Tag : help:

21 Best Blogs That Will Help Grow Your Business #business #startup #loan

#business blogs


Every January I go through my inbox and take a good hard look at the amount of email I get. Then I let the purging begin! As the CMO of our business dashboards startup Dasheroo I’m laser-focused on what’s new, what’s hot and what’s not, so I’m diving in on the bits and bytes for information on growing our business.

This month I started to take a look at the really great content I get on all things marketing and thought I’d share the ones that won’t be getting hit with an unsubscribe.

Most of the bloggers I mention have written numerous books, way too many to list so I just focused on the blogs. Even though I’ve sort of categorized them, almost all of them really cross over all marketing channels.

Marketing. In General

Duct Tape Marketing – John Jantsch is the king at all things digital marketing. He focuses on great tools that small businesses need to know about, customer service, marketing messaging, referral marketing and the list goes on! We love his weekend favs.

– Mark Schaefer is an author, speaker and educator who has one of the top five marketing blogs in the WORLD. His blog focuses on all things marketing and is a must-read.

Relevance –
Chad Pollitt was named a top five content marketing thought leader and top 20 CMO influencer, and he continues to innovate by leading the emerging industry of online content promotion and distribution. He’s amassed a host of great writers that deliver everything you need from digital marketing to diving into social media.

Chris Brogan – Chris is the CEO of Owner Media Group, his posts are all things marketing, sales and business in a fun, interesting, captivating way. In general they just are super fun to read. I always get something from his posts!

Likeable Local – We love Dave Kerpen’s marketing blog. He publishes interesting articles on brand management, podcasts, videos, social media especially for growing local businesses.

All Things Social

Social Media Examiner – Michael Stelzner and team have by far one of the best places to go for which tools to use for specific social networks, in-depth how-to guides for just about everything social media and it is all written by the experts. They also publish an awesome and extremely useful annual report on businesses using social media.

Social Media Today – The world lost Robin Carey, the fearless leader and founder of Social Media Today in late 2015. She started SMT in 2007 when no one was looking at using social media, let alone for business. That publication is awesome, they get great contributors that are thought leaders in all things social media.

Social Media Delivered – Eve Mayer is known as the “LinkedIn Queen” and she is the CEO of Social Media Delivered. Her awesome blog offers you a bit of everything social media marketing related.

Razor Social – Ian Cleary is THE expert on all tools related to marketing. His blog is a must read to find out the real deal on the thousands of tools available today and he breaks down what you need and why.

Content Marketing

Convince and Convert – Jay Baer’s blog covering all things content marketing is just awesome. From SEO, email marketing, social media to tactics for converting traffic, Jay covers it all.

Boom! Social – Kim Garst is a leading authority on digital marketing and specifically, social selling over the past five years. She focuses her posts on all things Twitter, Facebook and now Periscope.

Feldman Creative – Barry Feldman is just awesome at content marketing and SEO and he’s a true genius when it comes to creative headlines and messaging the grabs attention. He also has a must-see podcast called Content Matters .


Orbit Media Studios – Andy Crestodina is a true expert on web design, content marketing and SEO. At Dasheroo we love when he writes about using analytics to improve your rankings !

Neil Patel – Follow this guy on his journey to 100,000 monthly visitors using SEO. His blog is a clever timeline of all of the actions he’s taking on his site to rank, get visitors and convert them. You’ll learn a lot.

Google Adwords

Wordstream – If you’re doing anything Adwords related, this is the place to go. Larry Kim is a genius at making the most of a PPC campaign. Most articles are about digital marketing with a slant on SEO and PPC.


Sue B. Zimmerman – She’s passionate about teaching entrepreneurs and marketing professionals how to easily leverage the power of Instagram to get tangible business results. Plus she’s a bunch of fun to listen to!

Jenn’s Trends – Jenn Herman’s blog is just awesome for finding out what’s new on Instagram, offering amazing case studies for businesses using Instagram and the to-do’s and the don’t do’s when using this social network.


Linked Into Business – Whether is what’s new with LinkedIn or how to use it for your business Viveka Von Rosen knows her stuff. She is known as the “LinkedIn Expert ” and speaks to executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs about the benefits of marketing with social media, and in particular LinkedIn.


Jon Loomer – This blog can’t be beat for learning advanced Facebook Ads techniques. Jon has done social internally for the NBA and the American Cancer Society. He writes killer in-depth how-to’s for creating, managing and measuring Facebook Ads.

Andrea Vahl Blog – Having worked at Social Media Examiner Andrea is an amazing social media strategist. Her blog digs deep into how businesses can make the most of Facebook.

Mari Smith – Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook”, Mari Smith is hailed as the premier Facebook marketing expert and one of the most influential and knowledgeable new media thought leaders in the world. Check out her blog.

Ok, there’s your blog reading list for marketing in 2016. Go get ’em!

Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA #franchising #your #business

#business data



Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA

December 15, 2013 By admin

To strengthen America s competitiveness in the global economy, businesses will need to be equipped with the best tools and information available to support innovation and job growth in the 21st century. BusinessUSA is your front door to all the government has to offer. Help us make sure it continues to evolve and grow to meet your needs. Sign up for email alerts so you can be the first to find out about changes to BusinessUSA, and use feedback features on the website to let us know what you think. BusinessUSA is designed by businesses, for businesses. Take ownership today.

BusinessUSA implements a no wrong door approach for small businesses and exporters by using technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency s website, call center, or office they go to for help. Looking forward, the more federal agencies continue to add resources to BusinessUSA to encompass the full range of business programs and services, the more we will be able to reduce the confusing array of websites that exist today.

4 Responses to Starting an Open Data Business? Get Help From BusinessUSA

Sanjit Singh

I m looking for open sources of data about businesses in the USA. Please let me know what open sources I have available to me. Thank you!


Dear sir,
We have a data center. Which is providing data entry solution to clients.

Jovi Brown

Jeanne Holme:
I am a Data Scientist starting an open data business. As I would like help, please, advise on help available from BusinessUSA.


I am interested i building a unified database of streets, roads, ave, in the entire USA. If already exists, I d like to know how to access it.

Comments are closed.

Christian Alcoholism Treatment Kissimmee, FL #substance #abuse, #alcohol #treatmenthow #to #stop #drinking,


Christian Alcoholism Treatment Kissimmee, FL

Call us today at (407) 809-5785 in Kissimmee, FL

Recovering from alcoholism isn’t just about going through the physical pangs of withdrawal. In fact, that is probably the smaller part of the problem. If that were all there was to it, it wouldn’t be so hard to get it together. Instead, you need to get your head on straight in order to get sober and stay sober. You need to be surrounded by the right people with the right values. If you are a Christian, you need a Christian Alcoholism Treatment program, one that will help you get right with God while you get right with life.

If you haven’t experienced profound fellowship, then your personal crisis is an opportunity to find it and make right the things that went wrong with your life. Alcoholism has been described as a hole in a person’s soul. You cannot get free of it without closing the hole in your soul. If your treatment program is not talking about the state of your soul, how can it ever get you to where you are hoping to go?

A good Christian Alcoholism Treatment program can help you let go and let God. When all of your choices are consistently self destructive, it is time to call on a higher power to lend you strength and wisdom in your hour of need. When your head is so clouded that you cannot clearly hear the voice of God, sometimes the voice of a fellow Christian who has been down the same troubled path is the best way to start getting back in tune.

It is all grist for the mill. If you have reached bottom, it is time to be lifted up in faith and fellowship while you set aside bad habits and get your life together. Your lowest lows are an opportunity to experience love and salvation, to find people who care about the whole person — body, mind, heart, and soul — and find your way back home, like the Prodigal son. It is never too late to seek forgiveness and get back on the path God intended for you.

Call us today at (407) 809-5785 in Kissimmee, FL

Christian Alcoholism Drug Rehab
Kissimmee. FL 34741
Phone: (407) 809-5785
Click here to send email
Marketing Location only
Please call phone number

OCBA Lawyer Referral ?>

Lawyer Referral Information Service (LRIS) is the only non-profit legal referral service in Orange County sponsored by the OCBA. It has been referring callers to some of Orange County’s finest attorneys for over 50 years.

LRIS panel attorneys have expertise in 35 areas of the law. Each call is carefully screened by trained representatives to assure referral to the right attorney. Prospective clients receive a free brief consultation to review the legal issue and discuss fees.

LRIS provides bilingual services, meets American Bar Association (ABA) standards set forth for referral services and is certified by the State Bar of California. (Certification #0033)

An administrative fee of $25 is charged for your first referral in one area of law. You will receive additional referrals as needed for a maximum total of three. You will not receive all referrals at one time. The administrative fee collected helps defray operating costs of this nonprofit service. This fee is waived for Criminal Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, Medical Malpractice issues, Personal Injury, Social Security and Workers’ Compensation. A Modest Means program is also available.

Don’t take chances with your legal needs. Call LRIS at (949) 440-6747 or (877) 257-4762. You may also request a referral on-line .

OCBA members interested in joining LRIS may contact the LRIS Administrator at 949.440.6700.

Orange County Bar Association P.O. Box 6130 Newport Beach, CA 92658 (949) 440-6700

What Can You Do To Help An Alcoholic Family Member? #help #for


What Can You Do To Help An Alcoholic Family Member?

Watching someone you love destroy their life with alcohol can be devastating. Its painful, frustrating, and oftentimes it can feel hopeless.Even though you can t make the decision to quit for them,what can you do as a family member to help them realize they have a problem and seek help?

1. Educate yourself about addiction

In order to help your loved one, you first have to understand the nature of addiction yourself. If you re reading this, you re probably already taking this step.

While there are many different theoretical models used to describe addiction, such as the popular disease model, none of them are 100% accurate and applicable to every case. There are just so many different factors that can drive someone towards alcoholism. and these factors often interact and affect each other in unpredictable ways.

Learn as much as you can about alcoholism. Even if you don t agree with theories such as the disease model, the more you know, the more tools you ll have for dealing with a struggling alcoholic. Here are some useful resources you can use to get started:

  • Wikipedia s Entry On Alcoholism A good place to start, gives a good general overview of alcoholism
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and the Disease Concept of Alcoholism An interesting look at the history of the disease theory of alcoholism and its link to AA.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Famous Big Book Whether or not you agree with all the ideas put forth, this is a must read for anyone interested in understanding alcoholism and the recovery community

2. Help Yourself First

It s not always enough just to learn how to help an alcoholic family member, in some cases, you have to figure out how to help yourself. Having someone close to you who abuses alcohol can be devastating to your own emotional and mental health.

If you live with an alcoholic, you need to learn to separate your own personal growth and happiness from your loved one s sobriety. Attend Al-Anon meetings and learn more about dealing with alcoholic family members.

3. Bring Up Your Concerns With The Alcoholic

It s important that you share your concerns with the alcoholic. Let them know that you re concerned about them and that you want them to seek help. There s a good chance they ll dismiss your concerns, but its still an important step.

When you confront an alcoholic. the goal isn t always to get them to quit or get treatment that would be unrealistic. However, every confrontation plants a seed. It might not seem to have an effect now, but months or years down the road, they ll remember those conversations when they re finally in a place where they re ready to seek help. In some cases, your conversation might come at just the right time.

This is also an opportunity to set boundaries with your loved one. If they re constantly drunk, you may have to draw the line and tell them that you don t want them to be around you if they continue to abuse alcohol. Another example of a boundary is telling them that if they continue to drink and drive, you ll call the police next time before they harm themselves or someone else.

If you define a boundary, you also need to define a clear consequence and be ready to follow through. The consequence may be that you won t bail them out anymore the next time they get in trouble, or it may even be necessary to kick them out of the house.

In order to take back control of your own life and maintain your sanity, you need to define clear, specific boundaries and consequences for violating those boundaries. Ideally, drawing these boundaries may force the alcoholic to acknowledge their problem and seek help, but in many cases it doesn t. Either way, you need to protect yourself.

If you set a boundary and establish consequences should the alcoholic continue to violate those boundaries, make sure you follow through with those consequences. It can be difficult it might feel like you re abandoning your loved one at their greatest need, but the alcoholic needs to learn to take responsibility for their own destructive actions. You also have to learn to protect yourself from someone whose spiraling out of control. After all, you won t be able to help them if they drag you down with them.

4. Organize An Intervention

If all else fails, you may need to organize a formal intervention. Despite their popular portrayal on TV and in movies, formal interventions should be a last resort. Its something that should be reserved for the alcoholic who s spiraling out of control and hasn t responded to anything else.

If you choose to organize an intervention, you need to plan it with the alcoholic s closest friends and family members (who aren t alcoholics or addicts themselves). You also need to carefully plan the timing of the intervention. Interventions have the greatest chances of success when the alcoholic is already hitting rock bottom, or has just experienced a major consequence as a result of their drinking.

If you re considering organizing a formal intervention, here are some things you need to consider .

5. Detaching Yourself

As difficult as it may be to watch someone you love struggle with addiction, you need to take steps to detach yourself emotionally from their problems. Its something that gets taught at Al-Anon. and for good reason if you want to maintain your sanity, you can t be wrapped up emotionally in their self-destructive behaviors.

This doesn t mean that you should stop caring for them just because they re an alcoholic far from it. You should still do everything you can to help your loved one, but being wrapped up too emotionally will not only cause you a great deal of pain, it can cloud your judgment as well. The goal is to establish emotional stability while still taking steps necessary to help your loved one through their struggle with addiction.

BEST Questions TO ASK during interview #questions, #have, #recruiters, #attention, #grab, #really,


BEST Questions TO ASK during interview

Aug 21, ’13 by elkpark

Elkpark has mentioned this; I just caution that you don’t want to start asking about How many CEUs do you pay for in a year? because that sounds grabby; you’re aiming for communicating that you want to learn while working for them, for their benefit.

Exactly — I never phrase in terms of So, how much do you pay for continuing ed? The idea is to convey to the interviewer that you are someone who is seriously interested and involved in continuing professional growth/development and, at the same time, getting some feel for how committed the potential employer is to supporting the professional growth of its employees.

Aside from all the basic questions which have already been mentioned, I like to ask about the relationships between staff and between nurses and doctors. What is the personality of the physicians? Some hospital treat physicians as the end all be all, and so they can talk to nurses any which way, which is usually down, without any consequences. Asking this question shows that you value respect and see professional peer relationships as important in a good work environment.

Long ago when I was doing the hiring a young man asked me this: Let’s pretend you hire me and at my first annual review you explained to me you were very happy with my performance. What had I accomplished to get that review?
This question impressed the heck out of me and I never forgot. I actually used that line once and my interviewer was impressed too, and I was hired.

I typically don’t ask a lot of questions at an interview. I let the interviewer take the lead. Usually they’ll start out explaining what the position entails, then launch into a bunch of canned questions that they’re required to ask by the agency they work for. After that, they’ll ask me if I have any questions. I’ll ask about what the orientation process looks like, whether scrubs are provided or if we buy our own, or in the case of a per diem position, what kind of time commitment the manager is hoping for (2 shifts a week, 4 shifts a month, etc.).

Usually the interviewer has already made up their mind if they want to hire me or not by the time they get to the point of asking me if I have any questions. They’re judging by my answers to their questions as well as my nonverbal communication. Do they feel I’m being honest with them? Do they feel I’m really interested in this position? Do they feel I get the core values of the organization? Do I seem confident and competent without coming off as cocky? Will I be a good fit within their unit? They figure all of this out within the first few minutes of the interview.

Like SunnyMindRN stated, what is orientation like. I dont mind putting myself forward as the best candidate. I think that orientation is something I would always want to know about and it puts it in there mind about you being in that position. It gets them seeing you in the position there hiring for. It wont hurt.

Help Desk Software #help #desk #software, #helpdesk #software, #support #software, #service #desk


Help Desk Software and More!

Welcome to Helpdesk.com, a leading destination for IT help desk software. Here you ll also find downloads and resources for help desk management, IT asset management, CRM software, help desk jobs. industry events, service and support white papers. and more.

Start Your Free Help Desk Software Trial Now!

Since 1995, Helpdesk.com has been the service and support industry s premier online resource for all things help desk and support related. We re a trusted source of reference for the global audience of IT evaluators, buyers, users, and desktop support professionals who believe in the benefits of delivering premium customer service and internal IT support. We appreciate you visiting our site!

We are constantly adding new content, software downloads, and white papers to the web site. Please contact us if you d like to contribute content or get featured on the site!

Resources for IT managers, system administrators and others include service and support vendor listings, help desk and CRM white papers, and industry event listings. Resources for IT buyers and evaluators include free and trial software downloads (for help desk, CRM, and more), educational white papers, vendor listings and reviews, and more.

Free Help Desk Trial

Free eBooks

Email Overload: Why Leaving Work Isn’t So Easy Anymore – Free Download

The limitless connection to the global information network through increasingly smaller mobile devices enables users to connect with family and friends overseas, all while propelling the globalization of business. While the technological advancement has created many positive outcomes, there have been an equal amount of negative disruptors.

This guide discusses the emerging technologies that have the potential to change the way teams communicate and collaborate.

  • Download Email Overload: Why Leaving Work Isn’t So Easy Anymore Now!

Introduction to Enterprise Service Management – Free Download

Excellence and success in today’s dynamic and competitive business world is
both data- and customer-driven. In order for teams to perform and interact efficiently, capabilities and processes need to be in place to continuously improve operational efficiency and the customer experience.

This is where enterprise service management (ESM) comes in.

  • Download Introduction to Enterprise Service Management Now!

101 Ways to Automate Services – Free Download

Take the first steps toward an efficient organization by identifying tasks and service requests that are monopolizing your organization’s time.

This guide will show you how to use the power of service workflows to make hard tasks more simple and to make simple tasks automated.

  • Download 101 Ways to Automate Services Now!

10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making – Free Download

ITIL works with best practices for IT project management, while providing the framework necessary for success. Why do some organizations have more success than others utilizing ITIL throughout their projects?

Download this white paper to discover the 10 biggest mistakes happening in ITSM projects.

  • Download 10 Mistakes You’re Probably Making Now!

Transforming ITIL to Fit the Modern IT Organization – Free Download

If you haven’t already implemented ITIL, should you? And, if you have already implemented ITIL, how do you update it to work best for your evolving team?

Download this guide now to learn about Transforming ITIL to Fit the Modern IT Organization.

  • Download Transforming ITIL to Fit the Modern IT Organization Now!

What is Help Desk Software?

This write-up provides an overview of today s modern help desk software features and requirements. Included below are links to valuable service desk resources and software downloads.

Help desk or service desk software works to automate the service management and support function. Typical support desk purposes include helping users retrieve lost passwords, helping customers troubleshoot product issues, assisting employees with hardware and software technical problems, and more. There are number of service and support solutions available that offer rich and robust functionality for optimizing the help desk management process. Common service desk application features include:

  • Incident, problem and request management: This covers one of the main facets of service automation softare to assist end users and customers in troubleshooting hardware, software, product, and other technical or operational/process related issues (including, of course, lost passwords). Good help desk software will include rich capabilities for service desk staff to troubleshoot, diagnose and solve issues quickly and effectively. More robust software will enable end users to solve issues for themselves, without the help of the support staff (which is a big plus for help desk operations).
  • Self-service capabilites via the Web and mobile: More traditional help desk implementations were client/server based and forced the end user or customer to contact the support desk directly for problem solving and general questions. Today s modern help desk managment solutions are built with accessibility and mobility in mind, taking advantage of more sophisticated and secure web and mobile technologies a.k.a SaaS, the cloud . Hosted service desk packages make it easier for client sites to implement, while rich web-based interfaces and mobile accessibility apps empower help desk staff, users and customers to troubleshoot issues no matter where they are. Self-service capabilities work to reduce help desk stress and dependency, making for a more efficient and proactive support staff. This leads to higher satisfaction levels across the board staff, users, and customers.
  • Service level agreement management: Key to maintaining an effective help desk (as well as client relationship) is understanding the measures, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that govern the process. Service desk software equipped with SLA management capability helps ensure a more effective process and delivery of support servies. Degradation in service delivery can be costly, damaging, and difficult to recover from. When evaluating software, make sure it includes provisions for SLA management.
  • Knowledge management: A subset of the incident/problem management, knowledge management capability ensures the support desk is not only provisioned with pre-defined problem/resolution pairs (to answer the more basic and predictable questions expediently), but also has the ability to learn in a sort of cognitive fashion. The smarter the help desk software in terms of self learning , the more effectively the software can help automate end user and customer problem resolution without the need for service desk staff to intervene. On the flip side, making problem resolution data readily available to the support desk staff ensures the quickest and most effective help desk ticket resolution possible. When evaluating software, rich knowledge managment capabilities including the ability to define problem resolution sets, rules and knowledge trees will ensure peak satisfaction and service delivery efficiency.

Other key service desk software features:

  • IT asset management
  • Change management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Customer relationship management

2016 Executive Report on Performance:
Metrics, Agents Operations

Debt Consolidation Loans For Help With Bad Credit, PayPlan, loan consolidation help.#Loan


Debt consolidation loans

A debt consolidation loan can seem like an ideal solution if you re struggling with all the organisation and administration required to manage multiple debt repayments.

To debt consolidate or not to debt consolidate?

Consolidation debt loans are an alternative debt solution that many PayPlan clients may have tried before entering into a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or another debt solution like an IVA.

Debt consolidation after credit

In recent years, with the increased availability of credit, many people struggling with several monthly debt payments have attempted to use a debt consolidation loan to put all their debts into one more affordable payment, either by securing their debt on property, or through an unsecured loan.

Debt consolidation the pros

In some circumstances, it may seem sensible to debt-consolidate. If you can identify that you re in debt difficulties before you ve actually missed any payments, then your credit rating won t be affected, assuming that Default Notices haven t already been issued on the debts you owe.

Debt consolidation the cons

Some people who take out a debt consolidation loan subsequently take out more credit, or start using their credit cards again. This can compound their debt problem even more, of course, and can leave them even worse off than they were before.

Debt Consolidation Loans What Can You Do Next?

As a next step, contact PayPlan for free, sympathetic and immediate advice regarding the dangers of debt consolidation loans. Telephone free on 0800 280 2816 or use our debt help form; your free debt advice begins as soon as you contact us.

Share this:

Talk to an adviser today

Freephone (including all mobiles)

Debt Solutions
PayPlan Scotland
Debt Information
Avoid Repossession
More Reading

Loan consolidation helpLoan consolidation help

PayPlan is a trading name of Totemic Limited. Totemic Limited is a limited company registered in England, Company Number: 2789854. Registered Office: Kempton House, Dysart Road, PO Box 9562, Grantham, NG31 0EA. Totemic Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Conduct Authority Number: 681263. Totemic, the Totemic logo, PayPlan and the PayPlan Logo are all trademarks of Totemic Limited.

Totemic Limited refers customers to Payplan Partnership and Payplan Bespoke Solutions for Individual Voluntary Arrangements:

Payplan Partnership Limited is a limited company registered in England, Register No: 7199691 Registered offices: Kempton House, Dysart Road, PO Box 9562, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 0EA. Licensed Insolvency Practitioners: JN Harrison FCA MIPA FABRP Licensed by Insolvency Practitioners Association (UK): K W Marland MIPA FABRP Licensed by Insolvency Practitioners Association (UK).

Payplan Bespoke Solutions Limited is a limited company registered in England, Register No: 7079646 Registered offices: Kempton House, Dysart Road, PO Box 9562, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 0EA. Licensed Insolvency Practitioner: NT Payne ACA FCCA MIPA MABRP Licensed by Insolvency Practitioners Association (UK).

Surrogacy Ethical Issues #gay, #gay #surrogacy, #surrogacy, #surrogate, #egg #donation, #surrogacy #in


The Ethical Issues of Surrogacy

For many people, having a child is the ultimate dream. Sharing their love and raising a family can truly make their lifetime picture complete. Unfortunately, though, for some, the inability to have children can be extremely heartbreaking and devastating to their future plans.

The good news is that by using the services of a surrogate mother, these couples and individuals can still have the children that they desire, oftentimes with gene characteristics from one or both parents.

What is Involved with Surrogacy?

In its most basic sense, a surrogate mother is used for the purpose of carrying and giving birth to a child for another person or couple when these individuals are unable to conceive and/or carry a child on their own in the natural manner.

There are a number of both medical and legal issues that are associated with the concept of surrogacy. These tend to be complex on many levels, with one key issue being the legality of the surrogacy process, which varies a great deal from one country to another.

In addition to ensuring that the surrogacy process is being carried out in a safe and legal manner, there are also a number of different ethical issues that are or should be considered by the biological parent or parents and the surrogate mother prior to initiating the process.

The Ethical Issues that are Pertinent in the Surrogacy Process

While there are many religious organizations that frown upon the process of surrogacy, this concept is oftentimes the only option for some individuals to start a family. It is for this reason that some highly controversial and key ethical issues be addressed.

Attachment with the Gestational Mother In a surrogate situation, the gestational mother is the woman who carries the baby to term. This can be a very taxing process both physically and emotionally and unique in that after the surrogate mother physically carries the baby throughout the pregnancy, she needs to physically and emotionally detach herself from the child once it is born.

Involvement with the Gestational Mother Because the gestational mother will not likely be the child’s primary caretaker, there could be legal questions that arise in terms of what if any involvement she will have with the child once born.

Identity of the Child There are also ethical considerations that are brought to mind in terms of informing the child of his or her surrogate mother, as doing so may have an effect on the child’s self-identity.

In addition to the above issues, there is also the factor of surrogate mother compensation. It is typically expected that the intended parents of the child will reimburse the surrogate mother for her medical and other related expenses. This can include a dollar amount for her hospitalization as well as incidentals such as her maternity clothing, meals, and other similar costs that she may be out during her time of pregnancy.

There are also surrogate situations where the individual or couple who are the intended parents will pay a fee to the surrogate mother for carrying their baby. With this in mind, it is thought by some that surrogacy could be thought of as being a luxury that is only available to the wealthy and in some cases it could even be thought of as pregnancy-for-hire.

In any case, however, the process that allows for a loving individual or parents to have a child of their own can allow intended parents to follow through on their intentions of starting a family, regardless of any medical or other factors that would otherwise prevent them from being able to do so.

Define a Target Market for Your Small Business #small #business #debt #help


Define a Target Market for Your Small Business

For your business to succeed, it must have enough customers to buy the product or service offered. Before you launch your new business, take time to evaluate your potential customer base. Figure out whom you expect to be your most likely customers — in other words, your target customers. Then tailor your marketing efforts, as well as your products and services, to those customers.

Why Is Defining Target Customers Important?

Having a clear vision of your expected customer base will increase your business’ chances of success. By defining your target customers you can:

  • better determine if there are enough potential customers for your business (in other words, whether there is enough demand for your products or services)
  • tweak your business idea to better meet the needs of your potential customer base
  • tailor your products and services to better meet your customers’ needs and desires
  • target your marketing efforts to reach your most promising prospects, and
  • craft your marketing messages appropriately — using the right tone, language, and attitude to appeal to your best prospects.

Defining a target market will not limit your business. New entrepreneurs sometimes resist defining a target customer base, thinking it might limit the business or reduce the number of potential customers. This is a misconception. Identifying target customers does not prevent your business from accepting customers that don’t fit the target profile. If such a customer seeks your product or service, you will still be available.

Defining a target market will increase cost efficiency. Defining a target customer base increases your cost efficiency. Unless you have unlimited marketing resources, it’s much more effective to focus your marketing efforts on potential customers who you have determined are likely to buy your product or service — rather than wasting time and money courting the vast world of prospects who merely could become customers.

How to Define Your Target Market

In a nutshell, defining your target customers means identifying the specific characteristics of the people or businesses who you believe are most likely to buy your product or service. These characteristics are sometimes called a demographic profile. Common characteristics used to classify customers include:

  • age
  • gender
  • income level
  • buying habits
  • occupation or industry
  • marital status
  • family status (children or no children)
  • geographic location
  • ethnic group
  • political affiliations or leanings, and
  • hobbies and interests.

Create a customer profile. Use these criteria to draw a profile of your most promising potential customers — those who have a real need or desire for your products or services. A maternity store specializing in professional wear, for example, may identify its target customers as 25- to 40-year-old pregnant, married women in the legal, financial, and real estate industries, within a ten-mile radius of the store. A bike shop with a focus on single-track mountain biking gear might define its target customers as 18- to 25-year-old single males living within two miles of the local university.

Be specific. Deciding how narrowly to define your target customer is more of an art than a science, but in general, you should err on the side of being specific. Business owners often make the mistake of defining their customer base too broadly, making it very difficult to engage in effective marketing efforts. Remember: A solid definition of your target customer serves as a foundation for all your marketing activities. The more carefully you’ve defined your target market, the more likely your marketing efforts — even simple, low-cost methods — will bear fruit.

When Target Customers Are Other Businesses

Some businesses focus on selling to other businesses rather than to individuals. Selling products or services to other businesses (sometimes called B2B, for “business to business”) can be lucrative because businesses usually buy in larger quantities than individuals. For example, a soap manufacturer might sell 50 bars of soap to individual customers via its website in a given month, but could sell 500 bars in just one sale to a hotel.

If your business is targeting other businesses, you should still define your target customer, using characteristics such as:

  • industry size
  • number of employees
  • amount of annual sales, and
  • geographic location.

Defining a Market Niche

The term “niche” refers to a relatively narrow or specialized market; for example, a maternity clothing boutique specializing in corporate/professional wear or a law firm that specializes in immigration cases. In a crowded marketplace, a niche serves the critical function of distinguishing you from your competitors.

Focusing on a niche can be an effective and profitable strategy for small businesses because it is often too difficult and costly to try to cater to very broad audiences. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, a small business often does better by developing a specialty in an area that is not being fully served by other businesses and exploiting that niche with cost-effective marketing strategies. Think of a niche as a hook that will help you reel in the potential customers that you have identified as the most profitable and likely prospects for your business.

Niches are usually defined as either operational or customer focused.

Operational niche. With this approach, the business focuses on specialized products or services that will inherently appeal to a narrow customer segment.

Customer niche. This approach focuses on one or more specific — and profitable — customer bases. Instead of emphasizing customized products or services, the business focuses on tailoring its marketing efforts to specific audiences.

Both approaches are effective, and businesses commonly use a little of each. For example, a day spa may define a customer niche of tour group companies and travel agents and actively market to them. At the same time, it may make small operational tweaks to cater to this customer niche, such as offering a free shuttle service to local hotels or including maps of local tourist attractions in its lobby area.

Niches are by definition narrow, but not so narrow that they don’t contain enough customers to sustain the business. The key to defining a profitable niche is to find an area where there is an unmet demand, and to fill that need with your products or services.

Defining Markets and Niches: An Ongoing Process

In order for your business to succeed, use a circular process when defining your target customers and learning about your market. Here’s how it works:

Typically, you start by identifying your best customer prospects based on your observations and intuition about your market (remember, your market includes not only customers, but also your competition and industry). Next, you do research to learn more about your market, such as what your target customers’ buying habits are, what your competition is doing, or whether there are important industry trends. (To learn how to do this, see Nolo’s article Doing Market Research .)

Based on this research, take another look at how you define your target customer and your overall business idea. If necessary, given the new information, make changes to your target market or niche in order to make the most of an unmet demand in the market.

This cycle shouldn’t end when your business gets going. Learning about your market and adjusting your business plan accordingly is an ongoing process — indeed, it is the heart of successfully running a business. Smart business owners constantly monitor market conditions and make adjustments to their businesses in order to stay profitable.

To learn more about defining target markets and niches, and using those profiles to help your business succeed, get The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide . by Peri H. Pakroo (Nolo).

Talk to a Business Law attorney.