Multi Business

Though vineyards exist in almost every U.S. state, California outranks all of the others by a great deal and its production can even be ranked on a global scale. In fact, California ranks # 4 in the world in volume production among wine producers with a total of 2 billion liters per year, following only Italy, France, and Spain. It also ranks as one of the most diverse wine regions in the world due to its ability to produce almost 100 separate high-quality grape varietals. Some of the most popular wines include:

* Merlot

* Pinot Noir

* Cabernet Sauvignon

* Shiraz

* Zinfandel

* Chardonnay

* Sauvignon Blanc

Within the state, there are approximate 4,500 wine grape growers; a testament to the size and importance of the wine industry in California. In 2006, the California wine industry had a $51.8 billion dollar economic impact on its own state and a $125.3 billion dollar impact on the entire United States. The wine industry in California is easily the most profitable of any other area in the Unites States and its wine’s are among the top in quality around the world.

Due to different growing conditions within the state, the California wine producing areas are separated into five major regions: North Coast, Sierra Foothills, Central Coast, Central Valley, and Southern California. Each of these regions can be divided even further into sub-regions called appellations (which are often counties) that many people who are not even familiar with wine will easily recognize by name such as Napa, Sonoma, and San Joaquin Valley. When a wine label contains a specific appellation, it means that at least 75 percent of the grapes used within the wine were grown within that specific region. Wine labels can also contain two or three appellations to classify the different grapes used within the wine if the percentages are specifically noted as well.

The climate range in California varies from region to region which allows for superb production of many different types of perfectly grown grapes which results in many different varietals. Elements of the weather, such as the cool offshore breezes that cool the Sonoma County vineyards, are extremely important in the distinct growing condition needs for specific wine grapes.

The most important varietals produced in the California wine region are chardonnay and cabernet, though many other varietals from the region are massively popular such a pinot noir. The California wine region has a reputation for producing a high-quality wine to be enjoyed in a relaxed setting among friends, just the way its biggest fans would want it.

Merlot

Merlot is a popular thin-skinned red wine grape that is believed to be descended from the Cabernet Franc grape and was first recorded in Italy in 1832. It is used for both the purposes of blending inspired by the Bordeaux wine region of France and also for the production of straight varietal wine. In the 1990’s particularly, Merlot experienced a huge surge in popularity and became the new trendy wine but its popularity has proved to possess staying power. In 2003 there were over 50,000 acres in California devoted to the Merlot grape alone.

Some of the highest quality Merlots comes from Bordeaux, France, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Chile, and Washington State. These areas have elevated the historical planting of Merlot into better quality soils which have resulted in a Merlot that is less-suited for blending and perfect for its own varietal. The taste of a Merlot is dependent on the type of soil in which it was grown. For instance, Merlot from flatter and more clay-like soil results in a smoother, more velvety wine. Merlot grown in more mountainous regions tends to taste more similar to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Many Merlots tend to have a taste reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon, but they has less acidity due to a thinner skin in the grapes and earlier ripening time. It also frequently possesses a wide variety of flavors such as: currant, plum, black cherry, caramel, clove, bay leaf, bell pepper, olive, and violet. It is low in tannins and many wine drinkers believe that it is smooth and an easy-to-drink red varietal.

When blended, Merlot is often combined with Cabernet Sauvignon to balance the taste strengths and flavors of each separate varietal resulting in a blend with the best of both worlds. Another benefit to Merlot and the Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blends is that the cost is often substantially less than the fuller-bodied Cabert Sauvignon varietal itself.

Although many wine drinkers think that red wines should only be served right at room temperature, Merlot should actually be served a few degrees below room temperature as it can sometimes develop less pleasant tastes at approximately 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilling it for simply a couple minutes will ensure that the wine is slightly cooler and result in the best possible flavors.

Because Merlot is not quite as rich as some other red wine varietals, it is still fairly flexible in its easy pairings with many popular dinner choices. Because it is a medium-bodied wine, it will pair well with veal, meatloaf, sausages, and hearty pasta dishes.

Pinot Noir

Thanks to the recent movie Sideways, Pinot Noir has become much more widely acclaimed by the general wine-drinking population in recent years and multiplied quite drastically in popularity. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of France but today, has spread around the world to vastly differing wine regions which encompass almost all wine growing areas. Despite its worldwide popularity, Pinot Noir remains among the most difficult varietal grapes to cultivate efficiently as it is delicate and difficult to control in terms of preventing mutations of the grapes or any other unwanted variations which result in undesirable changes in the flavors or other characteristics present in the grapes.

Pinot Noir reaches its peak in flavor development when grown in cooler wine regions and has never reproduced the level of accuracy and perfection in development that it has achieved in its home in the Burgundy wine region. However, all Pinot Noir wines are typically a light hue of red which range from cherry to plum. They also possess a fragrant aroma encompassing notes of cherries, violets, berries, and spices. Like most other wines, Pinot Noir wines develop a greater complexity of flavors when aged. The aging process can contribute flavors reminiscent of leather and mushroom to the flavor dimensions of the wine.

Pinot Noir wines are usually considered light or medium-bodied as they are quite a delicate varietal which often also encompass fine silky tannins.

The Pinot Noir grapes, while notoriously difficult to grow efficiently, also become difficult to maintain consistency in the winemaking process. Winemakers struggle to modify the winemaking process for Pinot Noirs in order to find the optimal process to highlight the delicate flavor and structural aspects of this varietal. For example, winemakers must take great care in the aging of Pinot Noirs with oak barrels because the woody flavors can easily overtake the natural fragility of the flavors balanced within the Pinot Noir. Batches of Pinot Noir wine grapes can also be blended together in a way that masks the imperfections due to changes in the winemaking process or weakness inherent in the grapes themselves.

When pairing Pinot Noir wines with foods, remember to go easy on the spices, otherwise the delicate flavors of the Pinot Noir will be masked. Salmon is one of the best pairings for Pinot Noir wines, as the flavors are both fairly light but with a complexity that compliments the opposite quite nicely.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet is a term which encompasses a few different varietals: most notably Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon is a particularly popular varietal which arose from a grape developed by crossing the Cabernet Franc grape with the Sauvignon Blanc grape. In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely grown red grape in most wine regions of the world and particularly the Boudreaux wine region in France. In other parts of the world Cabernet Sauvignon is also referred to as Petit Cabernet, Sauvignon Rouge, and Vidure so it is important to keep those phrases in mind while abroad.

Additionally, since the 1960’s, Cabernet Sauvignon has been the most common varietal term for red wines due to it’s wide appeal and critical acclaim. Because it is so widely in demand in many wine circles, Cabernet Sauvignon becomes easily subjected to inflation-related cost increases as demand from wealthy wine-lovers drives prices upward. On the other hand, Cabernet Sauvignon’s parent grape Cabernet Franc is less popular because it is a less desirable grape than its grape offspring. However, it is quite often used as a blending element in mixed varietal wines, particularly with Merlot. A general tip for most novice wine consumers is that most bottled wines labeled Cabernet belong to the Cabernet Sauvignon family of grapes, rather than the Cabernet Franc.

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes thrive best in regions with long growing seasons due to a warm climate and reaches maturity quite late in the season. It also grows well in slightly arid areas with well-drained soil. These elements will allow the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to mature with a fruity taste, rather than the more herbal flavor that arises from the grape’s exposure to increased moisture and excessive soil-based nutrients during the growing process. The grapes themselves are comparatively small with a tough outer skin that protects the grapes from many elements. They are considerably resistant to disease and can be viewed as a fairly hardy grape varietal.

Cabernet Sauvignon is also one of the best aged wines. It is traditionally aged in small oak barrels for up to eighteen months before bottling. This aging period allows the wine to develop a greater complexity and depth of the flavors it encompasses. Some of the flavors which are most often attributed to Cabernet Sauvignon are: dark cherry, black currant, olive, pepper, cedar, and tobacco. Cabernet Sauvignon’s can also sometimes have spicy or earthy taste profiles as well.

Sirah – Shiraz

Shiraz currently accounts for one-fifth of all wine grape production in Australia and is one of the most widely harvested grapes in the country. Though the intense popularity of the rival red Cabernet Sauvignon has accounted for the secondary status of Shiraz in the minds of wine consumers in recent years, many vintners are beginning to revitalizing their Shiraz with new styles and methods of aging.

The Shiraz wine grape has an interesting history and place in the contemporary wine world as well. Generally described as “New World” wines, these wines are generally thought to be more fruity in their predominate flavors in opposition to the “Old World” wines which are often labeled Syrah. Because both variations of wine are derived from the same grape genetically, the differences between them are minimal to say the least. Some wine purveyors even maintain that the distinction between Shiraz and Syrah is in relation to style preferences only.

However, South Africa, Canada, and Australia are three of primary growing regions which refer to this varietal of wine as Shiraz rather than Syrah. These regions keep with the trend of identifying their exports with the New World wine classification of Shiraz which identifies it as a lighter and more aggressively fruity style of wine.

The Shiraz grape is commonly used in the production of red table wines which characteristically age well. Shiraz often reaches its prime complexity of flavor after approximately ten to fifteen years of aging; however it can easily be consumed much earlier in its aging process without sacrificing its excellent taste. It is also commonly used as a blending wine, although this occurs primarily in Spanish regions.

Shiraz wines are characteristically quite full-bodied and flavors vary easily depending on the physical characteristics of the wine region of its production. Some of the flavors most commonly attributed to Shiraz wines are: blackberry, chocolate, black pepper, plums, and spices. Shiraz also has soft tannins and varying degrees of oak flavors. They flourish especially in the wine regions of Australia with cooler, dry climates which allow for the berry finishes. Other Shiraz wine grapes grown in warmer climates tend to encompass the more mellow plum flavors.

Despite its frequent New World wine associations, Shiraz is one of the oldest known wine grape varietals. In fact, it is named for the city of the same name in Iran where wine-making may have originated many thousands of years ago.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel often gets a less-than-stellar reputation among the most pretentious of wine drinkers as it has recently held the reputation of being a “starter wine,” especially for women, due to its popular sweet taste in the 1980’s and 90’s. However, in the past several years, winemakers have responded to this prejudice against Zinfandels by improving the complexity and balance of flavors within their wines to make them a more palatable choice to the savvy wine consumer’s sophisticated sense of flavors.

What makes a wine more appealing to wine lovers? Complexity and fullness of the flavors are a few of the key aspects of a well-crafted wine. In Zinfanfels, a few of the most popularly described characteristics of the flavors are blackberry, raspberry, cherry, cloves, black pepper, and anise. However, depending on the complexity of the Zinfandel, many other levels of flavors may emerge, especially through a tasting in which you carefully give your attention to the subtleties released within the entire experience of the wine. Another interesting characteristic of Zinfandels is that they are also often mixed with others such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Syrah.

Because Zinfandels range from lighter-bodied whites to quite robust reds, they are no steadfast rules for which foods to pair with them. Some zinfandels do possess enough body and presence of flavors to drink even with a hearty steak or rich chocolate dessert. The lighter zinfandels can be a great pairing for Latin American and tropically-inspired foods.

Zinfandel originates from a distinctly American red-skinned Zinfandel wine grape that is used to make both red and white Zinfandels. Formally named in 1832, Zinfandels are traditionally defined as an American varietal and can occasionally be quite difficult to locate in overseas markets. It was recently discovered that Zinfandel grape is genetically identical to the Primotivo grape native to Italy. This discovery begins explains the previously unknown heritage of the Zinfandel grape’s development.

Californian vineries have come to embraced Zinfandels as their own characteristic varietal, leading the reputation of Zinfandel to become a representation and branding image for California wine. Some of the most popular regions for the production of Zinfandels are: Napa Valley, Sonoma, Mendocino-Lake, Central Valley, Bay area, Sierra Foothills, and Southern California. However, Zinfandel’s aren’t exclusive to California and can be produced in American regions as distant as North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as overseas locations to which the Zinfandel grape has been exported.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay has become the most popular white wine in America in the past few decades. The reasons for this development are varied. The first is that Chardonnays possess a widely appealing taste often consisting of fruity and full-bodied buttery notes. Due to the wine’s versatility, it can possess many distinguishable variations of flavors and vintners can even mix Chardonnay with other varietals as a way to experience new flavors with blended wines. One of the other most important reasons for its popularity is that it’s widely available and can be quite inexpensive due to the small, hardy Chardonnay grapes resistance to many diseases and thus easier to grow in many conditions. Thus, the demand for Chardonnay becomes easily to fill, despite the fact that Chardonnay grapes are more delicate in the wine-making phase of development.

Some of the key distinguishing characteristics of this well-loved wine white are that it is dry and often quite full-bodied with the most popularly distinguished flavors and aromas mentioned in descriptions of Chardonnay are apple, melon, pears, lemon, and pineapple, as well as buttery, nutty, creamy, vanilla, oak, and citrus. Particularly when Chardonnay is aged in an oak barrel, it develops a toasty or buttery quality along with a vanilla or coconut flavor which adds to the depth of the richness in the tasting experience. Many cheaper types of Chardonnay that try to achieve the oak-aged taste, use steel barrels with oak chips to lessen production costs while still obtaining similar flavors and textures within their wines.

Chardonnays are one of the most popular varietals grown in the California wine region but also flourish in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and South Africa. In 2000, Chardonnay grapes accounted for 40 percent of the total white wine grapes planted in California wine regions and can thrive in many regions with quite distinguishably different weather patterns. French Chardonnays are also reputed to be of extremely high-quality and in fact, in the Chablis wine region of France, Chardonnay grapes are the only grape varietals allowed.

Today’s Chardonnays are less-heavily subjected to oak fermentation as public preference has shifted to lighter and crisper versions of this varietal. The reason for this preference can be viewed as a return from the past several decades in which all chardonnays were so heavily processed with malo-lactic fermentation and other aging techniques that even the most distinctive Chardonnays began to lose their distinctive flavors.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a currently very popular white wine varietal. Californian Sauvignon Blanc is also occasionally referred to as Fume Blanc. The growth of Sauvignon Blanc grapes encompasses nearly 14,000 acres in California alone. Sauvignon Blanc is also grown in regions such as South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, France, Australia and can even be grown in surprising regions such as Canada and Long Island, New York.

Sauvignon Blanc is often viewed as the best white wine for many food combinations as its tangy, aggressive flavor pairs well with foods. It is especially well-matched with foods containing components such as peppers, garlic, cilantro smoked cheeses, and tomatoes which are foods that would ordinarily completely overpower even the strongest-flavored Chardonnays in addition to most other dry white wines.

Sauvignon Blanc possesses a unique aroma which makes it easily identifiable compared to other white wines. Its flavors tend to be classified as herbaceous such as those of lemongrass, gooseberry, and freshly mown grass. However, it also possesses some other more traditional flavors such as green melon, grapefruit, passion fruit, and bell pepper. Overall, Sauvignon Blanc is a strong, tangy, and flavorful varietal that outweighs many other white wines in intensity and sharpness of flavors.

Unlike many other wine varietals, Sauvignon Blanc is not frequently aged in oak barrels because it often departs an unfavorable taste combination. However, Sauvignon Blancs are frequently blended which is a technique that calms their occasionally abrasive tastes. Blending Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon (another wine varietal grown primarily in France) is a popular practice, especially in France’s legendary Boudreaux wine region, as the Semillon adds a fig flavor and softens the overall taste profile of the Sauvignon Blanc. The ratio of Semillon blended with the Sauvignon Blanc ranges on the region and occurs primarily in France. However, some versions are comprised of 70 percent Semillon and 30 percent Sauvignon Blanc and other varieties are comprised of the nearly inverse ratio of 75 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 15 percent Semillon. These blends are a perfect option for the wine consumers who enjoy some of the flavors of Sauvignon Blanc but find it a little too aggressive for their palates.

Because Sauvignon Blanc is still not as popular with many wine drinking consumers as its more popular cousin varietal Chardonnay, many quality Sauvignon Blanc are very economically priced. Combined with its perfection in matching many difficult to pair food combinations, Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for a dinner party varietal.

A few decades ago, a car was considered a luxury only the rich could afford. But as the Automobile companies prospered and expanded their production and reach, the Cars became cheaper and easier to acquire. Many Auto Companies, Banks, and private companies too came forward to provide Car Loans to people who still could not afford to buy Cars with a full payment for the purchase price. Auto financing was also useful in enticing people working on a fixed salary, or those who were hesitant in investing a big sum in purchasing an Automobile. People also bought cars to maintain/enhance their status in society, even if it meant opting for a Car Loan to buy a Car. In the last decade or two, a car or even two or more cars for a family has become more of a necessity, rather than a status symbol.

In this case opting for a Car Loan is not a bad idea if you really need the Car to make life easier for you and your family and it is really useful in solving day-to-day problems of traveling. You can either decide to buy a new or second hand car depending on your requirement and financial status. When you do decide to buy a car with Auto financing, just do not rush off and select the first option that presents itself. Analyze the Car Loans market and the different offers made by the Auto Company, Banks, and Private companies for Auto Loans, and decide on the best option according to your paying capacity and finances. Auto Financing is beneficial for the buyer (You), the seller (the Auto Company), and the financier (Auto Company, Bank, private finance company). But as in any business deal. everybody wants the best deal and the most benefit for themselves. Therefore, when you do opt for an Auto Loan, weigh the Pros and Cons, the advantages, disadvantages, savings, interest charged, down payment required, terms of financing, the period of loan, etc.

You should also calculate how much you will have to pay on a monthly/quarterly/yearly basis for financing the Car and whether you will be able to manage the payments comfortably. If you have already bought a car on Auto Finance and your Credit rating with the financing company is good, getting a Car Loan for a second car becomes easier. But if you have defaulted on your Auto Loans, your Car Finance Company may reject your loan application for another Car. This is called Bad Credit in the industry. But you do not have to be dejected and think that you will never be able to get another Car Loan. There are Private Car Finance and Auto Loan Companies that do provide a Second chance at Auto Loans, in spite of a Bad Credit rating. Whether you need First time Auto Financing or a second chance at a Car Loan in spite of Bad Credit, you should investigate all the options and avenues available and opt for the best in the market, while also looking at your financial abilities to pay back the loan.

Online reviews on automotive dealer’s website are valued features and play a key role in influencing the customer’s automotive buying decision. Online reviews are sought after by customers using Internet at every stage of car buying process, as they offer existing customer experiences on vehicle models, services, policies etc of particular automotive dealers. It is important to include online reviews and testimonials in dealer websites as they help in retaining the existing customers and builds initial trust among potential customers. It helps to increase sales as prospective customers prefer to deal with dealers they can trust.

Positive Impacts:
Online reviews positively impact the dealership sales by increasing the confidence among both existing and potential customers.

Credibility
Potential customers perceive online reviews as authentic, genuine opinions from other customers and feel that they are receiving accurate information. They provide an effective way for dealers to communicate with customers. A good number of positive reviews on dealer website mentioning satisfactory experiences of customers are likely to instill confidence among potential customers. The potential customer can feel more comfortable and satisfied when reading a comprehensive evaluation of the dealer from a large number of customers. Even, the way dealers handle negative reviews by customers by quickly and efficiently resolving problems increases the trustworthiness of the dealers. It is likely that such unhappy customers will revert back to the same dealer.

Included In Consideration Set
The customers usually have a pre-defined set of vehicles that they prefer to buy. The automotive dealers in order to increase their sales needs to persuade the customers to alter their consideration set. The customer generated content like vehicle ratings and reviews, consumer ratings and reviews, dealer ratings and reviews can be effectively used by automotive dealers to alter the consideration set of these automotive internet users. The information given through dealer ratings and reviews can effectively target the new-vehicle buying customer segment. The reviews enhance dealer consideration among customers as both positive and negative reviews increases awareness level of the particular dealer. Also, positive reviews improve the attitude of customers towards dealers. Thus, expanding the consideration set helps to increase automotive dealership sales.

Reassurance
The online reviews and testimonials at automotive dealer website provide reassurance to the new customers that the dealer stands for professionalism, quality, credibility, and security. Reviews by previous customers reassure the potential customers that it is safe to deal with this dealer and there is commitment to customer’s privacy. Providing reviews on dealership website also increases conversion rates as it increases trust and confidence among first time visitors. Thus, existing and new customers will confide upon the dealership that helps to increase sales.

Negative Impacts If Not Monitored:
The negative online reviews can have impact on the attitude of customers towards automotive dealers.

Left Out From Consideration Set
Online reviews influence the purchasing decisions of automotive internet users. Also, they are checked while researching for a particular car on the Internet. Thus, ignoring or not monitoring the online reviews means failing to effectively target the large segment of automotive internet users and getting left out from user’s consideration. Poor online reviews and testimonials can fail to persuade, build confidence and trust among first time visitors and lose out on important prospective customers.

Needs More Time To Convince The Buyer
Online reviews and testimonials indicate the satisfaction of other customers due to better services and quality offered by dealer. Potential customers reading improperly monitored reviews are likely to view the dealer as less reliable and not trustable. Thus, the dealers may have to put in more efforts and time to convince the customers.

As online reviews are like online conversations between customers, automotive dealers need to actively get involved in them that can result in sales growth. The automotive dealers can leverage online reviews and testimonials by existing customers to generate new customers by efficiently targeting them at each step of car buying process.

We live in an information overloaded society, yet we actually know so little. While I was reading this book I took a straw poll of some people I know, and 100% of them had no idea who the Colwell brothers, or Herb Allen are. So much information, yet so little knowledge is a real problem in today’s world. The three cowboy brothers and Herb, probably did more for world peace, or at least peaceful co-existence than any President, or any government organization has ever done. Frank McGee has produced a great book that chronicles the story of these eclectic individuals. Even better the book is peppered with photographs of the actual people and events.

The story starts right after WWII, the Colwell’s are in their teens, and have a true skill in the entertainment world, initially self taught, they make their mark on the radio landscape, appearing in the Tex Williams weekly show. Invited to ‘tour’ overseas for one month the young brothers can not resist, and against their parents better judgment they set off on their adventure. It was almost a decade before they returned to the US. As part of MRA (Moral Re-Armament) and later Up With People they joined in the youthful mission to try and make the planet a better place. As the saying goes, ‘They boldly went where no man has gone before’. If there was conflict, you can guarantee that the Colwell brothers were not far away, acting as ambassadors of peace.

A Song For The World is a great and heartfelt work, Frank McGee has certainly done his homework, he follows the Colwell’s and Allen across the planet. From India, Africa, China, Russia, and just about every other country you can think of, we vicariously watch these kids grow into men, and subsequently fathers. Very late in the book McGee talks about how they became married men, and I have to admit it is a pretty strange tale. As nomadic minstrels they had little opportunity to go through the conventional courtship rituals. Instead they married first and dated later! While this sounds bizarre, the formula obviously worked for them.

There are very few musicians that have the bragging rights that these guys have, they have played for Kings and Queens, Emperors and Empresses, they have entertained millions of people, and yet never had a top 10 hit! This is a fascinating read and reveals a side of humanity that today is sadly in short supply, happiness, caring, and above all giving. We can learn much from the selfless actions of the Colwell brothers and Herb Allen.

Running a business can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying ventures one can partake in life. However, running a business can also be an extremely demanding, and at times, stressful career move. Luckily there are a wide range of business services that can help to take some of the weight off of your shoulders and allow you to focus on the core elements of your business.

The first service is chartered accountancy. A huge part of your business is going to be dealing with the financial aspects of its day to day operations. Many feel employing the services of an accountant to be a bit of a waste of money. This is usually because they have some understanding of what is needed and required and feel that they will be more than capable of keeping on top of all their accounts and book keeping. Although this may be fine for small businesses or start ups, as a business grows, so does the amount of accountancy work. Another point to make is that hiring an accountant is not as expensive as many would be lead to believe. So for a small yearly fee, you could rest assured that your accounts are being professionally managed, allowing you to focus on your business.

Another popular service is outsourced sales and lead generation. Today, more than ever, businesses are outsourcing their lead generation and sales tasks; so that they can focus their in house teams efforts on the key aspects of the business. Outsourcing is beneficial in many ways and can have a huge impact on the growth and success of a business. When you outsource a service such as lead generation and sales, you are acquiring the service of a highly skilled and dedicated team who are specifically trained to excel in sales and lead generation. This means that less time is spent training staff in-house, allowing that management time to be set to more important, core aspects of your business. Another huge benefit of this outsourced service is the quality and quantity of the leads and sales that you will receive. By allowing highly trained, professionals deal with these parts of your business; you will be rewarded with more relevant leads, and a larger volume of sales.

Finally we have Records Management. Although not a service that will improve sales or leads, records management will improve the organisation and efficiency of your business. Records management or Document Storage as it is often referred to, is when your business documents and media is stored in an external storage facility. This will free up a lot of office space and lead to a more organised and efficient way of operating your business. A good Records Management facility will allow you to quickly and efficiently access any of your stored documents at any point. These facilities are kept at optimum temperatures and are closely guarded, meaning your documents will be safe and in perfect condition should you require them.

These are just three of the many services that could improve and enhance your business. By employing one or a few of these business services you could find yourself with more time to focus on the core aspects of your business, leading to a more successful business for you and your staff.

Survival China Travel Tips and Tricks

These China Travel Tips, Survival Techniques, will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience the real China with a little less stress.

China is an odd beast that needs to be respected; the major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, all have their own personalities.

Some complex situations that you think would be an organizational disaster turn out to be great and you wonder afterward what all the fuss and worry was about. Then the simplest of tasks can turn out to be a major calamity.

This is when you have what we call here a “China day”.

These days come and go and are part of the experience of everyday travel in China. One needs to have an open mind when travelling China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to Western ways of living.

You need to have a very open mind when you Travel in China.
I have listed below a few China Travel Tips that will make life that wee bit more bearable on your Travel China experience.

China Travel Tips – Be Toilet Wise

o Never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time.

o Be prepared; Carry some tissue.

o You may have to use a squat toilet, again if you know this before hand it is not a shock. If you don’t know how to use a squat toilet, try the following experiment at home.

While holding onto something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, so that the cheeks of your bottom is almost touching your heels or the back of your calf. Now, let go with your hands. See if you stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or you cannot get up, then a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you will be happy you did.

o If you see a clean toilet, Go… it may not come again for a while.

o There are many public toilets around the cities, usually the ones you pay for are OK, (RMB .5), the others best to stay away from if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around the cities.

o Be warned that public areas like bus and train stations are usually what I class as “tough toilets”, however if gotta go you gotta go.

o Outside of the major cities, the toilet systems are old or have very narrow plumbing /pipes and get blocked easily. In these cases a small basket is usually beside the toilet, this is for your used toilet paper.

One of the best China Travel toilet Tips I can give you, is use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the class of hotel that you are using.

I do not wish to scare you. However, of all the China Travel Tips in all the other web sites I have read, this is a topic not often mentioned, but it is very important to us all.

So outside of the major cities conditions can be tough. But most of the time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; everything will have been checked out before hand. However even the best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared, the toilets in the smaller cities, towns and villages can be scary.

China Travel Tips – The Food

o The food is great and the variety is overwhelming. Most of the time you get to choose what you eat, or you can recognize what you’re eating, however sometimes you do not get a choice. Carry a chocolate bar or something; this will keep you going until some food that you can recognize turns up. Drink bottled or boiled water, as the tap water is NOT safe to drink, this is for the whole of China. Even boiled water, while sterilised can contain a lot of minerals and iron deposits that you probably do not want in your system. The safest bet is to drink bottle water. Tap water in most big cities is OK for brushing teeth.

o Eating habits – Most Chinese people have a great habit of being very noisy when they eat and lunch and dinner times can be a wonderfully noisy celebration, food tends to go in all directions, its just part of being in China.

o People also smoke at the table while everyone is eating, so some restaurants get very loud and smoky.

o If you get stuck what to order as most of the menu’s are in Chinese just look at the table next to you and point to the dish you fancy and ask how much it is, this system works really well and know seems to mind.

o I have a basic menu that will help you order safe food, (no Cats or Dog) this will enable you to visit a larger selection of restaurants, not just the tourist ones with high prices. You can carry it with you and use it in the local restaurants where most will be able to serve what is on it. This way you will know what you are eating.

These local places are very cheap and the food it great. Contact me if you would like me to send it to you.

China Travel Tips – Taxis

o China Travel Tips- Taxis – Taxis are an experience that can have you griping the seat and gasping for breath; however you soon get used to it, after the first few rides, you’re an old hand.

o The taxis in Shanghai are, overall, quite good. Try to get the Blue, Blue’ish Turquoise, Gold and White taxis, these are the best… these are the four major taxi companies and are generally recognised by their single colour paintwork. The others are OK, just older and a rougher ride (the others also may have faulty metres). No drivers will speak English.

o Carry your hotel or accommodation business card with you, written in Chinese, this helps if you get lost walking around town.

o In all the taxis around the country you will see the drivers name and taxi registration number in plain sight. If you have any problem, or if you think you have been over charged etc, just take this number down, make a big fuss about it, and the driver then should wake up and fix whatever problem you have. Even better is to take the receipt. This has all the trip details on it and you can ring the taxi company if you want to take things further or if you’ve left something in the taxi.

o The government takes rip-off drivers in all cities, Beijing and Xian especially, very seriously and if you complain they will lose their license. This is their livelihood. So far I have had not one driver in 3 years that has not backed down and we have then agreed a price for the trip or solved our problem.

o In Shanghai, it is common practice for taxi fare increases after 11pm. However, one can usually bargain for a 20% discount, which will get the fare back to the pre-11pm rate.
Be strong with the taxi drivers, never-the-less, keep your cool, smile and negotiate.

China Travel Tips – Shopping

o China Travel Tips – Shopping – China is a shopper’s paradise, Markets, Bargains; Top labels… anything and everything if you have the time. With clothes, the larger (Western) sizes can be quite hard to find, however in the major cities where you get a lot of tourist traffic, you can find them.

o Electrical gear, DVD’s, Cameras, stuff like this is not worth buying in China, Hong Kong is still the best place for this.

o Store hours in the major cities are from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

o Visa card is still the best card to carry, with ATM’s in good supply all with PLUS access etc.
There is usually a surcharge for use of VISA, MasterCard or other forms of credit card.

o Wait on purchasing if you can, look around to get a feel for the prices. The Chinese are VERY experienced at selling and know that we halve the opening price when bargaining.
In the markets go for 25% of what they first ask; go so low that they let you walk away. This will give you an idea of the bottom price. The resulting end-price will probably be around 40% to 50% of where they started.

Whatever the market people say, they are used to pushing and haggling for best prices. Do not worry about being too hard, they are used to it and will not sell you an item unless they make a profit. Don’t be concerned with the apparently hurt body language when you go low – it is all part of the game. As soon as they have wrapped up your first purchase, they will try to sell you something more. Remember to keep smiling and having fun while bargaining.

China Travel Tips – Medical Treatment and Records

o Most hotels will have a doctor that you can see. In the major hotels English will be spoken.

o Always take a small first aid kit, cold remedy, headache tablets at the very least. WATSONS is a very large chain chemist. Most of the remedies, tablets etc, that you may require should be in these shops. These shops are all over China.

o There is a great network of pharmacy type shops; these are indicated by a Green Cross. There will always be a 24 hr Green Cross pharmacy in the city you are in. It is handy to carry a Phase book, as no one will speak English, however you will end up with something that will help.

o INPORTANT POINT – for most of the mass produced packet type medicines, the packaging will be written in Chinese on one side, English on the other. However in the shops you only see the Chinese side. Have a good look, turn the packs over, it gives you a lot more confidence knowing you can read the package.

o If you have a specific medical issue, take records, most of the Doctors will have OK written / reading English, even though their oral English will be poor.

China Travel Tips – Telephone

o Using the phone is as easy as at home. However the person picking it up will not speak English or have very broken English… the Major 4- or 5-Star Hotels will all be OK.

o What is worth doing is buying a Chinese Telecom SIM card, they are about RMB100 and with this you get RMB50 in calls, the other 50 is for the price of the SIM card; this SIM card will go into all major brand phones and work OK.

By doing this, people can reach you within and out of China if there is an emergency. If you have a couple of phones, you can short (txt) message each other (SMS). Also you are able to call your tourist guide, hotel etc if you have any major problems. It is a cheap way to keep in touch.

NB.Before you buy a Chinese SIM card, check that it will work in your Cell / Mobile phone. There are plenty of China Telecom shops that can help.

China Travel Tips on when NOT to move around China.

o Spring Festival, this would be the Chinese New Year time, around the end of January / Early February

o Early May; Labour day Holidays

o Early October; National Day Holidays

Of all the China Travel Tips National Day is the biggest one. Millions of Chinese travel at these holiday times of the year. Most are travelling back to home towns or visiting family. Hotels, trains, planes, cars, buses, and roads are all crowded to the maximum. Major congestion, everywhere.

Also travel fares are at their full price. No discounts are offered!
Stay in one place and enjoy where you are. It’s best and causes fewer hassles.

China Travel Tips – TV

o If you want to watch TV, most of the major hotels will have cable and if you are in the smaller places, the national channel, CCTV9 is in English. Over the last couple of years it has got a lot better, with some great China Travel Tips programs, news and views on people and places around China.

China Travel Tips – Airport Tax

o There is a “construction fee” at almost all airports.

Domestic flights RMB 50
International flights RMB 90 – which is to be paid in local currency.

Just recently, tickets are being tissued with the Construction Tax included; however make sure you have the Tax money with you just to make sure.

I hope some of these China Travel Tips will come in handy and will make your trip to China that little bit easier.

If you have been to China and wish to share your China Travel Tips, please feel free to contact me anytime.

A lot of folks only wish they could reduce what they pay as health and life insurance premiums. Thankfully, there are ways that would help anybody get lower rates. I’ll share a few ways in this article.

Like every other insurance policy, your rates are determined based on several factors. Every uses them to decide what you’ll pay based on the perceived risk in insuring you as shown by those factors. The following things make you a life insurance risk to an insurer thereby increasing your rates.

If you’ve smoked in the last 12 months you’ll pay more. If you still smoke till date or use any tobacco product, prepare to pay much more. I won’t be giving you any new information if I tell you that smoking is the direct cause of many diseases and makes others flourish.

Smoking is a habit that could be broken if you really mean it. People have succeeded in the past and so can you too. You only need to check groups out there that are committed to helping smokers quit smoking and you’ll get all the help you need. You’ll be doing yourself a lot of favor by reducing the chances that you’ll be a victim of certain killer diseases that are facilitated by smoking and/or tobacco use. And, yes, you’ll get lower life insurance rates.

Sports like skydiving, car racing and other dangerous sports make you a very high risk. Anything that makes you a high risk increases your life insurance rates. You have a choice between getting lower rates and indulging in such sports. If you want my candid opinion: I do think there are safe ways to get the rush (Go on a crazy ride in an amusement park, for example).

Occupations that expose you to great risks increase your risks accordingly. Changing to a safe profession will lower your life insurance rates.

While you do these other things to lower your rates, here’s what to do to get lower rates now. Visit reputable quotes sites that cover life insurance and get quotes. Visit at least three of such sites for the best results. It’s free, quick and easy.

Make sure you give your correct details as you fill the questionnaires presented. The last step is to simply pick the best price/value from the quotes return.

Explore Paros beaches, sites and attractions.

The Port of Paros is in Parikia (the capital) which is situated on the western part of the island. Parikia is a well-developed tourism infrastructure town offering lots of accommodation units, beaches and archaeological sites to visit.

There are also daily flights from Athens to Paros (4 flights per day – 45 minutes flight), with Olympic Air.

Paros is the third in size island in Cyclades, after Andros and Naxos, with a total area of 195 sq. km and 120 kilometers of shore and beautiful sandy beaches. Apart Parikia which is the commercial center of the island, the most beautiful village in Paros is Naoussa, which is much more picturesque and has a lot of beaches and attractions to offer. The center point of interest is around the small fishing harbour of Naoussa where are situated some of the best restaurants, fish taverns, cafés and bars of the island. Near Naoussa are some of the best beaches of Paros, awarded with the “blue flag” sign.

In this article we will talk about things to do in Naoussa Paros during the day.
Get up early in the morning, have a rich breakfast at your hotel and get ready to discover the beauties of places around Naoussa. If you prefer to have your breakfast in Naoussa, go to the Café Santé, situated in the heart of the village. It is one of the most popular meeting points in Naoussa, serving all kind of coffees and delicious omelets.

After that, rent a scooter (or hire a taxi or a boat) and drive to some of the best nearby beaches. Start your beach tour from Kolimbithres beach which is situated in the bay, just opposite of Naoussa village. Due to impressive huge sculpture-like rock formations that divide the whole beach into little coves of sandy beaches, Kolimbithres is one of the most popular beaches near Naoussa. Some of these small beaches offer umbrellas and sun loungers for hire and some water sport facilities as well. Another small sandy beach, pretty close to Kolimbithres, is Monastiri (or Agios Ioannis beach). It’s a very well-organized beach, with crystal clear waters, sea sport facilities and seafront fish taverns to enjoy your lunch with delicious tastes.

For snorkeling and windsurfing lovers, it’s suggested to go to Santa Maria beach, situated east of Naoussa at a distance of 5 km, facing Naxos island. This is a fully organized beach with sun loungers, umbrellas, sea sport centers and beach bars with nice music.

In the afternoon you may visit some churches, such as Kimisis tis Theotokou (the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin) which is the main church of Naoussa, located on the highest spot of the hill, the church of San Nicolas and the Monastery of Logovarda which is located 4 km from Naoussa on the way to Parikia. Logovarda is a male monastery and it is forbidden for women.

If you are going to stay in Paros for more days, then it’s worthy to visit some of the most interesting sites in Parikia, such as the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (meaning Our Lady of the Hundreds Gates) which was constructed in the 4th century A.D. by Saint Constantine, the first Emperor of Constantinople (Istanbul) and is one of the best preserved Christian monuments in Greece, where you may visit the Byzantine Museum and admire a collection of rare icons, various religious relics and other christian items dating from the post-Byzantine period. In Parikia is also located the Archaeological Museum of Paros where you may see a huge collection of findings dating from the Bronze and Neolithic period.

And last, don’t miss to visit Antiparos island, a small picturesque islet, just 1 nautical mile southwest of Paros, where you will feel like in paradise. Antiparos is accessible by ferryboat from Paros port (Parikia) which is a 20 minutes trip and from Punda beach which is just 7 minutes trip.

Investors have long discussed, argued and debated whether single family homes or multi-units are better for your real estate investing portfolio.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each and I will briefly highlight some of these below.

Let’s start with single family homes.

Single family homes are typically easier to finance, easier to find long term tenants for and easier to sell.

They are easier to finance because you can go to just about any bank and get a non-owner occupant loan, often with very little down payment. (But note, at the time this is being written, May of 2008, lending requirements have gotten significantly stiffer.)

Single family homes are easier to find long term tenants for because many tenants prefer living in a detached home rather than sharing a wall and/or ceiling with multiple neighbors in a multiplex unit. Tenants also tend to stay longer because those who rent houses instead of apartments tend to have more stuff and they don’t like to move it as much.

Since you can sell your single family home either to another investor or to any family looking for a home, you have a very large market for liquidating your property.

Another advantage of single family homes is that there are lots of them. However, single family homes tend to cost more per unit and they are harder to justify an income approach to pricing.

If you looked at a cost per rental unit, single family homes tend to be much higher than the cost per unit of similar (in terms of bed/bath) multi-units.

Since single family homes are primarily built for and sold to owner occupants, they are not priced based on the amount of income that they will produce. Sellers tend to rely on appraisals to value their houses and not on the amount of rent their house can generate.

Now, let’s look at multi-units.

Multi-units are different (not worse) to finance and tend to have better cash flow since the cost per unit is usually lower than similar single family homes.

Multiplexes with more than four units usually don’t qualify for residential financing and require a commercial loan, which is a significantly different process than financing single family homes.

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your specific situation. It usually requires a larger down payment, but your personal credit score is less important.

Since the cost per unit is lower, you can usually realize better cash flow from the property when looked at on a per month basis compared to single family homes.

Since the number of people looking to buy multi-units is smaller than those looking to buy single family homes, you may be able to negotiate a better deal when buying, but it also may mean you need to give a better deal when selling. This may be a contributing factor to why the cost per unit is lower than similar single family homes.

Personally, I prefer single family homes, but I believe that multi-units have their place in the right portfolio.
Single Family Homes Versus Multi-Units – The Great Real Estate Investor Debate

Investors have long discussed, argued and debated whether single family homes or multi-units are better for your real estate investing portfolio.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each and I will briefly highlight some of these below.

Let’s start with single family homes.

Single family homes are typically easier to finance, easier to find long term tenants for and easier to sell.

They are easier to finance because you can go to just about any bank and get a non-owner occupant loan, often with very little down payment. (But note, at the time this is being written, May of 2008, lending requirements have gotten significantly stiffer.)

Single family homes are easier to find long term tenants for because many tenants prefer living in a detached home rather than sharing a wall and/or ceiling with multiple neighbors in a multiplex unit. Tenants also tend to stay longer because those who rent houses instead of apartments tend to have more stuff and they don’t like to move it as much.

Since you can sell your single family home either to another investor or to any family looking for a home, you have a very large market for liquidating your property.

Another advantage of single family homes is that there are lots of them. However, single family homes tend to cost more per unit and they are harder to justify an income approach to pricing.

If you looked at a cost per rental unit, single family homes tend to be much higher than the cost per unit of similar (in terms of bed/bath) multi-units.

Since single family homes are primarily built for and sold to owner occupants, they are not priced based on the amount of income that they will produce. Sellers tend to rely on appraisals to value their houses and not on the amount of rent their house can generate.

Now, let’s look at multi-units.

Multi-units are different (not worse) to finance and tend to have better cash flow since the cost per unit is usually lower than similar single family homes.

Multiplexes with more than four units usually don’t qualify for residential financing and require a commercial loan, which is a significantly different process than financing single family homes.

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your specific situation. It usually requires a larger down payment, but your personal credit score is less important.

Since the cost per unit is lower, you can usually realize better cash flow from the property when looked at on a per month basis compared to single family homes.

Since the number of people looking to buy multi-units is smaller than those looking to buy single family homes, you may be able to negotiate a better deal when buying, but it also may mean you need to give a better deal when selling. This may be a contributing factor to why the cost per unit is lower than similar single family homes.

Personally, I prefer single family homes, but I believe that multi-units have their place in the right portfolio.

Owning and running your own small business is a great thing to do, but it is not always easy. If you want to have success with your small business, there are some ways to do it, though. Here are some small business tips to maximize your profits and minimize your headache, even early on with the business.

The first of the small business tips that you need to remember is that in the early time of the business, you want to keep your profits as high as possible. This is not always an easy thing to do because often, especially when your business has first opened, your customers are pretty low, and therefore your money is pretty low. In order to make this happen, keep your spending as low as you can. Avoid buying anything that is unnecessary in order to keep all the money that you can.

Another of the great small business tips that you can use is about advertising. If you want to get customers, which are necessary for the success of many businesses, you will have to advertise in order to get them. Advertising is something that you should always make room for in your budget. Of course, finding the most affordable methods of advertising early on will make quite a bit of difference. It may take more work, though.

If you want to start your own small business, the market for a business is something you should consider. If there is no market for your business, you will not have any success with it. So, make sure that the people in your area will want to purchase the products or services that you will offer them. This is a very important part of having any sort of success with a business – possibly the most important in some cases, because it can often determine the success or failure of a business.

Another of the great business tips that you can use is to always take advantage of the Internet. Even if your business is not one that would benefit in any way from a website, it is a great idea to advertise on the Internet. This can greatly expand your ability to get customers. And what’s even better – Internet advertising is far more affordable than many local newspapers. This is advantageous for additional advertising at a great price, which is especially great for young businesses that don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising.

If you have a successful small business, then you will experience all of the great advantages of it. But, you have to have a successful small business in order for that to happen. These small business tips will help you make your business more successful so that you will actually make money. Keep all of these in mind when you buy a business or when you start one of your own. They will be helpful in both cases to get your business established and help you actually make money.