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Managing an Effective Business

Independent Filmmakers Need To Avoid The Hassles And Costs Of Amateurish Interior Shoots

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Independent Filmmakers Need To Avoid The Hassles And Costs Of Amateurish Interior Shoots

Independent film producers realize that one of the best tickets to Hollywood deals is producing a small-budgeted film that gains acclaim and shows commercial promise. Thanks to great developments in high-definition camera technology, shooting a film on a reduced budget is possible. Unfortunately, a film with very low production values can prove to be disastrous. Such a film could end up looking incredibly amateurish — not a trait that would be helpful for someone looking to stand out as a new film director genius. One way to improve the look of the film would be to rent studio facilities for certain crucial scenes. This way, a level of professionalism may be added to certain aspects of the film. The Drawbacks of Makeshift Interior Shoots Filming in the interiors of homes or commercial properties comes with fewer costs than rentals. While money is shaved off the budget with this approach, a host of technical problems might be added to the project: Disastrous Framing Knocking a wall down in someone’s home is not exactly going to be an option for an independent film crew. So, the crew has to make the best of the situation. An unfortunate drawback here would be crammed shots and poorly framed scenes. The limited space creates obvious limitations. These limitations could translate into something that looks very bad on screens. Lighting Failures The amount of available light inside of a “normal” home might be fine for the occupants’ “normal” activities, but the low light looks horrible on film or video. A tremendous amount of effort — and money — ends up being wasted when reshoots are necessary to address terrible lighting. Unfortunately, it is hard to effectively light the interior of a home since the design did not take film work into consideration. Actor Limitations No actor can expect the set he or she is working on to be perfect. Independent films are known for some of the least perfect sets. Directors and producers do need to perform their part when expecting an actor to impress on screen. Imposing limitations on an actor via a weak, makeshift setup will not help the finished film. Exploring Studio Rentals Investing in a 60-day studio rental may not be necessary. Perhaps renting a small studio space for one week to shoot a host of scenes set in a single room would be an option. Limited filming in a small-sized studio could eliminate the many problems interior shoots bring forth. Contact a studio facility like The Crossing Studios for more...

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7 Ways to Know Your Business Logo Isn’t Working

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 7 Ways to Know Your Business Logo Isn’t Working

How long has it been since you updated your company logo? If you’re considering adding new signs to your business, it’s the perfect time to freshen up that stale logo. Here are seven ways to know if your current logo just isn’t working for you any longer. 1.  You have to explain your logo to people. If no one (employees included) quite understands what your company’s logo represents, it’s not working. Your logo is a reflection of your company’s personality, so if people don’t “get” your logo, they probably don’t really “get” your business, either. Make sure your logo clearly communicates the message or feeling you’re trying to convey. 2. Your company’s brand or mission has changed, but your logo has stayed the same. Since starting your business, if your brand has diversified or your company’s mission has evolved, your logo should be updated to represent the new face of your business. For example, if your business started as a stationary store 20 years ago, but it has grown over the years to include office furniture, printing services and the like, the original logo may not be an honest representation of your business today. 3. Your logo uses outdated design elements. When design software was relatively new, many businesses wanted to incorporate these amazing, cutting edge design elements into their logos. Well, 10-plus years later, those designs are no longer cutting edge and can make your logo look outdated. Distinctive logos with clean lines and simple designs are most effective in today’s market. 4. The shape and orientation of your logo no longer suit your needs. Twenty years ago, you didn’t need to worry about how your logo would look on a website banner or as a cell phone app. You were mainly concerned with its appearance on your storefront sign, print ads and business cards. Nowadays, your logo must be easily incorporated into your online marketing efforts, so its shape and orientation matter more than ever. 5. A better-known business in the same niche has a similar logo. It doesn’t matter which one of you had the logo first; if a better-known business in the same niche has a logo that looks a lot like yours, change it. Neither one of you is necessarily a copycat because great minds sometimes think alike, right? Similar logos can lead to customer confusion which will definitely not help your business. 6. Your competition has a more distinctive logo. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to give your logo a facelift, take a look at the logos of your competition. Pretend you’re a typical customer and ask yourself which business you would choose to visit based on a comparison of your logo next to theirs. If your logo is less appealing or amateurish next to theirs, it’s time for a new one. 7. You only have one version of your logo. With so many different media channels available these days, it’s simply impossible to have a one-size-fits-all logo design. Since most media outlets have their own sizing and formatting requirements, you need to have different versions of your logo to accommodate each form of media. If you are relying on only one version of your logo to work for all forms of media, you could be compromising the quality of...

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Rollin’ Without Stress: How To Make Towing More Convenient When Your Car Breaks Down

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rollin’ Without Stress: How To Make Towing More Convenient When Your Car Breaks Down

Driving a car comes with many conveniences, like being able to get where you need to go on your own schedule. But cars tend to break down, and many times it happens without warning. Because of this, it’s a good idea to prepare for the need to be towed beforehand so you don’t have a lot of added stress if the situation arises. Here is how you can make towing more convenient when your ride needs a tow: Invest in Roadside Assistance One of the most important things you can do to ensure that a car breakdown doesn’t break the bank or cause unneeded stress is to invest in roadside assistance. This type of insurance covers towing costs when they’re needed and you can also expect to take advantage of services such as gasoline delivery, dead battery restoration, and assistance getting into your locked car. Be sure to make a couple copies of your roadside membership card – keep one copy at home, another in your wallet, and a third one in your car’s glove compartment to ensure that you have proof of membership no matter the situation. Become a Client of Your Favorite Chain It’s never a good idea to have your vehicle towed to a repair facility that you are not already familiar with because it’s tough to tell whether or not you’ll get the most bang for your buck when it comes to paying for repairs. To protect your vehicle and your pocket book, consider making an appointment with several popular auto repair facilities in your area and bring along a list of questions that will help you determine which provider can meet your particular car’s needs the best. You can then set up an account with your favorite facility so the intake process is easy if you aren’t able to be present when your vehicle is towed for repair. Choosing a repair facility that’s part of a national chain will ensure that you can get personalized repair service even when you are out of town. Buy a Few Bus Tickets Keeping a few bus tickets in your bag or wallet will ensure that you’re able to get around right away if your vehicle breaks down and needs to be towed for repairs. A prepaid bus ticket will enable you to catch a local ride near the location where your car breaks down once it’s towed or from the repair facility if you hitch a ride with the tow truck driver. You won’t have to worry about paying for an expensive taxi ride or find an outlet, and you’ll save some money on bus fares by purchasing a pack of tickets in bulk ahead of time. Pack an Emergency Comfort Bag Packing an emergency comfort bag to use if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow will help ensure that you don’t get dehydrated, bored, or too frustrated while you figure out how to get your car repaired and how to get home for the night. Put some bottled water, dried fruit and nuts, crossword puzzles, a bottle of sunscreen, and some rain gear in your emergency bag to cover all of your bases. This bag is also a good place to keep a notepad filled with personal contacts,...

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3 Benefits Of Branded Corporate Apparel For Your Company

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Benefits Of Branded Corporate Apparel For Your Company

How many offices, other than your own, do you visit over the course of a week, or a month? Whatever your answer, chances are that your clients and business contacts have similar experiences – a large amount of business is conducted in offices, so most people go in and out of a lot of them over time. And after a while, all those offices – as well as the people in them – can begin to blend together. That’s where branded corporate apparel comes in. Unique and professional corporate wardrobes for your office workers can boost your business in several ways and make your office stand out. Promote a Consistent Image Customers and clients like to know what to expect from a company that they do business with. That’s why they might request a particular associate that they’ve worked with previously. Ideally, though, your clients will be willing to work with more than just one person within your company. Branded apparel can help clients create an association between their positive experience and your company as a whole by giving your employees a consistent image. Professional-looking branded apparel signifies to customers that the employee wearing the apparel is someone who has been entrusted with the responsibility of representing their brand. That can lead to the understanding that the employee must be an expert in their field, or you wouldn’t allow them to represent the brand. When all of your employees are trusted brand ambassadors, your customers feel confident that they can expect a consistent, reliable positive experience when working with any member of your team. Improve Your Corporate Culture It’s not just your customers that will feel the difference when you make the change to branded corporate apparel. Your employees will feel the differences as well. Since branded apparel is typically more casual than other professional apparel, and because it eliminates the stress associated with amassing a workplace wardrobe and worrying about what to wear each day, employees often respond positively to branded corporate apparel. The effects of branded apparel go beyond eliminating wardrobe concerns, though. Corporate apparel promotes a positive corporate culture, and corporate culture is essential to the success of the company. Branded apparel can create a sense of unity among coworkers, fostering team spirit and allowing employees to work well together and support each other. It also removes one of the layers of separation between management and their subordinates, which can make subordinate employees feel more valued and encourage better communication between the two groups. Branded apparel can even help employees identify more closely with the mission and vision of the company as a whole, because they begin to view themselves as part of a team with a unified goal. Inspire Brand Loyalty All it takes is a trip to your nearest grocery store to observe the fact that customers associate branded products with higher quality. Given the choice between two identical products, one with a generic label and one with a brand label, customers tend to choose the brand label if possible. There is a reason for that. Research from Germany shows that the brain reacts differently to branded products, causing consumers to experience those products differently despite their being no actual difference between the product. The branding itself has made an impression on the brain....

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Bees And Spiders And Flies…Oh My! – How To Help Your Kids Overcome Bug Phobias

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

At one time or another every parent has had to rescue their screaming child from a big, nasty, scary-looking bug. It seems almost inevitable that if there are pests in the house, the kids will be the first to notice. Even parents can have an irrational fear of bugs because of a terrifying incident from their own childhood. Household pests can be disturbing for everyone on many levels – from petrifying phobias to concerns about cleanliness and health. In this article, learn how to rid your home of common pests using child-safe methods and how to help your child cope with the fear of creepy-crawlies. Helping Kids Cope Young children are often afraid of insects, particularly if they have ever been stung or bitten before. Your children are also apt to pick up on any fears you have of bugs, so modeling calm behavior in the face of the vile little pests can go a long way toward helping prevent your kids from being anxious. In addition to showing your kids that you’re not terrified, take the following steps to prevent bug phobias: Acknowledge the fear. Let your child know that you understand that they are afraid and it’s ok. Share your own concerns and dislike of bugs, but be sure to show them how you calmly react to a bug landing on or near you. Pour on the praise for conquering frightening situations. Anytime your child remains calm when exposed to a bug, lavish praise on them. Encourage this type of behavior by using positive reinforcement like hugs and kisses or even small rewards like a special treat. Expose your child to “friendly” bugs through books and cartoons. Look for children’s books about bugs or watch movies about bugs, like “A Bug’s Life”. Help your child to see that bugs are not always terrifying. Educate your child. Explain the difference between harmless bugs (i.e. lady bugs, butterflies, etc.) and bugs that may bite or sting (i.e. spiders, bees, etc.) Discuss household pests and what attracts them, such as food being left out and not keeping a tidy home. Encourage your child to help with household chores to help prevent pests. Encourage a love of nature. Encouraging your child to love the outdoors, including the bugs that live there, can calm their fears. Consider building a bug house with your child and exploring where insects make their homes outdoors. Talk about the role that bugs play in the world and why they are important. The more your kids know, the less fear they will have. For children who have severely fearful reactions to bugs, therapy may be required. Therapists have several methods to help children, including gradual desensitization and teaching relaxation techniques, to help child overcome their anxiety. If your child is avoiding activities because they are afraid of bugs, a therapist can help. Kid-Safe Pest Control Not every pest problem requires hiring a professional – like Cal-Rid Exterminators Inc. For those instances, there are many products on the market to rid your home of insects in your home, like pesticides, but they are not all ideal for use with children. If you’re concerned about pests in your home, try the following: Prevention. The best and easiest way to handle household pests is to prevent them in the first...

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Hit And Run As A Self-Defense Measure?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The celebrity gossip site TMZ recently release video showing record producer and music executive Suge Knight running over two men in an altercation that occurred in January in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Knight, who has since been charged with murder and attempted murder for killing one man and severely injuring another, is claiming he acted in self defense. This brings up an interesting question of whether using a vehicle as a weapon is a justifiable form of self-defense. Canada Self-Defense Laws For a long time Canada’s laws regarding self-defense were unclear, confusing, and sometimes contradicted themselves. This produced a lot of grey areas and made it difficult for the judges to instruct juries, which sometimes lead to errors in jury verdicts. However, the Citizen’s Arrest and Self-Defense Act (Bill C-26) was passed in March 2013 to streamline and clarify existing laws to make it easier for the courts and lawyers to interpret and apply to cases. The idea was to combine the multiple self-defense principles that addressed different types of situations into a single principle that still provides some flexibility to account for the various ways Canadians may find themselves in situations where they need to use force to protect their persons or loved ones. Basic Elements of Self-Defense There are three core elements that must be true to successfully use self-defense in a Canadian court: The person must believe or know there is a threat of force against his- or herself. The threat needs to be objectively verified. The person acted to defend him- or herself from harm The action taken must be reasonable given the circumstances Perhaps the biggest factor in whether a defendant will be found guilty or innocent in a self-defense case involving a hit and run is determining if using the vehicle as a weapon was a reasonable act in light of the circumstances. Unless the individual hit is a T-1000 terminator machine from the future, hitting someone with a car will almost always lead to death or severe injury. So the threat the individual poses must be at the same level as the remedy used to defend against the attack. For instance, if someone stands in front your car, points a gun at you, and threatens to shoot you, then the court may find you were justified in hitting the person to neutralize the threat he or she posed. However, the court will also consider whether there were other actions you could have taken to extricate yourself from the situation without injuring the other party. If the person wasn’t standing in the direct path of the vehicle or there was enough room for you to get by without hitting the individual, for example, the jury may question why you couldn’t drive away from the scene. You would have to show that there were other mitigating factors that limited your ability to take alternate actions. Other Considerations The crown prosecutor will put your state of mind and intentions under the microscope as well. The successful use of self-defense requires you to show you acted only to defend yourself. If the prosecutor can show you acted with malicious intent, though, you could be convicted of the criminal charges against you. For instance, a prior altercation with the aggressor could be used...

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A 3 Step Approach To Security For Your Large Event

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are in charge of planning a large community event such as a concert, convention or parade where safety may be a concern, you will want to hire some type of security to keep things running smoothly. Here are few components of event security you will want to consider.  Discourage Trouble The first step in any type of security system is to prevent anything bad from happening in the first place. There are several ways you can accomplish this.  Position security guards where they can be seen. You may want undetectable security working inside your event, but you can discourage a lot of bad behavior by stationing people in uniform around your event space. This lets everyone know there is a security team in place to protect and control the event.  Position cameras at entrances and exits. Place security cameras front and center where everyone will notice them. You can even hang a sign that warns people they are being filmed. Having the cameras in place will make potential trouble makers think twice before doing anything disruptive or criminal.  Use clearly posted signs to discourage expected misbehavior. If you are aware you may have a specific problem at your event, such as illegal drug use, hang signs specifically address those actions. Your sign might say anyone caught with illegal drugs will be reported to the police.  Have Eyes on the Inside You probably want some unseen security forces at work as well as those that are obvious. You can hire security guards to blend in with the crowd and watch for signs of activities like drug use, theft, weapons or other problems you might be concerned about. Professional security guards know how to intervene without causing a commotion when they notice something not right.  Event security guards in Canada must be trained and licensed. This includes a background check to be sure they are trustworthy, and it includes education to be sure they know how to handle every situation. The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services provides guidelines for becoming a licensed security professional.  You can also place hidden cameras around your event space. Be sure to check on privacy laws in the area where your event is being held. A professional security team will be aware of local laws and will know the best ways to put cameras in place, so it makes sense to hire a company with experience rather than try to do it yourself.  Hire Crowd Control If your event involves more than a few hundred people, you will need a plan for crowd control. Security professionals can help you designate areas where people can be funneled into groups and can let you know how many security guards you will need for the size of your crowd. They can also help you identify potential problems like places where people can become trapped and situations where a crowd may push or rush forward.  Your security team will also help you identify and highlight exits in case of an emergency. If you don’t have enough exits for the size of your crowd, they can help you create more ways people can get out quickly if needed.  Any time you are planning an event, you will want to consider your security situation. This is particularly...

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4 Tips For Successfully Negotiating With Creditors

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are dealing with overwhelming debt from creditors, you may think bankruptcy is the only option. Before going through with bankruptcy, you should consider trying to negotiate with your creditors, as you may be able to bring your debt down to a manageable level. Here are four tips that can help you reduce your debt and get you closer to achieving financial stability. Suggest That Bankruptcy Is Likely Bankruptcy is as much as bad word to your creditors as it is to you. Unsecured creditors would almost always prefer to take a lower payment than settle for nothing if you file for bankruptcy. This means that bringing bankruptcy up as a likely outcome at the beginning of your negotiations can be very effective for reducing your debt. If you are threatening bankruptcy, you can sometimes reduce your debt to less than 50 percent of what you owed. It is a good idea to start with a low offer that the creditor is unlikely to accept, such as 20 percent, and work up from there. If the creditor accepts this low offer, great. If not, you are more likely to get a percentage you are happy with by letting the creditor feel like they have more control over the negotiation. Just do not expect to make an agreement at the first amount that you offer to pay. Have A Payment Ready If you are having to negotiate your debt, the creditor is unlikely to be willing to accept the new balance in small payments since this didn’t work out for them before. You should try to talk the creditor down to a value that is as close to what you can pay immediately as possible. If the creditor understands that you have cash in hand and are ready to pay, they are much more likely to accept the payment just to settle the debt. When you are offering a lump sum payment, you should also ask that the creditor remove any negative marks from your credit score as a condition of the payment. If the debtor has gone to collections, they have already written off your debt as a loss. Even paying off the debt in full would now be a negative mark against your credit score. The collector will not mention the possibility of deleting this negative line of credit unless you bring it up as a condition of the debt settlement. Remove As Many Fees As Possible You should never look at any punitive fees on your debt as written in stone. Many creditors are happy to write off late fees, non-payment fees, and other penalties as long as they get their payment. If you explain clearly and concisely why you missed your payment, the collector will often remove the late fee. This is especially true if this is a one-time slip up and you have been a good customer up until that point. Get Everything in Writing A good rule of thumb in business is that any agreements that were verbal only didn’t really happen. The safest way to negotiate with collections is to communicate in letters only, spelling out all the terms of your payment agreement. If you get a copy of your letter that is signed by the collector, you can prevent debts from...

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Tips For Increasing The Life Of Your Gutters

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Owning a home is an expensive venture because it seems like there’s always something that needs to be fixed or replaced. This is why it’s important to take care of your home so all it’s parts will last as long as possible. This includes your gutters. Keep reading to learn a few tips to make your gutters last longer. The best thing you can do for your gutters is to inspect them regularly to make sure they are in good working order. It will also allow you to catch any problems before they become an expensive repair. Here’s a list of things to look at when inspecting your gutters: 1. Gutter Sections Gutters come in long sections, which are then installed side-by-side at the edge of the roof of your home. These sections can loosen over time and separate from the roof and each other. When this happens, the rainwater usually taken away from your home will instead run down the side of your house and cause water damage. Eventually, the water will seep into the basement and penetrate the structure of your home, which will cause the wood to rot. If left untreated, the structural integrity of your house will be severely compromised. A separation of gutter sections can also cause leaves, branches, and other debris to get stuck in the gutter, instead of allowing it to flow down the spout with the water. As more materials build up, it creates an obstruction and water will no longer be able to flow properly. On rainy or snowy days, the water will built up and overflow next to your home. The large amount of water can do serious damage to your home, like creating mold and mildew. When the joints between gutter sections loosen or separate, the joints will warp, bend, and leak. In most cases, high winds and heavy precipitation can cause gutter sections to separate. The key is to see the problem early and fix it before any damage is done. To fix this problem, simply remove anything that is weighing it down, like accumulated debris, and then screw the gutter sections back into place. 2. Downspouts Next, check all the downspouts, which carry water off the roof and away from the house. It is essential that the downspouts are draining properly to prevent water and ice damage in your home. If there are any loose screws or gutter clamps, tighten them up immediately. Regularly inspecting all your downspouts for cracks and holes, and fixing any you find, will ensure the entire gutter system remains in good working order and will last for many years. The most common reasons why homeowners have problems with downspouts include: Downspouts separated from the gutter during cleaning Downspouts were clogged with leaves and other debris Downspouts separated from the siding due to high winds Downspouts fell off because connection screws and clamps loosened over time 3. Gutter Guards Another thing you can do to increase the life of your gutters is to install gutter guards. These guards are specially designed to allow water to enter the gutter system while preventing natural debris like leaves, sticks, and other junk from falling into the gutter and clogging it. Take some time to research the different types of gutter guards available to you, because...

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