Retail Safety and Security or “The Manager’s Special”

Businesses exist to make money. Some are more successful at this endeavor than others, but because money is a factor, each and every one of them is a potential target for some type of criminal activity and each employee is a potential victim.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicide is the second leading cause of death to American workers, claiming the lives of 912 workers in 1996 and accounting for 15 percent of the 6,112 fatal work injuries in the United States (BLS, 1997). Violent incidents at work also resulted in 20,438 lost work-day cases in 1994 (BLS, 1996).

Additionally, each year millions of dollars is paid out in compensation claims to victims of violence that occurred in their place of employment.

From 1980 to 1992, the overall rate of homicide was 1.6 per 100,000 workers per year in the retail industry, compared with a national average of 0.70 per 100,000 workers (NIOSH, 1996). Job-related homicides in retail trade accounted for 48 percent of all workplace homicides in 1996 (BLS, 1997).

The wide diversity within the retail industry results in substantial variation in levels of risk of violence. Homicides in convenience and other grocery stores, eating and drinking places, and gasoline service stations constituted the largest share of homicides in retail establishments (BLS, 1997).

From 1990 to 1992, the highest annual homicide risks among retail industries were as follows:

Liquor stores: 7.5 per 100,000 workers
Gasoline service stations: 4.8 per 100,000
Jewelry stores: 4.7 per 100,000
Grocery stores (including convenience stores): 3.8 per 100,000
Eating and drinking places: 1.5 per 100,000 (NIOSH, 1996).

Who were the perpetrators of these violent acts? They were fellow employees, clients or customers, family members, friends and complete strangers who were on the premises to commit a crime such as robbery, theft or worse.

While there may not be a history of violent incidents having ever occurred at YOUR establishment, it is important to understand the likelihood maybe low…but the possibility is 100%, EVERYDAY!

There are a number of factors that make employees of retail establishments and other businesses prime targets:

Unrestricted access by the public
Cash on the premises
Working away from the establishment itself
Late or extended hours
Working alone
Young, inexperienced employees

The most likely risks for employees and businesses involve robbery and assault, shoplifting or theft, belligerent customers and clients and otherwise members of the public that are unwelcome.

In some cases, actual physical assault and resulting injury could have been avoided, but the situation escalated as a result of the employee’s actions. This is not to say that the employee brought the action upon him or herself, but out of a desire to stop a crime, protect the business and its assets, or simply acting out of fear or instinct, the employee put themselves at risk.

Most employees want to do a good job and do the right thing, and while their heart may be in the right place, it must be understood that it is much safer for everyone if the employee practices proper security and safety procedures and situational awareness. Business owners, supervisors and managers do not expect their employees and co-workers to be a hero. Money and property can be replaced; a life cannot.

The security industry has a rule of thumb called the “Three D’s of Security” These three D’s are 1- Deter, 2- Detect and 3- Delay. The first, “Deter”, relates to deterring an offender from attempting to commit a crime at your establishment. Any measures you can take that would cause a potential criminal to decide that the risk of being caught outweighs the rewards of getting away with the crime. Examples would be efficient lighting inside and outside the business, visible cameras and signs stating that surveillance is in effect. Signs stating that the clerk or cashier DOES NOT have access to the safe may cause a robber to consider another target. Acknowledging each customer that enters a retail establishment is not only good customer service, but it lets everyone know they have been seen and are likely being observed which may deter potential shop lifters.

The second “D”, Detect refers to being discovered. The sooner a crime is discovered the sooner action can be taken to decrease the damage caused by the act. Often deter and detect overlap. The use of cameras and alarms can both discourage criminals as well as detect them should they choose to ignore their presence. The same goes with convex mirrors. They are obvious to customers and potential thieves and they also assist the staff in detecting deviant behavior.

The third “D”, delay suggests that management should take physical measures to slow down a crime. The use of heavy duty security locks, superior lighting and certain landscaping practices can cause a criminal to take longer than anticipated to commit a certain crime. There is no such thing as an invincible lock, but many are better than others and when it comes to security locks, there are more bargains at $100 than there are at $10. By delaying a criminal, the chances of detection are enhanced; the smarter offender may realize this and convince him or her to seek a target that has a higher chance of reward and a lower chance of being caught.

The 3D’s can be applied to every business and residence. Consider each of the 3D’s for the perimeter of your establishment or facility. The perimeter would be considered the boundary of your responsibility. This would include parking for both clients and employees, the walkways to and from all entrances as well as outbuildings and refuse collection points.

The exterior would be all entrances, windows and rooftop access points. Rooftops by the way are fast becoming the most popular access point for burglaries of business establishments. The burglars, once on the roof of a flat top building are, for the most part, out of the line of sight and sound of passersby and patrols and with the right tools have ample time to cut a hole through the roof for unencumbered access to the interior. This aspect of exterior security should be included when considering installation of alarm systems.

Interior considerations include the sales floor area, the cash/clerk station and anywhere customers and clients are likely to go as well as places in the establishment where they can possibly hide.

Putting the 3D’s to work on the perimeter, exterior and interior of your establishment will greatly reduce the likelihood of your business being targeted while at the same time enhance the chances of an offender being apprehended for a crime should he follow through on his or her attempt.

Prior to implementing any security or safety program for your business it is important to see where you currently stand. An assessment should be conducted to determine what you have in place that is effective, non-effective or could be modified to make effective. It is recommended that the services of a security consultant be retained to assist in the evaluation. While the cost may seem at first to be somewhat prohibitive, the reduction in injury, liability and likelihood of fewer compensation claims far outweighs initial monetary concerns.

After your assessment is complete you’ll have to prioritize the recommended solutions to identified problems. A simple but effective priority matrix consists of three categories: MUST DO, SHOULD DO and NICE TO DO.

Prioritizing helps you determine issues that need to be addressed first. When you are done, everything on your list should not only enhance safety and security but boost the confidence of your employees as well.

Once you are satisfied that all reasonable concerns have been addressed, you will need to develop a Safety & Security Plan (SSP)

Because there is no overall blanket answer the plan must be tailored to the specific needs and concerns relative to your establishment. Development of the plan should begin with addressing both Physical Controls and Procedural Controls.

Physical control measures can include equipment and device installation, such as cameras, mirrors, and monitors, arrangement of furnishings and other measures that are permanent or “fixed”.

Procedures in the work place or lack of procedures are a definite determining factor in worker safety and security. With well thought out procedural controls, workers are able to prevent most accidents and mishaps on the job and avoid or prevent violent incidents from occurring. A procedure, no matter how well intended is of no use if it is not followed. Once a procedure has been implemented for a specific task, time frame, job, etc, it must be enforced. Rules, policies and procedures without enforcement are only advice. Too often, good advice is only followed if it is convenient.

Staff needs to be trained on all procedures before they start a job and the procedures should be job specific and not general in nature. There should be separate written procedures for duties such as:

Money deposits
Opening/closing/cashing out the till
Trash disposal

The safety and security risk involved in the specific job should be considered in the procedure. Some jobs inherently carry more risk than others and staff needs to follow the procedures specific to that job:

Working alone
Handling money
Working late hours

Additionally there needs to be emergency plans and procedures in place in case of fire, natural disaster or….a violent incident. The procedures should also include necessary action for the staff member to take after the incident.

Procedural controls also include dealing with customers and clients. Staff should be trained on techniques effective on discouraging theft and robbery; eye contact, greetings, offering assistance, observing unusual behavior, etc.

There is no need for these procedures to be complicated. On the contrary, they should be as clear, concise and as simple as possible, while still being effective. Ask for input from employees and co-workers. They are the ones doing the job under the conditions that may put them in danger. They will likely have ideas that can be thought of only by someone in their position. Make your staff and employees part of the team.

Apartment Safety and Security

The number of condominiums and apartments is growing very fast in towns and big cities, thus offering a solution to the problem of accommodating large populations in such cities and metros. Many people prefer living in commercial districts to be close to their workplace. The benefits of staying in a commercial district are many. It gives residents an easy opportunity to enjoy living close to the malls, restaurants, sources of entertainment and commercial institutions. Perhaps, the most important benefit is the fact that it helps avoiding awful traffic at rush hours.

When searching for a condominium or an apartment, you need to consider some factors beyond just the accessibility and construction of the complex. One should assess the available safety and security measures and check the extent to which the association of homeowners and the management follow them. The most usual safety features comprise of fire and burglar alarms. You should also check the provision and status of the fire exits. Their signage should be visible to all. The number of fire exits should be adequate for all the residents to easily escape the building in case of a fire.

The mere provision of safety measures doesn’t suffice. It is important to see how the measures are executed in the building. Be sure to check that security guards and other staff are wearing photo identity cards. The company managing the building conveys that it cares for the safety of its residents by making it mandatory for their workers to wear photo identity cards. Another security measure is the use of keycards, which have so far been used by hotels, but are now being frequently used for apartments or condominiums. For additional security, this may be used with a pin code or password.

Proper lighting goes to enhance the security of a building. All entrances, hallways and walkways should be adequately lighted to discourage crimes. If an electric bulb needs replacement, you should report the matter to the responsible person or replace it yourself, and inform the concerned personnel. It is critical for the parking garage to be secured. This is because thieves often use that area for accessing the apartments in a residential complex. The rear of the building must be well lighted, for that is another area from where thieves sneak into the building.

Security should not be restricted to residents alone. You should know how visitors are treated. Apartments that insist on a photo identity card of a visitor for issuing visitors’ passes clearly demonstrate how serious they are about the security of their residents.

A building may be installed with a highly effective system of security, but it will not help unless all residents cooperate in making the place safe and secured. That makes it vitally important to work in association with other occupants occupying the same block and ensure that all guests are monitored and the doors remain locked. The doors should only be opened after having established the identity of the visitor. Moreover, occupants should not leave the door open at the entrance of building, thus allowing strangers to come into the building. If the buzzer at the entrance is properly maintained, and the residents are cooperative, there may be no security guard for keeping a watch on the block.

Training a Church Safety and Security Team

Violence in places of worship is on the rise, and this violence has forced the topic of safety and security in a church to the forefront of security consulting. Unfortunately many consultants are losing focus on what is important in a church ministry, which is our Christian Mission of bringing the great news of our savior Jesus Christ to the unsaved, and instead, reacting by militarizing our churches. Many of these consultants are banking on our fears so they can profit.

We have seen terms such as “homeland security” and “terrorism” thrown out to explain the need for armed security officers at places of worship. We have also seen many of these consultants pushing the training of church security teams to the likes of a Police SWAT Team or Military Combat Squad, charging extravagant prices for the training. The choice to arm your security ministry should not be made lightly or based on perceived or misrepresented fears. The militarization of our churches may not be the appropriate response. In law enforcement, we judge our use of force on the “reasonable person” rule, which in simple terms means “common sense”.

This standard should also be applied when deciding on how to equip your church security team. Yes, I do believe that armed response is often times a necessary response in protecting our churches, but it should not be the only response. A well prepared, well trained, strategically deployed, and alert team, with a willingness to serve our Savior can be equally effective in protecting a church as armed security guards and far less distracting or menacing. We at believe that church safety and security should involve a “common sense” approach. We provide an inexpensive, yet professional and experienced based training program for all church security teams, regardless of church size, without losing focus on the need for evangelizing.

It is important to remember that not all churches are alike and we provide customized consultation to meet your church’s specific security and safety needs. Our experts are current law enforcement officers with over twenty-five years of combined experience, thus bringing current tactics and techniques to you.

“Rudi” Rudisell is a highly decorated active law enforcement officer with over 15 years of experience working as a cop in southern California. He is a recognized expert in gangs, defensive tactics, community policing, and a former swat officer. He has worked a varied range of assignments during his career and has trained hundreds of military, law enforcement and civilian personnel. Sheepdog Ministries is a security consultation business created by two active Christian police officers who saw a need to use their training and experience in serving the Lord. Sheepdog Ministries specialiazes in the creation and training of church security teams, as well as gang awareness and prevention, while keeping focus on our Christian Mission, which is to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. The services offered by Sheepdog Ministries are extremely affordable for the purpose of ensuring that any church that wishes to address the issue of church violence can do so without breaking the bank.

Win the Interview

Some people think that preparing for a job interview is fairly simple. Once you get the call to come in for one you essentially have the job unless you blow the interview. This is not to disrespect Walmart or McDonald’s but unless you are applying for a company like that, the interview process is not easy at all. In fact, getting the interview more times than not is easier than the actual interview itself. This pillar post is going to be for my viewers that are looking for a full-time job and hopefully it’s a highly looked at company.

The first step is having a great resume. There are plenty of good examples on the internet for samples but those are also mixed in with bad ones. Some keys things that you want in your resume are; having as many numbers as possible. It’s much more eye opening for an employer to see you raised over $10,000 in revenue during your 8 week internship than saying you raised a lot of money. Another thing is to make sure the formatting is done correctly. Make sure that everything lines up nicely and that you stay consistent on your word usage such as tenses. Also make sure to use a different starting word for the description of your prior positions. Then there are the more basic things such as make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes because that can instantly lose you an interview chance. LinkedIn is similar to your resume but where your resume should only include your most important and relevant things since it should only be a single full page, your LinkedIn page should include everything you’ve done. It should be a page that an employer can visit and see where you went to school, what you did there, how you did there, strengths, weaknesses, and any jobs you had up to this point.

Now if a company has asked you to come in for an interview, this is where you start researching that company. Everyone has many strengths and weaknesses, but this is where you need to see the companies values and what not and tie your best strengths to those values. It’s also where if you have a weakness of time management and their biggest thing is to have great time management, that’s a weakness you shouldn’t bring up. This next part isn’t always possible but now a days companies will let you know who you are interviewing with or it is the HR recruiter who told you that you have an interview. This is where you should look up the interviewer on LinkedIn, connect with them and learn some things about them. That way you can ask them questions more directed at them at the end of the interview. You should also ask your recruiter what specific position you are interviewing for so that you can plan accordingly for that one. Now it’s time for the dress code during an interview. Almost every job will want you to come in dressed business professional.

Even if they don’t say it, a common saying in business is that it is better to be overdressed than under dressed. For those who don’t know, business professional is a suit collared button down shirt with a suit jacket that matches the dress pants and a tie. I understand you might not already have a suit or that you don’t have the money to buy one. Some companies might understand and in that case you can just come in business casual which is business professional but without the suit jacket. If the company insists you be business professional which is understandable as you might need a suit during your job, such as if you’re visiting a client or on a company dinner. Then a possible substitute is to get one from Goodwill as they usually have an okay selection of them and can actually still be in pretty good condition. This is of course like a flat tire where it should only last you until you have the money to replace it with a real suit.

Now before the interview you should know exactly where the interview is happening at and any more specifics like if it’s in a specific room. If you are supposed to arrive at 10:00AM, leave so that you get there anytime from 8:00AM – 9:00AM. This will leave you plenty of time in case you get stuck in traffic, lost, or need to stop for something. The great part about getting there early is that you can continue to practice for the interview. One way of practicing is by looking up common asked interview questions so that you can be more confident going into the interview.

Now during the interview you’re going to want to shake every persons hand in the room whether there are two people or twenty. With the handshake make sure to have a firm grasp and go directly in, not from an upper angle or lower angle. Seems petty but some people think if you are coming in for the handshake from an upper angle, it’s you trying to show dominance. When shaking hands make sure to look the person in the eyes and introduce yourself. Then when you begin your interview make sure to calm yourself down. This will help you not to ramble on answers and or forget answers. If the interviewer asks a tough question, you don’t have to respond right away. Ask them if you can take a second to think about the answer. Most interviewers will like that you are willing to think first instead of going right into the answer. After the interview, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. NEVER SAY NO! That can ruin your entire interview because most interviewers are waiting for questions and asking none can leave them with a bad taste in their mouth. Make sure to have 2-3 pre-planned questions and then try to think of 2-3 questions during the interview. That way you can easily ask three or four questions. After you’re done with questions make sure to shake everyone’s hand again and thank them for their time. If you do all of these things correctly, there shouldn’t be a single employer who won’t hire you.

All Important of Business Card

Graphic Design for Small Businesses and organizations isn’t only offering a product or service and having cash in on it. Once you start a small business, there are several features, which have to have a personal and professional focus. One of those is promoting your brand. There are a few things too, which form the foundation of promoting and one of those is the business card. The principle function of promoting is to attract the target market. When accomplished in the correct way, it can yield wonderful results. Marketing experts and graphic designers, who specialize in graphic design for small businesses, have the knowledge and experience to attract your specific client or buyer through distinct marketing and promotional tactics. A business card (or minute card) should have every piece of information essential for someone to interact and conduct business with your company or organization. There are many styles of cards, and in fact, it is necessary to decide on the appropriate style for your firm. This is why hiring a professional whom specializes in graphic design for small businesses is so important.

The product or service themselves won’t always draw in buyers or clients when shown to individuals in a prepared way. To get to the customers who will use, buy or interact with your company, one of several methods used in promoting is choosing the right business card. A card with the very best graphics, typography and layout that connect emotionally with your perspective client is the key. Every single color and color combination possesses its own meaning. There are many benefits and consequences to the use of color when contemplating the feelings and emotions of the people you’re trying to attract. Which means, a hues participation in the overall design is an essential part in selecting the most appropriate appearance of your business card. Imagine if the colors (or hues) used in your card were actually repelling your target audience you are trying to attract.

The visuals that happen to be loved by people of a distinct audience change by age and gender as well. An example is flowers; if your business makes products that are devoted to girls, then introducing flowers as visual elements (graphics) of your card will most likely attract more buyers. If though, your target is a more mature female audience, the use of flowers could be conceived as contrived and repulse your buyers. Selecting the most appropriate graphics for the business card is about the mindset of the buyer and not the business owner. Let me repeat that so you truly get it. The look, feel and emotions tied to your business card are about the buyer, not you, the business owner. If your buyer connects a personal emotion with the artwork, or possibly a design and style, employed in the card, then almost absolutely that buyer will choose the firm utilizing that artwork, design or style. For this reason alone, it is very important to work with a professional that knows and understands graphic design for small businesses.

Why have a business card in the hands of everyone that works for you? A nicely manufactured card affirms the level professionalism regarding the organization. You need a business card that is designed well with accessibility to information for your customers to make contact with you. It must be styled to create a personal connection with the buyer as well. Your reputation is riding on your business card. The primary function of your business card is to get clients to call you. Your logo should be prominent to let people know who you are the minute they see your card. After this, your business card should clearly provide methods for the client to contact you. This can be a website, a smart phone or email but it is highly recommended to have all three. A marketing expert or graphic designer whom specializes in graphic design for small businesses can help point you in the right direction for the content for your particular niche or market. Business cards with the proper visuals, content and style can help you do this. Are you ready to secure a professionally designed business card right now?

Solution for Business Growth – Networking

Interacting with influential people in parties, and collecting their visiting cards is just a touch point. Capitalizing your business on this network is totally a different ball game.

It requires due diligence and dedication over the years to build a relationship for a solid network. Once you have done it becomes a derivative to your success.

Networking should not be a temporary activity, it has to be an ongoing process, even when you are not at your desk. Aspiring business leaders have to learn the strategic networking technique for rapid business growth.

Primary reasons for networking

Why is it desirable to build a network with influential people and business groups of your domain?

· Immediate access to all service providers and vendors

· Quick response rate for contract base hiring

· Full extension to peers help

· Never face an issue of work crisis

· Referrals from the third party

· Updates on the latest trends and technology related to your business.

· Share ideas with similar business groups

Common Business Networking Mistakes

If the success of your business depends on networking then why to leave any corner of networking untouched, no matter how small or big your business is.

Unlike your business location, your network is not limited to the physical address. It has to proliferate in all directions. There are tons of way to build the network that is often overlooked.

· Not connecting with other communities

When it comes to pairing with individuals, usually you choose the known path for connection which is social media. It might look promising connecting through it but it limits your network spectrum. You have to explore another dimension for networking as well. Try to connect to lesser known communities like “Quora” or register with a “common platform for service providers”. There are other multiple online platforms where you can confluence with same business groups like Tumblr,, tinder, etc. depending on your domain expertise.

· Not connecting to Niche forum or group

If you really want to build a close relationship with your clients or domain experts, join a Niche “forum”. But joining too many forum sometimes becomes complicated, try to zero in two or three forum of your field. There are big companies that also join this forum to get solutions and you can connect with them instantly.

· Not justifying your acquaintance

Let your client find you with your skills. Networking becomes easy if your clients know your whereabouts. There are very few networking sites that have a portal built especially for employees, where employees can build and upload their portfolio. It helps the employee in two ways, building their own network and establishing themselves as a brand.

· Not Paying heed to referrals

You need to pay attention to referrals coming through the third party or from the vendor’s site. Take immediate follow-up and honor these referrals.

· Not using Reviews/Testimonial for networking

This is the most overlooked attribute by vendors. Many of them believe “Reviews and Comments” are solely made for critics. No, that’s not true. You can convert those critics to your potential client. Ask for “Reviews and Comments” from them, you can even ask for the area of improvement for better service. It will help you to identify your weak zone, and at the same time, you have the opportunity to build a positive image in front of your clients. So, always be ready to listen to your client and make a bond with them through Reviews/Testimonials.

· Not connecting actively with Co-workers

Connecting with co-workers actively helps you to share ideas and gain knowledge. You develop this special”give and take” relation with co-workers over a period of time. Your equation with them will decide how your network will expand.

· Not connecting to diverse population

Usually, it’s a human tendency to connect with like-minded people, which is OK. But if you want to build up a B2B network, then you need to break that cocoon and connect with a diverse population. Diversity gives you the perspective to think out of the box and implement new ideas in your business.

Some Key takeaways for Business Networking

· Make your social networking activity a key part of your daily work.

· Locate and join networking site where other members sell their service or product same as you

· Rather than building numbers focus on people that show interest in your service

· Don’t miss out the client by not joining a common networking platform or joining much later than you should be

· Use software tools or plugins to optimize your networking activity

Curate and Control Your Online Reputation

Shakespeare, in Act 2 of his circa 1603 play Othello, said it best: Reputation, reputation, reputation. It is the original personal brand and one of the defining realities of our lives. For Solopreneur consultants and other self-employed professionals, reputation governs the number and quality of projects made available to us and therefore, reputation impacts our income and the kind of life we’re able to live. It pays, in more ways than one, to cultivate a peerless reputation and guard it vigorously.

In the internet age that is especially so, in both the personal and professional sectors. Mistakes and mischaracterizations made in digital formats are extremely difficult to dodge, ignore, deny, or correct. One’s online reputation is the ultimate flypaper. Take steps to ensure that what sticks to your name is all good.


Along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are the sites where images of you are most likely to be posted, by yourself and others. When cameras are around, meaning whenever anyone has a cell phone, which is about 24/7, make sure that your behavior represents you and your brand well.

There’s nothing wrong with being photographed in an obviously casual gathering. Just make sure that you (or others) are not in the midst of activities that could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on you sometime in the future. If you regularly appear in photos that you know or suspect will be posted to social media sites, counteract with a photo of your own that shows you at work, paid or volunteer. Balance your accounts, so to speak, and show that there is more to you than non-stop partying.


Create and regularly post original content that makes you look smart, professional and successful. On your LinkedIn account, announce when you will attend a symposium, serve on a panel, teach a course or workshop and definitely broadcast the good news if you’ve recently earned a professional certification or advanced degree.

If you’ve presented a webinar, request the replay and turn it into a podcast for your website and YouTube. If you write a newsletter or blog, link it to your website and LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, produce streams of high-quality feed and images that convey the competencies and values that you want to be known for.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can feature glimpses into your personal life as well and it could all be for the good, as long as you are strategic about what is revealed. Your volunteer work is always a safe bet. Training for a marathon or even a fun and casual volleyball or softball league would be excellent. Your parent’s wedding anniversary party would make another good personal aspect to include in your online narrative. Be aware that narrative is the operative word. Create the story that you want to be told, in a manner that makes you look wonderful.


About every three months, search your name and your company name in engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo and see what comes up in the first 50 listings. Are you happy with what you see? Try keywords related to your business along with your city and check your professional reach in a more profound way.

If you find that your business has been reviewed in a negative and inaccurate way, contact the reviewing site and request that the offending post be removed. If customers have offered criticism that just may be constructive, address the matter. Apologize and offer your side of the story. Make amends if possible. By doing so, you’ll add to your credibility and customer service reputation.

It’s been reported that 70% of U.S. employment recruiters have rejected potential job candidates when something about them that was considered unsavory appeared on social media. Solopreneurs should assume that prospective clients will do the same. Maintaining and monitoring your online reputation has never been more important.

Build A Business From Scratch

My passions have always been gardening and painting. The two seem to go together and this was born out when starting a business in landscaping. It was natural to paint a picture of the finished design in my head. This led me to undertake counseling for those who could not imagine what a garden should look like. My long-standing interest in the outdoors held me in good stead as my little fingers were always in dirt from the time I could toddle.

Once advertising started and my first consulting job came to me it led to other things. The lady was so impressed with what she was offered that she paid me $400 to draw a plan of it. This was something right up my ally.

Putting my imagination to work the plan was a great success and before long there were some 2-3 per week along with consulting jobs. The main requiring for doing something like this is confidence. If one shows that they know what they are talking about and can satisfy their client with quality work, then it has to be a success.

Of course my enterprising didn’t stop there. The main point of this article is that people need to step out of their comfort zone and use their hobbies and interests to build a business. They have to start from scratch to do it but if they have enough confidence and knowledge they will success.

Mistakes will happen and that is the learning curve one has to go through. Costs of consulting work doesn’t have to be over the top as there is no outlay to doing it. Start small and build up. For consulting my charge was $75 and that is more than affordable when most landscape designers might charge 10 times that much for the same advice.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioral problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.

Bring Your App Business on the Right Track

Every entrepreneur seeks to know the secret recipe for success. What strategies are made to increase the conversion rate? What are the exciting ideas that can be implemented to make the company grow? It is super strategies that create opportunities for a company. There are always some brand new ideas that you can implement to grow your business. However, not all the existing tricks will give your business a boost. It is only when the right strategies are followed at the right time and the right place that you end up having a revenue-generating business.

If you have an app business, here are 5 strategies you can follow to make sure that your business climbs the ladder of success. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Know the Purpose

To start with, in your mobile app business, it is vital to know the purpose behind the creation of an app and the audience for whom the app is created. The advantages and the true value of the app shall not be confined to the number of features it has and rather on how the user experience is. One of the most significant factors in creating compelling apps is close collaboration among developers, the quality analysis team, and designers.

2. All About Planning

It is the business plans that earn you profits. Only with clear objectives can you come up with the most suitable solutions required by customers. When it comes to creating successful apps, it definitely requires sharp focus. The complexity of a mobile app can be huge but fundamentally, an app must be designed by having an understanding of the real world. Moreover, to come up with engaging apps, it is also important to identify the exact expectations of users. So you see that accurate planning is vital for creating successful apps.

3. Choose Your Platforms Wisely

A significant part of sales depends on how you reach out to your target audience and you basically have to connect with them in the best way possible. Unlike websites, mobile applications are designed for various platforms. These days, there are multiple devices and multiple vendors. For instance, most smartphone users make use of iOS devices and others go for iPhones. Thus, the process of app development completely depends on how customer engagement can be carried out on different platforms.

4. Cross-Check the Intuitiveness of the App

Do you think that the app that you design will help in making your client’s life easier and happier? Once you design an instinctive app, it can end up giving an amazing experience to its users. Apart from integrating notable UX designs and streamlined functions, it is equally important to check whether an app is responsive enough and provides suitable performance to cater to the needs of the user. Also, ensure that the app is free from bugs.

5. Promote Your App

Promotion plays an integral role in boosting your app business. One of the most significant factors behind the popularity of an app is the way it is promoted. Adequate promotion of an app through reviews, ratings, video teasers, recordings, and social media posts helps to create a buzz among the target audience.

When it comes to the app business, the competition is stiff and if you fail to follow the right strategies, you may end up causing your app to lose its visibility among an extensive range of audience. So, follow the sure-shot strategies stated above and ensure the success of your app.

The Ways to Improve Fundraising

Donor management is never easy no matter how easy it may seem; there is always some information that you will need to get and some that you will need to impart in order to learn some of the best ways of it.

In the many things about donor management the one that counts to be the most important of all is improving fundraising and getting into the skills of it all for the best results. Here in this article are the ways you need to follow and imbibe to improve the fundraising program for your nonprofit or church.

1. Be Transparent with Your Donors – Though this might seem like an obvious point, it is usually the one that is most ignored, and the most important of all. What is important about transparency is your donors being able to trust you with all – from your plans to our ideas and ideologies. Also, this is an important point to note because only when they trust you will they be able to steward their money well and you must be able to show them you are doing so. By ‘transparent’ we mean both financial and program transparency.

Financial Transparency: You might not be considering financial transparency to be an important point but this should definitely be on your list of important things. It is considered important to release a note time to time which would show how you are allocating your funds, but your donors are not going to sit and read through that long document. Make sure you give your donors an easy way to digest how you are investing their money. Create a graph, chart, infographic etc. And if it looks like you spent more in say, fundraising, than expected, explain why. Your donors love your mission and giving them a peek behind the curtain creates a sense of belonging and teamwork.
Program Transparency: Program transparency is all about the IMPACT. If you can show your donors the impact their money has made in changing the lives of those you’re serving or where the money has impacted, you can be sure you’ve done your thing right. Create annual reports showing the graphs of how far you’ve come with the support, meanwhile mentioning exactly where you want more changes and where you’re striving to achieve more.

2. Optimize our Donor Experience – Your donors shouldn’t be there for just one years or only a period of time, and that is possible only if you manage to optimize the donor experience convincing them that there are things that’ll help you stay in contact for more than one donation period. Try personalization (which definitely does no longer mean just hey and the first name); it is always recommended to stay in touch with the donors through emails, letters and phone calls. You can segment based on last gift amount, last gift date, a specific campaign – anything. And then create fundraising messaging around each category.

3. Audit Your Systems – Thought this is not important? Wrong!!! One of the most important points to be considered to improve fundraising is to audit your system – audit on your end – use the right set of tool and the right techniques. Keep the audit impartial and keep it clear – this will help you understanding how far you’ve come with your fundraising program and exactly how far you will be able to go with it.

Fundraising for churches, charities and non profits is the thing that does the most benefit and an increase in the finds over a stipulated period of time is exactly what they’re striving for. It is therefore recommended that you use these set of tips mentioned above and create a draft accordingly of you new ideas and plans for an increase in the funds.