Tag: Your

Windows Firewall check #how #to #check #your #firewall #settings

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Windows Firewall check

Published: December 16, 2009

Applies To: Forefront Client Security

The Windows Firewall check identifies whether the Windows Firewall is enabled (on the scanned computer) for all active network connections. The check also identifies port exceptions, service exceptions, and application exceptions..

Windows Firewall is software that runs on your computer and provides protection against network attacks from the Internet or other computers on the network

Windows Firewall is included in Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Vista. Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) is included in Windows XP prior to SP2 and Windows Server 2003 prior to SP1. This check pertains to Windows Firewall and not to ICF.

Resolutions for potentially unacceptable scores

It is recommended that you enable Windows Firewall for each network connection on a computer. You can change firewall settings through: Control Panel WindowsFirewall or by using Group Policy. For more information about Windows Firewall, see How to turn of or turn off the firewall in Windows XP (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=19699) and Managing Windows XP Service Pack 2 Features Using Group Policy: Windows Firewall (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95063)

Scoring and results

The following tables show how Client Security determines the score resulting from performing this check on a client computer.

Overall score for computers with Windows Firewall disabled





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Protect Your Property From Water Damage #protect #your #property #from #water #damage #nick #gromicko,

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Protect Your Property From Water Damage

Water may be essential to life, but, as a destructive force, water can diminish the value of your home or building. Homes as well as commercial buildings can suffer water damage that results in increased maintenance costs, a decrease in the value of the property, lowered productivity, and potential liability associated with a decline in indoor air quality. The best way to protect against this potential loss is to ensure that the building components which enclose the structure, known as the building envelope, are water-resistant. Also, you will want to ensure that manufacturing processes, if present, do not allow excess water to accumulate. Finally, make sure that the plumbing and ventilation systems, which can be quite complicated in buildings, operate efficiently and are well-maintained. This article provides some basic steps for identifying and eliminating potentially damaging excess moisture.

Identify and Repair All Leaks and Cracks

The following are common building-related sources of water intrusion:

  • windows and doors: Check for leaks around your windows, storefront systems and doors.
  • roof: Improper drainage systems and roof sloping reduce roof life and become a primary source of moisture intrusion. Leaks are also common around vents for exhaust or plumbing, rooftop air-conditioning units, or other specialized equipment.
  • foundation and exterior walls: Seal any cracks and holes in exterior walls, joints and foundations. These often develop as a naturally occurring byproduct of differential soil settlement.
  • plumbing: Check for leaking plumbing fixtures, dripping pipes (including fire sprinkler systems), clogged drains (both interior and exterior), defective water drainage systems and damaged manufacturing equipment.
  • ventilation, heating and airconditioning (HVAC) systems: Numerous types, some very sophisticated, are a crucial component to maintaining a healthy, comfortable work environment. They are comprised of a number of components (including chilled water piping and condensation drains) that can directly contribute to excessive moisture in the work environment. In addition, in humid climates, one of the functions of the system is to reduce the ambient air moisture level (relative humidity) throughout the building. An improperly operating HVAC system will not perform this function.

Prevent Water Intrusion Through Good Inspection and Maintenance Programs

Hire a qualified InterNACHI inspector to perform an inspection of the following elements of your building to ensure that they remain in good condition:

  • flashings and sealants: Flashing, which is typically a thin metal strip found around doors, windows and roofs, are designed to prevent water intrusion in spaces where two building materials come together. Sealants and caulking are specifically applied to prevent moisture intrusion at building joints. Both must be maintained and in good condition.
  • vents: All vents should have appropriate hoods, exhaust to the exterior, and be in good working order.
  • Review the use of manufacturingequipment that may include water for processing or cooling. Ensure wastewater drains adequately away, with no spillage. Check for condensation around hot or cold materials or heat-transfer equipment.
  • HVAC systems are much more complicated in commercial buildings. Check for leakage in supply and return water lines, pumps, air handlers and other components. Drain lines should be clean and clear of obstructions. Ductwork should be insulated to prevent condensation on exterior surfaces.
  • humidity: Except in specialized facilities, the relative humidity in your building should be between 30% and 50%. Condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, and musty smells are signs that relative humidity may be high. If you are concerned about the humidity level in your building, consult with a mechanical engineer, contractor or air-conditioning repair company to determine if your HVAC system is properly sized and in good working order. A mechanical engineer should be consulted when renovations to interior spaces take place.
  • moist areas: Regularly clean off, then dry all surfaces where moisture frequently collects.
  • expansion joints: Expansion joints are materials between bricks, pipes and other building materials that absorb movement. If expansion joints are not in good condition, water intrusion can occur.

Protection From Water Damage

  • interior finish materials: Replace drywall, plaster, carpet and stained or water-damaged ceiling tiles. These are not only good evidence of a moisture intrusion problem, but can lead to deterioration of the work environment, if they remain over time.
  • exterior walls: Exterior walls are generally comprised of a number of materials combined into a wall assembly. When properly designed and constructed, the assembly is the first line of defense between water and the interior of your building. It is essential that they be maintained properly (including regular refinishing and/or resealing with the correct materials).
  • storage areas: Storage areas should be kept clean. Allow air to circulate to prevent potential moisture accumulation.

Act Quickly if Water Intrusion Occurs

Label shut-off valves so that the water supply can be easily closed in the event of a plumbing leak. If water intrusion does occur, you can minimize the damage by addressing the problem quickly and thoroughly. Immediately remove standing water and all moist materials, and consult with a building professional. Should your building become damaged by a catastrophic event, such as fire, flood or storm, take appropriate action to prevent further water damage, once it is safe to do so. This may include boarding up damaged windows, covering a damaged roof with plastic sheeting, and/or removing wet materials and supplies. Fast action on your part will help minimize the time and expense for repairs, resulting in a faster recovery.





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Royal Mail Business Collections – mail collection from your premises #collections, #business #collection, #mail

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Collections

Yes. To confirm your new address and the date you d like us to start collecting from there, send us an email .

How can I cancel my Customer Collection service?

To cancel your regular Collection, we ll need one month s notice. You can:

Royal Mail
Customer Account Processing Centre
PO Box 579
CHESTERFIELD
S49 1WW

Can I change the time of my Collection?

If you don t already pay for a Timed Collection, we ll need to check that your local office can provide that service. Send us an email with your request. If the time you select isn t available, you can apply for a Timed Collection Service. If you have a Timed Collection service, and want to change the time, send us an email with your request .

Can I specify the exact time I want my mail collected?

If you don t apply for a regular Timed Collection, we can t guarantee a collection time. We ll try to agree a time within 15 minutes of your request, subject to availability.

I’ve received a letter telling me that my collection time will change. Why?

Our Operational Modernisation Programme is about making the best use of our people and equipment and as part of that we need to look at all our collection routes. To see the changes that are happening in your area, you can read our Operational Modernisation information.

The driver hasn’t turned up to collect my mail, what do I do?

It s highly likely our driver is on the way and has just run into some unexpected traffic. However, if you are concerned, please call your local team contact or call us on 08457 950 950*. Please keep in mind that we re unable to contact our drivers when they re driving and collecting mail.

I pay for customer collection but I am now spending over £15,000 per year on Royal Mail products and services, how do I change to a free one?

If you spend 15,000 on Royal Mail products and services at the address we collect your mail from, you can change this to a free Customer Collection when we send your annual renewal invoice. You will have 30 days from the date on your invoice to make this request.

To complete your request, send us an email or write to:

Royal Mail Collections Team
PO Box 740
BARNSLEY
S73 0ZJ

Quote your Customer Collection account number and evidence of your spend. Evidence of spend includes:

  • Your account number(s) used for posting mail from the same site we are collecting from
  • Your Franking machine DIE number(s)
  • Your SmartStamp receipts
  • Any other valid proof of spend on Royal Mail s products or services.

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www.royalmail.com (this Website) uses cookies in order to make it easier to use and to support the provision of relevant information and functionality to you. Cookies also provide us with information about how this Website is used so we can keep it is as up to date, relevant and error free as possible. Further information about the types of cookies in use on this Website is set out below.

By using this Website you agree to the use of cookies. Please note that certain cookies may be set the moment you start visiting this Website. You can choose to manage the cookies we use on this Website through your browser settings at any time. For more information about how to do this, and about cookies in general, you can visit www.allaboutcookies.org .

Please note that preventing cookies is likely to impact the functionality or performance of this Website, or prevent you from using certain services provided through it. If you choose to prevent cookies, we cannot guarantee access to the services provided through this Website or be sure how this Website will perform during your visit. Preventing cookies will also affect our ability to update this Website to cater for user preferences and improve its performance.

The types of cookies we currently use on this Website are set out below. The cookie categories are based on the category definitions contained in the International Chamber of Commerce UK Cookie guide .

Strictly necessary cookies are essential to enable you to move around this Website and use its features and/or services. These cookies allow this Website to provide services at the request of users.

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This Website use performance cookies to:

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Targeting or advertising cookies

These cookies collect information about your browsing habits on this Website in order to make advertising both on this Website and other websites you subsequently visit relevant to you and your interests, to limit the number of times those adverts are served to you and to help measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

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    (you can learn more about how these cookies operate here: https://www.leadforensics.com/learn/#faq )
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    This analytics cookie is used on the Mailmen.co.uk and RoyalMail.com MarketReach site sections. Its purpose is to understand the effectiveness of advertising that generated in-bound calls to Royal Mail related to marketing services offered.
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Your credit score may jump starting in July #how #can #u #check #your #credit

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YahooFinance

Your credit score may jump starting in July

Consumers may be a few days away from a higher credit score.

Improved standards for new and existing public records in the databases of the three major credit reporting companies will be implemented on July 1. As part of this change, a majority of civil debts and tax liens will be excluded, which means some credit scores will edge higher.

The new standards follow a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that found problems with credit reporting companies and recommended changes to help consumers.

Altogether, about 7 percent of the population will have a judgment or lien removed from their credit file, according to a report by Fair Isaac. The company calculates and sells FICO scores, one of the most commonly used scores by lenders.

Once that information is stripped out, their numbers could rise by up to 20 points, Fair Isaac said.

“Analyses conducted by the credit reporting agencies and credit score developers FICO and VantageScore show only modest credit scoring impacts,” the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, said in a statement.

Still, credit reporting and scores play a key role in most Americans’ daily life. The process can determine the interest rate a consumer is going to pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether they will get a loan at all.

In the near term, “it will lower the cost of borrowing,” said Andrei Andreev, an adjunct professor of finance at San Diego State University.

For consumers who are not directly affected by the changes, there could be consequences as well. With more borrowers now qualifying for better terms, banks may eventually have to increase interest rates to compensate for that additional risk,” said Thomas Brown, a senior vice president for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. LexisNexis also provides lenders with data to make credit risk decisions on consumer loans.

What it really means is that there is vital information that is being ignored and the net result will disadvantage the other 93 percent of consumers,” Brown said.

“It will take us a little while to know exactly what the overall impact is,” said Ofer Mendelevitch, the vice president of data science at online lender LendUp.

For now, by eliminating those large sources of potential for errors, “we think it will represent credit worthiness better,” he said. (Incorrect information on a credit report is the top issue reported by consumers, according to the CFPB.)





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Build Your Own Electric Car #build #your #own #electric #car,electric #car #conversion,electric #car #conversion

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Build Your Own Electric Car

You can build your own electric car. if you can manage to change your own oil and wiper blades. It takes a little know-how, but it’s not rocket science. Here are the steps:

  1. Read everything you can find on the subject when you build your own electric car;
  2. Find somebody who’s already done it to look over your shoulder. Join the local Electric Auto Association and find yourself a mentor!
  3. Get yourself a donor vehicle (that’s the gas-guzzler whose guts you’ll be ripping out) that has the nice qualities of:
    • Being fairly lightweight. Reverend Gadget at Left Coast Electric swears he can convert everything from a Hummer to a snowmobile, but then, he’s the good Reverend Gadget, who’s been converting gas vehicles to electric since Ben Franklin first got the dotty notion to fly his kite in a thunderstorm. You’ll get most bang for your battery buck if you think “light and aerodynamic”.
    • Possessing a manual transmission. This is first of all because a transmission is just not all that necessary with electric car motors ; they won’t stall if you start them in the highest gear, and they just don’t operate the same way as that petrol-puffer does: they use a controller (DC) or an inverter (AC) to tell your electric motor to go backward/forward slower/faster instead. An automatic transmission just takes a big chunk of the available motor horsepower and just TOSSES it right out the door. and who needs that? Also, the donor with a stick-shift may well be CHEAPER. That’s just about NEVER a bad thing; )
    • Not a rust-bucket. You’re going to go to a certain amount of trouble and expense when you build your own electric car. so why put new guts into a rotting hulk?
    • Having lots of room for batteries somewhere — preferably NOT in the passenger compartment. You’re going to want to be able to get to them fairly easily for maintenance or whatever, and you’re going to want to be able to pin them down somewhere solidly, and you’re going to want to distribute their weight fairly evenly. A pick-up bed is pretty darned handy for all this. and finally,
    • Not being so exotic that you’ll never find replacement brakes except on e-bay. My uncle Chuck converted one of the first Subaru trucks (I didn’t even know Subaru made trucks, did you?) to electric – picked it up for a song without a working engine. Great donor, right? No.

The parts are practically impossible to get, and of course they won’t be interchangeable with any other parts, like Toyota or whatever. Right? So the brakes went out eventually, as brakes will, and to replace them would cost more than the car did.

so he went out and got a Zap Xebra pickup instead. (Notice the carbon-based fuels are in the BACK?)

  • Because the components are already best for electric cars (Uncle Chuck used, I think, some airplane motor or other. Boeing Surplus comes to mind. It wasn’t bad, and the truck ran for a long time, but. well, he’s got the LEAF now, doesn’t he?)
  • the system’s already been road-tested, it works;
  • all the component parts are already designed to work together;
  • it’s already put together by people who know what they’re doing;
  • it already fits the dimensions of your car. You can tell them what you’re converting and they’ll sell you the appropriate kit ;
  • the costs are reasonable – they won’t charge you an arm and a leg for a conversion kit.

When you choose a conversion kit, the first decision will probably be between an AC or DC motor. Here’s a discussion of the pros and cons of AC and DC motors. and why I favor the AC motor for conversions.

  • Cultivate a relationship with a machinist when you build your own electric car. Unless you ARE a machinist, of course, and have all the large machining tools in your garage, you’re going to need one. The transmission adaptor plate and the assembly that fits motor to the transmission requires precise machining or you’re going to be very unhappy with your conversion for as long as it lasts.
  • Get somebody else to yank out the engine. In every town are businesses that are skilled, experienced, and well-equipped to pull 700 pound engines out of automobiles – called auto repair shops. Let them do it. It costs a few hundred bucks, and it’s money well spent.
  • Get yourself a place to work when you build your own electric car that’s clean, heated, well-lighted, and dry. Then, plan to be there a while. Here’s why: while it is fairly straightforward to yank your gas-guzzler’s tender bits out and replace with clean, non-greasy electrical things, there are many places for the project to get hung up in the waiting phase. That fancy controller might take a while getting through customs in New York while the bomb-sniffing dogs give it a good going over, for example. (Hey, it happens!)

  • Work out a parts delivery schedule. If you know you’re going to have to build your own electric car on nights and weekends, don’t buy all your conversion parts at once and have them all sitting around waiting for you to pull one thing out, get it cleaned up, get it out the door. This is where an EV mentor really comes in handy, they can help you split up the project into bite-sized chunks. (Note: If you’re getting a complete electric car conversion kit, skip this step. It’s all delivered at once.)
  • Learn online. As you may have already discovered, not everybody on every electric car discussion list knows what they’re talking about; ) You can find good information at:

    • My website’s conversion question and answer section. especially for beginners (or non-engineers);
    • The DIY electric car forums ;
    • The EV Discussion List ; and
    • The EV Photo Album. where people post pictures of their conversions and links to their blogs.

  • Blog. Somebody out there will really appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experience. Especially your mistakes; the best EV blogs are the ones where people are brave enough to admit they messed something up or didn’t understand something right. If somebody helped you build your own electric car, your EV blog pays it forward by helping the next guy.
  • YouTube. A surprising number of excellent YouTube videos have been made by people converting their cars to electric – you can find them by searching for “electric car conversion” (or similar) on YouTube. Here’s an electric Suzuki Samurai series that I particularly like.

    Don’t bother with the ones that show you how to run your car on water for less than $500, btw. I know, I probably didn’t have to say it, but the scam makes me mad.

  • You Tube Videos

    Tom G.’s Neon conversion

    Paul Holmes’ Electric VW Bug

    New Book!

    Cheap Electric Cars





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    Can My Wages Be Garnished For Old Judgment? #how #much #of #your #paycheck #can

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    Can my wages be garnished for old judgment?

    Dear Bankruptcy Adviser,
    I received a letter from a lawyer saying he has a judgment against me from 2007. The debt is from a credit card that I could not pay. Can my wages be garnished immediately or does he have to go back to court again because the judgment is so old?
    — Gary

    Dear Gary,
    Your wages, your bank account and even your property are in jeopardy right now. This judgment is still valid and the attorney can act on it. Not only is it valid, but the balance has been going up at a fixed interest rate per year since 2007. In California, the judgment rate of interest is 10 percent. The interest rate could vary from state to state.

    The attorney does need a court order to garnish your pay. That would require a bit of time, but not much. If this is an experienced collection attorney, he could have that order in less than 45 days. Your employer could begin garnishing wages in less than two months from the date of this letter.

    This kind of judgment is good for 10 years from the date the court originally signed the order. At the end of the 10-year period, the creditor can renew the judgment through a very simple process for another 10 years, and so on. You could have this judgment follow you for decades.

    You have a little bit of room to negotiate because in most cases, the creditor’s attorney would rather be paid a lump-sum figure to settle the case rather than receive monthly payments from your paycheck. He or she knows that while an employer can’t fire you for having this garnishment, the employer could find other convenient reasons to terminate you once the garnishment begins.

    Employers don’t like employees in financial difficulty. They are distracted and, some people believe, more inclined to take shortcuts because of their financial issues. Law enforcement is particularly averse to hiring someone in financial distress because the employee dealing with financial issues is more likely to take bribes to resolve their problems.

    You have a couple of options. The best one for your credit is to pay the debt. If eligible, you can file bankruptcy to eliminate the judgment and balance. Or you can also try to settle the account with a lump-sum payment or short-term repayment of a settlement.

    However, the path you currently have taken — head in the sand, hope it goes away — has finally caught up with you. Don’t dally any longer.

    Ask the adviser

    To ask a question of the Bankruptcy Adviser, go to the “Ask the Experts ” page and select “Bankruptcy” as the topic. Read more Bankruptcy Adviser columns and more stories about debt management.

    Bankrate’s content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate’s Terms of Use .

    More On Judgments:

    How we make money

    Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products.

    2017 Bankrate, LLC All Rights Reserved.

    Maximize Your Money. Get Expert Advice Tools. Master Life’s Financial Journey.

    You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for four decades.

    Our tools, rates and advice help no matter where you are on life’s financial journey.





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    OHosti – Best Free Unlimited Hosting cPanel – Powerful Unlimited Free Reseller Hosting WHM

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    Outer Banks – Albemarle Termite – Pest Control – Elizabeth City, NC – Pest

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    Albemarle Termite Pest Control

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    Albemarle Termite & Pest Control – Outer Banks in Elizabeth City, NC – Pasquotank County is a business with Technicians on staff and specialized in Ants, Restaurants, Government, Cockroaches, Earwigs, Termites, Industrial, New Homes, Residence and Vermin. Albemarle Termite & Pest Control is listed in the categories Pest Control Services, Moisture & Vapor Control, Moisture Control and Pest & Termite Control and offers New Construction, Residential, FAST RESPONSE & GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR GUARANTEE. SPECIALIZING IN. Termite Control, CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS, Environmentally Safe Termite Baiting Systems etc. If you did business with Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, please leave a review and help us improve and help other people. Also, don’t forget to mention Hubbiz.

    Pest Control Services, Moisture Vapor Control, Moisture Control, Pest Termite Control

    FULLY LICENSED, NPCA

    Ants, Restaurants, Government, Cockroaches, Earwigs, Termites, Industrial, New Homes, Residence, Vermin

    Guarantees, Environmentally Aware, Environmentally Conscious, Environmentally Friendlly, Environmentally Responsible, No Environmental Harm

    SERVING THE ALBEMARLE AREA

    New Construction, Residential

    FAST RESPONSE GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE IS OUR GUARANTEE. SPECIALIZING IN. Termite Control, CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS, Environmentally Safe Termite Baiting Systems, Moisture Control, – Dehumidification Systems, WE OFFER AFFORDABLE, PEST CONTROL PROGRAMS, Spiders, Roaches, Rodents, FLEAS, Silverfish, Earwigs and More. PRE-TREATMENTS FOR NEW HOMES, NEW WOOD TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY, Conventional, BAITING, INSECT REPORTS FOR HOME SALES OR REFINANCE, COMMERCIAL DIVISION, Hospitals, Schools, RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL, Insured, Online Access. Pay Your Bill, Bed Bug Control, PEST CONTROL QUOTES OVER THE PHONE, Certificates

    Credit Card, FINANCING AVAILABLE WITH APPROVED CREDIT

    Professionals on Staff:





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    Arizona Probate Services #arizona,probate,services,do #it #yourself,informal,formal,small #estate,affidavits,paralegals,low #cost,fast,easy,cheap,experienced,legal,papers,probatecourt,phoenix,save,money,filings,court,fees,how #do #i #get #appointed #as #executor,do

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    We professionally prepare probate legal documents and help you understand the mandated court process.
    OUR MISSION IS TO SAVE YOU TIME, MONEY AND STRESS!
    Don’t want, or can’t afford an attorney. you may not need one!
    Call us today with your questions — you will be glad you did!
    (602) 523-0100

    A commonly asked question is: Do I need an attorney for Arizona probate?

    The simple answer is no – anyone can file their own documents with the probate court. The right answer is one that only you can answer. Many probate cases are standard and only require an understanding of the court document requirements and the timing of the process. Some probate cases are more complex and you should be represented by legal counsel.

    At Arizona Probate Services, we will discuss your situation with you. If we are uncomfortable about preparing the documents for your particular situation, we will recommend you seek legal counsel. We will always be honest and upfront with you. Integrity and a commitment to quality is the foundation of our business.

    Then documents are filed with the court when it is appropriate, you administer the estate, and close probate when it is time! With our help, it’s that simple!

    Thank you for supporting Arizona Business!

    All fees on this website are subject to change without notice.

    NOTICE TO CONSUMER
    Arizona Probate Services is an Arizona certified legal document preparer, certified by the Arizona Supreme Court. The purpose of a Certified Legal Document Preparer is to provide professionally prepared legal documents and procedural assistance at an affordablecost. A Legal Document Preparer cannot represent you in court. A legal document preparer is not a lawyer, is not employed by a lawyer, and cannot give legal advice, and communications with a legal document preparer are not privileged (meaning we are subject to subpoena).

    This website is intended to provide general information about Arizona legal issues and process. However, legal information is not the same as legal advice, which is the application of the law to a specific situation. The information provided on this website is not intended or meant to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation.


    Content copyright 2010-2011. Arizona Legal EASE, Inc. All rights reserved.





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    Marketing Your Small Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet #where #to #market #your #business

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    Marketing Your Small Business For Dummies Cheat Sheet

    Being smart with marketing ensures the success of your business by attracting more customers, and keeping them coming back. Small business is the backbone of Australian and New Zealand local economies and you know you need to look after your back! Whether you own a bakery or a finance business, you need no-nonsense marketing strategies to secure a greater share of the market. Empower yourself to apply clever marketing plans and ideas without breaking the bank, or your back.

    Making Marketing Work in Your Small Business

    You don t need to be a rocket scientist to be a good marketer. But neither is there a silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution. Every small business is different the marketing plan and tactics for a mortgage broker are entirely different from those of a computer reseller. However, the process of building a plan, sticking to it and applying the time and resources it needs is the common secret to success in marketing.

    Here are few tips to help you be brilliant at marketing:

    Get the know-how. Knowing what not to do when it comes to marketing is as important as knowing what to do. Let s face it, the murky world of marketing can be tricky to navigate. So get the full know-how before you go jumping into building that flash website.

    Put your customers first. Understanding who your customers are, what makes them tick and what they really want and value, and of course staying in touch with them long after the sale, puts you ahead of the competition.

    Know your target market. Anyone who is breathing is not a target market! Targeting your marketing activities fairly and squarely at the people who need and want your service or product is the secret to creating quality enquiries and getting prospects to open their wallet.

    Understand that marketing is not advertising. Don t make the mistake of thinking that advertising and websites are the only two ways to attract more business. You can market your small business in literally hundreds of ways, so it pays to know what they are and then eliminate the ones that won t work, or that you can t afford, up-front.

    Set sales goals and targets. Marketing really is a numbers game. Marketing efforts that won t directly or indirectly bring in new business have absolutely no point. Know what your goals are in terms of revenue, expenses, profit, number of enquiries and, of course, number of new sales.

    Get a handle on the four Ps of marketing. Getting your product, pricing, placement strategy (distribution) and promotional strategy humming along and working together is crucial to good marketing.

    Essential Tools for Good Business Marketing

    If you re armed with the marketing essentials you can t help but succeed in attracting new prospects and bringing in more business. Spend some time on getting your marketing toolkit in place and be prepared at all times.

    Here are a few items to pack into your marketing toolkit:

    A plan and a budget: Getting a plan that will support you for years to come is essential to keep you on track. It doesn t need to be as thick as War and Peace. but it does need to be written down, clearly communicated to your team and acted on day by day even when business is booming.

    A great product or service: Advertising your business has no point if the customers don t want, value or love what you have to offer. Make sure you do your research and listen to your customers before sending your product out to the market.

    A professional brand: A brand is much more than a logo. It encompasses everything people see, hear, think and feel about your business. Invest up-front in developing a brand that stands out from the crowd. It ll save you money and heartache in the long run.

    Powerful marketing materials: Your business card, sales brochures, sales letters, website, signage, uniforms and car decal speak volumes about your business. Make sure they look professional and appealing at all times.

    An elevator pitch: In the course of marketing your business you ll get asked thousands of times What do you do? Don t make the mistake of boring the poor person who asked the question. Make sure you have a fun, interesting and memorable pitch ready at all times and be able to deliver it in the time it takes to travel a few floors in an elevator.

    A brilliant website: Your website must attract attention and give value to those who visit. Use it as a tool to retain and keep in touch with existing customers as well as for enticing new customers. The online world can be very scary to many small-business owners, but, if you don t embrace it, you may find yourself out of business.

    A simple database: The backbone of all good marketing is about building a solid database of past, present and future customers (prospects) so you can keep in touch and communicate regularly via e-newsletters, emails and phone.

    Clever Ideas to Market Your Small Business

    You don t need to spend buckets of money on marketing. Creativity and a bit of gumption to do something different from everyone else in the market can be the difference between business success and business failure. Here are just a few of hundreds of ideas to market your business:

    Attend networking events. It s not what you know, but who you know. Get out there and network meet and greet. You can never have too many friends in life, even if they don t end up as customers.

    Sponsor a local event or charity. It really does make you feel good to support your community, and everyone benefits you, your staff, your customers, the people you sponsor and, of course, the community at large.

    Manage your public relations. Getting your name up in lights on TV and radio, and in newspapers and magazines isn t as hard as you think if you ve got a story worth telling!

    Use social media. Using social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, producing your own videos for YouTube or writing your own blog are creative methods of letting people know about you and your business. Go on, have a bit of fun.

    Host seminars and events. Hosting your own events and inviting along your best customers and some of their friends is a great way to get to know people, connect at a personal level and build deep relationships.

    Become a public speaker. If speaking isn t your number-one fear after death, hone your skills and become a great and entertaining speaker. It s a fabulous way to demonstrate your expertise and generate new business enquiries from the audience.

    Top Marketing Tips for Businesses on a Low Budget

    Most small-business owners, especially those starting out, don t have lots of money to spend on marketing. While the old adage you need to spend money to make money is true, you can still generate new business without having to dole out big bucks. Try a few of these tactics for a start:

    Focus on relationship-building marketing strategies such as networking, building alliances with other businesses, and calling old customers, friends and people you once worked with.

    Find people who are prepared to help you with marketing on a commission basis or a uni student who s studying marketing and might need some hands-on experience.

    Develop a marketing mastermind group with other small-business owners for the purpose of sharing low-cost marketing ideas and referring each other business.

    Sharpen your own online marketing skills and learn how to use Google AdWords and write blogs, and market yourself on the social media sites.

    Promote your business on free online directories and publish your articles on other websites with links to your site.

    Don t jump straight into low-cost (or no-cost) tactics without getting the basics right first plan your marketing strategy, understand your target market and polish up your product.





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