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Chamber Member Blogs

Welcome to the Official Blog Page of the Boca Chamber!
If you are interested in having your posts appear in this webpage, please contact Jordi Gerking at jgerking@bocachamber.com


Does the Red Warning Sign of Doom Appear on Your Website?
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group Direct

Beginning in October, Chrome will label HTTP pages as insecure if users can input any data, such as login information or payment data into your website. There is nothing that will damage your online sales more than seeing a warning message that says "not secure" in big red letters.

I call this the Red Warning Sign of Doom.

The not-secure label indicates that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection. HTTPS, which is the secure version of HTTP, offers better protection for both the consumer and for the site owner.

Click here to read the complete blog post...


The Benefits of Graduating into a Free Enterprise Economy
By Daniel M. Gropper, Ph.D, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Graduationg season has drawn to a close. The new graduates are filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension at successfully completing their schoolwork, leaving the University and joining the "real world".

These graduates have an incredible benefit that many do not even think about. They are graduating into a (mostly) capitalist, free enterprise economic system, with all the freedoms, and all the challenges, that implies.

Individual liberty and personal freedom -- including the freedom to decide about schooling and the careers we pursue -- is a deeply rooted part of the American sensibility. This freedom bring with it the need to make choices about how to invest in themsevles -- how to build their own human capital -- as well as the responsibility for those choices.

Click here to read the complete blog post...


Developing an Application? Define Your MVP First!
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

We all According to Wikipiedia an MVP (minimal variable product) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development. Some experts suggest that in business to business transactions an MVP also means saleable: "it's not an MVP until you sell it. Viamble mean you can sell it". Before you decide to build a new product or application, make sure you define your MVP first.

Click here to read the complete blog post...


Creating Synergy Between Direct Mail and Digital Channels: Dos and Dont's
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group Direct

We all know that marketing via multiple channels increases response rates, raises awareness and enhances branding.

According to DM News, combining direct mail and email could lead to response rates that are more than double the typical results.

While many businesses combine direct mail & email, different businesses combine them differently.

Click here to read the complete blog post...
 


Your Website Needs a Check-Up!
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

Your website is your online business card, so it is important that you monitor your website and make sure it is in good hands. Many business owners have learned how to manage their own sites, run campaigns and often do a good job. However, more often than not, there is something that can slip by. Maintaining a website is very time consuming and now more than ever, because it is never finished! In order to be relevant, you need to be adding and updating your website content, ensuring the overall design is still up to standards, and that the message is geared to your target audience. Updating your website is takes a lot of time so you need to make sure you are editing the right pages with the right content. Whether you manage your own website or pay for a service to do this for you, here is a list of basic things you can review to do a website check-up.

Click here to read the comlete blog post...
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Boca Raton Credit Card Processing
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS 

Working in the world of credit card processing since 2003, we understand business owners face challenges dealing with merchant processing and trying to determine the optimal solution for their business. Too often, business owners are not given proper information regarding pricing, products and services available to them that would result in increased savings and protection of their bottom line. We ensure that this is never the case with our clients.

Our approach in working with businesses helps to separate ourselves from the competition. There are no promises, guarantees or gimmicks. Rather we begin with a basic question; When was the last time you performed an audit of your merchant services program? The impetus behind this question is to gain a better understanding of your business, allowing us to present a tailored solution to meet your specific needs based on technology, security and added value solutions.


Click here to read the comlete blog post...

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Difference Between Domain Hosting and Web Hosting
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

It can get confusing on understanding the difference between domain hosting and web hosting. Often when I ask a client “Where is your domain hosted?”, they say one of the following:

“Oh, I have everything in GoDaddy or X service.”

“What’s domain hosting? I bought the domain many years ago, I don’t know.”

“Don’t you host my website? You should know.”

“I don’t know, ask my IT guy.”


Click here to read the comlete blog post...
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How and Why to Use Images on Your Website
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

There are many reasons to add images on your website and blog posts. Besides illustrating your content, it makes your site look nicer, more user friendly and can help you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You don’t want to have a boring page with just paragraphs and no images. It has been proven that adding images increase the chances of user engagement, social media sharing and can increase your site traffic. However, you need to do it right otherwise you won’t get the most benefits out of them. If your images are too large, it will make your page load slower and page load speed is an important factor for both user experience and SEO. You have to make sure you have rights to use your images, you can’t just do a Google search and grab images and put them on your site.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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5 Essential WordPress Plugins
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

What WordPress plugins should you have on your site? This is something a lot of newcomers or DIY (“do it yourself”) website builders ask when getting started with their WordPress website. This is a basic list to get you started, but I am sure you will come across many more that you will setup for your site. Each website is different and has different needs and different target audiences. Some sites need an image gallery, other sites need an e-commerce component (we suggest using WooCommerce), and the different options goes on and on. WordPress lists more than 40,000 plugins in their repository, so the possibilities are endless! Whatever the case, I am confident you will need the following plugins, so this is our list of 5 essential free plugins you need on your site. Each of these plugins have alternative options, so it is up to you which one to use, but we find these the easiest and most comprehensive plugins to use that are free.

Click here to ready the complete blog post...

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Get Connected at Host.net Golf Outing

By Allie Hernandez, Host.net

 

 

 

At Host.net, our motto is “Technology Humanized.” Not only are we focused on being the go-to resource to keep data connected and protected for businesses in South Florida, we also make it a priority to get to know the people we serve. To that end, we are involved in the community through initiatives like Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA, and we also enjoy hosting fun events. This month is no different, as we prepare for our very first Connect Fore golf outing!

The event will take place at the beautiful Deer Creek Golf Club, 2801 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd., in Deerfield Beach. We plan to host this outing on the third Thursday of every quarter. We will tee off at 4:30 p.m. with different packages available. And this event is not limited to Host.net customers and partners – we encourage you to bring your friends along as well. We’ll close out the evening with a fixed dinner menu and cash bar so all of our guests can continue to mingle.  

We are offering three networking options for the event:

  • Golf 9 holes (includes tax, golf cart, token for driving range and a $2 gratuity for bag room)
  • Golf 9 holes with Dinner and Networking (includes tax, golf cart, token for driving range and a $2 gratuity for bag room)
  • Dinner and Networking  

We hope you can make it. Click the link below to join the fun!

REGISTER HERE!

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Understanding Important Ranking Factors for Search Engine Optimization
By Tim Stoddart, Stodzy Media 

There are so many options to chose from when putting together an online marketing campaign. It can be overwhelming to decide which route to take. Some people say social media, some people say email, other’s say search.

Let’s break this down a little further.

We are big believers in the power of social media. We have said over and over again that we believe in following the attention of the consumer. People are spending lots of time looking at social media through their cell phones and for that reason, being active on social media is important.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Does Your Direct Mail Measure Up?
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group

40% of consumers regularly make purchases because of direct mail they’ve received – Does your direct mail measure up?

Creating direct mail that works is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers.  There are lots of great ways to create an interesting and irresistible piece of Direct Mail both in appearance and content.

Here are 6 great ways to make your direct mail content interesting, irresistible, personal and thought-provoking, which will direct people to your site and generate dollars.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Steps to Build a New Website
By Juan Lopez, NearSource 

Have you wanted to build a new website but not sure how to get started? Or you hired a web team or developer to get your site done and want to make sure you will be happy with the results? Everybody has their style or approach. Some people are design oriented, others are content driven while others just start throwing things together to see what works. The following is an overview of our basic steps to build a new website with a web development team. When we work on a new website, we start with a questionnaire which helps both the website owner and the development team to understand or define what is wanted. This will help clear up many typical questions that come up in any website project. The following are the steps we follow when building a new website.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Marketing Trends in 2017
 
By Dale Filhaber, Dataman Group 

The year 2017 will be an exciting year for marketers, particularly in terms of enhanced digital skills.  As new trends, technology and customer behaviors emerge, the key to success will be in continually learning and staying up-to-date.

Marketers need to experiment with new tools, tactics and marketing campaign ideas and continue to monitor each project so they can discover where their greatest return on investment can be made.

Click here to read the complete blog post.

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SSL is Now a Must for Your Website
By Helder Martins, NearSource

There was a time when you only even knew what SSL was if you ran an eCommerce website or online store. Today, more and more people know what SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is or at least know that it is “something” that creates a secure connection between a website visitor and the server through which to send information. Some people would recognize it when seeing a “lock” symbol in the browser when doing online shopping or doing online banking.

SSL is what encrypts the communication between the person who is browsing the website and the website’s server. All data/text submitted either way is encrypted. This way any prying person or software can’t see anything in this connection because it’s encrypted in real time. You have to be able to decrypt it with a “key”. Nowadays keys are very strong so it is very hard to hack.  You can notice you are using SSL in a website when you have to use HTTPS in the address bar.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Business Owners - Make Sure to Take the Proper Steps to Protect Against Chargebacks
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS, Inc.

As a business owner, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to protect yourself from unnecessary and unwanted chargeback’s.  With that said, there is no doubt that consumers tend to have the upper hand when it comes to disputes based on the chargeback process.

 It is important to know that banks that issue cards, such as Citibank, Wells Fargo and Chase, earn a percentage of every transaction processed with their card. To that end, issuing banks want to keep their customers happy, ensuring their card will be used for future purchases. This is where I believe the consumer has the upper hand when initiating a dispute and the resulting chargeback.

Click here to read the complete blog post...
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Does the Thought of Customer Data Breaches Keep You Up at Night?
By Adam Moss, Clarity EPS, Inc.

In today’s highly technological world, data breaches are becoming more commonplace. The theft of personal data and how that data will be used is a very real and worrisome concern. Too often we hear about the data breach of a large company and how that breach of personal information has left thousands or even millions of customers vulnerable. One need not look further than the recent breaches of Target, The Home Depot and ADP, to name a few.
Data breaches can result in significant monetary fines to a business, as well as reputation and brand damage in the event policies are violated or a breach occurs. But data breaches are not limited to large, well-known companies.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Should I Go with WordPress for My Site?
By Juan Lopez, NearSource

You are thinking of developing a new website and you keep hearing of WordPress. As of now more than 25% of websites on the internet run on WordPress, so it would be hard to believe that all these people are wrong. However, it is not for everyone. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which allows users to easily setup and edit their website via a user friendly interface.

When we first started developing websites for our customers, we did all kinds of sites from static HTML Websites, custom CMS systems to custom coded websites. Over the last few years we have been developing more and more WordPress websites because of it’s many benefits.

Click here to read the complete blog post...


3 Major Takeaways from Instagram Live Update
By Tim Stoddart, CEO of Stodzy Inc.


Instagram continues to innovate and remains the leader in picture and video sharing mobile apps. They remain the most cutting edge of all platforms (second to Facebook of course) and for this reason we expect them to remain at the top of the mobile app food chain for years to come.
In this episode, I dive deep into some of the important takeaways from the Instagram live update. With this update, it is obvious that Instagram has some real plans up their sleeves.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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6 Questions to Ask a Production Company Before Hiring
By Rob Jager, Plum Productions Media
It’s time to add video to your website and now you need to find the right video production company. What questions should you ask? If you have never produced a video before, you might want to read this blog. If you have produced a video, but it didn’t go as well as planned, you might want to read this blog. These are the Six Questions you should ask your video production company BEFORE hiring them.


Click here to read the complete blog post...


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Get Real: Don't Be a Phony
By Lewis Fogel, Sandler Training

Are your prospecting calls falling short of setting meetings? If so, It's time to change your style and build rapport that creates mutual trust & respect. Rapport is about Getting Real; Don't be a phony and you will achieve three things crucial in building the relationship.

Click here to read the complete blog post...


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10 Simple SEO Tips You Can Use Right Now

By Madeline Barrett, LoSoMo, Inc.

In today’s ever-growing online world, business owners shouldn’t be asking, “Should I do SEO?” but rather, “When can I start?” And luckily, the answer is that you can start today!

Though it may seem intimidating, Search Engine Optimization is easier to grasp than you might think. As search engines like Google, Bing, and Spotlight get smarter, optimizing your website for search engines aligns more and more with optimizing your website for your consumers, which leads to higher conversion rates. Who doesn’t want a user-friendly website that converts?

Click here to read the complete blog post...


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The Three Videos Your Business Must Have
By Rob Jager, Plum Productions Media

Video is fast becoming a necessity for any business website. Both product and service companies are starting to see that video can make a website much more productive. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) looks for “sticky” websites, that is, websites that visitors spend more time viewing. Visitors stay longer on websites with video because they’re busy watching a video…not clicking around.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Are You Ready to Inbound?
By Sean Tibor, Red Reef Digital

Are you looking for a better way to generate leads and close customer deals? Are you spending more and more on your paid advertising campaigns and seeing smaller and smaller returns? While online ad spending is going up, so is the complexity and fragmentation of the online advertising space, making it harder to see if your marketing efforts are effective. For example, a
December 2015 study revealed that only 37% of small business owners thought their online marketing efforts were helping to grow their business. Even more shocking was that 14% of the respondents said they had no idea if their marketing was effective!


Click here to read the complete blog post...

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Charmingly Up-Front
By Lewis Fogel, Sandler Training

Have you ever been charmingly up-front and told a prospect that your product or service may not fit their needs? Probably not. Traditional selling doesn’t work that way. Learn to establish and use up-front contracts to determine the next step in the sales process, in what order, & when. If it happens to be a no, move on.

Click here to read the complete blog post...

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What's Your Zero Moment of Truth Potential?
By Madeline Barrett, LoSoMo, Inc.

Your potential customer just searched online for a business like yours… Did they find you? As the online and mobile world continues to expand, your first interaction with your customer is no longer in your store or office, or even on your website. It’s in search engine results, social media, video, and review sites, and it’s called the “Zero Moment of Truth.”

Google defines this “Zero Moment of Truth” or “ZMOT” as the moment when you grab your laptop, phone or other device to learn about a product or service you’re considering trying or buying. If your business doesn’t have a wide-spread online presence, you could be lacking serious ZMOT potential.

When it comes to ZMOT, how does your business measure up? Click to learn more….

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What You and Walt Disney have in Common
By Lewis Fogel

Envisioneering

Me? And Walt Disney--really? Yes, because great business leaders are envisioneers; they know how to turn their dreams into reality. You and Walt are alike in that, you both could see far into your companies’ futures. You are dreamers. But there is a difference in dreaming and dreaming successfully. Successful dreamersenvisioneersknow how to get to the next step. They know how to make it happen.

Visions and
Goals

Recognize that visions are big and goals are smaller. Visions are where you ultimately want to be, whether professionally or personally. Goals are the steps you take to achieve your vision. Disney, for example, envisioned owning a company that created graphic animation. He saw its potential in comic books and celluloid (movies). From newspaper delivery boy to ambulance driver to drawing caricatures for newspapers, to creating advertisements and landing a job as a cartoonist; each job was a step closer to his goals. He eventually saw his vision evolve. What he thought would be his ultimate achievement was, in reality, just one of the goals to his most magnificent envisioneering; the creation of Disney Land, Walt Disney World and EPCOT.

Knowing your company’s vision is a good beginning. Planning the goals it will take to attain it is a must. But unless you are your company’s sole employee, your vision and the means to reach it need to be shared with your staff.

To read more,click here.


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The Perfect Dance of Nutrients
by Doctor Maya Sarkisyan, DOCTOR MAYA CLINIC


Have you ever though of how precise the balance of nutrients in your blood should be to sustain life? And just how it should be to maintain health? Just a little imbalance starts the process of disease, and continues imbalance prolongs it and makes disease chronic.
 On the other hand when we maintain healthy levels of micronutrients in our daily food and supplement intake we can correct imbalances and feel fantastic. The challenge comes with not enough information about nutrients.  

How much is enough? 
How much is too much?What exactly is important for me?Where do I get it from? We all are very similar and at the same time very unique. The genetic predisposition combined with the lifestyle creates a unique situation for everybody. Though we all need to eat everyday we all need slightly different combination of nutrients. After food gets inside of us and gets absorbed into our bodies it has to start working for our benefit.

The blood transports important nutrients to the cells where all life functions are being created every single moment of the day. And there is a way to find out if that process is happening properly or not.
 The micronutrient testing and interpretation brings fast results and gives you the power to correct issues naturally by yourself. Often times health issued develop for years without presenting as symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies play a key role in that process. 
We love this test out of all other tests we do because it puts the power into your own hands. It is different from any other blood tests available in the healthcare industry as it is measuring the functional level of nutrients inside your white blood cells. 

We measure vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrate metabolism, immune function, and total anti-aging levels. Once a year we invite Spectracell Labs and host a special event at Doctor Maya Clinic located inside the Greenhouse Building, East Boca Raton. The next event is March 16, 2016 5:30pm - 7:00pm.During this event we will draw blood to measure nutrient level presenting a health pattern that tells a lot about your life.   


Nutrients inside the white blood cell are components for all the biochemical functions of the body - due to actual work being done inside the cell.  
You can contact Doctor Maya at 800-590-6292 for the details and how to get on the list. Due to the time limitation and special pricing lab can do only a certain number of people during the event.  The regular (Labcorp or Quest) serum blood test is done on the "whole blood" which is an approximation, and does not reflect the real levels.

These are the nutrients in transit, they might or might not get inside the cell due to many reasons, some of them being also nutritional deficiencies.
 After results are ready Doctor Maya interprets them, explains how these deficiencies affect or will affect your health, and creates a lifestyle, food, and supplementation plan based on these precise results. Then you have all the information. Can't be better then that! Our ambitions and passion exposes us to everyday stress. And it is wonderful to achieve new heights in our personal and business life, however we have to take care of ourself everyday even more then in the past. The precision medicine helps us to detect and correct possible health complications on time. So we can live happy and successful life. 

 


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S.E.A.R.C.H.ing for Your Match

Six Primary Function Identifiers for Successful Hiring
By Lewis Fogel

The Perfect Match No, we’re not talking about those romantic matches ostensibly made in heaven. Although amour may be in February’s air and finding a life partner is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, we’re discussing those other very important matches; those in your professional life. You have a job opening to fill. You want the right person for it. How do you make it happen? Of course, you think, I’ll advertise. Or maybe you will hand it off to Human Resources or, call a head hunter. But long before you assign that task, you have some homework to do to find your perfect match.

Finding suitable applicants requires more than reading résumés and conducting interviews. It means developing an in-depth job description. Writing this description is the first step to finding your perfect match. Let’s explore how to create it. To read more, click here.

 



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Check Your Heart and Check Your Eyes!
By
Dr. Rick Marrotte, Board Certified Optometic Physician

We all know that Valentine's day is represented by hearts and love. February is also Heart Health Awareness Month.  Did you know that at Custom Vision Care, we check your blood pressure?  

We know that blood pressure, as well as, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and blood hormone levels can have an effect on your eyes ! The blood vessels in the retina are exquisitely sensitive to changes in these factors.  A dilated retinal exam is vital to early detection and monitoring of any blood vessel disease.

The idea that "I see okay....so I must be okay", is far from the truth. Most eye diseases including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes generally cause few symptoms and don't hurt. If you are waiting to go for your Eye Health Examination until you  "see" something wrong....it's too late, damage is already being done and may not be reversible.

Call today for your Annual Eye Exam and we'll check your blood pressure and your overall Eye Health to help you stay healthy.



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New Year's Resolution
By
Dr. Rick Marrotte, Board Certified Optometic Physician

#1 Get Healthier !

This resolution is practically a "given" for all cultures around the globe. One place to start is a Comprehensive Eye Examination. With current technology and over 30 years of experience, we can diagnose diabetes, thyroid disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, anemia and many other systemic conditions.

One of the tests vital to making proper diagnoses is to have your eyes dilated. Now, everybody hates having this done because the eye drops can sting, they blur vision for 5 or 6 hours, you might need to bring someone to drive because it's so bright and basically make it difficult to do anything the rest of the day. Some Eye Care Centers charge extra to use a Retinal Camera to replace the dilation. However, no camera in the world has better resolution than the 2 eyes of the doctor getting a 3-D view of your retina. Many of patients tell me that they haven't had their eyes dilated in years because they hate it so much.

Not so anymore !! We use the latest drops that are mild enough so that patients don't need to bring a driver and can see well to drive themselves . The drops last only 1 -2 hours in most people and it doesn't make you blurry and flash blinded for the rest of the day.

If you haven't had your Comprehensive Eye Exam in over a year and keep putting off having your eyes dilated, call us today. To help you keep that New Year's Resolution to get healthier, start with us.


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Coaching CEOs (and other members of the C-Suite)
By Gerald Pulvermacher, Ph.D., C. Psych.,

“Even the best-of-the-best CEOs have their blind spots and can dramatically improve their performance with an outside perspective weighing in,” says the Miles Group CEO Stephen Miles. “We are moving away from coaching being perceived as ‘remedial’ to where it should be something that improves performance, similar to how elite athletes use a coach.”

The Miles Group 2013 survey polled more than 200 CEOs, Board Directors and senior directors of public and private companies in North America. Some of the findings:

-          Almost 66% of CEOs receive no coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants.

-          A full 100% of bosses say they would be receptive to making changes based on feedback.

-          Nearly 80% of Corporate Directors say their CEO would welcome coaching.

To continue reading, click here.



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Leadership in the Next Decade
By Gerald Pulvermacher, Ph.D., C. Psych.,

Let’s imagine that after years of disciplined study, hard work, learning from mistakes and persevering, you’ve done it – you’ve landed your dream job.  The timing is perfect.  There’s intense interest just now in your company’s or business unit’s work.  You’ve got a big budget and a great team.  You’re thrilled.  You’re terrified.

So you head to your local bookstore or start searching the web to see what the experts are saying about what makes a leader successful.  What you find is an astonishing array of tomes and sites dedicated to the subject.  They promise everything from inspiring stories of iconic CEOs who single-handedly turned around failing corporations to the change management wisdom of a fictional mouse.   After an hour of browsing through diverse views on the four essential leadership practices, the management model that will make everything fall into place, the ten steps to success, your head is spinning.    People have done a lot of thinking about leadership – what to make of it all? To continue reading, click here.



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This Time of Year We are Thankful for Many Things.

By Dr. Rick Marrotte, Board Certified Optometic Physician

Family !  Friends !  and great Patients that entrust us with their Eye Health.

We have to be careful not to take anything for granted, especially our eyesight. The idea that " I see okay, so everything must be okay" is definitely NOT true.  Most eye disease does not hurt.  You cannot feel glaucoma or cataracts.  Vascular diseases like high cholesterol and diabetes don't usually cause many symptoms  either. 

Just a few weeks ago, a patient came in for an exam after 8 years of not getting an annual exam and I diagnosed glaucoma for him with over 40% vision loss in his left eye.  He was totally unaware of the vision loss because he said he could still see to read with the same glasses so he thought his eyes were fine. This type of damage is regrettable and preventable with Annual Eye Examinations.

As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to take the time to Thank You for choosing our office for your Eye Health and Vision needs.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! from Dr. Marrotte and the Staff at Custom Vision Care

Have a Safe and Insightful Halloween

By Dr. Rick Marrotte, Board Certified Optometic Physician

At this time of year, many children, teenagers, and even adults are tempted to complete their Halloween Costumes and wear decorative contact lenses bought without a prescription.

Halloween isn’t the only time of year that people try contact lenses without   a prescription, but over 24%  purchased them without a prescription from a source other than an Eye Doctor.

Contact Lenses are classified as a "Medical Device" by the Food and Drug Administration, even without any corrective power in them.  Because they  come in contact with live corneal tissue,  if contact lenses are not fitted properly or if not sterilized properly, the eyes can be permanently damaged and you can even go blind from serious eye infections.

If you are thinking about using "scary looking"  contact lenses for your Halloween costume, please make an appointment for a Professional Fitting to insure your eye health. Don't let your Halloween frights involve the scary thought of losing your eyesight.

To See Your Options Clearly.....You Should be Seeing Us.

Your Guide to 2015 Wage & Tax Regulatory Changes

By Anne Erdman, PrimePay

Tax season is upon us. And what a crazy season it is. Luckily, you can get a jump on planning for 2015. We’ve gathered the latest tax regulations, changes and information all in one place for your reference. No matter what state your company resides in, we’ve gathered both federal and state-specific information you need to know. - See more at: http://primepay.com/blog/your-guide-2015-payroll-tax-regulatory-changes#sthash.pa04t8rv.dpuf

The Importance of Teaching Future Hospitality Professionals about Guest Service

By Marco Albarran, Founder & President, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc.

Training the hospitality professional in guest service seems to be somewhat of a common sense concept that we all should apply in our hospitality establishments. We also do our best to find the best candidates that have the appropriate personalities and attitudes. Yet, training alone perhaps may not be sufficient. Additionally, it seems that there is a lack of truly demonstrating this skill (service) thoroughly. It seems that we need a bit more to execute the service element. Perhaps we need to reinforce it in meetings or on a one on one scale perhaps. Still, it seems that some of our employees do not get the overall concepts that are needed to own each moment of truth. That said why not put them through an education process, in addition to the training that you also may have for them? 
Click here to continue reading.

Purposeful social media

By Earl Starkoff, MarketServ™

The blogosphere is bloated with the pros and cons of social media for businesses. Everyone has a point of view, but a lot of them are so wrapped up in their advocacy that they miss the point. Namely, “Why are we doing this?” It seems like businesses spend way too much time thoughtlessly devoted to participating in social media because it’s popular or “experts” say it’s important as a channel or your competitors are “in that space” or because that’s what the big brands do….
Click here to continue reading.

The Importance of Customer Retention

By Marco Albarran, Founder & President, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc.

I am certain we can all agree that we place a heavy emphasis on investing to acquire guests, patrons or customers to our establishments/businesses. The majority of investment frequently goes towards the search for new business. A smaller portion tends to be used for the upkeep or retention of the guest. Of course this is not in all hospitality establishments, however, why is this typically the approach? What can we learn from those who understand the other side (customer retention) and how this can be a stronger player in the success of the establishments and brand? 
Click here to continue reading.

 

Delivering the Customer Service Management System's Promise to Your Target Market

By Marco Albarran, Founder & President, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc.

The hospitality industry welcomes and needs to be creative and innovative to continue its survival, more so with its talent. Hospitality and customer service is very important to seeing a brand experience become efficient in the market. We do need to do our best to improve and keep retention rates of employees as high as possible. If not we risk not hitting realistic figures in our financial statements, because if there is inconsistency, in the workplace and day to day operations, then the guest will ultimately have to pay the ultimate price. 
Click here to continue reading.

Balancing the target to audience size continuum

By Earl Starkoff, MarketServ™

Advertisers have lots of choices for parceling out precious ad dollars.
The challenge is to focus on the best-qualified targets while delivering in scale to an audience large enough to impact top line sales and bottom line results.Online display advertising has unique advantages over direct mail, print, and broadcast media in meeting this challenge.

  • Hyper-targeting can identify audience more precisely than generalized readership, zip codes and delivery zones demographics.
  • Online activity is so pervasive that ad exposures are delivered in scale.
  • Real-time analysis can deploy campaign assets to optimize for results.
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Should I Rebrand?
By Laura Ure, Keenability
 

If you’ve been resting on your laurels for a while it might be time for you to upgrade your look. You’ve probably been asking your self “Should I rebrand?” Keep in mind rebranding your business isn’t only about the “look and feel” it is about increasing your revenue.

There are several important factors to consider prior to deciding to rebrand your business:

Are you a leading voice in your industry? If the answer is no, you are due for a rebrand. Your brand should give your business a competitive advantage. If you purchased a clip art logo and don’t have a consistent look your business will easily be lost amongst the competition.

Are you still using a homegrown brand? Many small businesses have built their company on a budget and on logos often created by a family member. As your business grows your most important asset, your brand, should be professionally done.

Is your brand outdated? When was the last time you revised your look? If the answer is never, it is certainly time to rebrand. It is easy to spot a look and feel that was created over 10 years ago. Looking dated can be of putting to potential clients. Big companies evolve their logos and overall business branding consistently.  Evolving a brand is essential to growth. 

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Marketing Plans for 2015
By Laura Ure, Keenability
 

If you haven’t already established your 2015 marketing plan, this is a good time to start giving it some serious thought. It is very likely that you’ll need to make some major updates to your 2014 marketing plan. No different than anything else, marketing continues to evolve. There are plenty of changes up and coming for 2015 and we’ve outlined some below:

Increase your social media budget- That’s right. Instead of decreasing your time on social media, you’ll need to spend more time on it, and also plan on spending more advertising dollars. With the recent changes made by Facebook, ad dollars will have to be invested to amplify the reach amongst your audience and ensure that you are getting the best out of your social media. Facebook has made it fairly accurate to target a precise audience, so take advantage. With their new marketing insights, it is much more effective to advertise on Facebook, knowing you are reaching your intended audience. Social media also requires that you dedicate quality time to making real connections with your target audience. More than ever, customers are becoming savvy to the difference between an active social media presence and one that is not actively maintained. Don’t lose your audience by neglecting them. Be sure you are spending an accurate amount of time engaged, or hire a company to engage on your behalf.

Increase emails blast frequency- Assuming you are already reaching your audience via regular email, seek to increase the number of emails sent. Email is still an extremely effective way of reaching your audience. Despite stricter restrictions, an opt-in email list is worth a bundle. Look for ways to grow your list of prospects and of existing clients. Sending them emails will keep your business top of mind.
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