Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Grinding it Out -The Making of McDonalds

My Latest lens is a book review about Ray Kroc’s book, ‘‘Grindingit out’’, it’s a great motivational tool, with positive messages through out, and like Ray Kroc at 52, when he started expanding McDonalds; it is never too late to learn and succeed.

Ray Kroc, born Raymond Albert Kroc on the 5th October, 1902 in Oak Park, near Chicago met the McDonald brothers when he sold them several Prince Castle multi-milkshake machines and became intrigued at their success in such a small town.

Ray Kroc started franchising the restaurants for the brothers as they had no interest in more work.

Eventually he became frustrated with the two brothers because of their unwillingness to run with the business and expand more rapidly, so in 1961, Ray Kroc bought the company for $2.7 million (which was enough to pay each brother $1 million each after taxes).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Artist Margaret Keane - Big Eyes

My latest Squidoo lens is about Big Eyes Artist Margaret Keane, when she started painting those doe-eyed waifs, and met her husband Walter Keane, and how after twenty years of not seeing each other, they go into battle for the rights of the paintings.

Most of the earlier big eyes paintings are only signed Keane so it wasn’t until Margret opened up on a radio interview about the truth behind them, that the battle began. Margaret stated that all the paintings were done by her and her husband took care of the marketing and selling of the paintings, and everyone assumed, with help from Walter, that the paintings were done by him, she was stuck in doors, sweat-shop style, churning out paintings, hidden from the lime-light. Margaret didn’t kick up a fuss at the time because she loved to paint different children, and was inward and shy, focusing on her inner feelings.

After a public challenge, a paint off, in which Walter failed to turn up, Margaret, denounced him on a radio show. Walter returned a statement saying she is only making these accusations because she thought he was dead. This is when the lawyers got involved.  

The paintings at this time were selling like mad with prints and plates shifting in the millions, from department stalls and art galleries. Even the advertisement materials for the products, like posters, were stolen.

The court case went on for three and half weeks and eventually resulted in the Judge suggesting a paint off after Margaret brought in paintings in the big eyes style from her youth. Walter declined clasping his shoulder and making excuses that he had a problem.

Margaret was awarded 4 million and in an interview afterwards said it wasn’t about the money, she just wanted her art and anyway, he would never pay. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sales Targets and Objectives

A sale is a commercial act exchanging goods and services for money or other agreed compensation. In sales, individuals set expected or desired target sales based on previous personal performances or sales targets set by others in a sales team. In our personal lives we set ourselves goals that we wish to achieve - new car, new home and other desired assets. Some want to improve their health, while others may have long term goals regarding their retirement.

In sales it is necessary to set such goals, both short term and long, if success is to be achieved. Sales goals need to be tuned into reality, thought out, and be realistically reachable while still making a difference. Often people fail because they set the wrong goals or they are set too high, this is setting yourself up for failure before even starting.

Sales Target Setting is Important for Success

Sales goals should be well defined and detailed, saying that a number will be hit or that you want to beat the top sales person is not enough. The incremental steps to what will be done to achieve those goals should be written down, and they are the individual's goals not those of others. Working out how many sales it will take to pay bills for example, home loan, car payments, living expenses are not goals, they are needs. A salesperson should recognize the difference between goals and needs.

Goals should surpass needs. Using needs as goals often means that they are just reached or can also fall short. Goals should be set higher than basic needs so when they are achieved, those needs are taken care of and more, and if sales fall short those needs are still taken care of.

Sales targets work on conversions for example, if it takes 20 presentations or calls to achieve five sales, this is the base. If a goal/target is set at 15 sales to be reached in a month, then it stands to reason that it will take 60 calls or presentations. Therefore, the goal for that month must be to make 70 calls or presentations, setting the goal higher than the basis to help achieve, or preferably to surpass.

When making several goals they should share common elements, goals need to be put in writing, and they must be clear and specific, with defined dates for deadlines. Goals should also be set beyond reach but also be realistically reachable. Sales goals should be evaluated every day and have incremental steps and milestones.

Online Sales

Sales and marketing plans may include online sales. Maximizing sales online involves a certain amount of testing. Sell one product on your website using social media advertising or search engine advertising as these methods can closely target your niche audience. This form of advertisement provides clear conversions in respect to how many sales are achieved versus clicks per ad. SEO (search engine optimization) is important to making sales online; good content is needed, rich in keywords that are relevant to the products and services being sold, and that are being used to search the Internet by potential clients.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Set Up Your Own Wireless Router

Routers can be connected to a PC or Laptop via a wireless connection or a LAN cable (ethernet cable). Wireless routers are straightforward to set up when the laptop or PC has a wireless network adapter installed and an Internet connection, preferably high-speed. Routers can be set up using the software provided with the router specific to that make and model, or by going online to the manufactures support website.

There has never been a better time to buy a wireless router, with prices being so low from all the major manufactures. You can make even bigger savings if you shop online, as coupon deals are giving saving of over 50%, or more, and are offering free shipping.

Router set up using software

1. First the router must be disconnected from the computer and power source.

2. Insert the disc that came with the router, or download the router specific software from the manufactures support page.

3. The software will take you through step by step instructions on how to install. A wireless network name and password is created, and part of the instructions may ask you to connect the router to the computer using an ethernet cable at first. This cable is usually included with the router.

Router set up manually

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem or land line connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. Using an ethernet cable connect the router to the computer.

4. Open a browser and log into the router's Web interface and add the IP address to the address bar. The IP address can be found with the literature provided with the router, or on the back of the router itself.

5. On the back of the router, or within the documentation will be the default password and user-name, now enter these.

6. Via the web interface, set up a password and network name.

7. You should now be ready to disconnect the LAN (ethernet) cable and connect by the wireless connection.

Wireless router set up for windows 7

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem, or land line connection using a LAN (ethernet) cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to the power outlet and wait a few moments for it to set.

3. At the bottom of your computer on the notification bar there is an icon that looks like a stairway or a collection of bars racking upwards, click on this.

4. The window will show a selection of visible networks, choose your network and click on it and connect, this will ask for the network name and password, which is default and came with the documentation, or is written on the back of the router.

Wireless routers send and receive signals to and from a computer making them vulnerable and easily tracked. Using encrypted signals, or noise, can stop 3rd party hackers from receiving your personal data, and stopping unauthorized use of your network. It is important to stop anyone from hacking into the network through your IP, and causing damage by accessing sites that could create a legal issue or embarrassment.

There are a lot of different brands of routers and they use different methods of encryption. WPA2 is one of the most advanced and secure. WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is next followed by WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) which is the oldest.

If you are worried about the neighbour's kid breaking the code and stealing bandwidth or personal data, then it would be prudent to change the password on a regular basis and include combinations of alpha-numeric characters.

Once the wireless router is set up care should be taken when positioning the unit. Signals can suffer from interference from household appliances. Routers should be centralized and kept away from large metal objects. Performance can also be affected if too many computers share the same wireless unit.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Best places in London for relaxation

People have different ideas when it comes to holidays. Some try to cram in as much as they possibly can, which can result in needing another holiday to get over the last one, and some treat the holiday as a break from their usual environment and spend it relaxing. London is a vibrant fast-paced capital city and has gone to great lengths to provide contrast for its inhabitants and visitors with a vast range of relaxing, interesting and fun things to escape to.

What constitutes relaxation for some may be different from others, but pampering is high on the lists of those escaping a stressful lifestyle. Spas offer great pampered relaxation and London has numerous high quality spas which can be found in the city's top hotels and famous department stores. One of the top spas in London is the Thai Square Spa, Shelton Street Covent Garden.

Places to go in London to relax for free

The Royal Parks achieve numerous green heritage and green flag awards. They are recognised as some of the best landscapes in the country and are popular places for visitors which are completely free.

Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is open all year round. You can enjoy swimming and boating, exhibitions and concerts. There are parking areas, with tubes and buses stopping at several places around the park.

Kensington Gardens are open from 6 am and can be reached by public transport. It includes many picnic areas. Visit the Arch by Henry Moore, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and Memorial Playground, and spend hours immersed in the beauty of the Italian Garden, which is a 150 year old ornamental water garden. Kensington Gardens are also home to London's most ornate and prized monument, the Albert Memorial.

Richmond Park is a national nature reserve especially for those with interest in science and wildlife conservation; it includes ancient oak trees. Outdoor sports are popular here with fishing, cycling, horse riding, golf, fitness and personal training groups, rugby and power kiting.

Bushy Park is north of Hampton Court Palace and comprises of a canal, cascades, Baroque-style collection of pools and upper lodge water gardens; access is by train or bus, and the park is open 24 hours for pedestrians.

Brompton Cemetery, also part of the royal parks, is a crown cemetery located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It has 16.5 hectares with guided walks and is definitely a place you can come to if you seek peace and quiet.

Some people's idea of relaxation can include motion, but at their own pace. The Thames path walk is one of the best ways to achieve this while taking in magical parts of London that stretch along both sides of the river for 40 miles (64 km), passing bustling boatyards, working wharves, marinas and old riverside pubs. Leaflets and route maps with points of interest and historical places can be downloaded, and they identify walks in sections giving a large and varied choice.

A great place to see while visiting London that has a relaxing atmosphere and features an awe-inspiring building is Westminster Abbey. It is free to worshippers, and they have Evensong, a service with the Abbey choir. Founded in AD960 as a Benedictine monastery, it is still a working church today.

One way to experience London life is to get a one-day bus pass, and travel the city, passing many world-famous tourist attractions; all this for the price of a drink in the many diverse café bars and eateries that London has to offer. This is another great way to relax away from hectic crowds.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Services - Web - website content

Ipage, Go Daddy and Hub are some of the best web hosting companies in the world delivering quality and at affordable prices; they offer no set limit on disk space, unlimited bandwidth, domains, and MySQL databases. Other features include free online stores, money-back guarantee, online support system, Chat, email and phone support. When looking for a website template the control panel is important and must be custom-built and flexible; preferably with a drag and drop site builder feature and step-by-step tutorials.

Companies or individuals looking for a strong presence on the internet and a unique looking website should consider a bespoke web design package. Bespoke web design means that every aspect of your website can be tailored to individual needs and tastes, and optimised for maximum impact. High on the list of priorities is search engine ranking and usability.

One of the best ways to optimize a websites and maximize potential ranking, moving up the page ladder, ultimately being on the first page, and eventually being number one, is (SEO) search engine optimization. Content is paramount in SEO, potential clients search for products and services using keywords. The website's content needs to have these keywords strategically placed allowing for search engine spiders to find those keywords, and also differentiate between spam and good quality content.

Great content on websites should be easy to read, clearly get the message across, and be reader friendly. For example, lots of spaces, bullet lists, and content broken up into paragraphs, are all reader friendly and helpful. Attracting visitors to a website is a priority, especially when selling products and services. Content must be fresh with up-to-date keywords to improve visibility on (SERP) search engine result pages.

SEO as a marketing tool can considerably improve a website's capacity to reach its targeted niche audience. Search engines regularly update their algorithms and rules, this can affect the ranking positions of past efforts to optimise. Therefore, strategies in regards to SEO also have to change accordingly as the process evolves constantly, and websites need updating regularly in order to benefit.

Initially the design process of a website should take into consideration several key areas, its color sets, typography, page layout, how to attract website traffic, and what marketing techniques are to be utilized. If the website is representing a company that is looking to sell its products or services on the internet will social media advertisement be a benefit? If so, pay-per-click advertisement should be compared for example, Google versus Facebook and which would best target the particular niche audience.

Companies that run on business processes daily including, customer services, sales or specific operations would benefit from a web portal to help streamline their operations. Workflow automation software aligns the needs and wants of both customer and service provider making the process more effective, efficient and successful, leading to more profitability.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The possibilities of using corn as fuel

Corn stoves are becoming popular for heating out-buildings, commercial premises and homes. There are more and more corn fueled stoves being produced to meet the high demand. For example, hot water furnaces, boilers and stoves with companies offering specifications tailored to individual's needs. In order to ensure safe, efficient operations of corn-burners, regular cleaning of ash residue and constant filling of the fuel is needed, reminiscent of an old wood burner from years gone by.

Corn-burning stoves can be complex or very simple. The more complex systems can have a corn delivery system and a combustion air fan; whereas, in standard wood stoves these are not a requirement. The fuel hoppers are usually located at the back of the stove and can be fed by an old coal scuttle.

Why use corn for burning?

Corn is an attractive heat source and is in abundance. Lower corn grades can be used and preferably that of none food grades; it also has a high heat energy content per unit weight. The quality requirements of corn as a fuel include:

Shelled corn should be checked as they must be dirt free, because dirty corn has a lot of lose fragments and cob pieces, these can cause problems by clogging up the fuel delivery system.

Shelled corn's heat content is based on its weight and moisture content. Corn high in moisture has a lower heat value per unit of weight delivering lower quality heat efficiency, so shelled corn should be dry, at least 15% moisture content or less.

Corn cannot be burned on just any stove or outdoor furnaces. There have specific design requirements in order for it to burn efficiently; similar to pellet-burning stoves. Clinker (ash residue) from the corn must drop away from the area where the corns are delivered and burned, which means that the clinker has to be shoveled away on a regular basis.

Shelled corn must be aided in burning with a combustion chamber that is fan assisted blowing in oxygen. The whole process is systematic from the corn delivery via a storage chamber, which is regulated, to enabling the amount of fuel to be burnt and the level of heat delivered. Ignition systems can be manual or automatic, wood pellets are burned to get the corn burning in the manual operation and the automatic method involves a fuel rod, which ignites the corn.

Heat exchanges do the job of separating flue gasses from the heat as a larger fan pushes air from the room through the stove and out again as heated air. This system must rely on electricity for it to operate. If the electricity supply is interrupted, a backup battery supply kicks in. The stove will need manually starting as a safety feature when there has been a power outage.

There are other types of corn stoves that do not use the systems above and burn at the bottom of a hopper. Multi-fuel systems are also an option and have the advantage of being able to burn shelled corn, cherry pits, wood pellets and more, giving a choice of fuels if one becomes in short supply.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Prevent Your Child's Myopia From Worsening

Myopia is a very common eye condition and sometimes referred to as nearsightedness or short-sightedness because objects in the distance become blurry and closer objects are perfectly clear. Myopia comes in several forms of severity, from mild, which may not need treatment, to serious cases that affect the vision substantially. An appointment with the optometrist should be made if distant objects become slightly fuzzy or you have trouble bringing objects at a distance into focus.

School myopia develops in adolescence around the school age, hence the term, this problem can stabilize in the teen years. Adult onset myopia commonly starts around puberty slowly worsening until the eye is fully developed. Late onset myopia happens in adults around the age of forty and onwards. Myopia affects over 128 million North Americans and 1.6 billion people globally, and still rising.

What is the cause of myopia?

A refractive eye condition is when the structure of the eye has errors which cause how light rays enter the eye. The eye grows with the rest of the body and sometime the back of the eye can grow too long, which stops light rays reaching the retina and causing distant objects to blur. Myopia is associated with genetics or several environment factors.

Environment factors causing myopia in children include: 

Excessive close up work

Poor quality illumination

Lack of outdoor activity

Font size in print books

Very poor eye care

Uncorrected refractive errors

Unhealthy diet

Children should be encouraged to participate in more outdoor activities, giving them longer breaks, more often from close work, which could help prevent the onset of myopia.

The IMPA (International Myopia Prevention Association) suggest that if children start to wear reading glasses for close work as soon as the first signs of myopia appear, it could prevent the problem from deteriorating further. Equally, new studies from a distinguished vision scientist called David Troilo, has proposed the introduction of contact lenses that can be used to aid the growth of children's eyes using multi-zonal lenses with alternating rings of negative and positive focal lengths. This, he suggest, can stop the progression of myopia in young adolescence.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Burgundy Heart of France

Burgundy typifies the soul of a French wine region, steeped in history and culture; it is the area home to Mâcon, on the Saône River. The town is the destination of the annual, Beaujolais Nouveau wine run, which starts and finishes in the UK. Dijon is the ancient capital of the province and has a lot more to offer than strong condiments as a sightseer’s haven, with museums, restored medieval stone houses and cobblestone streets.

More to offer

Follow a pilgrim's trail through picturesque villages and verdant landscapes. Holiday properties in Burgundy range from opulent 17th century mansions, surrounded by vineyards, and charming 18th century town houses, to stone cottages nestled in the countryside.

Burgundy has a secret, not just its famous, scrumptious wines or its flavoursome cheeses and delicious Burgundian dishes, but its people. Feel the warmth of a friendly smile and sometimes a chuckle when trying their language. Holiday rentals in Burgundy offer several choices from a city or country side experience with a vast range of outdoor activities including, canal barging, horse riding, hot air ballooning and underwater caving.

With more and more holiday property rentals in Burgundy, wine enthusiast can taste their way around Beaune, the wine capital of the province and attend the world famous wine charity auction.

Weather and travel

Bourgogne (Burgundy) as it is known by the French people has an oceanic climate with a half-continental tendency; this is what makes it possible for the areas wealth of vineyards, with averages temperatures in the Winter 1.6°c and summer: 19.6°c. Travelling to the heart of France from Paris by car can take up to 3.5 hours and half that time by high-speed Train (TGV).