Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Make Your Breasts Grow - Ways to Make Them Bigger Naturally

Are you wondering about how to make your breasts bigger and you are afraid of surgery and implants? Are you trying to find out the safest method to make them larger? Now there are safer methods than surgery that can help you grow bigger breast. In this article I will tell you about some of the natural breast enhancement methods:

Enhancement Creams

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What breast enlargement creams do is that they mimic the action of estrogen in your body leading to promotion of additional tissue in your breast. They contain ingredients which are plant based and they are similar to estrogen, so by applying these creams to your breast they enhance the growth of your breast tissue by stimulating the estrogen receptors in the mammary glands.

Enhancement Pills

Breast enhancement pills also have the same mechanism in enlarging breasts as they also can mimic the action of estrogen in your body. Pills can have better effect as they can provide more amounts of these compounds that have an effect similar to estrogenic effect. The same idea applies here to as these pills stimulate estrogen receptors to help adding new tissue to your breast.


Pumps are a good and simple to make your breast grow permanently. They can increase size of the breast slightly by encouraging breast tissue expansion by their vacuum pressure. The bad thing about breast pumps is that they only increase breast size by about half a cup and you have to wear it about 12 hours a day.

How to Make Your Breasts Grow - Ways to Make Them Bigger Naturally

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

A question about salary could be one of the most difficult ones during a job interview. The employer always has a set maximum budget for a certain position but they still want to hire the best people for the least amount of money so it is almost certain they will ask you this question. Below please find some tips on how to handle this question.

Firstly you have to decide how much money you really want for this position and what is the minimum salary you would accept. Those numbers may differ. Of course everyone would like to make more than they made in their previous job and they have some expectations towards their future salary. At the same time, everyone has certain minimum compensation in mind.

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When thinking about a new job, take into account not only the job description and the set of responsibilities but also the location, how long it'd take you to commute, and last but not least - the whole package offered by your potential employer including health insurance, paid holidays and other benefits. Time is money - if your new position is closer to your home, you will be able to spend more time with your family or on your studies. You will also save yourself a stress of a long commute. If the salary package includes many extras , you may consider taking a bit of a pay cut, if you really like the job.

Furthermore, on the internet you can find information regarding typical salaries in different companies, sectors and locations. This should give you an idea on the salary that might be offered for the position you are interviewing for. One you have calculated the minimum compensation you'd accept for your perfect job, and your desired salary, you are ready to tackle the "what are your salary expectations" question.

What you have to remember is that you do not have to disclose your exact previous salary. Neither this information can be released by any of your past employers. It is up to you whether you want to share your past compensation details with your potential employer. You can give them the real number or exaggerate your past salary just a little in order to justify your present expectations - just don't go too far with this! A couple of £k isn't a big deal.

You might consider saying something along the lines of:

"I would expect that salary for this position corresponds with the level of responsibilities and duties - what starting salary do you offer for this job?" - this answer does not give any details and it moves the negotiations back to them, just what you would like to see.

As mentioned above - the budget for the position is already set; all you can do now is agree on the exact number.

Your potential employer may respond to your question in several ways:

o The money offered is lower than your expectations and a minimum number you have set for yourself - this job is probably not the best fit for you.
o The money offered is lower than your desired salary but in line with your minimum compensation - you should think of some convincing arguments for a higher starting salary.
o The money offered meets your expectations - take the offer.

The second response of your potential employer calls for a bit of haggling. Before your lie down your financial expectations and bluntly ask for more, re-consider your situation. The budget for your position is set but the managers might not have offered you a maximum and there is still room for negotiations. If so, you may try to win a slight increase on your starting salary. You may use an argument that your last salary was higher or that you would have expected higher starting salary to go with the increased set of responsibilities for this position.

You may also inquire as to salary details - mentioned in the third paragraph of this article. Ask about extras included in your salary package: days of paid holidays, insurance, family benefits. Your potential employer may also offer some travel allowance or financial help in obtaining professional certifications. You should also ask about the terms and date of the salary evaluation.

Regardless of the approach you take, you should always end it with a question. You do not want to put forward an argument with no scope of discussion - you need to keep the discussion moving in your favour by always giving your interview an opportunity to respond (rather than leaving the conversation wide open which could result in them changing the subject). Your goal is to reach the agreement in your favour with your interviewers.

What Are Your Salary Expectations?

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

What IS the Difference Between Marketing and Sales?

There seems to be a never ending argument among marketing and
sales professionals as to what really is the difference between
marketing and sales functions. More often than not, both
business activity terms are used to describe any business
activity that is involved in increasing revenues. For small
businesses, with limited resources, there often is no practical
difference in marketing and sales functions, all revenue
generating activities are typically implemented by the same

As a company grows in revenues and number of personnel, it
typically follows a logical business function progression of
"specialization", a process where the lines between more
generic, departmental descriptions and functions became much
more definitive and associated functional responsibilities
become much more focused. Marketing and sales functions are no

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Marketing and sales functions are diverse yet very
interdependent. Typically "sales" cannot exceed revenue
objectives without an effective marketing planning and support,
and "marketing" directives ultimately becomes useless without
sales to implement the plan.

Like many complex business issues, it is sometimes easier to
define something by what it's NOT as it is to define it by what
it is. Let's take a closer look at marketing to better define
what sales is not.

Simply defining "marketing" as the "Four P's", product, price,
place and promotion, based on your Marketing 101 class in
college is not practical in today's global markets. In a
general sense, marketing is more theoretic than sales, focused
on purchase causality and is more prescriptive in purpose than
descriptive. Marketing involves micro and macro market analysis
focused on strategic intentions where sales is driven more by
tactical challenges and customer relations. Let's take a closer
look at how marketing is truly different from sales:

Marketing responsibilities are distinct from sales in that

* Establishes and justifies the company's best competitive
position within a market

* Initially creates, helps sustain, and rigorously interprets
customer relationships

* Locates and profiles potential markets and key participants

* Generates quality sales leads

* Develops effective selling tools

* Formally analyzes and tracks competitor's business strategies
and tactics

* Defines, prioritizes and justifies new product or service
improvements and developments

* Promotes an explicit company product or service image

* Facilitates information transfer from customers to the rest of
the company

* Simplifies the customer's product or service procurement

A full time Marketing Manager would be responsible for the
following tasks:

New Product Rollouts:

Strategy development, program incentives, timing and media

Agency Evaluation:

Selection and evaluation of outside marketing contractors

Customer Database Management:

Software selection, training, maintenance of customer contact

Market Research:

Market definition, prioritization, project management, data

Pricing Analysis:

Pricing as a marketing tool...initiate and analyze competitor's
pricing practices

Product Audits:

Establishment of a formal means to evaluate competitive

Public Relations:

Establishment, guidance and coordination of all areas of public

Trade Shows:

Definition, participation, prioritization and audit for
effectiveness of all trade shows

Product Promotions:

Strategy formulation, program composition, premium definition,
all media coverage

Marketing Communications:

All printed / electronic communication: brochures, catalogs,
price lists, case histories

Media Selection:

Assist in selection and prioritization of all media options:
print, broadcast, multimedia

Internal Communications:

Establish and maintain all inter-company corporate communication

International Marketing:

Establish company presence in targeted international markets,
audit for effectiveness

Strategic Planning:

Offer strategic information and alternative insights to
corporate management strategies

Board Meeting Participation:

Communicate and reinforce the company marketing priorities,
strategies and tactics

Corporate Vision Statement:

Proliferate and reinforce the corporate vision throughout the

Corporate Identity and Image:

Create, maintain, improve and "manage" all corporate images and

To a "pure" marketer, the marketing role in a company is not
just a business function, but a business philosophy. An
effective marketer truly believes "dominating" their target
market is "owning" their market. The more a marketer can do to
maintain market leadership the more effective they are
perceived within the organization and within the industry.

As customer retention has become more of a business priority in
our intensifying competitive markets, the marketing function
has evolved from influencing potential customers to involving
them the company's business planning and advancement. Effective
marketing also has blurred the distinction between product and
service and continues to apply more influence on the company's
sales representation priorities.

In conclusion, marketing and sales functions are deeply rooted
in each other's purpose and revenue growth intentions. There
are few functional areas in business that relate more to each
other. So the next time you hear someone say the word "sales",
when the appropriate description would have been "marketing",
or vise versa, think of this article and choose from any one of
these documented business functions to make your point of

What IS the Difference Between Marketing and Sales?

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Monday, December 19, 2011

What Color Is Your Advertising? How Color Theory Can Make Your Marketing More Effective

If you're planning a marketing or advertising campaign, color is sure to play a key role in the success of your venture. After all, it's pretty much the first thing your consumers will notice*, making color your best - and sometimes only - chance to get a message across.

Use of color in most design for marketing and advertising is dictated by certain obvious requirements; the need to reflect a specific brand, as well as the attempt to communicate a certain mood dictated by the product itself.

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Company branding is pretty straightforward - specific colors dictated by logos and other devices will need to be incorporated into at least part of your design. It's the choice of color scheme for conveying the 'personality' of a product that's often a lot harder to come up with.

Sometimes the decision is partly intuitive - most people understand even at a very basic level that bright, saturated colors will convey a different kind of mood to neutral grays or browns. Experienced designers, of course, go further still, selecting and implementing colors on the basis of their effectiveness in the overall design. Here, the guidelines of traditional color theory often come into play as a kind of balancing act to ensure that all parts work together well and that the right kind of colors are used.

But what if some colors are actually more right than others?

We're about to embark on an exploration of color related not just to its use in layout, but rather, the psychological and physical impact it's likely to have on a viewer.

A big, and sometimes controversial undertaking, and we'll first need to get a couple of things straight. While people often talk about a psychology of color, in reality, most psychologists would find fault with the accuracy of this term. This is because the significance given to various colors isn't universal and unchanging - in many ways it's quite the opposite: various cultures quite often associate the same color with very different emotions and ideas.*

Yet colors and their underlying fabric of sociological and historical connotation certainly do produce specific reactions in particular contexts - emotions, associations and even physical effects that can help advertisers in their quest for ever more accurate targeting.

And if this all sounds a bit hokey, at the very least, the idea that color can actively influence consumers shouldn't be disregarded entirely. So let's take a look at what colors seem to be telling us.


Red, the most vibrant and powerful of colors, seems like a good place to start. Particularly since studies have shown that it's the first color babies recognize, and one that continues to appeal to most people throughout their childhood and into their adult lives.

At a purely symbolic level, it's the color of fire and blood, an association that's common to all cultures and therefore extremely powerful. Less specifically, it's a color that seems to be associated with energy, war, danger and power, not to mention passion, desire, and love.

So what does that mean for marketing?

To start with, some of these associations are so deeply ingrained that it wouldn't be wise to use a color other than red to represent certain states. Try depicting extreme emotions such as violence or passion with shades of blue and you're going to run into problems.

What's more, it has been shown that in its brighter variations (tomato, pillar-box), red actually provokes a physical response by raising respiration rate and blood pressure.

For this reason, its use in 'sexy' advertising scenarios or as an erotically charged statement (on lips or fingernails) should quite literally set hearts beating faster - and unusually, it's regarded as equally arousing by men and women.

Whether the physiological 'red effect' occurs simply as a result of its associations; or because the color itself somehow provokes such a response; or, if, indeed, this effect relies on a combination of the two isn't something that necessarily matters here. What is important is that red, like virtually every other color, exerts a measurable influence on the consumer.

More about the 'red effect'

Quite apart from any physical reactions it might provoke, red's association with force, and therefore power, is an extremely dominant one. Consider all the small details in our everyday lives that support this notion: red icons on switches to indicate their 'on' state, the plastic coating on 'live' wires, the tiny red glow that tells us an electrical appliance is working.

All of which makes red an ideal color to suggest fast-moving action or extreme force - examples of products that might fall into this category include computer games, action-adventure books or movies.

This deep-rooted association with power, coupled with the fact that it actually raises metabolic speed, also makes red a good candidate for any product that seeks to impart the idea of improvement, rapidity or physical change. Just a few of many possible examples include anything related to sport or speed (think of those red sports cars), energy drinks, self-help guides, or batteries. Even 'fast-acting' or 'powerful' over-the-counter drugs can support their status with at least a dash of red.

Perhaps as a result of all that heavy breathing, red also increases appetite, making it an excellent choice for advertising food (it's popularly claimed that Chinese restaurants often use red color schemes for this reason, but there's little truth in this - red simply happens to be a very popular and 'lucky' color in Chinese culture).

However, if enticing diners to eat heartily is something you're aiming to do, an all-red environment is a good way to get stomachs rumbling.


Although it derives from red, pink has little of its big brother's forceful qualities. In fact, although it's usually perceived as a warm and fairly upbeat color, it is, of course, popularly associated with femininity and even passivity. A cliche, perhaps, but its vigor-reducing reputation has again been shown to have some basis in fact.

Famously, a shade of bubble-gum pink used in certain cells in a men's prison was unexpectedly found to placate aggressive inmates. Research corroborated the fact that pink did indeed have significant calming qualities - although subsequent study revealed that after a certain time these effects were dramatically reversed as prisoners became more agitated and aggressive than before. (Surprised? You try living in a bubble gum pink environment).

Nevertheless, the fact that pink does induce at least a temporary sensation of calm makes it a powerful factor in the color-coordinated approach to advertising. Its peaceful, relaxing qualities and general evocation of comfort and softness have long made it a favorite for items such as toilet paper, cotton wool and 'gentle on the skin' toiletries, especially baby lotions.

This association could possibly be explored further as a background or accent color for items where comfort is key, such as bedding, sofas or carpets. Apply with caution, however - the strong association with femininity means that anything 'too' pink is likely to be snubbed by men.

There's one other area in which pink has an interesting effect, however - and one that's far less likely to alienate males. It's well known that a high concentration of color in foodstuffs will lead consumers to believe they're tastier, or even identify a flavor that isn't actually present.* And pink coloring is a particularly effective way of suggesting sweetness.

This may relate to the fact that it's often used as a coloring in candies, but whatever the case, the association is powerful enough to substantially increase a food's perceived sugariness or even depth of flavor. Pink sprinkles or toppings will add oomph to vanilla ice cream, and pink marshmallows are often assumed to be sweeter than white ones (they aren't).

Although in these health-conscious times sweet, sugary foods have lost much of their popularity, the marketing of certain products is still likely to benefit from a little pink-appeal: feel-good desserts, ice creams, shakes and certainly artificial sweeteners. It's also a color that could be used to make sugar-free, healthier foods seem more enticing to kids - as long as Mom and Dad are able to see through the ruse themselves.


Occurring naturally as a sign of plant growth and renewal, green is one of those colors that's universally seen as positive, fresh and fertile. It's also a color that, once again, produces noticeable physical effects. it's the easiest color for the eye to assimilate and therefore one of the most relaxing; it induces feelings of calm and restfulness, and can even improve vision. In short, it's a very positive color indeed.

This emphasis on nature, freshness and renewal means that it's commonly used to emphasize the cleansing, 'regenerative' aspect of household items such as bleaches, detergents, air fresheners. But if you notice a certain irony in this, well-spotted, because green, of course, has steadily evolved into the symbol of all that's ecologically aware. Which isn't a label that applies to most cleaning products.

The widespread acceptance of 'green' in its current sense is actually a fairly recent phenomenon*, but with increasing focus on ecological issues it's extremely powerful and will only gain in strength. So much so, in fact, that real care needs to be taken now that use of green doesn't suggest a product is all-natural, organic or additive-free if it isn't. Congruity in advertising - or the notion that what's implied about a product should be supported by its reality - is one of the most vital aspects of marketing. Get this wrong, and there's no consumer forgiveness.

Yet despite green requiring caution in advertising, its current associations have equally led to opportunities for more refined targeting. Wholesome, healthy food items are likely to be quickly identified as such through predominant use of green, and the same can be said for products or services associated with any type of healing, spirituality, or personal growth: yoga, slimming programs, alternative medicines.

Different greens, different meanings

Green is a symbolically complex color, and particular shades transmit subtly different messages. Darker greens - the classic color of bank-notes and bills - have long held an association with finance. The added implication of growth and fertility therefore makes green a good choice for promotion of many financial products, particularly saving schemes, pensions and insurance plans.

Lime greens, which emerged as popular trend color in the '90s, denote an especially vibrant freshness due to their close relationship to effervescent yellows. As such, they make excellent keynote colors for fresh, healthy, energy-inducing products such as juices, tonics, vitamin supplements and energy drinks.

Finally, a further modern-day association with green stems from its use in traffic systems to signify 'go'. This link with movement, forward motion and vehicles make it a potentially good choice for anything related to transport: carriers, train networks, buses. And for online advertising, try using green for buttons or links you'd particularly like clicked - you're practically inviting a user to go ahead and do so.


Blue is by far the world's most popular color. And as one that, like green, occurs in nature - the hue of skies, water and sea - it's not surprising that it's so well loved. With such universal associations and widespread appeal, blue is an important asset to any color theorist.

Unlike very warm colors, which provoke impulsive, passionate responses, blue is a cerebral color that's commonly associated with clear thinking and intellect. For good reason, too, as its use in offices and workplaces has been shown to dramatically increase productivity and a sense of well-being. Perhaps more surprisingly, other studies indicate that blue can even improve physical prowess - weight-lifters typically perform better in blue surroundings. However, this is probably a secondary effect of its ability to sharpen concentration.

This association with clear thought and precision make blue a good choice for anything involving a high degree of complex manufacture, such as computing products, electronic goods or hi-tech appliances in general. Darker blues emphasize this association even further, and their widespread appeal among men provide a perfect keynote for high-end, precision-made items with a masculine focus - expensive cars, bespoke tailoring, luxury grooming products.

Given such a setting, it's no real surprise either that blue emerges as a clear favorite in the corporate world. Its implication of steadiness and reason continue to make it an effective choice for much company branding, although its white collar associations can also suggest stuffiness and conservatism.

In its lighter, brighter shades, blue loses much of its cool aloofness and takes on happier, sparkling and spontaneous overtones. The pure and natural aspect of such blues convey a sense of cleanliness and freshness and are often used for cleaning products, detergents, deodorants and toothpastes.

Bright blue is also an obvious choice for the typical vacation. Evocative of cloudless skies and inviting pools or seas, it also gives a tantalizing taste of tranquility and relaxation by slowing down the metabolism and producing feelings of calm and well-being. A powerful message indeed, and one that makes blue an equally effective choice for health spas, beauty clinics and any other service where deep relaxation or therapy is a key selling point.

In fact, blue is such a flexible and well-liked color that it's almost impossible to mis-use - with one major exception.

Foods, particularly meats, dairy products and staples such as pasta or rice, really don't benefit from any kind of association with blue. To start with, that drop in metabolism will certainly reduce the appetite; but this doesn't explain the fact that a blue/food combo can even induce feelings of nausea. (Try it. Add a little coloring to pasta, white sauce, or even better, light-fleshed meat such as pork or chicken. See how far you get before pushing your plate to one side).

It's been suggested that we instinctively associate the color with something that's rotten and unsafe to eat, but whatever the case, it's not a great choice for marketing a ready-meal. And if you find yourself running low at your next dinner party, bring out the blue plates. There won't be many requests for second helpings.


Yellow is clearly vibrant, energetic and fun - it's the color of sunshine, flame and fire and is closely associated with warmth, happiness and the positive energy such states create. It produces bodily responses that are perfectly in keeping with this reading, too; an instant feeling of well-being along with a noticeable boost to mental activity.

For this reason, it's a color that effectively communicates the nature of products associated with vitality and stimulus, such as energy drinks, sports equipment, vitamin supplements or remedies. And as the perfect feel-good color, it's a great choice too for promoting group leisure activities, clubs and social networks.

Visually, yellow has a high impact that's hard to ignore, a fact reflected in its use for items such as sticky notes and highlighter inks. Since it demonstrably sharpens attention, too (back to the notes and highlighter pens!) it's worth considering lighter yellows as a background for large amounts of text, especially copy that requires close attention such as tutorials, instructions, or rules and regulations.

Yellow does requires a certain amount of care, however. Very light yellows can often appear drab, especially on-screen, while brighter shades tend to become overpowering.

The yellow effect is an intense one, and its enervating qualities can quickly put people on edge. Yellow rooms make babies cry more, and they also provoke hot tempers and arguments. And finally, while it's a color that can be used to market most products to women - from washing up gloves to expensive scents - men are far less likely to appreciate its use with expensive or luxury goods.


Pristine and pure, white appropriately signifies cleanliness, spiritual health and, of course, purity in most cultures. It's considered a non-color to which nothing has been added, making it an ideal choice for products wanting to accentuate their unadulterated, un-tampered with goodness: no-frills items, reduced fat, low-sugar or no-additive foods, pure juices, skin-care products.

White is also the classic 'clean' color, providing the easiest way to add a sense of uncluttered spaciousness to print or screen graphics. Yet its association with cleanliness and hygiene (white clearly shows dirt so is commonly used in hospitals, for example) lends it a certain clinical quality that can deprive a marketing message of warmth or even context. For this reason, it's best used with an accent color to combine the best of two worlds - the visual clarity of white and the emotional resonance of a carefully chosen highlight.

Remember, too, that on-screen, the combination of light-filled white with black text is fairly hard on the eye. Try choosing a tinted background for large quantities of copy (yellow is often a good choice, as mentioned above) or change the color of the text itself.


Although in western culture the color black certainly holds several negative linguistic connotations (black magic, black market) it's also very positively associated with authority, prestige and exclusivity (black tie event, black credit card, black mercedes).

A slightly confusing message, but in general, black can be used very effectively to denote cool sophistication and a powerful sense of extreme luxury or expense.

Pair this with the fact that visually, it's a color that creates a real sense of depth while also focusing the attention more completely than white, and black makes an ideal backdrop for images of luxury goods or services such as high-end hotels. Men seem to respond particularly well to such a combination - perhaps because it's also been shown that for guys, black is a color with marked erotic overtones (combine it with red and you're onto a testerone-charged winner that's bound to attract male attention!)

Black is also by far the most common text color; perfect in print, although on-screen the contrast with white can often seem harsh. A good tip is to consider using a very dark gray instead. And colored text against a black background is rarely a good idea except in small areas, as black backgrounds diminish readability and will quickly tire viewers.


With Its combination of energetic reds and feel-good yellows, orange is a color that's clearly suggestive of fun, warmth and pleasure. And like its constituents, orange exerts an invigorating effect by increasing oxygen to the brain and stimulating mental activity. It's therefore an excellent choice for any product associated with energy and vigor, such as sporting equipment or services, adventure holidays, theme park rides, energy drinks.

Think you've read something like this before? Well in fact, orange can impart very similar messages to red, but importantly, without its slightly aggressive edge.

Of all the colors, orange is also the best at stimulating appetite. So good in fact, that you may notice a lot of it in the snack or candy shelves near a checkout. Strategic thinking, because the orange ability to generate sudden hunger pangs will often lead to impulse purchases.

Yet orange, particularly in its brighter shades, is also a color that's perceived as lacking prestige. Perhaps this is because its high visibility means it's a frequent factor in motel signs, fast food outlets and similar 'low-frills' businesses, but whatever the reasons, it's a color that's become associated with lower-budget options and shouldn't be used extensively for products wanting to impart a high quality message. (The opposite also holds true, however, making it a very good choice to indicate value for money, savings and discounts).


Mysterious, alluring, and very definitely regal, purple is a relatively uncommon color in nature. In the ancient world, its scarcity meant that it was highly valued, and rare, expensive purple dyes were used exclusively by nobility.

This association with wealth and prestige remains to this day, making purple, especially in its darker shades, an excellent complement to luxury items.

In fact, the association with expense is so strong that it can even be used to add a touch of instant class to cheaper products. For example, a bus company using purple livery would almost certainly be perceived as more luxurious than one using orange. The risk here, though, is that the consumer's perception of comparative price might also rise accordingly - even if fares are identical.

Purple secrets

Purple also has some interesting hidden talents. It's been noted, for instance, that many women find it an extremely erotic color, making it the female equivalent of the guys' libido-enhancing black.

In fact, purple turns out to be a very girly color indeed - far more so than pink, the usual suspect. It's a definite hit amongst young and adolescent girls for example, with some studies claiming that almost 75% rate it their favorite color. So while men seem fairly neutral about purple, if you're looking for a color that speaks directly to the ladies, this may well be the one to choose.


And what about the guys? Well if you tried to guess, chances are you'd get it right. Brown, along with blue, is consistently voted a favorite color by men. And why not? Solid, earthy, dependable; it might lack the zing of the brighter primaries, but it resonates with a sense of trustworthiness and dependability. And if that's the kind of message you're looking to add to your marketing strategy, brown is often the right color to convey it - especially of course, if the product's aimed specifically at males.

An interesting off-shoot of all this earnestness is the fact that brown is often claimed to be a highly 'believable' color, too. In other words, it's more likely to add credibility to an advertising message - an important factor if your communication makes claims that may seem extravagant.

Bear in mind though, that if used too extensively brown can also have a stodgy, dampening effect. And whatever message your marketing is ultimately trying to convey, its main purpose is to stimulate enough visual interest to attract and excite instant attention.

But even in this respect, brown turns out to be pretty dependable: it easily converts into lighter and darker shades without losing depth, and can also be mixed with more dynamic colors - reds, yellows, oranges for a much more upbeat feel. So use the color recommendations given here to spice up a brown accordingly.

Planning an ad for well-made, hard-wearing, yet sporty gear for guys? Brown combined with a hint of red should give just the right message.


* While images are generally more noticeable than flat blocks of color, they are, of course, usually dominated by a particular color in order to enhance and support an overall layout.

* One example would be the use of white clothing to signify mourning in India and many parts of Asia. In this article I'm focusing on color in the context of western culture.

* Numerous studies have shown that higher levels of coloring in food or drinks leads to the belief that they are stronger in taste than identical items with less color. Assumptions regarding color-taste correlation can even cause errors when identifying flavor; for example, a cherry-flavored drink colored purple may well be identified as grape.

* The color green has long been a symbol of ecologically motivated political parties and movements, but it's only in recent years that this meaning has become completely mainstream through widespread media emphasis on global warming and other ecological issues.

* Oddly enough, red in this context don't seem to provoke a 'stop' response and will also work well for buttons, particularly if a quick decision is required. Green, however, will always be perceived as a less risky click.


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Schaie, Klaus W., and Robert Heiss (1964), Color and Personality, Berne, Switzerland: Hans Huber.

Schindler, Pamela S. (1986), "Color and Contrast in Magazine Advertising," Psychology and Marketing, 3 (2)

Wilson, Glenn D. (1966), "Arousal Properties of Red Versus Green," Perceptual and Motor Skills, 23 (3)

What Color Is Your Advertising? How Color Theory Can Make Your Marketing More Effective

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some Food For Thought - Restaurant Promotions

If you own your own restaurant or eatery, you know it's not always easy to rake in the dough, let alone start up or maintain what's already established. To have a successful and prominent restaurant it takes a lot of research and patience to get ahead. Selling the food you provide at your restaurant means selling your restaurant itself! Not literally of course, but through promotions.

Restaurant promotions can without a doubt ease in a fresh business or gain an already established business some great exposure and new customers. Daily, weekly or monthly promotions are fantastic ways to gain extra customers, but to also, and more importantly, show your customers that you care. And obviously, keeping your customers happy is essential, after all, they're the reason you have a restaurant to begin with.

Health Promotion

Opting to have daily, weekly or monthly promotions for your restaurant is a wise decision. Your customers will appreciate your promotion offers and so will your business, as acting on such outgoing opportunities will result in higher sales.

Depending on your restaurant's ambiance and menu, you can consider the following types of promotional offers to better position your business against competition:

The Lovely "Happy Hour"

Of course, Happy Hour, something the working class is all too familiar with. Yet, familiarity here is completely embraced, and dare I say it, looked forward to. For hard working individuals, happy hour is a convenient and inexpensive way to relax, or even let loose for a bit after work at a favorite restaurant and/or pub.

Here, as an owner, you can obviously offer drink specials and even opt to sell half off appetizer deals, provide some sort of free snack or offer a miniature buffet consisting of finger foods that are cheap to provide to entice more traffic in and out of your establishment. This might seem like a simple and all too easy gesture to mix with drink specials, but it works. Customers truly appreciate this.

Live Entertainment and Open Mic Nights

Music is a great way to draw in a crowd. Again, the type of music you will book will vary. If you have a local pub or family restaurant a local band would be just fine. But, if you have a more up scale restaurant, consider booking a pianist or jazz trio to liven things up, yet maintain classic ambiance as well.

Specifically, focus scheduling live music on your more busy nights, so you'll know a crowd will be certain. This keeps the band upbeat -since they'll definitely receive gig payment-, but also ensures that your booking a live group doesn't go to waste.

Live music is one thing, but why not consider letting your customers and their friends provide the entertainment, at no expense to your business wallet, through an occasional 'Open Mic Night.' This is a fun way to draw in all types of people to your restaurant. By leaving the mic open, you can have varied entertainment such as acoustic guitar players, comedians, poets and so on. For nights like these, consider mid-week evenings that are more tame, as to perk sales and customer traffic.

Give Away Freebees

Everyone enjoys free things, obviously. So, why not, as an owner, incorporate giving your customers something useful on their next visit to your establishment. All you need to include on the freebee is your restaurant name, logo or slogan.

By the simple and economical addition of a few promotional items -which could range from bulk style printed t-shirts, to key chains or even beer mugs- you can easily pass them out to fellow customers; it's certain they'll take them. By doing this promotional action you will ensure those customers return, but will inevitably also draw in new customers just by spreading your restaurant name, logo or slogan out in public.

If you want to get you restaurant some extra business, consider utilizing the above restaurant promotions. The results from doing so will yield positive results, so what's to lose? It's just some food for thought.

Some Food For Thought - Restaurant Promotions

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Succeeding as a Health and Fitness Writer

More health and fitness professionals are writing articles as an enjoyable way to earn extra revenue while helping promote healthy living to the general public.

Whether you want to (or already do) write health or fitness articles for your local newspaper, a widely popular national magazine, your website, or all of the above, consider these tips for ensuring your writing success.

Health Promotion

The Best Topics to Write About

Finding the best topics to write about is as simple as focusing on the subjects you're most passionate about. Draw from your everyday experiences teaching classes or seminars, working with clients and/or managing staff.

You might also develop story ideas from your observations about what your clients need and want, and also what your colleagues talk about. Sometimes, writing or researching one health or fitness article sparks an idea for another. The possibilities are endless!

One Important Skill, One Important Quality

Scoring a steady stream of article assignments (especially those that pay) starts, and continues, with skilled marketing and perseverance.

Being a well-known health or fitness writer involves smart marketing, just like how you market your business and services. You must sell your story ideas and yourself as a health and fitness writer.

All writers experience some rejection, so perseverance is also key. For example, years ago, when I was trying to break into a major fitness magazine, I emailed regular queries (i.e., story pitches), even though the editor I was emailing never responded to me.

Six months after I started doing that, she called with an assignment! Encouraged, I immediately fired off another batch of queries - and the editor responded right away with more assignments.

Once I contributed to one major publication, it became easier to break into others - sort of like a domino effect.

Path To Success

To ensure you stay on track with your writing goals, make it a point to regularly assess your objectives, including naming (and studying) the magazines you want to break into.

And when you begin writing for a new publication, work hard to build strong relationships with the editors there. Submit assignments on deadline (or early!) and turn in organized, properly researched and clearly written articles.

The Right Image

If your goal is to write health and fitness articles to showcase on your website or distribute on the Internet for marketing purposes, don't underestimate the need for top quality writing.

You can always tell when a health or fitness professional hammered out an article without proofing it or without enlisting the help of an editor or word-savvy colleague. Remember: No one wants to read sloppy writing.

As the health and fitness industries get more competitive, high-caliber writing is becoming more important because it communicates your professional image to your clients and your industry peers.

Plus, you never know who's reading your articles - your next prospective client could be an editor or an English professor! So always ensure you project the right image with your writing.

Succeeding as a Health and Fitness Writer

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

How Excessive Credit Card Debt Affects Your Health

It is common sense that excessive unpaid credit card debt can cause debtors to feel stressed and worried. Now scientific studies have also proven that stress and worry about finances can pose direct risks to our health.

A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found evidence that excessive debt has direct effects on our psychological and physical health. Examples of these effects are bouts of depression and a higher body mass index (BMI). Creating a vicious circle, these health risks, may lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Health Promotion

The effects of excessive credit card debt on our health may be found in different areas of the human psyche.

Firstly, it is important to know that unpaid debt, no matter whether it is excessive or not, causes uncertainty for the person who incurred it. This uncertainty of not knowing when and if the unpaid credit card debt can be paid off, how much the interest repayments will be, and how the repayments will be made can cause adverse psychological reactions.

Secondly, many consumers find it extremely frustrating, even debilitating, to see part of their wage go straight towards paying off their balance, and never be able to use it for themselves. The feeling of frustration becomes even worse when the unpaid debt is quite large and the consumer feels like they're not making any progress. In the worst case scenario, the reaction is like a child that wants immediate satisfaction - the consumer gets fed up with paying off their owings and never having any money. They get so frustrated that they want to buy something to reward themselves and as a result accumulate even more debt through interest free purchases or charged purchases.

Thirdly, many people associate excessive credit card debt with feelings of shame and guilt. The amount of unpaid debt signifies their own failures to them. This could range from a failure to provide for one's owns family, or failure to control spending habits, to failing in keeping up with the earnings of family and friends. Feelings of shame and guilt are usually magnified when other people become involved.

These are just three psychological aspects of managing credit card debt, but they already show that credit card debt problems are about more than just money - they involve our psychology, emotions and attitudes on every level.

How Excessive Credit Card Debt Affects Your Health

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hospital Colors: Their Effect on the Patients Health

Colors play an important role in every person's life. They are capable of changing moods and influencing someone's behavior to a very large extent. Selecting a color scheme for a particular place depends on many factors like, the environment of the place, the activity that takes place in that area, etc. This is the reason that people as well as interior designers today concentrate a lot more on the color combinations.

A hospital is one place that needs peace and an extremely soothing environment. Every person, some way or the other gets in contact with a hospital some time in his life either to get himself cured or to visit some body. This is the reason that a hospital contains walls that are painted with calm colors. Hospital rooms cannot be painted in colors that are gloomy or bright as in a house. The patients that come in the hospital are looking for a room that is calmer and can help them to cope up easily. These colors also help a lot in bringing psychological changes in the patient.

Health Promotion

We must have witnessed that the environment in a hospital is really peaceful, and one of the reasons for his calmness is the paints used in the walls of the hospital. Hospital walls are usually painted with light colors like white, light green, light blue, etc. These colors are used because they surround the air with serenity and cleanliness. A hospital is a place where people are stressed and are anxious. This is the reason that the colors that are chosen for the hospital walls are also selected to create a relaxing and refreshing mood.

The color combination today are given so much importance that before designing a hospital people consult about the color combinations form various experts like interior designers, psychologists and feng-shui experts, etc. These experts give ideas about color combinations and how these colors may effect the environment of the hospital and the cure the health of the patients.

Hospital Colors: Their Effect on the Patients Health

Fx Trade

Monday, December 5, 2011

Marketing Mints - How to Freshen Up Your Promotion

Everybody loves mint candies. A delectable snack that people - young and old crave for, it revives one's breath whenever and wherever. A handy and invigorating way to promote a brand, mints are truly one of the most sought-after promotional products a company can use on every campaign.

These little bundles of treats are a must for everyone to keep in their pocket, bags or purses. You can pop one in your mouth to freshen your breath after a meal, to boost your confidence while doing an interview, offer some to start a conversation or as an icebreaker, to leave a crisp impression or, you can just eat one basically for snacking.

Health Promotion

Mint candies come in different, refreshing flavors: spearmint; peppermint; cinnamon; or with a twist of fruit for added zest, that will definitely tickle everybody's taste buds. Not to leave out the elders and the health-conscious groups, sugar-free mints can also be given out at health fairs and exhibits - a proof that mints can be flexible to fit any campaign.

Not just for trade shows and events, mints can also be used on mailers as well, to reach out to other possible markets. From tin cans to uniquely shaped dispensers to mouse-shaped or credit card-shaped ones, mints come in different presentations that can cater to every industry.

The best that can be said about mints is they give lots of bang for your buck. You need not spend thousands of bucks to get your brand around. Useful as it comes, mints give your brand more exposure whatever the occasion or situation may be.

Versatile and affordable, mints truly are a flavor to savor. From trade shows, events, fund raisers, schools or at any place that needs a breath of fresh air; this time-tested favorite will surely perk up any promotion.

Marketing Mints - How to Freshen Up Your Promotion

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Site Promotion - How Successful Are Your Articles At Promoting Your Website?

The following article is one of a series of articles which focus on Affiliate, Article and Internet Marketing. All of the articles are based on real experiences and research done over twenty years as a personal and business coach. They are also written in response to questions which I have been asked as well as address common challenges that people have with affiliate marketing, article marketing, internet marketing or running an online business in general. I sincerely hope that you find the following information of value. One idea, one tip, one clue can make all the difference.

Site Promotion - How Successful Are Your Articles At Promoting Your Website?

Health Promotion

Getting our articles published is truly one of the most powerful methods of creating awareness of who we are and what we do. Our articles help to build credibility and trust. They are the means by which we are recognized as an expert in our chosen field or niche.

The bigger, potential benefit is the additional free exposure we can get for websites and our online business.

There is, however, one slight problem. More people are realizing the power of article publishing. The internet is absolutely drenched by the daily article downpour and, no matter what niche or topic is being covered, there are loads of articles to choose from.

Does this make it tougher for our articles to get noticed? Are our articles the ones which will be read, never mind remembered?

Of course it's tougher but I actually see that working to our advantage. For those of us who are prepared to offer high quality, informative and well researched content, we will win hands down every time.

We win because there is a far greater chance that our readers will then take the suggested action in our resource box, we get the exposure we are seeking which, hopefully, leads to increased profits.

So...what is critical to writing successful articles? how do we get them noticed? how do we get them read? how do we get them remembered? how do we encourage our readers to take action?
Do Your Homework and Research

If you have an established customer base already, it is highly likely that you know what your target market is interested in, what they want to read about. If you don't have that base or you don't know what interests your chosen market or niche, it's time to find out.

Don't assume (because it makes an ass of u and me) that you know and write articles based on that assumption. The only chance you will have of writing successful articles is by choosing topics that are hot within your niche or market segment and that takes homework and that takes research.

Subscribe to relevant newsletters, join relevant forums and discussion groups that cover your target audience. Find out what's being written about, what's being discussed. What's getting people's backs up, what problems are driving people crazy? What challenges do people have and what solutions can you offer?

Now, write your article.

I hope you will see that already you are raising the stakes. You are giving yourself that competitive edge, strengthening your credibility and recognition as an authority. Why?

Because you are a solution provider. Provide solutions to the hot problems that exist in your target market and you will leave the others standing as you start to generate more profits.
O.K. you now know what topic to write about. How are you going to get the article noticed? How are you going to get the article read?

Create A Compelling Article Title

No matter how strong or great you may think your article content is, it is mega important that it is introduced with an attention grabbing and compelling title. This determines whether your article is read or not.

Deciding on your title is one of the most important decisions to make but it doesn't have to be made first.

To illustrate the point, I have changed the title to this article three times. If you are reading this sentence then it must have had some effect.

I usually start with a general idea for the title but then I allow the article content to guide me. What is the benefit I wish my readers to get by reading the article? What is the biggest benefit or the strongest point I am trying to make? What is the best way to tell my readers what that benefit or point is?

Experiment by writing down a few titles. See what parts are compelling. Then create the title that you know will intrigue the reader so much that they will wish to read your article immediately.

(Stay with me and you'll find out how to get 101 awesome profit pulling titles and headlines).

Write High Quality, Informative Content

Although the internet is saturated with articles and so-called value-added content, sadly, the majority of this material is nothing more than a sales pitch.

Hey, don't get me wrong - I use sales pitches - I run a business after all. The point is your readers want to be enlightened, educated and entertained. I have actually written an e-book with that title containing 101 writing tips. Maybe I should think about selling it online!

Inform and educate your readers, guide them, provide the value-added information they are looking for. If your article describes an identified problem or challenge, provide the solution and your articles will be read time and time again. If you can't do this, don't publish the article. Why?

Think of the potential damage you can do to your credibility, your website traffic, your business if your articles are poorly written. Some may be read but discerning readers know who the "good" writers are and whose articles they will look out for.

Get Your Reader To Take Your Call To Action

The critical element here is relevance.

Whether you wish to promote your website, a particular product or increase you list of subscribers, it must be totally relevant to your article. Makes sense? Well, don't be surprised when I tell you that a great many writers still get this wrong.

How many of you just had a look at what was in my resource box?

If you did, you'll see that it relates directly to being a success at writing articles. How many click through actions do you think I would get if I was promoting my health and fitness website?

If you are promoting a product, or even an affiliate program that corresponds with the article, your chances of getting a click through are high. If you don't have a product or service that relates directly to your article, make it part of your initial research to select one that does. This can provide a very useful residual income.

If you do promote affiliate programs, please remember that some directories do not like affiliate links. I don't like them either. It makes a lot more sense to create a quality content page on your site that relates directly to your article, pre-sell by detailing the benefits and then link to the affiliate program.

Watch out for more articles on writing great articles.

Site Promotion - How Successful Are Your Articles At Promoting Your Website?

Car Direct

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 3

In some cases the occupational health (OH) nurse may act as the manager of the multidisciplinary OH team, directing and co-coordinating the work of other OH professionals. The OH nurse manager may have management responsibility for the whole of the occupational health team, or the nursing staff or management responsibility for specific programmes. The nurse manager may be the budget holder for the department and would have the skills necessary to sit alongside other line managers within the organization and contribute to organizational development.


Health Promotion

The OH nurse can have a role in administration. Maintaining medical and nursing records, monitoring expenditure, staffing levels and skill mix within the department, and may have responsibility for managing staff involved in administration.

Budget planning

Where the senior OH nurse is the budget holder for the OH department they will be involved in securing resources and managing the financial assets of the department. The budget holder will also be responsible for monitoring and reporting within the organization on the use of resources.


Where the OH service is managed on an internal market system or undertakes commercial work the occupational health nurse will be involved in marketing services to customers. Even where no direct financial market exists, the customers or users of an OH service will need information and advice on the best use of services to meet their needs, often within financial constraints. The OH nurse is well placed to discuss customer's needs and expectations.

Service level agreements

Service level agreements are increasingly used in decentralized organizations in-order to ensure that both the user and provider of services have a clear agreement about the provision of services. The OH nurse may be involved in setting the service level agreements with internal or external customers and in monitoring the delivery of services against pre determined service level agreements.

Quality assurance

As part of the delivery of a modern comprehensive OH service systems for quality assurance and quality improvement are essential. The occupational health nurse may be involved in quality assurance, audit and quality improvement initiatives, both for the delivery of services and for improving the professional standards within the department. Modern nursing practice is based on a philosophy of quality assurance and continuous quality improvement and therefore nurses can contribute to this development.

Professional audit

Audit and continuous quality improvement is an essential component of professional practice. The occupational health nurse will be involved in auditing the nursing practices within the department or in the wider clinical audit where all of the clinical team participates in multidisciplinary audit.

Continuing Professional development

The scope of professional practice in OH nursing is constantly developing. New information, new researches, changes in legislation, improved practices, technology are all areas of constant growth. The occupational health nurse has an obligation to constantly update their knowledge and skills in order to maintain competence, deliver high quality services and meet the needs of the companies they serve.

Within the profession a commitment to lifelong learning is expected in order to protect the client's safety; ensure the delivery of high quality nursing services and to maintain the appropriate level of competence for clinical practice. The nurse manager will be well placed to identify their own and their staffs' continuing professional development needs and to ensure that these are met in order to maintain the competencies of staff employed.


Occupational health team

The occupational health nurse, acting as a coordinator, can draw together all of the professionals involved in the occupational health team. In many instances the nurse will be the only member of the team who is permanently employed by the company or present on a particular site. Therefore they have a unique position and have access to valuable information that can be used to help shape and direct the occupational health program. In this role the nurse would exercise skills in communication, planning, involvement, management and in organizing the professional team.

Worker education and training

The OH nurse has a role in worker education. This may be within existing training programmes or those programmes that are developed specifically by occupational health nurses to, for example, inform, educate and train workers in how to protect themselves from occupational hazards, non-occupational but workplace preventable diseases or to raise awareness of the importance of good environmental health management practices.

Environmental health management

The OH nurse, particularly in those organizations, such as SME's, who may not have a designated environmental health manager, can advise the company on simple measures to reduce the use of natural resources, minimize the production of waste, promote re-cycling and ensure that environmental health management is placed on every organizations agenda. The OH nurse can also identify appropriate specialists in their locations to advice or deal with environmental health management. The occupational health nurse may contribute by taking these issues forward in the absence of other specialists.

Adviser tomanagement and staff on issues related to workplace health management

OH nurses involved in workplace health management can sometimes be asked to act as advisers to management and staff on the development of workplace health policies and practices, and can fulfill an advisory role by participating in, for example, health and safety committee meetings, health promotion meetings, and may be called upon to provide independent advice to managers or workers who have specific concerns over health related risks.

As a liaison to other external health or social agencies

OH nurses act in an advisory role when seeing individuals who may have problems that, whilst not directly related to work may affect future work attendance or performance. The nurse may be involved in advising individuals to seek advice from their own family doctor or general practitioner, or other external agency that may be better placed to assist the individual.

Health educator

Workplace Health promotion

Health education as one of the key prerequisites of workplace health promotion is integral aspect of the OH nurses' role. In some countries the nurse is required to support activities aimed at adoption of the healthy lifestyles within on-going health promotion process, as well as participate in health and safety activities. OH nurses can carry out a needs assessment for health promotion within the company, prioritize activities in consultation with management and workers, develop and plan appropriate interventions, deliverer co-ordinate the delivery of health promotion strategies and can play a valuable role in evaluating the delivery and achievements of the health promotion strategy.


In the small or medium-sized company the occupational health nurse may be the only health care professional present most of the time and they can assist people working there in dealing with mental health and work-related stress. For many people the occupational health nurse, working at the company level, may be the first point of contact with health care providers and these nurses can do much to ensure that individuals are referred to the appropriate agency.


Health needs assessment

A specialist OH nurse will need to be well skilled in undertaking a nurse-based health needs assessment at both the individual and the organizational level. This type of assessment can be used as the basis for individual case management or occupational health program planning. OH nurses may use research based skills in carrying out the assessment, in handling the data generated in the assessment and in interpreting the results and advising management acting as a member of the multidisciplinary team.

Evidence based practice

Increasingly all health care providers are using evidence based approach to practice that requires the professional to seek the best available information on which to base their practice. Occupational health nurses are skilled in searching the literature, reviewing the evidence available, which may be in the form of practice guidelines or protocols, and applying these guidance documents in a practical situation.

Occupational health nurses should be well skilled in presenting the evidence, identifying gaps in current knowledge, and allowing others to review critically the implementation of care plans based on their assessment of the evidence.


The most widely used and accepted form of investigation into occupational related ill-health and disease is based on large-scale epidemiological studies. Occupational health nurses are advised to become familiar with the principles and basic methods used in epidemiology.

Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 3

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Monday, November 28, 2011

How To Protect Your Health Working In The Office

Many people have to spend almost half of their time in offices. This badly influences their health. The office employees face such challenges as chronic fatigue syndrome, problems with slumber and digestion and visual impairment.

Today there are very few offices where there are no computers. But all the visible advantages apart, there are some disadvantages. Staying in the office, where computers constantly work, for a long period of time leads to heightened irritability, headaches and fast fatigability. Moreover, working at the computer for a long time is damaging for eyes.

Health Promotion

It is necessary to make a 15-minutes break every hour if you want to protect yourself from the diseases which are provoked by the influence of the computer monitor on the retina of your eyes. The operators who have to constantly watch the screen should buy special spectral glasses which can be either with the diopters or without them. They make the picture more contrast and protect the eyes from the overstrain.

Besides the direct influence on the operator's eyes, the working computers change the structure of the air in a room, which badly affects the health of all people inside it. But this problem not always can be solved by simple ventilation, especially if the office is situated in the center of the city. The using of a modern air cleaner is more effective. Such devices not only clean the air from dust and tobacco smoke but also ionize it and destroy viruses and bacteria. The air cleaner helps to fight with lung diseases of the staff, prevents the development of asthma and season allergy to the blossom dust.

If the firm has no dining hall many employees have to manage with sandwiches and coffee. Such situation leads to the problems with digestion. In such cases it is necessary to take the dinner from home, which can be easily warmed up in the microwave own. The compact fridge-bag or the thermo container will help to avoid the spoiling of food if there is no fridge in your office. They preserve foodstuff fresh for 12 hours. Moreover, the fridge-bag can help to cool the drinks when it is hot.

How To Protect Your Health Working In The Office


Friday, November 25, 2011

Group Health Insurance Premiums

If you are a small business owner or operator and want to get an explanation of the way premiums are priced for the company, then please read on. There are basically two ways these premiums can be calculated.

Group Insurance Pricing

Health Promotion

The pricing (rate making) process in group insurance is essentially the same as pricing in other industries. The insurance company must generate enough revenue to cover the cost of its claims and expenses and contribute to the surplus of the company. It differs in that the price of a group insurance product is initially determined on the basis of expected future events and may also be subject to experience rating so that the final price to the contract holder can be determined only after the coverage period has ended. Group insurance pricing consist of two steps.

(1) The determination of a unit price, referred to as a rate or premium rate for each unit of benefit (e.g., ,000.00 of life insurance, of daily hospital benefit, or of monthly income disability benefit)

(2) The determination of the total price or premium that will be paid by the contract holder for all of the coverage purchased.
The approach to group insurance rate making differs depending on whether manual rating or experience rating is used. In the case of manual rating, the premium rate is determined independently of a particular groups claim experience. When experience rating is used, the past claims experience of a group is considered in determining future premiums for the group and/or adjusting past premiums after a coverage period has ended. As in all rate making, the primary objective for all types of group insurance is to develop premium rates that are adequate, reasonable, and equitable.

Manual Rating

In the manual rating process, premium rates are established for broad classes of group insurance business. Manual rating is used with small groups for which no credible individual loss experience is available. This lack of credibility exist because the size of the group is such that it is impossible to determine whether the experience is due to random chance or is truly reflective of the risk exposure. Manual rating is also used to establish the initial premiums for larger groups that are subject to experience rating, particularly when a group is being written for the first time. In all but the largest groups, experience rating is used to combine manual rates and the actual experience of a given group to determine the final premium. The relative weights depend on the credibility of the groups own experience. Manual premium rates (also called tabular rates) are quoted in a company's rate manual. As pointed out earlier, these manual rates are applied to a specific group insurance case in order to determine the average premium rate for the case that will then be multiplied by the number of benefit units to obtain a premium for the group. The rating process involves the determination of the net premium rate, which is the amount necessary to meet the cost of expected claims. For any given classification, this is calculated by multiplying the probability (frequency) of a claim occurring by the expected amount (severity) of the claim.

The second step in the development of manual premium rates is the adjustment of the net premium rates for expenses, a risk charge, and a contribution to profit or surplus. The term retention, frequently used in connection with group insurance, usually is defined as the excess of premiums over claim payments and dividends. It consists of charges for (1) the stop-loss coverage, (2) expenses, (3) a risk charge, and (4) a contribution to the insurer's surplus. The sum of these changes usually is reduced by the interest credited to certain reserves (e.g., the claim reserve and any contingency reserves) the insurer holds to pay future claims under the group contract. For large groups, a formula is usually applied that is based on the insurers average claim experience. The formula varies by the size of a group and the type of coverage involved. Insurance companies that write a large volume of any given type of group insurance rely on their own experience in determining the frequency and severity of future claims. Where the benefit is a fixed sum, as in life insurance, the expected claim is the amount of insurance. For most group health benefits, the expected claim is a variable that depends on such factors as the expected length of disability, the expected duration of a hospital confinement, or the expected amount of reimbursable expenses. Companies that do not have enough past data for reliable future projections can use industry wide sources. The major source for such U.S. industry wide data is the Society of Actuaries. Insurers must also consider whether to establish a single manual rate level or develop select or substandard rate classifications on objective standards related to risk characteristics of the group such as occupation and type of industry. These standards are largely independent of the groups past experience.

The adjustment of the net premium rate to provide reasonable equity is complex. Some factors such as premium taxes and commissions vary with the premium charge. At the same time, the premium tax rate is not affected by the size of the group, whereas commission rates decrease as the size of a group increases. Claim expenses tend to vary with the number, not the size of claims. Allocating indirect expenses is always a difficult process as is the determination of the risk charge. Community-rating systems, developed originally by Blue Cross Blue Shield, are often defined to limit the demographic and other risk factors being recognized. They typically ignore most or all of the factors necessary for rate equity and may be as simple as one rate applicable to those with families. There is little actuarial rationale for charging all groups the same rate regardless of the expected morbidity. Community rating has been mandated in some jurisdictions. This makes it a matter of public policy rather than an actuarial pricing question.

Experience Rating

Experience rating is the process whereby a contract holder is given the financial benefit or held financially accountable for its past claims experience in insurance-rating calculations. Probably the major reason for using experience rating is competition. Charging identical rates for all groups regardless of their experience would lead to adverse selection with employers with good experience seeking out insurance companies that offered lower rates, or they would turn to self funding as a way to reduce cost. The insurance company that did not consider claims experience would, therefore, be left with only the poor risk. This is why Blue Cross Blue Shield had to abandon community rating for group insurance cases above a certain size. The starting point for prospective experience rating is the past claim experience for a group. The incurred claims for a given period include those claims that have been paid and those in process of being paid. In evaluating the amount of incurred claims, provision is usually made for catastrophic claim pooling. Both individual and aggregate stop loss limits are established in which exceptionally large claims (above these limits) are not charged to the group's experience. The "excess" portions of claims are pooled for all groups and an average charge is accounted for in the pricing process. The approach is to give weight to the individual groups own experience to the extent that it is credible. In determining the claims charge, a credibility factor, usually based on the size of the group (determined by the number of insured lives insured) and the type of coverage involved, is used. This factor can vary from zero to one depending on the actuarial estimates of experience credibility and other considerations such as the adequacy of the contingency reserve developed by the group.

In effect, the claims charge is a weighted average of (1) the incurred claims subject to experience rating and (2) the expected claims, with the incurred claims being assigned a weight equal to the credibility factor and the expected claims being assigned to a weight equal to one minus the credibility factor. The incurred claims subject to experience rating are after consideration of any stop loss provisions. Where the credibility factor is one, the incurred claims subject to experience rating will be the same as the claims charge. In such cases, the expected claims underlying the prospective rates will not be considered. Thus, when companies insure a group of substantial size, experience rating reflects the claim levels resulting from that group's own unique risk characteristics. It has become common practice to give to the group the financial benefit of good experience and hold them financially responsible for bad experience at the end of each policy period. When experience turns out to be better than was expected in prospective rating assumptions, the excess can either be accumulated in an account called a premium stabilization reserve, claim fluctuation reserve, or contingency reserve or the excess can simply be refunded. The refund is either called a dividend (mutual company) or an experience rating refund (stock company).

The net result of the experience rating process is usually called the contract holder account balance, representing the final balance attributed to the individual contract holder. As pointed out earlier this balance or a portion of the balance can be refunded to the contract holder. The adequacy of the group's premium stabilization reserve influences dividend or rate adjustment decisions.

Group Health Insurance Premiums

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healthcare - Health Insurance Providers Review - Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company is a name brand within healthcare. This review of health insurance providers will highlight the changing directions in healthcare that Mutual of Omaha has taken.

Established in 1909 in Nebraska, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company has remained one of the larger providers of healthcare. There are three associated subsidiary providers in this carrier group. Since its inception in 1970, United of Omaha has carried the main thrust of the life insurance products sold. Other business comes from Companion Life Insurance Co in New York, along with United World Life Insurance Company, formerly known as United World Insurance Co. While health and life insurance is the primarily focus, the parent company is also involved in banking, real estate development, and the sale of Mutual Funds.

Health Promotion

Now Mutual of Omaha has sprouted into a sort of a three-headed creature, with each of these head snipping at the other's business. Formerly there was only one many focus on where to obtain health insurance business. Having over 150 offices, the company had exclusive training facilities at its home office facility. When you think of healthcare, you tend to think of medical insurance. Disability insurance is a form of healthcare, and this is where for many years the company tried to make its mark. Agents were trained to sell disability coverage first, hospitalization and health supplement next, and then life insurance through United of Omaha last.

Their website mentions that when you have a sales career at Mutual of Omaha you have more than just a job. My analysis shows that the retention of healthcare representatives is not much higher now then when I was a unit sales manager with them. However, there are way fewer career sales offices available today. The company is licensed to sell in 50 states, with few restrictions. Their life and annuity sales have remained consistent the last few years. Meanwhile, rapid growth is show in accident and health insurance premiums being collected.

The reason for tremendous growth in this area can be pinpointed opening up the distribution of its healthcare products to independent non-company affiliated brokers. Along with this, they are known for generous commission payouts and one to the top rated Medicare Supplement policies. This has caused a problem for a lot of 100 year old companies, that Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company has handled better than almost all the rest. This is where you have in house affiliated representatives competing with outside brokers for the same product selling with different commission rates.

I am appalled however at Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company to throw its hat in the ring of trying to straightforwardly entice consumers to buy direct from the insurer. This takes business away from its agents, and from the independent brokers. They tell an online prospective client that buying insurance online has never been more affordable or easier. Nevertheless, the insurer is extremely savvy and profit orientated. There are only four policies offered direct. They are whole life, children's life insurance, accidental death, and cancer insurance. The last three are some of the most profitable policies that they sell.

Looking at their asset to liability ratio for paying life and health claims, the current situation looks steady, with only minor variation range. There are companies that may be financially rated slightly higher. In this review, I would rate Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, even above many of them. The reason is strong company management, along with a smooth melding of captive representative offices and brokerage operations.

They should just quit being a direct internet provider of insurance directly to consumers. Plus there is no reason for them to not put up individual websites for United of Omaha, Companion Life Insurance Company, and World Life Insurance Company. This is a cheap, beneficial way to help policyholders locate these other companies.. Hope someone in Omaha is listening.

Healthcare - Health Insurance Providers Review - Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boost Health and Productivity With a Wellness a Program

Over the last 20 years, we have seen the emergence of a major trend in North America: employee health and wellness are suffering. In Canada and the United States, there have been alarming increases of hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Between 1994 and 2005, the rates of arterial hypertension among Canadians increased by 77%, diabetes by 45% and obesity by 18%, affecting people of every age. Even more concerning is that hypertension rates among Canadians aged 35 to 49 rose 127% during the same period, and almost doubled among young people over the last 15 years (CBC News). The long-term effects of these issues will be dire; for the first time in decades, life expectancy has decreased in the United States, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in December 2010.

Health care costs increasing
For employers, these factors should be worrisome, since research shows that employee health directly impacts work behaviour, attendance, on-the-job performance and, of course, health care costs. According to the 2010 Health Care Cost Survey by Towers Watson, employers are now paying 28% more for healthcare than they did just five years ago, and employees are paying 40% more.

Health Promotion

Retaining talent
A serious challenge faced by businesses today is a high turnover of qualified, motivated and loyal workers. Many employers are failing to support and sustain their best people and create trusting relationships with their employees. The evidence: according to a report by TLNT, 74% of workers are passive job seekers ready to consider a move. In today's competitive markets, employers must find new ways to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. One way to do this is to offer employees an environment that promotes healthy and active lifestyles.

Root of the problem
"Seventy-five percent of health care costs result from unhealthy lifestyles," writes Barbara Schaefer, senior vice-president, human resources for Union Pacific Corporation, in her article, "Long Train Running". In health matters, factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and poor eating habits are responsible for the vast majority of health risks and their associated costs.

There is good news for employers, however. These leading causes of illness are largely preventable. A 2007 study of more than 200,000 employees, conducted by the University of Michigan, determined that 61% of employees have two or less health risks, 28% have a moderate risk (three to four risk factors) and only 11% have an elevated risk (five or more health risk factors). The study determined that reducing health risk factors could save an employer US4 per employee, per year, for an organization of 1,973 employees. These are savings that can add up quickly.

High performance companies: health and wellness leaders
Businesses today are left with no choice but to create a healthy workplace culture if they want employees to perform to their best potential. High performance companies such as SAS, Wegmans Food Markets and Google have understood the profound connection between employee health, productivity and insurance costs. According to a report by the SHRM Foundation, "more than 75% of high-performing companies regularly measure health and wellness as a viable component of their overall risk management strategy." A survey conducted by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health "found that 83% of companies have already revamped or expect to revamp their health care strategy within the next two years, up from 59% in 2009. This year, more employers (66%) plan to offer incentives for employees to complete a health risk appraisal, up from 61% in 2009. Also, 56% of employers now offer health coaches and 26% now offer on-site health centres."

And it's working! The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that by implementing a physical activity program, Canada Life in Toronto improved productivity and reduced turnover and insurance costs while achieving a return on investment (ROI) of .85 per corporate dollar invested. A study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that "comprehensive worksite health programs focused on lifestyle behaviour change have been shown to yield a to ROI for each dollar invested." According to a report by the Medisys Health Group, out of the Top 100 Employers in Canada, 77 have a structured wellness program in place and those who track the results generally find their expectations are met or exceeded.

If you ask the managers and HR directors of these Top 100 companies about the benefits of workplace wellness programs, they will tell you benefits include decreases in insurance costs, absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover rates; increases in productivity and recruitment; and improved creativity and overall motivation of the workforce.

How to build an efficient wellness program
Corporate wellness programs should focus on changing poor health habits in order to maintain affordable benefits coverage. A successful wellness program will help employees improve their physical health, improve communication throughout the organization and improve the workplace culture.

Quebec's Groupe de promotion pour la prévention en santé (GP2S) is an organization that has worked for a number of years to establish an ISO standard for workplace wellness. According to GP2S, there are a number of factors that will affect the success of wellness programs. Firstly, commitment must come from top management; the leaders of the company must be convinced of the value of the endeavour and must lead by example. Secondly, the program should be structured and integrated; managers need to define a comprehensive wellness strategy that is integrated to the business strategy, with a budget, timeline and thorough planning of resources. Third, the objectives of the program must be linked to the business objectives and the needs of employees, meaning that the program must be well integrated into the management system.

GP2S also emphasizes the importance of effective communication. As stated in the Harvard Business Review's article, "The Pillars of an Effective Workplace Wellness Program", "Wellness is not just a mission-it's a message. How you deliver it can make all the difference. Sensitivity, creativity and media diversity are the cornerstones of a successful communications strategy." Backing up the launch of a wellness program with a strong marketing and communication strategy prevents employee cynicism and skepticism and builds employee enthusiasm and excitement.

There is one very critical action that must be taken to ensure a wellness program achieves a return on investment; the entire implementation process should be based on a detailed diagnostic that evaluates the global health of the business and the health risk factors of the employees. Conducting a diagnostic to uncover employee needs and the most common health risk behaviours allows companies to invest in real problems, which drastically improves the potential return of the wellness program.

Employers, entrepreneurs and HR managers must understand that when it comes to health and wellness, they must invest now to save later.

Boost Health and Productivity With a Wellness a Program

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Promote Your Network Marketing Product - Top Tips On How

The best way to start promoting your network marketing product is to promote yourself first. Yes, it is important that your prospects know you first so that they can trust the product or service you are offering them.

You may ask, "Why do I need to promote myself"? Promoting yourself first is the best way to achieve self-branding on network marketing. If you embark on self-branding the right way, before long, you will be perceived as an authority in your chosen niche, and people would naturally flow to your product by the time you start promoting it; in fact, you would have less promotional work to do on your product if you do a great job on self- branding. Self-branding/self-promotion strategy involves going out of your way to learn about your prospects, their needs, concerns and issues they are looking for solutions on. When you provide values to them by giving relevant answers to their questions and providing valuable tips, you have already done the major part of your product promotion.

Health Promotion

Here are other ways you can promote your product;


Your blog site is a powerful promotional tool for your MLM product. What you would do is to add a page for your MLM products. Also, include banners strategically - the keyword here is 'strategically, if you add banner tactfully, your readers will not be irritated. On the other hand, if you overdo the banner thing, you may end up annoying your readers and putting them off. Use your blog to also create reviews about the products you are marketing. You should target free traffic generation from the search engines by creating content that is relevant to your products as well as target markets.

Classified Ads

Also, don't forget to take advantage of certain sites that attract a lot of traffic; examples of such sites are USFreeAds and Craiglist. Money-making prospect is huge when you employ these free traffic generation sites. In USFreeAds, you can employ wide range of features to tweek your ads - however, you must upgrade to the premium level in order to take advantage of this feature.

Content/Article Marketing

Article writing is a well-known effective marketing strategy for any online business, including network marketing product promotion. The regular saying goes that 'Content is the King!'. Create informative articles about your MLM product without sounding obviously promotional, or using intense sales tone. The content should be directed to your target audience. Don't forget to place your affiliate link in the author resource box. If your content is informative enough and compelling, your readers would definitely click on your link to visit your affiliate product site.

Use Auto Responders

These are follow-up emails and broadcasts. When you use auto responders in your MLM product promotion, your target would be on your subscribers. However, be careful not to bug then with offers every now and then and throw them in confusion. The major thing here is to share a solution that matches the needs of your prospects and recommend a product or service that would help thereafter.

Network marketing product promotion would yield great results when you apply these and other tips.

Promote Your Network Marketing Product - Top Tips On How

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