wrong.  It’s the same as when a pilot actually has to manually fly a plane after takeoff and landing; it means that something is already out of place, and you’re trying to get back to that normal state where things aren’t so dire.

You see, a pr agency is concerned with the image of the people, businesses, and products they work with.  Image means the public perception, the way the product, person, business, whatever the case may be, is viewed by the average person in this country.  Think of a few great things that are poorly thought of (or were, in their time).  Let’s talk about the Betamax player, a competing cassette player back in the day of the VHS player.  It was superior in every way, it was about the same price, and it could’ve very easily replaced VHS, but the image that it gave off, due to not caring to put money into their public relations budget, was that it was foreign technology, complicated and difficult to work with, and thus, no one wanted to buy it, no matter how much better it was, no matter how great an improvement it was over the VHS cassette technology of the day.

There is one great benefit you get, as a small business, from hiring a public relations firm, however.  You see, they buy advertising space quite often for a myriad of reasons, in a myriad of places, in order to cover the needs of their clients.  As a small business, you’ll be buying ad space too, but you’ll be buying very little, and you’ll be doing so irregularly, compared to the firm purchasing ad space quite often and regularly, and buying far more ad space than you could hope to.  Because of this, they’re able to bargain on the price, something that your small business isn’t likely to be able to do.  If you threaten to take your business somewhere else in order to get a better price, they’re probably just going to chuckle at you, because your business is very small in comparison to the money they’re bringing in, to the point that you likely aren’t even a full percentage point on a chart of income from advertising.  On the other hand, your public relations firm is going to be buying enough ad space that they will at least account for a few percentage points, so when they say that the price is too high and that they don’t think they can continue to pay such prices in order to buy ad space in magazines, newspapers, television, and/or radio, the people selling the ad space are going to be much more likely to say something to the tune of ‘well, ok, let’s sit down and work out a price that we can all live with’.

So, if your small business needs managing when it comes to the image, if you need a bit of help with your advertising, if you just need some help making your products look more desirable, talk to you local public relations firm about what they can do for you.  They don’t simply exist to repair images once the damage has already been done.

The Importance of Public Relations

If you’re running a company, one of the most important things that you can do is manage (and, in some ways, manipulate) the public image of what your company is and what your company has to offer the consumer.  It’s also important that you put your name out there and that people actually know you exist.  The sad reality is that, for most companies, no one is going to purchase your product unless they know you exist, barring a situation where you have some sort of monopoly on a needed or desired product or have a great location where people might just walk in randomly (and there are stores that have thrived like this, including pretty much every small restaurant you see near the high way in the middle of nowhere when you’re driving in places like Iowa and Idaho).

social media firmObviously, in order to be able to offer your product or service to the public, you have to be able to reach the public with your words and ideas, first.   In order to do this, you’ll need some sort of advertising, some sort of way to get your ideas and your products and services across to your customer.

In older days, some people and the small companies they managed would go to trade shows and the like to show off their new wares.  For a long time, in fact, that was the basics of how news of new electronic inventions was spread, trade shows that where people would go and see the latest and greatest, the future of consumer electronics, the things that people would be able to buy in stores for the next year or so, and they would then spread the word about what they saw through word of mouth.

While this still works, to some extent, for electronics, and video games in particular, for the most part, it’s been agreed that trade shows are mostly for the people who are in the actual trade, the industry, not for the people sitting outside.  How then, are people who need to get their message to the citizenry about the things that they can offer the, to get the word out?

There’s a couple of classic ways.  These are basically summed up with the phrase ‘ad buys’.  Hire a PR firm (or hire someone to run your own in-house), someone who knows how to place advertising, and the first think they’re likely to turn to is ad buys.  This means that they’ll be buying advertising space in various media, and crafting ads to put into them and target the specific market you’re looking for.

The old media sources are things that have been around for decades.  I’m talking about television ads, those thirty-second long ads that you see every time there’s a pause in programming.  Talking about things like radio ads, or, even better, sponsoring a radio show, meaning you get mentioned once per hour or however often you can afford.  Or, for those who are going with the really old media, this would mean things like advertisements in the swiftly disappearing world of printed media, purchasing ad space on the pages of newspapers and magazines and other periodicals.  There’s also internet ad buys, allowing people to have their advertising shown on the internet to people when they visit various websites that are working with that internet advertising algorithm and firm.

Another important thing for a company, especially now that we live in the internet age, is managing their social media presence.  They need to have a social media presence on all the major networks, including things like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, even if you don’t think that any of those are important (and I know that’s been my opinion of Google+ before) to running a business, they all represent a place to get to know your consumer and to see what they have to say about the way you run your business and how you’re running it.  This is also a place for you to let them know about things like special offers, discounts, and limited time runs of items that you’ve gotten in.

So, if you’re running your own business and don’t have the staff on hand to run your own public relations, hire a public relations firm.  It’ll save you a lot of money, it’ll bring in a lot more money than you spend, and it can help lead to a long-term, sustainable level of growth that will help you to grow as a company.  Don’t hesitate, go out and begin growing your company today.

Three Ways Your Denver Orthodontist Can Help You

If you’re going to visit your local orthodontist, you’re only doing so for one thing; to have your teeth looked at, most specifically, the alignment of said teeth, and to have whatever alignment issue fixed.  For the most part, if you’re going there to receive or start treatment, you’re going there for braces or something similar.

That’s not to say that all orthodontic crises can be fixed with the use of things like braces.  In fact, some will require surgery.  Consider, when your wisdom teeth begin to come in and are painful (and not just the pain that normally comes with having a new tooth emerge in your mouth), you have them removed in order to alleviate the pain.  In some cases, your teeth may come in too close together, or your mouth may just not have room for all the teeth that are coming in, and in this case, it becomes important to remove a tooth in order to make room for the other teeth, as well as to alleviate the pain and to prevent future problems.

For pretty much everyone else, the solution is going to involve realigning the teeth with braces of some sort, and that’s what we’re here to talk about.  Today, there are three forms of braces for realigning the teeth that are in use, and below, I’ll be describing each one.

1.  Standard metal braces

Standard metal braces are the most commonly used method of realigning the teeth, to the point that they’re in the mouths, or have been in the mouths, of one in three people in the United States at last count. There’s a reason for this.  To start with, they’re effective, and over the past few decades have built an impressive record of success when it comes to realigning the teeth.  Then there’s the fact that they’re so much simpler than the technology they replaced, and easier to work with, for both the orthodontist and the for the patient.

professional orthodontistsStandard metal braces are truly a simple method, elegant in their simplicity.  They consist of a series of brackets, most commonly made of metals like stainless steel and dental gold, or even something like aircraft grade titanium, which are mounted on the teeth with the use of a long-term dental adhesive that is designed to last for years or more (some dental adhesives these days can last for up to thirty years).  Over the top of these brackets, then, is run a long metal wire, which is then wrapped or hooked around each individual bracket in order to provide the appropriate and necessary forces to realign the teeth in a more optimal way.  This wire is then held in place on the brackets with the use of a series of rubber bands, one for each bracket, which holds the wire in place to prevent it from slipping out.  Using this system, with these simple parts, we’ve corrected millions of teeth across the world, and continue to correct millions more.

2.  Lingual braces

Lingual braces are basically the same as the above mentioned braces, but with one noticeable difference; rather than being mounted on the front of the teeth, facing toward the lip, they’re mounted on the inside of the teeth, facing toward the back of the mouth and the throat.  These are great for people who need to have their teeth free from obstruction on the front, like people who are professional singers or people who are musicians who play woodwind instruments that require a lot of heavy use of the tongue, which would suffer if you involved metal braces on the teeth (trust me, you don’t want to get the underside of your tongue caught.  It hurts.  A lot).

3.  Invisalign braces

Invisalign braces are basically the newest thing, the most discreet thing, and the best thing in orthodontic treatment these days.  They’re made of a clear, hard plastic that works very similarly to standard metal braces, except you can’t tell that they’re on the teeth, and you can remove Invisalign braces at any time without needing to visit the orthodontist.  They’re also custom-made specifically for you and your teeth, rather than you having a one-size fits all treatment installed in your mouth, which may be why they’re so much more comfortable.

So, if you’re visiting your local Denver orthodontist and looking to get some teeth realigned, here are the things you’re likely to end up using.  Don’t worry, though, they’ll help you pick out the best treatment for you, and you’ll have those perfect teeth in no time.

Why Hire A Product Development Firm?

Years ago, I watched a television show of no small repute, and watched as a caricature of a 1980s businessman stuck in the future gave a lecture to his employees about the need to move forward, and about firing anyone who wasn’t a shark, because businesses required that you look forward at all times and never look back.  Although the way that 80s go-go Reaganite (self-appointed titles he gave to himself) ran his business was sleazy and otherwise without merit, he had a legitimate point.

Sharks do move all the time, not necessarily ‘forward’, but they remain in motion.  They do so because if they were to cease forward motion, water would no longer be flowing over their gills, and they would die of asphyxiation, the deprivation of oxygen.  In many ways, a business is very similar.

Your business needs to be always moving, always doing something, always gearing up for the next thing, especially as a small business.  Even large businesses don’t spend a lot of time resting on their achievements and bragging about them; rather, they’re almost constantly in forward motion, working to get more and more of the market share that they crave.  You need to be doing the same thing.

One of the key ways in which market share is gained is by producing new items for sale, new products for the people to spend their money on, allowing you to put more products on the shelves and take up more shelf-space in general.  However, the process of product development comes with its own hiccups for a small business.

Sure, you’re going to have the technical expertise you need to create a new product, or at least it should be hoped that you do.  However, bringing a product to market means that you also need to have some marketing done, and you don’t just have marketing people sitting around at small businesses, especially not ones with a lot of experience.  So, what do you do to find someone to help you with the marketing aspects of research and development?  You hire a product development agency, and enlist their aid in providing the needed expertise.

So, at this point, a lot of people are asking themselves ‘who say that I actually need to market my product at all, outside of putting something up on my various social media accounts’?  Well, you’re welcome to market your product however you would like, it’s your money and your company that you’re putting at risk.  However, without a lot of marketing experience, you’re not likely to be able to target whatever advertising you have to the right people, and that’s a big problem when you consider how limited your advertising budget is likely to be.

professional product development companiesYou need to figure out who your desired client is.  Let’s assume that you’re selling a beer, a new beer, an expensive one, something that costs 10 dollars plus for a large bottle.  Who, then, do you think is going to be paying that kind of money for it?  If you answered that you should sell it at sports bars, congrats, you need a product development firm to help you.

You can’t just sell a beer like that to anyone who’s buying beers and expect them to buy it.  Most beer drinkers in America don’t really drink beer for taste, they drink it to get drunk.  Look at our most popular brands in this country; they’re all tasteless beer.  So you’re going to have a hard time getting someone who’s just looking to be inebriated to buy a bottle at ten dollars that won’t do what he could do with a six-pack of cans that would cost five dollars and change.  No, you need to be selling that beer to people who are going to view drinking a beer as an experience, the kind of folks who go to a bar and don’t drink the same drink all night, but have different drinks for each pint.

This is what you’re getting by selecting a product development firm; a group that can tell you what is and isn’t a good idea when it comes to marketing.  They’ll help you to better understand the market you’re selling to, and the better you understand the market, the better you can offer a product and the more money you can make.  The better you know who to sell to, as well, the better your advertising budget can be used to reach them and to ensure that they’re aware of your product.  So, in this way, the old adage about ‘spending money to make money’ still holds true.  So do yourself a favor and hire the marketing help that you require!

The Best Braces for You

Quite a few people desire to fix their smiles with professional assistance, but they may have particular concerns that keep them from getting help. It’s common knowledge that an orthodontist is in the business of straightening smiles. But what people might not realize is that there are other methods beyond braces and headgear that can achieve results. If you need help in the smile correction department, don’t be afraid to talk to an orthodontist. Start searching for orthodontic specialists in your area now, and schedule a consultation.

braces for childrenThe most common type of treatment in orthodontics is of course braces, but as we’ve already established, not everybody is interested. For different reasons yourself and other people may not want to have bulky and obvious braces in their mouths. Business professionals for one, may prefer to have something a little more subtle. They are going for the most professional appearance possible. Having brackets and wires attached to your teeth isn’t always the best idea for them. Teenagers also might be leery of the social implications of braces. The good news is that there are other solutions out there, you just need to talk to your orthodontist to find the right one for you.

In the past, the obvious choice when it came to a more subtle approach to orthodontics was clear braces. They are actually exactly the same in function as metal braces, they just have one major difference. Instead of steel, some type of clear polymer is used to make them less noticeable. They are just as effective as metal braces, and they’ve been used for a long time with great results. As we progress into the future however, it has become clear that are better options for discretion available.

The next method to hide smile correction treatment that was developed was lingual braces. They are actually are more recent invention in orthodontics. Lingual braces are also known by another name, hidden braces. There’s a good reason for this. Though the function with the same brackets and wires as traditional braces, nobody can see them in action. That’s because the brackets are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front. If you’re looking for a discreet solution to fix your smile, this could quite easily be the answer. If you’ve been avoiding treatment because of your appearance, at least you now know that there are options. Of course complications can arise that make lingual braces impossible, but it’s no worry. I think there’s an even better solutions.

The top of the line in discreet cosmetic braces for adults, teens or kids absolutely has to be Invisalign. They are made out of a clear plastic that is extremely difficult for anyone to notice on your teeth. Now, though they are clear, they are far different from your standard clear braces. In fact, they are nothing like orthodontists have typically been using for most of the modern history of the profession. There are far fewer moving parts when it comes to Invisalign. In a way it simplifies the whole process. If you were to decide to use Invisalign, a mold of your teeth would be taken and scanned into a computer. An aligner would be designed to suit your particular needs, and then it would be printed on a 3D printer. The device then gently guides your teeth into the desired position. Being able to work on your smile while nobody notices is a great feeling. If you’ve been waiting to get your teeth fixed until a wonder treatment came along, you are in luck.

When you choose Invisalign, you’re choosing a different type of treatment. Unlike regular braces, Invisalign is removable. It’s important to wear them throughout the day however, and take them off only to eat and brush your teeth. At regular intervals your aligners will be swapped out for the next according to your treatment schedule. Once the treatment course is complete, you’ll be ready to flash your brand new perfect smile.

Of course in every case Invisalign might not work. The worst aligned teeth may require old school treatments, so you’ll have to be ready for that. To find out if Invisalign is an option, you’re going to have to consult with an orthodontist in person. The consultation may involve an in-depth evaluation of your mouth. Using things like images and measurements the orthodontist will determine the best course of action. The relationship between and patient and orthodontist is important you should follow their advice when it comes to treatment.

If you’re looking for a discreet and simple treatment for your crooked smile, Invisalign might be the perfect choice. You want your smile correction to be perfect and last forever, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Talk to your orthodontics professional as soon as possible to see if it’s the right solution for you.

Restoring Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Everything that we consume, with a handful of exceptions (like our drinking water with just a little bit of fluoridation, for example), slowly destroys our teeth in various ways.  For the most part, it’s simply doing things like eating away at your enamel and making it more likely that you’re going to end up with cavities or something similar.  However, something that nobody considers during their day when they’re consuming the various foods and beverages that they enjoy is that those things are doing their own damage in a way that they aren’t anticipating.

The food and drink you consume, along with various other things that you consume, aren’t just wearing away at your teeth.  They’re also staining them, discoloring your teeth, changing them from their naturally pearly white color to a more cream-white color, heading next to yellow and finally to a brownish tint that is, for lack of a better word, unsightly at very least.

teeth cleaning for oral hygieneCommon culprits for this discoloration aren’t hard to find.  Are you a person, like so many Americans, who enjoys their caffeinated sodas, with their sugary goodness and carbonation?  Well, interesting side note about those sodas: they contain, for the most part, an agent that serves to color the soda water (which would otherwise be fairly clear, much like various lemon and lime concoctions), and that very same agent is helping to color your teeth yellow over the years of exposure to it!  Maybe, instead, you drink a lot of coffee, using it to wake you up in the morning and to keep you focused at work during the day so that you can power through a day of work that would put anyone to sleep.  Well, that coffee, as well, is slowly yellowing your teeth, to say nothing of the damage that reliance on caffeine can do, as well as the fact that there are sugars and all sorts of other substances in coffee that can affect your health.  Maybe, on the other hand, you’re a healthy living kind of guy (or girl), or the kind of person who likes to fancy themselves an anglophile.  The kind of person who prefers to, for example, drink tea in place, thinking it better for you or more sophisticated.  While I can’t argue as to the sophistry of tea, I can point out that it’s doing the same damage to your teeth that everything else you’re consuming is, slowly yellowing them.

Are you a smoker?  Nothing damages the body quite as much as smoking, and there are few substances that yellow the teeth faster than nicotine being taken in through the mouth.  People with a one pack a day habit will have yellow teeth inside of ten years, at very least.  Continuing on that path for another twenty years without some sort of treatment, and the teeth will be approaching that disgusting brown color I described earlier.

So, what are you to do when you’ve discolored your teeth?  To begin with, you’ll need to find a teeth whitening dentist in your area, for which I recommend you access the American Dental Association’s website (or just use google like everyone else, whatever).

Once you’ve found a local teeth whitening dentist and made an appointment, you’ll get the actual treatment.  You’ll be sat in the usual comfortable dental chair, and they’ll apply to your gums and the fleshy parts of the inside of your mouth a gel that is designed to protect them from the bleaching agent (no bleach involved, so no need to fear).  Then, once that gel is settled, they’ll apply the whitening agent, which will either be a mixture of hydrogen peroxide or else it will be a peroxide solution that, when exposed to the natural moisture inside the mouth, will transform, chemically, into hydrogen peroxide.  This treatment will be left on the teeth for a certain amount of time, to be determined by the dentist, although it tends to be around sixty minutes to an hour and a half, and then will be removed, along with the gel.  Now, depending on the severity of the discoloration of your teeth, you may need to go back for repeat treatments, but the process will remain the same each time.

So, if you’re unhappy with the damage you’ve done with years of beverage and food consumption, or if you’re a smoker or an ex-smoker trying to hide that fact from the world, contact your local office of cosmetic dentistry for smile correction and see what they can do for your teeth!

How an Invisalign Orthodontist can Improve your Smile

Almost everyone yearns to have straight teeth.  For those without, self-confidence issues in your smile, or even in just talking, aren’t uncommmon.  While everyone may have their own reason for wanting their teeth straightened. for more than a few it’s hard to bear the incumbrance of braces.

Invisalign offers a way to get that perfect smile without the hassle and self-confidence issues that come with classic braces.  While braces are fairly gaudy and easy to spot, Invisalign invisible braces are discreet and nearly invisible, as the name would suggest.  This means that people will spend less time gawking at them or teasing you for having them in your mouth.  In fact, they’ll likely spend no time doing those things, because the braces can’t really be seen.  They fit snugly and securely on the teeth and don’t add a lot of extra bulk, making them hard to spot.  Unlike most braces, they’re not made of metal, but clear plastics, meaning they don’t shine in your mouth or anything like that.

Standard braces come with more than a few hassles that have nothing to do with appearance.  For example, standard braces are bulky and hard to work around.  Compared to earlier models, the braces used today are much more compact (and made of much more sanitary materials, as we no longer use things like catgut in the making of them, and yes, catgut is exactly what you would think it is), this is true, and with advances in materials, they can even be easier to hide, but all this comes with a trade-off.  For example, ceramic brackets make it harder to spot braces in your mouth, allowing for more discreet teen, adult, and child braces, but the trade-off there is that these brackets aren’t as sturdy as their metal counterparts.  Thankfully, durability isn’t a real problem for Invisalign invisible braces.

One of the reasons that standard braces can run into issues is that they’re in the mouth all day, every day.  They’re not removable, they’re stuck to the teeth with one of various dental adhesives, and can only be removed (most of the time, anyway) with the application of a solvent, or, in some cases, something like a special light.  This can make maintaining proper dental hygiene something of a hassle, as they obstruct the teeth and make cleaning much harder.  This is also something of a catch-22, as maintaining dental hygiene becomes really important when braces are involved.  All the debris from food is ripe for getting caught in the wire and brackets of the braces, and when caught, it can corrode the material the braces are made of as well as causing cavities.

On the other hand, Invisalign aligners are removable.  You don’t have to wear them while eating, meaning that nothing is going to get stuck to them as long as you remember not to wear them.  Furthermore, you can clean your teeth after you eat and then slide them back on, making sure that they don’t have to deal with the corrosive impact of the food particles.

Even better, they aren’t exposed to your mouth as long as normal braces.  Normal braces will be worn every day for months, maybe even a year plus.  Invisaligners, on the other hand, come in a set, slowly realigning your teeth step by step.  When one step is completed, you discard that set of aligners and move onto the next.  Each step lasts about two weeks, during which you’ll wear the aligners for about twenty to twenty-two hours, meaning the hard clear plastic aligners will have to endure nowhere near the length of exposure that standard braces would have to endure.

hidden braces for teensInvisalign aligners are computer generated by your orthodontist.  They’ll take a picture of your teeth, a set of x-ray pictures, and a bite model, among other things, then they’ll plug all these data points into a program and come up with a treatment plan that’s customized for you.  Then the computer program will produce a set of custom-made invisible braces made specifically for you and your teeth.

A lot of people, by this point, are wondering what the draw back is.  These things, these Invisalign branded invisible braces, must be extremely expensive or some such, especially with all that work that goes into making them, right?

Wrong.  They’re affordable.  Comparably affordable to standard braces (especially if you get those braces made with ceramics or some of the less frequently used metals.  So make an appointment today to meet with your local professional orthodontist and have them decide if Invisalign is the best tool to fix your crooked smile.

Clear Braces Are Always An Option

Being successful in this world that we live in has a lot to do with our personal confidence in our abilities and our outward appearance. The way that one carries themselves can be seen as a positive or negative thing, but if one walks with a perceived purpose then that typically carries a confident connotation along with it. So many of the decisions that we make about people are made on a sub-conscious level that we don’t even recognize or stop to really think about, but whether we know it or not, those with an obvious air of self–confidence are usually perceived positively by most. Our upbringings have a lot to do with how confident we are, but some of us are more naturally timid and unsure of ourselves for really no good reason. That’s ok, we’re all individuals with different biochemistry and circumstances, but there are often things that affect our confidence in ways that are pretty clear. For example, if you don’t like your appearance and you’re self-conscious about your body type, weight, or your smile, then that can have a huge impact on the amount of confidence that you’re capable of exuding. Now, there might not be anything that you can do about your body type and you’re going to have to find a way to accept that, but there are things that you can do about  your teeth and if you don’t know where to start, then there is help available.

I’m going to talk about correcting your smile today, I’m going to focus on that because more often than with one’s weight, people feel helpless and don’t know how to go about getting their smiles to a more acceptable state. Thankfully, an experienced orthodontist can correct teeth and jaw misalignment for individuals of all ages. You may think that just because you didn’t get braces as a kid, that there isn’t much that you can do as an adult about it if you’re not willing to undergo a procedure that you feel that you should have had years ago when everyone else had it done. I can understand that and I feel where you’re coming from, but there are ways that a dentist or orthodontist can help you attain the smile you always wanted, even without traditional bracket braces. You may want to think about how self-conscious you feel about your teeth right now though, and compare that feeling to what amount of self-consciousness that you might feel as a result of having braces. If you’re the kind of person who consciously shields their teeth from the world, like in scenarios where you’re inclined to smile or laugh, then your self-esteem is most likely suffering to a great degree and having braces may not produce more negative feelings about your smile than you’re already feeling.

Luckily, we live in a time where there are many options for teeth straightening and if you for whatever reason, don’t feel comfortable with having braces as an adult, then that’s understandable. There’s still no reason why you can’t look into other options that can help you feel more confident about your smile and make you feel more inclined to show it off. If you’re not comfortable with your smile, then I’m sure that you’ve been envious about people in your life who have beautiful, confident smiles and you wished that you felt the same way about yours that it seems like they did about theirs. Those people might not be near as capable, intelligent, and/or talented as you are, but if they’re able to produce a more confident perception among those who they come across, they may end up being more successful and happy that you’re able to, simply because of that fact.

There’s no reason to feel like you can’t accomplish everything that you want to in this life, but you need to understand that lacking confidence for any reason, is going to hold you back and you should take control of the things that you can. There is Invisalign, clear braces, and lingual braces that may be the perfect answer for you if you’re looking to get results in an inconspicuous way. There are orthodontists and cosmetic dentists all over the place that are experts at all or any one of these methods or techniques, and they’d be more than happy to discuss your options with you after they check you out and you explain what it is that you’re looking for. Your opinion combined with theirs can help you both put together a plan to get you on the road to feeling more confident than you ever have before, so do yourself a favor and think about it.

Professional Custom Grow Rooms

indoor marijuana grow roomThe political scene in the United States is changing rapidly and drastically. Suddenly a plant that was widely criminalized is being sold openly in markets in several states. To many, it’s a great sign of progress. There are many examples that show us cannabis is likely much safer than legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. If you’re looking to take advantage of the situation in states like Colorado and Washington, you’re not the alone one. There is quite a “green boom” in these states already, and it’s only growing. Alaska and Oregon are the latest two to join with full legalization for adults over the age of 21. When you consider states that have legalized for medical, you’ve got almost half the country. It seem as if full-scale legalization may be just around the corner. If you’re already in a state like Colorado, it’s easy to understand why you might want to get into the industry. New industries can be quite lucrative, and it might be a great way to establish yourself in the business world. Of course there are a lot of things you’re going to have to do first. One of the most important things on your laundry list of items to do, and the one I’m going to focus on today, is setting up your grow. Of course you’re going to need a location where you are permitted to grow, whether you own it or rent it. I can only speak for Colorado, but at least in this state the grow has to be out of sight and securely locked. This typically means setting up an indoor grow room.

When setting up your grow, you’ve got to make sure that you have the set up just right. Remember, you’re going to be offering a product to customers in a very competitive marketplace. Subpar buds are not going to sell well, and you’ll find yourself out of business quickly if you can’t compete in that respect. Having a good product starts with your grow. First you need to make sure you have the right space for your needs. To small and you’re going to find yourself without enough product to meet needs. Too large and you’ll be wasting money on climate control and other things when you don’t need to. You’re also going to want to take precautions to protect the buildings you’re growing in, as this can prevent a lot of future headaches.

The next thing you need to think about is climate control. You want an air-tight setting where it’s to control things like temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations. This goes back to making sure you have the right sized space, as this is easy to control in a smaller space, you don’t want more than you need. Another factor that needs to be considered is light. Light pollution can completely ruin your entire crop. Having light leak into the room when it shouldn’t is a major issue that professional growers deal with. When you’re growing for a large (or even small) store, you’ve got large marijuana grow room, and it can be hard to keep things perfect. It is, however, a necessity.

Another factor that goes into a grow room is hanging lights, fans, and other equipment. This can also be logistically difficult, especially if you aren’t experience with construction and wiring. You definitely want to avoid an issue with lighting because of poor wiring, and having equipment improperly secured can be disastrous. It will be hanging above potentially thousands of dollars of your product.

If you’re worried that you’ll have trouble setting up an efficient grow, but you still really want to get into the industry, there may be hope yet. There are companies popping up now that specialize in the construction of custom grow rooms. The best companies that do this in my area are really offering complete services. If you are consider going this route, make sure you choose someone who provides the complete package. Make sure they fulfil your most important needs, like an air tight and light-proof room. I know that the better companies also provide easy to use track systems for your lighting and other equipment. It makes things easy to move around as needed. Another benefit to hiring a company like this is that you’ll be able to easily expand when necessary, adding to the room should be a breeze. And if you ever have the reason to move, having a system like this will make thing simple, I’ve seen some companies advertise that everything they construct will fit through regular doors when it’s in pieces.

If you’re considering getting into the industry, you want to make sure to do every possible to get the best results. That means one of your main focuses should definitely be your grow operation. Get things started right by seeking one of the companies in your area that can set up a modular growing system for you.

 

The Need for Tax Services

At some point, almost everyone will find themselves desiring help with their taxes.  There’s a lot of reasons for this.  To begin with, tax accounting is one of the most complicated tasks that every individual in this country will have to face (except those who make 3000 dollars American or less, who, at least currently, are exempt from even having to file taxes, and are, in at least that one facet, extremely lucky).    However, not everyone is going to have the same tax experience with the Internal Revenue Service, because not every individual’s tax filings are going to be the same.

For example, the individual who makes under thirty thousand a year isn’t going to need a tax accountant who deals mostly in the filings of businesses large enough to keep their largesse in off-shore accounts and investments.  In reality, an individual who makes less than thirty thousand dollars a year isn’t going to need someone to help them keep track of their accounts, because likely, if they have an account with a bank at all (and I know that, among people in the 18-30 year old age range, having no bank account has become a bit of a trend), they have only one.  A lot of people who are in this income bracket don’t have a lot of investments, aren’t invested in a fund or anything similar, and, realistically, many of them don’t have anything by way of retirement planning.  For these people, they’re liable to need the services of a CPA accounting firm, or a tax firm geared towards the needs of an individual, at only one point in their year: tax filing time, normally considered to be the time between January first and April fifteenth.  This is because, no matter who you are, unless you’re a tax accountant or someone with the time to read the entirety of the changes to the tax code (or, really, the whole tax code), you’re going to find yourself with some difficulty in understanding what exactly you can and can’t write off.

Tax AccountingFor people filing, for the first time, a joint tax return, or people who have, within the last fiscal year, given birth to a child, it is well worth the money to hire an accountant to help with the filing of their taxes.  There are a plethora of write-offs that people miss when they have a child (or, even worse, they forget to keep documentation), and a tax accountant is well-equipped and trained to help you find all of them, which is great, because they’ll allow you to basically avoid paying thousands upon thousands of dollars in taxes and get back an immense tax return (assuming that you work a job that takes out of every paycheck for income tax, social security taxes, and the like).  A tax accountant is also going to be able to tell you what to look out for going forward, what to be sure to keep receipts on, and what kind of things you can write-off, likely, in the future, given the current state and trends in taxation as written by the local, state, and federal governments and the Internal Revenue Service.

A small business owner or sole proprietorship will benefit in a different way as well.  A sole proprietor, especially, will be able to find a lot of things to write off their taxes in order to ensure that they pay as little money in, as sole proprietorships tend to have income from things like independent contracting, which doesn’t take any of the payroll taxes out, leaving the impetus to correctly pay the Internal Revenue Service their owed ‘pound of flesh’, as it were, entirely on the individual.  Few people have time, skill, or proclivity required to navigate, on their own, the mass of paperwork required in order to best be able to save yourself money while insuring that the Internal Revenue Service gets their due, and, especially for that aforementioned sole proprietorship, that time and money is better spent elsewhere, on things like getting new contracts and growing their business.

So, if you’re a young man who’s just starting out on his own with his first real job, or a pair of adults who’ve just embarked on that magical journey of raising a child for the first time, it’s worthwhile to be in the know concerning the tax law, and the person who can best help you be so is a tax accountant from your local CPA firm.  So, if you feel you’ve the need, contact your local CPA firm today.