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Earn $500 + Extra Income Online – Do Paid Survey Programs Really Work?

The economy is currently going through a tough time. Everyone knows it. You can feel it when you buy groceries from your local supermarket, when you fill the tank of your car and even when you buy Christmas presents for your loved ones.

Every penny earned right now is valuable more than ever and this has turned a large number of opportunity seekers to look for the perfect solution on the Internet.

It’s true that there are thousands of extremely successful people who earn their living on the Internet working in their pajamas part-time but most of them know exactly what they are doing and they have previous experience in Internet Marketing. They’ve spent countless hours studying different markets and finding perfect opportunities.

But what if you don’t have the luxury to learn all the required marketing skills yourself? You need to pay your bills now, not 2 years from now.

As unimaginable as it may seem there is a completely legal way to earn extra income online without any marketing background whatsoever. All that’s required is the simple ability to answer questions using your mouse and on some occasions your keyboard. Did you even know something like this was possible?

Perhaps you’ve heard about “Paid Survey” programs that are spreading all over the Internet like wildfire. You probably thought these programs are a way to trick you into something that will never pay you and will end up TAKING money from you instead of giving it to you.

While it’s true that there is a massive amount of fraudulent websites on the Internet today, I don’t want to discourage you from trying these programs yourself. Just continue reading to find out which programs you should take a look at and which ones to avoid.

Rule number one: never join a Paid Survey program that asks money from you up front. These will not work. You should not waste your time with those programs.

Rule number two: do your research. Google is the perfect tool for any kind of “background checking” these days. Just type in scam and you should find out if it’s a legitimate company you’re after or not.

Rule number three: join a program that other people are already using or recommending. You can’t just believe if a person comes to you and says “hey, join this program, it made me rich” but you can believe 10 different people if they all have something good to say about the program you wish to join. Online forums are the perfect way to find other like-minded people PLUS you’ll easily make new friends this way.

You’re probably wondering why a completely free-to-join program would take in members without asking anything from them and then SEND money to them as well.

Here’s the simple truth: there are hundreds of companies on the Internet with a product or a service to sell, right? Well, how do you think they KNOW what sells and what is simply not worth the advertising costs? Through surveys of course! When you take Paid Surveys you tell the huge companies exactly what you like and what you don’t like and they use that information to create new products and services for people like you. Paying a few dollars for your opinion is nothing compared to the ROI (Return On Investment) they make once they know exactly what people want. Simple!

So, despite all the rumors about Paid Survey programs and how they rip people off, there are many great websites on the Internet today that work. They are pretty easy to find, too. Just hang around in different online forums that talk about extra ways to pull in cash from the Internet and I’m sure you’ll find a program or two to start working on.

Hair Ornaments are Back in Fashion

This summer, fashion accessories have gone to our heads, literally. Hair ornamentation is everywhere from jewelry encrusted headbands to sparkling butterflies to silky flowers- the sky’s the limit.

We tend to like the simpler approach to hair decoration like Hilary Swank’s diamond covered flower pin at this year’s Golden Globes. With that being said, we’re a little obsessed with Marc Jacobs giant faceted hair jewels. We know they are over the top…but how fun!

Our tips to pull off the hair ornament look:

1. Keep the make-up simple. Let the hair jewel be the star. Nude make-up looks are perfect companions for these dynamic hair accessories.

2. Keep your outfit simple, too. Too much color or texture on top and bottom will make you look like a clown. Potentially a crazy fashion clown and that’s scary.

3. Pull your hair back. This is not a rule, but whether it’s messy-back, or polished-back…we think it’s a better look. Hair down with a large hair accessory can look a little bride’s maid…if you know what we mean.

Hair Ornament aren’t Just Little Grils Any More

Almost every parent probably thinks their little girl looks especially adorable when she has cute fashion accessories in her hair. When my daughter was a baby, I’d pull a tuft of hair up on top of her head (like Pebbles from the Flintstones cartoon) and put a baby barrette around it, which always evoked a chorus of “Aaah”‘s, even from strangers.

Anyway, my question to you today is whether you ever wear hair ornaments, or if you think they’re only for young girls and teens. It would be rare to see a 45 year old woman with a ponytail sporting a ribbon-much less a bow-but there is an astounding array of jeweled hair clips and combs that are lovely when used to pull or hold back hair. Once, for a fancy event, I used a comb decorated with pearls to pull back the hair on just one side, and actually felt rather glamorous doing so. (I’ve also mentioned here that I made my own fancy combs and clips when I was younger, and it’s a good project for girly-girls.)

A few years back, Paris Hilton was photographed wearing head bands, and, on her, they looked beautiful, and many high school girls don tiaras for prom night. Most of us probably wouldn’t feel comfortable following these examples, but there are still many hair accessories that may be a nice addition to an outfit if you’re in a fun and adventurous mood. Who knows? You may find others copying you…take it as a compliment.

How to Shop for Hair Ornaments for Women with Short Hair

Women with short hair can still glam up their do, thanks to hair ornaments specifically designed for this style.

Let’s start it off with barettes. Mostly sold in pairs, these barrettes are beautiful hair ornaments which can style up the short hair. It is also suitable for small children especially those with fine hair. It comes in various designs like flowers, ribbons, toys bears, butterflies, hearts and more.

Then there are the mini-combs. If you think that they only go for long hair, think again. There are designs made for women with short hair. They have lesser strands and smaller designs which go hand-in-hand with a shorter do. Women with short hair can also opt for French Twist combs. All they have to do is get those that are smaller and have less strands. These are especially made for them.

Hairpins is popular for women with short hair because they are the most accessible and the easiest to put too. Just choose the best designs. Because of their simplicity, they might be overlooked. But there are hair ornament stores which sell hairpins having elaborate designs. Some of them even come in pearl and crystals.

Bobby pins are like hairpins only they stick longer. They also come in pearl and crystals and their designs include flowers and butterflies and more. Their elaborate style makes it the number one hair accessory during special occasions.

Headbands are often used by women with short hair. You can style it up by choosing the elegant designs such as those that has rhinestones, crystals and pearls. Some headbands are made of wire, some are made of cloth. Either way, by wearing these hair accessories, their short hair will not only remain in place, it will also be glammed up.

Bridal Hairstyles Advice

For a modern or classic Victorian style, a beach hair styles marriage is best when it is a chignon hair or down with the simple, loose curls. Soft curls give you a very romantic look. This is true for bridesmaids as well. It is better that they follow all the same pattern. The bride must bear part of the same color and style of dress, and the same hairdo. For example, all bridesmaids should wear flowers in their hair, or shall at all. What is the best way to control the appearance of all styles of hair marriage in your marriage? Easy, it is necessary to have your entire wedding party to make a visit to a hair salon for a wedding style test.

Shows usually a tremendous reduction for the wedding hair style test service because they know you love their work and who later you can book your wedding with them. It is common for salons to submit a marriage contract. Be sure to read your contract carefully before signing it. Read every word and be sure to ask questions if you do not understand something. You know, your hair ornament is vitally important just like your apparel and bags. If you are uncomfortable with the text, it is fair to ask that the contract be amended. Do not just gloss over contract details. It should include important information such as the date of marriage, types of hair styles married marriage and make the delivery of services to be rendered. Many salons will request a deposit to keep the appointment in advance. Some contracts stipulate that deposits are not refundable. If your marriage hair contract has such a clause to determine if there is a grace period. Paying a percentage of this service, and not all prices. Also make payment with a credit card. Should there be a problem or dispute, you have a better chance of getting your money back.

The Physically Challenged in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry

Late Ray Charles had lost his sight at the age of seven and his younger brother, two years earlier. The world he was once saw and basked in its beauty and serenity had become dark and misty. In the face of hardship and seemingly insurmountable mountains as he travelled wearily on life’s path, he found solace in music which turned out to be an escape route that late Ray Charles walked upon triumphantly into stardom. Such was the life of this great artiste(though blind), who played the piano with dexterity that “RAY” a biopic movie was released in 2004 starring Jamie Foxx and directed by Taylor Hackford. Our parents would certainly have a nostalgic feeling, reliving hit songs such as “I got a woman”, “Georgia”, “Hit the Road Jack”, amongst others and with a dozen Grammy awards and others coupled with ground breaking achievements recorded in his profile, Ray Charles who passed on to glory on June 10, 2004 was truly a legend.

“This track is so delicious, I go by the way of Cobilicious” was the intro of the rap lyrics Cobhams Asuquo reeled out in Dekunle Fuji’s successful track “No Lele”, though many Nigerians were unaware of his ‘nil vision state’. His popularity soared amongst the populace when he performed the beautiful thought provoking chorus in the song “Lagi Mo” (The Roof Top MCs) which saw the song hitting the number one spot on some Nigerian chart shows. He won the HIP Hop world Awards 2007 for the “producer of the year category”, increasing the number of statuettes he’d already received. He is presently one of the highly sought after producers in the music industry, making guest appearances on TV programmes and reality show (Project Fame West Africa, season 1) along with the solicitation for his services which extends to Corporate bodies, banks (Sky bank’s advert with the Akuna matata song)

The icy hands of death almost took away Yinka Ayefele in 1999 when he was involved in an auto crash. The crash affected his spinal chord and sentenced him to life on a wheel chair. Through the fiery trials and the stop of the pity partying, he was bold enough to put the ordeal behind him, and bursting forth like water from a rock to quench our thirst with refreshing exciting gospel flavour. Fame, fortune, local and international awards have willingly found their way into his life.

The Nigerian music terrain can boast of this duo who have succeeded on its stage, but can the same be said of the movie industry. We’ve seen physically challenged roles (visually impaired/ lame) being performed by able bodied thespians to the best of their abilities, but wouldn’t it be a surprise to millions of movie viewers for medically proven, physically challenged people to naturally perform such roles assigned to their able bodied counterparts. Who says there are no talented ones among them whose acting skills can’t be brushed up, after all not every A-list thespian studied theatre arts or attended schools that specialized in harnessing such talents.

There are a lot of talented physically challenged people out there rotting away simply because no one has dared to give them a chance. After all the scripts can be converted into Braille letters for them to read, at least we know their sense of hearing is hyper functional than that of the sight seeing fellow. Quite a number of TV Reality shows have hit the screens these past couple of years (dominantly in the Entertainment sector) with new ones emerging by the day, such as Gulder Ultimate search, AMBO, Next movie star, The Intern, Maltina Family dance all, Star Quest, Football with Fash, The Twelve Ambassadors, Big Brother Nigeria, Apprentice Africa, Idols West Africa, Nokia First Chance, Project Fame West Africa.

No reality TV show has been made for the physically challenged probably borne out of fear of not securing sponsors (who are focused on making returns for their investments), or fear of outright rejection by the teeming viewers. Who says a reality show that the physically challenged can function in can’t be conceived and birthed, its all about ingenuity and who can tell whether such a reality show can end up being the best among the lot, nothing is impossible!

No one chooses to be born with a disability, a microscopic percentage makes a touch down on plant earth with disabilities, while a dominant proportion can be attributed to ‘the carelessness of man, accidents and in some cases ‘African remote controlled incidents. Stevie wonder and late Ray Charles were given opportunities to clinch the tickets to stardom, which they appreciatively did, simply because someone believed in them and created opportunities for them to show the world what they had. Let’s help the physically challenged live their dreams in Nigeria, for there is without an iota of doubt, ability in disability!.

So long… auggiepo@yahoo.com

Going Local Our Search Continues to Finding Help for Struggling Homeowners

What may be available in your state if you are struggling with your mortgage?

Florida being not only one of the states with the most foreclosed property in the country, but one of the many states that saw major increases in property value during the refinance boom
The amount of foreclosures in Florida alone is estimated to be over 300,000 easily. With the average home selling around $124,000. The state has tried to come up with creative ways to help struggling homeowners save their homes. From mediation services to a new service which was launched in 2010 by a collaborative effort of the Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Legal Services and the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section. This service called FASH is designed to provide pro bono assistance to distressed homeowners.

Florida Attorneys Saving Homes (FASH) has a toll free hotline to take calls during the week from 8am to 4pm. This service is for any homeowners that fears they may fall behind or maybe currently behind on their mortgage payments.

The pro bono lawyers will negotiate with the homeowner’s lenders on behalf of the homeowner with the hopes of creating a relationship and the end result for everyone, will be a loan modification, or some type of a resolution to assist the homeowner getting back on track with their payments.

With many programs available to struggling homeowners who are behind or may fall behind, a loan modification either from the lender directly or through the government’s program Home Affordable Loan Modification HAMP program can still help you stay in your home and lower your mortgage payments.

Many homeowners need the help of an attorney due to the nature of the loan modification process and understanding the lenders underwriting requirements and process. Foreclosures are slowing down but the need for legal expertise is still suggested due to the nature, and seriousness of foreclosure.

Fashion Accessories Suppliers Raring To Sell Online

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” – Eric Schmidt, CEO – Google.

On 17 Nov 2010, Google announced its foray into the online fashion industry by launching Boutiques.Com – A fashion centred search platform, which lets its users find and discover fashion goods/ accessories through a collection of boutiques customized by celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers.

Experts say that, Google aims to become the first stop for online shoppers of apparel and accessories. As expected, Boutiques.com doesn’t sell the items on its own, it just guides the users reach the best possible purchase decision with the help of multiple parameters and its internal algorithm. The products listed, comes from hundreds of online merchants such as Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden and Juicy Couture and boutiques.com directs the shoppers to original merchant’s sites when they are ready to make a buy.

The big question many fashion industry experts asked – Why is Google taking such active interest in such a niche market. The fact of the matter is that, the online fashion market is a rapidly growing segment and is touted as the next big thing in the world of e commerce.

The retailers along with fashion labels have realised that now is the time to jump into the bandwagon and profit by becoming early adapters otherwise they will remain behind in the race and watch a golden opportunity being missed by a whisker.

Many fashion business houses including the exporters and manufacturers are trying to evaluate the pros and cons of such services and how much can they benefit from the same (after the hype).

Fashion accessories suppliers are more excited about this as their stuff like jewelry, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses is a relatively easy proposition to sell rather than the actual dresses or other high end products. These accessories have a predefined and widely accepted shapes and size and doesn’t need too much of a – personal look and feel experience, making it an attractive segment to sell/promote online.

Fashion accessories industry has given a thumbs up to Google’s initiative with a general feeling that it might become a turning point, in the times to come for the e-commerce industry. As Google itself say that – market for soft goods online is growing tremendously, its time for the fashion pundits to take a pro active approach and laugh their way to the bank.

Lean Process Improvement – A Means for Service Companies to Increase Productivity and Responsiveness

Lean has brought about amazing changes on the factory floor. Many U.S. firms recognize that in today’s markets, the speed of response to customer demands is a key competitive advantage. These firms have worked continuously to reduce their manufacturing cycle times. By applying lean concepts, companies have transformed the factory and made considerable reductions in manufacturing throughput times; reductions in cycle time in excess of 50 percent are not uncommon.

The principles of Lean Process Improvement can be applied to service processes as well as manufacturing processes. By rethinking and streamlining service processes, some companies have cut expenses by 10 to 30 percent and made steep improvements in internal and external customer satisfaction.

With a few exceptions, companies have been slow to apply lean process improvement principles to service processes such as finance, human resources, accounting, health care and customer service. The problem stems from waste being invisible in service processes. Unlike on the factory floor, where idle workers and stacks of inventory are clear signs of broken processes, waste is usually hidden when it comes to services. It tends to lie in wait between functions and departments, so companies only see a small portion of the problem.

Service processes usually lack standardization. Every employee may have a different method for completing the same task. This lack of standardization and consistency is costly. Complex, inefficient processes are slower, have higher error rates and decrease overall responsiveness and customer satisfaction. There is also a human cost when employees are underutilized by spending their time on low value tasks, they have less time for more rewarding – higher value-added tasks.

Identifying the Problems

Service providers need to embrace the end-to-end process philosophy

Adopting this philosophy is critical to seeing and eliminating waste. Process waste in the form of excess steps, redundant activities, and non-value-added tasks cannot be pigeon-holed. Inefficiency in one part of the process spill over into other activities and other processes.

Inconsistency is a problem for many service processes

For example, during an assessment of a prospective client we observed that each customer service representative (CSR) in the same transaction center handled identical customer lab requests differently. The processing times for each CSR was highly variable as much as 50% difference between CSRs. Further analysis revealed that some CSRs were using short cut methods that decreased their cycle times. The company did not engage in cross-training or knowledge sharing that would improve the overall process and reduce the time in handling lab requests.

Another typical observation of service processes reveal the Pareto principle effect:

A small proportion of the work eats up a large percentage of the total time. A brief sampling of the transaction center processing time for lab requests indicated that approximately 80% of the transactions took about 40% of the total time, the remaining 20%, the more complex ones, accounted for about 60% of the total time. Exceptions like these are an enormous burden on productivity and are typical for most service processes.

Many service organizations are lack the ability or to analyze the workarounds, exceptions, and rework that effect productivity:

In the factory, targets for output and capacity utilization are established and measured, but most service businesses are unable to measure these performance metrics.

In manufacturing, the customer doesn’t see or care about the production process itself, if the product is of acceptable quality and delivered on time. But in health care, banking, insurance, and other service industries the customer is the product moving through the process-and experiencing first-hand the frustration of inefficiency, Satisfaction is crucial, whether the customer is internal or external. Poor satisfaction is costly when it prompts the customers to take their business to a competitor.

Overcoming the Challenges of Lean Service

Making services lean has its challenges. It requires creative thinking in adapting the lean methods to a service environment. To be successful implementing Lean Process Improvement in the service industry requires rethinking of how work is currently done. Being successful in your lean service initiative require the following six components.

Select and map your cross-functional processes

Most processes typically cross functions and departments, not many people involved with them have a complete picture of the end-to-end workflow, interdependencies, and the hidden interfaces. This usually result in costly inefficiencies and high error rates. Before a service process can be improved, its steps must be transparent. A detailed analysis of the process and its subprocesses often reveals inefficiencies, workarounds, and complexity, as well as major performance improvement opportunities. Look for non-valued added steps and analyze information flows to identify silos and constraints.

Reduce complexity whenever possible

Complexity is a major contributor to process inefficiency. Rethink and redesign the process to eliminate elements that sap efficiency. Establish a subroutine for handling exceptions. This allows employees to work more quickly and productively with fewer interruptions.

Define and standardize the work

Focus on reducing variation and increasing knowledge of the process by gathering the input of the people doing the work to arrive at the best-known way to do the work. Once the best-known way is determined, document the methods so that the process steps are repeatable.

Exploit the power of big data

Dramatic advances in computing power and processing speed allow companies to gather large amounts of data and perform data analytics to minimize waste, reduce costs, and improve overall process performance.

Establish and track performance metrics

Establish a set of measures. These measures will help continuously monitor how well the process is performing to customer requirements and provide data that will help you identify and solve process problems.

Cross-train to increase productivity

In some service processes the workload is uneven at different times of the day leading to periods of high activity mixed with periods of downtime. Cross training employees to step in to assist in areas with high workloads can increase productivity and customer satisfaction while reducing these periods of uncontrolled activity.

Implementing lean process improvement in service processes requires continued commitment from the top, but lean is driven from the bottom-up. In other words, service workers are the best source of customer insight and process improvement, so it is important to involve them at the outset of the lean initiative.

For the last 50 years manufacturers have used lean tools to improve productivity, eliminate waste and improve efficiency. The same lean tools can be applied to the service industry, where inconsistency and a lack of standardization increases errors, slow response times and hurt customer satisfaction. By embracing the six components described above, service companies can increase productivity and customer responsiveness.

How To Start A Service Business

Setting Up A Service Based Business For Beginners

Although there are exceptions where both entities are entwined into one, most basics of the business is built around one unifying category so that the intentions and goals are clearly and visibly set.

This distinction allows the individual to then decide of the accompanying tools that should be chosen for the purpose of enhancing the business experience and also to contribute positively to the ease of running the business entity.

Most service based forays are labor intensive which the business entity revolves around. This is either packaged as the selling of expertise in a particular field or the selling of the actual “engines” that produce the desired outcome that bring in the revenue.

Either way the quality, efficiency, attention and detail that is exercised within the business are the eventual elements that are going to make or break the business foray into the revenue churning mechanism.

Basically offering the time frame required to create a particular service or to provide the content of the project itself is how the cost factor is calculated and the profits are gained in the service based business.

Therefore, the individual would have to factor in the cost of business entity by the labor intensive tool it provides, in order to provide a suitable base line for the eventual calculation of the profits and the pricing suitable to be demanded.

Alternatively the value of the service based business can be calculated on the value of the service being provided in a consultancy capacity which is evaluated against the insights the said service will bring to the company with the intention of creating a system thereby the said company is able to save or be more cost effective.

Being able to identify a suitable and good service based company is very important if the new business or existing business owner intends to hire its services to help enhance the site’s potential.

Identifying the characteristics of a particular service based company and matching them to the needs of the site in question will allow the business owner is make an informed decision of the merits of the chosen service.

Do Your Research First-

Customer perception of a company is very important to the progress and eventual success of any business endeavor, therefore it is very important to be able to identify the appropriate service based one to best suit the individual’s needs.

Being able to provide good service should always be the prime concern of any business entity especially if its revenue earning power depends on this one factor.

Market research is often the best way to identify the companies that have good track records and are capable of delivering what they promise.

This information can easily be sourced over the internet as these companies will be active in presenting their achievements for all interested parties to view.

It is also an excellent platform for potential clients and competitors alike to note the merits of the presenting service based company.

Being well-placed on the search engine rankings will allow the service based company to be more visible and thus make it easier to garner the intended customer base to ensure its consistent success.

The features of a good service based company would have to include the value added by the business entity from the input stage to the output stage where the results are then measured by its success rates.

These input stages are often regarded as the commodity phase and the processes that it is designed around have to ensure the successful output stage which is where the end desired results are more than adequately met.

Making a sale or pushing a business proposition is never an easy task to accomplish for some, therefore having the relevant assisting tools at hand should provide the individual with some encouragement to see the process to success.

Marketing Skills-

The following are some tools that can prove to be of great assistance to any individual intending to beef up their marketing skills:

Making use of as many online tools as possible to promote the business or product intended is one way to start the enhancement of the marketing skills venture.

Using blogs to create the interest and visibility for the item is something that should be considered as this is one way to get the attention of the target audience without much cost incurred.

Working together with others is another way to beef up an individual’s marketing skills. Being part of a team effort where the individual’s talents and contributions are noticed and acknowledged is definitely an encouraging factor and helps the individual to be more adventurous and keen on honing his or her skills further.

Availing one’s self to be listed on freelance job sites is also another way of beefing up the marketing skill of an individual. The fact that the visibility factor the site can bring to the individual will help the person focus more on ensuring the eventual connections made are optimized and locked in at the earliest opportunity.

Social websites are also a good platform to introduce one’s marketing skills to the masses.

Because of the competitiveness of all the participants in this particular platform the individual will subconsciously be forced to step out and ensure his or her participation leaves a positive impact on the interactions.

Showcasing all the positive skill of the marketing process will eventually earn the respect and attention of others looking for such services.

Create Your Website-

Creating a website can be a challenging feat for those not very internet savvy, however it is not altogether a task that is formidable in nature. With a little startup knowledge and tips anyone can successfully attempt to put together their own website.

The following are some guidelines that will help ease the process:

Registering the suitable domain name is the first step to take when designing a website.

The choice of this domain name should ideally take into consideration the relevance the name has to the intended site, an easy to remember reference, one that is short yet descriptive and whether it has the right extensions tagged to it such as.net,.com,.org.

The next step would be to set up a web host account and this would entail the picking one that can provide the services the individual would need for the website.

Although cost is always a factor for every business endeavor, it would be advisable to avoid using the cheaper and inexperienced ones available as this might end up costing the individual in the future.

The follow up step would be to point the domain to the web host in place.

This is a fairly simple exercise, however if the individual faces any potential problems along the way there are always assisting platforms to tap into to get the relevant help or explanations.

Getting a word press linked to the site is another important step to incorporate into the setup. This word press is a free platform that is used by bloggers and allows the individual to build the website with the minimum of effort while making it user-friendly always.

Last but by no means the least, would be for the individual to organize the website.

This process would involve the backtracking exercise to ensure there are no defaults that would cause the viewer to be put off when visiting the site.

Learning to build websites isn’t the complex technical process a lot of people think it is. All you really need to do is come to our website and get access to 300+ Tutorials that show you step by step how to build a website, and so much more, and start playing around with building your own websites.

Advertising Ideas-

In order to stay competitive it is necessary to always be able to have fresh views and ideas to present to potential customers and target audiences. Without such innovations the website will become stagnant and outdated thus eventually causing the original high volume of traffic flow to thin out. Brainstorming is one way of gathering and creating new ideas that would benefit any endeavor.

Some of the ways that can be adopted to bring forth interesting and innovative ideas at the brainstorming sessions are facilitated by encouraging the participants to simulate the mindset of the customer or the intended target audience.

By doing this the participant are more likely to anticipate the needs and wants of the customers and target audience and design any changes to fit into this discovery.

Bringing people together to discuss ideas at the same time and in the same place is also another good advantage the brainstorming sessions can facilitate.

Advertising ideas and campaigns can be discussed in “real time” as opposed to having emails flying about which is less effective and time-consuming and even confusing at times.

Brainstorming for advertising purposes, should ideally take into account the following points:

Problem definition and identification should be done at the very onset of the exercise. With this clearly outlined, other factors can then be worked on in line with the initial problem discovery information.

Custom designing can also be worked on within the brainstorming session, as the collaboration of views can contribute to finding the one idea that is going to eventually used to build the campaign around.

Customer Service-

Making a sale is only the first step is the relationship building exercise, which will eventually contribute to either the success or failure of any business endeavor. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the customer service offered to cement the success rate desired.

The following are some tips as to how to stay on top of the customer service exercise:

Taking the customer for granted is the first and most common mistake most businesses make. This is especially evident when the business has expanded to now successful and comfortable levels. Often forgotten is the customers that brought the business to such heights in the first place.

Therefore, it is very important to keep in touch with the customers so that vital information can be obtained about the current needs and wants of the customer.

In the quest to stay informed and provide optimum customer service another point to consider and exercise is the importance of being fresh and innovative with ideas that are going to keep the customer coming back for more.

When boredom sets in the customer will usually simply look elsewhere for the next new exciting thing that attracts their attention.

Therefore, in order to induce customer loyalty innovative ideas should be a constant feature within the business.

Happy Customers Are Loyal Customers-

Training staff to treat each customer with respect and individuality is well worth the effort. Sometimes this positive treatment is the defining factor that keeps the customer coming back, even if the products are not exactly the best in the market.

Having the protocols in place for quick and efficient responses to a customer’s queries or grievances, is one way of ensuring the individual stays a loyal customer and does not spread negativity about the business or product. Happy customers are loyal customers.

In most cases it is rather difficult to specifically categorize businesses into specific service based styles. This is mainly because a lot of businesses tend to incorporate different platforms and strategies into the actual blueprint of the business format.

However, there are some that can be clearly defined as service based business companies and the following are some of these examples:

Types Of Service Based Business-

Such service companies may include the likes of services provided by doctors, accounts, architects, actuaries, lawyers and other related fields.

On a more creative side one may include the likes of services provided for by fabric designers, fashion designers, color scheme artists and many more as the list of such endeavors can be quite overwhelming.

Most service type companies rarely have appreciable inventory as the purchases for usually made with the objective of facilitating a job thus the need to carry any inventory would not be necessary.

Merchandising companies can also be considered service style enterprises as they to provide a service of sort to the customer base.

However, this service is based solely on providing tangible elements rather than just the action of extending physical service. The generation of revenue is from the actual sale of the inventory rather than from the service extended.

Manufacturing companies also come under the category of providing a service to the industry and the customer needs. In this scenario the products or items are made and sold within the company’s business entity thus ensuring monetary gains are derived both from the product and the service offered by manufacturing the product.

All these different types of basic service providing entities are all in place with one goal in mind and that is to create the platform for revenue earning potential. Therefore, in order to understand and identify which would be best suited for the individual business owner, more research should be done to find the style that best suits the individual’s needs.

OK, so I hope this article gives those looking to start their own online service based business a better understanding on what it takes to set up and grow a successful online serviced based business.

To your great success on your online business journey, Bob

Advantages of Private Ambulance Services Over Public Ambulance Services

Ambulances are vehicles used for providing emergency or non-emergency transport to a patient outside the hospital or any other medical facility. They carry medical personnel, including paramedics and medical technicians to the required site. They give immediate medical aid and close monitoring of patients on their way to the nearby hospital or emergency room. They also transport patients who are not in the condition of traveling by means of normal vehicles. They have flashing bulbs and sirens which separate them from other vehicles and aid them to reach on their destination in a matter of minutes. The ambulance services are divided into two categories; public services and private services.

Public services– Public services are operated by the state. The fund comes partly from your pocket and partly from the taxpayers. Every area has its own public services and they seldom serve outside their domain. Moreover, the services and facilities provided by the public ambulances are limited and they have some definite terms of functioning. Though they cost a little less, their limitations sometimes require the need for private ambulance services.

Private services– The private ambulances are private organizations which work on a reservation basis. However, the complete cost of booking a private ambulance and providing the requisite facilities are charged by the patient (or whoever books them). Since they are independent bodies, the services they offer are quite flexible and often more convenient.

Advantages of private services over public services

There are many situations where private services are more preferable some of which are:

  • Public ambulance services can be available only in the case of emergency. So, in such cases where there is no real emergency and an ambulance is required for the convenience and comfort of the patient, a private ambulance service is necessary.
  • Public ambulances have their specific regions of serving and they can carry the patient to the nearest hospitals and they generally do not offer you any choice as to which hospital or clinic you want to go. So, if you are receiving your treatment from a much preferable hospital, which is out of the working area of the local ambulance services, then private ambulance services are your only option.
  • Sometimes, large companies or organizations want to keep an ambulance or a few for large events to give medical help for when an emergency condition arises. Of course, public ambulances can’t serve the purpose. Private ambulances, however, will be quite suitable and they can be booked in the desired number for the desired time.
  • Patients who are not in the condition of going to a medical facility themselves nor have anyone who can go with them and give the required support may need to call private ambulance services.

Cost of private ambulance services

The cost of private services can vary a lot on the type of services opted. More luxurious facilities will obviously cost you more money.

Why Web Services?

Overview
Component-based programming has become more popular than ever. Hardly an application is built today that does not involve leveraging components in some form, usually from different vendors. As applications have grown more sophisticated, the need to leverage components distributed on remote machines has also grown.

An example of a component-based application is an end-to-end e-commerce solution. An e-commerce application residing on a Web farm needs to submit orders to a back-end Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. In many cases, the ERP application resides on different hardware and might run on a different operating system.

The Microsoft Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), a distributed object infrastructure that allows an application to invoke Component Object Model (COM) components installed on another server, has been ported to a number of non-Windows platforms. But DCOM has never gained wide acceptance on these platforms, so it is rarely used to facilitate communication between Windows and non-Windows computers. ERP software vendors often create components for the Windows platform that communicate with the back-end system via a proprietary protocol.

Some services leveraged by an e-commerce application might not reside within the datacenter at all. For example, if the e-commerce application accepts credit card payment for goods purchased by the customer, it must elicit the services of the merchant bank to process the customer’s credit card information. But for all practical purposes, DCOM and related technologies such as CORBA and Java RMI are limited to applications and components installed within the corporate datacenter. Two primary reasons for this are that by default these technologies leverage proprietary protocols and these protocols are inherently connection oriented.

Clients communicating with the server over the Internet face numerous potential barriers to communicating with the server. Security-conscious network administrators around the world have implemented corporate routers and firewalls to disallow practically every type of communication over the Internet. It often takes an act of God to get a network administrator to open ports beyond the bare minimum.

If you’re lucky enough to get a network administrator to open up the appropriate ports to support your service, chances are your clients will not be as fortunate. As a result, proprietary protocols such those used by DCOM, CORBA, and Java RMI are not practical for Internet scenarios.

The other problem, as I said, with these technologies is that they are inherently connection oriented and therefore cannot handle network interruptions gracefully. Because the Internet is not under your direct control, you cannot make any assumptions about the quality or reliability of the connection. If a network interruption occurs, the next call the client makes to the server might fail.

The connection-oriented nature of these technologies also makes it challenging to build the load-balanced infrastructures necessary to achieve high scalability. Once the connection between the client and the server is severed, you cannot simply route the next request to another server.

Developers have tried to overcome these limitations by leveraging a model called stateless programming, but they have had limited success because the technologies are fairly heavy and make it expensive to reestablish a connection with a remote object.

Because the processing of a customer’s credit card is accomplished by a remote server on the Internet, DCOM is not ideal for facilitating communication between the e-commerce client and the credit card processing server. As in an ERP solution, a third-party component is often installed within the client’s datacenter (in this case, by the credit card processing solution provider). This component serves as little more than a proxy that facilitates communication between the e-commerce software and the merchant bank via a proprietary protocol.

Do you see a pattern here? Because of the limitations of existing technologies in facilitating communication between computer systems, software vendors have often resorted to building their own infrastructure. This means resources that could have been used to add improved functionality to the ERP system or the credit card processing system have instead been devoted to writing proprietary network protocols.

In an effort to better support such Internet scenarios, Microsoft initially adopted the strategy of augmenting its existing technologies, including COM Internet Services (CIS), which allows you to establish a DCOM connection between the client and the remote component over port 80. For various reasons, CIS was not widely accepted.

It became clear that a new approach was needed. So Microsoft decided to address the problem from the bottom up. Let’s look at some of the requirements the solution had to meet in order to succeed.

  • Interoperability The remote service must be able to be consumed by clients on other platforms.
  • Internet friendliness The solution should work well for supporting clients that access the remote service from the Internet.
  • Strongly typed interfaces There should be no ambiguity about the type of data sent to and received from a remote service. Furthermore, datatypes defined by the remote service should map reasonably well to datatypes defined by most procedural programming languages.
  • Ability to leverage existing Internet standards The implementation of the remote service should leverage existing Internet standards as much as possible and avoid reinventing solutions to problems that have already been solved. A solution built on widely adopted Internet standards can leverage existing toolsets and products created for the technology.
  • Support for any language The solution should not be tightly coupled to a particular programming language. Java RMI, for example, is tightly coupled to the Java language. It would be difficult to invoke functionality on a remote Java object from Visual Basic or Perl. A client should be able to implement a new Web service or use an existing Web service regardless of the programming language in which the client was written.
  • Support for any distributed component infrastructure The solution should not be tightly coupled to a particular component infrastructure. In fact, you shouldn’t be required to purchase, install, or maintain a distributed object infrastructure just to build a new remote service or consume an existing service. The underlying protocols should facilitate a base level of communication between existing distributed object infrastructures such as DCOM and CORBA.

Given the title of this book, it should come as no surprise that the solution Microsoft created is known as Web services. A Web service exposes an interface to invoke a particular activity on behalf of the client. A client can access the Web service through the use of Internet standards.

Web Services Building Blocks
The following graphic shows the core building blocks needed to facilitate remote communication between two applications.

Let’s discuss the purpose of each of these building blocks. Because many readers are familiar with DCOM, I will also mention the DCOM equivalent of each building block.

  • Discovery The client application that needs access to functionality exposed by a Web service needs a way to resolve the location of the remote service. This is accomplished through a process generally termed discovery. Discovery can be facilitated via a centralized directory as well as by more ad hoc methods. In DCOM, the Service Control Manager (SCM) provides discovery services.
  • Description Once the end point for a particular Web service has been resolved, the client needs sufficient information to properly interact with it. The description of a Web service encompasses structured metadata about the interface that is intended to be consumed by a client application as well as written documentation about the Web service including examples of use. A DCOM component exposes structured metadata about its interfaces via a type library (typelib). The metadata within a component’s typelib is stored in a proprietary binary format and is accessed via a proprietary application programming interface (API).
  • Message format In order to exchange data, a client and a server have to agree on a common way to encode and format the messages. A standard way of encoding data ensures that data encoded by the client will be properly interpreted by the server. In DCOM, messages sent between a client and a server are formatted as defined by the DCOM Object RPC (ORPC) protocol.

Without a standard way of formatting the messages, developing a toolset to abstract the developer from the underlying protocols is next to impossible. Creating an abstraction layer between the developer and the underlying protocols allows the developer to focus more on the business problem at hand and less on the infrastructure required to implement the solution.

  • Encoding The data transmitted between the client and the server needs to be encoded into the body of the message. DCOM uses a binary encoding scheme to serialize the data contained by the parameters exchanged between the client and the server.
  • Transport Once the message has been formatted and the data has been serialized into the body of the message, the message must be transferred between the client and the server over some transport protocol. DCOM supports a number of proprietary protocols bound to a number of network protocols such as TCP, SPX, NetBEUI, and NetBIOS over IPX.

Web Services Design Decisions

Let’s discuss some of the design decisions behind these building blocks for Web services.

Choosing Transport Protocols

The first step was to determine how the client and the server would communicate with each other. The client and the server can reside on the same LAN, but the client might potentially communicate with the server over the Internet. Therefore, the transport protocol must be equally suited to LAN environments and the Internet.

As I mentioned earlier, technologies such as DCOM, CORBA, and Java RMI are ill suited for supporting communication between the client and the server over the Internet. Protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) are proven Internet protocols. HTTP defines a request/response messaging pattern for submitting a request and getting an associated response. SMTP defines a routable messaging protocol for asynchronous communication. Let’s examine why HTTP and SMTP are well suited for the Internet.

HTTP-based Web applications are inherently stateless. They do not rely on a continuous connection between the client and the server. This makes HTTP an ideal protocol for high-availability configurations such as firewalls. If the server that handled the client’s original request becomes unavailable, subsequent requests can be automatically routed to another server without the client knowing or caring.

Almost all companies have an infrastructure in place that supports SMTP. SMTP is well suited for asynchronous communication. If service is disrupted, the e-mail infrastructure automatically handles retries. Unlike with HTTP, you can pass SMTP messages to a local mail server that will attempt to deliver the mail message on your behalf.

The other significant advantage of both HTTP and SMTP is their pervasiveness. Employees have come to rely on both e-mail and their Web browsers, and network administrators have a high comfort level supporting these services. Technologies such as network address translation (NAT) and proxy servers provide a way to access the Internet via HTTP from within otherwise isolated corporate LANs. Administrators will often expose an SMTP server that resides inside the firewall. Messages posted to this server will then be routed to their final destination via the Internet.

In the case of credit card processing software, an immediate response is needed from the merchant bank to determine whether the order should be submitted to the ERP system. HTTP, with its request/response message pattern, is well suited to this task.

Most ERP software packages are not capable of handling large volumes of orders that can potentially be driven from the e-commerce application. In addition, it is not imperative that the orders be submitted to the ERP system in real time. Therefore, SMTP can be leveraged to queue orders so that they can be processed serially by the ERP system.

If the ERP system supports distributed transactions, another option is to leverage Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ). As long as the e-commerce application and the ERP system reside within the same LAN, connectivity via non-Internet protocols is less of an issue. The advantage MSMQ has over SMTP is that messages can be placed and removed from the queue within the scope of a transaction. If an attempt to process a message that was pulled off the queue fails, the message will automatically be placed back in the queue when the transaction aborts.

Choosing an Encoding Scheme

HTTP and SMTP provide a means of sending data between the client and the server. However, neither specifies how the data within the body of the message should be encoded. Microsoft needed a standard, platform-neutral way to encode data exchanged between the client and the server.

Because the goal was to leverage Internet-based protocols, Extensible Markup Language (XML) was the natural choice. XML offers many advantages, including cross-platform support, a common type system, and support for industry -standard character sets.

Binary encoding schemes such as those used by DCOM, CORBA, and Java RMI must address compatibility issues between different hardware platforms. For example, different hardware platforms have different internal binary representation of multi-byte numbers. Intel platforms order the bytes of a multi-byte number using the little endian convention; many RISC processors order the bytes of a multi-byte number using the big endian convention.

XML avoids binary encoding issues because it uses a text-based encoding scheme that leverages standard character sets. Also, some transport protocols, such as SMTP, can contain only text-based messages.

Binary methods of encoding, such as those used by DCOM and CORBA, are cumbersome and require a supporting infrastructure to abstract the developer from the details. XML is much lighter weight and easier to handle because it can be created and consumed using standard text-parsing techniques.

In addition, a variety of XML parsers are available to further simplify the creation and consumption of XML documents on practically every modern platform. XML is lightweight and has excellent tool support, so XML encoding allows incredible reach because practically any client on any platform can communicate with your Web service.

Choosing a Formatting Convention

It is often necessary to include additional metadata with the body of the message. For example, you might want to include information about the type of services that a Web service needs to provide in order to fulfill your request, such as enlisting in a transaction or routing information. XML provides no mechanism for differentiating the body of the message from its associated data.

Transport protocols such as HTTP provide an extensible mechanism for header data, but some data associated with the message might not be specific to the transport protocol. For example, the client might send a message that needs to be routed to multiple destinations, potentially over different transport protocols. If the routing information were placed into an HTTP header, it would have to be translated before being sent to the next intermediary over another transport protocol, such as SMTP. Because the routing information is specific to the message and not the transport protocol, it should be a part of the message.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) provides a protocol-agnostic means of associating header information with the body of the message. Every SOAP message must define an envelope. The envelope has a body that contains the payload of the message and a header that can contain metadata associated with the message.

SOAP imposes no restrictions on how the message body can be formatted. This is a potential concern because without a consistent way of encoding the data, it is difficult to develop a toolset that abstracts you from the underlying protocols. You might have to spend a fair amount of time getting up to speed on the Web service’s interface instead of solving the business problem at hand.

What was needed was a standard way of formatting a remote procedure call (RPC) message and encoding its list of parameters. This is exactly what Section 7 of the SOAP specification provides. It describes a standard naming convention and encoding style for procedure-oriented messages.

Because SOAP provides a standard format for serializing data into an XML message, platforms such as ASP.NET and Remoting can abstract away the details for you.

Choosing Description Mechanisms

SOAP provides a standard way of formatting messages exchanged between the Web service and the client. However, the client needs additional information in order to properly serialize the request and interpret the response. XML Schema provides a means of creating schemas that can be used to describe the contents of a message.

XML Schema provides a core set of built-in datatypes that can be used to describe the contents of a message. You can also create your own datatypes. For example, the merchant bank can create a complex datatype to describe the content and structure of the body of a message used to submit a credit card payment request.

A schema contains a set of datatype and element definitions. A Web service uses the schema not only to communicate the type of data that is expected to be within a message but also to validate incoming and outgoing messages.

A schema alone does not provide enough information to effectively describe a Web service, however. The schema does not describe the message patterns between the client and the server. For example, a client needs to know whether to expect a response when an order is posted to the ERP system. A client also needs to know over what transport protocol the Web service expects to receive requests. Finally, the client needs to know the address where the Web service can be reached.

This information is provided by a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document. WSDL is an XML document that fully describes a particular Web service. Tools such as ASP.NET WSDL.exe and Remoting SOAPSUDS.exe can consume WSDL and automatically build proxies for the developer.

As with any component used to build software, a Web service should also be accompanied by written documentation for developers who program against the Web service. The documentation should describe what the Web service does, the interfaces it exposes, and some examples of how to use it. Good documentation is especially important if the Web service is exposed to clients over the Internet.

Choosing Discovery Mechanisms

Once you’ve developed and documented a Web service, how can potential clients locate it? If the Web service is designed to be consumed by a member of your development team, your approach can be pretty informal, such as sharing the URL of the WSDL document with your peer a couple of cubicles down. But when potential clients are on the Internet, advertising your Web service effectively is an entirely different story.

What’s needed is a common way to advertise Web services. Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) provides just such a mechanism. UDDI is an industry-standard centralized directory service that can be used to advertise and locate Web services. UDDI allows users to search for Web services using a host of search criteria, including company name, category, and type of Web service.

Web services can also be advertised via DISCO, a proprietary XML document format defined by Microsoft that allows Web sites to advertise the services they expose. DISCO defines a simple protocol for facilitating a hyperlink style for locating resources. The primary consumer of DISCO is Microsoft Visual Studio.NET. A developer can target a particular Web server and navigate through the various Web services exposed by the server.

What’s Missing from Web Services?

You might have noticed that some key items found within a distributed component infrastructure are not defined by Web services. Two of the more noticeable omissions are a well-defined API for creating and consuming Web services and a set of component services, such as support for distributed transactions. Let’s discuss each of these missing pieces.

  • Web service -specific API Most distributed component infrastructures define an API to perform such tasks as initializing the runtime, creating an instance of a component, and reflecting the metadata used to describe the component. Because most high-level programming languages provide some degree of interoperability with C, the API is usually exposed as a flat set of C method signatures. RMI goes so far as to tightly couple its API with a single high-level language, Java.

In an effort to ensure that Web services are programming language-agnostic, Microsoft has left it up to individual software vendors to bind support for Web services to a particular platform. I will discuss two Web service implementations for the.NET platform, ASP.NET and Remoting, later in the book.

  • Component services The Web services platform does not provide many of the services commonly found in distributed component infrastructures, such as remote object lifetime management, object pooling, and support for distributed transactions. These services are left up to the distributed component infrastructure to implement.

Some services, such as support for distributed transactions, can be introduced later as the technology matures. Others, such as object pooling and possibly object lifetime management, can be considered an implementation detail of the platform. For example, Remoting defines extensions to provide support for object lifetime management, and Microsoft Component Services provides support for object pooling.

Summary

Component-based programming has proven to be a boon to developer productivity, but some services cannot be encapsulated by a component that resides within the client’s datacenter. Legacy technologies such as DCOM, CORBA, and Java RMI are ill-suited to allowing clients to access services over the Internet, so Microsoft found it necessary to start from the bottom and build an industry-standard way of accessing remote services.

Web services is an umbrella term that describes a collection of industry- standard protocols and services used to facilitate a base-line level of interoperability between applications. The industry support that Web services has received is unprecedented. Never before have so many leading technology companies stepped up to support a standard that facilitates interoperability between applications, regardless of the platform on which they are run.

One of the contributing factors to the success of Web services is that they’re built on existing Internet standards such as XML and HTTP. As a result, any system capable of parsing text and communicating via a standard Internet transport protocol can communicate with a Web service. Companies can also leverage the investment they have already made in these technologies.

6 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Deciding Where To Get Your Car Serviced

1. Which are the services offered by the company?

Does the company provide 24/7 service access and, can, at any point in time can help you fix your car, arrange for free pick-up and drop?Does it live up to its promise of 100% transparency on the products and parts they use? A service provider that offers all the above, and does not cheat customers with any kind of false promises, while offering ease of payment, quick support, is the one you should be looking for. After-all, its services will help maximizing the lifespan value of your car.It is also preferable that the car service provider believes in innovation and constantly updates itself with new technology.

2. Does it have a loyal customer history?

Customer reviews and ratings given by the consumer care often a valuable and trustworthy source of information and should play a role in your decision-making process.Also, it is advisable to keep an eye out for other reports or statistics of the company, in understanding and identifying the scope and value of its services.Today, most people feel it is okay to pay a premium over and above the usual price, as long as they get quality services worth their money.But it is important to also get the appropriate advice on such add-on services, which truly add value to your vehicle, and not just bill you extra for the sake of it. It is strongly recommended that you choose solid, reputable companies that can provide a ready explanation of their billing figures rather than just go for a company that charges high prices for its services. Remember, costlier does not necessarily mean better.

3. If the company has specialisation in the field?

It is important to find out whether the company has certification/s in the fields of service they provide their consumers with. These are often a safe way to establish the company’s credentials and whether or not, it is capable of delivering on its promise.

4. Do they provide original company parts replacement?

In today’s world, it is very easy to fool the people with the duplicate parts and equipment, so be very careful of the parts that will be installed in your car. Make sure the parts used are authorised, in the terms of warranty &guarantee, the authenticity of the company manufacturing them, being a part of the service process, among other things. Remember, you may not be an expert, but your involvement will ensure you get what you pay for., and the final decision rests with you.

5. Is the customer service centre consumer friendly and have trained workers?

You should never be left in the dark about the process and the conversations around it. It is your absolute right to understand the nature of service undertaken and the service company that breaks it down for you in easy terms, instead of confusing you with jargon, is the ideal choice. Also, a company’s staff and personnel are more often than not a reflection of how the organisation functions. So it would be wise to choose a service provider, whose personnel are trained and consumer-friendly.

6. How to tackle the confusion of competition in the market and which one to trust the most?

The competition in the car service market often makes it difficult for you to select one company over the other. The lack of knowledge in the technology being used for car servicing shouldn’t be a reason for you to be fooled by the car service company. It is advised that you make appropriate enquiries about the process and the products used for the service, rather than paying off the bills blindly.

Before finalising your service provider, always ask yourself these basic questions listed here.