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5 Internet Marketing Tools: Which Provides The Most Outreach Potential?

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Outreach potential with Twitter, Blogging, Websites, Facebook and YouTube.

We’re all want to generate more leads and more sales. Isn’t that a key function of your Internet Marketing Plan?

We keep hearing about lots of different online marketing tools and how all of these different companies are using social media, websites, blogs, etc. to gain huge followings and tons of sales.

A lot of our clients are asking…where are the large sales? How do we tap into social media to generate huge sales? Should we even have a website anymore?

All valid questions, thoughts and concerns.

As we look at different online marketing approaches, we too evaluate the outreach potential for our clients. Many come to us and they tell us, “We’ve seen this Twitter thing. I think I want to Twitter because I heard that XYZ company (a fortune 500 company) uses twitter and sold $x last month.”

As a consultant to them, our first round of questions obviously come at them with a focus on their website and their current online marketing presence. How strong is it?

Then, we jump into questions about how tech savvy they (and their staff) are.

And finally, we hit on budget. Sure, you can shoot for the moon (like these huge fortune 500 companies), but not on a $500/month budget.

Obviously, we need to get some perspective and focus.

Below, we’ve outlined our current position with respect to outreach on 5 different online marketing tools.

(and obviously, technology changes very quickly, and so can our opinion of where these different tools rank. Yes, this has happened in the past and we continually educate/update our clients on what is best for their situation.)

Internet Marketing Tools: Which Provides the Best Outreach for a Small/Medium Business?

Before we get a lot of negative comments on this post, we need to clear the air first. From what we know, the Google search engine still maintains 65% of all search volume. Bing/Yahoo occupy about 30% combined. And the rest of the search engines (aol, ask, etc.) are scrounging for the remaining 5 % or so.

Also, we totally understand that some tools provide more of a “referral” type of service.

We’ve taken all of these different things into account as we’ve developed this blog article. And, we fully realize that things will/may change over time. However, all of these tools can become part of your Internet Marketing Plan.

OK, on to the rest of the post.

In this article, we’ve looked at 5 different tools; Websites, Bloggs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Each of these tools has their own strengths and weaknesses. So, let’s get started.

  1. Websites: Overall, websites are probably the most effective outreach tool the companies have at their disposal. Most companies have already developed a website and their real problem is that they need the website optimized for the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). In our book, the website is usually the place for a business to start. After all, it allows the business to be completely hands off while having a strong presence on the search engines.
  2. Blogging: Blogging comes in at a close #2 in our book. Blogging has some really positive aspects related to it. For example, the look and feel of the site can be quickly an easily adjusted. Also, a company can quickly use the built in CMS (content management system) to easily make changes, add content or edit posts on the site. This tool allows a business to be very functional and flexible. The only reason it slides in at #2 (vs. in a tie for #1) is that there can be a little more hands on applications with a blog. What we are thinking of specifically is the constant desire/need to add relevant content 2-3 times per week to the site.
  3. Twitter: We next look at Twitter. And or overall impression of twitter (at the current time and depending on your business model) is that you may want to hold off on Twitter until you have some of the other tools locked down and effectively bringing in leads for your business. In a recent book about Twitter (yes, we read about everything we can get our hands on) the author likens this tool to feeling like you are on a crowded beach trying to get your message out there. There tends to be a lot of conversations going on with Twitter and standing out is going to be the real key. Recently, HubSpot ( http://www.hubspot.com )had reported in an online webinar that the average social media link online has a shelf life of 3 hours. What this means is that you’d need to be tweeting about 3-5 times per day to keep your message fresh and out there. In the defense of Twitter, there are different tools you can use that help you manage your tweeting and keep on top of your conversation much more effectively and efficiently. However, again, these tools require you to be familiar with a computer and to be using a computer on a consistent basis.
  4. Facebook is the next tool we identified. All in all, Facebook has a slightly higher level of outreach than Twitter. If you were to be using Facebook on its own. However, if you use Facebook in conjunction with your website and your previous clients, then the outreach potential goes up in a hurt. When you are using Facebook in conjunction with your website you can truly go viral in a hurry. And, when your clients “like” you, that action shows up on your clients friends’ pages. Hence, a great referral for your business.
  5. YouTube: Lastly, we looked at YouTube. This is a great tool for outreach. There are two reasons this tool works so well for outreach. First, the YouTube video can be very keyword relevant. This means that when a consumer is searching for your products and services they are able to find you on the first page of the search results. How awesome is that! Secondly, the video itself is like a miniature sales pitch. What do you want the client to do? Call? Ask them to give you a call on the video. Your phone will get some use.

All in all, we see websites and blogging as being the primary way for businesses to be able to reach out to potential clients. The main focus would be to have a strong presence on the search engines and that will lead to generating more leads and more sales.

As a second tier implementation, we’d encourage YouTube and Facebook. YouTube will help your business gain exposure online and on the first page of the search engines while also acting as a sales tool. Facebook will help you grow through people you know and people that are your “friends”.

Third would be Twitter. While this tool my currently come last on this list, rest assured that it is our belief that EVERYONE will end up with a twitter account at some point in the future.

One of the best ways to implement some of these tools would be to bundle them together. For example, there are many Internet Marketing Companies that are starting to offer Facebook/Twitter packages. These packages include some tweeting as well as some Facebook wall postings.

To see if your business is ready to implement some of these tools contact Jeff Hensiek by calling 866-503-7673, email or through our Internet Marketing Plan Proposal form.

Again, if you found some value with this post, please submit a comment. We appreciate it.

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Big Scale Savings: How Can Video Phones Help Enterprises?

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Every enterprise needs a form of communication to effectively conduct business. Nowadays, there are different means of communication that can be employed to help enterprises operate smoothly and cope with the highly competitive market, such as video phones. Aside from the traditional telephone system for audio communication and fax machines for fax messages, the latest technology in digital communication paved the way for other forms of communication like e-mail, text messaging, chat, etc. These new means also facilitate faster decision making, money transfer, and quick delivery of goods and services. All of these features can also be enjoyed through the use of the video phone technology.

The adaptation of free market capitalism in almost all parts of the world enabled many people to venture into any business they want. What is interesting about the present setup is that aside from brick and mortar business, there are also opportunities for internet-based operations. Remote offices provide a wide reach for various businesses in various parts of the globe. This kind of operation gives a lot of savings in terms of manpower, travel, equipment, and office space rentals.

Through the video phones, a businessman in Texas can check on the operation of a branch office in Dubai by communicating with his staff. He can even talk to customers, suppliers, and other entities that have direct concerns with the enterprise. Telephone companies and internet service providers have come up with affordable packages that fit the operation of various businesses depending on the size of operation. These packages have other beneficial features aside from the basic services being offered.

The scale of savings for companies using video phones increases depending on the size of a business’ operation. Using traditional communication systems that lack added features is more costly compared to the latest communication technology that is packed with the much needed extras for commercial application. At the end of the day, every entrepreneur has to compute overhead costs against profit to determine if the business is viable. A business operator has to trim down on every aspect of operation to stay competitive.

If the top 100 corporation in the world can use digital communication and video phones in their operation, so do small enterprises. Technology does not discriminate on the scale of a business. Commercial gadgets are affordable to every person and every entity, including video phones. It is just a matter of determining what works best for a specific requirement. Ultimately, if it is beneficial then it is worth the investment.

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Herbal Allies For Pregnant Women

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Most women would agree that drugs are to be avoided during pregnancy. Many over the counter remedies, especially antihistamines, acne medicines, and laxatives, have been shown to cause birth defects in animals or humans. Antibiotics may cause fetal abnormalities and sulfur drugs can cause neo-natal jaundice. Tranquilizers and painkillers can cause birth defects and addict the fetus. Antacids can cause muscle problems in the baby and edema in the mother. (In addition, they mess up a woman’s calcium metabolism; see discussion following.)

And it is well accepted that the drug-like actions of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee are best avoided both before conception, during pregnancy, and while lactating.

Few women, however, understand that vitamin/mineral supplements are more drug-like than food-like. Though they are widely recommended, even by orthodox MDs, supplements are problematic for pregnant women and ought to be avoided. A study of 23,000 pregnant women, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (1995) found 4.8 times more birth defects among the children of women who consumed 10,000 IU or more of vitamin A in supplemental form. And if that isn’t enough to make you hesitate before reaching for the pills, consider this: the amount of iron in four prenatal-formula tablets can kill a child under the age of three.

In addition to drugs and supplements, many common herbal remedies, including golden seal, and flax seed are best avoided during the weeks of gestation. See below for herbs that may be problematic during pregnancy.

Nevertheless, there are many simple, safe home and herbal remedies available to ease the discomforts of pregnancy. The remedies of wise women, or “old wives,” have persisted for centuries, passed from woman to woman. They are not strict protocols designed to work with the greatest possible number of women. Rather, they are part of the ever-changing wisdom ways of women, meant to be applied to the unique individual in unique and ever-changing ways. Although they have not been subjected to double blind studies, they are not superstition and dumb custom, but the results of millions of careful observations over thousands of generations. These remedies are the gifts of our foremothers. They are gifts from women who were deeply intuitive, immersed in day-to-day practice, and in tune with women’s needs – emotional and spiritual, as well as physical.

Wise women believe that most of the problems of pregnancy can be prevented by attention to nutrition. Morning sickness and mood swings are connected to low blood sugar; backaches and severe labor pains often result from insufficient calcium; and varicose veins, hemorrhoids, constipation, skin discolorations and anemias are also related to lack of specific nutrients.

Excellent nutrition for pregnant women includes not just vital foodstuffs and nourishing herbal infusions, but also pure water and air, abundant light, loving and respectful relationships, beauty and harmony in daily life, and joyous thoughts.

All nutrients are needed in abundance during pregnancy as the gestating woman forms two extra pounds of uterine muscle; the nerves, bones, organs, muscles, glands and skin of the baby; several pounds of amniotic fluid; the placenta; and a great increase in blood volume. In addition, extra kidney and liver cells are created to process the waste of two beings instead of one.

Wild and organically grown foods are the best source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed during pregnancy. All the better if the expectant mother can get out and gather her own herbs: stretching, bending, breathing, moving, touching the earth, taking time to talk with the plants and to open herself to their spiritual world.

Red Raspberry (Rubus ideaus and other species)

For centuries herbalists have relied on the leaves of red raspberry to nourish pregnant women and relieve difficulties during pregnancy and birth. Scientific herbalists are baffled by these claims, as they find no chemical constituents in raspberry leaves that are capable of inducing these purported effects. Nonetheless, “if pregnant women believe that it provides relief from various unpleasant effects associated with their condition, no harm is done,” says Varro Tyler in The Honest Herbal.

Most of the benefits associated with regular use of raspberry throughout pregnancy can be traced to its astringent, strengthening, and nourishing powers. Raspberry leaves contain tannins and fragrine, which give tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus. They also contain nourishing vitamins and minerals. Of special note are the concentrations of vitamins A, C, E, and B, plus generous amounts of easily assimilated calcium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium salts.

A strong infusion of dried raspberry leaves increases fertility, tonifies the uterus, aids in easy birthing, helps prevent miscarriage, alleviates morning sickness, reduces muscle/leg cramps and backache, and counters fatigue.

To make it:

  • Put one ounce of the dried raspberry leaves in a quart jar; fill it to the top with boiling water, and cap tightly.
  • After steeping for at least four hours, strain the leaves out of the infusion.
  • Drink the liquid hot or cold, with honey, or anyway you like it.
  • Refrigerate left-overs.

Capsules, tinctures, and teas of raspberry are not as effective.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Some people dislike nettle because of its strong sting, but it is an herb with myriad benefits for the expectant mother. A strong infusion (prepared by brewing one ounce of dried nettle leaves in a quart of boiling water for at least four hours) helps prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids, eases leg cramps and backache, reduces the incidence of hemorrhage after birth, and increases the richness of breast milk.

Every cup of nettle infusion supplies amazing amounts of energy as well as huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D, C, B, and K. It prevents folic acid anemia and iron deficiency anemia, and is also a digestive aid, a strengthener to the lungs, an ally of the kidneys, and a restorative to the hair and skin.

Capsules, tinctures, and teas of nettle are not as effective.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

As a keeper of dairy animals, I was introduced to this herb as an ally to keep my goats’ fertility high and their milk production generous. It took only a little imagination for me to begin to use it for women, too. Red clover blossoms are best taken as a strong infusion (one ounce of dried blossoms brewed overnight in a quart of boiling water). The tincture is a sedative; pills and capsules have very little effect.

To date, I know of dozens of women who, unable to conceive, have found success after drinking up to a quart of red clover infusion every day for at least six weeks. The generous amounts of minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens in red clover restore health to the entire reproductive system. It’s great for men, too. Most notable are the amounts of vitamin E and the presence of selenium and zinc. Red clover has ten times more plant hormones than soy.

Don’t stop drinking red clover infusion once you get pregnant though. The infusion prevents and eases the constipation so common during pregnancy. It also strengthens the liver and improves appetite, especially when morning sickness is a problem. And it relieves anxiety.

And keep on drinking red clover once your child is born. There is no more valuable herb to keep breast milk rich and the breasts healthy then red clover. In fact, it is the world’s most respected anti-cancer herb, acting not only to eliminate cancer but to stop its occurrence as well.

Seaweeds (including kelp, nori, dulse, kombu, and wakame)

One of the best green allies for women in their fertile years is seaweed, both for its mineral richness, and for the special substances it contains which directly counter birth defects. Algin or alginic acid, found in many seaweeds, absorbs radioactive neucleotides and heavy metals. When eaten by the prospective mother and father, seaweed protects them from cancer and protects the fetus from faulty genes. Seaweeds also protect the fetus and parents from the harmful effects of chemicals and carcinogens.

Seaweed is one of the most nutritious plants known. Earl Mindell, in his book Vitamin Bible notes that kelp contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as choline, carotenes, and 23 minerals including calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. He recommends it especially for nourishing the brain, spinal cord, and nerves of the fetus. Eating seaweeds regularly improves the fertility and the health of the pregnant woman, too, strengthening her digestive system, increasing her overall energy, and helping to prevent constipation, muscle cramps, backaches, anemias, hemorrhoids, and depression. For healthy skin, hair, and bones, there is no better food or herb than seaweed.

Capsules, tablets, and powdered seaweeds are not as effective as eating seaweed as a vegetable several times a week. In addition to buying seaweed at your health food store, you can harvest it yourself. There are no poisonous seaweeds. For more information on harvesting and using seaweeds, consult the Lewallens’ Sea Vegetable Gourmet Cookbook.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)

This common weed of suburban lawns is one of the best liver tonics known. All parts of the dandelion are medicinal: the roots, leaves, and flowers are brewed into tinctures, medicinal vinegars, cordials, wines, and bitter infusions.

If you dig your own, use them to make a mineral-rich vinegar: Fill a jar with cut dandelion, then fill the jar to the top with pasteurized apple cider vinegar. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap held on with a rubber band. Label, with the date; it’s ready to use in six weeks. Try it as a salad dressing, or a condiment for beans. Some women like to drink it first thing in the morning: 1-2 tablespoonsful in a glass of water.

Nourishing the liver is critical during pregnancy. Lack of strong liver functioning is implicated in morning sickness, hemorrhoids, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, lack of energy, headaches, and mood swings. If using the tincture, try a dose of 10-20 drops in a small glass of water just before meals.

Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)

Anise Seed (Pimpinella anisum)

Dill Seed (Anethum graveolens)

Caraway Seed (Carum carvi)

Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum)

The aromatic seeds are members of the “carrot family” of plants and are used around the world to ease indigestion, freshen breath, and increase milk supply. As the medicinal value is found in a volatile oil, the seeds are quickly and easily brewed: add a heaping tablespoonful to a mug and fill it with water just off the boil, letting it steep for 2-5 minutes. A spoonful of honey is a delightful addition.

For a somewhat more complicated brew, midwife Elizabeth Davis (in her book Heart and Hands) relates this old wives’ remedy to increase milk supply: Boil 1/2 cup pearled barley in three cups water for 25 minutes. Strain and refrigerate. Heat (but do not boil) one cup of barley water and pour it over one teaspoon fennel seeds. Steep no longer than thirty minutes.

And how delightful that the ease imparted by the brew influences the infant through the breastmilk, relieving colic, turning fretfulness into slumber, and countering teething pain. For best results drink your brew, hot or cold, while nursing your baby. Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy advises mothers of infants and young children to always carry some aromatic seeds in their pocket for the children to chew should they be car-sick or become argumentative.

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)

When it comes to quelling nausea or morning sickness (motion sickness, too) there is no better herb than ginger root. Whether you use it fresh or dried, a little ginger goes a long way toward warming the belly and relieving queasy feelings. Some books mistakenly list ginger as an herb that can cause a miscarriage. This misinformation no doubt got started by a hopeful woman who had noticed that drinking ginger tea made her menses flow more easily. But midwives agree that ginger is safe, even in early pregnancy.

In addition to quelling morning sickness, ginger helps prevent constipation of pregnancy, keeps the pelvic muscles warmed and toned, relieves intestinal cramping and gas (in infants, too), increases digestive force by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes, lowers blood pressure, and restores vitality.

Calcium

Of course calcium is a mineral, not an herb, but it is so important during pregnancy that it deserves our attention. Lack of adequate calcium during pregnancy can cause muscle cramps, backache, high blood pressure, intense labor pains, severe afterbirth pains, loss of teeth, and pre-eclampsia. Lack of calcium also contributes to feeble fetal heart action, a difficult birth, and “cranky” babies with easily irritated nervous and digestive systems. For optimum health of mother and child, eat plenty of foods rich in calcium and other minerals.

The calcium found in foods and herbs is metabolized by the body far more effectively than the calcium in pills. Calcium in plants is found in the form of minerals salts, which are naturally chelated. In addition, the varied forms of these salts aids in assimilation. And, of course, no plant contains only one mineral. The multitude of mineral salts found in herbs and foods act synergistically with the calcium salts, improving utilization by all the body’s tissues.

In general, to improve calcium assimilation, women are advised to consume it with acidic foods (antacids interfere with calcium absorption), plenty of vitamin D (which can be produced by sitting in the sun for 15-20 minutes), magnesium, and daily exercise. Stress, use of antacids, consumption of coffee, use of steroids, drinking fluoridated water, and too much phosphorous in the diet also interfere with calcium assimilation.

Getting 1500 to 2000 milligrams of nourishing calcium salts every day is not hard with the help of Wise Woman ways.

  • Many wild greens are exceptionally rich in calcium and other mineral salts. The leaves of lamb’s quarters, mallow, galinsoga, shepherd’s purse, knotweed, bidens, amaranth, or dandelion, when cooked until tender, supply more calcium per half-cup serving than a half-cup of milk.
  • Herbal teas and tinctures contain little or no calcium salts. For mineral richness, make herbal infusions by steeping one ounce of dried herb (such as raspberry, nettle, or red clover) overnight in a quart of boiling water. Or make mineral-rich vinegars by steeping fresh herbs in apple cider vinegar for six weeks. The long steeping of the water infusion releases minerals, the acid of the vinegar does it too. A cup of herbal infusion can have 150-300 milligrams of calcium salts. A tablespoon of medicinal herbal vinegar can contain 75-150 milligrams of calcium salts.
  • Cultivated greens are good sources of calcium, better if they are cooked thoroughly, and best if they are organic. Kale, collards, mustard greens, oriental greens, broccoli de rape, turnip greens, even cabbage supply 100-250 milligrams of calcium salts per half-cup serving.
  • Fresh dairy products are the best place to get mineral salts, especially calcium, but there is controversy about the assimilability of calcium from pasteurized milk. Fortunately, raw milk cheeses are now easily available; look for them as a reliable source of nutrients.
  • When milk is made into yogurt, it becomes superbly digestible and the calcium content increases by fifty percent (up to 450 milligrams of calcium in just one cup). A daily cup of plain yogurt not only prevents pregnancy problems, it also counteracts vaginal and bladder infections. Women who eat yogurt regularly are far less likely to be diagnosed with cancer as well. When buying yogurt, I look for plain yogurt that contains only milk and culture. I absolutely avoid dried milk powder, skim milk powder, pectin, and other thickeners.
  • Other great-tasting sources of calcium include goat milk and goat cheese, canned fish eaten with the bones such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, and tahini (ground sesame seeds).
  • There are roughly 200 milligrams of calcium in two ounces of nuts (excluding peanuts), one ounce of dried seaweed, two ounces of carob powder, one ounce of cheese, half a cup of cooked greens, half a cup of milk, three eggs, four ounces of fish, or one tablespoon of molasses.
  • Many fruits are rich in calcium (though not as rich as the above foods). Dried dates, figs raisins, prunes, papaya and elderberries are the best.
  • Avoid foods high in oxalic acid such as spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, rhubarb, and brewer’s yeast. They interfere with your ability to absorb calcium.
  • Do not use bone meal or oyster shell tablets as sources of supplemental calcium. They have been found to be high in lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxic metals, which can cause birth defects in your child.

HERBS WOMEN MAY WISH TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND WHILE LACTATING

Agave and Yucca (Agave species): contain large quantities of irritating saponins

Aloes (Aloe species): purging cathartic

Birthroot (Trillium species): contains oxytocin

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): may irritate the uterus

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides): contains oxytocin

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus frangula): purging cathartic

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana): purging cathartic

Castor oil (Ricinus communis): purging cathartic

Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica): alkaloids in roots are dangerous to the liver; leaves are safe to use

Cotton root bark (Gossypium harbaceum): contains oxytocin

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis): contains coumarins which may irritate uterus and liver

Ephedra (all species): increases blood pressure; may cause heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis): used by midwives to initiate labor

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium): may cause headaches, irritability, insomnia

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): contains irritating alkaloids which stress liver and kidneys

Juniper berries (Juniperus communis): very harsh on the kidneys

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): increases blood pressure; large doses can cause heart failure, headache, lethargy, water retention, and excessive excretion of potassium

Ma-huang (another name for ephedra)

Mistletoe (Viscum album): large doses can have detrimental effects on the heart

Mistletoe, American (Phoradendron flavescens): raises blood pressure, causes uterine contractions

Rue (Ruta graveolens): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Senna (Cassia senna): potent purging cathartic

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum): purgative; may cause uterine contractions

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium): essential oils can adversely affect brain

WOMEN WHO MISCARRY EASILY MAY ALSO WANT TO AVOID THESE HERBS

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale): also known as saffron; large doses can cause miscarriage

Basil (Basilicum species): see mints

Bearberry (Berberis vulgaris): bark contains similar alkaloids to goldenseal; berries and leaves OK

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): see mints

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum): large doses may stimulate uterine contractions

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium): contains essential oils that can damage liver and kidneys

Ground ivy (Hedeoma hederacea): see mints

Mints – such as basil, catnip, rosemary, thyme, savory, peppermint, oregano, ground ivy, sage, and spearmint – contain essential oils that, used internally (or extracted into a tincture) may harm the kidneys and liver; the infusion, taken in large enough quantity, may stimulate uterine contractions

Mugwort/Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris): used to help bring on labor

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): a large dose of this spice contains the essential oils that could adversely affect the brain, liver, and kidneys

Oregano (Oreganum species ): see mints

Osha (Ligusticum porterii): may irritate the uterus

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): a well-known, and quite effective, abortifacient

Poke root (Phytolacca americana): large dose (more than 4 drops) may stress kidneys

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium or Hedeoma pulegiodes): essential oil may harm kidneys and liver; also see mints

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): see mints

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): see mints

Sage (Salvia officinalis): see mints

Savory (Satureja hortensis): see mints

Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum): essential oils, similar to those in wormwood, are easily extracted into tinctures and can adversely affect the brain

Spearmint (Mentha spicata): see mints

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare): essential oils in tincture may damage kidneys and liver

Thyme (Thymus species): see mints

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

For more information about herbs and pregnancy, including herbs to use during birth, to improve lactation, and to help the newborn infant, see: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Ash Tree Publishing. To receive a free brochure of classes and correspondence courses available from Susun S Weed, contact her at:

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Every Door Direct – Smart Affordable Marketing From the Post Office

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The U.S. Postal Service started a new program in 2011 called the Every Door Direct program that’s making money for a lot of small businesses. This is perfect for many businesses to target people in their neighborhood including: car dealers, pizza places or other restaurants, dry cleaners, real estate people, lawyers, and accountants.

They’ve Made It Relatively Easy

No postal permit is required for this and you don’t have to buy a mailing list. And using the Postal Service’s online tool, you can pick either a business/residential or just residential route. What you can’t do (at least yet) is choose business-only. But the post office says they’re working on that option.

The Minimum

You pick the zip code and the postal route. Using their website and that tool, you can see the routes and the number of addresses on it. You must mail every address on the route. You can’t target just one stop like an apartment complex. You can choose whether to include businesses or apartment complexes and post office boxes.

There’s another way instead of picking individual routes. Using their online tool, you could enter the location of your business and ask for every address within a mile or within three miles or whatever. It immediately shows you how many places that would be and the exact cost.

And the Maximum

But this is the postal service which means you’ve got to do it exactly their way. You can only mail up to 5000 pieces of mail per day at any one post office.

Bundling Them the Post Office Way

They must be packaged in groups of 50. Let’s say a route has 226 addresses. You would have four bundles of 50 each plus one bundle of 26. Each bundle has to have a “facing slip” on the front which identifies the postal route.

You could pay a mailing service to handle the whole thing or hire someone to bundle them. Or you can sit down in front of the TV with your family members and friends and have a bundling party. Careful with the counting though because the post office is picky.

Each piece has to have an “address bar” that has to be in a specific place on the mailing.

How to Use It

Here’s what you can mail in this program: big postcards. The post office calls them “flats.” Up to 12×15 inches at 14.5 cents each (for most deliveries). I’ve see that reference of “for most deliveries” but I’m not sure in what situations it costs more.

Then you take them to that post office and pay by check, cash, metered postage or debit card (but not credit card the last I heard but they were working on that as well). If you wanted to send your cards to another city just mail them in a big box with all the paperwork (and payment) inside.

If you’ve got questions about the program, just do an online search or call their hotline: 877-747-6249.

Many marketers are using these big cards to sell ads to individual businesses all in the same area. The Postal Service really has a good idea here. I urge you to give it a look.

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Small Business: Growing Your Business

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Growth in a business is essential. How much growth, depends on your vision for your business….

Many business owners often confuse growth with expansion. Expansion is moving into new product lines, new services and new areas. Growth is increasing your capacity to continue with the products and services you have. Growth may require expansion, but expansion is not necessarily needed for growth.

Growth is necessary, at the very least, to ensure that your business maintains a healthy profit margin. Expenses typically rise each year and, as such, your business needs to grow, otherwise it will ‘fade’ away.

This is why having a business plan and regularly reviewing your businesses performance is so important! Understanding the businesses financial bottom line and how the target markets are evolving is paramount to ongoing business success and growth.

Be Honest With Yourself…

Sometimes, the largest obstacle any small business owner can have, is themselves. Far too often, we as business owners fall prey to own success and we ignore the change indicators in our market. A wise business owner will ensure that they can independently evaluate their business – a business mentor is great for this kind of oversight.

Be brutal in your assessment – really extrapolate the possible changes in your market and determine how you can refine your business strategies to capitalize on the changes.

In one of my ‘previous business lives’, I ran a retail franchise store. We were a very niche business and when we first opened the stores, we did really well. However, as the market evolved it became more of a consumer market (not niche) and our Franchise did not change it’s strategies to take this into consideration. That franchise no longer exists – it was placed in receivership.

Growth Strategies

There are several strategies for growth that may be applied by a business owner.

Sell More Of The Same Thing

This is possibly one of the most popular strategies for business growth – do more of what you’re already doing.

This could be a valid approach, particularly if the business or market is relatively young.

One of the biggest things to consider here, is whether there is ‘room’ to do more of the same thing. If your business delivers services, can your existing staffing levels handle more work and if not, can more people be employed quickly enough to deliver the work?

Does your market allow for enough growth in the sale of more of the same? Sometimes, the market is near saturation and selling more of the same thing is not going to provide enough growth for a business.

Consider moving into other target markets with the same product or service. Often this will require a rethink of Unique Selling Proposition, but it can reap big rewards.

If the business doesn’t have sufficient person power to sell more, consider options like licensing and franchising to increase the reach. One very simple method to immediately add more sales people to the business is to offer an Affiliate or Referral program, where the business will pay a commission or referral fee to people who bring in new business.

Raise Prices

Raising the prices of your products and services may result in growth. This approach needs to be implemented carefully, and the results monitored regularly.

Raising prices will, generally, result in a higher profit per sale – and as such higher profit overall.

In some cases, raising prices will result in an increase in sales as well. This tends to occur when the price of a product or service is so low that it gives the perception of a low value / poor quality or appeals to a target market that is not willing to spend money. When the price is increased, the target audience feels that the quality is much better and will more readily invest. By increasing the price and increasing sales, growth occurs naturally.

I experienced exactly this in my retail store – we had priced a product at less than $10, which we thought was an ‘irresistible price’. Unfortunately, our customers did not and the product was not moving. After overhearing several customers discuss that they believed something must be wrong with the product for it to be so cheap, we increased the price to $14.95 and sold out in a week! Perceived Value.

Diversify

Diversification is a valid and very smart business growth strategy. Add more products or services to your business portfolio.

Depending on your business plan, the products or services may be related to your existing product range or, it may be appropriate to start a new ‘arm’ to your business.

Diversification, as a business growth strategy, provides a major benefit as the risk of market downturns is spread over a wider base.

By adding more related products and services to its portfolio, a business can also capitalize on return business from existing customers.

In Conclusion

These are three very broad ways to grow your business – and which one(s) to use will depend on your business plan.

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Finance

Computer Books Are Important to Have on Your Small Business Book Shelf

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Computers are a way of life and yet two decades ago computers did not even exist, well, not personal computers like the type that every single person in America owns and has in their home or office. Sometimes keeping up with the technology is not easy at all.

There are always new words to learn with each new technology and it is as enough you have to learn a whole new language just to understand what those in the industry are talking about. There are always new buzzwords and you must learn at least some of these words otherwise you cannot comprehend what the computer experts are trying to explain to you.

It is for this reason that I’d like to recommend a very good book to you and one, which I believe you should have in your own personal library so that you do not get behind on computer vocabulary. The book is called;

“Computer; a dictionary of computer words of the English Language (new Revised Edition) Trident Press international; Date: 2001.

So, you ask why did I like this book so much, well indeed, I’d like to explain just why this book is a must read and why it is my contention that you should own a copy to have in your own personal library at home or in the office. First, the back of this book has 120 pages labeled; An Introduction To Personal Computers.

While the first part of the book is a pocket dictionary with just about every single word that has to do with computers that was invented before the year 2000. No, words like; blog, blogger, blogging and social networking are not in it, but in a way that just proves the point of how fast the computer world moves and why you need to stay on top of it. So, please consider this.

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Finance

Things Worth Knowing About Business Setup and Consulting Services

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Have a great business idea for your startup? Want to get into operations right away? Well, you might need the assistance of business consultancy firm. While small business owners and new entrepreneurs are great at multitasking, starting a business is a different game altogether. A lot of CPA and small business consulting firms are around these days, and they offer everything you need to start your business. In this post, we will discuss some of the aspects related to hiring a firm and things you can expect from such services.

Why You Must Seek Help for Business Setup?

As an entrepreneur, you should focus on just one thing – your business. The whole process of initiating a business can be complicated and tricky, and numerous aspects need immediate attention. For example, do you know the local laws related to your industry? How would you manage the tax implications? Are you aware of the tax benefits that you might be entitled to? What are the norms and ground regulations that must be followed? These things cannot be ignored, and you cannot look into all of these at the same time. Business consultancy services charge a small fee for their work, and you can leave most of the hassles to them. They would want the basic papers and documents that are essential for the actual procedure, and based on the further requirements, they will complete the paperwork.

Things you can expect:

Every business setup and consulting service may have a different approach to the job, but typically, they do the same set of tasks. Here are some of the things you can expect from these firms.

1. Evaluation of your idea. Will your idea work? Depending on the kind of contract you have with the concerned service, they will do a floor test to know if your business idea will click with the audience in the first place.

2. Completion of paperwork. The initial setup process varies in every country and state, and the concerned consulting firm will do the required paperwork in time, so that you can start with operations right away.

3. Help with tax matters. Many CPA firms also offer consultancy firms, and therefore, they can offer quick assistance and help with the tax related matters. They may suggest the ways in which you can minimize the tax burden, at least for the first few months.

4. Assistance for compliances. A new business should fulfill certain requirements before they can start selling their products and services, and consultancy firms will ensure that these compliance matters are dealt in time.

5. Help for financing. With their industry liaisons, consultants can help in finding possible sources of funding, if required. They may suggest lenders or process the papers related to getting a loan on your request.

Consultancy firms also help entrepreneurs in planning their work, so that they don’t have to manage many things at the same time. As long as you hire the right team for the job, you will have no issues in starting your business in time.

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