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Don’t Lose Your Head: VoIP Can Work for Your Small Business

When it comes to technology for small businesses, finding the right fit can be difficult and frustrating. Between the lack of information for businesses of a smaller size and the difficulty in understanding what all these new advances in technology do, sometimes it feels like it’s not worth the hassle of upgrading. Maybe you have had your Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) since the business began but now you are hearing about all the advances with VoIP-based phone systems. The real problem now is how to figure out if the new systems are a good fit for you. Well fret no more, SMBs! Hear what some other small businesses are saying according to the findings in the newest report from telecom reviewer and comparison site Software Advice, “VoIP Software Small Business BuyerView”.VoIP

What are other Small Businesses saying?
If you are one of the many small businesses evaluating other software options, scalability is probably somewhat of a concern for you. One major factor that calls for companies to need scalable systems are when the small business is dependent on mobile devices. If the company needs to switch from a mainly mobile base to a cloud-based or on-premise system, the transition might not be easy because the systems don’t have all the necessary features. With the new technology available to all size businesses, VoIP systems have become a hot commodity because of their capability with mobile devices.

When it comes to on-premise versus cloud-based systems, you may be surprised to know that businesses are pretty evenly split on which system they prefer according to the findings in the Software Advice article called, “VoIP Software Small Business BuyerView”. One of the main reasons for the recent rise in cloud-based systems is partially because of the savings for the company as well as the low maintenance of the systems. On-premise systems need updates and consistent maintenance to keep them running at their full potential which can be a headache if you have a small or non-existent IT department. If you are ready to be rid of the extra hassle of an on-premise system then this can be beneficial, but some businesses would rather manage their own systems.


The Desired Functions
A large issue with researching new phone systems is that some of the information is just difficult to understand. Let’s be honest, technology is not always explained in the simplest terms and that can skew what you think your business needs. You may have ideas on what you want but when you go to research what is out there, the information is overwhelming. Other small businesses struggle with the same problem. In a recent poll by Software Advice, the most critical option wanted by small businesses in a phone system was auto attendant and automated call distribution.

Another functionality that small businesses definitively wanted was the capability for call-forwarding. For small businesses looking toward PBX solutions, this is one of the functions that is valued, especially for companies that place an emphasis on mobility.


The Next Steps
Figuring out the next steps in upgrading your phone system can be a daunting task, especially with all the information out there. For small businesses, this task is even more difficult. In order to get the most information when upgrading your phone, it helps to turn to your colleagues.

Activities in the Snow for Kids

One of the best parts of winter is the arrival of snow. Snow opens up a whole world of fun activities for the entire family. Below is a list of activities that children can enjoy. As with all activities, be sure to supervise for safety and security. There are many great ways for kids to enjoy the outdoors during winter.

A great snow activity is to go sledding. Sledding is affordable and fun. If you don’t have a sled, you can use a trash can lid, lunch tray, garbage bag or even just slide down on your back. Find a hill and have fun. Remember to be safe. Check the hill first for rocks or anything that could hurt on the way down.

Snow for Kids Activities in the 1

Skiing can be a lot of fun for kids. Many resorts and snow parks offer classes for children to learn to ski. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also great exercise, and a sport that kids can continue with for many years to come.

For those kids who don’t want to ski, snowboarding can be a great alternative. Many snow parks offer classes to teach kids how to snowboard. Kids can start off on the bunny slopes and work their way up to more difficult runs. Like skiing, snowboarding is great exercise and can be continued for many years.

Snow for Kids Activities in the 1

Snowball Fights
A classic snow activity, snowball fights can be a lot of fun for kids. All it takes is a pile of snow, packed into a ball. Be sure not to pack the snow too tight, as it can hurt on contact. Snowball fights are an inexpensive, fun way to enjoy the snow outside.

Snow Angels
Another classic snow activity, snow angels are a great way for kids to enjoy the snow. Just lie on your back and move your arms and legs from side to side. When you stand up, the impression you made in the snow will look like an angel. This is a simple, safe and easy way for kids to have fun in the snow.

Snow for Kids Activities in the 1Build Snowmen
Building a snowman is a great activity for the entire family to do together. Grab items from around the house to decorate your snowman and see what you can make. Older kids may want to try making other types of snow structures, like an igloo or a sculpture.

Planning a Summer Wedding

Summer is the season for weddings, despite the warm temperatures. Planning a summer wedding requires a few extra considerations and practical plans to ensure a pleasant event. Comfort should be the first thing that comes to mind when the planning begins. Remember it’s the little things that can make a difference for a summer wedding. Starting a ceremony an hour later, encouraging casual dress and offering items to keep cool helps guests stay comfortable and enjoy a summer wedding.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Moisturizer, foundation or powder with SPF Sunblock Bug spray Fans Ice-cold hand towels Bottled water Tent
  • Moisturizer, foundation or powder with SPF
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Fans
  • Ice-cold hand towels
  • Bottled water
  • Tent

Planning a Summer Wedding

Step 1

Send save-the-date announcements. Summers are prime time for vacations, camps, family reunions and other activities. Send save-the-date announcements early so guests can mark the wedding on their calendar and plan around the date.

Step 2

Schedule an evening wedding. Avoid the hot afternoon sun by planning an evening wedding. Remember the sun sets later in the summer so there is more evening to enjoy. Protect yourself with a moisturizer, foundation or powder containing SPF. Supply unscented sunblock and bug spray to all attendants. Consider placing a basket with sunblock and bug spray in the bathroom for guests.

Planning a Summer Wedding

Step 3

Provide relief from the sun and heat. Consider holding the wedding ceremony outside, but the wedding reception inside. Place fans on guest’s chairs or pass ice-cold hand towels just before the ceremony begins. Put baskets of water near the entrance for guests to pick up as they arrive. Reserve a tent for outdoor wedding receptions. Some tents include portable air-conditioning systems. Rent fans to position around the tent. Provide plenty of cold beverages and water.

Step 4

Choose appropriate attire. The wedding party and guests should feel comfortable—not hot, sticky and sweaty. Choose a light, breathable fabric such as silk. Select a shorter dress for bridesmaids. The groom and his attendants can opt for linen suits. Consider guest comfort when planning a summer wedding. Requesting formal attire for an outdoor wedding is not appropriate. Suggesting comfortable sundresses and khaki pants is more appropriate.

Planning a Summer Wedding

Step 5

Serve light foods and cold beverages. Try summer fruits and vegetables with grilled entrees. Hot summer months and heavy foods are not a winning combination. Consider a non-traditional dessert such as fruit pies, Popsicles or fruit skewers. Provide plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks. Serve frozen cocktails with summer flavors such as watermelon, cucumber and mango.

Welcome to Alabama – The Beautiful

Alabama is an US state that earned its reputation due to its industrial sector, especially steel production. Birmingham took the nickname of Magic City because of its fast developing rhythm. The state is an important cultural pillar. It owns the US Space and Rocket Center and one of the best universities in the US. Its med schools attract a great number of foreign students.ALABAMA

If you’re thinking about visiting, don’t hesitate. Alabama is full of nice, friendly people, who will welcome you with an authentic and thick Southern accent. The locals are infamous for their racism, but that’s only a stereotype. It is funny though to ask a person living here about this misconception: they’ll say Mississippi is actually the culprit, while the latter will say it’s Alabama. The prejudice they’re all uneducated ‘rednecks’ is also false. High schools and colleges in Alabama have achieved high rankings for the past few years among the USA. In the past, a tradition among Southern states said marriage between cousins was a good choice. While most people frown upon it, the laws don’t prohibit it.


There is one thing that remains true about Alabama: their love for football. The people here are calm, kindhearted and friendly. They appear patient and forgiving. All the niceness suddenly disappears when the game starts. Don’t say anything bad about the team, not even if it’s true.

Alabama is perfect for road trips and camping. Explore the Cathedral Caverns and the Dismals Canyon. Rivers and lakes are worth a visit. The Orange Beach is a great city for shopping, for the nightlife or for a sunbath in the summer. For those who would like to know more about Alabama, Birmingham’s Arts Museum has an impressive collection and the Vulcan Statue is one of the largest and most fascinating sculptures in the US. Other attractions include Gaineswood, the Forts, the Battleship Memorial or the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

How to Make Fly Fishing Flies

Learning to tie your own fishing flies can be part of the fun and fascination associated with fly fishing. Tying fishing flies is essentially tying flies using thread, animal hairs and other materials to imitate insects and other natural attractors. The sense of accomplishment in not only creating an imitation of an insect but also using the fly to attract and catch fish is greatly rewarding. Fly Fishing Flies

Things You’ll Need:

  • Fly tying vise Various size hooks Bobbin and thread Feathers (or animal hairs) Scissors Yarn
  • Fly tying vise
  • Various size hooks
  • Bobbin and thread
  • Feathers (or animal hairs)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn

 Fly Fishing Flies

Step 1

Choose a location that is flat and well-lit for tying flies. Attach a fly-tying vise to the edge of the surface and tighten the clamp on the vise securely. Make sure there is sufficient lighting for illuminating fine detail work.

Step 2

Decide on the type of fly to be tied. Factors such as geographical location, time of day and season can impact this decision. Assemble items such as specific yarns, feathers and threads that match the colors of the insect to be imitated. Items used for fly tying may be purchased at outdoor stores and online.

Step 3

Place a hook in the jaws of the vise with the longest part, know as the shank, on top. The curve of the hook, or bend, should be secured in the jaws with the point on the bottom.

 Fly Fishing Flies

Step 4

Place the thread in the bobbin and completely wrap the shank with thread. The thread should cover the shank from just above the bend to just below the eye of the hook shank.

Step 5

Hold a strip of yarn on top of the hook along the shank and wrap thread around both the shank and yarn. It may be necessary to fold the yarn back over the shank and wrap again to add to the body of the insect. This is also the time to add other features of the insect using materials such as feathers and hairs from different animals.

Step 6

Finish the fly by wrapping the thread several times just below the eye of the hook. This will form a head for the insect and also finish off the materials to help in avoiding unraveling. Tie off the line with a hitch or double overhand knot and clip the thread.

Book Your Car For Your Travels Today

Not everyone thinks about renting a car for their everyday travels. However there are a number of people that have discovered that renting a car on a daily basis comes with a number of advantages. If you have not yet discovered how car rental services can help you then you need to contact the best limo hire swansea services in town. The reason you need to contact the right car rental services is because these services come with advantages that other services are not able to provide. If you end up taking the wrong car rental service you may not rent a car again for the rest of your life because of a wrong experience. Here are the advantages that car rental services provide.

Moving Freely

If you are on holiday and you need to go about exploring the area it is very difficult to do so in a different country. For starters you will not know the local language and it will be difficult for you to communicate. You may end up going to the wrong places and wasting a lot of time and money trying to get there. With the help of the best car rental services you will be able to ensure that you get to the right place at the right time. This is because these car rental services make it a point to understand people from different parts of the world. If they are not able to understand your language they will have someone on their team who will be able to translate. This way you will enjoy your holiday in comfort and you will not spend a lot of time roaming around.

Save Money

Another major advantage of car rental services is saving on a lot of money. If you hire local vehicles to get from one place to another when you are in a different country, the local driver may end up taking you for a ride and charging you a lot. Since you do not understand the roads and the routes in that area you will not even know that you are being taken around for a spin. With the help of car rental services you will be able to ensure that you roam around in peace and you will not even have to be worried about you being taken for a ride. You will have to pay fixed fares that have been decided in advance and you can room in leisure.

Does Product Placement Blur Consumer Perception?

As the line between product placements, reviews and write-ups gets thinner, it’s important for brands to understand the context of their content as well as their audience’s purchasing decision matrix. Setting up a placement or advertorial can be one piece of the puzzle, but it can’t be the only.

Consumer PerceptionPaid advertisements and purchased editorial content have existed for decades, but more than ever, that line has continued to blur. At the same time, consumers have become savvier in recognizing and accepting the distinction in product placements in everything from TV shows to blog reviews. With this recognition, the real question has become “how does an atmosphere of paid placements impact consumers and their perceptions?”

It used to be that product placement in TV shows and movies were almost a subliminal secret, only overtly recognized by marketers and astute observers…but today people have become more distinctly aware of the product positioning. This has created a situation that requires additional thinking on behalf of the brand and their agency as to how a placement may be perceived. Will a product review on a blog be looked at as pandering for a free gift, or does the audience trust the author’s opinion anyway?

Consumer PerceptionConsumers are already apt to do their own research and are more likely to ask themselves, “Am I getting ALL the information, or just what someone was willing to pay for me to know? Could there be more out there?”

Setting up a placement or advertorial can be one piece of the decision puzzle for a customer, but it can’t be the only. Along with traditional media coverage, social reviews/feedback and other marketing tactics, there needs to be a variety of touch points and content that leads toward a positive view or decision about your brand or product.

As we move towards additional transparency, it’s critical to make sure that every piece of your marketing mix is cohesive and supports what is put out for the public. In addition to the content and the context of the placement, is your brand thinking about how a customer may follow up after seeing it?

About Snorkeling in Clearwater Beach, FL

Clear-water beach is a popular tourist city on the west coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. Tourists relish in the beauty of more than 2.5 miles of white sand. The subtropical climate gives Clear-water Beach almost-perfect weather year-round. One of the most popular tourist activities in Clear-water Beach is snorkeling.

About Snorkeling in Clearwater Beach, FL

When to Snorkel

Snorkeling season in Clear-water Beach usually runs from the end of February until the beginning of September.

Chartered Groups

There are many chartered snorkeling outings in Clear-water Beach that range in price, duration and difficulty. Check for the option that works best. Some charter groups are Capt. John’s Scuba Dive Clear-water, Diving Clear-water and Dream Catcher Explorations (see Resources).

About Snorkeling in Clearwater Beach, FL


Snorkeling in Clear-water Beach is easy without a chartered group. Many of the most beautiful underwater sites are easily accessible without a boat or professional guide. Use caution when snorkeling without a guide: Use the buddy system, and always inform someone of where you are going and when you expect to return.

Reefs and Wildlife

When snorkeling, you can expect to see a wide variety of fish and wildlife. Stingrays and turtles are common, along with the occasional dolphin. Brightly colored fish and sponges can be found in the coral reefs just off the coast.

About Snorkeling in Clearwater Beach, FL


Snorkeling equipment can be rented or purchased at many places along the beach. Because snorkeling is a popular activity, finding the equipment to do so is easy.

Why Do Luxury Consumers Engage With Brands On Social Media?

Why Do Luxury Consumers Engage With Brands On Social Media?Calling all luxury marketers… According to a recent survey conducted by the Affluence Collaborative, the reason a luxury consumer engages with his or her favorite brand via Social Media is vastly different than those of the general population.

The majority of people like their favorites on Facebook or follow them on Twitter in order to receive discounts and deals. But the luxury consumer, those earning at least $200,000 a year, don’t care so much about discounts and deals, they follow their favorite brands for the simple reason they love the brand or have an affinity for it and thus act as brand ambassadors, which of course is truly priceless.

Why Do Luxury Consumers Engage With Brands On Social Media?One other interesting note from the above chart is what scored the lowest in terms of reasons why people follow brands and companies via Social Media. Seems being entertained is not that important so go easy on the clever Twitter, Facebook & blog posts, unless of course you also deliver something of valuable, i.e. content.

Another intriguing finding from the survey was the fact that affluents are not using the same Social Media platforms as the general population per se.

Number 1 overall was Facebook, of course but Twitter and LinkedIn are attracting affluent users at almost twice the rate of the general population.

Why Do Luxury Consumers Engage With Brands On Social Media?The bottom line in ALL of this is reaching affluent consumers is no different than reaching any other demographic. You need to do your research, find out what appeals to them and where to find them. In the case of affluents, they clearly don’t want deals and discounts and offers… they want to engage with the brand itself.

They want real, authentic engagement with the brand so skip the sales pitches when it comes to affluents and Social Media and keep it clean, keep it real and yes… keep it on brand.

Are you a luxury marketer or a marketer in general?

What are your thoughts on all of this?

How do you reach your target audience via Social Media?

The Day I Lost My Marbles – My Messiest Moment

.CANON REBELYou know I’ve been going on and on about my camera…..and how I am patiently waiting (hint,hint) to get my DREAM CAMERA….the one I am in love with….the one and only….CANON REBEL…..and nothing else would do.

Well, few days ago I was browsing around….catching up with some reading over at the fabulous SITS GIRLS blog when I came across Bleach It Away campaign.

Not only I could win $25,000 from Clorox, but I can also win CANON REBEL camera from SITS Girls for being a part of the campaign…..all I have to do is to share my Messiest Moment…..with pretty much the whole wide world…..piece of cake.

I have two boys….messy moments are daily occurrences in my life….

Then I thought…..you know what….anybody have messy moments living with boys in their life…..

How about The Messiest Mommy Moment…..especially when the mommy in question is a detail oriented clean freak with OCD….

How did you know I am talking about myself?

Well, here it goes….not my proudest moment, but one of the funniest and definitely messiest moments of my life.

….It was August 2009….scorching hot…..A/C couldn’t keep up…..

It was my youngest son’s 7th birthday. As every year I spent weeks planning and preparing special theme cake for him.

It took me three days….working during the night and early morning before the heat fills the kitchen….

The cake was finally ready….all it needed were small tiny details.

As every year the whole family and friends gathered at our local pool for Sam’s Pool Party. After the pool party everyone gathers at our house for BBQ and birthday cake.

I left the pool party by myself 30 minutes earlier to get a head start and finish the cake.

The house was HOT…..I was sweating bullets….

It was time to take the three tier cake out of the fridge….then it happened…..SLIP….BANG….BUM…..CRASH….

I was on the floor surrounded by my son’s birthday cake….cake was everywhere….I was MAD….I was UPSET….I was HYSTERICAL….


Suddenly I really don’t know what happened….it was probably the combination of heat….lack of sleep and anger, but I went nuts.

As I was sitting on the floor I grabbed pieces of cakes and I started throwing them around….there was cake everywhere…I was throwing the cake and screaming….

…..the kitchen door opened….and there they were my husband and the birthday boy.

First….the looks of disbelief followed by hysterical laugh….followed by yelling at my older son in the driveway….”Hurry up, you gotta see this….mommy lost her mind ….this is epic”.

Yup, there you have it….my messiest moment….

Btw, I collected myself….hubs cleaned up the kitchen with Clorox (of course) while I had a shower and while everyone was busy enjoying delicious BBQ I managed to whip up a delicious Chocolate Swiss Roll with whipped cream filling….cause that’s the way I roll.

….and don’t worry….you won’t find any pictures of me losing my mind…I made sure of that!

I received information about Clorox’s Bleach It Away campaign and am sharing my messy moment for the chance to win prizes from The SITS Girls. To learn more about the messy moment program, check out www.BleachItAway.com. Sharing your story on the Clorox fan page gets you entered for the chance to win $25,000 and daily prizes, and you can grab a coupon for Clorox® Regular Bleach.

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